Lunchtime! Lentil Sloppy Joes

I don’t eat sandwiches too often. Occasionally, though, I like a good sandwich. I don’t know: I guess it brings me back to my childhood and having Wonder Bread sandwiches for lunch at school (it’s a wonder that I used to eat Wonder Bread, but that’s another story for another time). I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty these sloppy joes are. It’s hearty and filling and has a good amount of protein. I had it on some gluten free, vegan bread (which is hard to find in our area) with a salad on the side. It was so filling that I was still full at dinner so I ended up having just a smoothie for dinner. These were fairly easy to make, too, and I have lots of leftovers for easy lunches. I hope you enjoy them.
Lentil Sloppy Joes
Lentil Sloppy Joes

3 ⅓ Cup Vegetable Stock
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Bell Pepper, finely chopped
10 oz. Mushrooms, finely chopped
1 ½ Cups Dry Lentils
14 oz. Can Petit Cut Diced Tomatoes
¼ Cup Organic Ketchup (don’t use plain old ketchup!)
2 Tbsp. Liquid Aminos
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1 Tsp. Spike Seasoning
1 Tsp. Dry Mustard
½ Tsp. Ground Allspice
4 Medjool Dates, finely chopped

In a medium stockpot, add the chopped vegetables and 1/3 cup of the stock. Sauté vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on medium low for about 50 minutes. Serve on a roll or gluten free toast.


Quinoa Mushroom Breakfast Porridge and Seasoning Mix

Lately I’ve been mostly making smoothies for breakfast, mainly because I just don’t know what to eat besides eggs for breakfast. Seriously, when you’re eating on the paleo diet, you’ll eat a lot of eggs: eggs in EVERYTHING. We ate so many eggs that I contemplated raising our own chickens to keep us supplied in eggs. (sorry to all those vegans I just offended) I’m not a huge fan of sweet breakfasts – they just don’t seem to hold me over. I had some oatmeal loaded with nuts and fruit and that was okay, but I just don’t get up in the morning and say, ‘mmmm mmmm oatmeal.’ I was going to make some sweet potato pancakes this morning, but I got up late and, by the time I did my devotions, I was hungry and wanted something quick. This was my solution. I’m not sure if a porridge is technically supposed to be sweet, but I’m calling it a porridge anyway. It’s got that comfort feel of a porridge and the heartiness I like to have for breakfast. This porridge really filled the whole house with a wonderful aroma. This smelled so good that I’m actually drawing my family over to the dark side to eat vegan. My husband loves the fact that it’s so much cheaper to eat vegan, and healthy. My kids just love the things I make. Seasoning The smell in the house this morning had everyone coveting my porridge.
Before I get to the porridge recipe, I’ll give you the recipe for my seasoning mix. Dr. Fuhrman’s recipes use Spike seasoning a lot. First of all, it’s pretty pricey. Second of all, I know it’s supposed to be all natural, but when I read the ingredients, it just doesn’t seem all that good to me. So, being me, I made my own. Here’s the recipe:Seasoning 2
Seasoning Mix

¼ Cup Salt
1Tbsp. dried onions
1 Tbsp. Dried Garlic
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
3 Tsp Paprika
2 Tsp Dry Mustard
2 Tsp Basil
1 ½ Tsp Turmeric
1 ½ Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tsp Garlic
1 Tsp Onion
1 Tsp. Dill
1 Tsp. Thyme
1 Tsp. Mexican Oregano
1 Tsp. Coriander Seed

Blend all ingredients in a spice grinder or coffee mill until well mixed.

This tasted really good in my porridge. I’m excited to try it in more dishes now. I hope you enjoy this.

Quinoa Mushroom Breakfast Porridge
Quinoa Mushroom Breakfast Porridge

7 Mushrooms, sliced
1 Small Sweet Potato, shredded
½ Cup Cooked Quinoa
1 Tbsp. Flax Meal
1 Tsp. Spike Seasoning
Vegetable Broth

In a medium skillet, sauté mushrooms and sweet potato until soft and slightly caramelized (use vegetable broth to keep from sticking to the pan). Add seasoning and quinoa and enough vegetable broth to give it a porridge texture. Makes 1 serving.

Vegan Stir Fry Sauce

I could probably eat stir fry every day. I love sauteing veggies and having them either plain or on rice or quinoa. That’s kind of my regular meal I have a lot: it’s easy and you can switch it up easily. Sometimes I’ll make it a curry. Sometimes I’ll get fancy and make like a coconut curry sauce with coconut milk in it. Stir Fry Sauce_edited-1 Sometimes I’ll use Asian type spices to make it taste Chinese-ish. Sometimes I’ll use Italian seasonings and serve it on gluten free noodles or zucchini noodles. It’s all basically the same thing, though. I was searching through Pinterest looking for some new ideas and I came across a stir fry sauce and remembered that I used to make a stir fry sauce that was a Moosewood recipe. So, I adapted to the Fuhrman philosophy and came up with a stir fry sauce that has no extra processed sugar or oil. Surprisingly, you really don’t miss any of those in this sauce.It turned out tasty. The stir fry I made had cauliflower, eggplant, bean sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, onion, snow peas, tofu, and fresh ginger. I sauteed the veggies in a little vegetable broth until they were done and then I added the stir fry sauce. It’s very tasty and very Chinese-ish tasting. I hope you enjoy it!
Stir Fry
Vegan Stir Fry Sauce

¼ Cup Liquid Aminos
¼ Cup Vegetable Broth
2 Tsp. Arrowroot Powder
4 Medjool Dates
3 Tsp. Rice Vinegar
1” Piece of Fresh Ginger, minced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Prepare your favorite stir fry and add sauce once it is cooked through. Cook until thickened. Makes 2 servings of stir fry.

Sunflower Chili

Soups and chilis have been my main staple lately. The weather here in upstate New York has been varying between freezing cold, snow, rain, and warmth. Soups kind of just fit the bill for my go-to food. It’s easy for the days that I want to take advantage of the beautiful weather while it’s here (like yesterday) and perfect for comfort food on the raw, nasty days. I try to prepare them like the Dr. Fuhrman book talks about: no oil, nuts for the protein and fiber, lots of beans. Sometimes I’ll add mushrooms and onions as well to satisfy the daily requirements of G-BOMBS (greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds). I haven’t worked berries into any of my soups yet. Maybe I’ll try strawberries in soup at one point because they do have a tomato-ey type of vibe to them. Maybe a miso soup with strawberries and ginger….hmmmm….maybe when I’m feeling a little more creative. Anyway, I made this super easy chili yesterday. It’s a great detox after the rich food we had on Christmas day and it’s easy so I’m not chained to the kitchen for an afternoon. The sweet potato gives it a little sweetness to the earthy chili flavor. You can add peppers and onion to it as well, even mushrooms. This was just a quick, toss-it-together type of chili. Give it a whir. I hope you like it.
Sunflower Chili 2 copy

Sunflower Chili

(2) 28 oz. Cans Chopped Tomatoes
14 oz. Can Black Beans, drained
14 oz. Can Kidney Beans, drained
14 oz. Can Pinto Beans, drained
2/3 Cups Raw Sunflower Seeds
½ Cup Vegetable Stock
2 Med. Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped
¼ Cup Chili Powder
1 Tbsp. Cumin
2 Tsp. Granulated Garlic
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Add everything to a stockpot and cook over medium heat for about 1 hour (or until sweet potatoes are tender). Season as desired. Serves 10, 1 cup servings.

Miso Cashew Dressing

So I’ve been experimenting with making oil free dressings lately and I tried this very tasty one today. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with miso. This went through a couple of variations before I came to this one. A lot of the oil free dressings are really rich, so it’s kind of hard to eat them every day because they’re so rich. This dressing is tasty enough to enhance a salad and light enough to eat every day. I hope you enjoy it. (oh, by the way: in my salad for lunch, I had romaine, carrot, red pepper, raw sunflower seeds, roma tomato, and pinto beans.)
Miso Cashew Dressing
Miso Cashew Dressing

½ Cup Water
½ Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
6 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast Flakes
4 Tbsp. Miso
4 Tbsp. Cashew Butter
2 Tbsp. Liquid Aminos
4 Medjool Dates, chopped

In a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Makes 7, 2 tablespoon, servings.

Back on the Nutritarian Road’m back, after a long hiatus in Paleo World. I went into paleo with the hopes of all the health benefits it claims to have: less/no inflammation, more energy, stronger muscles, and the list goes on. Well, I was eating paleo for almost two years and I can’t say I saw a huge difference. The only marked difference I noticed was that my immune system really got ramped up, but I’m not sure if that’s from the diet or from the supplements I was taking. So, why the switch back? Well, for one, I do like a vegan diet. It’s fun. It’s economical. It’s interesting. Listening to and reading Dr. Fuhrman really convinced me, as well, that my goal should be longevity and not a toned body. If you can get longevity under your belt, the toning will follow. I think I went paleo in the first place because I had so much of that stigma of protein, protein, protein. It’s kind of like the 80’s stigma of low-fat, no-sugar. That sticks in your mind. You know, like a lie that you tell so often you start to think it’s the truth. Society’s good for brain-washing like that. There are some things I can bring with me from Paleo World, though. Like: healing the gut is a good thing (which is probably a big factor in why my immune system is doing so well). I don’t necessarily need bone broth to heal my gut, but fermented things like kombucha and water kefir and lacto-fermented veggies are good for the belly, plus a good probiotic. That’s probably the best thing I learned. I’m not sure how that fits into the Eat for Life type of diet, but I can’t see how it wouldn’t.
It’s been five days today and I feel great. There was really nothing to detox from, so I haven’t had any detox issues or cravings. Well, my mouth did water a bit last night when I was making pizza for the family. Cheese is my weakness and veggie cheeses just don’t do it for me. But, nothing tastes as good as healthy feels, so I can do without the dairy. I feel very clean inside and energetic, which I can’t say I’ve felt in a very, very long time.
I made a vegan lentil loaf and some rice and beans casserole for the church Christmas party tomorrow. Tonight for dinner, I’m having some of the lentil loaf (I made two). If it’s any good, I’ll post the recipe.

For now, onward and upward. Come and join me on the road, if you dare. Have a blessed evening.