Tag Archives: romaine

Quinoa & Lentils, Simple Salad, and Sauerkraut

A simple vegan meal for two of both cooked and raw foods: germinated quinoa and lentils, salad of romaine and cucumber, homemade sauerkraut

Dear Internet,

I have great news! In an effort to be more frugal, I am now preparing all of the meals for both my husband and I from scratch. We’ve been all about simplifying our lives (even more) and “getting rid of (even more) stuff” lately. As I am the cook, he’s been eating vegan food. It’s a lot cheaper and better for the planet to eat good quality plant based foods than to eat animal proteins. He’s dropped a few pounds and is looking even hotter than usual. Hooray for easy vegan meals. 😉 

sauerkraut

We also rearranged the furniture at about the same time that we started to implement this, so now we get to sit down every night and share a nice meal and some conversation together. It’s really been wonderful, though I will have to admit, it is more time consuming than I thought it would be. In an attempt to not keep him waiting too long for dinner, I haven’t been as diligent at recording my recipes, and I haven’t really been using recipes, so much as throwing together simple, healthy, and very affordable meals with items we already have on hand.

quinoa and lentils

While I prefer more raw food, he prefers more cooked food, and I want to be able to accommodate both of us, and also make sure he’s still getting some “roughage” since cooking destroys certain heat-sensitive vitamins, like vitamin C (which, as a friendly reminder, humans are unable to produce on their own like most other animals on the planet – we must consume it from our food). 

romaine and cucumber salad

After struggling over whether or not to post these ridiculously easy vegan meals, it struck me that this very thing was the original premise of my blog. My husband is actually eating and enjoying the vegan meals that I’m preparing. It truly is a “taste of two plates” now! =D

By incorporating some of my own dietary tweaks (which I also feed to my husband), I’ve seen additional improvements to my health as well. Since I cut oils (except for a little flax) out of my diet and started to treat nuts and seeds as condiments rather than snacks or main ingredients, I’ve dropped about 2% body fat (no lean tissue loss), have very sound sleep with minimal disturbances, have been getting up earlier, and have been feeling rested on less sleep. This is nothing short of a miracle for me. For all the health issues I’ve managed to reverse, I’ve still always needed a lot of sleep.

simple vegan meals

This evening’s dinner consisted of a large romaine and cucumber salad, some homemade sauerkraut (love the bugs!), and some sprouted lentils and quinoa with parsley and a honey mustard sauce (the only cooked part of the meal). Yes, I use local raw honey (to build immunity against local pollen), but you may use any natural sweetener you like (such as a fruit puree). I’ve been buying dried lentils, beans, and seeds, so I can soak and germinate them before eating, whether they will end up being cooked or eaten raw. This reduces the phytic acid content and makes them more digestible. Less phytic acid means you can absorb more nutrients from the rest of your food too. 

Apricot Honey Mustard Quinoa & Lentils, Simple Salad, and Sauerkraut
Serves 2
An easy vegan meal with a lot of raw food, a little cooked food, and a healthy dose of probiotics. The quinoa and lentils are germinated to maximize nutrition and digestibility, and are also hearty and flavorful enough to please the omnivores in your house.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Sauerkraut Ingredients
  1. Easy Sauerkraut Recipe
Quinoa & Lentils Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup dried quinoa
  2. 1/2 cup dried lentils
  3. large handful fresh parsley, chopped
  4. 2 TB cup organic mustard
  5. 3 TB water
  6. 2 TB ACV
  7. 1 TB naturally sweetened apricot fruit spread (e.g. Polaner's) - optional, but delicious
  8. 2 TB local raw honey (or preferred vegan sweetener - or just add extra apricot spread)
  9. 1/4 tsp sea salt
Salad Ingredients
  1. 1/2 head of romaine
  2. 1 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
  3. 2 TB flax oil
  4. 2 TB raw ACV or lemon juice
  5. Dried herbs of your choice (optional - I used fennel and dill on mine)
  6. Tiny pinch of sea salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Germinating Quinoa and Lentils (Optional)
  1. The night before you want to make this, soak the quinoa and lentils overnight (in separate bowls), drain in the morning, and then leave on the counter, covered loosely with a towel, during the day. If you want instant gratification, you don't need to do this advanced prep work, but it makes them much more nutritious and digestible.
Cooking Quinoa and Lentils
  1. Using a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa, cook the quinoa either in a rice cooker or simmer for appx. 20 minutes on the stove after bringing the water to a boil.
  2. Using a 2:1 ratio of water to lentils, simmer the lentils for appx. 30 minutes on the stove after bringing the water to a boil (test for tenderness).
  3. Combine in a bowl and mix in the parsley (bonus points if you grew it yourself).
  4. Whisk in a bowl until well blended: mustard, water, ACV, apricot spread, honey (or other sweetener), and sea salt.
  5. Pour the sauce over the quinoa and lentil mixture and stir it in.
Salad Directions
  1. Layer greens and veggies on the plate.
  2. Top each salad with 1 TB each flax seed oil and ACV or lemon juice.
  3. Add some dried herbs if you like.
Notes
  1. For best preparation efficiency, start cooking the lentils first, then the quinoa. While those are on the pot, prepare the sauce, chop the salad vegetables, and retrieve your sauerkraut from the fridge.
  2. I use local raw honey because it helps to keep my allergies at bay. You are welcome to use any other natural sweetener that you would like in this recipe if you would like a truly vegan alternative.
  3. You are welcome to use any dressing you like on the salad in order to have a peaceful meal with the omnivores in your life. My husband and I do not use the same salad dressings. 🙂
  4. I like my food a bit on the spicy side. If the mustard is too potent for you in the sauce, feel free to add a little extra water to dilute it. Keep in mind that once it is mixed into the quinoa and lentils, they will soak it up and it will not be as strong.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Sesame Ginger Asian Lettuce Wraps (Raw Vegan)

Asian Inspired Raw Vegan Lettuce Wraps

This Asian lettuce wraps recipe is one that I have made before, but not officially documented measurements for or taken good pictures of until now. When there is a good meal sitting in my kitchen, it’s a little like torture waiting until the photographs are taken before I can eat it. Oh, the life of a food blogger… =P

I’ve really been wanting some Asian foods lately, so over the next week, I’ll be posting not just this one, but THREE total Asian-inspired raw vegan recipes, and all of them filling enough to be a main course! Making dishes with some ingredient and flavor overlaps is also a great way to use up leftovers and be efficient with your prep time. I only had to shred my carrots and scallions once and I can still toss extras into a salad for lunch!

Raw Vegan Sesame Ginger Lettuce Wraps

I’ve also been trying to come up with some more recipes for this blog that will make the omnivores and cooked food lovers in your life happy, mostly because I enjoy feeding my husband and it makes me happy when I can sneak an enzyme and vitamin-rich raw vegan meal in front of it him and he says it tastes great. 😉

This one has had good reviews both times that I’ve attempted to feed it to my husband, and one of my friends made it as a dish to share with her coworkers, so I feel confident that you will love it too. It you are new to raw foods, it’s not too difficult to make, and you will find the flavors and textures to be familiar, so it would be a great transition meal. It is also very filling, and will not leave you hungry if your body is still adjusting to a plant-based diet. 

These raw vegan Asian inspired lettuce wraps are delicious and filling.

Raw Vegan Sesame Ginger Asian Lettuce Wraps
Serves 4
These Asian inspired raw vegan lettuce wraps contain a textural variety of nutritious vegetables, walnuts for good fats, and of course, leafy greens!
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Sauce Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cups water
  2. 1/2 cup coconut aminos (I like these: Coconut Secret Raw Organic Vegan Coconut Aminos. You can also find them at Whole Foods.)
  3. 1/4 cup unrefined expeller or cold pressed sesame seed oil (I like this one: Spectrum Naturals Organic Sesame Oil)
  4. 8 pitted dates
  5. 2 tsp powdered ginger
  6. 2 tsp powdered garlic (PROBIOTIC UPGRADE: use 2 cloves of ACV fermented garlic instead)
  7. 1 TB raw apple cider vinegar (I used the garlic infused ACV from my ferment)
Filling Ingredients
  1. 2.5 cups chopped fresh mushrooms of your choice (I used button mushrooms and baby bellas, but have also used rehydrated shiitake and oyster mushrooms, and it is still great)
  2. 2.5 cups chopped walnuts
  3. 1 cup shredded carrots
  4. 1/2 cup chopped scallions (green onions)
  5. 1/2 cup chopped celery (you won't even miss water chestnuts with the crunch that celery provides)
  6. 1/2 cup chopped sweet pepper
Wrap Ingredients
  1. 12 large romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves leaves
Sauce Directions
  1. Combine sauce ingredients in a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix). This will ensure the dates are thoroughly incorporated and the sauce is smooth.
Filling Directions
  1. Chop vegetables as listed in ingredients section.
  2. Pour sauce over vegetables and mix thoroughly until well-combined.
  3. Marinade for 15 minutes (longer is ok too, but this is a minimum to help soften the ingredients and allow the sauce to soak in).
Assembly Instructions
  1. Spoon the filling/sauce mixture on the romaine or iceberg lettuce.
  2. Pick them up and eat them. 🙂
Notes
  1. This is a very rich and filling recipe. My husband and I only used half of the filling mixture and we had 3 each as our dinner. We were both very satisfied. This recipe will feed 4 people as a meal, or you could turn it into an appetizer for a large crowd.
  2. If you are sensitive to mold spores (I am), but still want to enjoy some mushrooms, you can soak them in a dilute mixture of water and white vinegar for 20-30 minutes and then rinse before you chop them up for the filling.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

 

Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Banana Green Smoothie for Beginners

Green Smoothie with peanut butter, banana, and chocolate protein powder. Perfect for people who don't like greens.

I’ve been regularly drinking green smoothies for about 4 years now, and I have never felt better or healthier in my entire life. I had such dramatic benefits from them (such as completely reversing thyroid disease to the point of getting off my medication) that my husband started drinking them too! =D

He makes them himself and he does a great job of rotating his greens. He seems to have more energy when he drinks them on a regular basis. We both make a habit of drinking our green smoothies in the morning for breakfast. Most of my green smoothies consist of greens and fruit, and I find that fills me up adequately, but my husband likes to add some additional fat to his so that he feels fuller for a longer period of time.

His most frequent combination involves adding bananas and peanut butter to his smoothies, but sometimes we also add a good quality vegan nutritional supplement in there too. I really like the one made by Vega One because I can also slip him some probiotics, extra greens, and plant-based protein. 😉

I thought I’d share the recipe here for anyone that might be living with family members who are not vegan. This green smoothie goes down nice and easy for them and they don’t even have to know there are greens in it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothie for Beginners
Serves 2
A protein-rich green smoothie that goes down easy for the chocolate lover or omnivore who might be afraid of a "green smoothie". 😉
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 c water
  2. 2 handfuls romaine (or other green of choice)
  3. 2 bananas
  4. 2 tb peanut butter (make sure it is all-natural with no sugars added)
  5. 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (I like Vega One Shake - Chocolate)
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredient to a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix) and blend until smooth.
Notes
  1. Add ice for an instant chilled or frosty beverage.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/