5 plant-based (vegan) recipes

With Earth Day right around the corner, I’m making a conscious effort to think about my impact on this amazing earth of ours. I grew up in a family who recycled religiously, reused sour cream containers (and sugar bags for lunch bags – which was SO embarrassing!) and even composted. So at a young age, it was instilled in me that leaving as little of footprint as possible was of the utmost importance.

These days, I make the best effort I can to reuse, reduce and recycle. (And I’m proud that I’ve almost kicked my plastic water bottle habit!) But there is always room for improvement and that’s what is important to look at. In the coming months, my goal is to buy more local food – preferably straight from the source through a CSA membership or more frequent visits to the farmer’s market.

So why the plant-based recipes? It seems that every spring, I’m drawn to more plant-based foods and less meat. The term ‘plant-based eating’ has been growing in popularity but the phrase is a bit confusing – and I think that’s the idea. The short explanation is that it’s a vegan diet (while some may consume a limited amount of animal products like eggs or dairy) and it seems to me that it’s a vegan diet without the vegan junk food and without the (sometimes polarizing) vegan label. It’s real, whole, unprocessed food – full of plants – and most of the time it’s beautiful. (Learn more about plant-based diets here.)

But it’s not just about me. (Wait, what?!) A diet with more plants and less meat helps to reduce our ecological footprint (animal products require a lot of land, water and resources). As Mr. Pollan so wisely tells us, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” And also? It’s delicious. Here are 5 plant-based (ok, vegan!) recipes that are so tasty and gorgeous that even the most stubborn of carnivores won’t miss the meat.

 

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

1. This Vegan Green Chili Mac and Cheese has been on my list of recipes to make since…the first time I laid eyes on it. And while we typically think of mac and cheese falling into the junk food category, this cheese, made with cashews, is anything but. (image & recipe via Minimalist Baker)

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

2. I know. I’m craving tofu now too. This Crispy Baked Salt & Pepper Tofu is much easier than it seems – simply toss and bake – and enjoy. (image & recipe via Heartbeet Kitchen)

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

3. Herby, Peanutty, Noodly Salad is just that. This colorful salad is filled with fresh veggies and nutritious buckwheat noodles for a meal that screams spring to me. This post also gives some great insight on not giving yourself a vegan label and I pretty much love it.  (image & recipe via Eating for England)

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

4.  These Not-So-Sloppy Tempeh Joes made such a satisfying lunch, I’ve got to make them again soon. Don’t be put-off by the steps and ingredients, it’s worth it! In fact, I’d recommend doubling the recipe. (image & recipe via Chickypea)

5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

5. No matter the label, almost all of us love dessert and I think that Banana Split Ice Cream Pie is the perfect way to end things. (Both a meal and this post.) I mean, bananas are roasted and then turned into banana ice cream which is laid into an almond flour crust and topped with coconut whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Come on! (image & recipe via The First Mess)

What is your favorite plant-based recipe or meal?

daily eats: 4.2.14

Not to be all, “I’m so busy!” because everyone is, but what a crazy few weeks it’s been. After our trip to Mexico, we had Richie’s parents visiting (which kind of was like being on vacation in LA – and tons of fun!), my brother was here for a few days and now we’re getting ready to go on another trip next week. It’s all been a really fun and enjoyable “crazy” so in other words, I’m trying to balance vacation eating and drinking with lots and lots of kale. (And I managed to eat kale at all three meals on Monday!)

workout: 50 minutes on the treadmill (3.65 miles). It honestly felt great to get back to the gym. Even though I worked out using dvd’s last week, it isn’t quite the same for me. 

beverage: coffee + 1/2 and 1/2

breakfast: the most random breakfast known to (WO)man. Almonds + carrots + cheese stick. I didn’t really pack a breakfast this morning and my green smoothie was frozen solid so I snacked my way through it!

What Nutritionists Eat | A Nutritionist Eats

lunch: salad greens + 1 Tbsp olive oil dressing + 3.5 oz deli turkey + 1 Tbsp of a fun mayonnaise recipe I’m working on. This lunch was simple, light and tasty.

What Nutritionists Eat | A Nutritionist Eats

snack: I had an afternoon appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor so after that was finished, I headed to the natural foods store across the street to pick up some of the items she recommended and…let’s be real. I love perusing health food stores. I picked up some kombucha (on sale!) and drank half of a bottle on the drive home. When I arrived home I snacked on some sweet potato hummus (didn’t like) + pita chips.

What Nutritionists Eat | A Nutritionist Eats

dinner: glass of wine + 2 chicken drumsticks + green beans + raw sauerkraut  + scoop of cookie butter for dessert

What Nutritionists Eat | A Nutritionist Eats

approximate nutrition stats: 1,483 calories, 76 grams fat (51%), 88 grams carbohydrates (26%), 18 grams fiber, 26 grams sugar, 76 grams protein (23%)

thoughts: It’s a lot different from my last daily eats post, that is for sure! I think this is a good example of how some days are higher calories and others (like this one) are lower in calories. After a week+ of eating and drinking more than normal, my body doesn’t want and/or need as much food. Oh, and fiber is low! 

question: I’m thinking about creating a few meal plans (general ones) for my site, is that something anyone would be interested in? If so, what type of meal plan would you be looking for (vegan, gluten free, paleo, weight-loss/1800 calories, etc.)?

 

guinness lamb stew

Guinness Lamb Stew | A Nutritionist Eats

St. Patrick’s Day recipes aren’t complete without some Guinness, am I right?

And it turns out to be a pretty versatile ingredient, as evidenced by desserts like Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes.

Guinness Lamb Stew |  A Nutritionist Eats

My Guinness recipe – Guinness lamb stew – came from a hybrid of lamb stew and shepards pie. Ground lamb is combined with a few vegetables, guinness (obviously!) and thickened with a “roux” of sorts that doesn’t even require a separate pan. And instead of adding potatoes to the stew, I served the stew ON mashed potatoes. Because in my opinion, mashed potatoes > potatoes. And wait, there’s more. I topped it all with some irish cheddar and green onions.

Guinness Lamb Stew | A Nutritionist Eats

My red-headed, Irish husband was in heaven. And I was too, there is something so satisfying about comfort food and this stew…is the definition of comfort food. Ohhhhh my guinness. It really is the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

If you can’t find ground lamb (or it’s too expensive) just use ground beef. It won’t be the same, but it will be just as tasty. (And it’s the type of recipe that is great made a day or two in advance.) Sláinte!

nutrition facts: 689 calories, 36 grams of fat, 35 grams of protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber

Guinness Lamb Stew

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Keywords: soup/stew entree fall winter

 

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered (about 3 cups)
  • 1 lb carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 30 oz Guinness stout (about 5 cups)
  • 15 oz can of french onion soup (about 2 cups)
  • salt, pepper & red pepper flakes
  • 6 servings mashed potatoes
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded irish cheddar
  • sliced green onions

Instructions

Heat a large pot over medium heat.

Melt 1 Tbsp butter and add lamb to pot. Cook until brown, about 5-10 minutes.

Add onions, carrots and garlic to pot.

Sprinkle flour and add remaining 3 Tbsp of butter to meat and vegetable mixture.

Stir all ingredients until combined.

Add guinness and soup and bring to a boil.

Turn heat down to low and let lightly simmer for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Taste and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

Spoon stew over mashed potatoes and top with shredded cheese and green onion.

*Best if made a day ahead of time!

Powered by Recipage

daily eats: 2.19.14

Hi All! How was Valentine’s Day? We spent the evening drinking my favorite wine (Evolution) and celebrating a birthday at a bar called Mickey’s in our neighborhood. Lots of fun and lots of boys in underwear. :)  It was also a great weekend (aren’t all three day weekends?) – we saw Gravity (I hated it!), hung out with friends, went for a hike and ate a lot. Oh, and started watching House of Cards…or I should really say, binge-watched House of Cards. Do you watch it? We’re obsessed.

workout: 45-ish minute run/walk at the gym (about 3.5 miles total)

beverage 1: green juice: romaine + cucumber + parsley + lemon + wheat grass + pineapple

how this nutritionist really eats | A Nutritionist Eats

beverage 2: coffee + 1/2 & 1/2

breakfast: bagel + cream cheese during a work meeting

Nutritionists never “recommend” eating bagels for breakfast – they are high in calories, not very filling, and studies always show you eat more than if you were to eat eggs in the morning – BUT you know what? I love them. If I try to avoid them, I’ll think about bagels all day so I eat the bagel, enjoy it and not give it another thought. Could I be skinnier (or stronger – which seems to be the latest word) if I stopped eating bagels and cupcakes and cheese? Probably. Would I be happier? No.

My definition of eating perfectly isn’t about eating “100% clean” or “whole30 approved” or  “low-carb.” It’s about eating a balance of good (for you) food and good (for your soul) food.

lunch: egg salad (2 eggs + mayonnaise + onion) with a big salad (greens + cucumber + cilantro dressing). Loved this ultra-simple egg salad.

how this nutritionist really eats | A Nutritionist Eats

snack: brown rice crackers + cheese stick + a few fried peanuts

how this nutritionist really eats | A Nutritionist Eats

dinner: parmesan crusted chicken breast + asparagus was on the menu. Then there was a last-minute invite to visit Top Round and we never say no to a dinner date. Revised dinner was a roast beef sandwich with provel cheese, horseradish cream, roasted mushrooms on a sesame bun + curly fries + a few bites of custard. It was delicious.

photo (86)

approximate nutrition stats: 1,940 calories, 96 grams fat (44%), 191 grams carbohydrates (39%), 16 grams fiber, 27 grams sugar, 83 grams protein (17%)

thoughts: The calories weren’t as high as I would have thought – a pleasant surprise! Fiber and protein are lower than I usually like, but today was heavy on the good (for your soul) food and that’s ok.