Archive for Lunch
I’ve always been a fan of pesto but a pesto featuring one of my favorite nuts – oh yeah. I love this flavorful pesto salad that Chef Matthew from Living On The Veg whipped up for us this week. It’s simple but so delicious and perfect for lunch or dinner.
Enjoying raw pistachios in their shell has always been one of my favorite snacks. Cracking them open takes a little effort, but the reward is well worth it. Using them as a substitute for pine nuts can add an interestingly flavorful change to what you call a customary pesto recipe, and help your budget a bit too. Pairing this untraditional pesto with protein rich quinoa, ripe heirloom tomatoes, and fresh spinach leaves is a surefire way to get your taste buds to become your best friends. You can also try this pesto recipe with other dishes, such as pastas, risotto, squash noodles or use it as a spread, topping or even make a salad dressing with it, the possibilities are countless.
~Chef Matthew from Living On The Veg
For the pesto:
- 2 cups packed basil leaves
- 1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
For the quinoa salad:
- 4 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 cups packed and chopped spinach leaves
- 1 cup finely diced heirloom tomatoes
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 1/4 cup finely diced orange or yellow bell pepper
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- Place all the ingredients for the pesto, except the oil, in a food processor. Start the processor and slowly pour in the oil. The pesto should be creamy but still have a bit of texture to it.
- In a large bowl mix together the quinoa and pesto until evenly coated. Add the remaining ingredients in the bowl and gently toss until mixed.
- Serve immediately or place in the fridge until ready to serve.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
You can easily double or triple the pesto recipe and use it in a number of different ways.
This amazingly healthy salad was actually inspired by my favorite broccoli part – the stalks! Yup, I love the stalks of broccoli – my secret is out! Have you ever tried them? They actually have a very mild taste and you’ll often find that those that don’t like broccoli will happily eat the stalks. I usually chop up the stalks and throw them in with my salads but I thought it was time that they shine and got the love they deserved. To bring out all the goodness of the veggies I whipped up this simple but very flavorful dressing. The tangy lemon and robust garlic pair with the crunchy vegetables and the whole salad comes together in the most delicious way. Enjoy!
For the Lemony Garlic Dressing:
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Raw Chopped Salad:
- 4 cups salad greens of your choice
- 1 cup chopped broccoli stems
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1/4 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
- 1/4 cup diced red pepper
- 1 cup chopped cauliflower stems and florets
- 1/2 cup diced avocado
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup shredded beets
- 1/2 cup sprouts of your choice
- Add all the ingredients for the dressing to a blender and process for 20-30 seconds or until well blended and creamy. You can also whisk the dressing by hand but it won’t get the same creamy texture as it does in a blender.
- Place the salad greens in a large bowl and top with the remaining ingredients. Drizzle the dressing over top and enjoy!
Makes 2 servings.
I like to double or triple the dressing recipe and keep some on hand for whenever needed. Leftover dressing will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Light and fluffy with a slightly nutty flavor millet has become my favorite grain not only for it’s taste but also for it’s nutritional value. It’s high in fiber and rich in B vitamins, niacin, B6 and folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Like quinoa it is a complete protein and is gluten free.
This past week my sister has been visiting with me, escaping the cold weather of Michigan and enjoying the warm California sunshine. She happens to be a cilantro lover so I made this dish especially for her. If you happen to be a cilantro lover as well you will definitely want to give this recipe a try.
- 1 cup millet
- 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen (thawed)
- 1/2 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
- 1/2 red pepper, diced (1/2 cup)
- 1 jalapeño, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 lemon, 1 juiced and 1 cut into wedges
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- In a skillet heat 1 tsp oil over medium-high heat. Add the millet and toast until the grain is tan.
- In a saucepan bring the water to a boil. Add 1 tsp oil and the toasted millet. Return to a boil then cover and lower heat to a simmer for 20-25 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the millet is tender.
- In the skillet used to toast the millet heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add the onion, pepper, jalapeño, garlic and salt. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the corn and cook until heated through. Transfer to the pot of millet and stir.
- Add the tahini and lemon juice and stir thoroughly. Add the cilantro and stir to combine.
- Can be served warm or chilled. Garnish with lemon wedges.
Makes approximately 4 cups
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This sandwich might just be my newest obsession. I’ve always been a fan of tempeh but this is downright amazing! I’ve been pairing the smoky tempeh slices with all sorts of yummy veggies like spinach, avocado, sprouts, cucumber, red pepper and onion. One of my favorite versions is adding a slather of Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and piling on the veggies – YUM! No matter how you top it, this healthy and delicious sandwich is sure to make meal time taste a whole lot better!
For the Smoky Tempeh:
- 2 eight ounce packages organic tempeh, cut lengthwise into 1/8 inch slices (a pizza cutter works great for slicing the tempeh)
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari (gluten free if needed)
- 3 tbsp grade B maple syrup
- dash of liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
For the Sandwich:
- 2 slices of your favorite bread, toasted if desired
- toppings of your choice (lettuce, avocado, spinach, onion, tomato, sprouts, cucumber, etc)
- 1 tbsp or so of your favorite sauce (I used some Ranch Dressing but Dijon mustard, some Pumpkin Seed Pesto or my favorite – Sun Dried Tomato Pesto would be great)
- In a small bowl whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke, nutritional yeast, water, onion powder and garlic powder. Set aside the marinade.
- In a large shallow dish lay the tempeh slices out in a single layer (if you need to overlap make sure to turn the slices every so often so that they can all marinade). Pour the marinade over the tempeh and let marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Remove the tempeh slices from the marinade and place in the sauté pan making sure not to overlap the pieces (work in batches if needed). Discard remaining marinade.
- Cook the tempeh slices for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are nicely browned and slightly crispy.
- Remove the cooked tempeh from the pan and let cool on a plate lined with a couple of sheets of paper towel.
- To assemble the sandwich, add a couple of pieces of smoky tempeh to a slice of bread along with your favorite toppings and a tbsp or so of sauce. Top with another piece of bread and enjoy!
Makes enough smoky tempeh for about 4 sandwiches.
Leftover smoky tempeh can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
My husband is a big fan of baked potatoes and he loves crumbling up the leftover smoky tempeh slices and topping his baked potato with them. They are also great for adding to your salad as faux bacon bits!
Eggplant is one of my favorite items to work with. It’s royal purple beauty is a sight to behold but this glorious fruit’s beauty isn’t just skin deep. It’s good through and through and plays nicely with others lending it’s mellow flavor to whatever it’s paired with like this toasty sandwich topped with Lemon Garlic Aioli. Check out the Eggplant Stacks in the notes section at the bottom of the page for a lighter option.
For the sandwich
- 1 medium/large eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds (approximately 8 pieces)
- 4 portabella mushrooms, stems and gills removed (about the same size around as the eggplant)
- 24 or so grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup baby spinach
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
- 1 tsp lemon peel granules *see notes
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp garlic granules
- 1/4 tsp onion granules
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp marjoram
- 8 slices whole grain bread (gluten free if needed)
For the aioli
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp unsweetened soy milk or other non dairy milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Sprinkle 1 tsp salt evenly over the eggplant slices. Place in a colander in the sink or over a bowl and let sit for 1 hour. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. You can skip this step if necessary but the eggplant is firmer and soaks up less oil when prepared this way.
- In a small bowl mix together the lemon granules, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, garlic, onion, oregano and marjoram. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush both sides of the eggplant and mushrooms with oil. Arrange on a single layer on a baking sheet (cover the bottom with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up). Sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture.
- Roast 5 minutes and then add the tomatoes to the baking sheet. Roast an additional 20 minutes or until the eggplant and mushrooms are tender and lightly browned.
- While the vegetables are roasting prepare the aioli.
- In a small food processor ( I use a Magic Bullet style blender) add the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, milk and salt. Process until smooth. Add the oil and process until thickened.
- Toast the bread then spread 4 pieces with a layer of aioli. Arrange 2 eggplant slices and 1 mushroom on each. Add 6 tomatoes and spinach to each and top with remaining bread.
Makes 4 sandwiches.
If you can’t find lemon peel granules you can make your own by peeling off the rind of a lemon (no white pith). Cut into thin strips then lay it on a baking sheet and dry at the lowest setting in your oven or dry in a food dehydrator. Once dry, grind in a spice or coffee mill until finely ground. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
In warmer weather you can prepare this sandwich on the grill for a quick and easy summer time meal. Cooking time will vary.
For a lighter version skip the bread and make Eggplants Stacks. Start with one piece of roasted eggplant then layer on the mushroom (cup side up). Fill the mushroom with roasted tomatoes. Spread on the Lemon Garlic Aioli, add a little spinach and then top with another piece of eggplant. Maybe slide in a piece of roasted red pepper too if you are in the mood!
I used to be a BIG fan of Chinese take out food. When my husband and I were first married we probably got Chinese take out at least 4 times per week. Now it’s been many many many years since we’ve had take out but that doesn’t mean we can’t still indulge in one of my favorite meals – chow mein! This dish has easily become a familiar family favorite. While I’m not a fan of making separate meals for everyone in my family this is one dish that is easy to make to suit each person’s likes and dislikes. My kids love it with broccoli and carrots, my husband prefers mushrooms, onions, peppers and pineapple and I’ve shared my favorite version with you below. As a bonus – this dish can be on the table in less than 15 minutes – what’s not to love?!
- 6-8 ounces cooked chow mein noodles *see notes
- 1/2 cup sliced snow peas
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup shredded napa cabbage (or other Chinese cabbage)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red pepper
- 1/2 cup diced green onion
- 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (shittake or any variety will work – don’t mind the picture above, I totally forgot to add the mushrooms!)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- 1/4 cup Nama Shoyu, soy sauce or tamari (gluten free variety if needed)
- 3 tbsp brown rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil, divided
- 1 tbsp coconut nectar
- In a small bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, Nama Shoyu, vinegar, 1 tbsp oil and coconut nectar. Stir well and set the sauce aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan on high heat and add the chow mein noodles. Pan fry the noodles until one side starts to get crispy.
- Push the noodles to the side of the pan and add the vegetables. Stir fry the vegetables for about 2-3 minutes. Add the sauce, stir well and continue to cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Makes 1 serving.
For this recipe I used Annie Chuns Organic Chow Mein FreshPak Noodles. You can use any type of noodles that you’d like, just make sure they are cooked first. Soba noodles would also be good in this dish.
Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can you believe that I spent the first 24 years of my life thinking that I hated avocado?! Crazy, right?! Luckily, one fateful night at dinner I ordered an entree that didn’t mention it contained avocado and I was too hungry to send it back so I buckled down and ate it – and thus began my love of avocado. Living in California there is always an abundance of avocados and I’m always looking for fun new ways to add them to my favorite dishes. I’ve been craving pasta salad lately and the thought of a creamy pesto sauce sounded perfect. This pesto is hands down the tastiest I’ve ever had. I love how the lemon and miso add a salty and slightly tart flavor to the creamy avocado and walnuts. I only wish I had made a double batch because there were no leftovers after my family and I had this for lunch. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
For the Creamy Lemon Avo Pesto:
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1 small avocado
- 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- large handful of spinach (about a cup)
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp chickpea miso (a sweet white miso would also work well)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the Pasta Salad:
- 10-12 ounces pasta of your choice
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 2 carrots, chopped or diced
- 2 ounces sliced black olives (optional)
- Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package.
- While the pasta is cooking add all the ingredients for the pesto sauce, except the olive oil, to a food process or blender. Process for a few seconds until a chunky sauce forms.
- While the machine is still running, slowly add in the olive oil until you have a smooth, creamy sauce.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to a large bowl. Add the broccoli, pepper, onion, carrots and olives if using. Stir well.
- Pour the pesto sauce over the pasta salad and stir well until throughly mixed. Place the salad in the fridge until chilled and serve immediately.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Leftover salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. This salad makes for amazing leftovers and is a great dish to have on hand for a quick and healthy lunch.
The pesto sauce is very versatile and can be used as a spread on a piece of toasted bread, a topping for a baked potato or as a veggie dip. It also makes a terrific pizza sauce!
I love lettuce wraps and I love veggie burgers so you can only imagine how thrilled I was to see this latest recipe from Living On The Veg. One of the things I love most about raw food is the intense flavor that everything has. The combination of veggies, nuts, seeds and sauce make flavors pop and create amazing textures. If you’ve never ventured into the world of raw foods this is a great place to start!
Making a raw burger recipe is a total must for our house. It is foods like these that remind us of hanging out with our families, because to be honest that is what most quality time with the working parents consisted of, a trip to get burgers. So it is not a surprise why these flavors bring out the warm feelings in the heart. With all the condiments added to this burger, it makes a winning combination of flavor invited to any event that celebrates the wonderfulness of life and health. I love making a comfort food into a delicious health inducing meal that brings about fun memories. So without further adieu, it’s burgertime!
~Chef Fuji from Living On The Veg
- 1 cup raw walnuts, soaked and rinsed
- 1 cup mushrooms (variety including crimini, portabello, maitake, and/or trumpet)
- 1 cup carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 cup celery, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup tomatoes
- 1/2 cup radishes
- 1/2 cup beets, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup apple, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup onion (red or yellow will work)
- 1/2 cup greens (choose chard, mustard, spinach, kale, and or beet greens)
- 1/4 cup Nama Shoyu (for a gluten free option use a gluten free tamari or soy sauce)
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke, optional
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients start to form together.
- Form the mixture into burger size patties and place on a nonstick dehydrator sheet. Turn dehydrator to 115 degrees and ‘cook’ until the tops are completely dry, about 5 hours.
- Flip the burgers over onto a mesh dehydrator sheet and continue to dry for another 10 hours or until achieving the dryness you prefer (remember that once you add condiments the burgers will soften up a bit).
- Serve on crisp butter lettuce and top with your favorite condiments.
Makes 8 raw veggie burgers.
Leftover burgers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Reheat in the dehydrator if desired.
Have you heard the birds singing lately? They always seem to me to sing most joyfully in spring. Well, all that joyful warbling got me thinking about the seeds the birds eat and seeds got me thinking about how I like seeds as much as the birds do. So, here is a little pate I whipped up to celebrate spring. Three healthful seeds combined with bright lemon and ginger and a little herbaceous parsley to add a touch of fresh green the color of new leaves budding out on the trees. It’s no wonder the birds are singing so beautifully with so much goodness and beauty to be thankful for. Enjoy!
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 1 cup chopped green onions
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup diced celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp Nama Shoyu or other soy sauce
- 2 tbsp chickpea miso or other yellow miso
- Soak the sunflower and pumpkin seeds overnight or at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse well. Place in the bowl of a food processor.
- Add the hemp seeds, garlic and ginger. Process until ground, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.
- Spread on your favorite crackers, roll in collard greens, use as a dip for veggies, spread on bread with tomato and lettuce for a delicious sandwich or any way you choose.
Makes about 12 servings. Serving size 1/4 cup.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You are going to love this week’s recipe from our favorite chefs at Living On The Veg! One of my most favorite things to use my dehydrator for is making raw breads. There is nothing quite like them and ‘regular’ bread never comes close to the intense flavors that raw breads deliver. If you’ve never made bread in a dehydrator before then this is a great recipe to start with. It’s a fairly simple recipe and the flavor and texture is wonderful. You can use your ‘bread’ for sandwiches, cut into crackers or just eat it plain (as I usually do cause it’s so good I can’t wait long enough to make anything with it!). Enjoy!
Bread, how I love thee, but how bad you are for me with your dwarf strain of wheat that was created in a test tube by genetic research in the 1970′s. Yes, this dwarf wheat has become the dominant strain of wheat in the food supply because it yields nearly 10 times the quantity of wheat per acre than the older strains of wheat not subject to artificial genetic manipulation. The problem is this new Frankenstein strain of wheat has something in it that older strains of wheat do not have: Giladin. Giladin is a protein found in this dwarf wheat that is an opiate and also an appetite stimulant. Giladin binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite. It gets you high AND it makes you hungry. Double bonus for the food industry! The more you eat, the more you want to eat. If you wanted to make a laboratory animal obese, one of the fastest ways would be to feed it wheat.
The way to get around this? Make your own wheat free bread of course! Here is a raw version that is versatile for sandwiches of most any variety. Save it in a sealed container in the fridge and it will last for a couple of weeks. Also, check out the work of preventive cardiologist Dr. William Davis and his incredible book “Wheat Belly”. You can find it here on Amazon.
~ Chef Fuji from Living On The Veg
- 5 cups yam, chopped, peeled or unpeeled (for this recipe I left the skins on)
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp physllium husk powder
- 1/4 cup ground flax or chia seeds
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp dried dill
- Place all the ingredients except the physllium husk and flax/chia seeds into a blender and process until smooth. Add small amounts of water to facilitate blending if necessary.
- Pour the dough into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth and the dough starts to stick to itself.
- Spread the dough between 2 teflex dehydator sheets and dehydrate at 115 degrees until the top is dry, about 6 hours.
- Flip the dough onto a mesh dehydrator screen and score with a knife or pizza cutter into desired size.
- Place back in the dehydrator for another 10 hours or more or until the bread is dry but pliable.
- Enjoy as a sandwich with hummus and veggies or eat as is – you’ll find many uses for this amazing bread!
Makes approximately 18 pieces of 3 x 3 slices.
This bread will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge if stored in a sealed, airtight container.