But like any other packaged food product, there are often additives and preservatives. And when a product only requires two ingredients to make, you’ve got to wonder, “why don’t I just make it myself?” Well, you can. The recipe is easy enough – it does require, however, something called a nut milk bag. This is a mesh bag that allows you to strain the almonds from the milk. You could probably use a fine strainer as well, but I have found the milk bag works best. Once you get the basic recipe down, you can experiment by adding a touch of extract such as vanilla or hazelnut. This recipe is a must-have if you want to save money and get a healthier-than-store-bought product in your fridge. Bottoms up!
This is a simple vegan ranch that tastes like the real thing and has about half the fat – five grams for a serving size of 2 T. Many creamy vegan dressings and sauces start with a nut base and this one is no exception. By using cashews, we can get a creamy texture without the dairy. This tastes great on salads or just for dipping. Make sure you use raw cashews only – not roasted. Soak them for a minimum of four hours, or overnight. Once you try this, you’ll never need to buy bottled dressing again. It also forms the basis for all sorts of creative dressings and sauces – add dill, rosemary, thyme, cilantro or anything you desire. Enjoy!
If you’ve never had this amazing green, it’s heartier than spinach and a less bitter than kale. It holds up beautifully on top of a pizza crust and takes the guilt out of pizza by adding lots of greenery. You can even use a gluten-free crust if you prefer. It’s also a great way to use up left over pasta sauce. This recipe only calls for 2/3 of a cup. I love using premade pizza shells that can be heated to perfection in ten minutes. Don’t be limited by these ingredients – add any additional toppings you like. I consider this pizza, perfect as is, but you can also use it as a starting point for your own creative ideas. Let us know what you think.
The burst of orange essence from the orange zest gives it a light citrusy flavor that keeps it from feeling heavy. You can serve this as a side dish or as a full meal. Either way, it’s an easy way to add a variety of colors, crunches and flavors along with healthful fiber.
I was never a fan of chorizo, even in my meat-eating days but I do like a little spice especially when the weather gets colder. In this dish, I use Field Roast brand plant-based sausages. Field Roast actually makes a chorizo-style sausage which you can use in this dish. I’m partial to their Italian style but either one will work.
The black beans add to the heartiness of the soup and bring in lots of fiber to keep you full and healthy. While oregano is not a spice I use often (unless I’m making pizza), it works well in this soup and the cumin gives an authentic Mexican flavor.
I know if I say it’s cold here in Southern California (sometimes as low as 40 degrees in the morning) my East Coast friends will laugh at me, but it’s all relative. I am in full-blown soup mode this time of year and I can’t get enough of incredibly healthy meals disguised as comfort foods. I also can’t get enough of Gardein products like their beefless tips. They can be used as a beef substitute in your favorite recipes and still give you that satisfying “full” feeling with healthy plant-based proteins.
I find this dish to be comforting, even though it is not heated, because it combines beautiful seasonal colors and the creamy goodness of nut-milk to give you that same feeling of love you get from a bowl of cooked oatmeal. Muesli is ideal for busy people because it can be made in five minutes. We know that oats help us reduce cholesterol and that’s always important at this stage of life. The crunch nuts and creamy coconut milk will remind you that healthy food and comfort food can go hand in hand. You can add type of dried or fresh fruit and nuts your heart desires. These are a few of my favorites because they make me think of the holidays. Sometimes I also top this with blackberries and pomegranate arils. Enjoy.
I love Gardein brand because their products are all vegan, the quality is excellent and while they taste perfect on their own they can be the basis for building a masterpiece of your own. These orange chick’n wraps start with a hearty protein base from the Gardein product which includes a perfect orange sauce that can be heated in three minutes. You’ve just saved some serious time.
Then just chop and add fresh, colorful toppings like carrots, cilantro, green onions, and you’ve brightened up the flavor and color of your dish. The chick’n product tastes like the real deal and has a great crunchy coating right out of the oven. You can also pan fry it, but you save calories by baking it. I added a can of water chestnuts (drained, rinsed and chopped), a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat and slivered almonds for crunch. So when you’re short on time–and who isn’t–go for an “almost homemade” meal and prepare to impress.
Because I can eat tacos every day of the week, I always look for new ingredients to put into a corn tortilla. Make sure you purchase organic, non-GMO corn tortillas. Also, because I am using Field Roast brand Apple Sage sausage, I added chopped fresh green apple garnish – it adds crunch and sweetness and is an unexpected delight on a taco. Top it off with colorful purple cabbage and a squeeze of lime, and you’ve got a nutritious, high fiber meal that will keep the digestion process in motion after your post-Thanksgiving feast. Enjoy!
What I love most about this recipe is the contrast of the hot Gardein brand beef-less tips and the cold crisp salad, not unlike an autumn day in Southern California that starts of cold and crisp, then turns warm and toasty as the day progresses. In other words, the best of both worlds.
To me, the term “almost homemade” means purchasing a quality prepared ingredient, then making it my own with fresh produce, herbs and spices. You can easily customize this Gardein product by using any seasonings you choose and because it’s a top quality product, you don’t have to “mask” the flavor in any way. By simply adding salt, pepper, garlic and green onions, you can make this a perfectly seasoned protein, perfectly matched to the kale, one of the more hearty salad greens. The texture is perfect. The cranberry vinaigrette adds a surprising fresh flavor and acidity.
Another dressing I’ve tried with this salad is so simple. I take leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving and add cranberry juice. Blend it with a blender or food processor until it is the consistency of dressing – it’s so delicious with little or no fat depending on how you make your cranberry dressing.
These ingredients work together beautifully in terms of taste, color and texture. It’s the perfect salad for an autumn day. Enjoy.