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Breakfast, Budget-friendly, Recipes

A Quick Alternative to Cooked Oatmeal: Cold Oats

When I was a little kid, I thought I loved oatmeal cookies. It turns out I actually loved oats.

My dad would make oatmeal cookies every weekend over the winter. One night while he had his head turned, mixing the dough, I stealthily abstracted a handful of raw oats. That moment was nothing short of revelatory. Until then I thought oats could only be eaten cooked. To my surprise I liked them more plain than boiled or even in cookies.

I’ve loved raw oats ever since.

In fact, that’s what I still eat almost every morning. The recipe is simple:

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup Uncle Sam cereal
1/2 cup soy milk (unsweetened, unflavored – I prefer Trader Joe’s brand)
1/2 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup  blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 small banana, fresh, sliced very thinly

Cold oats - Oatmeal

I love the smell of cold oats in the morning!

I don’t like adding sweetener, but if you do, maple syrup would probably work best.

If you’re using frozen fruit, either let it thaw on the counter for about 30 minutes or microwave briefly. One cup of frozen fruit takes 90 seconds in our microwave.

Alternatively, you can just eat a few handfuls of rolled oats raw for an even quicker breakfast! I sometimes do this, and it’s still satisfying. Food doesn’t always need embellishment.

If you are interested in something more elaborate, Rip Esselstyn has an excellent alternative at his Engine 2 website here. There is more prep time required for this one, though. I like mine because I can have it ready in just a few minutes, which is great for those busy mornings.

Are there any foods you prefer raw over cooked? Let us know in the comments!

Pretty Quick Plant-Based Recipe Pick, Recipes

Our Plant-Based Play on a Classic French Salad

Salade Nicoise

Oui, s’il vous plaît!

Summer weather means spending time outdoors, not in the kitchen.  When we’re planning our meals on warmer days, we look for recipes that require little use of the oven and have a quick prep time.  Salads are the perfect solution.

One of our favorite recipes to make this time of year is our plant-based Salade Niçoise.  We have adapted this recipe from the classic French version; ours does not include the fish or egg, but it still has all the flavor!  There is very little cooking required– you just need to steam some vegetables for a few minutes and let them cool (or prep them ahead of time).  For this recipe, you will need:

  • Mix of spring greens
  • Cucumber
  • Steamed green beans (or haricots verts, if you wanna be fancy)
  • Steamed white potatoes (red or yellow varieties with thin skins taste best in this dish)
  • Kalamata olives (black are good, too)
  • One can of cannellini beans
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Additionally, you can add a few special ingredients like radishes, hearts of palm, shredded carrots or artichoke hearts

We don’t follow a hard and fast recipe for this dish- we just make enough to feed the two of us.  To dress this salad, we whip up a super simple oil-free dressing consisting of grainy Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, a few cloves of chopped garlic, and some salt and pepper.  We haven’t bought salad dressing in years and prefer to make our own.  This link will provide you with a few more oil-free examples that are easy to make on the fly!

This really is a tried and true recipe for us, as we will often make it once a week during the summertime.  We used to eat this dish when we still ate meat and when we switched to a plant-based diet, we knew we wanted to keep this one in our repertoire.  The next time you’re feeling like dishing up some French cuisine, try it sans poisson!

Plant-Based Pantry Basics, Recipes, Shopping

Chickpeas: Not Just For Hummus

This is how much we love the mighty chickpea!

Keeping your pantry stocked with basic items can make meal preparation quick, easy, and fun!  We will regularly be featuring our favorite common pantry items (Plant-Based Pantry Basics or PB2 for short) with several recipe ideas to try.  We want to bring you out of the ordinary recipes to help you think about these ingredients in new and exciting ways.

Where better to start than the mighty chickpea (or garbanzo bean, if you’re nasty)?  A must for any plant-based pantry, it can be used in so many things besides hummus.  Here are a few of our favorite recipes that include chickpeas:

  • Chickpea Broccoli Buddha Bowl from Hummus Sapien:  We’ve made this recipe several times and have started adding onion and red pepper to give it more volume (love our leftovers!) and flavor.  Roasting chickpeas is an unexpected way to prepare them and they develop a great taste and texture.
  • Sneaky Chickpea Burger found on Forks Over Knives: Serve it with baked sweet potato fries for a fun and family-friendly dinner that’s more wholesome and delicious than anything you will find at a burger joint!
  • Sweet Potato and Chickpea Tagine from Whole Foods Market: Make it Moroccan!  The raisins and green olives give this dish a sweet and tangy flavor.  A favorite at our house, we like to serve this dish with couscous.
Our Moroccan Feast: Sweet Potato Tagine with Couscous

Our Moroccan Feast: Sweet Potato Tagine with Couscous

Thanks for reading our first PB2 post!  We hope you’ve been inspired to get out of your hummus rut and try a new way to prepare chickpeas!