Here I’ll share some of my staple recipes that I use every single week. Repetition is key to success, and having a few go-to favorites can really make your transition so much easier.
Steel cut oats are my favorite. They take so much longer to digest that you’ll be full for hours.
Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil
Add 1/3 cup steel cut oats
Simmer 25-30 minutes stirring occasionally
Transfer to a cereal bowl and add a splash of almond or soy milk
Add a pinch of brown sugar or a teaspoon of maple syrup if desired
Top with fresh fruit – blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches
Add raisins, craisins, and/or dried cherries
Sit down and enjoy!
When I’m in a pinch, my old cereal habit works like a charm – but there’s a big difference between my old Lucky Charms and my new cold cereal! This recipe avoids the sugar highs and lows that come with cereals that are made from flours instead of whole grains.
Put 1/2 cup rolled oats in a bowl
Mix in 1/2 cup of your favorite whole grain cereal – I love Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin, or Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs.
Add soy or almond milk
Top with fresh or dried fruit and you’re good to go
There are so many ways to vary this meal, so have fun with it! I’ll just give a few ideas here. Please feel free to share your favorites!
Start with an oil-free wrap made from whole grains if you can. Ezekiel makes a great one we buy at Whole Foods.
Spread with a layer of your favorite hummus – it comes in so many flavors, just change the hummus will change it up daily
Add a layer of whole grains – brown rice, wild rice, quinoa are some of our staples
Add a handful of greens – spinach, romaine lettuce, mixed baby greens, etc
Add a layer of veggies – chopped carrots, red or green pepper, corn, radishes, and lots more
If you can, add a tiny handful of beans – black, pinto, navy, chick peas, etc. Practically any beans will do
Dress with a splash of low sodium soy sauce, spicy brown mustard, or any type of vinegar. I use a tangerine balsamic vinegar – yum!
Curry Veggies or Stir Fry Veggies and Brown Rice
This is another staple in our household that we have several times each week, and hardly make it the same way twice. I’ll start with my new favorite that works with any kind of curry sauce. It may sound complicated the first time, but I can whip this up in 15-20 minutes these days.
Chop your favorite veggies first so they’re ready to go – perhaps broccoli, bok choy, peppers, onion, and mushrooms
Put everything but the mushrooms in a frying pan with 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable broth. Any non-oil liquid works here – any vinegar, water, red or white wine, soy sauce, or even water.
“Water-sautee” the veggies for 5 minutes to start the cooking process without making them mush. Stir frequently and continue adding small amounts of liquid at a time to prevent sticking.
Add the mushrooms and sautee for another 2-3 minutes. Just for fun, also add water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and/or mini corn
In a separate sauce pan, heat 1/4 – 1/2 cup of your favorite curry paste (green, panang, yellow, red)
Mix in 1/4 cup coconut cream for sweetness and heat on medium heat until well blended
Add the sauce to the veggies and add 1 1/2 – 2 cups coconut milk to have enough sauce to almost cover the veggies. If it lost too much color, add some more paste or coconut cream to taste. Mix well
Simmer over low heat 5-7 minutes
Serve over brown rice.
If you’re not a fan of curry yet, or if you’re looking to mix it up, simply saute the veggies in any liquid you like, add some garlic and a little soy sauce, and you’re good to go.
Lentils and Carmelized Onions
This has GOT to be the easiest, best recipe I know.
2 cups dried green lentils
1 1/2 – 2 onions
Follow package directions to boil lentils – usually takes about 45 minutes. Get those started first. Peel and slice up the onions very thin. Keep in rings or cut smaller if desired. Water saute 5-10 minutes on med-hi in wide bottom fry pan. Use water or veggie broth. Add 1/8 cup brown sugar, cover, and simmer gently. Onions have their own water and sugar so you don’t need to add much. Just keep on low 30+ minutes and peek every now and then to stir and prevent sticking. Once carmelized nicely, mix most of the onions into the lentils and then serve some on top. That’s it.
2 Cans of chick peas, rinsed
1-2 cloves of garlic
3-4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Add water as necessary for desired texture. Add salt to taste if necessary. Serve with fresh veggies, woven wheats, and my personal favorite – a few kalamata olives. If you get tired of this recipe, play with it! Blend in green olives, olive juice, pine nuts, roasted red pepper, even cranberry and fig! Not all together of choice – pick and choose til you find a favorite of your own.
Homemade Baba Ghanoush
1-2 cloves of garlic
3-4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
Sound familiar? Same as hummus but made from eggplant instead of beans! Great way to mix it up, and tastes very different even with the same base recipe. Pierce eggplant with a fork several times. Roast at 350 for 1 hour. Let cool so you can handle. Peel eggplant. Put all ingredients in blender and blend to desired texture. Baba should stay lumpier than hummus but to each his own. Serve the same way or eat right out of the bowl like I’ve been known to do. Delish! A word of caution – the garlic will intensify after refrigeration, so be careful not to overdue it while you’re making it.
Black Beans and Rice
2 cans black beans
2 bags boil in bag brown rice
1 jar salsa
Add any other veggies desired – great way to use up leftover broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, spinach, etc.
taco mix if desired
Get the water boiling for the rice first so it’ll be ready when the rest of it is. Water saute the chopped onions and peppers and any other veggies you’d like to add, just for 5-7 minutes. Chopping finely is usually best for this dish. Rinse the black beans then add to the saute pan with the veggies. Add 3/4 of the jar of salsa. Bring to a simmer and add 1/4 to 1/2 packet of taco seasoning if desired. Simmer another 2-3 minutes for flavors to meld together. Serve over brown rice. For a splurge, top with some fresh avocado, shredded vegan cheddar, or vegan sour cream if you’re transitioning. You don’t need it, but if it feels weird without it, go for it. You can even get crazy and serve with tortilla chips if you’re not watching the oil too closely.