Cooking feeds your body, mind, and soul. It allows you to control the food you put into your body, connect with your family and friends over a home cooked meal, and save the money you might otherwise spend in restaurants or on processed, prepackaged foods. Believe it or not, making simple and satisfying meals from scratch doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some of my favorite easy, healthy recipes. You’ll find that eating well can also be delicious!
My favorite recipes appear below in the following order.
Scroll to check out and try one!
1. Vegan Lasagna with Basil Cashew Cheeze (Angela Liddon Oh She Glows)
2. Ultimate Energy Bar (Matt Frazier No Meat Athlete)
3. Crazy Sexy Bean Chile (Kris Carr Crazy Sexy Kitchen)
1. VEGAN LASAGNA WITH BASIL CASHEW CHEEZE
This delicious recipe is from one of my favorite vegan recipe bloggers and best selling author, Angela Liddon. http://ohsheglows.com/
LEMON BASIL CASHEW CHEEZE SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
- ¼ cup vegetable broth or water (or more as needed)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup nutritional yeast* (gives the cheese flavor)
- ¾-1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste) + freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp onion powder (optional)
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1½ cups fresh basil leaves (lightly packed)
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 30 mins or overnight
- ½ Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 zucchini, chopped
- 8 oz. package of sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1 large or 2 small red peppers, chopped
- 1 large handful of spinach
- Herbamare or salt/pepper to taste
- 1½ jars of pasta sauce or homemade marinara sauce
- 1 box of oven-ready lasagna noodles (no boiling required)
- Lemon Basil Cashew Cheeze Sauce (from above)
- 1½ cups vegan shredded “cheese”, such as Cheddar and/or Mozzarella Style Daiya Shreds
- To prepare the Basil Cashew Cheeze Sauce, drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Add all cheese sauce ingredients (in the order listed) to a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, and blend until smooth.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large skillet, add oil, onion and garlic; sauté over low-medium heat for 5 minutes. Add zucchini, mushrooms, peppers; sauté for 10 more minutes. Add spinach; sauté for 5 more minutes. IMPORTANT: Season well with Herbamare or salt and black pepper or else you’ll have bland vegetables.
- Pour about a cup or so of pasta sauce into a 9×13 pan and spread it evenly. Add a layer of noodles, then half the Lemon Basil Cheeze Sauce, then half the vegetables.
- Repeat layers of pasta sauce, noodles, cheeze sauce, veggies. Add another layer of pasta sauce, then sprinkle Daiya Shreds on top.
- Cover with foil and slice a few small vents using a sharp knife. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove foil and broil for 5 minutes on medium, watching closely so as not to burn the edges.
2. Ultimate Energy Bar
This recipe for an unbelievable energy bar comes from my running idol, Matt Frazier -author blogger and No Meat Athlete! These are so delicious that I make a batch a week and have one for lunch each day. Every time I make a new batch, I switch up the ingredients, so there’s always a fresh taste to try. http://www.nomeatathlete.com/
- 1-pound can of beans, drained and rinsed (or 1.5 cups cooked beans)
- ½ cup binder
- ¼ cup sweetener
- ¼ cup soft sweet fruit 1 teaspoon of extract (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of dry spice (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt 1.5 cups of oats
- 1 cup dry base ingredient 1 cup stir-ins
In a food processor, combine beans, binder, sweetener, soft fruit, extract, spice, and salt until smooth. Add the oats and dry base ingredients and pulse just to combine. Add stir-ins and pulse again just to combine. If the consistency seems spreadable, you’re good. If it’s too dry, add 1/4 cup of water; if it’s too runny, add an additional 1/4 cup of the dry base ingredient.
Grease 13×9 pan with baking spray or rub with 1 tablespoon oil, then spread mixture into pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.
Note: You’ll have the most success if you use unsalted, unsweetened versions of the ingredients, and control the sweetness and saltiness through the sweetener and added salt.
- White beans
- Black beans
- Pinto beans
- Adzuki beans
- Almond butter
- Peanut butter
- ¼ cup of ground flax seed mixed with ¼ cup water
- Pureed pumpkin
- Mashed avocado
- Maple syrup
- Brown rice syrup
- Agave nectar
- Honey (if you’re not vegan)
Recommended soft, sweet fruit
- Mashed banana (about half of one)
- Chopped dates (remove the pits!)
- Crushed pineapple
Recommended optional extracts
Recommended dry spices
- Instant coffee
*For stronger spices like nutmeg and cardamom, use just a ¼-½ teaspoon and combine with less intense spices like cinnamon.
Recommended dry base ingredient (a combination is usually best)
- Protein powder (hemp, rice, or pea protein,)
- Brown rice flour
- Spelt flour
- Cocoa (max ½ cup)
- Whole-wheat flour
- Buckwheat flour
- Shredded coconut
- Dried cranberries
- Dried apricots
- Chopped nuts
- Cacao nibs
- Dry cereal
- Crushed pretzels
- Chocolate chips
3. Crazy Sexy Bean Chili
This amazing chili recipe is teenage sons and husband approved! It’s a delicious and hearty favorite and a go-to recipe to take to parties. Who can resist a delicious chili? This one comes from one of my inspirations and favorite bloggers, Kris Carr with Chad Sarn0 (Crazy Sexy Kitchen) http://kriscarr.com/
This chili has a spicy kick. For less heat, remove seeds from the jalapeño and feel free to use only half the chile.
1 1/2 Tbs. cumin seeds
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño chile, finely diced
2 Tbs. chili powder
1 1/2 cups ground seitan, crumbled tempeh, or finely diced mushrooms
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 cup diced potato
2 15-oz. cans of black beans, rinsed
2 15-oz. can of kidney beans, rinsed
1 14-oz. can of crushed tomatoes, such as San Marzano
2 Tbs. maple syrup
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional)
1 cup kale, chopped
Diced avocado, for garnish, optional
1. Toast cumin seeds in dry soup pot over medium heat for 2 minutes or until aromatic.
2. Add oil, onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Stir until onion is golden and translucent. Add chili powder, seitan, zucchini, and potato, and stir well. Sauté 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, 2 cups water, maple syrup, sea salt, and cilantro. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 to 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
3. Remove from heat; stir in kale. Garnish with diced avocado and sprigs of fresh cilantro, if using.