Category: Main Course

Easy Red Lentil Coconut Curry (Crock Pot Recipe)

Easy Red Lentil Coconut Curry (Crock Pot Recipe)

A delicious, protein-packed, plant-based curry that’s as easy to make as it is tasty. Bursting with lentils, this crock pot recipe requires no expensive or complicated spices.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped onion, small dice
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red lentils, washed & picked over
2 cups vegetable broth
1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk


Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to your crock pot. Turn the heat to medium-high. Once the oil has warmed, add 1 ½ cups chopped onion and 4 cloves of garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onion being to sweat and the mixture becomes aromatic.

How to store onions: Never put them in the refrigerator. They prefer a dry place with decent air flow.

Add 1 packed of Indian Dal spice packet from Zen of Slow Cooking , ½ teaspoons sea salt, 2 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 cup lentils, 2 cups vegetable broth, and 1 can of coconut milk. Mix to combine.

How to store garlic: Once you open a bulb of garlic, unused cloves begin to lose their freshness. You can peel them all and keep them in vinegar in the fridge for months.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Get instructions on how to make this recipe in a pressure cooker or dutch oven , plus many other recipes! I served this curry over my mom’s homemade rice pilaf. Yum!


Easy Red Lentil Coconut Curry (Crock Pot Recipe)

Cold Cucumber Noodles with Sesame Dressing

Cold Cucumber Noodles with Sesame Dressing

A plant-based version of chilled sesame noodles using cucumbers and summer squash with a tangy sesame and miso dressing. It’s vegan, gluten free, and mostly keto.


2 cucumbers, peeled & trimmed
1 yellow squash, trimmed
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
¼ teaspoon white miso
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Sesame seeds
Chopped cilantro


Peel and trim 2 cucumbers and run them through a spiralizer using the medium noodle setting. If zucchini is zoodles, are these coodles?

How to store cucumbers: Cucumbers like to be cold but often the fridge is too cold for them. Try storing them in the warmer part of your fridge and away from ethylene emitting produce, if you are in a warmer climate. Or you can store them at room temperature, like I do. Keep them away from ethylene produce still and store them in a cool place away from sunlight.

Take the 1 yellow squash, also trim the ends, and run through the spiralizer. Are these yoodles? Sqoodles?

How to store summer squash: They like it colder than cukes do. Place summer squash in a bag in the fridge. If you have a crisper drawer, even better. They like high humidity.

In a mixing bowl, add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon of turbinado sugar (white or brown sugar is fine), ¼ teaspoon of white miso and mix until fully combined.

How to store sesame oil: The oil will keep for a year past the Best By date if unopened. Once opened, just six months stored in a cool dry place. If you keep it in the fridge, it can last up to a year after opening.

How to store rice vinegar: Unseasoned rice vinegar can last about 5 years in the pantry but up to 10 years in the fridge.

Because the saltiness of miso can vary, add half of the ¼ teaspoon of salt and mix to combine. Add remaining salt if desired.

Add the coodles and yoodles (ya, I went there) to the sesame dressing and toss to fully coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To serve, top with sesame seeds and chopped cilantro. This dish will keep for a day maybe two in an airtight container in the fridge.

Cold Cucumber Noodles with Sesame Dressing Recipe

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Beet Citrus Salsa Recipe

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Beet Citrus Salsa (Sheet Pan Recipe)

Easy sheet pan tacos with a crispy flour shell. These cauliflower tacos are quick to make and easy, topped of with a spicy beet tangerine salsa.


1 head of cauliflower
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ lime, juiced
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
10 taco-sized tortillas
1 avocado, thinly sliced
½ shredded red cabbage
1 green onion, thinly sliced
cup sour cream
cup chopped cilantro


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the greens and stem from the cauliflower and cut it into equal pieces, as much as possible. Set the florets aside.

Add the florets to a half-sized baking sheet and coat them with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Squeeze the juice from ½ of a lime over the florets. Sprinkle the florets with 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning such that they are mostly evenly coated.

Transfer baking sheet to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the florets are fork tender. Remove from the oven.

Remove florets from the baking sheet and set aside. Lay the tortillas on the baking sheet such that they are evenly spaced out. Using the remaining olive oil, brush the outer edges of the tortillas on both sides.

Transfer baking sheet to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until the tortillas are crispy and puff up.

Remove the crispy taco shells from the oven and divide the roasted cauliflower between them.

Top off the tacos with slices from the 1 avocado, ½ cup shredded red cabbage, the 1 green onion sliced up, some of the Roasted Beet & Orange Salsa , ⅓ cup sour cream, and ⅓ cup chopped cilantro.

Cut cabbage, or shredded, will last about 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Sour cream will hold up for 2 weeks. For the cilantro, store the leftovers like cut flowers. Trim the ends and cover them in a couple inches of water and it should last 10 days or more.


Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Beet Citrus Salsa Recipe

Easy Vegan Slow Cooker Ramen

Easy Vegan Slow Cooker Ramen

A tasty and easy vegan ramen dish you make right in your crock pot. No expensive or complicated spices required! It’s plant-based, clean, and full of umami.


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon red curry paste
½ cup mirepoix
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces tofu, cubed
¼ cup soy sauce
15 ounces can sweet corn, undrained
6 cups veggie broth
½ cup broccoli florets
4 ounces udon noodles
2 tablespoons white miso
Chopped cilantro
Sliced jalapeños
Sliced green onions


Warm 1 tablespoons of vegetable oil over a medium-low heat. Add the Sichuan spices from The Zen of Slow Cooking to the oil and cook for about a minute. It’s important to not burn the spices.

This is referred to as blooming spices. By sauteing them in oil, the spices will release even more of their flavor compounds.

These Zen of Slow Cooking spice blends are highly versatile. They make a great flavor foundation for a variety of dishes and this recipe is one example. Plus, they’re free from salt, or low sodium, non-GMO, and preservative free. Check out their website for even more inspiration!

Add in the 4 cloves of garlic and saute for a minute. Add the 1 tablespoon of red curry paste and saute for a minute.

Increase heat to medium and add the ½ cup of mirepoix — 2 parts chopped onion, 1 part chopped carrot, 1 part chopped celery. Saute until the carrots are slightly tender.

Add the 8 ounces mushrooms and saute until browned.

These Zen of Slow Cooking spice packets make it easy to explore the world of flavors out there without having to buy a ton of unique ingredients that you may never use or might not even like. Fewer jars means you spend less money, fewer spices going bad and less food waste. Just one of the many ways this Certified B Corporation is helping the planet. You all know how I feel about food waste!

Add the 8 ounces of cubed tofu, ¼ cup soy sauce, 15 ounce can of corn, and 6 cups of vegetable broth to the pot. Remember to press out the tofu before chopping to remove any excess water. The can of corn isn’t drained as the starch in the liquid will make the broth creamy.

I also want to add, on the back of the packets you typically find a recipe to use it but also a fun little story about how this particular blend came to be. Hint: it usually involves traveling somewhere and tasting something delicious.

Increase heat to medium-high, cover, and bring the ramen to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let cook for 7 hours.

Now let the ramen cool overnight in the refrigerator. By doing so, all the flavors will come together and meld quite beautifully.

Before serving, bring the ramen back to a boil. Add in ½ cup broccoli and 4 ounces uncooked udon noodles. Return to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, until the noodles are tender and done.

Remove the ramen from heat and mix in 2 tablespoons of miso until it fully dissolves.

Serve with chopped cilantro, sliced jalapenos, and sliced green onions as optional toppings. Enjoy!

Be sure to check out The Zen of Slow Cooking for other tasty recipes using this Sichuan blend and more.

Easy Vegan Slow Cooker Ramen Recipe

Stuffed Butternut Squash with Lentils, Greens & Quinoa Recipe

Stuffed Butternut Squash with Lentils, Greens & Quinoa

Butternut squash lovers, you will love this roasted butternut squash that is stuffed with black lentils, quinoa, and sautéed chard, top off with a yogurt sauce and pomegranate seeds.


1 large butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ cup black lentils
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
3 cups chopped chard
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash and cut the squash lengthwise and place it on a baking sheet. Brush the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake the squash for about 45 minutes or until very tender. Will vary due to squash size.

While you are roasting the squash, add ½ cup black lentils (wash them first) and 1 ½ cups vegetable broth to a sauce pot. Bring to a boil over a high heat and then reduce to a low simmer. Cook covered for 20 minutes until tender. Drain off any excess liquid and set aside.

Store leftover dried lentils in an airtight container in the cupboard or in a cool dry place for up to 1 year.

Remove the butternut squash from the oven, scoop out the seeds if you haven’t yet. Now scoop out a well in each squash, removing about ¼ cup of the squash. This helps keep the stuffing in place and as to not waste food, we will make a sauce from it. You can place the squash halves back in the oven to stop them from cooling down during this.

Blend together the ¼ cup butternut squash, 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt, and 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste.

Lemons are best kept in the fridge, where they will last about a month. They will only keep for about a week at room temperature. To get the most juice out of a lemon, microwave a whole one for about 10 to 20 seconds.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a saute pan and warm over a medium heat. Add the 3 cups of chard and saute until just wilted. Add the cooked lentils and 1 cup of cooked quinoa. Mix to combine. Use more oil if needed and salt and pepper to taste.

Uncooked quinoa will keep in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 1 year. Cooked quinoa will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze quinoa for up to a month.

Place the lentil stuffing on top of the roasted butternut squash halves. Drizzle the yogurt sauce over the top and finish off with pomegranate arils.


Stuffed Butternut Squash with Lentils, Greens & Quinoa Recipe

Kale-Stuffed Cauliflower & Potatoes Main

Kale-Stuffed Cauliflower & Potatoes

The perfect main course for a vegan or vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner, or just to eat something awesome. This recipe includes a kale-stuffed head of cauliflower roasted with baby potatoes, carrots, and finished off with a veggie gravy.


1 large cauliflower head
3 lbs baby potatoes, halved
2 large carrots
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons parsley
1 large baking potato
½ cup minced kale
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon black pepper
½ cup vegetable broth
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon flour


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Trim the leaves off of the head of cauliflower.

Place the cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl with ½ inch of water. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the cauliflower, uncover, and let cool.

Storage Tip: Wrap cauliflower in a damp cloth or paper towel and put it in an open plastic bag in the vegetable crisper drawer and it will keep for weeks.

In a large mixing bowl, add the 3 pounds of baby potatoes and 2 chopped carrots along with 1 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley.

Storage Tip: Leftover parsley that you purchased for this recipe can be stored like cut flowers. Trim the ends of the bunch and store in the fridge in a jar with some water.

Transfer veggies to a rimmed half-size baking sheet (18” x 13”) and spread them out in an even layer. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Peel the baking potato and cut it into large chunks. Place it in a microwave-safe measuring cup with about ⅔ cup of water. Loosely cover with plastic and cook for 5 minutes.

Rice or mash the potato in a mixing bowl. Add in the ½ cup minced kale, a minced clove of garlic, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, and ⅛ teaspoon of ground black pepper. Mix to combine.

Add in ½ cup of vegetable broth to bring stuffing together.

Storage Tip: To store potatoes, never keep them in the fridge. Store them in a cool dark place, not the fridge, in a paper bag. Never in a plastic bag. The cold of the fridge converts the starches to sugar, ruining their flavor.

Add stuffing to a piping bag (or zip bag, you just need a strong corner). Trim the tip and carefully pipe the stuffing into all of the nooks and crannies of the cauliflower. Brush the cauliflower with olive oil.

In a mixing bowl, fully combine ½ cup Panko bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, ¼ teaspoon of sea salt, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Pat the bread crumb mixture all over the cauliflower to fully coat.

Once the potatoes and carrots have finished baking for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and remove foil. Make room for the cauliflower head in the center, and place it there right side up.

Mix together 2 cups of vegetable broth and 1 tablespoon of flour.

Place the baking sheet back into the oven. Carefully add the broth to the baking sheet (or before if you won’t spill). Bake uncovered for another 20 minutes, until roots are fully cooked and gravy thickened.

Kale-Stuffed Cauliflower & Potatoes Main

Easy Pra Ram Tofu with Roasted Spinach (Thai Peanut Sauce) Main

Easy Pra Ram Tofu with Roasted Spinach (Thai Peanut Sauce)

Thai peanut sauce is a treat. If you love Thai food but no fuss, you will love this simple and easy Thai peanut sauce recipe. Made with fried tofu and oven-roasted spinach but great over any of your favorite foods.


16 ounces spinach
16 ounces firm tofu
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup peanut butter
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons red chili garlic sauce


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

Add the fresh spinach to a full-sized baking sheet (26 inches × 18 inches), spreading it out evenly. Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 15 minutes until all the spinach has wilted.

For any leftover spinach, place the greens in a firm container that is lined with paper towels on the sides and the bottom. Stored this way, fresh spinach can last up to a few weeks. See more on storing spinach here: How to Store Fresh Spinach for Weeks

While the spinach is baking, fry the tofu.

Remove tofu from the package and press tofu to remove excess water. Cut the tofu into slabs. Pat them dry.

If you purchased more tofu than what is called for in this recipe, like you got the Costco pack, you might want to freeze it. Cut it up for how you plan to use it and store it in a freezer bag and in the freezer. It will keep for 3 months this way.

Warm 2 tablespoons of oil over a medium heat in a non-stick skillet, until the oil is water-like. Add the tofu to the non-stick skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, checking that they are a nice golden brown.

Remove the tofu and cut up into cubes.

Add the coconut milk, brown sugar, soy sauce, and chili garlic sauce to a saucepan. You can use the same one you fried the tofu in if you like. Warm it over a medium-low heat to fully dissolve the sugar and combine the ingredients. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the peanut butter.

For any leftover coconut milk, it will only last about 5 days once the can is opened. You can freeze it and then easily use it for curries, pancakes, or smoothies at a later date. The texture will change as the proteins and fats separate but it is still fine to eat. It will keep for 3 months frozen.

Fold in the fried tofu until all of it is coated in the sauce. Serve it over the roasted spinach.

You can make this dish ahead or make more so there are lots of leftovers. It scales pretty easily. Store the peanut sauce with the tofu separately from the spinach. Keep the spinach in a firm container with a few paper towels in the bottom to absorb any excess liquid. You will have to reheat the Thai peanut sauce to thin it out when you are ready to enjoy it. It will firm up in the fridge. It should all keep for about 5 days or so.


Easy Pra Ram Tofu with Roasted Spinach (Thai Peanut Sauce) Main

Spinach & Barley Risotto Main

Spinach & Barley Risotto

Here’s a risotto recipe with a bit more nutritional bang to it. Instead of Arborio, I use pearl barley which is packed with more vitamins and fiber. It is still creamy AF and hella tasty. Healthy risotto for the win.


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 cup pearl barley
1 cup mirepoix
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup dry white wine
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
6 ounces baby spinach


In a large saute pan, melt half of the butter over a medium-low heat. Add the barley and toast it in the butter for about 5 minutes, careful not to burn. It will darken in color and the butter and grain will put off a nutty aroma.

Transfer the toasted barley to a separate dish.

Melt the remaining butter and add the mirepoix. Mirepoix is two parts onion, one part carrot, and one part celery, all evenly chopped. Saute for about five minutes, until the onions sweat and soften.

Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the toasted barley back to the pan along with the white wine and 1 cup of broth. Bring to a low simmer over a medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes, until the barley absorbs most of the liquid. It’s important to keep this at a low simmer as to not cook off the liquid too fast.

Repeat the above step, adding ½ cup of broth at a time, bringing to a low simmer, until all broth has been added and absorbed by the barley. It’s okay if the mixture is liquidy as long as the barley is fully cooked. It should be tender. This will take about 45 minutes.

Add the Parmesan cheese and fold it into the mixture.

Turn off the heat and add in the spinach. Fold in the spinach and let the heat from risotto wilt it.

Top with more Parm and serve.

Spinach & Barley Risotto Main

Easy Butternut & Chickpea Chana Masala Main

Easy Butternut & Chickpea Chana Masala

Indian food lovers, you have to try this easy chana masala recipe with a fun fall twist, featuring sweet butternut squash.


3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup mirepoix
1 (28 ounce) can chopped tomatoes
¼ cup vegetable broth
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1 ½ cups butternut squash, medium chop
1 ½ tablespoons garam masala
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped cilantro


In a shallow dutch oven, warm 3 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in the mirepoix, and saute until onions just begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and cook for another minute.

How to Bloom Spices: Add the spices in batches so as to not overwhelm the oil. After adding each spice, cook it for about 30 seconds, adding more oil if needed. Then rinse and repeat. During this time the spices will become extremely aromatic. Do not let them burn!

NOTE: Many spices and some herbs are largely fat-soluble. This means you will get more flavor from them by steeping them in oil than liquid. Literally up to 10x more flavor! But frying them in oil means you can also easily burn them. This process also makes for a much more even flavor.

Add the can of chopped tomatoes and the vegetable broth and bring to a low simmer. You can add up to 1/2 cup vegetable broth for a saucier dish.

Add in the cubed butternut squash and return to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in the chickpeas and cook for another 5 minutes. Let simmer until squash reaches desired tenderness. Add salt and pepper.

Turn off the heat and mix in half of the cilantro. Top off with remaining cilantro, cover, and serve.

This dish is great the next day after all the flavors have the chance to meld. Serve over rice. Basmati if you wanna go traditional but I love brown rice or quinoa.


Easy Butternut & Chickpea Chana Masala Main

Black Bean Tacos Kid Friendly Recipe 3

Black Bean Tacos (Kid Friendly Recipe)

In this kid-friendly recipe, I show you how to make delicious and easy black bean tacos in a hard shell. This recipe is so simple, even kids themselves can make it, but tasty enough for adults too!


4 taco shells
2 black bean veggie burgers
1 cup shredded cheese
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
½ cup salsa
¼ cup sour cream


Place the 2 black bean veggie burgers in a pop-up toaster; one patty per slot.

Set the temperature for the “toast” to medium-high and press the lever to toast the burgers. Toasters vary from model to model, so you will probably have to toast the burgers twice to cook them thoroughly. NOTE: The toaster method is far better than microwaving the burgers as the result is both warm and crispy. The perfect veggie burger! This works because, unlike meat patties, veggie burgers don’t exude fat when cooking. Cooking a meat patty this way could set your toaster on fire and would be very dangerous.

Once the patties are thoroughly cooked and crispy, remove them from the toaster and cut each patty in half.

Place each half into a taco shell, cut side down.

Top the tacos with shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa, as desired.


Black Bean Tacos Kid Friendly Recipe 2


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