Two Quick, Easy, Vegan, + Gluten Free Bean Pasta Recipes: Prescription Pesto + Sesame Ginger Sauce

Who doesn’t Love pasta? Yes, love with a capital “L”.  For these recipes I used banza pasta made from chickpeas.  Bean pasta is awesome! It is super high in nutrients like iron and beneficial fiber. Plus it is loaded with protein. It’s gluten free and only takes 7-8 minutes to cook. Obsessed. I particularly like the Banza brand because it looks just like regular pasta and has a really nice consistency.  Some bean pastas that I have tried are a little mealy and chalky, this brand is nice and noodle-y.  I don’t know how else to describe it 😛 Hope you enjoy these recipes! xo

Purchase Your Box Of BANZA Here:

Banza Chickpea Pasta, Variety Case, Shells/Elbows/Penne/Rotini (Pack of 6)

Sesame Ginger Pasta + Veggies

Mmmm when I had this recipe the first time I could have sworn it had peanut butter and sugar in it with its gingery garlic creamy deliciousness.  Its just sesame seeds and dates!? What!? So simple and I can assure you this recipe will not disappoint!

Adapted from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Quick and Easy Chilled Sesame Noodles

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces bean pasta, cooked according to package directions, rinsed under cold water, and drained
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen broccoli florets, steamed
  • 1 pound mushrooms, chopped + steamed (or use another pound of broccoli or any other vegetable you love!)
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 6 scallions thinly sliced

For the Sauce

  • 1/4 cup unhulled sesame seeds, lightly pan toasted
  • 1 cup water
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw almonds or cashews (preferably soaked / sprouted)
  • 7 medjool dates or 13-14 regular dates (like deglet noor), pitted
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (or rice vinegar / apple cider vinegar)

Steps

  1. In a high speed blender, puree all the sauce ingredients until smooth
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta, bell pepper, scallion, steamed broccoli, and veggies with the sauce until thoroughly coated.
  3. Divide among 6 plates and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

Prescription Pesto

Yaaas pesto :-P. This recipe has got all the medicine in it, and TBH: there is nothing I crave more. This pesto is BOMB. Don’t be fooled by the word, “medicine.” Back in the day when you used to plug your nose to get the stuff down.  This powerful pesto has got the most potent DNA protecting and disease reversing foods like greens, turmeric, beans, walnuts, and garlic.  And this medicine, baby.  Just can’t get enoughhh yuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Adapted from Dr. Michael Greger‘s Eight Check-Mark Pesto

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch (or about 2 cups) fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup raw or sprouted walnuts
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4 of a peeled lemon
  • zest of 1/2 of a lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup canned pinto beans (I recommend no salt added like Eden’s Organic)
  • 1/4 cup liquid from canned beans or water
  • 1 tablespoon sweet white miso (equal to or less than 270mg sodium / serving)
  • Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor.  Blend until smooth. Scoop onto a cup and a half of cooked bean pasta.

Healthy Pasta TASTE TEST + 4 Reasons Why I STILL Avoid Gluten

 

Pasta. What a delectable vehicle for vegetables!  Add your favorite beans, steamed veggies, and tomato sauce and BOOM! An impressive gourmet dinner.  While intact grains are the gold standard (grains in their whole form), whole grains, yes including their bran, germ, and endosperm, are milled into a fine flour to make whole grain pastas, breakfast cereals, and other “whole grain” products.  A few examples of legit whole intact grains would be steel cut oats, brown rice, quinoa, and millet.

wholegrains

How to tell if the product is WHOLE GRAIN?

  1. Whole grain stamp is on the package
  2. “100%” or “Whole” are used to describe it
  3. The first ingredient listed is a whole grain

refinedgrains

Refined grains are not only grains milled into a flour, but their grain was stripped of the nutrient and fiber containing bran and germ! Murder! Refined grains are white / light in color and examples include white bread, cookies, cakes, pretzels, white rice, regular pasta, and anything made with white flour. Darn!

Don’t fret too much! The recommendation is:

Make at least 1/2 of your grains whole grains.

Grains are an important part of a healthy balanced diet for fiber, iron,powerplategraphichirez magnesium, selenium, b vitamins, and lasting energy! Be sure to include them on your plate.

The Taste Test

Well before #1, my personal favorite is ZUCCHINILINI OF COURSE! Which is simply zucchini or summer squash, spirilized to look and feel like spaghetti. I like to mix it with pasta dishes to add bulk, flavor, color, and more veg of course!

#1 Nature’s Promise Whole Wheat Spaghetti: #1 in taste, texture, and nutritional profile. Contains gluten.

#2. Bionaturae Gluten Free Corn and Soy Spaghetti: Fabulous texture and taste and with 5g protein and 6% iron, this product is ok. Low in fiber :-/

#3. Jovial Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti: Quite sticky texture, but great flavor and elasticity.  Would go great with a sauce. However, low in fiber although whole grain. Brown rice is naturally low in fiber.

 

#4. Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Corn and Quinoa Spaghetti: Texture dry and kinda crunchy, but a good source of fiber at 16% daily value and 10% iron!

#5. Andean Dream Quinoa Gluten Free Spaghetti: Texture was definitely a little sandy.  But I must say with 6% calcium, 12% iron, and just barely a good source of fiber at 10% daily value, not bad.

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The Consensus:

The quinoa based gluten free products have a better nutritional profile, but are not as delicious as the lower fiber rice based ones.

Why I personally still avoid Gluten?

Do I go out of my way to avoid gluten?

No.  I still enjoy it in moderation. My mom makes homemade bread and pizza with gluten which I eat occasionally.  My diet is whole foods based, so I rarely purchase packaged products that might contain gluten.

Do I eat gluten every day?

No.  Maybe I eat a gluten containing meal or snack 3-4 times a week.  I am generally healthy and do not currently feel any reason to put more effort into seriously avoiding wheat, barley, rye, and foods containing gluten 100% of the time.

Why I make this personal choice:

  1. My sister has ulcerative colitis, which is similar to celiacs in that they are both autoimmune inflammatory intestinal disorders. With a genetic risk factor in my family, I try to not over load the gluten as a personal preventative measure.
  2. Studies linking gluten and autism spectrum disorders autism-and-nutrition-1. The GFCF (gluten free casein free) diet has been shown to help people with ADHD and autism, what else could it be linked to? I am ever curious and after reading such articles have trouble stomaching gluten (and of course would never recommend drinking milk).
  3. Naturopaths recommend avoiding gluten initially when trying to avoid inflammation with an “elimination diet,” along with dairy and other common inflammatory trigger foods. With this in mind, many people have success reversing adverse symptoms like rashes, IBS, fatigue, etc (SO MANY), once they remove gluten from their diet.  I grew up with canker sores, weird rashes, and eczema so, avoiding inflammation (and gluten) is in my best interest.
  4. Close friends with celiac disease so it is easier for everybody to find a gluten free delicious option!

While as you could see from the video, a gluten free diet is not recommended for the general public because it tends to have less nutrients. Be a savvy shopper and let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy those intact whole grains and plant yums! xx

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3 Easiest Favorite Healthy Lunches | Gluten Free, Vegan, Affordable

School, work, packing for kids, or just want easy healthy lunch ideas; I’ve got you covered!  Three of my favorite and most simple lunch combos. Watch this video to get the tips, snacks, and full recipes.

I base my lunches off the Physician Committee’s “Power Plate“: everymealpowerplate

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Here are the three main bowls:

1. Mexican Bowl

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Chopped Romaine Lettuce
  • 1/2 cup Brown Rice
  • 1/2 cup Black Beans (I like Eden’s Brand)
  • 1/2 cup Organic Corn
  • 2 Tbsp Diced Red Onion
  • 2 Tbsp Low Sodium Natural Salsa
  • 1/4 Avocado
  • 1/4 Lime, Squeezed

2. Harvest Bowl

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1/2 Diced Organic Apple
  • 3-4 Tbsp Raisins
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Red Onion
  • 1-2 Tbsp Chopped Walnuts
  • 1 tsp Maple Balsamic Dressing
  • 1/4 Lime, Squeezed

3. Italian Bowl

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Kale
  • 1/2 Summer Squash Spiralized
  • 3 Chopped Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • 4 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Red Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Cannellini Beans
  • 1/2 Cup Engine 2 Brand Low Sodium No Oil Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Kelp Shaker
  • 1/2 tsp Kale Chip Shaker
  • 1 tsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4 Lime, Squeezed

These can be modified with whatever whole grains, veggies, beans/legumes you’ve got on hand. Make them the way you like, and enjoy!

 

Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry with Creamy Peanut Sauce | Oil Free, Gluten Free, Vegan

I love not following recipes, don’t you? This is just a crazy good experiment of mine inspired by Healthy is a Verb and Ambitious Kitchen.  Came out pretty bomb.  I have no idea what the exact measurements are, I was just throwing stuff together.  Feel it out, and make it with whatever veggies you like. With V day coming up, this is the perfect one to share with your hubby.  Or, save the rest for later gator! Have fun!

squashstirfry

The Stir Fry

  • 1/3 cup water, (keep a glass of water close by, this is used to prevent sticking to pan without added oil)
  • 1/3 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, grated finely using cheese grater or minced
  • 1 small chunk of fresh ginger, also grated finely
  • 1/3 head of broccoli with stem, chopped
  • 2-3 red cabbage leaves, chiffonade
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup of mushrooms, rough chop
  • 2 leaves bok choy, thinly sliced, stem and all!
  • 1/2 roasted spaghetti squash, scraped
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped (I totally forgot about these until after I took pic and ate some of it, makes a great crunch!)
  1. If you haven’t roasted your squash yet, prehead oven to 400*F. Cut it in half the long way and place it open side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for ~45 minutes or until soft
  2. In a large frying pan over medium to high heat, heat the water, onion, garlic, and ginger, about 3-5 minutes, mixing often
  3. Throw in the broccoli, cabbage, bell pepper, and mushrooms, let it get happy for another 2 minutes
  4. Next comes the bok choy and mix another minute, feel free to add water if needed
  5. Scrape out half of the spaghetti squash (keeping seeds- yum love squash seeds!) and mix that in
  6. Mix in ~1/2 cup of peanut pinto sauce and mix until well combined
  7. Peel orange and cut it into slices perpendicular to the way the sections go to make nice little orange pieces like in the picture. Makes for a delish orange, peanut, gingery kind of asian vibe
  8. Mix in orange chunks, and top with lime to squeeze and crushed / chopped nuts. YUM!

Peanut Pinto Sauce

  • ~1/2 cup dry pinto beans, soaked for 6 hours and boiled for ~30 minutes, [or feel free to use canned no salt added pinto beans, drained and rinsed (I like Eden’s brand the best, if using Eden’s, drain, but no need to rinse)] 
  • ~1/4 cup of peanut butter (the kind with one ingredient only: Peanuts. if there are “hydrogenated oils” on the ingredients label, toss it)
  • ~2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • ~1 cup boiling water (from cooking beans)
  • juice of ~1/2 lime*

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.  Not sure about the measurements but I think it would be hard to make this combo taste bad. Hope you’re hungry!

*I put lime or lemon juice on everything, for flavor, for peak iron absorption, and it makes me feel amazing!

A New Easter Favorite AND Kosher for Passover: Moist Chocolate Chip Carrot Morsels

What’s up, Doc? Carrots are surprisingly sweet. The vibrant orange color offers beta-carotene, which converts to the fat soluble antioxidant vitamin, vitamin A.  Ever heard carrots are good for your eyes?  That’s the truth!  Vitamin A from carrots may improve night vision.  These scrumptious morsels are sweetened with potassium and fiber-rich dates, and stuffed with brain-power boosting essential omega-3 fatty acids.

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Preheat oven: 350F.  Place 9 Cupcake Liners in 3×4 Muffin Tin.  Makes 9 Morsels

Ingredients I Used: (Feel free to play around with this, I rarely have all of the ingredients or measure)

  • 1 ½ cups steamed carrot (try grated carrot!)
  • 1 cup dates (pitted)
  • ¾ cup brown rice flour (try oatmeal- might be favorable texture!)
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon (or cinnamon sugar)
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3 crystalized ginger pieces (or 2 tsp fresh or dried ginger)
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax in 6 Tbsp water (two flax eggs)
  • ¼ cup walnut pieces
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (or raisins, optional)
  • ¼ cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)

Steps:

  1. Combine dry ingredients: flour (or oatmeal), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, walnut pieces, chocolate chips, and craisins
  2. Blend wet: steamed carrot, dates, crystalized ginger, ground flax egg mix, vanilla in a food processor or high speed blender like a vitamix. Transfer to large bowl
  3. Fold mashed banana and dry ingredients into wet ingredients until well combined.  Be sure not to over mix.  Mixing too much can cause a tough product from the proteins formed depending on the flour used.  Still- practice minimal stirring.
  4. Divide mixture evenly amongst the muffin liners.  Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.  Enjoy in good health!

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Raw Thanksgiving Recipes

rawthankgivingprep

Thanksgiving can be a scary situation for vegans and vegetarians.  These recipes are easy and delicious, I am certain everyone at your feast will love them!

Festive Holiday Kale Salad:

kalesalad

You will need: a large bowl, a serving bowl, a blender, a cutting board, a knife, and people you really love to share this amazing dish with.

  • 1-2 bunches of kale
  • 2 pomegranates
  • 1 bunch green onion (half chopped half blended)
  • 1 large bunch dill (half chopped half blended)
  • 1 bunch mint (half chopped half blended)
  • 2 Tbs tahini (I used 2 Tbs hemp seeds)
  • 2 cups currents or raisins (I didn’t use raisins at the demo)
  • ½ cup pure lime juice
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 4 dates
  • 2 cups walnuts

massagekale

  1. Wash, de-stem, and schiffinade kale
  2. Chop using either a food processor S blade, or a knife and cutting board, half of the bunches of scallion, dill, and mint
  3. Deseed pomegranates (with a large spoon, banging on the outside of 1/2 of the fruit so the seeds just fall into your palm)
  4. chop walnuts
  5. Blend juice, dates, and the other half of the bunches of green onion, dill, and mint
  6. Massage dressing into kale thoroughly with gloved or very very clean hands
  7. Using tongs, mix in nuts and pomegranate seeds
  8. Serve chilled ❤

Fully Raw Pumpkin Pie:

rawthanksgivingpie2

You will need: food processor S blade, pie plate, rubber spatula, and pumpkin lovers!

Ingredients

Crust

  • ~1 lb dates
  • 1.5-2 cups pecans
  • 1-2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Pie Filling

  • 2-3 cups pie pumpkin
  • ~2 lbs dates
  • Ginger, thimble sized piece
  • ~168grams persimmon pulp
  • 1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Crust

  1. Using food processor S blade, put pecans in first, then dates and cinnamon, and pulse and blend until desired crust texture
  2. Take out the blade
  3. Press all around pie crust

Pie Filling

  1. Put pumpkin chunks and then dates, persimmon, cinnamon, ginger, and spice in vitamix, or food processor S blade
  2. Blend until completely smooth
  3. Rubber spatula into pie crust
  4. Freeze to set (about 2 hours)

rawthanksgivingpie

Cranberry Relish:

Ingredients

  • 12 oz bag cranberries (1lb)
  • 1-2 oranges, peeled and deseeded
  • 5 dates

Steps:

  1. Pit dates
  2. Peel and deseed oranges
  3. Put all ingredients into food processor
  4. Process until desired smoothness
  5. Rubber spatula into bowl, let chill

Watch Chef AJ!

rawthanksgivingcrowd

Thank you to everybody who came!  What a wonderful crowd!  Hope to see you all and more at the Raw Desserts Demo: February 19, 2015!

Vegan Sushi !

The easiest beautifully savory and filling high carb vegan crowd pleaser out there:

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These can be individualized to your liking!  Throw anything you like in these nori rolls!  This is what Samwise put in these beautiful babes: Did I mention they’re non-fat?!

  • organic nori sheets
  • organic sushi rice
  • cooked beets
  • carrot
  • zucchini
  • bell pepper
  • fresh mint leaves
  • purple cabbage
  • mixed baby greens
  • love

Here’s how they’re made:

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Make sure the lines of the nori are going vertically, those are to help you cut the sushi in the end.

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My 2 Favorite Salad Dressings, Made in 5-10 Minutes

In no particular order AT ALL! They are both redonkkk

1. Marinarapastasal9

This marinara is beyond any tomato sauce I’ve ever had.  And I LOVE tomato sauce.  Mama knows, I could go through a jar a spaghetti sauce in less than a week- easily!  Here’s why it beats the rest:

  • no sodium
  • no fat
  • no weird additives
  • it takes literally 5 minutes to make
  • lycopene (antioxidant in tomatoes) decreases risk of skin cancer and sunburn and decreases risk of prostate cancer
  • full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, all fruits and veggies here ladies and gentlemen

Tear up some leaves and spiralize a couple of cuces or zucchinis/ summer squashes and:

Blended in my tiny $10 blender:

  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tablespoon or more of Italian Seasoning (to taste)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 2-4 dates (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 2 oz (apx 1/3 cup) sun dried tomato

I make lots of variations to this! This time I made it, I used fresh oregano, thyme, and rosemary that Janice gave me, THANK YOU JANICE!!! I also didn’t have sundried tomato or onion, and I still loveeedd itt!  Sometimes I just blend tomatoes, dates, and basil.  Sometimes no onion, sometimes extra garlic!  Have fun with it and see how you like it!  And I don’t usually top with walnuts, but those looked good to me today 🙂 Some mushrooms and/ or artichokes would have been nice, or some broccoli!! Mmmm

2. Sweet Citrus Ginger Mint

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Moan moan moan moan moan moan.  Oh KALE  ya!  This + kale = OMFG HOW IS THIS SO GOOD!? I actually had 2 huge bowls of this salad for breakfast this morning.  It is that goood!!!!  And you thought eating 2 heads of kale was difficult, ha ha HA!! Just you wait, you’ll be dreaming of it, just like me 🙂

  • easily absorbed calcium
  • easily absorbed iron (mixed with vitamin C!!)
  • protein packed, sweet satisfaction
  • indigestion aid (ginger)
  • it’s so good, so easy, so refreshing and satisfyingly filling ❤
  • so low fat
  • so high fantastic
  • so addicted to the way I skipped down the street singing after I ate this

Kale is this one’s soul mate.  I suggest tearing some up like I did, or if you have a knife, chiffonaded dinosaur kale is how the chef Sam Romano made it for me.  I’ve never been so impressed in my life.

Blended in the little blendah:

  • 3 oranges
  • around 15-20 fresh mint leaves (depends on size and variety, I’d load it in, looovee orange and mint)
  • 3 dates
  • 1.5 tsp maca (optional, what do you have on hand? 🙂
  • 1 Tbs hemp (I’ve used sesame seeds and flax seeds before too, both phenomenal)
  • 2 thimble sized pieces of ginger, ( I’ve been adding more lately, the warming ginger is aweesomee)
  • lemon juice

I actually didn’t have lemon juice, but have made it before with lemon and it’s really nice, the sour with the sweet date is just, ! .  Impeccable.  I really want to try it with pomegranate seeds on top!  You have fun with it!  Too easy, too many health benefits! Stuff your excuses in the trash, suck it up, and make this.  If you don’t like it, I’m convinced you are an alien.