For The Greater Goods (sm)

3 Vegan Recipes for the Great American Meatout

Have you seen the study that came out recently that found that eating meat and cheese is as unhealthy as smoking cigarettes?  The study, published by the University of Southern California found that excessive protein consumption is linked to a dramatic rise in cancer mortality andvegan recipes that middle-aged people who eat lots of proteins from animal sources including meat, milk and cheese are also more susceptible to early death in general.  While it’s not necessary to go completely vegan to get the health benefits of eating less animal products, these vegan recipes will make it easier if that’s your goal.

In honor of the Great American Meatout, I’m sharing three of my favorite vegan recipes.  Since I eat a vegan diet and I love to cook, I’ve played with lots of vegan recipes to make them satisfying and delicious.  The Great American Meatout encourages people to pledge to go vegan for a day, for one day per week, or every day.  Reducing or eliminating your intake of meat and dairy is possibly one of the best things you can do for your health.  When giving up meat and dairy, its still important to eat a whole food diet, so don’t get sucked in to buying meat analogues – they’re full of processed junk and you don’t need them to make a satisfying meal.  These vegan recipes will make you forget you ever needed meat and cheese.

Three Amazing Vegan Recipes

Vegan Recipe #1:  Macaroni and Cheese

8oz organic dry pasta of your choice
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Soak the raw cashews in filtered water for about an hour, then drain and add them along with the rest of the ingredients into a blender – a high powered blender like a VitaMix or Blendtec works best but a regular blender will do, you’ll just need to blend for a longer amount of time.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  You can use any type of pasta you like: quinoa pasta, gluten free pasta, whole wheat pasta, semolina pasta.  Elbow pasta or shells are traditionally used for mac and cheese but use whatever shape you like.   When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and pour the sauce into the pot and heat through.  You can serve the mac and cheese just like this or to make it even better, add some cooked broccoli, spinach, peas, mushrooms or any other veggies that you’d like.


Vegan Recipe #2: Three Bean Chili

1 TBSP Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 TBSP cumin powder
3 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
15oz can black beans
15oz can pinto peans
15oz can red kidney beans
28oz can diced tomatoes
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 TBSP chia seeds

In a large pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Add garlic, pepper, onion, carrot and sauté until everything is soft, 5-10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and cover, simmering for about 30 minutes on medium heat.  The chia will thicken the chili quite a bit so if you find that it is too thick, add a little bit of water.

Vegan Recipe #3:  Meatballs

1 cup (packed) fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
8 oz organic tempeh
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup cooked hulled barley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried fennel seed

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.   Chop the tempeh into small pieces; it should be crumbly.  Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the oil and garlic.  When the garlic is aromatic, add the chopped spinach and a tablespoon of water.  When the spinach is wilted, add the tempeh, stir to combine then add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and barley.  Stir to combine then turn off the heat to let the mixture cool.   In a bowl, mix together the vital wheat gluten, flour, nutritional yeast, salt, basil, oregano, dried pepper flakes and fennel.  Add the tomato/spinach/tempeh mixture to the bowl.  Stir to combine and knead for a couple of minutes.  This helps the gluten keep the meatballs in a ball shape.  Form 1 inch balls from the mixture; place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  This makes about 35 meatballs.   Bake for 15 minutes and then turn them over. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.  Take them out of the oven and let them cool undisturbed for 5-10 minutes.  This allows the inside of the meatball to become firm.  At this point you can choose what to do with your meatballs.  Add them to marinara, make a swedish meatball sauce, slice them thin and put on pizza, make spaghetti and meatballs, sliders, its up to you.

What are some of your favorite vegan recipes? Share with us in the comments below!



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I'm a firm believer that you are what you eat and I want to be fresh, local, organic and healthy! I've spent a lifetime experimenting with natural foods, different diets and ways of eating, and have settled on the food philosophy that Michael Pollan expresses so well: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. I'm passionate about organic foods, natural living, cooking healthy meals, and improving my health on a daily basis.

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