Coconut Rice and Beans: Recipe #241

We were inspired by a national dish of Belize to make this coconut rice and beans dinner. Belize is a beautiful coastal country in Central America between Mexico and the Caribbean, with jungles and beaches and coral reefs. Not to mention delicious food! Hope you enjoy this little culinary trip to a wonderful new land without having to leave your kitchen.

Thanks to National Foods for global cuisine ideas, and to all of you for being part of our delicious, mindful, planet-saving family! 😍

Ingredients ($5.50 for a potful)

9 small handfuls of dry pinto beans (about 4 cups) – $0.32
5 cloves of garlic, 1 of them crushed – $0.20
1 tbsp coconut oil – $0.55
1 large onion, chopped – $0.50
1/2 bunch kale, chopped – $0.90
1 red pepper, diced – $0.79
1 tbsp minced basil leaves – free from garden
3 mini cans coconut milk (161 mL each) – $1.49
1 1/2 cups dry rice – $0.53
2 cups water – free
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Coconut Rice and Beans

1. If you have time, soak the beans in water overnight first. Then, whether or not they’ve been soaked, put the beans in a large pot filled with water. Drop in 4 whole, peeled garlic cloves. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium and boil gently for at least 3-4 hours (if dry) or 1 hour (if pre-soaked). When the beans are tender and not crunchy, drain and rinse them in cool water and set aside.

In the same large pot, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, crushed garlic clove, red pepper, kale, and minced basil leaves. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions and peppers are soft.

2. Add the beans back into the pot with the vegetables, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Next, add the dry rice, coconut milk, and water. Stir to combine everything thoroughly, and bring back to a boil. Then cover the pot, turn down to medium low heat, and let it simmer for 45 minutes until the rice is cooked and everything has come together nicely into a thick and creamy dish.

Serve the coconut rice and beans with your favorite side dish, or eat it as a complete meal in itself. Enjoy your tropical getaway! 🌴

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Homemade Creamed Corn: Recipe #238

I remember eating creamed corn out of a can as a kid, especially when we were at the cottage or on a road trip. It had never occurred to me to make homemade creamed corn, but here’s a yummy plant-based way to do just that!

And for today’s Plum Village inspiration side dish, here are four things you can say to yourself as you breathe in and out for a few mindful seconds…

I don’t want to suffer anymore. (breathe in)
If I am peaceful, the world can be peaceful. (breathe out)
I want to enjoy my life. (breathe in)
If I am happy, the world can be happy. (breathe out)

Thanks to Isa for this recipe’s inspiration and to all of you for being part of our delicious, mindful, planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($4.50 for a big panful)

2 tbsp coconut oil – $1.10
2 tbsp flour – $0.04
1 1/4 cups coconut milk – $1.31
1 x 16 oz package of frozen corn – $1.99
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions for Homemade Creamed Corn

1. In a large pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk it in. Cook and whisk constantly for a couple of minutes until the mixture turns a toasted color. Next, slowly add the coconut milk, whisking as you go. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes to thicken it up nicely into a creamy sauce.

2. Finally, add in the corn, salt and pepper. Stir well to cover all the corn with the sauce, and let it cook for a few minutes until the corn is warm. Serve your homemade creamed corn as a side dish to Korean lentils or whatever other dinner you’re enjoying. May you have a happy and peaceful meal! ❤️

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Korean Lentils to Melt Your Heart: Recipe #237

I just finished the Plum Village online retreat “Love is the way.” One key insight I received was that whatever we are chasing after is already inside us. What does this have to do with Korean lentils?

Well, we already have what we are looking for, we just need to remove the idea that we don’t have it. Love is effortless if we remove the idea that we are separated and alone. You are not alone, you are not separate from everyone else, we’re all in this together.

In this spirit of love and interconnection, I’d like to share this scrumptious healing recipe for sweet, tangy Korean lentils that was inspired by Sam. They will absolutely melt your heart.

Thanks to you all for being part of our delicious, mindful, planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($2.50 to serve 3-4)

1 1/2 cups water – free
1/4 cup soy sauce – $0.40
2 tbsp brown sugar – $0.06
1 tbsp garlic powder – $0.70
1 tsp ground ginger – $0.28
1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil – $0.15
1 tbsp canola oil – $0.05
1 small onion, chopped – $0.50
3/4 cup red lentils – $0.51
Cooked rice and corn to serve

Directions for Korean Lentils

1. In a medium bowl, mix the water, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, ginger, and toasted sesame oil.

In a medium pot, heat the canola oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion softens and starts to brown. Next, add the lentils and stir to coat the lentils in the onion loveliness. Then add in the sauce that you mixed together in your bowl. Stir to combine the sauce with the lentils and onions.

2. Cover the pot and cook at a low boil for about 10 minutes. After this time, the lentils will be soft and the sauce will be mostly gone. While the lentils are cooking, make rice as you normally would (I use 2 parts water, 1 part dry rice, then cover and bring to a boil then turn off the heat to let it absorb).

Serve the sumptuous Korean lentils hot in a bowl with the rice and some creamed corn (recipe coming next) or any other vegetable you like. Enjoy this bowl of love and know that you already have everything you need. ❤️

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 1 = <4 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Moroccan Vegetable Tagine: Recipe #235

Today I learned about the Buddhist practice of “no waiting.” It means you don’t have to wait for some future thing to happen in order to find happiness and peace in this present moment, right here and now. Maybe you can be grateful to be alive, and breathing, with a comfortable place to sleep. Or if you make this Moroccan vegetable tagine, it’s pretty much happiness in a bowl. Thanks to Suzy for inspiration!

Hope you enjoy, and thanks for being part of our delicious planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($11 total for a large pot of stew)

3 tbsp olive oil – $0.30
1 onion, peeled and chopped – $0.50
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped – $0.15
1 tbsp chili powder – $0.70
1 tsp ground cumin – $0.28
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon – $0.14
1 tsp ground turmeric – $0.28
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed – $0.75
Salt and pepper to taste
1 x 28oz can crushed tomatoes – $2.69
1/3 cup apricot jam – $0.85
2 cups miso ginger broth – $1.00
2 cups cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans, canned or boiled from dry – $1.58
1 lime, juiced – $0.20
1/4 bag chopped kale – $0.49
Handful of fresh basil leaves, torn up – $1.10

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for 5 minutes to begin to soften the onion. Next, add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, salt and pepper. Mix well and stir for another 5 minutes to release all the flavor from the spices as they warm up.

Then add the chopped potatoes, tomatoes, jam, broth, and chick peas / garbanzo beans. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Finally, add in the kale and lime juice, and simmer for 5 more minutes to wilt the kale.

2. Taste for seasonings. Adjust with salt/pepper/lime juice/brown sugar if needed to make it taste exactly how you want it to taste in this moment.

Serve the Moroccan vegetable tagine hot with a hunk of fresh bread like our crusty two-tier artisan bread, garnish with the torn basil leaves, and enjoy your bowl of happiness. ❤️

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Coconut Tofu Curry: Recipe #234

I’m finally getting more comfortable with curries, where I can just cook and invent and adjust without following a recipe. I can do this for Italian and British cooking, since that’s what I grew up with, but expanding my repertoire is wonderful too. For this take on Thai curry we played with broccoli, mushrooms, kale, tofu, and coconut milk to make some culinary magic.

Hope you enjoy, and thanks for being part of our delicious planet-saving family!

Ingredients ($14 total)

1 tbsp coconut oil – $0.55
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
4 garlic, minced – $0.15
1 tbsp curry powder – $0.70
1 tsp each cumin and ginger – $0.56
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp flour – $0.02
2 cups miso ginger broth or vegetable broth – $1.00
1 head broccoli, chopped – $3.49
5-6 mushrooms, chopped – $1.25
1/4 bag chopped kale, destemmed and chopped – $0.49
2 x 5 oz cans coconut milk – $0.67
1/4 cup crushed tomatoes – $0.40
1 lime, juiced – $0.20
1 package teriyaki baked tofu, chopped up – $3.69
3 cups cooked rice – $0.35

Directions

1. Chop and prepare all your ingredients, and start the rice cooking. I had some lovely help for this part!

Then, in a large pan, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, curry powder, cumin, ginger, salt and pepper. Stirfry for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and the spices smell incredible.

2. Next, stir in the flour into the onions and cook for 2 minutes to thicken, then gradually stir in the broth. Add in the broccoli, mushrooms, and kale, followed by the coconut milk, crushed tomatoes, lime juice, and tofu. Simmer over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until broccoli is tender but still bright green.

Serve the coconut tofu curry hot over rice, and enjoy your bowl of curried comfort. ❤️

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 18/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Tempeh with Basil and Garlic: Recipe #231

When we stopped eating meat, we started playing around with recipes using different meat alternatives: tofu, seitan, and tempeh. You can use almost any herbs and spices to season tempeh, since it’s kind of like a flavor sponge. Feel free to experiment with your favorite tastes! Thanks to Isa Does It‘s Garlicky Thyme Tempeh for inspiration.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours, because if we don’t have a planet to live on, nothing else matters.

Ingredients ($6 total)

8 oz package of tempeh – $3.49
2 tbsp soy sauce – $0.20
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar – $0.54
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
2 tbsp rice vinegar – $0.54
1 tbsp maple syrup – $0.24
1/2 cup vegetable broth – $0.50
4 cloves garlic – $0.15
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil leaves – free from our herb garden

Directions

1. Cut your tempeh into 8 thin triangles. Arrange the triangles in a Pyrex baking dish. Pour all the remaining ingredients over the tempeh and give it a good stir to mix it all around.

2. Put the dish on the stove on medium low. The marinade will start to bubble and reduce. Turn it over every 10 minutes or so until the liquid is mostly dry and the tempeh smells amazing. It could take up to an hour.

Meanwhile, cut up and stirfry whatever veggies you have on hand to accompany the tempeh.

3. When the liquid is mostly absorbed, serve the tempeh with your veggie stirfry and some bread – we had it with our homemade challah. Enjoy this delicious and heartily nutritious dinner!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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tempeh-with-veggies

Tempeh with Basil and Garlic

Maitri Alexandra Carmichael
When we stopped eating meat, we started playing around with recipes using different meat alternatives: tofu, seitan, and tempeh. You can use almost any herbs and spices to season tempeh, since it’s kind of like a flavor sponge.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Vegan
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz package of tempeh
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves freshly chopped

Instructions
 

  • Cut your tempeh into 8 thin triangles. Arrange the triangles in a Pyrex baking dish. Pour all the remaining ingredients over the tempeh and give it a good stir to mix it all around.
  • Put the dish on the stove on medium low. The marinade will start to bubble and reduce. Turn it over every 10 minutes or so until the liquid is mostly dry and the tempeh smells amazing. It could take up to an hour.
    Meanwhile, cut up and stirfry whatever veggies you have on hand to accompany the tempeh.
  • When the liquid is mostly absorbed, serve the tempeh with your veggie stirfry and some bread – we had it with our homemade challah. Enjoy this delicious and heartily nutritious dinner!

Notes

 
Sustainability Score (explained here)
  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18
If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!
Keyword dairy-free, fermented, plant-based, tempeh

Pasta with Cheezy Lentil Sauce: Recipe #230

Everyone here loves pasta. But as delicious as it is, I can get bored making the same tomato sauce, beans, and greens variety all the time. So I keep trying to come up with variations that are interesting and totally yummy, like this cashew-cheezy, hearty-lentilly pasta dish of comfort for any family dinner. It’s inspired by Isa Does It‘s Lentil-a-roni.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours, because if we don’t have a planet to live on, nothing else matters.

Ingredients ($9 for a large pot)

3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water for extra creaminess – $1.50
1 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils – $0.69
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth – $0.75
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped – $0.15
1 tsp salt – $0.05
1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil – $0.56
Black pepper to taste
28-oz can crushed tomatoes, blended for extra smoothness – $1.59
1 tbsp brown sugar – $0.03
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (optional) – $0.10
1-2 lbs green and yellow beans – we picked these free from the farm
1 lb of your favorite pasta – $2.99

Directions

1. Prepare your ingredients. Soak the cashews overnight (or for at least 2 hours) in water at room temperature, then drain the water. This will make the cashews soft and easy to blend.

Cook the lentils according to package directions (I would usually use a 3:1 ratio: boil 1 1/2 cups of water for 1/2 cup dry lentils). Wash and trim your green and yellow beans.

Blend the cashews and vegetable broth together in a blender until it’s very smooth with no chunks.

2. Make the sauce. In a large pan over medium high heat, cook the garlic, salt, oregano and basil together in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until the garlic starts to brown. Next, add the lentils and mix well. Use a fork to mash up some of the lentils.

Add in the blended tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add in the cashew mixture and keep cooking for 3-5 minutes more until it’s as thick as you like. Taste and adjust for salt/sugar/acid/pepper.

3. While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add in your pasta. Set a timer according to package directions for how long the pasta will need to boil. When about 7 minutes of cooking time are left on the timer, add the green beans into the water with the pasta.

Drain the pasta and green beans, then pour the sauce over it and give it a good through mixing. Grab yourself a bowl of comforting, nourishing deliciousness!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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Pasta with Cheezy Lentil Sauce: Recipe #230

maitridojo
A totally yummy, cashew-cheezy, hearty-lentilly pasta dish of comfort for any family dinner.
Cook Time 1 hr
Plus soaking the cashews 1 d
Total Time 1 d 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews soaked overnight for extra creaminess
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt plus black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes blended for extra smoothness
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1-2 lbs green and yellow beans
  • 1 lb your favorite pasta

Instructions
 

  • Prepare your ingredients. Soak the cashews overnight (or for at least 2 hours) in water at room temperature, then drain the water. This will make the cashews soft and easy to blend.
    Cook the lentils according to package directions (I would usually boil 1 1/2 cups of water for 1/2 cup dry lentils). Wash and trim your green and yellow beans.
    Blend the cashews and vegetable broth together in a blender until it’s very smooth with no chunks.
  • Make the sauce. In a large pan over medium high heat, cook the garlic, salt, oregano and basil together in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes until the garlic starts to brown. Next, add the lentils and mix well. Use a fork to mash up some of the lentils.
    Add in the blended tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add in the cashew mixture and keep cooking for 3-5 minutes more until it’s as thick as you like. Taste and adjust for salt/sugar/acid.
  • While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add in your pasta. Set a timer according to package directions for how long the pasta will need to boil. When about 7 minutes of cooking time are left on the timer, add the green beans into the water with the pasta.
    Drain the pasta and green beans, then pour the sauce over it and give it a good through mixing. Grab yourself a bowl of comforting, nourishing deliciousness!

Notes

 
Sustainability Score (explained here)
  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18
If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!
Keyword comfort food, dairy-free, pasta, plant-based

Pizza Bowls: Recipe #228

If you want a break from wheat or dairy, pizza bowls are a beautiful way to enjoy pizza without the bread and cheese. You take a bowl of rice and load it with veggies, plant-based ground meat, and a velvety cashew-tomato sauce that tastes very rich and cheesy. It’s inspired by the legendary Isa.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($16.50 for 4-6 bowls)

Veggies:
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 package enoki mushrooms or your favorite mushrooms – $2.99
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
One package of your favorite plant-based ground meat – $4.99
1 bunch kale and 1 bunch collard greens, destemmed and chopped – $3.98
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce – $0.10

Sauce:
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight – $1.00
3 cloves garlic, peeled – $0.11
3 tbsp tomato paste – $0.89
1/2 cup miso ginger broth or other vegetable broth – $0.25
1 lime, juiced – $0.20
1 tsp salt – $0.05

Serve with:
4 cups cooked rice – $0.47
1/2 cup olives – $0.50
2 tbsp fresh chopped basil leaves – free from garden

Directions for Pizza Bowls

0. (Make sure you soaked the cashews in water overnight! Or for at least 2 hours at room temperature.)

1. Start the rice cooking however you normally cook rice, then begin on the veggies. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, then add the onions. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until they’re soft and starting to brown. Then add in the garlic, mushrooms, and salt, and cook for 3 more minutes.

Next, stir in the ground meat, greens, and Worcestershire sauce, mixing well to combine. Cook for about 3 more minutes until the greens have wilted and everything is melding together nicely. Turn the heat down to low while you get the sauce ready, and remember to stir occasionally.

2. Put all the sauce ingredients in the blender and blend until very smooth. You might need to stop and mix it with a spoon a few times to get it really silky. Taste and adjust for seasonings. If you’re not using it right away, you can keep it in the fridge.

3. Assemble your bowls: I like to put the rice in first, then the veggies and “meat”, then the sauce on top, with olives and basil as final garnishes. Dig into this heavenly bowl of comfort and enjoy your evening! Any leftovers will freeze nicely for future deliciousness.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Sunflower Mac & Cheese (Vegan): Recipe #226

Sunflower seed cheese? Don’t laugh. Even our most fanatical mac & cheese fan was going back for thirds of this ingenious and tasty creation. Paired with green beans and plant-based meatballs, sunflower mac & cheese makes a completely delicious and nutritious dinner. We will definitely be making this one again and again. Thanks once more to the brilliant Isa Does It!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7.50 for a large pot)

1 or 1 1/4 cups raw sunflower seeds, soaked in water overnight – $0.99
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1/2 cup carrots, sliced thinly – $0.46
1/2 onion, chopped – $0.25
2 tsp salt – $0.10
4 cloves garlic, chopped – $0.15
3 cups vegetable broth – $1.50
2 tbsp cornstarch – $0.20
1/4 cup nutritional yeast – $0.40
2 tbsp tomato paste – $0.22
1 tbsp lemon juice – $0.10
1 pound elbows or small shell pasta – $2.99

Green beans and plant-based meatballs on the side (optional)

Directions for Sunflower Mac & Cheese

1. Cover the sunflower seeds in water and soak overnight at room temperature in a small bowl.

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the carrots, onions, and salt together for about 10 minutes until soft, then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Scoop the carrot-onion-garlic mix into your blender and add the sunflower seeds, broth, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, and tomato paste. Blend until it’s very smooth, then transfer it back to your pot.

Cook the sauce for about 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring often, until it’s nice and thick. Add in the lemon juice and adjust salt/pepper as needed.

2. While the sauce is thickening, cook up your plant-based meatballs in a pan and bring a large pot of water to a boil, then cook your pasta with the green beans together (a nifty pro tip!) for however many minutes the pasta package says.

3. Drain the pasta and green beans, then mix in all the sauce to create a thick cheesy delicious dinner. Serve your sunflower mac & cheese hot in bowls with meatballs on the side, if desired. It’s also wonderful as leftovers the next day!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Homemade Poutine (Fries + Plant-Based Gravy + Vegan Cheese): Recipe #224

When I was pregnant in Canada (close to 20 years ago now!) the two things I incredibly enjoyed eating were poutine and veal sandwiches. Poutine is a French-Canadian dish of french fries with cheese curds on top and covered in gravy, so the cheese gets all gooey. It’s hard to imagine until you actually taste it. The plant-based gravy for this homemade poutine is inspired by Sam, and the french fries are from our recipe here.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($7 for 4 good servings)

8 Yukon Gold potatoes – $1.44
Water – free
1/4 cup olive oil – $0.40
Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup margarine or vegan butter – $0.62
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
2 tbsp flour – $0.02
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth – $0.75
Soy sauce to taste

Your favorite dairy-free cheese (feel free to try different ones!) – $2.99
Basil garnish (optional)

Directions for Homemade Poutine

1. Make the fries according to this recipe, or prepare frozen french fries according to the package if you don’t have 2 hours to spare.

2. Make the gravy: In a large pan over medium high heat, melt the margarine, then stirfry the onion for about 10 minutes until it starts to get nice and golden. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then slowly pour in the broth while you whisk constantly, so it doesn’t get lumpy. Keep whisking and cooking until it’s nice and thick, then turn off the heat. Add soy sauce to taste, which also gives it a nice rich color.

3. Assemble your homemade poutine: Put your fries in a bowl first, then sprinkle a generous helping of dairy-free cheese, then smother the whole thing in gravy. Add a basil leaf on top for flair if you like, then dig into your comforting bowl of Canadian goodness.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If any of you lovely readers tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!