Banana Milk: Recipe #259

Banana milk is one of my favorite pick-me-up drinks when I want a light breakfast or a refreshing afternoon snack. So easy to throw together: just a banana, soy milk, some greens powder, and vanilla. If you have a blender and 3 minutes, you can make this too!

For today’s meditation, here are Thich Nhat Hanh’s four mantras for loving relationships. If you or a loved one is suffering, you can practice saying these things. You can say them to yourself or to your loved one:

  1. Darling, I am here for you.
  2. I know you are here, and I am very happy.
  3. I know you are suffering. That is why I am here for you.
  4. I am suffering. Please help me.

If you are able to sit with yourself or your loved one with genuine kindness and presence and say these things, it can open up new possibilities for connection, compassion, and reconciliation. If it doesn’t work, don’t worry – you or your loved one might just need more time. Try again later on.

Wishing you many wonderful connecting experiences in your life!

I hope you enjoy this recipe, which is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and yours.

Ingredients ($1.25 for a large glass)

1 banana – $0.19
1 1/2 cups soy milk (or your favorite plant-based milk) – $0.56
1 tsp supergreens powder – $0.25
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
Nutmeg/maple syrup for garnishing on top (optional)

Directions for Banana Milk

1. In a blender, mix all the ingredients. Blend until smooth.

2. Pour into a large glass. Taste and adjust to your own desire for flavor (a sprinkling of nutmeg, a drizzle of maple syrup…)

Enjoy your green banana milk and your own loving presence! ❤️🤗

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 amazing lovelies 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!

Crusted Tofu, Mashed Potatoes with White Bean Gravy and Massaged Collard Greens: Recipe #251

We learned recently how to make one of the best dinners you can imagine. You make a satisfying crusted tofu and pair it with cauliflower mashed potatoes, rich white bean gravy and a lemony collard salad. It’s a bit of effort but totally worth it. The tofu really tastes like chicken or fish when prepared this way, and mashed potatoes with gravy are always comforting. Deep thanks to Isa for inspiring this recipe.

Today’s insight comes from watching the Dalai Lama Summit: when you’re having a hard time with someone, you can generate compassion for them by remembering that they were once a little child, they grew up with conditioning that may be causing them to act harmfully, and they are a living being trying to be happy and not suffer, just like you.

You can still protect yourself of course, but you don’t have to feel so angry or resentful towards them if you have understanding and compassion for their suffering.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, which is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and yours.

Ingredients ($13 total)

Crusted tofu:
3/4 cup breadcrumbs – $0.17
1 tbsp garlic powder – $0.28
1 tbsp nutritional yeast – $0.10
3 tbsp soy sauce – $0.30
1 block of extra-firm tofu, patted dry and sliced into 8 slabs – $3.69
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10

Cauliflower mashed potatoes:
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets – $2.49
3-4 medium potatoes, cut into chunks – $0.90
2 tbsp vegan butter – $0.31
1 1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
Freshly ground pepper to taste

White bean gravy:
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth – $0.50
1/3 cup white whole wheat flour – $0.06
2 cloves garlic, minced – $0.08
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1 tsp thyme – $0.28
1 tsp sage – $0.28
1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (from can or from dry) – $0.79
2 tbsp soy sauce – $0.20
Salt and pepper to taste

Collard greens:
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice – $0.10
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
6 cups collard greens, stems removed and sliced into thin ribbons – $1.79

Directions for Crusted Tofu, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, and Collards

1. Make the tofu. On a large plate, mix the breadcrumbs, garlic powder and nutritional yeast together. On another plate, pour the soy sauce. Dredge each piece of tofu first in the soy sauce and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Press the breadcrumbs into the tofu so it gets a nice coating.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add in 4 pieces of the tofu at a time. Cook for 4 minutes on one side, carefully flip with a metal spatula, then cook for 3 minutes on the other side. Add more oil if needed, and remove from the pan when it’s nicely browned on both sides. Cover with foil to keep them warm while you’re cooking the second batch.

2. Make the veggies. Put the potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring it to a boil, then add the cauliflower. Boil for 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender, then drain the water, add the vegan butter and salt, and mash together.

In a large bowl, mix the collards, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt together. Rub it all together with your hands until the greens are soft and wilted.

3. Make the gravy. In a small bowl, add the vegetable broth and flour, and stir into a thick mixture. In a small pan, heat the olive oil and cook the garlic, thyme, and sage together for 3-4 minutes until the garlic is golden.

In a blender, add the beans, thickened broth, garlic mixture, and soy sauce. Blend until very smooth, taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed, then return to the pot. Cook and stir for at least 10 minutes until the gravy is nice and thick.

Assemble your plate with a piece of crusted tofu, a scoop of cauliflower mashed potatoes covered in gravy, and a spoonful of lemony collard greens. Enjoy your own slice of blissful comfort!

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 amazing home chefs 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!

Detox Smoothie: Recipe #229

I drink this detox smoothie most mornings now. It’s a wonderful collection of superfoods that can clean out toxins from the body and leave the mind full of positive energy. As another boost to your day, here is an easy 2-breath exercise from Plum Village that brings me back to a calmer place of rest and healing:

Breathing in, I know I am breathing in
Then breathing out, I smile
Breathing in, I know I have a body
Then breathing out, I relax my whole body

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 ($2 per smoothie)

1 banana – $0.19
1/4 cup frozen blueberries – $0.50
1 orange, freshly squeezed – $0.49
1 tsp powdered wheat grass/spirulina (e.g. Amazing Greens powder) – $0.25
1/4 cup non-dairy yogurt – $0.31
1/4 cup soy milk – $0.09

Directions

1. First, gather all your ingredients together and put them lovingly into your blender. Then, enjoy all the colors and textures you have assembled.

2. Next, blend your ingredients several times until the mixture is smooth. Pause to stir or add a bit more soy milk if the blender gets stuck. When it’s to your liking, pour into your favorite glass or mug. Finally, enjoy your detox smoothie!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = >1 hour
  • Servings: 1 = < 3 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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Detox Smoothie

maitridojo
A wonderful collection of superfoods that can clean out toxins from the body and leave the mind full of positive energy.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 1

Equipment

  • Blender

Ingredients
  

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tsp powdered wheat grass/spirulina e.g. Amazing Greens powder
  • 2 tbsp non-dairy yogurt
  • 1/4 cup soy milk

Instructions
 

  • First, gather all your ingredients together and put them lovingly into your blender. Then, enjoy all the colors and textures you have assembled.
  • Next, blend your ingredients several times until the mixture is smooth. Pause to stir or add a bit more soy milk if the blender gets stuck. When it’s to your liking, pour into your favorite glass or mug. Finally, enjoy your detox smoothie!

Notes

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = >1 hour
  • Servings: 1 = < 3 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, fruit, greens, plant-based, smoothie, superfood

Homemade Baked Beans: Recipe #173

We got some black turtle beans in our farm box, and I love baked beans but I’ve never tried making them before. So we got our experimenting hats on and gave it a go. You could also use any black or pinto beans. The turtle beans definitely left their perfume in our bathrooms for a few days, but the taste of these lovely homemade baked beans was worth it. 🙂

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

Ingredients ($14 total)

3 cups dry black or turtle beans – $4.99
Water – free
1 red onion, roughly chopped – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped – $0.15
1 carrot, roughly chopped – $0.46
1 tsp paprika – $0.28
1 tsp rosemary – $0.28
1 large can plum tomatoes – $1.59
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar – $0.27
1 tbsp brown sugar – $0.37
1 tbsp molasses – $0.23
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce – $0.10
1 bunch kale, finely chopped – $1.79
Salt and pepper to taste
Nutritional yeast to sprinkle on top – $0.20
Yummy homemade bread on the side – $3.00

Directions for Homemade Baked Beans

1. Prepare the beans: soak the dry beans in cold water for a few hours or overnight, then drain and rinse them in a colander. Put the beans in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Turn the heat down to a simmer for about 3 hours until the beans are tender. Drain and rinse well in a colander and return to the pot.

2. When the beans are done, make the sauce: put the onion, garlic, carrot, paprika, rosemary, tomatoes, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste, all into a blender. Process until smooth, then add to the beans. Bring to a gentle boil then simmer for about 30 minutes, the longer the better. Stir occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pot.

3. Add the chopped up kale and simmer for an extra 5 minutes to wilt the kale. Serve hot with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top and a slice of fresh bread. Enjoy!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If any of you amazing cooks 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!

Spinach Pancakes: Recipe #172

Savory, bright green spinach pancakes with tomato salad and homemade hummus: I love dishes that confuse the mind and tastebuds. This was a fun, easy dinner experiment inspired by Jamie Oliver, but we made a non-dairy version.

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

Ingredients ($5.50 total for 6-8 large pancakes)

3 1/2 cups spinach, chopped – $3.49
1 lemon, squeezed – $0.20
1 egg – $0.28
1 cup flour – $0.16
1 1/2 tsp baking powder – $0.02
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
1 cup coconut milk – $1.25
Olive oil for cooking

Tomato salad, hummus, avocado, scrambled eggs, or other savory garnishes you have on hand

Directions for Spinach Pancakes

1. Put the spinach, lemon juice, egg, flour, baking powder, salt, and coconut milk into a blender and process until smooth. Add pepper to taste if you like too.

2. Heat a large pan over medium heat and pour a little bit of olive oil around the pan. Scoop a ladle of pancake batter into the pan and roll it around to form a thin layer. Let it bubble and cook for a couple of minutes, then flip it over with a spatula to cook on the other side. Repeat until the batter is all used up. You can keep the growing stack of pancakes in the oven on warm if you like.

3. Serve up the pancakes hot with fresh tomato salad, hummus, avocado, eggs, or any other savory accompaniments you like. Enjoy the taste and color sensations!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  2 = decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you amazing cooks 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!

Lentils & Greens with Goddess Dressing: Recipe #168

There are a million ways to assemble a rice bowl, and this one is especially delicious. You cook lentils, rice, and celery together, top it with sauteed farm fresh onions and greens, then drizzle with a divine vegan goddess dressing. It will help you feel amazing! Thanks to Angela for the inspiration. 🙂

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

Ingredients ($12 total for lots of servings)

3 cups dry brown lentils, rinsed – $1.69
2 cups dry short-grain rice – $0.71
3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped – $0.45
10 cups water – free
1 tbsp olive oil – $0.10
1 onion, diced – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 bunch beet greens, chopped – $1.99
1 bunch bok choy, chopped – $1.99
1 bunch collards, chopped – $1.79
Salt and pepper to taste

Goddess dressing:
1/4 cup tahini – $1.15
1 clove garlic – $0.04
2 lemons, squeezed – $0.40
1/4 cup nutritional yeast – $0.40
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: a few cranberries sprinkled on top for garnish

Directions for Lentils & Greens with Goddess Dressing

1. In a large pot, mix the lentils, rice, celery, and water, with salt and pepper if desired. Heat on high until it comes to a boil, then lower to a simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.

In a blender, mix all the dressing ingredients and process until smooth.

2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until it starts to brown, stirring often. Add the greens and cook for about 5 more minutes until the greens wilt but are still a bright green color. Taste and adjust for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if desired.

3. Assemble your bowls: lentils and rice on the bottom, then a scoop of greens, then a generous drizzle of goddess dressing. Feel free to throw on a few cranberries for color if you like. Enjoy it hot!

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 (maximum score!)

If any of you amazing cooks 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 Kale Chips: Recipe #157

Homemade kale chips are an easy way to get everyone to eat their greens. We polished off 2 bunches of kale in one sitting the other day. The kale chip method we used is inspired by Angela. These ones are dressed in garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Crispy and addictive!

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

Ingredients ($5 total)

2 bunches kale, destemmed and leaves ripped into large chunks – $4.38
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 tsp salt – $0.05
1 tsp garlic powder – $0.28

Directions for Homemade Kale Chips

1. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale leaves, then place them on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets in as close to a single layer as possible.

2. Pour / sprinkle the olive oil, salt, and garlic powder over both pans of kale, then mix it all in well with your hands so each leaf gets some coating. Bake each pan separately at 300F for 10 minutes, then stir the kale around and rotate the pan in the oven. Bake for 10 more minutes until the leaves are nice and crisp but not burned.

3. Serve your homemade kale chips hot and fresh from the oven. They’re great for school-day snacks or munching any time of day really. Trust me, they won’t stick around very long!

Sending you lots of crispy, garlicky love on this beautiful day. ❤️

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: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Collard Greens with Ginger Peanut Sauce: #137 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Greens with ginger peanut sauce is a go-to side dish whenever we have extra veggies lying around. It tastes like a party in your mouth and is full of superfood nutrients. Get ready for some plant-based enjoyment!

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

Ingredients ($7.50 total)

2 bunches of collard greens – $4.98
1/2 cup peanut butter – $1.16
1/4 cup soy sauce – $0.40
1 tbsp maple syrup – $0.24
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar – $0.27
1 tbsp ginger – $0.70
2/3 cup water – free

Directions

1. Prepare the sauce: in a medium pot, mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, maple syrup, vinegar, ginger, and water. Heat over medium heat and whisk until it starts to bubble, then turn it off. It will be nice and thick but will get more runny when you add the greens.

2. Wash, de-stem and chop the collards into bite-sized pieces.

3. Add the collards to the sauce and stir over medium heat. The collards will wilt and coat nicely in the sauce. Cook just until collards are soft but still bright green. 

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 – maximum score!

Experiment Outcome: This recipe gets added to our Family Favorites! 🙂

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Spaghetti with Beans and Greens: #88 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

When I don’t know what to make for dinner, I usually throw together some kind of pasta dish. Here we have a lovely garlicky tomato sauce with pinto beans and chopped up greens (baby kale, chard, and spinach), topped with pecorino romano cheese. Most folks went back for seconds!

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

Ingredients ($9.50 total)

2 tbsp olive oil – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
2 (15 oz) cans of tomato puree – $1.33
3-4 cups cooked beans (I soaked and boiled dry beans but you could also use two cans) – $0.30
1 bag baby spinach, kale, and chard – $1.99
1 pound of spaghetti – $2.99
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese (or nutritional yeast for a non-dairy version) – $2.00
Oregano, salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a medium pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, then add the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the garlic starts to brown, then add in the tomato puree.

2. If you’re using dry beans, bring 2 cups of dry beans in plenty of water to a boil, then simmer for 2-3 hours until the beans are tender, then drain and rinse the beans. Add the beans and chopped up greens to the tomato sauce and mix well.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions, and serve topped with sauce and grated cheese or nutritional yeast. Comforting and delicious!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Lentils with Sausages: #77 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

This is a tasty and nutritious Italian peasant dish, which you can serve for lunch or dinner with pasta or fresh bread. I used chicken sausages, fresh chopped spinach, and the secret ingredient to any lentil soup – celery! 

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

Ingredients ($7 total)

4 cloves garlic, chopped – $0.15
2 1/2 cups green lentils, rinsed – $1.69
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 carrot, chopped – $0.23
1 celery stick, chopped – $0.10
1 package chicken sausages, garlic and herb, sliced – $3.99
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce – $0.67
1 package baby spinach, chopped – 1.99
Salt, pepper, basil, and oregano to taste

Directions

1. Put one clove of garlic in a large pot with the lentils. Cover with water, bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 25 minutes until lentils are mostly tender. No need to drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a large pan over medium high heat, put the olive oil, 3 cloves garlic, carrot, celery, and any spices to taste. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Add the sausages, then the tomato sauce. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

3. Add the lentils and chopped spinach to the pan, taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. Simmer for another 15 minutes, then serve hot with pasta or fresh bread.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!