Feijoada from Brazil: Recipe #248

Feijoada is like a Brazilian black bean chili. We added vegan sausages to ours instead of the traditional varieties of meat, and served it with rice. The rich flavors and healing warmth create a wonderful bowl of comfort to nourish all of us.

Today’s reflection is a compassion meditation from the Buddhist tradition:

May I be safe and protected
May I be peaceful and happy
May I be healthy in my body and my mind
May I be free
May I understand my suffering deeply so I can transform it into joy

May you and all beings also be safe, happy, healthy, and free from 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 ($10 total)

2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 green pepper, chopped – $0.69
1 tbsp chili powder – $0.28
28 oz can crushed tomatoes, blended – $1.59
15 oz can black beans, rinsed – $0.79
1 package vegan breakfast sausages, broken up into pieces – $5.99
Salt and pepper to taste
Rice to serve on the side

Directions for Feijoada

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion starts to soften and get a little bit browned. Then add the garlic, green pepper, and chili powder, and stirfry for another 3 minutes or so.

Add in the crushed tomatoes, black beans, and vegan sausage. Cover and let it gently bubble for 10 minutes or so to combine all the flavors.

2. While the feijoada is cooking, make the rice as you usually make rice. Or you could enjoy it with a fresh loaf of bread. Serve the chili over rice or in a bowl on its own. Leftovers are fantastic too. Feel the love!

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 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!

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!

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!

Comforting Rice Pudding: Recipe #152

When there’s leftover rice around, we like to turn it into a comforting bowl of creamy, vanilla-y, raisin-y goodness. The egg gives it extra creaminess but you could leave it out for a completely plant-based rice pudding. You can enjoy this for breakfast or dessert – it’s like a warm hug.

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

Ingredients ($2 total for 4-6 servings)

2 cups cooked rice – $0.35
2 cups vanilla soymilk – $0.74
1/4 tsp salt – $0.01
2/3 cup raisins – $0.67
1/4 cup brown sugar – $0.13
1 egg – $0.29

Directions for Comforting Rice Pudding

1. Put all the ingredients except the egg into a medium pot. Heat over medium high heat, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes until it starts to get thick and creamy.

In a small bowl, beat the egg, then stir it continuously into the rice pudding for another 3 minutes. It will set into a custard-like consistency. Serve hot or warm. Enjoy!

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

Baked Falafels with Cucumber Tomato Salad : #116 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Falafels are a plant-based street food from the Middle East. It’s made from ground up chickpeas (garbanzo beans), fava beans, and spices like parsley, garlic, cumin, and coriander. I couldn’t find any raw garbanzo beans to grind up, so we used a falafel mix. They’re traditionally deep-fried, but they tasted delicious baked!

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

Ingredients ($7.50 for 12 falafels = 62 cents per falafel)

1 box Trader Joe’s falafel mix – $2.99
2 1/4 cups water – free
Olive oil for brushing on top – $0.10
1/2 onion, chopped – $0.25
4 cluster tomatoes, chopped – $2.99
4 small cucumbers, chopped – $1.25
2 sprigs each fresh thyme and oregano, chopped (dried would work too) – free from the farm
Salt and pepper to taste
Tahini sauce from this recipe

Directions

1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the falafel mix and water. Cover and let it sit for 1 hour at room temperature (package directions). Then use your hands to shape the mixture into 12 balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently brush the tops with a little bit of olive oil.

2. In a medium bowl, mix the onion, cucumber, tomato, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Toss thoroughly with two large spoons. Set aside for the flavors to combine.

3. Bake the falafels at 350F for 25-30 minutes until the tops get nice and golden. (You could also fry them if you prefer). Cool for 2-3 minutes, then serve with the salad, some cooked rice or pita bread, and tahini sauce (ketchup and mayonnaise could work too in a pinch).

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  2 = 4-6 servings if each person has 2 falafels
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal (the two youngest ones weren’t crazy about it)
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish if fried
  • TOTAL: 14/18

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

Green Peas and Ham Risotto: #87 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Instead of green eggs and ham (that’s another recipe to come for avocado scrambled eggs), how about green peas and ham? This risotto uses a mix of blended and whole peas to create the vibrant color and luxurious taste. I hope you try this for lunch or dinner sometime, it’s a treat!

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

Ingredients ($13.50 total)

3 tbsp + 2 tbsp + 3 tbsp butter – $1.24
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1 cup Calrose rice – $0.35
1 cup bourbon or white wine – $4.80
4 cups chicken stock – we used some of our homemade stock 
2 cups frozen peas – $1.00
1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped – $1.00
1 cup rosemary ham, chopped – $2.47
1/2 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated – $2.00
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a large pan, melt 3 tbsp of butter over medium high heat, then cook the onion and garlic in the melted butter for 5 minutes until soft. Add the rice, stirring to coat each rice grain with the butter and onion mix. Cook for 2 more minutes, then add the bourbon or white wine and stir until most of the alcohol has evaporated. Start adding the stock 1 cup at a time, cooking over low heat and stirring frequently until each cup of liquid has been absorbed. This will take about 15 minutes, so be patient and try not to walk away from the stove. Once the rice is just cooked but not crunchy, it’s ready for the peas.

2. While the rice is cooking, you can get the peas ready. Warm the frozen peas in the microwave or small pot on the stove until they’re defrosted, then set aside 1/2 cup of them to leave whole. Pour the rest of the peas in a blender with 2 tbsp butter, 1/4 cup cooking water, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth (add a bit more water if needed for blending). Also, chop up the snap peas and ham into bite sized pieces.

3. Once the rice is ready, mix in the snap peas and ham, followed by the blended and whole peas. Warm just until heated but don’t overcook this, or the green color will fade. Finally, rapidly stir in the remaining 3 tbsp butter until melted and thoroughly combined. You can also mix in the cheese at this point, but we prefer to keep it on the side since not everyone here likes cheese. Serve in bowls and eat it hot and fresh. Enjoy!

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!

Salmon Donburi Rice Bowl: #62 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

My kids love Japanese food. Sushi, chicken teriyaki, bento boxes, rice bowls, you name it. The rice bowl (also knows as donburi) is actually very versatile – you put rice at the bottom, and whatever protein and vegetables you like on top. Here we grilled some marinated salmon and paired it with teriyaki greens.

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

Ingredients ($15 total)

1 lb salmon fillet – $10.59
2 cups dry rice + 4 cups water – $0.71
1 bag mixed power greens (baby kale, chard, spinach) – $1.99
1/2 bottle teriyaki or Island Soyaki sauce – $1.85
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Marinate the salmon fillet, skin side up, in half of the teriyaki sauce. Cover and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour to let it soak in. 

2. In a medium pot, mix the rice and water and bring to a boil, then lower to minimum heat for 15-20 minutes to let the rice soak up the water. Chop up the greens and stirfry them over medium-high heat covered in the other half of the teriyaki sauce. Stir and cook until wilted and bright green.

3. Grill the salmon on a barbecue or grill (or frying pan) just until it starts to flake apart with a fork and isn’t raw in the middle. Serve over the rice with greens on the side.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  2 = 4-6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 1 = wowzers (salmon from Norway!)
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 14/18

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

Turkey Chili with Zucchini: #54 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

We used to have a game when I was a kid: if you could have one last meal before you died, what would it be? My answer was always a bowl of homemade chili. It’s still one of my favorite dinners on a day that’s either cold outside or needs cheering up inside. 

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

Ingredients ($16.50 total for a very big pot of chili!)

2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
4 cloves garlic, minced – $0.15
1-2 tbsp chili powder, to taste – $1.40
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce – $0.10
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb organic ground turkey – $5.69
1 can crushed tomatoes with basil – $1.59
3 large zucchini, sliced – $3.49
3 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed – $2.97
3 cups cooked rice – $0.36

Directions

1. Gather all your ingredients. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until it begins to turn golden, then mix in the chili powder as well as salt and pepper to taste. 

2. Add the ground turkey and stir to mix well and start to cook the meat, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced zucchini next. Blend the can of crushed tomatoes in the blender for extra smoothness, then add to the pot as well as the beans and the Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium low, and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (you can simmer longer if you have time, up to 1-2 hours).

3. When it’s all nicely coming together and you’ve checked the taste (add more salt, some sugar, some vinegar, or more chili powder if needed), mix in the cooked rice and serve. This pot lasted us for two dinners, including going back for second helpings.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = >6 servings
  • 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!

Dilled Rice and Beans: #31 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

If you have leftover rice, this is the quickest, one-step dinner in the world. It’s also very comforting and nourishing. We like to have it with some veggies on the side, either a salad or just some peas and corn for the kids.

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

Ingredients ($4.50 total)

4 cups cooked rice – $0.46
2 cans red kidney beans – $1.98
4 tbsp olive oil – $0.40
3 tbsp rice vinegar – $0.50
1 tbsp dill – $0.70
1 tsp oregano – $0.28

Directions

1. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients. That’s it! 🙂 Eat at room temperature or warmed up. Also good as leftovers.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = >6 servings
  • 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: 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!

German Cabbage Rolls: #26 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

If you’re looking for comfort food in Germany or Russia, you might come across this dish of cabbage, beef, rice, onions, and tomato. I know it from the Mennonite tradition in Canada, as the first dish Tim’s grandmother made for me. It is also fantastic as leftovers, so I make a big tray and it lasts for at least 3 dinners.

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

Ingredients ($15 total)

1 large savoy cabbage – $3.69
1 onion, chopped – $0.50
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1 cup rice – $0.50
2 cups water – free
1 lb organic ground beef or chicken – $5.99
3 eggs – $0.87
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce – $0.20
2 tsp salt – $0.10
Pepper to taste
1 carton creamy tomato soup (946 mL) – $2.69

Directions

1. Dig out the core of the savoy cabbage carefully with a sharp knife, then pull off the leaves. Bring a large pot of water with some salt to a boil and boil the cabbage leaves for 5 minutes to soften, then cool off in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. 

In a pan, cook the chopped onion in the olive oil for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until it starts to brown. In a separate pot, cook the rice with the water by bringing it to a boil and then turning off the heat to let it sit and soak up the water.

2. In a medium bowl, mix the ground beef, salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, onions, and rice until well combined.

Take a leaf of softened cabbage and put a scoop (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup depending on the size of the cabbage leaf) of meat filling at the base of the leaf. Tuck in the sides and roll it up and away from you to form a neat little bundle.

3. Repeat until you run out of meat filling, arrange the cabbage rolls tightly in a casserole dish, then pour the tomato soup over the whole thing. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 325F for 2 hours. Serve warm or freeze for future enjoyment!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = >6 servings
  • 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: 16/18

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