My Plantcentric Journey

Posts tagged ‘recipe’

It’s Never Too Hot for Chili! Meaty Beany Chili and Red Lentil Thai Chili recipes from Isa Does It


I know we’re in the middle of a heat wave, but sometimes all you have in the house are beans and cans of tomatoes and a bunch of spices.  That’s what happened to me, so last night I went to my trusty Isa Does It cookbook by Isa Moskowitz and found a recipe I hadn’t tried yet.  I had enough of the ingredients to make my own version.  Here is Isa making it:

As you know, I believe in using what you have.  I used leftover lentils I had in the fridge, I cooked up some dried Adzuki beans, and since I didn’t have any fresh jalapenos, I used a can of Rotel tomatoes with chilis.  Of course, I didn’t use the oil.  Instead, I just swapped it out with vegetable broth. My husband couldn’t stop eating this. He says it’s the blending of the savory flavors that make it the best chili he has ever tasted!



Today, since I still haven’t gone grocery shopping, I made Red Lentil Thai Chili from Isa Does it.  I had made it before and knew it was fantastic, because I always date the page in the cookbook when I make it and write a few notes about what swaps I did and how we liked it.  (Don’t want to remake any duds!)

Isa’s recipe is here: .  I, of course, changed it.  As always, I didn’t use the oil. Instead I used vegetable broth. I didn’t have red lentils, but I did have leftover green lentils. (How much do the colors really matter anyway?)  I also was out of onions, red bell pepper, and cilantro, so I just omitted them. Instead of kidney beans, I cooked up some Adzuki beans. As a swap for lite coconut milk, I just used unsweetened soy milk with coconut extract mixed in it.  Delicious!

UPDATE:  Now, my husband says THIS recipe is his favorite!  When I pressed him, he admitted that between the two, his favorite is the one that is in front of him at the time!

My 4 Bean Salad

This salad tastes great and is a great source of protein.  My whole family loves it!

1 16 oz. can kidney beans

1 16 oz. can garbanzo beans (chick peas)

1 16 oz can black beans

1 onion, rough chopped

1-2 stalks celery, chopped diagonally

1 c. edamame, frozen is fine


1/8 c. prepared brown mustard

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar

cracked black pepper to taste

Rinse all canned beans to remove solution and salt.  Drain.  Place in serving bowl.  Add edamame, celery and onion.

To make dressing:  Mix mustard and balsamic together.  I use a small jar and shake, but you can use a bowl and whisk.

Pour over and stir.  Top off with lots of black pepper.  This salad gets better the longer it sits in the refrigerator.  The next day, the beans will have soaked up some of the dressing, so you can add some balsamic.  I also use this dressing as a go-to salad dressing.

My BLT with Fakin’ Bacon

If you’re like me, summer’s favorite meal was always BLT’s with lots of bacon and Miracle Whip, just a touch of iceburg lettuce and wonderful, juicy tomatoes on Italian bread.  But now that we know better, we do better.  We don’t want all the artery clogging fat from regular bacon (1 slice has 1.1 g. of saturated fat and 2.96 gms. protein.  And have you ever read the ingredients in turkey bacon?  It has mechanically separated turkey.  Sounds too close to what they call pink slime to me.) and mayo or Miracle Whip, and we stay away from anything white (such as white bread, white rice, white flour).

So what is a person to do who is trying to eat healthy but loves BLT’s?  That’s where Lightlife Organic Smoky Tempeh Strips Fakin’ Bacon come in!  If you’ve never had or heard of tempeh,  you really should try it.  Pronounced “tem-pay,”  it is an Indonesian word that means tender-cooked legumes.  The package says they combined Organic Soybeans with Organic Brown Rice and marinated it in a delicious smokey flavor creating a versatile bacon style strip.  Each serving (3 strips) contains 8 g of Soy Protein.  It has 0 g of Saturated Fat.

Organic Smoky Tempeh Strips

So tonight, after all four of us were wiped out from the gym, I used Brownberry Dutch Country Smooth Texture Extra Fiber bread (always pick a bread that says 100% whole wheat and no high fructose corn syrup), 3 slices of Fakin Bacon and instead of iceburg lettuce, we use fresh spinach leaves!  Much more nutritious and so quick and easy.

Tangy, Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is a recipe from Sparkpeople that I double and keep in glass jars in the fridge.  It is our go-to salad dressing.  It kind of has a tangy Caesar taste.    You could also use it to put in sandwiches in place of mayo.   I change it up a tiny bit by using Bragg Liquid Aminos in place of soy sauce.  Tahini is ground up sesame seeds and tastes quite a bit like peanut butter.

Tangy, Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

Submitted by: SP_STEPF

This is my go-to dressing. I use it on everything from steamed veggies to salads and sandwiches.

Minutes to Prepare: 3
Number of Servings: 8


This dressing is quite thick, especially after being refrigerated. Feel free to thin it with additional water.


      1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
      1/4 cup tahini
      1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
      3 cloves garlic
      1 teaspoon ground black pepper
      1/4 cup water
    handful fresh parsley or 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves only (optional)
See Savings


Place all ingredients in a blender or Magic Bullet and process until smooth. Add more water if needed to thin the dressing. Refrigerate for up to a week.Serving Size: 8 servings, two tablespoons each

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 8
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 55.5
  • Total Fat: 4.0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
  • Sodium: 88.8 mg
  • Total Carbs: 4.2 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 1.5 g
View full nutritional breakdown of Tangy, Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette calories by ingredient

My Garden in a Bowl Soup

I’ve gotten some feedback saying that you would like to see what we eat. So, the first recipe I’ll share is a staple in our house. It’s a recipe I call my

Garden in a Bowl Soup.

Here is a picture before it is blended.

This is a true home cook’s recipe.  Use what you have, use what you like.

In a big slow cooker, pour in half of a big bag (58 oz.)of frozen vegetables, a bag of frozen edamame and a bag of lima beans. Pour in a 46 oz. can of 100% no sugar added vegetable juice, 6 cups of water, approx 2 cups chopped collard greens, 2 cups chopped kale, 2 cups chopped spinach, 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped portobello mushrooms, 1 cup shredded cabbage, 2 shaved carrots and any other vegetables in your kitchen that you have room for. Use whatever type of vegetables you have on hand. Use less vegetables or more vegetables.  This soup is never the same.

Let that cook on high until tender. Use an immersion blender to chop up to desired texture. (Or you can use a blender or not blend at all).  Season to taste with spices on hand.  I use dried Italian seasonings, dried basil, chili powder, curry powder, turmeric, black pepper and my secret ingredient: low sugar ketchup!

This can keep being warmed up in your slow cooker for 3-4 days.   For variety, it can be served over brown rice, couscous, or any other whole grain or pasta.  You can use kidney beans and chili powder and make vegetarian chili.  It is so versatile, so full of protein and so good for you and your whole family.

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