Happy Herbivore Blog

23 Quick, No Fuss Meals

Posted by: Andrea Dermos |

Category: Holiday

23 Quick, No-Fuss Meals: Still crave the ease and simplicity of a ham and cheese sandwich? No problem! Make any of these fast and almost instant meals!

Simple Stir-Fry: Combine equal parts soy sauce with sugar and set aside. Cook frozen mixed stir-fry vegetables according to packaging instructions (microwave!). Toss with soy sauce mixture and serve over a plate of cooked rice or quinoa. Edamame (soybeans) and/or tofu chunks make a nice addition.

Blissful Burrito: Spread a thin layer of vegetarian refried beans (or regular cooked beans) into a tortilla or wrap. Add salsa and any leftovers you have such as rice, quinoa, vegetables or greens. Roll up and voila!

Penny-Pinching Pad Thai: Toss cooked (and still hot!) rice noodles or pasta with 2 tbsp smooth or crunchy peanut butter and a dash of hot sauce. Cook frozen mixed stir-fry vegetables according to packaging instructions (microwave!) and toss with noodles. Garnish with crushed peanuts if desired.

Fast Fajitas: Mix fajita seasoning packet with water as directed. Cook fresh or frozen bell peppers until cooked, but still crisp. Toss with fajita mixture and cook as directed. Slap into tortillas and voila!

In a Hurry Curry: Mix 1 tsp curry paste with 1 cup coconut milk or non-dairy milk over medium heat to form a sauce, whisking in more paste if desired. Cook frozen mixed vegetables according to packaging instructions (microwave!) and smother with curry sauce. Tofu chunks and/or a side of rice make a nice addition.

Tasty Tofu Scramble: Break a block of firm tofu into chunks. Mix with 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 big squirt Dijon mustard, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp turmeric and ½ tsp cumin and cook until warm, stirring frequently. Add a splash of non-dairy milk if it starts to stick. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add salsa, leftover veggies or beans to expand this dish. (video on happyherbivore.com/courses)

Pita Pizza: Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce or pizza sauce on a pita. Add any toppings you like: vegetables, faux cheese, faux meat — even leftovers. Bake 5–10 minutes at 350 F. Don’t be afraid to try crazy combinations!

Smashing Smoothies: Blend 2 cups frozen fruit with 1 cup non-dairy milk or juice, or a combination of liquids. Add oats, ground flax seeds or a fresh banana for a fuller meal. Great combos: pineapple chunks with non-dairy milk and OJ; strawberries and vanilla non-dairy milk; banana, strawberries and chocolate non-dairy milk. Mixed berries, plain non-dairy milk and flax seeds.

Quickie Quesadilla: Smash a cooked sweet potato into a tortilla or wrap. Add beans, cooked greens and/or corn and fold over. Heat each side in a skillet if desired. Serve with vegan sour cream and/or fruit-flavored salsa over top.

Crazy Corn Soup: Cook 1 lb. frozen corn according to directions (microwave!). Blend into a creamy soup with 1/4 cup non-dairy milk and voila! Chipotle powder or hot sauce takes this soup to a fiery new level! (Recipe from happyherbivore.com)

Sassy Salsa Soup: Place 1 cup black beans, 1 cup salsa and 1½ cups vegetable broth in a blender, pureeing until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan, add 1 cup frozen corn, more black beans as desired, 1/2 tsp cumin and hot sauce to taste. Cook until thoroughly warm. Crumble tortilla chips over top and serve. Fresh avocado and/or cilantro also make a nice addition.

Mama’s Mexi- Dip: Combine vegan sour cream (or silken tofu blended with a few drops of lemon or lime juice) with ⅓ cup salsa or 1 packet taco seasoning. Serve with refried beans and tortilla chips. Guacamole also makes a nice addition. If you have extra time, make a layered dip.

Better BLT: Combine vegan bacon with lettuce, tomato and vegan mayo, avocado slices or hummus between two slices of bread or toast. You can also use a wrap.

Ancient Aztec Salad: Combine 1 cup corn with ½ cup black beans, ¼ cup cooked quinoa and fresh tomatoes. Squeeze lime juice over top. Serve warm or chilled. This can also be served over lettuce with tempeh slices or in a wrap. (Recipe from happyherbivore.com).

Terrific Teriyaki: Combine 1 can chickpeas with ¼ cup teriyaki sauce, 1 tbsp hot sauce and 1 tbsp sugar (optional) cook over medium heat until the chickpeas turn brown and the liquid absorb. Serve over greens or rice with fresh pineapple or mango salsa. (Recipe from happyherbivore.com).

Sensational Salsa Chickpeas: Combine 1 can chickpeas with 8 ounces of salsa. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until liquid has absorbed. Eat with lettuce wraps and sliced veggies. (Recipe from happyherbivore.com).

Cha-Cha Chili Macaroni: Combine 1 can of vegetarian chili with cooked pasta and a little tomato sauce if desired. Corn and/or fresh avocado slices make a nice addition. You can also add hot sauce to spice it up.

Outstanding Oatmeal: Cook 1 serving plain oatmeal according to directions. Mix with 4 to 8 ounces of plain soy yogurt. Add fresh fruit such as berries or banana slices and nuts, such as sliced raw almonds, on top. Drizzle with agave nectar or pure maple syrup. You can also add seeds, dried fruits or ground flax seeds.

BBQ’ed Baked Potato: Slice baked potato in half and smother with vegetarian baked beans. Serve with a side of frozen greens cooked according to package (microwave!).

Two-Minute Tacos: Combine 2 cups TVP with 2 cups hot water and 1 packet taco seasoning, stirring to incorporate. Once TVP has reconstituted (all water has been absorbed), make tacos or a taco salad.

Nice Rice Nori Rolls: Place chopped raw vegetables, such as bell peppers, cucumbers and carrots, with sliced apples or avocado, plus cooked rice or quinoa in the center of a nori sheet and roll up. Dip in soy sauce if desired.

Tangy Tempeh: Cut tempeh in half. Boil in water for 10 minutes. Drain, pat dry and smother in a tangy barbecue sauce. Serve on a bun with pickle slices and a side of cooked mixed vegetables.

Happy Hummus Wrap: Line a tortilla or wrap with red pepper hummus. Pile in fresh veggies such as sprouts, cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, celery and white mushrooms, all sliced thin. Roll up and enjoy.

1 List, 5 Meals: Cajun Weekly Meal Plan

Posted by: Andrea Dermos |

Bryant Terry's cookbook (not low fat) suggested pairing music with each dish so taking a page from him I suggest New Orleans Jazz.

This week's meal plan recipes are Cajun Chickpea Cakes, Soul Burgers, Cajun Meatloaf, Maque Choux, and Lower Alabama Cavier.


Download the PDF here

Guest Post: Julieanna Hever, Summing up Plant Based Nutrition

Posted by: Andrea Dermos |

Category: Guests

Hi Herbies! Today we have a guest post from Julieanna Hever, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. Julieanna received her Bachelors degree from UCLA and Masters of Science in Nutrition at California State University, Northridge, where she also completed her Dietetic Internship. She has taught as part of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s eCornell Plant-Based Nutrition Certification Program.

My favorite ideology about eating can be summed up by the Father of Modern Medicine, Hippocrates, when he said: “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”. I propose that this epitomized standard for medicinal consumption can be realized by a whole food, plant-based diet.

But what is a whole food, plant-based diet? It may at first glance seem to resemble a meal plan where the participant grazes on grass all day long, similar to a cow. Or perhaps it sounds like the cuisine of Adam and Eve. In truth, it is a way of eating that is indeed synergistic between nature and your body…a diet that creates health; prevents and even reverses disease; assists with effortless weight loss; and enhances energy, endurance, and strength.

There is, at this time, a vast enormity of scientific data confirming and substantiating the fact that a whole food, plant-based diet supports all of these aforementioned claims. Decades of evidence show that the Standard American Diet (SAD; high-fat, high-protein, high sugar, low nutrient) is the cause of the ballooning incidence of overweight and obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and many other chronic diseases. Ultimately, no matter what your genetic destiny, many of these diseases can be prevented and reversed. An incredibly persuasive factor is what you place at the end of your fork

There are two components to eating for health…what you choose not to eat and what you choose to include in your diet. The worst products to put into your body includes animal products, fat, processed “foods”, artificial colors/flavors, preservatives, and chemicals. On the other hand, what your body and immune system need to thrive and protect itself is a variety of plants, namely: grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits…considered the new four food groups.

Research demonstrates that: Animal protein itself (including that from eggs, dairy, fish, fowl, red meat, and pork) may have the ability to turn on and off carcinogenesis (cancer formation). Processed meats are associated with colorectal cancer. Dairy has been linked to type 1 and type 2 diabetes, prostate cancer, allergies, and more. The further you get from nature (meaning, the more processed the food), the closer you get to disease formation.

Conversely, plant-based, whole foods are full of phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are nutrient-dense and flood the body with usable compounds to build immunity, fight disease, re-build, detoxify and maintain health. The more of these nutrients you consume, the stronger your immune system will be.

Learn everything you need to know about the why's and how's of whole food, plant-based nutrition in my new book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, available online, in stores, and on my website, www.PlantBasedDietitian.com.