Tag Archives: protein

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a very popular Thai dish traditionally made with rice noodles. This recipe replaces the rice noodles with spaghetti squash, replacing refined grains with a nutritious vegetable. Spaghetti squash also has about 5 times less calories than most noodles or pasta! This recipe is based off of an authentic Pad Thai recipe from Basil Cookery School in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

 

Here are some possible substitutions. You can use more authentic ingredients if you can find them – check international markets:

  • Use rice noodles instead of spaghetti squash – but it won’t be as healthy! Or replace 1/2 of the spaghetti squash with rice noodles
  • Use oyster sauce instead of tamari/soy sauce
  • Use 2 tablespoons of tamarind paste instead of lime juice and brown sugar. This is a very unique flavor that is critical to authentic pad Thai.
  • To make this dish vegetarian, substitute the fish sauce for tamari/soy sauce or another fish sauce alternative and do not substitute oyster sauce for tamari/soy sauce.
  • To make this dish vegan, make it vegetarian (above) and omit the eggs.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Dietary Diabetic
Meal type Main Dish
Adapted from an authentic Pad Thai recipe from Thailand, this recipe replaces rice noodles with spaghetti squash, which has about 5 times less calories!

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 14oz firm or extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Optional

  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • crushed peanuts
  • lime wedges

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Brush with 1 tablespoon oil and roast on a baking sheet, cut side down, for 35-45 minutes, or until tender. Set aside to cool.
Step 2
Meanwhile, drain tofu and cut in half lengthwise. Place slices between towels and place a heavy item such as a cast iron pan on top to press out excess moisture. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
Step 3
Once spaghetti squash has cooled, use a fork to shred the flesh into strands. Set aside.
Step 4
Heat a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add remaining oil, then shallots and garlic. Cook until fragrant, 30-60 seconds.
Step 5
Add tofu to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until most sides are browned, about 8 minutes.
Step 6
Push tofu to one side of the pan and crack eggs into the open space. Stir until cooked, then add spaghetti squash, carrots, and bean sprouts. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes or until sprouts start to wilt.
Step 7
Mix tamari or soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar. Add to pan and stir to coat everything. Remove from heat and add optional garnishes.

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

Eggplant Lasagna Rolls (from Minimalist Baker)

Eggplant Lasagna Rolls | Healthy, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free

This recipe is straight from Minimalist Baker, an amazing recipe resource. People that dislike both tofu and eggplant have said they liked this recipe. You will be amazed how much the tofu tastes like ricotta. This recipe is much healthier than typical lasagna, which is made with refined grains (noodles), lots of dairy (cheese), and not much vegetables. With this recipe, you get at least a couple servings of vegetables along with some plant-based protein. It is also easier to make (and eat) rolls rather than a whole layered eggplant lasagna.

 

Eggplant Lasagna Rolls (from Minimalist Baker)

Serves 4
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 15 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Minimalist Baker
An easier approach to lasagna made of vegetables. Completely plant-based and free of refined grains!

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants, sliced into 12 1/4 inch slices lengthwise
  • 2 lemons, juiced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 12oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed for 10 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2-3 cups marinara sauce

vegan parmesan (Optional)

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch garlic powder

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Step 2
Salt eggplant slices and let sit for 15 minutes to release the bitter juices. Rinse and lay to dry between two towels with something heavy on top to press out excess moisture.
Step 3
Arrange eggplant slices on 1-2 baking sheets in a single layer and bake for 13-15 minutes. Set aside and lower oven temperature to 375°F.
Step 4
To make vegan parmesan, pulse cashews, nutritional yeast, salt and garlic powder until the cashews are finely minced.
Step 5
To make tofu ricotta, combine tofu, 1/4 cup vegan parmesan (optional), nutritional yeast, basil, lemon juice, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until it resembles ricotta cheese. Adjust flavors if necessary.
Step 6
Pour about 1 cup of marinara into a casserole dish. Scoop about 1/3 cup of tofu mixture into each eggplant slice and roll up. Place into the casserole dish seam side down and repeat with remaining eggplant. Pour more marinara over the top.
Step 7
Bake for 15-23 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and eggplant is starting to brown. Serve with optional extra vegan parmesan and fresh basil leaves.
Eggplant Lasagna Rolls | Healthy, vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free

 

Lemon Garlic Zucchini Noodles

 

Lemon Garlic Zucchini NoodlesThis quick meal can be whipped up in about 15 minutes. Other than a spiral slicer, you could also use a julienne peeler or the grater attachment on a food processor. This recipe is completely plant-based without any animal products, but the combination of vegetables, beans and healthy fat will satisfy your appetite.

Optional additions include pine nuts, sauteed spinach, or cherry tomatoes.

Lemon Garlic Zucchini Noodles

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 5 minutes
Total time 15 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
This plant-based entree can be ready in about 15 minutes. It contains no refined grains, no animal products, and doesn't contain any of the top 8 common allergens.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups zucchini, spiral sliced (2-3 zucchinis)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 3/4 cup white beans (or 15 ounce can, rinsed and drained)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Step 1
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Step 2
Add zucchini and cook for 1-2 minutes or until just tender, stirring often. Stir in beans and remove from heat. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Make-Ahead Scrambled Chickpea Pitas

Breakfast Chickpea Pitas | Guess Who's Cooking | Healthy, plant-based, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, whole grain

These hearty, tasty, savory pitas make a great breakfast that you can warm up while getting ready for the day. This recipe is entirely plant-based and is a flavorful alternative to an egg breakfast sandwich. Start your day with protein, whole grains, and vegetables, and be rewarded with steady energy throughout the morning. Adapted from Scrambled Chickpea and Spinach Pitas from The Kitchn.

Breakfast Chickpea Pitas

Serves 6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Website The Kitchn
These satisfying breakfast pitas can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for a quick, healthy and portable breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (such as olive, grapeseed, coconut, or canola)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 cans chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 4 cups baby spinach (roughly chopped)
  • 3 whole wheat pitas (halved)
  • 1/2 cup salsa or hummus (optional)

Directions

Step 1
Place half of the chickpeas into a food processor and pulse until mashed but not smoothly pureed. Alternatively, mash in a medium bowl with a fork. Set aside.
Step 2
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add bell peppers and cook until tender, about 4 minutes.
Step 3
Add whole and mashed chickpeas, cumin, turmeric, and salt. Cook until chickpeas soften, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 1-2 minutes.
Step 4
If serving immediately, spread 1-2 tablespoons of hummus or salsa if using inside pitas, then fill each pita with chickpea filling.
Step 5
If freezing, allow chickpea mixture to cool, then follow step 4. Wrap each pita in foil and place them in an airtight bag or container and freeze. To serve, heat in oven at 350°F for about 20 minutes if thawed or 30 minutes if frozen, or until warmed through. Alternatively, remove the foil and microwave until warmed throughout.

Breakfast Chickpea Pitas | Guess Who's Cooking | Healthy, plant-based, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, whole grain

Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken

Easy Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken - better than the food court! | Guess Who's Cooking | Healthier, dairy-free, low-sugar, nut-free, egg-free, can be made gluten-free

Bourbon chicken is often found in food courts but is covered in sticky (sugary) sauce. This recipe drastically reduces the added sugar (almost 1/2 cup in most recipes) to just 1 tablespoon, but you could give or take a little. If you stick to 1 tablespoon, you’re using about 1/8 of the sugar added to most recipes. You can also use chicken breasts, but it will be less traditional, and less tender and juicy. Chicken thighs are still considered a lean meat, but be sure to remove the skin or buy skinless chicken. This recipe uses low and slow heat to keep the chicken juicy, rather than any added fat. If you are not serving this meal right away, you can also skim the fat from the sauce once it is cooled or refrigerated. Also, use the best quality chicken you can afford – organic and free-range is preferred. If you cannot afford or find that, at least aim to buy chicken without antibiotics.

Although the name includes bourbon, there is none in this particular recipe. If you’d like, you can add 2-4 tablespoons of bourbon and reduce the apple juice by that amount.

Serve this meal with your choice of cooked whole grain (buckwheat – pictured, quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, etc.) and a green salad or other vegetables.

 

Easy Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken

Serves 5-6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 4 hours
Total time 4 hours, 10 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Make juicy and flavorful chicken at home, similar to the bourbon chicken in the food court, except with much less sugar and better quality ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (organic and free-range preferred)
  • 1/4 cup low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple juice (or substitute white wine)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

Directions

Step 1
In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the chicken.
Step 2
Place chicken in a slow cooker, then pour sauce over. Move the chicken around so that it is covered with sauce and in an even layer.
Step 3
Cook on high for 4-6 hours.
Step 4
Remove chicken from slow cooker and slice. Optional: Pour sauce into a saucepan and simmer over low heat to reduce it until thickened, or mix a little cornstarch or arrowroot starch with water, then stir into sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Step 5
Pour remaining sauce over chicken. Serve over your favorite whole grain (try buckwheat, quinoa, or brown rice) and with a green salad.

Easy Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken - better than the food court! | Guess Who's Cooking | Healthier, dairy-free, low-sugar, nut-free, egg-free, can be made gluten-free

Spicy Orange Chicken

Spicy Orange Chicken | Guess Who's Cooking | Healthy, low carb, dairy free, and full of flavor! Gluten free if you use tamari, not soy sauce.

This spicy stir fry has a punch of orange flavor but is free of added sugar! Many Asian-style sauces have lots of added sugar, and that’s what makes them sticky (and not so healthy).

Spicy Orange Chicken

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Diabetic, Gluten Free
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
This spicy stir fry has a punch of orange flavor but is free of added sugar! Many Asian-style sauces have lots of added sugar, and that's what makes them sticky (and not so healthy).

Ingredients

  • 1lb boneless skinless chicken breast (cubed)
  • juice of 1 orange (about 1/2 cup)
  • zest of 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce, such as sambal oelek
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 Medium onion (diced)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 2 cups bell pepper (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons oil, such as canola, peanut, or grapeseed (divided)

Directions

Step 1
In a medium bowl, marinate chicken in orange juice for about 20 minutes.
Step 2
Meanwhile, combine chicken broth, tamari and orange zest and set aside.
Step 3
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain orange juice from chicken and place chicken in pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken in golden on the outside and opaque on the inside. Remove from pan.
Step 4
Add remaining oil to pan, then add onions and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add broccoli and cook 2 minutes. Add bell peppers, and cook 2 minutes.
Step 5
Add chicken back to pan and stir. Pour sauce over mixture and stir. Cook until heated thoroughly and vegetables are just fork tender.

Mediterranean Salmon Salad

Mediterranean Salmon Salad

This recipe puts a healthy Mediterranean twist on tuna (or salmon) salad and uses hummus instead of mayonnaise. You can leave out any ingredients that you dislike, or add in new ingredients like capers, fresh tomatoes or cucumber, feta cheese, or fresh basil.

Mediterranean Salmon Salad

Serves 2
Prep time 10 minutes
This recipe puts a healthy Mediterranean twist on tuna (or salmon) salad and uses hummus instead of mayonnaise. You can leave out any ingredients that you dislike, or add in new ingredients like capers, fresh tomatoes or cucumber, feta cheese, or fresh basil.

Ingredients

  • 1 6-oz can salmon or tuna (drained)
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper or other color (diced)
  • 1/4 cup jarred artichoke hearts (quartered)
  • 2 tablespoons olives (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes (julienned)
  • 2-3 tablespoons hummus
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

Step 1
Combine all ingredients, starting with 2 tablespoons hummus. Add more if necessary to reach desired consistency. Serving suggestions: on mini bell peppers, in a lettuce or collard wrap, in a sandwich on whole grain bread, or on top of a salad.

Mediterranean Salmon Salad Mediterranean Salmon Salad Mediterranean Salmon Salad

 

Whole Grain Salad with Miso Dressing

Whole Grain Salad with Miso Dressing | GuessWhosCooking.com

This recipe can be made with any whole grain of choice. Farro was used in these photos, but you could also try brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, or any other whole grain. Cooking time and water quantity depends on the grain. Use this chart for specific cooking instructions for various grains.

This salad can be an entree for dinner or made ahead and brought as leftovers to lunch, or it could be served as a side dish. It can be served room temperature or cold.

Whole Grain Salad with Miso Dressing

Serves 4
This salad can be served at room temperature or cold and makes a great entree or side dish to serve to a group or bring to lunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole grain of choice (farro used in these pictures)
  • 1 12-14 oz. package of firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup shelled edamame
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil such as canola or olive oil (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 cups carrots (peeled and diced)

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup miso (reduced sodium if possible)
  • 1/4 cup rice or white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup shallot (minced)

Directions

Step 1
Rinse the grains, then add to a saucepan with the amount of water in this chart: http://wholegrainscouncil.org/recipes/cooking-whole-grains. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for the time listed in the chart. When grains are tender, drain any excess water and fluff with a fork.
Step 2
Meanwhile, drain the tofu and place between two towels and gently squeeze to remove excess liquid. Cut into cubes. Heat a skillet over medium high heat, then add 2 teaspoons oil. Add tofu and cook until it gets crisp on most sides, stirring occasionally, about 7-8 minutes. Add tamari and cook for one more minute.
Step 3
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Toss carrots with 1 teaspoon oil then spread into an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until carrots are tender, stirring halfway.
Step 4
Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar and stir until well combined. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients and toss with the dressing. Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Whole Grain Salad with Miso Dressing | GuessWhosCooking.com | Healthy, can be made gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan

Whole Grain Salad with Miso Dressing | GuessWhosCooking.com | Healthy, can be made gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan

Roasted Veggie Lunch Bowl

Take 30 minutes on Sunday to prepare and assemble these lunch bowls for the week. Grab and go on your way out the door and enjoy a satisfying lunch that doesn’t require reheating. You can change up any of the components – beans or grilled chicken instead of tofu, roasted cauliflower instead of broccoli, spinach or kale instead of arugula, etc. Get creative!
Roasted Veggie Lunch Bowl | GuessWhosCooking.com | Healthy, quick, easy, simple, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan

Roasted Veggie Lunch Bowl

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato (peeled or unpeeled, sliced into 1/4 inch slices)
  • 2-3 cups broccoli (cut into florets)
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes (halved)
  • baked tofu (cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • salt to taste

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Toss sweet potato and broccoli with olive oil and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, flipping sweet potato and stirring broccoli halfway, until vegetables are tender and golden brown. Add salt to taste.
Step 2
Assemble 1/4 of the arugula, tofu, tomatoes, sweet potato, and broccoli into a bowl or reusable container. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons hummus. Serve warm or portion into 4 containers, refrigerate, and bring one to lunch each day.

Roasted Veggie Lunch Bowl | GuessWhosCooking.com | Healthy, quick, easy, simple, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan

Thai Stuffed Peppers

Thai Stuffed Peppers
Change up the standard old stuffed peppers with this Thai-flavored recipe that loads up the veggies, turns up the flavor, and skips the cheese. To make this a vegan/vegetarian dish, use precooked whole grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, or brown rice instead of turkey.

 

Thai Stuffed Peppers

Serves 6
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Tired of plain old stuffed peppers? Add some international flair with these healthy Thai stuffed peppers.

Ingredients

  • 6 medium bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil, such as canola, coconut, or olive
  • 1lb lean ground turkey (organic preferred, or at least no antibiotics used)
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
  • 2 cups Chinese or Japanese eggplant (chopped)
  • 2 cups white mushrooms (diced)
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (organic preferred)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek or other hot/chili sauce to taste

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Cut tops off bell peppers and set aside. Remove rind and seeds from the inside and discard. Remove bell pepper stems and chop, then set aside.
Step 2
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and turkey and stir occasionally until meat is mostly cooked, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, eggplant, and mushrooms, until vegetables start to soften, stirring occasionally. Add chopped bell pepper tops and cook for about 1 minute.
Step 3
Combine peanut butter, tamari, and sambal oelek in a small bowl, blender, or food processor. Stir into turkey mixture and remove from heat. Place bell pepper bottoms into a baking dish such as an 8x8" pan or cake pan. Fill with turkey mixture, then bake for 20-25 minutes until tops start to brown and bell peppers become tender and look a little shriveled on top. Serve warm.

 

Thai Stuffed Peppers