Chef AJ’s Ratatouille + Tomato Sauce + Pasta = Epic Mealtime

You guys probably know by now that I’m in love with Chef AJ and her easy, delicious and healthy recipes. My favourite recipe of hers is her Ratatouille, with is really just different Ratatouille-style vegetables cut up and roasted on a SilPat non-stick baking mat until caramelised. It’s so easy and delicious that I make it at least 3 times a week. My grocery bills have skyrocketed, as I usually only eat frugal meals of frozen broccoli and potatoes, but boy, is it worth it!

Now, my BF does not like her recipes (he dislikes almost every WFPB recipe, so it’s not your fault, AJ!), but I managed to sneak in those vegetables into a dish that he likes, regardless. I essentially did this by combining Chef AJ’s delicious Ratatouille with a dish of the best, most flavourful Tomato Sauce I ever tried and whole wheat pasta. And you know: you can’t go wrong with pasta and Tomato Sauce. [Disclaimer: Chef AJ does not eat any flour products, you can easily enjoy this meal over spiralised zucchini or a good old potato or even rice].

Ratatouille Pasta

So here’s how it goes.

You prepare Chef AJ’s delicious Ratatouille as AJ herself presents in this video. I used zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, onions and mushrooms.
While that is baking, you fix a portion of this Tomato Sauce (hold the salt) and boil some whole wheat pasta (alternatively, you can use any other whole grain pasta).

In the end, mix it all together in a huge stainless steel bowl. Please do NOT use a plastic bowl, mine is still red and will probably stay red for all eternity!

So there you have it: a delicious plant-based lunch or dinner that is packed with vegetables and even satisfies people who do not eat this way.

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

German Potato SaladI thought long and hard about whether I could name this recipe German Potato Salad, as it includes soy sauce
which isn’t very… German. But since I am German, I thought the name is still fine.
I’ve taken this salad to countless potlucks (starch-based and not) and so far everyone has liked it, even though it doesn’t even include mayonnaise (or a plant-based mayonnaise substitute).

2-3 pounds potatoes, cut into quarters and steamed
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
5 green onions, cut into rings
1/2 large cucumber, finely diced
soy sauce to taste (or Raw Coconut Aminos)

1. Sauté onion (without water). Place in a large bowl.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine well.
3. Chill for at least half an hour before serving.
4. Enjoy!

Optional: add chopped parsley or cilantro

Salt-free Bagels

Salt-Free Bagels

Salt-Free BagelsMost breads, especially the ones made from white flour, have an insane amount of salt added to them to basically cover up the fact that white flour doesn’t taste like anything and to make one eat more and more and more.
This recipe proves that you don’t need salt (or highly processed flours) to have a healthy something to smother your no-oil hummus on. They admittedly do take some work, but it’s worth the trouble: what you’ll be awarded with is a bagel that is so fluffy and just plain delicious that you wish you had made a double batch!
Christian’s Salt-Free Bagels

3 cups whole wheat flour (you can use white whole wheat if you like)
2 tsp dry active yeast
1/8 cup date paste or unsweetened applesauce
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup ground flax seeds

1. In a small bowl, whisk together water, date paste (or applesauce) and yeast. Let it sit for a couple of minutes until it becomes foamy.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and ground flax seeds. Make a small “well” in the middle and pour the yeast-water-mixture into it (doesn’t matter if it overflows).

3. Use a spatula to roughly combine the ingredients, then knead for 3 minutes by hand. The result should be an even dough.

4. Transfer dough to a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat and cut into eight uniform parts. Roll each part to a snake and connect the ends. The hole in the middle should be big enough to stick your thumb through.

5. Let the bagels rise for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large(!) pot of water to a boil.

6. Add bagels – four at a time – to the water and take them out after they have swum at the top for at least 10 to 15 seconds. Place onto silicone baking mat. If you like to add sesame seeds or spices, sprinkle them generously over the tops.

7. Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F.

Serve with no-oil hummus, sugar-free jam, vegetables or (my absolute favorite!) no-oil peanut butter and alfalfa sprouts!

Veggie Sticks

Veggie Sticks

Get all the pros of fish sticks without all the cons like mercury, PCBs and animal cruelty! These Veggie Sticks not only come together in a breeze, they are also super delicious and great for the office, a hike or a trip across the country.

 

2 pounds cooked potatoes (I steam mine using the InstantPot electric pressure cooker)
1/2 pound frozen green peas, thawed
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 large carrot, finely diced
black pepper and nutmeg to taste
breadcrumbs

1. Mash potatoes using a potato masher. Add some black pepper and nutmeg.

2. Add all the other ingredients and combine by hand (trust me, it really works best that way!).

3. Take 1/4 cup of the batter, form a ball and roll it in breadcrumbs. Use your hands to shape them like fish sticks and place them on a silicone baking mat. Repeat until the batter is used up.

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes @ 350°F /180°C and another 10 minutes at 425°F / 225°C.

Enjoy!

 

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce

I’m really into sauces lately, be it a low-fat Alfredo Sauce, my Instant Pot Marinara Sauce or just a gravy-ish kind of sauce. Today I made a plan to use up my two bell peppers that have been sitting on the counter and the result is perfection! This sauce is very sweet (without the addition of sugar or dates!), super creamy and extremely satisfying. Eat it with some home-made oven fries or over a warm bowl of brown rice.

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce

2 red bell peppers
1 red onion
1 tomato
1 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic

1. Remove the stems of the bell peppers, if you’re not planning to use a high-powered blender remove the seeds as well. Roast them together with the onion and the tomato until the bell peppers are slightly charred. You can do this in your toaster oven or in a regular oven (225°C, 430°F) with a broiler setting.

2. Carefully place the roasted vegetables in your blender (be very, very careful, the red bell peppers will leak a lot of fluid!), add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

 

Mango Sauce

Mango Sauce

The secret to eating your starches and greens is to have an amazing sauce. No matter how bad the food itself tastes, a good sauce can make it a delight (and it can make an already great meal even more pleasurable).
I myself love Mango Sauce, but I never made it too often: store-bought sauces always have some kind of sugar added to it (which is totally unnecessary) or ripe mangos were once again totally unavailable.
However, I came up with a solution to the problem so that I can enjoy Mango Sauce every day. And it’s super easy, too! It’s much easier than peeling a mango, removing the core etc.

Mango Sauce with Rice and Veggies

 

 

 

 

You need: 

100g (about 4oz) dried mango
3 cups hot water

1. Soak dried mango in hot water for at least 1.5hrs.
2. Blend:

It’s that easy, it’s that tasty!

Corn Lentil Fiesta Soup

Corn Lentil Fiesta Soup

This will definitely be my new to-go soup. It’s easy to make, has a ton of veggies and lentils in it and is just so delicious! Try it and be hooked yourself!

Corn Lentil Fiesta Soup
Servings Prep Time
10 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Corn Lentil Fiesta Soup
Servings Prep Time
10 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 cups 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cups
Instructions
  1. 1. Place all ingredients (the ingredients should reach the 10 cup line) in your electric pressure cooker als pressure-cook for 25 minutes. [Instant Pot: Press MANUAL and use the minus button to get the time down to 25 minutes]
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Mexican Bowl

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Tomorrow, my winter vacation will be over and I’ll have to go to university again- and from the 19th on, I’ll have to take five exams in total: the horror!
So during the next few weeks I’ll have basically no time at all to prepare an elaborate meal. Today was thus the last opportunity which I could seize- and I did. Enjoy your Mexican Bowl with some baked tortilla chips.

Ingredients:
2 red bell peppers
1.5 red onions
1 jalapeno pepper
2 cloves garlic
fresh cilantro and parsley
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cups plant milk
2 cups cooked beans
green onions
2 cups corn
about 10 black olives (optional)

1. Prepare salsa

Salsa

2 15oz cans salt-free diced tomatoes
1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
one handful of cilantro and parsley

1. Blend until finely chopped but not pureed.

2. Make Cheese Sauce using this recipe by Healthy Girl’s Kitchen.

3. Dice one red bell pepper, one onion and two large tomatoes. Add two cups of corn and green onions cut in rings.

4. Take a large bowl and place two cups of cooked beans at the bottom. Add the mixed veggies and top with Salsa, Cheese Sauce and some sliced black olives.

Couscous Tricolore

Couscous Salad

There are tons of ways to use couscous, and salads are one of my favorite ways. And I’m not kidding when I say that this salad clearly has addictive properties- I just ate a whole recipe all by myself!

1 cup couscous (whole grain preferred)
one 15oz can salt-free diced tomatoes
1 cup boiling water
1oz fresh parsley
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 to 1 tsp pepper

1. Combine couscous, tomatoes, paprika, garlic and pepper in a large bowl.
2. Mince parsley until very fine (I let my food processor do this) and add to the couscous.
3. Add one cup of boiling water, stir and let it sit for 20 minutes.
4. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Fantastic Kale Salad (RAW)

I’m usually not much of a salad person, but today I was just in the mood to make one when I saw how much kale we still had in the fridge (some people hamster on cheeses and meat, I hamster on kale!). The result is as delicious as eye-pleasing. Sprinkle some currants over your portion or add some soaked currants to the entire salad for a more decadent and sweet experience.

Fantastic Kale Salad

 

1/2 pound each: kale (stems removed), carrots, napa cabbage
1 small apple
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Optional: some soaked currants

1. Cut the kale and napa cabbage into very, very fine pieces (I let my food processor do that part!) and put into a very large bowl.

2. Grate the carrots and the apple and add to the cabbages.

3. Squeeze half a lemon directly over the bowl (be careful to avoid any seeds from falling into the bowl). Mix with your hands and chill for at least 30 minutes.