#yayforearthchallenge : 5 days of vegan, gluten free meals

Zero waste groceries

Hi everyone!  If you follow along on my Instagram you probably heard that I’m collaborating with Stevie (@stevieyaaaay on Instagram and of yayforearth.com, also read my interview with her HERE) to provide you all with a workweek of 5 gluten free, vegan, low waste dinners.  There’s 5 meals, a dessert recipe, and a micronutrient green smoothie recipe.  If you need healthy ideas for breakfasts, check out THIS post for plenty of vegan/gf breakfasts.   We are SO excited to do this together as a community- getting more plants, less waste, and more energy from our food and living more compassionately.  Read more on lowering your FOODprint and why what you eat has a direct impact on the earth HERE.  We hope you can join us!  Below, you’ll find a shopping list and all the recipes in the order we will be cooking them.  If you’re curious about zero waste shopping, check out how I do it HERE.  Fridge storage without plastic?  click HERE.

If you’re planning on participating, let’s shop together this weekend (share your haul on your story and tag us!) and cook together all week!  We will be kicking off on Monday and sharing on our story the process of cooking and the finished dish each day.  We can tag and inspire each other along the way with the hashtag #yayforearthchallenge !  We would LOVE to see your grocery haul, cooking stories, and finished meals and how you tweaked them to your taste/local produce!

Zero waste shopping kit

We are also BIG advocates of moving your body daily whether in a big or small way to feel amazing and boost energy levels, health and mood!  Stevie loves to run and I love to do yoga and bike.  If you’d like resources on it, check out THIS post about running and easy tips to get started, and/or THIS YouTube for beginner yoga classes I love- I’ve been practicing virtually with Ali for 5 years!

other notes: We’ve allowed for generous portions here to accommodate all appetites.  If you have leftovers, they would be great for lunch the next day, perhaps eaten in a tortilla, collard wrap, or on a bed of fresh greens.  We’ve also added 1 extra lemon and fresh ginger for daily hot water with ginger and lemon.  When you wake up, heat up a mug of water and slice off a few thin slices lemon and ginger (adjust to how strong you want it) and place in your mug.  Pour over the boiling water and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes while you go about your morning routine.  After you drink it , you can add more boiling water on top to “brew” a fresh mug.  I find you can get 3 or so cups out of the same lemon/ginger.  If you’re looking for other caffeine-free healthy warm drinks in the morning, check out this turmeric latte and/or this medicinal chaga mushroom brew.

For the recipes, feel free to sub out ingredients based on local availability.  That’s what makes it fun!  Allow yourself to relax while cooking.  Put on some music, perhaps have a glass of wine if that resonates with you (or kombucha haha)…either way just let your mind soften up and let go.  Really pay attention when chopping, sautéing, washing, to the smells, sounds, textures, the sensual nature of the produce and your relationship with it.  I promise it makes cooking so much more enjoyable and is like a mini meditation (in action).  Before you eat, take a minute to pause and express gratitude for the beautiful abundance you are about to eat, for the pleasure it brings you, for the beautiful way you are choosing to nourish your body.  We hope you find joy in these recipes.

Let’s do this!!

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SHOPPING LIST

Produce:
1 small red onion

1 medium yellow onion

2 heads garlic

2 shallots

1 medium portabello mushroom (or sub equivalent of other mushrooms)

2 large sweet potatoes

4 or so small baby (about 2 inch or so) potatoes

1 butternut squash

1 spaghetti squash OR 2 medium zucchini (for noodles)

2 bunches kale

1 bunch chard

1 serving size of arugula

2 beets, golden or red, with greens attached (or buy another green in their place like kale, spinach, chard etc)

2 large carrots

5 plum tomatoes

1 banana

1 apple

2 avocados

1 pint blueberries

fresh ginger

3 lemons

1 orange

spices and dried or fresh herbs

paprika

chile powder

chile flakes

salt (we like pink or other unrefined salt)

pepper

cinnamon

cumin

1 bunch fresh thyme

dried oregano

1 bunch parsley

legumes, grains and seeds

1 cup dried lentils (green or brown)

1 cup beluga or french lentils if you can find them, otherwise just get 1 more cup of the same ones as above)

chickpeas, either 2 cans or 1.5 cup dry and then soaked and cooked ahead of time (click HERE for a primer on how to cook chickpeas to have aquafaba leftover too to use for the brownies).

½ cup gluten free oats (to make oat flour)

1 cup quinoa

hemp seeds or flax seeds

3 tablespoons hazelnuts

milks and condiments

coconut milk (either one can or make your own)

1 cup any nut milk  (optional, for the micronutrient smoothie- OR use some of your almond butter to blend it up- 2 tablespoons + 1 cup of water and blend till smooth and frothy)

braggs coconut aminos (tamari will also work if you’re ok with soy/already have it on hand)

olive oil/grapeseed oil/avocado oil (any will work)

veggie stock (homemade cubes, or store bought plastic free ones like better than bouillon)

apple cider vinegar

red wine vinegar

1 jar tahini

1 glass jar marinara sauce

whole grain mustard (I like the Maille brand and it comes in a glass jar)- if you already have dijon in the fridge feel free to sub that.  Just don’t use yellow.

maple syrup (small amount is fine- will only need a few tbsp)

dessert list (optional but amazing)

1 cup almond butter

cocoa powder

almond extract and vanilla extract

aquafaba (from can of chickpeas OR DIY from cooking your own)

1/2 cup coconut sugar (sub another dry sweetener if you already have it on hand)

chocolate chips (optional)

coconut oil

baking soda

optional add ons:
fermented veggies (kraut, kimchi etc)
 Yay for earth challenge
Monday:  Lentil meatballs + pasta
Tuesday:  Beet, chickpea, quinoa bowl
Wednesday:  Sweet potato hazelnut salad
Thursday:  Lentil and carrot sauce with crispy potatoes
Friday:  Nourishing sweet potato chickpea soup

Optional micronutrient smoothie- have it daily, once, twice, never, whatever.

RECIPES

LENTIL MEATBALLS (with ****spaghetti squash, zoodles, or pasta as base*** see note)
Adapted from www.willcookforfriends.com

 

Lentil meatballs zoodles

3-4 TBSP avocado or grapeseed oil

1 small/medium onion chopped 
2 cloves garlic
1 cup green or brown lentils
2 ¼ cup water
1 glass jar of marinara (I use Raos) (or home made if you like)
½ tsp of pink salt
½ cup gluten free oats (blend into flour- tutorial HERE)
3 TBSP aquafaba (or 1 TBSP chia seed with ¼ cup water)
1 TBSP coconut aminos 
¼ tsp thyme
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp chili powder
Pinch of cayenne (if you want a kick)
1/4 cup fresh parsley (finely chopped)
Pink salt & black pepper to taste (¼ tsp to start)
1 Spaghetti squash or pasta or 1-2 zucchini (depending on what base you want)

Recipe:
1. Rinse and drain lentils. Put aside.
2. In a saucepan, caramelize onions and garlic with 2 TBSP olive oil until lightly brown and translucent.
3. Add lentils, pinch of salt, water to saucepan and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and let simmer for 30-35 minutes. Should be mid-soft with chew. Add more water if you need or drain a bit out if it’s ready with too much water.
4. At the same time the lentils are simmering, process oats into flour using what you have (I used a magic bullet). In a large mixing bowl, put aquafaba (or chia seeds) at bottom of bowl.
5. Add oat flour and the rest of the ingredients besides parsley and salt.
6. When the lentils are done, put with the rest of the ingredients in the bowl. Mash with fork or masher until lentils are broken up and it’s sticky enough to be rolled into balls. Add parsley and toss in enough to combine.
7. On skillet (cast iron preferably) add grapeseed oil (or another high heat oil) and then add the lentil meat balls and grill all sides of each ball until nice and crispy brown on all sides.
8. Heat up your marinara sauce in a sauce pan.
8. Put your base at the bottom of your bowl, then load it up with your lentil meatballs then top with marinara sauce!
9. YAY!

BEET AND QUINOA BUDDHA BOWL:
Buddha bowl tahini dressings
2 small beets, with greens attached
1 shallot, sliced crosswise into rings
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 portabello mushroom or equivalent other mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced or chopped
coconut aminos, about 1 tablespoon or more or less to taste
1 can chickpeas (about 1.75 cups)
1/2 sliced avocado
citrus ginger dressing:
1/4 cup tahini
1 small or 1/2 a large lemon, zested and juiced
1 orange, zested and juiced (you can save your peels to make all purpose cleaner!  recipe HERE)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
grated ginger- amount depending on your spice level, I use about 1 teaspoon- if you have a high speed blender you can just throw a chunk in, no need to grate
1 small clove garlic
2 tablespoons maple syrup, or other sweetener of choice like agave or honey
method:
Cut 2 beets into wedges and place in a steamer basket, cook until tender.
Wash and add the beet greens to the steamer the last couple minutes.
Sauté shallot and garlic with a drizzle of olive oil and salt for a few minutes until softened.  Add quinoa and water and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to simmer.  Cook 15 minutes or until tender.  Turn off heat and set aside.  (can be made ahead of time).  Save 1/2 for tomorrow’s lunch if desired.
Meanwhile, slice your mushroom(s), and the onion (save the other half of the onion for tomorrow).  Place in a pan over medium high heat and cook, adding oil or splashes of water or broth until tender, then drizzle in the aminos and stir around until absorbed.  Set aside.
Drain and rinse your chickpeas.  If you have time/prefer crispy chickpeas, you can toss with a little oil, smoked paprika, and salt and bake in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes while the quinoa cooks.  You probably won’t eat all the chickpeas but you can save leftovers for lunch the next day with your leftover quinoa!
Blend all the ingredients for the dressing until super smooth.  You can also whisk it (really well) if you want.  This should make extra for lunches!  Keeps up to a week in the fridge in my experience.
Assemble bowl and drizzle the dressing on top and add avocado.
totally optional add ons: toasted pumpkin seeds and pickled/fermented veggies.
ROASTED SWEET POTATO HAZELNUT SALAD:
Lentil sweet potato hazelnut
1 sweet potato, cut into cubes or slices
3 tablespoons hazelnuts (small handful)
1 cup dry french or beluga/caviar lentils
handful parsley, either chopped or left in whole leaves
serving size of arugula
mustard vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
optional: bit of sweetener like maple, agave, honey etc (about 1/2-1 teaspoon)
method:
Preheat oven to 400.
Roast sweet potato (either drizzled with oil and salt or without, up to you) on a lined baking sheet (parchment or silicone mat) at 400 until tender, about 30 minutes. (alternatively, do this ahead of time to reduce overall time till dinner).  In the last 10 minutes, add the hazelnuts to the oven (either on a free spot on the baking sheet with the sweet potatoes, or a separate baking sheet.  Depending on the size of your hazelnuts, you may need a bit shorter or longer time to toast.  Keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn.
Meanwhile, cook the lentils. Cover with plenty of water and some salt in a medium pot, cook till tender (about 15-20 minutes), drain and set aside.  This can be also be done ahead of time.  Save half of the lentils for tomorrow.
In the bottom of a medium sized bowl, add all dressing ingredients and whisk to combine.
Roughly chop a handful parsley.
Roughly chop the toasted hazelnuts.
Into your bowl, add a few big handfuls salad greens.  Add as much or as little lentils as you like and toss to coat the dressing over.  Add the sweet potatoes on top and the parsley, and sprinkle hazelnuts over.
LENTIL, CARROT, KALE SAUTE WITH CRISPY POTATOES 
4 or so small baby (about 2 inch or so) potatoes
1 bunch kale, washed and chopped (I don’t remove stems but feel free to if you  prefer)
1 tablespoon oil
1 large carrot, shredded/grated
1 large garlic clove, pressed/minced/crushed
leftover lentils
1-2 tablespoons coconut aminos
chili flakes
1/2 sliced avocado
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees if baking- or not, if sautéing.
Into a pot with a steamer basket, add your potatoes and cook till fork tender.
On a lined baking sheet, place the potatoes and take a flat bottomed cup or glass a gently press down to smash them to a 1/2 inch or so thickness.  Brush with a bit of oil and bake until crispy, about 20-30 minutes (alternatively, you could pan fry if you prefer for a shorter time till dinner).
Put a dry (no oil) skillet over high heat and let heat up for a minute or two empty.  Add in your kale and let cook without stirring for a few minutes until the edges start to get a little toasty.
Now add in your oil and stir fry the kale around the pan, tossing until tender- about 3 minutes or longer depending on how soft you like it.
Add in the grated carrots and garlic and toss constantly for about 30 seconds until you start to smell the garlic (don’t let it burn).  Add in the leftover lentils and aminos and toss to heat through.
Serve with potatoes, leftover citrus tahini sauce, avocado and chili flakes.
NOURISHING SWEET POTATO CHICKPEA SOUP
sweet potato chickpea soup

3 TBSP oil of your choice
1 small red onion (thinly sliced)
1 ½ tsp maple syrup
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 large sweet potato (small cubes)
1 butternut squash (cut in half long ways)
4 plum tomatoes or one can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Coconut milk (either ¼ can or home made before)
2-3 TBSP Braggs coconut aminos
1 cup chickpeas – either 1 can (save the aquafaba juice!) or make before from dried
5 kale leaves (chopped in small pieces)
3 chard leaves (chopped in small pieces)
salt/pepper/paprika/chili powder/cumin (about 1 tsp each and adjust  to taste)
4 cups gluten free veggie stock (homemade cubes or glass or paper bought store condensed ones)
1 cup water (if you want it more soupier)

Recipe:
1.Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Chop everything as directed.
2. Slice a butternut squash in half and place face down on oven sheet at 400 degrees.
3. In a big pot caramelize onions by adding oil, onions, spices, & maple syrup until onions are lightly browning and translucent on medium heat. Stir occasionally.
4. After about 10 minutes add cubes of sweet potato, garlic and braggs coconut aminos, sautee for 15 more minutes on medium heat. Cover with lid stirring occasionally.
5. Add veggie stock, tomato paste and diced tomatoes and let simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Take out butternut squash, dice and scoop out of skin.
7. Add butternut squash, coconut milk, chickpeas, and all the greens, and water if you want it to be more soupy. Let simmer a bit longer so the flavors can all hang out and party together.
8. YAY!!! Enjoy!

MICRONUTRIENT SMOOTHIE
(Via Dr. Rhonda Patrick)

micronutrient smoothie vegan

½ -1 frozen banana
¼ apple
½ carrot
½ tomato
⅓ avocado
2 leaves kale
2 leaves chard
2 big handfuls spinach
½ cup frozen blueberries
2 TBSP hemp seeds or flax seeds
1 cup alternative milk (home made nut milk/coconut milk or just water) OR blend 2 tablespoons almond butter with 1 cup water in the blender till smooth and frothy before doing step 1 for an instant milk
1 tsp cinnamon
3-5 pieces of ice
1. Add the kale, chard, spinach, and choice of milk or water to your blender, bullet, or food processor (whichever you have). Blend until smooth and no big green chunks present.
2. Add rest of items – frozen banana, apple, carrot, tomato, avocado, blueberries, hemp or flax seeds, cinnamon and ice.
3. Blend until smooth and creamy! Enjoy! This yields a really big 32 oz jar, it’s filling and a perfect way to get a big dose of micronutrients in the am!

FLOURLESS DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

Flourless cookies vegan

1 cup almond butter
2 ½  tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp Almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp Aquafaba
½ tsp cinnamon
½  cup Coconut sugar (you may want it more sweetened, try dough and then sweeten to taste)
⅓ cup chocolate chips (optional)
1 ½  tsp baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In big bowl, mix all ingredients together. Stir until it is all combined and place in freezer.
3. Leave in freezer anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours! (I’m not patient so 20 minutes is just right for me)
4. Form into golf sized balls and place on a reusable silicone baking mat, parchment paper, greased aluminum foil or greased cooking sheet.
5. Let bake for 10-12 minutes
6. ENJOY

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