warming january meal plan

tangerine juice

We are enjoying relatively warm temperatures here in California, and lots of sunny days which has been great for my mood (I get SAD pretty badly when its gloomy and cold).  I know much of the country is experiencing bitter cold, so I thought this would be a nice week to focus on warming dishes.

I’ve tried to add in lots of colors and spices to bring some light on a monochrome day.  Some of you mentioned to me that you don’t like to meal prep- you prefer to cook fresh each day, so this week I’m not having you prep anything on the weekend.

notes:  If you’ll be using dried chickpeas instead of canned, make sure you soak and cook them ahead of time for Tuesday’s dinner.  As always, I’m assuming you have basics: like tamari/soy sauce, sesame oil, olive oil, salt, pepper, chili flakes.  A lot of the spices you’ll probably already have on hand, but I’ve included them on the list just in case.

If you scroll all the way to the end, there’s a shopping list for your convenience.  For more meal plans, check out the “meal plan” tab in the menu.  Thanks so much for sending me your photos of food you’ve been making with my recipes!  I love seeing it.  So much fun to share food like this with you virtually.  Have a lovely week!  xx Amanda ❤

monday: roasted veg + marinated lentils

start the roasted veg first, then when you put them in the oven, start the lentils.  They take about the same time to cook and it’s mostly hands off.  Garnish bowls with avocado and extra chili flakes.

mixed roasted rainbow vegetables fennel chili flakes Meyer lemon

mixed roasted winter veg:  Preheat oven to 375.  Cut: 1 red onion, ends removed along with the tough outer peel, into 8 wedges.  1 large fennel bulb, tops and tough core removed, cut into 8 wedges.  1 bunch of carrots, tops removed and cut into 3 inch pieces- you may need to halve these if your carrots are thick, I used quite thin ones.  1 meyer lemon, ends removed and the rest sliced thinly, remove any seeds too.  1 bunch of radishes- french breakfast (pink with white tips if you can find them- if not, the red ones will work, slice in half or quarters if large), tops removed.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon Aleppo chili flakes.  Roast for 25-35 minutes until veg is soft and caramelized.

Bay leaf french lentil clove onion

marinated lentils:  this genius recipe by Patricia Wells is such a good one!  I do extra vinegar and toss in whole parsley leaves and a small minced shallot to serve. 

tuesday:  spicy bulgur + chickpea soup

recipe here.  OMG you guys, this one is so good.  Ottolenghi is my personal favorite chef and does amazing things with vegetables.  I have both his veggie cookbooks, Plenty and Plenty More and can highly recommend.  The flavors here are incredible, lots of warming spices.  I used 3 tablespoons of harissa spice (powder) instead of paste because thats what I had.  If you’re GF, just sub quinoa, brown rice, millet, or any other grain of choice for the bulgur.  I obviously omitted the creamed feta paste and just added in a splash of coco milk I had in the fridge, but honestly I don’t think it needed it.  I did, however, sub veggie stock for the water since I knew I wasn’t getting the savory boost from the feta as written.  You could sub a non dairy yogurt for the feta and make the paste with that.  I just added a ton of whole cilantro leaves on top and it was perfect.  This would be great with some spinach or chopped kale/chard mixed in in the last few minutes of cooking.  Whew, so many notes- sorry!

bulgur chickpea harissa soup spicy ottolenghi vegan

wednesday:  garlicky chard, lentil, quinoa bowls with tahini drizzle

Wash and remove stems from 1 large bunch or 2 small bunches of chard.  It will seem like a lot, but it cooks down a ton.  Trim any tough ends off the stems and thinly slice those guys.  Slice the leaves up separately.  Slice up a yellow onion.  Warm some olive oil in a large pan or pot.  Add in the sliced onion and the chard stems, salt, pepper, and chili flakes.  Saute, stirring occasionally, until onions are browned and soft, about 10 minutes.

While thats going, in a pot, add 1 cup quinoa and 1.5 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, bring to a boil, reduce to low, and cover.  Cook for 12-15 minutes or until tender.

Back to the onion pan: add in your chard leaves, toss as well as you can, and cover to steam a bit, 2-3 minutes.  Remove lid, crush in 1 clove garlic, and toss to incorporate everything all the way.  Cook another few minutes until chard is wilted and tender, then add in 2 cups of the lentils.

Mix up your smoky tahini drizzle.  In a bowl, layer the quinoa first, then the chard/lentil mix, then drizzle the tahini over it.  Serve with chili flakes.

thursday: curried coconut red lentil soup

vegan curry Indian lentil split pea lime chili cilantro

recipe here.  Heidi Swanson cooks how I want to eat all the time: fresh, vibrant, pretty, healthy.  I make similar red lentil curried soups all the time, but this one is delicious with the juicy golden raisins.  While you’re waiting for it to cook, cook your rice: 2 cups rice to 3 cups water and a pinch of salt. (reserve half of cooked rice for tomorrow night).

friday:  celery, cashew, tofu, tamari stir fry

vegan cashew stir fry celery tofu garlic

slice up 1 onion, quarter 15 mushrooms, and slice the rest of your bunch of celery (i like to slice diagonally).  Cut the block of tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and cut 1 head broccoli up too.  Warm up some sesame oil in a saute pan.  Add in the onion and mushroom and saute about 10 minutes, or until onion is starting to brown.  Meanwhile, steam or saute broccoli separately.  Add in celery and 3/4 cup cashews.  Continue to saute until celery is crisp-tender, about 5 more minutes.  Add in the tofu, 3 tablespoons tamari, and 2 cloves garlic (minced/pressed) and cook, tossing frequently, until garlic is fragrant, about 2 more minutes.  Serve with leftover rice and generous chili flakes.

shopping list:

yellow onion x 4 large

red onion x 1 large

garlic x 1 head

ginger x 2 inch chunk

celery x 1 bunch

fennel bulb x 1

broccoli x 1 head

carrots x 2 bunches or about 8 carrots

cremini mushrooms x 15 small/medium

meyer lemon x 1

radishes x 1 bunch (preferably french breakfast but red will work too)

french lentils x 1 pound

chickpeas- either 2 1/2 cups cooked or 2 cans worth

yellow split peas x 1 cup dry

red lentils x 1 cup dry

bulgur wheat x 3/4 cup dry

basmati rice x 2 cups

quinoa x 1 cup dry

cashews x 3/4 cup

parsley x 1 bunch

cilantro x 1 bunch

green onions x 1 bunch

chard x 1 large bunch or 2 small bunches

shallot x 1 small

avocado x 1 large

lemon x 1 large

harissa- either paste (2T) or powder (3T) works

tahini x 1/2 cup

tofu x 1 block extra firm

golden raisins x 3 tablespoons

ground cumin

ground coriander

caraway seeds

smoked paprika

curry powder

tomato paste x 1/3 cup

coconut milk x 1 can

coconut oil

veggie stock x 1 liter or 4-5 cups

what my vegan 9 year old ate today

Vegan kids

Hello!  When I posted what my vegan 5 year old eats in a day about Vin, you guys really enjoyed it and asked for more posts like this.  I love helping you out with easy ideas for healthy vegan meals and honestly I love reading these types of posts from others too!  It’s so fun to sneak a peek at other peoples meals, fridges, skincare products, routines, etc right?  Or is it just me?

Anyways, here’s what Carmela ate today.  I plugged in all her food to Cronometer and she’s getting above and beyond all the essentials that people worry about on a vegan diet like calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, lysine, and omega 3s.  I just focus on whole plant foods + making sure to get the all important flax, chia, hemp, walnuts, and sesame seeds into her diet every day.  I supplement with vitamin D and B12 +  the rest naturally falls into place thanks to plants.

9:00 am:  It’s still winter break for us and the kids and I have been sleeping in and enjoying the luxury of lazy mornings.  We woke up, brushed teeth, made beds, and read a little bit before we even got started on breakfast.  Just like I do, Carmela has a glass of water right after she brushes her teeth + before anything else.  Then I gave her a dose of vitamin D and B12 spray (the only 2 supplements we use).

10:00 am:  Then the kids went out and picked tangerines from our tree to juice.  Carmela cut them in half while Vin juiced them.  We also made porridge (our usual recipe + a teaspoon of almond extract) with blackberries and cranberries.  She had a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses too (plant based iron + calcium).

vegan kid porridge berries tangerine juice omega chiaProcessed with VSCO with f2 preset

11:30 pm:  before we biked over to my Grandma’s house, she had a snack of a large banana, a handful of roasted peanuts, and a couple big gooey medjool dates.

healthy vegan kids banana snack

12:30:  We got back and everybody was hungry for lunch.  I heated up some leftover pinto bean and kale stew and brown rice, then topped with avocado.  Leftovers are just the best.

kale Pinto bean stew brown rice avocado vegan kid

2:00 pm:  the kids had been playing outside with their friends (thankful to have a lot of other kids who live on our block) and when they came in, had a snack of some green olives (we buy these from the olive bar in our own jar).

olives vegan kids zero waste

4 pm:  playing monopoly and having some leftover latkes with homemade applesauce.

latke vegan gluten free oil free

6:00 pm:  for dinner we had this arame, cabbage, and tahini slaw wrapped inside homemade flour tortillas with avocado.  Tahini and cabbage are great sources of plant based calcium.  Seaweed is high in iodine, iron, and calcium too.  She had 2 large wraps!

cabbage seaweed vegan four tortilla zero waste avocado

7:45 pm:  she told me she had a “sweet tooth” so I made her a snack of sliced granny smith apple with almond butter, coconut flakes, and cacao nibs.  I forgot to get a pic here, sorry.

Thanks so much for reading!  I hope this is useful for you guys- please let me know if you’d also like to see a what I eat in a day style post for me or Joel (my husband).  All my love!

xx Amanda

low waste christmas

Curious about our low waste Christmas?  Here’s a little recap of how we tried to keep waste, consumerism, and junk to a minimum this Christmas while still keeping it cozy and fun, plus all the goodies we gave + received.  My philosophy is to keep gifts simple, minimal, useful.  (You can see my gift guide here if you’re interested)  Let’s go!

vegan kid christmas zero waste
A little last minute grocery shopping with this cutie for Christmas Eve

Wrapping: I wrapped everything in brown paper I had saved from shipping materials or upcycled paper gift bags.  For ribbons, I chose to use jute or cotton string (biodegradable and compostable).  Decorations included bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, fresh herbs, flowers, and clippings from the Christmas tree.  Check out this YouTube video from the lovely Alli for tips on wrapping sans tape.

Zero waste plastic free no tape wrapping present christmas

Tree: we did buy a tree this year, it’s not my ideal choice BUT the kids and J outvoted me on this one.  We bought it from a local business + I saved the string that we tied it to the car with for tying gifts.  All the ornaments/decorations on the tree are from when I was a kid, or glass ones handmade by my mother in law.  There’s a few paper and ceramic ones Carmela has made at school over the years.  I don’t buy any new ones.  We’ve been using the string lights for a few years and thankfully they have been fine!  Our city picks up the trees with our normal green waste (compost) and chips them to make mulch for city parks.

Christmas tree zero waste compost wood chips

Gifts:  Joel and I don’t exchange gifts (it’s just not our thing, we never have) BUT we give the kids, Joel’s mom, and a few friends gifts.  For my best friend, I gifted: a bottle of local sparkling wine from a cool winery, a bottle of good local, sustainable olive oil (from the farmers market which sells it in bulk!), and a jar of homemade green olive tapenade.

zero waste recycle Christmas present plastic free
that’s the olive oil wrapped in recycled paper and fresh bay leaves

For another friend, I gifted: a bottle of wine + one of my favorite books (picked up a cool vintage copy at a used bookstore) and wrote a little note on the inside flap.

wine secondhand book Christmas gift zero waste
He’s a minimal kind of guy, that’s why the wrapping is naked on these.

Carmela received: a tiny metal music box that plays Für Elise (her favorite song to play on piano), a hand knit beanie from her grandma, locally made soap, a new notebook, a pretty amethyst crystal, and a stack of books (her favorite gift always).

secondhand Christmas book zero waste kids
cracking a book open already

Vincent received:  a thrifted large metal tin filled with thrifted cars, a hand knit beanie from his grandma, a subscription to Click science based magazine, replacement pieces to the Operation game we own (thrifted by his grandma), and a book with cut-out paper airplane dragons.

Hot wheels car kids tin zero waste Christmas gift

For Joel’s mom, we gave her some local bulk coffee, a locally made apricot rose palm oil free soap bar, and a locally made candle in a glass jar.

As a family, from our lovely friend, we received a membership to a local museum which was the most thoughtful gift and one we can use all year long.  YAY

For others like: teachers, mailman, acquaintances etc we gave gingerbread cookies in thrifted metal tins lined with parchment paper.

no waste plastic free family Christmas holiday
this is how she wrapped it- totally waste free and beautiful!

Food: Christmas Eve dinner, we had stuffed cabbage rolls + festive red salad and baked vegan latkes.  

Christmas dinner vegan latkes gluten free radicchio winter

After dinner we drove around to look at lights with bulk homemade popcorn (air popper, tamari to season) to snack on.  The kids really enjoyed this as you can see.

Christmas kids eve

In the morning we had this v/gf monkey bread.  For appetizers: local baguette + cashew cheese, bulk olives, bulk in shell mixed nuts (so fun to crack), apples, tangerines all on a platter.

Vegan appetizer zero waste nut cracker
I thrifted the ceramic bowl and the ceramic coasters a few years back!

My mother in law brought homemade limoncello in a upcycled glass jar to share.  We received some plastic wrapped, non vegan cookies for our neighbors that I refused (which wasn’t fun to do, but I couldn’t just accept them and throw them away year after year). At least they will know for next year.

Music: on Spotify: Christmas jazz + Bossa Nova Christmas- for a more swanky, calm vibe.

minimal style french red lip
a little red lip for Christmas morning. Buon natale!

Passing the time:  board games, going on walks, watching A Christmas Story, cozying up and reading with a good book…I’m enjoying this one right now-

b43e9256-6a20-4d32-aae8-f30ba70b1082.jpeg

We are having a fantastic Christmas + if you celebrate, I hope you are too.  I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who read my blog and/or follow on Instagram!  You guys are so kind and positive + I’m so happy to have been able to connect with you through this online platform.  I love sharing and inspiring you, and being inspired by YOU in return!  Thanks for being a part of this little space.   All my love xx Amanda

what my vegan 5 year old eats in a day

I thought it would be fun to take you guys through a day of eating for Vin- my 5 year old babe.  I get a lot of questions about vegan diets for kids, what I feed them, supplements, and package free kids snacks so I hope this post helps out.  A lot of parents in my real life seem concerned when I mention that my kids eat vegan, a flicker of confusion and worry fleeting across their face- and I don’t blame them!  I used to be that person.  There’s A LOT of misinformation out there and malnutrition horror stories.  The way we do it is focusing on WHOLE, PLANT foods that are dense in nutrients and making sure to get plenty of healthy fats and omegas in diet, plus a few well chosen supplements.

Not meaning to come off bragg-y, but honestly my kids hardly ever get sick, even when others at school are often chronically so.  When my daughter was small and she ate dairy, she would get chronically sick for weeks and end up with ear infections, etc.  I’ve noticed that as we transitioned to zero waste and cut out packaged snacks, drinks, juices, faux “meat”  and “cheese”, and otherwise non-whole foods, they got sick even less.  Both my kids are super healthy and happy, in both my opinion and their pediatricians’.

That being said, here’s what Vin’s day of eating looked like:

7:30 am: wake up, cuddle, get up + get dressed, head out to the kitchen and I make him a warm glass of lemon water just like I have every morning.  He drinks it and then I give him the only 2 supplements any of us take: vitamin B-12 + vitamin D sublingual sprays.  Currently we use the Garden of Life brand because they came in a paper box and I thought they were glass bottles, but they’re plastic actually 😦 and Garden of Life was just bought by Nestle.  ugh….if anyone has recommendations for these two let me know.

B12 is essential and it’s not just a vegan issue…many omnivores are also deficient in this vitamin that gets made in your gut by bacteria.  So I supplement just in case.  Vitamin D I only give in the winter…your body makes it on your skin from the sun, so in summer we have plenty.  Even though we live in a sunny climate, we don’t expose enough skin to the sun to get adequate production in winter and it’s super important for hormonal and bone health.

vitamin b 12 sub lingual

7:45 am: breakfast porridge (here’s the recipe) which is chock full of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients including omega 3s ESSENTIAL for brain health, especially for kids.  Today I made it with half quinoa and half oats, plus shredded apples, walnuts, ginger, cinnamon, and blackstrap molasses.

quinoa porridge breakfast walnut omega 3 kid

10 am:  he asked for a snack, so while we were playing UNO he had this Granny Smith apple with cashew butter- mixed with cinnamon, a dash of maple syrup + cacao nibs for a little crunch.

Cashew butter apple vegan kid snack

 

12:15 pm:  lunchtime!  He had a veggie sandwich with hummus, avocado, vegan mayo, pumpkin seeds, cucumber, roasted bell pepper, red leaf lettuce, red wine vinegar, s+p on fresh ciabatta.  A side of stevia sweetened dark chocolate and a tangerine from our tree for dessert.

plant based family kid sandwichProcessed with VSCO with f2 preset

2:30 pm:  he woke up from his nap and told me he wanted something crunchy while he was coloring to take to the park so we did carrots, walnuts, almonds, apple + a glass of homemade chocolate hemp seed milk.

Vegan kid snack walnut apple carrot omega 3

healthy kid snack

4 pm:  he had 3 or 4 small tangerines from our tree while he was in the backyard.

5 pm:  dinner!  This simple red lentil coconut soup with brown basmati rice + a side of sautéed spinach with lemon, garlic, and toasted sesame seeds.

Red lentil curry coconut soup ottolenghi vegan kidsProcessed with VSCO with f2 preset

 

I’m writing this up right before dinner, but I’m sure after dinner he will have has favorite dessert at the moment: one or two medal dates stuffed with tahini and coconut flakes.  So good, a healthy sweet treat, and dates/tahini are full of minerals and fiber.

That’s it!  My kids essentially eat the same thing as us and it’s so much easier on everyone this way. Everyone eats healthy and everyone loves it.  Hope you guys enjoyed this little peek!

xx Amanda

 

at the market: winter squash + 5 ways to use it

IMG_1993Winter squash is abundant this time of year- so many colors, textures and flavors to choose from.  I always buy a bunch and keep them on the table as a sort of “fruit bowl” type centerpiece because they are so pretty.  My favorites are kabocha, red kuri, delicata, and butternut.  These all have dense, sweet flesh that get caramelized when roasted and blends up creamy for soups.  I also love spaghetti squash as whole food, gluten free noodle replacer- just cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and steam.  Delicata is great because it has tender thin skin (no need to peel)- cut in half, scoop out the seeds, cut into half moons, and roast.  I especially love roasting it with brussels, beets or other veg for a colorful side.  Kabocha has edible skin, too- I like to cut into wedges and steam in a kombu-lined pot with a few tablespoons of mirin, splash of water, and some tamari and green onions to finish- a technique I learned from this post.

When choosing squash, look for ones that have bright and vibrant skins and that feel heavy for their size.  I like to choose smaller ones because I find them less likely to be stringy.  If you do end up getting a stringy squash, just blend it up into a soup or puree it for a side/ add to breads, pie, etc!  Store squash in a cool, dry place- thinner skinned varieties like delicata only last a few weeks, but other squashes can last a month or more in a cool area like the garage.

Here’s my favorite squash soup recipe, plus 4 other ways to use up those gorgeous gourds.

squash soup

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or use broth/water for oil free)

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 large sweet apple, chopped

1 large squash or pumpkin, any type, peeled and cubed, seeds reserved ~5-6 cups

2 teaspoons fresh thyme or sage, minced

1 can coconut milk

2-3 cups of vegetable broth (depending on how large your squash is and how thick/thin you prefer your soup)

salt + pepper, to taste

any toppings you like, here i used sage leaves crisped up in a hot pan with a touch of olive oil + toasted pecans.

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 400.  Toss the squash seeds with a little oil, salt and pepper and place in the preheated oven and bake until crispy, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot.  Add in the onion and apple and saute until onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Add in the thyme and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add in the squash and stir to coat.  Add in coconut milk and broth.  Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and let it simmer, uncovered, until the squash is completely tender, about 20 minutes.  Use an immersion blender to puree or carefully transfer to a blender to puree.  Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.

To serve: Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with the roasted seeds, and any other toppings- a scoop of quinoa, some avocado, breadcrumbs, dollop of cashew cream, toasted pecans, fried sage leaves, anything you desire.

+4 other favorite squash recipes

creamy kabocha pasta : I omit the cheese and meat in this recipe, subbing crispy sautéed mushrooms (sear in a pan with thyme and shallot, only stirring once or twice so they get crispy)

roast squash and bean tart : impressive looking and delicious vegan main, GF, perfect for thanksgiving or holiday gatherings.

chili and sesame roasted squash : so so good, easy, and a totally different taste profile than the usual recipes.

butternut lasagna with sage-tofu ricotta : another delicious and beautiful vegan main, just add a green salad and you’re set!

+ 1 bonus recipe: pumpkin cheesecake // I’ve been wanting to try this baby forever, it looks so good and would be perfect to bring to a dinner or holiday party.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and that it inspires you to work more squash into the meal rotation this week.  Have a lovely weekend! xx

use your noodle.

IMG_1856.JPGPeanut noodles are a crowd pleasing, easy meal to have up your sleeve.  Plus, they look so pretty and impressive.  You can really make this with any noodles you fancy: udon, soba, julienned/spiralized carrot, cucumber or zucchini, even spaghetti.  I made this with bucatini I found in bulk at Rainbow Grocery and it was great!  Feel free to adjust as needed- sub almond butter, add tofu to make it more substantial, add crushed peanuts, lime, thinly sliced jalapeños, cabbage etc.  Make it your own!

peanut noodz (loosely based on this recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup creamy PB

1/4 cup tamari

1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1/2 inch or bigger chunk of ginger, finely chopped

1/4 cup sesame oil (can sub water or use 2T mirin +2T water for oil free)

 

8 oz noodles, I used bucatini

5 celery stalks, thinly sliced diagonally

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1 avocado, sliced

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

1/2 cup cilantro leaves

4 green onions, sliced on the diagonal

2 teaspoons korean chili flakes (or sliced fresh chiles, sriracha, other spicy thing)

METHOD:

Start a pot of water boiling for your noodles.

Meanwhile, add the PB, tamari, vinegar, agave, garlic, and ginger to a food processor.  Blend till smooth, then with machine running, drizzle in the oil to emulsify it.

Boil your noodles according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water.  Toss sauce with noodles and then add in all your other ingredients.

Done!  This recipe holds up well in the fridge for a lunch the next day too, or make a double batch of sauce and keep the extra in the fridge for a quick dressing, dip, or drizzle.

 

 

 

lentil bolognese

IMG_1753

This lentil bolognese turned out so flavorful!  I had some lentils lounging in the fridge that needed to be used, so as usual, I planned my meal around them.  I always like to cook a legume on the weekend to have in the fridge to build meals easily- lentils go so well in grain salads, green salads, soups and more.  They are perfect little gems: gorgeous, easy to digest and packed with protein and iron.  Plus they have a nice hearty texture and can hold their own in this sauce.  Crimini mushrooms and tamari add a little umami, and plenty of aromatics make everything pop.  YUMMM let’s get to it.

IMG_1734

lentil bolognese (serves 4)

INGREDIENTS:

olive oil for sautéing

1/4 cup minced shallot or onion

1/4 cup minced carrot

1/4 cup minced celery

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

4 cloves chopped garlic

2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning OR 1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

3 cups tomatoes- you can use chopped fresh or canned

1 tablespoon tamari

1.5 cups cooked lentils- I used French green; you can use any EXCEPT red lentils which will turn to mush

1/4 cup chopped basil or parsley + more for garnishing

METHOD:

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven.  Add in the shallot, celery, carrot, and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened- about 7 minutes.  Add in the garlic, dried herbs, and chili flakes and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.  Add in tomatoes and tamari, stir, and simmer 20 minutes or until sauce has reduced and thickened.  At this point I pureed half of it before returning it to the pot; my kids prefer a smoother sauce.  You can do that too or leave as is; up to you!  Add in the lentils and basil and let cook minute or two to heat through.  Toss with pasta or zoodles or spaghetti squash, plate, and sprinkle with more chopped herbs and a generous sprinkle of my crumbly vegan parm .  Yum!  Keeps well in the fridge too.  Hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did!  If you make it, I’d love to see!  Tag me on instagram @mamaeatsplants .  Have a lovely weekend friends! xx A.

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