Refreshing Vegan Lunch Dishes the Whole Family Love

Lets Do Lunch!

You don’t need to be a vegan to enjoy these light, healthy dishes, perfect for summer munching. They are tasty for the whole family, easy to prepare, and just the thing for lunch on a warm day.

From Jeanine Donofrio’s Love and Lemons cookbook, here’s a slightly adapted version of her Avocado Strawberry Caprese. You’ll need:

1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar

1 cup hulled and sliced strawberries

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved

1 medium, ripe avocado, diced

1/3 cup basil leaves

1 ½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

pinch of toasted sesame seeds

¼ cup chopped pecans

sea salt

black pepper

 

Directions: Simmer vinegar over a medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes, uncovered, until it thickens and its volume is reduced by half. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add strawberries, tomatoes, avocado, and basil. Drizzle the oil into the salad and toss gently. Add salt, pepper, nuts, and seeds.

Finally, drizzle on the vinegar reduction, toss again, and the salad is ready to serve!

Semi-Raw Pad Thai

This recipe is Angela’s from Vegangela.com. We renamed it “semi-raw” because we love to add in the fried tofu. What you’ll need is:

3 medium zucchinis

3 large carrots

2 green onions, chopped

1 cup shredded purple cabbage

250g lightly-fried (in tamari) tofu

½ cup crushed peanuts

¼ fresh cilantro, chopped

 

For the Sauce:

¼ cup tahini

¼ cup almond butter

¼ cup tamari

2 tbsp agave

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. ginger root, grated

 

Directions: Use a spiralizer to create noodles from the carrots and zucchini. Place them in a large bowl and add all the other veggies and tofu.

Whisk the sauce ingredients in a bowl and then add it to the noodle mixture. The sauce with thin after mixing it in. Cover and refrigerate. Serve cold.

Orecchiette with Roasted Peppers, Arugula, and Tomatoes

This flavorful, vegan recipe was created by Christin Holcomb. What you’ll need:

1 orange bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

8 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta

1 tsp. and 2 tbs. olive oil

1 tsp. minced garlic, divided

8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved

3 tbs. white wine vinegar

1 ½ tsp. sugar

¾ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

¼ tsp. dried herbes de Provence

3 cups loosely packed arugula

1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) shaved fresh Parmesan cheese

 

Directions: Preheat broiler. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a plastic bag and seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and cut into 1-inch strips.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Heat 1 tsp. oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/4 tsp. garlic; cook 30 seconds.

Add bell peppers and tomatoes; cook 4 minutes or until tomatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Combine remaining 3/4 tsp. garlic, vinegar, and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add pasta and oil mixture to bell pepper mixture in pan; toss well to coat. Cool slightly. Stir in arugula. Top each serving with cheese.

 

For more delectable recipes or tips on healthy foods, check out www.GetThrive.com.

Alkaline Your Gut with a Berry Smoothie

Does your belly burn, especially after eating? A berry smoothie may just be the meal your gut needs to help it heal. Here’s some info (and recipe ideas) that can replace those antacids you’ve been taking.

Berry Smoothie Yummy, and Good for the Tummy!

Fruit, specifically berries, promote balance in our gut. With the ingestion of processed foods, fatty meats, and refined grains, our digestive system can become overly acidic. Raw fruits and veggies help to re-establish an alkaline state.

Why Alkaline? Why Smoothies?

An alkaline environment in the gut has been shown to provide many excellent health benefits. First off, that constant burning or gassy sensation will eventually disappear. Your metabolism will increase, giving you lots of energy and help you lose weight if that’s what you want. Your immune system will also strengthen. Eating berries are part of the process, and putting them into your smoothie is easy and can work wonders.

Healthiest Berries Around

Nutritious berries grow all around the world. Blackberries, for example, can grow wild in your backyard. But the Goji berry, for instance, is from Tibet and Nepal. They are both part of a list of the healthiest berries you can find in your garden or at a market that sells fresh produce. Others are:

  • Acai berry (from Brazil – extremely high in antioxidants; ten times more than grapes)
  • Blueberry (considered one of the healthiest because they’re packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and other nutrients.)
  • Strawberry (an excellent source of potassium, fiber, many B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, iodine, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and copper.)
  • Cherries (contain melatonin, a natural chemical that aids with healthy sleep patterns)

Using Berries in a Smoothie

Think of your fruits and vegetables as your base. If you really want to help your gut and alkaline your system, for fruits only use only berries, lemon, or green apples. Others are too acidic. The best vegetables to include are the leafy greens like spinach, kale, and even wheatgrass.

Other Additions to Create a Delicious, Effective Smoothie

Sure you can add ice cream, candied pecans, or sweetened fruit juice—but that defeats the purpose of keeping it “healthy.” If your intent is to make a berry smoothie work to your tummy’s advantage, then there are other items you can add that are more beneficial. Some are:

  • Protein powder made from a pea protein base; no whey or soy; no artificial sweeteners or sugar added. Stevia is a natural sweetener that is OK if added in small amounts
  • Greens powder supplement; same rules apply in the ingredients as in the protein powder
  • Seeds: Chia, flaxseed, millet, pepita (pumpkin)
  • Good fats: peanut or almond butter, avocado
  • Liquids: Almond or coconut milk, water, lemon juice (to detoxify and as a diuretic)
  • Yogurt, Greek or a probiotic powder

Putting Your Berry Smoothie Together

Making smoothies with berries and incorporating some of the above ingredients will add protein and Omega 3s. Fresh fruits and veggies are easily digestible, allowing your metabolism to soar. Adding yogurt gives the drink a great texture and also provides probiotics, which aid in digestion. Here are some recipe ideas:

#1- 1 cup Strawberries, ½ cup almond milk, 1 tbsp. Flaxseed oil, 1 ½ scoops vanilla pea-protein powder, handful of spinach, 2 basil leaves, squeeze of lemon juice, 4 ice cubes, and blend

#2- ½ cup Acai berry puree, ½ cup coconut milk, 1 tbsp. grapeseed oil, 1 ½ scoops chocolate pea-protein powder, a pinch of chia seeds, a handful of kale; a squeeze of lemon juice, 4 ice cubes, and blend

#3- 1 1/2 cup mixed blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, 2 tblsp. Plain Greek yogurt, dash of cinnamon, 2 sprigs mint, 1 ½ scoops of pea-protein powder, 1 tablsp. Almond butter, ½ cup almond milk, 4 ice cubes and blend.

As you can see, you can mix and match a wealth of healthy ingredients to make your alkaline berry smoothie. Try having two each day and then eat fish or lean meats and other veggies at your sit-down meal of the day. In no time, your gut will thank you. For other healthy food tips, check out www.GetThrive.com