Raw Fennel Chickpea Salad w/ Brown Rice & 2 Ingredient Vegan Avocado Ice Cream!

For lunch yesterday, I made a big batch of raw fennel chickpea salad with a bunch of vegetables and spices I found in my pantry and mixed it with some brown rice! Simply throw all the ingredients together and enjoy as a hearty, colorful lunch – easy to make and easy to take on the go 🙂 And, then, for dessert I made a two-ingredient avocado ice cream to satisfy my craving in the hot weather – you won’t even believe that the ice cream is vegan when you taste it (caution: you should like avocados before you try this recipe)! Also, I apologize for the poor photo quality – had to deal with just an iPhone camera.


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The Recipe

Yields 2 servings

1 cup chickpeas

1 cup brown rice, cooked

1 cup argula leaves, diced finely

1 tbsp oregano

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1 cup broccoli, pureed (to make salad creamy)

1 cup blueberries, washed

1/2 lemon worth of juice

30 cherry tomatoes, diced

1 cucumber, diced

1 small onion, diced

2 tbsp fennel seeds

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)

1 tsp salt (optional)

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I tried to be adventurous for my dessert and pureed 1 pitted avocado with 1/2 a frozen banana and 1/2 a cup of almond milk. It made a creamy texture, which I froze and then enjoyed as ice cream 15 minutes later!! It’s so tasty, especially if you like avocados. If you aren’t a huge fan of avocado alone, blend 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 2 – 4 tbsp of sugar (your choice) with the puree.

pureed avocado ice cream

frozen ice cream !

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Veggie Rice Bean Bowl

For lunch today, I used some of the leftover brown rice with seaweed and the black beans to make my own version of a Chipotle bowl. I used freshly ripe avocado, squash, bitter gourd (which is a famous Indian vegetable that is very bitter in taste so use sparingly depending on your taste), and a sprinkle of spices and cilantro leaves. It was really easy to whip this lunch together since all I had to do was cook the vegetables with the rice, beans, and spices in a pot on the stove, and then just sprinkle with the avocado and the cilantro leaves. It’s an easy to-go meal as well. It’s filling since it has a blend of carbohydrates and protein; it’s healthy since it is packed with natural plant-based foods only; and, it’s tasty! I usually make black bean rice bowls whenever I am craving Chipotle so it’s perfect to feed to kids as well since we all love Chipotle. You can add your own twist to what you add to the beans and rice whether it be corn, salsa, lettuce, vegetables (peppers, onions, squash, pumpkin, leafy greens, etc.), avocado, etc. I chose avocado and vegetables, but play around with your options to satisfy your own stomach!
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The Recipe

Yields 1 Serving

Serving Size: 1 bowl

1/2 cup of cooked brown rice (I cook mine in the rice cooker with seaweed to help with digestion)

1/2 cup of cooked black beans

1/2 cup of zucchini, sliced with skin

1 cup bitter gourd, sliced

1/4 avocado, diced

1 tsp – 1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt (optional)

1 tsp ground black pepper (optional)

1 tsp of lemon juice

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped and washed

 

Vegan Whole Wheat Pasta w/ Homemade Pesto

So for lunch today, I made whole wheat pasta with some homemade, nut-free pesto (you can find the recipe here). I added some vegetables (broccoli and red cabbage) to the pasta, which tasted really good with the creamy pesto. The blend of spices was really tasteful, but you may want to add more or less salt and pepper according to your own taste. I hope you enjoy! Feel free to throw in your own choice of vegetables or even just eat the pasta with the pesto alone.
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The Recipe

Yields 2 Servings

Serving Size: 1 bowl of pasta

1 1/2 cup of whole wheat pasta

1 cup red cabbage, shredded or chopped

1 cup broccoli, chopped or diced

1 cup of homemade nut-free avocado and spinach pesto (click here for the recipe)

2 tsp – 1 tbsp olive oil (optional since the pesto already has olive oil in it so up to your taste)

1 tsp scallions, chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)

1 tsp salt (optional)

1 tsp ground black pepper (optional)

1 tsp of lemon juice

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Directions

1. To make the homemade pesto, click here. In the meantime, cook your pasta with twice the amount of water in a pot. 

2. Pour in the pesto and toss in the broccoli and cabbage. Mix everything together and cook with your splash of spices.

3. Serve warm once the broccoli and cabbage are cooked. Feel free to add and remove spices depending on your taste! I liked cooking the pasta with only lemon juice, olive oil, cumin seeds, and garlic and onion powders. My mom liked to add some more salt and pepper – so, like I said, feel free to play around with those spices!

4. Once finished, serve in a bowl and sprinkle the pasta with chopped scallions. Enjoy : )

Vegan and Nut-Free Avocado Spinach Basil Pesto

So for lunch today, I’m making an avocado spinach pesto whole wheat pasta dish for my family. I thought maybe you guys would want to know how I made the pesto sauce because it is absolutely delicious and in-fact, nut-free because my brother is allergic to almost all nuts. So this is perfect for those of you who are as well! If you aren’t, feel free to add in the pine nuts (as indicated below) to the recipe, but the recipe alone will satisfy your tastebuds!If you haven’t noticed already, I really really love avocados. Yes, they are high in fat, but healthy fat so I never feel guilty eating them. They taste good with almost anything, honestly. I have them in salads, in rice bowls, in pasta sauces, etc. It’s such a delicious fruit that provides a great source of MUFAs. I highly recommend trying to eat avocados a few days a week, especially as a replacement to all the trans and saturated fat that you may or may not have in your diet!

Anyways, click here to see how I used this avocado spinach pesto to make a yummy wheat pasta dish. I hope you enjoy this recipe. : )

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The Recipe

Yields 4 – 6 Servings

2 small avocados, peeled and pitted

2 – 2 1/2 cups of raw baby spinach leaves

2 cups fresh basil leaves

3 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

4 – 6 tbsp olive oil (I added 4 tbsp but you can add more depending on your taste)

1 tsp salt (optional)

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Directions

1. Add all of the ingredients and spices into a food processor or blender.

2. Blend together until smooth and store in an airtight container. Depending on how ripe your avocado was, the pesto will stay fresh for a few days. I used mine immediately so simply scooped it out of the blender to make pasta!

Savory Avocado Spinach Salsa Spread

Ahhh so yesterday, I was craving something made from avocado but I didn’t want my typical guacamole so I decided to get a little creative with an avocado spread. I opened up my fridge and took out some random ingredients that I thought tasted good with avocado and played around with them. I ended up making this avocado spinach salsa spread that was both creamy and crunchy, and altogether very savory. I ate it on two slices of Arnold’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread, and this morning, enjoyed a spoonful alone. It was really delicious – a new version to a typical guacamole. It’s definitely something different so try it out, and let me know what you think! You can use this recipe as a spread, sauce, side dish, or a snack because I personally think it can be eaten alone or with something else like chips, bread, pasta, rice, etc.

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The Recipe

Yields 2 Servings

Serving Size: 2 tbsp of spread

1/2 avocado, pitted and diced

1 cup raw spinach

1 – 2 tbsp diced bell pepper

5 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced or diced

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 – 1/2 tsp of chili powder (optional depending on your spice interest)

1 lemon wedge or 1 tsp lemon juice

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Directions

1. Cook your spinach and bell peppers for a few minutes. I simply steamed them on the stovetop with a saucepan and some water.

2. Place the tomatoes, avocado, and cooked spinach and bell peppers into a bowl. Sprinkle in the spices and the lemon juice. Mix everything together. Continue to mix until the spread becomes the consistency of guacamole.

3. The spread will last only one-two days because the avocado will turn black so I made the spread for 2 servings. 

4. Enjoy on crackers, bread, as salad dressings (cut the tomatoes finer if you want it as a dressing), or even alone!

Quinoa Edamame Bowl

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The Recipe

Yields 1 Serving

Serving Size: 1 salad bowl

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

8 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced

1/2 cup edamame

1/4 avocado, diced

1 lemon wedges or 1 tsp of lemon juice

1 sprinkle of cilantro leaves

1 tsp turmeric powder

Vegan Sprout Avocado Salad

For lunch today, I made an avocado salad with sprouted moth beans. Everything I used was raw except the moth beans, which I cooked. However, if you’re on a raw vegan diet, you can easily use raw sprouted moth beans in this recipe and have it taste just as good with more crunchiness! What I love about this salad is that it is packed with antioxidants and fiber, and I also threw in some lemon juice and turmeric powder for an anti-inflammatory effect. The salad was a great to-go lunch for work today, and I have to say that the avocado made it perfectly yummy in my tummy for sure. 🙂

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The Recipe

Yields 1 Serving main dish

Serving Size: 1 salad bowl

1/2 cup cooked sprouted moth beans (you can use raw sprouted moth beans as well)

2 cups raw spinach, chopped

1 cucumber, diced w/ skin

8 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced

1/4 avocado, diced

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 lemon wedge juice or 1 tsp lemon juice

Salt as per needed (optional)

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Directions

1. Wash and cut all the vegetables carefully. On the side, cook the sprouted moth beans if you aren’t looking for a completely raw salad. To learn how to sprout moth beans, click here.

sprouted moth beans

2. Sprinkle the moth beans with turmeric powder and drizzle all of the salad toppings with your lemon juice. You can add a little salt if your tastebuds need it. 

turmeric moth bean sprouts

 

all of the salad toppings ready and drizzled with lemon

3. Once all the ingredients are ready, layer the salad by placing the sprouted moth beans first, then the spinach, followed by the tomatoes and cucumbers, and finally the avocado. Shake/mix up the salad as you wish to mix all of the ingredients together and enjoy!

Vegan Quinoa Berry Veggie Salad

I’m trying this new diet where I eat one serving of quinoa everyday at anytime of the day either breakfast, snack, lunch, or dinner. Today, I made a quinoa salad, but mixed up the ingredients a little bit, and I have to say that this is now another one of my favorite dishes. It has a nice blend of vegetables, whole grains, MUFAs, and fruits, which made it sweet and tangy but not over-the-top. I think it’s a perfect salad for lunch or even to share as a side dish with someone else. And it’s easy to make and even full of antioxidants!

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The Recipe

Yields 1 Serving main dish or 2 Servings side dish

Serving Size: 1 salad bowl

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

2 tbsp seaweed, kelp

1 cup raw spinach

6 asparagus spears, sliced

5 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced

1/4 avocado, diced

5 medium or large strawberries, diced

20 blueberries

1 tsp ginger root or ginger powder

1 tbsp of dressing (I used olive tapenade – you can replace this by using just plain black olives, olive oil, flaxseed oil, or another dressing of your choice like vinaigrette)

Salt as per needed (optional)

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Directions

1. Wash all the vegetables carefully. On the side, cook the quinoa with the seaweed inside just as you cook rice.

the quinoa cooked with seaweed inside my rice cooker
note: this is six times the serving size of quinoa for the recipe since I cook my quinoa in bulk

2. Place the spinach and the asparagus in a saucepan and cook. I steamed them with water since I wanted to add olive tapenade to my salad, but you can sauté them if you wish with some olive oil or sesame oil. Add the ginger root/powder to the saucepan. You can add a little salt if your tastebuds need it. 

cooking the spinach and asparagus in water

3. Set aside your avocado, strawberries, blueberries, and cherry or grape tomatoes. Take out your olive tapenade or the dressing of your choice – I used Trader Joe’s Olive Tapenade Spread which I love because it’s natural and not too oily, but gives a perfect, simple salad dressing! Feel free to use a vinaigrette or a simple oil dressing depending on your taste!

the salad toppings all ready

4. Once all the vegetables have been cooked, place the quinoa and seaweed first as the bed of your salad. Then layer with your vegetables, then the diced avocado, followed by the tomatoes, and finally topped with the fruit. Using a tablespoon, spread the olive tapenade over the salad. I used a plastic container to pack this lunch salad so I simply covered the container and shook the salad around to mix the ingredients together. If you are serving in a bowl, use utensils to spread the olive spread evenly over your salad!

the salad once all mixed together

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse

chocolate avocado mousse w/ strawberries 

Oh my god, I cannot tell you how AMAZING this recipe is. I literally licked my blender clean. When I told my family to try it, their first reaction was “avocado?! ew”. After trying it, they were begging me to make more. You can barely even taste the avocado, yet the mousse is the perfect consistency – creamy and chocolately and in fact, vegan!! It’s packed with healthy MUFA’s and antioxidants, making it a perfect dessert or even side to any meal. I served the mousse with freshly sliced strawberries, but the second time I made it, I topped it with pistachios and ate it alone. My siblings liked eating it with graham crackers and marshmallows. You can play around with and do what you like! 

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The Recipe

Yields 2 Servings

1 ripe avocado

4 tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder (if not vegan, you can use regular cocoa powder)

2 tbsp dark chocolate chips (optional)

3 tbsp honey (optional for more sweetness – can add more cocoa powder or sugar too)

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Directions

1. Remove the skin and the pit of the avocado. Place it into a food processor and add the cocoa powder.

2. Optional: You can either add the chocolate chips into the blender, or top the mousse off with a sprinkle of them to give it some more chocolatey goodness. If you are adding honey or sugar, add it to the food processor now.

3. Blend the ingredients together for about a minute and a half. Use a spatula or a spoon to scrape the sides of the blender periodically to mix all of the ingredients well enough. Continue blending until the mousse is thick and has a smooth texture.

4. Scoop the mousse into bowls. I served with strawberries, but you can top it off with some almonds, pistachios, chocolate chips, granola, fruit, etc. Use your imagination! 🙂

Sprouted Lentil Protein Salad

I’m working in the city this summer and instead of torturing my stomach with city food everyday, I make lunch and my snacks from home and take them with me. Today, I made a lentil protein salad that is full of healthy combination of carbohydrates from the lentils, protein from the eggs, vitamins and antioxidants from the vegetables, MUFAs from the avocado, and a dash of sweetness with the fresh strawberries. This lentil salad only took me ten minutes to toss together and its so easy to take on-the-go in an air tight plastic container like above. Yummm, who knew salads could be so tasty and healthy at the same time!

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The Recipe

Yields 1 Servings

Serving Size: 1 bowl

2 cups sprouted lentils (I used mung beans – click here to learn how to easily sprout your own lentils and beans)

1/2 cup of strawberries, sliced

2 hardboiled egg whites, sliced (I removed the yolks and used the egg whites only)

1 cup raw baby spinach leaves

8 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 ripe avocado, sliced

1 dash of turmeric powder (optional)

1 pinch of salt (optional)