Lentil Sloppy Joes {Recipe}

Last night was a “Whoops!” night. Supper was not planned or started. Time was running out and my brain was blank. I knew my Instant Pot would need to be called on if I wanted supper on the table by the time the ball practices were over.

So I grabbed lentils. I grabbed dehydrated seasonings.  And started throwing them together. I decided I wanted to create a recipe that would be a convenience mix, that could be made up ahead, just needing a few liquids added when it’s time to cook. A go-to in times like this. I saved my chop chop time for the raw veggies I wanted to serve with these Sloppy Joes, and did that while the joe mix was cooking.

Sloppy Joes

Yes, I eat mine open faced.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

 

  • 1.5 cups lentils
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 2 Tbl. dried green pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried minced garlic
  • 1 tsp./cube veggie boullion/ no salt veggie seasoning
  • 1.5 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. unsulphured molasses
  • 1 pt. tomato sauce
  • 3 cups purified water
    (all ingredients organic whenever possible)

Cook at high pressure for 20-22 minutes in the Instant Pot.

Update: Last night was really an Whoops! that led to the Whoops here. What I crossed out above did work for us–twice. But I know better. Putting tomato products in with uncooked beans makes them take longer to cook. It will probably work better to cook the above without the tomato sauce.  It should only take about 8-10 minutes at pressure,  if you let the pressure release naturally (at least for 10 minutes). (For my lentils to get to the consistency we like, and doing quick release to save time, lentils take 11-13 minutes.)  Then add the tomato sauce in after the lentils are cooked. You may need to hit Saute to reduce it down at that point. I will re-make and update better directions here again. Sorry! The above (with the cross out) does work and taste delicious though. Just doesn’t cook the lentils as quick as it should.

Serve on sprouted/ whole grain buns, with plenty of raw veggies on the side.

Enjoy!

 


 

Why I Don’t Use the V Words

Simply Freely WholeYou’ll rarely hear me use the V words in relation to a Freely Whole – Good for You-Naturally! lifestyle of eating. If you’ve read what I teach, you’ve seen that this way of eating could be classified as either of the V words but I don’t  generally use them, nor advertise freely whole/ Good for You-Naturally! as either. Why?

Vegan and Vegetarian can be useful terms, but they can also be quite confusing. They tend to tell more about what you don’t eat than what you do, and can be envisioned as many misleading stereotypes.

I’d already composed a rough draft of this post when this truth hit even harder when someone shared a completely twisted “research study” with me, showing the opposite of all the other studies in this area–a minimum of many hundreds of them. They’d heard this latest finding on the radio. I took the time to look up and read the entire report, that did technically have those findings, but was not a well put together study. The researchers even noted that they were afraid people would read too much into the results and draw conclusions that would not line up with hundreds of other more specific studies. The results were about “vegetarians,” with no defining of what those vegetarians did eat. Which is exactly why I don’t use the terms much.

You’d think with the “veg/veget” in vegan and vegetarian that you should be able to guess that these are people that eat vegetables. Not so! Perhaps at one time, once upon a long time ago. But today you don’t have to grow a garden or shop the produce aisle to be either.

A vegan is someone who doesn’t eat any animal products. But that doesn’t tell me what they do eat. They may live on Oreos and Pepsi, sugar and potato chips, margarine and meat substitutes. They may be an animal rights activist that “cares” more about unknown animals than their own health. It shows. They have the same diseases/lack of health (if not more) than those eating the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet). Theirs is just V.S.A.D.–Very SAD. I’ve known vegans like that. Their end was very sad indeed.

Vegetarian is even more crazy confusing. Vegetarians don’t eat animal flesh–meat, but they might eat/drink dairy and/or eggs. This tells me even less about what they do eat. They could be eating all the same things as the Very SAD people above, with cheese, ice cream, yogurt, whey isolate protein shakes, butter, and omelets thrown in. Or even just these things! Again, it tells me nothing about what they do eat, nor their commitment to health seeking.

Are those types, listed above, better “Vegans” or “Vegetarians” than someone who eats primarily fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains but has a little honey now and then, or a glass of raw organic milk on occasion? That judgement will likely depend on which side of the fence you are sitting, and if you believe eating should primarily be health promoting, leading to vibrant life.

Rather than being defined by what is not eaten, a lifestyle of eating (at least for health) should be defined based on what is eaten. Because your health is based on what you do eat, far more than just what you don’t. And what we eat should be based on what provides us health, foods high in the micro-nutrients our bodies need to function their best.

So what do we call ourselves that is descriptive of what we do eat? What do we call it when we eat for health?

I call it freely whole, foods that are Good for You-Naturally! that we can freely eat for optimal health and weight, that provide the most micro-nutrients per calorie. Real, whole, living, organic, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Or, as others may say, whole food plant based.

Whole Food Plant Based, or WFPB. I like that term. It tells what we do eat. Plant foods in their whole form. It allows for variation in teaching, preferences and individual body needs, while still being health focused.

Although I really like the idea of WFPB being descriptive of the foods, not us, I also like the term Nutritarian, coined by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. It does tell something about me and what I do; that I eat for nutrition, high nutrient content foods.

So what’s the point of this post? Our lifestyle of eating is important to us. But is it important that we have an easy way to describe it? Does it matter what we’re called or call ourselves?

Having an easy way to describe our lifestyle of eating can be very helpful. Whole Food Plant Based gives a clearer picture than the typical V words.

To differentiate my teaching, I’ve called it Good for You-Naturally!™ since the early 1990s.  I’m pleased to announce a coming change to simply, Freely Whole™. In reference to food: Freely, because we are told in Genesis 1:29 that we can freely eat of the fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds God gave us to be our nourishment; Whole, as it is whole, God-given plants that we eat, not man-man adulterations and concoctions.

Beyond being descriptive of the food we eat, Freely Whole encompasses much, and is in line with the foundation of this ministry on so many levels: “and the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

May you be simply Freely Whole. And your eating be Whole Food Plant Based.

 

How do you describe your lifestyle of eating for optimal health?

 


 

Great Guac

guacamoleOur eldest son came home over lunch today, just as I was finishing making guac. I asked if he wanted any. “Uhhh. I’ll have a taste.” Which became another, and another, and … until he’d eaten about half the bowl. “It’s better than usual.” I’m not sure whether to take that as a compliment or a cut… or neither, since I’m usually not the one who has made it when he eats it.

Regardless, it was great. Our guac really is always pretty much the same, but has slight variations depending on what we have on hand. Here’s today’s version.

Great Guac

Blend all till well mixed. If you prefer chunkier guac, mince the veggies, dice the avocado and mix and mash together.

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator, (in a Mason Jar,) 🙂  with the pit of the avocado in the guac. That helps keep it from turning brown. (The lemon juice in it does too.)

Variations:

  • Sometimes we use a whole roma tomato, but aren’t huge fans of a lot of tomato in our guac.
  • If we don’t have jalapeño, we leave it out.
  • Sometimes we use lime juice, instead of lemon, if we have fresh limes on hand. And leave out the Lime EO.
  • If I have fresh cilantro, I use about 1/4 bunch cilantro leaves. Sometimes we leave it out completely. A “toothpick” of essential oil means put a toothpick into the oil in the bottle and stir that into the dish you’re making–for times when you need less than a drop.

Do you love guac?

 


 

 

Can(‘t) be Beet Veggie Berry Green Smoothie

Beets are a great cleansing food. Fantastic to add to our fresh juices, green smoothies, and grated in our fresh salads. The rich red color indicates a high level of antioxidants. They are also anti-inflammatory and a great detoxifier.

beet-veggie-berry green smoothie

This delicious green smoothie, that doesn’t look very green despite the fact that it has twice as much greens as everything else put together, is higher on veggies, including beet, and lower on fruits than others. But beets and carrots are both naturally sweet, so this is not a bitter, or even savory smoothie. If you aren’t used to eating beets, you may want to start with 1/4 beet, and gradually work up in the amount you include here, due to the cleansing properties. I’ve given amounts to start with. You can certainly add more veggies than listed in the recipe.

Can(‘t) be Beet Veggie-Berry Green Smoothie

  • 1/4+ beet with greens (from whole beet)
  • 1+ carrot
  • 1+ celery stalk
  • handful strawberries
  • large handful (or 2) baby spinach
  • 1 Tbl. fresh ground flax seed
  • water kefir (or purified water)

As always ingredients should all be organic, as much as you are able to find. Strawberries are #1 on the Dirty Dozen list for pesticides. Celery and Spinach are also in the top 12.

Blend till smooth, in a high performance blender. Enjoy!

What was in your Green Smoothie today? Comment below!


 

1-2-3 Avocado Pudding

1-2-3! It’s time to revisit Avocado Pudding again. Even though I’ve never posted the recipe here before. Not sure why, since I’ve posted it in social media several times.

avocado pudding

This is a revisit because I’ve been working at converting some of my recipes from natural sweeteners to whole food sweeteners–experimenting with dates and other fruits. Since I use dates as my sweetener in a lot of recipes, I decided to try them in my Avocado Pudding. Success!

1-2-3 Avocado Pudding

  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbl raw cacao powder
  • 3 juicy medjool dates, optional to soak first (originally, 1/4 cup maple syrup)
  • 1/3+ cup water (May need up to 1/2 cup depending on size of avocado and whether you soaked dates)

Blend until smooth.

Yum!


 

Food Happens

Food happens with you start throwing things together. Good food.

Put my blueberries in before cooking my steel cut oats in my Instant Pot, because they were frozen. Had some homemade coconut yogurt I wanted to eat up. Have been experimenting with date paste as sweetener in more recipes, so had a bit of that left to use. And, as always, a sprinkle of a Tbl. of ground Flax Seed always boosts the goodness.

Result? FANTASTIC tasting Breakfast!

Blueberry SC Oats

 

What did you fuel your day with today?

 


 

 

Stir-fried Veggies & Brown Rice

My Instant Pot likes to play leading role in the kitchen these days. Last night it had to play second fiddle to the wok. Stir-fried Veggies & Brown Rice. ‪#‎simplywhole‬ ‪#‎freelyeat‬ ‪#‎instantpot‬

stir fried veggiesbrown rice ipot

 

Brown Rice instructions here.

Stir-fried Veggies:

  • Cut up lots of veggies (for long veggies, on the diagonal)–Carrots, Celery, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onions, Garlic, Mushrooms, …
  • Stir-fry them

We like to add a sauce of:

What was in your Instant Pot last night?

 


 

Savory Mushroom Gravy {Recipe}

Savory Mushroom Gravy has become a family fave (except for 1 son who hates mushrooms). We love it over rice or potatoes. Although I don’t make the gravy in the Instant Pot, I do make its underpinnings there. This no-fat gravy is rich, hearty and flavorful. (You meat eaters will never miss the beef.)

Savory Mushroom Gravy

Savory Mushroom Gravy

Dry or water Saute:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Add:

  • 3 cups veggie stock/broth (or water with 2 veggie bouillon cubes, stir to dissolve and disperse).

Add:

  • 3/4-1# mushrooms, chopped (crimini)
  • 2 Tbl. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • black pepper

Simmer until mushrooms start to soften.

Mix (I shake in a small mason jar):

  • 6 Tbl. fresh ground whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water

Whisk in. Simmer till thickened.

Serve over Brown Rice or baked or mashed Potatoes.

I cook both Brown Rice and Potatoes in my Instant Pot. The Brown Rice link will take to instructions.

red potatoes brocolli iPot

For Potatoes:

  • approx. 3# medium red potatoes

Place 1 cup water in Instant Pot pan. Place potatoes on trivet set in pan. Put lid on. Seal. Hit Manual and 10 minutes. Quick Release is fine, or let it sit on Keep Warm until you’re ready to serve dinner.

To add the frozen Broccoli, I stopped the Instant Pot with 2 minutes left. Added the frozen Broccoli in a stainless steel pot that fits. Restart Instant Pot for 2 minutes. Quick Release. (If using fresh broccoli, you may need 0 minutes.)

Add a fresh greens and veggies salad and enjoy this hearty, potatoes and gravy dinner. Try it and let me know what you think.

 


 

 

 

Lisa’s Easy Veggie & Lentil Stew {Instant Pot Recipe}

Quick and easy, delicious and filling, and Good for You-Naturally!™ Those are the criteria I am looking for in developing most of my recipes (and looking for in others’ that I try). In other words, Freedom & Simplicity™ that’s Good for You-Naturally!™ This one fits the ticket!

It’s a recipe that had become buried in the box. We used to really enjoy it but somehow it hadn’t been made recently, and certainly not since I’d got my Instant Pot. It was time for it to come back to life. Especially now when I needed something quick and easy (time was short), something warm and hearty (spring blizzards are no fun), and as always, something both very yummy and health promoting.

Veggie & Lentil Stew

Here’s my recipe as I developed it years ago. Below that is my adaptations yesterday, when we were in a hurry. We all dove in and I didn’t think to take a pic until I was jarring up the leftovers. Yes, it makes a pot full! Fantastic lunch for today.

Lisa’s Veggie & Lentil Stew
(all ingredients are organic here, get as many as you can that way)

  • 12 c. purified water (approx.)
  • 1 c. brown rice
  • 1.5 cups lentils (dried)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried minced garlic (approx.)
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 3 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1-2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 chopped onion (or 3-4 Tbl. dried minced)
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped (or a handful dried)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1-2 cups corn
  • 1-2 cups peas
  • 2 cups green beans
  • 2 cups tomato sauce (or whatever they’ve shrunk that can down to now)
  • 1 qt. crushed tomatoes (or whatever they’ve shrunk that can down to now)
  • nice squirt of Bragg’s liquid aminos

Add it all to the pot and simmer until done.

How it came together yesterday:

Was out of bay leaves, so they truly are optional. Used dried onion and celery. Had a big bag of frozen mixed vegetables on hand–carrots, corn, peas, green beans. Well how perfect is that?! I used 4 cups of the mix, and added an extra cup of frozen corn. I threw everything into my Instant Pot (6 qt.), filling with water to about the 4 L line. I have no clue how much water that was. I hit the buttons for high pressure and 22 minutes (the time needed for brown rice, the longest cooking ingredient) and left for Good Friday church service. We got home to stew done and on Keep Warm. (i.e. Natural Pressure Release–it was full enough it probably would have splattered if I tried to Quick Release.) The water was all absorbed, so I added more. Served it with fresh veggie sticks, and whole grain oatmeal muffins.

Mm-mm Good for You-Naturally!™ Mushrooms would have been a fantastic add-in (that I will add to the recipe card), but didn’t think of at the time (and not sure I had any on hand.)

Let me know if you make this recipe and how you like it!


 

Steel Cut Oats {Instant Pot Recipe}

One of my favorite breakfasts is Steel Cut Oats. Years ago I didn’t think I liked them. I’d grown up on rolled oats and eaten those my entire life.

But when I tried Steel Cut in more recent years, I found I loved them! The texture of the Steel Cut is different. Chewier. For those that think you hate oatmeal because it is mushy, give Steel Cut Oats a try!

Now, I love them even more because I make them in my Instant Pot, and can just dump in the oats and water, set it and forget it. No watching a clock. No watching–or scorching–a pan. I can go off and do whatever I want, not worrying about when I get back to them. My Instant Pot will hold them on keep warm until I get there.

steel cut oats

Super simple “recipe”

  • I put in a 4 cup Pyrex bowl on a trivet in my Instant Pot, with 1 cup water (in the liner pan) below.
  • Cook at Manual, 10 minutes. You can Quick Release.
  • Serve with berries, homemade Almond Milk, and if desired cinnamon and and a hint of maple syrup.

 

Do you make Steel Cut Oats? Do you have an Instant Pot? Did you try this recipe? Comment below!

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