So happy to be posting another delicious and easy vegetarian recipe on the blog. As you know, I’m trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into my diet. I find that many vegetarian recipes can have a longer prep time, but that’s definitely not these Sweet Korean Lentils! They only take 15 minutes to make and are so delicious and packed with fiber and protein! I’m having lots of fun experimenting with meatless meals, and most of the time, you don’t miss the meat at all! Definitely the case with this yummy dish.
Not only are these lentils super easy to make and satisfying, I recommend doubling the batch so you have extra, as I can guarantee you they will go fast! They are sweet and salty with a hint of soy sauce, garlic and ginger.
I served them over sauteed green cabbage to keep the carbs lower, alternatively, over steamed rice would be good too! I’m also going to have them over greens and grilled vegetables.
Fried rice is so easy to make, and so satisfying. Hard to go wrong with crispy rice, with vegetables, in a sweet and salty sauce. This recipe can be made vegan by swapping out honey for agave syrup. This easy tofu fried rice is perfect to make if you have some leftover rice in the fridge. But, heck, its so good its worth making a batch of rice to do this recipe! If you are in a rush and don’t want to cook a batch of rice, you could easily use the store bought microwaveable packs in plain white or brown rice.
The only thing missing here are those super cute asian take-out boxes. Those are the best. It seems like I’ve only seen them in the movies. I’ve never actually gotten them when I’ve ordered from a chinese food restaurant. Am I the only one? Anyways, back to the rice. This was a really great weeknight dinner when I had a bunch of leftover rice in the fridge, not a lot of veggies and all the ingredients for the sauce. For the recipe, I made it with coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Just simply because I had it on hand, and I like how its less sodium than even lower sodium soy sauce. I use the coconut aminos from Trader Joe’s. I get some whenever I go across the border as its much less expensive than the one I see in grocery stores here in Canada. Another substitute that would be amazing with this would be tamari, as it has a much richer and more savory flavour than the coconut aminos which are a bit more on the sweet side. Next time I’m going to try with gluten-free tamari and see how it compares.
This recipe makes 5 servings, and would also make a really great side to an Asian themed meal. p.s. It would go really alongside this Sweet n Sour Chicken.
Vegan easy tofu fried rice. Great and healthier asian weeknight meal. Perfect recipe to make with leftover rice.
Author: Kristine Fretwell
Recipe type: Main
Yield: 5 servings
For the Sauce
1 Tbsp peanut butter or almond butter
1 Tbsp honey (for vegan use agave)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp chili garlic sauce
4 Tbsp coconut aminos (or lower sodium soy sauce)
For the Rice/Veg
5 cups cooked white rice (or brown rice)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup carrot, chopped into small pieces
1 cup green onions, chopped
350 grams (1 pack) extra firm tofu, cut into bite sized cubes
In a large skillet, spritz with oil and add the cubed tofu and saute until the tofu has dried out and is crispy.
Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the sauce.
Once the tofu is done, add about ½ of the sauce and cook until the sauce reduces and forms a nice crust on the tofu. Remove from the skillet.
To the same large skillet, spritz with oil, add the carrots, allow to cook until they start to soften. Then add in the green onions and peas.
Once done, add in another spritz of oil, the cooked rice and the other half of the sauce and fold together until the rice, sauce and the veggies are all combined well. Allow the rice to cook (without flipping it) for a few minutes at a time so the rice can get crispy.
Once the rice starts to crisp up in various spots, it should be almost done.
Add the tofu back into the rice mixture and fold together until combined.
Serving size: ⅕ of recipe Calories: 341 Fat: 5.1 g Carbs: 62 g Sugar: 11.3 g Sodium: 315 mg Fiber: 4 g Protein: 13 g Cholesterol: 0 mg
I love easy stews. They are perfect for busy weeknights. The flavors in this greek turkey sausage stew are amazing. Mild sausage with onion, green pepper and greens, then topped with feta and olives?! If you love salty and savory things, this is the dish for you. For stews like this, I tend to use store bought raw turkey sausage. I squeeze it out of the casing and break it up like you would ground meat. For dishes that contain only a few ingredients, its also great as it really flavors the stew without adding a bunch of seasoning.
The only downfall is the sausage tends to be higher in sodium, so you’ll never need to add additional salt, and be sure to use no-salt added tomatoes, or else it will be quite salty. There may be brands of sausage out there that are lower sodium so you’d just have to check labels. I only have 1 or 2 brands that I’ve come across locally, so I don’t seem to have many choices near me. Alternatively, you could use ground turkey and add your own seasonings.
I really liked the addition of a small crumble of feta cheese, a few kalamata olives and a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley. I always love a fresh topping added to a hot stew for some added texture and flavour. Hope you give this one a try on one of your next busy weeknights! Leftovers are great for lunch, so if you want plenty of extra I recommend doubling the batch.
These waffle falafels totally won meatless monday the other night! The girls loved them, and were filling their pitas with everything they liked. Great alternative to taco night, so I’ll definitely be doing it more often. These came out so much better than baked falafels. Much more crispy thanks to the waffle iron, they browned up really nicely. I highly recommend doing them this way instead of baking them in the oven.
This recipe did 3 batches in my waffle iron, so about 12 waffles. The number will depend on the waffle iron you have. Mine is a regular waffle maker, not a belgian waffle maker, so I can’t attest to how they would turn out as thicker waffles. If any of you try them with a belgian waffle maker, please leave a comment and let me know how they turned out!
Something I do recommend, is letting them cook as long as possible so they get a dark golden brown color. The darker they get the more crispy they will be. So closer to the end of cooking, you’ll want to keep an eye on them to get them perfect. While the others were cooking, I put the ones that were done and put them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at around 200 degrees to keep them warm.
For toppings, there are so many options. I put out some classic toppings, but feel free to get creative. Bell peppers, olives, different types of lettuce and fresh herbs would all go great. I did a quick homemade tzatziki (like in this recipe) to go with them as well.
Hope you enjoy your next Mediterranean taco night!
Miso obsessed over here. This recipe is all about the miso dressing. While the tofu and veggie bowl itself was amazing, the recipe I’m posting below is for the miso dressing.
What’s in the bowl is more of an idea, but the miso is the star. I recommend doubling the batch (or even triple-ing as shown below). Trust me, you will be upset once its all gone.
This miso dressing or sauce is great cold, warm and over all sorts of things. I’ve made it a few times already and have put it on everything from veggies, to chicken and salmon.
For the tofu, I saute it in a skillet until its crispy. Then when its just about done, I add a bit of the miso dressing and let it caramelize and coat the tofu. So good!
The bowl in the picture above also has rice underneath, so the miso dressing is great over warm rice too. These bowls are a combo of red cabbage, carrots, cucumber, snap peas, pickled ginger, radish and tofu (which I sauteed briefly in a skillet and added a bit of the dressing as I mentioned above). But of course, use whatever combo of veggies you like!
Shepherd’s pie is so delicious, I wish I made it more often. I wanted to create a healthier version and make it taste identical to the original version. This Turkey Shepherd’s Pie is definitely as perfect as it can get for a healthier version. My hubby even said he liked it better than regular shepherd’s pie. So in my book, its a MAJOR win. I really enjoyed it myself too, and the girls had no complaints! The only downfall of making it is it takes more time than my typical 30 minute meals. But on a night where you do have some extra time, or perhaps on the weekend, I hope you give it a try, because you won’t be sorry!
If you don’t have a cast iron pan yet, I highly recommend getting one. They aren’t super expensive and they are the best for meals like this that go from the stove to the oven. I find they are very easy to maintain. You don’t over clean them. I just scrape out the food bits, rinse it in hot water with a dish brush, give it a good rinse and return it to the stove and turn up the heat to let the water evaporate. If needed I’ll add a little mist of oil to keep it nicely seasoned. The only thing I’ve read that isn’t the best for cast iron when its new is tomato based things like tomato sauce. I guess the acid from the tomatoes can prevent the pan from getting well seasoned. But if you have a well season (and well used) cast iron pan, you can use it for allllll the things.
I especially loved the addition of a little grated cheese to the top, but that is totally optional. If you omit that and use vegan margarine, this recipe is dairy-free. But, even regular cheddar cheese (not light) didn’t add many calories or fat to each serving, so I say, why not!
Classic shepherds pie done healthy. Made with turkey instead of beef or pork, and less fat.
Author: Kristine Fretwell
Recipe type: Main
Yield: 8 servings
5 cups yellow or white potatoes, peeled, cubed into small pieces
1 lb (or 454 grams) lean ground turkey
2 cups onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, finely chopped
1 cup frozen peas
1 tsp dried thyme
3 Tbsp ketchup
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ cup chicken broth - no salt added
For the Mashed Potatoes
2 Tbsp butter (or vegan margarine)
¼ cup chicken broth
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ cup grated cheddar (as topping, optional. Omit for dairy-free)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
In a large pot, boil the water for the potatoes. When water is boiling, add the potatoes and boil at a low simmer with the lid ajar until they are tender. Drain when they are done.
Meanwhile, in a large oven proof skillet or cast iron pan, mist with oil and start to brown the raw turkey, breaking it up into smaller pieces. Add in the onion and carrots and cook all together until the meat is browned and the carrots and onions are softened. Add in the peas. and cook together until the peas warm up.
Add in the ketchup, Worcestershire, dried thyme and stir until combined.
Once the potatoes are cooked and ready to be mashed, add in ¼ cup chicken broth, 2 Tbsp butter and ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper.
Spread the mashed potatoes over the turkey mixture and sprinkle on the cheddar cheese
Bake at 400 degrees for around 30 minutes until browned and bubbly. Can also broil for the last few minutes to brown the top.
Nutrition includes cheddar cheese topping
Serving size: ⅛ of recipe Calories: 243 Fat: 8.6 g Saturated fat: 4.1 g Carbs: 26 g Sugar: 5.3 Sodium: 523 mg Fiber: 4.2 g Protein: 17 g Cholesterol: 53 mg
One of the easiest soups on the planet has to be green pea soup. I love making it cause its delicious and so easy, especially when you’re using frozen peas. Since this recipe only has a few ingredients it came together really quickly and you can add different add ins to switch up every serving. As pictured here, I added a bit of yogurt and pine nuts. Other times I might add a bit of crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese. Leftover ham, turkey or roasted chicken would also be great additions.
A great basic recipe and the flavor is great. Just make sure you season your soup with salt and pepper and if you like it spicy, you could also add in a pinch of cayenne pepper.
I love salmon…its so versatile and delicious. Not to mention all those healthy omega fats! One of my favorite kinds of salmon is wild sockeye. If I can get it fresh (or frozen), its usually the one I’ll reach for. I love the bright color, and the texture is perfect and flaky when its just cooked through. I prepare salmon in a bunch of different ways, with savory sauces and sweet glazes. My preference is usually sweet, but I do really love a savory salmon too.
This sweet honey garlic and ginger salmon is a great staple recipe and would please just about anybody. Plus its super simple and easy to make. Fail proof…really! I used coconut aminos in mine, but lower sodium soy sauce or Bragg’s soy seasoning would work as well.
Tuna noodle casserole is one of the best comfort foods out there. Not sure about you, but I remember having a casserole like this many times as a kid. Something like this, in addition to tuna melts, were in the rotation on a regular basis. I also remember making tuna melts all the time on my own, and toasting them in a toaster oven. I’m not a huge tuna fan, but prepared like this or in a melt, I’d have it almost any day of the week. I wanted to make this version gluten-free and dairy-free as well but still have the creamy texture as traditional tuna noodle casserole.
I decided to add a crunchy crumb topping to this as I absolutely love having a crunch on a casserole like this. If you’re in a pinch for time, you could definitely leave it out. The noodle base is really good on its own. But if you have an extra 15 minutes, then by all means, add the topping. You won’t regret it! I used a cornflake crumb instead of breadcrumbs as I knew it would give it much more of a crunch.
My girls both loved it (as they are mac n’ cheese fans). But with them never having tuna that much I wasn’t sure how it would go over. But alas, they both gobbled it up. This made a big batch, so I had plenty of leftovers, and re-heated the next day it was still really great. Perfect next-day lunch for on the go (bonus!)
As you’ll see in many of my recipes with a creamy (dairy-free) sauce, I use canned light coconut milk. I find its much creamier than carton non-dairy milk. I notice that with seasonings and other ingredients added, you don’t taste the coconut at all. But if you’re sensitive to coconut or really don’t want the slightest hint of coconut, then I recommend using unsweetened cashew milk.
1 lb (454 grams or about 5 cups dry) gluten-free penne pasta
2 Tbsp flour (gluten-free or all purpose)
1 Tbsp vegan margarine (or butter)
1½ cups onion, chopped fine (about 1 medium onion)
1 400mL (or 14oz) can light coconut milk
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups sliced mushroom
2 cans tuna, drained and flaked into smaller pieces
1½ cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ tsp salt and pepper
2 Tbsp dairy-free Parmesan cheese (or regular)
For the Topping (optional)
3 Tbsp breadcrumbs (I used cornflake crumbs, or regular breadcrumbs, or crushed crackers)
1 Tbsp melted vegan margarine (or butter)
2 Tbsp dairy-free cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (if doing the crumb topping)
Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
In a large skillet, saute the onion until softened. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they shrink up a bit. Lastly add the frozen peas. Cook down until the peas have warmed up but still remain a brighter green color.
Remove the veggies from the pan, now to make the sauce in the same skillet.
Add 1 Tbsp margarine and melt. Add 2 Tbsp gluten free flour and whisk together. Add in the salt, pepper and chopped garlic.
Whisk in the can of coconut milk, and chicken broth. Once it comes back to a simmer and thickens up a bit, add in the drained tuna.
Add back in the veggies and drained pasta. Toss until well coated. If you aren't adding the topping, serve as is.
If using the topping, transfer to a casserole dish, or if your skillet is oven-proof, keep it in the pan.
Mix the melted butter together with the cornflake crumbs. Spread evenly over the casserole.
Sprinkle the cheese on top.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until starts to become crispy around the edges. To brown further, place the oven on broil high, and broil for a few minutes.
Nutrition based on using Tru Roots gluten-free penne & with the topping
Serving size: ⅛ of recipe Calories: 352 Fat: 9 g Saturated fat: 3.3 g Carbs: 52 g Sugar: 4.4 g Sodium: 422 g Fiber: 3.7 g Protein: 16 g Cholesterol: 15 mg
Meatballs are comfort food at its best. Have you ever gone to IKEA and had their swedish meatballs? Plus, with the creamy sauce?! Oh my gosh. Hard to beat. But watch out IKEA, these Turkey Swedish Meatballs are just as good, and bonus – they are gluten-free and dairy-free.
I’ve been wanting to make a healthier version of these for a while. Glad I finally did it, as the result came out amazing, and it will definitely be on a regular rotation. The meatballs taste fantastic, and I’m glad I went the extra step of sauteing the onions before adding them to the meatball mixture. I think this step really made the meatballs taste that much more fantastic. So I recommend you don’t skip that step.
I served the meatballs over gluten-free pasta, but you they would also be great over rice, quinoa or with sauteed greens (if you want to keep it lower carb), or heck, just have them all by themselves.
NOTE: When I made this recipe, I used FULL FAT coconut milk. Simply because I wanted a really rich tasting sauce. It did not disappoint. It was very rich and creamy. So I do warn you, the fat content is high if you use the full fat canned coconut milk as listed in the ingredients. However, in the notes below, I also added the nutrition for if you use LIGHT can of coconut milk. Next time I make it, I’m going to try with LIGHT coconut milk to compare the taste. I’m sure it will be as delicious, just a bit lighter and not as rich.
So feel free to make it whichever way suits you best.
Watch out IKEA, these healthy turkey Swedish meatballs are delicious, and also dairy-free and gluten-free
Author: Kristine Fretwell
Recipe type: Main
Yield: 4 servings
For the Meatballs
1 lb (454 grams) raw ground lean turkey
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup quick oats (or instant oats)
¼ cup egg whites (I used carton egg whites)
2 cloves (or 1 tsp) garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins brand is gluten-free)
¼ tsp salt & pepper
⅛ tsp allspice
For the Sauce
1 Tbsp gluten-free flour (or all-purpose)
1 Tbsp vegan margarine or butter
1 400mL (or 13.5 oz) can regular coconut milk
½ cup beef broth (check label for gluten-free)
Pepper, to taste
In a large skillet, mist it with oil or cooking spray. Saute the finely chopped onions until they are translucent and start to brown. Set aside.
Prepare the meatball mixture. In a medium bowl, add the raw turkey, egg, egg white, oats, salt/pepper, allspice, worcestershire and garlic. Lastly, add in the cooled cooked onions.
Heat up the same large skillet to medium/high and spray again with oil. I found my meatball mixture quite wet, so they didn't roll into balls. Drop spoonfuls of meatball mixture into the pan. Brown on one side (about 3 min) then flip and cook on the other side. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to do this in batches. The meatballs won't be fully cooked, as they can finish cooking in the sauce.
Now to prepare the sauce. Once the meatballs are browned and removed from the pan, prepare the sauce in the same skillet.
Using 1 Tbsp vegan margarine (or butter), 1 Tbsp gluten-free flour (or all-purpose), whisk together until it makes a paste. Pour in the can of coconut milk, and beef broth. Season with pepper.
Allow to simmer for a few minutes until it starts to thicken up (it will thicken more later). Add back in the meatballs and simmer together for about 10 minutes, turning the meatballs occasionally. During this time the sauce should thicken, and the meatballs will be fully cooked through.
Serve meatballs on their own, over pasta or rice. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
*Nutrition per ¼ of recipe if you use a can of LIGHT coconut milk instead* Cals: 331 Fat: 16.2 g Sodium: 460 mg Carbs: 17 g Fiber: 1.5 g Sugars: 8.6 g Protein: 29 g
Serving size: ¼ of recipe Calories: 433 Fat: 28 g Saturated fat: 2 g Carbs: 10 g Sugar: 1.8 g Sodium: 426 mg Fiber: 1.5 g Protein: 29 g Cholesterol: 121 mg