Article by One Green Planet
Ever heard of Oprah? Yep, thought so.
This month’s edition of O Magazine has invited the world to take part in a very special challenge that focuses on environmentally-friendly, body-loving, plant-based foods. What am I talking about? Oprah’s one plant-based meal a day for 30 days challenge! After an inspiring interview with climate change activist Suzy Cameron, Oprah teamed up with her personal chef, Chef Raymond, to create thirty delicious and healthy plant-based meals to try once a day for the month.
How could we at One Green Planet not take a moment to rejoice and share this shout out to plant-based eating!
So, we’ve decided to take this 30-day challenge for 100 percent vegan-spin. While Chef Raymond designed a slew of absolutely mouth-watering, toe-curling plant-based recipes, not all of them are strictly vegan (but incredibly close to it!). For the vegans out there, we’ve taken each of these recipes and veganized them in fun, creative, and healthy ways! Take a gander at the list and get to designing your own vegan version of Oprah’s challenge.
1. Roasted Pumpkin & Wild Field Mushroom Risotto
The most challenging part of creating a plant-based risotto is cutting the dairy and finding a creamy replacement, yet Chef Raymond seems to have triumphed quite supremely in this Roasted Pumpkin & Wild Field Mushroom Risotto. With a mixture of creamy squash, vegetable stock, and thickening almond milk, this squash-pureed covered risotto will fool even the most prolific risotto lovers.
Squash is a true hit or miss for many plant-based eaters. We all have our favorites, as well as those we’d rather avoid. Therefore, if you’re not a fan of one in this recipe, try expanding with a new type of squash. This risotto recipe is also a great opportunity to add a bit of detoxifying cilantro or nutrient-dense wild rice.
Here are a few more plant-based risotto recipe ideas: Eggplant Ragout with Risotto, Arancini: Fried Risotto Balls, Saffron Risotto, Baked Mushroom Risotto with Rosemary and Dried Cranberries, Cauliflower Risotto, Lemon Basil Risotto, Wholemeal Risotto with Asparagus and Nettles.
On day two, Oprah unveils a Baked Falafel ‘Wraps’ with Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, and Tomato-Cucumber Salad recipe that slays your hunger fast! Falafel is an excellent and easy meal to make with exclusively plant-based foods — as its base is mainly chickpeas — and it’s also a food that is perfect for meal prep and easy to travel with — such as lunch at work or a snack on the airplane.
Don’t want the extra hit of spice from the jalapenos, but worried you’ll throw off the recipe? Try substituting a few slivers of your favorite bell pepper variety. It’ll offer a sweetness instead of spice and bell peppers are also rich in vitamin C to give you that extra boost as the weather turns cold. Also, ratchet up the nutrient-density by adding a bit more avocado! These delightful fruits are brimming with healthy fat, minerals, and vitamins across the board.
Looking for other healthy plant-based wrap ideas? Try a few of these: Buffalo Cauliflower Cabbage Wraps with Sweet Potato Fries, Wild Rice and Hummus Collard Wraps, Lettuce Wraps, Falafel Wraps with Avocado Salsa, Bean Patties in Beet and Chickpea Wraps, Mushroom and Jicama Lettuce Wraps.
If there ever was a time to incorporate curry into your life, the winter is definitely the perfect season! On day three, Oprah suggests this Sweet Potato & Coconut Curry. This dish is brimming with flavor and life with an onslaught of vegetables, spices, aromatic herbs, and healthy fat. Chef Raymond’s curry dish even has a bit of bartlett pear — who would’ve thought! — and whole shredded coconut for a wondrous texture.
Curry is a great recipe to add a dash of nutrients here and there such as anti-inflammatory powerhouse turmeric (remember to add some cracked black pepper to boost the power), antioxidant-rich paprika, and even a bit of ginger, which has been shown to help fight chronic pain and inflammation.
Get your curry on more than one night with these amazing plant-based curry recipes: Creamy Curry Mac, Asian Noodle Bowl with Yellow Curry Sauce, ‘Chicken’ Thai Red Curry With Fried Rice, Potato Pea Curry, Green Thai Curry Bowls, One-Pot Lentil Curry, Healthy Golden Curried Quinoa, Broccoli Pepper Curry, or this Spicy Coconut Plantain Soy Bean Curry.
Simple, nutrient-dense, and savory. Day four opens with a Red Beans and Rice recipe that could be incorporated into any meal of the day. That’s right, including breakfast! The trick with this recipe is the bay leaf. These leaves are incredibly powerful aromatics that won’t overpower the subtle spices and other herbs that you intend to use. Yet, it leaves the dish feeling smoky without going through all the trouble of actually making it smoky.
If you’re looking to go completely unprocessed, try making your own vegan hot sauce. Also, the simplicity of this dish opens it up to a variety go-to extra’s to amplify the nutrient-density such as chopped or rice cauliflower or broccoli, cooked and diced eggplant, or even few tablespoons of fiber and protein-rich lentils.
Completely veganize this classic, simple dish with a few of these tasty beans and rice recipes: Chickpea Spinach Stew, Cilantro, Lime and Black Bean Rice, Spring Vegetable Paella, White Bean Wild Rice Hash, Spicy ‘Baked’ Beans, or Spicy Chipotle Rice and Beans
Sometimes, you just gotta have a nice juicy steak. Something that you can cut with a knife and fork, that will fill your stomach and leave you satisfied. Oprah’s Chef, Chef Raymond, took a guess that by day 5 of the 30-day challenge, it was time to introduce the much talked about cauliflower steak in this Grilled Cauliflower “Steak” with Garlic-Tahini Sauce. To spice up the neutral flavor palate of cauliflower, Chef Raymond dusts the “steak” with Za’taar spice, olive oil, and cilantro leaves for grilling and smothers the entirety in a wonderful tahini-sauce with a base of water, lime juice, tahini, garlic, herbs, and spices.
This recipe is already super nutritious! With that said, there’s always room for creativity when it comes to plant-based cooking. For instance, plant-based “steaks” aren’t relegated to the cruciferous powerhouse that is cauliflower. Not at all! You can actually source a steak-like vegan meal from an assortment of hearty veggies such as portobello mushrooms, eggplant, coconut meat, and even tofu. Depending on your taste preference or if you’re seeking certain nutrients — more protein? A dose of healthy fat? Some vitamin D? etc. — you can pick and choose at your leisure!
Take a stab at a few of these creative plant-based steak alternatives: Peppered Tofu Steaks, Spicy Lime Cauliflower Steaks, Portobello Mushroom Steaks, Steak Sandwich, Lemon Paprika Tofu Steaks, Seitan Steak and Mushroom Pie, Seitan Steak in Beurre Blanc Sauce, Buffalo Cauliflower Steaks, Breaded Portobello Mushroom Steaks
Oatmeal, oatmeal, oatmeal! It’s truly one of the most wonderful ways to begin your morning. Incredibly diverse, satiating, and whole-heartedly healthy, oatmeal has become an almost beloved breakfast staple in a plant-based kitchen. On day six, Oprah shares her take on a classic oatmeal recipe with this Toasted Coconut & Pineapple Oatmeal. The recipe calls for steel cut Irish oats and an assortment of antioxidant, mineral, and vitamin-rich fruit such as blueberries, bananas, and pineapple. Plus, the whole thing is topped off with delightfully crispy and rich toasted shredded coconut.
Take this oatmeal another notch up the vegan ladder by cooking your oats in your favorite go-to plant-based milk. This not only adds a depth of richness, but it also amplifies the nutrient density. Not far enough? Alright, go ahead and add a spoonful of raw cacao nibs for those powerful antioxidants and a spoonful of your favorite nut butter for a dose of healthy fat.
You can’t really go wrong when it comes to spicing up your oatmeal recipe. Go savory, go sweet, or go both! To get you started, here are a few ideas: Cantaloupe Date Oatmeal with Mint-Melon Relish, Cozy Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, Citrus Carrot and Cranberry Oatmeal, Protein-Packed Breakfast Quinoa Bowl, ‘Nutella’ Latte Oatmeal, Frosted Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal, Pumpkin Earl Grey Oatmeal, Roasted Cauliflower and Coconut Overnight Porridge Pots, Breakfast Chocolate and Fruit “Zoats” (Zucchini Oatmeal!).
On day seven of the challenge, we’ve got a super delightful Vegetable Chili & Vegan Corn Bread that’s perfect for the cooling weather. The cornbread is dairy-free — Chef Raymond uses apple cider vinegar along with almond milk — and the cornbread is, of course, meatless. What makes the bulk? Eleven different veggies comingling with a handful of spices and aromatics like garlic.
If you’re like me and you love a bit more healthy fat in your life, opt for coconut oil over olive oil. Also, chili is one of those wonderful recipes where you can add a dash of spice and it won’t change the entire flavor palate. Therefore, this is a great opportunity to use anti-inflammatory powerhouse, turmeric!
Chili may be one of the easiest recipes to turn vegan. Cornbread, on the other hand, is a little trickier. With that said, we’re here to lend a helping hand with a slew of already vegan-friendly recipes for your chili-cornbread dinner duo: Chili Mac, Easy Autumn Cornbread, Mexican Bean Stew, Cornbread Muffins, Spicy Pumpkin Chili, Whole-Grain Cornbread, Herbs and Spices Tempeh Chili, Zucchini Basil Skillet Cornbread, Black-Eyed Pea Chili With Collards, Macrobiotic Cornbread With Tahini-Miso Spread, Creamy Vegan White Chili with Corn and Cannellini Beans, Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins With Harissa Butter
When it comes to smoothies, there’s really no rocket science involved. That’s the case with Oprah’s eight-day-smoothie recipe: Roasted Sweet Potato & Flax Seed Smoothie. The only extra step involved is making sure to roast those sweet potatoes and allow them to cool. Other than that, as Oprah’s challenge puts it, “place all in a blender and puree on high. Pour into chilled glass and enjoy!”
This smoothie is already vegan-friendly, plus it utilizes some of the best anti-inflammatory agents — turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon — as well as gut bacteria boosting fiber-rich flaxseeds. The recipe also calls for plant-based protein powder of your choice. Make sure to choose a protein powder that is also vegan-friendly. Oftentimes, these products include hidden animal-based products that make it plant-based, yet not fully vegan.
Maybe sweet potatoes simply aren’t your jam? Or maybe you’re allergic to bananas? No matter what the reason, if you want to take part in day eight of Oprah’s challenge, but you can’t use Chef Raymond’s recipe, here’s a whole bunch of vegan-friendly smoothie recipes to supplement: Date-Sweetened Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, Nutella Buckwheat Smoothie With Warm Blackberry Sauce, Pina Colada Protein Smoothie, Mind Detox Smoothie, Gut-Healing Salted Caramel Smoothie, Spirulina Smoothie Bowl, Almond Smoothie with Cherries, Super Green Parsley and Cilantro Smoothie, Protein Packed Turmeric Smoothie Bowl.
For day nine, Oprah’s Chef has whipped up a dinner-party friendly Veggie Enchiladas & Roasted Tomatillo Sauce recipe that will please the masses. In fact, Oprah recommends this dish for exactly that purpose because the veggies are beautiful and it’s diet-friendly for most everyone.
If you’re like me and try to avoid corn for that whole “unknown GMO aspect” (or any other reason really!), you can always substitute almond flour or buckwheat flour tortillas. Both of these are just as nutritious and delicious! A great way to warm and crisp tortillas is with vegan butter and if you’re missing that cheesy middle, try out a vegan cheese!
Looking for another enchilada recipe that still meets those vegan needs? Here’s a bunch to keep you going on Oprah’s 30-day challenge:
Enchiladas, Raw Enchiladas, Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas, Black Bean, Corn, and Red Rice Enchiladas, Refried Bean Enchiladas, Smoky Squash and Mushroom Enchiladas, Pumpkin Enchiladas, Slow Cooker Enchiladas, Swiss Chard Enchiladas with Avocado Sauce.
Thai food is generally one of the sneakiest types of food to recreate plant-based and this is mostly due to all the hidden non-veggie ingredients such as fish sauce. With that said, it’s also one of the easiest types of food to turn into a fully plant-based dish and Chef Raymond has accomplished that with this plant-based Spicy Pad Thai Noodles. Instead of fish sauce, Oprah was delighted by a mixture of traditional hoisin and citrus sauces.
What to look out for when experimenting with vegan-friendly Thai food … sugar! This is especially true when ordering from a restaurant where they compensate by substituting sugar for other sauces. When you’re cooking at home opt for a plant-based sugar alternative such as maple syrup, stevia, or monk fruit or nix the sugar altogether and go for inflammation-fighting spices such as cinnamon, turmeric, and curry or more heat such as red pepper flakes, cayenne, and chili powder.
If you love Thai food and want to recreate day 10 on more than just day 10, try out a few of these vegan Thai-based recipes: Super Food Pad Thai, Miso Vegetable Pad Thai, Thai Chickpea Stew, Thai Spring Pea Soup, Summer Rolls, Spicy Raw Thai Salad, Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad, Cold Rice Noodles in Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce, Thai Quinoa Burgers, Thai Peanut Noodles, Super Healthy Pad Thai, Thai-Tofu Vegetable Wrap, or this Super Healthy and Zesty Raw-Vegan Pad Thai.
Day 11 brings to light a traditional gluten-rich meal done in a plant-based gluten-free way! Chef Raymond’s Corn Spaghetti & Beyond “Meatballs” concoction is one of the true American masterpieces during the 30-day challenge. Instead of going with spaghetti created from one of the “normal” plant-based options — think spaghetti squash, zucchini, or chickpeas — Chef Raymond a dried corn spaghetti variety, ensuring a more robust noodle and a gluten-free one to boot!
Not a fan of the Beyond Meat? Or maybe you’re like me and you’re trying to go as unprocessed as possible. Luckily, you can use this as an opportunity to make homemade meatless meatballs that also add a punch of extra nutrients. For instance, boost the protein value of this meal by using garbanzo beans or lentils. Enrich your diet with some natural vitamin D by using mushrooms. Go for the colorful antioxidants and use tomatoes or bell peppers. Boost the healthy carb content — yes, sometimes it’s better to boost your carb intake — by using squash or eggplant. Lots of options!
If you want to opt-out on the meatless meat, but are still aching for those meatballs, try a few of these plant-based, vegan-friendly meatball recipes: Red Soy Meatballs with Tomato Sauce, Eggplant ‘Meatballs’, Beluga Lentil and Shiitake Meatballs, Mozzarella Quinoa Meatballs, Tempeh Meatball, Lentil and Beet Meatballs With Pasta, Swedish Veggie Meatballs, Baked Spinach and Bulgur Veggie Balls, Chickpea Turnip Meatballs, Pesto, Mushroom, and White Bean Meatballs, or these Easy Tempeh Oat Meatballs.
Breakfast is one of those meals that seems hard to make completely plant-based but it turns out it may be one of the easiest. Think oats are your only option? It’s time to start thinking outside the box, such as Chef Raymond did on day 12 with this Gluten-Free Vegan Pancakes. The trick? Instead of buckwheat, amaranth, or almond flour, this recipe calls for a cake flour allowing for a density and sweetness that vegan pancakes otherwise lack. Plus, this pancake is nutrient-rich with flaxseed and mashed banana.
This recipe is already vegan-friendly, but you can try boosting the nutrient-profile by adding a few of your favorite healthy-fat filled seeds — pumpkin, hemp, or sunflower — and maybe a spoonful of coconut oil and/or full-fat coconut milk.
Is the cake flour just a bit too decadent for ya? Try a few of these lighter on life gluten-free vegan-friendly pancakes: Buckwheat Pancakes, Almond Orange Pancakes, Ombre Strawberries and Cream Pancakes, Lemon Matcha Pancakes, Crispy Cornmeal Pancakes With Blueberry Sauce, Baked Pancake Breakfast Pizza, Pumpkin Sourdough Protein Pancakes, Pumpkin Peanut Butter Pancakes, Quinoa Flour, Zucchini, and Peas Pancakes, Crêpe Cake With Coconut Cream, Chocolate Buckwheat Pancakes, or these Pudla: Indian Spinach Pancakes With Chili Yogurt.
Cilantro and peppers were the names of the game when it came to this Garden Vegetable Fajitas on day 13 of the challenge. Simple, fresh, and filled with subtle heat and powerful citrus, these fajitas enter the scene like a breath of delicious air to brighten the day. Cilantro is a natural detoxifying plant-based agent, helping your already efficient body to detox even better. Plus, hot chili peppers contain a component called capsaicin, which has been shown to help alleviate pain, making this a great meal for those hard workout days.
Looking for a bit more girth to your fajita? How about incorporating your favorite grain — such as rice, farro, or bulgur — or your favorite gluten-free pseudocereals — such as quinoa, amaranth, or millet or even your favorite legume — such as beans, chickpeas, or lentils. This not only helps satiate a hungry tummy, but grains and pseudocereals are also excellent sources of a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Here are a few creative ways to amplify your fajitas: Bean and Mushroom Fajitas, Portobello Mushroom Fajitas, Eggplant Fajita Tacos, Fajita Burger, Butternut Squash Fajitas, Loaded Fajita Salad, Eggplant Steak with Fajitas, Chipotle Hummus and Fajita Veggie Taco Bowls, Mushroom Fajitas with Chimichurri, Tex-Mex Walnut Cauliflower Fajita Bowl or these Crispy Tofu and Black Bean Fajitas.
When looking for Indian recipes to incorporate into a plant-based diet, you’re already one step ahead as many are either already vegetarian or easily transmutable into a fully vegan recipe with a few slight changes. With that said, Chey Raymond decided to take on the challenge of veganizing one of the milk and yogurt-based Indian recipes, Cauliflower & Potato Tikka Masala. Instead of these animal-based products, the Chef opts for almond and coconut milk to create the creamy undertones that defines Tikka Masala and has made it one of the most popular dishes here in the states.
If you’re looking to cut back on your sugar intake, you can substitute the coconut sugar for vegan butter or more full fat coconut milk. Still craving a bit of sweetness in this dish? Opt for a less blood sugar invasive sweetener such as monk fruit sweetener.
While Tikka Masala definitely tops the list as one of the most delicious Indian recipes, there are so many others to choose from that are easily made vegan: Curried Cauliflower Rice Pilaf, Mushroom Paniyaram: Indian Steamed Savory Cakes, Baked Potato Samosa Cups, Black Lentil Dal Stew With Carrots, Indian Eggplant Soup, Quinoa Mango Kheer, Indian-Spiced Lentil Soup With Creamy Coconut Milk, Green Chickpea and Avocado Bhel, Tamarind Chutney, and Puffed Black Rice, or this Veg Kheema Paratha.
Day 15 harkens in another wonderful soup option! Soups are not only great for cold weather comforting, but they also offer a way to hydrate your body during these super dry winter months. How would I describe this Roasted Heirloom Pepper Soup & Vegetable Bruschetta recipe? A nutrient-rich, tongue-loving dump of all the best Fall seasonal veggies including bell peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and jalapeno. Of course, the soup is also vibrantly flavored — in the Chef Raymond way — with natural herbs and aromatics such as garlic. Plus, you’ve gotta have a lil’ something to dip, which is why this veggie bruschetta is the perfect pairing.
A great way to bulk up a thin soup or add a bit more “meat” is by incorporating lentils. Lentils are incredibly rich in fiber and protein, as well as a slew of minerals and vitamins. Plus, they are neutral-flavored meaning you won’t be ruining this recipe by simply adding a half cup or so.
When it comes to vegan soup, the sky is the limit! Just remember to use vegetable stock and plant-based milk instead of some more traditional animal-based varieties: Roasted Corn and Pepper Soup, Irish Colcannon Soup, Hearty Purple Potato Stew, Alkalizing Green Soup, Loaded ‘Bacon’ Potato Soup, Chilled Zucchini, Orange, and Basil Soup, Miso Ramen Bowl With Tellicherry Black Pepper Tofu, Comforting ‘Chicken’ Noodle Soup, Mushroom Kale Miso Soup, or this Chutney and Coconut Red Lentil Soup.
There’s no need to go into detail when it comes to Spring Rolls. These simple, delicate, and tasty rolls are the perfect addition to any plant-based meal. They are great to bring to work for lunch or pop on the side of a soup or pasta dish. Chey Raymond gets experimental by suing broccoli stem, asparagus, edible flowers, and vegan eggs.
Liven the palate and boost the nutrients with a bit of spice such as cayenne, paprika, turmeric, or curry in these rolls!
Seeking more ways to get vegan rolls into your life? Try these Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce, Baked Tofu Spring Rolls, Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls With Peanut Satay Sauce, Vegetable Spring Rolls With Peanut Dipping Sauce, Baked Rice Paper Spring Rolls, Instant Pot Steamed Spring Rolls With Mushrooms, Napa Cabbage and Bamboo Shoots, Vegetable ‘Larb’ Spring Rolls, Crispy Tofu Stone Fruit Spring Rolls, or these Green Curry Ramen Spring Rolls.
Day 17 of the plant-based challenge takes on Chinese food with vigor in this Vegetable Lo Mein Noodles! The trick to making this recipe plant-based is the egg-free lo mein. Plus, it’s filled with a variety of lovely veggies — spinach, broccoli, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and asparagus — making sure you’re mouth will be filled and your stomach won’t miss that staple lo mein meat.
To really amp the nutrient and health quality of this dish remove or substitute a friendlier sweetener outside of coconut sugar — such as monk fruit sweetener or stevia — and swap the canola oil for avocado or coconut oil.
Aching for more vegan Chinese food? You’re in luck! There are a plethora of options to choose from if you want to keep this trend going in your weekly diet regimen: Tofu Scramble Fried Rice, Chilled Peanut Noodles, Sweet Potato Spring Rolls, Vegetable Lo Mein, Sweet and Sour Cauliflower, Seared Asian Tofu with Chinese Eggplant and Baby Bok Choy, Sesame Tofu, Butternut Squash Potstickers, Blackened Bok Choy, Sweet and Sour Vegan Pork, Xi Jong Shi Chao “Jidan”, or this Asian Noodle Salad.
Pasta is one of those foods that you’re never quite sure if you should eat. Yes, it’s oftentimes carbohydrate-heavy. With that said, healthy carbs are super healthy for the body, while unhealthy carbs (think refined white flour) can wreak havoc. For day 18 of the challenge, Chef Raymond introduced a healthy carbohydrate-rich version of penne pasta with this Corn Penne Pasta ‘Primavera’. The pasta is not only made with corn, but the Chef also incorporates more lovely veggies such as zucchini, yellow squash, and asparagus, plus a three-layer tomato sauce including full Roma tomatoes alongside, more diced, and even tomato juice.
If you’re avoiding pasta altogether, but still want to keep with the tradition of this 30-day challenge, simply trade the corn penne for a legume of your choice such as chickpeas, kidney or white beans, or even lentils! Add a dash of healthy fat and creaminess to the tomato sauce with a bit of vegan butter or full-fat coconut milk. In the end, if you’re looking for even more of a nutrient-boost, sprinkle your plate with one of your favorite seeds or chopped up nuts.
While carbs may not be your enemy, gluten oftentimes can play the part well! Try a few of these gluten-free pasta dishes to sub: Zucchini Spaghetti With Tomato Cream Sauce, Spicy Vegetables and Chickpea Pasta, Spaghetti Squash Pasta, Vegetable Pasta Salad, Kohlrabi Pasta With Cashew and Sun-Dried Tomato Cream, or this Garden Picnic Pasta Salad With Veggies, Herbs, and Orange-Miso Tahini Dressing.
It’s day 19 and we’ve only got 10 more days to go! Plus, give yourself some credit, you’ve made it 19 days. It’s on this day that we return to breakfast, a traditionally meat-heavy meal, with this Fresh Vegetable Tartine instead. While most of the recipes so far call for a long list of ingredients, Chef Raymond has tossed us an easy one with only nine ingredients that, by now should already be in your kitchen! What makes this truly unique? The Chef uses French radish for a bit of spice and fills in the tartine with blanched asparagus and roasted peppers.
If you’re feeling a tad bit peckish, try adding vegan eggs or tofu as a filler. Also, if you’re looking for a gluten-free bread option try making your own such as this No-Knead Nut and Seed Bread.
Vegan eggless dishes are a truly fun and filling breakfast idea (thank you, Chef Raymond and Oprah!), so here are a few more ways to further integrate eggless dishes into your breakfast routine following the 30-day challenge: Asparagus Tofu Tartines With Light Hollandaise Sauce, Heirloom Tomato Tartines, Chickpea Flour Omelet With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Mushroom, and Spinach Filling, Sunny Side Up Fried ‘Egg’, Omelet Muffins, Runny Fried ‘Egg’, Breakfast ‘Egg’ Muffins, Garden Pea Tofu Frittata, ‘Eggy’ Tofu Scramble, or this Tofu Benedict with Hollandaise.
Day 20 of the 30-day challenge was definitely not a cheat day, but instead of having Chef Raymond design this day’s meal, Oprah taste-tested the “Unbeetable Burger” from True Food Kitchen — a “health-focused restaurant with locations around the country.” Alongside the Unbeetable Burger, Chef Robert of True Food provided a “jicama slaw and crushed avocado with a little kale salad on the side.”
Don’t like beets? This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a good old fashioned vegan burger. There are a variety of plant-based foods that provide the meaty foundation bulky enough to recreate a meatless burger. Try a few of these unique burger recipes to stick with the 30-day challenge today for day 20: Beer Cheese Black Bean Burger, Roasted Carrot and Tofu Burgers, Curry Chickpea Kale Burgers and Baked Sweet Potato Fries, Nourishing Black Bean Burger With Thousand Island Dressing, Chickpea Quinoa Veggie Burgers, Meatloaf Veggie Burger With Cauliflower Mash and Gravy, ‘Lamb’ Burger, Cauliflower Steak Burger, Raw Portobello and Shallot Burger, or this Sweet Potato, Quinoa, and Cilantro Burger.
For most of the country, it’s cold. The first frost has come and gone, the first snow has come and stayed, and we’re walking the streets bundled from head to toe against the chilly temperatures. What does this mean? It’s the perfect time for soup! Take advantage of the cold by treating yourself to some of your favorite warming recipes. Oprah took the deciding out of the equation on day 21 with this Split Pea Soup with Pear & Mushroom Bruschetta recipe offering a unique take on pea soup. The bruschetta is naturally sweetened with pear, — fiber-rich powerhouse keeping both digestion and gut bacteria healthy — and the pea soup is complemented with a kick of cayenne heat and filled out with an assortment of veggies, aromatics, and liquid smoke. This pea soup will be like none other you’ve tasted!
Make this soup even creamier by adding full-fat coconut milk or your choice of fatty nut-based milk such as macadamia or cashew. You can also boost the richness by roasting your favorite squash — butternut, delicata, acorn are all great options — and adding to the puree. This will also boost the nutrient-profile and carbohydrates boosting that satiety.
If you’re looking to diversify your pea soup options today, try a few of these unique pea soup recipes: 6 Minute Green Pea Soup, Split Pea Soup, Raw Green Pea Soup, Asparagus and Pea Soup, Minty Pea Soup, Thai Spring Pea Soup, Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup, Creamy Pea Soup, or this One-Pot French Canadian Split Pea Soup. You can also take that bruschetta to the next level with a few of these super nutrient-dense recipes: Easy Rainbow Bruschetta, Pesto White Bean Bruschetta, Styrian Bruschetta, or this Oven Roasted Tomato Bruschetta.
On day 21, Oprah enjoyed Farro this farro-based Farro With Peas, Asparagus, Pesto, and Cured Olives. This recipe is lovely on multiple levels. It doesn’t shy away from healthy fat-rich olives, in fact the recipe calls for a wonderful half cup of halved olives. Yes and thank you! Plus, it integrates a colorful ensemble of subtle flavors including asparagus and pine nuts, all topped off with spicy arugula and cracked pepper.
What I like best about this recipe is the use of pearled farro. Farro had the limelight for a hot second a few years ago, but with the surge in grain-free diet popularity, it somewhat fell off the “health” grid. This is such an unfortunate circumstance! Farro is a deeply satisfying, plant-based ingredient great for bulking otherwise flimsy dishes while adding a level of satiety and earthy undertones. Plus, farro is an ancient grain, meaning its full of surprising nutrients including a bit of healthy fat, fiber, protein, vitamin B3, magnesium, zinc, and iron.
Make this fully vegan by subbing out the parmesan cheese for a vegan parmesan — such as this Raw Almond Parmesan — and for those grain-free folks sub out the farro for a similar bulky counterpart such as buckwheat groats.
Looking for more ways to enjoy farro? These vegan-friendly farro-based recipes provide a wonderful base to start from Farro With Spice-Roasted Carrots and Dill-Garlic Tahini Sauce, Farro Risotto, Turmeric Farro With Roasted Vegetables, Farro Mujadara: Middle Eastern Lentils and Grains, Farro and Mushroom Stuffed Squash, Black Bean Farro Burger, Mushroom and Kale Farro Salad, Masala Spinach Farro, or this Spring Veggie Farro Fritters.
If you’ve made it this far, then you’re almost done! It’s day 23 of 30 and today Chef Raymond’s recipe — Purple Hull Crowder Peas With Sautéed Okra — is inspired by traditional southern food. In particular, this recipe uses two unique peas: the purple hull and the crowder. Both of these peas are part of the southern pea family or cow pea family and are cousins to the black-eyed pea, yet are known to be tastier. Of course, the purple hull and the crowder aren’t actually peas — such as the peanut is actually a legume instead of a nut … the confusing world of food! — but are actually beans. Oprah’s 23rd day harkens far back through history with these beans believed to have been “brought to the New World from Africa” becoming a part of the “Southern diet beginning in the 1600s.”
This recipe is already brimming with all the healthiness you could ask for! Protein-rich beans, vitamin and mineral rich-veggies, aromatic flavorings such as bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and a kick of chili flakes. Plus, it’s beefed up a bit with sauteed okra and juicy tomato. Want to make it creamy? Swap out vegetable stock for some full-fat coconut milk. Maybe peas just aren’t your jam? Try incorporating a grain-free pseudocereal such as buckwheat groats, quinoa, or wild rice.
Maybe you tried the purple hull and the crowder and they aren’t fitting with your palate? Try these creative alternative pea-based recipe: Summer Greens Vichyssoise With Spicy Mint Sauce, Seeds and Greens Kaniwa Salad, Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas Texas Caviar, Stir Fried Sugar Snap Peas, or this Minty Mashed Peas.
Looking for a southern recipe with a vegan twist? You may even enjoy the vegan version better when it comes to these traditional southern recipes: Cajun Jambalaya, Vegan Fried “Chicken”, Cauliflower Etouffée with Andouille, Sweet Potato Biscuits, Black-Eyed Pea Chili, Lentil Chili Pot Pies, or this Creole-Style Eggplant and Tofu Etouffée.
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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