• Veganuary - week 2 - what's for lunch?

    It's week 2 of Veganuary! How's it going so far? Have you mastered vegan breakfast? Did you try the savoury oats? I'd love to hear how it's going for you!

    This week let's talk about lunch...

    Lunch can be a challenge for people when they are transitioning, especially if you're used to whipping up a sandwich for lunch. So, it's time to think a bit outside the box!

    In this week's episode of In My Plant-Based Kitchen (Episode 25!) I dish (get it? haha) about...

    • 🥦the place of "transition foods" i.e. vegan lunch meats/cheeses/animal food replacements in a healthy diet (pros and cons)
    • 🥦lunch ideas and inspiration
    • 🥦tips for making healthy lunches easy
    • 🥦I walk you through making a template meal "grain salad" (I make a Mediterranean version, but share tips and ideas on how you can switch things up to use what you've got in your fridge and/or what you like). This is a great, versatile meal idea to keep in your pocket for dinner, and then use the leftovers for lunch!

    Even though we talk about lunch ideas in more details in the video I wanted to share a few of my faves with you here:

    • 🥦Leftovers - chilis, curries, soups/stews, loaves -- anything that can be portioned up into lunch containers and reheats well!
    • 🥦Wraps -- stuff with greens, hummus, and veggies -- or leftovers!
    • 🥦Keep it simple – hummus and veggies – if you cut the veggies up ahead of time and keep them in water (this works well with harder veggies like carrots and celery, not as well with peppers) this can be a great grab and go lunch!
    • 🥦No “tuna” salad – this is my favourite oil-free version - great to use in sandwiches and wraps

    And the grain bowl we made in the video is another favourite! Here is today's version:

    And here is the recipe/template:

    (as I cover in the video, this is completely versatile - you can use different grains/beans, and vegetables (cooked and/or raw), even dressings - the idea is just to use the grain as the base and make sure you get a good diversity of foods in there -- see the video for more details.)


    Combine (amounts are simply guidelines -- I'd keep the grain and beans about the same, but use more/less of other things, depending on what you have/like):

    • 1 cup uncooked quinoa or another grain of your choice (makes about 3 cups cooked) *
    • 1 1/2 cups or 1 can chickpeas, roasted with italian seasoning mix (roasting is optional)
    •  ½ head cauliflower, roasted with Italian seasoning mix
    • 1 small-med zucchini, roasted with Italain seasoning mix
    • 1 orange pepper, diced
    • 2 stalks celery, diced
    • 1 bunch green onions, sliced (white part) and julienned (green part)
    • 1/2 cup Kalamata Olives, chopped (or sundried tomatoes, rehydrated
    • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes. halved

    * I like to cook my quinoa with a ratio of 1 cup dry quinoa: 1 ¾ cups water (with the juice of 1 lemon/lime incorporated into the water)

    Dress with a combination of:

    • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tbsp aquafaba or olive oil
    • salt and pepper to taste (I usually use about 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper)

    Once everything is mixed up garnish with additional tomatoes, chopped cashews and/or some vegan feta

    A few key tips for lunch success:

    1) Plan ahead - I can't stress this enough! Taking a few minutes on the weekend or in the evenings to think about the types of lunches you might want to have makes a BIG difference. Even thinking about it the night before and packaging up some leftovers in a wrap or container that you can grab on your way out the door in the morning really helps.

    2) Batch cook so you have leftovers - get in the habit of making a few more servings than you need, and portion them out for lunch. This makes lunch SO EASY. WRAPS are one of my favourite ways to make leftovers/batched cooked food feel like something different and new for lunch. :-)

    3) Get yourself a good thermos that will keep things warm for you, if you're not in a place you can heat your lunch up.

    Do you have a great lunch tip/recipe to share? Leave it in the comments below!

  • The Power of Greens

    Leafy green vegetables are, arguably, one of the most powerful foods you can eat, and there are SO many benefits to adding them to your daily menu. Just to list a few:

    • They are one of the most nutrient dense foods out there (i.e. more nutrition per calorie)
    • They are associated with the strongest protection against major chronic diseases, including a reduced risk for heart attacks and stroke
    • A study done at Rush University and published in the journal Neurology showed that eating green leafy vegetables every day was associated with slower cognitive decline – the study results suggested that older adults who ate at least one serving of leafy green vegetables showed an equivalent of being 11 years younger cognitively
    • and more

    In this week's episode of In My Plant-Based Kitchen I talk about why greens are so powerful (and what exactly we mean by "greens"), we delve into the benefits of greens for health, talk tips for getting the most out of your greens nutritionally and ideas for how to get more of them into your meals. ANDI do a demo of Side Sauteed Greens

    So if you're interested in this info, be sure to check the episode out.

    Now, on to the recipes.

    Side Sauteed Greens

    Serves 2-3

    • 1 tbsp garlic, minced (you can add minced ginger, chives or other aromatics here if you wish)
    • About 4 cups roughly chopped greens (kale/beet greens/chard/bok choy/Chinese cabbage, etc)
    • 1 tbsp Braggs Soy Alternative + 1 tbsp water
    • sprinkle of lemon/lime juice


    1) Prepare all your ingredients i.e. chop the garlic, and wash and cut the greens. Measure out the Braggs and water and halve a lemon/lime. Have everything at hand because you will need to work quickly in this next stage.

    2) When everything is just about ready to go, heat your pan over med-high heat, and when water sizzles, add about 1 tbsp water then the garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds - 1 minute or so, until the garlic becomes fragrant and starts to look a bit translucent. Don’t allow it to brown – this will make them bitter.

    3) Add your greens, and toss with the garlic. Add the braggs/water mixture and toss again, stirring constantly until the greens have just wilted.

    4) Now sprinkle the lemon/lime juice and toss once more. DON’T overcook – this whole process should only take a couple of minutes!

    5) Remove from pan and eat immediately! (This should be the last thing you do for your meal as these greens are best served HOT).

    Serve as a side with a veggie burger, as part of a bowl, with mashed potatoes and tempeh, or however else you can dream up!

    *Want to see a demo of this recipe? Check it out here.

    Creamy Kale Salad

    Serves 2

    This is another easy recipe that is super tasty and full of powerful nutrition. I love it because unlike most salads it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days.


    • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and finely chopped
    • 1 cup grated carrots
    • 1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
    • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • A sprinkling of sea salt (1/8-1/4 tsp, to taste)
    • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted


    1. Chop kale and place in a bowl. Massage it until it starts to soften.
    2. Toss the rest of the ingredients except the sesame seeds into the bowl and use your hands or the back of a large spoon to thoroughly mash avocado into kale and mix everything together.
    3. Serve into bowls, garnish with sesame seeds and eat immediately, or store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

    Note: for variation you can make this salad with other greens (don't massage unless it's a hardy one though...), lime juice or apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice, switch up the carrots for beets and the sesame seeds for another seed/chopped nut of your choice.

     Have a nutrition question or topic you'd like to see covered on In My Plant-Based Kitchen? Send it to Emma here.

  • Spicy Toasty Chickpeas

    Have you ever tried roasting or toasting chickpeas?

    This power packed snack/meal addition can be a great way to increase your consumption of beans. They are

    ✔️QUICK and EASY to make

    ✔️TASTY to eat

    ✔️VERSATILE to use

    Learning how to make Spicy Toasty Chickpeas can be a great way to UP your snack game AND/OR make your salads/wraps or stirfrys more nutritious AND tasty! They are crunchy, nutty and you can flavour them a million different ways, depending on your favourite herbs and spices.

    Beans are, of course, an important source of plant protein, as we're discussing in Episode 5 of In My Plant-Based Kitchen, but they are also loaded with FIBRE, and a good source of a number of vitamins and minerals, including calcium and iron. These little legumes are power-packed indeed.

    There are a number of ways you can make them, depending on the time and tools you have available - roasting them in the oven, toasting them in a toaster oven or on the stovetop, and even air frying them.

    Spicy Toasty Chickpeas


    • 1 can chickpeas, drained well

    • ½ tsp herbamare/table tasty/sea salt

    • 1 tsp chili powder

    • ½ tsp garlic powder

    • ½ tsp onion powder

    • ¼ tsp paprika

    • ½ tsp arrowroot powder

    • 1 tsp seasoned rice vinegar OR avocado oil (optional)


    1. Drain your chickpeas well (it’s important they are not too wet so they don't just steam when you cook them)

    2. Place the chickpeas in a medium-sized bowl and toss them carefully with rest of the ingredients until they are well coated. Use a little more seasoned rice vinegar if you need it to help the herbs stick, but don’t overdo the liquid.

    3. Preheat a medium skillet over med-high heat, and when it’s hot add the chickpeas and toast them until they are brown, crispy and delicious!

    4. Eat as a snack, or as a great topping for salads, grain bowls, in wraps or in a stirfry!


    • Switch up the spice mixes to find other combinations that you like! (e.g. try dill chickpeas with table tasty + dried dill, or an Italian mix with oregano, basil, marjoram and sea salt – or go Indian with curry, cumin and turmeric + sea salt)

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