High in protein, fiber and iron, lentils are wonderful. The key to a great healthy whole food plant based sloppy joe is a combination of meat-free meaty textures and low sodium spicy tangy seasonings. 10 minutes is all it took and the leftovers tasted even better than it did first time around!
Use in sandwiches, on top of low glycemic index grains, whole grain organic pasta, in whole grain organic wraps, taco shells, or on top of salad!
It’s fine if you use only one type of lentil or bean, but for a meatier texture you want to use a combination of two different size cooked or prepared lentils/beans. Finely and coarsely chopped vegetables can also be great in the mix. Taste along the way to get it seasoned just how you like! (Something you can’t do that with meat!)
Easy and Delicious Healthy Whole Food Plant Based Sloppy Joes
-2 cups of black mini lentils I believe they’re called Beluga lentils. In this case they were already prepared with no added salt and so I just reheated them in the microwave I purchase them from Target.
-One can of red lentils already prepared no added salt I purchased them from Whole Foods.
-One small can of tomato paste
-A can of water using the can of tomato paste was in
-optional ingredients 1/2 cup of any chopped sautéed in water vegetables such as onion, celery, tomato, peppers, mushrooms and zucchini.
Here are the seasonings that you could possibly use any combination of
-Splash of apple cider vinegar
-Fennel to taste
-Garlic powder to taste
-Chili powder to taste
-Onion Powder to taste
-Garlic Powder to taste
-Oregano to taste
-Dried crushed red pepper to taste
-Turmeric to taste
Instructions: Combine all ingredients and simmer until heated. Do not overcook. Great as leftovers. Serves 4-6
Last year I started this blog. I felt at that time that the most honest title I could give it would be “The Unlikely No Meat Please Gal”. Meat and animal products had been the center of all my meals for 55 years.
I grew up in the Ohio farmlands and there were a few decades where very few vegetables were consumed but many, many meals of meat, eggs and dairy. So the chances of ever saying, “no meat please” were practically non existent. So that was the title of this blog,”The Unlikely No Meat Please Gal”
After more than a year of not eating meat, dairy or eggs, I felt that it was time to change the name of this blogging effort. I thought about why my commitment to not eating meat and other animal products was strong, and the new title was easy. I thought about the reversal of my heart and diabetic issues. I thought about how the dress I wore when I married my husband 10 years ago is now way too big for me and yet a year back I couldn’t have squeezed into it. And just the hope it all has brought to me.
I am indeed “The Glad To Not Eat Meat Gal”: A fat girl from St. Louis, Missouri who is now at a much healthier weight and better lab results. All of that inspite of 3 fat disorders (lipedema, lymphedema, Dercum’s Disease) that makes it very difficult to lose weight. Am I cured of any of them? I stand firm in saying that it has reversed some of the symptoms. I would not say that I am cured, but I’ve changed the quality of my life and I no longer feel helpless. So in addition to everything else, less depression that comes with being diagnosed with a rare disorder that had taken over my life.
From 13 pills a day to one prescription and a selenium supplement, down in clothes sizes and up in hope,, I am forever The Glad To Not Eat Meat Gal. I am forever no animal products or oils, period.
Thank you to my friends, family, doctors, Forks Over Knives community, the STL Veg Girl, Dr, Joel Kahn’s publicly shared information on this topic, nutritionfacts.org , Clayton Medical Associates and my fellow members of the Lipedema, Lymphedema and Dercum’s Disease communities who have supported me on my efforts.
In healing some of my body and mind in the last year through eating WFPB oil free low glycemic Index, low fat, no oils, I want to write about Kindness and Forgiveness as we interact with each other.
We live on the same planet and interact with each other in person and online, weaving in and out of contact with one another. It can be a puzzle why people act or respond as they do. Our own wounds and stresses can keep us from knowing how we come across to people. Other times they can also make one more sensitive and get easily hurt. At times it’s easy to relate to a person and other times we feel frustration or confusion from interactions. There is a type of dance going on related to the presence of or lack of kindness and forgiveness as we are on…
What has kept me sane in the last year. Black Bean Burgers. I get requests for the recipe every week so I thought I would post this. Easy to make, season to taste, Use as a healthy substitute for animal product burgers, on top of riced vegetables or on top of greens. Use t as part of a buddha bowl. Top it with fresh tomatoes and some pickles, hummus, cashew cheese sauce, onions, salaa, a couple sliced olives, mushrooms or a pile of greens
Stick them in the freezer for fast meals.
Your choice of a bag of dried black beans (usually a pound size) cooked per directions, or 3-4 cans of drained and rinsed black beans. Organic and salt free is best, but rinsing the normal kind helps quite a bit.
A variety of salsa or oil free huumus that you enjoy. (We really enjoy low sodium black bean salsa. It blends in well and keeps it moist) I use 1/4 or more.
Ground Flax Seed and water or Bob’s Red Mill Vegan Egg substitute or a combination of the two. (For binding). You want it to be the equivalency of 1 or 2 eggs.
Use any of the following to help binding:
-oats (whole or ground into flour)
-garbanzo bean flour (Bob’s Red Mill is easiest to find)
-compliant bread ground into crumbs
The amounts vary from a half cup to a cup or so. Enough to make a meatloaf kind of consistency.
Any finely chopped vegetables you enjoy (optional). The key word here is finely chopped because big chunks may make it easier for the burger to fall apart. Ideas include beats, onions, peppers, carrots, cauliflower,zucchini, chopped baby kale, a little mashed sweet potato with skin left on.
Suggested possible seasoning (Pick your favorites)
-Dried Crushed Red Pepper
-Black Pepper (I’m allergic so I don’t use it)
-chopped fresh cilantro (really great with the lime juice)
-to get the B-12 as you would from meat in each burger, use a fortified nutritional yeast and sprinkle into each burger you form.
Other alternatives: Use different kinds of beans, lentils and peas in with the black beans.
Using a fork, mash the beans. It will be lumpy and it’s fine for them to not be completely mashed.
Combine ingredients with the beans and with clean hands or a fork combine the ingredients.
You can vary the amount of binding ingredients to make sure that it is a meatloaf like consistency. You can also refrigerate the mixture to get it to firm up. I have also found that just letting the mixture set for a few minutes on the counter helps this too. It will firm up in the oven if you bake it.
TASTE IT AS YOU MAKE IT TO ADUST SEASONING AND INGREDIENTS.THERE IS NOTHING IN IT THAT SHOULD MAKE YOU SICK.
We find it helpful to make the patties two different sizes. A fourth cup size and a half cup size. That way you can combine one or the other with different low glycemic meal items and keep the low glycemic carb load within reason.
Also we make some thinner but larger in diameter and some a little thicker. No matter what, make sure they are firmly put together and not so big that they are more likely to fall apart.
On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, place reasonably spaced out patties. You can sprinkle additional seasoning options.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 -30 minutes. Use a non slotted spatula for all flipping and removal of burgers.
You remove it from the oven at the half way point, allow it to cool down just enough to let it firm up, and then flip the burgers. Reapply any seasonings if you want. Place back in oven for additional time.
When done, allow the burgers to “set” for 10-15 minutes. They should have the firmness of any typical burger.
Good news is that if they crumble ( only once has this happened to me and that was in the beginning), just set them aside in your freezer and use the crumbles for tacos, burritos or in other dishes.
Once cooled down completely, I use your favorite freezer safe container. Use layers wax paper between each layer of burgers. I put in a combination of sizes in each layer so I don’t have to dig through the layers to find the size that works. Store in Freezer for weeks.
Typically we make 12-24 black bean burgers at a time and freeze them. It is so worth it. Whether my husband is cooking or I can manage to reheat them myself, it’s great for throwing together a no fuss meal with some greens and fresh fruit and veggies on the side. Keeps me compliant.
Chronic Illness makes it important not only to stick with eating healthy, but to make it doable. For those with crippling illness, It is fine to make this and set it aside in the fridge for a day before making the patties and baking them. No need to be on your feet too long. Or sit at your table and work on it. A little effort on making these means that you will have many easy meals in your future.
Keep bags of fresh dark greens, fresh fruit, and vegetables you can eat raw or easily prepare in your fridge. Keep frozen vegetables, berries and fruit in your freezer.
Lunch today. It was a “make it work” moment. I had to use what I had for the non dairy cheese sauce. It turned out great.
Fresh spinach with 1/2 cup of whole grain pasta with a whole food plant based sauce, peas and tomato. Fresh veggies including chopped broccoli. Garnished with a a fresh mandarin orange.
A healthy dose of B12, ample protein, iron, calcium, vitamin k, vitamin C, protein, Folic Acid, vitamin A, potassium, lipocine, phytosterols which lower cholesterol, B complex, copper, zinc and manganese.
Also contains lutein, kaempferol which is linked to decreased risk of chronic disease and cancer.
And lots of nitrates which promote heart health. Also quercetin which fights inflammation and heart disease reducing pain, and fighting stress.
But isn’t what is shown in the photo above and at the end of the article considered to be high carb?
See the two side photos? Looks to some I bet like a giant pile of high carb. But in honesty, it is a half cup total of half whole grain pasta and half peas. Then that little half cup you see in the photo on the left is put on top of a cup of greens and a cup of riced vegetables. Ta-Da!
Any food less than 55 on the low glycemic scale is considered to be low glycemic index. It means that it will release the natural carbohydrates into your system slowly and evenly.
Some of us are diabetic and some of us are not. For the sake of our endothelial cells which we need to keep our cardiac and lymphatic blood vessel walls strong, having a lack of blood sugar spikes is important.
Our bodies also need the nutrition of foods including fruit, grains, vegetables, greens, legumes. So a careful balance throughout the day of these foods are mostly naturally low glycemic index,
I have never counted a carb or calories in what I eat on this way of eating, but I have to be focused in keeping in mind how many servings of what foods I have during the day as well as serving size of the foods that I know for me will spike blood sugars if I eat too much of them. (because of my diabetes, others who are diabetic don’t even have to measure it out, it doesn’t bother them).
So for instance, I measured out 1/2 cup of the 100% whole wheat organic pasta combined with peas. The Glycemic index is an 20 for a half cup. Combine that with a cup of raw greens and that (3 glycemic index) And a cup of chopped cauliflower with carrots ( 3 glycemic index) And a half of a tangerine (20)
That comes to a grand total of 46. Couldn’t find the Glycemic index of a small sprinkle of sundried tomatoes but there is room for them.
Nutritional Yeast has the glycemic index of 0
Calories on this plate 400
Makes 4-6 servings
For cheese sauce,
In high speed blender blend until smooth:
-1 cup unsweetened plant milk (I went for one that has calcium, B-12, 8 grams of protein).
-6Tbl B-12 fortified Nutritional Yeast
-1/2 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder
-Two shakes of dried red crushed red pepper
-1/4 cup cannellini beans (optional, it just added thickness)
-additional fortified Nutritional yeast and seasonings to taste.
– 1/2 tsp or to taste of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar
1 Tbl of oil free hummus such as Engine 2 brand (it’s fine without it too).
With drained organic whole wheat or lentil pasta, in a 2 quart pan and on low to medium heat, pour the sauce over the pasta and stir frequently as the sauce thickens and clings to the pasta. Sprinkle additional seasoning on it if desired and stir in peas and whatever else you like.
The article that the first sentence here will lead you to, provides adequate information on this disorder. Along with lipedema, and lymphedema it’s been a “large” life for sure.
Changing my nutritional intake has done more for me than any information provided e by the medical experts I traveled so many hours to see. No way of knowing when I began eating Whole Food Plant Based, Low Glycemic Index, no oil, low fat, and low sodium that I would see any relief from these disorders. Just goes to show that each day there is a new chance for miracles.
Will always have Dercum’s Disease, lipedema and lymphedema, but this has helped. Based on the work of Dr. Michael Greger and his Daily Dozen, Dr Caldwell Esselstyn Jr, and Dr. Neal Barnard from Physicians For Responsible Medicine. I was introduced to these men and their views by watching Forks Over Knives.
Inspite of having three fat disorders ( lipedema , lymphedema and Dercum’s disease ) that are progressive in how large they can make a person appear, and have zero to do with calorie intake or exercise…I have managed in the past 10 months to do this.
What is important to point out is that having had these disorders all my life, my hips and legs were always larger than the rest of me. One leg has always been larger than the other. My arms became heavy and large over the years. My stomach, arms, neck, back, hips and legs filled with Dercum’s Disease “tumors”. Lipedema and lymphedema causes swellings that would increase at the drop of a dime. I could put on 12 pounds from these lymphatic fluids in a day or two. I could start off the day at one level and end the day looking 20 pounds heavier just by moving around.
So look at these photos and see that now my hips are in proportion to the rest of my body, my arms have slimmed down, my face has deflated, my torso is smaller. My legs are within reasonable limits. One leg is stil slightly larger than the other, but not overly noticeable. I went from a size 32 to a size 14.
Throw in the use of a box of Miss Clairol for my hair and bam! I look so different! Another thing that this style of whole food plant based, low fat, low glycemic eating has done for me is whip my diabetes, my blood pressure, my cholesterol in shape. That happened in the first month of switching for KETO to this style of eating. So I likely have added years to my life.
Here are the foods that made it all happen.
Bean Steak On Rye w/Kale
Cucumber Carrot Citrus Salad
Busy day? Black beans on greens with melon
Hummus Topped Veggie Burger On Greens With Citrus
Dr. Greger’s inscription after hearing of my success treating lipedema, Dercum’s disease using his suggestions for. Plant-based diet.
In the group for Improving Fat Disorders Using Low Fat Low Glycemic WFPB Eating, no one associated with the group makes a dime off of any participant of the group and you are asked to work with your own doctor and make sure your own medical team is on board, get blood levels done on a regular basis, and other measures to assure you are taking responsibility for your own health decisions.
It’s not about being skinny, it’s about being healthy. If looking smaller ends up being part of it all, then great.
Here is a link to an article I wrote last year on how to approach changing your life with food.
We keep a large container of deep colored greens, cruciferous, root veggies plus other veggies and mushrooms in the fridge. I make a fresh salad to keep at my disposal every 2-3 days. It’s just so easy to dish it out and eat it when busy.
So the trend of Breakfast Salads is right up my ally. The concept is to take the nutrition of the fiber and all those fresh vitamins and minerals and breakfast-fy them. Here is a way to add in some protein that may make whole food plant based protein sources more palatable in the morning. As the saying goes, the secret is in the sauce.
The Amazing Garbanzo Bean-Fresh Orange Salad Dressing
1 average size fresh orange, peeled and sections pulled apart.
1 cup of garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)
1/4 cup plant based milk (unsweetened and minimal ingredients)
1 tsp of rice or apple cider vinegar
a dash or to taste of any of the following
dried crushed red pepper
Simply process in a high power blender until smooth. Store in airtight container. Can stay in fridge for a few days without issue. Shake before using.
For the dressing you can get creative and use other fruits as well or instead.
For the Breakfast Salad itself, for the cereal layer, I use the recommendations of Dr. Esselstyn and stick with Ezekiel or Grape Nuts. Whatever you use, read the package. Keep it minimally processed and as few ingredients as possible. No added sugar or oil.
For the salad shown, I used spinach, fresh cauliflower, snow peas, celery, carrots, mushrooms and fresh sliced strawberries. Blue berries or sliced apples are great too with it. If you use apple, consider adding some cinnamon to the top.
It’s amazing how it doesn’t weigh a person down, and that fiber keeps you full all morning and with nice steady energy that can help keep you focus.
Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) eating isn’t nearly as difficult as some fear it to be. It’s simple, you get plants and you eat them. You try not to process them more than you have to you eat as much of the whole plant as possible and no oil or sugar and keep it low glycemic index and low sodium. In other words, just eat plants or a combination there of.
It’s all mental. I now routinely pop into my mouth greens with nothing on them at all. A little lemon or lime or squeeze half of an orange onto greens, sure. That’s a far cry from my youth.
I’m part of the original Golden Arches generation back in the tiny town in Ohio where I grew up. We were the first batch of youth in that town to have a McDonalds at their disposal. Getting food from McDonalds was a treat in those days. It was reserved for an occasional Friday night or after church on Sunday, or to celebrate something special. I remember fantasizing before I discovered boys, about being living at the McDonalds and being allowed to eat all the cheeseburgers I wanted.
Even mentally back then, food was a reward and part of the celebration and all of it was about meat and dairy and eggs. (it’s so stupid, but I remember the first time I had an egg McMuffin).
So you mentally have to give up that notion of the very food that has made you sick being worth it to you to eat. It’s all an addiction and you need to get refocused on living instead of contributing to an early death. You are hearing it from the horses mouth here. LDL dropped 57% in the first month while cutting my blood sugars in half, and no more blood pressure issues. Boy oh boy did I lose weight! After a few weeks people thought I had weight reduction /bariatric surgery.
I did it cold turkey. Others have to ease into it in their own way. In the end you just have to say, screw it and know that the anxiety you feel about eating plants is based on bad information. Face your fears and stop putting the animal products for a week and give it a try. Just eat the plants!
You acquire the plants and you eat them. What can be easier?
Black beans and salsa, whole grain tortillas, sweet potatoes, peas, lentils, greens of all varieties, squash, and on and on and on. Fresh, frozen, even sometimes canned if low sodium, it’s fine. You can combine those things as you wish, but try to keep the whole edible plant in what you eat. Let your body digest the whole plant. It helps to stabilize the blood sugars which impacts the condition of our endothelium cells on the walls of our blood vessels throughout our body.
Avoid using oil, salt, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and overly processed foods like white rice and white flour. Keep it to actual plants and low sodium herbs and seasonings.
To this day, I stagnate in my progress if I give in on the oil and sugar or I eat processed foods including processed vegan foods. It’s just not worth undoing the good that I’ve done over the last nine months.
And to my friends with chronic health conditions and those who care about them:
Try to remember that this is a wonderful tool and it’s possible to see some reversal of symptoms but not a guarantee of a cure. Even if you lose weight, losing weight isn’t the end all with some chronic conditions. It looks more attractive and it feels good to look good. BUT that doesn’t mean that the person is magically cured of all chronic issues. But I know in my case it sure has likely helped to add to the length and quality of my life.
Work with your medical team, remember animal products is a head game and not really necessary to survive and oh yea one more thing…
The problem with having chronic illness and trying to eat healthy is that the chronic illness can keep you from being well enough to put together healthy food. I’m lucky I have a husband and some very helpful convenience appliances that make it more doable. Still there are times I need to do this on my own. Almost always I can barely make it across the room.
Best suggestions I can give is to always keep a covered container of greens and chopped veggies and fresh fruit in the fridge so all you have to do is dish up.
Busy day? Black beans on greens with melon
Cucumber Carrot Citrus Salad
Have canned beans that you can drain and use.
Whole grain bread (egg free is best) to make veggie open face sandwiches is good.
Batch cook on your good days. Even if you have one or two reasonable days a month, it can make a huge difference.
Here are other possibilities to have on hand with the right planning.
old world pumpernickel bread is good to keep on hand. Topped with homemade bean burger from freezer
Frozen brown rice and a bag of frozen peas tossed together with light seasoning. Some raw carrots and a few grapes. No fuss meal
Homemade bean burgers made on a more doable day
Here is a recipe that literally just happened today. I managed to toss together on a so-so day that is my norm. Couldn’t stand over a stove. Number of variations possible are limited only by your imagination. Took less than 5 minutes to toss together and then it got tossed in the oven where it baked while I sat on the sofa with my legs up and felt miserable (aka typical day).
Whole Food Plant Based Pointer: Using Parchment Paper means you can keep
Cindy’s Plant Based Mexican Bake Casserole
2 cups garbanzo bean flour ( Bobs Red Mill found with that line of products).
I tsp baking soda
2/3 cup salsa
2/3 cup water
1 cup of favorite Mexican friendly veggies (riced or finely chopped or chunked onions, peppers, tomato, cilantro, cauliflower, greens…corn and black beans)
Mexican seasoning of your choice…
Chili powder, cumin, turmeric, low sodium chili or taco seasoning. Curry seasoning is good too.
Possible toppings for after baked…
Shredded lettuce, Miyoko cheese, addition chopped veggies and or salsa….
Combine ingredients except toppings. Pour into lasagna pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 until cake like (approx. 20 minutes).
Serve in squares and top as desired.
Mine looks boring compared to how colorful you could make it look. It’s just what I had on hand.