Posts Tagged ‘Beyond Meat’

chili side

chili abovechili simmer

Happiest of New Years!

I hope 2016 brings you great health, much love and joy, and a little adventure. I feel we should never stop seeing and experiencing new things, nor should we ever cease to be amazed by all the wonderment in this world, don’t you agree?

In case you noticed, I took a little hiatus… a little time to focus on my other work, and most importantly, focus on my family. I find that additional attention and caring always pays back in tens if not hundreds. Sometimes I need to remind myself that my children will not stay little and young, and that what I say to them and do with them now is what matters most. And just like people constantly tell other parents who have babies or toddlers, children do grow unbelievably quickly, and every day is a treasure, a chance to build a memory that will last a lifetime.

I hope your holiday was cheerful and warm. We spent ours close to home, making two short trips to the snow just before and after Christmas. Last year we skied in T-shirts, but this year mandated we buy extra protection so that not one millimeter of skin was exposed to the freezing temperatures, fierce winds and blowing snow. I will share some great winter skin savers in the next couple weeks along with some recipes for nourishing, warming food, which is what I crave most during these cold–in our case, wet, months.

These are two of my favorite chili and cornbread recipes, both of which I’ve made vegan as well as with animal products. I’ve included notes about how to alter each so you can easily adapt the recipe to your dietary preferences.

The addition of cocoa powder and chipotle peppers makes the chili recipe extra delicious. And I love that I can cook a big pot made mild enough for all ages, and easily add in the chipotle peppers at the very end for those that like the extra kick. The turkey chili recipe (with very small adaptations) is from Cookin’Canuck.



Ingredients (serves 8)

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 1/2 lb ground turkey meat*

1/4 cup chili powder

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp coconut sugar

2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 14 oz can whole tomatoes (with juices)

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped

2 tsp adobo sauce (from chipotle pepper can)

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth*

1 15oz can black beans, drained and well-rinsed

1 15oz can small white beans, drained and well-rinsed

sour cream, grated cheese and chopped fresh cilantro, optional as garnish

*You can easily make this recipe vegan by substituting Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble for the turkey and by using vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.



Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender and slightly translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 minutes.

Add cumin and oregano. Stir for an additional 30 seconds.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add ground turkey, breaking it up into small pieces using a wooden spoon. Make sure the turkey is cooked through.

Add chili powder, bay leaves, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon. Add whole tomatoes, including juices. Break up the tomatoes using a wooden spoon.

Mix in tomato paste and chicken broth. Note: if you want to serve the chili to children or anyone who might be sensitive to too much spice, wait until the end to add in the chipotle peppers and adobe sauce, or split your chili into two pans at this time so you can add the “heat” to one pot while keeping the other mild.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Add beans and simmer an additional 10-20 minutes.

Serve hot, and garnish if you like.

chili bread

Now for the cornbread! I love this recipe because it’s rich, moist and full of texture. It’s heavily adapted from a recipe a friend gave me a year ago, and I like that it can be made vegetarian or vegan and is gluten-free.




3/4 cup butter, softened or 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled

1/2 cup evaporated cane juice

4 eggs or equivalent of Ener-G Egg Replacer

2 tbsp milk or milk substitute

1 tbsp honey

1/2 cup mild green chilies

1 1/2 cup cream-style corn

1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal, medium grind

2 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt



Preheat oven to 325F.

Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.

Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, cream butter or oil and sugar using an electric mixer or large whisk. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each or if using, beat in egg substitute. Beat in milk and honey. Beat in cream-style corn and chilies. Fold in dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Serve warm with butter and a drizzle of honey if you like.

Stay warm!!


chili 4



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rice aboverice close

OK, so you might think from the photo that this post will share a taco recipe. It’s true, I make some sort of taco every week for my family. They love them, no matter what I stuff in them–prawns, beef, chicken, fish, etc.) You might also think using superlatives such as “best” is a bad idea, but this really is the best Mexican rice I’ve ever had–at least compared with what we call “Mexican rice” here in the United States and all the way down to Central Mexico.

The recipe (slightly modified) comes from Maui Taco, on the island of Maui where my mom was born and raised. Even though it’s grown more crowded and touristy, I still love visiting the island, and I try to go as often as i can. Even though the roads sport more cars, and my favorite “secret” (known only by locals) snorkeling spot now has a resort built to the edge of the sand, the waters are still turquoise blue and warm, and I still know where to go for a guaranteed swim with huge gentle sea turtles.

But back to the food! After a few hours of snorkeling and playing in the surf and sand, my family heads to Maui Taco for a quick bite. The fish tacos are simple but flavorful, and when accompanied by rice and beans, they make a full meal. The nice folks at Maui Taco shared this recipe with me years ago, and I’ve been making it ever since. For some reason, I just now thought to share it with others.

It’s surprisingly simple, incredibly flavorful and versatile. You can serve it alongside tacos as I’ve shown here or put it in a larger wrap when making burritos. You can top a bit of it with a fried egg, some sliced avocado and a little salsa or hot sauce for a satisfying breakfast. You can serve it with all the taco/burrito fixings over lettuce and make a healthy taco salad. I actually like it so much that I will eat a bowl all by itself in lieu of dessert.

I served the rice pictured here with tacos filled with meatless “Beefy Crumble,”  radish micro greens, sliced avocado and fresh salsa. I’m not a huge fan of faux meat, but I really like the ground beef substitute by Beyond Meat. We get the “Feisty” version which is very flavorful and made with pea protein (instead of soy, which as you may know, I generally avoid).

rice angle




3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup red onion, finely diced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced or crushed

1 cup long-grain rice

1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste

3 cups organic (or homemade!) chicken stock*

Sea salt to taste



Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast-iron or similar skillet over medium heat. Add in the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onion softens and begins to turn translucent. Add in the garlic and cook, stirring regularly, for another 2-3 minutes.

Push the onion/garlic mixture to the edge of the pan and add in the rice. Cook, stirring occasionally until the rice begins to brown a little. Stir in the tomato paste until fairly well-blended. Slowly stir in the chicken (or veg) stock. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer the rice covered for 20 minutes. Stir and season to taste with salt.

Serve immediately or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.


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pasta above

What’s your reaction to “Meatless Mondays”? Does it seem like a reasonable suggestion? Do you already practice it? Or does it instill a sense of dread that you’ll be subjected to a meal lacking in flavor and texture? Do you consider it purely a marketing ploy by some sector of our food industry? Are you simply wondering why I’m asking since I’ve often labeled my own diet “modified-Paleo”?

Well consider this… If every American went meat-free, just one day a week (or one extra day if he/she already abstains from meat at least one day a week), more than a billion animals would be spared each year from a factory farm life. A billion animals!! That’s insane, right? Furthermore, according to the Humane Society of the United States, “Half the world’s grain crops are fed to the world’s 65 billion farm animals—when more than a billion people suffer from hunger.” That last factoid is the reason I gave up eating mammals for 24 years.

Giving up just one pound of beef, (the most my family of four now eats in a week–by design), saves 1850 gallons of water, contrasted with a pound of vegetables which uses 39 gallons on average. We raise about 75 billion land animals globally for food each year. That raising causes a significant portion of the three largest greenhouse gas emissions–disrupting our normal weather patterns, increasing ocean temperatures and damaging ecosystems. And lest you forgot what an ecosystem is, it’s a biological community of interacting organisms and their environment–meaning, if you adversely affect one thing in the interconnected system, all the others in that system could also be adversely affected, and the entire ecosystem could eventually die.

For the sake of the environment and animals, consider adopting Meatless Mondays in your home. It will help our environment and save you money!! And if you’re already meat-free at least one day a week, consider going meat-free two or three days each week.

And I should clarify what I mean when I say I eat a “modified-Paleo” diet. (Several of you have asked because you’ve noticed I cook and eat many non-Paleo dishes.) Basically, by “modified-Paleo,” I mean I avoid grains and most legumes at least 75% of the time, and I avoid gluten more than 90% of the time. I consume very little dairy, and I try to eat only pasture-raised animals from local farms. I do not believe the Earth can sustain a majority of people eating a strict Paleo diet, which involves the consumption of relatively large amounts of livestock. However, I think a little red meat is sustainable, and I think it’s still environmentally responsible to eat moderate amounts of other meats, (poultry and seafood) depending on what species, where and how it was raised, etc.

I worry whether my family will get enough protein if I serve mainly vegetarian meals, so I am always on the lookout for good meat substitutes. I actually detest that expression, “meat substitute,” as it sounds like something a lab technician would use or a label tossed around by actors in a bad sci-fi movie. I prefer “faux-meat.” I also find myself wary of soy-based faux-meat products, since I’ve read so much literature on the adverse effects of the over-abundance of soy in many Americans’ diets.

I recently discovered Beyond Meat products, and I think several make good faux-meat options. While some of their products use soy as the base, the ground-beef substitute (“Beefy Crumble”) uses pea protein which I think shows a lot of promise–not to mention, it’s high in protein and fiber. Try my recipe for a basic pasta sauce with the added benefits of Shitake mushrooms. If you want meat, try making this dish using ground turkey–cooking it in a little olive oil before you saute the onions. If Shitake mushrooms aren’t readily available, substitute Cremini.

pasta pkgpasta ground



1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup Shitake mushrooms, brushed clean and finely chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp fresh-ground pepper

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 28oz can stewed Roma tomatoes

1 1/2 cups Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble

Pasta of your choice*

*My new favorite is Organic Red Lentil Rotini by Tolerant Foods, even though I photographed the bolognese sauce over a spaghetti-style quinoa, brown-rice pasta I also like. Tolerant’s Red Lentil Rotini is made from only non-GMO organic red lentils, give you a whopping 21 grams of protein per serving (and 13 grams of fiber), and provides large percentages of many important vitamins and minerals, including Calcium, Thiamine, Folate and Zinc.

rotinipasta veg saute



Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan or large cast-iron skillet. Add in the chopped onions and a pinch of salt and cook until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms. Add in the spices, sugar and vinegar. Cook until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes more. Pour in the tomatoes and bring to a soft boil. Turn the heat to simmer, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.

Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta of your choice according to instructions.

Add the Beyond Meat, ground-beef substitute, to the sauce mixture and heat thoroughly, about 3-5 minutes. Adjust salt as needed.

pasta simmer


Serve over your noodles with a little grated Parmesan if you’re not avoiding dairy.


Enjoy while savoring the thought that you’re saving 1850 gallons of water, spared an animal’s life and reduced green-house emissions!!


pasta shrooms




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