Plant-Based Dinner Recipes for Energy and Endurance

Dinner is the pinnacle of the day’s meals. It’s what everyone looks forward to after a hard day of work or school. It’s the heartiest and most filling of all meals and should provide you enough energy to last until breakfast. Try some of the following plant-based dinner recipes.

Arame Soba Noodle Salad

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

6 cups water

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounces kamut or buckwheat soba noodles

1/2 cup arame (sea vegetable)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon gingerroot, grated

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup toasted sesame oil

3 tablespoons tamari

1 cup organic edamame, shelled and cooked (optional)

1 carrot, grated

1 cup chopped green onions

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or black sesame seeds

  1. 1Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the basil, rosemary, and salt.

  2. 2Add the noodles, cook until al dente (8 to 10 minutes), rinse, and drain.

  3. 3In a separate dish, soak the arame in 1 cup of cold water for about 10 minutes, then drain.

  4. 4In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, vinegar, sesame oil, and tamari.

  5. 5Add the warm noodles to the sauce and toss to coat. Let the noodles sit and absorb the sauce for 10 minutes to 1 hour.

  6. 6Stir in the edamame, carrots, onions, and arame.

  7. 7Serve in small bowls and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts or sesame seeds.

Per serving: Calories 341 (From Fat 171); Fat 19g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 735mg; Carbohydrate 36g (Dietary Fiber 4g); Protein 10g.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

1 onion, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 sticks celery, washed and chopped

1 bay leaf

1 to 2 cups butternut squash, peeled, halved, deseeded, and cut into small pieces

2 cups cooked kidney beans, or 1 can or organic kidney beans

1/2 head cauliflower, cut into slices or chopped

2 medium zucchini, sliced

1/2 head broccoli, finely chopped

3 medium carrots, sliced

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon arrowroot

4 sweet potatoes, steamed for 15 minutes until soft, and mashed (reserve a small amount of cooking water)

dash of tamari

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Heat 1/4 cup water and olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, onion, sea salt, celery, and bay leaf and simmer for about 3 minutes.

  3. Add the squash and heat for another 3 minutes, stirring. Pour in 2 cups of water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Add the kidney beans, cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli, and carrots. Simmer for another 5 minutes until the squash is just tender. Stir in the parsley and arrowroot. Transfer to a large baking dish or 2 small baking dishes greased with grapeseed oil.

  5. Mix the sweet potato mash with a little of the steamed cooking water in a small bowl. Add a dash of tamari.

  6. Using a fork or the back of a spoon, spread the sweet potato mixture over the vegetable mixture. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pie is set.

  7. 7To serve, scoop out a large square of the pie and serve with a side of cooked millet, brown rice, or quinoa and some steamed green leafy vegetables like kale.

Per serving: Calories 152 (From Fat 12); Fat 1.5g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 238mg; Carbohydrate 31g (Dietary Fiber 7g); Protein 6g.

Warm Festive Farro Salad

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

1 cup farro (spelt), soaked overnight in enough water to cover it completely

1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

1 clove garlic, minced

1 red onion, chopped

1 cup portobello mushrooms, chopped

1⁄3 cup currants or dried cranberries

1 cup thinly sliced rainbow chard or spinach

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon oregano

dash of herbes de Provence

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup toasted walnuts, or pine nuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Rinse the farro and place it in a pot with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer 30 to 45 minutes. Set aside the cooked farro.

  3. While the farro is cooking, place the butternut squash on a baking tray and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and bake for 30 minutes.

  4. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the garlic over medium heat and add the onions, mushrooms, and currants; sauté until softened.

  5. Add the chard, sea salt, dry herbs, and balsamic vinegar. Let sit for a few minutes to let the flavors combine and the chard wilt.

  6. Place the cooked farro in a large bowl and add 2 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil to taste. Add the butternut squash and the onion, mushroom, and chard mixture. Stir to combine. Top with walnuts.

Per serving: Calories 306 (From Fat 153); Fat 17g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 251mg; Carbohydrate 31g (Dietary Fiber 4g); Protein 6g.

Zesty Pesto Pasta with White Beans

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

Sea salt

One 16-ounce package whole-grain pasta, such as kamut pasta or brown rice pasta

Pesto Sauce (see the following recipe)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups spinach or Swiss chard

1 cup cooked white beans

  1. Boil a large pot of water, add sea salt, and cook the pasta until al dente or tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain, but keep the pasta in the pot.

  2. On low to medium heat, add the pesto to the cooked pasta; add the beans and spinach. Stir until well combined and the spinach has wilted.

  3. Place a few ladles of the pasta into a bowl and serve alongside a salad or a bowl of minestrone soup.

Pesto Sauce

1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts, toasted

2 cups fresh basil

1/4 cup olive oil

1 to 2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon white miso

1 tablespoon honey

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Grind the nuts in a food processor until you get a paste.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients and process for a few minutes until well combined.

Per serving: Calories 279 (From Fat 90); Fat 10g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 28mg; Carbohydrate 40g (Dietary Fiber 6g); Protein 8g.

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