Whole Grains and Beans

Whole grains. Nonfat. Cheap. Easy to make. Any recipe with those adjectives is bound to also be…boring. Right? Wrong. Healthy recipes can be boring, no doubt about it, but they don’t have to be. If you have any recipes that you force yourself to make and eat because they’re good for you, rip them up and use them to make a piñata (which might taste better than the recipe).

When we eat or serve boring food, we’re doing more harm than good. If our friends eat our boring vegan food they get nervous about the whole vegan thing and become more resistant to hearing about animal suffering. Who wants to go from BBQ burgers and chocolate cake to unseasoned brown rice and carob bars? That’s a terrifying idea to a carnivore and he’ll resist the message in order to protect himself from bad food.

Give a carnivore a delicious vegan meal, though, and watch those mental brick walls crumble.

Below are two super-easy recipes that fit the bill.

Mushroom Barley Soup
Curried Red Lentil and Cauliflower Salad

The trick is to learn how to cook grains properly (click here for some tips, but cooking them more often is the best way to learn) and use seasonings. Don’t be afraid of salt and herbs and spices. Add more if you think it needs it, experiment, and write down your favorite changes. These are both good recipes to multiply so you have lots to eat throughout the week.

Mushroom Barley Soup
Recipe from The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss

6 1/2 cups water
1 cup pearled barley
1 onion — chopped
2 Tb soy sauce
1 Tb dried parsley
2 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp wasabi powder
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms — sliced
2 cups shredded cabbage

-Place the water, barley, onion and seasonings in a large pot. Cover and
cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.
-Add the mushrooms and cabbage and cook for another 30 minutes.
-Taste, adjust seasonings if needed, serve.

Curried Red Lentil and Cauliflower Salad

2 cups red lentils, picked through
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp curry powder, to taste (some curry powders are spicier than others)
¼ cup white wine or water
1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
1 Tb balsamic vinegar
2 Tb soy sauce
1 small apple, chopped fine
¼ cup currants

-Cook the lentils in the water until they are tender and still whole.
-Meanwhile, sauté the onions and garlic in the wine for 3 minutes. Then add the curry powder and cauliflower florets. Cook, stirring, until the cauliflower is tender-crisp.
-When the lentils are done, mix in a bowl with the cauliflower, spices, apple and currants. Season with the balsamic and soy sauce.

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