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Plant-Based Family Meals

Whether it’s due to an autoimmune condition, a gut health issue, or any other manifestation of illness, more and more people are going vegan (or at least eating less dairy and other animal products). In my culinary classes for kids, I find that their education is far beyond what mine was ta that age (yay parents!!).

Here are some great plant-based recipes to make with your family~ fun and delicious!

(Makes 2 Servings)

What You Need

  • Pupmkin Seed Pesto
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • One 1-ounce bunch of basil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • ½ tablespoon each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Nut Parmesan
  • ½ cup unsalted hazelnuts, toasted
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Pasta
  • 7 ounces gluten-free pasta
  • ½ zucchini, cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • Basil leaves, for serving
  • Arugula, for serving
What You Do
  1. Make the Pumpkin Seed Pesto: Add the olive oil, pumpkin seeds, basil and garlic to the bowl of a blender; season with salt and pepper. Pulse until the ingredients are combined. Store in an airtight container covered in a ½-inch layer of olive oil (which delays browning) for up to two weeks.
  2. Make the Nut Parmesan: Add the hazelnuts to the bowl of a blender and pulse until you get a chunky consistency. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the almond flower and salt. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
  3. Make the Pasta: Cook the pasta following the packet instructions. Drain, reserving a tiny bit of the cooking water, then return the pasta to the saucepan.
  4. Add the zucchini and 4 tablespoons of the pumpkin seed pesto to the skillet and stir until the pasta is well coated. Serve the pasta topped with some of the nut Parmesan, basil and arugula
(597 calories, 22g fat, 83g carbs, 19g protein, 1g sugars)

This gumbo is tasty, cheap to make and loaded with fiber and nutrients. Okra is also a source of antioxidants. Okra seeds contain oligomeric catechins and flavonoid derivatives, both of which have been linked to a lower risk of cancer.

The gumbo itself contains quercetin derivatives, and both pods and seeds contain phenolic compounds.These compounds are believed to have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. So it’s tasty and so good for you!

What You Need
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 small green pepper, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups (200 grams) okra, sliced
  • 1 can (400 grams / 14 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 ½ – 3 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 10 button mushrooms, quartered
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups (330 grams) mixed beans or lentils (I used chickpeas, kidney beans, white beans and brown lentils)
  • 1 tablespoon dark miso paste
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Quinoa, to serve
  • A small handful of fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
What You Do
  1. Heat a wide saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and sprinkle over the flour. Stir or whisk continuously until the roux reaches a dark caramel or milk chocolate color, a bit darker than peanut butter. It will take about 15 – 20 minutes. Don’t let it burn or you will have to start over.
  2. Add the onions and continue stirring continuously until soft. Add the green pepper, celery, garlic and okra. Sauté, stirring frequently for 10 – 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the okra slime has disappeared.
  3. Add the tomato, 2 ½ cups of stock, mushrooms, beans, thyme, cayenne pepper and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  4. If you like your gumbo a bit thinner and more soup-like, add as much of the remaining stock as you want. Turn off the heat and ladle a small amount of the gumbo into a small bowl and add the miso paste. Stir well to dissolve and add back to the saucepan. Mix well. Taste the gumbo and add salt to taste (depends on how salty your stock and miso are) and pepper.
  5. Serve the gumbo with quinoa and sprinkled with some fresh parsley.

Vitamins and fiber and protein OH MY! This is easy, tasty and good for you~ have the kids help Learning to cook is a great life skill!

For the Sweet Potatoes
  • 4 medium-large sweet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
  • 1 cup loosely packed arugula
For the Chickpeas
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
For the Asparagus
  • 1/2 lb asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
For the Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
What You Do
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and then place them on your baking sheet. Transfer them to your pre-heated oven to bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft enough to be easily pierced with a small pairing knife. Remove from the oven and set aside, covering to keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, spread the chickpeas out onto a paper towel. Then use a second piece of paper towel to pat the tops dry. Transfer the dried chickpeas to a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, tossing to coat. Then sprinkle with the salt, cumin and chili powder. Transfer the baking sheet to your pre-heated oven and roast the chickpeas for 20 minutes, stirring them once half way through cooking time. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, toss the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet with the olive oil, salt and black pepper. Transfer to your pre-heated oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  5. To make the dressing, add all of the ingredients in a small bowl or jar. Mix until well combined and smooth.
  6. To serve, slice the sweet potatoes open, being careful not to cut them completely in half (you want the bottom to remain intact), and gently pry them apart to create space in the center. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of the dressing inside each of the sweet potatoes. Then stuff with the arugula, asparagus and chickpeas, diving the ingredients evenly between the sweet potatoes. Drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve immediately.

Please check out AllOnTheTable/Guru for more information about kids culinary camps and adult cooking classes!!

Camps run Tuesday night after school and adult class run Thursday evenings.

Thanks and be well! Bon Appetit!
Sara Rose Snelling

  • Sara Snelling, from All on the Table

    Nutrition Consultant & Culinary Educator

    Sara is a nutrition consultant and culinary educator with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. She has had a lifelong passion for culinary art, nutrition and the holistic sensory experience of food. Her expertise in the field of dietetics and nutrition includes extensive education, training and experience in culinary, agricultural, clinical and community applications. This broad and deep acumen provides the foundation for her practice. Her professional mission is to enable sustainable change in dietary lifestyle habits as a means to affect and improve physical and emotional well-being. She finds joy in exploring the wholly sensory experience of food.

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