lunch Archives • andrea leigh co
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warming indian mulligatawny soup (vegan, dairy free, oil free, no added sugar, gluten free)

As someone who prefers to use medication as an absolute last resort, I’m always on the lookout for food and recipes that give the body a fighting chance against infection before medication is needed. And this warming Indian mulligatawny soup is just what the homeopathic doctor ordered. Chock full of spices, vegetables and a kick of plant-based protein from red lentils, this soup comes together easily even if the ingredient list looks intimidating. Actually, it’s exactly because of all these ingredients (which are mostly spices) that makes this soup an excellent meal especially during cold and flu season. For example: …

building a better vegan BLT (+ VIP eggplant bacon recipe)

Today is National Sandwich Day. (Scratching my head over who comes up with these things, but we’ll run with it.) And what better way to celebrate than with a sandwich classic…the BLT? A vegan BLT. Let’s dig in. While it’s kind of hard to construct a bad BLT, there are a few tweaks you can try to make it even better both for taste and to give it a healthier nutrition profile. Here’s how:   Start with whole wheat or whole grain bread. Whole wheat breads (and 100% whole grain breads are even better), give you the whole enchilada of …

roasted carrot coconut ginger soup (vegan, dairy free, gluten free, soy free)

This roasted carrot coconut ginger soup absolutely hollers “fall” doesn’t it? The bright orange color. The roasted root vegetables. The richness of the coconut milk and comforting heat of the ginger. Then add a sprinkle of spicy sweet pumpkin seeds and this is a meal and the sings. The inspiration for this soup came from similar versions I’ve seen in stores. But my version comes without the added oils that most store-bought varieties include and cutting back on added oils = a healthier you. There are two extremely important lessons I learned when making the soup: 1) peel the carrots …

weeknight tacos with tres taco “meat” (vegan, soy free, gluten free, no added sugar)

Sure it’s not Tuesday, but tacos are too good to have only one day a week dedicated to them, right?! Last week, I was pretty excited about having them for lunch leftovers two days in a row and love this new tres taco meat I whipped up featuring walnuts, chickpeas and lentils. It’s a tres-fecta of plant-based protein. In keeping with weeknights, which typically are busy for many of us, this recipe is simple and requires quick heating or none at all in case you prepare the ingredients ahead of time. Let me walk you through this recipe with that …

Chop Salad with Pecan Parmesan and Caesar Dressing

There’s just something that feels so right about eating a colorful bowl of salad. Agree? And something rustic yet subtly sophisticated about the name, “chop salad.” Throw in a salty, savory topping and a garlic-infused dressing, and that’s a two forks up in my book. I’m sharing this recipe with my Sugar Pretox Challengers, and couldn’t resist sharing it with you as well. It comes together easily and is made with ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry or fridge. The pecan parmesan is inspired by the recipe in Angela’s  Oh She Glows Cookbook. Watch those pecans when …

Leng’s salad (vegan, gluten-free, peanut free option)

As promised, here’s the post I promised which features one of my favorite sauces that pairs well with many dishes. Although the National Day of Peanut Butter may have passed, peanut butter lovers know that any day is a good day to enjoy this nutty legume. (For those with allergies and non-peanut butter lovers, you can sub in almond butter). I call this recipe Leng’s Salad in honor of a woman our family got to know a couple of years ago. She and her family were refugees we had the privilege mentoring for a short time. While they’ve since moved …

sweet potato & lentil soup (vegan, oil-free)

The first vegan cookbook I ever purchased was Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson*. It was during the season in my life that my oldest son likes to refer to as “the time when we weren’t eating healthy.” I refer to it as the time when I didn’t realize the benefits of eating a plant-based diet. But the Lord knew He would bring me to this place, so He gradually encouraged me to go meat-free on more than just Monday. I started by exploring vegan and vegetarian cookbooks in our local library until I stumbled upon Vegan Planet*. One of my …

oh-lay early spring salad

It’s funny how much we talk about the weather, at least around these parts. Perhaps it’s because we’re all in it together, this waiting for spring to be spring. I check weather updates repeatedly as if somehow my multiple visits per day to our local weather station’s website will translate to warmer temperatures in the forecast. Even now my fingers are itching to check it once again. The calendar says it’s spring, but the temperatures seem reluctant to leave winter behind. I need to remind myself as I remind my children that it is the Lord who controls the weather …

brussels sprout & “bacon” pizza (vegan)

The weather finally is whispering spring. My children actually want to play outside. I wore shoes, not boots, outside for the first time since I can’t remember when (not counting my time in the DR). Today the boys rode their bikes to school. Yet I know we’re not in the clear yet…a spring snow is still a possibility. And here is a, perhaps unconventional, recipe; a nod to this betwixt and between time of eating winter’s comfort food while looking forward to spring’s fresh raw green. It’s a pizza featuring the warming heat of peppers and topped with raw Brussels …

whole grain pizza dough (reduced gluten)

When my children were little, we discovered this book at the library. It included a recipe for pizza dough in the back and we decided to give it a try. Friday pizza nights with the “Pizza for Everyone” crust quickly became a family tradition, one that was often accompanied by a movie. Though we don’t strictly adhere to this tradition all the time, I usually plan for pizza night once a week (and make a few extra personal pizzas to tuck into school lunches). I’ve adapted the original recipe to include whole grains and reduce the gluten content. I’m also …

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