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Easy Plant-Based Dinner Recipes in Under 30 Minutes

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What’s for dinner?  If the thought of this question stresses you out – this blog post is for you!  Preparing a delicious and well-balanced dinner for yourself and your family doesn’t have to be hard, complicated or stressful.  And flipping traditional recipes into more nutritious and plant-based is one of the B.Komplete specialties.  Check out our top recipe hacks for easy plant-based dinner recipes that will take you less than 30 minutes to prepare.    

BBQ Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This recipe makes 4 servings.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

For fast cooking of baked potatoes use the microwave (recommend wetting a paper towel and wrapping each potato in the damp towel).  Using a fork poke a few holes in the potato.  It will take about five minutes to cook one sweet potato in the microwave, and add two minutes in the microwave for each additional potato. 

To get the potatoes crispy you will cook quickly in the oven.  Preheat your oven to 425 F. After you have done most of the cooking in the microwave, cut the potatoes in half and put on a baking sheet.  Bake in the oven until the outside is crispy, 5 – 10 minutes.

While your potatoes are cooking, heat a saucepan on medium-low, stir together your protein choice and BBQ sauce. Heat until warm, 5-10 minutes.

Top each potato with scoopfuls of the protein and sauce mixture. Spoon over additional BBQ sauce and top with sliced avocado.  

Meatball Salad

This recipe makes 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Hearts of Romaine Lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup of Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Bell Pepper, sliced
  • 1 Medium Cucumber, sliced
  • ½ Cup Red Onion, diced
  • ½ Cup Fresh Parsley or 2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley 
  • 12 Gardein Meatballs
  • 1 Cup Biena Sea Salt Roasted Chickpeas
  • Your favorite Italian Salad or Greek Salad Dressing or top with a splash of oil oil and lemon

Instructions:

To cook the meatballs follow the package instruction.  In a large bowl mix together the lettuce, tomato, bell pepper, cucumber, onion and parsley.  Next dress with the salad dressing or oil and lemon and mix well.  Then portion the salad onto 4 plates and top each plate with 3 cooked meatballs and ¼ cup of the chickpeas.

Fried No-Rice Rice

This recipe makes 4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon of Canola Oil
  • 1 Cup White Onion, diced (this is approximately a medium onion)
  • 3 – 4 Tablespoons of Vegetable Broth (you can use water if you don’t have this)
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Cup of Cascadian Farms Shelled Edamame
  • 1 Cup of Frozen Corn, Peas and Carrots
  • 2 Cups of Cascadian Farm Cauliflower Rice
  • 1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder
  • 5 – 6 Tablespoons of Tamari or Soy Sauce

Instructions:

Turn your burner to medium and using a medium – lage pan heat the oil until warm.  Add the frozen vegetables and cauliflower rice and allow to cook until soft.  Add the onion, edamame and garlic and continue to cook.  After the vegetables are lightly brown pour in the vegetable broth.  After the no-rice rice is finished cooking flavor with the onion powder and the Tamari or Soy Sauce.  Enjoy immediately or store in single serve containers for meal prep.

Spicy Chili

This recipe makes 6 servings.

So, technically this isn’t 30 minutes to make.  It will take you about 20 minutes to assemble.  And then you can use a slow cooker, which will take 6 – 8 hours.  

Ingredients:

  • 2, 15.5-oz cans no-salt-added red kidney beans and 2 15.5-oz cans no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans no-salt-added black beans (rinsed, drained)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 can no-salt-added, diced tomato (undrained)
  • 2 cans no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano (crumbled)
  • 2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 medium garlic cloves (minced)

Instructions:  

The original recipe advised to combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix.  Seperate into 2 1-gallon resealable plastic freezer bags and lay flat to freeze.  Prior to cooking take the bags out of the freezer and thaw under refrigeration overnight.  However if you want to cook right away skip the freezer step and proceed right to the cooking.  To cook, place the chili in a slow cooker and cook covered, on low, for 6 – 8 hours until the beans are tender.  Enjoy over salad, brown rice or quinoa, and topped with a slice of avocado.  This recipe is also perfect for meal prep.  

Plant-Based Tuna Melts

Such a classic meal – updated for a plant based option.  This recipe makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pouches of Good Catch Fish-less Tuna
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion or 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley 
  • ¼ cup Avocado Oil Mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon mustard 
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 slices Daiya Cheddar Cheese
  • 2 slices whole-grain bread (try Ezekiel

In a small mixing bowl break up the tuna with a fork. Toss with the celery, onion and parsley. Add the mayonnaise, mustard and season with pepper, to taste. Stir to combine. Place the tuna salad on the bread slices and top each with 1 slice of the cheese.  Heat in a toaster oven (medium high) or regular oven (use the broiler or heat to 375 F) for 3 – 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bread is toasty.  Enjoy!

Let’ us know how your plant-based recipes come out!  Tag us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube with your creations!  

Nutrition and Food

Meal Prep Guide for Busy People

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A lack of time and a busy schedule are some of the reasons why people don’t cook and instead order take-out. As a result, these habits can cost us money and health.  In comparison, people who eat home-prepared meals have a healthier diet, consume fewer calories and are less likely to gain weight! [1-3] And for those with conditions like high blood pressure, which is about ⅓ of American adults,  meal prep can help be an excellent option. This can help you to create delicious and healthy meals that are lower in sodium and higher in potassium.

What’s the solution? Well, you guessed it (hint: it’s in the title) – Meal Prep.  There are numerous benefits to meal prep and planning. These include saving time and money, maintaining a healthy weight, gaining a nutritious diet, and reducing stress that comes with rushing and having to make last minute meal decisions.  

Meal planning is the key to success
for a nutritious diet.

But if lack of time is the main reason we don’t cook, then you must be thinking, how would meal prep fit into your busy schedule? This post will discuss ways to make meal planning simple, easy and work for you!

Step 1: Set yourself up for success

Lists and Planning

Create a list of healthy recipes you and your family will like.  Use a calendar or spreadsheet to organize meals and shopping lists. “What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl” is a wonderful free resource to browse recipes, save them and even add ingredients directly to a shopping list associated with your account.

Use whatever method works best for you.  Here at B.Komplete, we love our Meal Prep Formula for planning healthy, balanced meals. It’s also helpful for understanding portions.

5-day Meal Prep Chart
For 400 and 550 Calorie Options
Formula: (1 grain) + (1 Veg) + (1 Meat/Seafood/Veg protein) + (1 Fat)
Grain/Starch Choices
400 cal = ½c cooked
550 cal = 1c cooked
Vegetable Choices
1 c cooked
Protein Choices
Fat Choices
1 Tbsp per 2-3 protein choices
Protein
400 cal = 4oz
550 cal = 6oz
Seafood
400 cal = 4oz
550 cal = 6oz
Vegetarian
400 cal = 4oz
550 cal = 6oz
Black Rice
400 cal: 1c uncooked = 3c cooked
550 cal: 2c uncooked = 6c cooked
Cauliflower and Broccoli
Prepare 2.5 cups each
Grilled Chicken Breasts with Garlic + Rosemary
400 cal: Prepare 5-4 oz breasts
550 cal: Prepare 5-6 oz breasts
Wild Salmon with Lemon, Capers and Thyme Grilled Tofu with Turmeric and Smoked Paprika
400: Prepare 2.5c
550 cal: ~3.75 cups
Olive Oil (good for sauteing)
Brown Rice
400: 3/4c uncooked = 2.5c Cooked
550: 1.5 Cup Uncooked = ~ 5 Cups Cooked
Carrots and Green Peas
Prepare 2.5c each
Grilled Chicken with Ground Ginger
400: Prepare 5 – 4 oz. breasts
550: Prepare 5 – 6 oz. breasts
Wild Salmon with McCormick Salmon Seasoning Chick peas with Olives and Basil
400: Prepare 2.5c 
550: Prepare 3.75c
Canola Oil (All Purpose)
Quinoa
400: 1c uncooked = 3c cooked
550: 2c uncooked = 6c cooked
Asparagus
Prepare 5 Cups for Each
Baked Lemon and Parmesan Chicken
400: Prepare 5 – 4 oz. breasts
550: Prepare 5 – 6 oz. breasts
Baked Red Snapper with Black Pepper, Garlic, and Parsley Lentils with Basil, Sun-dried Tomato and Oregano
400: Prepare 2.5c 
550: Prepare 3.75c
Avocado Oil (Good for Grilling and Roasting)

 

 

Instructions on using the Meal Prep Formula Chart: cook the amount shown under the chosen item within each food group to then have enough meals for 5 days.

Examples of 400 calorie meals using the above formula  (1 grain) + (1 Veg) + (1 Meat/Seafood/Veg protein) + (1 Fat)
  • ½ cup Black rice, 1 cup carrots and green peas (prepared with canola oil), 4 oz grilled chicken with ground ginger
  • ½ brown rice, 1 cup asparagus (sauteed with olive oil) 4 oz wild salmon with lemon, capers and thyme
  • ½ cup quinoa, 1 cup cauliflower and broccoli (roasted with avocado oil), 4 oz grilled tofu with turmeric and smoked paprika

Now it’s your turn! Create your own table to breeze through your week with the magic of meal prep.  If this seems complicated, we have you covered.  Schedule a meal-prep planning session with one of our Registered Dietitians.  

Tools and Supplies

Tools and Supplies

Make sure you have all the tools you’ll need for prepping, cooking, and storage.

  • Large pots and saute pans, large baking/roasting sheet pans
  • Cooking utensils, knives, measuring cups
  • Large casserole dish
  • Meal prep’s best friend is a slow-cooker: Crock-Pot or Instant Pot.
  • Food Processor
  • Food containers to maximize convenience and minimize hassle.  Glass containers are a great option. When choosing containers, consider ones that are:
    • Reusable and dishwasher safe, and microwaveable safe if planning to heat
    • Well sealed to prevent leaks if there are liquids, such as salad dressings added to your meal
    • Able to keep food odors locked in
    • Easy to use and portable
    • BPA-free

Step 2: Schedule day(s) of the week

Choose which day(s) you will 1) plan your menu and meals, 2) write out a grocery list, 3) grocery shop, and 4) cook and prepare the meals. This may be done all in the same day or broken up between a couple days. Do whatever is manageable for you!

Step 3: Plan your menu and meals for the week (or month!)  

First, take inventory of your fridge, freezer and cupboard.  Try to use up leftovers and ingredients you already have — focus on utilizing items about to expire — because you don’t waste food.

Another hassle-free (and fun!) idea is to follow themed meal days such as: Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Breakfast for Dinner Wednesday, Stir Fry Friday, Slow Cooker Saturday, or pick your favorite meal for [insert favorite dish here] Sunday. Themed meals takes the guesswork out and you can choose any day of the week to schedule it a theme.  Need help making sure you are choosing healthy recipes? Check out the Healthy Eating Plate as a simple reference on eating nutritiously. Or schedule a counseling session with one of our B.Komplete Registered Dietitians.

Step 4: Grocery list & shopping

Plan to scale up the recipe so that it will last you a couple days of dinner and/or lunch. Or you can freeze to have another week.  Again, making sure to account for items you already have on hand, create a grocery list. And then, go grocery shopping! Another benefit of using a grocery list is that it will help save time and money and reduce impulse purchases!

You can use already formatted lists like this one to the right (which you can type directly into it, or print it out to hand-write). Another fantastic option is to use a note keeping app for your phone or computer like Google Keep.

Step 5: Meal prep time

There is no one method for meal prep. So do what works for you. You can cook and assemble the entire meal or just prep some of the ingredients (eg. chopping veggies, cooking rice and pasta).

Methods

  • Buffet-Style. Prepare ingredients separately. The protein, veggies, and grains can be mixed and matched in meals throughout the week. If you are looking for a little more guidance with this method, the meal prep formula table above is the perfect tool.
    • Ideas: Steam or roast few of your favorite veggies. Then cook some rice or quinoa. And bake chicken or salmon.  Finally, mix-and-match ingredients for a balanced and nutritious dinner.
  • No-cook assembly. This is a great option when using a slow-cooker.  Chop ingredients and throw together in a container or freezer bag to store in fridge or freezer.   Then when you are ready to prepare the meal, just empty the bag into crock-pot. Easy peasy.
    • Ideas for no-cook assembly (and batch-cooking): veggie chili, stews and soups
 
  • Batch-cooking.  Basically, this when you prepare larger quantities of food to last several meals/days. With this method, you’ll cook the entire meal. Now when 6:00 PM on Wednesday rolls around, you just heat and eat.

Step 6: Storage

Storage is the final step (before eating!) and is critical to maximizing the benefits of meal prep. Also a key factor and in food safety.  Make sure you have plenty of large containers if you plan on batch-cooking.  Additionally you will need large freezer bags, and containers in a variety of sizes.

When prepping lunches, portion meals into containers you can just grab and go during the week.  It’s a sure way to enjoy a good lunch break during a busy work day!

Written by Meghan E. Smith, Dietetic Intern

Leave us a comment below and tell us how you incorporate meal prep into your week or share your S.M.A.R.T. goal!

Nutrition and Food

B.Komplete Explore the Store Supermarket Series: Herbs and Spices for Heart Health

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How to Use Herbs & Spices for Heart Health

We are back for our second edition of our ‘explore the store’ series in our quest to teach consumers the most nutritious and delicious ways to enjoy food products!  

Our focus in February is on Herbs & Spices for Heart Health.  Did you know…

  • Garlic helps keep your heart healthy by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.  Fresh is the best, however if you don’t have fresh use dried garlic to season your meals.  Garlic pairs well with numerous cuisines.  
  • Oregano is an antioxidant super-power providing more than apples, potato, oranges, and even blueberries!  Season your fish, poultry, whole grains, vegetables, and salad dressings with this herb.  
  • Turmeric can help to reduce inflammation.  Use this savory spice with poultry, meat, eggs, vegetables and event tea.  
  • Chipotle spice is your go-to when you want a smoky and spicy flavor.  Providing health benefit and awesome flavor, use chipotle with fish, poultry, meat, eggs, potato, whole grains and in dips and rubs.  
  • To flavor simple white fish combine lemon with thyme, parley, ground pepper and a dash of sea salt OR combine garlic, onion and chipotle powders.  

We will be back next month exploring the Snack Aisle.

Nutrition and Food

B.Komplete Explore the Store Supermarket Series: Oil

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Come with us as we ‘explore the store’ in our quest to teach consumers the most nutritious and delicious ways to enjoy food products!  

Our focus in January is on Oil.  Did you know…

  • Safflower and Canola Oils have the lowest saturated fat content compared to other oils
  • Coconut Oil has the highest saturated fat content compared to other oils
  • Olive oil is far higher in monounsaturated fatty acids than any other fat or oil
  • Unsaturated fatty acids are thought to be better for your health than saturated fatty acids, with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated the ones to look for
  • You can make delicious salad dressing with avocado, walnut, grape-seed, sesame, flax and olive oils
  • You can cook with canola, sunflower, safflower, and coconut oils

We will be back next month exploring the Herb & Spice aisle.