Day 1 of my Whole Food Plant Based Eating Challenge

Day 1 of my 31 Day Whole Food Plant Based Eating Challenge, was a good day! I find I’m never hungry eating WFPB meals. There is often a lot of variety of flavors and textures to keep the WFPB dishes interesting and delicious.

If you are following along, you may be interested in my meal plan for the day. I say meal plan with a bit of a smirk because only two of my meals were planned, the other was made on the fly. Since I had ingredients on hand to combine into a good, healthy meal, everything worked out fine and I didn’t slip off the wagon on my very first day of the WFPB Eating Challenge! Yay!

Here are the food choices for today:

Breakfast

I love eating oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. A number of physicians who are outspokenly WFPB proponents, because they’ve seen their cardiac patients and others have such amazing results, were surveyed about their breakfast choices. 98% of the doctors reported they ate oatmeal in some form or another and often fruit.

I have been pretty regularly enjoying hot oatmeal every morning. I warm some frozen blueberries in the microwave and add that to my oatmeal along with some walnut pieces and a drizzle of maple syrup. So good! Satisfying and delicious.

I like to consume a significant amount of blueberries every day. Adding blueberries to my oatmeal in the mornings is a wonderful way to make sure I get them in every day.

I recently discovered my new favorite breakfast which is just as healthy and even more decadent tasting than my fruit and nut oatmeal. Now, I eat banana pancakes with blueberries and walnuts every morning! You can find that exceedingly WFPB healthy recipe here. Try it! And you can feel decadent too!

Lunch

I was out all morning and came home just in time for lunch so I had to use what I had in the pantry. I had cooked some gluten-free rotini the night before that was left over. I poured some Bertola marinara over the noodles and voila’! A hot lunch was served. I paired it with a green salad. Quick and easy made this healthy lunch a winner.

Dinner

For dinner, I made a dish I have never made before with some ingredients I’ve never used before in cooking! Lentils, mango, onion and sweet potato formed the base of the dish. I raided my spice cabinet for just about every spice I own! I’m new to cooking in general. Cooking with spices is foreign to me. (See what I did there? Foreign . . . spices. Ha!) So I was flying on blind faith in pouring all those spicy spices into my soup pot!

The result was a totally tasty and immensely satisfying lentil soup. Here’s the recipe. I had picked out a different recipe, but I had a package of Earthly Choice Lentil Trio which has three kinds of lentils – red split, green and black lentils. The package has a recipe on the back which sounded really good but the spices and other ingredients were totally different from my planned recipe.

Since I’ve never cooked lentils before, I wasn’t confident that this package of 3 different kinds of lentils would be a good substitute in my recipe that called for brown and green lentils – especially since the two recipes were so very different. Do lentils have different flavors calling for different spices? I’m not sure. So, unwilling to risk it, I decided to follow the recipe on the package. I added an additional ingredient which I think made the dish extra good – a sweet potato! I substituted avocado oil for the canola oil called for in the recipe.

Aside from the fact that the recipe on the package was so small and hard to read that I had to take photos of the ingredients and the instructions separately so I could enlarge the photos on my phone enough to be able to read it, everything went smoothly. This recipe was absolutely delicious. I continue to be surprised by my family members who till now have not been adventuresome eaters! They have really loved every new recipe I’ve made. It’s always helpful to a new cook to have family members enjoy her cooking!

Here is the recipe for the delicious dinner we had tonight.

Tasty Three Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Nature’s Earthly Choice Lentil Trio
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 Tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground ginger ( or 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and diced (I bought mine already diced)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Cook sweet potato in the microwave or oven until soft.
  2. Chop onion and set aside.
  3. Place lentils in a colander with tiny holes and rinse until the water runs clear.
  4. Combine lentils, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and turmeric in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduced heat to a simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook , stirring, until soft and beginning to brown, about 4 to minutes.
  6. In a small bowl, combine garlic, ginger, coriander, cayenne, cumin and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add to onions and cook, stirring for 1 minute more.
  7. Stir the onion and spice mixture into the lentils.
  8. Add mangoes.
  9. Return to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are falling apart, about 10 to 15 minutes more.
  10. Cut sweet potato in half longways and peel off skin. Chop into bite size pieces and add to soup.
  11. Chop the cilantro and stir into soup or reserve and allow people to add their own, as desired. (Not everyone loves cilantro!)
  12. Season with salt, as desired.

Serves 4.

I doubled the recipe so we’ll be enjoying this dish’s leftovers for days to come. I didn’t stir the cilantro in the soup as one of my family members doesn’t enjoy cilantro. The rest of us can toss the still fresh cilantro on top.

This dish will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator covered.

This recipe was easy to make. Having all the different spices on hand is key. I had to make a run to the store to buy a couple of spices, the sweet potato and mango. Everything else I had in my pantry. I hope you enjoy this dish! Please let me know if you make it, how you may have altered it and if you would make it again!

Cheers! Day 1 of my Whole Food Plant Based Eating Challenge is done!

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