Recipes for Eating Close to the Source

Below are some links (with more to be posted soon) to cookbooks and recipes for great tasting, healthy, and nutritious foods without meat products. You'll see they use the terms vegan and vegetarian, but don't get hung up on that. You don't need to "be a vegetarian".  You don't need to be anything other than a person who wants to look and feel great and achieve maximum athletic performance.

If you want something great right now, try this smoothie:

3 cups collard greens (or kale)
1 banana
2 cups strawberries
3 cups peaches (chopped)
2 cups nondairy milk (soy, almond, oat, etc.)

It might seem like a daunting task to plan meatless dinners.  Here are a few suggestions with vague recipes.  If you are new to cooking, see links at the end of this page for references to cookbooks that will contain more precise instructions.  Dinner ideas below are thought through to include sufficient amount of protein every time and are in general well balanced nutritionally.  Use the best ingredients you can find for nutrition and taste.

Dinner 1.

– Cream of broccoli soup.  
Recipe. Boil broccoli and green pepper in vegetable broth or water with salt and spices until just cooked (about 10 min). Process broccoli and cooking water in the blender.  Unsweetened soy milk may be added.
– Quinoa and stir fry.  
Recipe. Quinoa is cooked just like rice and can be made in the rice maker.  Stir fry should include tofu for protein.  Hard tofu cut in 1/4in cubes added as early as possible to the vegetables will be best.

Dinner 2.

– Carrot-ginger soup.  
Recipe. Boil carrots in vegetable broth or water with salt and curry spices.  Process carrots and broth in the blender with chopped fresh ginger and peanuts or cashew nuts.
Rice with tofu and mushrooms.  
Recipe. Cook rice as usual (boil or rice maker). Fry onion, add chopped up mushrooms and 1/4in hard tofu cubed and cook until mushrooms are reduced.  Steamed vegetables such as broccoli could be added on the side.

Dinner 3.

– Miso soup.  
Recipe. Boil water or vegetable broth.  Add miso mix (white miso is best) through a sieve – about a teaspoon per cup of water or to taste.  Add 1/4in cubed hard tofu.  No salt needed as miso is salted.  Seaweed can also be added.  May be served with chopped green onion.
– Quinoa pilaf.
Cook quinoa like you would rice.  Then stir-fry for a short time with green and red peppers chopped very small, 1/4in hard tofu cubes, and chopped mushrooms.  It will taste even better if started with fried onions.

Dinner 4.

– Butternut squash soup.
Recipe.  Bake butternut squash cut in half seeded and brushed with oil, until tender.  Scoop soft squash from the skin, boil in salted water or vegetarian broth with spices, curry spices are best.  Process in blender.  Nothing needs to be added, but unsweetened soy milk will taste good.
– Pasta.
Recipe.  For the sauce, take a pre-made tomato sauce from a jar and add silken tofu.

Dinner 5.

– Any soup from above
– Mashed potatoes, tofu, mushrooms and leafy greens.
Recipe.  Make mushed potatoes with oil and non-dairy unsweetened milk instead of butter and milk. Take stems out of kale or chard, spinach can be used as is.  Fry onions, add 1/4in cubed hard tofu and mushrooms and reduce, with salt.  Add to the mix chopped leafy greens and cook until they are reduced.  Serve with mashed potatoes.

Try our own favorite recipes that are easy, delicious, and healthy.  Feel free to simplify, modify, and generally play with them.

Beans (and easy chile)

Summer squash and corn soup

Winter vegetables soup

Quinoa and bell pepper salad

Fennel root and walnut salad

Orange and green superfood main course

Lazy ravioli – butternut squash

Here are some useful links for your further exploration:

If you want to see resources about fitness and performance by eating closer to the source, click here.

Great books by Robin Robertson 1,000 Vegan recipes and more cookbooks.

OK- This site may look like pure fun, but it is a huge resource on cooking all kinds of food with or without recipes.

A great resource if you are really into cooking

Some top picks on Amazon.

Join Facebook page of Savvy Vegetarian for healthy ideas update almost every day.

Just one of several books by author Colleen Patrick



Vegetarian black beans

Roast: garlic, white onion, jalapenos. After they are roasted, put them in a sealed container to steam up.
Soak overnight: black beans

Also need: cumin, salt, whatever spices you feel like

Start cooking beans and add whole jalapenos and garlic, as well as cumin.
Chop roasted white onion and sautee in olive oil in a separate pan.
Add onion with oil and the rest of the stuff to the beans.
Cook until you are too hungry to wait any longer.

A couple of tricks
– if you need to add water, add hot water, so that beans do not harden.
– cumin is key to avoid bean-related discomfort that comes with age… works like magic!

When done, remove garlic (unless it dissolved) and jalapenos.

To make refried black beans: forget to turn off the stove for a few hours on low heat.
To make black bean chile: add favorite veggies and some salsa (roasted vegetable salsa works best) and cook a bit more.


Summer squash and corn soup

some summer squash – chopped into 1" cubes
a couple of corn on the cob
a couple of jalapenos
red hot chile
fresh spices of your choice – I used parsley and rosemary
onions (I used red) – chopped
garlic – minced
olive oil

Cut corn kernels from the cob and do not throw away the cobs. If the corn is white – don't cook kernels, keep them fresh.

Put a couple of tablespoons of oil in the pan. When hot, throw in red hol chile and garlic for a few seconds, then add onions and sautee until translucent. Add squash and cobs (broken in half – don't try to cut – you will have a knife broken in half!) and sautee for a couple of minutes, then add water to cover it all. Cook for 10 minutes, add spices and salt. Cook until squash is very soft. Fish out and toss cobs, red hot chile. You may leave jalapenos if you want it more spicy. 

Put all the rest in the blender. Add corn kernels and some chopped green spices and serve.

All winter vegetable soup

Preheat oven to 400F

– All kinds of squash, cut lengthwise in half
– All kinds of eggplants, cut lengthwise in half
– A small pumpkin, sliced into reasonable slices and seeds removed
– Yellow and orange bell peppers, cut lengthwise in half
– Whole yellow onion
– A head of garlic
– A fennel root

Put on a baking pan or sheet, sprinkle with olive oil and, stick into the oven

In a soup pan, sautee in one tablespoon of olive oil some finely diced
– ginger and
– carrots
for about 10 minutes

When the vegetables are done roasting (~20 minutes, longer for pumpkin), skin pumpkin, onion, garlic, and whatever else has tough skin, cut into 1-inch cubes, add to ginger and carrot. Sautee for 5 minutes. Salt to taste. Add water to cover vegetables, but barely. When the water boils, reduce heat to simmer. Once it is simmering merrily, place carefully, on top, a bunch of cilantro and fennel greens – do not stir. Remove greens after about 15 minutes. Continue simmering for another 30 minutes, or until all the vegetables are soft.

Scoop it all into blender in small batches. Voila! Pumpkin turns out really tasty with ginger and fennel. The rest adds texture.


Kolorful Kinoa salad 

Cooked and cooled quinoa

Red, orange, and yellow sweet peppers
Dried cranberries
– all chopped tiny-tiny – the size of a lentil. Otherwise you will get bored chewing it.
Mix all together. Add some fresh whole fennel seeds. A bit of salt, medium or hot  salsa.

Fennel root and walnuts

The trick is to chop things up real small

2 fennel roots chopped into 1/4in cubes
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 apple chopped into 1/4in cubes
some parmesan cut into 1/4in cubes (or nutritional yeast flakes)

Orange and green superfood main course

Bitter goes well with sweet. If food looks beautiful and colorful, it is most likely nutritious.

Chop swiss chard and sautee with olive oil and salt.
Add previously baked sweet potato and squash cut into 1in cubes.
Add any spices you want.  Add tofu if you like

Superfood ready in 5 minutes!  Serve it with rice or quinoa.


Lazy ravioli – butternut squash

This came from being lazy and loving butternut squash ravioli
Ravioli take forever to make, so why not just put all the ingredients together?

I put in the blender;
– soft butternut squash (baked previously with some olive oil brushed on top) scooped from its skin
– salt
– some spices (sage goes wonderfully well with butternut squash)
– 1 egg (could you flax meal for vegan version)
– a bunch of semolina flour (cream of wheat would work), or substitute generic gluten-free flour – about a cup per large squash

The mix should be pasty, not liquid.  Scoop a little at a time with teaspoon and drop into fast boiling salted water.  They look a bit ugly misshapen, but tast delicious with either Parmesan or nutritional yeast. 

Next day you can reheat leftovers by dropping some salt and fresh sage on a pan with oil for a couple of minutes then adding the "ravioli" to reheat, sprinkling them a little with nutritional yeast.