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Side Dishes

Pressure Cooker Spiced Beans

1 cup dried beans
1 cup water
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
Soak 1 cup beans overnight in bowl covered with water. Pour off water and rinse beans. Place beans in pressure cooker with 1 cup water and 1 tsp chipotle chili powder. Bring to pressure, cook 15 to 20 minutes (exact time depends on type of bean; garbanzos take the longest at 25 minutes). Now turn off heat and let the pressure come down naturally over the next 5 minutes. Fresh tasty beans are ready to eat directly or to add to bean salad, chili, stew etc.

Basic Steamed Vegetables (Pea Pods)

2 handfuls pea pods
nutritional yeast
balsamic vinegar, white or golden looks best
Remove the tough tip of each peapod. Place peapods in steamer and bring steamer water to a boil. Steam just 3 to 5 minutes until peapods turn bright green and are still slightly crunchy.
Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and balsamic vinegar or try a healthy sauce.


1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cup water

Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a sieve. Add to 2 cups of water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Indian Brown Rice

1 cup brown rice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon, or 1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp cardamom pods
1⁄4 cup cashews, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
Toast dry brown rice in a pan with the spices for several minutes. Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in another pan. Combine toasted rice/spices, cashews, apricots, and boiling water in a casserole dish, cover, and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 15 minutes. As you serve the rice, you will need to pick out the cardamom pods and cinnamon stick.

Brown Rice

1 cup brown rice, rinsed with cold water
1 1⁄2 cup water
Add 1 cup of rinsed brown rice to 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, turn heat down low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.

Yeast-Tahini “Cheesy” Sauce

2 cup water or unsweetened soy milk
1⁄2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp ketchup, sugar free
2 tsp arrowroot (or cornstarch)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp onion flakes
1⁄4 tsp garlic powder
1⁄4 tsp ground turmeric
1⁄2 tsp ground mustard
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and whisk until mixture is smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Reduce to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and smooth.

Tahini Sauce

1⁄2 cup soy milk
1⁄4 cup lemon juice
1⁄4 cup tahini
1⁄4 tsp ginger powder or fresh ginger root, finely chopped
1 tsp onion flakes
1 stalk celery, diced
1⁄2 clove garlic, chopped
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Cashew Sauce

1⁄4 cup cashews, raw
1⁄2 cup soy milk
1 tbsp onion flakes
1 tbsp Vegi-Zest or other low-sodium vegetable powder
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Caesar Salad Dressing

4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1⁄2 block firm Tofu
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp stone-ground mustard (no salt added)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp water, or more to achieve desired consistency
Mince garlic in a food processor until it is in small pieces or press with a garlic press and add to food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Refrigerate until serving time.

Basic Salad

romaine lettuce, large handful
spinach, large handful
mixed salad greens, large handful
sweet red or orange bell pepper, chopped
tomato, chopped
cucumber, chopped
celery, chopped
carrots, chopped
broccoli, chopped
artichoke hearts, chopped
green peas
pea pods
avocado, sliced
raw beets, grated
scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
cooked or canned beans
garbanzo beans
sunflower seeds, raw
Tear up a large handful of romaine lettuce leaves, a large handful of spinach, and a large handful of mixed salad greens. Now add chopped raw vegetables in season such as red bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, carrots, broccoli, artichoke hearts, green peas, pea pods, avocado, grated beets, parsley, cilantro, scallions. Top off with cooked kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and sunflower seeds.

Tofu Veggie Salad

2 blocks firm Tofu
6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1⁄2 sweet red pepper, diced
1⁄4 cup celery, diced
1⁄4 cup parsley, minced
4 tbsp sweet pickles, minced
1⁄2 cup Nayonaise
2 tsp garlic powder
1⁄2 tsp dill
3 tbsp stone-ground mustard
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
In a large bowl, mash tofu with a fork or potato masher (alternatively, you may wish to finely cube the tofu). Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Donna Lucci’s Bean-Avocado Salad

2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup beans (red beans, black beans, etc.)
2 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen corn or peas
1 avocado, sliced
1⁄2 cup sweet red pepper, diced
1⁄4 cup celery, diced
4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp whole-grain mustard
1⁄2 tsp Sambal Oelek Chili Paste
Pepper to taste
Whisk together lemon juice and mustard in a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and gently toss to combine.