PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The start of a new year and a new decade always means lofty new diet goals for many people and plenty of food journalists and chefs are predicting that 2020 will be the year of the plant-based diet.

With developments of vegan meat alternatives like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat, plant-based meals and even comfort-food is now a delicious and very accessible reality.

Heather Walker of Phoenix Family Foodie shares some plant-based recipes.

Vegan Lasagna

Prep Time: 20 minutes / Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes / Servings: 12

Ingredients:

• 2 packages Sweet Earth Awesome Grounds (12 oz. each)

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• 2 jars Trader Joe's Tomato Basil Marinara (26 oz. each)

• 1/2 cup red wine (I use a fruity Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon)

• 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced

• 1/4 medium sweet, yellow onion, diced

• 2 tbsp. brown sugar

• 2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed

• 3-4 sprigs each of fresh thyme, oregano and rosemary (tie them together in a bundle with some cooking twine)

• 1 large, fresh bay leaf

• salt and pepper

• 16-20 large cooked lasagna noodles

• 2 packages Kite Hill almond Ricotta (8 oz. each)

• 2 packages Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds

• 1 package Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda slices (7 oz.), shredded

• 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chives (for garnish)

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep saucepan on high heat (this will hold and cook the meat sauce). Add the Sweet Earth Awesome grounds, bell pepper, onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir and break up the grounds to combine with the vegetables. The grounds will stay mostly "pink" in color with some browning, so don't worry about "browning the meat" completely. Cook for about 7 minutes on high heat until the veggies are soft and onions are translucent.

3. Stir in the marinara sauce, red wine and brown sugar. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Add the tied bundle of fresh herbs, reduce to a simmer and allow the mixture to cook for another 15-20 minutes until thick and reduced, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. When the sauce is finished, remove the bay leaf and the herb bundle before building the lasagna.

4. In a large bowl, shred the Smoked Gouda slices by keeping all the slices held together and using a cheese grater on the largest side. Combine and toss with the Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds.

5. Use a ladle to spoon some of the sauce onto the bottom of a large 16x11 glass baking dish. Line the dish with a layer of cooked lasagna noodles, then with another layer of sauce. Spoon and spread about 1/3 of the ricotta over the sauce and top with about 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Top with another layer of noodles and repeat this process until the dish is filled to the top, ending with a layer of sauce and topping with the remaining shredded cheese.

6. Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes until melted and bubbly. Remove the foil and allow the lasagna to cool for about 10 minutes. Top with fresh chives, slice and serve.

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 0 minutes / Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

• 1 container Trader Joe's cooked lentils (17.6 oz.)

• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

• 1/2 tsp. onion powder

• 7 oz. Trader Joe's Olive Tapenade

• 1 large vine-ripened tomato, diced

• 1 medium English cucumber, diced

• 3 green onions, chopped

• 2 tbsp. finely chopped mint

• 2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

• 2 tbsp. capers

• 1 tbsp. olive oil

• 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

• juice of 1 small lemon

• salt/pepper

Steps:

1. In a very large bowl combine all ingredients and stir.

2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Soy Chorizo Breakfast Tacos

Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 15 minutes / Servings: 8-10 tacos

Ingredients:

• 2 cups cooked brown rice

• 1 can Pinto beans (15 oz.)

• 1 tsp. McCormick taco seasoning

• 16 oz. firm tofu

• 11 oz. Reynaldo's soy chorizo

• 1/2 tsp. turmeric

• 1/4 tsp. onion powder

• 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

• 1 cup fresh pico de gallo or fresh cut salsa

• 7 oz. Follow Your Heart Smoked Gouda Slices

• 8-10 taco size corn tortillas

• salt and pepper

Steps:

1. In a large skillet on medium heat, combine the cooked brown rice, pinto beans and taco seasoning. Cook for about 7 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated and combined. Set aside until ready to use.

2. In a separate large skillet, heat the tofu on medium heat and smash it with the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher until it has the texture and appearance of scrambled eggs. Stir in the onion powder, garlic powder and turmeric. The turmeric will give the mixture a yellow, egg-like appearance. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook on medium heat for an additional 1-2 minutes. Open and squeeze the soy chorizo into the pan, removing it from its casing. Stir and cook on medium heat for an additional 3-4 minutes until all ingredients are combined and heated through. Set aside until ready to use.

3. Warm the tortillas in the microwave to soften for about 1 minute.

4. In a large bowl, shred the Smoked Gouda slices by keeping all the slices held together and using a cheese grater on the largest side.

5. To build the tacos, spoon some of the rice/beans mixture into the corn tortillas, then the soy chorizo mixture. Top with the shredded smoked gouda and the fresh cut salsa. Serve immediately.

 

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