Take Out Meals

Three of our meals in the past couple of weeks were what I consider take-out meals. They were made at home but were out of the ordinary in some way – either made with more expensive ingredients, processed ingredients, or had more ingredients than usual.

Sauerkraut and Sausage

This is a delicious recipe that the whole family loved but is on the pricier side, especially with a higher end jar of $7 sauerkraut (which was well worth it for those like me who don’t love all kinds of sauerkraut). Serves 4

1 package of 4 Field Roast Apple Sage Sausages

1 T coconut oil

2 c Bubbies sauerkraut (about 2/3 of a jar)

2 green apples, diced

6 c cooked brown rice

Optional: white beans

My new favorite way to cook rice is to combine the rice and water over medium high heat and after boiling for a couple of minutes (longer if the rest of the meal will come together quickly), turning the heat off and leaving the pot covered until the rest of the meal is ready.

Remove the sausage from the casing and slice into coins and then half-moons. Saute  the sausage with coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Dice the apples and heat in a small saucepan or microwave with the sauerkraut until the apples are softened.  Alternatively, you can saute the apples with the sausage.

Divide the rice among 4 bowls, then add the sausage, apples, and sauerkraut.


Thai Noodle Soup

This recipe was adapted from Forks Over Knives and Del Sroufe. Although the ingredient list is longer than usual, the recipe comes together quickly.  Serves 4

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, julienned or chopped in a small dice

6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed

3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1.5 T)

1 T minced ginger

1 bunch bok choy, thinly sliced

4 cups vegetable broth

2 T tamari or Braggs Liquid Aminos

Juice of 1 lime (~1 T)

6 ounces brown rice noodles, cooked and drained

1 c mung bean sprouts, optional

1/2 c cilantro, chopped

Saute the onion, carrot, and mushrooms in a medium pot over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Add water and stir to prevent sticking.  Cook the rice noodles according to the directions on the package.  Add the garlic, ginger, bok choy, broth, and tamari to the sauteed vegetables.  Simmer for ~10 minutes.  Add the lime juice, remove from heat, and adjust seasonings if needed.  Divide the noodles into 4 bowls.  Pour the broth over the noodles.  Top with sprouts and cilantro before serving.


Cuban Black Bean Soup

This recipe was adapted from Forks Over Knives and Lindsay Nixon’s Happy Herbivore Abroad. Serves 4

1 onion, diced

2 t chili powder

1 t ground cumin

2 15 ounce cans (3 c) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 to 2 c vegetable broth

1 c prepared salsa

1 T lime juice

Optional toppings: cilantro, green onions, hot sauce, sour cream, organic corn chips or homemade tortilla chips (add link)

Saute the onion in a medium pot over medium heat about 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add the chili powder and cumin and stir to coat the onions.  Add the black beans, 1 c broth, and salsa.  Cover.  Once the soup boils, lower heat and simmer covered for ~10 minutes. Remove from heat.  Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to puree about half of the soup. Add broth if needed to reach desired consistency.  Stir in lime juice and adjust seasonings if needed.  Serve with cilantro, green onions, hot sauce, sour cream, organic corn chips or homemade tortilla chips (add link).

Check out the recipe below for sour cream that tops any store bought GMO soy version.

Cashew Sour Cream from veganlifestylemagazine.com

1 c cashews soaked in 1 c water then drained (or microwaved for 1 minute if no time to soak)

1/2 clove garlic or 1/2 t minced garlic

1 T neutral oil

1/2 t Himalayan pink sea salt

Juice of 1 lemon

Puree all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth. Sour cream will thicken further with refrigeration.



Our processed ingredient meal consisted of Gardein turkey cutlets, homemade mashed potatoes, and green beans. Easy peasy meal that everyone enjoys as a treat.  Although my husband and kids could easily eat 2 cutlets each, because they are processed we limit each person to one and make sure we have plenty of mashed potatoes, crockpot spinach, and green beans to fill them up!!  One trick that I also use is to take the gravy that comes with the cutlets and doctor it up with beans as in this gravy recipe or with lentils as in this gravy recipe.