The Blog

A COOL Quick & Easy Plant-Based Meal!

Cooking healthy plant-based meals doesn't have to be an arduous task. Take it from me because I do it in the COOL-est way. Cooking On One Leg! Because of this, I have to keep it super easy.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Cooking healthy plant-based meals doesn't have to be an arduous task. Take it from me because I do it in the COOL-est way. Cooking On One Leg! Because of this, I have to keep it super easy.

Twenty years ago as young mother of two children, I lost my leg to bone cancer. I was fitted for a prosthetic leg and life went on. Then several years later I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. Even with conventional treatment, most of which I did, my doctors predicted that the cancer would return with a year.

I started researching and found that some women had increased their chances of survival by adopting a plant-based diet (similar to how President Clinton now eats!).
Within a week I was taking cooking classes and starting to change the food I ate. I was a junk food junkie, but I began cooking and eating whole grains, beans, vegetables, sea vegetables and lots of foods that never dreamed I'd eat. I gradually started changing the foods my family ate, too.

Today, 12 years later, I remain cancer-free and vibrantly healthy and eating in this delicious way! And ... cooking on one leg! Over the last few years, my prosthetic leg doesn't fit well so I don't wear it as much. I've had to adapt to cooking on crutches and that means making quicker, easier versions of this food than I did in the past. I love this because in doing so I've helped others who are on their own "last leg," such as people that are tired from working all day, but still want quick, easy and delicious plant-based meals.

The following Bowl-In-One is a dish I created while one Sunday while my husband Tom was watching a golf tournament. This meal contains a bean, a whole grain, a cracked grain (whole wheat pasta), vegetables, a small amount of sea vegetable and spices. It's truly a delicious meal-in-one pot dish!

Preparation time is 15 minutes if made with 'quick' ingredients. Cooking time 15 minutes.Total time = 30 minutes.


1 C quinoa
3 cups canned black or pinto beans (2 15-ounce cans of low-sodium)
*1 C whole wheat rotini (spiral pasta)
1 T dried Arame seaweed
1 carrot, diced (approximately ½ cup)
1 ear corn, approximately one cup (Frozen corn can be used or a frozen corn and carrot combination.)
1 tsp. The Blend All-Purpose Seasoning (Maine Accent brand), or other blend of similar multi-herb seasoning (The Blend contains parsley, basil, marjoram, chervil & spices)
3 cups filtered water
1/ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp chopped garlic (I used Emperor's Kitchen Brand roasted garlic in a jar.)
**1 tsp. olive oil (optional)

Add 2-6 cups of thinly chopped kale

juice of half of lemon (approximately 2-3 T)
1/8 cup capers (I used water packed.)

Add all the first list of ingredients into a 2 ½ quart pan, bring to a boil on high heat, cover, turn to low and simmer for 13 minutes.

Add 2 cups of thinly chopped kale to the pot, stir, recover and cook 2 more minutes.

Fluff up this dish while it's still in the pot by stirring with a spoon. Or, put it into a big serving bowl and stir to separate and keep fluffy while stirring in the capers and lemon juice.

Makes 6-7, ¾ - 1 cup servings

*To make this recipe wheat- and gluten-free, use brown rice pasta.

Are you eating a plant-based diet or adding more of these deliciously healthful recipes to your repertoire? Have you seen any changes in your health? Have a favorite dish? Please feel free to share your experiences in my comments section below.

For more quick and easy plant-based meals, please sign up for my monthly newsletter.