Five Ingredient Recipes By Sondi Bruner, CNP, ROHP

Five Ingredient Recipes
Delicious plant-based, gluten-free and dairy-free dishes
By Sondi Bruner, CNP, ROHP
Holistic Nutritionist
All Rights Reserved. © 2013
This book is designed for nutritional purposes only. The information and recipes are intended
for general nutritional well-being. For medical advice, please consult your doctor.
Benefits of Five-Ingredient Dishes
They’re easier to digest. When there are fewer ingredients in a recipe, our bodies don’t have to work as
hard to produce multiple enzymes and digestive juices to break everything down. Improved digestion
means that we’ll be able to absorb more nutrients, which leads to increased energy and vitality.
They’re less expensive. Ever bought a pricey fancy-pants ingredient to create a recipe and then never
used it again? Me too. Sticking to simple fare lightens the financial load, which is why my five-ingredient
dishes primarily use fresh, accessible whole foods that won’t break the bank.
They’re quick and easy. I’m busy. You’re busy. We don’t have hours on end to slave away in the kitchen,
(even if we enjoy cooking). With five-ingredient dishes, you can have a healthy meal on the table swiftly,
leaving you with more time to do other things.
They’re delicious. It is possible to create incredibly tasty food using only a few key components. The
wonderful thing about five-ingredient dishes is they allow the flavour notes of the ingredients to really
shine through. Flavour isn’t masked by salt, chemicals and artificial toxins that you find in processed
Note: In my five-ingredient recipes, salt and water don’t count.
Table of Contents
Snacks and Sides
Main Dishes
About Sondi Bruner
Nut or Seed Milk
1 cup of nuts or seeds (almonds, pecans, walnuts, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
2-4 cups of water (depending on how thick and creamy you like your milk)
Soak your nuts overnight in water (filtered water if you've got it). Drain the nuts, then add to a blender
with 2-4 cups of water. Blend. There are a few ways to strain your milk:
1. Place a very fine sieve over a large bowl, then pour the milk through it. Press down on the nut pulp
with the back of a spoon to squeeze all the milk out.
2. Line a strainer with a big piece of cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl. Pour the milk through
the cheesecloth, then wrap up the pulp in the cheesecloth and squeeze the heck out of it.
3. Using a nut milk bag, place the bag into a bowl and pour the milk through it. Squeeze, squeeze,
Store in the fridge for up to five days, or freeze in ice cube trays. Tip: Save the nut milk pulp and store it
in the freezer. Use the pulp in baking, spread it into crackers, or dry it out and grind into flour.
Vegan Mango Lassi
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup water
1 heaping cup frozen mango
3 small dates, pitted
Put the cashews and water into a blender and whirl until smooth. Add the mango and dates, then blend
again until everything is smooth. You may need to add an additional tablespoon or two of water,
depending on how thick you want your lassi to be.
Basic Green Smoothie
1/2 - 3/4 cup water
1 heaping cup of spinach
1 frozen banana
1/2 - 1 cup fruit of choice (you can vary this with the seasons)
1 tbsp nut butter (optional)
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water if needed to reach your
desired consistency.
Chocolate Banana Smoothie
¾ cup – 1 cup almond milk (or another non-dairy milk of choice)
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 cup frozen bananas
Add all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Add additional almond milk as needed to
reach your desired consistency.
Blueberry Power Smoothie
1 cup water
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 heaping cup of spinach
1 tbsp cacao powder
1 cup blueberries
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water if needed to reach your
desired consistency.
Green Morning Cleanser
2 large leaves of romaine
½ cup cucumber, cut into chunks
1 small apple, cut into chunks
2 tbsp lemon juice
1-2 dates
¾ cup water
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more water if needed to reach your
desired consistency.
Snacks and Sides
Sesame Snack Bars, Two Ways
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup nut butter
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups sesame seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup nut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 cups sesame seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Gently warm the nut butter, honey and vanilla until they are all melted together. Mix in the coconut and
sesame seeds, and stir until everything is incorporated.
Press the mixture evenly into a prepared 8 x 8-inch pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
Allow the bars to cool on a wire rack, then chill them in the fridge. Cut into bars.
Crispy, Crunchy Curried Lentils
1/2 cup green lentils, soaked (this improves their digestibility)
1 heaping tsp curry powder
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
Drain and rinse the soaked lentils, then add them to a pot of fresh water. Bring to a boil, then simmer
for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Drain and rinse again.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the lentils into a small bowl, then add the curry powder, salt and
olive oil. Mix well, then dump them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are dry and crunchy.
Carrot Raisin Salad
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins, finely chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
First, shred your carrots and toss them into a medium-sized bowl. Take your raisins and chop them
finely, as this disperses them throughout the salad. Chop the walnuts and add them along with the
raisins to the bowl.
Drizzle the salad with maple syrup and lemon juice, then mix well. Taste and adjust the dressing if
Chili Lime Yam Fries
1 large yam or sweet potato
2 tbsp olive oil
half of one lime, juiced
1 – 2 tsp chili powder, depending on your spice tolerance (I used a homemade chili powder recipe – it
also has less than five ingredients)
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Trim the ends off of your yam, then slice it into matchsticks. Place the slices into a large bowl. Add the
olive oil, lime juice, chili powder and salt, and mix well. Get in there with your hands!
Spread the slices into one layer on a baking sheet (you can use foil, parchment or a silpat for easy
cleanup – though they will be less crispy if you use a silpat).
Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping the fries halfway.
Chickpea Fries
2 cups water
1 cup chickpea flour
1/3 cup cooked chickpeas, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt, or to taste
Line an 8-inch square dish with parchment paper. In a medium-sized pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
Add the chickpea flour and whisk well to get rid of lumps.
Add the olive oil, cumin and salt, and cook for about five minutes, until the mixture is thick and slightly
pulling away from the pot.
Take the pot off the heat and fold in the chopped chickpeas. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and
spread it as evenly as you can.
Put the pan in the fridge for 2-3 hours, until chilled and solid.
Cut the slab in half, then cut each half into slices (I got about two dozen slices, but you can make them
as thick or thin as you’d like).
Bake at 400 degrees for 22-25 minutes, until the fries are nice and crisp on the outside.
Maple Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp rice vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the halved Brussels sprouts on a large baking sheet or in a large dish.
In a small bowl, whisk the maple syrup, olive oil, mustard and rice vinegar. Pour over the sprouts, and
mix well to make sure they’re all covered.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until they are browned and golden.
Pumpkin Seed Zucchini Crackers
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup shredded zucchini, packed
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt, or more to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, grind the pumpkin seeds until they become a fine meal. Add the sesame seeds,
zucchini, salt and olive oil, and pulse until everything comes together.
Place the dough onto a silpat or parchment paper, and roll out the crackers thinly. Score with a knife.
Bake for 15 minutes, then allow the crackers to cool completely.
Red Lentil and Carrot Flatbread
1 cup red lentils
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch round or square pan with parchment paper, or grease
the pan really well.
In a high-speed blender or spice grinder, pulverize the red lentils until they become a fine meal.
Put the lentil flour into a medium-sized bowl and add the salt, cumin, water and olive oil. Whisk until
everything is mixed well, then fold in the shredded carrots.
Pour the batter into the pan spread evenly. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the top is firm to the touch and
slightly cracked.
Sesame Orange Green Beans
1 pound green beans
1 large orange, zested and juiced
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
sprinkle of sesame seeds, optional
Zest your orange and squeeze out the juice into a small pot. Gently simmer the orange juice over
medium low heat until it has thickened and reduced a bit, about five minutes.
Take the pot off the heat and mix in the sesame oil, maple syrup and salt.
Trim the green beans and cut them in half (or smaller pieces, if you’d like). Steam the beans in a
vegetable steamer for about 6-8 minutes, until they are bright green and tender-crisp.
Place the green beans into a bowl and toss them with the orange sauce. Taste, and adjust seasonings if
necessary. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving, if desired.
Main Dishes
Quick Kale and Broccoli Bowl
2 large leaves of kale, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 of an avocado, cubed
1 tsp lemon juice, or more to taste
drizzle of hemp oil, or olive oil
sprinkle of hemp seeds, optional
salt to taste
Steam the kale and broccoli for three minutes, then put them in a bowl. Add the avocado, lemon juice,
oil, salt and hemp seeds, if using. Toss gently until everything is combined. Taste and adjust lemon juice,
oil or salt as needed.
Serves one, but you can easily expand the amounts for more people.
Carrot ‘Pasta’ with Tempeh
1 large carrot, spiralized or sliced into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
1/3 cup tempeh, cut into small cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
splash of rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
In a small pan, heat the olive oil and add the cubed tempeh. Sauté for several minutes, then add the
carrots and splash of vinegar.
Continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes, until carrots have softened but still maintain some bite.
Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Serves one.
Black Bean Meatballs
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chickpea flour (or another gluten-free flour)
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Put the black beans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they break down a little.
Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until the mixture comes together. You can make this as
smooth or chunky as you want – I left a few chunks of bean and onion in there.
Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Using wet hands, form the bean mixture into balls
about one tablespoon in size.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the outside of the balls are firm. Makes 18. Serve with your favourite sauce.
Baked Falafel
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup parsley (lightly packed)
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp cumin
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roughly chop the parsley and add it along with the rest of the ingredients to the bowl of a food
processor. Pulse a few times, then blend until everything is well mixed.
If your mixture is a little dry, you may need to add a tablespoon of water. Don’t add a lot of water, as
you don’t want the dough to be too wet. When the mixture mostly gathers into a ball in the bowl of
your food processor, it’s ready. Taste and adjust cumin or salt if needed.
Using heaping tablespoons, roll the falafel into round balls, and then flatten them into patties about an
inch thick (you can also make these bigger if you’d like). Place them onto a prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, depending on how soft you like the inside of your falafel to be. Keep in mind
these will firm up as they cool.
Carrot Tahini Bean Burgers
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans
1 cup carrot purée (about 6 medium carrots, steamed and mashed)
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
3 tbsp tahini (or another nut butter)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
Put the oats in a food processor and pulse a couple of times. Add the beans, carrot purée, tahini, cumin
and salt.
Process everything until well mixed. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth – you could also leave it
chunkier if you’d like.
Taste and if necessary, adjust cumin and salt. Put the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
After the mixture has chilled, wet your hands and shape it into burgers. I used about a heaping 1/3 cup
for each burger, but you could vary the size from 1/4 to 1/2 cup depending on how big you like your
veggie burgers.
Bake for 35 minutes, gently flipping halfway. For smaller burgers, check on them at the half-hour mark.
For larger ones, you may need 40 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Spicy Carrot Quesadillas
2 6-inch organic blue corn tortillas (or another tortilla of choice)
2 tbsp tomato paste
as much cayenne pepper as you can handle
3/4 cup carrots, cooked and mashed
olive oil, for brushing
Stir your cayenne pepper into the tomato paste, then spread it over the two corn tortillas.
Spread the mashed carrots onto one of the tortillas, then place the second tortilla on top. Brush both
sides lightly with olive oil.
Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add your quesadilla and cook for 2-3 minutes
on each side, until the outsides are nice and crispy. Remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, cut
into four pieces. Serve with salsa or guacamole (or both).
Vegetable Nori Wraps
1 sheet of nori
1/4 cup quinoa, dry
1/2 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
1 cup finely chopped kale
1 mini cucumber
gluten-free soy sauce, or sesame oil, for dipping (optional)
Using a small pan, sauté the mushrooms in a little bit of water for a few minutes, until they begin to
exude their juices. Add the kale and stir until it’s bright green and wilted. Set the mixture aside in a small
Using the same pan, bring a half cup of water and the quinoa to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook
for about 15 minutes. When the quinoa is done, allow it to cool slightly.
Slice the cucumber into matchsticks.
Take the sheet of nori and spread the quinoa over it, leaving about two inches of space at the top.
Spread the kale and mushroom mixture evenly over the quinoa, then layer the cucumber pieces
together at the bottom of the nori.
Dab the top of the nori with a little bit of water and wrap the roll up tightly. Cut the roll in half.
Serve warm, room temperature or cold with gluten-free soy sauce.
Brown Rice Vegetable Congee
1 cup brown rice
6-8 cups water or vegetable broth
1 heaping cup shredded zucchini
1 heaping cup shredded kale
salt to taste
Soak the brown rice in water for several hours. Drain and rinse the rice in a strainer, then dump it into a
medium-sized pot with four cups of water.
Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the rice cook, uncovered, for an hour or
two, until it breaks down and becomes a porridge. Add more cups of water as needed, depending on
how thick you want your congee.
When the congee has reached the consistency you want it to be, stir in the salt, kale and zucchini and
turn off the heat. Let the vegetables wilt for a few minutes, then serve. Makes 4-6 portions.
Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Soup
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
½ cup red lentils, cooked
1 small onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves
½ tsp salt
3 cups water
Bring the three cups of water to a boil in a pot. Once the water is boiling, place the squash, onion and
garlic into a steamer basket and steam the vegetables for about 20 minutes, or until tender.
Add all the vegetables and the cooked lentils into a blender, along with the water used to steam them
(this way, you retain any nutrients that have leached into the water). Blend until smooth. Add more
water if needed. Season to taste, then serve.
Coconut-Crusted Cacao Nibs
1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
2 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar, ground
Grind the coconut sugar in a spice grinder until it becomes a fine powder.
In a small pot, mix one tablespoon of the coconut sugar with one tablespoon of water. Gently heat the
mixture until it becomes bubbly, then stir in the cacao nibs.
Put the remaining coconut sugar in a bowl, and add the cacao nibs. Toss well to make sure all the nibs
get coated with the sugar.
Spread the nibs onto a piece of parchment and allow them to dry.
Toasted Coconut Chips
3 cups wide coconut flakes
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp water
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Put the coconut flakes in a large bowl.
In a small pot over low heat, melt the applesauce, coconut sugar and water until it becomes syrupy.
Pour the liquid over the coconut flakes and gently toss until all the flakes are coated. Some of them may
break as you stir – that’s okay.
Spread the flakes onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 6 to 8 minutes or
so, until the chips are dry and crispy. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
Avocado Chocolate Chip Creamsicles
2 large avocados
3/4 – 1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup raw honey, or sweetener of choice
1/4 – 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips, chunks or cacao nibs (I used these)
Slice the avocados in half, then remove the pits. Scoop out the flesh and put it in a blender. Add the
coconut milk and honey, then blend until smooth.
Taste and add more sweetener or coconut milk as desired. You could also add a bit of water if it’s too
thick. Stir in the chocolate by hand, and then pour the mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze for a few
hours, or until set.
Quick and Easy Chocolate Sauce
2 tbsp cacao powder
2 heaping tbsp organic coconut oil
2 tsp cacao butter, grated (optional)
1 tsp maple syrup, or to taste
In a small pot, or in a double boiler, gently melt all the ingredients until smooth.
Serve immediately. Then lick the pot clean.
Peppermint Patties
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1.5 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 drops food-grade peppermint oil (or peppermint extract to taste)
75 grams dark chocolate (about 3/4 cup), chopped
In a food processor, blend the coconut, coconut oil, maple syrup and one drop of the peppermint oil.
Process the mixture until it sticks together easily, about 2 minutes or so. Don’t leave it for too long – or
you’ll end up with coconut butter.
Press the mixture onto a plate lined with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper. Shape the dough
into a small square about an inch thick. Stick the plate in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to firm up.
Once the patties have hardened, slice them into squares.
Using a small pot or a double boiler, gently melt the chocolate and remaining drop of peppermint oil
over low heat. When the chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat.
Dip a square into the chocolate and flip it around until the entire thing is covered. Place the square back
onto the parchment paper, then repeat with remaining squares. When all the patties have been dipped,
put them back in the fridge or freezer to harden. Makes 14-16.
Fruit Roll Ups
2 cups organic strawberries
¼ tsp cinnamon
Blend the fruit until smooth, then spread onto a Teflex sheet or a parchment-lined baking sheet.
If using a dehydrator, dehydrate at 105 degrees for 8-10 hours or until the fruit is pliable and easy to
peel from the sheet. If using an oven, leave it on at the lowest temperature until the fruit is dry (times
will vary depending on the oven).
Cut into strips and store in a glass container in the refrigerator.
About Sondi Bruner
I'm a freelance writer, holistic nutritionist and food blogger who can't stop dreaming about what to
create in the kitchen. I believe that fresh, whole foods contain tremendous power and are the key to
feeling healthy, energetic and joyful.
I didn't always hold food in such high esteem, though. I grew up with a love for refined sugar and
colourless carbohydrates, and turned my nose up at vegetables. I once gobbled candy-coated
chocolates, fluffy bagels, neon-hued sweets, ice cream sundaes and hunks of cheese with abandon.
At 18, I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disorder that affects the digestive
tract. Undisturbed, I popped a few pills and carried on with my life. Over the years, my medications grew
stronger and my intestines became shorter, thanks to a bowel resection at age 23.
Finally, at 26, I had enough of feeling crappy all the time and went to see a naturopathic doctor. She
turned my diet upside down and I discovered that wellness meant more than pills and prescriptions. I
began to generate the connection between the food I was eating and the symptoms of my disease. I
started preparing fresh meals from scratch and realized that cooking wasn't so hard after all.
I am now free of medication and steady on the road to healing, thanks to real, unprocessed food. (You
can read more about my wellness journey here, here and here.)
While my enthusiasm for health and nutrition was growing, my dedication to my career was waning.
Shortly after completing my graduate degree in journalism, the lack of full-time writing jobs (and a fear
of going broke) led me into the field of media relations, marketing and communications in the non-profit
sector. And though I was competent at my job, I didn't love it or feel like I was making a difference.
In 2010, I left my full-time communications position to nerd it up at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition,
where I immersed myself in my studies and realized how much amazing, yet daunting, information there
is out there about health, nutrition and food.
I educate clients who need to follow special diets about how to eat well in a simple and delicious way,
offering them the tools they can use to facilitate their own wellness and healing. Whether my clients
have digestive issues, medical problems, allergies or intolerances that keep them from the foods they
adore, I help them shift their mindset from one of deprivation to one of abundance.
When I’m wearing my writer’s hat, I work with natural health businesses and professionals who want to
help their customers live fulfilling, healthful lives. Using a collaborate approach, I create a variety of
content pieces like blog posts, web copy, newsletters, e-books, articles and more that help clients
communicate effectively with their audiences.