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27 Jun Saving Time With Char: Engine 2 to the Rescue (Plus a giveaway!)

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Saving Time with Char

Engine 2 to the Rescue!

When I first met Rip Esselstyn three years ago, my ears were in overdrive when he said that he would be getting ready to introduce his Engine 2 Foods line.  So, when his products were first unveiled earlier this year, I felt an enormous sense of pride for Rip (et al) in  having a dream come to fruition.  The reality is that these products are another way that Engine 2 helps people to stay plant-strong.  I see them as “foods with a mission,”  straight from E2, and a great way to save time!

Everyone I know in my plant-strong world was telling me, “Char, you have to try the new Engine 2 frozen whole grains, they are awesome.”   And, after trying these great products, I knew that I had hit the jackpot with delicious, organic, plant-strong goodness.

In terms of saving time, these new and exciting food products do just that.  I am sure that many shoppers approach the freezer aisle and see the Engine 2 logo (smiling at them), and think, “Oh, great, a nice side dish, just what I need!”  I approached the product and thought, “What can I do with this to think outside the plate?”  I couldn’t wait to get home and create some fun dishes in the kitchen.

This grain medley comes in three varieties.  I am not sure which one I liked the best, but frankly, I enjoyed one more than the next.  They were solid, delicious, and abundant with flavor and each ingredient is present and well-defined in each variety.  You will fall in love with these blends!

  • Ancient Grains Blend:  By far, my favorite.  Nutty in flavor.
  • Wild Rice Blend:  Chock full of flavor with veggies, wild rice, and more.
  • Fiesta Blend:  All I can say is “muy rico.”

Now, most people will use these blends as a side dish, salad topper, or soup filler, but I saw beyond the bright red bag and thought that there were endless possibilities.  From a nutty tasting waffle, to a rich, thick veggie burger, the diverse properties of these foods is neverending.

I like to save time.  I like food that tastes great, and I love to cook.  With that said, here are three quick and easy recipes.

Ancient Grains Rise and Shine Waffle

¾ cup of Ancient Grains Blend (defrosted)

¼ cup of old-fashioned oatmeal, dry

½ ripe banana

¼ cup water

Mash the banana well.  Add grains, and mix well.  Let it “set” for about five minutes.  If it appears too “moist,” add an extra tablespoon of oatmeal.

Put it in a hot waffle iron, set on high.  When the light indicates the waffle is done, let it cook for two more minutes.  Gently lift the top lid up.  If needed, a chop stick will help you score each row in the removal process (this is the key).  Use a spatula to help lift the waffle out.

Plate, and cover with fresh fruit.  Add maple syrup.  And, enjoy.

On a side note, I generally make a batch of these all at once, then freeze them and use as needed.  You are gonna LOVE this E2 waffle!

Getting Wild Bean Burgers

*inspired by the one and only Jeff Novick, MS, RD who has an amazing DVD called “Burgers and Fries”.

¾ package of Wild Rice Medley

One can of beans, drained, rinsed, and then, mashed

One cup of oatmeal (dry)

Seasonings of choice

2 T of hot sauce

Easy as pie, just mix everything together.  Form into four patties.  Place on a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper.  Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serve with a side salad.

NOTE:  If you are looking for a taco filler, after the burgers are done, allow them to cool, then crumble into small pieces.  Sprinkle taco seasoning on them, and bake at 400 for ten minutes.  Allow to cool, and use them in tacos, burritos, etc.

Fiesta Chili Casserole

Package of Fiesta Blend

Package of frozen, mixed vegetables

Can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed

6 corn tortillas, cut into small pieces

Can of unsalted, diced tomatoes

Nutritional Yeast Paste (a mixture of hot sauce, water, and nutritional yeast, mix to a paste consistency)

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder to taste

Add all ingredients together. Mix well.  Place in a casserole dish.  Cover and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.  Serve with a salad.  And you are good to go!  This is the easiest thing you will ever make.  And, it will be the most versatile and delicious.

I was talking to a plant-strong friend of mine, and we were extolling the virtues of these new E2 products.  I laughed out loud when she said, “Yea, I love them too, just wish that they came in JUMBO sizes, because I use them all the time!” Fill your freezer with these grains so that you can save time and eat well.

With these three recipes, we’ve got you covered for lots of delicious dishes, and lots of extra time!

Buen Provecho…

Today we’re giving away 5 boxes of Engine 2 crackers and 5 boxes of Rip’s big bowl! All you have to do is leave a comment telling us what you’d love to see next from the Engine 2 food line!

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Char Nolan for Engine 2
Char Nolan

Char Nolan is a blog contributor and Engine 2 Extra Coach. She's been plant-strong for almost five years. From Philadelphia, she works in the plant-based whole foods arena, and is also the "vegan features writer," for the "Town Dish." She's lost a great deal of weight from being plant-strong, practices yoga, and is always dabbling in her kitchen to create new, plant-strong recipes. Armed with a degree in public health, Char also holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from e-Cornell.

  • Leah

    Mmmm! All of these sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try them! Great idea on the plant-strong waffle!

  • Kyle Plattner

    Engine 2 should make plant-strong frozen pizza!

  • Lynnette

    Any plans to expand distribution of the products? WF isn’t accessible to everyone. E2 sauces would be great- I have a hard time locating BBQ & ketchup that are on target. And they’d store well with my 3hr drive (one way) to WF)

  • quiltbug

    We have WF nearby but I’m in Canada and it seems that these kinds of products don’t always make it north of the border. I will check my WF and request them.

  • mary

    I second the frozen pizza or perhaps a cheese for homemade dishes. Thanks

  • tdawnyg

    Wow – these recipes sound great! I cannot wait to try some of them! We do not yet have these products in my town – but we are opening a new Whole Foods soon – so I hope to be able to buy them! Thanks for “thinking outside the box”!

  • Brenda Joyce Garner

    This is such a valuable resource. Thank you.

  • Sarah Audsley Campbell

    I’d like some plant strong tortillas!

    • Jake Ash

      Bought them. Delicious.

  • Sara M

    I have to go with pizza theme and say pizza dough or crust!

  • Diane Taylor

    In this busy world we live in it would be nice to have a pre-packaged muffin.. I love the one you can make but it would be nice to have a grab and go..

  • Kathy McLean

    I am definitely going to make the waffle!! and the chili casserole. Thanks for making it simple!! and I 3rd on the pizza idea or at least a pizza crust.

  • Brenda Joyce Garner

    “what you’d love to see next from the Engine 2 food line!”

    More of your great recipes using your food line products. Thanks.

  • Jessie Stafford

    What great recipe ideas! Excited to try them, especially the taco “meat” idea. I would love to see an Engine 2 frozen lasagna!

  • A_dude_notTHE_Dude_justadude

    Great ideas. I’ve a bit of a weak stomach regarding hot sauce, so I’ll need to dial back on that.
    I’d love some ideas on how to make a plant-strong lemon frosting.

  • Shannon Kalmarzi

    More desserty stuff.

  • Mandi

    family sized frozen dinners, like enchiladas or lasagna

  • Diana Casablanca

    Looks amazing! Looking forward to making lease recipes! I didnt even know I could buy Engine 2 plant-strong food!!:)

  • Thomas Donovan

    pizza crust it is hard to find a good one in my area

  • Ann Belobradich Taylor

    I would love to see these products carried at more places other then WF.

  • jennw22

    I would love to see some veggie burgers, sans unhealthy fillers, in my local area. unfortunately, I’m not sure there is the market for them here in the Gulf:(

  • Linda Schiltz

    I agree with what everyone else says! I’m just starting so anything that is Engine 2 and ready made is great for me!

  • msrobin

    Thank you for asking. I would like to see plant strong condiments such as ketchup and bbq sauce.

  • Lynn Harthorne

    does anyone have a brand of corn tortillas that are not GMO?

    • Jake Ash

      Whole Foods has corn tortillas with three ingredients: whole corn, water and traces of lime. $1.50/packet (12 tortillas).

  • Deb

    Besides having had a heart attack last February, I have had Type 1 Diabetes for almost 50 years. The plant-based diet has helped me lose weight and feel great! I would like to see foods that can be taken along for snacks.

  • Tanya C.

    I can’t get these anywhere by me, so would love to see them expand to more stores. (until WF decides we’re a market worth building in.) I’d be on board with veggie burgers or frozen raviolis, but also more things I could use to make a complete meal using whole ingredients I have on hand… like pasta sauces, salsa, dressings, etc…forgive me if you already make those, like I said, I have never seen these in store!

  • Carla W.

    Thanks for asking! I would love to see a non-GMO corn tortilla on the market. And an oil-free, whole grain flatbread.

    • Kathryn Bulver

      Food for Life has non-GMO corn tortillas.

  • shelby

    I haven’t been to WF yet as I’ve been finding options at my local grocery store, but I might just have to make the trip!

  • Tammy

    pizza crusts, or a breakfast item. Like breakfast burritos.

  • Jeanette

    GLUTEN – FREE stuff PLEASE. I’m GF, but my Husband is not. So I can buy a lot of your stuff for him but not myself. :(

  • Linda Scherer

    I agree with others, but pizza crust would be great

  • Dawn Martin

    I need to plan a trip to my Whole Foods next grocery shopping day!!!

  • Joan

    Great products. I still like the option of preparing these from scratch. But in a pinch these are great and for people just starting a plant strong diet these are great options that taste good and easy to prepare.

  • Ellery

    I would love it if I could buy these products, because there are not any Whole Foods remotely close to where I live.

  • Terri Simon

    I’d like to see some heat & eat meals. Something easy to grab on your way out the door to work. Healty, delicious, low in sodium….unlike most other frozen meals.

  • Penelopeh

    Great ideas. I would love it if I could get these foods, but the closest WF is an hour away. I would buy bean burgers. Snacks, also, would be so helpful. Pizza crusts – yes!

  • Cheryl Segda

    Sounds delish. Printing out as I type. Just started E2 and living it. So far all is tasty and easy to make.

  • Deb Hadden

    Char you inspire me. I have been plant strong since The Engine 2 Diet first came out. I started later in life too, and feel better than when I was 30. We just had a Whole Foods open up, here in Iowa, so I’m excited to look at the E2 products. These will definitely be helpful when our family of 7 goes to Disney World next year. We don’t eat out when we go. We buy groceries at Whole Foods and make our own plant strong meals to take into the park. Now we’ll be able to buy ready made foods and that will make eating with the Mouse so much more convenient.

  • Janet

    We don’t have these products in my town but in general, it would be great to have an Engine 2 burger/meatloaf.meatball just add water dry mix. It would be such a time saver!

  • Laura Henderson

    I would like some plant strong pasta sauces! It’s hard to find ones with no oil, low sodium & low sugar.

  • Stephanie King

    I would love to see a single person book. I love the food but some of the things don’t work if you live by yourself and don’t want to eat leftovers for days.

    • Sharon

      cut the recipes in half.

  • Brenda

    Oh, I can’t wait to try these! They sound delicious!

  • Marianne Murphy

    Adding to my new options list for plant strong foods — love to see something that’s easily fixed in a little microwave only at-work breakroom. Planning for lunch can fall by the wayside…but I don’t want my new diet to fall down, too!

  • Katie Dawson

    I would love to be able to purchase these products closer to home. I live in a tiny farming town and the nearest WF is over an hour away.

  • Sharrie

    I’d love to see NO carrageenan in the almond milk.

  • Brooke Davison-Billings

    we “love trying your recipe’s” and training my 3 girls how to be “Plant Strong” has been easier with all your information that you share…so Thank you!
    We would LOVE to have a freebie and we are hoping that it is your book FULL of wonderful recipes!

  • Donna Hughes

    I had the pleasure of meeting Rip at the Whole Foods in Tampa this week. I can’t wait to try the Getting Wild Burgers!

  • Belinda

    I would love to see some soups. :)

  • Jessica Deahl Miller

    I’d like to see little video loops of Rip by all of his products encouraging slackers, like me, to keep on going in the plant strong direction! I need all the support I can get!! :)

  • Julie Bodnar

    Love the E2 foods! Pizza crust, pasta/tomato sauce (no sodium, sugar or oil) would be great, as well as more distribution – Regular grocery stores. Can’t wait to try these recipes!

  • Celia

    My favorite is the Fiesta Blend. All I do is cook a package, add black beans, fresh chopped tomatoes, fresh chopped cilantro, avocado, and spicy hot salsa. Doesn’t get any better than that!
    I would love to see an E2 frozen pizza…

  • pam

    I am going to look for them

  • Kris Lesperance

    Love E2, both books. Now have a new book to gift family members with! Would love to see a whole grain pizza dough or crust (frozen) and a frozen pizza in its entirety. Thanks!!!

  • Jo B

    I’d love to try them, and maybe some muffins or breads (frozen). What I really want is a substitute for RANCH dressing without SOY.

  • Theodoric of York

    I would like to see E2 bottled salad dressings.

  • Janet

    Would love to see any of these products in local grocery stores!

  • Sharon

    I’d love to see frozen burger paddies for those days when even a simple recipe is just too much!

  • Jennika Ella Wasilewsky

    I looked at the ancient grain ingredients, sadly it includes wheat?!

  • Rileen

    I’d love to see E2 soups which taste good while passing the 1:1 sodium test :-)

  • Shane

    These are great! Would love to see E2 salad dressing

  • kelsea

    I’m so excited about these products! I’ve only been able to find the (delicious!) dry cereals at a Whole Foods approximately 2 hours away… So anything that doesn’t require refrigeration would be great, but the entire product line at my local grocery store would be even better! 😉 Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Mary

    I would love to see some salad dressings.

  • Sharon

    E2 products sold at HEB’s, that would be fabulous!!! non-GMO corn tortillas would be awesome…frozen pizza would be wonderful too!

  • Kathryn Bulver

    Would like to see non-dairy milk subs without carrageenan or supplemental vitamin A.

  • Kelli Cadwallader Grigsby

    So excited to try these recipes! Thanks for sharing! I live in NH and have to drive to MA to get to a Whole Foods – but of course, it’s well worth the drive!! Thanks for all you do!

  • Debbie Cowherd

    While I’m glad these options are available somewhere, it’s quite frustrating when your posts feature E2/Whole Foods products as most people do not have access to Whole Foods. If you’re going to advertise specific products that the majority of us cannot buy, please offer suggestions for substitutions for those of us who cannot/do not shop at Whole Foods.

    What’s in those grain blends?

  • Jane

    Can’t wait to try them!!!

  • Janet Meeks

    I live in a small town and haven’t seen these in my local grocery stores. Guess I’ll have to go to Knoxville or Chattanooga to find them. So…I’d like to see them locally!

  • Diane

    I like the convenience of a grain medley. Would like to see that expanded to tortillas

  • jeand

    Engine 2 soups would be the bee’s knees!

  • Sharon

    I’d love to see non dairy milk that is not almond milk, my son is allergic.

  • carol

    These sound great! I will have to try the fiesta chili casserole and look for these products next time I shop. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jonathan

    I agree with earlier comments: Would like to have the products available at other markets. Not all of us live within driving distance of a Whole Foods but I’d love to be able to try some of the E2 products!

  • Pam

    I wish you would start selling to other stores – Whole foods is too far for me. How about Sprouts – a chain in CA? I think some soups that are low in sodium to add to your brand. Would love those.

  • Bitter and Murky

    I would like to see Engine 2 almond milk (or other nut milks) without carrageenan

  • Bitter and Murky

    From Engine 2 we need more easy meal solutions, ready to eat, simple and quick dinners or side dishes

  • Bitter and Murky

    the idea of “kits” that you put together at home would be great, like a taco kit (shells, salsa, beans, etc) and even the E2 frozen whole grains could be used as a filling for the tacos …. or a pizza kit (sauce, and either dough or a an easy mix that you just add water or almond milk to make the dough)

  • ricewoman

    Great ideas Char! I love anything that is waffle or burger–and easy! I love freezing a batch or waffles or pancakes then dropping them into the toaster in the AM! So great. I am gonna try these recipes pronto!
    btw; my hubby and my 20 yr old daughter both love most (!) of the plant strong food I make, which is saying a LOT. thanks Rip and Engine 2!!!

  • Terri Cole

    I vote for frozen pizza!

  • Sara

    Frozen pizza!

  • Bonnie

    Your E2 burgers and Ezekial buns. The closest Whole Foods to me is 2 1/2 hours away.

  • Stu Berkowitz

    So many of the E2 recipes in both of Rip’s books are so delicious; I can hardly wait to try even more of them. To my advantage is my sweetie, professional chef Shana Brannon, who applies her consummate skills to make these dishes so scrumptious!

  • SFBayou

    I already tried the Ancient Grains blend and it was delish. I would like to see salad dressings.

  • Richard Beebe

    Fiesta chili casserole sounds great. I would like to see non-corn, whole grain tortillas – made without oil or shortening – in a size suitable for a taco

  • Sandy S

    I have not tried any of these yet, but they sound WONDERFUL!! I can hardly wait….
    A line of canned or boxed mixes with vegies, corn, beans, and rice would be nice for those times you are in a hurry and don’t have access to a freezer or fridge. Meals in an instant, for travelling, camping, or hiking. And maybe a line of “real” vegie burgers. It’s hard to find them sometimes without all the soy isolates. Just some thoughts.

  • Marsha Myers

    WF is about 45 mins. away, but I’m going this weekend to find these! Thanks so much for doing this for all of us plant-strong folks! I’d like to see a pasta sauce maybe in a pouch instead of a jar! And salad dressings!

  • Randy Putney

    I can’t wait to make the waffles and burgers!

  • Valerie Lord

    We must try those burgers! I agree with others – Whole Foods is nearly an hour away for us. Also, We need gluten-free products. Does anyone have any recommendations for whole grain GF?

  • Lisa R.

    I would love some convenience meals for my lunch. and also selling them to other stores that are closer to me.

  • Monica

    I would love to see more shelf stable snack type foods. The crackers are great, but to expand on that to other snack type foods that are plant strong would rock! The thing that I struggle most with is snacks that are shelf stable that I can keep in my desk at work for those days when I have to much to do and crises brewing and maybe don’t have time to sit down and eat a lunch.

    • Jake Ash

      The Engine 2 crackers and hummus make a great quick meal for me. Also, almond butter and jam cracker sandwiches are my favorite! I make my own blueberry jam and use almond butter from Whole Foods.

  • Sonja Hilton

    maybe a product line for trader joes.. they have really good demos using wasy foods..

  • Lynnette

    I already suggest BBQ sauce & ketchup, but want to add PIE CRUST to the list. It isn’t an everyday item, but I’d love a good plant strong pie crust for 2-crust pies.

  • Gail Patrick

    These ideas are great! Thanks for sharing! I will make a trip to Whole Foods after work!!

  • Liz Nickel

    No WF in my area. Would like to see E2 available in other food stores.

  • Donna

    I love all the new E2 products and am so excited now to try them in these recipes that Char posted. Thanks so much!!!

  • Laurie

    I have been looking for a whole grain, plant strong tortilla that isn’t full of junk that I don’t want in my diet! I know Rip can do it!!

    • Jake Ash

      Just bought Engine 2 tortillas last week. Amazing.

  • Deb Hollimon

    I would like tomato products for pizza and pastas that are low salt or salt free.

  • Lindsey

    Yes, we are out in the country in central Illinois and we can’t find the products either. We do our best but our store selections are very limited. Please branch out to other locations!

  • John Williams

    thats awesome! so these are at whole foods now? theres one not far from my fire station ill be making a stop monday morning! oh yes get you some! this is really becoming 2 easy! whats next rip? how about being a personal chef? lol plant strong brother

  • Aran M Cockburn

    I would love to see E2 foods available in other countries. Such as Canada in Foodland Stores maybe???? 😀

  • m2c

    Where oh where can I get these? And where is a list of all the new E2 pre-packaged foods? Are there, hope of hopes, any SAUCES that meet E2 guidelines including those for sugar and salt?? E.g pasta sauce, salsa, Asian-inspired sauces to dress up a big bowl of greens and rice, etc?

    Finding & cooking up a pot of rice or potatoes and steaming plain frozen veggies is easy, but it’s the sauce/topping that pulls it together into tasting like a meal, at least for me and my family. And that’s what takes time, since most sauces have numerous ingredients. Finding E2 compliant sauces has proven virtually impossible!

  • cathey1

    No whole foods here either, none in the whole state. I would love to see some of your products in other national chain.

  • Healthy

    Id love to see frozen waffles, frozen pizza, frozen entrees like tofu scramble, frozen burritos, rips lasagna ready to put in the oven. Fast, convenient. Also, more organic ingredients used in things.

  • Ellen Laughter Perry

    I would love them at SproutsToo
    Salad dressings, bar b que sauce…. Love the convince of frozen grains
    Ellen in Dallas

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