Pasta with green beans, potatoes + pesto (gluten-free, vegan)

If you’re a fan of pasta, potatoes, and pesto, you’ll love this combination. Inspired by a recipe from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook by the editors of America’s Test Kitchen.

  • garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
  • seed/nut butter, such as sunflower seed butter or almond butter
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • green beans or Romano beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • red or yellow potatoes, diced
  • gluten-free pasta, such as brown rice pasta
  • pitted green olives
  • olive brine (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • toasted pine nuts
  1. Toast the unpeeled garlic cloves in a dry pan over medium heat, turning occasionally, until slight char spots appear on all sides of the cloves. Transfer to a cutting board. When cool, peel and chop the garlic. Whirl the garlic, fresh herbs, seed or nut butter, and oil in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt to taste and add water, as needed, to thin the mixture. Set aside.
  2. Steam the green beans until tender. Transfer to a colander, rinse briefly with cold water, drain, and transfer beans to a large bowl. In the same pot, steam or boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and add the potatoes to the large bowl with the beans. Cover to keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and add to the large bowl with the vegetables. Stir in the pesto and the olives. Season to taste with salt or olive brine, if using, and pepper. Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve.

Soft breakfast polenta topped with charred vegetables + eggs (gluten-free, vegetarian)

Here’s a most satisfying summer breakfast that has the smoothness of polenta, the smoky-toasty flavor of charred vegetables and chipotle powder, and the richness of cooked eggs. If you don’t have fresh corn and peppers, use chopped vegetables of your choice and cook them until charred in spots.

  • ears of corn
  • coarsely ground cornmeal
  • avocado oil, coconut oil, or your favorite high-heat oil
  • Padron, shishito, banana, or other thin-walled peppers or chiles, coarsely chopped
  • kosher salt
  • chipotle chile powder
  • eggs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • hot sauce
  1. Microwave unhusked ears of corn or steam husked ears of corn until barely cooked, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large cutting board, let cool, and cut kernels off the cobs.
  2. Cook cornmeal into soft polenta in the microwave or on the stovetop according to package instructions. Keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, warm oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add peppers and cook, without stirring, for a minute or two. Add corn, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring only occasionally, until char spots appear on the vegetables. Stir in chile powder, cover, turn off heat, and let sit.
  4. Cook eggs your favorite way.
  5. Scoop polenta into individual bowls, top with the charred vegetables, and an egg or two. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with hot sauce on the side.

Red and green coleslaw with fresh corn, green olives + pecans (gluten-free, vegan)

This colorful slaw is everything you’d want in a picnic or summer salad: tangy, crunchy, creamy, sweet, and spicy. To make it vegan and gluten-free, use an egg-free, gluten-free mustard and mayonnaise (Vegenaise is a tasty mayo choice).

  • ear of fresh corn, unhusked
  • red cabbage, shredded
  • green cabbage, shredded
  • fresh lemon juice
  • mayonnaise of choice
  • mustard of choice
  • caraway seeds, crushed
  • cumin seeds, crushed
  • pitted green olives, halved or sliced
  • toasted pecans, chopped
  • chile powder (optional)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Microwave the unhusked ear of corn until steaming or steam or boil the shucked ear of corn, 2 to 3 minutes for either method. Let cool and slice the kernels from the cob into a large bowl.
  2. Add the cabbage to the bowl and drizzle with lemon juice. Stir in the mayonnaise, mustard, caraway and cumin seeds, olives, pecans, and chile powder, if using. Toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill or serve at room temperature.

Panfried broccoli stems (gluten-free, vegan)

Broccoli stems?  Yes, indeed. Broccoli oftentimes has thick, long stems. Here’s a way to use them, especially broccoli stems from the farmers’ market with their just-picked freshness and their amazing sweetness. Even with chunky stems, no peeling is needed for this recipe!

  • broccoli stems
  • coconut oil or oil of choice
  1. Slice the stems lengthwise into quarters, then in half crosswise.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the stems and cook, covered, turning only occasionally, until the stems are soft and have some char spots on them. Season with salt to taste and serve.

Zucchini soup with sugar snap peas + potatoes (gluten-free, vegan)

This bright green blended soup is downright delicious. With late spring comes the end of sugar snap peas and fresh dill and the beginning of zucchini, peppers, and potatoes. This version (inspired by a recipe in Amy Chaplin’s At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen) combines them into a rich, sweet, and smooth success story. Ladle the soup over brown rice, pasta, or rice noodles or enjoy it on its own.

  • olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee
  • red or yellow onion, chopped
  • yellow potatoes, chopped
  • Padron or Anaheim peppers, chopped
  • zucchini, chopped
  • kosher salt
  • sugar snap peas
  • garlic cloves, chopped
  • fresh dill, chopped
  • black pepper
  • hot-pepper sauce (optional)
  • chopped green olives (optional)
  • green onions, sliced thinly, for garnish
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened. Stir in the potatoes, peppers, zucchini, and a sprinkle of salt and cook until vegetables begin to soften and brown a bit.
  2. Meanwhile, pull the strings off the sugar snap peas and thinly slice the pods. Add the peas to the pot along with filtered water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are completely cooked. Stir in the garlic and dill.
  3. Blend the soup in the pot using an immersion blender or transfer in batches to a standard blender. Reheat the soup, if needed, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and more dill. Ladle into bowls, add hot-pepper sauce and olives, if using, and garnish with the green onions.

Breakfast rice bowl topped with avocado, pickled vegetables + fried eggs (gluten-free, vegetarian)

Any main course with eggs can be turned into a savory breakfast, like this vegetarian Korean bibimbap (inspired by a recipe from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook written by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen). The quick-pickled vegetables add a lovely tang and crunch, and the eggs make it rich and satisfying. A great way to use leftover rice, brown-rice pasta, or Vietnamese rice noodles.

Pickled raw vegetables
  • raw vegetables (carrots, cabbage, green onions, red onions, sprouts, cucumber, sweet pepper, chiles, radishes or daikon, or your choice), cut into matchsticks or thinly sliced
  • vinegar (rice vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, or a combination)
Rice bowls
  • coconut oil, ghee, or olive oil
  • mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • garlic, minced
  • eggs
  • cooked brown rice, warmed
  • vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, chard, or your choice), steamed or microwaved and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • avocado, pitted, peeled, and cut into chunks
  • toasted sunflower seeds
  • toasted sliced almonds
  • cilantro, chopped
  • toasted sesame oil
  • tamari, soy sauce alternative, or soy sauce
  • hot-pepper sauce
  1. To pickle the vegetables: Place the vegetables in a single layer, if possible, in a wide bowl or glass container and cover with a mixture of vinegar and a bit of water. Chill for at least 20 minutes to marinate.
  2. To prepare the rice bowls: Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their juices and begin to brown. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Fry, poach, or soft boil the eggs just enough to keep the yolks runny.
  4. Layer the rice, mushrooms, cooked vegetables, avocado, sunflower seeds, almonds, pickled vegetables, and cilantro in individual bowls, drizzle with sesame oil, tamari, and hot-pepper sauce to taste, and top with the eggs.

Broccoli with lemon grass + herbs over rice noodles (gluten-free, vegan)

Fresh lemon grass, a springtime offering at the farmers’ market, inspired this dish. Rice noodles are easy to prepare—you just soak them in hot water while you’re doing other cooking tasks; find them at Asian markets and in the international foods aisle at well-stocked grocery stores.

  • flat rice noodles, also called rice stick or bánh pho
  • lemon grass stalk
  • coconut oil, ghee, or olive oil
  • onion, diced
  • mushrooms, chopped
  • green chiles, such as Padron, Anaheim, or serrano, thinly sliced
  • extra-firm tofu, diced
  • broccoli, coarsely chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • fresh cilantro, basil, and mint leaves, chopped
  • green onion, thinly sliced
  • fresh lime juice
  • tamari, soy sauce substitute, or soy sauce
  • toasted sunflower seeds
  1. Put the rice noodles in a large bowl and pour in boiling water until the noodles are submerged. Cover and let stand, stirring occasionally, until noodles are soft, 10–20 minutes. Drain, return to the bowl, and cover to keep warm.
  2. Trim off and discard the hard bottom and the dry green top of the lemon grass, leaving about 4 inches of stalk. Peel off and discard a few layers of the stalk until you find the shiny inner stalk. Smash the stalk with the back of a wooden spoon or the blade of a chef’s knife. Slice thinly and mince. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms, stir, and cook for a minute or two. Stir in chiles and tofu and cook until bits start to brown on the bottom of the pan. Add broccoli, garlic, and reserved lemon grass to the pan, cover, and cook, stirring frequently, until the broccoli is bright green and slightly softened. Stir in the herbs and green onion. Season to taste with lime juice and tamari, serve over the rice noodles, and sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

Easy breakfast tacos (gluten-free, vegan/vegetarian)

These tacos are a versatile, satisfying, and savory morning meal option and are great for a breakfast on the go or at home with your favorite morning beverage. The only filling that doesn’t work in these simple tacos is soup, but you can certainly slurp soup along with your breakfast tacos.

  • corn tortillas
  • possible fillings
    • hummus topped with tomato slices, sweet pepper strips, and/or cucumber spears
    • avocado slices or guacamole topped with tomato slices, cilantro sprigs, and/or a drizzle of hot-pepper sauce
    • store-bought or homemade nut butter, such as almond, pistachio, cashew, peanut, or tahini
    • cooked potato or sweet potato mashed with a pinch of kosher salt
    • roasted vegetables topped with fresh basil leaves
    • cooked lentils or beans topped with sweet pepper strips and a drizzle of hot-pepper sauce
    • tofu or hard-boiled egg mashed with chopped olives and mustard
    • any leftovers, such as fried rice, noodle dishes, vegetable stir-fries, etc.!
  • lettuce leaves, such as Little Gem, butter lettuce, or romaine
  1. Warm the corn tortillas in the toaster oven, toaster, or microwave.
  2. Warm your filling in the microwave, if desired. Add your filling to half of each tortilla.
  3. Top with lettuce leaves, fold, and enjoy!

Please let me know any ideas you have for breakfast taco fillings that are dairy-free, vegetarian, and gluten-free.

Steamed rice-paper dumplings (gluten-free, vegan)

Tiny, tasty clouds of vegetable loveliness—that’s one way to describe these dumplings. The filling is already cooked and the wrappers are already softened, so the steaming just increases the seal and heats the little pillows. Could be a fun do-it-yourself dinner party for family members or guests, albeit a little messy (you create each dumpling by hand). The dumplings go well with sides of steamed broccoli and black and brown rice.

  • several heads of baby bok choy*
  • coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • onion, diced
  • fresh ginger, minced
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • super-firm tofu, seasoned tofu, or a tofu burger, diced
  • fresh basil, cilantro, and mint, thinly sliced
  • green onion, thinly sliced
  • toasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • toasted sesame oil
  • soy sauce substitute, tamari, or soy sauce
  • small rice paper wrappers*
  • hot-pepper sauce
  • Sriracha chili sauce

* You can substitute sliced spinach or another green for the baby bok choy leaves. If you can’t find small wrappers, use rice-paper spring roll wrappers: Follow the dumpling instructions to soften each wrapper, use a larger amount of filling, fold over the sides, and pull the end closest to you over the filling to seal (like a burrito) before steaming.

  1. Trim the bottoms of the baby bok choy. Cut each head in half lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Cut crosswise into thin strips; separate the strips of green leaves from the strips of white stems. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and ginger, stir, and cook, covered, until just softened. Mix in the mushrooms, bok choy stems, and tofu and cook until mushrooms release their juices and the vegetables are soft. Mix in the bok choy leaves, herbs, green onion, and seeds. Drizzle with sesame oil and soy sauce substitute, stir, and cook until bok choy leaves are wilted and the mixture is heated through. Turn off heat.
  3. Fill a bowl with hot water. Dip one wrapper at a time once quickly into the hot water. Spoon a small amount of filling onto the center of the wrapper and secure by twisting together all of the ends (moisten with extra hot water to create a good seal). Put the sealed dumplings on a plate or a baking sheet.
  4. Meanwhile, fill a pot with an inch of water, insert a steamer basket, and bring the water to a simmer. Add the dumplings to the steamer basket in one layer (you may have to steam in batches). Cover and steam for a few minutes.
  5. Serve warm with soy sauce substitute, toasted sesame oil, hot-pepper sauce, and Sriracha chili sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.

Kale frittata with brown-rice crust (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

Worthy of a Sunday brunch, this frittata bakes while you sip your favorite morning beverage and read the newspaper or a good book. To make the crust (inspired by a post on the An Ode To Mung Beans blog), you will need cooked rice—I used leftover brown rice.

  • olive oil
  • cooked brown rice
  • salt
  • 1 or 2 egg whites, yolks reserved
  • onion, diced
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • green garlic, diced, or garlic cloves, minced
  • ground spices of your choice, such as turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika, and chipotle or other chile powder
  • kale, center ribs discarded, leaves torn or sliced thinly
  • whole eggs, including the reserved yolks, beaten lightly
  • black pepper
  • green onions, sliced thinly (optional)
  • fresh cilantro or parsley, minced (optional)
  1. Preheat the broiler (set to low, if you have that option), making sure that the rack is about 6 inches away from the heat. Grease a baking dish with the olive oil.
  2. Add enough rice to the prepared dish to cover the bottom. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and mix into the rice. Flatten the rice into the bottom of the dish to create a crust. Brush some more oil on top of the rice. Broil for a few minutes until golden, remove from the oven, and set aside. Turn off the broiler and preheat the oven to 375º.
  3. Meanwhile, heat more olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and mushrooms and cook until softened. Mix in the garlic and ground spices and cook for a minute or two. Add the kale leaves in handfuls, stirring after each handful. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for a few minutes until the kale is wilted. Pour the beaten whole eggs and reserved yolks into the pan with the kale mixture and stir. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly, until the eggs are just barely set.
  4. Pour the egg-kale mixture on top of the rice in the baking dish and spread into a level layer. Bake the frittata, checking every 20 minutes to see if the eggs are cooked. When almost done, sprinkle green onions on top, if using, and return to the oven for a minute or two. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes or so. Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley, if using, cut the frittata into pieces, and serve.