Vegan scramble with garlicky spinach + mushrooms (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

A vegan egg-like scramble made with chickpea flour? Sounds unbelievable. But you will be amazed at how delicious this vegetable scramble is. Find chickpea flour at well-stocked grocers (garbanzo bean flour by Bob’s Red Mill) or under the name “besan” or “chana besan flour” at Indian markets, where you will also find the Indian black salt (kala namak), which adds an eggy flavor. A seasoned cast-iron skillet or a nonstick frying pan should help with the chickpea flour’s tendency to stick. Great served with corn tortillas and hot sauce or salsa. Inspired by a post on the Connoisseurus Veg blog.

Batter
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • nutritional yeast flakes
  • ground turmeric
  • smoked paprika or sweet paprika
  • kala namak (Indian black salt), smoked salt, or kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup liquid (such as plant-based milk, fresh tomatoes blended with water, or plain water)
Sautéed vegetables
  • olive oil
  • mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • small onion, diced
  • small sweet pepper, diced
  • small jalapeño chile, minced
  • spinach or other greens, chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced, or garlic powder
Method
  1. To make the batter: Stir together the chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, turmeric, paprika, kala namak (start with ¼ teaspoon; you can add more when serving), and pepper in a small bowl. Add the liquid and whisk until completely blended. Set aside.

  2. To cook the vegetables: In a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat, warm some olive oil. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook until lightly browned. Add the sweet pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the spinach and garlic and cook until the spinach is wilted and the garlic is very fragrant. Transfer to a plate.

  3. Coat the inside of the skillet with the olive oil. Stir the batter, then pour into the skillet. Let it cook, undisturbed, until the batter begins to firm up around the edges, about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to scrape it into chunks. Cook until about the firmness of scrambled eggs and lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Return the sautéed vegetables to the skillet, stir and flip a few times to blend, and serve.

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Vegan dried fruit + nut bread (no sugar!)

Chockful of flavor — dried fruit sweetness, nutty richness, citrus tang, homey spices — and plenty of room to be creative. The recipe makes a lot, so you might want to halve the recipe the first time. Kitchen shears work well to cut the dates and dried fruit (if you find the fruit sticking to your knife). Adapted from healthylivingaward.com.

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces chopped pitted dates
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 16 ounces mixed dried fruit (such as raisins, pineapple, prunes, and apricots)
  • ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ cup almond meal or ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon or more pumpkin pie spice (ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves)
  • grated lemon zest or orange zest
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • chopped nuts (such as pecans, walnuts, macadamias, hazelnuts, and/or almonds)
  • Sliced raw almonds, for topping
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, add the dates and the hot water. When cool, mash the dates into the water.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the dried fruit. Add to the mashed dates along with the two flours, baking powder, almond meal, pumpkin pie spice, citrus zest, orange juice, and nuts. Mix until well combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread out evenly. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top and press gently into the batter.
  4. Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out clean, checking after 40 minutes to avoid overbaking. Transfer to a rack to cool, lift out of the pan, and serve warm.

Taco salad with roasted tofu taco bits, mushroomy beans + toasted corn tortillas (vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free)

Enjoy lots of flavors and textures packed into this main course salad, and add whatever salad vegetables you enjoy.

Ingredients

For the mushroomy beans:

  • mushrooms
  • olive oil
  • bay leaf
  • leeks, cut into half-moons
  • green bell pepper, diced
  • serrano chile or jalapeño chile, thinly sliced
  • cooked beans of choice

For the taco salad:

  • lettuce of choice, spun dry and torn
  • radishes, cut into half-moons
  • cucumber, cut into half-moons
  • kohlrabi, peeled and diced (optional)
  • red cabbage, chopped
  • green onion, thinly sliced
  • salad dressing or mayonnaise and vinegar of choice
  • corn tortillas, for serving
Method
  1. Prepare the roasted tofu taco bits.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the mushroomy beans: Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop the stems and caps. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the mushrooms, bay leaf, leeks, bell pepper, and chile and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown. Add the beans, stir, turn the heat to low, cover, and keep warm.
  3. Prepare the taco salad: In a large bowl, add the lettuce, radishes, cucumber, kohlrabi, cabbage, green onion. Toss, add salad dressing, and toss again until well combined.
  4. Toast the corn tortillas until hard. Break them into individual bowls. Layer  mushroomy beans, salad, and tofu taco bits on top and serve.

Roasted tofu taco bits (vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free)

If you like seasoned tofu, you’ll want to have this very versatile topping or filling on hand for tacos, burritos, baked sweet potatoes, casseroles, salads, soups, stews, and other uses you’ll discover!

Ingredients
  • firm or super-firm tofu of choice (we like Wildwood or Trader Joe’s brand)
  • olive oil
  • tamari, coconut aminos, or soy sauce
  • taco seasonings of choice: dried oregano, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, ground cumin, turmeric, black pepper
  • lemon quarter (optional)
Method
  1. Line a baking dish or baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the broiler in your toaster oven or regular oven.
  2. Cut the tofu into tiny cubes or mash with a fork. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and toss. Add a splash of tamari and toss again. Sprinkle with taco seasonings and toss until well combined.
  3. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and spread in a single layer. Broil until crunchy, about 40 minutes total depending on the heat of your broiler, stirring and checking every 10 minutes or so. Taste and season with more taco seasonings and/or a squeeze of lemon. Let cool a bit before using.

Homemade vegetable broth (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

Here is a way to make a pot of vegetable broth in less than 1 hour that is great to use when cooking soups, stuffings, and legumes. To keep the broth neutral-flavored, use milder vegetable scraps, like fennel tops, leek tops, onion quarters, and shallot halves; refrain from using broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage; and don’t add salt.

Ingredients
  • olive oil
  • vegetable scraps, chopped (see Note)
  • hot water
Method

In a soup pot over medium heat, warm some olive oil. Add the vegetable scraps and cook until starting to brown. Add hot water to cover by several inches, cover, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes or longer.

Vegetable + bean enchiladas with butternut squash sauce + tahini drizzle (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

Let your refrigerator and pantry guide you regarding what should fill your enchiladas: Allow yourself to be creative with your choice of vegetables and beans.  The winter squash for the sauce can be roasted in the oven instead of cooked on the stovetop. To fill and fold the tortillas without cracking them, soften first by wrapping them in a kitchen towel and microwaving for a few seconds or warming them in a toaster oven or regular oven for a minute. Inspired by the 101 Cookbooks blog.

Ingredients
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • small winter squash (such as butternut, honey nut, or kabocha), peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes
  • fresh tomato, chopped, or canned tomatoes
  • chopped vegetables (such as onion, potato, sweet pepper, cauliflower, mushrooms, carrots, celery, cabbage, zucchini, etc.)
  • jalapeño chile or other chile, thinly sliced (optional)
  • canned or cooked dried beans of choice
  • chopped olives of choice
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • ground turmeric
  • taco seasoning (chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes or ground chile powder, dried oregano, paprika, and ground cumin)
  • lemon zest and juice
  • corn tortillas, softened
  • chopped olives (optional)
  • raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and/or raw sunflower seeds
  • tahini thinned with warm water
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • avocado slices
  • hot sauce or salsa (optional)
Method
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm some olive oil, add the squash and tomato and cook, stirring and mashing, until the mixture becomes a puree. Transfer the puree into a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a frying pan over medium heat, warm some olive oil and cook the chopped vegetables and jalapeño until cooked through. Stir in the beans and olives and set aside.
  3. To the puree in the large bowl, add some olive oil, half of the garlic, the turmeric, taco seasoning, lemon zest, and enough water to make a thin sauce (2 cups or so). Whisk well.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400F. Ladle 1 cup sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Place 1 tortilla in your hand. Spoon some filling in a line down the middle of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla over the filling and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling. (If you have leftover filling, spoon it around the edge of the baking dish.) Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and bake until golden, about 15 minutes longer.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining garlic and several squeezes of lemon juice into the thinned tahini sauce. Drizzle the tahini sauce over the hot enchiladas, top with the cilantro, and serve with avocado slices and hot sauce.

Colorful vegetable salad with beans + pecans (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)

Purple cabbage, red radishes, yellow sweet pepper, and green cucumber, fennel, and kale make for an eye-catching, tasty salad, and the beans and tofu make it substantial. For the eye-catching part, chop everything about the same size so they look like jewels. The rice-cake “croutons” add a nice crunch (feel free to use the crumbles at the bottom of the rice cakes bag!).

Ingredients
  • lacinato kale (aka dino kale or cavolo nero)
  • kosher salt
  • fennel bulb, chopped
  • radishes, cut into half-moons
  • green onion, thinly sliced
  • Asian, Mediterranean, or English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise
  • yellow sweet pepper, chopped
  • red cabbage, cored and chopped
  • extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • cooked cannellini beans, pinto beans, or beans of choice, drained
  • caraway seeds
  • curry powder
  • toasted pecan pieces
  • chopped parsley or cilantro
  • mayonnaise of choice
  • mustard of choice
  • fruit vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, or vinegar of choice
  • brown-rice rice cakes (optional)
Method
  1. Remove and discard the large ribs from the kale. Chop the leaves into small pieces and place in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and massage until the leaves darken and begin to release their moisture. Rinse off the salt and drain.
  2. In a large bowl, add the kale, fennel, radishes, green onion, cucumber, sweet pepper, cabbage, tofu, beans, caraway seeds, curry powder, pecans, and parsley and toss to combine. Add a spoonful each of mayonnaise and mustard and a splash of vinegar, crumble rice cakes on top, and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings, toss, and serve.

Chopped vegetable + wild rice sauté with miso broth (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

Here’s a great one-pot meal for when you have vegetable odds and ends lurking in your fridge. To cut down on cooking time, soak the wild rice like you soak before you cook dried beans. Inspired by a recipe from Rancho Gordo.

Ingredients
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • chopped vegetables of choice (such as winter squash, summer squash, sweet peppers, hot chiles, mushrooms, cauliflower, kale, chard, celery, carrots, turnips, potatoes—whatever you have)
  • wild rice, preferably soaked overnight
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • miso of choice
  • hot water
  • fresh parsley, chopped
Method
  1. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add the chopped vegetables and wild rice and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened. Add enough water to cover the mixture, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding more water as needed if dry, until the wild rice is tender. Stir in the garlic. Turn the heat to low.
  2. In a heatproof glass container with a spout, add the miso and enough hot water to cover and whisk until the miso is dissolved. Pour the liquid into the vegetable-rice mixture and heat through on low. Add the parsley, stir to combine, and serve.

Pasta + greens in creamy tomato sauce (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

This is an intensely satisfying dish—especially if you choose a denser pasta, like large elbows (chiocciole), thick bowties (farfalle), or wide tubes (rigatoni), for a bit more chew. But any pasta shape works.

Ingredients
  • raw cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes in water to cover
  • fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, or tomato paste
  • nutritional yeast
  • dried oregano
  • turmeric
  • ground chipotle chile (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • sweet pepper, chopped
  • jalapeño chile, sliced (optional)
  • large shape brown-rice pasta or whole-wheat pasta (such as chiocciole, farfalle, or rigatoni)
  • kale and/or collard greens, large center ribs removed and leaves cut into ribbons
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • pitted Kalamata olives or olives of choice, for serving
Method
  1. Using a blender or immersion blender, blend the cashews with their soaking water, the tomatoes, nutritional yeast, oregano, turmeric, chipotle, and black pepper into a sauce. Set aside.
  2. In a frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown. Add the sweet pepper and chile and cook until all of the vegetables are cooked through. Stir in the reserved sauce, cover, and when simmering, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions, setting a kitchen timer to make sure the pasta is cooked al dente. A couple of minutes before the pasta is ready, add the greens and parsley to the vegetable mixture and cover.
  4. Drain the pasta, reserving up to 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add small amounts of the cooking water to the vegetable mixture, as needed, to create the sauce consistency of your choice.
  5. Stir the cooked pasta into the pan with the vegetables and sauce, cook 1 minute longer, and serve with olives alongside.

Tangy, spicy + creamy broccoli soup (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

This chunky blended soup will surprise you with its depth of flavor—honest! There’s a hint of dairy-free cheesiness from the nutritional yeast and vinegar-based hot sauce (to avoid spicy heat, try just vinegar). An immersion/stick blender is very handy for blending the soup right in the pot. Inspired by a post on the Connoisseurus Veg blog.

Ingredients
  • olive oil
  • onion, diced
  • mushrooms, chopped
  • potato, chopped
  • sweet pepper, chopped,
  • jalapeño chile, sliced
  • homemade vegetable broth or store-bought
  • fresh tomatoes, chopped, or canned diced tomatoes
  • raw cashews
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • unsweetened plain plant-based milk (such as soy milk or almond milk)
  • nutritional yeast flakes
  • vinegar-based hot sauce
  • turmeric
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • broccolini or broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
  • miso
  • fresh cilantro or fresh parsley, chopped
Method
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, potato, sweet pepper, and jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned. Add broth, tomatoes, and cashews and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, stir in the garlic.
  2. Using an immersion blender right in the pot or transferring the soup in batches to a blender (and then back into the pot), blend until mostly smooth. Stir in the milk, nutritional yeast, hot sauce, turmeric, a few grinds of pepper, and the broccolini. Bring to a simmer and cook until the broccolini is tender, about 7 minutes. Ladle some soup into a heatproof measuring cup with a spout, whisk the miso into the liquid until dissolved, and pour the miso mixture back into the pot to reheat. Taste and adjust seasonings, stir in the cilantro, and serve.