Stuffed mushrooms (vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free)

As an appetizer or main course, these filled mushroom caps taste great warm or at room temp, so they can travel to a picnic or potluck. Inspired by a post on cearaskitchen.com.

Ingredients
  • large cremini or button mushrooms
  • olive oil
  • onion or shallots, finely chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • fresh or dried thyme
  • herbes de Provence
  • fresh tomato, chopped, or tomato paste whisked in water or broth
  • walnuts, finely chopped
  • pine nuts, finely chopped
  • jalapeño chile, minced, or red pepper flakes
  • nutritional yeast
  • ground turmeric
  • black pepper
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. Remove the mushroom stems, chop them, and reserve. Place the mushroom caps, gill sides up, on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. In a large pan over medium heat, warm some oil and cook the onion, garlic, thyme, and herbes de Provence until the onion has softened. Add the tomato and reserved chopped mushroom stems. Cook for a couple of minutes until soft. Stir in the walnuts and pine nuts, jalapeño, and nutritional yeast and cook for another couple of minutes. Season the filling with turmeric and pepper and stir.
  4. Mound each mushroom cap with some filling, patting the filling firmly in place. When all are filled, bake for about 15 minutes, then broil as needed so the tops of the filling are slightly crispy and the caps are soft. Serve.
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Bread casserole with mushrooms, almonds, edamame + herbs (dairy-free, vegan)

Some people might call this a bread stuffing and make it only on holidays. But this casserole is comfort food anytime. For bread choices, consider using both sweet (whole wheat raisin bread?) and savory (rye or olive bread?). For the homemade broth, simmer the fennel tops from the fennel bulb in more than 4 cups of water while you prepare the other ingredients. Inspired by a Jacques Pépin recipe.

Ingredients
  • assorted breads (1 pound total)
  • olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • mushrooms, chopped
  • sweet pepper, chopped
  • jalapeño chile, minced (optional)
  • fennel bulb, chopped
  • herbes de Provence spice blend (thyme, oregano, marjoram, savory, rosemary, and lavender)
  • dried sage
  • ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups homemade vegetable broth or store-bought
  • toasted slivered almonds
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • Swiss chard, stalks removed and leaves chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • shallot, minced
  • frozen shelled edamame, thawed
Method
  1. Slice the bread and toast in a toaster or toaster oven until hard then cut into 1-inch pieces, or cut into 1-inch pieces and toast on a baking sheet in a 400ºF oven until hard. Transfer the bread to a large bowl.
  2. Preheat or lower the oven to 375ºF. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm some olive oil. Add the onion, mushrooms, pepper, jalapeño, fennel bulb, herbes de Provence, sage, and nutmeg and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Pour in the broth and stir.
  3. Transfer the vegetable-broth mixture to the bowl with the bread. Stir in the almonds, parsley, chard, garlic, shallot, and edamame with a sprinkle of more herbes de Provence. Pour into a baking dish (you might need two baking dishes, depending on volume). Cover with foil and bake, checking to see if more broth is needed, until completely cooked through and much of the broth is taken up by the bread, up to 60 minutes.

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.

Vegan dried fruit + nut bread with date syrup (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.

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.

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.

Blue potato, white corn + green bean curry (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

Blue potatoes have blue skin and blue flesh, adding unusual color to this dish. If you can’t find them, use gold potatoes or sweet potatoes. An easy way to peel fresh ginger is to use the tip of a small spoon instead of a peeler or knife. The spice list is long, but that’s what creates the flavor of this dish. Serve the curry over basmati rice or your favorite grain. Inspired by a post on Vegan in the Freezer.

Ingredients
  • olive oil
  • cumin seeds
  • mustard seeds
  • red onion, chopped
  • red bell pepper, chopped
  • jalapeño chile, sliced
  • fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • garlic, chopped
  • fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • ground turmeric
  • chile powder (such as New Mexican or cayenne)
  • ground coriander
  • ground cumin
  • garam masala
  • blue potatoes, diced
  • green beans, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • water
  • fresh or thawed frozen white or yellow corn
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped fresh basil
  • fresh lemon juice
  • hot sauce
  • pitted Kalamata olives
Method
  1. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook, stirring often, until the seeds are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onion, red pepper, and jalapeño and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, blend the tomato, garlic, and ginger into a coarse mixture.
  3. Add the tomato mixture, turmeric, chile powder, coriander, ground cumin, and garam masala to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and the garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, green beans, tofu, and up to 1 cup water. Cover and cook about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the corn, and simmer until the vegetables are cooked the way you like, about 10 minutes longer. Add more water if the pan gets dry or if you prefer more curry sauce. Right before serving, stir in the cilantro, basil, and a splash of lemon juice and serve with hot sauce and olives alongside.