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.
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Saucy chickpeas, mushrooms + veggies with pita crisps (vegan)

For the sauce, this dish uses mushroom broth created by soaking chopped dried mushrooms in hot water and almond meal or ground almonds to thicken and flavor the sauce. If using dried chickpeas, soak them and cook them separately. Feel free to use any vegetable in place of the cauliflower and any greens for the kale. Consider substituting olives, capers, or hot sauce for the salt.

Ingredients
  • dried mushrooms, chopped
  • hot water
  • olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • brown rice
  • cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
  • almond meal or ground almonds (optional)
  • kale, center ribs removed and leaves chopped
  • cooked dried or canned chickpeas (see note above)
  • minced garlic or garlic powder
  • chile powder
  • turmeric
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • slivered almonds
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • whole-wheat pita, cut into triangles and toasted until crisp
Method
  1. Place the dried mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and add hot water to cover. Set aside.
  2. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the fresh mushrooms and the brown rice, stir, and cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms start to brown. Add the soaked dried mushrooms with their soaking liquid plus enough water to cover. Cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until the rice is almost done. Stir in the cauliflower and cook until the cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork and the rice is soft, adding more water as needed. Stir in the almond meal, kale, and chickpeas. When the kale is soft, stir in the garlic, chile powder, and turmeric. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Ladle into individual bowls, top with almonds, parsley, and pita triangles, and serve.

Wheat berry + arugula salad with Kalamata olives, fresh herbs + balsamic-mustard dressing (dairy-free, egg-free, vegetarian)

Chewy, tangy, spicy, salty, and sweet—what more could one ask for? Find wheat berries (which are ground to make flour) in the bulk section of well-stocked grocery stores and health food stores. Soaking them in water to cover, like you would dried beans, helps reduce cooking time. This salad is a perfect summer potluck or picnic dish.

Ingredients
  • wheat berries
  • raisins
  • balsamic vinegar
  • fruit vinegar (optional)
  • prepared mustard of choice (such as Dijon, yellow, whole grain, sweet hot, or a combination)
  • fresh orange or lemon juice
  • radishes, diced
  • cucumber, diced
  • green onion, thinly sliced
  • Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • baby arugula leaves
  • cooked or canned pinto beans (optional)
  • fresh mixed herbs (such as mint, cilantro, parsley, and basil), chopped
  • slivered almonds
Method
  1. In a saucepan, add the wheat berries and enough water to cover (you can use the soaking water), bring to a boil, covered, and simmer until soft (they will be chewy). Move off the heat and allow the berries to absorb any leftover water. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a measuring cup with a spout, add the raisins. Add balsamic and fruit vinegars and prepared mustard and whisk until well combined. Let stand for several minutes. Taste and season with vinegar, mustard and/or orange or lemon juice.
  3. Add the radishes, cucumber, green onion, olives, and arugula to a large bowl. Pour in the raisins and dressing. Add the wheat berries, beans, herbs, and almonds. Toss, taste, and adjust the seasonings.
  4. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Mashed potatoes with greens + roasted peppers (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

Definitely comfort food, this tasty dish doesn’t take long to make and can’t help but please all palates. If you don’t have time to roast fresh peppers, use jarred roasted red peppers instead.

Ingredients
  • Yukon gold potatoes or potatoes of choice
  • mixed fresh peppers (such as poblano, Anaheim, and bell peppers)
  • jalapeño chile (optional)
  • olive oil
  • greens (such as chard, kale, beet greens, and/or collards), stemmed and leaves cut into ribbons
  • garlic cloves, sliced
  • smoked paprika (optional)
  • hot sauce, for serving (optional)
Method
  1. Cut the potatoes into large chunks. Add to a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain, reserving some cooking liquid, and keep the potatoes warm.
  2. Meanwhile, roast the fresh peppers and the jalapeño on an outdoor grill, under a broiler, or on a grill pan or over an open flame on the stove top, turning to char all over. Place them in a paper bag, close the bag, and let them steam for about 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and chop the flesh. Set aside.
  3. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the greens and toss until just wilted. Add the garlic, stir the garlic into the greens, and cook, covered, for a couple of minutes until the greens are soft but still bright green. Cover to keep warm.
  4. Rice the potatoes (with a ricer) or mash them in a large bowl, adding the reserved cooking liquid a tablespoonful at a time to reach the consistency you like. Add the peppers, jalapeño, and greens. Stir just to combine. Season to taste with paprika and serve with your favorite hot sauce.

Brown-rice bowl with garlicky chard, sun-dried tomatoes + walnuts (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian)

Rainbow chard, with its multicolored stems, makes eating your greens very enticing indeed. Consider flavoring the brown rice by cooking it with a knob of coconut oil and stirring in some green onion slices when the rice is done but still steaming. Nutritional yeast sprinkled on top of your bowl adds a nutty, cheesy flavor and is worth a try. Because chard has a natural saltiness, you might not need to add any salt to your bowl, but smoked salt is almost always a good choice.

Ingredients
  • brown rice of choice
  • garlic cloves
  • swiss chard, preferably rainbow chard
  • olive oil
  • super-firm tofu, diced (optional)
  • nutritional yeast (optional)
  • sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • walnuts
  • cilantro, chopped (optional)
Method
  1. Cook the brown rice according to your preferred method (see note above for flavoring ideas). Cover and keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, mince the garlic and set aside. Cut the stems from the chard leaves and thinly slice. Separately, stack the leaves and cut into ribbons.
  3. In a large pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the chard stems, cover, and cook for a minute or two. Stir in the chard leaves and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly wilted. Move the chard to the side of the pan and move the pan so the chard is off the heat. Pour a little bit of oil on the uncovered part of the pan that is over the heat, add the garlic, and cook for a minute or so. Shift the pan back onto the heat, stir the garlic into the chard, and cook until the chard is done to your liking. Cover and remove from the heat.
  4. To serve, add a mound of rice to your bowl. Top with chard, tofu, a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, a few sun-dried tomatoes, a handful of walnuts, and some cilantro, and you’re ready to eat.