Kale salad with roasted beets, almonds + sesame-balsamic dressing (vegan, gluten-free)

Just a few flavor-packed ingredients make this salad toasty, tangy, and sweet. If you have carrots in the fridge, dice them and roast them along with the beets.

Ingredients
  • beets of choice (red, golden, and Chioggia beets)
  • olive oil
  • kale of choice, tough center ribs removed
  • kosher salt
  • slivered almonds
  • sesame seeds
  • toasted sesame oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • fresh lemon juice
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Trim the beet tops and bottoms and scrub the beets until clean. Cut into bite-size pieces. Toss with olive oil, transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and bake until the beets are soft and the edges are browned. Remove from the oven and let cool. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, cut the kale leaves into ribbons and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with a couple of pinches of salt. With your hands, massage the salt into the kale leaves until the leaves turn darker and begin to soften and release their moisture. Transfer to a salad spinner, wash off the salt, and spin dry.
  4. Add the kale, almonds, and sesame seeds to the bowl with the beets. Drizzle with sesame oil and balsamic vinegar and toss to coat. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more oil, vinegar, and salt and/or a sprinkle of lemon juice.
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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.

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.

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.

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.

Tomato rice with summer squash, peppers, mushrooms + herbs (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

A one-pot dish made on the stove top using summer’s bounty—what’s not to like?

Ingredients
  • dried chile, such as chipotle, rinsed
  • hot water
  • olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • jalapeño chile or serrano chile, sliced
  • sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
  • summer squash (such as zucchini, Mediterranean, and patty pan), chopped
  • cherry tomatoes, halved, and regular tomatoes, chopped, with juices
  • brown rice
  • garlic, minced
  • tomato paste
  • mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, thyme, mint, basil, and rosemary), chopped
  • Kalamata or other olives
Method
  1. Slice the dried chile (I use scissors), discarding the seeds, and place in a heatproof bowl. Add hot water to cover and set aside.
  2. In a large pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook, without stirring, until starting to brown. Stir in the chile, sweet pepper, summer squash, tomatoes, and brown rice, lower the heat to medium, and cook until the vegetables just start to soften. Add the hydrated dried chile along with the chile soaking water. Add enough additional water to just cover the vegetable-rice mixture. Cover, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered and adding more water if the mixture starts to stick, until the rice is cooked the way you like. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, and fresh herbs and serve with olives.

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 plus 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.

Peanut-vegetable stew with fresh herbs (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

Ground roasted peanuts thicken this stew and, surprisingly, add a layer of flavor complexity more than a peanut taste. For nutty goodness, add more roasted peanuts to individual bowls when serving. No need to purchase specific vegetables and herbs because whatever is in your fridge works in this very forgiving dish.

Ingredients
  • dried chiles (such as chipotle, guajillo, and/or chile negro), stemmed
  • roasted unsalted peanuts
  • olive oil or coconut oil
  • onion, chopped
  • brown rice, preferably quick-cooking rice or regular rice soaked for a few hours and drained to shorten cooking time
  • mixed vegetables of choice (such as mushrooms, zucchini, daikon, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, celery, and beets), chopped
  • turmeric
  • minced garlic or garlic powder
  • greens (such as beet greens, chard, kale, collards, and/or cabbage), chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh herbs of choice (such as parsley, mint, dill, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, and/or thyme), chopped
Method
  1. Cut the chiles into strips using scissors and seed if desired. Place in a heatproof bowl, cover with hot water, and set aside.
  2. Grind the peanuts for a few seconds in a spice grinder or blender (if you grind longer, you’ll get peanut butter!). Set aside.
  3. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften. Add the rice, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes. Add the chiles and their soaking water. Add the chopped vegetables and the ground peanuts, cover, and cook until softened, adding additional water as needed. Add the turmeric, garlic, greens, and black pepper, cover, and cook until the greens are cooked the way you like.
  4. To serve, spoon the stew into individual bowls and sprinkle with herbs.

 

White beans, corn + snap peas served over tomato rice (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

Reminiscent of succotash, this dish uses fresh or frozen corn kernels with white beans instead of lima beans. The recipe calls for snap peas or snow peas, but any peas will do. The tomatoes in the rice add a lovely tang to balance the sweetness of the peas and corn.

Ingredients
  • brown rice of choice
  • chopped fresh or canned tomatoes, with juices
  • olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • sugar snap peas or snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • cooked white beans
  • garlic, sliced or minced
  • dried sage
  • fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • freshly ground pepper
  • hot sauce or salsa for serving (optional)
Method
  1. In a saucepan, cook the brown rice with less than the usual water and add the tomatoes about halfway through cooking. Add more water, as needed, until the rice is fully cooked.  Keep warm.
  2. In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook until softened or slightly browned, depending on your preference. Add the peas and cook a minute or two. Add the corn, beans, and garlic and cook a minute or two longer. Just before serving, stir in the sage, parsley, and pepper.
  3. Serve with the rice and hot sauce.

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.