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!).
lacinato kale (aka dino kale or cavolo nero)
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
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)
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.
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.
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.
extra-virgin olive oil
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
fresh parsley, chopped
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.
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.
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.
raw cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes in water to cover
fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, or tomato paste
ground chipotle chile (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stir the cooked pasta into the pan with the vegetables and sauce, cook 1 minute longer, and serve with olives alongside.
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.
unsweetened plain plant-based milk (such as soy milk or almond milk)
nutritional yeast flakes
vinegar-based hot sauce
freshly ground black pepper
broccolini or broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
fresh cilantro or fresh parsley, chopped
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.
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 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.
red onion, chopped
red bell pepper, chopped
jalapeño chile, sliced
fresh tomatoes, chopped
fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
chile powder (such as New Mexican or cayenne)
blue potatoes, diced
green beans, trimmed and thinly sliced
extra-firm tofu, cubed
fresh or thawed frozen white or yellow corn
chopped fresh basil
fresh lemon juice
pitted Kalamata olives
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.
Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, blend the tomato, garlic, and ginger into a coarse mixture.
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.
Once you make this spread, you’ll find a ton of uses for it: on sandwiches, crackers, or rice cakes; in tacos; to flavor a bowl of soup or salad; as a pasta sauce. Use about twice as much basil as mint and oregano, and if you have any leftover mild-flavored cooked vegetables lurking in the fridge, blend them with the other ingredients. Inspired by a recipe from Julie Piatt’s This Cheese Is Nuts!
fresh basil leaves
fresh mint leaves
fresh oregano leaves
cooked vegetables, such as greens, zucchini, or cauliflower, drained (optional)
toasted macadamia nuts
toasted pine nuts
small tomato, chopped, or cherry tomatoes, halved
pitted green olives, olive tapenade, or salt
In a food processor or blender, layer the fresh herbs, cooked vegetables, nuts, and nutritional yeast. Process until coarsely blended, adding tomato pieces or halves until the mixture reaches your desired consistency (if you don’t have tomato, use water). Blend in olives, olive tapenade, or your favorite salt and serve.
If you didn’t know better, you’d think these cauliflower florets were deep-fried because they are crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside—but instead they’re battered and baked until crisp. This recipe makes enough batter and topping for quite a large cauliflower. Fill soft tacos with these cauliflower nuggets, as on the Blissful Basil blog that inspired this recipe, accompanied by Seasoned Crispy Tofu either inside or alongside the tacos.
For the batter:
1¼ cups nondairy milk
¾ cup brown rice flour
1½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
For the topping:
1¼ cups mixed grains/seeds (such as gluten-free rolled oats, flax seeds, and quinoa) or only gluten-free rolled oats
chopped fresh cilantro
chopped fresh oregano or dried oregano
green onion, very thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper
chile powder (such as New Mexico, cayenne, or chipotle)
smoked salt or kosher salt
warmed corn tortillas
salsa and/or hot sauce
lime or lemon wedges
Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To make the batter: In a large bowl, add the milk, flour, and lime juice and whisk until smooth.
To make the topping: In a food processor, process the grains/seeds until a coarse meal forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl. Mix in the cilantro, oregano, green onion, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, turmeric, curry powder, black pepper, and chile powder and season with salt.
Place a a handful of cauliflower florets into the batter. Using tongs, toss to coat and shake off any excess. Toss in the topping to coat and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining florets. Bake until crispy and golden, 25 to 30 minutes, turning them over halfway through baking. If not quite crispy enough, turn on the broiler and broil, watching carefully so they don’t burn, until done the way you like. Let cool slightly.
Serve inside warmed tortillas with cabbage, cilantro, salsa and/or hot sauce, avocado slices, and a squeeze of lime.
A one-pot dish made on the stove top using summer’s bounty—what’s not to like?
dried chile, such as chipotle, rinsed
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
mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, thyme, mint, basil, and rosemary), chopped
Kalamata or other olives
Slice the dried chile (I use scissors), discarding the seeds, and place in a heatproof bowl. Add hot water to cover and set aside.
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.
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.
dried mushrooms, chopped
fresh mushrooms, sliced
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
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley
whole-wheat pita, cut into triangles and toasted until crisp
Place the dried mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and add hot water to cover. Set aside.
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.
Ladle into individual bowls, top with almonds, parsley, and pita triangles, and serve.
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.
dried chiles (such as chipotle, guajillo, and/or chile negro), stemmed
roasted unsalted peanuts
olive oil or coconut oil
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
fresh herbs of choice (such as parsley, mint, dill, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, and/or thyme), chopped
Cut the chiles into strips using scissors and seed if desired. Place in a heatproof bowl, cover with hot water, and set aside.
Grind the peanuts for a few seconds in a spice grinder or blender (if you grind longer, you’ll get peanut butter!). Set aside.
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.
To serve, spoon the stew into individual bowls and sprinkle with herbs.