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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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.

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.

 

Yellow split peas with red peppers + greens (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

This recipe works with yellow or green split peas, any split legumes (aka dals), lentils, or a mixture. If you live near an Indian market, you have a wonderland of dals from which to choose. Although not required, soaking in hot water, covered, for a couple of hours reduces cooking time. You can stir in the greens as detailed below, or you can steam or sauté them and serve them alongside with hot cooked rice, quinoa, another grain, or pasta.

Ingredients
  • olive oil
  • fresh or jarred red sweet peppers, chopped
  • jalapeño chile or other fresh chile, thinly sliced
  • yellow split peas or legumes of choice, soaked in hot water and drained
  • bay leaves
  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • fresh tomato, chopped, or canned tomatoes with juices
  • turmeric
  • greens (such as beet tops, kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach, turnip tops, or a mixture), stemmed and leaves cut into ribbons
  • balsamic vinegar or vinegar of choice (optional)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • chopped fresh cilantro and/or fresh parsley
Method
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the peppers and chile and cook until softened and fragrant. Add the legumes, water to cover by ½ inch, the bay leaves, and rosemary sprigs. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, until soft, adding water as needed to keep the legumes submerged.
  2. Stir in the tomato and turmeric and simmer until the tomato breaks down into the liquid. Stir in the greens and cook until the greens are done to your liking.
  3. Drizzle with the vinegar, season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with the fresh herbs, and serve.

Chickpea salad with tofu, avocado, peppers, nuts, seeds + pesto (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

No cooking is required for this refreshing main-course salad.

Ingredients
  • cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
  • super-firm tofu or seasoned tofu, cut into cubes
  • mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • Asian, English, or Persian cucumber, unpeeled, halved lengthwise and thinly cut crosswise
  • red or yellow sweet pepper, chopped
  • jalapeño chile, thinly sliced
  • store-bought or homemade pesto of choice or mayonnaise of choice
  • toasted slivered almonds
  • raw or toasted pumpkin seeds
  • balsamic vinegar or vinegar of choice
  • avocado
  • rice cakes, preferably brown rice
Method
  1. In a large bowl, add the chickpeas, tofu, mushrooms, cucumber, sweet pepper, and jalapeñol. Add a tablespoonful of pesto and the nuts and seeds, season with vinegar and more pesto, and toss well.
  2. Cut the avocado into cubes and place on top of the salad. Break the rice cakes into tiny bits. Gently toss the salad until just combined and serve.

Potato–split pea rounds (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegetarian)

Lots of options for using these little, savory baked goodies: inside a pita instead of falafel, in a taco or burrito, on a pizza, with spaghetti marinara, inside lettuce cups or fresh spring rolls, on a salad, etc. Feel free to add or omit seasonings—the recipe is very flexible!

Ingredients
  • split peas, rinsed
  • potatoes, quartered
  • carrot, grated
  • onion, minced
  • granulated garlic or garlic, minced
  • ground cumin
  • dried thyme
  • chipotle chile powder or other chile powder (optional)
  • fresh lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard or prepared mustard of choice
  • tomato paste
  • tamari or coconut aminos
  • flour of choice (chickpea, rice, coconut, gluten-free, whole wheat, etc.)
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper
Method
  1. In a large saucepan, bring water (1½ parts water to 1 part split peas) to a boil, add the split peas, and simmer, covered, until very soft, checking to see if more water is needed. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peas to a large bowl.
  2. Add the potatoes to the same saucepan plus water to cover and simmer until very soft. Drain, add to the split peas, and mash with a fork.
  3. Add the carrot, onion, garlic, cumin, thyme, chile powder, lemon juice, mustard, tomato paste, and tamari. With a rubber or silicone spatula, mix the ingredients together, adding enough flour to make the mixture sticky. Taste and adjust with salt, pepper, or any of the other seasonings.
  4. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Form the mixture into small balls and place on the prepared pan. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Pull the pan out of the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. Bake, turning the pan as needed for even baking. When the balls are browned but slightly soft when squeezed, turn on the broiler and broil until completely crispy, making sure they don’t burn. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Indian-spiced mixed legumes (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

An Indian market has an endless supply of legumes to try, and this dish is a great way to experiment. This particular combination has sweetness and chew from the chana dal (split baby chickpeas) and the split peas, while the lentils  thicken the mix. If you don’t have an Indian grocery nearby, use whatever canned or dried beans, split peas, and lentils you enjoy. Soaking the legumes shortens the cooking time, and curry powder is a good substitute for the list of spices. Serve as a side dish or over rice or pasta.

Ingredients
  • chana dal or whole moong dal
  • split peas
  • red lentils or lentils of choice
  • avocado oil, coconut oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
  • onion, chopped
  • leek, halved and sliced, or shallot, chopped
  • halved cherry tomatoes, chopped regular tomatoes, or canned tomatoes
  • kosher salt
  • garlic, sliced or chopped
  • fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • jalapeño chile, sliced
  • fennel seeds
  • curry powder
  • ground turmeric
  • ground coriander
  • ground cumin
  • chile powder
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
Method
  • Wash and drain the legumes. Put them in a large bowl, cover with hot water by several inches, let soak for an hour or two, rinse, and drain.
  • Warm the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and leek and cook until softened. Add the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt, and cook until the mixture becomes saucy.
  • Stir in the legumes and cook for a minute or two. Add enough water to cover by half an inch, cover, bring to a boil, and then simmer, stirring occasionally, until the legumes are almost soft. Add more water if the mixture becomes dry. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and jalapeño and cook for a minute or two. Add the spices and cook until the legumes are completely soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle with fresh herbs, and serve.

Creamy lentils with garlic, rosemary, and beets (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

What makes this dish creamy is the chana dal (split baby garbanzo beans). If you can’t find them, use yellow split peas. Why add beets? They give texture plus sweetness to balance the savory in the garlic and rosemary, but you can substitute potatoes, carrots, zucchini, or another vegetable if you like.

Ingredients
  • extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee
  • beets, preferably Chioggia or golden beets because they don’t bleed, cut into ½-in. dice
  • green lentils
  • chana dal* or yellow split peas
  • homemade vegetable stock, store-bought broth, or water
  • rosemary sprigs or dried rosemary
  • garlic, minced
  • salt
  • pepper

* Find chana dal online or at Indian markets.

Method
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add beets for a minute or two and then the lentils and chana dal. Cook, covered, stirring often, until beets begin to soften.
  2. Add stock (about 3 parts stock to 1 part lentils/chana dal) to pan, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, until the legumes are almost soft. Stir in rosemary and garlic and cook until rosemary has fallen off the sprig and legumes are completely soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Warm lentil salad with roasted brussels sprouts + citrus dressing (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

This one-bowl meal brings an exciting mix of flavors in every bite. The citrus dressing adds sweetness, saltiness, and sparkle (thanks for the idea, Josie). Use lentils that keep their shape when cooked, such as brown or French lentils—not red lentils, which turn creamy. You can roast broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, or any other vegetable in place of the brussels sprouts.

Ingredients
  • lentils, rinsed and drained
  • homemade broth or water
  • kosher salt
  • brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • chopped raw vegetables, such as radishes, kohlrabi, jicama, fennel bulb
  • orange juice
  • lime or lemon juice
  • toasted sesame oil
  • Dijon mustard or prepared mustard of choice
  • hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced
  • green onions, thinly sliced 
  • toasted sunflower seeds
  • pepper
Method
  1. Preheat toaster oven or standard oven to 400º. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Put 1 part lentils, 2 parts broth or water, and a sprinkle of salt in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Cover, bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer until lentils are soft. Turn off heat but keep lentils warm.
  3. Meanwhile, toss brussels sprouts with oil and roast cut side down in the lined baking pan until browned and soft. Sprinkle with salt. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Make salad dressing: Whisk together orange juice, lime juice, sesame oil, and mustard in a small bowl, tasting as you go.
  5. Assemble individual salads in bowls: Layer lentils, brussels sprouts, raw vegetables, egg slices, green onions, and sunflower seeds. Drizzle with dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper.