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.
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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.

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.

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.

Soft tacos filled with battered crisp-baked cauliflower (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

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.

Ingredients

  • large cauliflower

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
  • smoked paprika
  • ground cumin
  • garlic powder
  • ground turmeric
  • curry powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • chile powder (such as New Mexico, cayenne, or chipotle)
  • smoked salt or kosher salt

For serving:

  • warmed corn tortillas
  • shredded cabbage
  • cilantro leaves
  • salsa and/or hot sauce
  • avocado slices
  • lime or lemon wedges

Method

  1. Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. To make the batter: In a large bowl, add the milk, flour, and lime juice and whisk until smooth.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve inside warmed tortillas with cabbage, cilantro, salsa and/or hot sauce, avocado slices, and a squeeze of lime.

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.

Baby bok choy with tofu, green garlic + miso over ginger rice (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian)

Here’s a very satisfying one-bowl meal with layers of Asian flavors. If you can’t find green garlic (also known as spring garlic) at your farmers’ market, you can substitute dried garlic cloves. Use your favorite type of miso and the smallest, most tender baby bok choy you can find.

Ingredients
  • brown rice
  • fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • baby bok choy
  • coconut oil
  • super-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • green garlic, white and light green parts, thinly sliced and parts kept separate
  • miso
  • hot water
  • hot sauce (optional)
  • green onions, green parts only, thinly sliced
  • toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Method
  1. Soak the rice for as long as possible, then massage it in several changes of cold water. Cook the rice with the ginger in a rice cooker or in a saucepan on the stove top until soft.  Keep warm.
  2. Pull the bottom leaves off of the bok choy and slice the stems diagonally. Swish in cold water to remove any grit. Set aside.
  3. In a large pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the tofu and cook without stirring for a minute or two. Add the green parts of the garlic and stir to mix and scrape up the tofu browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat to medium, add the white parts of the garlic, and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Spoon the miso into a small heatproof measuring cup, add a few tablespoonfuls of hot water, and whisk vigorously until the miso is combined with the water. Pour the miso mixture into the pan with the tofu and garlic and stir. Add the bok choy and toss until well combined. Cover for a minute or two to allow the bok choy to steam, then toss again. When the bok choy is softened but still bright green, remove from the heat .
  5. Spoon the rice into bowls; top with the bok choy mixture; sprinkle with hot sauce, green onions, and sesame seeds; and serve.

Crispy baked brown-rice “meatballs” with chunky tomato sauce + fresh spinach (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

Flavored with Mediterranean herbs, these crunchy nuggets definitely satisfy. Feel free to sub seasonings from any world cuisine. To form the balls, you need to use short-grain rice because it turns sticky when cooked (leftover cooked short-grain rice works, too). You can broil the balls instead of baking them, but keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

Ingredients
  • short-grain brown rice
  • homemade tomato sauce or store-bought
  • olive oil
  • dried rosemary
  • dried thyme
  • dried oregano
  • fennel seeds
  • dried sage
  • red pepper flakes or chile powder
  • smoked paprika
  • kosher salt
  • baby spinach leaves
Method
  1. Cook the rice in a rice cooker or on the stove top according to the package directions. Set aside until the rice is cool enough to handle.
  2. Meanwhile, make or warm the tomato sauce. Keep warm.
  3. Preheat the toaster oven or oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and lightly oil.
  4. Place the cooked rice in a large bowl. Season with rosemary, thyme, oregano, fennel, sage, red pepper flakes, paprika, and salt and stir to combine.
  5. Using moist hands, roll a tablespoonful or so of the rice mixture into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining rice mixture. Bake until the balls are crispy all over, checking and turning them every 10 minutes or so.
  6. To serve, place a handful of spinach leaves in the bottom of individual bowls and top with the warm tomato sauce and several rice balls.  Enjoy!

Tortilla pie with greens, homemade sauce + pepitas (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

Here’s a simple way to enjoy the taste of enchiladas while using any leftover cooked beans or cooked or raw vegetables hiding in your fridge (almost any bits work). If you have a round casserole dish about the size of the corn tortillas, the finished product resembles a deep-dish pie. For a milder allium flavor, use green onions or leeks, or sauté the onion and garlic before blending with the other sauce ingredients. To add a hot, smoky flavor, use chipotle chiles with or instead of the dried chiles. For crunch when serving, toast some additional tortillas and break into chips or serve with store-bought tortilla chips. Inspired by recipes from Decolonize Your Diet.

Ingredients
  • dried chiles, such as guajillo or ancho
  • onion, chopped
  • garlic, chopped
  • cilantro, chopped
  • tomatoes, fresh or canned, chopped
  • cauliflower florets, chopped
  • firm tofu, chopped
  • jalapeño chile, chopped
  • cooked beans (optional)
  • cumin powder
  • dried oregano
  • chopped pitted briny olives of choice (optional)
  • kosher salt
  • corn tortillas
  • greens (such as beet greens, chard, kale, or collards), stemmed and slivered
  • raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Method
  1. Toast the chiles whole in a dry pan over medium heat for a minute or so. Transfer to a heatproof container and submerge in hot water until soft, about 10 minutes. Stem, seed, and coarsely tear them, then add to a food processor or blender, reserving the soaking liquid if needed to thin the sauce.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375º. Add the onion, garlic, cilantro, tomatoes, cauliflower, tofu, jalapeño, beans, cumin, oregano, and olives to the food processor. Whirl into a coarse sauce, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl and to add some chile soaking liquid if needed to thin the sauce. Season to taste with salt.
  3. In the bottom of a casserole dish, spread a generous layer of sauce, top with a layer of tortillas, then continue layering with greens, sauce, and tortillas to fill the dish, ending with a layer of tortillas. Cover, place on a baking sheet, and bake until the sauce is bubbling, about 50 minutes. Uncover, flip over the top layer of tortillas, sprinkle a solid layer of pepitas over the soft sides of the tortillas, and bake until the pepitas are toasted, watching carefully that they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.