Colorful Kale and Rice Salad

By the Gracious Vegan

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This healthy salad will fill you up and satisfy your taste buds. There’s no oil or other processed ingredients. A good amount of protein comes from the almonds and sesame seeds, there’s fiber from the brown rice and vegetables, and dozens of micronutrients come from the kale, one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. And did I mention it’s delicious?

Makes 8 cups

Cook rice per package directions. (I like to use the Instant Pot: 1 cup brown rice, 1.5 cups water, pressure release handle in “Sealing” position, 22 minutes on “Manual” setting, 10-minute “Natural Release.”) Let the rice cool for at least 10 minutes. 

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice

  • 2 cups water (or 1.5 cups with the Instant Pot)

Gently toss the cooled rice with the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

  • 5-6 large kale leaves (about 6 ounces), ribs removed, chopped and massaged until they just start to wilt

  • 3 cups shredded or chopped red cabbage (1/4 of a small head)

  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated

  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds (whole or chopped) (tamari almonds work well)

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, or 4 teaspoons dried dill

  • 2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds (you can roast raw sesame seeds in a skillet for a few minutes)

Dressing. Whisk the following ingredients together in a small bowl (or in a mini chopper, starting with the garlic). 

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 2 Tablespoons stone-ground mustard (or another mustard to your liking)

Drizzle the dressing over the rice mixture and toss.

The flavors definitely need time to mingle; otherwise the lemon juice and soy sauce can stand out too strongly. I recommend at least 2 hours for the flavors to blend.

Serve at room temperature or chilled. This last 4-5 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Timing: About an hour, unless you have cooked brown rice on hand

Gluten-free

 

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Yellow Thai Curry with Potatoes and Green Beans

By the Gracious Vegan

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Yellow curries are in the medium range of spiciness in Thai cuisine (green is the hottest, then red, yellow, and then Massaman). This curry is super-satisfying in part because of the potatoes and green beans, vegetables that most people like. I replaced coconut milk with cashew milk and coconut extract in order to decrease the significant saturated fat that coconut milk brings with it. Over rice, this is a great entree any time of the year.

Makes 4 servings

Start the cashews soaking if you don’t have a high-speed blender. Soakcashews in cold water at least 2 hours, or pour boiling water over them, cover, and let them soak 20 minutes.

  • 1/3 cup raw cashews

Vegetables. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the potatoes for 4 minutes. Leave them in the pot. 

  • 1 pound red-skin or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed

Add green beans and cook another minute.

  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

Add peas and cook 3 more minutes. Drain vegetables.

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

Cashew liquid

Drain and rinse the cashews (if you soaked them) and combine with the following ingredients in the blender. Blend until the cashews are dissolved (from 30 seconds to several minutes). Set aside. 

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 pitted dates (or two teaspoons brown sugar)

  • 1 Tablespoon cashew or peanut butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Putting it all together.In a Dutch oven or other large pan, water-sauté the following ingredients for about 5 minutes, until they begin to get tender.

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Stir in curry paste. Cook 2-3 minutes, so that the paste cooks a bit.

  • 2-3 Tablespoons Penang or yellow curry paste (I like Maesri brand yellow curry paste)

Stir in all the other ingredients and simmer about 8-10 minutes. 

  • Potatoes, green beans and peas

  • Cashew liquid

Add final ingredients and cook 2 minutes more. 

  • 2 Tablespoons thinly sliced basil leaves (Thai or regular basil) 

  • 3 kaffir lime leaves or 1 Tablespoon lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice. 

  • Chopped fresh cilantro

Nutrition: whole-food plant-based; WFPBNO

Timing: About 50 minutes

Gluten-free

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No-Oil New York-Style Pizza Sauce 

By the Gracious Vegan

Vegan pizza with No-Oil New York-Style Pizza Sauce,  Gracious Vegan Ricotta Cheese , onions, and mushrooms, cooked on a pizza stone at 500 degrees.

Vegan pizza with No-Oil New York-Style Pizza Sauce, Gracious Vegan Ricotta Cheese, onions, and mushrooms, cooked on a pizza stone at 500 degrees.

What makes a sauce “New York-style” is the fact that it’s relatively heavily seasoned and it’s cooked. It is different from Neapolitan-style, which is an uncooked sauce, usually consisting of tomatoes and garlic only. For this version, I eliminated the oil (and some recipes use butter too). It certainly doesn’t lack flavor or substance without the oil. It more than holds its own with tasty toppings and cheeses.

Makes about 2.5 cups, enough for 4-5 medium pies

Combine the ingredients in a large saucepan (not a Dutch oven – too big). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to lowest setting, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 1 hour.

  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, grated or minced

  • 1.5 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

  • A pinch red pepper flakes

  • 2 (6-inch) sprigs fresh basil with leaves attached

  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and split in half

Once the cooking is done, discard onions and basil stems. Allow to cool. It lasts up to two weeks in a covered container in the refrigerator or for several months in the freezer.

Timing: hands-on time 10 minutes; total time, 1 hour 15 minutes

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

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Gracious Vegan Mulligatawny Soup

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By the Gracious Vegan

This is based on a Madhur Jaffrey recipe, but I’ve adapted it quite a bit, notably eliminating the coconut milk and streamlining the method. It takes some ingredient-hunting and a bit of time, but it’s so worth it. Curry leaves do freeze well, so once you buy a batch at an Asian market, you will have enough for many batches.

Makes 8 cups (about 5 servings)

Combine the stock mixture, spices, and all of these in a Dutch oven or soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down, and simmer for about 50 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.

  • 4.5 cups vegetable broth 

  • 2 small potatoes (8 oz. total), peeled and diced

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

  • 2 small turnips (8 oz. total), peeled and diced1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

  • 12 fresh curry leaves or 8 fresh basil leaves

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Separately, add the following ingredients to a small frying pan on medium heat. Stir and roast until they are a shade darker and fragrant. Cool them for 15-20 minutes, then grind them up in a clean coffee grinder. Then add them to the cooking soup.

  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black pepper corns

  • 2 Tablespoons whole coriander seeds

  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

Meanwhile, create cashew milk for the soup by blending the water, cashews and chickpea flour together on high for 30 seconds or longer, until the cashews are dissolved. (If you do not have a high speed blender, soak the cashews for 2 hours, or pour boiling water over them and soak them for 20 minutes; drain.) Set aside. 

  • 1.75 cup water

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews

  • 1.5 Tablespoon chickpea flour

Put it all together. Add the following ingredients to the soup once the vegetables are tender. Use a hand blender to puree the mixture.

  • The cashew milk

  • 1.25 teaspoons salt, or to taste

  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

Simmer gently for 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors. Thin out with more stock if needed. 

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed, WFPBNO

Timing: About 1 hour 10 minutes

Gluten-free

 

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Raw Cranberry-Orange Relish

By the Gracious Vegan

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This delicious relish is a nice alternative to home-cooked cranberry sauce, and certainly superior to store-bought canned cranberry sauce. The citrus gives it a wonderful sharpness, and the walnuts brings further complexity. This goes well with mellow Thanksgiving mains and sides, offering a tang that sets everything off for the better. The color is gorgeous, too, and breaks up the monotony of browns and whites on the Thanksgiving table.

Makes about 3.5 cups

Combine the following ingredients in the food processor, then refrigerate for at least a few hours. 

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries

  • 1 fresh clementine, tangerine, or mandarin orange, cut into a few pieces, with peel

  • 1/2 cup sugar or 1 cup dates (pitted and halved)

  • 1/3 cup walnuts

Keeps for about a week in the refrigerator. 

Timing: 10 minutes or less

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed if you use dates instead of sugar, WFPBNO

Gluten-free

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Scalloped Broccoli and Potatoes

By the Gracious Vegan

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I’ve come to prefer pre-cooked potatoes for scalloped dishes. It removes the risk of undercooking the potatoes even when the sauce is bubbly and brown. In this recipe, you get the goodness of potatoes and broccoli. They bring different nutrients, textures, and taste to the party, resulting in a very satisfying dish. 

Makes 8 servings

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a large low-sided casserole dish with spray oil. 

Vegetables. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the potato slices. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, then simmer for 4 or 5 minutes, until potatoes are just tender. Spoon them out of the water with a slotted spoon or spider strainer into a bowl or colander. 

  • 2 pounds red-skin or Yukon potatoes, peeled (or not, if you prefer) and cut into 1/4” slices

Now put the broccoli slices into the water for 3-4 minutes, or until just tender. Spoon them out into a separate bowl or colander.

  • 1 pound broccoli crowns, sliced into 1/4” slices, not florets (about 7-8 cups)

White sauce. Make white sauce.

Seasoned bread crumbs for topping. Combine these and set aside.

  • 1/3 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano

  • Large pinch of salt 

Layer and bake. Begin with one layer of the potatoes, slightly overlapping. Sprinkle with salt. Add a thin layer of sauce. Add a layer of broccoli, slightly overlapping. Sprinkle with salt. Add a thin layer of sauce. Repeat as many times as the ingredients last. Be sure to lightly salt each layer of potato or broccoli. Finish with a good layer of sauce. Top with seasoned bread crumbs.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375°for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 12-15 minutes, until filling is bubbly and crumbs are golden. If crumbs aren't toasted by that point, set under broiler until just toasted, just a minute or two. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

 

Timing: hands-on time 30 minutes (assuming white sauce is already made), total time: 70 minutes       

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Nutritional information per serving: 193 calories, 5g fat, 1g sat. fat, 34g carbs, 301mg sodium, 5mg fiber, 7g protein 

Gluten-free if you use gluten-free flour in the white sauce and gluten-free bread crumbs

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Hearty Potato Chowder

By the Gracious Vegan

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This divine chowder is perfect for a fall or winter meal, even part of a holiday dinner. It’s substantial, with hints of thyme, onion, celery, and umami. The corn and carrots add specks of color. This chowder could become your go-to potato soup recipe. 

Makes: 8 servings

Soak cashews in cold water at least 2 hours, or pour boiling water over them, cover, and let them soak 20 minutes. (You can skip this step if you have a high-speed blender.) 

  • 1 cups raw cashews (whole or pieces)

Add the following ingredients to a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • 6 medium Yukon gold, red skin, or russet potatoes, peeled (or not, if you prefer) and cut into 1/2” dice (about 6 cups of dice)

  • 5 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4” dice

  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 1/4” inch dice

  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)

While the soup is cooking, complete the cashew cream by draining the cashews and rinsing them under cold water. Then place them in a blender with enough fresh cold water to barely cover them. Blend on high for several minutes until very smooth, so smooth that you can no longer detect any bits of cashews.

After the potatoes are soft, mash some of them in the soup pot with a potato masher and stir to thicken the soup. Add the following ingredients and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, because the cashew cream can burn on the bottom of the pot.

  • Kernels from 2 ears of corn (or 1.5 cups frozen corn)

  • Cashew cream from 1 cup cashews

  • 1 Tablespoon Braggs Liquid Aminos, if you have it; or 2 teaspoons soy sauce

  • 1.5 teaspoons salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Remove the thyme twigs. Garnish each bowl, if desired, with chives and diced tomato.

  • 2 tablespoons minced chives (optional)

  • 1/2 cup diced tomato (optional)

Timing: hands-on time 45 minutes, total time 50 minutes          

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed, WFPBNO

Nutritional information per serving: 223 calories, 9g fat, 2g sat. fat, 33g carbs, 127 mgsodium, 4mg fiber6gprotein 

Gluten-free

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Stuffed Potato Skins

By the Gracious Vegan

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This one’s for all of us who love the skin on oven-roasted baked potatoes. These stuffed potato skins make for great appetizers or can be served as an entrée for an informal meal. They’re so versatile, the foundation for many different kinds of fillings.

Makes as many as you want

Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly pierce each potato in 5-10 places with a fork. Place them directly on the oven rack or in a metal or glass pan (potatoes not touching each other) and bake until tender when pierced with a knife or cake tester, about 40 minutes. (The microwave will result in less crispy potato skins.)

  • Small or medium russet potatoes, well washed and dried

Let stand until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Cut each potato in half* lengthwise, and use a small spoon or melon baller to scoop out insides, leaving about 1/4-inch shell all around. Reserve insides for another use. Place the halves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Spray the bottoms and tops with cooking spray or olive oil from a mister. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Cooking spray

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 

Bake until crisp and edges are golden, about 20 minutes. Stuff the halves with one or more of the following toppings, or make up your own. 

Stuffing ideas

*  If the potatoes are large, you could cut the skins in half again, but note that you won’t be able to stuff them with fillings that could drip or fall out (like chili or diced vegetables).  

Nutrition: depends on stuffings

Timing: Hands-on time 10 minutes, total time about an hour (timing does not include stuffings)

Gluten-free

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Thai-Inspired Peanut Sauce

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A good peanut sauce is quite versatile. You can use it over roasted or steamed vegetables, with baked potatoes (white or sweet), with pasta, grains, seitan satay, or as the finishing touch for bowls. Peanut sauce makes everything taste better.

Makes about 1.5 cups

Whisk together the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Cook uncovered on low for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add a little water if needed to reach your desired consistency.

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

  • 2 Tablespoons soy or tamari sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon date paste or 1 teaspoon sugar or agave nectar

  • 1.5 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame paste or sesame oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

  • Sriracha sauce or cayenne pepper to taste

If it is too thick, stir in more water. Serve on noodles, rice, baked potatoes, vegetables, or as a dip for anything. Freezes well. 

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed if you use date paste and roasted sesame paste; WFPBNO

Timing: about 20 minutes

Gluten-free

 

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Gracious Vegan Pecan Pie

By the Gracious Vegan

After I went vegan, I thought I would never get to eat pecan pie again. I was fine with that--I could sacrifice that easily for the sake of animals--but there was a certain wistfulness in saying goodbye to a favorite dessert. But lo and behold, vegan cooks had been working on it! I found Tofu Mom's site, and she gave me a great basis for this recipe. The crust is one I'd been working on for a long time. I tinkered with the filling proportions and believe I've got it just right. Yum! 

The pie.  Preheat oven to 350°F.

Arrange the pecans in a single layer in the bottom of uncooked crust (see crust recipe below).

Pie crust in 9-10” deep dish pie pan

  • 1 + 1/4 cup chopped pecans (not toasted)

Process the following in a food processor or blender, or mix with a hand-held mixer until very smooth.

  • 3/4 cup firm silken tofu

  • 2 teaspoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

  • 1 cup dark corn syrup

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons melted vegan butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Gently pour mixture over nuts. Bake for 60-75 minutes at 350°F or until it looks like it's starting to solidify - it will set up completely as it cools. You may need to cover the crust so it doesn’t burn (check after 45 minutes). Cool completely before serving.

Crust for dessert pies. Makes 2 crusts – you only need one for this pie – you can freeze the other one in disk form.

Put these in the food processor and pulse a few times to combine.

  • 2 + 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (I use 1.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour & 1 cup white)

  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

  • ¾ teaspoon salt

Add the fats and pulse as much as needed to get a texture with pea-size pellets of butter/shortening.

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, cut into ½” cubes (refrigerated)

  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening refrigerated, then cut into ½” pieces (refrigerated)

Transfer to a bowl. Add water, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, drizzling it around the rim of the bowl. Use a kitchen fork to gently mix the water in, trying to wet as much of the dry mixture wet as possible.

  • 6 to 7 tablespoons ice water, or more as needed

To determine if the mixture has enough water, gather some in your hand and press it against the bowl to see if it will hold together. If not, add more water sparingly, about 1 teaspoon at a time, adding only enough for it to form a mass. Too much liquid and/or overworking the dough will toughen it.

With floured hands, press the dough against the side of the bowl, forming 2 balls. All the crumbs should adhere to the balls and clean the bowl. If not, add a few drops of water. Flatten the balls into two 4- to 5-inch disks.

Wrap each disk in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes or longer before rolling out, because the gluten strands need time to relax. After chilling, I let mine sit on the counter for 15-20 minutes before rolling, because otherwise it’s too hard. (You can make ahead and refrigerate for 3 days or freeze for much longer.)

For this pie, roll out one crust and lay it in the bottom of a deep dish 9” or 10” pie dish.

Timing: About two hours, including making and chilling the crust

Nutrition: This isn't a very healthy dish. Let's not kid ourselves

Gluten-free if you make a gluten-free crust

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Creamy Brown Rice Pudding, Sweetened with Dates (Instant Pot)

By the Gracious Vegan

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Rice pudding with sugar and white rice is a snap. But I wanted to find out if it was possibly to have a truly appealing rice pudding with brown rice and without sugar or any other unhealthy sweeteners. The answer is “Yes!” Blending the dates until smooth is the trick here, as is blending the dates with soaked raw cashews, which add creaminess to the pudding. With creative toppings (also healthy), you can create a dessert that will be tempting to omnivores as well as plant-based eaters, although omnivores who are suspicious of vegan or healthy dishes may not like this one much.

Makes about 4.5 cups

Add the following ingredients into Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker). Lock the lid and set the vent to sealing position. Press the Manual button and adjust time to 25 minutes. Cooking will start.

  • 2.5 cups nondairy milk (use 3 cups if you’ll be fully chilling the pudding—it will thicken as it cools)

  • 3/4 cup brown rice (brown short grain or brown jasmine rice preferred)

  • Pinch of salt

Separately, put the following ingredients into the blender container and let them soak together while the rice cooks. 

  • 1 cup water

  • 3/4 cup pitted, halved dates

  • 1/3 cup raw cashews

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

When the Instant Pot beeps, allow the pressure to release slowly for 10 minutes. 

While the pressure is releasing, blend the dates, cashews, water, vanilla, and cinnamon until they form a smooth paste.

After the 10 minutes is up, press the Cancel button and open the vent. After it depressurizes, open the lid and stir in the date-cashew mixture. The pudding will thicken as it cools. Serve warm or cold.

Optional toppings: 

Nutrition: 100% whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Timing: About 45 minutes

Gluten-free

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Healthy Chocolate Fudge Sauce (no added sugar, vegan, gluten-free)

By the Gracious Vegan

Makes about 1.75 cups

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If you’re eating healthy and just want some sweetness now and then, this fudge sauce is a life-saver. Dates and cashews give it sweetness and creaminess. Nondairy milk and cocoa powder do the rest. It goes with everything!

Let the first three ingredient soak together in the blender container for at least 20 minutes—better would be 30-45 minutes. (You can skip the soaking if you have a high-speed blender and your dates are soft, but I still like to soak, just to make sure everything will get dissolved.)

  • 1.5 cups nondairy milk

  • 2/3 cup pitted, halved dates

  • 1/3 cup raw cashew pieces

After the soaking time, add cocoa powder and blend all the ingredients together until smooth.

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook over very low heat, stirring or whisking continuously (because the dates and cashews burn) for about 5 minutes, until thickened. You can thin it out by whisking in water if you need to at any point.

Serve warm or cold. 

Nutrition: 100% whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Timing: About 45 minutes if you soak the mixture for 30-40 minutes

Gluten-free


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Almond Feta Cheese 

By the Gracious Vegan

It’s nice to have lumps of creamy, salty, sharp, soft white cheese on crackers or in sandwiches or salads, or on top of soups… There are so many ways to enjoy this feta-like almond cheese. The preparation is a bit fussy, but all the steps are necessary — I’ve provided ways to speed up the process so it doesn’t have to take overnight, unless you have the time.

Makes one 6-inch round

Place almonds in a medium bowl, and cover with 3 inches cold water. Let soak at least 6 hours. Drain soaking liquid, rinse almonds under cold running water.

  • 1 cup whole blanched almonds (whole or slivered)

Purée almonds and the following ingredients in a blender or food processor (I find that the blender works best) until very smooth and creamy. It may take several minutes. 

  • 1/2 cup cold water

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

  • 2 Tablespoons tahini

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

The next step is to drain the mixture of liquid. You can do it several ways. 

Put a handkerchief (used for kitchen purposes only!) in a colander over a bowl. Spoon the almond mixture into it and fold the handkerchief across the top. OR….

Place colander over bowl and line it with 3 layers of cheesecloth. Spoon almond mixture into cheesecloth. Bring the cloth together and twist around cheese, forming into a ball and squeezing to help extract moisture. Secure with rubber band or kitchen twine. 

In both cases, you can chill for 12 hours, or overnight, then discard excess liquid. Or you can work more quickly and press the ball/round with paper towels or let the ball/round sit on the paper towels for a few minutes; once the paper towels are wet, replace them with new dry paper towels. With this second method, the drying out will take about an hour or less.

Preheat oven to 200°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap cheese (it will be soft), and transfer from cheesecloth to the parchment paper. Flatten to form 6-inch round about 3/4-inch thick. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until top is slightly firm. Cool, then chill. 

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed (WFPBNO)

Timing: At least 10 hours

Gluten-free

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Whole Wheat Flour Tortilla Crisps

By the Gracious Vegan

These tortilla crisps are great on so many levels. First, they're a great way to use up leftover flour tortillas. Second, they taste fantastic. They are just as delicious as, say, tortilla chips, but have much less fat. You can add spices (cumin, paprika, you name it) if you want more zing than just a bit of salt. You can also choose your shape--triangles, rectangles, whatever you're feeling like. 

Heat oven to 400° F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil or parchment paper. Cut tortillas into quarters or eighths and lay them on the paper or foil in a single layer. If desired, spray tortillas with spray-oil on the top and sprinkle a little salt on them. 

  • Four 8-inch whole wheat flour tortillas (or whatever quantity you want)

Bake them, switching the sheets halfway through, until crisp (but not burnt), for a total of 5-7 minutes. 

Nutrition: Manufactured whole wheat flour tortillas are made with some fat, so these are not 100% unprocessed. 

Timing: about 10 minutes

I have not tried this with gluten-free tortillas.

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Cowboy Caviar

By the Gracious Vegan

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There are many recipes for Cowboy Caviar, but this one has no oil, and I don’t taste much of a difference. You can mash the avocados a bit or keep them in dice form.

Stir all the ingredients together 

  • 2 medium/large or 3 small avocados, peeled and diced

  • 2-3 tomatoes, diced

  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1.5 cups cooked black-eyed peas (if using canned, one can rinsed and drained)

  • 1.5 cups cooked corn (if using canned, one can rinsed and drained)

  • 1/2 cup lightly packed chopped cilantro

  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice, or more to taste

  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1/2-1 teaspoon hot sauce (Tabasco, sriracha, or other)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, or more to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Serve with Whole Wheat Flour Tortilla Crisps.

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed, WFPBNO

Timing: About 15 minutes

Gluten-free

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Easy Vegan Lentil Soup

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By the Gracious Vegan

To paraphrase airline pilots, “I know you have a choice in lentil soup recipes…” Yes, there are a lot of them out there. The difference here is the healthiness (whole-food, no processed ingredients if you use date paste) and the seasonings—the little bit of sweetness and acidity added at the end make all the difference. Worth a try.

In a Dutch oven, combine the following ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover, and let simmer for 1 hour. (Instant Pot – 10 minutes high pressure, natural release 10 minutes)

  • 1.5 cups brown lentils

  • 6 cups water (5 cups if using Instant Pot)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 celery stalks, diced

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Add the following ingredients, stir in, and taste for seasonings

  • 1.5 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar or 1 Tablespoon date paste

  • 2 teaspoons red vinegar

Timing: About 90 minutes on the stovetop; about 30 minutes with the Instant Pot

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed (WFPBNO) if you use date paste instead of brown sugar

Gluten-free30

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Pumpkin Ice Cream Sundaes

By the Gracious Vegan

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This super-healthy pumpkin ice cream (no sugar, no added fat) is a great alternative to pumpkin pie after the Thanksgiving meal. It’s easiest if you make it right before serving — then it’s the texture of soft-serve ice cream. If you freeze it, you’ll need to let it sit out for 30-60 minutes before serving to get it back to the right consistency (it ices up a bit).

Makes 3.5-4 cups of ice cream

Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor (I have better luck with the food processor) and blend/process on high until a smooth and creamy ice cream forms. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides one or more times. 

  • 3 bananas (cut into ½” cubes and frozen well in advance)

  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree 

  • 1/3 cup nondairy milk

  • 1/4 cup date paste

  • 1.5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Create sundaes with one or more of the following

  • Vegan Whipped Cream

  • Chopped roasted nuts

  • Dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, chopped dates)

  • Granola

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Timing: if you already have date paste and frozen bananas, it take about 10 minutes

Gluten-free

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Vegan Flourless Chocolate Cake

By the Gracious Vegan

Vegan Flourless Chocolate Cake FB 16x9.jpg

This miraculous concoction has no butter, oil, eggs, or sugar. The almond flour is the key for moisture and texture, and the dates kick in the sweetness. The result is a dense but not gooey cake—to me, that’s perfect.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease an 8" round cake pan lined with parchment paper.

Sift these ingredients into a medium/large bowl. 

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Add the flour and salt into the sifted ingredients, stir or whisk them together, and set aside. 

  • 1.5 cups almond flour (superfine or fine is best for the texture)

  • Pinch salt

Place the dates and liquids in a blender. Blend until a smooth paste forms.

  • 1.5 cups packed pitted dates

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1/3 cup nondairy milk

Blend the following ingredients into the date paste for about 30 seconds so that the thickeners are activated.

  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until smooth. Spread the batter in the pan. 

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving so that it has time to set.

Serve at room temperature or chilled. Serve with fruit, date-sweetened Vegan Whipped Cream, Healthy Chocolate Fudge Sauce, toasted nuts, and/or chocolate banana ice cream.

Timing: About 50 minutes total, then cooling time

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed WFPBNO

Gluten-free

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Autumn Gravy Bowl

By the Gracious Vegan

This bowl can go in so many different directions. The beauty of it is that you can use all sorts of leftovers. The gravy pulls it together. 

Autumn Bowl FB.jpg

Makes: Varies

Base

  • Sweet, white, red, or Yukon gold potatoes—roasted, mashed, etc.

  • Wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, millet, or other grains

  • Leftover bread dressing

Cooked Vegetables (roasted, steamed, etc.) 

  • Broccoli

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Corn 

  • Green beans

  • Lima beans

Protein

Toppings

  • Dried cranberries

  • Walnuts 

Drizzled with

 

Timing: Hands-on time varies; total time varies

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed (WFPBNO)

Nutritional information per serving: Varies, depending on what ingredients you choose.

Gluten-free possibilities

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Potato-Vegetable Bake with Gravy

By the Gracious Vegan

Potato Vegetable Bake FB.jpg

This is a variation on the British “Bubble and Squeak,” a dish using potato and cabbage leftovers, fried with butter, bacon, or other fats. Adding other vegetables and baking instead of frying result in a healthier dish with tons of savory goodness, especially when topped with gravy. Baked beans also go well with this dish.

Makes 7 servings 

You’ll need peeled, cooked potatoes. The fastest way to cook them is by placing potato chunks in a microwave-proof casserole or bowl, adding a couple tablespoons of water, covering, and cooking on high for 5-10 minutes until tender, stirring once halfway through. Timing will depend on your microwave and the chunk size. If you have leftover baked potatoes, they would work fine as well.

  • About 1.5 pounds russet, red, or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & cut into chunks

When the potatoes are done, put them in a large bowl and use a potato masher or pastry cutter to coarsely mash them. 

Separately, in a large microwave-proof casserole or bowl, cook the following in the microwave with a little water, until all the vegetables are tender, stirring once or twice, about 5-10 minutes. Add them to the bowl with the potatoes.

  • 1 large onion, chopped or thinly sliced

  • 4 large mushrooms (any kind), chopped or sliced

  • 1 red pepper, diced

  • 6 cups mixed chopped or shredded vegetables (cabbage, carrot, Brussels sprouts, broccoli slaw mix) 

Add the following ingredients to the bowl and stir well.

  • 1.5 teaspoons dried sage 

  • 1.5 teaspoons dried thyme leaves 

  • 1.25 teaspoons salt 

  • Freshly-ground black pepper

  • 1.5 cups cooked beans (if using canned, rinse and drain them) (optional)

Taste the mixture for salt and pepper and adjust if needed. Scoop it into the greased casserole dish, smooth the top, and press down a bit so things hold together. Spray lightly with oil on top. Bake for about 20 minutes, until you can hear it fizzing, and the top has some nice brown bits on it. Serve with Gracious Vegan Easy Gravy.

 

Timing: Timing: Hands-on time 30 minutes, total time 50 minutes

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed (WFPBNO)

Nutritional information per serving (with beans, without gravy): 152 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat. fat, 33g carbs, 466mg sodium, 7mg fiber, 6g protein 

Gluten-free

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