Entree

Kale and Quinoa Greek Salad

By the Gracious Vegan

Makes 6 cups

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This salad has the taste of a Greek salad but is much healthier. The quinoa and lentils pack it with protein, while the two of them plus the kale offer a lot of fiber. Tahini substitutes for oil, which brings the fat content down and adds protein and micronutrients. But apart from all these benefits, it tastes great. I recommend green or black lentils because they don’t break down and dissolve like brown lentils. 

Place the lentils in a saucepan and cover by 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 20-25 minutes until tender. Strain and set aside.

  • 1/2 cup French (du Puy, green) lentils or black (beluga) lentils 

While the lentils are cooking, make the quinoa. Cook them however you like. One method is to place quinoa in a small saucepan with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat, keep the lid on and let sit another 2-3 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

  • 1/2 cup quinoa

Once the lentils and quinoa have cooled a little, place them in a medium-large bowl with the following ingredients and stir gently.

  • 3-4 ounces kale (any kind) (3-4 large leaves), chopped and massaged (3-4 cups) or processed into smaller bits in the food processor 

  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup Greek black (Kalamata) olives, pitted and halved (or chopped)

Whisk together the dressing ingredients with a fork or in a smaller chopper appliance. Toss the dressing with the salad and serve at room temperature or chilled. 

  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 Tablespoons tahini

  • 2 Tablespoons water

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Timing: About 40 minutes

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Gluten-free

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Pea and Potato Creamy Masala

By the Gracious Vegan

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This curry dish features two popular vegetables along with an appealing creamy tomato sauce with Indian spicing. The fenugreek seed powder is key to its success, and you can find it online or in Asian grocery stores. 

 Makes 5 servings

Soak cashews in cold water at least 2 hours, or pour boiling water over them, cover, and let them soak 20 minutes while you start the rest of the recipe.

  • 1/3 cups raw cashews

Boil, steam, or microwave the potato chunks until they are just tender (the microwave will take 7-10 minutes, depending on your microwave’s strength). Put them aside.

  • 1 pound Yukon or red- or gold-skin potato, in 1” cubes (peeling optional)

Separately, water-sauté the following ingredients in a Dutch oven or other large pan until they are soft, 8-10 minutes.

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, grated, or finely chopped

  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger

Add the spices and stir 1-2 minutes.

  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seed powder

  • Cayenne pepper for spiciness (I use a pinch, but some like it hotter)

Add the diced green chili pepper and cook 1-2 minutes. 

  • 1 green chili pepper (jalapeno with seeds removed, or a spicier variety if desired), finely chopped

Separately, drain the cashews and place them in a blender with water 1 cup water and process until absolutely smooth and creamy.

Then add tomato paste to the blender and blend it with the cashew cream.

  • 1/2 cup tomato paste

Add the cashew-tomato mixture to the Dutch oven along with the following ingredients. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add additional water to achieve your desired sauce consistency.

  • The potatoes

  • 1.5 cup peas (thawed or frozen)

  • 3/4 cup water (or more)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice, other cooked grains, or with flatbread. 

  • Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish

Timing: Hands-on time 40 minutes, total time 40 minutes                     

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Nutritional information per serving (with 1/2 cup cooked brown rice per serving): 299 calories, 4g fat, 1g sat. fat, 57g carbs, 717mg sodium, 7g fiber, 9g protein 

Gluten-free

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Peas and Pasta with Creamy Tomato Sauce

By the Gracious Vegan

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This creamy tomato sauce gives the traditional Italian vodka sauce a run for its money. Peas are the perfect complement to the nutty, cheesy sauce, and all kinds of pasta would work well in this dish. The sauce freezes well. 

Makes up to 21 servings

The Sauce (makes 7 cups). 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 cup raw cashews

When ready, drain the nuts and put them in the blender with broth or water and blend on high for as long as it takes to create a very smooth “cashew cream.” 

  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water

In a Dutch oven or other large pan, sauté garlic and onions over medium heat in 2 Tablespoons vegetable broth or water until the garlic and onions are soft (or microwave with 1-2 Tablespoons water).

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 

  • 1 red or white onion, roughly chopped 

Add the following ingredients to the pan and cook about 5 minutes.

  • 4 cups plain tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes)

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste

Add in the cashew cream and the basil and stir. 

  • 2/3 cup fresh basil leaves (measured lightly packed, about 1 ounce), roughly chopped (or 1 Tablespoon dried basil, but fresh basil really makes a difference)

Use an immersion blender (or let the mixture cool a little and use a regular blender) to create a smooth sauce. You can add up to 1 cup water if the sauce is too thick. Make it as smooth or chunky as you like. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

  • Salt and pepper to taste (I use 1/2 teaspoon salt)

The peas and pasta. For each serving, use

  • 2 ounces chunky pasta (whole wheat or other whole-food version preferred)

  • 1/3 cup frozen peas (I like petite peas)

Boil the pasta and add the peas into the pasta for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Once they are cooked to your liking, drain them and combine with about 1/3 cup sauce per serving.

Timing: hands-on time 25 minutes; total time 25 minutes  

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Nutritional information per serving: 298 calories, 3g fat, 1g sat. fat, 55g carbs, 329mg sodium, 10mg fiber, 13g protein 

Gluten-free if you use gluten-free pasta

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Spaghetti Squash with Cashew Ricotta, Spinach, and Peas 

By the Gracious Vegan

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Who knew that vegetables could taste this good? Add a little vegan ricotta and parmesan cheeses to these vegetables, and they become addictive. You can bake this dish in the squash shells or in a casserole dish. 

Makes 4 servings

Make cashew-based ricotta cheese if you don’t have some handy. (It freezes well.) Make vegan parmesan cheese if you don’t have some handy. (It refrigerates and freezes well.)

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place the two halves of the squash cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish. Add 2 Tablespoons water. Microwave them, uncovered, until tender, 10-15 minutes, depending on your microwave’s strength.

  • One spaghetti squash (2.5 - 3 pounds), cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed

Separately, in a large skillet or cooking pot, bring a little water in the bottom to a boil (1/4 - 1/2 inch of water). Add the peas, bring it back to boiling, and cook them 2 minutes.

  • 1.5 cup frozen peas (I like petite peas)

Add the spinach and stir until it is wilted, 1-2 minutes. Then boil for another minute. Drain well and transfer the peas and spinach to a large bowl. 

  • 5 ounces fresh spinach (chopped if it is not baby spinach) (alternative: 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed)

Use a fork or spoon to scrape the softened squash from the shells. Put these innards into the large bowl with the peas and spinach. Then add the following ingredients and stir everything together.

Place the empty squash halves in a casserole or other suitable dish for baking. Spoon filling into each. (Alternatively, just spoon the mixture into a sprayed small-medium baking dish.) Top with more vegan parmesan.

  • 1/8 cup vegan parmesan cheese 

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 400°F until the top is golden. Garnish, if desired, with:

  • Additional crushed red pepper

  • Chopped fresh basil 

Timing: Hands-on time 25 minutes (longer if you need to make the cheeses), total time 50 minutes

Nutrition: whole-food plant-based; WFPBNO

Nutritional information per serving: 379 calories, 17g fat, 3g sat. fat, 48g carbs, 60mg sodium, 14mg fiber, 14g protein 

Gluten-free

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Garlicky Grape or Cherry Tomatoes with Angel Hair Pasta

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This easy recipe turns any grape or cherry tomatoes into an intriguing pasta dish that will keep you coming back for more. The combination of garlic, tomato juices, fresh basil, and vegan parmesan cheese creates a magical sauce that’s just hard to stop eating.

Makes 4 servings

Start a large pot of water to boil. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (4-6” from element). Use a 15” x 10” Pyrex pan or large rimmed baking sheet (optional to line with foil; do not line with parchment paper, which will burn) and lightly spray with oil (optional). Put broiler on high. 

Spread the tomatoes on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Broil, shaking the pan occasionally, until they are cracked, very soft, and shrunken, about 15-20 minutes. They’ll be blackened in places. 

  • 2 pints (20 oz.) grape or cherry tomatoes

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Microwave the garlic cloves for 45-60 seconds to soften them. Then chop them. 

  • 4 large or 5 small cloves garlic, peeled

Cook the pasta and drain. Return to the pot.

  • 8 ounces dried whole wheat angel hair pasta

Add the following ingredients to the pasta, toss, and serve.

  • The tomatoes

  • The garlic

  • Large pinch dried red pepper flakes

  • 12 large basil leaves, fresh, chiffonade-cut (i.e., sliced thin)

  • 1/3 cup vegan parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

  • Fresh ground pepper

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Timing: About 30 minutes

Gluten-free if gluten-free pasta is used

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Sugar Snap Pea Stir-Fry

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I mostly enjoy sugar snap peas raw with other vegetable sticks. This changes the game! Sugar snap peas are wonderful in stir-fry. They star in this one, along with other vegetables of your choosing. The sauce brings ginger, garlic, miso, sesame, and chili flavors to the party, meaning this is the opposite of bland. This recipe uses no oil or sugar, but you wouldn’t know it.

Serves 4 

Combine all the stir-fry sauce ingredients in a jar or bowl—or use a stick blender to get everything really well blended.

  • 2 Tablespoons mellow white miso

  • 2 Tablespoons regular or tamari soy sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons water

  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger

  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar or 2 Tablespoons date paste

  • 1 Tablespoon roasted sesame paste (or Chinese sesame paste) (if you don’t have this, use sesame oil)

  • 2 cloves minced garlic

  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Use a wok, very large non-stick skillet, or a Dutch oven. Water-sauté the following ingredients, using a Tablespoon of water, until desired tender-firmness is reached and the water is evaporated.

  • 8 ounces whole sugar snap peas (about 3 cups)

  • 3 cups of other vegetables, sliced or diced, which might include asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, yellow or green zucchini, grated or thinly sliced carrots, mushrooms, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, or cabbage (add red cabbage as late as possible, because the purple tends to stain other vegetables) 

After the vegetables are tender-firm to your liking, stir the sauce in and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Serve on rice. Garnish, if desired with

  • 3-4 green onions, sliced on the diagonal 

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Nutritional information per serving (with 1/2 cup brown rice per serving): 207 calories, 3g fat, 1g sat. fat, 37g carbs, 912mg sodium, 6mg fiber, 7g protein 

Timing: About 30 minutes

Gluten-free

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15-Minute Plant-Based Bowls

By the Gracious Vegan

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Bowls aren’t always the fastest meal to make. You have to be very strategic to cook everything for a bowl in 15 minutes. Here are my suggestions. With a buddy in the kitchen, 15 minutes is definitely doable. Even with one cook it’s possible, but not as fun.  

Quick cooking grain 

  • Whole wheat, regular, or tri-color couscous (pour boiling water, amount equal to couscous, over it, cover, wait 5 minutes, stir, wait another 5 minutes)

  • Bulgur (boil 10-12 minutes with twice as much water as bulgur) 

  • Buckwheat groats (boil 10-12 minutes with twice as much water as groats)

  • Quinoa (boil 10-12 minutes uncovered with twice as much water as quinoa, then cover and let sit 5 minutes)

  • Cauliflower or broccoli rice (microwaving is the fastest way to cook these)

  • Prepare frozen or shelf-stable brown rice

 Protein

  • Beans (broil them with the vegetables) *

  • Broiled tofu, tempeh, or seitan *

Vegetables

  • Broiled zucchini *

  • Raw diced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions

  • Boiled/microwaved corn, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, and/or other

Sauce

Toppings

  • Green onions

  • Shredded red cabbage

  • Olives

  • Pepitas or other seeds

  • Cilantro

  • Lime zest

  • Garam masala

* Easy basting sauce for broiling vegetables and proteins: 

  • 3 Tablespoons water

  • 1 Tablespoon miso (your choice of color/strength)

  • 1 Tablespoon tahini

  • 1.5 teaspoon lemon pepper or other spice mix

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Pasta e Fagioli

By the Gracious Vegan

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“When the stars make you drool, like a pasta fazool / That's amore.” This stew is worth singing over! I started with an Olive Garden copycat recipe I found, then I had to take out the oil and meat and build up the meatless flavor. It works! The fresh basil and the combination of oregano, thyme, and garlic give this a classic and satisfying taste. Topping with vegan parmesan adds more layers of flavor and texture and is so worth it.

Makes 7.5 cups (5 servings)

Put the following ingredients in a Dutch oven or soup pot. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer, partly covered, until vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes. 

  • 1 small onion or half large onion, diced or chopped

  • 2 small/medium carrots, diced or chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, diced or chopped

  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water

Add the following ingredients and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, partly covered. 

  • 2 cans (15-ounce) of cooked beans (I like one can each of pinto and small white beans, but any kind works well), drained and rinsed

  • 1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce

  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced or petite-diced tomatoes

  • 1.5 teaspoons dried oregano

  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

While the stew is cooking, cook the pasta to al dente according to package instructions; drain well and set aside.

  • 1 cup (dry) small pasta (ditalini is a common choice, but choose any kind you want)

After the stew is cooked, add the following ingredients, stir, and serve. 

  • The cooked pasta

  • 1/3 cup (well packed) chopped or sliced fresh basil (or 1.5 teaspoons dried basil added earlier with the other spices, but fresh works better)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Optional topping:

If there are leftovers, the pasta will swell up and absorb some of the liquid. You can add water or more tomato sauce. 

Timing: about 45 minutes

Nutrition: whole food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Gluten-free if made with gluten-free pasta

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Classic-Style Vegan Enchiladas 

By the Gracious Vegan

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I grew up in Southern California when you couldn’t get authentic Mexican food everywhere. No food trucks, no pop-ups, no regional Mexican cuisines. I love all the new dishes you can get, but I still love the flavor of classic red enchilada sauce. Over the last couple of years I’ve tried so many types of fillings that I’ve lost count. Finally a combination clicked — mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, and corn. I use a little tofu, with spices, to bind them together so the rolling is as easy as possible. I hope you find these as satisfying and delicious as I do.

Makes 16-20 enchiladas

Preheat the oven to 375°F. 

Water-sauté (start with 1 Tablespoon water) the following ingredients in a large skillet or Dutch oven until the vegetables are tender and all the liquid released by the mushrooms is evaporated, 10-15 minutes. 

  • 4 cups diced mushrooms (about 10 ounces)

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 1 red pepper, diced

  • 1 green pepper, diced

After the vegetables are tender, add the corn and cook for a few minutes to incorporate and thaw it, if frozen. Take off the heat. 

  • 1 cup corn (fresh, canned, or frozen)

Separately, blend the following ingredients in a mini chopper or with an immersion (stick) blender or whisk until smooth.

  • 1/2 cup silken tofu (any kind)

  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the tofu mixture into the vegetables for your filling.

Use one or two shallow casserole or glass baking dishes. Spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish. Pour a cup of sauce into a pie plate where you can cover the tortillas with sauce. Briefly microwave a few tortillas at a time so they are as soft as possible. Dip each one into the pie plate with sauce and turn it over to coat it. Then lay it down (in the casserole dish) and put 3-4 Tablespoons filling at one end and roll it up. Place it at the end of the casserole dish. Continue with the rest of the tortillas and filling. Top with more enchilada sauce. 

If you like your enchiladas to stay very moist, cover the casserole with foil and bake at 375°for about 20 minutes. If you like them drier, bake for about 25 minutes, uncovered. In both cases you should hear some sizzling, which tells you they’re baked through. 

Serve with any/all of the following.

Timing: About an hour

Nutrition: Whole food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Gluten-free

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Oven-Roasted Vegetable Fajitas

By the Gracious Vegan

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Don’t be alarmed by the number of spices. They are common spices, easy to find, but they add up to an uncommonly great flavor. The oven-roasting means you can skip the oil and still get that one-of-a-kind fajitas effect of charred edges and a velvety softness to the vegetables. The toppings finish the drama: the more the merrier!

Makes 6 servings

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

Toss the following ingredients together in a large bowl.

  • (optional) 4-8 ounces seitan, tempeh, or extra-firm tofu, sliced thin (about 1/2”), then cut at various angles

  • 4 bell peppers (a mix of colors is nice), sliced

  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 small zucchinis, sliced

  • 1 onion, sliced thin or chopped

  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Mix the following ingredients together in a bowl or jar, then pour over the vegetables and protein and stir. 

  • ¼ cup lime juice

  • 2 Tablespoons tahini

  • 1 Tablespoon water

  • ½ Tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Divide the mixture onto the two sheet pans and spread out the contents into a single layer. Roast for 15 minutes, then stir and flip the vegetables. Roast for 10-15 more minutes, until the vegetables are tender, the liquid is evaporated, and the edges of some of the vegetables are brown. Serve with your choice of:

Timing: About an hour

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed, WFPBNO

Gluten-free if you use gluten-free tortillas and your omit the seitan

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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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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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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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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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Baked Tofu

By the Gracious Vegan

Baked Tofu.jpg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan. 

Take tofu out of package. Dry it well, pressing on it, with paper towels.

  • 16 ounces extra firm tofu (not the shelf-stable vacuum-packed kind)

Slice it into 1/2” slices and lay the slices on the parchment paper.

Mix the following ingredients together in a small bowl.

  • 1 Tablespoon water

  • 1 teaspoon tahini

  • 1 teaspoon miso (white or yellow recommended; red if you like tangy miso)

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Added spices appropriate to your dish (e.g., thyme/rosemary/sage, smoked paprika/chili powder/garlic powder)

Brush both sides of the tofu slices with the mixture. Put the pan into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the slices. Then bake 15 minutes more, until both sides are golden. It will firm up more as it cools. 

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Timing: About 45 minutes

Gluten-free with wheat-free tamari instead of soy sauce

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Moo Shu Vegetables

By the Gracious Vegan

Makes 6 servings

Every cuisine has some kind of wrap, and Moo Shu vegetables are a delicious Chinese-inspired wrap. The hoisin sauce is the key. It’s available at most grocery stores, and certainly at all Chinese-oriented Asian markets. It’s sweet and tangy, not spicy-hot. There are moo shu wrappers you can buy at Asian markets, or you can use flour tortillas. If you haven’t tried moo shu before, you’re in for a tasty surprise.

Moo shu vegetables.jpg

Water-sauté these vegetables in a Dutch oven or other large open pan. The vegetables should be tender to your liking, and all the liquid should be evaporated.

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or minced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced.

  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced

  • 8 mushrooms (any kind), sliced or chopped

  • 1 small head of green cabbage, shredded, or use bagged coleslaw (1 pound)

  • 1 carrot, grated (if your bagged slaw has a lot of carrots, you can omit this)

Stir the following ingredients and briefly heat the entire mixture together. Test for seasoning adjust with salt and pepper if needed.

  • 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce (will need more below)

  • 1.5 Tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1/2 Tablespoon Chinese rice vinegar (or other kind, but not balsamic)

  • 2 teaspoons roasted sesame paste

  • 2 teaspoons water

  • 1 teaspoon sugar or agave syrup (or 2 teaspoons date paste)

Stir in the tofu

  • 6-8 ounces baked tofu, cut into small pieces (use my Baked Tofu recipe, or you can buy already baked tofu in many stores)

Remove mixture from heat. Warm your wrappers of choice. Spread about 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of hoisin sauce on each wrapper. Divide filling evenly into wrappers and top with a bit of sesame seeds. 

  • 12 small or 6 large whole wheat flour tortillas or rice flour wrappers

Extra hoisin sauce

Nutrition: Mostly unprocessed (the hoisin has sugar in it)

Time: 25-30 minutes

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No-Oil Roasted Sweet Potatoes in Bowls 

By The Gracious Vegan

FB no-oil roasted sweet pot bowls.jpg

Sweet potato cubes can be roasted on parchment paper without oil and will bake up nicely. The approach here is different. The tahini mixture coats the sweet potatoes and browns as the sweet potatoes roast. You get closer to a roasted look and feel but without the oil. 

Makes: 4 servings

Roast the sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Whisk the following ingredients together in a large bowl. 

  • 5 teaspoons water

  • 4 teaspoons tahini

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Pinch of smoked paprika

Add in the cubed sweet potatoes and fold with a spatula until all the cubes are coated. 

16 ounces sweet potatoes, 1-inch cubes

Pour the sweet potato cubes onto the parchment paper. Roast for 15 minutes, then flip and roast for 10-15 minutes more, until desired tenderness is reached. If needed, switch to broiler mode and broil the potatoes 1-2 minutes to get the tops brown.

Ideas for bowls

Lebanese-inspired

Garbanzo beans; Cucumber, tomatoes, onions; Tahini Sauce; green onions, Greek or green olives

Greek-inspired

Black beluga lentils; Tomatoes, onions, zucchini; Vegan Tzatziki; green onions, Greek olives

Mexican-inspired

Black beans; Corn, peppers, tomatoes; Vegan Crema and/or salsa; California olives, pepitas, cilantro

Thai-inspired

Baked/broiled tofu, tempeh; bell peppers, zucchini; peanut sauce; cilantro, lime zest

Indian-inspired

Baked/broiled tofu, tempeh; green beans, cauliflower, bell peppers; curry sauce; cilantro, garam masala

Timing: Hands-on time 20 minutes; Total time 45 minutes                                                

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Nutritional information per serving (roasted sweet potatoes only): 126 calories, 3g fat, 1g sat. fat, 23g carbs, 355mg sodium, 4mg fiber, 3g protein

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