No-Sacrifice Tahini-Dill Dressing

By the Gracious Vegan

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At only 29 calories per tablespoon (compared to at least 75 or 80 for most dressings), this no-oil tahini-based dressing offers full flavors that can stand up to and complement many different types of salad. 

Makes about 1.5 cups

Blend the following ingredients together in a blender or in a container with an immersion (stick) blender until smooth. 

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 3/4 cup water  

  • 3/8 cup tahini   

  • 3/8 cup silken tofu

  • 4 Tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1.5 teaspoons cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

Add the dill and blend just a few second to distribute it into the entire mixture. 

  • 1/4 cup packed fresh dill or 1 Tablespoon dried dill

Transfer the dressing to a glass or plastic container and chill. The dressing may appear too thin when you first make it. It will thicken up overnight in the refrigerator. Chill. It will keep 7-10 days in the refrigerator. 

Timing: Under 15 minutes

Nutrition: Whole-food minimally processed; WFPBNO

Gluten-free

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Massaman Peanut Noodle Soup

By the Gracious Vegan

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There’s hardly a Thai-inspired dish I don’t love. I’d seen a number of recipes for Thai noodle soup online, but most of them contained coconut milk (high in saturated fat), oil, and sugar. I had to figure out how to eliminate those without sacrificing taste and texture. Here is the result—a mouth-watering peanut-infused soup with noodles. It’s creamy and savory, but with hints of lime and curry paste to jazz things up.

Makes 5 servings

Start soaking the cashews and dates for the cashew broth, if needed.

Water-sauté the vegetables (start with 1/4 cup water) for 8 to 10 minutes, until the sweet potato pieces are soft.

  • 1.5 cups diced sweet potatoes (peeling optional)

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

Cashew broth. Create cashew broth for the soup by blending the following ingredients on high for 30 seconds or longer, until the cashews and dates are dissolved. (If you do not have a high speed blender, soak the cashews first for 2 hours, or pour boiling water over them and soak them for 20 minutes; drain.) Set the broth aside. 

  • 2.5 cups water

  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter 

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews

  • 1/4 cup, well packed, date pieces (pitted) (pre-soak the dates if they are hard) (or 1/4 cup homemade date paste)

Back to the sweet potatoes and red peppers: add the following ingredients to pot, stir them in, and cook for another few minutes.

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger

  • 1 Tablespoon red curry paste (I like Maesri or Thai Kitchen brand)

  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

Increase heat to medium-high, add the following ingredients, stir, and cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, until the thickness is to your liking.

  • 2 cups vegetable stock

  • The cashew broth

  • Juice from one lime (about 2 Tablespoons)

  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce 

  • 1 teaspoon Chinese roasted sesame paste, if you have it

Add the following ingredients and cook for 3 minutes.

  • 3 ounces whole grain thin noodles or spaghetti (you can use a package of ramen noodles without the flavor packet, but note that they contain refined flour)

  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

To serve, ladle soup into bowls, and divide the garnishes among the bowls.

  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Timing: about 45 minutes

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Gluten-free if gluten-free noodles are used

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Snow Pea, Asparagus, and Pasta Salad with Sesame Dressing

By the Gracious Vegan

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I started this recipe inspired by a dish in Jeanne Lemlin’s “Main-Course Vegetarian Pleasures.” I made a lot of changes to get the sugar and oil out, plus I thought snow peas would be a good addition. There are so many great flavors and textures in this salad—your mouth will have a great time! The Asian-inspired dressing is mellow and satisfies that sweet-sour craving many of us have.

Makes about 8 cups (6 servings)

See last ingredient in the recipe, roasted almonds. Begin roasting them if they are not already roasted. 

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Make sure the asparagus and snow peas are prepped. Add the pasta to the water and cook for all but the last 4 minutes of the cooking time (e.g., if directions say 9 minutes to al dente, boil them for 5 minutes before adding the asparagus). 

  • 8 ounces whole grain pasta (I used whole wheat rotini—corkscrew—pasta)

Then add the asparagus to the pot, bring quickly back to a boil, and boil 2 minutes.

  • 1 pound asparagus, bottoms peeled, then cut diagonally into 1.5-inch pieces

Then add the snow peas to the pot, bring quickly back to a boil, and boil 1 minute. Then drain the whole mixture under very cold water to stop further cooking.

  • 8 ounces snow peas, sliced once on the diagonal

Dressing. Blend all dressing ingredients in a Nutribullet or with an immersion (stick) blender and blend until the dates are dissolved.

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 3 Tablespoons Chinese roasted sesame paste 

  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce

  • 5 medium dates (or 3 Medjool dates), soaked if hard (or 1.5 Tablespoons brown sugar)

  • Freshly ground pepper

Bringing it all together. Toss the pasta and vegetables with the following ingredients and the dressing. 

  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Best served at room temperature, but chilled tastes good too!

Timing: About 30 minutes

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Gluten-free if gluten-free pasta is used

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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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Creamy Curry Split Pea Soup 

By the Gracious Vegan

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This comforting soup requires more spices than others, but it’s totally worth it. This tasty, substantial soup can serve as an entrée in its own right.

Freezes well. Instant Pot instructions at bottom. 

Makes 7 servings

Create cashew milk for the soup by blending the cashews and water 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 first for 2 hours, or pour boiling water over them and soak them for 20 minutes; drain.) Set aside. 

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews

  • 1 cup water

Add the following ingredients to a Dutch oven or soup pot, bring to a boil, cook for about an hour, partly covered, until the split peas are very tender. 

  • 5 cups vegetable broth

  • 1.5 cups dry yellow split peas

  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced or petite-diced tomatoes

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste 

  • 1 Tablespoon ground coriander

  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced

  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

Add the following and stir for a few minutes until the greens are wilted and the thickness of the soup is to your liking. 

  • The cashew milk

  • 2-3 handfuls of chopped kale or spinach

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1.25 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

For the Instant Pot: Put the main list of ingredients in the Instant Pot. 

  • Use 4.5 cups vegetable broth instead of 5 cups

  • Valve in the sealing position

  • “Manual” setting for 15 minutes

  • 10-minute natural release

Add the greens, cashew milk, cilantro, salt, extract, and stir in the Instant Pot

 

Timing: hands-on time: 30 minutes; total time 80 minutes         

Nutrition: whole-food, unprocessed; WFPBNO

Nutritional information per serving: 206 calories, 2g fat, 0g sat. fat, 33g carbs, 857mg sodium, 12mg fiber, 13g protein 

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Leafy Green Lentil Soup

By the Gracious Vegan

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This is the ultimate healthy soup. The lentils add critical substance, while the cumin, coriander, mint, cilantro, and jalapeño contribute incredible flavor. You may be surprised how addictive this soup is. It’s an intense green color as well. 

Makes 9 servings

Put the following ingredients in a large (at least 6-quart) Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, until the lentils are tender. 

  • 8 cups vegetable broth

  • 2 large onions, chopped

  • 1 cup brown or black (Beluga) lentils *

  • 1 medium potato (russet, red skin, Yukon gold), scrubbed (peeled if desired) and cut into 1/2"-inch dice

  • Sliced stems/ribs from 8 large green or red chard leaves

  • 2 teaspoons cumin 

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

Then stir the following ingredients into the pot. Cover and cook 5 minutes more.

  • 4 scallions, sliced

  • 2 cups chopped broccoli (1 medium or large crown)

  • Chopped leaves from the 8 large green or red chard leaves

Finally, stir in the following ingredients. Return to a simmer, cover and cook until the spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes more.

  • 10 ounces leaf spinach, any tough stems trimmed, chopped (or whole baby spinach)

  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (or 2 teaspoons dried mint)

  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, minced (make it a whole one if you like spicy-hot)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Stir in lemon juice. Use a stick (immersion) blender to make a smooth soup.

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Taste and add more lemon juice, salt, and/or pepper.

Optional garnishes:

* For a variation, you can use green French lentils (Lentilles du Puy) and keep the soup chunky and unblended. They have thicker skins and need about 15 more minutes cooking time. 

Timing: Hands-on time 40 minutes, total time 60 minutes

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Nutritional information per serving: 128 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat. fat, 22g carbs, 799mgsodium, 6mg fiber9gprotein 

Gluten-free

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Turkish Red Lentil Soup 

By the Gracious Vegan

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Turkish red lentil soup is a great soup for your regular rotation. It’s quick, cheap, and filling. It works well any time of year and is perfect for when you’re feeling under the weather. You can keep it simple or dress it up with lots of toppings.

Freezes well. Instant Pot instructions at bottom.

Makes 7 servings

Put all ingredients in a Dutch oven or soup pot, bring to a boil, and simmer, covered, 30 minutes, until the rice is cooked and the lentils have virtually dissolved into a puree.

  • 8 cups vegetable broth

  • 2 cups red lentils

  • 1/4 cup uncooked white rice or 3/4 cup cooked brown rice*

  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 Tablespoons sweet paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon urfa biber or Aleppo pepper or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 1 medium tomato, finely diced

  • Add salt to taste. Add a little water if it’s too thick. 

  • Salt to taste (1.25 teaspoons)

Optional garnishes:

* Some stores, like Trader Joe’s, offer pre-cooked frozen brown rice in the frozen foods aisle. 

 

For the Instant Pot: Put the main list of ingredients in the Instant Pot. 

  • Use 7 cups vegetable broth instead of 8 cups

  • Valve in the sealing position

  • “Manual” setting for 10 minutes

  • 10-minute natural release

  • Stir in the salt 

 

Timing: hands-on time 15 minutes; total time: 50 minutes         

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Nutritional information per serving: 221 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat. fat, 39g carbs, 1011 mgsodium, 9mg fiber16gprotein 

Gluten-free

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Spiced Pita Crisps

By the Gracious Vegan

This is a great way to use up leftover pita bread. I’ve also used leftover rolls (I slice them into 1/4” pieces.) These crisps are very popular when served with a bowl of soup. 

Makes as many as you like

Preheat heat oven to 375°. Use sheet pans or cookie sheets. You can line them with parchment paper or not. 

Cut pitas into 6 or 8 wedges and arrange them in a single layer on the baking sheet(s). 

  • As many pitas as you wish (for pocket pitas, I recommend fully separating the two sides and cutting them both into wedges)

Spray the pita wedges with a light coat of oil (optional)

  • Spray-oil or olive oil in a mister

Sprinkle your choice of spices onto the pita wedges. I like these:

  • Cumin

  • Paprika

  • Salt

Bake. If you have thin pita bread, check after 10 minutes. Thicker bread may take 15 minutes or so. 

Timing: about 20 minutes

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO (without the spray oil)

Gluten-free if you use gluten-free pitas

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Foolproof Baked Falafel

By the Gracious Vegan

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Boy, have I tried a lot of falafel recipes. I’ve pan-fried and baked — I don’t deep-fry anymore after nearly setting the kitchen on fire once. I’ve bought special tools from Israel for scooping the disks so the mixture won’t disintegrate. I’ve tried adding spinach for color, baking soda for leavening, and all sorts of inauthentic spices. My solution is not how it’s made in Middle Eastern restaurants and carts, where they soak raw chickpeas for 12-24 hours, grind them with the other ingredients, then deep-fry the balls. Mine are made from canned chickpeas and are baked with a minimum of spray oil. But they hold together without fail, are simply and well spiced, have a lot fewer calories and fat then traditional falafel, and go well with pita, vegetables, and tahini sauce. I’m sticking with these.

Makes about 2 dozen falafel rounds (enough for at least 8 sandwiches)

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly spray the papers with spray-oil. 

  • Spray oil

Pulse all the ingredients together in a food processor until everything is minced but not reduced to a smooth spread. Stop and scrape down the sides if necessary. 

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed

  • 1 small onion, or half a medium-large onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro leaves

  • 2 Tablespoons water

  • 1 Tablespoon cumin

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons flour (any kind)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon (or more) red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Add another Tablespoon of water if the mixture doesn’t adhere.

Scoop the mixture into tightly packed 2-Tablespoon balls (a cookie scoop works well for this). Put the balls on the parchment paper, then flatten them into thick, tight patties. Spray the tops of the falafel with spray-oil. 

Bake for 15 minutes, until the bottoms are golden. Then flip them and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until the other sides are golden.

Serve on: 

  • Pita bread (I prefer whole wheat)

With a salad of: 

  • Chopped tomatoes

  • Chopped or sliced cucumbers

  • Chopped or sliced onions

Topped with:

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed, WFPBNO

Timing: About 50 minutes

Gluten-free if you use gluten-free flour and gluten-free pita bread

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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 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 2-3 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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