creamy vegan nacho cheese sauce

It’s vegan nacho cheese! Pour it over a pile of tortilla chips or make it into a thick dip. Mmmm.


Creamy Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce
 
Pour it over tortilla chips or make it into a thick dip. Mmm!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw cashews (note: if you don't have a high-powered blender such as a NutriBullet or Vitamix, soak the cashews in water for several hours then drain them before using; this step will make the sauce much creamier)
  • 1 cup water (plus more to reach desired consistency)
  • 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 heaping teaspoon smoked paprika (plus more to shake on top, if desired)
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder (heaping)
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • Sriracha (optional, and to taste)
Instructions
  1. In a high-powered blender, blend the cashews, 1 cup of water, and all of the other ingredients (except for the Sriracha) until smooth and creamy.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a sauce pan. Over a low heat, use a whisk to stir constantly so mixture won't burn, adding water in ¼-cup increments until desired consistency is reached (about 5 to 10 minutes). Add Sriracha to taste, if using.
  3. Pour over nachos (or into a bowl if using as a dip). Shake a little more smoked paprika on top, if desired. Serve immediately.

 

 

creamy lumaconi pasta with garlic and fresh thyme

Creamy, garlicky, herby, yummy. Serve with your favorite freshly made salad. Note: Be sure to make a batch of cashew parmesan cheese before you start! Hint: Love green peas? Cook some up and stir them in at the end. They're perfect for this recipe. 

Creamy Lumaconi Pasta with Garlic and Fresh Thyme
 
Creamy, garlicky, herby, yummy. Add cooked green peas to this if you're a fan!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces lumaconi (snail shell pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plant-based butter (like Earth Balance)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cashew milk (or other plant-based milk)
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth or broth made from vegan bullion cubes (I use Edward & Son's Not-Chick'n bullion cubes)
  • ½ cup vegan parmesan cheese (get my recipe at APB: Eats)
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme (optional: reserve a few pinches of the thyme for garnish)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions (until al dente) in salted water. Drain pasta and set aside.
  2. Return the hot pot you cooked the pasta in to the stovetop. Over a low heat, melt the plant-based butter into the olive oil. Saute minced garlic in the mixture until just golden (30 to 40 seconds or so). Be extremely careful not to burn the garlic as it will definitely ruin the pasta!
  3. Shake in the flour and whisk everything together. Pour in the broth and plant-based milk slowly while continuing to whisk together until mixture is smooth. Turn up the heat just a bit. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture constantly until it's thick and creamy, around 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the cashew parmesan cheese and thyme (reserving a little for garnish if you choose) until smooth.
  5. Add the cooked pasta and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with reserved thyme. Serve immediately.

 

 

apple-walnut tea bread

So easy to make, and freezes well, too.


Apple-Walnut Tea Bread
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup vegan sugar
  • 4 tablespoons plant-based butter (like Earth Balance), softened
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground golden flax seed + around 5 tablespoons water; mix and let sit a minute until it's goopy like eggs)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large apples (I used Golden Delicious), cored, peeled, and grated
  • ¾ cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Decorative vegan sugar crystals (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a loaf pan (you can grease and flour the pan or just use cooking spray).
  2. Cream the sugar and plant-based butter together in a large bowl.
  3. Mix in the flax eggs. (I use a hand mixer for this, but you could just stir vigorously.)
  4. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon (the mixture will be stiff until the next step).
  5. Stir in the grated apple, lemon juice, and lemon zest (now the mixture should be wet), and then add the walnuts, making sure everything is mixed thoroughly.
  6. Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan. Shake on decorative sugar, if using. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool for 10–15 minutes or so before turning bread out of pan onto a wire rack. Cool completely before cutting (okay, you won't be able to wait that long, but give it a few minutes or it'll fall apart as you try to cut). Serve warm or cold, and freeze the leftovers.

 

garlic rosemary mashed potatoes

Rosemary and garlic make this comfort food even more comforting.
Note: Truthfully, you hardly need measurements to make mashed potatoes. Throw in more potatoes if more than two or three of you are eating, and chop up more rosemary if you do. Add as much coconut milk as you need to get the consistency you want, and salt and pepper to taste. (You get the idea.)

 

Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes
 
Measurements are hardly needed: You can add everything to taste!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 5 to 6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon plant-based butter (like Earth Balance)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • coconut milk (I use the thicker version that comes in a can from Trader Joe's)
  • ½ teaspoon of salt, plus more to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes, garlic, and ½ teaspoon of salt in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook over medium-high heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain.
  2. Return the potatoes and garlic to the saucepan. Beat with handheld mixer until well combined. Add plant-based butter and rosemary, and beat until smooth.
  3. Start with 1 tablespoon of coconut milk and beat into the potato mixture. Add more coconut milk in 1-tablespoon increments until desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

traditional “meat” lasagna

This is it: the recipe for anyone who thinks they can’t give up meat.
Important notes: 1. This recipe makes an 8″ x 8″ pan of lasagna (six pieces, or four if you’re Garfield). 2. You’ll need to make one batch each of cashew ricotta and cashew parmesan cheese before you begin. 3. You can absolutely use your favorite sauce from a jar. If you want to go all out, make your own — or make my classic marinara.


Traditional "Meat" Lasagna
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 batch of cashew ricotta (recipe at APB: Eats)
  • 1 batch of cashew parmesan (recipe at APB: Eats)
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley (or around 4 tablespoons of fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (or 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh)
  • ¼ cup cashew parmesan
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 package (around 12 ounces) meatless crumbles (such as Lightlife Smart Ground)
  • 8 lasagna noodles (traditional noodles, NOT the precooked, no-boil ones!)
  • 2¼ cups of marinara sauce (your favorite from a jar or homemade)
Instructions
  1. Make one batch of cashew ricotta and one batch of cashew parmesan cheese.
  2. To the cashew ricotta, stir in the parsley, basil, and cashew parmesan cheese. Cover and refrigerate while you complete the rest of the steps.
  3. In a pan, sauté diced onion in a little olive oil or water over medium heat, just until it's translucent. Mix in the meatless crumbles and cook according to package instructions.
  4. Cook 8 lasagna noodles according to package instructions. Important: Unless you managed to find lasagna noodles meant for an 8" x 8" pan, you'll need to cut each one to fit. Be sure to cut each noodle with only a single slice, holding on to every "scrap." When you're doing the layering in step 5, you'll put two "scraps" together to form one full noodle when you run out of the longer pieces. (See? No waste!)
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread ¼ cup of marinara in the bottom of the pan (so the noodles won't stick). Place three noodles in the pan, slightly overlapping them. Going all the way to the edges (on everything you layer), spread a heaping ¾ cup of cashew ricotta over the noodles using a spoon, spatula, or your very clean fingers. Spread around ⅓ of the meatless crumbles/onion mixture on top of that. Spread ½ cup of marinara on top of that. Repeat these steps three times, ending with three noodles. Top those noodles with the remaining ½ cup marinara. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Let stand about 10 minutes before shaking more cashew parmesan on top and serving (with your favorite salad!).
Notes
1. This recipe makes an 8″ x 8″ pan of lasagna (six pieces, or four if you can really put away lasagna).
2. You’ll need to make one batch each of cashew ricotta and cashew parmesan cheese before you begin. Get the recipes at APB: Eats.
3. You can use homemade sauce or your favorite from a jar, or make my marinara recipe from APB: Eats.

 

 

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

The pumpkin not only acts as an egg replacer, but it also creates a depth of flavor in these crowd-pleasing cookies, explains Kristy Turner, author of this recipe and the book But I Could Never Go Vegan!
Photo by APB: Eats

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
The pumpkin not only acts as an egg replacer, but it also creates a depth of flavor in these crowd-pleasing cookies, explains Kristy Turner, author of this recipe and the book "But I Could Never Go Vegan!"
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup vegan butter, melted
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup vegan brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted smooth almond butter or whatever nut butter you have
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, flaxseed meal, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Use a hand mixer (or whisk very quickly) to mix the pumpkin puree, vegan butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, and almond butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Use a tablespoon or ice cream scoop to scoop roughly 2 tablespoons of dough and place on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Wet or lightly grease the bottom of a measuring cup and gently press down on each cooking to flatten. If you want them more evenly shaped, wet your fingers and gently form them into circles.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until firm with lightly browned edges. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before serving (or not -- they're too good to wait)!

 

 

tofu “egg” salad

Eggs: higher in fat, calories, and cholesterol than tofu — the USDA won’t even allow them to be labeled “nutritious” or “healthy.” Hmm.
Important note: To get that distinctive egg flavor in your tofu “egg” salad, you must use Indian black salt (also called kala namak). What is this, you ask? Read all about it, here.
Tip: Tofu “egg” salad is easy to make and adaptable to anyone’s taste: include dill or sweet pickles, paprika, scallions, and/or celery. Or omit them all if you’re a purist. 

Tofu "Egg" Salad
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained
  • ¾ cup to 1 cup vegan mayo (I used Hampton Creek's Just Mayo)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons mustard
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¾ teaspoons Indian black salt (also called kala namak), plus more to taste; do not omit or substitute with regular table salt as this is what gives it that distinctive egg taste!
  • black pepper, to taste
  • paprika, to taste (optional)
  • ½ cup diced celery (optional)
  • ¼ to ½ cup diced sweet pickles (optional)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sweet pickle juice (optional)
Instructions
  1. Using a fork or you fingers, crumble tofu into a large bowl.
  2. Mix in vegan mayo, mustard, turmeric, Indian black salt (kala namak), black pepper, and paprika (if using).
  3. Stir in celery, pickles, and pickle juice (if using). See the Notes section for substitutions and other options. It's your salad -- go crazy!
Notes
To get that distinctive egg flavor in your tofu "egg" salad, you must use Indian black salt (also called kala namak) -- regular table salt won't do it. This salad is easy to make and adaptable to anyone's taste: include dill or sweet pickles, paprika, scallions, and/or celery. Or omit them all if you're a purist.

 

chocolate-chip walnut biscotti

Biscotti are Italian cookies that are twice baked, which of course means they’re twice as good.
Note: This recipe makes roughly 30 pieces of biscotti.


Chocolate-Chip Walnut Biscotti
 
Biscotti are Italian cookies that are twice baked, which of course means they're twice as good. This recipe makes roughly 30 pieces of biscotti.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground golden flax seed + around 5 tablespoons water)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons non-dairy butter (I use Earth Balance Soy-Free Spread)
  • 1 cup vegan granulated sugar (I use Florida Crystals Raw Cane Sugar)
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • ¾ cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon confectioners' sugar (I use Florida Crystals Organic Powdered Raw Cane Sugar)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine ground flax seed and water. Stir well and let rest. Mixture will become goopy like an egg within a few minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, sift (or whisk) together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add flax eggs and beat until mixture is well combined.
  5. With a wooden spoon, stir flour mixture into butter mixture until a very stiff dough is formed. (Don't be alarmed at how stiff the dough is!) Stir in chopped walnuts and chocolate chips.
  6. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your hands, form dough into 2 slightly flattened logs (make each log around 12 inches long and 2 inches wide, and you'll have it right). Using a sifter, dust each log with confectioners sugar.
  7. Bake logs for 30-35 minutes (they should be slightly firm to the touch). Remove from oven (but do not turn oven off!) and cool on the baking sheet for around 5 minutes.
  8. Gently slide the biscotti logs onto a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, gently cut them diagonally into ¾-inch slides being careful not to let them break. Place the biscotti, cut sides down, back on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes (until they're crisp).
  9. Cool biscotti on a rack. Keep in an airtight container (or freeze them if you won't eat them all in about a week).

 

mexican street corn (elote), vegan style

You don’t need dairy or eggs to enjoy this Mexican-inspired favorite. In fact, you barely need recipe measurements.
Note: If you’re following this recipe and oven-roasting the corn, be sure to leave it in its husk. It’s the best (and easiest) way to seal in the flavor.

elote

Mexican Street Corn (Elote), Vegan Style
 
If you’re following this recipe and oven-roasting the corn, be sure to leave it in its husk. It’s the best (and easiest) way to seal in the flavor.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 ears of sweet corn (do not shuck!)
  • ¼ cup vegan mayo (I used Hampton Creek's Just Mayo)
  • 1 batch Cashew Parmesan cheese
  • Chili powder or cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1-2 limes, cut into wedges
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Trim any silks hanging from the end of the corn husks, then place corn (unshucked) directly onto the oven rack. Roast for 30 minutes. Peel down the husks to use as a handle when eating.
  3. Spread an even amount of vegan mayo onto each corn cob. Dress each one with cashew Parmesan cheese, chili powder or cayenne pepper, and cilantro. Squeeze a lime wedge onto each cob, and get to it.

 

mandarin orange salad with candied almonds

Fresh, crunchy, simple — a real crowd-pleaser.
Tip: Make the candied almonds and dressing ahead of time, and putting the salad together will be even easier.

Mandarin salad

Mandarin Orange Salad with Candied Almonds
 
Fresh, crunchy, simple -- a real crowd-pleaser. Make the candied almonds and dressing ahead of time, and putting the salad together will be even easier.
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup slivered almonds
  • 2 heaping tablespoons vegan granulated sugar (I use Florida Crystals)
  • 14 ounces Romaine hearts (or your favorite crunchy lettuce combination), sliced crosswise into ½-inch strips (roughly 13 loosely packed cups)
  • 1¼ cups diced celery
  • ½ cup diced scallions
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 11-ounce can organic mandarin oranges in water (drained, but with mandarin water from can reserved!)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons agave syrup (or your favorite sweetener)
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, but a nice touch)
Instructions
  1. Combine almonds and sugar in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently until sugar is melted and almonds brown (do not allow to burn). Remove almonds from heat, spread them onto wax paper in a single layer, and allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together Romaine hearts, celery, scallions, fresh parsley, and mandarin oranges. Set salad aside.
  3. In a tightly covered container, combine ¼ cup of the reserved mandarin orange water, olive oil, agave syrup, vinegar, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Shake vigorously.
  4. Add the candied almonds and dressing to salad and toss. Serve immediately. (See Notes!)
Notes
Be sure to store the candied almonds and the dressing in separate containers, and assemble the salad only when you're ready to serve it (otherwise you'll have soggy lettuce and chewy -- not crunchy -- almonds)! The dressing should be stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.

 

eggplant burgers with caramelized onions and horseradish-mustard mayo

You’re all set for summer. (Or any of the other seasons.)
Note: This recipe makes around 6 burgers, depending on how thick you make them.

eggplant burger with caramelized onions

Eggplant Burgers with Caramelized Onions and Horseradish-Mustard Mayo
 
The rich flavor of eggplant with sweet onions and tangy, creamy sauce -- you're all set for summer (or any of the other seasons). This recipe makes around 6 burgers, depending on how thick you make them.
Author:
Ingredients
For the horseradish-mustard mayo:
  • ½ cup vegan mayo (I use Hampton Creek Just Mayo)
  • 2 tablespoons horseradish mustard (I use Annie's Naturals; make your own by combining drained, prepared horseradish and Dijon mustard)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
For the eggplant burgers:
  • 2½ pounds of eggplant, peeled and cubed
  • Olive oil (to coat eggplant cubes and for frying burgers)
  • 1 cup diced scallions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 heaping tablespoon nutritional yeast (Bob's Red Mill and Red Star Yeast are brands most commonly found in markets)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Black pepper
  • 1¼ cup panko
Instructions
For the horseradish-mustard mayo:
  1. Combine mayo and horseradish mustard, whisking together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so that flavors will meld. (You can make this a day ahead.)
For the eggplant burgers:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil over eggplant cubes and toss to fully coat.
  3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spread eggplant cubes on baking sheets in single layer. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing cubes once halfway through to ensure even cooking. When the cubes are very tender, remove from oven and transfer to a large bowl. Mash the eggplant cubes with a potato masher or pulse a few times in a food processor until eggplant is, well, a big pile of mush and no big chunks remain.
  4. Stir scallions, garlic, parsley, nutritional yeast, salt, and black pepper into eggplant mixture. Stir in 1 cup of panko to start. Mixture should be firm enough to hold together when making the burgers. If necessary, add the remaining ¼ cup of panko to stiffen the mixture (I find I almost always need it). Taste mixture and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
  5. Cover mixture and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so it can firm up. (Note: If you're planning to top the burgers with caramelized onions, I suggest getting the onions on the stove at this point so they're ready around the time your burgers are done.)
  6. Divide mixture into about 6 parts, depending on how much you've got and how thick you like your burgers; I generally make mine around an inch thick. Using either a hamburger press (I've got my mother's Tupperware one from the '70s!) a biscuit cutter, or your hands, form the eggplant mixture into burgers. Make sure to pack them tightly if you're using your hands or a biscuit cutter instead of a press! Let burgers rest a few minutes before cooking.
  7. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil to a pan and place over a medium-high heat (do not let the oil smoke). With a spatula, place burgers into pan, but do not crowd them. (These fellas are delicate; leave space so you can get your spatula in there to flip them. I cook only 2 at a time.) Allow burgers to cook until you can see them getting golden on one side. With your spatula, gently turn burgers over and allow to brown on the other side. When the second side looks golden brown, you should be able to flip them more easily. Continue to cook burgers until they're as dark/crispy on the outside as you like.
  8. Remove burgers from pan and place on your favorite egg-/dairy-free buns (toast the buns if you like). Top with caramelized onions (or raw onions if you prefer), lettuce, tomato, and horseradish-mustard mayo.
Notes
This recipe calls for around 2½ pounds of eggplant because eggplant vary so greatly in size. I suggest weighing them at the market to make sure you're starting with the right weight. If you're unable to get a weight and really have no idea what you're working with, I suggest adding seasonings in smaller increments to start and building up (based on your taste) as you go.

 

crispy oven-baked french fries

One potato, two potato, three potato, four…  (As in, make as many as you like.)
Tip: You can figure roughly one and a half large potatoes per person, but this doesn’t take into account how addictive French fries are! Might want to add an extra potato or two depending on appetites. 

crispy oven baked french fries

Crispy Oven-Baked French Fries
 
You can figure roughly one and a half large potatoes per person, but this doesn't take into account how addictive French fries are! Might want to add an extra potato or two depending on appetites. Note that three to four large potatoes will take two baking sheets.
Author:
Ingredients
  • Potatoes (russet for traditional fries, though I've used red-skinned potatoes, too)
  • Coconut oil cooking spray
  • Canola oil
  • Salt
  • Optional additions: black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and/or onion powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash/scrub potatoes, pat dry, and cut into long matchsticks (about ½-inch-thick).
  3. Toss fries in a bowl with a drizzle of canola oil and salt to taste. (If you want a nontraditional French fry, lightly shake on any additional herbs and spices at this point.)
  4. Line baking sheets with aluminum foil and coat generously with coconut oil cooking spray. Arrange fries in a single layer so that they are barely touching each other.
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes (depending on how dark/crunchy you like them), flipping them after the first 15 minutes or so.

 

cashew ricotta

It’s thick, it’s creamy, it’s easy to put together. Now go make lasagna.
Note: Makes a little over two cups.
Tip: Want it soy-free? Replace the tofu with one cup of raw cashews. See Notes section of recipe for instructions. 

cashew ricotta cheese

Cashew Ricotta
 
It's thick, it's creamy, it's easy to put together. Want it soy-free? Check the Notes section of this recipe!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 12 ounces firm tofu, drained (but not pressed) and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, blend the cashews, ¼ cup of the crumbled tofu, lemon juice, and garlic until mixture becomes a thick paste.
  2. Add the remaining crumbled tofu to the food processor, in batches if necessary, blending until the mixture is creamy and well combined (you may need to scrape down the sides of the food-processor bowl a couple times).
  3. Blend in the salt. Taste and add more if desired, but keep in mind that a recipe that calls for ricotta -- such as lasagna or stuffed shells -- may also call for adding additional salt; you may want to go easy here.
Notes
You can make your cashew ricotta soy-free by replacing the tofu with 1 cup of raw cashews. Since you won't have the water that's in the tofu to make blending easy, be sure to soak the 2 cups of raw cashews in water for at least an hour or more. Then drain the water and blend everything according to instructions.

 

west african peanut stew

West African peanut stew — also known as Ghanian groundnut stew, nkatenkwan, or maafe — is hearty, delicious, and packed with protein.
Tips: Be creative with your ingredients, garnishes, and the sides you serve it over (pictured here served over black japonica rice; see the recipe for other suggestions). You can make this dish the day before or the morning of — a night (or an afternoon) in the fridge gives the flavors a chance to meld. 

West African Peanut Stew

West African Peanut Stew
 
One dish, so many twists: Be creative with your ingredients, garnishes, and the side dish you serve it over!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut oil or grape seed oil
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • Black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (with juices)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter (no sugar added)
  • Hot sauce (optional; if you're worried about adding too much heat, omit during cooking and use as a garnish instead)
  • 6 cups chopped sweet potatoes or yams (cut them into bite-sized cubes)
  • 4 packed cups of coarsely chopped kale
  • Possible garnishes (choose your favorites): hot sauce, diced green onions, chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts, sliced tropical fruit, shredded lettuce, shredded coconut, fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a deep saute pan or a large pot. Add chopped onions and saute for five minutes, stirring once or twice so the onions don't stick.
  2. Add the celery, garlic, ginger, one teaspoon of salt, and black pepper (to taste) and cook for another minute or two, stirring to make sure the garlic doesn't burn
  3. Add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes with their juices, coconut milk, tomato paste, peanut butter, and hot sauce (to taste), if using. Use a wooden spoon to gently break up the peanut butter and stir it into the mixture.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes, stir everything together, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  5. Mix in the kale and cook for 10 minutes more. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve alone as a stew, or over couscous, quinoa, millet, farro, or white, black, or wild rice. Top with your favorite garnishes.

 

mushroom cacciatore with campanelle pasta

“Cacciatore” means “hunter” in Italian. (You mushroom hunters will be especially excited about this dish.)
Tip: Take five minutes to make a batch of cashew Parmesan cheese (pictured) — delicious sprinkled on top! Serve pasta with a side salad and your favorite rustic bread.

mushroom cacciatore

Mushroom Cacciatore with Campanelle Pasta
 
"Cacciatore" means "hunter" in Italian. (Mushroom hunters will be especially excited about this dish!) Tip: Take five minutes to make a batch of cashew Parmesan cheese (recipe below) -- delicious sprinkled on top! Serve pasta with a side salad and your favorite rustic bread.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 32 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup (packed) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 large bay leaf (do not omit this!)
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 28-ounce can organic Italian-style peeled whole tomatoes
  • 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 pound campanelle pasta (or pasta of choice -- see Notes)
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil and vegetable broth in a 5- or 6-quart pot. Add mushrooms and stir to coat. Cook mushrooms down for 5 to 7 minutes on a medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, parsley, basil, bay leaf, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using) to pot. Stir everything to combine, being careful not to break the bay leaf. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes more.
  3. Pour the Italian-style peeled whole tomatoes into a medium-sized bowl and use your hands (or a potato masher or a wooden spoon) to break them up.
  4. Add the Italian tomatoes, tomato sauce, and red wine to the pot of vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 50 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and vegetables are tender.
  5. Cook pasta following package direction time for al dente pasta. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  6. Remove the bay leave from the mushroom cacciatore, pour over pasta, and toss to coat.
  7. Top with cashew Parmesan cheese and serve with baby arugula with balsamic (or your favorite side salad) and a fresh rustic bread.
Notes
Choose your favorite pasta for this dish, but keep in mind that chunky vegetable sauces like this one tend to go best with short pastas, which have crevices to trap the sauce and veggies!

 

chocolate-dipped italian cornmeal cookies (with or without sea salt!)

It’s like a piece of cornbread married a shortbread cookie and they went skinny dipping together in chocolate.
Recipe adapted with modifications from Once Upon a Chef.

chocolate dipped cornmeal cookies

Chocolate-Dipped Italian Cornmeal Cookies (With or Without Sea Salt!)
 
It's like a piece of cornbread married a shortbread cookie and they went skinny dipping together in chocolate.
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup + 3 tablespoons plant-based butter (I use Earth Balance Soy Free Spread)
  • ½ cup vegan granulated sugar (I used Florida Crystals)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground golden flax seed + 6 tablespoons water)
  • 11/2 cups + 3 level tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil or vegetable oil (note: if you don't want your cookies to have the faint taste of coconut, go for the flavorless vegetable oil)
  • Sea salt (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, make your flax eggs by combining the ground flax and water. Set aside; the mixture will become goopy like an egg within a few minutes (you may need to stir once or twice).
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the vegan butter and sugar together for several minutes until the mixture becomes pale in color, creamy, and almost fluffy in appearance. Use a spatula to wipe down sides of bowl as necessary.
  4. Add the vanilla and flax eggs, and beat for another minute until everything is combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. (If you don't have a sifter, use a whisk.)
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Beat on a low speed until just combined.
  7. Cover the dough and refrigerate for one hour. (If you leave the dough in the fridge longer than this (or even overnight), make sure to take it out and let it come down a bit in temperature. You want the dough to be cool enough to handle but not so cold that the cookies won't spread in the oven.)
  8. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of dough, and roll into balls. Place balls on parchment-paper-lined baking sheets and flatten into disks with your hand. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until cookies are pale on top and lightly golden on the bottom. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
  9. Line a cold baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. In a double boiler over a medium heat (or in the microwave in 40-second intervals), melt the chocolate chips and your oil of choice together. Dip cookies about halfway into chocolate and transfer to the baking sheet.
  11. Sprinkle cookies with a bit of sea salt (if desired; to please everyone, I like to do half with sea salt, half without), and transfer entire baking sheet to refrigerator so the chocolate will harden and cool quickly.
  12. Store cookies in air-tight container, preferably in the fridge (particularly if it's warm in your home).
Notes
These cookies are extremely versatile. You can add mini vegan chocolate chips to the batter if you prefer that to dipping them after they're baked. If you're not a chocolate fan (gasp!), leave it off and enjoy them plain. You can try dipping the cookie-dough disks into a mixture of cinnamon and sugar before baking for a snickerdoodle-esque twist. Or, try throwing some wild blueberries into the batter. Weeee!

 

soba noodles in peanut sauce

The best part of this dish is that it’s endlessly adaptable: make it sweeter, make it spicier, change the vegetables, add tofu — even serve it hot or cold. 

Soba Noodles In Peanut Sauce

Soba Noodles in Peanut Sauce
 
The best part of this dish is that it's endlessly adaptable: make it sweeter, make it spicier, change the vegetables, add tofu -- even serve it hot or cold.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (1/3 cup reserved)
  • ½ cup all-natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (note: this amount will provide only a very slight kick; increase heat as desired)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • 1½ cups carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1½ cups red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2½ cups broccoli (cut into bite-sized florets)
  • 2½ cups cauliflower (cut into bite-sized florets)
  • 10- to 12-ounce package organic soba noodles
  • Crushed roasted peanuts, diced scallions, and chopped fresh cilantro for topping (optional but recommended)
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine ⅔ cup of vegetable broth, peanut butter, ginger, tamari (or soy sauce), sugar, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Whisk until everything is well combined. Taste and adjust sweetness or heat if desired. Set aside.
  2. Cook soba noodles as directed on package. Be sure to rinse noodles in cold water after draining.
  3. In a large pan, heat reserved ⅓ cup vegetable broth. Add carrot, bell pepper, broccoli, and cauliflower to pan, and cook over a medium heat for 7 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender (don't overcook -- unless you have a thing for mushy veggies).
  4. In a large serving bowl, toss together the noodles, cooked vegetables, and sauce. Top with crushed roasted peanuts, diced scallions, and chopped fresh cilantro. Serve immediately. (Alternatively, you can serve this as a cold dish. Before adding toppings, simply cover and refrigerate for an hour or two.)
Notes
This dish will easily serve a family of four (well, depending on everyone's appetites). You can always halve this dish if you prefer, or make the full recipe and have cold soba noodles for lunch the next day!

 

easy cornbread

Takes just minutes to put this fluffy, golden cornbread together.

Cornbread

Easy Cornbread
 
Takes just minutes to put this fluffy, golden cornbread together.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups of all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup vegan granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon of ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons water)
  • Coconut-oil cooking spray (or other, to prepare pan)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Use a whisk to combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Make the flax egg in a separate small bowl (combine ground flax seed and water; allow to sit for a minute until it gels -- it should be goopy like an egg).
  4. Combine almond milk, oil (or applesauce), and flax egg. Gently fold this wet mixture into the dry mixture only until all ingredients are wet -- do not use a mixer or over-stir. Batter will be thick.
  5. Pour mixture into a prepared 8” x 8” baking pan.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes (toothpick inserted should come out clean).
  7. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and removing from pan.

 

london broil marinated tofu

Tofu, Western style. Pictured with white rice, but makes a classic U-S-A dinner when served with salad, baked potato, and your favorite green veggie. 

London Broil Marinated Tofu

London Broil Marinated Tofu
 
Serve with salad, baked potato, and your favorite green veggie for a classic Western-style dinner.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) organic, non-GMO extra-firm tofu (pressed; see Notes)
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup whole grain or Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup agave nectar (or other sweetener of your choice, though you may have to adjust amount)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (I use Annie's Naturals)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon tamari (or substitute soy sauce, if gluten is not a concern)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Slice tofu into bite-sized cubes and place in a plastic storage container.
  2. Place all of the remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk together with a fork. (Tip: If you're unsure of how much salt and pepper to add to the marinade, skip it -- you can shake salt and pepper directly onto the tofu once it's in the pan cooking.)
  3. Pour half of the marinade over the tofu (reserve the other half) and lightly toss to coat all the pieces. Seal the storage container and marinate for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Drain tofu, returning the marinade from the tofu to the reserved marinade.
  5. Add a few spritzes of olive oil to a large pan and place over high heat. Cook tofu a few minutes on each side until golden brown (if you skipped adding salt and pepper to the marinade, now's the time to shake some on the tofu).
  6. Remove pan from heat and allow tofu to rest for 1 minute. Pour reserved marinade over tofu in hot pan, and quickly toss to coat.
  7. Transfer tofu to a serving dish and serve immediately.
Notes
Tofu is made with water and packed in water, so it's crucial that you drain and press it before attempting to cook with it. (I avoid this step by buying vacuum-packed extra-firm tofu whenever possible. Trader Joe's carries it as of the time of this recipe post!) If you can't find vacuum-packed (and don't have a tofu press), simply line a plate with paper towels, place the tofu block on the paper towels, and put another layer of towels on top of the tofu. Put another plate or a cutting board on top of the paper towels. Weigh it down with heavy books or cans. Drain the water that has been pressed out of the tofu every thirty minutes or so.

 

flaky banana and black bean empanadas

A melt-in-your-mouth crust that you can make ahead of time means empanadas any time you want them.

flaky banana and black bean empanadas

Flaky Banana and Black Bean Empanadas
 
A melt-in-your-mouth crust that you can make ahead of time means empanadas any time you want them.
Author:
Ingredients
For the dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more as needed)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup nonhydrogenated vegan shortening, cold, not room temperature (I use Earth Balance) and cut into cubes
  • ½ cup plant-based milk (I use almond milk)
For the filling:
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or cooking wine (this adds flavor and keeps ingredients from sticking while avoiding excessive oil; if you don't have wine, you can use water)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (or avoid oil altogether by adding more water or white wine to keep ingredients from sticking)
  • 1½ cups yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups banana, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Instructions
For the dough:
  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of flour and salt.
  2. Add the shortening cubes to the flour mixture, cutting it in until the dough is crumbly. You can do this with two knives or with your fingertips.
  3. Add the plant-based milk, and with a wooden spoon, gently mix everything together. If necessary, you may add another tablespoon or so of flour -- just enough so that you can form the dough into a ball that's not overly sticky and wet.
  4. With your hands, gather the dough into a ball and knead gently several times so that it holds together.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (see Notes). While the dough is chilling, you can make the empanada filling.
For the filling:
  1. Heat white wine or cooking wine and oil (if using) in a large skillet, then add onions. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
  2. Add beans and garlic, reduce heat to medium, and cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Gently stir in bananas, cayenne pepper, coriander, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook 2 to 3 more minutes. You want the bananas to soften and the spices to become fragrant. Taste mixture and add the additional ½ teaspoon salt (or add to taste) if needed.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
For the empanadas
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in half. Re-wrap one half with plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator.
  3. With a knife, divide the half of the dough ball you're working with into 8 equal pieces.
  4. Quickly roll one of the dough pieces into a ball with your hands. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the ball to a 4½ to 5-inch round. (Be sure your surface and your rolling pin stay lightly floured so the dough doesn't stick; I keep the flour next to me to add a small pinch as I need it.)
  5. Fill the dough round with approximately 2 tablespoons of filling, and brush edges of dough round with water.
  6. Fold dough round in half, press to close, and crimp edges with a floured fork to seal (if your fork gets sticky, dip in flour after each crimp you make). If you're a perfectionist (I'm a perfectionist), use a fluted pastry wheel or sharp knife to cut excess dough from the crimped edge to create a more streamlined curve.
  7. Transfer to the parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining 7 dough balls and filling. Transfer baking sheet of 8 empanadas to the refrigerator and repeat the whole process with the other half of the dough you have wrapped in the refrigerator.
  8. Chill both trays of empanadas on the baking sheets for at least 10 minutes before baking (they can be chilled overnight if you are making ahead of time, just be sure to cover them). Bake empanadas for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet before serving with sriracha, tabasco, or hot sauce of choice, and other favorites (think non-dairy sour cream, avocado slices, quinoa, brown rice, a green salad, etc.).
Notes
This dough will make 16 empanadas, and can be made ahead of time! If you're not using the dough immediately, divide in half, wrap each ball in plastic wrap, place in refrigerator, and use the following day. Alternatively, place dough in freezer bags and store in freezer until ready to use.