It's Vegan Time
Vegan Burgers That Don't Suck
It's not easy making a vegan burger that doesn't come out mushy or bland or just plain boring. This one combines chickpeas, cashews, and barley along with fresh vegetables to form a complex, satisfying patty that will behave just like meat on the griddle or grill.
The Best Vegetarian Bean Chili
All of the deep chili flavor, textural contrast, and rib-sticking richness you'd ever want in a chili.
Vegan Frito Pie
Korean Fried Cauliflower
Cauliflower under an ultra-crisp cornstarch crust tossed in a sweet-and-spicy Korean-style chili sauce.
Crispy Buffalo Fried Cauliflower
Fried Cauliflower, buffalo style! Crisply fried in a cornstarch crust and tossed in traditional buffalo sauce, it's every bit as satisfying as a real wing.
Udon with Mushroom-Soy Broth with Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Cabbage
Dried Asian and western mushrooms along with sea kelp form the base for this ultra-savory and deeply satisfying broth, the perfect start to a complex and satisfying bowl of Japanese-style noodles.
Japanese Simmered Daikon with Bok Choy and Edamame
Daikon radish simmered in a sweet soy and sake broth along with steamed bok choy and fresh soy beans.
I use my patent-pending, copyrighted Minced Mushroom Mix (A.K.A. M3) to replace the ground meat in this vegan mapo tofu, giving it a chewy texture and a rich flavor all its own. I like it even better than the original.
Braised Eggplant with Tofu in Garlic Sauce
Braised eggplant with garlic sauce is a classic Sichuan dish that combines soft simmered eggplant, fermented soy beans, and a sweet, garlicky sauce. This version adds a few tablespoons of preserved mustard root and incorporates the garlic in a couple of ways. You can go with 100% eggplant if you'd like, or you can add cubes of firm silken tofu to transform this into a one-pot-meal.
Bok Choy with Chives, Black Bean Sauce, and Chow Fun
Want to make your pasta and stir-fried healthier? Just reverse the ratios, packing in more vegetables and sauce, using noodles and grain-based foods as a garnish. This version uses bok choy and chives in a fermented black bean sauce with just a few chow fun noodles.
Brussels Sprout Fried Rice with Crispy Cauliflower
Two hearty crucifers team up with rice in this filling vegan main dish.
Pasta with Snap Peas, Garlic, Lemon Zest, and Black Pepper
Although olive oil won't emulsify into a pasta-coating sauce like butter will, by adding a little cornstarch to the base, you create a sauce that clings to the pasta as well as any butter-based sauce, and with all the bright, vibrant, complex flavor of olive oil.
Pasta with Braised Broccoli and Tomato Sauce
Broccoli is great fresh, but I love the way it intensifies in flavor and becomes rich and tender when you braise it for a long time. Here I cook it down in a rich tomato sauce.
Garbanzos con Espinacas y Jengibre (Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew with Ginger)
Garbanzos con espinacas, the Spanish stew upon which this stew is based, usually relies on smoky chorizo or rich morcilla (blood sausage) for its flavor. This vegan version keeps those bold flavors by simmering the chickpeas and their liquid with aromatics like garlic, onion, bay leaf, ginger, and smoked paprika.
Chickpea, Coconut, and Cashew Curry
Rich, creamy, and complex, this chickpea and coconut curry is perfect for cold winter Sundays.
Chickpea, Potato, and Spinach Jalfrezi with Cilantro Chutney
It's not as popular with the U.S. audience as it is with the British (yet), but it seems that as palates are shifting and folks are becoming more and more accustomed to spicier foods, jalfrezi is getting primed to win over this side of the pond as well. With its origins in China, jalfrezi is more similar in its cooking method to dry-fried Chinese dishes rather than the typical wet Indian curry. This one incorporates chickpeas, potatoes and spinach, and a simple chutney of cilantro, garlic, chile, and lime juice finishes it off.
Grilled Hearts of Palm Tacos
Once grilled, hearts of palm take on a deeply nutty, sweet flavor that's almost like charred corn; marinate them beforehand and you add an herbaceous flavor note to the filling. Alongside a crunchy, spicy cabbage slaw and salsa verde, this is a dish that will satisfy whenever the taco craving strikes.
Sopes with Refried Beans and Salsa Verde
Crispy fried sope shells, followed by a rich and creamy layer of refried beans, a drizzle of hot and tangy salsa verde, crunchy toasted pepitas, and a fresh sprinkle of onions, jalapeños, and cilantro make for a filling meal with a whole slew of textures.
Chickpea Cakes with Mashed Avocados
Made with coarsely pureed chickpeas and a ton of fresh herbs, these falafel-esque chickpea cakes are breaded on the outside with panko to give them the ultimate crunchy exterior.
Zucchini and Squash Pan Pizza with Red Onion and Pistachios
Zucchini and squash cover the surface of this pan pizza, while red onions crisp and caramelize as it bakes. Pistachios and olive oil add richness and complexity.
Easy Pan Pizza With Potato, Onion, and Rosemary
Maybe it's not the best everyday fare, but there's no denying that the carb-on-carb deliciousness of layered sliced potatoes and mashed potatoes on top of a great pizza crust is irresistible.
Easy Pan Pizza With Sun-dried Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, Olives, and Breadcrumbs
With an olive salad, caramelized onions, and breadcrumbs, this square pie pizza is so rich and intensely flavored that you'll never even realize it has no cheese.
Mexican Fried Eggplant Sandwiches (the Torta and the Pambazo)
Fried eggplants and roasted poblanos are the base of this sandwich stuffed with chipotle-molasses refried beans, lettuce, pickled red onions, and avocado. For the ultimate indulgence, coat the whole thing in enchilada sauce and griddle it.
Mexican Mushroom and Spinach Sandwich
Sauteed spinach and mushrooms stuffed into grilled Mexican-style sandwiches.
Sweet Potato Banh Mi
Crisp, tender, crunchy, rich, creamy, sweet, sour, spicy, this sandwich has got it all (and with no meat, to boot!).
Broccoli Rabe and Antipasti Panini with Olive Salad
Juicy, garlicky broccoli rabe braised in a dry white wine provide moisture and texture; roasted peppers add a bit of fruity tartness and smoky depth; marinated artichoke hearts are herbal and funky; and sun-dried tomatoes have that dried fruit thing going. Stick'em together, and—hey!—you got something that works just as well as the original muffuletta and for all the same reasons, while simultaneously being brand new.
Fried Eggplant Sandwich with Eggplant Mayo
An eggplant parmesan sandwich without the cheese, this recipe uses (vegan!) eggplant mayonnaise to contribute the richness that mozzarella ordinarily would.
Braised Kale and Chickpea Sandwich with Sumac Onions
Braised greens are one of my favorite sandwich fillings. A messy sandwich of braised kale and chickpeas topped with sumac onions is a hearty, filling, and delicious combo.
Hearty Vegetable Stock
A great vegan stick should be complex and rich—the perfect base for a soup or stew. The good news? It can be done, and in less than half the time of a meat-based stock.
Hearty Vegetable Soup
Good, homemade stock is the backbone to many a soup, and this one is no exception. With a ton of veggies and potatoes and a touch of cornstarch to give it body, this is a soup to get you through the rest of winter.
15-Minute Creamy Tomato Soup
Making excellent tomato soup from scratch at home is almost as easy as opening a can, and the return on your minor time investment is significant. This version is sort of like a hot gazpacho, in that it's emulsified with bread and olive oil.
Lentil soup is one bowl of brown sludge that I can really get behind. It hits that sweet spot of being not so unappetizing that you wouldn't even try it, but being just unappetizing enough that the mental shock of how good it tastes compared to how it looks is enough to send an endorphin jolt running through your system.
Lentil and Coconut Soup with Cilantro-Habañero Gremolata
This recipe is a true hybrid. It starts with a traditional French mirepoix base of onions, carrots, and celery cooked down in extra virgin olive oil, but then gets a bare hint of flavors with a curry bent—ginger, garlic, hot chili, a touch of coriander and cumin and a jar of coconut milk. An unconventional gremolata topping turns a run-of-the-mill wacky lentil soup into something downright fancy tasting.
White Bean and Spinach Soup with Rosemary and Garlic
This hearty white bean soup with spinach flavored with garlic and rosemary is a great winter warmer, perfect for those evenings when you've just come home from a day on the slopes or from romping with the dogs in the park or taking photos of majestic snowy owls, or whatever it is that active winter folks do in this day and age. The real magic of the recipe is the way the starch released from the beans helps the extra-virgin olive oil (and do use your best extra virgin for this) to emulsify with the liquid, creating a rich, spoon-coating texture in no time at all.
Roasted Squash and Raw Carrot Soup
Squash and carrots go very well together. They're both orange (duh), both have a great sweet-and-savory flavor profile, and both take well to conversion into creamy soup form. This soup, which calls for roasting the squash and juicing the raw carrot, is a little deeper, a little more complex.
Smoky Charred Cauliflower and Potato Soup with Kale
The Portuguese soup of caldo verde (literally "green broth") is about as simple as it gets when it comes to vegetable soups, yet its simplicity is the key to its comforting success. At its most basic, starchy potatoes are simply simmered with onions and kale until the kale is tender and flavorful, the onions have melted into the broth, and the potatoes completely disintegrate, thickening the soup into a rich, thick stew. Some really good olive oil drizzled over the top, and you've got a great, filling lunch or dinner. Here, the cauliflower gets charred, taking on a meaty taste, and the addition of chipotle chiles echoes that smokiness.
Creamy Fingerling Potato Salad
The problem with potato salads is, most of them rely on mayonnaise for richness, an ingredient that unfortunately vegans can't consume. With this recipe, you get all the delicious creaminess of a traditional potato salad, without all the trouble of making a vegan mayonnasie.
Jicama and Pomelo Salad with Spicy Thai Dressing
Hearty make-ahead salads have become a staple for me, ready to be pulled out and consumed at moments notice, whether as a hearty dish at dinner, a quick midnight snack, or a full-on lunch. This one is designed to take advantage of the awesome pomelos I've been seeing around this season. It combines the bittersweet pomelo with crunchy jicama and bean sprouts, along with cilantro, peanuts, fried shallots, and a sweet-and-hot Thai-style lime-based fat-free dressing.
Spicy Peanut Noodle Salad with Cucumbers, Red Peppers, and Basil
A little spicy, a little sweet, a little salty, chewy Chinese noodles with cucumbers, peppers, and scallions coated in a chunky peanut sauce is a tasty, filling meal that's hard to get tired of. This version is made with far fewer noodles and many more vegetables. Indeed, it's now more of a vegetable salad with a few noodles added in for textural contrast.
Marinated Kale and Chickpea Salad With Sumac Onions
If you've never tried a marinated kale salad, it might just rock your world. Here's how it works. Take your raw kale, dress it with a standard vinaigrette, let it sit overnight in the fridge, and boom—what was once a tough, leafy green is now tender and crisp. The greatest part about it is that after marinating, the salad will last for days and days without losing its crispness. This salad also calls for chickpeas and onions, making it a hearty side or light lunch.
Beet and Citrus Salad with Pinenut Vinaigrette
Beets and citrus are a classic combination. This salad combines grapefruit, orange, roasted beets, and bit of arugula for some peppery kick. Nuts, in this case pine, go great with beets, and a vinaigrette made with sherry vinegar, shallots, walnut oil, and a touch of agave nectar sweetens the whole thing.
Toast With Refried Beans and Avocado
This has become my go-to breakfast as a vegan. Refried beans spread on toast with some sliced avocado, coarse sea salt, and a few slivers of onion.
Breakfast Garlic Toast
Toast drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkled with parsley, garlic, and red pepper flakes? As long as you don't mind the effects it might have on your breath, it makes for a fine start to the day.
Toasted Oatmeal with Maple Syrup, Cranberries, and Raspberries
Toasted steel-cut oats cooked with berries and drizzled with maple syrup makes a killer breakfast, even for non-vegans.
Crispy Potato, Onion, and Mushroom Rösti
Potatoes, onions, and mushrooms are crispy and golden brown on the outside, creamy and tender in the middle.
Chilaquiles with Pepitas, Charred Corn, and Black Beans
Chilaquiles are a classic Mexican breakfast dish that can be pretty aptly described as a fried tortilla casserole. Crisp chips are soaked in salsa (in this case a bright and tangy salsa verde made from tomatillos) until just barely softened but still mildly crunchy. This recipe combines black beans with charred corn, along with a few slices of avocado and a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds for a meal that's not only balanced in carbs, protein, and high in good green vegetables, but is crazy delicious to boot.
Steamed Buns with Tempura King Oyster Mushrooms
Fried-things-in-sandwiches has been a recurring theme throughout Vegan Month, and for good reason; they're delicious! Here is sandwich #3: tempura-battered oyster mushrooms with simmered daikon root. The two play off each other to make a crunchy, savory, chewy filling, and are perfectly complemented by a miso-agave mayonnaise.
Steamed Buns with Simmered Daikon and Shiitake, Pickled Bean Sprouts, and Spicy Mayonnaise
Steamed buns stuffed with spicy vegan mayo, braised daikon radish and shiitake mushroom, and pickled mung bean sprouts.
Spicy Cabbage Slaw
A quick-pickled cabbage slaw flavored with allspice and habanero. Great as a side dish or as a condiment in tacos or sandwiches.
Miso-Marinated Portobello Carpaccio
These 'shrooms are marinated in a miso-based sauce that adds a rich, meaty flavor to the already umami-filled mushroom. They're then roasted and sliced thin, served carpaccio-style: sprinkled with coarse salt, black pepper, lemon zest, greens, and really good olive oil. Crushed pistachios add their nutty sweetness.
Fried Plantains with Black Beans, Roasted Poblanos, Avocado, and Pickled Red Onion
Patacones are the Colombian equivalent of Caribbean tostones—double-fried green plantains. Just like cooking a french fry, you start with a starchy chunk of green plantain, cook it once at a low temperature, then cook it a second time at a higher temperature to crisp it up. The difference is that with patacones, you smash them into a flat disk in between. This shape makes them ideal for loading up with toppings. This version calls for black beans (canned are fine), roasted poblano peppers, slices of creamy avocado, and a few pickled red onions.
Crispy Bánh Mì Spring Rolls With Creamy Chili Mayo
Spring rolls are great, as are the flavors of bánh mì, so why not stick 'em together? These rolls are stuffed with pickled carrots and daikon radish, cucumber, jalapeño, and cilantro. The sauce is made with a mixture of homemade vegan mayonnaise and spicy chili-garlic sauce. Creamy, spicy, crispy, tangy, and a little greasy, they hit all the notes you want in a game time snack.
Bean-Stuffed Deep Fried Jalapeños with Salsa Roja
Yes, these are derivative of jalapeño poppers, but jalapeños are great, refried beans are great, and golden brown and crunchy is great, so why not stick them all together? Crisp on the outside and creamy in the middle, they come out of the fryer super hot, so make sure you've got plenty of cold beer on-hand.
Smoky Potato and Caper Empanadas with Cilantro Sauce
Who doesn't love empanadas, particularly when they're deep fried to a perfectly crisp, flaky finish? These pastry pockets are stuffed with a mixture of cooked potatoes and capers flavored with a touch of chipotle and a dash of madras curry powder. The flavor combo is perhaps a bit unusual, but it's pretty fantastic, especially drizzled with a spicy cilantro chutney.
Real Deal Dan Dan Noodles
Dan Dan noodles are an ultra-simple dish of cold or warm noodles placed in a bowl with a ladleful of highly seasoned sauce poured on top. In this vegan version, starch-laden noodle water is used in place of chicken stock to bind the sauce to the noodles, and dry-fried mushrooms are used to give the meatiness and texture usually imparted by pork. It's finished off with fermented chili bean paste, black vinegar, pickled mustard root, and plenty of hot chili oil. Gentlemen, start your slurpring.
Spicy Vegan Refried Beans
Spicy, rich, and creamy refried beans flavored with a touch of chipotle.
Spicy Warm Silken Tofu with Celery and Cilantro Salad
Warm silken tofu dressed in a sesame and chili vinaigrette with a salad of cilantro, scallions, and celery.
This eggless mayo relies on silken tofu for its creamy, spreadable texture.
This version is totally vegan-friendly, and so authentic-tasting that even a Korean grandmother would approve.
A sweet-and-savory condiment that goes perfectly in sandwiches or for dipping tempura-fried vegetables.