Vegan Sautéed Veggies

I was perusing Instagram the other day when I ran across a post of a fellow gardener pulling baby carrots from one of their garden beds. And I don’t mean baby carrots like the ones you buy in the store that look like toe-nubs (sorry, but they do). The carrots they pulled out of the dirt looked just like a carrot you’d find at the farmer’s market or fine grocery store – green tops and all – just much, much, much smaller. This made me think about how my own forgotten carrots might be doing in my own garden. I had previously given up hope on them, thinking that maybe I’d planted them too late, or in the wrong soil, or just in general did it wrong. I decided to follow my fellow Instagram gardeners lead and see if I couldn’t find some baby carrots as well. Lo and behold, a little digging and whole lot of giggling later, I amassed a fairly big bunch of teeny tiny baby carrots. This led me to also pull out my itty bitty beet babies which weren’t as cute as the carrots but still just as exciting to harvest.

After harvesting, I realized that I wasn’t quite sure what to do next. I had never seen such tiny root vegetables before and wondered what I could with them, if anything at all. First things first, I ate one of the carrots, and WOW did it pack more flavor than it looked like it would. It had that usual carrot flavor but with some serious kick. I guess that’s just how homegrown vegetables are in general. They have the same overall flavor of store bought veggies, but they’re always SO much tastier. What I ended up deciding was to use the baby carrots, the tiny beets and a few other garden finds to make lunch. After all, what’s better than a meal with garden ingredients? A meal made completely and entirely from items harvested from the garden. In addition to the carrots and beets, I had a butt-load of squash, a bunch of kale, several different kinds of fresh herbs and of course the carrot and beet tops. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to make the carrot tops work, so I ended up only using the beet tops in this particular meal. I had never used beet tops in cooking before so it was a fun experiment that turned out to be even more delicious than I could have hoped. The lunch that resulted was filling and flavorful and could also be used as a side to a nice dinner or barbecue. I imagine you could even get more creative with it and throw it on top of some pasta or quinoa for an even more satisfying dish. For me, the ingredients were satiating enough for a lunch dish, so that’s the recipe I will share here.

Overall, this meal was insanely flavorful, super healthy, and all in all just so exciting to make and eat. If you have a garden at home, I urge you to just have fun with what you’ve got. Food doesn’t have to follow rules or recipes and often times I think the freedom makes things a bit more flavorful. I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Sautéed Veggies

1/2 cup carrots, cut into small pieces if necessary

1/2 cup beets, cut into small pieces if necessary

1 small yellow squash, sliced into half coins

1 handful of kale, chopped

1 handful of beet tops, chopped

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

2 Tbsp vegan butter

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat vegan butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once melted add the carrots, beets and rosemary and cover, cooking for about 7 minutes or until slightly tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add squash, and a few shakes of salt and pepper, stir occasionally and cook until squash is tender.
  3. Lastly add the kale and the beet tops, continue to stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the greens have wilted a bit. Add more salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
  4. Serve warm and enjoy!

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Croutons

During times like these, it’s comforting to have food that has a long shelf life. Butternut squash, along with most other winter squashes, will last 1-2 months if stored in a cool, dark place like a pantry. This makes it a great pantry stocking option that is nutritious as well as tasty. Another great reason to get some butternut squash these days is that it’s high in Vitamin C and boosts immune systems. It’s also high in potassium, fiber and vitamin A, making it a great vegetable to add to your diet.

I absolutely love this soup. It is so warming and flavorful that sometimes I make it in double batches and put half in the freezer for later. It’s a seriously comforting soup that when paired with some crispy sourdough sage croutons makes you crave those colder rainy soup days. It is easy to make, but it can take some time to roast the squash fully so make sure you account for that. I suppose if you wanted to save time, you could cut up the squash before cooking, but I haven’t tried that myself. Once the squash is cooked this recipe is easy peasy to complete. I use my immersion blender for this soup (and many of my other soup recipes). If you do not have an immersion blender, carefully use a regular blender to blend soup to your desired consistency. Let’s get to it!

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Croutons

1 large butternut squash, halved and seeds scooped out

1 apple, I like granny smith but any apple will do, diced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

5 fresh sage leaves, dry could work too, chopped

2 cups of vegetable broth

1 can coconut milk – place in the refrigerator so you can scoop out the cream layer

1/2 cup water

Salt and pepper to taste

Sourdough Sage Croutons

A couple pieces of sourdough bread, ripped into bite-size chunks

3 fresh sage leaves, chopped

1/2 tsp or less of oil, this is just to add a drizzle to the pan for cooking the croutons

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and stab the fleshy parts of your halved squash all over with a fork. Place on a baking sheet (you could add foil or parchment paper at this point to keep clean up easy). Bake for about an hour or until your squash is soft when pierced with a fork. Don’t start the next part until the squash is done or close to being done, or you will finish too early.
  2. Place diced apple and onion in a large pot with a little bit of water (maybe a couple Tbsp – you could also use oil here if you wish). Over medium heat, cook apple and onion until onion becomes translucent and apple is soft, stirring frequently. This takes me about 5-7 minutes, but may take longer depending on your stove. Add chopped sage and stir to combine.
  3. When the squash is finished cooking, remove from the oven and you can let it cool before this next part or be crazy like me and try to do it while it’s scalding hot – just be super careful. Scoop out the fleshy inside of the squash and add to your pot (which is still over medium heat). Keep scooping until all flesh is removed and in your pot.
  4. Add broth, water, coconut cream and some salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  5. Turn the heat to medium high and bring to a low boil. Once boiling point is reached, lower the heat and let the soup simmer for at least 20 minutes. I like to simmer a little longer to really get the sage flavor out, but it’s up to you.
  6. While the soup is simmering, make your sage croutons. Add a small drizzle of oil to a pan and heat over medium-high heat.
  7. Place ripped bread chunks and sage into the pan with the oil and stir. Dash a little bit of salt and pepper.
  8. Continue to stir frequently over medium-high heat until the chunks become crispy.
  9. Once soup is done simmering, use an immersion blender to blend the ingredients until smooth or to desired consistency.
  10. It is now ready to serve! Sprinkle your croutons over your soup and maybe add some vegan parmesan cheese. YUM!

Vegan Teriyaki Tofu Bowls

Tofu is not something we eat very often in our house, but when I do make it, I want it to be as flavorful and least tofu-like as possible. This teriyaki bowl recipe is a great vegan substitute for a typical chicken teriyaki bowl with vegetables and rice. If you prefer to not include tofu, you could also just increase your serving of vegetables since edamame and broccoli are decent sources of protein. Ordinarily, I would probably also make this with brown rice, but was in a rush so decided to go with white rice instead.

Tofu is best when as much liquid is squeezed out as possible and replaced with a marinade or sauce. Whatever sauce you use will soak into the tofu lending it that particular flavor. This teriyaki sauce recipe is adapted from Mayim Bialik’s cookbook Mayim’s Vegan Table. It is a good sauce for when you’re in a little bit of a hurry, since it puts out strong flavoring without too much marinating time needed. I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Teriyaki Tofu Bowls

White or brown rice, prepared according to package instructions

2 red bell peppers, chopped

2 small broccoli crowns, chopped

1 cup of edamame

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup mirin

2 Tbsp 100% natural maple syrup

1 package of extra firm tofu

1. Wrap tofu in paper towels and press to release fluids. While tofu is pressing create sauce by whisking together the soy sauce, mirin and maple syrup.

2. When fluid is sufficiently removed from tofu, cut into 1/4 inch slices down the short side of the block of tofu. Place slices into sauce, making sure every piece is covered in sauce as much as possible.

3. While tofu soaks, prepare your vegetables. Tofu should soak for a minimum of 10-15 minutes for best flavor. Once the rest of the ingredients are prepared, place the vegetables and a few tablespoons of water into a large skillet over medium heat. Place lid on pan and let vegetables steam, stirring occasionally.

4. Cook the tofu in a separate nonstick pan while vegetables cook. Place pieces of tofu into heated nonstick pan over medium heat. Cook 4-5 minutes per side. Repeat until all pieces are cooked. You can use remaining sauce to flavor vegetables if desired. Pour sauce over steaming vegetables.

5. Serve bowls with a scoop of rice, a large scoop of vegetables and 5-6 slices of tofu.

Quick & Easy Vegan Enchiladas

I could probably eat Mexican-style food every day for a year and not grow tired of it. Even eating as a vegan without real cheese, Mexican food is hands down some of the tastiest and satisfying type of food out there. I love this recipe in particular because it’s packed with veggies, it’s quick and it’s easy to make. The most time consuming part is either the chopping or the rolling of the enchiladas themselves, but if you’ve got even a small amount of skill in the kitchen these tasks should take no time at all.

These enchiladas go great with some rice on the side (add some cilantro and lime to your rice for an extra delicious side) or eat them on their own – they are pretty filling! I like to make these with flour tortillas, but you could totally use corn if you prefer. I should also mention that I did eat these for leftovers but the avocado does turn dark after only a night in the fridge. It didn’t taste bad, but if you’re looking to use these for meal prep, maybe leave the avocado out until you’re ready to serve. I can’t wait to make these again!

Quick & Easy Vegan Enchiladas

7-10 tortillas (flour or corn is fine, I only had giant burrito tortillas on hand so I used those. Have enough to fill whatever pan you’re using)

1 avocado diced

1 large tomato diced

1/2 red onion, diced

8 oz corn (I used frozen because that’s what I had, but canned or fresh would work too)

1 8oz can green chiles

1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 28oz can green enchilada sauce

Your choice of vegan cheese for topping

Other topping ideas – olives, salsa, more avocado

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place all ingredients except tortillas, enchilada sauce and toppings in a large bowl and gently mix together.
  2. Grab a 9×13 baking pan and pour about 1 cup of sauce into the bottom of the pan.
  3. Place a tortilla in the pan and smother with the enchilada sauce you just poured.
  4. Fill tortilla with the vegetable mixture and roll up like a burrito (see gallery above for step by step images).
  5. Continue step 3 and 4 until you have filled the pan. I really like to squeeze them in there. If you run out of sauce along the way, just pour more in. This really isn’t an exact science, just make sure your tortillas are nice and saucy.
  6. Once your pan is full, top the enchiladas with more sauce, vegan cheese and any other desired topping.
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
  8. Enjoy!

Vegan Penne Primavera

I’ve almost reached 2 whole months of eating vegan, and I gotta say, I like how it’s going. The food is delicious, made of fresh ingredients, and I don’t feel like crap after eating it. This particular recipe is going to be a new favorite in my house because I always seem to have random unused veggies and pasta (usually gluten-free or whole wheat). I love how the aroma of the vegetables filled the house and went so beautifully with the herbs. It was super easy to make too. The most time consuming part is chopping all the veggies, but so many grocery stores sell these pre-sliced now you could always go that route if you wanted to save even more time.

Feel free to sub in whatever veggies you have on hand for this dish. Just be sure to add them at the right times for cooking. For example, I added the broccoli first since I knew that would take the longest and the roma tomatoes last since I knew I really only wanted those warmed and not super mushy. You can also use whatever type of pasta you prefer. I like penne because it’s easy to get a good bite with pasta and vegetables in it all at once. This particular penne was gluten free so you could always do that as well, or heck make some zoodles if you’re looking for something without any carbs. Lastly, feel free to leave the oil out of this as well and instead add a small amount of water when cookies the veggies. I did use oil in this dish this time. I have been leaving oil out of my food for the last three weeks or so, so I didn’t feel like a tablespoon or two of good olive oil would hurt. I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Penne Primavera

12 oz of your favorite penne – cooked and drained

1 zucchini, halved and sliced

1 squash, halved and sliced

1 head of broccoli, chopped

2 carrots, thinly sliced

2 roma tomatoes, halved and sliced

1 Tbsp olive oil (or water for cooking the vegetables)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp thyme

salt and pepper to taste

Non-dairy mozzarella for topping, if desired

  1. Add the broccoli and the carrots to a large skillet over medium high heat with olive oil (or water) and let cook covered for about 5 minutes
  2. Add zucchini, squash, and garlic and cover. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until vegetables reach desired consistency.
  3. Add roma tomatoes at the end and stir to combine. Add thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Once all vegetables are cooked, mix in the penne pasta.
  5. Top with non-dairy mozzarella or parmesan if desired.
  6. Enjoy!

Vegan Applesauce Ginger Oatmeal

Oatmeal is an easy and filling breakfast staple. Mix it with fruit and you’ve got yourself something really tasty. This particular version uses my Easy Sugar-Free Applesauce recipe, or you can use your favorite applesauce instead. I do add sugar as well but if you prefer to leave that out feel free to do so. I love the kick of the ginger especially as a morning pick-me-up and the almond milk added at the end gives this oatmeal the perfect creamy texture. The portions here make about 4 servings so adjust as necessary for your family. It also keeps well as leftovers in the fridge for a few days if you enjoy meal-prepping.

Vegan Applesauce Ginger Oatmeal

1 cup old fashioned oats

2 cups water

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup applesauce

2 tsp brown sugar

Pinch of salt

Almond milk, or other milk alternative for topping

  1. Bring water and oats to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and allow oats to cook fully.
  2. Add all ingredients except almond milk and mix well.
  3. Make sure all ingredients are warmed through.
  4. Serve in a bowl and top with desired amount of milk alternative.
  5. Enjoy!

Vegan Oil-Free Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

roasted stuffed sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite ingredients. They are versatile, easy to cook and inexpensive, making them a great option for any meal. This particular meal is great because you can eat it any time of day depending on what ingredients you use. I used this recipe for lunch for the last couple of days and it is so filling and delicious! The other great part is that this recipe does not use any oil making it an especially healthy plant-based dish.

Like I said before, this recipe is incredibly versatile. You can sub out whatever ingredients and spices you like and use them to stuff your sweet potato. These particular ingredients were what I had on hand which made it super easy to make for a somewhat quick and healthy lunch. I’ve seen breakfast variations as well that include almond butter and bananas and maple syrup and definitely think I will have to try that next.

Vegan Oil-Free Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

2 medium to large sweet potatoes, washed

1/2 red onion, diced

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can corn, drained

1 cup quinoa, cooked

1 large tomato, diced

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

Juice of 1 lime

Salt & pepper

Toppings: guacamole, Fritos, cilantro, vegan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Poke sweet potatoes all over with a fork and roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until soft when stabbed with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, cook onion in a pan over medium-high heat until soft.
  3. Once cooked add beans, corn, spices, lime juice and quinoa and mix until well combined.
  4. Cook ingredients until warmed through.
  5. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and once cool enough, cut them in half.
  6. Place one half in a bowl and top with quinoa mixture.
  7. I topped mine with homemade guac, some fritos and some vegan cheddar cheese. Top with whatever you like or have available! Enjoy!

Vegan Sweet Potato and Portabello Fajitas

Fajitas are easily in my list of top five easy dinners. They are quick, they are cheap and they are absolutely delectable. These particular fajitas are also great because the ingredients are so versatile. Don’t like mushrooms? Add more sweet potatoes. Not a sweet potato fan? Add more mushrooms! Or heck, go get some Beyond Meat chicken strip thingies and leave both out if you prefer, but I hope you won’t! Because the sweet potatoes and Portabello mushrooms are absolutely divine in this recipe. Especially when mixed with some fresh smashed guacamole. Mmm, mm, mmmmmm. Okay, honestly, everything is delish with guacamole – am I right?

When I made this recipe, I cooked the mushrooms separately from the rest of the veggies because hubs doesn’t like them, but you can totally cook all veggies in the same pan to save time. Another tip is to always wrap your sheet pans with foil before roasting veggies. This makes for super easy clean up at the end – you’ll thank me later. Another tip that’s helpful if you’re not super familiar with Portabellos (like me), is to scrape the gill looking portion of the portabello caps out before slicing and cooking. The gills area very dark brown and can turn whatever else is in the pan with them dark brown as well making it look less than appetizing. They are easy to scoop, just use a small spoon and carefully scrape the bottoms of the mushroom caps. You can then rinse if you’d like or go to straight to slicing. They are super delicious cooked up and in these fajitas! You won’t be sorry! (Also, sorry for the poor image quality – I took videos and forgot to take photos so these are crappy screenshots)

Vegan Sweet Potato & Portabello Fajitas

3 Portabello mushroom caps, scraped and sliced into about 1/2″ wide pieces

2 Sweet potatoes (or garnet yams), cut into wedges

1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow bell peppers, sliced

1 yellow onion, sliced

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

Salt and Pepper

Olive oil

Guacamole or salsa for topping

Tortillas

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place sweet potato wedges on a prepared sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and half the cumin plus salt and pepper. Once preheated, bake sweet potato wedges for about 25 minutes or until cooked to desired consistency.
  2. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, heat 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil in a pan and add veggies (or you can cook them separately for picky eaters).
  3. Season with cumin, garlic powder and salt and pepper.
  4. Once potatoes and veggies are cooked, you can add them all to the same pan for easy serving.
  5. Add a scoop of veggies and potatoes to a tortilla, top with guacamole or salsa if desired and enjoy!

Vegan Tomato Soup

Soup is easily one of my favorite categories of foods. Tomato, potato, squash, chowders you name it, I love it. This is partly why I become so excited for colder weather, even though I consider myself a summertime kinda gal. Soups are comforting and filling, but can also be surprisingly simple and easy to make. This vegan tomato soup is no exception.

In my journey to try and recreate all my favorite recipes as vegan versions, I knew I had to try and duplicate my favorite tomato soup recipe. It’s so satisfying with a little bit of a spicy kick and pairs great with a vegan grilled cheese sandwich. What makes this recipe even better is it’s simplicity. There’s only one onion and some garlic to chop up, and eventually everything gets blended into soup consistency. You can use either a blender or I like to use my immersion blender, just be sure to be soup-er careful with your hot soup. If it flings out of that pot whilst you blend, you’re going to have some not so fun burns on your hands (and possibly the rest of your body). The vegan grilled cheese I mentioned before is made with some sourdough bread and Daiya’s Plant-Based Cheddar Style slices. I found that these melt super nicely on the stove without too much effort, and they have a great cheesey flavor that goes great with this soup. I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Tomato Soup

1/2 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 28oz cans whole tomatoes

Dash Tabasco sauce

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried basil leaves

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened, plain

  1. Place onion, garlic, bay leaf, Tabasco sauce and olive oil in the bottom of a large pot and cook on medium heat until onions are translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes, brown sugar, basil and almond milk. Use the back of your spoon to crush the tomatoes and bring just to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes stirring frequently.
  3. After 10 minutes, remove the bay leaf and blend until smooth using an immersion blender. Be extra careful with this step. I usually leave the blender submerged fully in the mixture to avoid splatter.
  4. Once blended, add the vegetable broth and heat until warmed through.
  5. Serve with a vegan grilled cheese sandwich.

Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo

It’s finally fall and that means all the pumpkin flavors you can handle. This recipe may seem surprising, but having used pumpkin purée with pasta before I hoped it would turn out as delicious as it did. The pumpkin gives this pasta dish an undeniable creaminess that won’t have you thinking twice about it being dairy-free.

This recipes does use almond milk, but you could substitute that for any type of dairy substitute you like. I typically have almond milk on hand so I went with that out of convenience. Since this recipe only calls for 1/2 a cup of pumpkin purée, keep in mind that you can save the leftover purée for future recipes like vegan pumpkin bread or muffins.

I love combining pumpkin with garlic. It creates such a surprising flavor combination that will leave even pumpkin-haters in awe. Savory with a tid bit of sweet really makes this pasta dish pop, and I can’t wait to make it again this season. I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo

4-6 servings of fettuccine cooked and drained (I used gluten free fettuccine for this, but you can use whatever pasta you have on hand)

1/2 cup pumpkin purée (I used canned)

1/2 cup almond milk (or other milk substitute)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/8 tsp nutmeg

2-4 fresh sage leaves (2 for cooking, 2 for garnish if desired)

Salt and pepper to taste

Cornstarch to thicken if needed

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat.

2. Once heated add the garlic and 2 sage leaves. Cook until fragrant about 2 minutes.

3. Add pumpkin purée and stir to combine.

4. Slowly pour in almond milk and mix. Mix in spices.

5. Let simmer for about 5 minutes to thicken sauce. If sauce does not thicken add cornstarch, about 1 tsp at a time to desired consistency.

6. Once the sauce is finished, mix in the cooked pasta. Serve immediately.