This Mexican quinoa is one of my favorite lazy (yet tasty and nutritious) meals! It comes together in about 30 minutes and uses ingredients you likely already have in your fridge and pantry – plus they’re pretty cheap! Hello, Rotel?
You could absolutely make a big batch of this quinoa at the beginning of the week and use it in salads, tacos, burritos, or eat it on its own – it’s an awesome prep-ahead dish! I’ve made variations of this dish over the years, but this is definitely my favorite way to do it.
1 tablespoon olive oil (or sauté in water for oil-free)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced (I used red but like yellow, too)
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cups quinoa, rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth (or vegan chicken broth)
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10 oz) can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies*
2 cups frozen or canned corn kernels
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
The juice of 1 lime
*(or try the Rotel HOT tomatoes with habaneros!)
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion and bell pepper in oil for 5 minutes or until soft.
Add the garlic and sauté another minute, until very fragrant.
Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, black beans, Rotel tomatoes and chilies, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is soft.
Mix in the lime juice, taste, and add additional salt/pepper to taste.
Serve and enjoy! I recommend topping with guacamole and salsa, or adding to salads, burritos, or tacos.
So, I’ve made countless chickpea salad recipes over the years. I always end up heavily modifying each one, so I decided to pull my favorite parts of my favorite recipes together to create one chickpea salad to rule them all.
This chickpea salad is packed with so much flavor, texture, and goodness. I hope ya like it!
For the above pinwheels: I spread some dijon mustard on a spinach wrap, then the chickpea salad, and topped with lettuce. Tightly roll the wrap into a log and use a bread knife to cut 1/2 inch pinwheels. Stick them on a plate and enjoy as a meal or serve them as appetizers.
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon stone ground dijon mustard
1 tablespoon agave (alternatively, maple syrup or coconut sugar)
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped dill pickle
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup diced red onion (green onion would work here, also)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dill (I used dry)
1 teaspoon paprika (I’ve also used Old Bay here)
1 tablespoon roasted sunflower seeds (optional)
the juice of half a large lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas with a fork or hand-masher until there are just a few whole chickpeas left.
Mix all of the other ingredients in with the mashed chickpeas, taste, and adjust seasonings to your preference.
Add the chickpea salad to a sandwich with lettuce and tomato, roll into pinwheels, add to wraps, have it with crackers, or just eat it out of the bowl!
Penne alla Vodka was one of the first recipes I ever made in my first apartment, around 5 years ago. Mind you, I wasn’t vegan at the time so I didn’t know about the wonders of cashew cream. But now I do and here we are.
This dish is simple, creamy, hearty, and delicious – what more could you want?
So why vodka?
“Along with the penne pasta, this dish generally contains cream sauce mixed with marinara sauce or tomato paste, which are a combination unusual in Italian cooking because the acidity of the tomatoes tends to make the oil in the cream separate. The ethanol (vodka) serves as an emulsifier, allowing the water and lipids to remain mixed together.”
“Ethanol is also thought to solvate certain flavors from the tomato that would otherwise be inaccessible in water. This is seen in other vodka sauces, as well.”
1 (28 oz) can of crushed or petite diced tomatoes (sometimes I’ll do a 15 oz can of each for a more interesting texture)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Penne, cooked according to box instructions
Fresh parsley or basil for serving (optional)
Add the cashews to a blender along with the nutritional yeast and water, and blend until very smooth.
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion in butter for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté another 2 minutes until the onions are soft and slightly browned, and the mixture is very fragrant.
Pour in the vodka and let cook for about 5 minutes, until the alcohol has cooked off.
Add the tomatoes, stir, and let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened – you may need to lower the heat some.
Stir in the cashew cream and cook for about 10 more minutes, until the sauce is thick and creamy.
Add salt and pepper to taste (I usually end up not needing any), and mix well.
Serve over penne cooked according to box instructions, top with parsley or basil, and enjoy!
*If using a high powered blender, you don’t need to pre-soak your cashews to soften them. If you’re short on time, you can immerse the cashews in boiling hot water for 15 minutes (don’t keep the water boiling, just make sure it’s very hot when you put the cashews in, and then let them sit)
Oh man… Have I mentioned my love for sun-dried tomatoes before? Yes? Well I’m gonna say it again – that intense, sweet-tart flavor is everything!
Some lovely sun-dried tomatoes along with sautéed onions and garlic, white wine, baby spinach, and a cashew cream sauce make this vegan pasta dish so creamy and flavorful!
The fusilli pasta really grabs as much of the sauce as possible – it’s awesome.
Cook up this dish and be amazed as your multiple cups of spinach are reduced to what seems like a tablespoon. We’ve all been there, am I right?
Caution: be sure to cook enough for all parties present because your house will be smelling heavenly. Thank you onion, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes.
Anyways, let’s get to it:
Prep time: 10 minutes – Cook time: 15 minutes – Serves: About 4 people
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or use this quick boil method*
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup vegetable broth or water (if using water, you may want to add a bit more salt)
1 tbsp of oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 of one medium yellow onion, finely diced
3 – 5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes in oil, roughly chopped
1/3 cup white wine (I used a vegan pinot grigio)
3 – 4 cups of baby spinach, optional
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
pasta water to thicken if needed
16 oz fusilli pasta, cooked (you could also use bowties, penne, fettuccine, you name it)
vegan parmesan for topping (optional)
Begin boiling the water for the fusilli pasta and cook according to package directions.
Make the cashew cream by blending cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and vegetable broth until very smooth.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan and sauté the onion with a pinch of salt. Cook until tender and translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
Then, toss in the sun-dried tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes.
Pour in the wine and simmer for a few more minutes until the wine has reduced by half. Add spinach, if using, and cook until wilted.
Stir in the cashew cream and a few cracks of fresh ground black pepper until combined. Cook to thicken. If it gets too thick, stir in small amounts of the pasta water until desired consistency is reached. Add in the pasta noodles and stir again to coat.
Top with vegan parmesan if you’d like, serve, and enjoy!
*Quick-boiling cashews: If you’re not someone who plans out far enough ahead to soak cashews overnight, you can add the cashews to a small sauce pan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, remove from the heat immediately, cover with a lid, and let sit for 10 minutes to soften.
I love serving this gravy over roasted garlic mashed potatoes or poutine (which – for those of you who may not know about this Canadian delicacy – is fries, gravy, and cheese curds). Obviously we ain’t cooking with any cheese curds here, but I’ve tried it with homemade vegan mozzarella as well as store-bought Violife feta and both are fantastic!
I’d absolutely bring this to a holiday get together or a potluck – you’d never know it’s vegan! Plus gravy boats are adorable and now you have an excuse to use one.
Taste this recipe as you go. You may not like it quite as salty as me, so you can always start with less soy sauce/vegan butter.
Fun fact about poutine that I just found via cottagelife.com: “The traditional story is that poutine originated in the 1950s in Warwick, Quebec, at a restaurant called Le Lutin qui rit. Upon being asked to add cheese curds to a customer’s fries, owner Fernand Lachance responded, “Ça va faire une mauditepoutine,” or, “That’s going to make a dreadful mess.”
And what a delicious mess indeed!
Prep time: 5 minutes – Cook time: 1 hour – Serves: about 6 people
1 small red or yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons vegan butter or olive oil
1 tsp organic sugar (I used coconut sugar)
2 cups vegetable broth
a few cracks of fresh ground pepper
Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium-low heat, then add in the diced onion.
Spread the onions in an even layer in the pan and let cook for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t stir too often or they won’t brown enough to caramelize! You may want to stir in a teaspoon of sugar after about 10 minutes to speed up the caramelization process. If they start to brown too quickly or are drying out, add a splash of water and turn the heat down a bit. If they aren’t caramelizing quickly enough, turn the heat up a bit.
Add the flour to the now caramelized onions and stir to mix well. It should be a paste-like texture.
Slowly whisk in the vegetable broth, pouring small amounts in at a time. Then whisk in the soy sauce as well.
Raise the heat to medium and allow the mixture to come to a simmer.
Stir often and reduce heat if necessary until you’ve reached a gravy consistency of your liking. It’s usually about 5-10 minutes for me.
Crack in some fresh ground pepper, and voila! Serve over mashed potatoes, poutine, or any other gravy vessel.
Note: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. You can reheat the gravy in the microwave or pour in back into a sauce pot on the stove. It may need a splash of water depending on how much it’s thickened.
No matter how many vegan meat alternatives come to market (like Beyond and Impossible), I’ll always love a good black bean burger. They pack so much flavor, and really spice up a plain ol’ burger in my humble opinion.
They’re great for any occasion, but I’m posting these on the 4th of July because Amurica, amiright? Make these for your guests and show off your thoughtfulness and the yumminess of vegan burgers, wahoo!
This recipe is loaded with spices and it makes me so happy. Making my own veggie burgers has been one of my recent favorite things to do. I love selecting and actually seeing all of the ingredients that go into the patties.
You can also make a large batch and freeze them! Way healthier, more delicious, and less expensive than spending $8 on a pack of 4 sad veggie patties in the freezer section.
Anyways, let’s get to it:
Ooooh, ahhhh, a glimpse into the future.
But first, it’s patty making time:
Behind the scenes of this recipe on my very serious and very professional Instagram (which is @plants_in_my_pants btw).
Okay this is more like it. Above are the patties prior to baking, ready for their glamour shot.
And… here they are again, post baking.
Burger contestant #1: The Classic American, sans red onion because the patty is already filled with them, ya know? You could definitely still add some fresh red onion for some color, crunch, and added onion-y-ness. In the realm of condiments, I just went with ketchup but usually am a fan of spicy mustard and some vegan mayo on my classic style burgers. This is about the patties, though, the patties.
Burger contestant #2: The Mexican Burger. Now we’re talking. I topped this one with cashew queso, pickled jalapeños, pico de gallo, and hot sauce. I’m not going to tell you what kind of hot sauce to use, because that is a personal choice not to be taken lightly. Some guac or avocado would have also been fabulous on this guy.
So… which path will you choose? (I mean obviously you can top with whatever the heck you want but let me just humor myself, okay?)
Prep Time: 10 minutes – Cook Time: 24 minutes – Makes 6 to 7 large patties
1/2 of one small onion (red or yellow)
1/2 of one red bell pepper
2 (14oz) cans of black beans, or 1 20oz can (drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup corn
flax egg (1 tablespoon flax meal + 2.5 tablespoons water, mixed in a small bowl and left to thicken for 5 minutes)
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
a few cracks of fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Sauté onion over medium heat for 3 minutes (either with a small bit of oil, or water for oil-free), add the bell pepper and cook for another 3 minutes or so until the onions are translucent and the peppers are tender but not mushy.
Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mash or use a food processor to mix. You want to still have some whole beans in there, so don’t go overboard with the mashing/mixing.
Form about 6 to 7 large patties, packing each one tightly.
Bake at 350F on a parchment lined baking sheet for 24 minutes, turning them halfway through.
Serve with your favorite burger toppings and enjoy! They’re also delicious crumbled in a taco salad.
To freeze these patties, place them on a baking sheet and stick them in the freezer for about 45 minutes. Then you can add them to a freezer bag or container and save for a later date. I like to add a small piece of parchment paper between each patty to prevent them from sticking together in the freezer. I’ve baked them thawed and from frozen, and both work just fine!
Before going vegan, there was this dish I really liked called Brazilian Shrimp Soup. I loved the creaminess of the coconut milk and heartiness of the rice and tomatoes. I realized that the shrimp in the dish wasn’t even the best part for me, and thought “duh – who needs shrimp anyways?!” Chickpeas are way cooler. (insert sunglasses emoji)
This vegan version is so
and animal-free! Yay!
The chickpeas add a delicious crunch and savoriness to this soup.
They make it heartier and healthier, too, of course!
I totally recommend serving the soup with some crusty bread to soak up all that creamy, tomatoey goodness.
15 minutes prep time – 35 minutes cook time – Serves about 4
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bell pepper, chopped (I used half a red and half a green for color)
1 small onion, chopped
1 can petite diced tomatoes (15oz, no salt added)
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz, no salt added)
3 – 4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup long-grain rice
1/2 can full fat coconut milk
2-3 cups of vegetable broth (depending on how thick you want it)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
The juice of half a lemon (about a 1 1/2 tbsps)
Green onion, chopped (to add on top at the end)
For the chickpeas:
1 can chickpeas (15 oz) drained and rinsed
1/4 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
a couple cracks of fresh ground pepper
optional: cayenne pepper to taste (I added a couple dashes)
Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and sauté for a few minutes. Then add the bell pepper and cook for another couple of minutes until the onions are translucent and soft. Next, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant (about a minute).
Add the rice, petite diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, and vegetable broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and let it cook for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is done.
Stir in the coconut milk and cook for another 5 – 10 minutes.
Finish by adding in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your preferences.
Serve in bowls and top with the roasted chickpeas and green onions. And some crusty bread if you’re so inclined!
For the chickpeas:
Preheat your oven to 400F.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to a parchment lined baking sheet (you could also use a silicon mat).
Toss with a drizzle of olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, salt, fresh black pepper, and ground cayenne pepper.
Bake for 25 minutes, making sure to stir halfway through to ensure they’re evenly cooked.
You’ll want to put the chickpeas in the oven around the time you’ve reduced the heat from a boil for the soup.
As I’m sure a handful of people close to me would tell you, this is basically my go-to meal. On the semi-rare occasion that I’m cooking only for myself, this recipe is such a staple!
Not only is it really tasty, it leaves my body feeling good afterwards.
This Roasted Chickpea and Broccoli Bowl is:
The variety of flavors and textures come together so nicely in this easy to make, quick to clean up meal. I make my own little hummus dressing for it, but you can use whatever!
Place the chickpeas and broccoli on your parchment-lined baking sheet, then season and toss. You could use a silicone baking mat in place of parchment paper, of course!
Make sure all of the chickpeas and pieces of broccoli are spread out some and touching the parchment paper. This will help them roast evenly and get crunchy.
While the chickpeas and broccoli are in the oven, whip up this simple hummus dressing. It consists of: hummus (duh), lemon juice, water, black pepper, dijon mustard, and garlic powder. Bet you have all those things at home!
If not, you can use a dressing you already have or just skip it altogether. The chickpeas are already very flavorful, and I’d recommend squeezing some lemon juice on the broccoli when it’s done. Or sprinkle it with some lemon pepper seasoning before baking.
When you’ve finished baking them, add the chickpeas and broccoli to a big bowl and throw in any other good stuff you have laying around. Then drizzle it with the hummus dressing and enjoy!
Sometimes I’ll add a few handfuls of baby spinach, hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax seeds, kalamata olives, or some cherry tomatoes like I did this day. I’ll make some roasted potatoes to throw in as well if I’m extra hungry or am serving it to more than just myself.
Bowls like this are a good way to get some additional nutrients, eat your colors, and use up whatever odds and ends you have sitting around in your kitchen.
1 can of chickpeas (15oz), drained and rinsed
A few handfuls of frozen broccoli florets
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
a dash of cayenne pepper
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
For the hummus dressing:
1 tbsp hummus
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp water
1/4 tsp dijon or stone ground mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
a crack of fresh ground pepper
Preheat your oven to 400F. Place chickpeas and frozen broccoli on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Add garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt to the chickpeas. Sprinkle the broccoli with salt. Toss everything to coat with spices. No need for oil!
Bake for 25 minutes, making sure to toss halfway through the cook time.
Eat a chickpea and examine your broccoli. Are they roasted and crunchy enough for your liking? If not, add them back to the oven for another 5 minutes.
Assemble a nice little bowl with the chickpeas, broccoli, and whatever yummy odds and ends you’d like. I threw in some cherry tomatoes.
Crack some pepper and drizzle the hummus dressing over top. Then enjoy!
Sometimes I’ll add a few handfuls of baby spinach, hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax seeds, kalamata olives, or some cherry tomatoes like I did this day. I’ll make some roasted potatoes to throw in as well if I’m extra hungry or am serving it to more than just myself!