Vegan Tuscan-Inspired Pasta Salad

Vegan Tuscan-Inspired Pasta Salad

This Tuscan-inspired pasta salad is summer’s best bud.

It’s packed with cannellini beans, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, red onion, black olives, vegan parmesan, and baby spinach. I’ve used bowtie/farfalle pasta, but you can use any short pasta that has nooks and crannies for the dressing and other ingredients to stick to. Think fusilli, rotini, penne. I also really recommend using fresh basil here because the flavor is unbeatable.

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You’ll need:

For the pasta salad:

  • Cooked pasta
  • Cannellini beans
  • Red onion
  • Sun-dried tomatoes or sliced cherry tomatoes
  • Baby spinach
  • Black olives
  • Vegan parmesan
  • Fresh basil

For the dressing:

  • Olive oil
  • White wine vinegar
  • Water
  • Dijon mustard
  • Agave or maple syrup
  • Garlic – fresh or dried minced
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Pepper

To make it:

Cook and drain your pasta, then toss with a bit of oil to prevent sticking. Set aside and allow to cool down a bit.

Combine all pasta salad ingredients in a large bowl.

For the dressing, pour all ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and give it a good shake. Pour over top of the salad and toss to combine. Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. I find it’s even better the next day 😉

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Serving suggestions:

Occasions I like to make pasta salad for include: picnics, backyard BBQs, family get-togethers, and potlucks. More often than not, though, I’ll just make a big batch during the week so I have something to snack on or use as a side dish for days.

Here are some mains to try out alongside this tuscan pasta salad:

Vegan Jalapeño Burgers

Buffalo Cauliflower & Ranch Coleslaw Pretzel Hoagies

Buffalo Chickpea Pizzas

No Mayo Chickpea Salad

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Vegan Tuscan Pasta Salad

Vegan Tuscan-Inspired Pasta Salad

Hannah
This Tuscan-inspired pasta salad is summer’s best bud. It’s packed with cannellini beans, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, red onion, black olives, vegan parmesan, and baby spinach.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 10 oz farfalle pasta
  • 1 (15oz) can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 large red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup julienne-cut sun dried tomatoes, in oil oil drained*
  • 1-2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 (6oz) can sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup vegan parmesan shredded
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil chopped

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar*
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp agave or maple syrup
  • 3 cloves minced garlic or dried garlic granules
  • 2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp kosher salt to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, toss with a little bit of olive oil to prevent sticking, set aside, and allow to cool.
  • Add all dressing ingredients to a jar with a lid, and shake to combine.
  • Toss all ingredients and the dressing in a large bowl.
  • Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Notes

*You can substitute 2 cups of sliced cherry tomatoes for the sun dried tomatoes
*Can substitute red wine vinegar for the white wine vinegar
Keyword pasta salad, tuscan pasta salad, vegan pasta salad

Vegan Caesar Dressing

Not to be dramatic, but this is the best vegan caesar dressing I personally have ever had. It’s egg-free, dairy-free, and anchovy-free! Just plop all of the ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth, and you’ve got a creamy, zingy, and super easy caesar dressing.

This recipe makes a decent amount, so you can store it in a glass jar in the fridge for salads/wraps/dipping all week.

Vegan caesar salad dressing
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What Do I Need to Make Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing?

  • Raw cashews
  • Water
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A lemon
  • Dijon mustard
  • Garlic
  • Vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • Capers
  • Hemp hearts
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Dried parsley
  • Salt & Pepper
Ingredients to make vegan caesar dressing.
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Serving Ideas:

Make a kale caesar salad with smoky roasted chickpeas! You’ll need:

  • Washed and chopped kale
  • 1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp each of:
    • garlic powder
    • onion powder
    • smoked paprika
    • kosher salt

How to make it:

Preheat your oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then toss the chickpeas, spices, and olive oil together. Bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway, until chickpeas are darkened in color and the outsides are crispy.

Massage desired amount of caesar dressing (recipe below) into your prepped kale. Massaging the kale breaks down its cell structure and makes the leaves softer/easier to eat. Use your hands and really get in there!

Top with the smoky roasted chickpeas, vegan parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon.

Vegan kale caesar salad with smoky roasted chickpeas.
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What Should I Serve With Vegan Caesar Dressing?

FAQ:

What can I use in place of vegan Worcestershire sauce?

Try substituting balsamic vinegar.

How do I soften cashews?

To soften cashews, you can soak them in water overnight or in very hot water for 30 minutes.

Can I make this recipe nut-free (no cashews)?

Try replacing the 1 cup of raw cashews with 1 cup of raw sunflower seeds. Make sure to soak them as you would cashews, and rinse them very well!

I don’t like capers. Can I leave them out?

No. Just kidding – you can leave them out if you MUST, but I really recommend leaving them in! Their salty brininess contributes so much to that caesar taste. If you opt to remove my beloved capers, I’d suggest using chopped green olives instead or adding a bit more of the dijon mustard and lemon juice.

Vegan caesar dressing.
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Vegan Caesar Dressing

Vegan Caesar Dressing

Hannah
Creamy, zingy, and so easy! This cashew-based vegan caesar dressing is egg-free, dairy-free, and anchovy-free.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 74 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup raw cashews softened*
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large lemon juice of, about 2-3 tbsp, and its zest
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce*
  • 1 tbsp capers heaping
  • 1 tsp hemp hearts
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. It will thicken as it chills.

Notes

*To soften cashews, you can soak them in water overnight or in very hot water for 30 minutes.
*My favorite vegan Worcestershire sauce is made by Annie’s. If you can’t find a vegan Worcestershire sauce, you could try substituting balsamic vinegar.
Keyword caesar dressing, caesar salad, vegan caesar dressing, vegan caesar salad

Vegan caesar dressing pin

Strawberry and Vegan Basil Ricotta Crostini with Balsamic Glaze

Crostini is one my favorite appetizers because:

1.) it’s easy

2.) it travels well, and

3.) it’s cute as heck.

I opted for a half cashew/half tofu ricotta because honestly I just think it tastes good, but also it’s more cost effective than using entirely cashews. If you’d like to only use tofu, you can just add the onions and garlic in with the rest of the ingredients and process once.

If you’re not wanting to make crostini today, you can use this ricotta in lasagna, pasta, on toast, in sandwiches, or however else you see fit!

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What you’ll need for this recipe:

  • balsamic vinegar and maple syrup for the glaze
  • olive oil
  • yellow onion
  • garlic
  • cashews
  • tofu
  • non-dairy milk
  • basil leaves
  • lemon juice
  • nutritional yeast
  • white miso paste
  • salt & pepper
  • strawberries
  • and a baguette
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Strawberry & Vegan Basil Ricotta Crostini with Balsamic Glaze

Strawberry and Vegan Basil Ricotta Crostini with Balsamic Glaze

Hannah
One of my favorite apps – crostini! This recipe features juicy sliced strawberries, vegan basil ricotta made with tofu and cashews, and balsamic glaze for drizzling over the top.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Servings 30 crostini (depending on size of baguette)

Ingredients
  

Balsamic Glaze

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Vegan Basil Ricotta

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews softened*
  • 7 oz firm tofu (1/2 block) drained and broken into chunks
  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves torn
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Crostini

  • 1 baguette
  • vegan basil ricotta
  • sliced strawberries
  • balsamic glaze
  • fresh basil

Instructions
 

Balsamic Glaze

  • Add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to a small sauce pan over medium heat. When it starts to bubble, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the liquid reduces by half, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool before using.

Vegan Basil Ricotta

  • Sauté onion and garlic in oil over medium heat until the onions soften and the edges are beginning to brown. Remove from heat.
  • Add cashews, milk, and the cooked onion and garlic to a food processor and process until smooth.
  • Add tofu, basil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, miso paste, salt, and pepper and process again until smooth. Taste and adjust the amount of salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice if needed.

Crostini

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Slice the baguette on a bias into 1/2 inch thick pieces, brush each side with oil, and bake for 5-7 minutes per side until edges are golden brown.
  • Top crostini with the ricotta, sliced strawberries, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, and fresh basil. Serve immediately.

Notes

*To soften cashews: place them in a bowl of very hot water for 20-30 minutes, or allow them to soak overnight in a bowl of water in the fridge
Balsamic vinegar can be drizzled over the top in place of the balsamic glaze, if desired.
 
Keyword crostini, ricotta crostini, strawberry basil crostini, vegan crostini
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Roasted Garlic & Dill Cashew Sauce

I’m always down for a new sauce. This roasted garlic and dill sauce is so good with sweet potato fries, crackers, veggies, as a potato salad dressing, a pasta sauce, or a sandwich spread.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cashews, softened*
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped dill
  • 1/2 tsp salt, to taste
  • fresh ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Roast garlic by chopping the top of the head off to expose the cloves. Place garlic on a square of foil and drizzle oil over top. Wrap the garlic in the foil and place in the oven for about 35 minutes or until very soft. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool before squeezing out the cloves into a blender.
  2. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add salt if needed, or more lemon juice for brightness.
  3. Serve with sweet potato fries, crackers, veggies, as a pasta sauce, or as a sandwich spread.

Notes:

*soften cashews either by soaking over night or placing in hot water for 30 minutes



Vegan Mac & Beer Cheese Bites

It’s almost finger food and funny commercial day! Also I hear there are sports involved. Whether you’re here for the snacks or the football, you’ve gotta make some fun food! Personally, I think no Super Bowl is complete with two things: cheese and beer. Thus, vegan mac & beer cheese bites! These bites definitely make enough to serve a crowd, or for you to have leftovers all to yourself (what I’ll be doing on account of covid).

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Makes about 48 bites. Spread out to two mini muffin tins or bake a second batch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 oz) box cooked elbow pasta, minus 1 cup
  • 1 cup soaked cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic or 1 teaspoon powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup beer (lager)
  • Grated vegan cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Add all ingredients except for beer to a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the cheese sauce into a saucepan with the beer, and heat over medium-low until thick and bubbly (5-10 minutes). Taste and season with more salt if needed. Stir the pasta noodles into the sauce.
  4. Lightly oil a mini muffin tin and spoon the mac and cheese into each hole. Pack the mac and cheese down tightly with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle some grated vegan cheddar cheese over the tops. Don’t skip this step because the cheddar shreds help keep the tops of the “muffins” together.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before gently removing each bite with a butter knife or the handle of a spoon. Repeat until all the mac and cheese is gone and you’re left with lots of mac and cheese bites.
  6. Serve alone or with a sauce like marinara or ketchup, and enjoy!


Lemony Chickpea & Cucumber Salad with Dill

This vegan cucumber salad is the perfect summer side! It’s packed with crunchy veggies, hearty chickpeas, lots of fresh dill, and a tangy dressing.

If there’s one thing I could eat every day, it’d probably be this. That and curly fries. Or guac. Or pasta. The cucumber and red onion are crunchy, the dressing is fresh and tangy, and it all just makes for a really refreshing side dish. Also, bonus points for using up a decent amount of dill! I always find myself with a ton during the spring and summer.

Assembled vegan cucumber salad with chickpeas, tomatoes, and dill.
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What’s in This Vegan Cucumber Salad?

  • Cucumber – Regular, English, or Persian. Thinly sliced.
  • Onion – Red is best for this salad, in my opinion!
  • Tomatoes – I used cherry tomatoes, but if you’ve got a big beautiful summer tomato feel free to use that.
  • Cooked chickpeas – A 15oz can.
  • Olive oil – Use a better quality kind since its flavor will play a part in the dressing.
  • Garlic – Fresh or the freeze-dried kind.
  • Lemon juice
  • Mustard – Something grainy! I use stone ground mustard.
  • Sweetener – I use maple syrup or agave.
  • Dill – Fresh!
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

How Do I Make Vegan Cucumber and Chickpea Salad?

  1. Prep your veggies – slice the cucumber and onion, chop the tomatoes, etc.
  2. Drain and rinse your chickpeas.
  3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in the bottom of a large bowl, then add the chopped veggies and toss it all together.
  4. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving so the flavors can become even more delicious.
A close up of ingredients for the vegan cucumber salad with chickpeas, lemon, red onion, tomatoes, and dill dressing.
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What Kind of Cucumbers Should I Use For Cucumber Salad?

I used regular cucumbers for the images here, but I usually prefer to use English cucumbers. They’re a bit sweeter and have fewer seeds, so I don’t even bother removing the seeds when using them. Persian cucumbers also work well, but they are smaller so you’ll probably want to use 3 or 4.

Tips for Making Vegan Cucumber Salad

  • Like I mentioned above – make sure you allow this salad to chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving! It gives the garlic, dill, and lemon more time to develop their flavors and really pop.
  • You can use dried dill in a pinch, but I really recommend using fresh for the best flavor.
  • You can use a mandolin to slice the cucumber if you prefer that over a knife.
  • For the freshest flavor, I recommend eating this salad within 3 or 4 days. It will last for a up to a week in the fridge, though.

What to Serve With Cucumber Salad

This salad is also very meal prep worthy! I make it at the start of the week and use it as a side with dinner, throw it in wraps or pitas, top some hummus toast with it, or just eat it by the spoonful straight out of the bowl. It’s also the perfect vegan side to bring to a barbecue, potluck, or other summer event.

A serving idea for vegan cucumber salad: cucumber, chickpea, tomato, and dill salad on toast with hummus and freshly ground black pepper.
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Lemony Chickpea & Cucumber Salad with Dill

Lemony Chickpea & Cucumber Salad with Dill

Hannah
The perfect summer side! This easy salad is packed with crunchy veggies, hearty chickpeas, lots of fresh dill, and a tangy dressing.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large cucumber seeds removed, sliced into half moons
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 pint/container cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas drained and rinsed

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice from one whole lemon
  • 1 tbsp stone ground mustard
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or agave
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the cucumber, onion, tomatoes, and chickpeas. Set aside.
  • Whisk together dressing ingredients in the bottom of a large bowl. Pour in the veggies and chickpeas.
  • Toss to combine, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Keyword chickpea salad, cucumber chickpea salad, cucumber salad
A pin image of vegan lemony chickpea and cucumber salad with tomatoes and dill.

Vegan Roasted Garlic Aioli with Shoestring Parsnip Fries

It’s parsnip season! If you’ve never cooked with parsnips, they’re very closely related to carrots. They have a sweet taste like carrots, but with an earthy nutty flavor.

I say aioli in a cheater’s sense, because this recipe uses prepared vegan mayo. Traditional aioli is made from egg yolks emulsified with olive oil.

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For the Roasted Garlic Aioli:

  • 1 small head of garlic
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Cut the top off the head of garlic to expose the cloves and place on a square of aluminum foil, drizzle lightly with olive oil. Wrap the foil tightly over the head of garlic, then roast in the oven at 400F for 30-40 minutes or until very soft.
  2. Allow it to cool and then remove the cloves (I squeeze them out) from the skins, and place them in a bowl. Mash into a paste with a fork and mix in with the vegan mayo, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and salt.
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For the Parsnip Fries:

  • 2-3 large parsnips, cut into shoestring pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Instructions:

  1. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss the parsnips with olive oil and salt.
  2. Bake at 400F for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway

Vegan Colcannon

Ever put cabbage in your mashed potatoes? Make this vegan colcannon on March 17th for St. Patrick’s Day!

What is Colcannon?

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish of creamy mashed potatoes with crunchy kale or cabbage. Here I used cabbage (partly because I had one of massive proportion in my fridge), but I like it with kale just as much. To serve, make a well in the center of the mashed potatoes and place a knob of butter in it.

More Vegan Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day:

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Ingredients:

  • 5 yukon gold potatoes, quartered
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons vegan butter, 1 reserved for later
  • 3 chopped green onions, some reserved for garnish
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup unsweetened/unflavored plant milk (use one you like the taste of!)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Quarter potatoes, add to a pot, and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan and sauté green onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook another few minutes until tender.
  3. Stir in the milk and pepper, bring to a simmer, then add in the potatoes. Coarsely mash with the back of a fork and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Transfer to a bowl, make a small well in the center to place the reserved tablespoon of butter in, and sprinkle extra sliced green onions over top.
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vegan colcannon

Vegan Colcannon

Hannah
Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish of creamy mashed potatoes with crunchy kale or cabbage. This vegan version is perfect for St. Patrick's Day!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Irish
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 5 yukon gold potatoes quartered
  • 5 tbsp vegan butter 1 reserved for later
  • 3 green onions chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups green cabbage shredded
  • 1 cup unsweetened, unflavored non-dairy milk
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Quarter potatoes, add to a pot, and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender. Drain and set aside.
  • Over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan and sauté green onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook for another few minutes until tender.
  • Stir in the non-dairy milk, a pinch of salt, and a few cracks of pepper. Bring to a simmer, then add in the potatoes. Coarsely mash with the back of a fork and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer to a bowl, make a small well in the center to place the reserved tablespoon of butter in, and sprinkle extra sliced green onions over top.
Keyword colcannon, vegan colcannon, vegan st patrick’s day

Artichoke & Olive Crostini

Crostini is one of my all time favorite appetizers because, while incredibly simple, it has so much room for creativity. And, I mean, who doesn’t like toasted bread with various toppings?

Appetizers like these are so easy to make ahead of time, they travel well, and aren’t “obviously vegan”, so I often find myself opting for crostini when bringing dishes to gatherings with friends and family.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup castelvetrano olives
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (in oil are okay, just use less olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup grated vegan parmesan (like Violife)
  • Pinch of salt, or to taste
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Fresh parsley for topping
  • A baguette
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Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Finely chop (or you could use a food processor) the artichoke hearts, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers. Add to a bowl and mix in the olive oil, lemon juice, vegan parmesan, salt, and crushed red pepper.
  3. Slice the baguette on a bias into 1/2 inch thick pieces, brush each side with oil, and bake for 5 minutes per side until edges are golden brown.
  4. Top the crostini with the artichoke and olive mixture, sprinkle some more grated parmesan and the fresh parsley over them, and enjoy.

Notes:

This recipe makes a lot, so consider halving it if it’s only for a few people. But hey, it also keeps well in the fridge for days, so maybe bring the leftovers for lunch or throw it in sandwiches and salads.


Caramelized Onion Gravy

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.

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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!

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Prep time: 5 minutes – Cook time: 1 hour – Serves: about 6 people

Ingredients:

  • 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
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Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium-low heat, then add in the diced onion.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the flour to the now caramelized onions and stir to mix well. It should be a paste-like texture.
  4. Slowly whisk in the vegetable broth, pouring small amounts in at a time. Then whisk in the soy sauce as well.
  5. Raise the heat to medium and allow the mixture to come to a simmer.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.