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.
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
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.
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.
For the Parsnip Fries:
2-3 large parsnips, cut into shoestring pieces
On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss the parsnips with olive oil and salt.
Bake at 400F for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway
If you’re not sick of mashed potatoes from last week (who am I kidding?), then make this vegan 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!
5 yukon gold potatoes, quartered
5 tablespoons vegan butter, 1 reserved for later
3 chopped green onions, some reserved for garnish
2-3 large garliccloves, minced
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup unsweetened/unflavored plant milk (use one you like the taste of!)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
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 another few minutes until tender.
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.
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.
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.
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
Preheat oven to 350F.
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.
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.
Top the crostini with the artichoke and olive mixture, sprinkle some more grated parmesan and the fresh parsley over them, and enjoy.
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.
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.
Do I need to say anything further than sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil? And it only has, assuming you already have salt and pepper, 5 ingredients? This savory side is a great vegan dish to bring to spring and summer get togethers, and would pair wonderfully with a veggie burger or a big salad. Or you could just eat it on its own, of course. Anyways, here ya go!
Cook Time: 15 minutes – Prep Time: 5 minutes – Serves about 4 as a side
1 tablespoon of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
1 small yellow onion, or about 1/3 of a large one.
About 2 tablespoons of julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes in oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
A few cracks of fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional but recommended)
A handful of fresh basil leaves, to taste
In a non-stick pan over medium heat, add the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until they have softened.
Mix in the sun-dried tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Next, add the garlic and let cook for another minute before adding the beans, salt, a few cracks of fresh pepper, red pepper flakes if using, and basil. Stir to combine and heat through for another minute or two.
Remove from heat and enjoy!
This dish is great both warm and cold, depending on what you’re in the mood for. You can totally make this in advance if you’re bringing it to a cook out or picnic, and serve it chilled! Just make sure to double or triple the recipe.