Vegan Sausage and Potato Breakfast Skillet

Crispy potatoes for breakfast is always a good idea. Combine that with some veggies and your favorite vegan breakfast sausage, and you’ve got one comforting meal!

Sausage not your thing? You can totally sub for black beans or just leave it out entirely in favor of extra potatoes.

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Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Serves about 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium russet potatoes, cut into cubes (about 1/2″)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • Vegan breakfast sausage of your choice*
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • kosher salt, to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 green onions, sliced

*I used 5 links of Field Roast’s Apple Maple Breakfast Sausage (not sponsored, just the truth!)

Instructions:

  1. Boil potatoes until fork tender, and set aside.
  2. Warm olive oil in a large skillet/pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes until starting to soften, then add the boiled potato cubes. Crisp the potatoes up for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the sausage, bell pepper, vinegar, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook another 5 minutes or so, stirring often, until peppers have softened and sausage is browned.
  4. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Add to serving bowls and top with sliced green onions.
  5. Serve with ketchup, hot sauce, or whatever your heart desires!

Carrot and Tomato Cashew Bisque with Old Bay Croutons

I feel like the title of this recipe is explanation enough, so I’ll just say that this bisque reminds me of ordering a cup of crab stew or lobster bisque in little mom and pop restaurants growing up. We no eat crustaceans or dairy anymore, and that’s not an issue at all with this creamy and delicious vegan bisque!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 (14 oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water, adding more as needed
  • 1 heaping tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Old Bay crouton recipe follows
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Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat and add carrots, onion, celery, and garlic. Cook 5-7 minutes, stirring, until vegetables have softened. Mix in the flour and continue stirring until incorporated and flour begins to brown.
  2. Add tomatoes, vegetable broth, bay leaf, parsley, and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Make the cashew cream while that cooks. Add cashews (softened if not using a high powered blender*), water, and nutritional yeast to a blender, and blend until very smooth.
  4. Add the cashew cream to the pot after 20 minutes, then simmer another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaf. Allow the mixture to cool some.
  5. Pour the soup into your blender in batches until the whole pot is smooth and creamy.* Add freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste. Ladle into bowls after making these Old Bay croutons, toss some on top, and enjoy!

For the Old Bay Croutons:

Preheat your oven to 350F. Slice up half a baguette into crouton-sized pieces and add to a large bowl. Mix together 2 tablespoons melted vegan butter, 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, and 1 tablespoon garlic powder. Toss croutons in the butter and spice mixture, add to a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes, stirring/flipping halfway through.

Notes:

*Soften cashews by soaking in water overnight, or soaking in hot water for 20 minutes.

*Unnecessary, but potentially interesting side note: I am lazy and don’t want to add multiple cups of hot liquid to a blender or wait for the whole pot to cool, so I’ll sometimes use an immersion blender instead to get things as smooth as possible. Then I’ll take 1.5 cups out, let it cool a bit, blend that until completely smooth, then stir it back into the pot. The texture achieved by this is similar to rustic lobster and crab bisques I had before going vegan, so I really like it.


Vegan Garlic White Pizza Sauce

So, I have a story from my middle school days that involves white pizza (the salt and ice burn challenge makes an appearance), but I’ll refrain from writing that novelesque recipe intro. Anyways, I used to order white pizza at my local pizza & deli all the time growing up. I still haven’t found a vegan white pizza out in the wild, but who cares – now I make my own!

I know I titled this “pizza sauce” but this creamy white garlic sauce is delicious on pasta as well!

Now that I’ve repeated the word pizza so many times that it sounds like an alien language (the phenomenon is actually called semantic satiation), here’s the recipe:

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Prep Time: 5 minutes – Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked or boiled if you don’t have a high-powered blender)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil (optional)
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Instructions:

  1. Blend cashews, vegetable broth, garlic, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast together until very smooth to make the cashew cream.
  2. Melt butter over medium/medium low heat in a medium saucepan, sauté onion for a few minutes until soft and translucent, whisk in flour.
  3. Slowly whisk in the cashew cream. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until it’s thick and creamy. Stir in the parsley, basil, and black pepper. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Go forth and sauce!

Notes:

This recipe makes lots of sauce, so you might want to halve the recipe if you aren’t making multiple pizzas. The leftover sauce is amazing with pasta!

The featured pizza is topped with caramelized onions, artichoke hearts, vegan sausage from No Evil Foods, vegan parmesan, and fresh parsley.


No Mayo Chickpea Salad (Vegan, Oil-free)

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!

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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.

Ingredients:

  • 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
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Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas with a fork or hand-masher until there are just a few whole chickpeas left.
  2. Mix all of the other ingredients in with the mashed chickpeas, taste, and adjust seasonings to your preference.
  3. 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!

Vegan Penne alla Vodka

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.”

Pretty neat! Read more about the origins of the dish here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penne_alla_vodka

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Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 35 minutes Serves about 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight*
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1/2 a large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • A generous pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 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)
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Instructions:

  1. Add the cashews to a blender along with the nutritional yeast and water, and blend until very smooth.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour in the vodka and let cook for about 5 minutes, until the alcohol has cooked off.
  4. Add the tomatoes, stir, and let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened – you may need to lower the heat some.
  5. Stir in the cashew cream and cook for about 10 more minutes, until the sauce is thick and creamy.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste (I usually end up not needing any), and mix well.
  7. Serve over penne cooked according to box instructions, top with parsley or basil, and enjoy!

Notes:

*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)


Caramelized Onion Gravy

So I’m all for eating healthy and I strive to do so most of the time, but this gravy recipe is definitely an indulgence. It’s:

creamy

tangy

salty

buttery

oh my!

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I’d absolutely bring this to Thanksgiving 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 or vegan butter. It’s not an exact science and will be even better if you tailor it to you!

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I love serving this over roasted garlic and chive mashed potatoes, as well as 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!

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!

Anyways, here’s the gravy:

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

Ingredients:

  • 1 small red or yellow onion, diced (or half a large onion)
  • 3 tbsps flour
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • about 3 tbsps vegan butter (or olive oil)
  • 1 tsp 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 cook, stirring every few minutes or so.
  3. Stir in a teaspoon of sugar after about 10 minutes to speed up the caramelization process.
  4. Continue to cook, stirring every few minutes until they are nice and caramelized – about 30 to 45 minutes. Make sure not to stir too frequently, or they won’t brown enough to caramelize.
  5. Note: 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.
  6. Add the flour to the onions and stir to mix well. It should be a paste-like texture.
  7. Slowly whisk in the vegetable broth, pouring small amounts in at a time. Then whisk in the soy sauce as well.
  8. Raise the heat to medium and allow the mixture to come to a simmer.
  9. Reduce heat if necessary, stirring often until it reaches a gravy consistency to your liking. It’s usually about 5-10 minutes for me.
  10. 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 it in the microwave or pour in back into a sauce pot on the stove. It may need a little splash of water depending on how thick you made it.


Baked Black Bean Burgers

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:

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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.

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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.

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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

Ingredients:

  • 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)
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Instructions:

  • 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.

Note:

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!


Brazilian Coconut Soup with Roasted Chickpeas

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

tasty

creamy

hearty

and animal-free! Yay!

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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.

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15 minutes prep time – 35 minutes cook time – Serves about 4

Ingredients:

  • 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)
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Instructions:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk and cook for another 5 – 10 minutes.
  4. Finish by adding in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your preferences.
  5. 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.

Notes:

You’ll want to put the chickpeas in the oven around the time you’ve reduced the heat from a boil for the soup.

Adapted from JoCook’s Brazilian Shrimp Soup Recipe