Crispy Potato Tacos with Spicy Cashew Lime Sauce

Will we ever get tired of tacos? Hmm, I don’t think so.

These ones are loaded with crisp, seasoned potatoes, black beans, chopped tomatoes, and crunchy lettuce – all with a generous drizzle of vegan spicy cashew lime sauce over top.

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For the Potatoes:

  • 2 medium-sized russet potatoes cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F while you chop the potatoes.
  2. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss potatoes with the spices (cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne pepper if using).
  3. Bake for about 35 minutes, stirring halfway, until potatoes are crisp. Oven temperatures vary, so you may need less or more time.
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For the Spicy Cashew Lime Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, softened*
  • 1/2 cup plant milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot sauce of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until very smooth.
  2. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

*If you have a high-powered blender, you don’t need to soften your cashews. You can soften them by letting them soak in a bowl of water in the fridge overnight, or by placing the cashews in very hot water for 20 minutes before blending.

Assemble your tacos with the crispy potatoes and any other desired toppings such as black beans, baked tofu crumbles, chopped tomatoes, salsa, avocado, lettuce, guacamole, vegan cheese, or cilantro. Top with a drizzle of the spicy cashew lime sauce.


Spicy Roasted Chickpea Avocado Toast

Here’s a great way to mix up the classic avocado toast breakfast while adding some extra nutrients and a delicious crunch.

You can also get creative and switch up the spices to your liking. It’s encouraged!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 (15oz) can chickpeas
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Sourdough or ciabatta bread sliced 1/2″ thick
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large avocado
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Flaky sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Crushed red pepper, to taste, optional
  • Fresh parsley, optional
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Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F
  2. Place chickpeas on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Season with salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. Mix to combine.
  3. Bake for 16-18 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  4. After you’ve stirred the chickpeas and placed them back in the oven, slice your bread and drizzle a bit of olive oil onto each slice. Toast.
  5. Slice your avocado and mash onto the toasted bread. Top with the roasted chickpeas, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, flaky sea salt, fresh ground pepper, crushed red pepper, and parsley.

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.


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)


Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Fusilli

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!

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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?

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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:

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Prep time: 10 minutes – Cook time: 15 minutes – Serves: About 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 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)
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Instructions:

  1. Begin boiling the water for the fusilli pasta and cook according to package directions.
  2. Make the cashew cream by blending cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and vegetable broth until very smooth.
  3. 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.
  4. Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
  5. Then, toss in the sun-dried tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.


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.