Category Archives: easy

Vegan, Gluten-Free Cauliflower/Celery Root Mash is Like Mashed Potatoes, Only Better

Winter is a wonderful time for this nourishing dish. It’s creamy and filling, like mashed potatoes, but much yummier and more nutritious! Brewer’s yeast, cauliflower, and celery root are packed with vitamins, and the flavor is slightly sweet, with a bit of a tang.

You’ll be scooping this mash out of your blender or food processor for little tastes before you can even pour it into a bowl. And it’s so simple and inexpensive to make, with only seven ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets
1 celery root (celeriac) (about 1 pound), cut into one-inch chunks
1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons nutritional (brewer’s) yeast

OPTIONAL GARNISHES

Drizzle of olive oi
chopped thyme

DIRECTIONS

Peel the celery root and either compost the skin or save it for stock. Chop into one-inch chunks and set aside. Mince 2-4 cloves of garlic, and chop the cauliflower head into bite-sized florets. Place these ingredients into a large frying pan with two tablespoons of olive oil. Fry on medium heat setting for approximately ten minutes.

Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water and turn down the heat. Cover the pan and simmer for approximately 20-30 minutes until the celery root and cauliflower are tender. Check occasionally to make sure there is enough liquid. Add more if necessary. Remove pan from stovetop and allow its contents to cool for a few minutes.

Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste, nutritional yeast, and a tiny bit more vegetable broth or water. Blend until nice and creamy.

Transfer the contents into a large bowl. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and stir. Garnish with bits of chopped thyme. Eat this concoction warm, and you’ll be in heaven. You can add a bit more olive oil or Earth Balance to the top for additional richness. This mash is also great as a cold dip with gluten-free bread, crackers, carrot sticks, avocado slices, etc. It’s so versatile! Feel free to experiment.

Serves four people. Everyone will rave about this yummy side dish. It keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and tastes just as great reheated as it did on the first day. You’ll never go back to plain mashed potatoes or look at cauliflower in the same way again. Or celery root, for that matter. We just love this dish, and feel confident that you will, as well.

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Delectable Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos With Vegan Cream Cheese/Jalapeno/Avocado Topping

Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how to cook butternut squash. Sure, you can bake it, but what else can a person do? We recently discovered a butternut squash-based taco recipe that is so delicious we’re still salivating over our meal, hours later. The addition of whipped vegan cream cheese with avocado and fresh jalapeno makes this dish a total winner. And it’s so easy to make! The hardest part is cutting the skins off the squash. But persevere with the task, because the end result will be worth it.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-sized butternut squash, de-skinned and cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon powdered garlic
8 ounces vegan cream cheese (we’re wild about Kite Hill, due to its smooth, creamy texture. But you can use any kind).
1 small avocado, chopped into small chunks
1/2 small jalapeno pepper, chopped into bits
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
soft, gluten-free corn tortillas (check package to make sure there’s no wheat)
1 can or 2 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed
sliced scallions
chopped lettuce or arugula

INSTRUCTIONS

Chop the butternut squash into small chunks and cut off the skins. Place the chunks into a medium-sized-bowl with the spices and avocado oil, and toss until all pieces are completely coated with the mixture. Spread the chunks on a cookie sheet and bake in a 425 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes. The pieces should be soft, but not mushy.

Meanwhile, prepare your topping. Pour the vegan cream cheese, lime juice, jalapeno bits, and avocado into a blender or food processor and combine until your mixture achieves a frothy, whipped texture. Add a little extra lime juice if it’s too stiff.

Heat your tortillas in the oven and your beans on the stovetop. When both are warm, pile the tortillas on plates. Ladle on the beans first, and then follow with the spicy butternut squash chunks, the cream cheese/jalapeno/avocado mixture, and finally the chopped scallions and lettuce bits. Have a seat at the table and dig in!

This incredible meal serves about four people. If you use a larger squash, maybe 6. But be careful — no one will be able to stop eating these tacos! They pair well with gluten-free beer or wine, or any other beverage of your choice. Leftovers keep in your refrigerator for 3-4 days. We’re already fantasizing about the lunch we’re going to have tomorrow. You’ll never look at butternut squash in the same way again.

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Warm Your Insides With Vegan, Gluten-Free Cream of Potato and Broccoli Soup

We don’t know what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but it’s cold and gloomy here. The skies are pitch-black by 5:00 PM, and we do whatever we can to stay warm. Nothing soothes you more on a cold December evening than a bowl of creamy potato/broccoli soup.

The texture is like manna for the throat, and the robust, yet delicate flavor comforts as it fills you up. Invite some friends over for a soup party! Everyone will rave about this delicious meal.

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups finely chopped broccoli
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 russet potatoes, chopped (You can leave skins on or take them off. Personally, we like to leave them on).
4 cups vegetable broth (check labels for gluten)
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
Sea salt to taste

OPTIONAL TOPPING INGREDIENTS

chopped scallions
chopped chives
fresh ground pepper
sriracha sauce
broccoli croutons

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pan and pour in the celery, garlic, onion, and broccoli pieces. Fry at medium heat setting until the ingredients are just beginning to turn brown. Add the chopped potatoes, sea salt, and vegetable broth. Stir, and then cover the pan. Simmer the mixture for approximately half an hour until all the vegetables are soft. You should be able to stick a fork in the potato slices with no problem, but don’t overcook them.

[INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS: Saute the celery, garlic, onion, and broccoli pieces in your Instant Pot until they start to brown, add potatoes, salt and vegetable broth, and cook manual, high pressure, 5 minutes. Let natural pressure release for 10 minutes and then quick release.]

Pour mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. You will have a large amount of soup, so you’ll need to do 2-3 separate batches. When you’re done with one batch, pour it into a large bowl and start another. The soup’s texture should be thick and creamy.

But wait, you’re not done! Here comes the best part: pour a cup of full-fat coconut milk into the bowl with the soup and stir until everything is thoroughly combined. Pour the soup into separate bowls and garnish with sriracha, chopped chives, chopped scallions, and/or fresh black pepper. If you’d like to make broccoli croutons, just fry a few chopped broccoli florets in olive oil and sea salt until they’re nice and crispy. Remove florets from the pan, let them drain and cool, and toss them on top of your soup!

Serves 4-6 delighted guests. This soup can be served on its own, or with a side salad and/or a loaf of gluten-free bread. It keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and tastes even better reheated. Yum! Now you’re ready to bundle up and face the cold winds.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Dried Cranberries and Hazelnuts For Your Holiday Feast

Many of us have unpleasant childhood memories of being forced to eat Brussels sprouts. Such a mindset is unfortunate because, cooked properly, this cruciferous vegetable is both tasty and nutritious. Many chefs are beginning to appreciate the flavor of the oft-maligned Brussels sprout, so the tide is slowly turning in its favor. Our delicious vegan, gluten-free recipe utilizes dried cranberries, orange zest and toasted hazelnuts to create a taste sensation. You’ll be proud to showcase this offering on your Thanksgiving table. It’s crunchy yet tender, with a hint of sweetness, and packed full of vitamins. The hazelnuts add a bit of protein to our elegant side dish. Yum!

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, with excess peels and stems removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup roasted, chopped hazelnuts
zest of one orange

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wash the Brussels sprouts thoroughly, then cut them in half and chop off the stems. Arrange the Brussels sprouts on a cookie sheet or large rectangular pan and toss them with olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Place the cookie sheet or pan in oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Flip the Brussels sprouts periodically with a spatula, then return the pan to the oven. They should achieve a lovely brown color.

Meanwhile, either roast the hazelnuts in your oven in a separate pan, or fry them on your stovetop in a small amount of olive oil. Do not burn them! Remove the hazelnuts from pan and crush them into coarse chunks. Grate the skin of one orange into a bowl to make zest. Toss the hazelnuts, orange zest, and dried cranberries in with the Brussels sprouts and combine everything thoroughly.

Return the pan to your oven and roast for another 5-10 minutes. The Brussels sprouts will achieve a dark brown hue and be slightly crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside. Remove your concoction from the oven and place the contents into a festive bowl. Give them another toss or two and serve!

This dish pairs well with just about anything you’d like to serve for a holiday meal — squash, pumpkin pie, lentil loaf, sweet potatoes, etc. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. It serves 4-6 guests, depending on everyone’s hunger level, and keeps well in the refrigerator for up to four days. Happy feasting, and enjoy your holiday, no matter what you celebrate.

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Pepper, Peanut, and Potato Sabzi: A Simple But Elegant Meal With an Indian Flair

You’re faced with a dilemma: you want to eat an elegant international meal, but you don’t have much time and/or cash on hand. What’s a hungry gourmet to do? The answer is simple — whip up a platter of our vegan, gluten-free Pepper, Peanut, and Potato Sabzi! Though it looks deceptively like a simple, stir-fried dish of potatoes and peppers, once you experienced your first bite, you’ll know there is something special going on. The exotic flavor comes from the addition of cumin and fennel seeds, spices that are popular staples in Indian cuisine. The peanuts add protein, and the potatoes are hearty and filling. Just perfect for these chilly autumn nights!

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large russet potato, chopped
2 medium-sized bell peppers, chopped (red is best, but you can also use yellow, orange, or a combination)
1 teaspoon sea salt (NOT iodized!)
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about half a lime)

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS

chopped cilantro
hot sauce
extra lime juice
tortillas
cooked basmati rice

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat setting (cast iron is best). Add the cumin seeds and cook for a minute or so until they start to turn brown. Stir in the fennel seeds and onion and continue cooking for about 4-6 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently!

Stir in potato and distribute evenly across the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes begin to soften. It’s okay if they’re a bit browned in spots. Stir in the sea salt and bell pepper. Cover the pot again and cook until peppers are cooked through (about 5-7 minutes). Ideally, the peppers should be lightly charred on the bottom, but not burned. You can peek occasionally to make sure.

Stir in the peanuts and lime juice and cook, uncovered, for another couple of minutes. Remove the pan from the burner, and ladle the contents onto several plates. That’s all there is to it! You can garnish with hot sauce, cilantro, extra lime juice, or whatever your heart desires. Also, this mixture can be served over basmati rice or corn tortillas if you want to get really fancy. But it’s perfect all on its own!

Serves 3-4 guests. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and taste great reheated. We guarantee that you’ll love this inexpensive but exotic and delicious meal.

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The Best Pumpkin Cheesecake You’ve Had in Your Life Just Happens to be Vegan and Gluten-Free!

There’s no dessert quite like cheesecake. Smooth, creamy, sweet, decadent — what’s not to love? However, most of the cheesecakes you encounter in restaurants and coffee shops are made with tons of dairy and gluten. Since we love this delectable confection so much, we decided to make our own, using plant-based ingredients. The filling utilizes cashews and coconut milk, blended to perfection. Stunned by our stellar results, we decided to share the secret with you. You can thank us later.

CRUST INGREDIENTS

1 cup packed medjool dates, chopped
1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
pinch of sea salt

FILLING INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1 small lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons lemon juice)
1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (about 1/3 small can)
pinch of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

vegan whipping cream
additional chopped walnuts and/or pecans

INSTRUCTIONS

Pour cashews into a container filled with boiling water and let them soak, uncovered for one hour. Meanwhile, chop the dates and place them into a blender or food processor. Blend them until they turn into a thick paste. You may need to add a bit of water for smoothness.

Remove dates from blender or food processor and set aside. Wash and dry the interior, then pour in walnuts. Blend until they achieve a fine consistency. Add dates to the walnut mixture and blend together for a couple of minutes. They will be sticky, so add a little more water if necessary. Be careful — you don’t want your crust to be runny!

Press your mixture into a round cake pan or deep pie pan and spread thoroughly. Use a large spoon to tamp down the surface. Set the pan aside and prepare filling ingredients.

Wash and dry blender or food processor one more time. Drain the cashews, then place them into blender/food processor. Add the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla extract and spices and blend for 2-3 minutes. The mixture should be creamy and frothy. Pour it over the pie crust, making sure it is evenly distributed.

Place the pan in your freezer for 3-4 hours. Remove, thaw slightly, and dig in! You can top your creation with additional chopped walnuts and/or vegan whipping cream if you desire. But this cheesecake tastes heavenly all on its own!

Serves 4-6 people. Guests will be your friends for life. This is the best cheesecake you’ve ever tasted, guaranteed. You’ll want to make it again and again. It’s an excellent Thanksgiving dessert, and we’ve been known to have it for breakfast (but don’t tell anyone). Leftovers can be frozen for several weeks, and keep well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Don’t expect them to last that long.

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Herb Tofu Scallion Spread is Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Delicious on Crackers or Bread

You’ve undoubtedly had the disheartening experience of going to a potluck and encountering a slew of dairy-based dips and spreads. This can be frustrating if you’re doing your best to follow a vegan, gluten-free diet. Don’t despair! Here is a delicious, creamy spread you can make from tofu that tastes just as good as the dairy-based variety! Even your non-vegan friends will love it. They may even beg you for the recipe. The spread is healthy, since it utilizes basil and Italian parsley, herbs that are rich in vitamin C. The tofu adds protein and calcium. Much healthier than your average spread, and so easy to make!

INGREDIENTS

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 14-ounce package of firm tofu, drained
2 teaspoons white miso (make sure it doesn’t have soy sauce, which contains wheat)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup water

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS

black olives
capers
sliced zucchini
salad mix
carrot sticks
gluten-free crackers or bread

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan on medium setting. When oil is hot, add chopped garlic and fry for about one minute. Pour in scallions and red pepper and continue frying for about 2-3 more minutes, until the scallions are bright green. Remove from the burner and set aside.

Crumble tofu into a blender or food processor. Add the basil, parsley, sea salt, lemon juice, miso, and water (try less than 1/4 cup of water at first, then add more if mixture is too thick). Pour in the scallion/red pepper/garlic mixture and continue blending until your mixture is creamy and frothy. Scoop mixture out of the blender or food processor and transfer to a medium-sized bowl.

Serve with crackers, wedges of gluten-free bread, and condiments like black olives, capers, salad mix, carrot sticks, zucchini slices, etc. Really, the possibilities are endless. You can make an entire meal out of this tofu spread if you so desire. It’s much heartier than you might imagine.

Serves about 4 people, depending upon whether you transform this spread into a main dish or serve it as an appetizer. You can cover leftovers and store them in your refrigerator for up to three days. You don’t need to tell anyone that it’s made from tofu — unless you feel like it, of course. Your friends will be astonished! You’ll want to make this simple but elegant spread again and again.

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Pasta Puttanesca is Spicy, Hearty, and Delicious

Autumn is well underway, and our desire to devour pasta dishes continues in earnest. Pasta puttanesca is a traditional Italian dish that tastes great, even without the addition of anchovies. It’s hearty, filling, delicious, and so easy to make. Though most pasta puttanesca recipes utilize thin spaghetti noodles, we had some dried, gluten-free fettucine noodles in our kitchen and decided to use those instead. We were delighted by the results. You don’t need many ingredients to make this wonderful meal. It’s super inexpensive! In fact, you probably have most of the ingredients in your cabinet or refrigerator already.

INGREDIENTS

1 large jar of spaghetti sauce (approximately 26 ounces) or equivalent amount of diced tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1/3 cup capers
1 tablespoon Kalamata olive brine (from your container of olives)
1 tablespoon caper brine (from your container of capers)
2-3 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves
fresh ground black pepper
sea salt to taste
8 ounces gluten-free noodles of your choice

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large saucepan, combine spaghetti sauce, olives, capers, caper juice, olive juice, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Simmer at low to medium heat for 20-30 minutes until ingredients are thoroughly blended. An incredible aroma will fill your kitchen! Make sure to stir your sauce frequently so it won’t stick or burn.

As the sauce simmers, boil your pasta noodles in a separate, large pan. Drain in a colander and set aside. Toss with a bit of olive oil so they won’t stick as they cool.

Turn off the heat and remove sauce pan from burner. Stir in the chopped parsley leaves and a tablespoon of olive oil. Season with a bit of ground pepper and sprinkle with sea salt if desired. The sauce will already taste salty, so you might not need any more. Use your best judgement! Pour sauce into the pan with the noodles. Stir until combined, making sure the noodles are well-coated with sauce.

Serve with a sprinkle (or two, or three) of additional chopped parsley for extra zest and visual excitement. This dish serves four hungry people. We like to serve our pasta puttanesca with a nice green salad and a chewy loaf of gluten-free French bread (with vegan butter, of course!) You can store leftovers in your refrigerator for a couple of days. You know what they say about tomato-based sauce dishes — they taste even better the next day. Bon Appetit!

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread is Like Heaven on a Plate

Do you still have a few leftover zucchinis from your summer garden? You may be wondering what to do with them. Most likely, you’ve given several of them away to friends, and they’ve made it clear they don’t want or need any more. Try as you might, you can’t get rid of all of them! Never fear — our sweet bread recipe will give a whole new purpose to those succulent, green vegetables. The addition of unsweetened cocoa and walnuts will send you into orbit. Good thing this recipe makes two loaves, because you won’t have any trouble devouring the first one.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 tablespoons boiling water
3 cups gluten-free flour (Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose is our favorite)
2 cups coconut sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cups coconut or olive oil
3/4 cups plant-based milk (we used unsweetened coconut milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium-sized zucchinis)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Boil 3 tablespoons of water and whisk in the cocoa. Continue to whisk until it forms a thick paste and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, sea salt, and baking soda. Stir until thoroughly combined, then fold in the oil, plant milk, and vanilla extract. Keep stirring, then add the cocoa mixture, grated zucchini, and walnuts. Your batter should be creamy but not too thick. The zucchini will add a lot of moisture. Don’t fret!

Grease two small (8 x 4 x 2 1/2) bread pans with coconut oil or vegan butter or margarine such as Earth Balance. Pour the batter evenly into the two pans. Bake in 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. Your kitchen will smell divine. You can insert a toothpick or fork into the center of the loaves to make sure they are done. The surface should be slightly cracked but not burned.

Remove both loaves from your oven, and do your best to allow them to cool before digging in. This bread is great either hot or cold. You can serve it as is, or with a dab of vegan butter, margarine, jam, or cream cheese. Feel free to experiment! Serves 6 guests with ease, but your bread will probably disappear fast. If you have any left in the morning, it’s great as a quick breakfast with coffee. Since this bread contains two cups of coconut sugar,it is decidedly not a diet food. But, when it’s this delicious, who cares? Not us! Dig in and enjoy!

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Instant Pot Gluten-free Vegan Pizza Noodles

This super easy Instant Pot gluten-free vegan pizza noodle recipe is a great substitute for greasy delivery. Don’t skip the seasonings – they give the dish the traditional pizza flavor. This recipe makes it easy for everyone to customize their own bowl with their favorite toppings! Noodle substitutes can be made, but the timing might need to be adjusted – the spaghetti in this recipe is made with corn and quinoa so it’s rather sturdy and doesn’t get mushy in the Instant Pot easily.

Ingredients:

1 box Barilla gluten-free spaghetti noodles

1 ½ cups pizza sauce

1 cup water

½ tsp oregano

¼ tsp rosemary

Fresh basil

½ cup chopped black olives

Himalayan salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Break spaghetti noodles in half, and place in Instant Pot with pizza sauce, water, oregano, and rosemary. If your sauce already includes these herbs, omit them in this step.

Using a fork, toss the noodles to cover them in sauce. Close and seal the Instant Pot lid.

Set the Instant Pot on High Manual pressure for four minutes. After the Pot beeps, release the pressure with a quick release. Top with fresh basil and chopped black olives. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm! These noodles do get mushy when left too long, so eat immediately. Add in additional toppings like dairy-free mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, red pepper flakes, and red onions for an even more authentic pizza experience.

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