Summary: We've been eating falafels for years, both with pita bread, and without. These crispy disks are delicious served with a variety of vegetables. However, most of the falafels in restaurants are deep-fried, and the ones you make at home are usually products of a powdered mix. Creating this naturally vegan, gluten-free concoction from scratch is surprisingly easy and fun.

We’ve been eating falafels for years, both with pita bread, and without. These crispy disks are delicious served with a variety of vegetables. However, most of the falafels in restaurants are deep-fried, and the ones you make at home are usually products of a powdered mix. Creating this naturally vegan, gluten-free concoction from scratch is surprisingly easy and fun. Real, homemade falafels taste much better than the stuff that comes from a box! Try the recipe, you will be amazed.

INGREDIENTS
1 15-ounce can chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped and packed
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped and packed
1/2 cup diced red or yellow onion (red is especially zesty)
1/3 cup gluten-free flour (we used a combination of garbanzo flour and brown rice flour)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum-free, please)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt (not the iodized variety)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
5-6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup water
olive oil for cooking
Vegetable garnishes, such as chopped tomatoes, sliced avocados, shredded carrots, chopped onion, additional sprigs of parsley and cilantro, lettuce, etc.
Gluten-free pita bread (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Pour chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, chopped onion, flour, lemon juice, water, baking powder, garlic, and spices into blender or food processor. Combine thoroughly until mixture is thick and creamy, but not stiff. You can add more water if it’s too thick, or more flour if it’s too runny. Pour into large bowl and cover. Place bowl in refrigerator and chill for approximately 1 hour. It should achieve a nice thickness by then.

Remove falafel mix from refrigerator and heat olive oil on stovetop. Your burner setting should be medium high, but not so hot that it will smoke or burn. Scoop rounded tablespoons of falafel mix from bowl and drop into hot olive oil, one at a time. Fry them until they’re slightly crispy and brown around the edges, then flip and fry the other sides. Remove from heat and set on napkin so excess oil will drain away.

Serve with vegetables and toppings such as hummus, baba ghanoush, plain coconut yogurt, or tahini with lemon juice. Great either as a sandwich or a salad. Feel free to experiment! Serves 3-4 hungry people. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator or frozen for later. These falafels are great in lunchboxes! You’ll never want to make them from a box, ever again, and neither will any of the members of your family. Enjoy!

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Summary: It’s May already, which means the official beginning of barbeque season! Some of you might be catching whiffs of your neighbor’s meat-based cuisine and wondering what on earth you can cook that didn’t come from an animal. Fear not, because we’ve got you covered with these delightful tofu/melon/pepper skewers! The marinade is light but zesty, due to the inclusion of red pepper flakes, and the heat from your grill will impart a subtle crispiness to the tofu.

It’s May already, which means the official beginning of barbeque season! Some of you might be catching whiffs of your neighbor’s meat-based cuisine and wondering what on earth you can cook that didn’t come from an animal. Fear not, because we’ve got you covered with these delightful tofu/melon/pepper skewers! The marinade is light but zesty, due to the inclusion of red pepper flakes, and the heat from your grill will impart a subtle crispiness to the tofu. You won’t even miss the meat, and your carnivorous friends may even ask you for a bite or two. Make sure they ask nicely.

INGREDIENTS
I block (14 ounces) tofu
1 red, yellow, or green pepper
¼ melon of your choice
½ red onion
1 tablespoon tamari
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2-3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Dash of sea salt

SWEET CHILI LIME DIPPING SAUCE
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of sea salt

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS (For skewers)
Cherry tomatoes
Pineapple chunks
Tempeh pieces

INSTRUCTIONS
Cut tofu, pepper, onion and pepper (and other ingredients, if desired) into large, bite-sized chunks. Mix tamari, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and sea salt in a small bowl. Put tofu chunks in marinade and let them sit for approximately half an hour. Afterward, remove tofu from marinade and place on skewers, alternating with peppers, onion, melon, and any other vegetables of your choice. Sprinkle additional tamari mixture on top. Vegetables and tofu should be pressed together on skewer, but not too tightly.

Place skewers on grill and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning frequently. Tofu should be slightly browned and a bit crispy around the edges. Vegetables should be soft but not mushy. Remove from grill and serve with dipping sauce. You can serve this tasty dish by itself, or with a small salad and/or loaf of gluten-free bread. We put ours on a bed of fresh arugula and served it with a dab of light, zesty lemon dressing, and it tasted great. We think you’ll agree.

Serves 2 hungry people, or 3-4 not-so-hungry people. We know from experience that the dish pairs exceptionally well with vegan, gluten-free beer. Hopefully you can enjoy this fun meal on a warm evening, while seated in your yard while the last rays of sunshine beam onto your plate. Bon appetit, and relax –it’s almost summer!

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Summary: Sometimes, you want to whip up a delicious, filling vegan meal without a lot of fuss and expense. Maybe you have less than an hour to prepare a dish that your whole family -- or table of friends -- will love. Never fear! This stellar red bean-based dish utilizes cauliflower "rice." In other words, the finely shredded cauliflower looks like rice, and its texture is quite similar. You and your guests will be amazed! The whole process is much easier than you might think.

Sometimes, you want to whip up a delicious, filling vegan meal without a lot of fuss and expense. Maybe you have less than an hour to prepare a dish that your whole family — or table of friends — will love. Never fear! This stellar red bean-based dish utilizes cauliflower “rice.” In other words, the finely shredded cauliflower looks like rice, and its texture is quite similar. You and your guests will be amazed! The whole process is much easier than you might think. Here’s how:

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green, red, or yellow bell pepper
1 large head cauliflower, chopped
3 15-ounce cans of red beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Optional garnishes: chopped cilantro, avocado, sliced jalapenos, chopped arugula, chopped tomatoes, salsa, diced scallions, etc.

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add chopped onions. Fry onions on medium heat for about five minutes until they become translucent. Add chopped pepper and celery and continue frying for 5-10 minutes until vegetables are cooked through. The aroma will be heavenly! Meanwhile, place cauliflower chunks in food processor and grind them until they attain a granulated, slightly powdery consistency. You won’t believe they aren’t actually rice! Add the cauliflower “rice” to vegetables, along with the red beans and spices. Fry for another 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. You can adjust the seasoning level according to your individual tastes. We like ours spicy, but you may feel differently. Experiment and enjoy!

This delightful dish pairs well with gluten-free corn tortillas and an almost endless variety of toppings. We garnished ours with sliced avocados, chopped cilantro, and thin slices of jalapenos and were delighted with the results. Other topping choices include chopped tomato, scallions, salsa (homemade is best) and chopped arugula. Use your imagination! You can also enjoy this dish with gluten-free, vegan beer or wine (check www.barnivore.com to see if your beverage is vegan).

Your simple, but scrumptious meal will serve 4-6 hungry people. You can store it in your refrigerator, reheat the leftovers, and enjoy them for a couple of days. They will taste just as delicious as before! The dish is amazingly filling and satisfying, and your guests will be delighted by its robust flavor. You’ll want to make it again and again! Be sure to save room for dessert.

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Summary: Vegan barbeques aren’t as unusual as they used to be. Lots of folks love the conviviality of these events, as well as the trademark smoky taste of the cuisine. However, once you give up eating animal products, it can be challenging to find acceptable substitutes for your childhood favorites. Have no fear, because we’ve discovered a great vegan barbeque offering! These tofu/chickpea sandwiches have an appealing texture, similar to pulled pork or sloppy joes, but without the grease or the guilt! Chickpeas add protein and density, and the sauce – oh my.

Vegan barbeques aren’t as unusual as they used to be. Lots of folks love the conviviality of these events, as well as the trademark smoky taste of the cuisine. However, once you give up eating animal products, it can be challenging to find acceptable substitutes for your childhood favorites. Have no fear, because we’ve discovered a great vegan barbeque offering! These tofu/chickpea sandwiches have an appealing texture, similar to pulled pork or sloppy joes, but without the grease or the guilt! Chickpeas add protein and density, and the sauce – oh my. You’ll just have to try it for yourself.

INGREDIENTS
1 12-ounce block extra-firm, organic tofu
2 teaspoons olive oil (for pan)
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (also called garbanzos), drained and rinsed
6-8 gluten-free buns
Coleslaw for topping (Your easiest bet is to buy bagged, pre-shredded coleslaw, then add a bit of Vegenaise (or other vegan mayo), a pinch or two of celery salt, and a small amount of finely chopped red onion).

BBQ SAUCE
1 teaspoon olive oil (for pan)
1 small scallion, chopped (about ¼ cup)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon tamari (not commercial soy sauce, which contains wheat)
¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
Heat olive oil in pan on stovetop and cut half of the tofu block into small cubes. Crumble the other half directly into pan and add the cubed tofu. Fry for 5-10 minutes until tofu is golden brown. Remove tofu from pan and set aside.

Add a bit more olive oil to the pan and sprinkle shallots and garlic inside. Fry 2-3 minutes until shallots and garlic are cooked through and slightly browned. Add the remaining barbeque sauce ingredients and stir continuously until combined (approximately 5 minutes). Add tofu and chickpeas and continue stirring for another 4-5 minutes.

Remove from pan and ladle onto slightly toasted buns. Top with coleslaw and a couple of pieces of lettuce. You’ll be wolfing this meal down in no time! For best results, serve with gluten-free beer. Serves 6-8 hungry guests. You’ll all be planning your next barbeque before the sandwiches are even gone!

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Summary: We love making soups in the winter. They’re warm, hearty, and help us feel better on a cold evening, especially at the end of a long day. If you’re under the weather, a good soup can nourish you like nothing else on the planet. We recently discovered this black bean tortilla soup at a friend’s holiday party and were so wowed that we begged her for the recipe. She was delighted to share it, and so are we. The concoction only takes about 45 minutes to prepare, so it’s a great dish if you’re on the run.

tortilla soup

We love making soups in the winter. They’re warm, hearty, and help us feel better on a cold evening, especially at the end of a long day. If you’re under the weather, a good soup can nourish you like nothing else on the planet. We recently discovered this black bean tortilla soup at a friend’s holiday party and were so wowed that we begged her for the recipe. She was delighted to share it, and so are we. The concoction only takes about 45 minutes to prepare, so it’s a great dish if you’re on the run.

SOUP INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 28-ounce can, stewed tomatoes (check label, make sure no chemicals are added).
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon sea salt (not iodized!)
2 cans black beans (or 3 cups boiled black beans, if you have time)
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

GARNISHES
3 small corn tortillas
1 avocado, sliced
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a large pan and add chopped onions and garlic. Fry on medium heat until onions and garlic are slightly brown. Your kitchen will smell terrific, and you’re just getting started! Add vegetable broth, stewed tomatoes, both chili powders, salt, and cumin. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until tomatoes are cooked through.

Add black beans and corn and continue simmering for 10 minutes until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Meanwhile, cut tortillas into thin strips. Place strips in olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan (cast iron is great!) Fry strips on both sides until brown and crispy, then remove from pan. Place them on paper towel to absorb excess olive oil.

Serve soup in festive bowls with avocado slices, a squeeze or two of lime juice, a liberal dash of cilantro, and as many tortilla strips as your heart desires. We love tortilla strips and find that it’s hard to put too many into this soup. But eat fast, because they do get soggy.

Serves 4-6 hungry guests. This soup is especially good with vegan, gluten-free cornbread and/or beer. If you do end up with leftovers, you can freeze them, or devour them in the next couple of days. You will be utterly delighted by this simple, inexpensive, and satisfying meal. Stay warm and enjoy!

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Summary: November puts us in a festive mood, and few foods are more synonymous with autumnal feasting than sweet potatoes. Often, when Thanksgiving rolls around, we just put a few sweet potatoes in the oven, roast them, and devour them as a side dish. ...

burgers
November puts us in a festive mood, and few foods are more synonymous with autumnal feasting than sweet potatoes. Often, when Thanksgiving rolls around, we just put a few sweet potatoes in the oven, roast them, and devour them as a side dish. Though sweet potatoes are undeniably delicious on their own, they can be combined with other ingredients to make an even tastier meal. This recipe combines sweet potatoes with millet, ground oatmeal, and black beans to make a scrumptious patty that can be devoured as a burger or used as a main course with a salad and/or a side dish of vegetables. We love this hearty entree, and feel confident you will, as well.

INGREDIENTS
1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes (fresh, not canned!)
1/3 cup uncooked millet
1 cup oats (make sure they’re gluten-free)
1 can black beans (rinse and drain), or 2 cups boiled
½ red onion, chopped
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
½ teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS
Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise and place on cookie sheet or roasting pan. Cook at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes until pulp is soft. Remove from oven and scoop pulp away from skin. Mash sweet potatoes in medium-sized bowl. Discard or compost the skin.

Meanwhile, boil 1 cup water in medium saucepan. Add millet, turn down heat, and simmer for about 25 minutes. Millet will soften yet retain a slight crunchiness. Drain excess water and pour millet into large mixing bowl. Add mashed sweet potatoes, black beans, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, salt and spices. Mix should be moist but not runny.

Grind oatmeal in blender until it is slightly coarser than flour. This should take no more than a minute. Add oatmeal to your mixture and stir with large spoon until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Now your concoction will be drier, but it should still be moist enough to form into patties. Make sure they’re smooth and not too thick. Fry patties on stovetop in oil (olive is best) until lightly browned on both sides.

Serve as a sandwich on gluten-free bun with lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, hot mustard, ketchup, etc. You can also enjoy your patty as a main course. They are dense and filling! Serves 6-8 hungry people, so invite all your friends for dinner. If you have leftovers, they keep well in the refrigerator and can be re-heated the next day. Happy autumn!

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Summary: You’ll be in heaven from the first time you take a bite of this rich, hearty dish! It’s surprisingly easy to make. The hardest part is opening the cans! Of course, you can boil the beans from scratch in three separate pans, but ...

You’ll be in heaven from the first time you take a bite of this rich, hearty dish! It’s surprisingly easy to make. The hardest part is opening the cans! Of course, you can boil the beans from scratch in three separate pans, but this will be more difficult and labor-intensive in the long run. Just make sure your canned beans are organic and don’t contain any nasty preservatives or flavorings. Check those labels! You are going to love this tamale pie more than you ever dreamed possible.

INGREDIENTS (for the base)
1 diced red onion
1 red bell pepper
3 chopped garlic cloves
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 14-ounce can pinto beans, drained
1 14-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1 14-ounce can kidney beans, drained
1 cup frozen, thawed corn
1 tablespoon cumin (more if you like it spicy)
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste

INGREDIENTS FOR TOP CRUST
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup gluten-free flour (we recommend Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flour)
2 tablespoons baking powder (check label, make sure there’s no aluminum added)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 ¼ cups plant-based milk (we love almond, but soy is great if you’re not allergic)
1/3 cup olive oil
2-3 chopped scallions

INSTRUCTIONS

Fry chopped onion, garlic, and read pepper on stovetop in a bit of olive oil. When mixture is lightly browned (about 5 minutes), add the tomatoes, beans, corn, cumin, ancho chile powder, salt, and pepper. Simmer mixture for 15 minutes, until bubbly. Make sure you use a large frying pan, cast iron if possible. You can pop the pan right into the oven when your preparations are complete. Otherwise, prepare mixture in wok and transfer to baking pan when done.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare cornmeal topping by combining all crust ingredients in medium-sized bowl. Texture should be slightly thick, but not lumpy or runny. Ladle over the surface of your bean mixture, spreading evenly. Place pan into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until surface is lightly browned and slightly cracked.

tamale pie

Serve with cilantro garnish and/or salsa if desired. We love a mixture of Aardvark hot sauce and pico de gallo, but feel free to experiment. A side salad is a great accompaniment. Serves 6 hungry people. Your friends will rave about this tamale pie. If you do end up with leftovers, the dish is easily reheated and tastes just as delicious as it did when it first came out of the oven. Enjoy!

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