With the vegan diet, many people who are used to eating meat assume that it’s all about eating salads and nuts with meat substitutes that are bland, leaving plenty to be desired when it comes to flavor. But the truth is eating vegan can be full of flavor! It’s all about creative cooking and making the natural flavors of raw ingredients shine through. The vegan lifestyle has plenty of benefits. Whatever your reason for having vegan meals - whether you’ve committed to ditching meat altogether for health or for environmental reasons; whether you’re fasting, giving it up for lent or just doing a meatless mondays thing, here are 3 great lunch or dinner vegan recipes for you to try out!
Vegan Cauliflower Tacos
Cauliflower, when cooked right, is a wonderful substitute for white fish or for chicken. If seasoned the same way, the texture of cauliflower will provide a similar experience for the palate. Here’s the recipe:
- Crispy Breaded Cauliflower
- 15-ounce can vegetarian refried beans
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 cups red cabbage, shredded
- 2 limes (1 for the cabbage & 1 to serve)
- 3 tablespoons of vegan Yum Yum Sauce
- 8 corn tortillas Fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Make the Crispy Breaded Cauliflower (about 40 minutes total; use the remaining time to complete the steps below.)
- If using purchased refried beans, taste and if needed, mix with 1/2 teaspoon cumin and/or a pinch or two kosher salt.
- Slice about 2 cups worth of cabbage thinly. Mix it with 2 tablespoons lime juice and a pinch or two of salt. Allow it to stand at room temperature until serving.
- Make the Yum Yum Sauce.
- Warm the tortillas or char the tortillas.
- Chop cilantro for a garnish.
- To serve, place refried beans in a tortilla, top with cabbage, breaded cauliflower, Yum Yum sauce, and cilantro. Spritz with lime wedges before serving. Leftover cauliflower can be reheated.
How to Make the crispy breaded cauliflower:
- 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds whole)
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (use gluten free panko as necessary)
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoo kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)
- 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Chop the cauliflower into large florets and put them in a large bowl.
- Mix together the panko, cornmeal, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, turmeric, and kosher salt in a small bowl.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk the coconut oil, peanut butter, maple syrup, soy sauce, and hot sauce together until fully combined and slightly darkened, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour the sauce onto the cauliflower and stir until the cauliflower is well coated.
- Pour about 1/3 of the dry mixture into the bowl with the cauliflower and mix. Repeat twice to stir in the remaining dry mixture to coat all of the cauliflower. Then remove the breaded cauliflower from the bowl with your hands and put it onto a parchment lined baking sheet. The remaining crumbs may be discarded.
- Bake for 30 minutes total, flipping the cauliflower with a spatula at the 15 minute mark. Serve right away. If being served as an appetizer, add a drizzle of Yum Yum sauce or another sauce. May also be enjoyed with ketchup!
Winter Squash Lentil Stew
There’s something so comforting about earthy lentils and yummy squash. The two collide in this hearty, healthy and flavorful lentil stew.
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2" chunks
- 1 lb. green lentils, picked over
- 6 c. chicken or vegetable broth
- 5 c. packed baby spinach
- 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
- In pressure-cooker pot on medium, cook shallots and ginger in oil 5 minutes or until shallots are golden, stirring.
- Add cardamom and coriander.
- Cook 1 minute, stirring.
- Add squash, lentils, broth and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Cover, lock and bring up to pressure on high.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 12 minutes.
- Release pressure by using quick-release function.
- Stir in spinach, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Creamy Vegan Linguine with Wild Mushrooms
- 1 lb. linguine or fettuccine
- 6 tbsp. olive oil
- 12 oz. mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 c. nutritional yeast
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced on an angle
- Cook linguine as label directs, reserving 3/4 cups pasta cooking water before draining. Return drained linguine to pot.
- Meanwhile, in a 12" skillet, heat oil on medium-high.
- Add mushrooms and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until mushrooms are browned and tender, stirring.
- Transfer to pot with cooked, drained linguine along with nutritional yeast, reserved cooking water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper.
- Toss until well mixed. Garnish with green onions.