When I’m out in the world, teaching and speaking about food, I meet people who say they are too busy to cook. Life gets crazy, things pile up, and the next thing you know, you’re eating chips out of a bag, or picking up take-out. Either of those options will fill you up, but it’s probably not going to nourish you the way you deserve to be nourished. It is also a waste of money to eat take out, when you can make a meal for just a few bucks at home.That’s where this One-Pan Spaghetti with Chickpeas comes in. Grab a big pot and start sautéing half a chopped onion, and while it softens, chop some garlic, grate some lemon zest, halve grape tomatoes, chop a carrot. Don’t bother to put on a pot of water to cook the spaghetti-it’s going to cook in the pot with the veggies!
We start with a mushroom, a plant famed for its umami chemicals. Umami, according to this article in Science Direct.com, is the meatiness caused by the presence of sodium salts of glutamic and aspartic amino acids and 5′-nucleotides. What that means is that mushrooms have an extra chemical punch when you eat them, that makes your brain perceive them as more “meaty” and satisfying. Then, we add another umami star, smoke.
Mealtess Grilling is the Best! In this recipe, I grill the tomatoes, corn and hot peppers, for a bit of charred flavor in the salsa. The heat sweetens the corn, giving it a bit of caramelization as it cooks. My skewered grape tomatoes become soft and juicy, as their skins blister and blacken. Two hot chilies mellow and become friendly, and it is easy to slip the skin away, if you choose to do so.
The real fun starts when you grill fresh chips and tostada shells. Instead of buying a bag of tortillas, serving tacos once or twice, then watching them languish in the fridge, I now make them into grilled chips and shells. No need to heat a pot of oil to deep fry your tortillas, when the grill will make them into crispy chips in a couple of minutes.
Moroccan food is a treasure trove of plant based flavors. Their traditional dishes, like tagine, are usually graced with plenty of vegetables, spices, sweet and tart balance, and fresh herbs. When I visit Moroccan restaurants, though, the vegetarian tagine is usually pretty bland, while the meat based dishes get all the attention. That is why I like to make my own versions of Moroccan food, and borrow the combinations from the meaty recipes and use them to make spectacularly tasty plant based dishes.
Like this Moroccan B’Stilla. Based on a pie usually made with poultry, this one is packed with dried fruit, spices, chickpeas, almonds, and a hit of coconut milk and lemon. Instead of the hard-to-find Brik pastry, I used easy to get filo dough, and basted it with refined coconut oil instead of butter. The result is a gorgeous, bronzed ruffle of crisp filo, encasing an intense, sweet-savory filling.
Don’t adjust your set, yes, the rice is blue. If you are bored with the usual rice alongside your Thai meal, here’s a colorful, healthful way to shake it up. Blue Butterfly Pea flowers are a traditional ingredient in South East Asia, and are used to make a beautiful tea, lemonade, cocktails, and yes, blue tinted rice. There’s nothing artificial about it, just brilliant blue flowers that are full of antioxidants.
Everybody loves calzones! These plant based calzones are packed with nutty chickpeas and pecan pesto, and wrapped in whole grain dough. Engineered to be as easy as possible, this recipe gives you a no-knead pizza dough as well as the simple calzones, made with canned chickpeas. Super tasty vegan Italian food!
When you make a true Buddha Bowl, you are making nourishing food, above all. But I like to add an element of mindfulness to the assembly and eating of the bowl, too. Take a moment to center yourself and breathe before you start cooking. Take a moment to look at your gorgeous ingredients and think about all the people who grew them, harvested them, and transported them to you. It may seem like a simple beet or bunch of kale, but it’s the result of many hands and hearts. Let yourself feel gratitude for all the people and all the energy that went into your meal. Be grateful to be here, able to have all this, right now.
Jamaica is home to I-Tal cuisine, the plant-based cooking of the Rastafarian religion. It’s also a Tropical paradise.
After researching the dish we know as rundown, I learned that it is actually a method borrowed from Indonesian sailors who traveled to the “Spice Islands” on their travels. In Indonesian cuisine, a “Rendang” is a dish simmered in coconut milk. The theory is that Jamaicans learned the method and colloquialized the name. So, it’s not about “running down” the vegetables at all. It’s about using the abundant coconuts of the Tropics to make delectable plant-based food.
I’d like to have a round of applause for the cook, long lost to history, who first combined saucy tofu with a nest of tender noodles. There are few things so simple and yet so sophisticated at the same time. These sticky sweet tofu cubes tossed with whole wheat linguine are crushably delectable, and only take minutes to prepare.
Are you intimidated by sushi? Maybe you pick up veggie sushi at the deli, where it seems like something way too hard to make at home. The plant based sushi options are limited to a few cucumber rolls at most places, and always white rice. Well, I promise you, you can make these pretty, veggie-packed, whole grain-enriched handrolls, and you don’t need any special equipment. Just a pot, a cutting board, and your hands.
Big Fat Burritos Rule. Something about rolling the whole meal into a bundle that you can hold in your hands makes the big burrito an ideal food delivery system. A truly epic burrito layers in complementary flavors and textures, to make each bite exciting. My Big Fat Burrito delivers a riot of flavors in every mouthful.
And you don’t need a fork.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Big burritos are big business, and places like Chipotle crank out millions of them every day. It’s easy to skip the takeout line, and make your own burritos. At home, you can stuff them with tender roasted veggies, quinoa and avocado.
This dish is made from plants, from the grains in the noodles, to the beans that were transformed into soy sauce. That’s a given. But whenever I cook, I try to add a few more vegetables. Get that noodle to veggie ratio just right, so it feels like a bowl of slippery noodles, but it’s also a bowl of fresh, crunchy veggies. I love my carbs, and I look at them as the comforting, lovable friends they are. But the veg to noodle ratio should be balanced a little toward the veg side. This dish achieves the right mix, with just enough noodles, and just the right amount of snappy snap peas and crisp carrots.
These Crunchy Avocado Tacos are a fun, deliriously tasty way to eat your fave hand-held, and I promise everyone will love them. The combination of lush avocado and a crispy shell flecked with panko crumbs is just sooo good.
You know you love tacos. That’s a given. Let’s just acknowledge that we want to eat tacos and nachos every night. These are trying times. A mouthful of spicy, savory taco goodness goes a long way toward comforting the soul. For even more comfort, I took away the shells and swapped in a soft, lovable sweet potato. Taco sweet potatoes are the comfort food I want, rig
When the temperatures drop, I no longer have to plan menus around keeping the kitchen cool. It’s time to start roasting my meals, and filling my kitchen with the scents of caramelizing vegetables and herbs. As you’ll see in my video, it’s also time to harvest the beets I was growing in my garden, and put them into a delicious meal.
Fried rice is one of the best uses of a leftover ever devised. In Asian countries with rice-based cuisines, there is bound to be some left over. Nobody wants to waste valuable food, so creative cooks find a way of making that cold rice into a a dish that may well be better than the original dish. That dish is, of course, fried rice. Take cold, crunchy rice and toss it in a hot pan, and you have food that comforts your very soul.
And once you’ve had corn on the cob three nights in the week, you might want to branch out and try making something a little different. That’s when I like to make this quick and easy Chinese-inspired dish. It’s a brilliant idea, really. If you are thinking about canned creamed corn, banish that from your mind. When you puree fresh corn, season it with lots of fresh ginger, garlic, and chilis, it has much more pizzazz.
If you’ve looking for a fantastic meal that comes together quickly, look to the Banh Mi. It’s a sandwich, but it’s so much more than the usual sandwich. Packed with chewy, five-spice and garlic laced seitan, a sweet and sour quick radish pickle, sliced jalapenos, cilantro, and garlicky aioli, it’s a riot of flavors that will keep your palate in a state of excitement through the last bite.
Garlic Scapes appear briefly at the Farmer’s Market and in CSA boxes in early summer, and are worth snapping up for a seasonal feast.
Do you feel overwhelmed at the end of a long day, with no ideas for a quick meal for the family? Try an easy Korean-style Stir Fry, made with canned mock duck and an easy, flavorful sauce.
So you’re stuck in the house, with a can of beans? Make these tasty Pantry Chickpea-Caper Burgers with Avocado Tzatziki and be well.
Make your own kecap manis with palm sugar and tamari, for a clean, delicious sauce.
Red Curry Mock Duck with Three Oranges In the dark, cold months of January and February, we can thank the citrus growers of Florida and California for shipping us rays of edible sunshine. Just as the winds howl and the snowbanks grow tall in Minnesota, our southern...
Caramelized Onion and Chickpea Frittata with Kala Namak There are a few ingredients that will take your plant-based cookery to the next level. Miso, nutritional yeast, and dried mushrooms come to mind. But one you should really get to know is Black Salt, or Kala...
This is the season for indulgence, when we all find ourselves eating, drinking and acquiring things with abandon. So, instead of another recipe for dessert, consider taking a few bites of wisdom from Gesshin Claire Greenwood, and reading her latest book, "Just Enough;...
Thanksgiving is coming, and your instagram feed is filling up with holiday food porn, so you can start planning for the big day. But between now and then, you still need to eat. If you like to make a big feast, you might find yourself putting all your kitchen time in...
Plant Based Fish, The Next Big Thing Plant Based Meats have been the food trend to watch, in recent years. I even wrote a book about it. Hot on the heels of mock meats is a new growth industry: Plant Based Fish. The hunger for familiar, high protein foods that come...
I recently did a cooking demonstration at the Mill City Farmer’s Market, showing the crowd how to cook stuffed squash blossoms. The number of people who told me that they had no idea that you could even eat squash blossoms convinced me that it’s time to talk about...
Meal Prepping is the Answer If you want to eat well, save money, and save time, you need to get into meal prep. Specifically, Vegan Meal Prep. Even if you aren't full-on vegan, you can prep all the plant-based foods. You may find that it's perfectly satisfying, or you...
Take two foods we love, put them in the same bowl, and you have Taco Rice. It may sound like an American invention, like the Korean Taco, or the Pizza Bagel, but it's not. No, this delicious bowl-ification of the tender rice we love in sushi and the spicy filling we...