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Layered Taco Salad

Layered Vegan Taco Salad

One of the things that keeps me motivated to eat salad, other than when it’s summer, is to include something hot — both in terms of actual heat and spice. This layered taco salad, a cousin to loaded nachos, couldn’t be easier to make. The heat is supplied by a layer of Amy’s Chili (for convenience), and the spice by chili peppers or salsa. If you’d like to go DIY, this is also an excellent way to use leftover Classic Veggie Chili. This will keep you full and satisfied for hours. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

Vegan BLT Salad

vegan BLT salad

The smoky-sweet flavor of tempeh bacon makes a simple salad sizzle. Especially in winter, when salad is a lot less tempting than soups and stews, adding something warm and hearty like tempeh bacon makes it more appealing. And if you’re lightening up post-winter holidays, the classic combo of lettuce, tomatoes, and (vegan) bacon minus the bread will hit the spot without feeling heavy. Use your favorite kind of store-bought tempeh bacon, or try Dreena Burton’s fabulous Baconut, a homemade bacon substitute made with coconut flakes. more→

Pappardelle with Chard and White Beans

Pappardelle with chard

Pappardelle, a flat ribbon noodle, is an elegant backdrop for chard, beans, and squash. It’s a substantial yet not-too-heavy main dish to serve at a company or holiday dinner or take to a gathering to share. If you do transport it, put it in a large covered casserole dish after allowing it to cool somewhat. Before serving, borrow your host’s oven, set at 350º F. to warm the dish up for 15 to 20 minutes; or microwave on High for 5 minutes to reheat. Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photos by Susan Voisin. more→

Skillet Spiced Chickpeas

Skillet roasted spiced chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas are all the rage as a snack, but I’m reluctant to heat up an oven for a can’s worth of chickpeas, if nothing else being baked! Oven roasting chickpeas can also dry them out, occasionally even making them explode. I’ve had better luck with skillet toasting, which yields good flavor and texture every time. These are good eaten out of hand as an appetizer or snack in place of far more caloric nuts. These disappear quickly, so if you’re serving a larger or hungrier crowd, double the recipe and use a larger skillet. They make a tasty salad topping, too.
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Chickpea, Avocado, and Spinach Spread

Chickpea, Spinach, and Avocado Spread

If you’re looking for an easy, healthy, and yummy spread for fresh bread, crackers, or tortilla chips, you’re in luck. This one combines tasty chickpeas with smooth avocado, and boosted with a good dose of baby spinach or arugula. Spread it on toast any time of day — even for breakfast, or scoop a little of the soft center from a fresh crusty baguette. It’s as good for everyday lunches as it is as a special occasion dip or spread. Makes about 2 cups. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner in Less Than an Hour

Last-minute vegan Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving has become the holiday that many vegans look forward to all year — there are so many great options to make and to share. But what with life’s unexpected twists, we’re here to help out if there’s an unexpected glitch in your plans — you, your partner, or your kids get sick; your flight gets cancelled; a snowstorm makes traveling hazardous. Or, at the very last minute, you’ve decided you just want to keep things quiet and intimate, rather than tussling with your rowdy relatives.

Whatever the reason, if you’re on the verge of opting out but just don’t want to feel left out, here’s a last-minute season-friendly vegan menu that you can throw together at the last minute. There are no recipes to follow. If you want to get a little fancier, you’re free to explore VegKitchen’s wide range of Thanksgiving recipes; and if you have more time and inclination, add our Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie or just pick up some dessert.
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Tips for Easing Your Holiday Meal Prep

Three sisters stew recipe

In this insanely busy world, most people — even Grandma — would be daunted by the prospect of preparing an entire Thanksgiving or Christmas feast for a crowd. And with so many dietary preferences to accommodate — vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free — holiday meal prep can start to feel overwhelming. Whether you’re going to be a host or a participating guest, here are some tips that will help simplify your holiday meal prep so that you can feel festive rather than frazzled when the company starts to gather. Need ideas for what to make? We’ve got you covered. Here’s our full list of Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes to mix and match. more→

10 Yummy Vegetable Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

Vegan Green bean casserole

Vegetarian, vegan, omnivore — whatever the dietary preferences of your crowd at the Thanksgiving table, everyone can enjoy these delicious vegetable side dish. Most are (or can be made) gluten-free, too! We’ve got the traditional fall veggies covered here — choose two or three for your menu and enjoy! Vegan Green Bean Casserole is a winter holiday favorite. The original, vintage version uses canned cream of mushroom and (gasp!) canned fried onions; this one gets its creaminess from pureed white beans or silken tofu. more→

Peanut Butter and Jam Scones

Peanut Butter & Jam Scones

Peanut butter and jam fans, this vegan baked treat is for you! These comforting scones are a great, wholesome breakfast pastry, or a nice accompaniment to coffee or tea on a chilly day. Unlike classic scone recipes, the dough for this one isn’t made with butter; peanut butter makes the perfect dairy-free stand-in. Use smooth peanut butter that has a flowing rather than clumpy consistency. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

Juices vs. Smoothies: Which is best?

pineapple, apple, and leafy greens smoothies

Which gives you more benefits, smoothies or juices? Smoothies are easy to make, with the whole leaf and accompanying fruit or fruit being used, resulting in a beverage that’s filled with fiber. On the other hand, the essence of a lot more greens and fruits can go into one serving of juice, making it a more potent source of all the nutrients and enzymes present in the produce that’s used. Let’s take a look at the benefits of juicing vs. making smoothies. more→

Chickpea Chopped Salad

chickpea chopped salad wraps

Here’s a tasty chickpea chopped salad that may just become your go-to sandwich spread or wrap filling. Or, just add a scoop to a green salad to add protein. Filled with olives, cucumbers, peppers, and sunflower seeds, this is both comforting and crunchy all at once. It’s great for a portable lunch for work or school, too. Photos by Evan Atlas.

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Easy Vegan Appetizers

Smoky vegan cheddar cheez

Finger Foods, Warm Hors D’Oeuvre, Dips,
and Spreads 
for Everyday or Special Occasions

by Jordan St. Clair-Jackson | From the Best of VegKitchen.com series

Available now as a Kindle edition on Amazon.com

Vegan and vegetarian cookbooks rarely present many appetizer recipes. On the other hand, the rare ones that do focus on the subject offer up recipes that are way too complicated. Who needs an appetizer that takes longer to make than an entire meal? That takes a lot of the fun out of it. more→

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