Savor and Flavor

10 Vegan Pesto Recipes for Warm-Weather Meals

pesto pasta with potatoes and green beans

There’s something about pesto that immediately brings summer to mind — of course, it’s that magical aroma of basil. And though basil is a must-have ingredient of classic pesto sauces, there are countless variations on the theme when it comes to vegan pesto recipes. Here are 10 recipes for pesto as well as dishes that incorporate the pleasantly pungent, green flavor of the classic sauce — minus the usual dairy. You’ll find ideas for pesto pasta, of course, but going beyond that to potato salad, pizza, and as a delectable spread for bread as well.

Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes, and Green Beans (at top) is a classic rustic Italian combination. It may seem odd to combine pasta and potatoes, but it does work well, and is extra hearty. It’s carb heaven, maybe, but still healthy, especially if you use whole-grain pasta. more→

Caramelized Onion Hummus

caramelized onion hummus

This caramelized onion hummus recipe was inspired by one in Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, and the endless hummus plates that I devoured in Israel. Recipe by Gadi Friedman, adapted from Sesame Kingdom, reprinted by permission. Photo by Marc Piscotty. more→

How to Roast Chickpeas in a Skillet, 4 Ways

Sesame-ginger skillet chickpeas

There are tons of recipes out there for oven roasted chickpeas, but I question the need to turn the oven on for one, or even two can’s worth of this tasty legume. Instead, we’ll show you how to roast chickpeas in a skillet, and give them a variety of flavors each time — spicy, savory, and even sweet.

The result might not be quite as crispy as what you’d get from oven-roasting, but it also sidesteps the tendency to dry out. What you’re left with are flavored chickpeas to snack on with no guilt, and far fewer calories than the equivalent volume of nuts. more→

Instant Pot Asian Steamed Dumplings

Instant Pot Asian vegan dumplings

Dim sum can be hard to find once you go vegan, but not if you make your own. With store-bought wrappers these vegan Asian Steamed Dumplings are amazingly easy and cheap to make in an Instant Pot. Be aware that some brands contain egg, but you can always find vegan ones at Asian markets. Believe it or not, this filling is so flavorful you won’t even need a dipping sauce, but you can use soy sauce or tamari, if you’d like. This makes 12 dumplings, or 2 per serving. Recipe and photos by Kathy Hester, from The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot © 2017. Published by Page Street Publishing, reprinted by permission.
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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→

Salsa Fresca with Lots of Variations

Salsa Fresca with Peaches

When tomatoes are at their best, it’s well worth making salsa at home, rather than buying it in jars. This is a simple and delicious appetizer to serve with tortilla chips. This makes about 1 1/2 cups. Adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

Crispy Polenta Fries

Polenta Fries recipe

Making these addictive fries using polenta (cooked cornmeal) is super easy. You need to plan ahead to allow the cooked polenta to completely solidify in the fridge — a few hours or overnight. Use as an appetizer or side dish. Polenta is completely gluten-free, and though it’s a traditional Italian food, it goes with any kind of meal. Thanks to Colavita for the quick-cooking, super-smooth Instant Polenta used in this recipe, as well as the fruity olive oil and hot pepper spread we used to embellish the fries. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

Hoisin-Glazed Eggplant

Hoisin eggplan

Here’s a simple way to prepare the abundance of Japanese eggplants or the mini eggplants of summer. The hoisin marinade cooks into these small eggplants and makes them irresistible! Serve with a cold Asian-style noodle dish and a simple tofu dish for a delicious warm-weather meal. Or, serve on its own as an appetizer or first course. Look for hoisin sauce in the Asian foods section of well-stocked supermarkets, or at natural foods stores or Asian groceries. more→

Sophisticated Summer Rolls

Sophisticated Summer Rolls cropped

These summer rolls look fancy and sophisticated, but they’re so easy to make. Just stop, drop, and roll! A great appetizer or light meal for one, or make more for a crowd.Recipe from Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic: Eat (and Live!) the New French Way with Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Recipes for Every Season  © 2015 by Rebecca Leffler. Photos by Sandra Mahut. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. more→

Chocolate Almond Spread

Chocolate Almond Spread

Move over hazelnuts! Almonds are equally delicious when paired with chocolate. By simply blending almond flour, cacao powder, and agave nectar, you can create a rich and luscious spread that rivals the popular stuff in a jar. Use this as a topping for toast, layer it with sliced fruit on sandwiches, add it to your favorite sweet recipes, or smear it on sliced bananas or apples. Of course, you can also just lick it directly off a spoon. This makes about 1 cup.from Almond Flour: The High Protein, Gluten-Free Choice for Baking and Cooking by Beverly Lynn Bennett, (© 2016 Book Publishing Company, reprinted by permission) Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

Stovetop Herb Popcorn

Stovetop Herb Popcorn from Thug Kitchen

When did we all fall under the spell of microwave popcorn? Make your own, because it’s cheaper and better for you. Afraid you’ll burn it? You already burn it in the microwave, so you really have nothing to lose. This makes about 8 cups of popcorn. Reprinted from Thug Kitchen  © 2014 by Thug Kitchen, LLC, by permission of Rodale Books. more→

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