Vegan Food Hacks
Aloo Gobi is a delectable Indian specialty that features cauliflower, potatoes, and usually peas in a mild, tomato base. I’m not sure my family has ever placed an order, whether eat-in or carry out, that didn’t include it as one of our choices. And fortunately it’s almost always already vegan, which means it doesn’t need to be modified. It’s great to be able to make super-quick aloo gobi at home, now that we’ve found the way — incredibly tasty Indian simmer sauces.
Ever since this new generation of Indian simmer sauces hit the market, we’re doing a lot more Indian-style meals at home. Our favorite is the Maya Kaimal line of sauces, but use what’s available to you. You’ll find Indian simmer sauces at natural foods stores and in the international foods aisle of well-stocked supermarkets. more→
A fantastic side dish for many kinds of meals, especially Indian specialties, what makes this fruit and nut rice pilaf so fruity and nutty is trail mix! Most trail mixes have a nice variety of dried fruits and nuts. As for the rice, you have options. Do you have already cooked rice in the fridge and need to dress it up? Leftover rice from your last Chinese food order (there’s always so much of it)? If not, you can use quick-cooking rice or the newest entry into the field of ready-cooked rice that just needs a quick spin in the microwave.
There are three great things to do with overripe bananas — one, bake them into breads or muffins; two, freeze them to make banana ice cream or blend into smoothies, and this is the third — bake them. Apply high heat to the very ripe or overripe fruit. Baked bananas become super sweet, with the consistency of pudding. Add some nondairy ice cream and berries, and you’ve got an impressive dessert that takes almost no effort to prepare. more→
Not long ago, we presented a delicious shortcut recipe, Instant Lentil and Kidney Bean Curry, inspired by the classic combo from Indian cuisine. One of the many full-flavored Indian simmer sauces available these days makes the meal a breeze to prepare — no need for the zillions of individual spices that gives the dish an authentic character. From mild coconut-based blends to hot jalfrezi sauces, the choice is yours. If vegan is important to you, check labels, as many of the varieties of these sauces contain dairy.
Completing this high-protein dish as a meal is a great idea, and that’s just what we’re going to do here. Brown rice and a refreshing cucumber salad are just the right companions. This meal is a bit light on vegetables; okay, quite light on vegetables, so we recommend fresh fruit or simple fresh fruit dessert (Pineapple-Orange Ambrosia, for instance) to make up for that. more→
Today, we’re going to learn to make authentic vegan ravioli from scratch, starting with growing our own artisanal wheat. Just kidding, of course! There are quite a number of yummy delicacies that I love, but that fall into the “life is too short” department when it comes to from-scratch cooking. One of them is vegan ravioli (followed closely by sushi).
Which is why when the mood strikes, we get a package of these dumpling-like cuties from the frozen foods section of our natural foods store. Then we’re well on the way to a hearty meal that only needs a salad to complete it. A can of pink beans gets us close to the finish line, then all that’s needed is a good sauce and a sprinkling of fresh basil and nooch (aka nutritional yeast) or vegan Parmesan. Let’s get started! more→
Butterscotch blondies, a childhood favorite, turned out to be one of the most difficult recipes for me to master. Really, it should have been a breeze to figure out this seemingly foolproof idea, and yet my first trial pan of raw batter literally exploded all over the oven. I wish I were exaggerating, but in all honesty, drippy streaks of sugar and margarine plastered the glass window from which I watched in horror.
Thankfully, though it took a while to perfect my approach, the following 5 or 6 attempts only resulted in a trash can full of unsatisfactory baked goods rather than more kitchen disasters. Now, I am happy to share my easy method for creating this sweet treat that I remember fondly from my pre-vegan days. It doesn’t require you to blow anything up, either. Recipe and photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→
Is this you: Are you someone who vows to eat more salad? Are you always promising yourself that you’ll do better at eating some fresh raw foods with lunch or dinner? Making a simple salad isn’t a big deal most of the time, but there are times when chopping a bunch of veggies can be less than appealing — whether you’re hurrying to pack your lunch or coming home tired after a long day. Our no-chop power greens salad comes to the rescue. There’s nothing to it other than layering a few veggies (and seeds) that need no prep at all. And it’s easy on the eyes, too.
With this salad, there’s also no need to measure. Use as much as you need to make one salad or two, or more. more→
Lentil and Kidney Bean Curry is a traditional Indian dish that combines two tasty and high-protein legumes. And while it usually doesn’t need to be veganized, in our minds, it needs to be simplified, as the typical recipe has 15 to 20 ingredients — a great percentage of them spices. Lots and lots of spices.
We couldn’t have been more thrilled when an array of full-bodied Indian simmer sauces burst on the market — you can have your pick whether at a natural foods store or in the supermarket’s international aisle. From mild coconut-based blends to hot jalfrezi sauces, many are also vegan (at least an equal number contain dairy, so check labels. more→
I’m not sure who invented that Buffalo wings combo that contrasts spicy BBQ flavors with celery and creamy dressing. It’s kind of weird, but obviously there’s something about it that people love, because there are hundreds of vegan variations, let alone thousands of the non-vegan variety. In plant-based versions, cauliflower or tofu stand in for “wings.” However, even in the ones labeled “simple” or “easy” there are usually between 15 and 20 ingredients.
In ours, the easiest Buffalo tofu bites ever, we use Nasoya’s chipotle flavored baked tofu. It has a great flavor and texture for this so-called recipe. Full-fledged lazy and full flavor become perfect partners. You can even find precut celery (or celery and carrot) sticks in the produce section of your supermarket. They cater to slackers like us these days. more→
Peanut butter pizza is a fun and easy way to start the day — even an busy school or work day morning. Pizza crust spread with peanut butter and then covered with bananas and other fruit and spoonfuls of jam make a filling breakfast treat in one fell swoop, rather than making a separate breakfast for everyone. It’s also a nice after-school treat.
Make sure to use an all-fruit jam, and use peanut butter that’s nice and spreadable rather than clumpy. You can also consider using small pizza crusts to make personal-size portions. more→
A vegan shepherd’s pie is a wonderful choice as a holiday centerpiece — especially Thanksgiving and Christmas — or as a dish to take to a potluck. To prove the point, our Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie is one of our most popular recipes. And though it isn’t at all difficult, judging by how many people have made it and served it, it’s admittedly a bit of a project. For holidays and special occasions, that’s fine — we like to pull out all the stops and put our best foot forward.
But these days, we’d like to cater to the extremely time-crunched (and okay, the very lazy) who’d like to make and share such satisfying dishes, so here’s a brilliant shortcut vegan shepherd’s pie, which cuts out the most time-consuming step — peeling, dicing, cooking, and mashing the traditional potato topping. Instead, we’ll use frozen cauliflower and just whip it up in a food processor or blender. Using lentil soup instead of plain canned lentils adds more flavor. more→
This almost-instant cauliflower rice sushi bowl features a typical trio used in veggie sushi — carrots, cucumber, and avocado. You get all the flavor of sushi with the lightened-up base of frozen riced cauliflower. Serve as a light dinner with a simple tofu dish, or pack in a container for a change-of-pace lunch. more→