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Vegan Food Hacks

Baked Polenta Casserole & Broccoli Slaw Dinner

Polenta Zucchini casserole dinner

What could be better than a comforting casserole at the end of a long, busy day? A comforting casserole that takes almost not time to prepare, like our Baked Polenta Casserole with Zucchini and Spinach, that’s what! And while it’s in the oven, all you need to do is kick back, because bagged fresh broccoli slaw and fresh bread complete a full dinner with no extra work.

The casserole is made up of layers of prepared polenta, the kind that comes in a tube, zucchini, and baby spinach. It’s smothered in marinara sauce and topped with melty vegan cheese, resulting in a crowd-pleasing, family-friendly main dish. Lots of casseroles need prep of the various components, but this one requires only minimal hands-on time. Use a really flavorful prepared marinara— roasted tomato, garlic, mushroom, or chunky vegetable. Continue Reading…

Baked Polenta Casserole with Zucchini & Spinach

Polenta Zucchini casserole

This easy baked polenta casserole uses prepared polenta (the kind that comes in a tube) layered with zucchini and spinach. Smothered in marinara sauce and topped with melty vegan cheese, it’s almost so embarrassingly easy to make, but such a crowd-pleaser. Use a really flavorful prepared marinara—roasted tomato, garlic, mushroom, or chunky vegetable. Adapted from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. Continue Reading…

Salsa Verde Quinoa & Veggies Dinner

Salsa Verde Quinoa dinner - Vegan Food Hacks

When you have a delicious, nourishing (and quick) dish like Salsa Verde Quinoa Pilaf as the centerpiece of a dinner plate, the rest of the meal comes together quickly. Here, we’ve completed the veg-centric meal with a late spring flavor, though it can be enjoyed almost any time of year.

Asparagus used to be a sign of spring; and though it’s a little less special now that it’s available nearly throughout the year, we won’t complain; it’s a veggie that doesn’t need chopping or prep (other than a little trim off the bottom), and that’s always a good thing. Continue Reading…

Famous Raw Brownies with Velvet Chocolate Icing

Famous Raw Brownies recipe

Finally, an easy wholesome raw brownies recipe that tastes like real brownies! Nuts, dates, coconut, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and salt combine to create a shockingly divine traditional-style brownie. Although the ingredients sound virtuous (and they are), your taste buds will only register one flavor: chocolate. It’s the most popular recipe on Laura-Jane’s blog, probably because it’s so quick, decadent, and nutritious.

Famous Raw Brownies keep extremely well in the fridge, and they are perfect for making ahead and bringing to a potluck or work function. The brownies stand on their own, but they’re even better with the Velvet Chocolate Icing (of course!), which is my go-to chocolate icing for any refrigerated dessert recipe, including cakes and bars. It’s easy to make, easy to spread, and extremely versatile. Iced desserts should be kept in the refrigerator. The flavors also pair beautifully with fresh blackberries or raspberries. Continue Reading…

Salsa Verde Quinoa Pilaf

Salsa Verde Quinoa Pilaf

In this simple quinoa pilaf, salsa verde (tomatillo salsa) makes a bold flavor statement. If you’ve never used it before, this green salsa variety is shelved along with the standard kinds. It has a somewhat smoky flavor that adds a distinctive character to dishes, and of course, it’s also perfect as a dip for tortilla chips. Just 5 ingredients (not counting salt and pepper) add up to a super tasty quinoa dish! Continue Reading…

5-Minute Vegan Artichoke Dip

Vegan sour cream artichoke dip

If you like artichokes, you’ll love this tangy vegan sour cream artichoke dip. And being to make it in 5 minutes flat makes it even more appealing. We used Follow Your Heart vegan sour cream, but you can use any brand your natural foods store carries. (when you have more than 5 minutes to spare until snack time, there’s also a link to a recipe for homemade vegan sour cream in the ingredient list). Serve with veggie chips, tortilla chips, or raw vegetables. Continue Reading…

Easy Vegan Batter-Dipped Cauliflower

Vegan batter-dipped cauliflower

Whether you enjoy this vegan batter-dipped cauliflower as a simple side dish or a veggie-based snack, you’ll find them completely addictive! And because we’re all about easy here at Vegan Food Hacks, we start with a bag of frozen cauliflower. Kids and adults — even picky ones — often approve of cauliflower. And what about the egg batter usually used to make this kind of recipe? A chickpea flour batter is the perfect swap.

Fresh cauliflower is great, but sometimes you don’t feel like dealing with the mess required to chop it down into cute little florets. No worries, frozen cauliflower may not be as good as fresh, but it does retain most of the nutrients, and is already in perfect-sized pieces for this recipe. Continue Reading…

Colorful Quinoa Protein Bowl

quinoa protein bowl recipe

This quinoa bowl recipe is quick, colorful, and an easy way to get your plant-powered protein in a one-dish meal. And while it looks like there’s a bit of prep involved, that’s not the case at all! The only cutting involved is the bell pepper. If you’re really slothful, well-stocked supermarkets sell cut bell pepper. But really, you can do this.

Grating carrots isn’t much fun, though, so we’ll use pre-grated, which are easy to find. The edamame and cashews add even more heft to quinoa’s already impressive protein profile. The only task you’ve got is to arrange the toppings artfully over cooked quinoa, then pass around the flavorful dressing. Continue Reading…

Nearly-Instant Vegan Miso Soup

Vegan Miso Soup recipe

If you’re vegan, you need to know that miso soup served in a Japanese eateries is often made with fish stock, so do ask when ordering. It’s a warming treat that’s a shame to miss, it’s nice to know that making traditional-style miso soup at home (minus the fish) is quite easy. Lately, though, I’m not fond of what kombu (a sea vegetable) does for the soup. It has a fishy flavor (after all, it comes from the ocean), a weird slippery texture, and it’s expensive. Fortunately, this vegan miso soup recipe is just as good without it.

Like its more traditional counterpart, it’s incredibly easy to make and cooks up in minutes. The green leafy aspect of the kombu is replaced with dark green lettuce leaves. Continue Reading…

Cauliflower Fried Rice & Sautéed Tofu Dinner

auliflower fried rice and tofu dinner

Chinese-Style Cauliflower Fried Rice served with Simple Sweet and Savory Sautéed Tofu makes a tasty vegan dinner menu, filled with healthy shortcuts.Those of you who follow Vegan Food Hacks know that we’re big fans of cauliflower “rice.” So many of you liked the cauliflower fried rice recipe we shared recently that we decided to build a meal around it.

What this meal needs is a tasty protein dish, and for that we suggest a simple sweet and savory sautéed tofu preparation. You can substitute tempeh or seitan for this as well. Our dishes are nothing if not flexible. Continue Reading…

Simple & Sweet Vegan Tartlets

Sweet vegan tartlets

Let’s say you’re not much of a baker or cook, but you want to make an impressive treat for a special person — say, your sweetie for Valentine’s Day or a birthday, or mom for Mother’s Day. These tiny sweet vegan tartlets are delectable, yet incredibly easy to make. Hannah Kaminsky presents four creative ways to fill these little beauties — as well as the tempting photos that go with them.

The mini fillo shells are vegan (and Kosher) are available in the frozen foods section of well-stocked supermarkets. You’ll find them near other fillo products, and items like puff pastry. The package directions say that once thawed, these are rebaked and ready to use, but also recommend heating them before filling, for extra crispness. Follow package directions, either way. Continue Reading…

Vegan 7-Layer Bean Dip

Vegan 7-layer bean dip

7-layer bean dip (aka 7-layer Mexican dip) is one of those delicious concoctions that probably has little to do with Mexican cuisine, in the same way that many “Chinese food” dishes are nowhere to be found in China. But it’s a heck of a party dip, so we’ll take it. This all-vegan 7-layer bean dip is super easy to make and you need not measure precise amounts, just build the layers, make it look nice, and serve with plenty of chips.

This is a fun snack to serve for Cinco de Mayo, Super Bowl and other sports gatherings, or any time you need an accompaniment to margaritas, mojitos, and sangria. Continue Reading…

6 Ways to Use Veggie Burgers (Other Than on a Bun)

Vegan meatball sub dinner

In our Vegan Food Hacks kitchen, we’re fans of using veggie burgers in “meaty” recipes, since many brands are made with grains, beans, pea protein, and vegetables. In contrast, many meat substitute products are based on soy protein isolates, which aren’t as good for you. Here’s a listing of some of the best veggie burger brands, only one of which is the textured soy protein variety.  Please note; not all veggie burgers are vegan — some contain egg or dairy, so read labels!

We find store-bought vegan veggie burgers incredibly useful and versatile. Of course, they’re still great served on whole-grain buns with your favorite condiments, but consider some of these other cool ways to use them as a meal starter. Continue Reading…

2-Ingredient No-Sugar Date Caramel Sauce

Vegan date caramel sauce

The typical caramel sauce recipe consists of a cup of sugar, half a cup of butter, and some milk or cream. Um, no. As in, no, our 2-ingredient no-sugar date caramel sauce contains none of those. We’ve hacked all the bad ingredients out of it — sugar included— by making it from dates and almond milk. That’s it! Unless you’d like to go the extra inch and add a pinch or grinding of salt — you know, salted caramel — to take it up a subtle notch.

And unlike regular caramel sauce, there’s no need to cook at all. You do need a good blender for this, though, to make it nice and smooth. Continue Reading…

20-Minute Salsa Black Bean Soup

Salsa black bean soup

There are those times — and it doesn’t have to be in the dead of winter — when you crave a really hefty, hearty, satisfying soup. A rainy day, a sudden head cold, and you want some soup NOW. This delicious salsa black bean soup is yours in not more than 20 minutes. Seriously. And it’s made with common ingredients you can find anywhere.

The only thing I urge you to splurge for — and it’s not much of a splurge — is organic canned black beans. That’s because the liquid they come in is a lot more like broth than like slime-water, making a lovely thick base for the soup. And the fact that many brands of organic beans come in BPA-free cans is a bonus as well. A jar of good salsa gives the soup a huge flavor boost. Thanks to VegKitchen contributor Hannah Brown for this tasty idea. Continue Reading…

Vegan Philly Cheesesteak & Salad Dinner

Vegan Philly Cheesesteak dinner

I’ve always wanted to try making vegan Philly cheesesteak, but something always stopped me. The problem has been that most of the recipes I’ve looked at use seitan in place of you-know-what. And while otherwise I have no quibble with seitan, it just seems like pure gluten served on bread is redundant.

Occasionally, a recipe will swap in portobello mushrooms, which do have that meaty umami thing going on. But for me, this would make it a portobello mushroom sandwich. While undeniably tasty, not exactly what I’d call the ideal vegan cheesesteak. Continue Reading…

Butternut Soup & Hummus Wraps Dinner

20-minute Butternut soup & hummus

Here’s a tasty vegan dinner featuring shortcut butternut squash soup and simple hummus and avocado wraps that make a perfect companion. No need to follow exact recipes, just a few easy steps and a delicious meal is yours in 20 minutes or less!

Smooth, mellow butternut squash soup has to be among the top comfort soups on the planet. I don’t mind making fresh butternut squash soup from scratch for special occasions like Thanksgiving, but when the craving hits at 6 o’clock pm or later on a weekday, a soothing bowlful seems out of reach. Or is it? The good news is that butternut squash soup (organic and vegan!) comes in 32-ounce containers — a convenient, instant soup starter. Continue Reading…

Chinese-Style Cauliflower Fried Rice

Chinese cauliflower fried rice

I’m all for rice, especially brown rice, but lately, I’ve fallen for cauliflower rice. Or, to be more precise, cauliflower “rice.” If you haven’t discovered it yet, it’s nothing more than cauliflower chopped down into rice-like pieces. Much as I like brown rice, it can feel heavy; cauliflower rice becomes a lighter substitute. Chinese-style cauliflower fried rice shows how well it works; and it makes the dish even quicker to prepare — no need to take the 30 to 40 minutes to cook brown rice.

Cauliflower rice makes any classic rice dish lighter, and is a fun and tasty way to get an additional serving of vegetable into your daily fare. For slothful food hackers like myself, the availability of frozen cauliflower rice is a huge bonus! If you like this as much as I do, explore our other cauliflower “rice” and “couscous” recipes. Continue Reading…

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. Continue Reading…

Vegan Recipes by VegKitchen logo
Vegan recipes by VegKitchen