Tag Archives: vegetarian

rigatoni pie on white plate

Food Network’s Rigatoni Pie is the OG TikTok Honeycomb Pasta (and Now We Want Both!)

You might’ve seen the honeycomb pasta hack that has gone viral on TikTok, in which Anna Rothfuss AKA @bananalovesyoutoo stuffs string cheese in rigatoni pasta, layering on sauce, ground meat and grated cheese for good measure. We daresay this popular quick meal evokes a Food Network Canada eye-catching favourite: our very own 20-minute, 10-ingredient Rigatoni Pie. While slightly more elevated in flavour (no string cheese here), this vegetarian version is equally melty and gooey and just as straight-forward to make for a quick weeknight meal — all with simple pantry ingredients you likely already have on hand.

rigatoni pie on white plate

Looking to save additional time? Instead of making your own tomato sauce, swap in four cups of store-bought marinara. For meat-lovers, you can mix things up too by adding cooked ground meat to the sauce (just note: you’ll need less of the sauce). This delicious budget-friendly comfort food will be a fan favourite at home, and the good news is the yield is high, so there will be plenty to go around.

Watch the how-to video here:


Rigatoni Pie Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Rest Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
9 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1 15-oz can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1 cup loosely-packed fresh basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb(s) rigatoni
1 lb(s) part-skim mozzarella, grated
⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Heat 4 Tbsp of the olive oil with the garlic in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Once it begins to sizzle, cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is soft and just beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes, then add the tomatoes and 1 ½ cups water. Increase the heat to high and bring the tomato sauce to a boil, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce cool for 10 minutes then puree in a blender until smooth.

Related: This Feta Tomato Pasta Trending on TikTok is as Easy as 1-2-3

2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with 1 Tbsp olive oil and bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is slightly less than al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil.

3. Stand the rigatoni on their ends in the prepared pan until it is completely filled (you might not use all the pasta). Place the pan on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch drips. Pour the sauce over the noodles, spreading it with the back of a spoon (You might not use all the sauce.) Sprinkle the pasta with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Related: I Tried Meghan Markle’s “Filthy, Sexy” Zucchini Pasta Sauce — Here’s How It Stacked Up

4. Cover the pan with foil, doming it slightly to avoid touching the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue cooking until the top is golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes more. Let the pasta cool for 10 minutes, then carefully remove the sides of the pan, cut into wedges and serve.

Spring pea toast with ACE Bakery loaf of bread

Celebrate Sunnier Days With This Elevated Spring Lemon and Smashed Pea Toast

If you’re ready to dive into spring with a fresh new recipe, you’re going to love this smashed pea spring toast. The combination of seasonal veggies like peas, radishes and fresh herbs is a match made in food heaven. It’s light and refreshing — making it the perfect bite to welcome in the warmer months!

Spring pea toast with ACE Bakery loaf of bread

Spring Lemon and Smashed Pea Toast

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh or frozen peas
2 cups fresh arugula
Juice of 1 lemon, divided
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¼ tsp of sea salt and ground black pepper, divided
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp fresh chives, finely chopped
2 leaves fresh mint, thinly sliced
2 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced
Zest of 1 lemon
2 radishes, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp, crumbled feta
2 slices of ACE Bakery® Sliced Sourdough Miche

Directions:

1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Once water has reached a boil, add peas and cook for 3-5 minutes or until soft with a slight crunch, but still vibrant in colour.

2. While peas are cooking: in a medium mixing bowl, toss arugula with a squeeze of lemon, 1 tsp of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Related: The Tastiest Things You Can Put on Toast (That Isn’t Avocado)

3. Drain peas and add to a food processor, along with yogurt, remaining lemon juice, garlic, chives, mint, basil, lemon zest, as well as a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Pulse for 10-15 seconds or until slightly smooth with some texture from the peas. Set aside.

4. Place 2 slices of the ACE Bakery® Sliced Sourdough Miche on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with remaining olive oil. Transfer to the oven to broil on high for 6-8 minutes or until lightly golden and toasted. To assemble, spread on ½ cup of the mashed peas, layer on a handful of dressed arugula, as well as some sliced radishes and crumbled feta.

Watch the how-to video here:


Molly Yeh's spinach and pita eggs benedict

Molly Yeh’s Bright, Spinach-Packed Spin on Eggs Benedict is Your New Brunch-Time Fave

Nothing says “brunch” better than a rich, runny egg-topped eggs benedict — but, as Molly Yeh shows us time and time again on Girl Meets Farm, you can always make a classic dish even yummier with a little creativity. Enter: Molly’s creamy, bright, veggie-packed twist on eggs benedict.

Starting with warm, crisp homemade pita bread as the base, Molly layers on plenty of flavour with sunny poached eggs, garlicky sauteed spinach and a rich, cheesy feta cream sauce. The mouth-watering sauce, which Molly calls “hollandaise’s sassy younger sister” gets a touch of sweet-meets-smoky kick from a dash of Aleppo pepper.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Bagel Salad Recipe is an Instant Brunch Classic

Pita and Greens Benedict With Feta Cream

Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes (includes rising time)
Active Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Yields: 4 servings (Note: pitas yield 24 pitas)

Ingredients:

Benedict:
2 oz feta, crumbled
1/2 cup (113 g) whole milk Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper or paprika, plus more for sprinkling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, sliced
6 oz spinach
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 large eggs
2 Pitas, halved, recipe follows

Pitas:
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for the bowl
3 3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting (you may sub out 1 3/4 cups bread flour for 1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour)
Nonstick cooking spray for the bowl, optional

Special Equipment: a high-speed blender

Related: Molly Yeh’s Spinach and Feta Rugelach Are a Savoury Twist on a Classic

Directions:

Benedict
1. Combine the feta, yogurt, Aleppo or paprika, a few turns of pepper and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a high-speed blender and blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (this can be made a day or two in advance).

2. Heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the spinach, a few pinches of salt and 2 tablespoons water and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and wilted, about 4 minutes. (You may need to add the spinach in batches if it’s too much to fit in all at once.) Season with pepper and squeeze in the lemon juice. Turn the heat down to low just to keep this warm while you poach the eggs.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl, then carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water. Cook until the whites are firm but the yolks are still runny, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove to a paper towel or clean kitchen towel to dry off any excess moisture.

4. Toast or grill the pitas. Drizzle with a little olive oil and top with the spinach and eggs. Spoon on the feta cream and sprinkle with fresh black pepper and a pinch of Aleppo or paprika. Enjoy!

Pitas
1. Mix together the warm water, yeast and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer running on low speed, add the salt and oil, then gradually add the flour. Increase the speed to medium-high and mix, adding just enough additional flour so that the dough no longer sticks to the bowl, until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky, 7 to 10 minutes. (Do not add too much flour.) Lightly coat a clean large bowl with oil or cooking spray, then place the dough in the bowl and turn it once or twice to coat it in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.

2. Turn the dough onto a clean work surface and divide it into 24 equal pieces. Mold each piece into a ball by stretching the top and tucking the edges under. Place the balls 1 inch apart on a piece of parchment paper, then cover them with plastic wrap and let them rise for 30 minutes.

Molly Yeh making her pita and greens benedict

3. Preheat the oven to 500ºF and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. With a rolling pin, roll out the balls of dough into 3-inch circles, dusting with flour as needed. Place them on the lined baking sheets and bake until they’re puffy and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

Cook’s Note: Leftovers are tasty and can be frozen and reheated in the toaster.

For more ideas on how to start your morning in the most delicious way, check out these breakfast recipes from Molly Yeh.

Watch Girl Meets Farm and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Vegan steak with broccoli, sweet potatoes

You’ll Never Guess the Secret Ingredient in This Vegan Steak Recipe

Steaks are a weeknight staple for so many, but for those who would like to indulge in the flavour and texture of steak without the animal protein, this Can You Vegan It? recipe is for you! The key ingredient that gives these steaks their meaty texture is seitan (made from vital wheat gluten), a delicious meat alternative that is a growing food trend among vegans and vegetarians. Plus, topping these steaks with chili chimichurri gives it an oh-so spicy, herby and tangy finish.

Vegan steak with broccoli, sweet potatoes

Vegan Steaks

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 48 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 38 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Steaks
½ cup mashed chickpeas
1 ¼ cup vital wheat gluten flour
2 tsp coconut aminos
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup vegetable stock
Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying

Marinade
⅔ cup coconut aminos
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp paprika
½ tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp olive oil

Chilli Chimichurri
1 tsp ancho chili powder
Handful of parsley
Handful of cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot, chopped
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper

Vegan steak ingredients on kitchen countertop

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, add in chickpeas, flour, coconut aminos, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper and sea salt. Mix all ingredients until crumbly, then gradually incorporate the vegetable stock and knead until firm. Add more stock if the dough is too dry or more flour if it’s too sticky.

Vegan steak ingredients in bowl

2. Roll the dough into a log and cut into four portions. Roll out each portion until about ½ inch thick. Steam steaks on stovetop for 45 minutes.

Four formed vegan steak patties

3. While the steaks are steaming, make the marinade. Combine coconut aminos, garlic powder, paprika, sea salt and oil in a resealable plastic bag.

4. Once the steaks are steamed and fully cooked, place the steaks in the resealable plastic bag and coat them with the marinade. Let it marinate in the fridge for half an hour.

Vegan steak marinaded on white plate

5. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Once the pan is hot, add in marinated steaks and sear both sides for about 30 seconds until lightly brown. Do not sear them for too long or they will burn. Once the steaks are seared, rest them for about 3 minutes while you make the chili chimichurri sauce.

Related: Vegan Comfort Food Trends to Look out for This Year

6. In a food processor, add in chili powder, parsley, cilantro, garlic, shallot, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sea salt and black pepper. Puree until smooth. Add more oil if needed for looser consistency.

7. Top steaks with chili chimichurri and serve with broccoli and sweet potato wedges or any side of choice.

Vegan steak with chimichurri sauce on top

Like Valerie’s vegan steak recipe? Try her vegan West African peanut lentil stew or her 20-minute vegan zucchini ramen noodle soup.

Ree Drummond’s Best-Ever Super Spicy Mac and Cheese

When it comes to quick and easy meals, you can rely on a comfort food classic like mac and cheese to satisfy all your cravings. And who better to provide inspiration for a scrumptious feast? The one and only Ree Drummond, naturally. With macaroni, jalapenos, hot sauce and a variety of cheeses, this spicy one-pot wonder from The Pioneer Woman is everything you need on a busy weeknight.

Related: Ree Drummond’s Buffalo Chicken Totchos Are the Food Mash-Up You Didn’t Know You Needed

Super Spicy Mac and Cheese

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

1 lb macaroni
2 Tbsp salted butter
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cups whole milk, plus more if needed
8 oz queso blanco-style processed cheese, cubed
1 cup grated Monterey Jack
1 cup grated pepper jack
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
Hot sauce, as desired

Related: Ree Drummond’s 30-Minute Vegetarian Pasta Makes Peppers the Star

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the crushed red pepper, jalapeno, garlic and onion and cook, stirring, until the veggies have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and heat until starting to bubble around the edges. Add the processed cheese and stir until melted. Add the Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheeses, pepper, kosher salt, seasoned salt and hot sauce to taste. Stir until the cheese is melted. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add a splash of milk if the sauce seems too thick. Fold in the cooked macaroni and serve.

3. Reheating instructions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the mac and cheese in a baking dish, cover with foil and heat until warmed through, about 25 minutes.

Related: This Bold 5-Ingredient Sheet Pan Steak Supper From The Pioneer Woman Will Brighten Your Table

Watch the how-to video here:

Watch The Pioneer Woman and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

A vegetarian sandwich with greens and plant-based alternatives alongside a mango-coloured cocktail

Can You Guess Which City is the Most Vegetarian-Friendly in Canada?

With the COVID-19 pandemic came the unprecedented shift towards working remotely for many Canadians, and some are looking to relocate to places better suited to their lifestyles, for good. With plant-based diets on the rise for health, ethical and environmental reasons, which cities are best suited to attract vegetarians? 

The Vegetarian Cities Index for 2021 sought to answer this by ranking 75 of the most vegetarian-friendly cities in the world, and that list includes some Canadian standouts. 

Related: Easy Plant-Based Recipes for Beginners That Will Make You Drool

Rustic table with a blue plate, zucchini noodles, tomatoes, kale and halved soft-boiled eggs

The index assessed the affordability and quality of each city’s vegetarian offerings (including plant-based diet staples such as fruits, veggies and proteins), the number of vegetarian-friendly restaurants and lifestyle-related events. 

Related: From Keto to Vegan, These Are the Pantry Staples You Need Based on Your Diet

The survey identified that while home cooking still played an important role for vegetarians over the last 12 months, plant-based restaurants played an important role in people’s lives (some of these restaurants were not only top rated vegetarian restaurants, but top rated restaurants overall). 

Of the 75, Canada did not crack the top 30 list. However, four Canadian cities did offer established vegetarian-friendly “ecosystems,” with Ottawa leading as the most vegetarian-friendly city in Canada in 31st place. Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal follow in 50th, 60th, and 66th place, respectively. 

Related: The One Dish John Catucci Always Orders From These North American Cities

People in the produce aisle at a grocery store

Out of these four, Ottawa had the most affordable grocery staples (fruits, veggies, plant-based proteins),  while Montreal scored highest out of the four for vegetarian restaurant affordability. Toronto, on the other hand, had the highest number of vegetarian-friendly restaurants, while Vancouver had the highest ratio of these restaurants with nearly a quarter offering vegetarian-friendly options. 

As for which cities claimed the top spots? London (UK), Berlin and Munich were identified as the top three destinations for those opting for a meatless diet. 

We tried TikTok’s Feta Tomato Pasta and Popeye’s Famous Chicken Sandwich — are they worth the hype?

Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Eggplant "Meat"ball Sandwiches from Katie Lee's new cookbook, It's Not Complicated

You Won’t Believe These Eggplant “Meat”Ball Sandwiches Are Vegetarian

I love a meatball. In my quest to add plant-based recipes to my diet, I tried making meatballs out of a mixture of eggplant and mushrooms, with great results. I like adding cashews for texture as well as a little protein. These meatball sandwiches taste really indulgent (hello, melted provolone!), but I also love using the eggplant balls on spaghetti with marinara. Even your pickiest meat-eater will be very happy. Promise.

Eggplant "Meat"ball Sandwiches from Katie Lee's new cookbook, It's Not Complicated

Eggplant “Meat”Ball Sandwiches

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

6 cups (490 g) diced eggplant, peel left on (about 1 medium eggplant)
2 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz (225 g) cremini mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup (60 g) unsalted raw cashews
1/2 cup (40 g) panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup (25 g) grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg, lightly whisked
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
4 kaiser rolls
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) marinara sauce (your favorite store-bought or homemade)
4 slices provolone cheese
4 fresh basil leaves
Pickled banana peppers (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Put the eggplant in a large bowl and slowly drizzle with 1 Tbsp of the oil. Stir and drizzle in an additional tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Spread out on a prepared baking sheet.

3. Combine the mushrooms and the remaining 1 tsp oil and spread on the second baking sheet. Bake the eggplant and mushrooms for 10 minutes, then stir and bake for an additional 10 minutes. (Reserve one baking sheet with parchment paper to use again to bake the meatballs.)

4. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (205°C). Pulse the eggplant a few times in a food processor until coarse in texture. Transfer to a large bowl. Pulse the mushrooms until coarse and add to the same bowl. Pulse the cashews until coarse and transfer to the bowl. (Processing everything together will make the mixture too mushy; be sure to take the time to process the ingredients one by one.) Add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic, parsley, egg, 1/2 tsp salt, and a little pepper. Stir to combine. Use an ice cream scoop or your hands to scoop the eggplant mixture into 12 balls and arrange them on the reserved lined baking sheet. Bake until crispy and browned, about 20 minutes.

5. Spread butter onto the kaiser rolls and toast in the oven until lightly golden brown. Toss the eggplant balls with marinara and place 3 on the bottom piece of each roll. Top with provolone and bake until the cheese melts, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and top each with a torn basil leaf and the top roll. Serve with banana peppers and grated Parmesan, if desired.

Find this and more great recipes in Katie Lee Biegel’s new cookbook It’s Not Complicated: Simple Recipes for Every Day available March 23.

Katie Lee Biegel's new cookbook It's Not Complicated

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy through links in this article, we earn an affiliate commission.

I Tried Meghan Markle’s “Filthy, Sexy” Zucchini Pasta Sauce — Here’s How It Stacked Up

Long before she married into royalty, Meghan Markle extolled the virtues on healthy eating on her now-defunct blog, The Tig. During her seven years living in Toronto filming the legal drama Suits, the now Duchess of Sussex carved out her own online space to write about health and wellness, often sharing quick cooking tips.

But it was an interview she did with Delish in 2018 that garnered the most attention: she said she loved making a three-ingredient zucchini pasta sauce. A veggie-forward Bolognese, if you will. Using only zucchini, bouillon cubes and water, she said it was a “filthy, sexy mush” that she loved. With the duchess in the news as of late, this dish has recently been trending on the Internet all over again. It doesn’t exactly sound delicious, but I thought I’d give it a shot.

So, go ahead, cook like a duchess with this messy, mushy, sexy, filthy three-ingredient slow cooker concoction. For personal preference, I’ve added one more ingredient (an onion: I couldn’t resist) and options for additional seasonings, if desired. (Spoiler alert: it’s a lot more delicious than it looks, I swear!).

Related: Meghan Markle and the Struggle Among Black Women Everywhere

Meghan Markle’s Slow Cooker Zucchini Pasta Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

5-6 medium zucchini, roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped (optional)
2 bouillon cubes
½ cup water
Salt and pepper (optional)
1 package penne or rigatoni
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions

1. In one large slow cooker (or Dutch oven), add zucchini, onion, bouillon cubes and water. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

2. Set timer to cook for four hours on low heat, stirring once or twice in that timeframe. The zucchini will start to get nice and mushy – that’s what we want!

Related: A Peek Inside Meghan Markle’s Former Toronto Home

3. At the 3 hour and 40 minute mark, cook the pasta in a separate pot according to package instructions.

4. Season the zucchini sauce with salt and pepper, red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve immediately over pasta.

Related: Here’s What the Royal Family Really Eats

Verdict

It’s simple, it’s hearty (I didn’t need more than one serving before I felt full) and it smells surprisingly delicious as it simmers away in the slow cooker.  Was it tasty (read: sexy)? Absolutely. Would I make it again? Probably. Was it worth the nearly five-hour wait? Not really.

We also tried the feta tomato pasta TikTok trend and Popeye’s famous Chicken Sandwich — are they worth the hype?

Photo of Meghan Markle courtesy of Getty Images.

Overhead shot of edamame tofu topped with ginger and cherry tomatoes

This Zingy Edamame Tofu Brings the Fresh Flavours of Japan to Your Table

You already know that tofu is an incredibly versatile ingredient, but did you know how easy (and delicious) it is to make at home? With this surprisingly simple, flavour-packed Taste Of recipe, chef Yoshi Okai combines edamame beans, gelatin and soy to create a super-light and creamy homemade tofu. Topped with ginger, ponzu and cherry tomatoes, this beautiful dish is like a portal to summer days in Kyoto.

“This dish reminds me of summers of my childhood,” says Yoshi. “The fresh tofu made from green soybeans can be dressed up by serving it topped with luxury ingredients, or a simpler version, like this one, can easily be prepared at home. It can be served as a meal in itself, or as an appetizer for a larger meal. Mushimono means ‘steamed’ in Japanese, but here refers to the way the tofu cools and sets.”

Related: The Most Creative Ways to Increase Your Protein Intake This Month

Edamame Tofu Mushimono

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:
200 g shelled edamame
200 mL dashi (or other broth)
3 g agar-agar powder
7 g powdered gelatin
400 mL soy milk, at room temperature or a little warm
12 whole cherry tomatoes, sliced
Small piece fresh ginger, grated (about 1/2 tsp)
Leaves from 1 bunch cilantro, for serving
Ponzu, for serving
Olive oil, for serving
Flaked sea salt, for serving

Related: Fried Pork Belly Pairs Perfectly With Crunchy Papaya Salad in This Traditional Thai Dish

Directions:

1. To make the edamame tofu, combine the edamame, 100 milliliters broth and 50 milliliters water in a blender and puree. Set aside.

2. Combine the remaining 100 milliliters broth, agar-agar and 100 milliliters water in a pot and bring to a simmer, stirring to combine and activate the agar. In a cup, combine 50 milliliters water and the gelatin. Add that gelatin solution to the pot; keep the mixture at a simmer. Add the soy milk to the pot. Add the edamame puree to the pot. Keep simmering until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.

3. Pour the mixture into a shallow rectangular 8-by-8-inch dish and let sit until room temperature, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

4. After the tofu has set and is firm, slice it into 16 portions and garnish with tomato, ginger and cilantro leaves. Finish with a drizzle of ponzu, olive oil and flaked sea salt.

Cook’s Note: Have all the ingredients at room temperature before starting this dish. If the tofu is not cooked long enough, it won’t firm up. Allow it to firm up fully before cutting it!

Looking for more easy meat-free meal ideas? These make-ahead vegetarian recipes will liven up your dinner table.

Ree Drummond’s 30-Minute Vegetarian Pasta Makes Peppers the Star

This veggie-forward recipe with a boozy kick is one of Ree Drummond’s all-time best pasta dishes, and it’s easy to see why! Serve up this creation from The Pioneer Woman when you need a 30-minute stress-free meal that’ll also immediately brighten your dinner table.

Ree starts mini sweet peppers, garlic, onion, red and orange bell peppers, poblano and jalapeno in butter and olive oil over medium-high heat for a flavourful base. For a bit of a boozy kick, she adds 1/2 cup clear tequila and serves it all up with fresh cilantro and reserved mini pepper rings for toppings.

Related: 16 Minutes Until Dinner With The Pioneer Woman’s Honey-Garlic Shrimp Skewers

The Pioneer Woman’s Six Pepper Pasta

Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

Kosher salt
1 lb fettuccine
2 Tbsp salted butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 multi-colored mini sweet peppers, sliced into rounds, a few rounds reserved for garnish
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup clear tequila
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers, plus more if needed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Fast White Chicken Chili Will Become a Weeknight Staple

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, then drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mini sweet peppers, garlic, onion, red and orange bell peppers, poblano and jalapeno and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onions and peppers begin to darken, about 3 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate and set aside.

3. Return the skillet to the heat and allow it to come back up to temperature. Turn off the heat and pour in the tequila. Turn the heat back on and let it cook for 1 minute while scraping the bottom of the skillet to loosen any browned bits. Add the broth, bring to a simmer and simmer until reduced slightly, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Reduce the heat to medium low and pour in the cream. Add the adobo sauce, stirring constantly. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken, another 4 to 5 minutes.

5. When the sauce is thick, add the vegetables to the skillet, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook until the mixture is bubbly and hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and add salt, pepper and/or adobo sauce if needed.

6. Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Transfer to bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro and a few reserved mini pepper rings.

Watch the How-To video


For more inspiration, check out The Pioneer Woman’s 16-minute dinners.

Watch The Pioneer Woman and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Forget Takeout and Make This Easy Chinese Stir-Fried Eggplant for Dinner Tonight

This umami-rich vegetarian dish gets tons of flavour from light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine (the key to authentic Chinese cooking), ginger and a healthy sum of garlic for an easy-to-prepare dinner rivalling any takeout. Though mastering the cookery of eggplant can be tricky, we’ve unlocked the mystery with a simple soaking and salting technique for the right texture and overall balanced flavour. Added bonus: this vegetarian dish will be ready in just over 30 minutes.

Chinese Stir-Fried Eggplant

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4

Ingredients:

3 Chinese eggplants (they are slightly smaller and shorter than Japanese eggplants and can be purchased in Asian markets)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp light soy sauce or regular soy sauce
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
5 ½ tsp cornstarch, divided
1 ¼ tsp dark soy sauce or light soy sauce
3 Tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil, divided
2 tsp minced ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 dried chilies (optional)
Green onions for garnish

Directions:

1. Halve eggplant lengthwise and then cut into 2-inch pieces. Transfer to a large bowl and fill with enough water to cover; sprinkle with salt and swish around to dissolve salt. Cover with plate to keep eggplant submerged for at least 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Make the sauce by stirring together the light soy, water, sugar, wine, 4 tsp of cornstarch and dark soy sauce until smooth. Set aside.

Tip: Shaoxing wine is a fermented rice wine used to add depth of flavour and complexity to marinating meat, to add flavour to stir-fries, sauces and braises in Chinese cooking.

Related: These 25 Simple Stir-Fry Recipes Will Convince You to Cook More

3. Sprinkle remaining cornstarch over eggplant and toss to coat. Heat 2 ½ Tbsp of the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add eggplant in one layer and cook until dark brown, 6 to 8 minutes, flipping after halfway. Move to a large plate.

4. Add remaining oil to pan and add ginger, garlic and dried chilies (if using), stirring for 10 seconds. Return eggplant to pan and stir quickly until warmed, about 30 seconds. Stir in sauce and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce thickens and coats eggplant, 1 to 2 minutes.

5. To serve, scrape eggplant mixture onto platter and sprinkle with green onions if desired.

Tip: For a non-vegetarian version, marinate ½ cup ground pork with 1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine, 2 tsp minced ginger and garlic and 1 tsp light soy sauce. Stir into pan at the beginning of step 4 and cook until browned. Push to one side of the pan and continue with recipe, adding the oil, ginger, garlic and chilies.

Like Soo’s stir-fried eggplant? Try her pork banh mi burgers, gochujang cauliflower popcorn or asparagus and mushroom udon.

This Easy Ethiopian Mushroom Stir-Fry Will Be Your New Fave Weeknight Meal

Tibs are a quick, easy and delicious Ethiopian-style stir-fry traditionally made with beef or lamb. Mushroom tibs are one of my favourite ways to make a tasty plant-based alternative to this popular dish. It is super flavourful and perfect for a quick lunch or weeknight dinner. Tibs are typically served with injera (a spongy fermented Ethiopian flatbread), but can also be enjoyed with rice, fonio or quinoa.

Vegetarian Mushroom Tibs Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 2 to 4

Ingredients:
450 grams mushrooms
1 tomato
1 yellow onion
1 ½ bell peppers (different colours)
1 jalapeno
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ Tbsp berbere (Ethiopian spice blend)
1 tsp ground korarima (Ethiopian Black cardamom) (optional)
1 sprig rosemary
Salt, to taste

Directions:
1. Begin by prepping all of the vegetables. Clean mushrooms thoroughly and remove the stem (save stems for another dish). Slice mushrooms evenly and set aside.

2. Dice tomatoes, thinly slice the onion and bell peppers and set aside. Remove the seeds from the jalapeno and thinly slice.

3. To a hot pan, add the sliced mushrooms. Cook down on medium-high until it reduces in volume. Drain the excess liquid and remove the mushrooms. Set both the liquid and mushrooms aside for later.

4. Now add oil to the heated pan and sauté the onions.

5. Once the onions begin to become translucent, add the berbere spice and stir. Pour back in a few spoons of the liquid from the mushrooms as needed.

Related: 20 Easy Plant-Based Recipes for Beginners That Will Make You Drool

6. Add the minced garlic to the pan, stir and add the diced tomatoes. Next add bell peppers and stir.

7. Add the mushrooms, jalapenos, korarima spice, rosemary and stir.

8. Garnish with rosemary or thinly sliced jalapeno (in Ethiopian cooking, jalapenos are both an ingredient and garnish!). Serve with fresh injera, rice, quinoa or fonio. Enjoy!

Tip: Tibs are all about your personal preference. If you’d like this dish to be a bit less saucy, add half of the tomato instead. Many berbere spice blends have salt within the mix, so be sure to taste your stir-fry as you go and salt to taste.

Like Eden’s mushroom tibs recipe? Try her vegan sloppy Joe sliders or teff breakfast bowl.

Grilled Stuffed Zucchini Boats With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes is the Vegan Summer Recipe You Need

Grilling isn’t just for carnivores. And this grilled stuffed zucchini boats with roasted cherry tomatoes recipe proves it. It’s not only healthy, it’s a visually gorgeous dish that has a hearty, yet summery vibe. The recipe incorporates vibrant red cherry tomatoes, dark green zucchini and mineral-packed lentils and rice. We promise — this is certainly the summertime vegan recipe you need right now.

Grilled Stuffed Zucchini Boats With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 75 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Shallots
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Tomatoes
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp sea salt
A few cracks of pepper

Mixture
¼ cup green lentils
½ cup brown rice
1 ½ cups water
4 Tbsp parsley, divided and roughly chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Zucchini
4 zucchinis
3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
A few cracks of pepper
¼ cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Thinly slice the shallots. Place a pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add oil and once it’s hot, toss in the shallots, salt and pepper. Let them cook for 7-8 minutes until they get browned and crispy, then transfer them to a towel or paper towel.

3. Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, toss with oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes until blistered and bubbling.

Related: Grilled Za’atar Carrots with Halloumi & Mint

4. While the cherry tomatoes are roasting, place the lentils, rice, water and a pinch of salt in a pot, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Once cooked, toss the lentils and rice with 2 Tbsp of parsley, lemon juice, salt, pepper and ½ of the crispy shallots.

6. Turn your grill to medium heat or if you’re using a grill pan over the stove, wait until the zucchinis are prepped then turn to medium heat.

7. Slice the zucchinis in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds using a spoon to create a hollowed out well down the middle.

Related: 10 Veggie-Forward Grilled Skewers and Kebabs to Try This Summer

8. Rub the zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill hollowed side down for 5-7 minutes, then flip and grill for another 5-7 minutes.

9. Stuff the zucchini with the lentils and rice mixture, topped with the roasted cherry tomatoes, crispy shallots, chopped parsley and walnuts.

Want more summertime recipes? These vegan sloppy Joe sliders and strawberry chia frozen yogurt pops will surely be a hit.

How to Always Make the Perfect Veggie Burger (Plus One Easy Recipe!)

Regardless if you’re vegetarian or not, veggie burgers are the perfect main to accompany any side dish (especially french fries!). They can usually be made with pantry staples you already have on hand and are filled with whole ingredients. But, there is an art — or rather a science — to making a good veggie burger. You’ve likely eaten or made a veggie burger before that was too mushy or fell apart immediately after taking a bite. Or maybe it was too dry or completely bland and flavourless (read: cardboard patty). Veggie burgers require more thought than typical beef burgers, because you need to consider texture and flavour that much more. So we’re offering up tips to crafting the perfect patty, as well as one of our favourite recipes: The Southwest Burger! We also adore the Crunchy Sunshine Burger and Cashew Mushroom Slider.

Veggie Burger Rules

1. You Need a “Binder” and a “Dry” Component
● If you want a veggie burger that holds together, use binding agents like cooked grains (rice, quinoa, millet), eggs, flax eggs, bread crumbs, oats, flour or nut/seed flours like almond flour.
● The amount of grains or flour will depend on the recipe, but it’s usually anywhere from ¼ to 1 cup.

2. Any Bean Will Do
● Truly any bean you use will be great, whether it’s chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, white beans, mung beans, lentils or a melange of beans.

Related: Dinners That Start With Frozen Veggies (But Don’t Taste Like It)

3. Choose the “Right” Veggies
● Water and excess moisture will drown your burger in mushy sorrows, so choose veggies that have a low water content, like sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, broccoli or cauliflower.
● If you choose veggies like zucchini, grate them first, then squeeze out the excess water. This is a must!
● Or if using mushrooms, cook them first to release the moisture.
● It’s always good to start a veggie burger with onion and garlic as the flavour-base.

4. Make it Flavourful
● It’s really easy to wind up with a bland veggie burger. Beans don’t have a high fat content, like ground beef, which is where most of the flavour comes from in a traditional burger.
● It’s important to rely on flavour-bombs like:
– Spices (cumin, coriander, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, paprika, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, turmeric).
– Fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, mint, dill, thyme, rosemary, basil).
– Nut or seed butters (tahini, almond butter, pumpkin seed butter).
– Condiments (balsamic vinegar, tamari, hot sauce, mustard). Tip: use these sparingly if liquid so you don’t add more moisture.
– Others (sun-dried tomatoes, olives, feta, nutritional yeast, roasted red pepper).

Related: 10 Veggie-Forward Grilled Skewers and Kebabs to Try This Summer

5. Resting and Cooking
●  Once shaped into patties, let the burgers rest in the fridge, if only for a few minutes, this will help them stick together.
● Most veggie burgers are not grill-able, because their texture is fragile. They may fall through the grates, so we recommend baking or pan-frying. If you desperately want to grill, bake them first then finish them on the BBQ once they’re a bit more solid.

6. Toppings
● Of course, toppings only add more flavour, crunch and excitement.
● Obvious ones are pickles, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, mustard and ketchup.
● Not as obvious ones are avocado, guacamole, BBQ sauce, cashew mayo, salsa, sprouts, sauerkraut and caramelized onions.

Related: 20 High-Protein Vegan Meals That Are Beyond Tasty

The Southwest Burger

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 75 minutes
Servings: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp ground flax
2 Tbsp water
½ yellow or red onion, roughly sliced (about ½ cup)
1 garlic clove
1 small sweet potato (about 1 cup chopped)
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp granulated garlic
1 x 19 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups cooked beans)
½ cup cooked brown rice
3 Tbsp oat flour
Olive oil for brushing the burgers

Directions:

1. Combine the ground flax with water to make a vegan “egg.” Let it sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients so it congeals.

2. Using the S-blade of a food processor, run the onion through. Then move it to one side or take it out and squeeze it to release excess liquid. If there is liquid pooled in the food processor, gently pour it out without losing any onion.

3. Turn the processor back on and run the garlic and sweet potato through. Pulse it a few times until the sweet potato resembles little rice kernels.

4. Next, add the spices, beans, rice, oat flour and flax egg. Pulse until everything is combined. If you like a more “textured” burger, then you can leave some of the beans unprocessed and whole.

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take out 4 equal parts of the burger mixture and shape them into 4 patties.

6. Place the uncooked burgers in the fridge for a minimum of 15 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven to 375°F.

7. Brush the tops of the burgers with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes, then flip, brush the other side with oil and bake for another 15 minutes.

8. Let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes so they can harden. Top with your favourite toppings.

Want more summertime recipes? These vegan sloppy Joe sliders and strawberry chia frozen yogurt pops will surely be a hit.

Green Banana Flour is Here to Stay, And This Pancake Recipe Proves It

With the popularization of plant-forward, gluten-free and dairy-free eating, many are swapping their traditional beloved foods for more nourishing alternatives like “milk” made from oats, “yogurt” made from coconut, “cheese” made from cashews … and now “flour” made from green bananas! And, green banana flour is as its name suggests: green bananas are harvested and milled into a flour that is actually incredibly healthy for you.

The flour is rich in resistant starch, meaning it resists digestion and feeds the good bacteria in the gut. Since it bypasses digestion, banana flour doesn’t spike blood sugar or insulin after it’s consumed. It’s also grain- and gluten-free, not to mention environmentally friendly, since many green bananas aren’t suitable for export or sale; but they’re perfect for grinding into flour. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the texture and lightness of pancakes made from the starchy fruit – you may never go back to using other flours again!

Gluten-Free Green Banana Flour Pancakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: Makes 8 small pancakes

Ingredients:

Pancakes
¾ cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup green banana flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
2 eggs
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted + more for frying
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Toppings
Banana slices
Crumbled walnuts
Maple syrup

Directions:

1. Combine the lemon juice and non-dairy milk in a bowl and let it sit and curdle for 5 minutes.

2. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and sea salt.

3. After the 5 minutes are up, whisk in the eggs, maple syrup, cooled liquid coconut oil and vanilla.

4. Slowly pour the dry mix into the wet and fold the ingredients together.

5. Heat a griddle or frying pan on medium, melt coconut oil to coat the surface and then drop about ⅓ cup of batter down.  Allow to cook for about 3 minutes, you’ll see bubbles and the edges will begin to solidify, then flip for another 3 minutes. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn.

6. Once all the pancakes have been cooked, dress them up with your favourite toppings like caramelized banana slices, walnuts and maple syrup.

On a healthy baking streak? Try your hand at these 3 no-bake cookies (they’re healthy enough for breakfast!) together with this nourishing apple pie oatmeal bake. For more inspiration, here are 10 things healthy people eat for breakfast every morning.

This 20-Minute Tuscan White Bean Skillet is a Dinner Winner

Tuscan cuisine is known for humble and delicious food, relying on impeccable regional ingredients. Don’t let this super quick vegetarian dinner recipe fool you: it’s substantial and nutritious, and the trick is to let the flavours of the marinated vegetables meld and intensify the kale and beans.

When it comes to the veggies starring in this vibrant dish, tuscan kale (often called cavolo nero or dinosaur kale or even lacinato kale) is more tender than the curly variety and is enriched with an abiding sweet and earthy flavour. Its versatility is highlighted in this quick sauté with marinated artichokes and sundried tomatoes, turning simple ingredients into a most satisfying supper.

Related: Our Easiest 5-Ingredient Dinner Ideas

20-Minute Tuscan White Bean Skillet Dinner

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

2 ½ Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
6 cups torn Tuscan kale (see tip)
Pinch each salt and pepper
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 oil-packed sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes or can cherry tomatoes, drained
170 ml jar artichokes in oil, drained
540 ml/19 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
⅓ cup shaved Pecorino cheese or Parmesan cheese

Chopped parsley (optional)
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Artisanal loaf (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat 1 ½ tsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add kale, and using tongs, toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 2 tsp water to steam, tossing until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl.

Tip: To prepare kale, wash and drain. Tear kale away from the rib.

2. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of oil to the pan; add onions and cook, stirring until softened, 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and sundried tomatoes and cook for 1 minute. Add cherry tomatoes and cook until almost softened, 3 minutes.

Variation Tip: Swap out sundried tomatoes in oil for roasted red peppers or marinated eggplant and swap out Pecorino cheese for feta or goat cheese.

3. Stir in beans and artichokes; cook, stirring to combine. Return the kale and cook until warmed. Top with cheese and sprinkle with parsley and drizzle with more olive oil.

4. Serve with crusty bread to round out the meal.

Dinner doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are Alton Brown’s quickest dinner ideas, 20+ tasty mains ready in 15 minutes and the most affordable healthy suppers to make at home.

Jillian Harris Opens Up About Her Granny’s Legacy in the Kitchen (Plus Holiday Tips & Recipes)

Jillian Harris knows a thing or two about crafting a well-balanced meal, which might come as somewhat of a surprise to devoted fans of HGTV Canada’s Love it or List it Vancouver star.  Although the vast majority of the pink-hued photos on the social media influencer’s Instagram account are dedicated to decor and design pieces (and her adorable kids!), Jillian also reveals that food has played a significant role in her life since childhood — thanks, in large part, to her beloved Granny and her family’s Ukrainian heritage.

“I really love wholesome, rich comfort food — the food that makes you want to have a glass of wine and curl up and go to sleep,” she says. “We grew up with meals full of pierogis and cabbage rolls.”

Jillian, who has since switched gears to a mostly plant-based diet in her adult years, recently joined forces with her cousin, dietitian Tori Wesszer, for their first cookbook that was released just in time for the holidays, Fraiche Food, Full Hearts: A Collection of Recipes for Every Day and Casual Celebrations. Given that this time of year is all about spending time with family, it’s fitting that their Granny’s passion for food and loved ones is all over this book.

“She was literally our best friend,” Jillian says of her grandmother, who was bestowed with the nickname Beet Roll Queen, and who passed away this July. Adds Tori, “We were just so sad that she didn’t see this [cookbook] come to fruition. She would have been thrilled to see her legacy and her love for connecting people and family.”

Fraiche Food, Full Hearts takes those same hearty, soothing recipes the cousins grew up with and gives them a healthier, more plant-based spin — although it warmly embraces all dietary needs. “It’s approachable for every family,” Jillian says of the cookbook. “[It gives you the chance] to lean into the whole plant-based diet, but we’ve made it flexible and convertible for everyone.”

So whether you’re expecting a handful of out-of-towners or a slew of extended family this holiday season, there are a few simple hosting hacks that Jillian and Tori suggest you try in order to have a stress-free, dietary-friendly holiday. (Don’t worry — you’ve got this!)

Related: 14 Things You Didn’t Know About Jillian Harris


Get the recipe for Jillian’s Almost Famous Stuffing

Plan Ahead

“Plan out your menu ahead of time, and buy our cookbook!” Jillian says with a laugh. Although this might seem a little obvious, it’s easy to lose track of our schedules during the chaotic holiday season. We always think we have more time than we actually do, but between work, family obligations and shopping for gifts, we’re suddenly left wondering what to whip up in the kitchen for the big day.

Jillian suggests planning early — as in, right now. Be sure to inquire about dietary requirements in advance. No one wants a “food surprise” after you’ve spent the better part of your day cooking the meal. Where possible, make some freezer-friendly recipes in advance for a stress-free holiday.

Related: 20 Holiday Staples You Should Make Ahead This Year


Get the recipe for Jillian and Tori’s Sunshine Muffins

Stay on Top of Dietary Needs

This one is a biggie for both Jillian and Tori — and it’s something that is easy to overlook. “You really want people to feel like [their dietary needs] are as important to you as it is to them,” Jillian says. “They want to know that you’re hearing them. I think it makes people feel really good.”

By way of example, Jillian shares her own awkward, albeit hilarious, common situation. “My parents still don’t quite get [why it’s important],” she says with a laugh. “If I go over and they have hamburger soup, then that’s what you’re getting. But there have been times when they’ll make an extra plate for me and I’m like, ‘thank you for that slice of toast and piece of orange.’ Basically, my dad just thinks my taste buds are messed up.”

Related: 15 Vegan Roast Alternatives for Meat-Free Guests


Get the recipe for Jillian and Tori’s Mushroom Wellington

Stay Calm, Be Flexible

Before your head starts swimming at the thought of creating multiple menus to satisfy those with gluten intolerance or a vegan diet, fear not! “Having recipes that can be flexed either way is important, and it doesn’t mean you have to make an entirely separate menu for people with special dietary needs,” says Tori.

Offer a small variety of side dishes — no one is expecting an entirely separate menu just for them. “Usually people who have special requests don’t expect to be able to eat everything,” Jillian says. “They just want one or two options.”

Another alternative? Host a potluck where guests can bring a wealth of food options that will keep everyone satisfied, and perhaps introduce others to new dietary options.

Related: Our Top 100 Holiday Cookie and Square Recipes

Excerpted from Fraiche Food, Full Hearts: A Collection of Recipes for Every Day and Casual Celebrations by Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer. Copyright © 2019 by Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer. Photography copyright © 2019by Janis Nicolay. Published by Penguin Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Spaghetti Puttanesca with Cauliflower is the Vegetarian Pasta to Beat

Spaghetti alla puttanesca is a classic Italian pasta dish that’s packed with the salty, umami flavours of capers, olives, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. For this spin on a staple, we add dimension with golden, lightly crispy roasted cauliflower and the sweetness of roasted tomatoes, making for a filling, delicious vegetarian main that’s simple, hearty and healthy. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Puttanesca

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

4 cups (2 pints) halved cherry tomatoes
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets (about 4 cups)
¼ cup olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper, divided
450g long pasta, such as spaghetti, bucatini or linguini
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup kalamata olives, chopped
2 Tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
½ cup chopped parsley
½ cup torn basil
½ cup shaved Parmesan

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Place tomatoes on one half of a rimmed baking sheet, and the cauliflower on the other.
3. Whisk together 3 Tbsp oil, vinegar, salt and ¼ tsp pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle over vegetables; stir to coat (keeping the veggies separate will allow the cauliflower to crisp up when cooking despite the juicy tomatoes). Roast until cauliflower is golden and tender, about 25 minutes.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot of generously salted water. Reserve ½ cup pasta water. Drain and set aside.
5. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.
6. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add cauliflower, tomatoes (and any juice), olives, capers, parsley, remaining pepper, pasta and pasta water; toss to coat.
7. Serve sprinkled with fresh basil and parmesan.

Craving more veg-friendly dinner ideas?  We’ve culled our 50 all-time best vegetarian recipes and 20 satisfying vegetarian casseroles.

Rutabaga & Sweet Potato Casserole is the Vegetarian Comfort Food to Beat

What is a rutabaga, you ask? The bulbous root vegetable is similar to a turnip, with a sweeter and milder flavour, making it an excellent partner for sweet potatoes. Rutabagas also pack a nutritional punch, rich in vitamin C, fibre and potassium. That brings us to this oh-so-comforting casserole recipe that’s frankly a cold-weather must.

Cutting the rutabagas a bit thinner than the sweet potatoes accounts for their longer cooking time and ensures the veggies cook evenly, resulting in a tender, earthy and creamy side that’s a great accompaniment to a sumptuous roast, roast chicken or fish dish. Fall flavours come together in all their glory. Are you ready for it?

Rutabaga and Sweet Potato Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10

Ingredients:

⅓ cup butter, cut into small cubes
⅓ cup flour
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1-½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 cups whole milk
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced (about ¼-inch thick)
1 small onion, thinly sliced (about ⅛-inch thick)
1 small rutabaga, peeled and thinly sliced (about ⅛-inch thick)

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Grease a 2L baking dish with butter.
2. Melt butter over medium heat in a non-stick skillet. Add flour, thyme, salt and pepper and whisk constantly for 1 minute. Pour in milk in three additions, whisking until thickened each time. Remove from heat.

3. Lay about half the sweet potatoes in an even layer into prepared dish. Top evenly with half the onion.

4. Pour and spread ⅓ of milk mixture over the vegetables. Layer with rutabaga and remaining onion, followed by another ⅓ of milk mixture. Top with remaining sweet potato and milk mixture, spreading to cover.

5. Bake until top is golden and vegetables are tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 60 to 70 minutes, covering with foil if top is browning too quickly.
6. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Looking for more creative ways to cook with root veggies? Here are 50 hearty recipes you’ll devour, plus 60 must-try casserole dishes for easy weeknights.

15-Minute Gluten-Free Tabbouleh Pasta Salad You’ll Make Weekly

It’s important to have quick, healthy and crowd-pleasing recipes in your dinner rotation that can be tossed together when you’re in a pinch, or even when you’re not! This vibrant tabbouleh dish is the perfect lettuce-free salad to whip up when you’re looking for something fresh with minimal prep involved. The only real cooking is boiling gluten-free pasta before combining with vibrant, zesty, raw ingredients.

Gluten-Free Tabbouleh Pasta Salad

Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:

2 cups uncooked gluten-free fusilli
4 cups water
1 cup fresh parsley, minced
½ cup fresh mint, minced
2 mini cucumbers, diced
1 cup diced tomatoes
3 Tbsp diced red onion
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
¼ cup lemon, squeezed
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp pepper

Directions:

1. Add lots of water and salt to a pot, allow to boil, then toss in the pasta and cook according to the package directions. When cooked, drain, rinse and cool slightly.
2. If you’re using a food processor, install the “S” blade, place the herbs inside and blitz until they’re minced – but do not over blitz into an herby paste! Alternatively, you can chop them with your knife until minced. 

3. Dice the cucumbers, tomatoes and red onion.
4. Place all ingredients in the bowl and season with extra-virgin olive oil, minced garlic, lemon, sea salt and pepper.
 

Looking for more quick and painless meal ideas? We’ve got 20 easy 15-minute dinner recipes and a 15-minute cheesy one-pot pasta. If you’re gluten-free, these delicious dinner ideas and party appetizers are here to please your palate.