Tag Archives: vegetarian

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.

3 Vegan Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Recipes to Steal the Spotlight

Instead of serving your plant-based dinner guests various vegan side dishes, offer them a hearty and healthy main meal instead. These three easy stuffed portobello mushroom recipes (think Mediterranean-style and chili lentil!) are ideal for any diet, and certainly all palates. They’re also perfect for the holiday season because you can prep the elements in advance, and simply warm them up before serving. Bonus: they’re a cinch to make, too!

Portobello Preparation:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Take 6-8 portobellos and remove the stems and gills (the dark brown part underneath the mushroom cap) and discard.
3. Lightly brush the undersides of the mushroom caps and place them on the baking tray, undersides facing up.
4. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the fillings.

See below for each filling recipe and directions:

1. Mediterranean-Style Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8 mushroom caps

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small (130 g) onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small (150 g) zucchini, diced
1 small (130 g) bell pepper, diced
1 small (250 g) eggplant, diced
2 teaspoons dried Herbes de Provence or thyme
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned, diced tomatoes in their juice
Panko breadcrumbs
Fresh thyme sprigs, to garnish

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Fry the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent and just starting to soften.
3. Add the zucchini, pepper and eggplant and stir thoroughly to coat with the onion mixture.
4. Season with the herbs, salt and pepper and cook a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the tomatoes and mix to combine. Cook for around 5 more minutes, stirring and seasoning with more salt and pepper, to taste. 6. Allow to cool slightly before filling the mushroom caps.
7. Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the mushroom caps on the parchment paper.
8. Use between 1/4 and 1/3 cup of the mixture per mushroom cap, depending on their size.
9. Top each mushroom with a sprinkle of Panko breadcrumbs and bake for 5-7 minutes.
10. Allow the mushroom caps to cool slightly and remove them from the tray with a spatula.
11. Serve with a sprinkle more breadcrumbs and a few fresh thyme leaves.

Related: These Are the 5 Best Meatless BBQ Skewers You’ll Ever Eat

2. Rice and Salsa Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8 mushroom caps

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup corn kernels, drained
1 cup cooked, canned mixed beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup of your favourite store-bought salsa
1 cup cooked rice
Cilantro, to serve
Pumpkin seeds, to serve
Green onions, to serve

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add the corn and the mixed beans and cook 3-5 minutes, stirring well.
3. Add the salsa, stirring thoroughly to combine.
4. Add the cooked rice and stir well.
5. Cook a further 2-3 minutes until mixture is heated through. Set aside to cool slightly.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the mushroom caps on the parchment paper.
7. Use between 1/4 and 1/3 cup of the mixture per mushroom cap, depending on their size.
8. Bake for 5-7 minutes.
9. Allow the mushroom caps to cool slightly and remove them from the tray with a spatula.
10. Serve with a sprinkle of cilantro, green onion and some green onions.

Related: Easy Vegan Spaghetti Bolognese in Less Than an Hour

3. Chili Lentil, Mushroom and Tomato Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8 mushroom caps

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 oz (113 g) white or cremini mushrooms, finely diced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 cup cooked lentils (1×398 mL can), drained and rinsed
1 cup canned, diced tomatoes in their juice
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Curly parsley, to serve

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add the mushrooms and cook approximately 5 minutes until they begin to release their juices.
3. Add the chili powder and stir to coat thoroughly.
4. Add lentils and tomatoes and stir to combine.
5. Cook a further 4-5 minutes until mixture is heated through. Set aside to cool slightly.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the mushroom caps on the parchment paper.
7. Use between 1/4 and 1/3 cup of the mixture per mushroom cap, depending on their size.
8. Bake for 5-7 minutes.
9. Allow the mushroom caps to cool slightly and remove them from the tray with a spatula.
10. Serve with a fresh, chopped curly parsley.

Looking for more satisfying vegan mains? Check out these easy vegan weeknight dinners and vegan recipes for a festive feast.

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.

Meet Your New Favourite Summer Side: Grilled Za’atar Carrots with Halloumi & Mint

Carrots may seem like an odd veggie to toss on the BBQ, especially compared to their common counterparts like zucchini, onion and eggplant – but, let us assure you that you will be changed after biting into a grilled carrot. Sweet, vaguely crunchy and smoky is the name of the game; you’ll be wondering why you haven’t been grilling these slender, flavourful veggies for years. Pairing them with salty halloumi, fresh mint and a quick hit of drizzled honey and za’atar will transport you straight to the Mediterranean.  

Grilled Za’atar Carrots with Halloumi & Mint

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb medium sized carrots, halved
½ package halloumi, cut into ½ inch slices
3 Tbsp avocado oil
1 heaping tsp za’atar spice
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
½ cup fresh mint leaves

Directions:

1. Slice carrots in half, and cut the halloumi into ½ thick pieces. Place them in a bowl with avocado oil, za’atar, sea salt and pepper.
2. Turn on the BBQ to medium-high and place the carrots on the grill (don’t put the halloumi on the grill just yet). Turn the carrots every few minutes so they develop the char lines and start to soften on the inside. They should take between 15-20 minutes to cook through. At the 10 minute mark, or when the carrots look like they only need 10 more minutes to cook, place the halloumi on the grill and cook for 3-5 minutes per side.

3. Take everything off the grill and place it on a serving dish, drizzle with additional extra-virgin olive oil and honey, then top with fresh mint leaves.

Keep your BBQ veg game going strong with these 3 grilled veggie “steak” recipes (read: broccoli, sweet potato and cabbage). Each one is paired with a memorable, flavour-rich marinade, too.

The 3 Best Grilled Veggie “Steaks” You’ll Ever Make (With Epic Marinades)

We’re in the heat of grilling season, with steaks and all their fine marinades sizzling on BBQs everywhere. But if you’re looking for a plant-based alternative (that’s not a veggie burger), hearty, meatier vegetables can take on the form of steak and be the star of the plate, too! Cabbage wedges with a maple balsamic drizzle, broccoli coated in dukkah and the tastiest garlic sweet potatoes are about to shake up your preconceived notions about grilling, one taste explosion at a time.

Grilled Cabbage Steaks with Maple Mustard Balsamic Drizzle

Mostly reserved for slaws and salads, cabbage is often a forgotten BBQ gem. Slicing it up into vegan “steaks” and placing it on the grill helps turn this bitter veggie into something sweet and smoky. The combo of maple, mustard and balsamic is a versatile sauce that transitions from wintry roasts to this summery drizzle, elevating the sweetness of the cabbage and adding a hit of acidity. Top with fresh basil leaves so every bite encompasses something crunchy and sweet; even better if the basil is picked from your own herb supply.

Ingredients:

Cabbage Steaks
1 small head of purple cabbage
1 Tbsp avocado oil
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp granulated garlic
Pinch of pepper
5-10 fresh basil leaves

Drizzle
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard or Dijon
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Cut the cabbage into wedges by slicing it in half lengthwise, and then slice those pieces in half, so you’re left with 4 wedges. Keep the core intact.
2. Place the cabbage in a large bowl or tray and season with avocado oil, sea salt, granulated garlic and pepper.
3. Fire up your grill to medium-high, place the wedges on and flip every 5-7 minutes so each side comes into contact with the grill and becomes slightly charred and softened.
4. Cook for a total of 15-20 minutes, and if the cabbage begins charring too much, move it off the flame and into an area of indirect heat.
5. While the cabbage is grilling, whisk together your drizzle in a small bowl.
6. Take the cabbage off the grill when tender, crispy and browned, allowing it to cool for 5 minutes, then drizzle the maple-mustard balsamic on top.
7. Tear up a few fresh basil leaves, and scatter over the dish for vibrancy and freshness.

Grilled Broccoli Steaks with Dukkah

In the last few years, people have obsessively grilled cauliflower “steaks”, but broccoli is overlooked as an equally grill-worthy veg. Like all veggies that are BBQ’d, broccoli softens, sweetens and becomes deliciously smoky. This Middle Eastern inspired dish places the broccoli on a delicious puddle of tahini sauce, before being topped with one of our favourite Egyptian spices: dukkah. The aromatic blend is a collection of toasted and crushed nuts, seeds and spices that provide texture, bite and important seasoning.

Ingredients:

Broccoli Steaks
1 broccoli bunch
1 Tbsp avocado oil
¼ tsp sea salt
½ tsp granulated garlic
Pinch of pepper
2-3 Tbsp dukkah spice (store-bought or homemade)

Tahini Lemon Sauce
¼ cup tahini
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp water
Pinch sea salt

Directions:
1. Slice the broccoli into large florets or steaks (so they don’t fall between the cracks of the grill), peel the stalk and slice them in half.
2. Place the broccoli in a bowl and season with avocado oil, sea salt, granulated garlic and pepper.
3. Turn the BBQ on medium-heat, place the broccoli florets and stalks on the grill. Every few minutes, flip the broccoli so each piece is cooked through and lightly charred (tongs work best). If broccoli is getting too browned, transfer the florets to an area of indirect heat.
4. While the broccoli is cooking, quickly prepare the tahini sauce. Once combined, pour it onto a plate and spread it out with the back of a spoon.
5. Place the grilled broccoli on the sauce, then sprinkle dukkah on top of the broccoli.

Grilled Sweet Potato Steaks with Cilantro Garlic Drizzle

How do you turn a root veggie into a summery dish? Grill it and smother it in fresh cilantro! This is a simple weekend BBQ recipe, since sweet potato wedges are always a crowd-pleaser. What makes it stand out from your typical roasted or deep fried wedge-variety is the smoky char marks that you simply can’t achieve from any other cooking method. BBQing veggies really does add so much flavour without doing much by way of seasoning. The cilantro-garlic drizzle that embellishes the dish is sort of like a gremolata, an Italian herb condiment, that just adds so much freshness from lemon, lemon zest and herbs. If cilantro is really not your jam, simply swap it for an herb you prefer like mint, basil or parsley.

Ingredients:

Sweet Potato Steaks
3 sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp avocado oil
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper

Drizzle
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
Pinch sea salt

Directions:

1. Slice the sweet potatoes into wedges – do this by cutting them in half lengthwise, and then slice the halves on a bias.
2. Mix the sweet potatoes with avocado oil, sea salt and pepper.
3. Place the sweet potatoes on a grill that’s on medium-high heat, allowing the wedges to cook about 5-7 minutes per side, then flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes. You should begin see grill marks, and the wedges should be soft on the inside.
4. As they’re cooking, whisk together the cilantro-garlic drizzle.
5. Place the wedges on a large plate and dollop the drizzle over top.

Don’t let your grill game stop there. Here are 20 vegan bbq recipes that pack a flavour punch, and 3 vibrant vegetarian dinners that make lemon the star.

3 Vibrant Vegetarian Dinner Recipes That Make Lemon the Star

If your winter diet consisted of one too many stew and casserole dishes, we hear you, and we bet your current recipe arsenal is due for a spring refresh. Few people know how to celebrate seasonal fare like Jeanine Donofrio, the face behind the plant-forward recipe blog Love & Lemons, where healthy, rainbow-bright dishes take centre stage. That’s why we’re showcasing three mouth-watering vegetarian spring dinner ideas from her brand new cookbook, Love & Lemons Every Day (Available April 2).

The best part? Each recipe brilliantly incorporates lemon in a new way. The star ingredient adds a bright, citrusy finish to each main that denotes the sunny season ahead.

Asparagus, Snap Peas & Chive Blossom Pasta

This stunning pasta dish, featuring seasonal produce like radishes, asparagus, snap peas and chive blossoms, is a staple no matter the occasion; it’s easy enough to cook for the family on busy weeknights, and pretty enough to serve at your next dinner party. The pasta is lightly dressed in a mixture of fresh lemon juice and Dijon mustard, before being garnished with Parmesan cheese and lemon zest. We love how the pasta shape mimics that of the veggies! Get the recipe here!

Spring-on-a-Plate Socca Flatbread

Meet your new favourite healthy pizza alternative that’s the epitome of spring. The flatbread itself is made from chickpea flour, and requires only three ingredients. A cashew-based herb spread featuring fresh lemon juice acts as the perfect base. Topped with red radishes, pickled red onions, frozen peas, preserved lemons, mint leaves and feta cheese, this heavenly main can do no wrong, and is a delicious way to usher in the vibrant season ahead. Get the recipe here!

Cauliflower Steaks with Lemon Salsa Verde

By now, we’re sure you need no convincing that cauliflower is an incredibly versatile vegetable worth celebrating. But in case you still had your doubts, this spring-focused dish is proof on a plate. A flavourful puree of cauliflower florets, garlic cloves, miso paste and lemon juice act as the base, with a perfectly roasted cauliflower steak placed on top. The vegan, dairy-free main is then topped with a zesty salsa verde starring preserved lemons, parsley, pine nuts and capers. Get the recipe here!

Images excerpted from Love and Lemons Every Day: More than 100 Bright, Plant-Forward Recipes for Every Meal by Jeanine Donofrio. Copyright © 2019 Jeanine Donofrio. Photography by Jeanine Donofrio, Christopher Broe, and Jack Mathews . Published by Penguin Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Conquer Brunch With This Make-Ahead Veggie Strata and Sourdough Bread

You can never go wrong when serving your guests a hearty, veggie-packed breakfast casserole topped with melted, gooey goat cheese. Stratas are usually reserved for birthdays, Mother’s Day or Easter brunches, simply because they easily feed a crowd and can be fully prepped ahead of time; so no fuss, no muss when entertaining guests. Make this the day before and pop it into the oven when it’s go-time. What makes this strata even more special is that it’s made with sourdough bread, an artisan-style loaf that is easy to digest and adds incredible texture and bite.

Make-Ahead Vegetable Strata With Sourdough Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 zucchini, sliced into thin circles
1 ½ cups chopped kale or baby kale
1 ½ tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh thyme
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
6 eggs
1 ½ cups dairy-free milk
4 cups sourdough loaf cut into 1 inch cubes
4-6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Directions:

1. Place a skillet on medium heat, coat the bottom with extra virgin olive oil and add the onions. Stir occasionally and allow them to cook for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
2. Add the cherry tomatoes and zucchini and let them cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add the kale, thyme, sea salt and pepper. Stir until the kale begins to wilt.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and dairy-free milk.
5. In a large casserole dish (9×13), coat the bottom with a little olive oil, spread ½ the bread on the bottom, top with ½ of the veggies, then layer the rest of the bread and veggies on top.

6. Pour the egg and milk mixture over and crumble the goat cheese on top, nestling some pieces underneath the bread cubes.
7. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. It can be left in the fridge for up to one day.
8. When you’re ready to bake, heat your oven to 350°F, place the uncovered strata in the oven for 45-50 minutes until it starts to bubble up and crisp.

This Make-Ahead Veggie Strata & Sourdough Bread

Still salivating? Here are 25 more crowd-pleasing brunch recipes and 15 sheet pan breakfast bakes that promise to please!

Vegan tuna melt on a plate

A Classic “Tuna” Melt Sandwich With a Clever Vegan Twist

There is something so comforting about a classic tuna melt, but if you’re vegan or paleo – or better yet,  pegan! – then you’re likely thinking your tuna melt days are over… well, not anymore! We’ve created a pegan-friendly tuna salad that is so delicious, your taste buds will think you’re eating the real thing. Luckily, there are a plethora of non-dairy alternatives at your grocery store – from cheeses, to sour creams, to milks and yogurts – so that topping the tuna with a gooey-melted vegan cheese is simple, easy and satisfying. You can use your favourite bread of choice, buy or make a paleo or keto bread, or skip that all together and opt for sweet potato “toast”.

Servings: 4 sandwiches
Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus additional soaking time)
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

vegan tuna melt spread

Pegan “Tuna” Salad Sandwich

Ingredients:
1 cup walnuts (soaked for minimum 15 minutes up to overnight)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (soaked for minimum 15 minutes up to overnight)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (soaked for minimum 15 minutes up to overnight)
⅓ cup vegan mayo
1 cup cucumber, diced
1 cup celery, diced
¼ cup green onions, chopped finely
2 tsp dulse or kelp flakes
2 tsp fresh dill, chopped finely
1/2 lemon, juiced
½ tsp sea salt
4 slices or 1 cup vegan shredded cheese (like Daiya, Chao or Earth Island)
8 slices of your favourite bread or sweet potato “toast”

vegan tuna melt ingredients

Directions:
1. Soak walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in water, then drain and rinse.
2. Pulse the walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in a food processor until smooth but partially crumbled (don’t over-blend into a paste).

vegan tuna melt blend
3. Place the nut mixture into a bowl, stir in the mayo and, once combined, add in the rest of the ingredients.
4. Scoop the tuna onto the bread, layer with vegan cheese, then add the second slice of bread on top.
5. If you have a sandwich maker, oil it, then pop the sammie in there, close the lid and let it heat for about 5-7 minutes until the cheese melts.

vegan tuna melt on a plate
6. Alternatively, place a skillet on medium-low heat, oil it, then add your sandwich and place a small lid over the sandwich to press it down. Let the sandwich heat for about 4 minutes, then flip it over for another few minutes until the cheese melts.
7. The paleo bread and sweet potato “toast” will be more delicate than the vegan one, so you may want to use the skillet method instead.

Craving more healthy midday meal inspiration? Try these 20 Healthy High-Protein Lunch Ideas to Bring to Work, plus a must-make Vegan Edamame Mash Sandwich!

Greek-Style Baked Beans With Tomato Sauce and Feta

Dried beans are a hidden treasure. Well, I guess they’re not really hidden, but you should know that they’re like gold. They’re cheap, healthy, easy to make and have the longest shelf life ever. You can find so many kinds too — red kidney, beautiful borlotti AKA cranberry beans, orca beans, chickpeas… the list goes on and on. For this recipe, I was able to find dried Greek gigante beans. Naturally, they were begging for an herby tomato sauce full of dill and oregano. If you can’t find dried gigante beans, large white lima beans work just as well here. The sauce is simmered and added to the boiled beans, then covered in feta cheese and baked into a bubbly gorgeous casserole, which can be served as a side dish or appetizer with crusty bread. If there are any leftovers (I’d be surprised if there were), you can heat the beans up in a pan and serve with an egg for breakfast.

Greek_Style_Baked_Beans_and_Feta-6

Greek-Style Baked Beans With Tomato Sauce and Feta

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Soak Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 13 hours, 15 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

2 cups dried gigante beans (or large white lima beans)
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp olive oil + some to finish
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
26 oz can or box strained tomato sauce
1 cup chopped dill
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano OR 1 Tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt
½ cup water
⅔ cup crumbled feta cheese
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Crusty bread, to serve

Directions:

1. Rinse the dried beans to remove any dirt or impurities, and then place them in a large bowl and cover with tons of water. Leave on the countertop overnight or at least 9 hours to rehydrate.

2. Drain the beans and transfer them to a large pot. Cover the beans with at least 3 inches of water and add in the bay leaf. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.

Greek_Style_Baked_Beans_and_Feta-5

3. Once the water is at a rolling boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remember: the time will depend on the kind of bean and how long you’ve soaked them for. Check the doneness of the beans after 10 minutes. They should be soft, but not mushy. Drain the beans and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.

4. In a medium sauce-pot with lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onions and saute until softened and slightly browned, about 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, dill, parsley, oregano, salt and water. Once the sauce is simmering lightly, turn down the heat to low and cover the pot with the lid. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt.

Related: Healthy Mediterranean Recipes to Bookmark Right Now

5. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Transfer the cooked beans with bay leaf and herb tomato sauce into a casserole or baking dish and combine.

888_Greek_Style_Baked_Beans_and_Feta

6. Bake for 25 minutes until bubbly. Remove for the oven and add crumbled feta cheese on top. Return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. The sauce will be bubbly and hot.

7. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread on the side.

Greek_Style_Baked_Beans_and_Feta-10

Published November 2, 2015, Updated December 22, 2018

Colourful Roasted Vegetables and Garlic Quinoa is the Perfect Weeknight Dinner

The leaves have fallen off the trees and the skies are consistently grey. It’s time to head to the farmers’ markets for a dose of colour! Vibrant heirloom carrots, creamy parsnips, ruby red beets and yellow and red mini potatoes are in season now, so a colourful roasted vegetable platter will impress at the dinner table (or Christmas table for those already planning menus). Serve it with a side of this garlicky quinoa and grilled chicken seasoned with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning for a meal that you can also pack for lunch the next day.

RoastedVegetablesQuinoa_sized

Colourful Roasted Vegetables and Garlic Quinoa

Ingredients:

1 bunch baby heirloom carrots, peeled and cut into smaller sticks
1 bunch baby parsnips, peeled
2 whole garlic bulbs, tops sliced off
4 whole beets
24 red and yellow mini potatoes
1 cup dried quinoa, rinsed and strained
1 ½ cups water
Vegetable or avocado oil (Avoid using olive oil when cooking or roasting at high temperatures. Olive oil smokes and becomes bitter when exposed to high temperatures, so use oil that has a higher smoke point like vegetable or my current obsession, avocado).
Salt and pepper
Italian seasoning

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven at 400°F.

2. In a pot of salted boiling water, blanch the potatoes for five minutes. Drain and let dry.

Tip: Blanch the potatoes first to give them a head start at cooking. This will give the potatoes their pillowy, almost mashed texture inside and a crispy skin on the outside.

Related: Simple Food Swaps That Will Save You Money

3. Toss the parsnips, carrots, garlic bulbs, and potatoes with oil, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning in a large bowl.

4. Wrap whole, unpeeled beets individually in aluminum foil.

5. Place all the vegetables in a single layer on two large baking trays lined with parchment paper. Bake for an hour until the vegetables are soft, begin to appear wrinkled, and become fragrant.

RoastedVegetablesPan_sized

6. In the meantime, bring 1 1/2 cups of salted water to a boil in a small pot over medium heat. Add in the quinoa, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the water has evaporated and the quinoa has a fluffy texture. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.

7. When the vegetables are done roasting, remove from oven. Take three or four garlic cloves from the bulb and dice (or mash) into smaller pieces. Add the garlic into the pot with the quinoa. Gently toss with a fork.

Tip: Leftover roasted garlic cloves can be added to soups, hummus, spreads, other roasted vegetables, grains, heck, it makes everything better.

8. Remove the beets from the aluminum foil and peel off the skin. Slice the beets into thin slices. Arrange the vegetables on a platter and serve with the garlic quinoa. Serves four generously.

RoastedVegetables_sized

November 17, 2014, Updated November 30, 2018

Make This Healthy Vegan Grain Bowl (With Wine-Baked Tofu!) For Your Holiday Dinner Party

Classic holiday dishes lend themselves naturally to the grain bowl concept, offering a combination of contrasting yet complementary textures, tastes and colours for a celebratory meal-in-one. This bowl also happens to be vegan, with a red wine-baked tofu instead of turkey and a roasted garlic miso-mushroom gravy. Simply mashed sweet potatoes, green beans enlivened with lemon and fluffy quinoa round out this celebratory holiday bowl.

Serve this up family-style and have guests build their own bowls, or enjoy it as a weeknight or weekend winter dinner. Like all great bowls, the add-ons and combinations are flexible – try roasted brussels sprouts or steamed kale instead of green beans, pan-fried butternut squash or mashed Yukon gold potatoes instead of mashed sweet potatoes and roasted chickpeas instead of tofu. Of course, the true testament to this bowl’s holiday status: the leftovers are delicious!

Healthy Vegan Grain Bowl With Red Wine Glazed Tofu and Miso-Mushroom Gravy

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Red Wine and Thyme Glazed Tofu:
1 (280 g) package extra-firm pressed tofu
½ cup red wine or cranberry juice
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp dried thyme

Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
4 medium sweet potatoes, well scrubbed
1 Tbsp coconut oil
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp ground black pepper



Roasted Garlic Miso-Mushroom Gravy:
1 whole head garlic, halved crosswise
2 Tbsp sweet white miso
2 Tbsp finely chopped dried porcini mushrooms
1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp red wine or cranberry juice
1 Tbsp spelt flour
1¼ cups water, plus more to thin if desired

Lemony Green Beans:
200 g green beans, trimmed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest

For Serving:
3–4 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice, warm
Lemon wedges
Chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Red Wine and Thyme Glazed Tofu:
1. Slice tofu into ¼-inch slabs and then each slab diagonally into 2 triangles. In a large shallow dish, whisk to combine red wine or cranberry juice, vinegar, tamari or soy sauce, maple syrup and thyme. Add tofu in a single layer, cover, and marinade at room temperature for 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the other components.
2. When you’re ready to bake the tofu, preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and add tofu in a single layer. Drizzle over marinade. Bake for 7 minutes, flip and bake for an additional 7 to 12 minutes, or until tofu is beginning to brown and dry around the edges and marinade is reduced. Reheat in the oven right before serving.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Garlic:
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or foil and add sweet potatoes. Prick with a knife to allow steam to escape and pop in the oven for 35 to 50 minutes, until completely tender when pierced with a knife.
2. Roast the garlic for the gravy in a foil ball at the same time as you are cooking the sweet potatoes, until tender. Cool and reserve for gravy.
3. When potatoes are cool enough to handle but still warm so coconut oil will melt, peel sweet potatoes, discard skin and add sweet potato flesh to a large bowl along with coconut oil, salt and pepper. Mash with a fork until smooth. Reheat right before serving in a low oven or on the stovetop.

Roasted Garlic Miso-Mushroom Gravy:
1. Squeeze half of the roasted garlic (method above) in a medium saucepan – it’s okay if you get garlic papers in the pot as this will be strained at the end. To garlic, add miso, mushrooms, coconut oil, vinegar, red wine or cranberry juice, tamari or soy sauce and flour.
2. Whisking constantly, heat miso mixture over medium heat until coconut oil is melted and a thick, bubbling paste forms. Slowly whisk in water and cook, whisking constantly, until bubbling and thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and rest for 2 minutes, then strain using a fine mesh sieve into a warmed gravy boat or small pouring jug. Discard used sieve components.



Lemony Green Beans:
Steam or blanch green beans until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl and toss with olive oil and lemon zest. Set aside until ready to serve.

Assembly:
To bowls, add a bed of quinoa, dollop of mashed sweet potatoes, side of green beans and fan of tofu. Pour over warm gravy, to taste, and finish with a sprinkle of parsley and squeeze of lemon. Serve immediately. Alternatively, lay everything out family-style and allow guests to build their own bowls.

Craving more wholesome easy-to-make recipes? Here are 15 Meal-Sized Salads You’ll Actually Crave, and 15 Sweet and Savoury Breakfast Bowls for Brighter Mornings.