The thing I am asked most frequently about my whole foods, plant-based diet (aside from, “So, wait, are you vegan now?”) is for tasty new recipes. This is reassuring, actually, because it must mean I’m not considered some crazy, crunchy health-food nut after all — that there’s actually a very broad interest in cooking fresh, homemade food, and that people trust me enough not to lead them astray in my recommendations.
Well, I’m happy to oblige. Here’s a look at three savory dinner recipes and one sweet treat that I’ve made in the past few months that I thought were just delicious, along with notes on any changes I may have made. More to come!
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup from Choosing Raw
I’ll take butternut squash any way I can get it, and this recipe gives it pretty much straight up. This simple blender soup recipe (the cooked version, not the raw) has you first cut up and roast squash, apples, and onions. When they’re done, blend them together with a little broth and some seasoning and boom. Done. My kids really loved this one as well because it’s very sweet, but I did make a change when I served it to us grown-ups: Because it is so sweet I thought it was better as a curry over rice rather than a straight soup. I added back in some of the chopped roasted squash, as well as sauteed mushrooms and steamed peas, plus a touch of curry powder and turmeric. I’ve made this twice already and will definitely make it again. Get the recipe here.
Vegan Garlic Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes from Minimalist Baker
YOWZA. This is hands-down the best pasta sauce I’ve made in ages — possibly ever. Seriously. I may have licked the spoon … and the pan … and anything else that came in contact with the sauce even briefly. It’s creamy and sensationally garlicky, and it’s completely dairy-free, so it tastes rich but isn’t the least bit heavy. Rather than toss with roasted tomatoes as the recipe calls for, I sauteed a bunch of different vegetables and then added the sauce. Dee-lish. Get the recipe here.
Italian Meat-less Loaf from Chloe Coscarelli (via KrisCarr.com)
One of the reasons I’m still not going full vegetarian is because I just love meatloaf, plain and simple. That and shepherd’s pie. (Which is weird, considering the fact that I don’t like any other red meat, but whatever. I don’t pretend to be fully logical.) So I’m on the hunt for vegetarian and vegan options to help me take say goodbye to meat forever. This meatless loaf wasn’t exactly it, because the texture didn’t quite match up (it was a bit too moist for my liking), but it was truly delicious on its own merits and not as a meat substitute. It had a complex flavor profile that was sweet, savory, and hearty without being heavy, and it was very filling. Get the recipe here.
Flourless Chocolate Muffins from My Whole Food Life
Two words: life changing. That may sound a bit dramatic, but I honestly think these might have been. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and I’m not necessarily a sucker for baked goods, but these muffins ……. oh, these muffins! They’re actually more like fudgy brownies in texture but lighter on the chocolate scale, more toward cake. The best part: All it takes is 4 ingredients, 1 food processor (or heavy-duty blender, or possibly a good kitchen mixer), and 15 minutes in the oven. Bliss, I tell you! Bliss. One important thing to note: The maple syrup it calls for is NOT the Aunt Jemima variety. Pure maple syrup is an entirely different thing, available at any Whole Foods-type store, so make sure you are using the right kind before whipping up a batch. If you’re in a pinch, you can swap it for honey. Get the recipe here.