Turn 5 Vegan Recipes into 25 Dinners
I know I said I wasn’t going to do a best recipes of 2011 post.
This is that post. Kind of.
I know a lot of you have “eat healthy” resolutions, “get organized” resolutions and maybe even “go veg” resolutions.
I can help.
Rather than just list off our five most popular dinner recipes of 2011, I want to show you how to take these five recipes that you may or may not have already made and turn them into twenty-five recipes. That means you can have nearly an entire month of vegan dinners with five simple, delicious and healthy recipes.
And I hope you do too.
(click on the links below for the original recipe printable)
1) Mmmm Sauce
This “cheesy,” creamy sauce is so good you’ll be licking your blender blades. I dare you not to say “Mmmm” and not to get totally addicted (right, Caitlin?). Other than just serving the sauce over brown rice, stir-fried veggies and tofu (as pictured above), you can make:
2) Mmmm Nachos: build a plate with baked tortilla chips (or make your own), canned pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, sliced olives, jalapenos and fresh cilantro and drizzle Mmmm Sauce over the top.
3) Mac N’ Mmmm: cook up some whole-wheat or rice macaroni noodles and toss in Mmmm Sauce. Serve straight from the stovetop, or place in a casserole, top with bread crumbs and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
4) Welsh Rarebit: lightly steam some broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus. Toast some thin whole grain bread. Layer steamed vegetables on top and drizzle with Mmmm Sauce.
5) Mmmm Fondue: Heat Mmmm Sauce and keep warm in a fondue pot. Cut up fresh veggie crudites, whole grain breads, whole wheat pretzels, vegan sausages (such as Field Roast brand) and dip away!
The filling of this delcious casserole is made of crumbled tempeh, pinto beans, tomato sauce and some smoky spices and flavors. It’s topped with cornbread and “cheese” and makes a delicious dinner…and four more:
7) Tempeh Tamale Stuffed Peppers: prepare the filling and stuff it inside of seeded and cored peppers. Top with “cheese” if desired. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
8) Tempeh Tamale Sloppy Joes: prepare the filling and serve it on toasted whole-grain hamburger buns.
9) Tempeh Tamale Bolognese: cook up some whole grain pasta and toss it with the casserole filling. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and nutritional yeast.
10) Tempeh Tamale Stuffed Biscuits: find a pre-made vegan biscuit dough or mix (or make the Grand Old Biscuits from our book). Roll the dough out into circles and fill with the casserole filling. Crimp edges and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
11) Spicy Tofu
This recipe has made tofu lovers out of even the biggest skeptics. And though the tofu was originally intended for soft tacos, here’s a few other ideas:
12) Tofu Taco Salad: thinly slice cooked tofu and serve over crisp romaine and top with tomato, corn, olives, cilantro, avocado, salsa and “cheese,” if desired. Serve with baked tortilla chips.
13) Tofu Sweet Potato Hash: cube cooked tofu along with a couple potatoes, onion and green pepper. Sauté up in a skillet over medium high heat until potato is soft. Serve with ketchup.
14) Spicy Tofu Scramble: do not press tofu, but instead crumble it into half of the marinade + 2 T. of nutritional yeast. Cook in a skillet with a bit of oil, over medium heat until outside of tofu is browned and firm.
15) Tofu Dirty Rice: add cubed, cooked tofu to cooked brown rice, frozen or canned corn and an undrained can of fire-roasted tomatoes. Cook until most of liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
One of our most popular recipes, these chickpeas are marinated in a homemade taco seasoning and then roasted until crisp and chewy. They aren’t just for stuffing in tacos, though.
17) Chickpea Taco Salad: serve over crisp romaine and top with tomato, corn, olives, cilantro, avocado, salsa and “cheese,” if desired. Serve with baked tortilla chips.
18) Chickpea Taco Pizza: use a whole wheat pizza crust and top with taco sauce, roasted chickpeas, “cheese,” and olives. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes and then top with salsa, non-dairy sour cream, lettuce and crushed baked tortilla chips.
19) Mexi-Chickpea Salad Stuffed Pitas: Mix roasted chickpeas with 2 T. of salsa and 2 T. vegan mayo. Add chopped peppers and onions, if desired. Stuff inside whole wheat pita pockets with lettuce.
20) Mac and Chickpeas: stir roasted chickpeas into a batch of Lulu’s Mac and Cheese.
This isn’t your average peanut sauce, it’s a bit lighter and a bit healthier, and definitely makes you go, “Mmmm,” when served over rice noodles and edamame (as shown above) or any of these other ways:
22) Peanutty Broccoli and Carrots: Serve sauce over steamed broccoli, carrots and steamed brown rice. Top with extra chopped peanuts.
23) Peanut Pita Pizzas: Spread the sauce over whole wheat pitas. Top with diced red peppers, drained chickpeas and diced pineapple. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 425 degrees.
24) Salad Rolls: Wrap rice noodles, carrots, bean sprouts, mint and tofu inside of soaked rice paper. Use peanut sauce for dipping.
25) Asian Peanut Slaw: Add sauce to 4-5 cups of shredded cabbage, shredded carrot, red pepper strips and green onion. Toss in tofu or crumbled tempeh for extra oomph.
Do you love it?
Building a good meal plan is like building a good wardrobe. With a few staples you never have to wear/eat the same old thing. Even though I wear my grey cardigan and my favorite pair of jeans 5 out of 7 days. Including today.
I hope this sparks your creativity and your ambition. I plan to have a whole new crop of recipes to build off of in the coming year.
And new jeans.