Recipes I Like (All Vegan!)

Breakfast
  • Basic Scrambled Tofu. My older kids' favorite breakfast! Modifications: I only use one tablespoon of oil (if that), and I add the garlic about a minute before the spice blend, not at the beginning. One quarter of the recipe is approximately 160 calories. I eat it on buttered toast. 

  • Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal. I love this. You can prep it the night before, and pop it in the oven in the morning. I eat the leftovers all week. Modifications: I reduce the cinnamon slightly (to about 1.5 teaspoons), and I don't add raisins, dates, or walnuts. I'm planning to try this with grated apples replacing half of the grated carrots. But it's great with just carrots. I bake it in an 8x8 pan, so that it's nice and thick. I cut it into 9 pieces; each piece is approximately 135 calories.

  • Banana Oat Pancakes. I don't have a link for this (I saw it on Facebook), but it's very easy. I've modified it a bit. Put all of the following into a blender: One cup rolled oats, one medium banana, half cup almond milk (or any milk substitute), 2t ground flax seed, 1T maple syrup, 1t vanilla, 1t baking powder, 0.25t salt. Blend until smooth, then use like any other pancake batter. I cook them in 1t coconut oil. If you make 7 small pancakes, each one is about 80 calories. 

  • Smooth and fruity overnight oats. You don't need a recipe to make overnight oats -- just take rolled oats, mix with whatever, and cover with any non-dairy milk. But I did some experimenting to come up with a combination I like. I enjoy a fruity flavor, but I don't like chunks of fruit; so I blend the fruit with some of the liquid before adding it. Specifically, for 6 one-cup servings, my ingredients are: 3 cups of rolled oats; 2 scoops of Garden of Life plant-based protein powder (vanilla); 1 teaspoon cinnamon; 1 cup of frozen mango chunks; half a cup of sliced banana; and 4 cups of almond milk. I put the fruit in the blender and add enough almond milk to blend it (like making a smoothie). Then I mix everything together, including the blended fruit and the rest of the almond milk. It will seem very liquidy, but the oats absorb a lot of the liquid overnight. Then you're set with breakfast for the week! I usually heat it up before eating it, but it's also good cold. One cup is approximately 230 calories. 

  • Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats. Sooooo amazing... creamy, delicious, and healthy! A perfect breakfast, pretty light but keeps me full all morning. I don't buy pumpkin pie spice, so mix it up using this recipe. I use the full amount of the mix in the recipe, but then I skip the extra cinnamon -- I love cinnamon, but this recipe has a LOT. I use coconut milk (regular, not lite) instead of the coconut cream; and I substitute maple syrup for the sugar (though honestly, it would probably taste even better with the sugar, or with more maple syrup). One full recipe with my modifications is approximately 315 calories. 

  • Chickpea and Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash. Great, hearty side dish for a nice brunch, or a fine meal in itself. I cut the olive oil in half and it seemed like plenty. I haven't calculated the calories yet. 

  • Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Oatmeal Bars. This is a favorite pre-run breakfast for me -- I eat one bar, heated briefly in the microwave, with a hot cup of tea before going for a jog. I make this as written, except that I add one teaspoon of cinnamon and a few extra grinds of salt. There's something very humble and sustaining about these bars -- they're not flashy, but I've really come to love them. If you divide the recipe into 9 bars, each one is approximately 230 calories. 

  • Spinach Banana Muffins. We made these for St. Patrick's Day, and we liked them so much that they earned a spot in the regular breakfast rotation. I used the suggested vegan modification (with a chia "egg"), and it gave the whole thing a really crazy and fun chewy texture. Great for the whole family! Next time I think I'll substitute canola oil for the coconut oil; but as written (with the chia egg) each muffin -- there were 14 of them -- was approximately 145 calories. 

  • Pumpkin Protein Smoothie. This is my own recipe, so there's no link. To prep for this, you have to make the pumpkin cubes in advance. I take a can of pumpkin puree, and mix it with liberal amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, and vanilla. You want it to be heavily spiced, so that the spices don't get diluted in the final smoothie. Once I've mixed in all the spices, I spoon it into ice cube molds. One can makes 12 pretty big "ice" cubes. For the smoothie itself, I take one cup of frozen cauliflower (which adds bulk and nutrients and a great texture, without an overpowering taste), 4 of the pumpkin cubes, 1-2 scoops of vegan vanilla protein powder, and a cup of vanilla almond milk, plus enough water to cover everything. (Or you could just use more almond milk.) Then I blend it thoroughly -- a Vitamix definitely helps with this. My daughter says it's like eating a pumpkin pie smoothie -- really thick and delicious, but also extremely healthy! With one scoop of protein powder, the whole smoothie is approximately 180 calories. And of course you can use the pumpkin cubes for any other kind of smoothie, with or without protein powder, cauliflower, etc. 

Soup, Stews, Curries, Etc.

  • Carrot Ginger Soup with Red Lentils. Great recipe with options for Instant Pot, slow cooker, and stove top. If you aren't familiar with red lentils, I highly recommend adding them to your vegan pantry, even if you have to order them online. They cook quickly and are very versatile. I make this with no modifications, except that sometimes I replace some of the carrots with sweet potatoes. One cup (made with all carrots) is approximately 110 calories.

  • Tomato Basil Soup. A great, easy soup -- perfect for when you have some nice bread that you want to turn into a meal. I make this with canned tomatoes (I use five 14.5oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes, diced or crushed), which makes it a snap. I'm also in the habit of adding about two-thirds of a cup of lite coconut milk, because that's an amount I sometimes have left over from another recipe. I think you could to more, less, or zero coconut milk (it's not in the recipe as written). With the amount I add, and with the olive oil that's optional (I use it), one cup of soup is approximately 110 calories.

  • Sri Lankan Red Lentil Curry. This is soooo amazing, and easy. Fresh curry leaves are worth a special purchase -- they sell them on Amazon if you can't find them near you. They keep forever in the freezer, and they have such a special taste. Modifications: I use ground spices, instead of grinding whole ones;  I only use a pinch of cayenne and a few grinds of pepper; and I double the amount of coconut milk (and use lite). I also use canned tomatoes (fire roasted crushed). When doubling the recipe, one 14.5oz can works perfectly. With those modifications, one cup is approximately 185 calories. We usually eat it over brown rice, though my son loves it with injera. 

  • Chickpeas with Pumpkin, Lemongrass and Cilantro (or not). I say "or not" because I actually make this with butternut squash (not pumpkin) and fresh parsley (not cilantro). This is an absolute show-stopper. I made it as part of our Thanksgiving dinner, and all the non-vegans swooned over it. My only other modifications are using lite coconut milk instead of full-fat; and using coconut oil or olive oil instead of peanut oil. One cup is approximately 160 calories.

  • West African Peanut Stew. I adore this flavor combination. And this is a very flexible recipe -- I've substituted some carrots when I was short on sweet potatoes, or added a can of chickpeas, or skipped the spinach. If you're looking for something to bring to a potluck, try taking a 9x13 pan (or any size, really), putting some brown rice or other grain on the bottom, and then pouring this stew over it and topping it with sliced bananas. My only modification is that I use a lot less broth than the recipe calls for -- I only use enough to cover everything, about two cups. When made like that, it's a very thick stew. One cup is approximately 245 calories.

  • Pressure Cooker Red Beans and Rice. This is one of those recipes that tastes even better the next day. It also thickens up nicely with time. I love making a big pot of this and eating it throughout the week. No modifications, except that I only use one tablespoon of oil. With that, it's approximately 200 calories per cup. 

  • Pressure Cooker Chickpea Kale Stew. You might think the link is broken, since it leads to a non-vegan recipe with a different name. But as modified, this is a huge family favorite of ours. I substitute dried chickpeas for the dried cannellini beans, and instead of the parmesan rind, I use one tablespoon of miso. I also reduce the oil to one tablespoon, and use vegetable stock (made from Better than Bouillon) instead of water. As modified, one cup is approximately 160 calories. 

  • Potato Curry. Delicious and very hearty, with a spice blend that will transport you to your favorite Indian restaurant. If you don't have enough white potatoes on hand, I've mixed in a sweet potato with good results. Modifications: I only use one tablespoon of oil, I use lite coconut milk instead of regular, and I skip on the sugar, salt and pepper at the end -- believe me, there's already plenty of flavor! With those modifications, one cup is approximately 195 calories.

  • Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato Soup (Instant Pot): Very easy and delicious. I basically made it as written, but I substituted a can of crushed tomatoes for the fresh ones (putting them on top as the recipe recommends), and I omitted the scallions and cilantro because I didn't have any. I also cut the red curry paste in half. 

  • Coconut Peanut Stew with Kidney Beans. I thought I was doing something different, but then my daughter said it was like a combination of all the things I usually cook. But it was good! And it thickens up nicely the next day. I used green beans and broccoli as my veggies, and since those are both quick-cooking, I added them after the coconut milk, etc., had been added and had simmered for a bit. One cup is approximately 225 calories.

  • Creamy Cauliflower Potato Soup. A great use for fresh rosemary, if you have any; but dried also works. My son took one bite and told me that I need to start making this every week. No modifications except that I cut the olive oil and salt in half. One cup is approximately 85 calories.

  • Greek Lentil and Spinach Soup with Lemon ("17 Year Lentil Soup"). Great recipe, and great article about a nurse manager who ate this at his desk almost every workday for 17 years. No modifications except that I cut the olive oil and salt in half. One cup is approximately 95 calories.

  • Cauliflower and Butternut Thai Curry (Instant Pot or stovetop). If you're looking for a warm, delicious bowl of healthiness, this is it. Comfort food at its best. Modifications: I cut the oil in half, and reduce the red curry paste, salt, and cayenne slightly. I usually don't have kale or chard, so I often substitute spinach. As suggested, I add a half cup of water to avoid the Instant Pot burn signal. One cup is approximately 220 calories. 

  • Lentil Butternut Squash Curry (Instant Pot). Is this very similar to a lot of other things I make? Yes. Is it delicious? Yes. No modifications except that I use canned fire-roasted crushed tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes. When doubling the recipe, one 14.5oz can is perfect. One cup is approximately 130 calories.

  • Slow-Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes. A great choice if you're having people over -- everyone likes it, and you can pop it in in the morning for a stress-free main dish. No modifications. One cup is approximately 160 calories.

  • Sweet Potato Black-Eyed Pea Curry (Instant Pot option). Black-eyed peas have such a distinctive flavor, and they really shine in this dish. Modifications: I did the Instant Pot option, but I didn't roast the sweet potatoes separately; I just added them to the pot with everything else. I also added 3 cups of broth, because I was worried about it burning. (I added some of the broth while I was cooking the onions and spices, to deglaze the pot, which was helpful.) It turned out pretty soupy, but it was delicious over quinoa. My only other modification was that I reduced the coconut oil to one tablespoon. With all that, one cup is approximately 190 calories.

  • 1-Pot Curried Chickpea Soup (aka, Sylvan Lake Soup). This soup gets its nickname from the fact that I made it in the kitchen of a rented RV, and served it to my extended family during a hike of Sylvan Lake, in Colorado. It's that easy. For that meal, I thinned it out with additional water and added some cooked brown rice, so that it would stretch to feed more people. It was great, but at home I usually just make the recipe as written, except with 2 teaspoons (instead of tablespoons) of oil. I do add the one cup of optional broth. Made like that, it's approximately 195 calories per cup.

  • Easy Red Lentil Dal. This is just what it sounds like -- a very easy red lentil dal. It makes me wonder why I ever mess around with complicated recipes, because this easy one is so good. This is another recipe that I made in the kitchen of a rented RV. I therefore haven't figured out the calories yet. 

  • Dal Makhani. Regular dal makhani was one of my favorite things to make before I became vegan, so I was glad to find this great vegan version. Modifications: I only used 25% of the oil (0.75 tablespoons), and I used the option of 1/4 cup coconut cream. Made like that, one cup is approximately 180 calories.

  • Malai Kofta. This is wonderful, and very impressive -- great for entertaining. I like this kind of recipe on a day when I have time to spend in the kitchen while my kids play nearby, because it's okay if they interrupt me. You can make the kofta balls and the gravy separately, at your own pace, and then throw it all together right before you eat. I reduce the oil slightly, but otherwise no modifications. Next time I think I'll double the sauce, because we like to eat this with rice, and the rice/sauce combo is amazing. Each kofta ball is approximately 50 calories, and a quarter cup of the sauce is approximately 55 calories. 

  • Coconut Black Bean Stew. This is one of those recipes that thickens and gets better the next day. I've been eating the leftovers all week, and enjoying them more each day. My only modifications were to cut the oil in half and use low-fat coconut milk instead of full-fat. With those changes, one cup is approximately 190 calories. 

  • Tofu Makhani. This recipe is the real deal, with a rich, complex sauce that tastes like restaurant fare. If you have a well-stocked spice cabinet and not a lot of time for chopping, make this tonight. If you don't have a well-stocked spice cabinet, let this be your excuse to get one! No modifications except that I doubled the sauce, because my son always begs for plain makhani sauce to eat with rice. With the sauce doubled, one cup is approximately 165 calories. If you don't double the sauce, I think a cup would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 175 calories.

  • Creamy Curried Cauliflower Lentil Soup. Light yet filling, this soup can be a wonderful healthy meal on its own, or a first course if you do that kind of thing. I'm sure the recipe is great as written, but I make the following modifications: I always make a one-and-a-half sized pot of this, so I multiply all the ingredients by 1.5, except that I use a full cup of lentils, and I use a full can of lite coconut milk instead of the coconut cream. Made like that, one cup is still only approximately 90 calories.

  • Hearty Mung Bean Stew with Kale. This was the first thing I ever made with mung beans, and it was amazing! The ultimate one-pot meal, you won't need or want anything else. I even had the leftovers for breakfast. No modifications except that I cut the olive oil all the way down to 1 tablespoon. Made like that, one cup is approximately 170 calories.

  • Chickpea Dumpling Soup. This one is a showstopper -- truly restaurant-level quality. No modifications. If you have a bit of time and want a truly special meal, this is a great choice. One cup is approximately 160 calories. 

  • Curried Pumpkin Soup. Incredibly easy, and a great way to make a healthy meal out of pantry staples. Filling and delicious, perfect as a meal in itself or a complement to a more elaborate meal. One cup is approximately 100 calories.

  • Red, Gold, Black, and Green Chili. Much faster than most chili, and so good you might wonder why you ever make chili any other way. For some reason we've recently had millet in the house (but not bulghur),  so I've been making that substitution with great success. My only other modification is to reduce the oil to one tablespoon. Note that there's one error in the recipe -- 3 cups of tomatoes is only one 28oz can, not two. (And one 28oz can is just right.) One cup is approximately 210 calories.

  • Smoky Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas and Greens. Perfect for New Year's, or any other day. Very easy recipe, and doesn't even require pre-soaking the peas. I used spinach instead of collards, and added them at the end (after the dish had cooked) -- they wilted almost instantly. One cup is very approximately 175 calories.

  • Lasagna Soup. I have several of these recipes, each with their own advantages. This slow cooker lasagna soup is very easy, and the lentils work surprisingly well. One cup is approximately 165 calories. This Instant Pot lasagna soup is pretty similar, but of course it's faster than the slow cooker. One cup is approximately 155 calories. This Instant Pot pumpkin lasagna soup is a twist that I really enjoy. One cup is approximately 130 calories.

  • Lentil Curry Casserole. I'm not sure why this is called a casserole -- it's basically a regular curry (sort of a dal) that you make in the oven. But I'm not complaining, because it's incredibly easy, very filling, and a uses only pantry staples. No modifications except that I used more onion than it calls for (I doubled the recipe and used one pretty small onion). I also used lite coconut milk instead of full-fat. Next time I might increase the spices a bit, since I didn't use the green chili. But it was great regardless. One cup is approximately 200 calories.

  • Italian Wedding Soup. This recipe isn't remotely vegan; but if you omit the meatballs and use vegan sausage, then it is! I used Beyond's sweet Italian sausage, which worked great. I used the whole package (4 links), which is a bit more than the recipe calls for, but I wanted to bulk it up a bit since I was omitting the meatballs. Similarly, I used one cup of orzo instead of the 0.75 cups that's in the recipe. I couldn't believe how fast this came together -- we ended up having a super-early dinner. And everyone loved it, we ate almost the whole pot. With my modifications, one cup is approximately 145 calories.

  • French Lentil Soup. At first I wasn't going to add this to the site, because I wondered if anyone really needed another lentil soup. But the thought of forgetting this recipe was just too sad, it's such great comfort food. I make it with a mix of crushed and diced tomatoes, so that it's stew-like but still chunky. I cut the oil in half, but no other modifications. Haven't done a calorie count yet, I'll try to next time!

  • Three Sisters Soup. Nothing gourmet, and the spices could be amped up, but I'm putting this here because it's SO easy and healthy, with ingredients that are very easy to keep on hand. I opted for hominy instead of corn, which gave it a really nice flavor. One cup is approximately 100 calories. 

  • Vegan Coconut Curry. With its base of shredded veggies, this is a unique way to cook yourself a big, delicious bowl of healthy. I like this with lime juice instead of the lemon option. My only modification is to half the oil. Made like that, one cup is approximately 200 calories.

  • Creamy Balsamic Mushroom Wild Rice Soup. This soup is incredibly tasty, and the leftovers are perhaps even better. No modifications. One cup is approximately 140 calories.

  • Baked Veggie Curry Casserole. This is a very flexible recipe, but I make it like this: I double everything (except the jalapeno), I use lite coconut milk instead of regular, and for the veggies I use one white potato in a small dice, one cup chopped carrot, and three cups small pieces of broccoli. I also add two cans of chickpeas; and instead of the tomato puree, I use crushed tomatoes (one 14.5oz can is perfect for a doubled recipe).  It fits perfectly in a 9x13 pan. You have to bake it for a long time -- I do 60 minutes uncovered, followed by 30 minutes covered, so that the sauce doesn't reduce too much. It's a very filling, delicious, and healthy meal -- everything I like! One cup is approximately 200 calories. 

  • Farro, Kale and Peanut Butter Soup. A delicious, easy, hearty meal. I reduce the oil to one tablespoon, but otherwise no modifications. One cup is approximately 210 calories.

  • One-Pot Coconut Mung Bean Stew. I really like the flavor of mung beans, and it shines through in this simple, healthy recipe. Using lite coconut milk, one cup is approximately 200 calories. 

  • Chilled Avocado and Cucumber Soup. This is incredibly light, easy, and tasty. Perfect for summer. A wonderful appetizer for a guests, or just a light meal for the family. One cup is approximately 115 calories. 

  • Misir Wot (Ethiopian Red Lentils). Such a delicious recipe -- the slow-cooked onions make it really sweet. I increased the recipe by 50%, but I reduced the oil and the berbere somewhat, and I substituted some easier-to-find ingredients for the other spices. So I ended up using 2.25C red lentils, 0.25C canola oil, a really big onion, 3t berbere spice blend, a big clove of garlic, 1.5 inch of ginger root, 0.75t cumin, 0.5t cinnamon, one-eighth teaspoon ground cardamom, one-eighth teaspoon ground cloves, a few grinds of pepper, 1.5t salt, and 4.5C water. But the key thing is to follow the directions in terms of cooking the onions slowly, adding the spices at the right time, and adding the water gradually. It's really worth it, and not that hard. One cup (with my modifications) is approximately 350 calories. 

  • Tomato and Tofu Chinese Noodle Soup. I first made this for a friend who's on a low-FODMAP diet, and it quickly became one of my favorite meals. Very easy, and such warm and comforting flavors. I quadruple the recipe, except that I only double the sesame oil and soy sauce (so in other words, I cut those in half relative to everything else). With that amount, I use 14oz of rice noodles instead of the rice noodle "nest." And instead of veggie stock, I just boil some sliced ginger root in water for awhile, and use that liquid as the stock. It's a great recipe if your stomach is feeling iffy, but it's also just a great recipe! One cup is approximately 160 calories. 

  • Chickpea and Potato Curry. This recipe is so easy and delicious that it seriously has me second-guessing why I make so many more complicated Indian recipes with long lists of spices. I only use one tablespoon of oil, but otherwise no substitutions. One cup is approximately 160 calories. 

  • Slow Cooker Lentil Stew. This is the hearty stew I've been looking for! Plus it's an easy, throw-everything-in-and-hit-cook recipe. One cup is approximately 185 calories. 

Pasta

  • Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta. My kids LOVE this, and it's so easy. Modifications: I use regular almond milk instead of almond cooking milk. Other than that, I make the sauce as described; but I do my own thing for the rest of the dish.  I saute 8oz of sliced mushrooms, add some chopped tomatoes (maybe 2 medium), saute a bit more, and then add some chopped garlic and fresh basil if I have it (otherwise dried basil). Then I pour in the sauce, heat it through, and add the pasta (I use whole wheat penne). One cup is approximately 150 calories. 

  • The Easiest Vegan Lasagna. I couldn't believe how my kids gobbled this up. I think we all loved it because it doesn't try to replicate non-vegan lasagna exactly. Instead it captures the elements that a vegan dish can deliver -- noodles soaked in a mix of creaminess and tomato-y-ness, without any fake cheese. I made the white sauce exactly as written, but otherwise I made a lot of modifications. I omitted the toppings (I don't like vegan cheese slices), and I used regular no-boil lasagna sheets instead of spinach. For the marinara, I did my own thing, based on what I had on hand. I chopped up 8oz of mushrooms, and sauteed them in 1t of olive oil and 0.5t of soy sauce. Then I added 28oz of chopped tomatoes and 14oz of tomato sauce, along with 3 cloves chopped garlic and about 2t each of dried basil and dried oregano. I pulsed it with an immersion blender to make it less chunky (but still textured), and then I added one cup of jarred marinara sauce and let it all simmer for maybe 5-7 minutes. Finally I added 1t of salt and a few grounds of pepper. I'm writing it down because it turned out so well, but really any marinara would work, including from a jar. If cut into 18 pieces (each of which will be about half a cup), each piece is about 160 calories. 

  • Peanut Pasta with Roasted Butternut and Tofu. So many of my favorite ingredients in one dish! Delicious. I made it with whole wheat penne, and I left a little of the cooking water in the pasta, which helped everything mix well together. For the herbs, I used oregano, basil, and thyme (all dried), maybe a teaspoon of each. The tofu didn't turn out crispy, but that was fine with me. Modifications: I reduced the soy sauce to a quarter cup. With these preparations, one cup is approximately 230 calories.  

  • 10-Ingredient Creamy Vegan Pantry Pasta. This is a very unusual dish, with pureed onions as the base, but it's delicious comfort food. No modifications. I used whole wheat spaghetti.

  • Lentil Bolognese. This is so good that sometimes I eat it straight, instead of diluting it with pasta. I love the red wine flavor in this, so I always use that option. My only modification is that I use much more tomato paste than the recipe calls for (about 4 tablespoons). And if I don't already have shredded carrots, I just do a small dice. One cup is approximately 185 calories. 

  • Pumpkin Pasta. This must be based on a written recipe somewhere, but for years it's just been in my memory. First, get started making a 16-oz box of whole wheat pasta (fusilli or penne is nice). While that's going, chop up a small onion and saute it in some olive oil with some chopped garlic. Add one can of pumpkin (not a huge can, just 15-ish oz) and then whisk in non-dairy milk (I use almond) until you have a thick and creamy sauce. Add cinnamon, thyme, salt, and pepper to taste. When the pasta is cooked, toss it with the sauce. Add some chopped fresh parsley if you have it, but it's fine without it.

  • Pasta with Salsa Cruda. This might be the first recipe I ever learned; I remember making it in my first apartment, right out of college. As with the previous recipe, you begin by getting started making a 16-oz box of whole wheat pasta. Meanwhile, in your serving bowl, mix together the following: 3 large tomatoes, chopped; 3 fat cloves of garlic, chopped; a bunch of fresh basil, chopped (or else 1.5 tablespoons of dried basil); olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste; and salt and pepper (also to taste). Mix all that together, and then as soon as the pasta is cooked and drained, pour it on top of the mixture and toss immediately. The hot pasta cooks the garlic just enough to take the edge off, but this is a very garlicky dish. Perfect for a BBQ side dish, a potluck block party, etc. Can be served hot, cold, or room temperature.  

  • Creamy Pumpkin Seed Alfredo With Kale and Sweet Peas. I hesitated about whether to include this, because it's pretty bland. Next time I think I'll add some fresh parsley to the sauce, or some other herbs. But this was incredibly fast and easy to make (especially if you have a high-speed blender), and my kids gobbled it up. It's also very healthy, especially with whole wheat pasta. My only modification was to use pre-washed baby spinach instead of kale, which made it even easier. One cup is approximately 180 calories.

  • One Pot Caramelized Tomato Caprese Pasta. So easy and so amazing! My daughter said it tasted like real restaurant food, which might be her highest praise. Modifications: I used whole wheat pasta and substituted lite coconut milk for full-fat. With those changes, one cup is approximately 200 calories. 

  • Mushroom Stroganoff. A good basic comfort food -- my son took three servings, so I certainly don't want to lose the recipe! My only substitution was to use 12oz of baby bellas, instead of one big portobello. Next time I might use even more mushrooms, and maybe also some thyme. But it was quite good as-is, and the sauce clings nicely to the pasta. One cup is approximately 175 calories. 

  • Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese with Broccoli. It might not be for everyone, but I adored this baked dish -- it's pure comfort food. I used whole wheat pasta, but no other modifications. One cup is approximately 215 calories. 

  • Butternut Squash Pasta Bake. A perfect fall dish! Elegant enough to grace your Thanksgiving table, but easy enough for a regular weekend dinner. (I'm not going to pretend I do this kind of cooking on weekdays, but hats off to those who do!) It might seem like a lot of sage, but trust me, it makes the dish. I also sauteed 8oz of sliced mushrooms and added them when mixing the pasta with the sauce, which was a delicious addition. I didn't have enough butternut squash, so I made up the extra with some canned pumpkin puree, which worked out fine. Other modifications were that I cut the olive oil in half (both places in the recipe), used lite coconut milk instead of regular, and skipped the vegan cheese. Made like that, one cup is approximately 190 calories.

  • Creamy Vegan Mushroom Lasagna. This is a great "white" lasagna -- a nice twist if you're tired of tomato-based pasta dishes. It's a wonderful recipe -- the ratios all work out well, and the roasted mushrooms are incredibly flavorful. Don't forget the half cup of water at the end, it really helps the noodles cook. This fits perfectly in an 11"x7.5" pan. If you cut it into 16 equal pieces, each piece is approximately 130 calories.

  • Vegan Spinach Alfredo Skillet Lasagna​. A great twist on familiar flavors and textures, this is a very gobble-able dish. I added a whole clove of garlic to the sauce ingredients in the blender, which I think perked up the flavor. Made with the tofu option (instead of cashews), one cup is approximately 170 calories.

  • Spring Vegetable Japchae (Korean Glass Noodles). Amazing dish! The chewy noodles and the crisp-tender vegetables come together perfectly. No modifications except that I reduced the oil. 

  • One Pan Tomato and Kale Pasta. Because sometimes you just want to start boiling water, throw together some veggies (in another pan, thus saving time but losing the "one pan" designation), and have it all come together by the time the pasta is done cooking. This has some beans in it as well, which rounds out the nutritional profile. I added some garlic and opted for whole-wheat pasta, but otherwise no modifications.

  • Vegan "Butter Chicken" Lasagna Bake. I have to admit that my family wasn't too crazy about this, but I adored it. I added soy curls (in addition to mushrooms), as suggested in the notes, and I thought it worked really well. The flavor of the sauce is wonderful, perfect comfort food. One cup is approximately 240 calories.

  • Vegan Pasta Bake. My son was asking for vegan baked ziti, and this recipe hit the mark. It does take some time, but you can make the different components separately (including in advance), and then it's easy to throw everything together and bake it. I cut the olive oil in half and used lite coconut milk instead of full fat, and it was still very rich and filling. My only other modifications were to reduce the nutritional yeast slightly, and to chop the mushrooms instead of slicing them, which helped the bolognese have a great texture. Delicious, hearty comfort food that's a lot healthier than it seems, because of the hidden lentils and veggies. One cup is approximately 245 calories.

Bread

  • Sourdough French Bread. Unbelievable! So easy, delicious, and sliceable. My kids go wild for this. If you have a sourdough starter, this is a great use for the discard on days when you feed it. No modifications, except that I dissolve the sugar into the warm water along with the yeast, and I sometimes use whole wheat flour for 1.5 cups of the flour. Note that one package of active dry yeast is 2.25 teaspoons.  

  • Simple Vegan Dinner Rolls. Unbelievably fluffy, delicious, and impressive as you take them out of the oven. My kids go bonkers for these. If you don't have rapid-rise yeast, you can substitute 2.75t of regular yeast. (Or one packet of regular yeast is fine, it will just take a bit longer to rise.) No modifications, but I've found that an 8x8 dish is way too small. I use the 12" lid of our cast iron pot, which works perfectly.

  • Easy Vegan Naan. If you have a bit of time and you're looking to upgrade your dinner, this is the ticket. Make the dough, cook up a curry or dal while it's rising, and then make the naan and serve it hot off the griddle. Modifications: I replaced a half cup of regular flour with whole wheat; and then I ended up adding in an extra quarter cup of regular flour because the dough was too sticky. I didn't bother brushing it with melted butter, because my kids were already eating it. With those modifications, each piece (of the 8 pieces) is approximately 170 calories. 

  • New York Style Bagels: My daughter made these, and they turned out amazing! No need for a fancy recipe, these are perfect. The toppings stayed on fine without an egg white wash, so these are easily vegan. Each bagel is approximately 210 calories.

  • Healthy-ish Banana Muffins: Another recipe that my daughter made and I loved! No modifications. Each muffin is approximately 170 calories.

  • Amazing and Easy Rosemary Bread. No link, because I got the recipe on Facebook (I've modified it a bit). Combine 3.25 cups of flour (I used bread flour), 1.5 cups warm water, 1 teaspoon yeast, 1.75 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar, and a scant half cup of chopped fresh rosemary. Cover and leave out overnight (12 hours). Put a Dutch oven (with the lid on) in your oven and then preheat the oven to 450. Punch down the dough and knead it a couple of times (less than a minute is fine). When the oven is preheated, take out the piping hot Dutch oven and plop in your ball of dough. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on, then another 15 minutes with the lid off. I'm regretting my decision not to include pictures on this website, this is a beautiful (and delicious!) bread. A 2-ounce slice is 127 calories.  

  • Vegan Challah. I couldn't believe how well this turned out! For the potato puree, I used a mix of sweet potato (for color) and white potato (for starch), but I think either one would be fine. My only other modification was that instead of a powdered egg replacement, I used a quarter cup of Just Egg. I haven't calculated the calories yet, because I made it for a party. It was amazing, give it a try!

  • Buttermylk and Honey Quick Bread from Grandma. When it comes to home-baked bread, it literally doesn't get any easier than this. You don't even need to let the batter sit for 20 minutes, as the recipe says; I skipped that and it came out great. My kids couldn't believe the delicious smell coming from the oven on a weeknight! A two-ounce slice is approximately 150 calories. 

  • The Best Vegan Cornbread. I've tried so many fancy cornbread recipes, but you really don't need anything other than this one. Great taste, great texture, couldn't be easier. Up your chili game, even on a weeknight. 

  • Vegan Burger Buns. These rise up really tall, but they're so nice and soft that you can smush them down and enjoy your burger without a problem. I used bread flour, which resulted in a really easy-to-manage dough. If you're new to yeast breads, this is an easy and fun way to start. Each bun is approximately 350 calories. 

  • Healthy Banana Bread. There are lots of good, easy banana bread recipes out there, but I wanted to remember this one because in addition to being both easy and good, it's also somewhat healthy. We used a cup of white flour and 0.75C whole wheat flour; and we followed the recommendation in the notes to substitute almond milk for half of the oil. Made like that, a 2oz slice is approximately 150 calories. 

Sandwiches
  • Grillable Black Bean Veggie Burger. These are delicious, and they really do work on the grill! Modifications: I omit the fennel seeds and the hot green chile. I use the walnut option instead of sunflower seeds, and brown rice instead of white. I make 8 burgers (even though the recipe says 5), in which case each is 150 calories; but they're pretty small. 

  • Easy Vegan Falafel. My kids request this all the time. And it's pictured (in progress) on the home page! No modifications, but I don't use the panko crumbs. We usually deep fry these, which makes it hard to estimate the calories; but before deep frying, each falafel is about 55 calories.

  • Chickpea Salad Sandwich. This is a great concept, and there are lots of similar recipes out there. What I like about this one is that is uses simple ingredients that I generally have on hand; and it doesn't require vegan mayo, which I don't keep on hand. That said, I modify it quite a bit. I omit the cheese, of course; and I split the olive oil in half, double the garlic, add a bunch more lemon juice (probably doubled, but I never kept track), and add a fair amount of dill, as well as a bit of cumin. And since I don't tend to have scallions, I use just a bit of finely chopped onion. So, yeah... basically it's a totally different recipe. But it's good! This is the kind of thing where you should really just taste as you go along, and add whatever seems right. The way I make it, a half-cup scoop of the filling is approximately 165 calories. 

Salads
  • Celery Cucumber Chickpea Salad. I made this for one reason: I needed to use up a bunch of celery before going out of town. But with the addition of quinoa (which I think is crucial), this turned into something that the whole family raved about.  Perfect to bring to a potluck or a cookout. Modifications: I substituted parsley for cilantro, used one can of chickpeas (which is slightly less than 2 cups), and added one cup of cooked quinoa. I did not use the optional chili pepper. I increased the dressing by 50% (e.g., 1.5 teaspoons of sesame oil instead of 1 teaspoon), which was probably more than necessary. I used regular sugar and regular sesame seeds instead of black ones. One cup is approximately 200 calories. 

  • Jody's Lentil Salad. This is a recipe that I put online years ago. No modifications, since this is my own! But it's actually from my friend's mom, Jody. It's a perfect summer side dish for a BBQ, picnic, etc. I have it written down that a serving is 90 calories, but I think that might have been a half cup serving (or less??). I'll update this if I figure out the calories again.

  • Lentil Cucumber Salad. A similar concept to the previous recipe, but even easier (and lower in calories, because there's no oil). Or maybe I just think it's easier because I used canned lentils -- no regrets at all, super easy and still delicious! But note that the amount of lentils in the recipe is assuming dried lentils (which increase in volume when you cook them). I made a 1.5x recipe (i.e., 1.5 cups of tomato instead of 1 cup, etc.), and for that amount, two cans of lentils was perfect. One cup is approximately 130 calories.

  • Best Tabbouleh. Great recipe for this classic, naturally vegan dish. This goes really well with the falafel recipe above. One cup is approximately 165 calories.

Other (Stir Fry, Empanadas, Casseroles, other???)
  • General Tso's Soy Curls. I couldn't believe how professionally this turned out. Delicious, and a great way to use soy curls. Modifications: I  substitute water for some of the soy sauce, reduce the sugar to 2 tablespoons, and use just 1 teaspoon of sriracha. Because of what I had on hand, I used cooking wine instead of mirin; omitted the green onions; and used regular onions instead of zucchini/carrots. For step #2, I stir fried the onions and bell peppers until they were crisp-tender, and then removed them to a plate. I added them back at the end of step #3. One cup is approximately 175 calories.

  • Black Bean Empanadas. Wonderful, and so fun! Modifications: I used Goya brand "tapas para empanadas," and I reduced the oil to 2.5 teaspoons. I omitted the cilantro and scallions because I didn't have them. I ended up with 16 empanadas, with each one being about 130 calories. 

  • Samosa Empanadas. I had a ton of the Goya "tapas para empanadas," so I used the approach described in the previous recipe, but for the filling I used the potato filling from this recipe. These were so good!! I omitted the optional cashews, chiles, and hing; and I substituted maybe a tablespoon of whole coriander seeds (crushed) for the fresh coriander leaves. I ended up with 13 empanadas, with each one being about 135 calories. 

  • Vegan Moussaka. This is a fair amount of work, but it's delicious and impressive. If you're looking for a vegan main dish that can sit at the center of a dinner party, this is it. Next time I make it, I'm going to try doing the bechamel sauce at the beginning and letting it cool, so that it thickens more. Otherwise it's a bit runny. But it still tastes amazing, and my teenagers gobbled it up. Modifications: I only made half the bechamel sauce, which was plenty. I used an extra eggplant (each of my 3 eggplants was just shy of 10 oz), which worked out well. I only sauteed the onion in a teaspoon of olive oil. I didn't have celery or a bell pepper, so I just used a really big onion. And for all of the one teaspoon herbs, I accidentally used half a tablespoon (1.5 teaspoons), which is a mistake I plan to repeat! And I just used regular sugar (who has coconut sugar?). And almond milk instead of soy milk. With all of that, one serving (one-eighteenth of the whole thing, which was roughly 3/4 cup) was about 165 calories. 

  • Sweet Potato Black Bean Tamales. This was my first attempt at tamales, and they came out great! A really fun cooking activity with kids (or anyone), and great to serve at a party. No modifications, but we had a lot of leftover sweet potato filling -- I think 2-3 sweet potatoes would have been plenty. The black bean filling seems simple, but the chipotle in adobo sauce makes it amazing. These were incredible, everyone raved about them. The recipe made 19 tamales, and each was about 100 calories. 

  • Beyond Beef Dumplings. Once in awhile, as a family project, we like to make dumplings. It actually doesn't take much more time than other things, it just feels like an undertaking. But it's a lot of fun! I've had good luck using this recipe for the wrappers, and this recipe for the filling. No modifications for the wrappers, though I've sometimes used whole wheat. For the filling, I substitute Beyond Beef for the ground beef, and I omit the corn and peas. For us (probably because we're amateurs, and therefore under-fill our dumplings), the two recipes match perfectly to make 32 dumplings. Each one is approximately 50 calories. 

  • Layered Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole. Perfect if you grow these veggies in your garden, but also great if you get them from the store! Instead of the initial baking step for the eggplant, I pan-fried it by dipping each slice in aquafaba, dredging it in whole wheat bread crumbs, and frying in just a tiny bit of oil. My only other modification was thinning out the bean filling with some aquafaba and water so that it was more like a sauce. The bean filling is delicious, and really ties the dish together. Oh, and I also added some fresh rosemary to the bean filling, which I think was a good addition. One cup is approximately 210 calories. 

  • Carrot and Sweet Potato Tzimmes. A wonderful side dish for a holiday meal, or a fun main course. Nothing better captures the taste of autumn. I added a can of chickpeas to make it even heartier, and I substituted dried figs for both the prunes and apricots. The walnut topping really brings it together. I haven't figured out the calories yet, because I made it for a party. 

  • Kid-Friendly Vegan "Chicken" Nuggets. The kids liked them, and so did I! A great little protein punch, and especially good with your favorite dipping sauce. I really like having these around as a snack. It's hard to estimate calories when something is deep fried, but I think each nugget is around 90 calories. 

  • Sheet Pan Squash and Mushroom Tacos. Easy and delicious! Works great as a taco filling, and can also be tossed with pasta or just eaten plain. I didn't have tomatillos, and I used regular white button mushrooms instead of baby bellas, but otherwise I made this as written. One cup is approximately 180 calories.

  • Chickpea Tacos. Insanely fast and easy, plus hearty and delicious! I skipped the avocado cream and just served these with sliced avocado. No other garnish was needed. I skipped the zucchini/pepper and just used more onion instead. I also used a bit of olive oil to saute the onion. Other than that, I made this just as written, and it was wonderful. 

  • Lentil Shepherd's Pie. A perfect centerpiece when you're hosting. It's quite easy to make, and you can prepare the filling and the potatoes whenever you have the time, and then put it together and stick it in the oven when guests are on the way. Plus it's hearty and scrumptious -- definitely a meal in itself. The filling is perfection. For the topping, I skipped the cauliflower and only used 30oz of potatoes, and that was still probably too much. I cut way back on the butter (to one tablespoon), skipped the nutritional yeast, and used almond milk instead of coconut milk. So far I've only done this with sweet potatoes (since that's what we keep in the house), but my kids want me to try it with white potatoes. I'm sure it's great either way! With my modifications, one cup is approximately 340 calories. 

  • Mushroom Wellington. An absolute showstopper for a holiday centerpiece, and it tastes as good as it looks. As an added bonus, the different components can be prepared in advance so that all you need to do on the day of is put it together. I used Just Egg to brush the crust, which is the only substitution needed to make it vegan. I made my own puff pastry, using a double recipe of this, with vegan butter. The secret is to refrigerate it for 10-15 minutes after every couple of times you fold and roll it. For the Wellington, I found that hand chopping the mushrooms was easier than using the processor. And the ice bath isn't necessary. It's a simpler recipe than it sounds like, though it does take some time. No calorie count, this is definitely for special occasions. 

  • Ramen Noodle Stir Fry. This recipe is great as written, but mostly I use it as a template. The sauce is delicious, and the basic idea of stir frying some tofu and veggies and then tossing with the sauce and some ramen noodles is endlessly flexible. The broccoli and onions in the recipe are great (I skip the carrots), but I've also had great success with a cabbage/mushroom/scallion combination. Best of all, my kids LOVE it!

  • Baozi (Chinese Steamed Buns): These are a bit of a project, but a fun one! We've made them for Lunar New Year, but of course they'd be great anytime. Wonderful as a grab-and-go breakfast/snack, but I think it's nicer to linger over one of these with a nice cup of tea. To keep things simple, we make them either plain or the version with red bean paste (which you can buy pre-made).  The recipe is vegan as long as you substitute plant-based milk (I use almond milk.) A plain bun is approximately 140 calories, and a bean paste one is approximately 210 calories.

  • Pakora Waffles (Savory Chickpea Flour Waffles). Incredibly tasty and filling, and lots of fun. I added half a cup of extra chickpea flour, because otherwise some of the waffles fell apart. Make sure to cook them long enough (without checking), and they hold together great. The recipe made 9 waffles for me, with each one being approximately 75 calories. 

  • Baked Vegan General Tso Cauliflower. This is a great recipe -- the batter for the cauliflower is magical, they crisp up better in the oven than any baked recipe I've tried. The sauce tastes like what you'd get in a restaurant; and if you throw some cubed tofu into the oven along with the cauliflower (but on its own baking sheet) you'll have a complete meal. It comes together faster than you'd think, too. Just get the cauliflower and tofu baking, and you can make the sauce while they're in the oven. Frozen cauliflower works perfectly, and if you have a high-speed blender you can make your own rice flour. As a variation, I've made the cauliflower from this recipe, baked some plain tofu alongside it, and then tossed it all with the sweet-and-sour sauce from this recipe

  • The Best Vegan Meatloaf. I wouldn't call it "meatloaf," because it isn't trying to taste like meat; but I do think it's the best vegan loaf I've had. Moist yet sliceable, savory, healthy, and tasty. I use one tablespoon of olive oil, and just one cup of bread crumbs. Made like that, a 3oz slice is approximately 140 calories. 

  • Charleston Red Rice. I veganized this recipe by using two links of Beyond Sausage (the Hot Italian kind) instead of the bacon. My only other modification was to make this in a Dutch oven, so that I could transfer it directly from the stovetop to the oven. The Dutch oven worked beautifully, and this came out just right after only 30 minutes of baking. With the sausage, it's a lot like a jambalaya. One cup is approximately 225 calories. 

Pieces of the Puzzle (for bowls, etc.)
  • Marinated Tofu. This is so easy, versatile, and delicious. Use it in bowls with some rice and some stir-fried veggies, and you're done. I bake it at 425 for 20 minutes, instead of prepping it on the stovetop; and I swap out water for half the soy sauce. 

  • Sichuan Green Beans. A bit healthier than many similar recipes, and you won't miss the extra salt and fat. Serve with rice and the marinated tofu and you have a great meal. I cut the oil in half, but no other modifications.

  • Tahini Dressing. This is my own recipe. I put it anywhere I eat falafel, whether it's a salad, wrap, or bowl. It thickens up nicely as the flax seed absorbs the liquid. Just whisk together 6T warm water, 1t ground flax seed, 3T tahini, 2t maple syrup, 0.5t garlic powder, and 0.5t lemon juice. Let sit for a few minutes to thicken, then serve. Also stores well in the refrigerator. One tablespoon is approximately 30 calories.

  • Bok Choy and Mushroom Stir Fry. You don't need a recipe to stir fry some veggies, but this little recipe worked so well that I wanted to save it. My son has been begging for more bok choy ever since we had this. What more could you ask for?

  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Extremely simple, always works, always wonderful. One tip: When I slice the sprouts in half, a lot of leaves fall off. I toss them along with everything else, and then on the roasting pan I put them in their own section of the pan. They get completely crispy and absolutely amazing.  

Just a Few Desserts
  • Pumpkin Pie Bars. This recipe is magical. Very simple, absolutely amazing. I wasn't planning to put desserts on this website, but I couldn't bear the thought of losing track of this one.

  • Fudgy Sweet Potato Brownies. The intro to this recipe says it all: "While attempting to create a more nutrient-rich brownie, we ended up creating our new favorite brownie recipe!" It really is that good (and somewhat healthy!). A double recipe fits perfectly in a 9x13 pan. If you do it that way, 45 minutes in the oven is just right. If you cut the double recipe into 24 pieces, each piece is approximately 190 calories.

  • Thai Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango. My all-time favorite restaurant dessert turns out to be very easy to make at home. Impress your friends, or just spoil your family (or yourself).