Easy Miso Gravy
You know what's better than gravy that's ready in just over 5 minutes? ALMOST NOTHING. Gravy is like my lifeblood - I could eat it slathered on just about any vegetable and I think it makes everything taste better. A good gravy, that is. I'm not much for store-bought packets, so whenever I want gravy I follow pretty much this exact recipe and whip up a batch to dump on everything. And since I've made it so many times, I've gotten pretty darn good at it. So good at it, I figured it was about time I shared it with you guys. And just in time for Thanksgiving! Kitchen time on Tofurkey Day is valuable, so who wants to waste it slaving over an hour long gravy recipe? NOT YOU! And sure as heck not me. So grab a pan, whip up a batch of this easy, flavorful gravy, and go smother some mashed potatoes in it. Or share it with our friends at the dinner table, if that's your jive turkey. Let's eat!
Looking for more Thanksgiving sides? Check out our Celeriac Mashed Potatoes, Lemon Miso Cranberry Sauce, and Homemade Tofurky!
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1/4 cup flour (AP or WW)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon miso paste
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
In a small cast iron pan (or sauce pan, but we like the flavor and the way the butter browns a bit more in cast iron) melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the flour. The mixture will be chunky.
Stir and let brown for 1-2 minutes, then pour in vegetable broth, miso paste, onion powder and pepper. Whisk vigorously until completely combined. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling and thickening.
Turn the heat to low and simmer a few more minutes, until your desired gravy thickness is achieved. Serve immediately!
Makes about 2 cups.
If you don't have flour/ want to keep it GF, you can substitute cornstarch. Start with an equal amount and use more to thicken as needed.
Leftovers can be refrigerated up to a week in an airtight container.
Celeriac Mashed Potatoes
This recipe is SUPER easy, and has become a staple side dish at our place for the holidays. And it's a total crowd-pleaser! Celeriac, AKA celery root (pictured below) gives regular ol' taters a rich celery flavor without the stringiness of using celery stalks or the added sodium of tons of celery salt. Boiled, it mashes up just like potatoes so it hides in there nicely and adds a load of anti-oxidants and vitamin K. Celeriac is an amazing, underrated root vegetable, and we just love it! [It also makes a great cream of celery soup, but we'll save that for another time.] These potatoes are our go-to for holidays, potluck parties, and for when I just want a huge bowl of comfort food. They're great with butter or smothered in gravy, and it's a great way to mix up the whole mashed potato routine, so let's get cooking!
Looking for more ways to use celeriac? Try our Squash + Celeric Quinoa Stuffing for a GF holiday side dish!
2 lbs. yellow potatoes -about 5 cups, chopped into 1 in. chunks
1 lb. celeriac (celery root) -about 2 cups, peeled + chopped into 1 in. chunks
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup vegan butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt (optional)
Chop potatoes and celeriac and place into a large pot. Fill with enough water to just cover the veggies, and cook over medium-high heat until both potatoes and celeriac are fork tender, about 20 mins. Remove the pan from heat, drain the water, and begin to mash using a potato masher (or a fork!). Add in milk, butter, and spices and continue mashing to your desired consistency. We like ours a bit chunky; If you're a silky-smooth kinda person, you can place it all into your food processor instead. Serve + enjoy! Serves 8.
You could garnish these with some green onion or chives; we forgot!
These are easily made ahead and re-heated in the microwave, if needed.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to one week.
Garam Masala Roasted Acorn Squash
Thanksgiving is really all about the sides for vegans. I feel like a nut loaf is okay and Tofurkey is fun, but I would be really happy with cranberry sauce, 'taters, some delicious veggies, and a big ol' slice of pie instead. In at attempt to come up with creative and delicious ways to squeeze more veggies onto the table, we came up with this impressive dish. It packs so much flavor you're friends and fam won't believe you whipped it up yourself and looks so good you might not be able to believe it, either! We love squash, but roasting it in garam masala and pairing it with tangy lemon tahini sauce, sweet pomegranate arils, crunchy pepitas and a sprinkle of fresh parsley takes it to a whole new level. Plus, it really couldn't be easier - and who really wants to spend extra time in the kitchen while everyones catching up around the dining room table? This recipe calls for 1 squash and serves 4, but can easily be doubled for larger parties. Let's eat!
[Oh and just so you know, this is just the start of all the Thanksgiving goodness we'll be posting this month. Look for a new table-approved recipe from us every couple days until the 26th!]
1 medium-sized acorn squash
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
3/4 teaspoon garam masala
salt + pepper to taste
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup water, as needed
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons pepitas
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Slice both ends off of the squash and scoop out the seed goop. Slice the squash into 1/2 inch slices and lay in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with garam masala, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until squash is fork tender and browned.
While squash roasts, combine tahini, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Add water a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Scoop into a bowl.
When squash is roasted, remove from the oven and serve warm with tahini sauce, pomegranate seeds, pepitas, and fresh parsley. Enjoy!
Serves 4. Leftovers can be saved in the fridge overnight. but it's a dish best served warm!
Don't have garam masala? Try curry! Don't have acorn squash? Try delicata! This recipe is easily customizable.
Prepping for a holiday meal? Prep everything ahead except the roasted squash and save lots of time!
Fall Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Golden Berries
I love fall for the weather, changing colors (okay not so much now that I'm living in California), and delicious, sweet, pumpkin-y baked goods. Which is also the problem...a girl can only eat so many of those baked goods before your belly is like WHOA GIRL and you just need to eat something a little healthier, a little lighter. We're trying to balance our Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookie and Pumpkin Zucchini Bread intake with this savory, flavorful salad. It'll wake your tastebuds up and remind you that healthier dishes can taste pretty damn good, too! It's a great dish for detoxing the crap that has accumulated in your system all month and because quinoa is a complete protein, it'll keep you full longer than you'd expect. This salad has a great mix of sweet (golden berries, roasted butternut squash) and savory (celery, onions, parsley) that makes it a real crowd pleaser. We love using Essential Living Foods Golden Berries in this salad 'cause they keep their foods completely raw, organic, and full of superfood goodness...and they taste amazing! (We're huge fans, and you can check out their complete line of superfoods for yourself here.) It's perfect as a Thanksgiving side dish or a packed-lunch for the week, and we just know you're gonna love it so let's EAT!
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 cups water
1 cup rainbow (or really any kind) quinoa
1/3 cup celery, sliced thinly
1/3 cup red onions, diced
1/3 cup golden berries, roughly chopped
1/3 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon champagne or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel and cut butternut squash into 1/4 cubes and place on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt + pepper and bake about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
While squash bakes, place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then cover with a lid and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
Prepare celery, red onions, golden berries, sliced almonds, and fresh parsley and place it into a large bowl. Set aside.
In another small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, dijon, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
When squash and quinoa have finished cooking and cooled, pour the quinoa and roasted butternut squash into the large bowl of veggies and gently toss with a wooden spoon. Drizzle the vinaigrette mixture over the salad and toss again to combine. Serve immediately or save in the fridge up to 3 days in an airtight container. Serves 6-8. Enjoy!
If you don't have/ don't like golden berries or almonds or any other ingredient, sub it out for something you LOVE! This salad is super customizable and you should totally take advantage of that based on your preferences and what you have in the pantry.
Mexican Wheat Berry Salad
Sometimes you want something a little spicy, sometimes you don't. If you don't, thats okay. If you do, this dish is for you! We used our flavor-packed, low-fat Cauliflower Queso Cheeze recipe to coat one of our favorite and underused pantry staples, wheat berries, and added plenty of fresh veggies and cilantro to kick it up to party-worthy appetizer level! We fell in love with wheat berries a few years ago at a friends wedding where they served a lovely vegetarian salad (that I literally picked the cheese out of) and have been incorporating them into our diets more and more ever since. Wheat berries are the entire kernel of wheat, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. This means that they are the purest, whole, unprocessed form of wheat. When ground, they make whole wheat flour! Wheat berries are high in fiber and rich in vitamins B1 and B3, plus magnesium, phosphorous, copper, manganese and selenium. And since they're so hearty and full of fiber, a 1/2 cup serving of cooked wheat berries does a great job of filling you up and keeping you fuller, longer. We love this salad as an appetizer or side dish alongside our Jackfruit Asada Street Tacos. Its a crowd pleaser and requires very minimal work on your part, plus is easily made ahead for parties. Let's eat!
3/4 cup hard wheat berries
3 cups water
1/2 cup Queso Cheeze
1-2 tablespoons jalapéno, chopped
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced (we used yellow tomatoes from the garden!)
1/2 cup green onion, sliced
2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
chips for scooping (optional)
In a medium sized pot, boil wheat berries in water for about an hour, until the berries become soft enough to eat. Drain the water, and set the wheat berries aside to cool.
If you haven't prepped the queso cheese, go ahead and do that. If you have, move on to the next step.
Prep jalapeños, tomatoes, green onion, and cilantro.
When wheat berries have cooled, mix in queso cheeze, jalapeños, tomatoes, green onion (save a little for garnish, if you like), chopped cilantro, and the juice squeezed from 1 lime. Mix with a wooden spoon to combine, garnish with remaining green onion, and serve with chips! Makes about 2 cups, serves 4. This dish will save well in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
Pickled Cucumber Salad with Peas and Fresh Dill
Its been a great week for us. We spent the last week vacationing in Maine, where Amber originally grew up. While there we hiked to the top of Maine's tallest mountain, Mt. Katahdin (about 4,000+ft elevation), successfully rafted Class V rapids on the Penobscot river, and spent time catching up with friends and family. We'll have a post coming up all about that trip and the amazing food we ate, but for now, we're just happy to get back to our regular routine. Nothing like sleeping in your own bed after a week of air mattresses and futons! We were able to find plenty of fresh fruits and veggies in season and farmers markets being held in Maine, which means it if OFFICIALLY summer. To celebrate, and to get our bodies back on track after a week of travel and extreme workouts, we're munching this easy-to-whip-up summer salad with quick-pickled cukes, crunchy English peas, spicy shallots, and a bunch of fresh dill to kick it up a notch (you know, Emeril-style). It's a great recipe for eating up garden-grown goodies and for feeling a little reset after a week of treatin' yo'self, like we did. Let's eat!
-2 large cucumbers, peeled, deseeded, and sliced (about 3 cups)
-1 large shallot, thinly sliced
-1½ tablespoons sea salt
-1½ tablespoons champagne vinegar OR apple cider vinegar
-1 teaspoon organic sugar
-2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
-1 cup uncooked english peas
-¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Wash and peel cucumbers. Remove ends and cut lengthwise, using a spoon to scoop out the seeds from the middle so you have two boat-like halves. Slice the halves thinly into little crescent moon shapes. Place into a medium sized colander. Thinly slice the shallot and add to colander. Toss shallots and cucumbers in the salt and let sit about 20 minutes. Once ready, squeeze the veggies to drain excess liquid and rinse the veggies well under cool water. Place drained + rinsed veggies into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine vinegar with sugar and stir well. Toss into cucumber + shallot mixture and stir in dill, peas, and pepper. Toss to combine, and serve immediately with an extra sprig of fresh dill. Leftover can be refrigerated up to 3 days. Enjoy!
Here in Southern California, the growing season starts earlier than most places. Thanks to our high temps and sunny days, our garden started growing back in March and hasn't stopped since. In other words, our parsley plant is bigger than most peoples large dog. We have SO MUCH parsely- we're overrun! And there's only so much garnishing you can do with parsley before you're sick of it. A better way to use up mass amounts of fresh, fragrant parsley? This simple Parsley Pesto recipe! It whips up quickly and taste great spread on everything! I'm loving pairing it with sweet cherry tomatoes on crackers and crusty bread and mixing it into pasta dishes like this Caprese Pasta Salad. I was hesitant when I started messing around with this stuff- what if I didn't like it as much as my traditional Hemp Seed Basil Pesto? What if it just didn't taste right? Well, SURPRISE! It tastes AMAZING! Adding the green onions and extra garlic give it a ton of flavor and take away from the bitterness of having too much parsley, and the nuts keep it smooth and mellow. It's green gold! And it saves well in the fridge for up to a week, so you can enjoy fresh, flavorful pesto all week long. Lets eat!
3 packed cups fresh parsley, stems removed
1 cup almonds or cashews
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
In a high speed blender (we used our Vitamix) or a food processor, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth, or until your desired texture- you can leave it chunkier if you like! [If you don't have a great blender to work with, try soaking your nuts in warm water for at least an hour before blending them, it'll help break them down much more easily.] Spread it on everything from bread and crackers to pizza dough and rice cakes. Saves well in an airtight container for about a week, or until pesto begins to brown. Enjoy!
Sesame Ginger Blistered Shoshito Peppers
6 ounces Shoshito Peppers, washed
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon of chili oil (optional)
pinch of salt
Wash the peppers and heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
While the oil heats, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, maple syrup, ginger and garlic in a small bowl. Toss the peppers into the skillet, then pour in the sauce. Sauté for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently to coat the peppers in sauce. Continue stirring until peppers become evenly blistered (lightly browned and covered in small air pockets). Remove from heat, and serve immediately with a squeeze of fresh lime and soy sauce or spicy Chinese mustard. Enjoy!
This was a super quick + easy lunch I was inspired to make after first trying shoshitos at sushi place in Seal Beach a while back. They were salty, a bit crunchy, and had just a touch of spiciness. So good! I wanted to do a little spin of my own and included fresh ginger and garlic- 'cause they're my favorite. The sesame ginger sauce was AMAZING and a perfect pair with these sweet peppers! My only addition would be sprinkle of sesame seeds for texture. (I was in a bit of a time crunch, so excuse the not-as-fancy iPhone photos on this one.) They're great as a snack or alongside a dinner with rice and kung pao cauliflower. We found our shoshito peppers at Trader Joe's, but you should be able to find them at any nicer grocery stores or Asian markets. You're gonna love 'em- especially since they're just about 10 minutes, start to finish. Let's eat!
Magic Vegan Bacon Greens
When Alex first told me he had seen a product online called 'Magic Vegan Bacon Grease', I laughed. He has crazy awesome ideas sometimes, and I thought maybe this was just one of them in the making. But NOPE! Its a real thing. A delicious, heavent sent, better-than-any-oil-for-frying I've ever tried thing. When I first opened the jar, I remember asking Alex "Would it be weird if I bathed in this? Can we get more?!" Apparently, it would be. But man oh man, would I smell delicious!
Because if there's one thing I love (and you may already know this), its COCONUT BACON. Our recipe, the one I still consider best above all the rest, the one featured on Post Punk Kitchen's Best of 2014 (#14!!), is a staple in this house. Lucky for us, Magic Vegan Bacon Grease HAS chunks of homemade bacon- just made out of TVP, instead. Which frankly, holds up much better when you're frying it. Plus, this magic grease is virtually guilt-free: coconut oil based and free of hydrogenated oils & GMOs, its consistency when hardened (unlike below- damn So Cal heat wave) is that of REAL lard...only its 100% vegan. It can be used for cooking, frying, or baking, and is made with 11 very pronounceable ingredients (Coconut oil, soy protein (TVP), sea salt, demerara sugar, black pepper, onion, garlic, torula yeast, natural hickory flavor, & maple extract). We loved it to spice up these simple greens. It added all the flavor and richness they needed, and gave them a great 'meaty' flavor. Check 'em out on their website for more info. In the meantime, lets get our grease on!
2 tablespoons Magic Vegan Bacon Grease
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 small heads of bok choy, ends removed & roughly chopped
3 small zucchinis, halved and sliced
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
salt & pepper (to taste)
In a large skillet, heat the Magic Vegan Bacon Grease over medium heat. Sauté garlic for 2-3 minutes. Don't let it brown- burnt garlic tastes very bitter. Add in chopped bok choy and zucchini and cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes- or until the veggies are softened but not soggy. Season with smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, and pepper & cook a minute more. Remove veggies from heat and serve immediately. Garnish with a sprinkle of Homemade Coconut Bacon. Saves well in the fridge for several days, but is best enjoyed immediately. Dig in!