Creamy-dreamy velveeta-style cheesey sauce, only vegan and actually pretty darn good for you… Sounds like a gosh darn dream!…
I know friends, I KNOW… vegan and barbecue don’t usually seem to go together too well. But I promise, veggies can (and will) give you ample motivation to fire up the grill (especially in the Summertime)!…
Have you ever smelled fajitas cooking in the oven? Well if you haven’t, today might just be one of the best days of your life. I might be exaggerating (But just a little… seriously).
Ahhh RANCH dressing… the most classic of the dressings. I remember my “salads” when I was little consisted of plain raw spinach topped with heaps of icky bottled ranch stuff. That was BEFORE I came to love vegetables. Wow, how things have changed!
All over the internet I’ve seen recipes for creamy vegan salad dressings that use vegan mayo, tofu, cashews, and lots of other fun stuff. Although I’ve tried a lot of these recipes with success, today I wanted to try something a little different.
High protein and potato salad aren’t two things you probably hear together too often… are they? I think of potato salad as being something you bring to a friendly neighborhood potluck on a warm midsummer day… not necessarily a post-gym snack. But HEY, this potato salad can fill BOTH roles!
Since turning to a plant-based diet, I haven’t sampled any mock-potato salads, nor have I tried to recreate my own version… until now! It was so much fun getting to experiment with such classic flavors in this all-American dish.
Brussels Sprouts… some of us love them and some of us hate them. I used to HATE the little mini-cabbages with a passion (probably because my dad used to punish my brother and I with microwaved Brussels Sprouts dipped in white vinegar when we misbehaved).
Since my earlier days of horrible sprout-consumption, I’ve learned how to properly make Brussels Sprouts. Thank goodness those days of gross sprouts are behind me, because I love living in a world filled with grown-up style sprouts (Like this recipe that I’ve posted here 😉 )
These No BS Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts are called “No BS” because they are the REAL DEAL.
Ahhh kale… I feel like society as a whole has a love/hate relationship with the superfood, but the reality is that it takes a little more effort than most greens to prepare in a way that makes eating it an enjoyable experience.
Here, I’ve laid how I personally go about making yummy dishes with this specific green. I’ve also included a combo I use regularly for people trying it out for the veggie for the first time 🙂
When you see kale at your local grocery store, it can seem overwhelming. Often times there’s more than three varieties that all have different colors and textures. What I’ve found is that the more red the leaf, the more bitter it is. If this is you’re fist time trying out making anything with kale, I’d stick to the green variety.
Once you have the kale in your possession, the first step to turning it into a yummy dish is de-stemming it. There are multiple methods that different people swear by, but it really depends on the kind of leaf you’re dealing with. Basically, as long as you get the thick, middle stem in each leaf separated from the “meat” of the leaf, you’re good to go.
The next fact to recognize is that (unless you’re buying baby kale) it’s going to be TOUGH. Basically, if you try to eat it raw, without doing anything to it, you’re going to be doing a LOT of chewing. It’ll also taste suuuuper bitter. Kale is so tough because of it’s extremely high fiber density… while this may be good for your intestines, it might not feel so great to your mouth.
To combat this little issue, it helps to massage your kale. Yes, I know, the idea of giving your future salad a rub down sounds slightly insane… but it’s SO WORTH IT!
Start by breaking up the larger kale leaves into smaller pieces and throwing them in a large bowl (You can do this by tearing with your fingers or cutting with a knife). Use whatever dressing that’s going onto the salad/dish, lemon juice, avocado, or tahini and pour it over top of the leaves. Using your fingers (yes, you read that right) rub down the leaves with whatever you put on them till they break down and become tenderized.
After you rub them down, they’ll take on a darker hue, be less rigid, less bitter, and will take on the flavor of whatever you dressed them with. All that’s left to now is adding additional veggies/fruits/nuts to the bowl, giving it a quick toss, and calling it a meal!
Here’s a favorite combo of mine that you could use as template:
- 1/2 bunch of kale (de-stemmed)
- 2 tsp tahini OR 1/3 avocado
- Lemon juice (I use 1/2 a lemon)
Massage these three together and top with:
- Toasted walnuts
- Red onion
- (Literally any veggie ever)
Raise your hand if you grew up loving a giant, moist, bakery style muffin for breakfast! I’m currently raising a hand while typing this, if you’re wondering. Ever since I was little, I’ve enjoyed a nice, fresh muffin over a donut any day. Something about a moist bottom layer paired with an even better cloud of yumminess pillowing over the top really made my brain happy. As you can probably tell, my obsession continues to this very day 😉
My favorite muffins were always of the butterscotch and lemon variety, but I was feeling ~zesty~ and decided to tackle the lemon side of things first. Here I present you with a healthy, plant-based take on a moist, fluffy, and most importantly, satisfying muffin to fill the gaping, muffin-shaped hole in my heart.
COZY… that’s the word I’d use to describe this vegan split pea stew. It’s the kind of thing you’d want to pour a big bowl of to enjoy sitting next to the fireplace, alongside a mug of tea while you binge watch Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix… Okay, maybe I’m being a BIT dramatic. But if you do end up doing that, please let me know.
Some of the things to LOVE about this dish:
- Cheap (as in you can make a huge batch and not have to pay for lunches for the next week)
- Versatile (as in you can pour it in a bowl and call it a meal, OR you can serve alongside rice green/greens/other veggies)
- Easy-to-make (and only uses ~ONE POT~) Minimal cleanup required makes me a very happy lady. Aren’t you just smiling at the thought of only washing one pot… I know you are 😉
In this dish I used a variety of veggies (because, duh), and you could really add whatever vegetable you have on hand that you think would fit the flavor profile.
Let’s Talk about SPUDS:
The the particular vegetable that you could especially experiment with is the sweet potato. Potato in this vegan split pea stew acts a thickener, while also providing for greater satiation.
I chose to use peeled white sweet potato because I thought the added sweetness would pair well with the peas. In order to keep the color normal-looking, I went with a white variety of sweet potato (An orange one may make it look kind of icky, but it would taste great regardless).
However, you’re really welcome to use any kind of potato (Russet, Yam, Red, Fingerling…no discrimination here). I’m sure it will be delicious either way.
Peeling the potato first will led to a creamier final result, but is by no means required (just make sure you wash it well if you leave the skin on). Let me know in the comments section if you did make any substitutions, and share how it worked out!
Another quality I enjoy about this stew is its thickness. Personally, I don’t feel particularly satiated after even the largest bowls of a thin, watery soup. The fact that this is a thick, hearty, STEW makes me feel completely satisfied if it’s all I’m having for a meal. My favorite method of serving is pairing the stew with some fresh greens and brown rice… Mmmm here I am drooling just thinking about it!
If you do happen to prefer a thinner soup, or you’re serving it as an appetizer and need something lighter, feel free to add more water or vegetable broth to the pot. The choice is yours!
Looking for a cozy dessert to enjoy after this cozy meal? Head over to my super easy to make, healthy, Better-than-Grandma’s Oatmeal Cookies!
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups carrots (about 5 medium), peeled and chopped
- 1 large potato, chopped*
- 1 bunch parsley (optional, for deeper flavor)
- 1 cup dry split peas
- 1 cup celery (chopped)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cups water (+ more for cooking)
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp rosemary
- More salt and pepper (to taste)
- Add onions and garlic to a large pot filled with about a cup of hot water. Cook until the onions are translucent and fragrant.
- Add peas, carrots, potato, parsley, thyme, rosemary, salt, and veggie broth to pot. Bring to a boil, and let cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Add celery to pot, and cook (covered) until all the veggies are fully cooked (20-30 minutes).
- Add 1-2 cups water to the pot. Use an immersion blender to blend (Leave as many chuncks as desired). If you don’t have an immersion blender, blend about half the soup in a blender, then pour it back into the pot.
- Let simmer on low for 1-2 hours, until it has reached desired thickness and the peas are fully cooked. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
(Please keep in mind that nutrition facts are estimated and will change with substitutions)
Let me know if you make this, and tell me how you like it! Tag me on Instagram @cookwithcourt and #cookwithcourt