October marks the beginning of the holiday season, aka the season of nonstop entertaining and eating! Suddenly there’s extra emphasis on food, yet even less time to make an impressive meal. It also marks National Vegetarian Month which is the perfect reason to share all the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle with friends and family. Whether it’s reducing the risk of heart disease, employing more efficient and sustainable farming practices, or taking a compassionate approach to factory-farm conditions, there are more than enough reasons to give plant-based a try. Veestro is here to provide a quick, easy and delicious way to get started, but for the veggie veterans out there, or the ambitious home chefs, we’ve gathered a few simple recipes you can whip up in less than 30 minutes that may just be a stunner at your next get-together or the perfect week night dinner for the kiddos and you.
1. Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup
Straight out of The Food Network Kitchen, this hearty favorite is the perfect transition from summer to fall.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion (from about 1/2 medium onion)
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup chopped celery (from about 1 medium stalk)
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced (about 3/4 pound)
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until light brown, about 7 minutes. Add the celery, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, 4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Return the heat to medium, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the broccoli, cover and cook until the broccoli is bright green, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the soup to a blender; add the soy milk and puree until smooth, leaving the filler cap slightly open to let steam escape (or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender). Return the soup to the saucepan and bring to a simmer; stir in the nutritional yeast and nutmeg. Add water if needed to adjust consistency and add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Spicy Peanut Butter Tofu with Sriracha
Tofu isn’t exactly an exciting meal, but with a little peanut butter, it’s a whole new ball game. Props to Kayln’s Kitchen for blowing our minds with this sticky treat and a kick of sriracha.
- 14-16 oz. firm or extra firm tofu
- 1 T peanut oil
- several large garlic cloves, sliced
- large piece of ginger root, sliced
- 2-3 T diagonally sliced green onions (for garnish)
- 3 T soy sauce (reduced sodium is fine; use gluten-free if needed)
- 3 T rice vinegar (not seasoned rice vinegar)
- 2 T smooth natural peanut butter (use the lowest sugar peanut butter you can find.
- 1 T agave nectar (I like raw agave nectar)
- 2 T vegetable stock or water
- 1 T Sriracha Rooster Sauce (more or less to taste)
- Drain the tofu well in a colander placed in the sink.
- Then put tofu pieces between a double layer of paper towels and press down with your hand so the liquid in the tofu is absorbed by the towel. (You can do this several times if you need to.)
- Cut tofu into lengthwise strips about 1 inch wide.
- Whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, peanut butter, agave, stock or water, and then add the Sriracha Rooster Sauce. (I would start with a smaller amount of Sriracha, taste, and decide when it is hot enough.)
- Cut the pieces of garlic and ginger, and diagonally slice green onions.
- Heat the dry wok (or heavy pan) over high heat for one minute.
- Then add the peanut oil and heat about 30 seconds more.
- Add the sliced pieces of ginger and garlic and cook just until they are fragrant (about 30 seconds); then remove and discard.
- Add tofu pieces, lower heat to medium high and cook, turning often, until the tofu is nicely browned on both sides, about 7-8 minutes.
- When all the tofu pieces are browned, add the sauce, turn heat to low, and cook just until the sauce thickens slightly and coats the tofu. (Don’t cook too long or the sauce will get too thick and won’t pour over the tofu pieces.)
- Remove pan from the heat.
- Transfer tofu pieces to a plate and pour sauce over and garnish with green onion slices (if using.)
- Serve hot.
3. Easy Vegan Black Bean Dip
Our friends at Sweet Simple Vegan are genius at using leftovers for fast, finger-licking dishes. This dip is perfect for unexpected guests that are sure to pop up this season.
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (we used Kite Hill) *
- 2 green onions, sliced with ends removed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons canned green chiles (drained)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Roasted corn
- Vegan cream cheese (or vegan sour cream), mixed with a little water for a runnier texture
- Green onions
- Smoked paprika
- Add everything to a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired and seasons with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with a garnish of roasted corn, vegan cream cheese, cilantro, green onions, and smoked paprika.
For simple decadence, we always turn to the ultimate homemaker, Martha Stewart. Her crepe recipe is great for breakfast, a savory lunch, or a quick dessert.
- 2 1/3 cups soy milk, plus more, as needed
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup safflower oil, plus more for pan
- 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- Combine milk, flour, oil, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a blender; process until smooth and combined. Refrigerate until cool and thickened slightly, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
- Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet (pan should measure 8-inches across the bottom) over medium, and brush with oil. Pour a scant 1/4 cup batter into pan, turning and tilting skillet to coat bottom evenly. Cook until top of crepe appears set, bottom is firm and golden brown in spots, and edges lift from pan, 1 to 2 minutes. (If batter is too thick and does not spread evenly to edges of pan, whisk in more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach desired consistency.)
- Slip a spatula under crepe, and gently flip in one swift gesture. (Use the spatula to unfold or rearrange crepe, as needed.) Cook until bottom is firm and golden brown in spots and edges are crisp, 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer to a plate, and cover. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing pan lightly with oil every 2 or 3 crepes, or as needed. Stack crepes and keep covered to keep them tender and pliable.
5. Blue Coconut Pina Colada Smoothies
When we need color to spice up a table, we turn to Margaret Chapman. This fun smoothie is kid-friendly, but add a few drops of your favorite tequila to put the adults in a party mood.
- 1 tsp Blue Spirulina (optional, for color)
- 2 cups Coconut Milk
- 1/2 cup Pineapple Juice, reserved from can
- 2 cups Pineapple Chunks, fresh or frozen
- 1/4 cup Lime Juice (2 limes)
- 1 cup Cauliflower, fresh or frozen (optional)
- Toasted Coconut, to garnish
- Lime Wedge, to garnish
- Strawberry Slices, pressed on glass
- Prep ahead by freezing your pineapple or cauliflower to make this smoothie thick.
- Measure and blend all ingredients together, adding blue spirulina for color if desired.
- Pour into glasses with strawberry slices pressed against the sides (optional).
- Serve immediately, topped with toasted coconut and a lime wedge on the side.
Don’t forget to tag us with your Veestro meals or with your homemade plant-based recipes on social media @VeestroFood!