Vegetarian Recipes

Chickpea Couscous Salad:

Vegan and Vegetarian

This recipe emerged from necessity.  I was 19, broke, a vegan, and in college.  I needed something cheap, quick, healthy, and abundant.  This recipe has become a staple of mine and I still eat it throughout the week many times.  It has staying power.

Servings: 4

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of Couscous (I like to get my couscous from the Skokie Pita Inn Store because it’s sold in bulk and much cheaper than getting it from Jewel)
  • 1 can of Garbanzo Beans – drained
  • 1/2 c of Olive Oil for the dressing
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil or soy butter for the couscous
  • 2 tbsp of soy or Tamari sauce
  • 2 tbsp of white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp of dijon mustard (I prefer Grey Poupon)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic finely chopped depending on how much you like garlic (I am a big garlic lover so the more the merrier)
  • 1 chopped green onion
  • 8 green olives or kalamata olives chopped up in half
  • Spices: I like to eyeball these and add in some more throughout the cooking process but here is an estimate of the spices I use:
    • 1 tbsp of sea salt
    • 2 tbsp of smoked paprika
    • 1 tbsp of red pepper
    • 1 tbsp of cumin
    • 1 tbsp of black pepper
    • 2 tbsp of Italian seasoning
    • 1 tbsp of rosemary

Directions: 

  • Follow the couscous recipe directions – typically it’s one cup of water with a little salt and 2 tbsp of olive oil or soy butter.  Then boil the water, add in a cup of couscous, stir it in, put a lid on it, and take it off the stove.  Keep it standing for 5 minutes, then stir it and fluff it up.
  • While the couscous is being made, drain the garbanzo beans in a strainer.
  • In a large bowl, mix the olive oil, soy sauce, white wine vinegar, dijon mustard, spices, green onions, and garlic.  Mix until it is smooth and everything is distributed evenly.
  • Pour the garbanzo beans in the bowl and stir it in with the dressing mixture.
  • Add in the couscous slowly, gradually stir it in making sure it gets stirred into the dressing.  The couscous should be somewhat moistened by the dressing.  If it’s dry, then add in more olive oil and dijon.
  • Add in the kalamata olives and sprinkle a little paprika on top.
  • You can serve it immediately or chill it in the fridge.  Bon appetit!

Chinese Eggplant Garlic Stir-fry with Kimchi Fried Rice

Vegan and Vegetarian

I love Chinese food but unfortunately the more fast/convenient Chinese food places tend to be high in sodium without fresh vegetables.  This recipe is also based off of my mom’s Chinese food recipes.  What I love about this dish is that it is hearty, delicious, and affordable!  I am all about the sauces and I love this garlic sauce!

Servings: 4

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Ingredients: 

Eggplant stir-fry

  • 1 eggplant chopped however you prefer but I like to chop them up in 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 bag of dried shiitake mushrooms (you can find these in the international aisle of Jewel or Mariano’s/Asian grocery stores) – soak the mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes, drain the mushrooms, then chop them
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 green onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp of chopped ginger
  • 1 package of seitan (you can use tofu as well but it will be more laborious)- drain and then fry in a pan with a little olive oil, once it’s brown, add a little Tamari sauce to it (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 poblano pepper chopped – I think these are the crunchiest type of pepper
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/4 c of Tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 c of Mushroom oyster sauce (vegan version of oyster sauce)
  • 1 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp of red pepper paste (optional if you like spicy food)
  • 2 c of veggie stock
  • 1/2 c of water
  • 2 tbsp of corn starch

Kimchi Fried Rice: Fried rice typically is made with eggs but you can just subtract the eggs.

  • 1 c of Jasmine rice (can be found at Jewel/Mariano’s, but can be bought in bulk at an Asian grocery store or Garden Fresh)
  • 2 c of water
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp of ginger chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/2 c of kimchi
  • 1/2 c of Tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of sesame oil

Directions: 

  • Chop up all of your vegetables.
  • In a wok or large frying pan, pour the olive oil into the pan on medium heat – add in one piece of eggplant and when it starts sizzling, add in the rest of the eggplant. It should sauté for about 5 minutes, be sure to turn it over halfway through cooking.
  • In a separate frying pan while the eggplant is sautéing, sauté the seitan and once it’s brown you can add in a little Tamari or soy sauce.
  • Add in the mushrooms and pepper to the frying pan.  It should sauté for about 3 minutes till tender.
  • Add in the ginger, garlic, and about half of the green onion. After a minute of sautéing, stir in the tamari/soy sauce, the rice vinegar, and the mushroom oyster sauce.
  • Everything should be sizzling loudly at this point, keep stirring the veggies, then add in 2 cups of veggie broth.  On the side,  put water in a little mug and stir in the corn starch till it forms a consistent paste – shouldn’t be too thick or too watery.
  • Wait till vegetables and veggies broth come to a boil, then put the vegetables to one side of the pan, then stir in the cornstarch mix with a whisk at a lower heat.
  • Simmer the sauce for 15 minutes on extremely low heat and cover.  Stir occasionally and add in the red pepper paste, if needed.
  • Once a nice thick brown sauce has formed, add in the seitan and the leftover green onions.
  • While the eggplant stir-fry is simmering, start making the rice.  Boil 2 c of water with a little salt.  Once the water is boiling, add in the Jasmine rice, let it simmer for 20 minutes on low with a lid.
  • In a separate frying pan, add in the olive oil – on medium heat.
  • Once the oil is warm, add in the ginger, garlic, and kimchi, sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add in the soy sauce, then add in the rice.
  • Once the rice is sautéed and stirred in, add the sesame oil and stir in.  Serve with the eggplant stir-fry and enjoy!

Holiday Tofu Stuffing Casserole

Vegan and Vegetarian

Thanksgiving can be a very meat-centric holiday, but it doesn’t have to be!  I have been making this Tofu Stuffing Casserole since graduate school and I bring it to every Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving.  It is always well-received and devoured by family and friends.  It’s a great source of protein and has soooo much flavor!

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Servings: 6

Buffalo Tofu:

  • 1 pound of extra firm tofu – drained
  • Box of stuffing – Trader Joe’s has a decent vegetarian one
  • 1/4 cup of buffalo sauce
  • 2 tbsp of hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil

Sauce:

  • 1 golden onion: chopped
  • 3 large cloves of garlic: minced
  • 1 yellow or red pepper: chopped
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 container of Baby Bella mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp of fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp of paprika – smoked is preferable
  • 2 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of rosemary
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of red pepper
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 container of vegetarian broth
  • 1/2 c of Tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of dijon mustard – Grey Poupon
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 2 tbsp of unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 3/4 c – 1 c of smoked gouda or vegan cheese option
  • 1/4 c of goat cheese (optional)

Prepare the stuffing per the directions on the box.  Drain the tofu for at least 1 hour before.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  While the tofu is draining, chop the vegetables so they are ready to be sautéed later!

Once the tofu is properly drained, turn the stove on and use medium heat.  Pour the olive oil in the pan, heat up the oil, and add in a small piece of tofu.  When the tofu is sizzling, add in the tofu, pan fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side, at the end of the sautéing process, sprinkle the hot sauce, then stir, then add in the buffalo sauce, and stir.  Sauté until the tofu is crispy and golden brown.

For the sauce, add the olive oil to a separate pan on medium heat.  Add in a small piece of the onion, once the onion piece is sizzling, you can add in the rest of the onions on medium heat and when they’re golden brown you can add in the peppers and mushrooms.  Stir fry the vegetables for about 3-4 minutes making sure that everything is golden brown.  Add in the garlic and dill, sauté for about 1 minute, then add all of the spices.  Pour in the Tamari/soy sauce, white wine vinegar, and dijon mustard, stir till it creates a paste.  Then add in the vegetable stock, once everything is boiling, whisk the almond milk and flour to thicken the sauce.  Stir the almond milk and flour and turn the heat on very low for about 15-20 minutes to simmer.

Taste the sauce, make sure it is flavorful, add in the green onions, and turn off the heat.  In an oven-proof casserole dish, pour in the tofu, spread it around the casserole dish so it covers the entire bottom of the dish.  Then add the sauce and stir it with the tofu so it is evenly distributed.  Then add the stuffing on top of the sauce and tofu, distribute evenly so it is covering the sauce and tofu.  Sprinkle the cheese on top evenly distributing it and sprinkle some smoked paprika on top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cheese is golden and sizzling.

Vegan Tofu Paprikash

Hungarian cuisine is not the most vegetarian-friendly cuisine.  Chicken paprikash is a staple of the Hungarian diet and it is a very delicious dish.  Why not make this Hungarian staple vegan and vegetarian friendly with tofu and all the scrumptious tomato/paprika flavor.

Servings: 4

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Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 tbsp of Earthly Balance soy butter
  • 2 Hungarian peppers sliced thinly
  • 1 onion sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 container of Baby Bella mushrooms sliced thinly
  • 1 cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp of Hungarian Hot Paprika
  • 1 tbsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of red pepper
  • 1/2 c of freshly chopped dill
  • 2 c of veggie broth
  • Half a bag of egg noodles (I think egg noodles absorb the sauce very well and they are very fun to eat)
  • 1 container of extra firm tofu (see the tofu preparation below, add in more paprika and red pepper to the marinade than you would for the Asian style tofu)
  • 2 tbsp of flour

Directions: 

  • Follow the directions for the egg noodles – boil the water first, add some salt, then add in the egg noodles.  When they are ready, strain the and add some cold water to them.
  • In a large frying pan, add in 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of soy butter, when it’s warm, add in the onions.  Sauté the onions for a couple of minutes till they are more translucent.
  • Add the peppers to the frying pan and sauté for 5 minutes till they are browned.  Then add in the mushrooms for sautéing.
  • Add in the garlic and half of the chopped dill.
  • Add in all of the spices and stir them into the vegetable mixture.
  • Stir in 1 tbsp of tomato paste, then stir in the tomato sauce, and vegetable broth.
  • One the mixture is boiling, add in the almond milk and flour to thicken the sauce.  Simmer for 20 minutes while occasionally stirring the sauce.
  • Prepare the tofu as described below.  Once the tofu has been baked, throw some panko bread crumbs on top and bake for an extra five minutes.
  • Taste and add in more paprika if needed to the paprikash.  Stir in the rest of the dill and throw in the tofu.
  • Enjoy Hungarian cuisine without the unnecessary animal fat!

Asian Tofu for Stir-frys:

Tofu can definitely be intense to prepare but it is an excellent source of lean protein and you can buy extra firm tofu to make the process less laborious.  Throw the tofu into your favorite stir-fry or salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 container of extra firm tofu (available at Jewel, Mariano’s, and Trader Joe’s has a wonderful extra-firm sprout tofu)
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of Tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp of hot paprika

Directions:

  • Drain the tofu for at least 30 minutes – the longer the better.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, add in the olive oil, tamari, rice vinegar, sesame oil, paprika, and whisk.
  • Chop up the tofu into little squares and add it into the marinade
  • Marinate for at least 30 minutes – the longer the better
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and when it’s ready, put the tofu on a baking sheet that was sprayed with canola oil, and bake for 40 minutes (see if the tofu is golden brown).
  • When it’s ready, throw it into your favorite stir-fry or salad!