Delicious Recipes for Vegetables

You would be surprised how many of the recipes for vegetables I find that have hidden animal products in them, especially ham and cream. Believe me, you don't need either of those to make your own delicious vegetables. I have a huge pet peeve with overcooked, limp, colorless vegetables, and so I have included my favorite, easy, recipes that do the plants justice.

Garlic Sauteed Broccoli

Broccoli sauteed with garlic, red pepper flakes, and pine nuts.

I love this simple sauteed broccoli recipe and I use the same method for just about any vegetable that I want to sautee.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups broccoli, lightly steamed
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. pine nuts (walnuts or pecans work nicely too)
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Directions:

Bring a large saucepan to medium heat. Let it warm for a minute or two and then add the oil. Here's a little trick with the garlic-- put it in the pan and mash it into the oil with the back of a fork. I like to mash it thoroughly and let the oil soak up the garlic flavor. If you are short on time just throw it in and let it cook for a minute. Then add the pepper flakes and cook for another minute, but don't let the garlic turn brown because it will get bitter. Add the pine nuts, broccoli, and salt, and cook until the broccoli is warmed and the pine nuts are lightly toasted.

Serves 4.

Variations:

Any vegetable can be added here in place of the broccoli. Also, you can try the same thing with different nuts. Almonds are great with this dish, but others are great as well.

The Easy Way to Roasted Vegetables

Please forgive me if this vegetable recipe is insultingly simple, but I want to include it for anyone who is wondering how to properly roast vegetables.

We eat roasted vegetables at least once a week because they are so delicious and it's so quick to do. You can sub any good sturdy vegetable in this vegetable recipe, and we often like to throw in cubes of tofu.

Ingredients:

  • 2 beets per person
  • 2 carrots per person
  • 1 small sweet potato per person
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil for about 4 servings
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F

Wash vegetables and scrape any offending lumps or hard skin off. We eat the vegetable skin, but you might like to peel it with a vegetable peeler, or remove the peel once they are finished cooking.

Cut the vegetables into small pieces-- the smaller, the faster they cook.

Put the vegetables onto a baking sheet and coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat (I like to use my hands to make sure everything is covered.)

Put the pan in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, testing with a fork for tenderness.

It's that easy. Even someone who doesn't cook can roast vegetables. And, it's truly delicious. Served with a side of whole grains and beans, you have a complete healthy vegan meal. You can put any solid vegetables that you like into this recipe, such as peppers, potatoes, zucchini, etc.

Serves 2-4.

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

This is a delicious vegan recipe for vegetables that is perfect for Thanksgiving, but it can be whipped together any night of the week.

Don't be turned off by the different steps- it's really a very simple recipe for vegetables. I've divided it into three sections to make it easier to follow.

Ingredients for Beans:

  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces

Directions for Beans:

Bring a large pot of water to boil in a large pot. While it's heating, cut up the beans.

Add the salt and beans to the boiling water. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain beans in a colander, and then spray for a minute with cold water to stop the cooking. Let them drain in the colander, shaking every now and then to get off all the water.

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 10 oz. button mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (I leave this out when making it for kids)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or more to taste
  • Fresh pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp. dry sherry or white wine
  • 3/4 cup full-fat nondairy milk

Directions for Sauce:

Trim and discard the mushroom stems and chop the mushrooms into pieces.

Heat olive oil over medium heat anda add the mushrooms, garlic, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are very soft and exude their juices.

Whisk the flour into the vegetable broth and add to the mushrooms along with the sherry.

Simmer, stirring, until mixture thickens. Add the soy creamer and simmer until thick, about 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and stir in the beans.

Ingredients for Topping:

  • 1 1/2 slices whole grain bread
  • 1 Tbsp. Earth Balance margarine
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 3 oz. can of French fried onions

Directions for Topping:

Put the bread, margarine, salt, and pepper into a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Pour into a bowl and add the onions. Stir to combine.

To Assemble:

Put the green beans into an oiled casserole dish and bake at 425°F for 10-15 minutes, and then apply the onion topping and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

If you are not serving this right away, cover both the topping and casserole in separate containers with plastic wrap. Before baking, bring the casserole to room temperature and then bake for 10-15 minutes. Add the topping and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Serves 8.


Whole Wheat Vegan Asian Dumplings

Vegan Chinese Style Dumplings

I watched Bobby Flay do a Throwdown on dumplings one day and then decided to recreate my own version-- vegan and healthy. It took a few attempts before I got the vegetable recipe right, but it was well worth the experimentation!

This recipe for vegetables takes a few steps, but none of them are very hard. Make sure to be patient, and use a lot of flour on the counter top. These are SO YUMMY! It makes about 26 dumplings, so you can freeze some for later in an airtight plastic bag.

Ingredients for Dough:

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Ingredients for Filling:

  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger (more if using fresh ginger)
  • 1/2 package firm silken tofu
  • 2 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 cup water for steaming

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil

Directions:

To make the dough:

Combine flours and salt, and then add water.

Knead until it forms a smooth ball, about 2 minutes.

Set aside for about 30 minutes to rest.

To make the filling:

Put vegetables, ginger, and garlic into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is very fine.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and then add the vegetable mixture. Crumble the tofu and mix with vegetables. Then add soy sauce, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes.

Cook until the mixture is warm and fragrant.

Refrigerate until mixture is cool. This is important because if it is warm, it will melt the dough and make a sticky mess that will not come out as a dumpling. (Believe me, I know firsthand)

To make the dumplings:

On a very well-floured surface, roll the dough into a long tube and then cut 1/2 inch slices off, like you are cutting out pre-made cookie dough.

Roll each of the slices into a small ball, about the size of a walnut and then return them to a well-floured surface.

Add more flour to your surface, and then use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a patty about 3 inches wide.

Put one heaping teaspoon of filling into the center of each patty.

Fold the patty over the filling into a half-circle shape, enclosing all of the filling.

You are going to close the seam from right to left by pinching the edge and folding it over on itself, making a crimp.

Place the dumplings in a well-oiled wok or large saucepan that has been warmed to medium heat, and don't move them. Let them fry for about 7 minutes, until the bottom is brown and crispy.

Here's the trick to chewy dumplings in this recipe for vegetables... take the cup of water in one hand and the lid to the saucepan in another. Pour the water into the center of the pan and quickly close the lid to keep the steam in.

It will take about 10 more minutes for the water to absorb and for the dough to be cooked. Try not to peek, because you will let the steam out.

To make the sauce:

Combine the ingredients and stir vigorously.

Variations:

You can put any vegetables you want into the recipe for vegetables, but try to stick with some that have an Asian flair. Mushrooms, red peppers, beans, bok choy, and Chinese cabbage are all great alternatives.

Serves 4.

Broiled Eggplant Japonaise

This is a recipe for vegetables one of my best friends sent me that she adapted from Jacques Pepin. I love eggplant, and it is so healthy for you. This is an easy recipe for vegetables and it's so tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 lb. eggplant
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. tabasco sauce
  • Salt

Directions:

Preheat the broiler and prepare a baking sheet by covering it with aluminum foil and pouring 2 tablespoons of the oil on top.

Slice the eggplants into 1/2 inch strips.

Mix the eggplant with the oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the broiler. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until eggplant is nice and soft.

Mix together the minced garlic, soy sauce, sugar, and tabasco sauce.

Toss the eggplant in a large bowl, and dose with the sauce. It tastes best warm, but you can also serve it room temperature as well.

Serves 4.

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