Recipes

Savory Risotto with Squash and Cranberries

Before I made this recipe from one of my vegan cookbooks, I think I’d had risotto only once or twice in my life. But I knew that my wife was a big fan, and this recipe seemed decent, so I thought I’d take a crack at it. And WOW. I’m so glad I went for it! The original was from Isa Does It, but I’ve adjusted it to remove oil and simplify the instructions, as well as make it bit less expensive (most risotto is made from Arborio rice, which is pretty pricey).

While this may appear to be a long process, its really not too bad once you get started. If you’re looking to save time, you can even roast the squash the day before and store it covered in the fridge.

Oh yeah, and it’s freakin’ amazing! The whole family raved about it. I hope yours does too!

Note: Next time I make this, I’ll try it with brown rice and if it works out, I’ll update the recipe to keep it completely WFPB. Since this was the first time I was making risotto, I didn’t want to stray from the recipe that much with such a main ingredient!

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Bhindi Masala with Black Eyed Peas

I enjoy curry and similar Indian-inspired dishes, but they’re not always easy to get “kid approval” on because they’re either too spicy or too weird. I was looking through some of my vegan cookbooks and came across this one that I thought I could modify to take out the oil, simplify the process, and mute the heat if needed so the kids would dig it. Success!

Thanks to Isa Does It for the original recipe.

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Bell Pepper and Thyme Fettuccine

This is a recipe I found in People magazine when they were featuring recipes submitted by celebrities. As a Dolphins and Eagles fan (and Patriots hater), I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit the original recipe was from Tom Brady. I can’t even type that without a shudder. But anywho…

I revised the recipe to remove any processed oil and converted the suggested process of roasting the peppers over an open flame (oh please, Tom, we don’t all have personal chefs!) to cooking the peppers in the Instant Pot and it works perfectly! So yeah, take that Tom Brady. Stick to deflating footballs and whining to referees.

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Amazing Vegan Stuffed Avocados

Folks, I’m speechless. I wish I could eat this every night. With most of the work done in the Instant Pot, these stuffed avocados are not only healthy and delicious, but they’re pretty easy to make too!

I came up with this recipe based on a non-vegan stuffed avocado dish I had at a local Mexican restaurant. That was years ago, and it’s been on my mind to recreate it ever since. I finally did!

There are no unhealthy processed foods in this recipe — no crappy shredded congealed oil passing off as cheese, no oils, no fake stuff.  Guilt-free and incredible. So let’s get on with it…

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Super Easy Instant Pot Lentil Loaf

When we made the switch to plant-based eating, one of the first recurring recipes in our house was a lentil loaf. But this was way back before we ever heard of an Instant Pot! So now I’ve converted our original lentil loaf recipe to the IP and shaved off about 20 minutes of cooking time!

I hope you enjoy this replacement for the meatloaf you probably grew up eating. It’s a real stick-to-your-ribs comfort food kind of meal!

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Plant-Based Instant Pot Lasagna Soup

It’s pretty common in my house to have leftover pasta sauce laying around. Sometimes I freeze it, but most times I try to incorporate it into a different dish to use it up without making our weekly “dinner list” too repetitive. Here’s a great way to do just that.

You can do a lot with lasagna soup to customize it, but here’s my favorite version. It’s simple yet delicious and has that “comfort food” feel to it.

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Oil-Free Vegan Portobello Mushroom Parmesan

To. Die. For.

Ok, so you used to love chicken parmesan. Or maybe even veal parm. And then you went plant-based. Yeah, me too. So what’s the logical move? Eggplant parm, right? Sure, except for a couple things. First, it’s usually fried in oil. Sure, we can fix that. Second, if you want to do it right, you need to slice the eggplant super thin and layer it. It can be a long process. If you make thick slices, you risk undercooking or overcooking and you either end up with tough cutlets or a mushy mess.

Enter the mushroom. I honestly never heard of or even thought of this (not sure why) until I saw it on the menu at a local sandwich shop. So I tried it and WOW. I had to make my own whole-food plant-based version. So here it is!

Hint: DO NOT SKIP pre-cooking the mushrooms. You have to cook the water out or this isn’t going to work well.

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Oil-Free Vegan Coleslaw

Coleslaw is one of my summertime favorite sides. It seems to go with just about anything coming off the grill. When we switched to plant-based and oil-free, I was bummed that the only non-dairy coleslaw dressing I could find was loaded with oil. Recently, I came across an oil-free dressing recipe and made some adjustments to improve it. Hint: This also works as a refreshing salad dressing!

I haven’t tried this without the mustard yet, but for those who prefer to skip it, I’m going to guess it’ll be just as good without. If you do try it, let me know how it was in the comments.

Also, if your local store carries it, I’d recommend starting with “coleslaw mix” — that’s just the veggies precut and ready for the dressing. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, and maybe even a few fingers.

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