Recipes

Oil-Free Vegan Mayonnaise

Vegan mayonnaise. This is a tough one. The store-bought brands are unhealthy as hell. Have you looked at the ingredients? In all of them that I’m aware of, the main ingredient is oil (or water, then oil). That’s not something I want to just plop on top of my otherwise healthy dinner. In one tablespoon of the most popular variety, there are 9 grams of fat. No thanks.

So if you’re looking for an alternative, here’s my altered version of Green Garden Mayonnaise from The China Study Cookbook. This is great on its own, but also versatile enough to flavor with your favorite spices or herbs to customize. My favorite version is my “Fiesta-style” mayonnaise because, well, I just like to party (alteration in the directions).

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Vegan Baked (Not Fried) Green Tomatoes

My wife loves fried green tomatoes. They’re her favorite thing that her mom makes, so I wanted to see if I could make a plant-based, oil-free version that’s close to as good as her mom’s (and score some points while I’m at it). Challenge accepted!

I made these with whole wheat panko breadcrumbs, powdered egg substitute, and white whole wheat flour, and baked them. And they were a hit! This recipe is for a pretty plain version, so feel free to spruce it up to your own liking. When I made these the first time, I made them into sandwiches with avocado, lettuce, and my Oil-free Vegan “Fiesta” Mayonnaise.

If you’re looking to add some flavor to the breading, I would suggest using seasoned crumbs (or adding your own seasonings). Another idea might be to add Vegan Parmesan Cheese Topping either to the bread crumbs or after baking (or both)!  Enjoy.

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Non-Dairy Hollandaise Sauce

I love a good hollandaise sauce. But good hollandaise sauces are cream-based. Until now. We love this tofu-based, dairy-free, vegan sauce. It’s so good that I actually feel guilty eating a lot of it, even though I shouldn’t. Not only is this perfect for our Eggless Avocado and Tomato Benedict, but it’s also great over steamed veggies, baked potatoes, or whatever else you can think of!

This makes about 4 cups.

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Avocado Pad Thai

“Kev cook Thai… Kev cook Thai very well…”

If you live in my house, you have to listen to me say that every time I make this. It’s required or you’re not allowed to indulge in this tasty dish. I’m a fan of “dad jokes” and that Meet the Parents reference invokes the intended eye-rolls from my wife and kids.

Since this plant-based version of Pad Thai is my wife’s favorite, she’ll put up with my bad jokes in order to get me to make this as often as possible. And the kids love it too! (The food, not the jokes.)

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Vegan Ricotta Cheese

Disclaimer: this vegan ricotta cheese recipe is made from nuts and is very rich. This is not – I repeat – this is not on the low-fat or diet menu. But holy hell it’s good.

I grabbed this recipe from Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You and have used it in lasagna as well as baked ziti. Although it’s not low-fat, it’s a much healthier substitute than the congealed oil disgustingness you’ll find in store-bought vegan ricotta cheese.

Warning: Don’t eat too much of this or you’ll end up laying on the couch holding your belly, feeling like you gorged yourself like I do — every time. It’s so worth it though.

Makes about 3 cups.

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Super Easy Oil-Free Vegan Tomato Sauce

I was raised on this tomato sauce. This recipe was given to me by my Italian mother, and then I “veganized” it to create an oil-free vegan tomato sauce that’s compliant with the WFPB diet. And I’ll be honest with you, I can’t tell the difference. Not only is my version as delicious as hers, it’s way healthier. She starts hers with olive oil and Italian sausage, and the sausage really gives her sauce a great flavor. In order to replicate that flavor but keep the sauce meatless, I added fennel seed, a key component of Italian sausage. To complete the transition to an oil-free vegan tomato sauce, I swapped out her olive oil for white wine.

So no, it’s not a “start with a bushel of tomatoes and cook them down all day” kind of traditional Italian sauce, but it’s damn good. Let’s be honest. Who the hell wants to go through all of that every time you want sauce when you can buy canned tomatoes and sauce, saving both time and money? Not me. And probably not you.

Feel free to customize this recipe to suit your tastes. Add mushrooms, veggies, soy protein crumbles, whatever you like. Enjoy!

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Creamy Versatile Instant Pot Cheese Sauce

I’ve tried a lot of different “cheese” sauces, and this is my favorite. It’s becoming a staple in our house. We use it on vegetables, baked potatoes, Mexican dishes, and even as queso with chips. It’s really versatile. I’ve also used this in mac and cheese and thickened small batches up with tapioca starch for grilled cheese sandwiches!

This recipe is for the basic version. If you’re looking for something spicy, like for nachos, add diced jalapeños or some chipotle spice.

This makes about 5 cups.

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Veggie Sushi Bowls

Easy, healthy and delicious — the trifecta. Sushi bowls are a common occurrence in the Davis house. Even Ryan’s carnivorous friends in the neighborhood love these! For us, the secret ingredient is the raspberries. They bring in the sweetness to balance the savory and jack up the kid-friendliness of this dish. We’ve even done these with strawberries in a pinch when raspberries weren’t available.

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