Sides

Oil-Free Italian Tomato Salad (WFPB)

VEGAN | PLANT-BASED | WFPB | OIL-FREE

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Truly one of the best summertime meals EVER. The freshness, the flavors, the refreshing tastes… and oh yeah, the garlic! I used to love Italian tomato salad before going plant-based and oil-free, and now I don’t have to give it up. This WFPB version of Italian tomato salad is just as flavorful and satisfying as its olive oil-covered cousin, but so much healthier!

Make sure you make this ahead of time so it can chill for a few hours or so and the delicious flavors can come out, as well as the extra juices (the best part). Dip your favorite whole grain crusty bread into this oil-free Italian tomato salad and soak it up! I love this so much that I make it the main course, but it’s great as a side dish too.

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Vegan Instant Pot Red Potato Salad

VEGAN | PLANT-BASED | WFPB | OIL-FREE

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When we’re talking about side dishes to bring to a barbecue or party, one of the most popular selections has got to be potato salad. Even better, why not go for a more flavorful and creamier Instant Pot red potato salad?!?

But as we know from our previous non-plant-based lives, potato salad is routinely loaded with fatty, calorie-packed mayonnaise! So let’s do something about that…

This WFPB version of the crowd-pleasing favorite uses my oil-free vegan mayo and includes creamy, tasty red potatoes, dill, fresh parsley, and celery (including the leaves)! I have to say I was completely shocked that my kids gave this one a thumbs-up, because they’re usually not fans of white potatoes unless they’re deep fried and covered with ketchup!

Note: You don’t necessarily have to use the Instant Pot to make this — just cook the potatoes how you normally would before putting everything together.

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Best Plant-Based Meatless Meatballs

I’ve probably made about a dozen recipes for WFPB meatballs, and I’m not busting your balls! Most of these experiments ended with me saying, “yup, not doing that one again.” Not this one. This plant-based meatballs recipe is wife, kids, and Kev-approved.

These meatballs are vegan, oil-free, and even soy-free. There are no “meatless crumbles” or other processed fake meat-like ingredients. So if you’re looking for something that tastes just like a beef or pork meatball, this is not it. BUT… these meatballs are moist (yeah I said it), flavorful and don’t last very long in my house!

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How to Make Delicious Vegan Garlic Bread without Butter or Oil (WFPB)

I very often see questions about garlic bread in social media posts.

“How do I make vegan garlic bread?”

“I miss having garlic bread. Is there any way to do it WFPB?”

Unfortunately many answer with, “use xyz margarine,” or, “use olive oil.

No.

We can make garlic bread and still eat healthy. Just think outside the box a bit.

I’ve tried a few different things but I’ve found a really simple way to make delicious vegan garlic bread while keeping it plant-based and oil-free.

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Oil-Free Plant Based Macaroni Salad

If you’re a loyal member of the KevCooksPlants Community, you know by now that I detest most store-bought vegan mayonnaise, dressings and cheese. They’re loaded with oil and terrible for you. So I’ve incorporated my Oil-Free Vegan Mayonnaise into an easy recipe for macaroni salad — a summer favorite and necessity for a proper Rochester-style “garbage plate.”

This is really simple, so feel free to add whatever veggies/spices you’d like to customize this to your personal tastes.

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Zucchini Crabby Cakes

Despite my oldest son’s claim that he “doesn’t do seafood” (even though he’s never really had seafood), the whole family, including the kids, love these veggie versions of crab cakes. They’re fairly simple to make, healthy, WFPB friendly, and delicious!

Enjoy these as a main dish or even a side, in a sandwich or just by themselves. I like to dress these up with a dollop of my vegan mayo, while my wife prefers cocktail sauce. The kids go with ketchup, because well, kids love ketchup. There really needs to be a study done on why kids have such a fondness for ketchup…

Anyway… I’ve recently found that after these crabby cakes come out of the oven, they’re even better with a quick sear from the grill (you’ll want to use foil or a grill mat though). Enjoy!

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Perfect Plant-Based Oil-Free Caesar Dressing

I love Caesar salad and so does my wife. Up until now, I really missed it. I tried several recipes for vegan Caesar dressing I found online, but they either had oil in them (which I left out) or just didn’t cut it. Some were cashew-based, some were tofu-based, and one was even hummus-based.

None of them worked. The consistency wasn’t right, or the flavor, or both. Then my genius of a wife said to me one day, “Why don’t you try to use plant-based yogurt? You used to use a yogurt Caesar dressing before we were plant-based. Try that.”

LIGHT BULB –> BOOM.

Immediately I looked for a yogurt-based Caesar dressing online and began “veganizing it” to fit the WFPB diet. After a couple iterations and some tweaking, it’s here — The Perfect Plant-Based Oil-Free Caesar Dressing.

We’re now having fresh Caesar salads a few times a week either as a full meal at lunch time or as a side at dinner. I hope you love this as much as we do!

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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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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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