In my last post, I reviewed some vegan food products. Today, we’re going to look at four ways to incorporate them into your weekly meal routine! Whether you’re vegan, lactose-intolerant, looking for ideas for your next Meatless Monday or just enjoy trying out new things, here are four recipes to help get you inspired in the kitchen!
French onion soup is possibly my all-time favorite soup in the history of soup. I wanted to recreate some of those flavors in my favorite meal-on-the-go menu items, the wrap. The cheese is unarguably one of most tasty points in any French onion soup, but it’s not on the menu for certain diets (like vegans or the lactose-intolerant). The Tofutti vegan cream cheese in this recipe helps build in new layers of flavor and texture. If you are a dairy lover, feel free to swap in some regular cream cheese (or toss a slice of swiss in there and get crazy).
• 1 large whole wheat wrap
•1 1/2 Tablespoon Tofutti vegan cream cheese spread
•1/2 Tablespoon Earth Balance buttery spread (or cooking oil)
•1 Tablespoon sun-dried tomato, diced (optional)
•1 Teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
•1/2 Teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
•1 Teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
•1 Clove garlic, diced
•1 large onion, quartered and chopped
•Salt and pepper to taste
If you have recently made my roasted onions recipe, then this is a super simple wrap to throw together with leftovers. All you need to do then is reheat a cup or so of the roasted onions, mix the Tofutti with them evenly and spoon it onto the wrap!
Otherwise, melt the buttery spread in a non-stick skillet over a medium heat, then add the onion, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir together to combine evenly and cook until onions begin to soften. Stir in the soy sauce and allow to continue cooking until onions have browned and thoroughly cooked through. Mix in the Tofutti cream cheese until evenly combined with the onions and then pour mixture onto the whole wheat wrap. Fold wrap together (be careful, those onions will be hot!), tucking in the corners. For an extra crunch, I like to lightly toast the wrap in the skillet. To help keep it all sealed, I place the side of wrap with the folded edges face down on the pan first to seal the edges together so that when I flip it to toast the other side the filling doesn’t fall out of the wrap.
2. “Vaprese” Salad
If this recipe looks suspiciously easy, that’s because it is. Like you might have guessed, this is a vegan-friendly spin on a traditional Caprese salad. I’m honestly not sure if this qualifies as some kind of blaspheme against Italian cuisine to call a Caprese a Caprese without fresh mozzarella, so we’re calling it “Vaprese” and agreeing not to tattle on me to anyone’s Italian grandmother. I used purple basil, but whatever fresh basil you can get your hands on will do!
• 1 large tomato
• 6 fresh purple basil leaves
• 6 half-inch slices of Tofutti vegan cream cheese
• 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
• 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 Teaspoon sugar
• A pinch of salt and pepper
Cut the tomato into six even slices and place them on a plate in an even row. Carefully layer one piece of basil and one slice of Tofutti cream cheese between each tomato. For the dressing, place all remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until well combined. Drizzle over salad. Makes one serving.
3. Protein-Packed Veggie Wrap
You can really never have enough wraps in your life. Protein is an important element in any diet and incorporating plant-based protein is a great way fuel your body and meet daily nutritional goals. This wrap is packed with lots of delicious plant-based protein. It’s lean, mean, green energy to keep you powering through the day!
• 1 large spinach wrap
• 1/2 an avocado, mashed
• 1/4 cup low sodium black beans
• 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
•1/4 Cup Lightlife Smart Ground Original
•1/2 Cup mushrooms, chopped
•1/2 medium yellow onion, evenly sliced
•1/2 Tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
•1/2 Teaspoon sugar
•Salt and pepper
•1 Clove of garlic, diced
•Coconut or EVOO
Lay your spinach wrap out on a serving plate and spread the mashed avocado down the middle. Set aside. Place a non-stick skillet over medium heat on your stove top and melt the Earth Balance. Add onion, mixing in to thoroughly coat in buttery spread continue cooking (stirring occasionally) until onions begin to brown. Stir in sugar and allow to cook another 5 minutes or so until onions are gently caramelized and set onions aside in a small bowl. Add mushrooms, garlic, a pinch of salt and a light drizzle of oil into the skillet and saute mushrooms. Add Smart Ground, black beans, quinoa, the caramelized onions and another dash of salt and pepper into the skillet, tossing together and allowing to cook until everything is heated through. Spoon the mixture out onto your spinach wrap and then fold wrap together, tucking in the corners. For an extra crunch, lightly toast the wrap on each side in the skillet before serving.
4. Vegan Veggie Lasagna
Pasta dishes are like a warm hug at the end of a long day; comfort food at its finest. Mid-way through my vegan experiment, I found myself craving a big, hearty dish of lasagna. Fortunately, with the help of a few dairy-free cheese substitutes, I was able to crush my cravings with some vegan lasagna! Believe it or not, most packaged pasta is vegan-friendly, according to Peta, so it even easier to whip up this quick and simple vegan lasagna that much easier!
• 1 Cup Lightlife Smart Ground Original
• 1 16oz Meatless pasta sauce
• 1 Cup Tofutti Better Ricotta Cheese
• 1-1/2 Cups Go Veggie Shredded Cheddar
• 1 Cup fresh or frozen spinach, shredded
• 4 Mueller’s Over-Ready Lasagna noodles
• 1 Medium yellow onion, diced
•1/2 Cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
• 2 Cups mushrooms, chopped
• 2 Gloves garlic, diced
•1 Teaspoon Basil
• 1 Teaspoon Oregano
• Salt and pepper to taste
• A drizzle coconut oil or EVOO
Combine oil, onions, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper in a pan and saute over a medium heat on the stove top and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together ricotta and spinach thoroughly. And another bowl, combine pasta sauce and Smart Ground.
To assemble: Spread 1/4 of pasta sauce into the bottom of the baking pan, along with 1/4 of the onion and mushroom mixture. Layer two lasagna noodles on top. Spread 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over noodles, followed by 1/4 of pasta sauce, and then 1/2 of the Go Veggie shredded cheddar. Repeat steps to complete the second full layer. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Remove aluminum and cook another 15-20 minutes and then remove from oven. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.
For some other vegan and lactose-intolerant adaptable recipes, check out these other ideas on the blog!
All writing and images copyright © 2017 Rachel Elise Weems Woods