Please give me your favourite accidentally vegan recipes
January 31, 2020 4:08 AM   Subscribe

For mainly environmental reasons I’m trying to eat less animal products. As well as limiting the number of days I eat meat or fish, I’m aiming to be completely vegan a couple of days a week. As a part-time vegan, I’m not interested in getting into meat substitutes, vegan cheese, vegan baking and so on; for the moment, I just want to increase my repertoire of ‘normal’ recipes that don’t have animal products in.

I tend to have a salad for lunch anyway, so it’s easy to make those vegan; warming meals for dark February evenings in the UK would be welcome, but all kinds of recipes gratefully received.
posted by Bloxworth Snout to Food & Drink (63 answers total) 158 users marked this as a favorite
I am a big fan of the bean burgers in Veganomicon. I think both that and Isa Does It are worth flipping through if your library or a friend has them. Isa Does It in particular has fewer "let's veganify a meat dish" recipes.

I'm a vegetarian who thinks that 660 Curries is worth owning even though I only use the legume and vegetable chapters. Use oil instead of ghee (which is usually a swap suggested in the recipe even) and those chapters are overwhelmingly vegan (the exception being the paneer recipes, of course, though a very firm tofu works reasonably well).
posted by hoyland at 4:23 AM on January 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Madhur Jaffrey's recipe for cauliflower with turmeric, fennel and mustard seeds is really addictive. I discovered it decades ago and still make it regularly. Loads of her recipes are what I also think of as accidentally vegan.
posted by Grunyon at 4:35 AM on January 31, 2020 [5 favorites]

Vegetable Tagine. It's a base method/recipe. We use white beans, potatoes, courgettes, carrots, no tomatoes, and sliced almonds instead of raisins. You can use any combination of vegetables. I don't have a lot of spices in my cupboard so I chuck in a tablespoon of curry powder and a tablespoon of cinnamon but you can do whatever. We serve it with couscous but again, optional.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:36 AM on January 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Socca Is probably my favorite vegan discovery - chickpea flour seems a bit exotic but it’s pretty easy to find around here at least. Extremely easy, extremely delicious!

For ”hearty and warming” I recommend a bean-based chili with some veggies in it - no particular recipe.
posted by mskyle at 4:46 AM on January 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

Hoppin’ John: black eyed peas, onion, garlic, greens (collard, mustard, kale etc), rice, stock or salt, plenty of oil. Any extra random veggies that need to go. Boil it all in a big pot, aiming for a thick stew. Add chili flakes or hot sauce and serve. I usually make a big batch and freeze a few lunch servings.
posted by SaltySalticid at 4:49 AM on January 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

Thai style curries are great with a variety of veggies. I particularly like red curry with kabocha squash.
posted by advicepig at 4:57 AM on January 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

My plant-based go-tos are "pasta and stuff" or "rice noodles and stuff", for example...

Spaghetti with EV olive oil, garlic and chilli (topped with cheesy-tasting yeast flakes, if you like them)
Pasta with red sauce (slow cooked tomatoes, garlic, basil)
Rice noodles with steamed veg, toasted cashews and a quick sauce (nut butter, rice vinegar, sugar, sriracha, curry powder with a cup of water, heated up on the hob)
Rice noodles with vegetable Thai green curry (buy a decent green curry paste, not the supermarket shite)

Roasted vegetables are super easy and match well with quinoa or couscous and a drizzle of tahini.
posted by doornoise at 4:59 AM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: My current comfort food is a hummus bowl. You can google for ideas but I love it with avocado, pickled turnips, chopped red pepper, sunflower seeds, and za’atar. But really it’s a nice base for a lot of things.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:00 AM on January 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

Lentil dhal is another easy one. Tastes better the day after.
posted by doornoise at 5:02 AM on January 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

I was thinking of Veganomicon as well. There's a great quinoa/cashew stir-fry in there that's perfect for this. The whole book is really well-done and I think you'll find other delicious "warming on a dark winter night" options there too.
posted by teremala at 5:04 AM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

This is great timing because I just spent a month avoiding dairy, which in practice meant accidentally eating vegan pretty often.

The simplest vegan recipe: boil pasta, toss with olive oil, add tomato sauce. I also like to add Trader Joe's hot pepper sauce.

Budget Bytes' Thai curry noodle soup, if you omit the fish sauce. Steamy Kitchen's Chinese sticky rice cake stir fry, if you omit the pork. Gimme Some Oven's butternut squash soup.

Also: Peanut butter and jelly/jam sandwiches. Rosemary and garlic focaccia dipped in olive oil. Instant oatmeal made with hot water. Muhammara on bread or crackers (I'm a big fan of Trader Joe's or you can make your own in a food processors). Falafel with hummus on pita and maybe some roasted onions and bell peppers.
posted by capricorn at 5:06 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh, and yemisir wot, aka Ethiopian red lentil stew! You may have to order berbere spice powder online, but if there is an Ethiopian restaurant near you they will probably sell it to you. In fact, a lot of Ethiopian dishes are vegan; if there is a place in your area it's a great option if you want to dine out.
posted by capricorn at 5:09 AM on January 31, 2020 [8 favorites]

Best answer: Cauliflower and potatoes with turmeric, smoked paprika, and a bit of cinnamon, plus some minced garlic and onion, tossed in oil and roasted thoroughly until the cauliflower is truly cooked through and the potatoes are crispy. Depending on the potatoes you may wish to blanch them first. Serve with mint and/or cilantro, on rice or any other desired base.

The world of lentil soups is enormous and so many recipes are accidentally vegan. Find a shop that has different varieties of lentils in bulk so you can buy a little bit of each type, cook them all and experiment with their different tastes and textures. The little red ones are awesome in chunkier soups, the french green ones are a nice meat-suggester (not replacement), the yellow ones blend smoothly, they all taste slightly different.

If you're comfortable making some Japanese dishes a good vegan version of dashi stock is to use kombu and dried shiitake instead of bonito. This is especially good with udon, you can do a miso broth by adding it to your vegan dashi and then top with more rehydrated shiitake and whatever kinds of mushrooms you have available, plus scallions and a dash of sesame oil. Some cubed daikon is good too if you have it, or any kind of lightly vinegared pickle.
posted by Mizu at 5:09 AM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Julia Moskin introduced me to a spicy peanut/ginger/tomato North African stew that has become a winter-time staple in my house. I dream about this dish sometimes, and wake up hungry. Here's the recipe in the NYTimes, or if you don't have access,
posted by minervous at 5:14 AM on January 31, 2020 [12 favorites]

There's a warm salad recipe I make a lot where you roast a pound and a half of potato wedges and a few onions cut into wedges, toss them with a clamshell of arugula, and dress it with lemon juice. I went to look up the original and it's this, with sausages in it, but honestly it seems so complete and satisfying without them that I forgot they'd ever been there.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:14 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Broccoli has more protein than people realize. Roasted broccoli has a nice rich flavor and a satisfying texture. Cut up, toss with oil, and roast at 450° for as long as you can stand it — seriously, a full hour wouldn't be out of line if you like things crispy and a little burnt at the edges, and half an hour would be a bare minimum. You can season them lots of different ways after that: lemon is nice, or some dashes of soy sauce, or olive oil and vinegar.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:15 AM on January 31, 2020 [5 favorites]

warming meals for dark February evenings in the UK would be welcome

I made this when I lived in wintry Poland:

- roast a whole slew of vegetables for ages until they nearly fall apart
- toss half with a pasta you love
- blend the other half into a soup with the veggie broth of your choice
posted by mdonley at 5:20 AM on January 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

A Mexican bean stew with some corn or flour tortillas is a regular staple in this household. And it happens to be vegan. The beans are in a tomato puree with lots of spices (onion, garlic, pepper) etc.

Also pasta with tomato sauce as mentioned before. Or Tofu over rice with a soy sauce.
posted by vacapinta at 5:21 AM on January 31, 2020

Best answer: Does tempeh count as a "meat substitute" for you? If you're okay with it as a food in its own right, or if you're okay with it in theory but haven't found a way to use it that you actually like...
Cut it up into cubes. Simmer them in salty water for about ten minutes and then let them drain.

Get more fat than you'd expect hotter than you'd expect over high heat in a heavy pan — I use a big cast iron skillet with a quarter cup of coconut oil and let it "preheat" for a bit before I add anything. Really get it as hot as you can without it smoking. Fry the tempeh cubes in it, in batches if you can't fit them all in one layer, turning the heat down if things start to look like they might burn, until they're really good and brown and have absorbed all the fat.

Then, mix a tablespoon of soy sauce, a tablespoon of cooking sherry, a tablespoon of vinegar (rice wine vinegar is nice if you've got it, otherwise white wine or cider vinegar), and a tablespoon of sesame oil. Throw them into the pan with the tempeh and stir everything around until the sauce is absorbed.

Serve it with rice and a vegetable side, or use it as the protein in a stir-fry with other ingredients. It keeps well in the fridge, too, if you want to make it ahead and add to things later.
It's more rigamarole than a lot of tempeh recipes you see in American vegan cookbooks, but for me it makes a huge difference. Cooking it all the way through (by pre-boiling), letting it soak up a lot of fat and seasoning, and getting it really browned all make the taste and texture much, much better than a simpler recipe would. If you're worried about the fat, consider that a lot of meat has that much fat already built in to it, and so do eggs and cheese. You add it to the tempeh because it's so incredibly lean on its own.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:27 AM on January 31, 2020 [4 favorites]

I don't usually like lentils but I looooooove this salad from Smitten Kitchen. I always make extra dressing because I like it very saucy and if you have it as leftovers the lentils and potatoes will absorb what was on them.
posted by brilliantine at 5:28 AM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

We made this chickpea noodle soup last weekend and it was sooooooo good. The leftovers reheated nicely too. It is intentionally vegan and a keeper. 🙂
posted by hilaryjade at 6:12 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Vegan red lentil soup, which I reprinted here just recently, is terrific. Truth be known, I usually use chicken broth as the base but the plain water the recipe calls for keeps it vegan and is 99% as delicious.
posted by DrGail at 6:45 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

This lentil & celery root salad from Ottolenghi is one of my favorite winter salads (you can serve it warm or cold).

This is an excellent cozy stew (from Isa's website, so you can a sense of whether you like her cooking style before getting the books recommended above).

Kenji Lopez-Alt is also a great resource for vegan cooking. Check out his vegan experience posts! Everything I've made of his has been excellent.
posted by snaw at 7:01 AM on January 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

Roast veg with tomato sauce (you can make a lovely tomato sauce with tinned chopped tomatoes slowly in the oven if you have time).
Roast cauliflower with tahini sauce (thin the tahini gradually with lots of water).
Felafels and hummus with a cous cous side salad.
Veggie chili, guacamole
Pesto if you leave out the cheese, it's fine
Roast sweet potatoes or squash, add spices of choice, blend and call this pasta sauce or curry sauce.
Veg fried rice, or stir fry.
Baked potatoes and beans.
Have any of these with a fennel and orange segment salad! Add nuts if short of protein.
posted by quacks like a duck at 7:03 AM on January 31, 2020

Best answer: Two words: cowboy caviar.
posted by koucha at 7:08 AM on January 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

Tomato Soup Ingredients:
3 Cans whole tomato (or equivalent fresh tomatoes)
3 Celery Stalks
3 Carrots
3 Onions
6 Cloves of Garlic
3 Cups (7 DL) of Vegetable Broth (If you can find herb broth, it works well for this)
Vegetable oil

Saute onions, carrots, and celery in oil. Add in garlic towards the end of sautee. Add in tomatoes. Let cook for 10-15 minutes Use an emersion blender and blend the soup. While blending, add in broth as needed to reach the desired thickness. Return to the stove and let simmer for some time. Enjoy.
posted by wile e at 7:10 AM on January 31, 2020

I've been on a chick pea kick lately. One daughter is pescatarian, and I've been slowly modifying our overall diet to accommodate her while also allowing for meat additions. I made this killer lemon chick pea "sauce" and had that over spaghetti squash. One night I had this urge for curry, so curry chick peas over brown rice with peas on the side (everybody ate that, which I was not expecting). There's chick pea tacos, which I've been eating with more brown rice (sub chick peas for meat, saute with onions, add taco seasoning). My default lunch is split pea soup and brown rice. Yes I eat a lot of brown rice.
posted by disconnect at 7:28 AM on January 31, 2020

Pan fried kale, beets, onions, & tofu, with a bit of vinegar and soy sauce is pretty nice. (But, if you ask me, you can't beat Indian food, especially from the south, in general. As someone who didn't grow up with it, spice blends from an import shop are really useful.)
posted by eotvos at 7:30 AM on January 31, 2020

I make a fair amount of dumbed-down chickpea saag. I can't remember where I got the original recipe from, and you'd probably be better off looking for a real recipe and then adjusting it to your taste. But my version is, in a big skillet, saute a chopped onion and a tablespoon or two of curry powder (a better cook would probably be using individual spices rather than curry powder), and then add some minced garlic when the onion is soft. When you can smell the garlic, throw in a bunch of spinach -- a prewashed bag works, so does a frozen block of chopped spinach -- and a couple of cups of cooked chickpeas, which could be a big can, drained, or could be dry chickpeas you've already cooked. When the spinach is either wilted or melted, depending on which applies, add a can of coconut milk, turn it to low, and cook for a surprisingly long time (over half an hour, I'd say), stirring occasionally. It'll be watery at first, but eventually will turn creamy rather than watery.

Even the dumb version is good, and I'm sure it'd be better with a more precise recipe along those lines.
posted by LizardBreath at 7:36 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I love the recipe for this spiced lentil soup. It's warming, fairly simple to make, and amenable to modifications. I once made it using this African curry powder (subbed for the regular spices in the recipe), and it was absolutely delicious, if I do say so. Also, any recipe that calls for chicken broth can be modified to use Vegeta instead. Vegeta is this wonderfully versatile seasoning mix that can be used with many different recipes (I use it with mashed cauliflower, for example).
posted by alex1965 at 7:43 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: beans and rice, side of collards. I make brown rice with lots of veggies -- onions, garlic (or garlic scapes in season), celery, carrot, bell pepper, hot pepper, canned tomatoes. Cook the collards until they are silky-tender with oil, onions, garlic, a little tomato paste or tamari or braggs liquid aminos for umami. Use dried or canned bean. I've got dried heirloom soldier beans and they are lovely. Jacob's cattle beans, black turtle beans, and small red beans have all seen play.

Sauteed broccoli rabe with lots of olive oil, lots of garlic, red pepper flakes, sun dried tomatoes, beans (kidney, cannellini, butter). Serve on top of polenta made with veggie broth or pasta. A little nooch (nutritional yeast) or a spoonful of tomato paste mixed in with the polenta adds a nice oomph. Alternative: use tempeh instead of beans, saute with the aromatics, break it up in the pan and add some fennel seeds.

Chompy-chompy black bean soup and vegan cornbread (I haven't used the linked recipe but it just calls for non-dairy milk).

(the link for the black bean soup also has a recipe for apricot soup with red lentils that is also highly delicious, as is every recipe I've made from the Soup Peddler's Slow and Difficult Soups; some others are also incidentally vegan, like bouktouf, Shorbat Rumman, and Ash-e-joh)
posted by carrioncomfort at 7:54 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I guess it's sort of deliberately vegan because most lasagna recipes have some kind of cheese, but it's absolutely fantastic. I fed the vegan variation to a mixed crowd of omnivores and vegans recently and got raves: my basic veg-heavy lasagna formula, skip the cheeses, put lentils in the tomato sauce, dairy-free bechamel using pretty much any non-dairy milk you have on hand (including canned coconut milk, which I always have around for curries). I don't eat pasta so I just skip that, and frankly it's already wandered so far from "lasagna" at that point you could use whatever starch you had handy.

I try to stick to vegan contributions to potlucks, and my best trick is that a lot of commercial puff pastry (in the US anyway, check your labels) is vegan, which means a roasted veg galette is barely any effort; it's a great way to use up produce that's about to give up plus it looks fancy and covers you in pastry shards.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:55 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'd check out Veganomicon as suggested, Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian, and Lorna Sass' Complete Vegetarian Kitchen. Just flip through and see what's interesting, you can't go wrong.
posted by bile and syntax at 8:00 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Mujadara is naturally vegan - I like this take on it which uses cauliflower rice, but you can use brown rice for a more substantive meal.

I do a lot of variations on beans + veggies + carb. Examples:
- Black beans + onions and bell peppers + sweet potato (topped with salsa and avocado, natch)
- Chickpeas + brussel sprouts and artichokes + bread (I typically season the sprouts with a vegan pesto from Trader Joe's)
- White beans + garlic, onions, and spinach + potatoes

Happy eating!
posted by too bad you're not me at 8:12 AM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: This aubergine and coconut curry, except I use extra peanut butter, tofu chunks and full-fat coconut milk (because the website this recipe comes from is one of those annoying ones that assumes that avoiding animal products is the same thing as wanting to avoid dietary fat and preferring to eat low-calorie) and it comes out super rich and creamy, to the point where you wouldn't know it was vegan if you hadn't made it or seen the recipe. It can take pretty much any vegetables you have to hand.
posted by terretu at 8:16 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

(because you're in the UK, in case you haven't met them already, these tofu pieces [and the teriyaki ones too] are the bomb if you don't want to dick around with pressing & prepping regular raw tofu)
posted by terretu at 8:18 AM on January 31, 2020

Best answer: If you've never cooked from any of Meera Sodha's books before they're good for this -- her second two (Fresh India and East) are entirely vegetarian; the first one Made in India is not, but is not very meat-centric.

There's no calling for "fake" meat or meat substitutes here. On the other hand, the cookbooks are not entirely vegan, but she calls for a lot less dairy and cream than Indian restaurant cooking (in the West) typically does, and in particular a lot of the South Indian-accented dishes are naturally dairy-free.

As a plus, Meera Sodha is British, so the cookbooks tend to reflect produce and foodstuffs available easily in the UK, which is perfect in your case.
posted by andrewesque at 8:36 AM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you like olives, try this lentil soup. It's simple but so delicious. My omnivore partner loves it too.

One more hearty suggestion is pasta e fagiole.
posted by noxperpetua at 8:42 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A friend made this for a big group dinner, in the style of Israeli hummusiyas: lots of homemade hummus tehina--no, seriously, more than that--spread on a plate and topped with Israeli (chopped) salad (cucumbers, bell peppers, tomato, onion), olives, herbs, ajvar (a roasted red pepper dip), hot sauce or pickled peppers, and scooped up with pita bread. Everyone loved it, even the meat eaters.
posted by libraryhead at 8:56 AM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Here with yet another lentil recipe, but it's such good cold weather comfort food: Lentils with Creamy Mushroom Gravy. Excellent over noodles or mashed potatoes or butternut squash. If you do want to eventually foray into the fake meat area, I like to throw some veggie sausage in at the end to heat up and make a cassoulet.
posted by topophilia at 9:13 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I make these spicy garlic noodles with crumbled tofu a lot, it's a very hearty meal and full of flavor. I never bother with the salad but that's probably a nice thing to go with it.
posted by cakelite at 9:27 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Good for you! This comment is a long one because yours is basically the same approach I took some 7 years ago, and now I'm at the point where I rarely, rarely cook meat, and probably 4/5 of the meals I cook are vegan (I'm not even counting breakfasts/lunches/desserts which are almost 100%). And the non-vegan 1/5 usually miss because of like, 1/4 cup grated parmesan or a tablespoon of fish sauce, not like the dish is cheese tortellini or cream of whatever soup.

So generally speaking, international cuisines are your friend, and I'll join the chorus that Indian is probably one of the best because there are oodles of delicious recipes out there for accidentally vegan dal or veggie dishes, and more that can be made vegan if you just sub oil for ghee. There are already a number of specific recipe suggestions above, so I'll just second the recommendation that the 660 Curries book by Raghavan Iyer is excellent, as is perennial AskMe favorite Manjula's Kitchen.

I don't know if you consider tofu a "normal" food or not, but I'd strongly encourage you to give it a try. That will open up vegan Chinese dishes like this Braised Tofu and this Sichuan Bear Paw Tofu (sub veggie broth for chicken, obvs). Then also this Korean tofu is a favorite. You can also make some damn fine Thai food if you're willing to bend the "accidental" just a tad, like Tofu Pad Prik Khing (I use the canned storebought curry paste) or Tofu Pad Thai (egg is apparently optional? I don't feel the dish suffers at all from leaving it out). Fish sauce is obviously an issue with those, but if you lower your standards for deliciousness/authenticity a smidge, I think Thai light/thin soy sauce is a solid substitute.

For Italian, Jamie Oliver's Pasta e Ceci is excellent. When tomatoes are in season, I also love the Martha Stewart One Pan Pasta (parm unnecessary imo), and this No Cook Tomato Sauce. My only gripe with those last two is that a plate of carbs and some sauce is never filling enough for me. So for those I tend to either (a) throw in some chickpeas, or (b) serve with socca (mentioned above, various recipes exist, it took me a few tries to find one that worked for me) which, being made of chickpea flour, makes the meal proteiny enough to hit the spot.

Also, this Seared Broccoli and Potato Soup is excellent (sub olive oil for butter, skip the parm).
posted by gueneverey at 9:30 AM on January 31, 2020 [6 favorites]

I love this warm butternut squash and chickpea salad with tahini from Smitten Kitchen.
posted by bananacabana at 9:36 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Spanish Chickpeas & Rice. Budget Bytes has a lot of other great vegan recipes that fit the bill - I haven't made this salad but I have made the dressing and it's really good. When I went temporarily vegan I found that I wasn't eating enough fats to keep full, and that dressing helped a lot.

Coconut Quinoa & Lentil Curry (I usually don't bother with the mango or other toppings, it's still delicious)

Also soondubu (Korean tofu stew) without the anchovy stock.
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:46 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This Sichuan eggplant recipe just turned up on Serious Eats. I've made a very similar one, but this looks even better.
Another great vegan Sichuan dish is kung pao king oyster mushrooms. Even though it is originally a chicken dish, it doesn't feel at all like a replacement.
I love king oysters, and specially I love cooking them as if they were shellfish, with a lot of olive oil, garlic and parsley, for instance for spaghetti, or on toast. Button mushrooms are very good this way as well. BTW, have dried mushrooms on hand for making flavorful vegan stocks, both for Mediterranean and Asian foods.
Til ke aloo is an Indian dish I haven't seen mentioned above, and probably my favorite Indian food together with saag paneer, but the latter isn't vegan. I don't literally mean the two things together, though I like that too. But we often have the potatoes just with some simple steamed greens of some sort, and a wedge of lemon on the plate for extra freshness.
I mentioned in another thread that I always have a can of broad beans for ful medames, an Egyptian breakfast staple that you can eat at every meal. When I get home from work late, it can be on the table in ten minutes. You don't need the eggs at all.
A family favorite since the kids were tiny is minestrone. I think I started out with a non-vegan recipe from Elizabeth David, but now I just chop up aromatics (probably carrot, onion and celery, or something similar, maybe through some bell pepper in) into very small cubes, soften in olive oil and a glass of wine and cook till all alcohol has evaporated (if you don't have wine, use a tablespoon of good vinegar), then add chopped tomatoes and stock or water with the dried herbs you like. When the aromatics are completely soft add soup pasta and other veg, like broccoli or shredded cabbage and a can of beans or string beans cut into bite size simmer till al dente, and finish with seasoning and some fresh olive oil on top. Depending on your knife skills and the amount, this can be very fast food, too. If you want to cook a bigger portion and freeze down some for later, it's a good idea to cook the pasta separately the day of use.
There's also seven vegetables couscous, I'm linking to a recipe with meat so you can see the concept, and it says in the recipe you can just omit the meat. For parties, I often make a meat and a vegan version, so people can choose.
I'm not vegan, but I have vegan friends, and I've always eaten a lot of vegan food to save money and because it feels good. Generally, I've rarely talked about it as vegan food, it's just food. An exception is when I have to reassure vegan friends that it is vegan food.
Oh, I almost forgot, I don't know how: you need caponata in your life!
posted by mumimor at 10:23 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

I happen to looooove Tofu Scramble. It's an intentionally vegan imitation of scrambled eggs, but to me it's just....a yummy dish that of course is nothing like scrambled eggs.

- Saute mixture of onions and peppers in oil (if lucky, you can get a frozen onions and peppers mix)
- Add a small amount of spicy curry and a larger amount of mild sweet yellow curry powder
- Crumble in tofu
- Add salt
posted by kitcat at 10:51 AM on January 31, 2020

For a snack before dinner or anytime, try serving kohlrabi as sashimi. Cut it up into bite-sized strips, orange on spiralized daikon and sprinkle with sesame seeds, then serve with a dipping sauce like for sashimi.
Or for a rough and ready version: cut up the kohlrabi and mix soya sauce and wasabi to taste in a bowl for dipping. Eat while cooking your main.
posted by mumimor at 11:11 AM on January 31, 2020

Smitten Kitchen's Mushroom Bourguinon. It's so cozy to make and to eat. One of my absolute favourite dishes to make on a leisurely sunday in the fall or winter. It does need vegan butter subbed for the regular to make it vegan, but worth it!!
posted by Sweetchrysanthemum at 11:59 AM on January 31, 2020

Best answer: There's a white bean & mushroom gratin (originally from the Nov 2019 Cooks Illustrated [link, paywalled]) that is "accidentally vegan" but rich and hearty as any cassoulet. It takes a while to make, but we absolutely love this in winter!

(Key to the recipe is to use canned beans *with* their liquid -- don't drain them!)
posted by Westringia F. at 12:04 PM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Beans and greens! This isn't a specific recipe but a sort of genre of recipes that can include a wide range of beans and greens. Some of those recipes call for flavoring with pork or other meat, but googling "vegetarian greens and beans" will likely get you a lot of interesting vegan options. So tasty.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:18 PM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Dry Beans are noticeably better if they’ve been stored competently and are less than two years old - you wouldn’t think this would be rare in markets, but in the US it is.

If you can find dry beans sold to a beany culture, they will often be better just because they turn over fast enough that they aren’t old. Plus there are enough fellow customers to be choosy. In the US, finding the foodie store in the Mexican or Indian neighborhoods usually works, and there’s a luxury brand called Rancho Gordo.

My household found a farm that grows them well and we buy their chickpeas and lentils and wheat by the five- gallon bucket, which is slightly crazy except that I’ve had several families ask me what it was about my bean soup that made it good instead of depressing, and honestly it’s more my good beans than my good cooking.
posted by clew at 12:45 PM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This Ezogelin Turkish Soup -- a lentil recipe -- is in heavy rotation in my single-person household. It takes me less time to do the kitchen prep for this soup than it does to find my keys in the morning, and it's delicious besides.

To make it 100% vegan, substitute a tablespoon of olive oil for the tablespoon of butter when sauteing the onions and garlic in the first step.
posted by virago at 12:58 PM on January 31, 2020

Best answer: Skip the feta and this recipe for olive-oil braised chickpeas is vegan. I usually make it with white beans because they get a creamier texture.

The recipe is flexible – substitute a different onion, use dried herbs, skip the capers and olives – it'll still be good. I don't recommend increasing the amount of sliced lemon because the pith will make things bitter, but a squeeze of lemon juice over it once it's done is nice.
posted by Lexica at 2:34 PM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Chickpea and spinach curry. We use the recipe at MyRecipes, but a search brings up many others.
posted by SemiSalt at 3:40 PM on January 31, 2020

Best answer: This vegan mapo tofu is not just good, it's better than any version with meat I've ever made.

Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup from the Ad Hoc At Home cookbook calls for bacon, but I often leave it out (or sub mushrooms) for a vegan version.

Chana Masala is one of my staples. Serious Eat's version is delicious, though I often make this Instant Pot version from Urvashi Pitre's Instant Pot Indian Cookbook (sub oil for ghee to make it vegan). If you have an Instant Pot, there are a bunch other recipes in that book that are (or can easily be adapted to be) vegan.
posted by jacobian at 4:46 PM on January 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

This Black Bean Chili, from some random 1980s BBS text file, is one of my staples. The file suggests serving with cheese but it doesn't need it. You can do the beans in a pressure cooker in the time it takes to make the rest of it, and it's even better with red kidney beans instead of black beans.
posted by offog at 5:09 PM on January 31, 2020

Best answer: Can I give you a few from my blog?
posted by at 5:18 PM on January 31, 2020

Mujaddara. Lentils and groats (usually rice) with sautéed caramelized onions. Very easy in an Instant Pot.
posted by stoneandstar at 11:31 PM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks everybody! I’ve marked some best answers which particularly appealed to me and/or were things I would be less likely to think of for myself, but I appreciate everyone’s suggestions. Lots of things to try!
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 4:25 AM on February 1, 2020

I just made the spicy garlic noodles cakelite posted - they came out great!
posted by hazyjane at 8:53 AM on February 2, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you make soup in a pressure cooker with a bunch of pumpkin seed press cake (pumpkin seed meal would probably work too), you end up with a mock tofu scramble. Be sure to add soy sauce. It is good and very, very filling.
posted by aniola at 3:02 PM on February 2, 2020

This soup is surprisingly good given how simple it is, and vegan if you use a veggie stock or water. Other legumes can be substituted for the mung beans.
posted by bunderful at 5:01 PM on February 2, 2020

I have a standard four-bean chili I make with smoky chipotle chilli powder.
  • fry a couple onions in olive or coconut oil, then toss in some cloves of garlic (chopped or crushed, up to you)
  • toast the spices: cumin, oregano, cayenne, chipotle chili powder. Sometimes I add in some smoked paprika too.
  • douse the dried spice-onion-garlic mix with a couple cans of chopped tomatoes and one canful of water
  • add in soy sauce, salt, pepper
  • coarsely shred a few carrots and dump them in along with some chopped bell peppers
  • one can each of rinsed-off beans: black (turtle) beans, kidney, chickpea, pinto (or any grey bean I have to hand)
  • simmer for a while, and then chuck in some chopped courgettes (zucchini) and let them soften.
Now I will confess that at this point I slip in a large chunk of butter to add richness, but you can find something else to take that role or just skip it altogether.

I only realised how good this recipe was when I took it to a potluck and someone asked me if it was pork or beef. I blinked and realised it was the shredded carrots and the smoked spices that triggered the "seasoned mince" reaction in people's heads.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 3:20 AM on February 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

« Older Why would a US retail chain be so vigilant about...   |   Free/cheap PDF editor that can do one specific... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.