12 of My Favorite Plant-Based Recipes From My Go-To Vegan Cookbooks

My Favorite Plant-Based Recipes From My Go-To Vegan Cookbooks—Part 1

12 of My Favorite Plant-Based Recipes From My Go-To Vegan Cookbooks

Every Monday and Wednesday, Billy and I receive fresh, pre-made vegan dishes from the meal delivery service Thistle. Three dinners (plus breakfast, lunch, and snacks) arrive at our doorstep and they’re ready within 5 minutes. This makes planning what we’re having for dinner three nights out of the week, pretty easy. The other four nights  we try to come up with something just as nutritious. In December Billy became a vegan so when I’m cooking for the two of us, I have a few go-to cookbooks that provide me with flavorful dairy-free recipes. Recently I went through each one and placed a post-it on the dishes I’ve made in the past, loved, and plan on making again. There were so many favorites that I had to split my list into two. Here is Part I: 12 of my favorite plant-based recipes along with the type of occasion they’re perfect for. (I can’t wait to make Roasted Sriracha Cauliflower Bites with Peanut Dipping Sauce for Super Bowl Sunday!)  

Note: Some of these recipes have been condensed to save space.

Plant-Based Recipes: Breakfast Burritos from 15 Minute Vegan

Serves: 2 | 15 Minute Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 red (bell) pepper, sliced into strips
  • 2 spring onions (scallions) roughly chopped
  • 235g (8oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice of 1 unwaxed lime
  • Handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), plus extra to garnish
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 1 large avocado, finely sliced
  • 4 soft tortilla wraps

Directions: 

  1. In a large frying pan or wok, heat oil over high heat.
  2. Add red pepper and spring onions and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add cannellini beans along with chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin. Stir frequently crushing the beans slightly, cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in lime juice, coriander, and red chili.
  5. Lay out the wraps and load in the hot filling. Scatter mix with coriander and avocado slices to garnish.
  6. Fold in until secure.
Plant-Based Recipes: Creamy Pumpkin Brown Rice Penne from Love & Lemons

Serves: 4 | Love & Lemons

Ingredients:

  • ½ kabocha or small sugar pie pumpkin (yield 1 heaping cup/250mL of cooked mash)
  • ½ yellow onion sliced into wedges
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • ¾ cup (175mL) vegetable broth
  • ½ cup (125mL) raw unsalted cashews soaked 3 to 4 hours or overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons (30mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16 ounces (450g) uncooked brown rice penne pasta
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with foil. 
  2. Place the pumpkin, onion, and garlic on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  3. Turn the pumpkin cut-side down and pierce a few holes in the skin with a fork. 
  4. Cover and bake until the onion is soft and the pumpkin flesh is very tender, 35 to 45 minutes.
  5. Add the sage to the pan during the last few minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, keeping everything covered, and let it continue to steam for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Pour the vegetable broth into a high-speed blender. 
  7. Remove the skin and add the pumpkin flesh to the blender along with the onion, peeled garlic, sage, cashews, ½ teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy. 
  8. Add the olive oil and blend again. 
  9. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if you like. 
  10. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package directions or until al dente. 
  11. Reserve ½ cup (125mL) of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta.
  12. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. 
  13. Stir in half the sauce, adding more as needed to coat the pasta. 
  14. Add the reserved pasta water, ¼ cup (60mL) at a time, to thin the sauce and make it creamy. Add the remaining sauce as desired. 
  15. Taste and season with more salt and pepper. 

Serve hot.

Plant-Based Recipes: Roasted Sriracha Cauliflower Bites with Peanut Dipping Sauce from Thug Kitchen

Serves: 4-6 | Thug Kitchen 

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium heads cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup water

Ingredients for the hot sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • ½ to ⅔ cup Sriracha or similar style hot sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce or tamari

Ingredients for the peanut dipping sauce: 

  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave syrup
  • 1 cucumber, cut into finger-long sticks

Directions: 

  1. Set oven to 450°F. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Chop up cauliflower into little trees no bigger than your thumb. 
  3. Whisk the flour and water in a big bowl until a batter forms with no chunks. 
  4. Toss in cauliflower and mix until all pieces are coated. 
  5. Spread cauliflower onto the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. (Halfway through rotate.)
  6. Make the hot sauce: In a small saucepan, mix the oil, Sriracha, vinegar, and soy sauce. Heat on a low heat until sauce is warm but not bubbling. Then set aside.
  7. Make the peanut dipping sauce: In a medium-size glass bowl, whisk the water and peanut butter until it’s creamy. 
  8. Add the other ingredients and keep stirring until everything is mixed well. Put in the refrigerator.
  9. After 15 minutes in the oven, place the cauliflower in a big bowl and toss with hot sauce mixture. (Make sure everything gets coated.)
  10. Place back on your baking sheet and roast for 3 minutes.

Serve hot or at room temperature with cucumber sticks and peanut dipping sauce on the side.

Plant-Based Recipes: Satay Noodles from 15 Minute Vegan

Serves: 2 | 15 Minute Vegan

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
  • Juice of 1 unwaxed lime

Ingredients for the noodles:

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • A handful of sugar snap peas, halved
  • 1 small carrot, finely sliced
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), chopped
  • 2 packs of soft ready-to-wok noodles (egg-free)
  • 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
  • Small handful of coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and finely sliced

Directions for sauce: 

  1. Whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, and chili flakes along with 200mL (7fl. oz/scant 1 cup) cold water in a bowl. 
  2. Whisk in lime juice to form a smooth paste.

Directions for noodles:

  1. Heat oil in wok over high heat. 
  2. When oil is hot, throw in vegetables and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. 
  3. Separate soft noodles and add to wok. 
  4. Pour in peanut sauce and stir-fry for another minute. 
  5. Sprinkle over sesame seeds, coriander, and chili.

Serve immediately.

Plant-Based Recipes: The Recipe Variations from Love & Lemons

Love & Lemons

1 banana + 1 cup of almond milk + a handful of ice.

Add-ins:

  • Berry mint – ½ cup raspberries + ½ cup strawberries + ¼ cup mint
  • Blueberry – 1 cup blueberries + 1 cup spinach + honey to taste
  • Ginger peach – 2 ripe peaches + ½ teaspoon grated ginger + juice of 1 lime 
  • Cherry caco – 1 cup tart cherries + 2 tablespoons cacao powder + 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Plant-Based Recipes: Cashew & Caper Dill Spread from Love & Lemons

Love & Lemons

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250mL) raw unsalted cashews, soaked 3 to 4 hours, preferably overnight
  • ½ cup (125mL) water
  • Juice of ½ small lemon
  • ½ teaspoon (2mL) lemon zest
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons (30mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons (10mL) capers
  • ½ cup (125mL) fresh dill, coarsely chopped; reserve a few for garnish
  • Baguette or crackers, for serving
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Quick pickled onions (page 187), for serving (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Drain and rinse the cashews and place them in a high-speed blender. 
  2. Add water, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and olive oil, and puree until smooth. 
  3. Add capers and dill, and season with salt and pepper. Blend until well combined.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasonings. 

Chill until ready to serve.

Plant-Based Recipes: Traditional Sultana Scones from 15 Minute Vegan

Makes about 6 medium scones | 15 Minute Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 220g (8oz 1 ¾ cups) self-rising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
  • 50g (1 ¾ oz) vegan butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 120mL (4fl oz ½ cup) soya milk
  • 1 tablespoon extra flour, for pressing and flouring
  • 1 tablespoon extra soya milk, for brushing

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 420°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and sugar. 
  3. Rub in the vegan butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 
  4. Stir in the sultanas until coated with flour. 
  5. Pour in the milk, a little at a time, and work into a smooth dough.
  6. Place the dough on a floured surface. 
  7. Use your hands to press it out to a to 2cm thickness. 
  8. Using a scone cutter, press through the dough and place the scones onto a greased baking tray. 
  9. Brush the top of each scone with soya milk.
  10. Bake for 10–11 minutes until the top is golden. Best served warm.

Serve with lashings of jam and fresh fruit.

Plant-Based Recipes: Almond Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons from Thug Kitchen

Serves: 4 | Thug Kitchen 

Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • ⅓ cup hot water
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 head of chopped up lettuce
  • A handful of homemade croutons (recipe follows)

Ingredients for the homemade croutons:

  • ½ loaf day-old bread (enough to make 5 cups of cubes)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice 
  • 1 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions for the dressing: 

  1. Put almonds in a glass with hot water and soak for 15 minutes.
  2. Chop up the garlic.
  3. When almonds feel soft, throw in a food processor or blender with the water they soaked in and the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and vinegar. 
  4. Blend until there are no more almond pieces and the texture is creamy. 
  5. Add capers and run it for another 5 seconds so they’re chopped up. 

Chill until ready to eat.

Directions for the homemade croutons: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut up the bread into bite-size cubes and set aside. (You should get about 5 cups). 
  3. In a big bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix. 
  4. Add the bread pieces to the bowl and mix so they’re coated.
  5. Pour evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping over halfway through. 

Serve right away. (Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.) 

Plant-Based Recipes: Courgette & Lemon Pappardelle with Pine Nuts from 15 Minute Vegan

Serves: 2 generously | 15 Minute Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 200g dried pappardelle (egg-free)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 medium courgettes (zucchini), grated
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • Generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves

Directions: 

  1. Cook the pappardelle in a large saucepan of boiling water over a high-medium heat for 10 minutes until al dente, then drain.
  2. In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over low-medium heat. 
  3. Add the onion to the pan, followed by the garlic. 
  4. Add the courgettes to the pan and increase the heat to medium. Stir frequently to avoid burning and encourage even cooking, and cook for 4–5 minutes. 
  5. Add the pine nuts and cook for another minute.
  6. While the courgette is cooking, slice the lemons in half. 
  7. When the courgettes have softened, squeeze over the juice of each lemon through a sieve, then remove the pan from the heat and season with sea salt and black pepper.
  8. Toss the cooked, drained pappardelle into the courgette and coat evenly. 
  9. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and scatter over basil leaves. 

Serve immediately.

Plant-Based Recipes: Hot Hot Chocolate from High Vibrational Beauty

Serves: 4 | High Vibrational Beauty

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups homemade nut, seed or coconut milk
  • 1 small smoked chile or a pinch of smoked chili flakes
  • 2 cinnamon sticks broken into pieces, or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cardamom pods
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • 1 big spoonful coconut butter
  • 1 or 2 dates, pitted and chopped, or 1 teaspoon maple syrup

Directions: 

  1. Place milk, chili, cinnamon, cardamom, anise, and cloves in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. 
  2. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. 
  3. Strain, discarding the spices, and return milk to the pan. 
  4. Over medium-low heat, whisk in the cacao, butter, and dates or syrup until the chocolate is dissolved and the mixture is warm. Transfer to a high-speed blender, blend and serve in your favorite mug or bowl.

Note: If using maple syrup, no blending required.

Plant-Based Recipes: Carrot-Ginger Grain Bowl from Love & Lemons

Serves: 4 | Love & Lemons

Ingredients:

  • 10 small heirloom carrots
  • 8 ounces (225g) extra-firm tofu cut into cubes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • ½ teaspoon (2mL) sriracha
  • 2 cups (500mL) mixed greens
  • 2 cups (500mL) cooked millet (page 284)
  • ¼ cup (60mL chopped carrot greens
  • ½ cup (75mL) chopped almonds
  • 1 recipe carrot-ginger sauce (page 287)
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to peel 3 carrots into ribbons. Save any leftovers for roasting.
  3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Cut the remaining 7 carrots vertically into quarters and arrange on the first baking sheet along with any leftover carrot pieces. 
  5. Place tofu cubes on a second baking sheet.
  6. Toss both carrots and tofu cubes with a drizzle of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. 
  7. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. (The carrots should still have some bite to them.)
  8. Remove the tofu from the oven and toss lightly with sriracha. Return to the oven for 2 more minutes.
  9. Toss the salad greens with cooked millet, carrot greens, almonds, and ⅓ of the carrot-ginger sauce. Add a pinch of salt. 
  10. Assemble the bowls around the millet salad, roasted carrots, carrot ribbons, tofu, avocado, and pepper. 

Serve with the remaining carrot-ginger sauce on the side.

Plant-Based Recipes: PB&J with Hazelnut Butter & Strawberry Chia Jam from Love & Lemons

Serves: 4 | Love & Lemons

Ingredients for the hazelnut-pecan butter:

  • 1 ½ cups (375mL) roasted hazelnuts (page 285), cooled to room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (375mL) raw pecans
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons (15-30mL) maple syrup
  • Sea salt

Yield: 1 ½ cups (375mL)

Ingredients for the strawberry chia jam:

  • 1 pound (500g) strawberries (about 3 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon (2mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (30mL) maple syrup
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons (30-45mL) chia seeds
  • Sea salt

Yield: 1 ½ cups (375mL)

Directions for the hazelnut-pecan butter: 

  1. In a high-speed blender (or good-quality food processor), blend the hazelnuts and pecans until creamy.
  2. Stop and scrape down the mixture often, giving your blender a break every few minutes. Your nut butter should become creamy after 10-15 minutes of blend time. 
  3. Add maple syrup and a pinch of salt; blend well.

Directions for the strawberry chia jam:

  1. Remove the stems and slice strawberries. 
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, simmer the strawberries and lemon juice for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. 
  3. Break them up gently with a masher or fork,
  4. Add maple syrup and a pinch of salt and remove from heat. 
  5. Stir in chia seeds and transfer to a glass jar. 
  6. Let cool slightly, then set in the fridge to chill.  (If your jam isn’t set enough, stir in more chia seeds.)

Make sandwiches and store the extra nut butter and jam in glass jars and refrigerate up to 1 week.

I’m always looking for new recipes to try; if you have any recommendations comment below! 

*This article contains some affiliate links.

Kristie Woszczyna

My life consists of writing, shopping, music, spending time with my boyfriend, working out, traveling and macarons from Bottega Louie. Kristie@agirlinnyc.com.

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