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Three Vegan Dishes for Non-Vegans

My three go-to dishes when cooking vegan for non-vegan eaters are my Creamy Vegan Carbonara, Pizza Avocado Toast, and my Southwest Vegan Buddha Bowl

Creamy Vegan Carbonara

I love this creamy, rich, carbonara. It’s comfort food in a bowl. My very sceptic, non-vegan boyfriend was nervous about the shifts we were making in our diet until he tried this and fell in love. Now he loves vegan cooking!

What you’ll need:

  • 6 Portobello mushrooms
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup cashew nuts
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • ¾ cup plant based milk
  • 5 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ cups of spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup garden peas
  • handful of arugula to serve

How to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Slice mushrooms thinly
  3. Combine soy sauce, maple syrup, cider vinegar, and olive oil in a bowl and whisk together
  4. Add mushrooms and make sure they are coated, set aside to marinate
  5. Put cashews in a small saucepan of boiling water on high heat, boil for 15 minutes
  6. Remove mushrooms from marinade and place on a lined baking tray
  7. Add whole cloves of garlic and cover everything with left over marinade
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes, they will shrink in size and be slightly crispy
  9. Drain cashews and add them to a blender with plant based milk and 3 teaspoons of nutritional yeast, blend until smooth and creamy, this is your carbonara sauce!
  10. Boil pasta is a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook until al dente
  11. Add room temperature peas for the final minute of cooking
  12. Fill a mug with hot pasta water and set aside
  13. Drain pasta and peas and put back in cooking pot
  14. Add carbonara sauce to the pot of pasta and peas with 3 tablespoons of hot pasta water, mix until everything is coated
  15. Take mushrooms out of the oven and fold them into the creamy pasta
  16. Add more pasta water so the sauce is a nice, loose, creamy consistency
  17. Garnish with arugula and 2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast and voila! Vegan Carbonara

Pizza Avocado Toast

Avocado toast + pizza = guilt free joy

What you’ll need:

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 fresh red chili
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander
  • Multi-Grain raw pizza dough from Trader Joe’s cut in two
  • Flour and Semolina for dusting
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 small avocados
  • 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tsp chili flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • tomato salsa to dip

How to make:

  1. Preheat oven to 485 degrees F, if you have a pizza stone place it in oven while its preheating, if not a heavier baking sheet is fine.
  2. Peel and finely chop the garlic
  3. Rip stem from chili, cut it in half length wise, remove seeds for a milder chili and finely chop
  4. Cut stalks from the coriander and finely chop, reserving the leaves
  5. Dust a clean, dry work surface liberally with flour
  6. Roll out first pizza dough and carefully transfer to a thinner baking sheet covered in semolina
  7. Brush on half the amount of olive oil
  8. Sprinkle half the garlic, chili, and coriander all over the pizza
  9. Carefully slide the pizza from the thin baking sheet onto the pizza stone or heavier baking sheet in the oven.
  10. Bake 10 minutes
  11. Prepare the second pizza
  12. Now prep toppings! Yay!
  13. Halve, and de-pit the avocados, slice three for one pizza and three for the other
  14. Lay out avocado slices along the pizzas until the whole pizza is covered, then squeeze lemon all over both pizzas
  15. Finely chop the coriander leaves and sprinkle on top
  16. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes
  17. Serve alone or with salsa!

Southwest Vegan Buddha Bowl

Buddha bowls are so easy to make, all you need is a grain base and then toppings of your choice. These are great when you have all those random veggies in your fridge, ¼ of a bell pepper? Great! Chop it up. Half an avocado? Slice it baby! A third of a can of black beans? Use. Them. I love Buddha bowls, they are sustaining, healthy, and a great way to not waste.

What you’ll need

  • ½ cup cooked rice (or any grain, quinoa, couscous, etc)
  • ¼ cup black beans
  • ½ red bell pepper diced up
  • ½ avocado sliced
  • ½ lime
  • ¼ cup cooked roasted corn
  • ½ cup chopped lettuce
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 5 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 TBS vegan ranch or vegan sour cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • some chopped cilantro to garnish

How to make it:

  1. Put warm rice/grain in a bowl as the base
  2. Combine roasted corn, onions, and bell peppers
  3. Add black beans and corn mixture to one half and lettuce on the other
  4. Top with sliced avocado and tomatoes
  5. Combine all spices in a small bowl and mix together
  6. Add spice mix to dressing/sour cream
  7. Pour dressing over top and garnish with cilantro and lime juice

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