January 17, 2019

Cheesy Fiesta Beans & Rice

Classic Beans & Rice gets a flavor-packed makeover with a satisfying blend of fiesta flavors in a simple creamy tomato sauce. Like a "fully-loaded" version of Spanish Rice! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free)

Let’s get back to basics with this simple yet satisfying beans and rice dish! Black beans and brown rice combine with a medley of colorful fiesta veggies that are simmered in a creamy, cheesy, tomato sauce spiked with my favorite homemade taco seasoning blend. It reminds me of a "fully-loaded" version of Spanish Rice with a delicious black bean and veggie twist.

The "cheesy" flavor comes from nutritional yeast and you can add more or less as desired. (Or bump it up even more with your favorite dairy-free shreds for an extra-cheesy version!) This recipe makes a fairly large batch so reduce or halve if desired (however I can attest the leftovers are just as delicious... possibly even more so!) It's a great make-ahead meal for the week if that's your thing. Plus you can find creative ways to re-purpose it - try it as a burrito filling, chip dip, taco salad, layer it in a baked enchilada casserole, or whatever else your heart desires :)

Come join The Garden Grazer on Instagram ðŸ“ and shared your pics if you give this a try - I love seeing your recreations!

Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free

1 cup dry brown rice (uncooked)
1 small onion
1 orange bell pepper (or other color)
3 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
15 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (I use this brand)
15 oz. can black beans
1 cup sweet corn (frozen, canned, or freshly cooked)
1 cup cherry tomatoes (or roma, etc.)
Salt to taste
Toppings: avocado, cilantro, fresh tomatoes, hot sauce, dairy-free cheese shreds, tortilla strips

Cook rice according to package instructions.*
Meanwhile, make the taco seasoning and set aside.
Finely dice onion and bell pepper.
In a large skillet over med-high heat, saute onion and bell pepper for 8-10 minutes. (For no-oil sauté method, I use 3 Tbsp. broth/water to sauté and add more as needed.)
Meanwhile, mince garlic and dice tomatoes.
When onion is translucent, add minced garlic and 2 Tbsp. taco seasoning. Cook 1-2 minutes.
Reduce heat. Add tomato sauce, nutritional yeast, black beans (rinsed and drained), corn, and tomatoes. Stir and let simmer on med-low heat for a few minutes (or longer if the rice isn't finished cooking yet).
When rice is cooked, add to skillet and stir well. Heat for 5 minutes to let flavors combine. Salt to taste.
Serve with your favorite toppings. I highly recommend avocado (and tortilla strips for crunch!)
For an extra-cheesy version, add your favorite dairy-free shreds.

- Feel free to cook the brown rice in advance and store in fridge until ready. Brown rice typically takes about 40 minutes to cook, and the dish only takes about 20 minutes until you need to add the rice, so you can wait 20-25 minutes to begin the rest of the steps. (Otherwise it's totally fine to let the sauce gently simmer, stirring occasionally during that time until the rice is ready.)
- You could also substitute quinoa for the rice as it only takes about 20 minutes to cook and the timing would work very well here.
- This makes a fairly large batch so reduce/halve if desired.
- The homemade taco seasoning recipe yields 3 Tbsp. although you will only need 2 Tbsp. for this recipe. I like to make a double or triple batch and store in a sealed glass jar to have on hand.

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Disclosure: The Garden Grazer is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to amazon.com and affiliated sites. I only share things I absolutely LOVE and personally use! (There is no additional cost to you in clicking the affiliate link.)

January 9, 2019

12 BEST Soul-Warming Vegan Soup Recipes

Nothing beats a warm, cozy bowl of soup in the winter! These are my 12 FAVORITE satisfying vegan soup recipes I find myself continually going back to. Great variety if you're looking for some chilly weather comfort!

My love for soup runs DEEP and these are my favorite (easy!) vegan recipes to cozy up with all winter long. Technically it's nine soups, two chilis, and a chowder but you get the idea 😉 All warm, delicious goodness that I hope will bring you comfort and satisfy your winter cravings as well. Let's get to it!

1. Lentil Taco Soup
Tacos... but in soup form! Hearty lentils & black beans combine for some awesome (and affordable) plant-based nutrition in this super easy & flavorful meal. It's spiked with a homemade taco seasoning so you can be sure there's plenty of delicious fiesta flavor. (Not to mention family-friendly - everyone can have fun loading theirs up with their own favorite taco toppings!)

2. Healing Turmeric Noodle Soup (20 Minute)
Got the sniffles? (Or looking to avoid the sniffles?) This is the soup we crave most in winter! Filled with nutritious greens + noodley goodness all swimming in a golden broth with bold, warming flavors of garlic, ginger, and turmeric. It feels like a healing magic elixir and is always a huge hit in our house. (Bonus: it looks like bright sunshine in a bowl on those dreary winter days!)

3. Kidney Bean, Spinach, & Orzo Soup (30 Minute)
This soup uses a lot of pantry staples so it's always a great meal to throw together when we're low on fresh produce. For a gluten-free option, substitute the orzo with quinoa, rice, or your favorite gf pasta!

4. Vegan Corn & Potato Chowder
We get pretty excited about this vegan take on classic corn chowder - it's healthier but you'd never know based on the rich flavors. It has the most luxurious, cheesy, golden broth and only 8 (healthy!) ingredients with super easy assembly. One of our favorite recipes!

5. Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
People rave about avocado toast (I get it, I love it too)... but avocado on chili? Be. Still. My. Heart. This is hands down my most-made chili recipe and we can't get enough. It always seems to be a crowd pleaser with herbivores and carnivores alike!

6. Minestrone Soup (30 Minute)
Not much beats a classic minestrone when you're looking to warm yourself from the inside out. It's basically comfort in a bowl with a beautiful mishmash of veggies, beans, and pasta. And you don't have to wait long - this one comes together in 30 minutes!

7. Rustic Lentil and Potato Soup
I always say this reminds me of a vegan version of classic beef stew. Chunky potatoes, carrots, and hearty mushrooms in a rich and savory broth. You can whip it up and enjoy for the whole week - the leftovers only get more delicious!

8. Smoky Chipotle Black Bean Quinoa Chili
If you're looking for a different spin on chili, I think you'll enjoy this satisfying, nutrient-packed rendition. Quinoa + black beans combine in a thick, smoky broth made with a little chipotle magic!

9. Lentil Stuffed Pepper Soup
All the flavor and goodness of stuffed peppers but in easy, delicious soup form! That classic stuffed pepper flavor really shines through in the thick, tomatoey broth in this easy, 10-ingredient, 1-pot meal. (Great for meal prep and leftovers as it becomes even more flavorful the next day!)

10. Smoky Split Pea Sweet Potato Soup
Delicious split pea soup gets remixed with creamy sweet potatoes and a nice, smoky touch. This recipe doesn't get a lot of action on the site, but I had to include it because our family goes wild for it. (Surprisingly, it's one of my daughter's most-requested meals!)

11. Lentil Spinach Soup
Back to basics with this simple yet satisfying go-to Lentil Soup! It's easy, healthy, and spiked with flavorful cumin and smoked paprika. A great budget-friendly meal that's nutrient-dense!

12. Ultimate Vegetable Soup
Veggie lovers, this one's for you! Any & all are welcome in this diverse medley and the variations are endless. Change it up with your own favorite vegetables or add quinoa, rice, beans, herbs, etc.!

Bonus: Tomato Spinach Orzo Soup
If you're looking for an early taste of summer and can find some fresh basil, try this simple 30-minute meal. It's bursting with lovely tomato-spinach-basil goodness and will have you dreaming of summertime.

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I often find soup is best paired with a good book in front of the fire 📚🍜 
Check out The Garden Grazer's Amazon Store for my favorite book recs. I love hearing your recommendations as well, so please share!
🍓 -Kaitlin

November 12, 2018

Vegan Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Classic scalloped potatoes get a healthy make-over! These Vegan Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are completely dairy-free and made with whole-food plant-based ingredients... but still have all the richness and creaminess of the original! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free)

Ever since I can remember I've been a huge fan of all things potato. But especially mashed (with gravy of course!) and scalloped. Total soul-warming goodness! It took a few trial runs, but this healthier version of classic scalloped potatoes is just as creamy and delicious as I remember... except made with no heavy cream or butter and just all wonderful whole food, plant-based ingredients. There's so much flavor from the onions, garlic, and easy cheesy cashew sauce, I'm guessing people wouldn't ever guess it's as healthy as it actually is!

A big pan of bubbly, creamy scalloped potatoes is always a great choice for gatherings and holidays. (Or if you're like me, to treat yourself to some comfort throughout the week.) 😉 Hope you enjoy these as much as we do. Please check out the notes below the recipe before making for additional info and tips!

As always, come join The Garden Grazer on Instagram ðŸ“ and share a pic if you make this! I love seeing your recreations.

Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free
Makes about 10 side servings

3 1/2 lbs. potatoes (I use yukon gold)
2 small/medium onions
5 cloves garlic (or more)
Optional garnish: chives, thyme, sage, rosemary, parsley, etc.

{For the creamy sauce}
1 1/2 cups raw cashews (I use this brand)
2 cups soy milk, plain & unsweetened
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
2/3 cup nutritional yeast (I use this brand)
1 1/2 Tbsp. white miso paste (or 1 1/2 tsp. salt)
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika (or more)

Quick soak the cashews: in a bowl, cover the raw cashews with hot water (~160 F) until they're submerged. Set aside and let sit for about 10-15 minutes. (This makes them easier to blend.)
Preheat oven to 400.
Dice onions and mince garlic.
In a skillet over med-high heat, saute onions with a little salt for 7-8 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. vegetable broth/water for no-oil saute method.) Add garlic, stir, and saute 1 more minute. Set aside.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the potatoes about 1/8-inch thick. Set aside.
Make the creamy sauce: drain water from the soaked cashews and add them to a high-powered blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients. Blend for 1 minute or until smooth.
In a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish (lightly sprayed or buttered to help prevent sticking if desired), begin layering. Layer half the potatoes, then the entire onion/garlic mixture, then pour half the sauce on top.
Layer the rest of the potatoes and pour the remaining sauce on top. (Potatoes should be mostly submerged - you can gently press down if needed.)
Bake for 60 minutes or until crust is lightly golden and potatoes are cooked through.
Add garnishes if desired and salt/pepper to taste.

*Notes - please read!
  • When layering, be sure to leave a little room (not filling it completely to the brim) as the sauce will thicken and bubble in the oven.
  • Baking times can vary based on your oven and how thin you sliced the potatoes. After 60 minutes, gently pierce potatoes with a fork to check tenderness and return to oven for 10-20 minutes if necessary.
  • I prefer Yukon golds since they're creamy/buttery, but feel free to substitute russets or even sweet potatoes or yams. (Or a fun 50/50 mix of Yukons and sweet potatoes!)
  • I highly recommend using miso in the sauce for added depth of flavor, but if you don't have any, salt will work great too!
  • Peeling the potatoes is personal preference - I usually don't bother, but peel yours if you'd like!
  • Extra-cheesy option: sprinkle a light layer of dairy-free cheddar shreds in the middle layer as you're assembling before baking. (Or top with cheese during the last 10-15 minutes of bake time.)

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