November 12, 2018

Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

Classic scalloped potatoes get a healthy make-over! These Vegan 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 🍓 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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November 8, 2018

Almond-Garlic Green Beans

A simple but elegant side dish that's ready in 15 minutes! These easy Almond-Garlic Green Beans with tamari glaze is one of our favorite ways to enjoy green beans. Plus they make a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday side dish! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free)

We're only two weeks away from Thanksgiving and I've definitely transitioned into holiday mode 🎄 (I suppose we're already a few snowfalls deep here in Montana which certainly helps the atmosphere feel cheery and festive.) Of course with all the holiday spirit comes holiday FOOD... my favorite! It's been such a thrill the past few years watching the transition and explosion of plant-based options for the holidays (and plant-based options in general!) Compassionate change is happening and that's definitely worth celebrating 💓

Today I'm sharing one of our favorite, easy side dishes that's also a fantastic choice for Thanksgiving and holidays because they're just as tasty when served at room temp. You can quickly toss them together on the stove, then set aside while you assemble your other dishes. Plus they come together in just 15 minutes (or closer to 10 if you pre-trim your green beans!) The salty & savory tamari sauce is a beautiful pairing with the tender green beans and crunchy almonds (and of course flavorful garlic bits). We absolutely love this combo together and hope you enjoy too!

PS - if you're looking for more holiday side dishes, this Mushroom Gravy recipe is also a MUST-make for us every year!

Vegan, gluten-free (with tamari), oil-free
Makes about 4 side servings

12 oz. fresh green beans
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 Tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce)
1/4 cup sliced almond (or slivers)

Trim ends off green beans. Mince garlic.
In a skillet over med-high heat, add vegetable broth and bring to a light simmer.
Once simmering, add green beans. Cover and let steam for about 3 minutes.
Add minced garlic and stir with tongs to combine. Re-cover and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
Reduce heat and add tamari. Stir well and cook for 1 more minute (or until desired tenderness).
Taste and add more tamari or salt/pepper if desired.
Transfer to a serving dish (be sure to include the tiny but flavorful garlic bits!)
Sprinkle with almonds and serve.

You can also add the almonds straight to the pan (either with the garlic or tamari) to heat/toast them and soak up some of the savory flavor!
Can serve immediately while warm, or at room temp.

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October 20, 2018

Lentil Stuffed Pepper Soup

All the goodness and flavor of stuffed peppers but in easy, delicious soup form! This 10-ingredient Stuffed Pepper Lentil Soup is a healthy one-pot meal that's great for weeknights, meal prep, and leftovers! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free)

Lentils; tiny but mighty! I've proclaimed my love for these little beauties before, but they're such nutritional powerhouses and so easy to cook (not to mention inexpensive!) So I'm continuously trying to find new ways to enjoy them. I've made several versions of this soup and this is my favorite one. It has a combination of red + brown lentils (though you could do all of one if desired) and I love how the classic stuffed pepper flavor really shines through in the thick, tomatoey broth. (Plus it's GREAT for meal prep and leftovers as it becomes even more flavorful the next day!)

Feel free to stir in some spinach or kale near the end of cooking for a boost of greens, or even some white beans if you'd like. For serving, I highly recommend spooning cooked brown rice (or quinoa) on top to complete the stuffed pepper ensemble. And if this finds you in the mood for some "real" stuffed pepper goodness try our favorite Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers - they're fun, festive, and easy to prepare!

PS - come join The Garden Grazer on Instagram 🍓 and share a pic if you make this! I absolutely love seeing your recreations.

Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free
Serves about 6

1 onion
1 large carrot
3 green bell peppers
4 cloves garlic
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
15 oz. can tomato sauce
6 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup brown lentils, uncooked
3/4 cup red lentils, uncooked
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
Salt to taste
Optional: spinach, zucchini, white beans, Italian seasoning (or basil/oregano) instead of smoked paprika
Serving suggestions: cooked brown rice or quinoa, hot sauce, chopped fresh parsley

Dice onion, carrot, and bell pepper (core and seeds removed).
In a large stockpot over med-high heat, saute onion for about 6-7 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. vegetable broth or water for no-oil saute method.)
Meanwhile, mince garlic.
Add garlic, smoked paprika, carrot, and bell pepper. Stir and saute for 1-2 minutes.
Add diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, and vegetable broth. Increase heat to high.
Meanwhile, rinse lentils and add to pot. Stir.
Bring to a light boil, then decrease heat to med-low, cover, and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until lentils are cooked through.
Salt to taste. Serve as is or with cooked rice, quinoa, hot sauce, fresh parsley, etc.

Feel free to use 1 1/2 cups all brown or red lentils if desired. (If using all red lentils, you can decrease the cook time to about 15-20 minutes.)
If you're not a fan of smoked paprika, or would like to change up the flavor profile, try Italian seasoning (or basil/oregano) in place of smoked paprika.

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More lentil lovin'
Lentil Taco Soup (so good!)