Category Archives: Lord of the Plate

Classic Carrot-Raisin Salad

Carrot raisin salad recipeHere’s a simple salad that goes with just about anything. Carrot-raisin salad might just be the first that kids will enjoy! A food processor is a must for preparing this salad quickly; or you can start with pre-grated carrots that come packaged, but make sure they look nice and fresh.

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 8 ounces carrots, peeled (or use baby carrots)
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise or Cashew Cream
  • Generous pinch of ground cinnamon

Grate the carrots in a food processor, then transfer to a serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix together thoroughly.

Let the salad stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes, then serve.

Variation: Use raw sweet potato in place of the carrots. Yes, sweet potato is delicious raw!

classic carrot raisin salad





Garlicky Fresh Tomato and Basil Pizza

garlicky margherita pizzaHere’s a fresh take on the classic tomato pizza called Margherita. This variation is packed with flavor from a generous amount of garlic. To heighten the garlic flavor and aroma further, you can sauté the garlic in infused oil as suggested in the recipe. This is a perfect pizza for late summer when tomatoes are at their peak of flavor.

Makes one 6-slice pizza; double the recipe if desired

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or infused garlic oil (I use Boyajian Garlic Oil)
  • 1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • One good-quality 12- to 14-ounce pizza crust
  • 3 to 4 medium flavorful tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
    (try a combination of tomatoes, including yellow, red, and heirloom)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced pitted briny black olives (such as Kalamata)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Dried hot red pepper flakes to taste, optional
  • 1/4 to 1/2 loosely packed cup sliced fresh basil leaves, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425º F.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until golden. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is lightly browned.

Place the crust on a pizza stone or baking sheet. Spread evenly with the onion and garlic mixture. Arrange the tomatoes in concentric circles over the surface. Sprinkle the olives over them, followed by pepper and the optional red pepper flakes.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until the bottom of the crust is golden. Remove from the oven, then scatter the basil over the surface.Let stand for a minute or two, then cut into 6 wedges and serve.

garlicky vegan margherita pizza recipe


VegKitchen December 2013 Newsletter

Dear readers,

I sincerely apologize for the inconsistent delivery of the monthly VegKitchen newsletter to which you subscribed. In mid-November, VegKitchen experienced such an amazing surge of growth that we ran into unforeseen issues due to the massive traffic. The site has been displaying a slightly wonky temporary design, and all should be up and running and looking good by the New Year. This has also impacted my ability to get the newsletters out in a timely fashion.

After the new year, you’ll be able to choose whether to stick with the monthly newsletter, or to subscribe to the weekly version. Either way, thanks to all of you for being VegKitchen readers and subscribers. VK has been online in one iteration or another since 1996 (!) but the growth of interest in plant-based meals over the last couple of years has been phenomenal.

If you’re still looking for inspiration for the upcoming holiday season, here are a few round-ups for this time of year:

vegan shepherd's pie recipeVegan Christmas Recipes
10 Ways to Survive (and Thrive) as a Vegan During the Holiday Season
Easy, Festive Brunch Recipes and Menus
Vegan Appetizer Recipes

And if you just want to stay warm and out of all the hoopla, make one of our Warming Winter Soups or Contemporary Casseroles. I hope to be back with you shortly with a better looking site and newsletter, and in the meantime, please stay connected via VK’s Facebook page for daily recipes and tips. Wishing you a good close to 2013 and a happy and healthy 2014. Together, we’re saving the planet, one plant-based meal at a time!




Orange-Mango Smoothie

Mango and banana smoothie recipeGet a healthy dose of vitamin C with this delectable mango, banana, orange juice in a combination that tastes like an intensely delicious creamsicle.

Makes 2 to 3 smoothies

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1 cup orange or carrot-orange juice
  • 1 cup vanilla nondairy milk (almond or other)
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds, optional
  • Mint leaves for garnish, optional

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smoothly pureed. Or place in a container and process with an immersion blender. Serve at once in tall glasses.

Mango and banana smoothie


Savory Stuffed Winter Squash

kasha-stuffed-squash by leslie cerierWith organic chia seeds, organic red palm oil, and herbs, gluten-free kasha and vegetables is transformed into a colorful side dish that is fabulous stuffed into winter squash. Recipe contributed by Leslie Cerier. Photos by Tracey Eller.

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 3 medium or 6 small winter squashes (such as acorn or carnival)
  • 2 tablespoons milled chia seeds (see Note)
  • 2 1/3 cups water
  • 1 cup kasha (buckwheat groats)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or see Note
  • 2 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced
  • 1 cup leeks or onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 ½ teaspoons dried
  • 2 teaspoons fresh sage, coarsely chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds

Place the milled chia seeds in a small bowl with 1/3 cup water; set aside and boil 2 cups water in a tea kettle.

Heat and melt the red palm oil in a 9-inch heavy skillet. Add mushrooms, leeks, celery, red bell peppers, kasha, chia mixture, and sea salt, and saute mixing occasionally for 5 minutes, or until the ingredients are fragrant, and well mixed. Turn off the heat.

Add the boiling water, and bring the ingredients to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer covered for 10 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Add and stir in the thyme and sage. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if desired. Let cool briefly, and serve stuffed into baked winter squashes such as acorn or carnival, garnished with hemp seeds.

kasha-stuffed-squash by leslie cerier


Note: Leslie developed this recipe for Nutiva, and recommends Nutiva Organic Red Palm Oil in place of olive oil, as well as Nutiva Organic Milled Chia Seeds.


Healthy and Delicious Spinach Recipes

spinach photosIf you’re looking for easy, tasty, and healthy vegan spinach recipes, look no further! Among the dark, leafy greens, spinach is among the quickest to cook (or you don’t have to cook it at all), and perhaps the most versatile. Learn more about the benefits of this leafy wonder, as well as some tips, in Spinach: A Powerhouse Veggie. Here’s VegKitchen’s wide array of recipes.


Main Dishes:

Pasta & Noodles:

Sandwiches, Burgers, Wraps:

Sides & Appetizers:

Pesto & Spreads:





Vegan Minute: Contemporary Creamed Spinach


Chickpea and Quinoa Salad in Sweet Pepper Boats

Quinoa stuffed peppersThese appealing pepper “boats” are filling enough to serve as a main dish for any festive meal. Perfectly portable, too, they make a wonderful picnic entree or a change of pace from sandwiches for a hearty lunch. Recipe contributed by Laura Theodore, from Jazzy Vegetarian Classics: Vegan Twists on American Family Favorites* © 2013 BenBella Books, reprinted by permission.

Serves: 8

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly and drained
  • 2 cups filtered or spring water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¾ cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, plus more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
  • ¼  teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 large sweet red, yellow, or orange peppers
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

Put the quinoa and water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 17 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.

Transfer to a medium bowl. Let cool (see note). Put the cooled quinoa, chickpeas, parsley, tomatoes, and olives in a large bowl. Put the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, salt, and turmeric in a small bowl and whisk briskly until smooth. Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and stir gently to incorporate.

Quinoa and chickpea--stuffed peppers

Taste and add more chili powder, salt, and/or olive oil if needed. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to let the flavors blend.

Right before serving, split the peppers in half lengthwise and seed them. Scoop the quinoa mixture into the pepper halves. Garnish with parsley, if using.

Note: The quinoa may be cooked up to 24 hours in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!