Greek lasagna

Finished baking

This dish has many of my favorite things – the tomato sauce and noodles of a traditional lasagna, spinach found in many vegetarian lasagnas, and eggplant found in Greek dishes like moussaka.

Ratatouille

ratatouille

Ratatouille is a traditional French dish, and comes in many different variations. From my perspective, two ingredients are absolutely critical — eggplant and tomatoes. The dish pictured here is fairly traditional.

Stuffed squash

stuffedSquash

This recipe is largely inspired by a combination of recipes from the Moosewood New Classics and Very Vegetarian cookbooks. It is a bit time intensive, so it is not the kind of dish I prepare often, but it is fun for dinner parties, and most of the preparation can be done the day before.

Whole wheat vegan pizza

pizza

Pizza is a very common food in the United States, and it is difficult to avoid. Many people find it very tasty, but it is also seen as very practical, in that it can be ordered for delivery, is relatively inexpensive, and usually pleases most. As a vegan, I started experimenting with cheeseless pizza. This may seem like heresy to some — pizza without cheese — but I have learned that if it is made with certain parameters, it can be very tasty. For eating pizza out, it is crucial to have ample sauce and tasty toppings. A no topping, $5 pizza from Hungry Howies will not be good. But a $10 pizza with extra sauce and lots of tasty vegetable toppings from Papa John’s can be very tasty. But if you want truly good vegan pizza, you probably need to make it yourself. This recipe aims to be both tasty and healthy, and is actually not that difficult to make. I took the dough recipe from a recipe for calzone dough I found on the Vegan Chef (Sometimes I do put on some cheese. The top picture does have a little mozzarella and feta cheese on it; the extra pictures at the bottom do not).

Macaroni and “Cheese” with Spinach

macaroni and cheese with spinach

This is largely based off of a recipe from Very Vegetarian, but after a couple years of enjoying it, Clare helped me find the missing ingredient — spinach. The downside of mac and cheese is that it is low on the vegetables. I tried broccoli, green beans, and snap peas, but they weren’t that good. Spinach goes very well though. The “cheese” part is actually a nutritional yeast sauce, which doesn’t sound too tasty, but it is. Even my parents liked it!

Note that since I am no longer vegan, I usually use regular milk instead of soymilk, and I sometimes add a little real cheese after mixing the pasta and sauce. I have also found that running the spinach through the food processor is better, especially if you have picky children who don’t want big chunks of spinach. Sometimes I use fresh spinach instead of frozen if I have it, and it is better, though more expensive.

Szechuan eggplant and bok choy lo mein

Szechuan eggplant and bok choy lo mein

This is a spicy dish with some of my favorite vegetable – bok choy and eggplant. They taste great together, especially with a spicy black bean sauce. It might seem like a lot of bok choy, but it cooks down quite a bit.

Taco Salad

Mache taco salad

You can use any sort of lettuce you want, but I think that this recipe turned out very well with mache. It has a very nutty flavor to it, and is much more nutritious than the iceberg lettuce used in most taco salads. If you can’t find mache, try a red leaf lettuce, or perhaps even a spring mix.

Thai tofu curry

Thai tofu curry

This one comes from Vegetarian Cooking, though I have made my own modifications. Two key points I have learned about cooking tofu: (1) press the tofu, and (2) fry the tofu. These two steps will give it a very nice texture, which is frequently the complaint of many people who do not like tofu. There’s a good chance they have never had it cooked well.

Seitan Fajitas

Seitan fajitas

This is a quick, cheap, tasty, and healthy meal featuring ingredients I usually have on hand. You can use fresh seitan if you want, but the canned seitan is much cheaper. You can find it in many Asian groceries.

Worldly rice and beans

Rice & Beans is a staple dish for many countries around the world, especially poorer countries. Apparently they figured out long before recent scientific affirmation that the combination of grains and legumes makes for a very healthy and tasty meal.