Pesto tastes amazing on just about anything, and cauliflower is the perfect vehicle! This simple side dish features this versatile vegetable and a homemade vegan pesto.
Have you made homemade pesto before? If not, now is the time! This vegan pesto is incredibly flavorful and easy to make. I love making homemade sauces, including pesto. Preparing them myself allows me to control the quality of ingredients I use, making them healthier versions of store bought options without compromising on taste.
How to Make Vegan Pesto
All you need is six ingredients and a blender or food processor to make this vegan pesto. While traditional pesto uses parmesan cheese, you will use nutritional yeast in this vegan version. This gives the pesto a cheesy, umami flavor without the use of cheese! Blend together lemon juice, fresh basil, garlic, salt, nutritional yeast, and olive oil to make the freshest vegan pesto ever.
Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes
Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast is a type of yeast rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins. It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete plant-based protein. It is also one of the only plant-based sources of vitamin B12.
Cauliflower: A member of the cruciferous vegetable family, cauliflower is rich in different antioxidants, which help fight free radical cell damage and inflammation. It’s also a great source of fiber.
Basil: Basil, and other fresh herbs, are excellent flavor additions to any meal. Using fresh herbs in your cooking reduces the need for added sodium! Plus, basil is actually a good source of vitamin K, like other leafy greens.
I’ve had this pesto on all sorts of things: pasta, pizza, salmon, and now cauliflower! I’m always trying out new ways to eat this delicious vegetable, and this really might be my new favorite. It would taste amazing on pretty much any other vegetable, so feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand!
This cookie dough fudge is super rich, creamy, and made from plant based ingredients. You just need a few simple ingredients to make a batch for yourself!
Those who know me best know that I have a crazy sweet tooth. I definitely inherit it from my mom, who is one of the best bakers I know. I like to have something sweet pretty much every day, sometimes more than once!
Lately, I’ve really enjoyed making simple dessert recipes in batches that can easily be stored in my freezer, including No Bake Samoas and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles. I love desserts that keep well in the freezer! They are instantly available when I have a sweet craving, and don’t require any prep once I’ve made a batch, and I don’t feel the pressure to consume them all at once before they go bad.
One of Ben’s all time favorite treats is frozen cookie dough. While cookie dough is SO delicious, it’s definitely not the safest thing to eat in terms of food safety! This idea inspired me to create this creamy cookie dough fudge. you’ll get all the taste of cookie dough, but none of the food-borne illness risks!
Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes
This cookie dough fudge recipe only requires 7 simple ingredients, some of which you probably already have in your pantry!
Cashew Butter: Cashews are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, so they can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol when replacing saturated fats in the diet. They are also good sources of vitamins and minerals, including iron and magnesium. Research shows that eating 2 servings of nuts per day may lower your risk for certain diseases like heart disease and diabetes, as well as help with weight management.
Coconut Oil: While coconut oil is high in saturated fat, many of the fats in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are metabolized differently than the other fats in our diets. They are broken down and absorbed more quickly and go right to our livers to be used for energy. MCTs are wonderful for people with fat malabsorption issues for this reason. There is some research that links MCTs with weight management, because they are used for energy and less likely to be stored as fat, but we still need to learn a lot more about it! Coconut oil can be part of a healthy, balanced diet when used in moderation.
This spring soup is light, full of in-season produce, and incredibly smooth and creamy. There is an unexpected, healthy ingredient that gives this soup its silky texture, making it completely dairy free.
Soup is not just for wintertime! It’s one of my favorite one pot meals to prepare at the beginning of the week for lunch or dinner. This creamy asparagus soup is light, nutritious and full of fresh spring flavor. I’m more than happy to extend soup season for this vibrant bowl!
There are no fancy ingredients in this soup, and you might already have some in your pantry! An unexpected ingredient makes this soup unique and incredibly creamy, without adding any cream…avocado!
I’ve added avocado to smoothies before, and love the silky texture it adds. Adding it to a pureed soup has a similar effect. It’s a neutral flavored ingredient that makes the soup incredibly smooth and creamy. Avocado also adds plenty of healthy monounsaturated fats and potassium to this soup!
Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes
You need just one pot and a blender to make this delicious creamy asparagus soup. It will take you less than half an hour from start to finish! Put these ingredients on your next shopping list:
Asparagus: Asparagus is high in folate, which is important for healthy pregnancies and cell growth. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, which we need for blood clotting, and antioxidants.
Garlic: Garlic contains sulfur compounds, which may have cancer preventative effects when ingested. It also may help boost our immune response when we are sick.
Avocado: Our generation’s favorite healthy fat! Avocado is rich in healthy monounstaturated fats, which help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol when they replace saturated fats in the diet. They also contain more potassium than a banana!
A Few Recipe Notes
Fresh or frozen asparagus both work wonderfully in this recipe. I actually used frozen for this batch, because the store was out of fresh!
If you use low sodium vegetable broth, you may need to adjust the amount of salt added to the soup.
This recipe will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
This banana baked oatmeal is an easy yet decadent breakfast or brunch recipe. Prepare it on a Sunday to have for breakfast throughout the week, or serve it warm from the oven for Mother’s Day brunch this weekend! This recipe is vegan, gluten free, and naturally sweetened with banana and applesauce, so it’s perfect for a crowd that has dietary restrictions.
Oatmeal is my all-time favorite breakfast. I love it because it’s very inexpensive, easy to prepare, and there are endless flavor combinations, so it never gets boring. Oatmeal has plenty of fiber to keep us full, and is a good source of soluble fiber in the form of beta-glucan. Soluble fiber is especially important to have in our diets because it may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease.
I eat oatmeal for breakfast several times per week, but can you believe this is my first time making a baked oatmeal recipe? Now that I’ve done it, I don’t know what I was waiting for. This recipe is incredibly simple, uses common ingredients you probably have in your pantry, and tastes amazing. The flavor reminds me of banana bread, but has a heartier texture thanks to the old fashioned oats.
This banana baked oatmeal recipe is great because all you need is one bowl to make it happen. After creating a flax egg in a mixing bowl, just add the other ingredients in the order listed. Stir together, pour into your baking dish, and into the oven it goes! It will definitely be added to my regular meal prep rotation, especially for busy weeks when we need breakfast on the go.
A Few Recipe Notes
While I haven’t tested other types of oats with this recipe, I definitely suggest using old fashioned rolled oats. Their chewy texture holds up well when baked.
I used a flax egg to keep this recipe vegan. You can substitute ground chia for ground flax, or one whole egg if you are not vegan!
For the bananas, the riper, the better! Ripe bananas are much sweeter, and this eliminates the need for added sugar in this recipe.
This lettuce-free salad is still full of green goodness, thanks to one of my favorite vegetables. Broccoli is the crunchy base for this delicious salad, and it’s the perfect vehicle for a creamy Thai peanut dressing!
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – peanut sauce makes everything better. I’m always looking for new ways to add it to my meals. This salad was inspired by the Raw Broccoli salad I had at one I had at one of my favorite NYC restaurants, Emily. My sister and I dined there on one of my last nights living in the city and shared a meal. I left the restaurant equally as excited about their broccoli salad as I was their pizza!
This broccoli salad includes dried cherries and peanuts, just like at Emily. I also added edamame for an added boost of plant-based protein! Everything is coated in the creamiest blanket of peanut dressing. This dish is also a great meal prep recipe. It’s quick and easy to make, and it holds up well in the fridge for a few days.
Broccoli and Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli just might be my all-time favorite vegetable. One reason I love it is because it holds onto sauces and dressings so well. It also has so many health benefits! Broccoli is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes kale, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in fiber, so they help keep us full. They are also excellent sources of many vitamins and minerals, including folate, and vitamins A, C, and K. Cruciferous vegetables also contain phytonutrients called glucosinolates. These compounds have antioxidant effects, lowering inflammation in our bodies. Glucosinolates have been associated with preventing certain types of cancer. I strive to include 1-2 cruciferous vegetables in my diet each week!
A Few Recipe Notes
Blanching broccoli keeps it crunchy and crisp, while bringing out the vibrant green color we love to see.
Dry your blanched broccoli very well so the sauce coats everything evenly – don’t skip this step!
Other dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, or chopped dates, would work well to replace dried cherries.
These easy tacos are filled with vegetables and packed with flavor. The smokiness of the mushrooms contrasts so nicely with the sweet and spicy mango avocado salsa and creamy tahini lime dressing! Put these on the menu for your next Taco Tuesday.
Tacos are one of our favorite easy meals. We make them a few times every month, each time switching up the ingredients and toppings. Tacos are also an ideal meal to serve to a big group. You can include so many different easy sides and toppings, so each person is able to customize their meal based on taste and dietary restrictions.
I usually make tacos with fish or shrimp, but I wanted to experiment with a vegan version! Choosing Portobello mushrooms as the base was a great move, because they have a meaty texture that contrasts well with other toppings. Seasoned with garlic, spices and chipotle in adobo sauce, these mushrooms have a smoky and slightly spicy flavor you will want in all your tacos going forward.
The mango avocado salsa is the perfect juxtaposition to the mushrooms. Just combine super sweet mango, creamy avocado, tomatoes, black beans, cilantro, salt, lime juice and jalapeno in a bowl! This salsa is delicious on its own and would also be amazing served with fish.
To round everything out, I made a super simple tahini lime sauce. Drizzle this on for a creamy and zesty addition to your tacos. It cuts some of the heat and is a wonderful alternative to sour cream.
A Few Recipe Notes
Adjust the amount of chipotle pepper based on your tolerance for spicy foods. I prefer less spicy foods, so I used one seeded small pepper. Keep the seeds in and add more peppers for extra spice.
Heating the corn tortillas directly on the flame of your gas stove gives them a smoky flavor and a nice char. If you do not have a gas stove, heat them using dry heat in a skillet without oil rather than in the microwave to preserve their flavor and texture.
Mango could easily be swapped for pineapple or papaya in the mango avocado salsa.
This zippy salad is full of plant-based protein and fresh, contrasting flavors! It is the perfect side dish to serve with your favorite spring meals.
I’m currently munching on this salad for lunch as I write this blog post, and I’m definitely going to need seconds. The roasted vegetables, paired with a lemony dressing are transporting me to summertime. Something about the warmer weather makes me want to spend a little less time in the kitchen with less complicated recipes, and this one involves only a few simple steps. Roast vegetables, whisk together a simple dressing, chop fresh herbs and toss all together with canned chickpeas. Less time cooking = more time for enjoying this delicious meal outside!
Why I Love Chickpeas
Canned chickpeas are a pantry staple in my house. They are so versatile – I add them to soups, stews and salads, and love to make homemade hummus. They are an inexpensive source of plant-based protein, which will help make any meal more filling and satisfying. Chickpeas are also high in soluble fiber and act as a prebiotic. Prebiotic foods contain a certain type of fiber that our bodies no not digest, but the probiotics (aka the good bacteria) in our guts feed on! For that reason, the fiber in chickpeas and other foods may help support our gut microbiome. A healthy microbiome has been associated with weight control, better sleep, better mood, and less inflammation. I try to eat beans or legumes like chickpeas a few times per week to reap their many benefits.
This salad takes less than one hour to make, and the recipe is very hands off. It also keeps well in the fridge, so it is a wonderful recipe to meal prep. Serve it as a side with dinner, or add a big scoop to your lunch salads to bring to work.
Chickpea, Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Salad with Golden Raisins (Vegan, Gluten Free)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss eggplant with half the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 30-35 minutes, tossing halfway through, until tender.
Toss remaining olive oil with cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves. Add to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through until tomatoes begin to wrinkle and blister.
While vegetables roast, whisk together the dressing ingredients until smooth.
Combine chickpeas, roasted vegetables, fresh herbs, raisins and dressing in a mixing bowl. Toss to combine.
This recipe keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
If you make this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!