Guess who’s coming to dinner? Your vegan friend… plus your other buddies who swear burgers are a food group. What’s a host to do? Make super-filling, protein-rich recipes that are meat- and dairy-free. To make sure we serve the best of the best, we consulted an expert. This week’s featured foodie is Ashlae Warner of Oh, Ladycakes. She’s got years of experience cooking better-for-you vegan (and sometimes gluten-free) food for folks who look upon tofu with disgust. Make any of these seven meals, and we bet your non-vegan friends will love them just as much as us (for the record, we're not vegan either).
Taco night doesn’t mean the vegans have to stay home (or worse, watch their friends eat tacos while eating shredded cabbage and salsa, a single tear running down their cheeks). With black bean and seitan tacos, meat eaters get their texture and flavor, and vegans don’t feel like the odd ones out. Some might suggest grating cheese for the others; we say keep calm and try the cashew cheese sauce recipe.
Serve this stew and we doubt anyone will leave the table hungry. Packed with chickpeas and butternut squash, this spicy stew is the ideal match for a chilly night. Serve by the large scoopful with a side of grains and greens, plus a shower of chopped spicy peanuts.
Fresh spring rolls taste like the season wrapped in rice paper. But if you’re anything like us, they’re way too easy to finish in three big bites. Solve this problem by inverting the roll: rice noodles on the bottom; carrots, cucumbers, and avocado piled on top. If you know what’s good for you, spoon the quick peanut sauce over the bowl in big globs.
If you’re anything like us, you have avocado with every meal—and it is wonderful. Much as we love avo cubed in salads and sliced on burgers, when it comes to pasta, you can’t beat putting it right in the sauce. Thick and creamy, avocado sauce complements nutty brown rice penne perfectly. And with sautéed veg over the top, you’ll be sorry you didn’t make a triple batch. Can’t find hemp seeds? Try roasted sunflower seeds for a similar flavor and texture.
The best part of any burrito is the fillings, obviously. Ditch the tortilla and cram your deepest cereal bowl with spicy, soupy black beans—covered in a splatter painting of cashew chipotle cream sauce. Top with shredded cabbage, avocado, and corn, adding a side of brown rice to soak up all the extra sauces.
Stir-fry is one of those meals that tastes just as good (if not better) vegan as it does crammed with chicken or pork. Let silky tofu soak up the rich, salty peanut sauce, offset with crunchy broccolini and brown rice noodles. A squeeze of lime and sprinkle of chopped cilantro add a zingy finish to every bite.
The vegan scrambled egg was a contradiction before the invention of the tofu scramble. A protein-rich choice for breakfast, lunch, dinner— and all meals in-between—this pillow-y dish gets extra flair from red cabbage and spinach. Serve with seasoned grains or roasted potatoes for an extra-filling plate.
Ashlae Warner is a food and travel blogger from Denver, Colorado. Recipes on Oh, Ladycakes are always vegan, occasionally gluten-free, and every once in a while, raw. Above all, she believes in working with wholesome, seasonal ingredients. For more from Ashlae, follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.