No Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Enjoy all the tastes of bacon without the bacon by preparing these no bacon Brussels sprouts. All you need are 5 ingredients and less than 30 minutes to create this elegant side dish that will have your guests wondering how it’s vegan.

Shaved and roasted no bacon Brussels sprouts topped with pomegranate arils on a white plate.

Why you’ll love it

First off, I dare you to come up with a reason NOT to make this dish. Here are the reasons why you’re going to fall in love with this side.

  • Simple- This dish requires on 5 ingredients (6 if you include the optional pomegranate aril topping). Plus, it’s ready in less than 30 minutes. It really doesn’t get much easier than that folks.
  • Elegant- The vibrant colors of the green Brussels sprouts and the vibrant pop of red from the pomegranates make this a visually stunning side dish.
  • Flavorful- Who didn’t love bacon? Now, you can enjoy that Smokey bacon flavor, the vegan way. Crispy Brussel
  • Textured- Crispy shredded Brussels sprouts meets crunchy bursting-with-flavor pomegranate arils. Perfection!
Shaved and roasted no bacon Brussels sprouts topped with pomegranate arils on a white plate.

Brussels Sprouts

Ok, I know what you might be thinking: Brussels Sprouts? No Thanks. But let me tell, roasted Brussels sprouts are amazing. And shaved roasted Brussel’s sprouts? It’s like next-level wonderful. Give them a try and I promise you will not be disappointed. Forget everything you remember from your childhood about these cruciferous vegetables. I’m going to share me secret to preparing flavorful and crispy Brussels sprouts.

Preheat your oven to 425*F. Place the shredded Brussel’s sprouts in a single layer on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast them for 10-12 minutes, toss, and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes watching closely to prevent burning. Remove from the oven the toss with the no bacon dressing.

Shaved and roasted no bacon Brussels sprouts topped with pomegranate arils on a fork.

No Bacon Dressing

While the Brussels sprouts are roasting, prepare the no bacon dressing. In a small bowl, whisk the coconut aminos, maple syrup, molasses, and liquid smoke together. Pour over the warm roasted Brussels sprouts and toss to combine. Top with pomegranate arils and serve.

I really hope that you guys give these Brussels sprouts a try. And when you do, be sure to let me know what you think. Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Pomegranate- vitamin C, antioxidants, polyphenols

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Vegan No Bacon Brussel’s Sprouts

Enjoy all the tastes of bacon without the bacon by preparing these no bacon Brussel's sprouts. All you need are 5 ingredients and less than 30 minutes to create this elegant side dish that will have your guests wondering how it's vegan.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: 1 pan, brussels sprouts, easy, gluten-free, molasses, pomegranates, quick, roasted brussels sprouts, simple, vegan, vegan bacon
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 20 oz Brussels sprouts, shaved
  • pomegrante arils for serving

Vegan Bacon Dressing

  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke

Instructions

Roasted Brussel's Sprouts

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place shaved Brussel's sprouts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Stir and continue baking for an additional 10-12 minutes.

No Bacon Dressing

  • In a small bowl, combine dressing ingrdients. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Toss with warm roasted Brussel's sprouts.
  • Serve warm topped with pomegranate arils.
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Balsamic Vegetables with Artichoke Hummus

These balsamic vegetables with artichoke hummus are a perfect combination of flavors and textures. Served atop sweet potato toasts, the roasted vegetables are topped with artichoke hummus and almond ricotta cheese. Each require fewer than 10 wholesome and easily accessible ingredients.

Roasted balsamic vegetables on sweet potato toast topped with artichoke hummus and almond ricotta cheese with a red onion in the background.

This has been one of my most-liked recipes on Instagram so I figured I would officially give this meal a home here on my blog. It’s such a fun, unique dish and can easily be transformed into other wonderful dishes as well. Use the hummus as a dip served with raw vegetables, chips, crackers and the like. The marinated and roasted vegetables make an excellent topping on a pizza. Add it to your favorite pasta or even use it as a side with your favorite vegan protein.

Artichoke Hummus

northern beans

This hummus is so creamy and flavorful. It has become one of my all-time favorites. The secret to its creaminess is the use of northern beans instead of garbanzo beans. They are just as mild in flavor as garbanzo beans, so they won’t overpower the artichokes. But they are much softer so they blend up really well in this hummus.

artichoke hearts

Marinated artichokes are used in this recipe because they have much more flavor than canned or fresh artichokes. We also use some of the olive oil from the marinated artichokes to help thin the hummus during the final stages of blending.

Artichoke hummus with roasted balsamic vegetables on sweet potato toast in the background.

Artichoke Hummus

Creamy thanks to northern beans and flavorful from marinated artichoke hearts. Whip this hummus up in less than 10 minutes using fewer than 10 ingredients.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Vegan
Keyword: artichoke, easy, hummus, marinated artichokes, northern beans, quick, simple, snack, tahini, vegan
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Erin

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz, can northern beans, drained, rinsed
  • 8-10 marinated artichoke quarters plus more for pulsing in later
  • cup tahini
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4-5 leaves fresh basil
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 1-2 tbsp marinated artichoke oil

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a food processor blend drained and rinsed northern beans, 8-10 marinated artichoke quarters, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, basil, cumin, and paprika. Process until smooth.
  • With the blade running (but the lid securely on), drizzle in the olive oil 1 tbsp at a time. Continue adding olive oil until thick and creamy, but not runny and oily.
  • Add 2-4 marinated artichoke quarters and pulse until just chopped. Serve drizzled with more olive oil and paprika.

Roasted Vegetables

portobellos

To start, begin by marinating some washed, thickly sliced portobello mushrooms. Grab a large, shallow dish and pour in enough balsamic vinegar to thinly coat the bottom, about 1/4 of a cup. Additionally, season with truffle salt and black pepper to taste. Gently toss the mushrooms in the balsamic vinegar then allow them to marinate for 1o minutes. After the mushrooms have marinated, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and evenly place in the marinated mushrooms as well as any leftover balsamic vinegar. If needed, add more balsamic vinegar to keep the mushrooms from sticking. Allow mushrooms to cook for 2-3 minutes per side. There’s no need to stir them and when you do flip them do it gently so that they don’t break apart. Once cooked, place on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet.

Red Bell peppers and onions

To complete the roasted vegetables, add diced or julienned red bell peppers and thinly sliced red onions to the prepared baking sheet along with the portobello mushrooms. You may add additional balsamic vinegar, truffle salt, and/or black pepper to taste if desired. Bake the vegetables at 400*F for 30-4o minutes stirring once half way. The vegetables are done when they are crispy and the mushrooms are tender.

Sweet Potato Toasts

To complete this dish you’ll need to prepare the sweet potato toasts. Begin by thoroughly scrubbing the sweet potatoes. I prefer to leave the skin on for added nutrients and fiber but feel free to remove it per your preference. Then slice the sweet potatoes length-wise, into 1/4 inch thick “toasts”. You can either coat them with avocado oil, salt, and pepper or leave them plain. Roast the sweet potatoes at 400*F for 10 minutes on each side. Remove them when they’re soft but not burned.

Assembly

To assemble the dish, begin by placing your roasted vegetables on top of your sweet potato toasts and top with a generous helping of artichoke hummus and a crumble of almond ricotta. This brand is my new favorite. In my opinion, the more hummus and ricotta, the better.

I certainly hope that you enjoy this meal as much as I do. It’s quickly become one of my favorite lunch options. Please share with me in the comments just how much you like this meal as well as the hummus.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Artichokes- vitamin C, folate, fiber, magnesium, potassium, 7th highest food antioxidant-containing food (2004 USDA study)

Cumin- iron, essential oils

Bell peppers- vitamin C, beta carotene, B vitamins

Northern beans- rich in protein and fiber, potassium, folate, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, thaimine

Sweet potatoes- vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, potassium, fiber

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Roasted Vegetables

These balsamic vegetables with artichoke hummus are a perfect combination of flavors and textures. Served atop sweet potato toasts, the roasted vegetables are topped with artichoke hummus and almond ricotta cheese. Each requires fewer than 10 wholesome and easily accessible ingredients.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: almond ricotta, artichoke hummus, bell peppers, easy, hummus, mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, potatoes, red onions, ricotta cheese, roasted vegetables, simple, sweet potatoe toast, sweet potatoes, truffle salt, vegan, vegan ricotta, vegetables
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, washed, thickly sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • truffle salt, to taste sub regular salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, washed, sliced long-way
  • 2 red bell peppers, julienned
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a shallow baking dish or container, place balsamic vinegar, truffle salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine and place in sliced mushrooms. Toss gently to coat and allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Place red bell peppers and red onions on lined baking sheet. Toss with 1-2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and truffle salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Heat a large skillet over high heat. Place marinated mushrooms and liquid into pan and saute over medium-high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until mushrooms are browned.
  • Add sauteed mushrooms to peppers and onions. Bake for 15 minutes, gently toss, cook for addional 15 minutes until vegetables are roasted.
  • Keep oven at 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place sweet potato toasts on prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes per side.
  • To assemble, place sweet potato toast on a plate and top with roasted vegetables, artichoke hummus, and vegan cheese of choice*.

Notes

*This is my new favorite vegan almond ricotta cheese.  It crumbles perfectly just like a soft goat cheese.  
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Vegan Bacon Buttered Corn

This vegan bacon buttered corn is only 5 ingredients and is ready in 15 minutes. A quick, simple side dish that’s perfect for the hectic holiday season.

Vegan bacon buttered corn in a large cast iron skillet being scooped up by a wooden spoon.

I’ll admit. This is a dish I’ve been making for years. Even before my vegan days. And it’s become a family favorite at the holidays. So now that my family is vegan, I decided that I had to turn this into a vegan dish as well. An insanely simple side, this dish requires only 5 ingredients and can be thrown together only 15 minutes before everyone sits down for the big Thanksgiving dinner. It’s salty, crunchy, rich, and familiar. The perfect accompaniment the whole family can enjoy.

Vegan Coconut bacon

Before we dive into the corn, let’s take a second to make the coconut bacon. Now, you can use any vegan bacon your prefer just as long as it crumbles well. That being said, I also wanted to include a coconut bacon recipe in this post, just in case you don’t already have a vegan go-to bacon.

Now, this coconut bacon is just about as easy to make as the vegan bacon buttered corn. Simply line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 325*F. In a medium-sized bowl combine coconut aminos, olive, oil, maple syrup, liquid smoke and paprika. Once combined add unsweetened coconut chips and gently stir to coat. Spread the coconut over the parchment paper in an even layer and bake for 15 minutes stirring every 5 to prevent burning. Allow the “bacon” to cool completely before crumbling or storing for later use.

Coconut “Bacon”

Vegan bacon that crumbles just like the real thing. Crispy, smokey, and sweet this coconut bacon will add texture and flavor to salads, pastas, and roasted vegetable sides.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: bacon, coconut, vegan bacon
Servings: 1 cups
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 1 cups coconut
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp liquid smoke
  • ¼ tsp paprika

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine coconut aminos, olive oil, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and paprika. Gently toss coconut in mixture ensuring that all coconut flakes are coated.
  • Pour onto prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes stirring every 5. Watch closely to prevent burning.
  • When crispy but not browned, remove and allow to cool completely before crumbling.
Vegan bacon buttered corn in a large cast iron skillet with a large wooden spoon for serving.

Bacon Buttered Corn

Once you’ve prepared the “bacon” it’s time to assemble the buttered corn. In a large skillet melt the vegan butter over medium heat. Once melted add the frozen corn. There’s no need to thaw it beforehand. Stir the corn to coat with vegan butter and allow to cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Add more butter if you feel that the corn is looking too dry or if you just prefer really buttery corn. Once the kernels are thawed and warmed through remove from the heat and add the paprika, chopped chives, and crumbled “bacon”. Serve warm and enjoy the time you’ve saved in the kitchen by savoring the company of your holiday guests.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Corn- fiber, B1, folate, vitamin C, pantothenic acid, phyochemicals have heart health and cancer-fighting properties

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Vegan Bacon Butter Corn

This vegan bacon buttered corn is only 5 ingredients and is ready in 15 minutes. A quick, simple side dish that's perfect for the hectic holiday season.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Holiday, Vegan
Keyword: 1 pan, 5-ingredients, bacon, butter, chives, corn, easy, holiday sides, paprika, quick, side, side dish, simple, vegan bacon, vegan butter
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 3-4 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 bags frozen corn
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ cup vegan bacon, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, melt vegan butter over medium-high heat.
  • Once melted add frozen corn kernals and cook for 5-10 minutes until thawed.
  • Sprinkle with paprika and allow to cook additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and top with crumbled vegan bacon and chopped chives.
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Mom’s Old Fashioned Stuffing

10 ingredients and vegan, my mom’s old fashioned stuffing is perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Start to finish, this side requires less than 60 minutes to prepare. Grab a fork, and dig in to this family-favorite dish.

Old-fashioned stuffing with walnut and cranberries in a glass pan.

I wish I could take credit for this recipe. But alas…I cannot. My mom has been preparing this stuffing recipe for almost 40 years. It’s not Thanksgiving without this delicious side sitting on our dining room table. It has traveled through our family and now it’s one of my husband’s favorite foods. Although I have adapted it here to be vegan, and to include a few of my favorite seasonal add-ins, I hope that you all find my mom’s old fashioned stuffing to be just as amazing as our family does.

Old Fashioned Stuffing

Soft yet crunchy. Salty and sweet. Tasty and, well…delicious! This old fashioned stuffing is made with only 10 ingredients and requires about 1 hour of time to prepare. Not bad for the Thanksgiving side. It’s so simple and completely customizable (see Add Ins below). And let me just say that, yes, I am aware that we use 1 CUP of vegan butter in this recipe. I know. It’s a lot. But this is a side dish. And it’s meant to be eaten on a day of celebration. So don’t panic. It’s ok. We can use a cup of vegan butter and still live. I promise. Good, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

The bread

Begin by using your favorite loaf of rustic bread. I’m a huge sourdough fan so that’s what I chose to use. If the crust of your bread is rather crunchy you can remove it just to make sure that the top of your stuffing doesn’t become too hard when cooked. Once that’s taken care of, cut your loaf into large cubes. You’ll need about 9 cups of cubed bread which is about 1, 14oz loaf.

The Celery and Onions

Now, let me just say that for some reason, my mom does not like large pieces of celery or onion in her stuffing. She’s a big texture person so perhaps that’s why she always pulverizes them in the food processor for this recipe. To be honest, I prefer the onions and celery this way. Maybe it’s because I’m my mother’s daughter. Or maybe it’s because that’s just the nostalgia of the dish for me. Either way, give it a try. Place your celery in the food processor and pulse until VERY FINELY chopped. Do the same with the onion. If this doesn’t sound appealing to you, feel free to finely chop the celery and onion yourself. You do you.

Combining

In a large skillet, melt 1 cup (remember, you’ll be ok) of vegan butter. Once melted, add in the celery and onion. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until soft. If your celery and onion pieces are larger, they may need to cook for 4-5 minutes. Just cook them until they’re tender. Once cooked, turn off the heat and add sage, thyme, truffle salt, pepper and 3 cups of cubed bread. Toss to coat. This bread will become very soggy rather quickly. Don’t worry, this is what we’re going for. At this point add in the other 6 cups of cubed bread as well as any add ins.

Add Ins

This is where my recipe really deviates from my mom’s. I decided to add in some fresh cranberries as well as chopped walnuts. You can either leave these things out completely or replace them with other seasonal favorites such as: chestnuts, pecans, pomegranate arils, cooked vegan sausage, or sliced apples.

Missing scoop of old-fashioned stuffing with walnut and cranberries in a glass pan.
Bake it

Once you’ve added (or not) any extras it’s time to bake the stuffing. Grease an 8×8 inch dish with vegan butter and dump in the stuffing. Cover with aluminum foil (or a rimmed baking sheet) and bake at 325*F for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes until the top is crispy. Serve and prepare for this to become a new family holiday classic.

Missing piece of old-fashioned stuffing with walnut and cranberries in a glass pan with cranberries on a wooden spoon.

I would like to end this post by saying “Thank you” to my mom. Not just for sharing this recipe but for instilling in me, at a young age, a love of cooking. She taught me the joy of bring family and friends together over meals. Holidays have always held a special place in my heart because I can remember, even a child, assisting in the kitchen. From this stuffing dish at Thanksgiving, to cookies on Christmas Eve, the holidays, for me, are marked by meals. So thank you Mom, for instilling in me at such a young age the true meaning of holidays: spending time with the people you love. Sharing laughs, love, and, of course, food.

Enjoy friends.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Celery- vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium

Cranberries- rich in fiber; excellent source of vitamin C, phytonutrients

Onion- antioxidants; fiber; vitamin C; folate

Walnuts- Omega 3s, thaimine, B6, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, Vitamin E, polyphenols

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Mom’s Old Fashioned Stuffing

A 10 ingredient, vegan, old fashioned stuffing that is perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Start to finish, this side requires less than 60 minutes. Grab a fork, and dig in to this family-favorite dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Holiday, Vegan
Keyword: 1 pot, 10-ingredients, cranberries, dressing, dried cranberries, fried sage, holiday sides, sour dough, stuffing, thanksgiving sides, walnuts
Servings: 8 people
Author: Erin

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients

  • cups celery, pulsed in food processor
  • ¾ cup onion, pulsed in food processor
  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 9 cups loaf sour dough bread, cubed
  • tsp salt
  • tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • cup chopped walnuts
  • cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease an 8×8 baking dish with vegan butter.
  • In a large skillet, melt the vegan butter. Add celery and onion and cook until soft.
  • Stir in 3 cups of cubed bread and toss to coat. Add remaining 6 cups of cubed bread, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
  • Transfer to prepared baking dish and cover with foil or top with a rimmed baking sheet. Bake covered for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and cook for additional 15 minutes until top is crunchy.
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Roasted Beet and Walnut Salad

With Vegan Feta

This simple, healthy, delicious roasted beet and walnut salad makes for a fantastic holiday side dish. All you need is 1 dish, 4 ingredients, and 45 minutes. Loaded with nutritious beets and walnuts, fresh parsley, and tangy vegan feta, make this vibrant salad a part of your Thanksgiving table this year.

Roasted beet and walnut salad with feta and fresh parsley on a white plate with a bowl on walnuts and a wooden spoon.

Why I Love Beets

I love beets. I love their versatility. Their texture. The slight sweetness they have when they’re roasted. And in this salad the earthy and crunchy walnuts, salty and creamy feta, bright and fresh parsley work beautifully with roasted beets.

Thanksgiving Side

I also love Thanksgiving. And let me tell you, this dish is going to be perfect on your Thanksgiving table. It’s so incredibly easy to make and it will only take up about 30 minutes of that precious oven time you have allotted for the day.

Roasted beet and walnut salad with feta and fresh parsley on a white plate with a bowl on walnuts and a wooden spoon.

Preparation

I also love dishes that require virtually no preparation. (Are you sensing a theme here?) The prep time on my roasted beet and walnut salad is about 5-10 minutes. But if that is even too much to commit to on Thanksgiving morning, you can totally peel, dice, and bake your beets the day before. Just re-heat them gently in the microwave or a low-temperature oven and add the remaining ingredients before serving.

Make It A Meal

If you are finding this recipe any other time of the year other than November (or December), consider turning this dish into a meal. It’s so quick and simple that you could definitely throw it together on a busy weeknight. Or even make it over the weekend and have it prepped for weekday lunches.

Turn it into a meal by pairing it with pasta. Dice the beets into smaller bite-sized cubes and decrease the roasting time. When finished toss with your favorite pasta shape and some olive oil as well as the walnuts, vegan feta, and fresh parsley. You could also add garbanzo beans either while the beets are roasting or after they’ve been roasted.

I would love to hear what you think of this simple roasted beet and walnut salad. Let me know if you use it as a side at a holiday meal or for a quick weeknight meal.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Beets- folate, manganese

Parsley- vitamin C, iodine, iron, phytoestrogenetic properties (cancer-preventing properties)

Walnuts- Omega-3s, thaimine, B6, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, Vitamin E, polyphenols

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Roasted Beet and Walnut Salad

This simple, healthy, delicious roasted beet and walnut salad makes for a fantastic holiday side dish. All you need is 1 dish, 4 ingredients, and 45 minutes. Loaded with nutritious beets and walnuts, fresh parsley, and tangy vegan feta, make this vibrant salad a part of your Thanksgiving table this year.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: beet, easy, gluten-free, healthy, holiday sides, light, parsley, quick, salad, vegan, vegan feta, walnuts
Servings: 6 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 6 whole beets, peeled cubed
  • ¼ cup walnuts use more or less depending on preference
  • ¼ cup vegan feta, crumbled* use more or less depending on preference
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh parsley, roughly chopped use more or less depending on preference

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel and dice beets and place in an 9×13 baking dish. Roast beets for 30-40 minutes stirring half way. Beets are finished cooking when they are tender and slightly crispy on the outside.
  • Add walnut pieces, crumbled feta, and chopped parsley to beets.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

I use this recipe from Erin Ireland for the vegan feta. It’s absolutely amazing and so simple that there’s no way I could improve it.
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Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash

with caramelized onions

This roasted apple and butternut squash side is vegan, gluten-free, and has an oil-free option. Topped with caramelized onions, it’s a sweet and creamy dish that’s a perfect make-ahead side for the holidays. It requires fewer than 10 ingredients and less than 15 minutes of prep. All the best of autumn in a comforting side.

Roasted apple and butternut squash with caramelized onions on a wooden platter with plate, rosemary, and butternut squash in the background.

With the holiday season quickly approaching I have begun planning my Thanksgiving menu. Anyone else? Ok, I guess that perhaps it is a tad early. But just in case you’re a planner like I am here is a recipe that I would highly recommend considering as a side for the big day. It’s simple. It’s quick. And it can be prepared ahead of time. Oh, and it’s totally delicious. What more could you want out of a holiday side dish?

Roasted apple and butternut squash

Preparing a butternut squash for roasting can be intimidating if you’ve never skinned one before. But let me reassure you, that it actually is quite simple. First, using a fork, poke holes all over your squash. And I mean ALL OVER IT. I usually jab mine about 30 times. Next place it in your microwave for 3-5 minutes depending on the strength (wattage) of your microwave. Turn it over and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. It should be soft but not mushy or burned. Allow it to cool completely before handling. Finally, using a knife, or better yet a potato peeler, remove the skin from your squash. Cut it in half, remove the seeds, and cut into bit-sized cubes.

As for the apple…I recommend using a hearty apple for this recipe. I used a Fuji apple because they’re sturdy and sweet. A Sweet Tango would probably work too. If you would prefer a tart apple you could use a Honeycrisp or a Granny Smith. Once you’ve chosen your perfect apple, simply core, peel, and cut into bit-sized pieces. Make sure that both the apples and butternut squash pieces are similar in size so that they cook evenly.

Spray the apple and butternut squash with avocado oil and top with spices and herbs. Toss to coat and spread evenly on a prepared rimmed baking sheet. Bake them for roughly 30 minutes until they are fragrant, soft, and slightly browned around the edges. Perfection!

Roasted apple and butternut squash with caramelized onions on a wooden platter with plate, rosemary, and butternut squash in the background.
Caramelized onions

While the apples and butternut squash are roasting, prepare the caramelized onions. Begin my dicing or thinly slicing the yellow onions. You can even slice some while dicing the others just to add more visual interest and texture to your dish.

Heat a large skillet over high heat and add 1 tbsp of avocado oil. Once the oil is hot add the onions and reduce heat to medium-high. Now, the trick to perfectly caramelizing onions is TIME. You have to be patient. But trust me, your patience will pay off.

The onions will go from white, to clear, to brown, to caramelized. As they cook you will need to add water to the pan, a little at a time. Do not add more water to the pan until all the other liquid has cooked off.

Stir the onions occasionally. This gives them time to brown on the pan.

Resist the urge to pull the onions off the heat early. They are not done when they’re brown. They’re done when they are a deep, dark brown, caramelized color. You will know they’re done when they smell sweet.

Roasted apple and butternut squash with caramelized onions on a wooden platter with plate surrounded by rosemary and a blue napkin.

Suggested Pairings

This side would be excellent served with a vegan meat alternative such as “ham” or “turkey”. To fancy up this side even more top it with toasted walnuts for added crunch, pomegranate arils for tartness, or drizzle with a cashew cream sauce for creaminess.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Apple-vitamin C, soluble and insoluble fiber

Cinnamon- manganese, iron, calcium, and fiber

Onion-antioxidants; fiber; vitamin C; folate

Rosemary- polyphenolic compounds

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Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash

This roasted apple and butternut squash side is vegan, gluten-free, and has an oil-free option. Topped with caramelized onions, it's a sweet and creamy dish that's a perfect make-ahead side for the holidays. It requires fewer than 10 ingredients and less than 15 minutes of prep.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

Baked Apple and Butternut Squash

  • 4 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 apple, peeled, cubed I used fuji
  • avocado spray omit if oil-free
  • ½ tsp sage
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary, removed from stem

Caramalized Onions

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil sub water if oil-free
  • 4-5 medium yellow onions, diced or thinly sliced
  • ½ cup cold water*

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Evenly spread cubed apples and butternut squash and spray with avocado oil (omit if oil-free). Sprinkle with sage, cinnamin, and rosemary and evenly spread over baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring half way.
  • While apples and squash are baking, heat a large pan over high heat. Add avocado oil. When oil is hot, add diced or thinly sliced onions and stir to coat. Lower heat to medium-high and cook onions for about 40 minutes stirring occasionally*.
  • Assemble roasted apples and butternut squash on a plater and top with caramelized onions. Additionally, top wtih walnuts for crunch, pomegranate arils for tartness, or raisins for sweetness.

Notes

*Add cold water occasionally, 1 tbsp at a time, to onions to prevent sticking and to de-glaze the pan.  Allow water to completely cook off before adding more water.  Be patient with this process.  The onions will go from white, to clear, to brown, to caramelized.  
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Vegan Naan

If you’ve been searching for the perfect vegan naan, look no further than this recipe! All you need are 10 ingredients and a warm bowl of curry to complete your next vegan Indian-inspired dinner night.

Vegan naan wrapped in a blue towel on a rusted cookie sheet surrounded by basil and cherry tomatoes.

I’m going to be 100% honest with you right now: I’m afraid of yeast. Irrational fear? Perhaps. But it’s taken me YEARS to work up the courage to prepare breads that require yeast. I had a bad experience with cinnamon raisin dough and a bread maker back in my teens and I think I’m still trying to recover. Anyway, I digress…I still have difficulties with yeast dough at times. Thankfully, as with many other skills, practice makes perfect. And boy have I been practicing this fall!

The perfect vegan naan recipe has eluded me for almost a year. I struggled to find a recipe that didn’t require crazy flours which would leave the dough to stick to the pan and not rise properly. But I finally found the PERFECT naan recipe that I have veganized from the amazing Half Baked Harvest version. Let me take just a second to explain some important steps in this naan-making process.

Water & Yeast

Two things about working with yeast…First make sure that it hasn’t passed it’s expiration date. Expired yeast will prevent your bread from rising. Secondly, as with any recipe that requires yeast, you’re going to have to “activate” or “bloom” it with water and sugar. It’s very important to remember that your water should be about 110*F. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast and your bread will fail to rise.

Pan & Oil

Once your dough has risen and is pillowy soft and ready for cooking you need to make sure that you use the proper pan to fry it. You will definitely need a heavy cast iron skillet as well as a large lid. Once your pan is screaming hot add about a tsp of avocado oil to the pan. You might be tempted to use olive oil. DON’T! Avocado oil has a smoke point of 520*F, which is 50-150*F hotter than olive oil. What does that mean? It means that avocado oil will not begin to burn until it reaches a temperature of 520*F. In turn, you can heat this oil much, much hotter without setting off your smoke detectors. Trust me, use the avocado oil.

So now that I’ve concurred naan, I’ll have to try my hands at Challah bread (but that’s going to have to wait for now…).

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Almonds: protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron

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Vegan Naan

All you need are 10 ingredients and a warm bowl of curry to complete your next vegan Indian-inspired dinner night.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Rise Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Bread, Indian, Vegan
Keyword: Indian, naan, vegan
Servings: 8 naan
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¾ tsp active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup plant-based milk
  • 1 cup almond yogurt I prefer Kite Hill's plain, unsweetened almondmilk yogurt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4-8 tbsp melted butter depending on how buttery you want the naan

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm (but not hot) water, yeast, and maple syrup. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, until bubbly.
  • Add plant-based milk, almond yogurt, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a dough hook, mix until the flour is evenly incorporated. The dough will be sticky.
  • Lightly flour you workspace and gently knead the dough into a large ball. Return to bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel. Place the bowl in a warm place to rise for 1 hour* until the dough has doubled in size.
  • When ready to cook, cut dough evenly into 8 and form each into a small ball. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball into an oval/rectangle shape that's about ¼ inch thick.
  • Brush each side of the naan dough with melted vegan butter. Lightly brush a VERY HOT cast iron skillet with avocado oil** and place in one piece of naan dough cooking over medium-high heat. Immediately cover with a large lid cooking for 1-2 minutes as bubbles form. Flip and cook uncovered for 1-2 minutes more.
  • Keep cooked naan warm by placing in a clean kitchen towel while you work with the remaining dough.
  • Serve with more melted butter and a sprinkle of fresh herbs and a bowl of curry.

Notes

*I have found that the perfect place to let any yeast-y dough rise is in my oven with the oven light on.  
**Avocado oil has a higher smoke-point that most oils, meaning it will withstand the heat of the pan better than an olive oil will.  Plus it has a neutral flavor which won’t deter from the naan.

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest’s Herbed Garlic Butter Naan.

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Roasted Green Vegetables with Vegan Walnut Pesto

Roasted green vegetables get dressed up with a vegan walnut pesto. Five ingredients and 30 minutes are all you need to make this healthy and satisfying side dish.

Roasted green vegetables (asparagus, Brussel's sprouts, and zucchini spirals) on a wooden platter and to a bowl of vegan walnut pesto.

If you don’t think you like asparagus or Brussel’s sprouts you have to give this roasted green vegetables with vegan walnut pesto a try. Don’t write these veggies off completely, ok. I guarantee that the key to enjoying these vegetables is properly prepping and roasting them. Allow me to share a few tips for selecting, preparing and serving each of these vegetables.

Asparagus

When selecting asparagus it’s important to remember that you want thin, sturdy stalks. The thicker the stalk, the tougher and more bitter it will be. Not exactly the most desirable, right? After rinsing, snap the asparagus to remove the tougher bottom of the stalk. This part of the vegetable isn’t something you’ll want to eat. Lastly, cut the edible portion of the asparagus in half and it’s ready to roast in this dish.

Brussel’s sprouts

As far as Brussel’s sprouts go…I’ve been there. I know that they can seem very un-appealing at times. But just like the asparagus, there’s a trick to making them delicious. I’m convinced that the best way to serve Brussel’s sprouts is shaved. They cook quickly, get a nice crispy texture, and transform into something overwhelmingly amazing.

Zucchini

I don’t think its any secret that zucchini is super versatile. In this recipe I decided to add texture and interest to the dish by using spiralized zucchini. You can either buy the zucchini spiralized or do it yourself. I like making it myself to cut down on plastic and ensure freshness. This is the spiralizer I use. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.

Roasted green vegetables (asparagus, Brussel's sprouts, and zucchini spirals) on a wooden platter being set on a table next to a bowl of vegan walnut pesto.

Once you’ve decided to make this side dish (and believe me, you really should make it), it’s going to pair nicely with marinated tofu or a lentil loaf. Throw pasta in the mix for a unique take on a warm pasta salad. Or add beans or lentils to take this dish from the sidelines to the main attraction.

Share with me how you would use this dish to up you vegetable game.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Asparagus: Folic acid, vitamin C, thiamine, B6, glutathione, protodioscin

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Roasted Green Vegetables with Vegan Walnut Pesto

Roasted green vegetables get dressed up with a vegan walnut pesto. Five ingredients and 30 minutes are all you need to make this healthy and satisfying side dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: asparagus, brussels sprouts, side, vegan, zucchini
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini, spiralized or cut into half moons
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends removed and trimmed
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, shaved or cut in half
  • olive oil spray
  • ½ batch vegan walnut pesto *see notes*

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Coat vegetables with olive oil cooking spray and toss.
  • Roast vegetables for 30 minutes stirring half way though to ensure even cooking.
  • Add Vegan Walnut Pesto to warm vegetables and serve.

Notes

*Check out my Vegan Walnut Pesto or sub your favorite homemade/store bought pesto
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Warm Autumn Vegetable Salad

With Pumpkin Tahini Dressing

Warm autumn vegetable salad drizzled with pumpkin tahini dressing. All you need are two sheet pans and a bowl for this amazingly satisfying lunch. Vegan, gluten-free with nut- and oil-free options this salad makes a fantastic side or meal and works great for meal prepping.

Warm winter vegetable salad on a bed of butter lettuce with purple and yellow flowers and a bowl of fresh cranberries.

Warm Autumn Vegetables

Ok, this has got to be why I love fall so much. There’s nothing like prepping a bunch of vegetables, seasoning them in some well-thought-out spices, tossing them in the oven, and enjoying the aroma that fills my house while they roast. This, to me, is what the autumn months are all about. So let’s discuss these vegetables a little bit shall we?

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are just amazing! They’re so versatile (baked, boiled, steamed, mashed…you know the different ways to prepare a potato!) and they really are very sweet. In this dish I remove the skins but if you would prefer the extra fiber (there’s already a lot of it in this salad) feel free to keep it on. It’ll give the sweet potato a nice crunchy, caramelized texture.

Multi-colored carrots

I love the additional colors from the multicolored carrot variety. You can totally use regular ol’ orange carrots if you cannot find the multis, it’s no big deal. Just remember that you want to eat the rainbow. The greater the color variety in your food, the more nutrients you’re consuming.

Delicata Squash

The delicata squash is by far my FAVORITE squash. Ever. I think I love it so much because you can eat the skin! Less prep time means more time enjoy the cool autumn days outside with my family and less time making meals. Plus, who doesn’t love the cute little half moon shapes of a delicata squash? Pro tip: save the seeds of your delicata squash and use them in this recipe for chili roasted squash seeds. Also, did you know that you can save the pulp (or scooped out portion) of the squash and put it to go use here.

Parsnips

And let’s not forget the parsnips! Now these are the secret star of the show. They are actually really sweet and are amazing when roasted. They’re also fantastic in soups and stews. Be on the lookout for more parsnips recipes from me as the season rolls into autumn, but for now, let’s just appreciate them in this delicious little salad.

Warm winter vegetable salad on a bed of butter lettuce with purple and yellow flowers, pumpkin tahini dressing, and a bowl of fresh cranberries.

Pumpkin Tahini Dressing

I love making my own dressings. Nothing beats the convenience of store bought but I also like to be in control of the amount and type of fats and sugars that are in my dressings. And most store-bought dressings contain gums. Ew. So let’s whip up this fun fall dressing together ok? It’s thick, lightly pumpkin-y, nut-free, and oil-free.

Toppings

This is where you get get to be creative. The salad toppings I have listened down in the recipe are just recommendations and ideas. Use what you have and whatever is in season. I recommend a nut or seed, something creamy such as avocado or vegan cheese, and a lightly sweet fruit such as figs or pomegranates. These additional flavors and textures aren’t required of course. The salad is fantastic as is. But adding these topping will create a more intricate flavor profile and visual appeal. Go crazy!

Meal Prep

Finally, did I mention that this salad is perfect for meal prepping? Move over boring salads and bland sandwiches…prepare this on Sunday instead to get you through the upcoming work week. Store the vegetables, salad, and salad dressing separately in your fridge and assemble everything the evening before. Super simple, flavorful, satisfying, (insert more wonderfully descriptive adjectives here). You get the idea. This warm autumn vegetable salad with pumpkin tahini dressing is a packed lunch that will definitely keep you going long into the afternoon.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Carrots-vitamin A, fiber, manganese, niacin, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C

Cranberries-vitamin C, fiber, phytonutrients

Garlic-phytochemicals

Pumpkin- fiber, potassium, selenium, vitamin A

Sweet potatoes-vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, potassium, fiber

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Warm Winter Vegetable Salad with Pumpkin Tahini Dressing

Warm winter vegetable salad drizzled with pumpkin tahini dressing. All you need are two sheet pans and a bowl for this amazingly satisfying lunch. Vegan, gluten-free with nut- and oil-free options this salad makes a fantastic side or meal and works great for meal prepping.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Assembly5 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: easy, gluten-free, meal prep, nut-free, oil-free, pumpkin, salad, tahini, vegan, vegetables
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

Warm Winter Vegetables

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, diced
  • 1 delicata sqush, de-seeded, diced
  • 2-3 parsnips, peeled, cored, diced
  • 4 mutlicolored carrots, peeled, diced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1, 15oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • avocado oil spray omit if oil-free
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • red chili pepper flakes, to taste

Salad Dressing

  • 3 tbsp runny tahini
  • 2 tbsp canned pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • tsp onion powder
  • 5 tbsp water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Salad

  • 4 cups lettuce of choice (arugula, spinach, butter lettuce…)
  • chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
  • toasted pumpkin seeds
  • vegan feta cheese
  • avocado diced
  • pomegrante arils
  • fresh figs

Instructions

Warm Winter Vegetables

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl combine pumpkin pie spice, black pepper, and chili flakes (if using). Set aside.
  • Divide prepared sweet potatoes, delicata squash, parsnips, and carrots and place on prepared baking sheets. Spray with avocado oil cooking spray. Top with spice mixture and toss to coat.
  • Roast for 20 minutes then remove from oven and add cranberries and black beans to both baking sheets. Toss to coat and roast for additional 20 mintues.

Salad Dressing

  • In a small bowl whisk all salad dressing ingredients until well combined. If too thick, add water a tbsp at a time until desired consistancy is reached.

Salad

  • To assemble the salad: toss lettuce greens of choice with salad dressing. Divide between 3-4 plates. Top with warm winter vegetables and additional salad toppers. I suggest: chopped walnuts, pecans, or pumpkin seeds; vegan feta or diced avocado; pomegrante seeds or fresh figs.
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