Stunning plant-based entrées

Can anything this good be meatless? And vegan? Yes it can! It’s all about seasonings, textures, and flavorful blends. Plus, much like cooking with meat, poultry, or seafood, it’s also about the cooking method—roasting, sautéing, grilling—and using fantastic flavors.

Creamy Alfredo with Sugar Snap Peas


Enter a truly vegan pasta chock full of creamy garlicky flavor. The silky smooth tofu sauce coupled with garlic and cashew cheese is a delicious vegan alternative with the rich essence of traditional alfredo pasta.

1/4 cup (60 mL) raw cashews or macadamia nuts, soaked

7 Tbsp (105 mL) nutritional yeast, divided

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, plus extra to taste

3 large garlic cloves, divided

3 Tbsp (45 mL) grapeseed or olive oil

2 large shallots, minced

1/2 cup (125 mL) almond or other nondairy milk

3/4 cup (175 mL) soft tofu

Juice and finely grated peel of 1 lemon

1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

3/4 lb (175 mL) pasta noodles such as spaghettini, fettuccine, or rotini

1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar snap peas, trimmed

1/4 cup (60 mL) sweet peas, fresh or frozen, thawed

1/4 cup (60 mL) minced parsley

2 Tbsp (30 mL) minced fresh basil

Crushed dried chilies, optional

Soak nuts in cold water for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. Rinse and drain.

In food processor, make vegan parmesan. Combine soaked nuts, 3 Tbsp (45 mL) nutritional yeast, salt, and 1 smashed and minced garlic clove. Whirl until coarse crumbs. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be refrigerated for a couple of days.

In large frying pan, heat oil. Add shallots and 2 smashed and minced garlic cloves and sauté over medium heat until soft. Transfer to high-speed blender along with milk, tofu, 4 Tbsp (60 mL) nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and pepper. Whirl at high speed until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

In large saucepan, cook pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. About 1 minute before the end of boiling pasta, add snap peas and sweet peas. Return to boil. Then immediately remove from heat; drain pasta and peas, reserving 1/2 cup (125 mL) liquid. Return pasta and peas to pan and stir in creamy tofu sauce. Add a little of the hot boiling water if needed for more creaminess. Add a little more salt, to taste, if you wish.

Serve sprinkled with vegan parmesan, remaining grated lemon peel, minced parsley, and basil. Add crushed chilies, if you wish.

Each serving contains: 509 calories; 16 g protein; 16 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 75 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars, 4 g fiber); 319 mg sodium

Crispy Squash Wedges with Vegan Caesar


Here’s a delicious alternative that will please both vegans and the fussiest of carnivores: squash—crusted and baked to perfection—served with a vegan kale and romaine Caesar salad.

Vegan Caesar dressing

1/2 cup (125 mL) macadamia nuts or cashews, soaked for 2 hours in cold water

1/4 cup (60 mL) cold water

2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil

1 Tbsp (15 mL) blonde miso

1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice

1/2 Tbsp (7 mL) Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, smashed and minced

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper

Crispy wedges

1 medium-sized butternut squash

1/4 cup (60 mL) nut butter such as peanut butter, sunflower seed, or tahini sauce

2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, divided

1/4 cup (60 mL) hemp hearts (hemp seeds)

1/4 cup (60 mL) ground unblanched almonds

1/4 cup (60 mL) nutritional yeast

1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne

For serving

6 cups (1.5 L) chopped Romaine lettuce

2 cups (500 mL) baby kale leaves

To make salad dressing, soak nuts, in enough cold water to cover, for 2 hours. Can be left to soak up to 8 hours, if you wish. Thoroughly rinse and drain. Place in high-speed blender with 1/4 cup (60 mL) cold water, oil, miso, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whirl until very smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can be refrigerated for a couple of days.

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Peel and scrape out seeds. Cut halves crosswise into 1 in (2.5 cm) wedges. Blot dry with paper towelling.

In small bowl, stir nut butter and olive oil together until smooth. Add a splash of water and stir in just until thin enough to smooth over slices of squash. Brush both sides of squash wedges with nut butter mixture.

In wide, shallow bowl, combine hemp hearts, ground almonds, nutritional yeast, cumin, salt, and cayenne. Stir to blend. Dip buttered squash wedges into crumbs to evenly coat, and arrange in single layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until squash is fork tender and coating begins to crisp. Remove and set aside.

In large bowl, place Romaine and kale. Drizzle with Caesar dressing. Toss to coat. Serve wedges of baked squash with Caesar salad on the side.

Each serving contains: 390 calories; 11 g protein; 28 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 30 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugars, 7 g fiber); 539 mg sodium

Perfect Savory Pot Pies


In this tasty concoction, the gentle sautéing of the finely diced vegetables, also known as soffritto, coupled with a splash of white wine and fresh herbs is just the base needed to carry this lovely vegan dish to flavorful heights.


2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed or other neutral-tasting oil

1 small sweet onion, cut into 1/4 in (5 mm) dice

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4 in (5 mm) dice

2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4 in (5 mm) dice

1 medium-sized fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 1/4 in (5 mm) dice

2 large garlic cloves, smashed and minced

1/4 cup (60 mL) dry white wine or 2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice

2 Tbsp (30 mL) flour

2 cups (500 mL) unsalted vegetable stock or water

1 cup (250 mL) nondairy milk

3/4 cup (180 mL) peeled and finely diced potatoes

1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped parsley

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh sage

1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas, thawed

14 oz (398 mL) can navy beans, rinsed and drained

1 tsp (5 mL) salt

1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper


1/2 cup (125 mL) panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped parsley

1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped unblanched almonds or cashews

2 Tbsp (30 mL) nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed or other neutral-tasting oil

Place 6 – 1 cup (250 mL) ramekins on a baking set and set aside.

In large saucepan, heat oil. Add onion, carrot, celery, and fennel and sauté over medium-high heat, stirring often until soft and onion is clear. Stir in garlic and gently soften, about 1 minute. Deglaze pan with wine. Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat vegetables. Gradually stir in stock and milk making sure no lumps form. Stir in diced potatoes, parsley, thyme, and sage. Cover and cook over medium heat until potatoes are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent mixture from sticking.

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Remove pan with simmering vegetables from heat. Remove thyme sprigs and stir in peas, navy beans, salt, and pepper. Divide mixture evenly among 6 ramekins.

In food processor, whirl gratin ingredients just until blended but still chunky. Spoon equal amounts over each ramekin. Bake pot pies on baking sheet in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until topping is golden and filling is piping hot and bubbly around the edges.

Each serving contains: 336 calories; 12 g protein; 15 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 40 g total carbohydrates (8 g sugars, 9 g fiber); 546 mg sodium