Plant-Powered Recipes

Simple Recipes

Below are a few recipes to get you started… and then a list of some of my favorite cookbooks to start exploring.

Couscous Confetti Salad

When I bring this colorful salad to social gatherings, it gets rave reviews, and I always am asked for the recipe.  I sometimes substitute quinoa instead of using couscous (1 cup of dry quinoa, 1.5 cups of water–then prepare the quinoa according to package instructions).  See recipe at Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (

Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup

  • 2 – 3 cups of chopped carrots
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews (can dry roast in pan on medium heat for 5 minutes; or in oven at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes)
  • 2 to 3 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp to 2 tsp fresh grated ginger (depending on how much ginger you like)
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Aminos

In a large soup pot, combine the carrots, onions, and water.  Add the curry powder and ginger.  Cover and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until vegetables are tender.  Place the cooked vegetables, cooking liquid, cashews, and soy sauce into the blender, and blend until creamy.  You may have to do this in batches.  Serve hot and garnish with parsley or cilantro.

Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup plant-based milk (e.g., soy or almond milk)

Saute onion in olive oil or water for 5 to 10 minutes over medium heat, until tender. Add the curry, cumin, and cayenne, and saute about 30 seconds. Add broth, pumpkin, diced tomatoes, and lentils. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Then cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are tender. Puree 2-3 cups of the soup in the blender, then return to the pot. Add the black beans, plant-based milk, and salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick, add a little water as needed. Simmer 5 minutes, adjust seasonings, and serve.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

  • 1 cup raw cashews (can dry roast in pan or in oven for 5 to 10 minutes; optional)
  • 5 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 medium potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch broccoli, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 4 ½ cups)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Place the cashews and 1 cup of vegetable stock in a blender and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.   Put the remaining 4 cups of vegetable stock, the potatoes, and onion in a large pot.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir in the broccoli and basil and return to a simmer.  Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the reserved cashew mixture, pepper, and other optional seasonings.  Bring to a simmer.  Remove from the heat, transfer half of the soup to a blender, and puree.  Return the mixture to the pot, and stir well.  Serve hot.  About 6 servings.

From May All Be Fed by John Robbins

Classic Gazpacho with White Beans

  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup other diced veggies of your choice (e.g., finely chopped carrot or celery)
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced (optional)
  • 3 cups tomato or vegetable juice (preferably low sodium)
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 15-oz can white beans (cannellini, great northern, or navy beans)
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, mix together the tomato/vegetable juice and all of the vegetables.  Puree 1-2 cups of the mixture in the blender for a creamier soup.  Then add in the remaining ingredients:  the red wine vinegar, the beans, parsley or basil, and any seasonings.  Stir to combine.  Chill for 1-2 hours (or can serve at room temperature.)

Crunchy Granola

  • 2 cups rolled oats (uncooked)
  • 1-1/2 cups nuts (I use a combination of almonds, cashews, and walnuts, about 1/2 cup each)
  • 2 TBSP pumpkin seeds (and/or sunflower or sesame seeds)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder (optional)
  • 1 TBSP ground flax seed (optional)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup raisins or chopped dates (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients, except for the raisins/dates, and spread on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes (check after10 minutes, and adjust timing depending on desired level of crunchiness). Let granola rest on baking sheet for about 15 minutes to cool. Add 1/2 cup raisins or dates if desired.

    Beet Burgers

    • 2 raw medium sized beets
    • 1 cup oats
    • 2 cups (15-oz can) beans (aduki beans work well)
    • 2 cloves minced garlic
    • 1 Flax “egg” (1 TBSP flax meal, mixed with 3 TBSP water and allowed to sit for 5 minutes)
    • Spices as desired
    • Salt and pepper

    Process the oats in a food processor until ground into flour. Set aside. Peel the raw beets, and shred or grate them in the food processor. Add 1/2 cup of the oat flour and remaining ingredients. Pulse until combined, then mix in the remaining flour. Form into patties. Heat a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, and cook over medium heat about 3 minutes per side. Even if you’d like to grill the patties, it’s best to cook them on the stove first–they will hold together better.

    Black Bean Sweet Potato Burger

    • 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 peeled baked sweet potato
    • 1/2 cup oats
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
    • 1 TBSP flax meal
    • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
    • 1 to 2 TBSP onion powder
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp of other spices as desired – chili powder, smoked paprika, basil, and/or oregano

    Mash black beans into baked sweet potato.  Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well.  Form patties.  Bake on parchment paper-lined baking pan at 350 degrees, for 8 to 10 minutes per side.  It’s okay to bake longer as needed for the patties to be done. 

    Note: I often freeze any extra burgers, and then grill or re-heat them on a skillet when ready for use. Both the beet burgers and the black bean sweet potato burgers always get rave reviews at cook-outs!

    Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

    For chocolate lovers, here’s a decadent treat that’s full of antioxidants.

    • 1 to 2 cups spinach, tightly packed (or more, for maximum
    • nutrition)
    • 1 cup frozen cherries
    • 1 banana (peeled, cut into chunks, and frozen)
    • 1/4 avocado
    • 1 TBSP raw cacao powder
    • 1 date, chopped (optional)
    • 1 ½ cups non-dairy milk (e.g., soy or almond)
    • 1 to 2 TBSP flax meal or chia seed (optional)

    Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.

    Moosewood Restaurant Vegan Chocolate Cake

    One of the biggest challenges when I first became vegan was mastering vegan baking. But once I tried this AWESOME chocolate cake at the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York, and found the recipe, I knew all would be well. I’ve since made this cake several times and it is absolutely delicious. Chocolate lovers delight!

    Chocolate Almond Macaroons

    These are simple, delicious, and made with wholesome ingredients!

    Other Favorite Recipes:

    Chloe’s Cookbook by Chloe Coscarelli

    • Fettucine Alfredo (with cashew cream alfredo)
    • Avocado Pesto Pasta
    • Best-Ever Baked Macaroni and Cheese (with cashew “cheese” sauce)
    • Ooh-La-La Lasagna
    • Penne alla Vodka
    • Peanutty Perfection Noodles
    • Artichoke-Walnut Pesto Crostini
    • Tuscan Beans and Greens Soup
    • Cheesy Broccoli Soup
    • Southern Skillet Black-eyed Peas
    • Tempeh Piccata
    • Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes

    Eating Vegan by Dianne Wenz

    • Kung Pao Seitan (I often substitute tofu)
    • Sweet and Sour Tofu
    • Tempeh Teriyaki
    • Chickpea Curry
    • Red Bean Jambalaya
    • Mac and “Cheese”
    • Chili Corn Bread Casserole

    The 30-Day Vegan Challenge by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

    • Smoky White Bean Chowder
    • Spicy Red Bell Pepper Soup
    • Chickpea Crepes (Socca) with Balsamic Mushrooms and Kale
    • Giambotta (Vegetable Stew)
    • Vegetable Pot Pie with Cobbler Crust
    • Pasta Alfredo with Walnut Parmesan
    • Cowboy Cookies

    Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook by Del Sroufe

    This cookbook is filled with many delicious, healthy plant-powered recipes, including soups, stews, casseroles, and stir-fries (too many to list!) Nearly every week, I make a big pot of soup from this cookbook.

    PlantYou: 140+ Ridiculously Easy, Amazingly Delicious, Plant-Based, Oil-Free Recipes by Carleigh Bodrug

    This cookbook has lots of delicious and healthy, oil-free recipes, including soups, bowls, main dishes, and lots of great sauces. Beautiful pictures of the recipes and the ingredients.

    Vegan Planet by Robin Roberts

    This cookbook is filled with a huge variety of delicious vegan recipes from all types of cuisines.