I spend a lot of time searching the internet for recipe inspiration. Especially eating a mostly vegan/vegetarian diet, I have to get creative and use big flavors to keep things tasty.

Keep reading for my three favorite meals that I’ve made over the past few months. Mostly vegan, but they can be modified to suit your preferences. I hope this can give you guys some inspiration and save you some time.

While I don’t create my own recipes, I frequently will combine recipes from different sources, so I have included links, as well as notes on preparation.

Disclaimer: Please forgive my poor food photography skills, I’m working on it! 

Roasted Chickpeas and Squash with Masala Sauce, Broccoli and Quinoa

The roasted chickpeas/broccoli/squash is a common base that I use to put together a simple, nutritious meal. By changing up the sauce and/or the spices I put on the chickpeas, I’m able to vary the flavors. Feel free to change the quinoa to brown rice or another grain of your choice.

  • Roasted Chickpeas: I use Chrissy Tiegan’s rub that’s intended for chicken (use the spices underneath “for the chicken and corn”). I coat the chickpeas with a little olive oil, then roll them around in this rub and bake them in the oven – about 20 minutes at 350F, as I don’t want them to be crispy. Sooo good. If you’re not veg, you can definitely just make this with chicken.
  • Squash: tossed in a bit of olive oil, generous salt and pepper, and a dash of cinnamon, roasted until tender in the oven.
  • Broccoli: To make it crisp-tender, cut it up and put the broccoli in boiling water for 3 minutes, then rinse under cold water. Works every time. But, it depends on how you like your broccoli. Definitely cook it longer if you like it on the soft side.
  • Pinch of Yum’s Life-Changing Masala Sauce: this stuff is so good. If you don’t have the ingredients (or a food processor), I think this combo would be great with any number of other sauces. Google what you like or pick up something pre-made from the store and make it happen!
  • Quinoa: Cookie and Kate’s recipe for quinoa has changed my life!


Colorful Beet Salad from Cookie and Kate

Hello Fall!!!

This is a healthier option, that I do NOT recommend if you don’t like beets, or salad. But I do, and I thought it was awesome.

  • This recipe for Colorful Beet Salad with some modifications:
    • I roasted cut up carrot and edamame in the oven to add more flavor
    • No avocado
    • If you don’t have access to fresh beets, I think this would work just as well with canned beets that you chop up by hand.
  • Marinated Tofu
    • The Lemon Herb Tofu from the Gentlemanly Tomato has been my ride or die, go-to marinade for a long time. Your tofu will be really delicious and not bland this way.
    • Again,feel free to substitute a meat or bean of your choice here. I also think this marinade would work well with any protein.
  • To assemble:
    • I love hot and cold salads. So, while the tofu, carrots and edamame were heating up, I threw together my greens, beets and dressing. Top the salad with the hot stuff and enjoy!

Pumpkin Walnut Chili on Cauliflower Rice

Looks waaayyy better than it tastes, I promise you!

  • Pinch of Yum’s Vegan Pumpkin Walnut Chili is to die for. So good.
    •  No Instant Pot. I made it on the stove. No problem.
    • Two bell peppers instead of the poblanos (can’t get them here).
    • Canned chipotles in adobo instead of peppers (maybe 2 – 3 tablespoons)
    • Only one cup of chopped walnuts, and one can of beans, no bulgur. I knew if I used all that I would never be able to eat it all.
  • Cauliflower Rice, but you could use real rice, or whatever is easiest. I just like to add an extra vegetable to everything… because… nutrients.
  • Side Note 1: the author is right; the chopped walnuts really give this a texture that feels like ground meat. It’s crazy. I kept thinking I was eating meat! I will definitely be making this again.
  • Note 2: Pumpkin is pretty sweet, so make sure you use enough salt to balance out the flavors. Definitely taste at the end and if you taste it and feel it’s missing something, try adding a bit more salt.
  • Note 3: When I was in my teens, I was afraid of eating beans. The texture freaked me out. If this is you, you can teach yourself to like beans like I did! Omit the lentils and walnuts, use ground meat, and add one can of black beans. That will get you used to the texture. And you’ll realize… beans are great!


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