It's a Veg World After All https://itsavegworldafterall.com Seasonal Recipes & Nutrition by Lizzie Streit Fri, 15 Nov 2019 17:33:17 -0600 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/cropped-VegWorld_SquareLogo_Purple_600x600-32x32.jpg It's a Veg World After All https://itsavegworldafterall.com 32 32 Homemade Spiced Carrot Pie https://itsavegworldafterall.com/carrot-pie/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/carrot-pie/#respond Fri, 15 Nov 2019 17:33:15 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=12944 This delicious carrot pie is a great addition to any Thanksgiving menu! Made with cooked carrots and warm fall spices, you won’t be able to resist getting a second piece. Move over pumpkin, carrot pie is here to stay! Carrots in pie?! Say whaaaa?! Yup. It happened. And it’s delicious. I have been wanting to...

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This delicious carrot pie is a great addition to any Thanksgiving menu! Made with cooked carrots and warm fall spices, you won’t be able to resist getting a second piece. Move over pumpkin, carrot pie is here to stay!

close up of homemade carrot pie in a baking dish on a counter

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Carrots in pie?! Say whaaaa?! Yup. It happened. And it’s delicious.

I have been wanting to make a carrot pie for the blog for a couple years now, and I knew that it had to happen this holiday season.

It took a few tries to get this recipe just right, and I’m so glad with how the finished product turned out! Biting into a piece of this sweet treat is well worth the time it takes to make the recipe.

Why You’ll Love Carrot Pie

I know what you’re probably thinking though. Is carrot pie good? Like…actually? YES IT IS. It’s like a sweet potato pie but BETTER. (No offense to sweet potatoes.)

Plus, I added allspice, ginger, and cinnamon to the filling and sweetened it with maple syrup, which made for the most perfectly caramelized layer on top. I’m telling you, this is a must make for your family on Thanksgiving (or even Easter!!).

And just in case you can’t get enough carrot-based holiday desserts, make a batch of my Classic Thumbprint Cookies with Carrot Jam while you’re at it!

side view of a slice of carrot pie with a dollop of whipped cream

How to Make Carrot Pie

First, you’ll need a 9″ pie crust of course! Homemade pie crust would be great, but you can use frozen, store-bought crust as well.

  1. Be sure to pre-bake (“blind bake”) the crust for 12-15 minutes at 425 degrees F, with parchment (or foil) fitted on top and dried beans or rice on top of that to weigh it down.
  2. Next, add 1 pound of roughly chopped carrots to a saucepan with an inch of water. Bring to a boil, cover, then lower heat to medium and cook until tender.

3. Add the cooked carrots to a blender or food processor with the other
ingredients.
4. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.
5. Pour filling into the pre-baked crust. Put in the oven!

Expert Tips

Since I had to make this pie a few times to get it just right, I have a lot of good tips to share with you. Follow these, and you’ll make a perfect carrot pie on the first try!

  • Only use an inch or so of water to cook the carrots before you blend them for the filling. After they cook, drain the water and return the pot with the carrots back to the stove to “steam” off any excess moisture for a few minutes. I tried boiling them in a whole pot of water and did not return them to the pot to “steam” off excess water the first time, and this made the filling too watery.
  • Make sure to use heavy whipping cream, like the recipe says, or substitute evaporated milk. Do not try it with plain milk or even half and half. These options will make the filling too watery when combined with the carrots.
  • Pre-bake your pie crust before you add the filling. I used a frozen pie crust and baked it at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. You can also use a homemade pie crust and bake it for 12-15 minutes at this temperature. Just remember to line it with parchment paper or foil, and add dried beans or rice on top while it’s pre-baking. Check out this great article from Sally’s Baking Addiction for more tips.
  • To avoid burnt crust edges, cover the edges with a little foil while you are baking the pie.
  • The pie is finished baking when the center no longer “jiggles” when you shake the pie dish with your hands. A small jiggle is OK, because it will continue to thicken up as it cools, but the filling should not be sloshing around.
  • Let carrot pie cool completely, for 30 minutes at room temp and then an hour in the fridge, before slicing.
slice of carrot pie with whipped cream on a white plate

Carrot pie tastes great with a dollop of whipped cream. I made my own by blending the rest of the heavy whipping cream (yay for no food waste!) with some confectioner’s sugar.

If you’re wondering what else you should serve on Thanksgiving, check out these dishes:

homemade carrot pie with pecans in the center next to carrots and whipped cream

I love to hear from you!

If you make this recipe, be sure to rate and review it in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow and tag @its_a_vegworld_afterall on Instagram! Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

side view of a slice of carrot pie with a dollop of whipped cream
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Carrot Pie

A delicious pie made with cooked carrots and fall spices. It's perfect for Thanksgiving!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 6 slices
Calories 441kcal
Cost $10 to 15

Equipment

  • pie dish
  • saucepan + lid
  • blender or food processor

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch pie crust pre-baked
  • 1 pound carrots peeled and trimmed
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream can sub evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. However, if you need to pre-bake the crust, increase heat to 425 degrees F. Carefully line the pie crust with parchment or foil, and put dried beans or rice (something to weigh it down) on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and discard the parchment.
  • Roughly chop the peeled carrots, place them in a large saucepan, and cover with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and then reduce heat to medium. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Drain the excess water in the pan and return it (with the carrots) to the stove. Turn the heat back on to medium and let the carrots cook for a few minutes to "steam" off any excess moisture.
  • Add the cooked carrots, heavy cream, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and salt to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the filling in the pie crust. If desired, cover the edges of the crust with a little foil to avoid burnt edges.
  • Bake for 50-65 minutes (at 375 F), or until the center of the pie no longer "jiggles" and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top of the pie should be slightly caramelized.
  • Remove from oven and let it cool for 30 minutes at room temp before putting it in the fridge for another 60 minutes to finish cooling. Slice with a sharp knife, and serve with whipped cream!

Notes

  • Don’t skip the step of letting the cooked carrots “steam” off any excess water, or else you run the risk of the filling being too watery.
  • Substituting regular milk or half and half will also make the filling too watery.
  • You can use homemade or store-bought pie crust.
  • Cover leftovers tightly with foil or plastic wrap. They will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 441kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 136mg | Sodium: 412mg | Potassium: 420mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 13331IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 1mg

Happy Thanksgiving!
Lizzie

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Gluten Free Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Oatmeal Topping https://itsavegworldafterall.com/lighter-sweet-potato-casserole/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/lighter-sweet-potato-casserole/#respond Thu, 14 Nov 2019 21:02:05 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=9490 This healthy Gluten Free Sweet Potato Casserole is made with an oatmeal topping. It’s a lighter version of classic holiday sweet potatoes that your guests will love! Info on how to make this vegan or nut-free is also included. This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure. If you have...

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This healthy Gluten Free Sweet Potato Casserole is made with an oatmeal topping. It’s a lighter version of classic holiday sweet potatoes that your guests will love! Info on how to make this vegan or nut-free is also included.

dish with gluten free sweet potato casserole next to a plate with a serving of it

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

If you have celebrated Thanksgiving with my family, then you know that we adore sweet potato casserole! My mom makes the same recipe every year, from a newspaper clipping that was published in the early ’90s. It’s a decadent, melt-in-your-mouth treat that has become a treasured staple in our Thanksgiving spread.

This lighter, gluten free sweet potato casserole isn’t meant to compete with my mom’s tried-and-true recipe. After all, the sweet potato casserole the big thing on our table

But for others, every Thanksgiving dish may be pretty darn decadent. Of course there’s nothing wrong with this, but there’s usually room to make a few dishes a little lighter without sacrificing taste and tradition.

This idea is exactly what inspired me to create a healthy sweet potato casserole. When we tried the final product, Will and I both agreed that it was still downright delicious but just overall felt “lighter” as it went down, hence the name.

sweet potatoes, coconut milk, spices, nuts/seeds, butter, egg, vanilla, and honey

A Healthy, Gluten Free Sweet Potato Casserole for the win!

This dish has a lot going for it, including:

  • OATMEAL TOPPING. This is what makes it gluten free – a delicious oat-based crumble that features pecans and pumpkin seeds too. Hello, extra fiber! Plus, I only needed to use a couple tablespoons of maple syrup and butter to keep the crumble topping together, instead of the typical amounts. It is rich enough from the healthy fats in the nuts and seeds.
  • It’s a great companion to other Thanksgiving sides, like the Healthier Green Bean Casserole with Almonds and the Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Parsnips.
  • You can make it ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when you’re ready to cook it!

finished sweet potato casserole on a white counter with a grey napkin

This recipe also features full-fat coconut milk instead of heavy cream. If you’re not a big coconut fan, don’t worry; the taste is very subtle. But if you do love coconut, Will suggested that you add shredded coconut to the topping for this casserole.

Sounds like he should get a pay raise, huh? (And by pay, I mean more leftovers from recipe testing).

How to Make Gluten Free Sweet Potato Casserole

Don’t be intimidated by this recipe. It’s so easy! (More info in the recipe card…)

  1. Scrub and chop the sweet potatoes. You can leave the skins on for extra fiber or peel them if you want. Add them to a pot of boiling water and cook until tender.
  2. Remove from heat, drain the water, and add the rest of the filling ingredients.
  3. Blend with a hand mixer.
  4. Transfer to a greased 9×13 baking dish. Spread out evenly.
  5. Make the topping by combining oats, pecans, and pumpkin seeds in a food processor and pulsing until chopped. Mix with butter and maple syrup and “crumble” on top of the casserole.

Then, of course, put it in the oven to bake!!!

a cutting board with a knife and diced sweet potatoes next to a black pot diced sweet potatoes, spices, eggs, and coconut milk in a black pot on a counter blended sweet potato in a large black pot sweet potato casserole filling in a glass 9x13 baking dish sweet potato casserole before it goes in the oven in a glass 9x13 dish



FAQ and Expert Tips – Substitutions, Storing, Serving

  • To make vegan: use coconut oil instead of butter and a flax egg in place of the egg (1 tbsp milled flaxseed with 3 tbsp water, let it sit for a few minutes to gel together).
  • To make nut-free: eliminate the pecans and add 1/4 cup more oats and 1/4 cup more pumpkin seeds instead. Or add 1/2 cup shredded coconut in place of the pecans.
  • Can you freeze this gluten free sweet potato casserole? Sure can. Prepare the filling and spread it into a baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and then with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months, or use a throw-away freezable baking dish and cover. Take it out to thaw in the fridge the day before you want to make it. Make the topping and put it on the casserole right before you put it in the oven.
  • How long will sweet potato casserole keep? About 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave.

gluten free sweet potato casserole on a white plate

Not sure what else to serve with gluten free sweet potato casserole? Check out the Turnip and Beet Gratin with Gruyere, Vegan Mushroom and Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf, Roasted Pumpkin Salad, and Slow Cooker Arugula Mashed Potatoes.

If you make this recipe, be sure to let me know how you like it by rating and reviewing! And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram.

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Oatmeal Topping

A lighter twist on traditional sweet potato casserole with gluten free ingredients. Enjoy for Thanksgiving or Christmas!

For the filling:

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (full-fat, from the can)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp butter (melted)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 3 qt baking dish, like a French Corningware, or 9×13 baking dish. 

  2. Prepare the sweet potatoes by scrubbing them and roughly chopping into large pieces. You can peel them if desired, but I left the skin on for added fiber. Add them to a large pot and cover with a few inches of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes on medium-high heat for ~15 minutes or until they are tender. 

  3. Remove the cooked sweet potatoes from heat and drain the excess water. Add the coconut milk, maple syrup, egg, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to the pot. Use a hand mixer to blend until smooth. Transfer the filling to the greased baking dish and use a spatula to spread it out evenly.

  4. To make the topping, add the pumpkin seeds, pecans, and oats to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. If you do not have a food processor, you can roughly chop the seeds and pecans with a knife and leave the oats intact. In a small bowl, mix together the chopped seeds, pecans, and oats with the cinnamon, sea salt, maple syrup, and melted butter.

  5. Crumble the topping on top of the filling. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is slightly browned. Enjoy warm! 

  • To make vegan: use coconut oil in place of butter and a flax egg in place of egg (mix 1 tbsp milled flaxseed with 3 tbsp water).
  • To make nut-free: eliminate the pecans and add 1/4 cup more oats and 1/4 cup more pumpkin seeds or 1/2 cup shredded coconut in their place.
  • Make ahead/freezing instructions: Prepare the filling and spread it into the  baking dish, cover tightly with foil and then with plastic wrap (or use a throw-away baking dish). Freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge the day before you want to make it. Make the topping right before you put it in the oven.
  • Leftovers will last 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. 

This post was originally published in November 2018. It was updated with new photos and expert tips in November 2019.

Cheers to family traditions!

Lizzie

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Vegan Mushroom and Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf https://itsavegworldafterall.com/wild-rice-mushroom-pilaf-cranberries/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/wild-rice-mushroom-pilaf-cranberries/#comments Wed, 13 Nov 2019 17:46:46 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=7776 Upgrade your holiday menu with this delicious wild rice pilaf, featuring mushrooms and fresh cranberries! It’s a vegan and gluten free wild rice side dish recipe that looks beautiful on a Thanksgiving or Christmas table. This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure. A few winters ago, I was fortunate enough...

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Upgrade your holiday menu with this delicious wild rice pilaf, featuring mushrooms and fresh cranberries! It’s a vegan and gluten free wild rice side dish recipe that looks beautiful on a Thanksgiving or Christmas table.

wild rice pilaf with mushrooms and cranberries in a white bowl topped with sage

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

A few winters ago, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the book “In Winter’s Kitchen” by a Minneapolis food writer named Beth Dooley. It has since become one of my favorite books about food! Dooley highlights a different local food in each chapter, and weaves in stories about the food’s history and her personal experience with it. 

Both wild rice and cranberries, two of the main ingredients in this wild rice pilaf, are highlighted in Dooley’s book. After learning about their intensive growing and harvesting processes, I appreciate these Midwestern staples in a new way!

And I’m so excited to share this festive recipe with all of you. I think it would go great with my Healthier Green Bean Casserole and Turnip and Beet Gratin, and most of my other holiday side dishes, don’t you agree?

close up of wild rice pilaf with mushrooms and cranberries in a white bowl

The BEST Wild Rice Pilaf Recipe

I didn’t know much about wild rice before I moved to Minnesota, but now I absolutely love this delicious (and highly nutritious) grain. It has a nutty, earthy taste. I encourage you try it, and make wild rice pilaf a staple of your Thanksgiving dinner!

Specifically, you should make this easy, healthy, and flavorful version ;-). I may be biased, but I think it’s hands-down the best wild rice pilaf out there, and I have some back-up from family members too.

Here’s why you’ll LOVE it:

  • It’s a nutritious but tasty dish, that’s naturally vegan and gluten free.
  • You can make it ahead of time, and serve it cold or hot!
  • Tart cranberries are an excellent companion to meaty mushrooms and hearty wild rice, and earthy sage rounds out the whole dish.


ingredients for mushroom cranberry wild rice pilaf labeled on a white counterop

Is wild rice pilaf healthy?

YES, this dish is actually incredibly nutritious. In fact, one cup of wild rice has 28 grams of protein! Who knew?!

Not only is wild rice rich in protein, but it is also loaded with fiber and various phytonutrients that act as antioxidants and can help fight underlying cell damage in the body.

How to Make Wild Rice Pilaf

  1. Prepare the wild rice by following the instructions on the package. Depending on the type/brand you get, it may take longer than I suggest to cook it. While the wild rice is cooking, cook the onions and mushrooms until tender in a large skillet.
  2. Add the cranberries and cook until they “pop” and are able to be “smushed” down with your spoon.
  3. Add the fresh sage to the skillet.
  4. Once the wild rice is finished, add that to the rest of the ingredients.

sauteed mushrooms and onion in a black skillet on a white countertop sauteed mushrooms, onions, and cranberries in a black skillet on a white countertop mushrooms, onions, cranberries, sage in a black skillet on a white countertop sauteed mushrooms, cranberries, and wild rice in a black skillet on a counter

FAQ and Tips for Cooking Wild Rice

To get perfectly tender wild rice for pilaf, follow these expert tips.

  • Use a wild rice to liquid ratio of 1 to 3. I personally prefer to cook wild rice in broth, but you can cook it in water too.
  • Although most packages will suggest fully covering the wild rice and reducing the heat to a simmer, I found the most success with a loose-fitting lid that I tilted up slightly to let some steam out. I also cooked it over low-medium heat, instead of a full simmer.
  • I have made this recipe with Trader Joe’s wild rice and true Minnesota wild rice (that was harvested by hand and is accessible to me in Minneapolis). It tastes great with both kinds, but it took much longer to cook the true Minnesota wild rice than the TJ’s kind, likely because of the differences in processing and harvesting. Here is more information on cultivated vs. true wild rice, if you are interested.

Should you rinse wild rice?

It’s always best practice to rinse grains to remove any dust or dirt. You can rinse wild rice in a sieve with cold water.

Do you need to soak wild rice?

No, but it will cook much faster if you do. Try soaking it in a bowl of cold water on the counter or in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

If you are making this wild rice pilaf recipe for Thanksgiving and want to cut back on cooking time, I’d recommend soaking the wild rice beforehand.

Can wild rice be cooked in a slow cooker?

Yes! Add the rice and liquid to a crockpot in a 1:3 ratio. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6-7 hours. This would be another great way to save time while making this dish.

What is the best way to flavor wild rice?

Cook wild rice in vegetable or chicken broth for the best flavor. Fresh herbs, like sage and thyme, taste great with this type of rice too.

side view of wild rice pilaf in a white bowl with sage and cranberries on the side

Wild rice pilaf can be eaten warm right after cooking, or can be made ahead of time and enjoyed cold or reheated. You can reheat it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes on high or in a preheated oven (~250 degrees F) for 10-15 minutes.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

More Vegan Holiday Dishes

If you make this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and let me know how you like it in the comments below!

Vegan Mushroom and Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf

A delicious side dish with Midwestern roots. It would be especially tasty on your Thanksgiving or Christmas table!

  • 1 cup wild rice (dry)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 pounds mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 heaping tbsp fresh sage (chopped)
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • Ground black pepper (to taste)
  1. In a small saucepan, bring three cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Add wild rice, reduce to a medium-low boil/simmer, and cover with a loose-fitting lid. If you can tilt the lid up slightly, so that it lets some steam out, that will help the rice cook. Cook according to package instructions. Some varieties may only take 20-25 minutes, others take 40-50 minutes.

  2. While the rice is cooking, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook down for ~10 minutes. You may want to add a splash of vegetable stock for more flavor. Next, add the cranberries and cook for another 5 minutes or until they begin to "pop." Stir in the fresh sage.

  3. When the rice is finished, drain the excess liquid and add it to the mushroom/cranberry mixture. You can heat it up in the same skillet or in a serving dish in the microwave, or serve cold. Serve with more fresh sage, salt, and pepper to taste.

  • To reduce cooking time, soak wild rice in a bowl with cold water overnight or for 3-4 hours before cooking.
  • You can also prep the wild rice in a slow cooker to save time. Add the rice and stock, cover, and cook on high for 3-4 hours.
  • You can make this ahead of time and serve cold or reheated (in the microwave for 2-3 minutes or in a preheated oven for 10-15 minutes). 
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

This post was originally published in November 2017. It was updated with new photos and expert tips in November 2019.

Happy cooking!

Lizzie

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One Pot Veggie Mac and Cheese https://itsavegworldafterall.com/veggie-mac-and-cheese/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/veggie-mac-and-cheese/#respond Tue, 12 Nov 2019 23:42:40 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=12779 Whip up this creamy vegetarian mac and cheese for an easy, comforting meal in 30 minutes! It’s loaded with veggies and made with simple ingredients – a no fuss dish that the whole family will love. We are officially in the crazy, rush-around-for-a-million-different-things holiday season! And since it’s been unseasonably cold here in Minnesota (and...

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Whip up this creamy vegetarian mac and cheese for an easy, comforting meal in 30 minutes! It’s loaded with veggies and made with simple ingredients – a no fuss dish that the whole family will love.

veggie mac and cheese in a gray bowl with a fork next to a blue napkin

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

We are officially in the crazy, rush-around-for-a-million-different-things holiday season! And since it’s been unseasonably cold here in Minnesota (and in many parts of the country), I feel like Thanksgiving and Christmas are closer than they actually are.

But regardless of what day of the month it actually is, holiday craziness is upon us. And you know what happens during this super busy time of year?

We get a little too focused on what new side dish we should bring to our aunt’s house for Thanksgiving dinner and a lot less focused on everyday meals. So that’s why I created this easy veggie mac and cheese recipe for you!

Here’s why I think this recipe is going to become your go-to this season (and maybe all throughout the year!):

  • It’s made in ONE pot. Buh bye, entire sink of dirty dishes.
  • You can customize it with whatever veggies you please!
  • It’s MAC AND CHEESE, a.k.a. the great comfort food of America. But you’ll be making it from scratch with fresher ingredients, meaning it’s going to taste better than the boxed stuff we all know and love.
grated cheese, elbow macaroni, millk, carrots, and broccoli on a white countertop

How to Make Vegetarian Mac and Cheese

If you are familiar with my One Pot Mushroom Spaghetti, then you know that making one pot pasta dishes is incredibly easy. However, most people don’t actually know how to do it!

Here are the basic steps for making this veggie mac and cheese (more info in the recipe card below):

  1. Dice the veggies. Throw them in a large pot with some olive oil and let them cook down for a few minutes.
  2. Add dry elbow macaroni (you can use whole wheat for added nutrition if desired), milk, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, cover, and then reduce heat to medium-low.
  3. Cook until the macaroni is al dente, and be sure to stir it every couple of minutes!
  4. Remove from heat, stir in the cheese, and add another splash of milk as needed.

Want to try another veggie-loaded pasta recipe while you’re here? Check out the One Pot Pumpkin Tomato Pasta or the Lentil Pasta Primavera with Frozen Vegetables.

What veggies go well with mac and cheese?

For those of you who aren’t the biggest broccoli or carrot fans, feel free to mix and match any veggies on the following list. These ones go great with M&C:

  • Cauliflower
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Bell peppers
  • Butternut squash
  • Spinach
  • Brussels sprouts

Can you make this recipe with frozen vegetables?

Yes! You can use frozen vegetables in veggie mac and cheese. Sautee them in olive oil before adding the rest of the ingredients, just as you would do with fresh veggies. Or you can use a mix of frozen and fresh veg.

What is the best cheese for homemade mac and cheese?

The combination of sharp white cheddar and parmesan in this recipe was incredibly delicious. These two cheeses contribute a sharp, slightly aged taste. But you can also use mozzarella, gouda, fontina, gruyere, and even goat cheese.

veggie mac and cheese in a black pot being stirred with a wooden spoon

Tips for Serving and Storing

Veggie mac and cheese is best when eaten right away, but you can store leftovers for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes before eating.

For other easy one pot/pan meals, check out the One Pan Lemon Artichoke Chicken, Farmers Market One Pan Ratatouille, and Sheet Pan Orange Glazed Salmon and Broccolini.

one pot veggie mac and cheese in a bowl next to a pot and napkin

If you make this recipe, be sure to rate and review it in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow and tag @its_a_vegworld_afterall on Instagram! Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

veggie mac and cheese in a gray bowl next to a blue napkin
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One Pot Vegetarian Mac and Cheese

Enjoy this simple veggie mac and cheese for a quick, comforting meal.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 566kcal
Cost $12 total

Equipment

  • large pot
  • wooden spoon
  • cutting board and knife

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed or minced
  • 3 cups broccoli florets from ~1 head
  • 3 carrots washed, trimmed, and sliced
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni dried; can use plain or whole wheat
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion, garlic, broccoli florets, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until slightly tender.
  • Add the macaroni, milk, and vegetable broth. Increase heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook for ~10 minutes, or until the macaroni is al dente. Be sure to give the pot a good stir every 2-3 minutes to promote cooking.
  • While the pasta and veggies are cooking, prepare the grated cheese. Remove the pasta from heat and stir in the cheese. You may want to add another splash of milk if needed. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Don’t forget to stir the mac and cheese while it’s cooking!
  • Substitute other vegetables as desired. You can also use frozen vegetables and cook them in the same way as you would cook the fresh ones in this recipe.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 566kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 736mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 8735IU | Vitamin C: 68mg | Calcium: 502mg | Iron: 2mg

Enjoy your big bowl of veggies (and cheese)!

Lizzie

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Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Apple Cider Dressing https://itsavegworldafterall.com/roasted-pumpkin-salad/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/roasted-pumpkin-salad/#respond Mon, 11 Nov 2019 23:46:34 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=12752 This flavorful pumpkin salad recipe features diced pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, baby greens, goat cheese, and a tangy dressing made from apple cider vinegar, mustard, and maple syrup. It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser on your Thanksgiving or Christmas table! In the next few weeks, you will see tons of updated and new Thanksgiving and...

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This flavorful pumpkin salad recipe features diced pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, baby greens, goat cheese, and a tangy dressing made from apple cider vinegar, mustard, and maple syrup. It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser on your Thanksgiving or Christmas table!

pumpkin salad in a large bowl with silver utensils on top of a yellow napkin

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

In the next few weeks, you will see tons of updated and new Thanksgiving and holiday recipes on the blog! But before we get to the green bean casseroles, cranberry sauces, pies, and more, I wanted to start with a lighter dish for your holiday spread.

I made this Roasted Pumpkin Salad with both flavor and color in mind. It turns out that bright orange pumpkin looks gorgeous on top of leafy greens, and pairs exceptionally well with crunchy seeds, sweet dried cranberries, and tangy apple cider vinegar.

So if you’re looking for a cold weather salad that’s both pretty and tasty, you really can’t go wrong with this one! It’s also a “no waste” recipe, meaning you use both the pumpkin flesh and the seeds. A winning dish, I’ll say!

ingredients for roasted pumpkin salad in small bowls on a white countertop

Which pumpkin is best for salad?

If you’ve ever visited a grocery store in the fall (which I’m sure all of you have), then you know there are TONS of pumpkin varieties.

To make this salad, I used a small pie pumpkin (also known as a sugar pumpkin), but you can use any type of small pumpkin. I personally think that pie pumpkins have the best seeds for roasting though!

Want to browse some more pumpkin recipes? Check out the Pumpkin Black Bean Dip, One Pot Pumpkin Tomato Pasta, and Vegan Peanut Butter Cups with Pumpkin.

How to Make Pumpkin Salad

Once you have your pumpkin for this recipe, you simply need to prepare the roasted pumpkin and seeds and then gather the other ingredients.

First, slice the top off the pumpkin and then cut it in half lengthwise. Use your spoon to remove the seeds and transfer them to a colander. Remove the outside skin from the pumpkin halves with a knife or swivel peeler.

Use a sharp knife to slice each half into strips and then into cubes (see photo 1 above). Transfer the pumpkin cubes to a lined baking sheet, drizzle with EVOO, and pop in the oven (see photo 2)!

Next, run cold water over the pumpkin seeds in the colander and use your hands to remove the orange, stringy flesh. Transfer to a paper towel and pat dry. Then spread evenly on a baking sheet, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper, and put the sheet in the oven (see photos 3 and 4).

Once the roasted pumpkin and seeds are ready, toss them with the other ingredients and pour the dressing over the salad. YUM.

side angle of roasted pumpkin salad in a large green and brown bowl

Expert Tips for Pumpkin Salad

  • If you are serving this salad at a later time, wait to dress it until right before you plan to eat. You can make this salad even a day in advance, and keep it in a bowl covered with plastic or reusable beeswax wrap until you are ready.
  • Be careful not to burn the pumpkin seeds, and check on them every 5 minutes. They are finished roasting when they are slightly brown in color.
  • I recommend that you use a mix of baby greens (kale, spinach, and chard) but you can use just baby kale or baby spinach. It would also taste good with arugula.
  • To increase the fiber content of this recipe, keep the skin on the pumpkin.
    To make this vegan, take out the goat cheese.
  • No pumpkin? Sub butternut, acorn, or delicata squash. You can prepare the seeds in the same way as you would pumpkin seeds.
  • Other substitution ideas: dried cherries instead of cranberries, feta cheese instead of goat cheese, and pecans instead of pumpkin seeds
  • Serve roasted pumpkin salad with Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas ham, or another lean protein. You can also add shredded chicken, salmon, hard boiled eggs, or beans for added protein.
close up of roasted pumpkin salad in a large bowl on a white countertop

Craving more easy salad recipes?

Here are some of my favorites:

If you make this recipe, be sure to rate and review it in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow and tag @its_a_vegworld_afterall on Instagram! Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

pumpkin salad in a large bowl with silver utensils on top of a yellow napkin
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Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Apple Cider Dressing

A simple vegetarian salad with diced pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, goat cheese, and a tangy dressing.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 353kcal
Cost $2 per serving

Equipment

  • sharp knife
  • baking sheets
  • Mixing bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 pie pumpkin ~3 cups peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin, roasted
  • 4 cups mixed baby greens can use baby spinach, kale, chard, or arugula
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup goat cheese crumbled

For the dressing:

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Slice the top off the pumpkin and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and orange, stringy flesh with your hands or a spoon. Transfer to a colander. Peel each pumpkin half with a knife or swivel peeler, slice into strips and then into cubes. Transfer to the lined baking sheet and toss with 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Put in the oven and let cook for 20-25 minutes, or until fork-tender.
  • Prepare the pumpkin seeds by running them under cold water in the colander. Use your hands to remove the stringy flesh. Transfer to a paper towel and pat dry, then spread out on another baking sheet in an even layer. Toss with the last tbsp of olive oil. Put the baking sheet on the top rack of the oven and let the seeds roast for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and crunchy.
  • Remove the pumpkin and seeds from the oven when they are finished cooking. Add them to a large mixing bowl, along with the baby greens, dried cranberries, and goat cheese. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, syrup, and dijon. Pour over the salad and toss. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Wait to dress the salad until right before you serve it if you are making it in advance. 
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days.
  • You can keep the skin on the pumpkin to increase the fiber content if desired.
  • To make vegan, take out the goat cheese.
  • Sub butternut, acorn, or delicata squash if you don’t have pumpkin. You can also use feta instead of goat cheese.
  • Top with add shredded chicken, salmon, hard boiled eggs, or beans for added protein.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 870mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 19990IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 3mg

Have a happy and healthy week!

Lizzie

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Spiced Oat and Butternut Squash Muffins https://itsavegworldafterall.com/spiced-oat-butternut-squash-muffins/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/spiced-oat-butternut-squash-muffins/#respond Thu, 07 Nov 2019 23:17:55 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=12719 Butternut Squash Muffins made with pumpkin pie spice and old fashioned oats are a delicious fall treat! This recipe is suitable for both toddlers and adults, and is a great way to use up leftover squash. Whip up a batch of these healthy squash muffins for weekly meal prep, an after-school snack, or holiday spread....

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Butternut Squash Muffins made with pumpkin pie spice and old fashioned oats are a delicious fall treat! This recipe is suitable for both toddlers and adults, and is a great way to use up leftover squash. Whip up a batch of these healthy squash muffins for weekly meal prep, an after-school snack, or holiday spread.

7 butternut squash muffins on a white plate with oats and cinnamon on top

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Being that this is a Veg World (after all), you probably could have guessed that I’m a big fan of putting vegetables in just about anything. That includes muffins and other baked goods.

Take my Zucchini Carrot Oat Muffins for example. They’re one of the most loved recipes on the site, so I can’t be the only one who likes veggies in her muffins! Or the Fudgy Beet Brownies and Carrot Banana Breakfast Bread. Two of my favs!

And now I’m adding these Spiced Oat and Butternut Squash Muffins to the list. They’re such a fun recipe for this time of year, and easy to make too!

Reasons to Love Squash Muffins

  1. They’re a tasty and untraditional way to get more fiber, vitamins A and C (hello, strong immune system), and iron and calcium from butternut squash!
  2. They’re a good alternative to pumpkin-based baked goods, which get a little too much hype sometimes.
  3. You can freeze them for busy weeks! Meal prep, for the win.
  4. A little bit of maple syrup helps bring out the natural sweetness of butternut squash. And with pumpkin pie spice on top of that, the flavor is simply delicious!

Ready to make them?

How to Make Butternut Squash Muffins – Step by Step

Just like any other muffin, you make these veggie-loaded ones by whisking together the “wet” ingredients (photo 1 below) and stirring in the “dry” ones with a rubber spatula or whisk (photos 2 and 3).

The wet ingredients in these muffins include pureed or mashed butternut squash, maple syrup, and whole milk Greek yogurt and olive oil for some added nutrition and moisture. And of course, we’ve got flour, oats, and pumpkin spice for the dry ones!

Once the batter is thoroughly mixed (it should be a little lumpy), use an ice cream scoop or spoon to fill up the muffin tin (very close to the top for each muffin – see photo 4). Bake for 18-22 minutes at 400, and you’re done.

Expert Tips for Perfect Muffins

  • Ingredient substitutions: I used canned butternut squash puree (like this kind from Farmer’s Market Foods), which can be found at most grocery stores right by the canned pumpkin. You can also use mashed, cooked (roasted or boiled) butternut squash. To make these butternut squash muffins gluten free, sub all-purpose gluten free flour for regular flour and use gluten free old-fashioned oats.
  • Additions: Feel free to add 1/4-1/2 cup of nuts (i.e. pecans) or chocolate chips to the batter before baking!
  • Serving: For extra pretty muffins, you can swirl some leftover butternut squash on top of the muffins before baking with a fork (like in photo 4 above) or sprinkle cinnamon or brown sugar on top before putting them in the oven. They taste delicious cold or warm. I like to heat them up under the broiler and add some butter or peanut butter.
  • Storage: Store at room temp in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Put the container in the fridge to extend the shelf life by a few more days. To freeze for later, transfer them to a freezer or Stasher bag. They should last for 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before eating.
close up of butternut squash muffins on a plate with oats and cinnamon

Other Vegetable Muffin Recipes

If you like these butternut squash oatmeal muffins, you may also enjoy:

If you make this recipe, be sure to rate and review it in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow and tag @its_a_vegworld_afterall on Instagram! Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

Print

Spiced Oat and Butternut Squash Muffins

Healthy squash muffins with pumpkin pie spice and old fashioned oats.
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 177kcal
Cost less than $5

Equipment

  • muffin tin
  • mixing bowls
  • whisk
  • measuring cup and spoons

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease or line a muffin tin and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the butternut squash, eggs, maple syrup, yogurt, oil, and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine the flour, whole oats, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and whisk or stir together. The batter should be slightly lumpy from the oats.
  • Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to fill each muffin cup close to the top. Transfer to the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Notes

  • Ingredients: Canned butternut squash can be found at most grocery stores, but you can use squash that you cook and mash yourself or sub canned pumpkin.
  • Additions: Add 1/4-1/2 cup of nuts or chocolate chips to the batter before baking. You can also top the muffins with brown sugar or some extra whole oats.
  • Serving: Enjoy the muffins warm or cold, plain or topped with butter or nut butter.
  • Storage: Store at room temp in an airtight container or in the fridge for 3-4 days, or freeze for a few months. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 114mg | Potassium: 199mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1280IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg

Have a great Thursday!

Lizzie

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Apple Pumpkin Frittata with Gouda https://itsavegworldafterall.com/apple-pumpkin-frittata-with-gouda/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/apple-pumpkin-frittata-with-gouda/#respond Thu, 07 Nov 2019 00:46:00 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=12699 A sweet and savory breakfast option for the fall and winter, this Apple Pumpkin Frittata features cinnamon and gouda cheese. It’s an easy vegetarian egg bake for a weekend brunch or holiday breakfast, and with only 10 minutes of prep time, you can whip it up before your guests arrive! Is it too early to...

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A sweet and savory breakfast option for the fall and winter, this Apple Pumpkin Frittata features cinnamon and gouda cheese. It’s an easy vegetarian egg bake for a weekend brunch or holiday breakfast, and with only 10 minutes of prep time, you can whip it up before your guests arrive!

cooked apple pumpkin frittata with gouda in a black skillet on a countertop

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

Is it too early to be thinking about what to make for Christmas morning breakfast? Considering that there was a November dusting of SNOW overnight, I don’t think so…

At least it’s definitely not too early to think about what to serve on Thanksgiving morning! This year will be our first time hosting Thanksgiving in our new house, and I’m so excited to plan our menu, including something for Turkey Day breakfast.

At the moment, I’m deciding between my Easy Broccoli and Cheese Egg Bake, Sourdough Breakfast Strata with Kale, and/or my Spiced Parsnip and Apple Baked Oatmeal, with Carrot Orange Mimosas to wash it all down of course!

But this pumpkin frittata recipe might just need to make the cut too. It’s one of the most flavorful egg bakes I’ve ever tasted! And it’s loaded with some of the best fall ingredients, like roasted pumpkin, Gala apples, and ground cinnamon. Can you say yum?

Besides the amazing flavor, you’ll love the minimal prep time. The oven does most of the work for you in this one, folks.

eggs, apples, cheese, spices, milk, and pumpkin on a white countertop

How to Make Pumpkin Frittata

Frittatas are VERY easy to make, and this one is no exception! The most difficult part is peeling and dicing a small pie pumpkin (be sure to remove the seeds and roast them for a snack if you want), and that’s not hard at all.

After you dice the pumpkin, you will need to roast it (with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper). When that’s finished, follow these quick steps to frittata heaven (more info in recipe card below):

  • Sautee diced apples in olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Add the roasted pumpkin.
  • In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Pour over the apples and pumpkin. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes until the eggs “set” on the bottom (see photo below).
  • Sprinkle the gouda cheese on top.
  • Bake in the oven, eat, and enjoy!
apple pumpkin frittata before going into oven in a cast iron skillet

Expert Tips for Cooking, Serving, and Storing Frittatas

  • When you pour the egg mixture over the apples and pumpkin in the skillet, carefully tilt the skillet with your hands (don’t forget oven mitts!) so to ensure that the eggs evenly coat the bottom.
  • Be careful not to overcook the frittata. No one likes a dry egg bake. Put the frittata in the oven as soon as the eggs set, and keep the cooking time between 12 and 15 minutes. The eggs will continue to cook a little bit in the skillet after you remove the frittata from the oven/before you serve it.
  • If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use any oven-safe skillet (preferably a 10- or 12 inch one.
  • Substitution ideas: butternut or acorn squash instead of pumpkin, cheddar instead of gouda, and pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon
  • Serve with a side salad of arugula or spinach tossed in lemon juice and olive oil or a slice of freshly toasted bread and butter.
  • Pumpkin frittata tastes best when eaten right away, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave.
slice of apple pumpkin frittata on a white plate next to apples and a skillet

Craving more pumpkin? Check out my Roasted Pumpkin Salad with Apple Cider Dressing, One Pot Pumpkin Tomato Pasta, and Vegan Peanut Butter Cups with Pumpkin.

If you make this recipe, be sure to rate and review it in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow and tag @its_a_vegworld_afterall on Instagram! Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

apple pumpkin frittata with gouda in a black skillet on a countertop
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Apple Pumpkin Frittata with Gouda

A sweet and savory vegetarian frittata recipe with roasted pumpkin. Great for weekend brunch or the holidays.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 351kcal
Cost $2 per serving

Equipment

  • 12-inch skillet, preferably cast iron
  • Baking sheet

Ingredients

  • 1 small pie pumpkin peeled, deseeded, and diced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 large Gala apple or 2 small apples, cored and diced; can sub any variety
  • 8 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk can use cow's or plant-based
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup gouda cheese freshly shredded

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Cut the top off the small pumpkin, peel, slice in half, and remove the seeds. Dice the pumpkin into 1" cubes. Transfer to the lined baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Toss with a spatula or your hands and add salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until fork-tender.
  • In the meantime, core and dice the apples. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
  • When the pumpkin is finished cooking, heat the last 2 tbsp of olive oil in a 12-inch skillet (cast iron or another oven-safe kind) over medium-high heat. Add the diced apples and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the pumpkin and use a spoon to spread the pumpkin and apples out evenly in the skillet.
  • Pour the egg mixture on top. Use your hands (with oven mitts on) to carefully tilt the skillet so that the eggs evenly coat the bottom. Sprinkle the gouda cheese on top. Let the eggs cook for 1-2 minutes, or just until they "set" on the bottom. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through.
  • Remove from oven, cut into 6 slices, and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Put the frittata in the oven as soon as the eggs set, and do not overcook. The eggs will continue to cook a little bit in the skillet after you take it out of the oven.
  • Substitutions/additions: any winter squash for pumpkin, cheddar in place of gouda, and pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon.
  • Serve with a side salad or toast and butter.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 258mg | Sodium: 413mg | Potassium: 951mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 19848IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 336mg | Iron: 3mg

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Vegetarian French Onion Soup with Lentils https://itsavegworldafterall.com/vegetarian-french-onion-soup/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/vegetarian-french-onion-soup/#comments Tue, 05 Nov 2019 22:34:27 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=12658 This easy Vegetarian French Onion Soup recipe is comforting and satisfying for a chilly day. Lentils contribute a boost of protein and added nutrition, while melted gruyere toasties round out the whole dish. You know that feeling when you really nail a dish? When all the flavors just come together perfectly, and you know it’s...

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This easy Vegetarian French Onion Soup recipe is comforting and satisfying for a chilly day. Lentils contribute a boost of protein and added nutrition, while melted gruyere toasties round out the whole dish.

vegetarian french onion soup with lentils with gruyere toasties on top

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

You know that feeling when you really nail a dish? When all the flavors just come together perfectly, and you know it’s going to be a crowd-pleaser?

That’s how I feel about this fantastic Vegetarian French Onion Soup! I’m really not trying to toot my own horn, but I just can’t help but gush about this recipe. And, believe me, the deliciousness of this dish has more to do with the ingredients than anything else!

In one simple bowl, you’ll taste caramelized yellow and sweet onions, green lentils cooked in vegetable broth and dry white wine, and hints of fresh thyme and balsamic vinegar.

OH, and did I mention the irresistible toasties that you place on top of each bowl, with perfectly melted gruyere cheese? Yeah, they’re the bomb.

Are you drooling as much as I am?

ingredients for french onion soup with lentils on a white countertop

PS – While you’re here, check out the Celeriac and Apple Soup, Apple Ginger Kabocha Squash Soup, Creamy Broccoli and Potato Soup with Peas, and Butternut Squash and Pear Soup.

What kind of onions do you use for French onion soup?

For this recipe, I recommend a mix of yellow and sweet onions, but you can use any variety! Sweet onions are the sweetest variety, white onions have a sharper taste, yellow onions have an equally sweet and pungent flavor, and red onions are the least sweet and can be slightly bitter.

You need about 3 pounds of onions for this recipe, so ~6-8 small or medium onions or 4-5 larger onions.

How to Make Vegetarian French Onion Soup

French onion soup takes a while to cook, because the onions need to cook down before you add the broth and other ingredients, but it involves very little “active” cooking.

So, don’t be afraid to make this Vegetarian French Onion Soup on a weeknight! Just make sure you watch it on the stove while you catch up on housework, reading, emails, etc.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with making French onion soup, it’s usually made with beef broth. However, I substituted vegetable broth in this version, so it’s veg-friendly.

I also added lentils to this recipe to increase the nutrition and protein content. They help make this soup a more filling main dish.

sauteed sweet onions in a black pot with a wooden spoon

Here’s a peek at how to make this recipe (more details in the recipe card):

  • Slice the onions in half-moons. Sautee them in butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Let them cook down for 40-45 minutes, or until they are caramelized and have shrunk in size (see photo above).
  • Add the garlic and flour, and stir. Cook for a few more minutes. Add the broth, white wine, thyme, balsamic, and dried lentils.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
  • Ladle the soup into oven-safe bowls (preferably French onion soup bowls if you have them). Add 1-2 slices of a baguette on top. Cover with shredded gruyere cheese. Put under the broiler for a few minutes.
  • DEVOUR!
vegetarian french onion soup with lentils in a small bowl next to a larger bowl

Craving more onion recipes? Check out my Whole Roasted Onions and Caramelized Onion White Bean Dip!

Expert Tips

  • To slice onions for vegetarian French onion soup, start by slicing off the ends, cutting the onion in half lengthwise, and peeling off the skin. Then use a sharp knife to slice each half into “half moon” pieces.
  • The best kind of bread to use on top of French onion soup is a French baguette. I prefer sourdough. Slice it into thin pieces and toast for 1-2 minutes on a baking sheet under the broiler before putting on top of the soup bowls.
  • What can I use instead of gruyere? Sub cheddar cheese or gouda.
  • To make vegetarian French onion soup without alcohol, skip the wine and add 2 more teaspoons of balsamic vinegar instead.
  • If you have them, use a wooden spoon and an enameled cast iron Dutch oven (like a Lodge or Le Creuset) or a stainless steel pot, so that you will be able to de-glaze all of the caramelized onion bits off the bottom of the pot. But these tools are certainly not necessary to make this recipe.
  • You can caramelize onions ahead of time, then freeze or refrigerate them to make this soup at a later time.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or freezer for up to 3 months (thaw frozen soup overnight in the fridge before reheating). Reheat on the stove or in the microwave. If you have the time, add fresh gruyere toasties on top before eating.

If you make this recipe, be sure to rate and review it in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow and tag @its_a_vegworld_afterall on Instagram! Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

vegetarian french onion soup with lentils with gruyere toasties on top
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Vegetarian French Onion Soup with Lentils

A delicious onion soup with protein-packed lentils and gruyere toasties. The recipe takes a while to cook, but does not require a lot of active cooking time.
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine French
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 5 people
Calories 545kcal
Cost $4 per serving

Equipment

  • enameled cast iron pot (like a Dutch oven) or stainless steel pot
  • wooden spoon

Ingredients

  • 4 large yellow and sweet onions ~3 pounds; can sub any variety
  • 2 tbsp butter unsalted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed or minced
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine I used Pinot Grigio
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme more to taste
  • 1 cup green lentils dried (not cooked), rinsed, and sorted
  • 10 thin slices French baguette for serving
  • 1 cup gruyere freshly shredded

Instructions

  • Slice the bottoms off the onions and remove their skins, then cut in half from top to bottom. Slice each onion half into thin, half-moon slices.
  • Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Stir, and reduce heat to medium-low. Let the onions cook, stirring occasionally, until they shrink down and get brown in color, about 40-45 minutes. If you want to cook them for a longer time for a stronger caramelized taste, you can.
  • Add the flour and garlic to the onions once they are caramelized to your liking. Stir and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Pour the white wine into the pot and use your spoon to scrape off any of the bits of caramelized onion stuck to the bottom. Add the vegetable broth, balsamic, thyme, and dried lentils to the pot. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cover, then reduce heat to low and let the soup simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
  • While the soup is cooking, slice the baguette and shred the cheese. If desired, you can toast the baguette slices by placing them on a baking sheet under the broiler for a couple of minutes.
  • Ladle the soup into oven-safe bowls, top with 1-2 slices of bread, and sprinkle the shredded Gruyere evenly over the bowls. Transfer the bowls to the oven, by placing them directly on the center rack or on a baking sheet, and turn on the broiler to high. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Carefully remove from oven and enjoy!

Notes

  • You can use any type of French baguette, but sourdough tastes especially good.
  • No gruyere? Sub cheddar or gouda.
  • To make without alcohol, skip the wine and add 2 more tsp of balsamic vinegar.
  • To make vegan, use all olive oil instead of butter and oil and nix the cheese.
  • Onions can be caramelized ahead of time and frozen or refrigerated to be used later to make this soup.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or freezer for up to 3 months (thaw frozen soup overnight in the fridge). Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 545kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 746mg | Potassium: 733mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 1024IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 369mg | Iron: 5mg

Hope you enjoy this cozy meal as much as I do!

Lizzie

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Garlic Lemon Butternut Squash Noodles and Shrimp https://itsavegworldafterall.com/garlic-lemon-butternut-squash-noodles-shrimp/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/garlic-lemon-butternut-squash-noodles-shrimp/#respond Thu, 24 Oct 2019 22:02:50 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=8183 Get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes with this delicious butternut squash noodles recipe! Spiralized butternut squash paired with garlic shrimp, fresh parsley, and lemon juice makes a tasty and healthy meal. This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see our affiliate disclosure. As you might know, I absolutely love...

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Get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes with this delicious butternut squash noodles recipe! Spiralized butternut squash paired with garlic shrimp, fresh parsley, and lemon juice makes a tasty and healthy meal.

butternut squash noodles and shrimp on a white plate on top of blue napkin

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see our affiliate disclosure.

As you might know, I absolutely love my spiralizer. Honestly, if I didn’t store it in the highest cabinet in my kitchen, I’d probably use it for every meal. #ShortPeopleProblems.

Even though I’m a veggie noodle fanatic, I did not know that you can spiralize butternut squash until recently! After I found out this important tidbit of information, I knew that I had to use squash noodles in a Veg World recipe ASAP. 

But what would I pair with them?! First, I wanted to add a quick protein (shrimp) to make this dish a complete meal. Next, I brainstormed seasonings. For reference, butternut squash noodles taste similar to pumpkin but have a sweeter and nuttier flavor.

Since garlic and lemon go with just about anything, they were the first two flavors I thought of when creating this dish, and the end result exceeded my expectations. Both shrimp and butternut squash proved to be ideal companions for this flavor profile.

Garlic Lemon Butternut Squash Noodles and Shrimp on white plates a white marble countertop

Besides the delicious taste, there are so many reasons why you’ll love this recipe, including:

  • It takes <30 minutes to make.
  • The leftovers make a great next day lunch.
  • You don’t even need to own a spiralizer to make it (yep, most stores sell butternut squash noodles now)!

PS – if you love veggie noodles, be sure to check out my Sage Brown Butter Kohlrabi Noodles, Sesame Bell Pepper and Cucumber Noodle Salad, and Turnip Noodles with Eggs and Chives while you’re here!

thinly spiralized butternut squash noodles on a marble countertop thick butternut squash noodles on a white marble countertop

Tips for Making Butternut Squash Noodles and Where to Buy Them

To make butternut squash noodles with a spiralizer:

  1. Peel the squash. Then, slice off the stem and bottom part of the squash that contains the seeds (where the neck of the squash meets the wider and rounder part).
  2. Put only the neck of the squash through a spiralizer. To prevent food waste, feel free to remove the seeds and dice up the bottom of the squash to add to the dish while it’s cooking.

Depending on the kind of spiralizer you have, you can make skinny or thick noodles for this recipe, as pictured in the above photos. I have tried it both ways, and while I love the appearance of thick noodles, the thinner noodles are easier to cook. So, it’s up to you!

If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can find pre-made butternut squash noodles, such as Cece’s brand, at most grocery stores.



Garlic Lemon Butternut Squash Noodles and Shrimp – Step by Step

After you prep the noodles (photos 1 and 2 below), the rest of the recipe is incredibly easy. Add butter, garlic, and the shrimp to a large skillet over medium heat (photo 3). At the same time, add the butternut squash noodles to another skillet with garlic and olive oil (photo 4). 

Once they are both cooked, combine the shrimp and noodles in one skillet, add lemon juice and fresh parsley to taste, and BOOM. That’s ALL there is to it!

peeled butternut squash with peelings and stem on a countertop butternut squash in a spiralizer on a white marble countertop shrimp sauteed in garlic and butter in a black skillet on white countertop butternut squash noodles cooked in oil in a black skillet on a white counterop

Expert Tips and Notes

  • You can use fresh or frozen (and thawed) shrimp for this recipe. Be sure to get shrimp that has been peeled and deveined, unless you want to do that yourself!
  • Shrimp usually take about 5-7 minutes to cook. Flip them over in the skillet after 3 minutes. You know they are cooked when the flesh is slightly white in color, without any grey remaining.
  • Other seasoning ideas: dill, red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar
  • Don’t have butternut squash noodles? Use sweet potato noodles instead.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave on high for a couple of minutes.

Craving some more butternut squash? Check out my Whipped Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Dip, Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Brown Rice Risotto, and Butternut Squash and Beet Pizza

side angle of Butternut Squash Noodles and Shrimp on a white plate on a blue napkin

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear how it turns out! Be sure to rate and review it in the comments below, and don’t forget to tag and follow me on Instagram

Garlic Lemon Butternut Squash Noodles and Shrimp

A quick and easy spin on traditional pasta with shrimp, served with a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressing.

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 pound shrimp (fresh or frozen (thawed); peeled and deveined)
  • 2 tbsp butter (can sub ghee or extra virgin olive oil)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced or pressed)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (from ~1 small lemon)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley (more to taste)
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  1. Peel the butternut squash. Slice off the bottom portion with the seeds. You will only be able to spiralize the top portion, and can dice and add the bottom part while the recipe is cooking if desired. Use a spiralizer to prepare the butternut squash noodles.

  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil and 3 cloves minced garlic over medium high heat. Add noodles and stir until coated. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally.

  3. In a separate medium skillet, heat 2 tbsp butter and 3 cloves garlic over medium high heat. Add the shrimp. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until shrimp are fully cooked, flipping over halfway through. Add shrimp to butternut squash noodles. Remove both skillets from heat.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the last 2 tbsp of olive oil, lemon juice, and parsley. Toss shrimp and noodles in the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

  • You will know the shrimp are cooked when the flesh is slightly white in color, without any grey remaining.
  • Other seasoning ideas: dill, red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar. You can also substitute sweet potato noodles.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave.

This post was originally published in 2018 but was updated with additional photos and expert tips in Oct 2019.

Have a great weekend!

Lizzie

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Coconut Braised Vegan Collard Greens https://itsavegworldafterall.com/vegan-collard-greens/ https://itsavegworldafterall.com/vegan-collard-greens/#respond Tue, 22 Oct 2019 23:12:43 +0000 https://itsavegworldafterall.com/?p=12391 Incredibly flavorful and ready in 15 minutes, vegan collard greens will be your new favorite weeknight side dish! This quick collard greens recipe highlights how easy it is to cook them with ingredients that you probably have in your pantry. A few weeks ago, I worked with a couple who was interested in preparing flavorful,...

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Incredibly flavorful and ready in 15 minutes, vegan collard greens will be your new favorite weeknight side dish! This quick collard greens recipe highlights how easy it is to cook them with ingredients that you probably have in your pantry.

vegan collard greens in a white bowl with gold fork next to it

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my affiliate disclosure.

A few weeks ago, I worked with a couple who was interested in preparing flavorful, healthy dishes. One of the recipes we made involved simmering cod and spinach in coconut milk and seasonings. It was seriously SO good!!!

I instantly fell in love with the sweet and salty flavor profile, and have been waiting for the perfect moment to adapt the recipe with my own twists for the Veg World. Ahem, say hello to these Coconut Braised Vegan Collard Greens!

If you have never tried collard greens, they have a fairly bitter taste, so cooking them in fat helps to mellow their taste. That’s why I figured that coconut milk would be a perfect companion to this veggie!

This recipe is similar to my Quick Braised Collard Greens in terms of difficulty (SUPER EASY) but has a much stronger flavor, for those of you who want to take your collards’ game up a notch.

Why You’ll Love Braised Collard Greens

I know what you may be thinking, “collard greens sound pretty gross and kind of boring.” Am I right? WELL, NO, not when you cook them this way.

These creamy and downright delicious vegan collard greens have a lot going for them:

  • The coconut sauce is incredibly decadent. It basically tastes like coconut-flavored cream.
  • It takes 15 minutes from start to finish.
  • You only need 6 ingredients, most of which you probably already have!
  • Cooked greens are sometimes more fun to eat than a raw salad, especially in the winter months!
collard greens, soy sauce, pepper flakes, coconut milk, rice vinegar, bay leaves

How to Make Vegan Collard Greens

First, gather your ingredients: a bunch of collard greens, full-fat coconut milk (the kind in the can), soy sauce, rice vinegar, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes.

Next, clean the collards, peel the leaves from the stems, and slice them into ribbons. Pour the rest of the ingredients into a large skillet over medium heat. Add the collards and cook until tender. Boom!

Braised vegetable recipes are just so easy! Check out my Braised Radishes and Leeks, Quick Braised Swiss Chard and Lentils, and Lemon Braised Leeks and Quinoa Salad if you like this method of prepping veggies.

vegan collard greens in a white bowl topped with bay leaves

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Collards

  • To clean collards, fill a large bowl with water and dunk the greens into the bowl. Use your hands to swish them around to remove dirt. Empty the bowl, refill, and repeat until clean.
  • Be sure to use full-fat coconut milk, aka the kind that comes in a can. Coconut milk in a carton may not be full-fat, and that kind will not make the sauce as creamy.
  • The greens should get darker in color during the cooking process. The darker they get, the more cooked/tender they are. You can feel free to adjust the cooking time based on your preferences.
  • These are best eaten right away, but you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave.
  • Pour some of the coconut sauce from the pan over your collard greens before eating!
angled shot of vegan collard greens in a white bowl

Oh, and these greens would pair well with baked fish (especially cod!) or another lean protein. You can also eat them on the side of fried chicken 😉 (just every once in a while, of course)…

collard greens in white bowl with pepper flakes and fork on white counter

If you make this recipe, be sure to rate and review it in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow and tag @its_a_vegworld_afterall on Instagram! Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.

vegan collard greens in a white bowl topped with bay leaves
Print

Coconut Braised Vegan Collard Greens

A decadent but healthy collard greens recipe that comes together in minutes using pantry staples.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people as a side
Calories 213kcal
Cost $5

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Wash your collard greens by dunking them in a bowl filled with cold water. Use your hands to swish them around to remove dirt. Empty the bowl, refill, and repeat until the collards are clean. Remove the leaves from the stems and slice the collards into ribbons.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add the coconut milk, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and bay leaf. Then add the collards, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are darker in color and tender (about 10-12 minutes). Add the red pepper flakes halfway through the cooking time if desired.
  • Remove from heat and serve with a few spoonfuls of sauce from the skillet. Enjoy!

Notes

  • These are best eaten right away, but you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days and reheat in the microwave.
  • Pair these greens with white fish or another baked lean protein.
  • Use more or less red pepper flakes to adjust the level of spiciness.
  • Sub white wine or apple cider vinegar if you don’t have rice vinegar.
  • If you are watching your salt intake, choose low or reduced sodium soy sauce. Nutrition facts were calculated with low sodium soy sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 319mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2384IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 4mg

Enjoy your greens!

Lizzie

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