Garbanzo Bean “Tuna” Salad

Let us be clear, there is no tuna in the recipe. In fact, I’m only using the word “tuna” to give you a sense of how I use this great dish. I have nothing against tuna, but since I’m not eating a lot of meat these days, I wanted an option that is simple, delicious, and filling.

For example, if I were to make the Nicoise salad mentioned here, I’d simply substitute this recipe for the tuna. Of course, I mostly use it in these extremely addictive collard green wraps. I cannot get enough of these…to the point where I will eat them for lunch every day for two or three weeks. Let everyone else have their gluten-filled wraps; my version is gluten-free, tasty, and doesn’t leave me feeling bloated.

Yeah, I *do* get that excited about collard greens and chickpeas.

Mongolian Tempeh Stir-Fry

As part of my mission to turn old favorites into plant-based recipes, I discovered gluten-free tempeh* is a perfect stand-in for steak in a stir fry. The fermented soy in the tempeh will soak up loads of flavor from the sauce, and sauteeing your tempeh for a few minutes helps bring out the flavor (uncooked tempeh may be a bit weird, flavor-wise, for some people, but once it’s cooked, it is amazing!).

If you saw my recipe for Egg Foo Yung, you’ll recall that one suggestion I made is using the stem of broccoli to make the vegetable filling. This recipe uses broccoli florets, so maybe serve the two dishes in the same week (that’s how I did it!). Also, if you have leftover green onions, they can be put to use here as well.

*: Make sure your tempeh is gluten free as not all brands / flavors are.

Egg Foo Yung

Confession: when I was growing up, I was wary of Egg Foo Yung. I wasn’t 100% certain what it was, and, frankly, when I looked at it, it seemed like something I wouldn’t like.

Ah, the mistakes of youth! Egg Foo Yung is, basically, an omelette. A simple, vegetable-filled, delicious, customizable omelette. For a gluten-free, mostly plant-based athlete, it’s also a great way to get lots of protein after a long run. I have a habit of making breakfast-for-dinner meals on Saturday nights since my body is craving loads of protein, and this gives me that plus lots of veggies.

Black Pepper Tofu Curry

As my diet has become increasingly plant-based, I find my self paging through my favorite magazines and mentally substituting plant-based proteins for the animal proteins. It’s actually a great exercise, if only because I love messing with recipes.

I’m also trying to add more vegan recipes to my diet, so this recipe also checks that box. I’ll admit to be intimidated by vegan cooking in the past, but now that I’ve wrapped my head around the basics, I’ve discovered that cooking vegan meals isn’t as hard as I’d once thought…though, yeah, the meal prep does take a bit more time.

Thus, this fantastic (and fast!) black pepper curry. The original recipe calls for chicken, and you can certainly use chicken if you prefer. The black pepper gives a hint of heat and loads of flavor, and it’s a great way to add vegetables to a meal.

Oh, like all curries, it’s even better as leftovers!

Gluten-Free Spaghetti Squash Pizza

Low-carb, vegetable-based pizza crusts are all the rage, and I enjoy trying new combinations. So far, our household favorite is a crust made from spaghetti squash. The mildly sweet squash is very sturdy, and works well with lots of toppings.

Of course, the crust is gluten free, which makes it that much better.

Note that in the recipe below, I recommend squeezing as much liquid as possible from the squash. Really put some muscle into it as the drier the squash, the better the crust!

Basic Carrot Slaw

Carrots are the perfect vegetable to star in a salad. Flavor-wise, they can range from savory to sweet. Presentation-wise, they are perfect for every style: long ribbons, pretty julienned batons, shredded, or even cut into simple coins. For this salad, you can julienne the carrots or shred them — your choice (or, you know, do whatever works to get dinner on the table).

About half an hour before assembling the salad, lightly salt the carrots to draw out moisture — this helps keeps your slaw crunchy despite the addition of dressing. Rinse and pat the carrots dry, then toss. The dressing below is Just A Suggestion. Carrots can handle just about anything, and the notes to the recipe include other ideas.

Overnight Crockpot Baked Beans

While I will admit to a fondness for baked beans, I’ve always shied away from the canned version because I am not a fan of sweet foods. Sure, I’ll indulge if I encounter the canned version, but I won’t buy them unless I have a serious craving.

Yeah, I crave baked beans.

If the craving is minor and time is plentiful — or I know I need a killer dish to bring to a barbecue — I go straight for my crockpot and let the beans cook overnight. The slow cooker does all the work of cooking the beans through while developing a rich sauce that is just sweet enough with some tangy and spicy flavors to balance that sweetness. Best of all: no soaking required! I just toss everything into the crockpot, and let it work while I catch up on TV and much-needed sleep.

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