Side Dishes Archives | Plant Based, Family Friendly Meal Planning by Stephanie Dreyer, Los Angeles

September 11, 2018
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This Roasted Vegetable Orzo is a sophisticated take on the traditional Italian pasta salads I grew up with. Fresh, organic vegetables (in this case, zucchini, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes) are the key to this simple yet savory dish.

The vegetables in this Roasted Vegetable Orzo are tossed with olive oil, Italian herbs, and whole cloves of garlic (oh yeah!). To finish the dish off, I squeezed fresh lemon juice and grated Violife dairy-free Parmesan cheese (my new favorite vegan Parm!) on top.

This Roasted Vegetable Orzo is a sophisticated take on the traditional Italian pasta salads I grew up with. Fresh, organic vegetables (in this case, zucchini, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes) are the key to this simple yet savory dish.

This Roasted Vegetable Orzo is so so so good and I can’t stress how simple this dish is to make. Serve with sliced baked tempeh or tofu and dinner is served!

 

Roasted Vegetable Orzo

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orzo uncooked
  • 1 orange bell pepper core and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper core and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper core and ribs removed, chopped
  • 2 zucchinis chopped
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes
  • 8 garlic cloves whole
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegan parmesan such as Violife, freshly grated to serve
  • Fresh basil sliced in a chiffonade

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toss the vegetables, garlic cloves, olive oil, and herbs on a sheet pan until coated. Roast for about 30 minutes.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain and set aside in a serving bowl.
  4. Stir the vegetables into the orzo.
  5. Squeeze the lemon juice over the mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Grate Parmesan cheese on top and garnish with the fresh basil.

This Roasted Vegetable Orzo is a sophisticated take on the traditional Italian pasta salads I grew up with. Fresh, organic vegetables (in this case, zucchini, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes) are the key to this simple yet savory dish.

 


December 8, 2017
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Each year during Hanukkah, my family participates in a friendly latke competition with 5 other families. Everyone goes all out with out of the box creations, like “bagel and lox” latkes, mu shu latkes, taco latkes, sushi latkes, and more! It’s always a culinary adventure. This year, I am excited to present this Vegan Latke Slider for entry.

You'll be eating these vegan latke sliders long after Hanukkah is over! #dairyfree #eggless #Hanukkah #latkes #vegan #plantbased

A seasoned Beyond Burger patty is sandwiched between two of my traditional crispy vegan potato latkes. It’s a burger in paradise right there, but no latke is complete without toppings! This Vegan Latke Slider is up for the challenge with a Bubbies pickle slice and dollop of Follow Your Heart’s Thousand Island dressing.

You'll be eating these vegan latke sliders long after Hanukkah is over! #dairyfree #eggless #Hanukkah #latkes #vegan #plantbased

These sliders are sooooo good that you’ll be eating them long after Hanukkah is over.  Wish me luck in the competition!

Vegan Latke Sliders

Ingredients

For the latkes:

  • 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes 2 medium to large potatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • ½-¾ cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Vegan Thousand Island dressing such as Follow Your Heart
  • Bread and butter pickles such as Bubbies

For the sliders:

  • 2 packages Beyond Meat Beyond Burger 4 patties
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon seasoned salt

Instructions

For the latkes:

  1. Slice the potatoes and onion into wedges to fit into a food processor feeder tube, and process with the shredder blade. Using a kitchen towel, squeeze out any excess liquid from the potatoes and onions.
  2. Place the onion and potato mixture in a bowl and add ½ cup of the flour, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add more of the flour if the batter is too wet and not sticking together.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat a thin layer of oil. Take a heaping tablespoon of batter and flatten it with your hands, patting it into a pancake, before gently placing it in the hot oil. Continue doing this for as many latkes that can fit in the pan without crowding. Fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once, about 8 minutes total.
  4. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil as necessary. Remove the cooked potato pancakes to paper towels to drain. Makes 12 latkes

For the sliders:

  1. Combine the patties and seasonings in a bowl. Mix with your hands until fully combined.
  2. Divide the meat in half and then in half again, and in half again so that you have 8 portions.
  3. Roll each portion into a ball and flatten slightly in your hand to make a patty.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan and swirl to completely coat the pan.
  5. Add the patties once the pan is hot. Cook about 5 minutes on each side until brown and crispy on each side.
  6. To assemble, place 1 slider on top of a latkes. Top with a dollop of dressing and a pickle slice. Top with another latke.

 

You'll be eating these vegan latke sliders long after Hanukkah is over! #dairyfree #eggless #Hanukkah #latkes #vegan #plantbased


December 6, 2017
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The secret to these traditional vegan potato latkes is to squeeze out as much liquid from the shredded onion and potatoes as possible before making patties. The result is a crispy, crunchy latke that doesn’t need any egg to bind it together! Be sure to have bowls of dairy-free sour cream and apple sauce ready for topping these savory potato pancakes!

 

Traditional Vegan Potato Latkes

Servings 12 Latkes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes 2 medium to large potatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • ½-¾ cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Slice the potatoes and onion into wedges to fit into a food processor feeder tube, and process with the shredder blade. Using a kitchen towel, squeeze out excess liquid from the potatoes and onions.

  2. Place the onion and potato mixture in a bowl and add ½ cup of the flour, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add more of the flour if the batter is too wet and not sticking together.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat a thin layer of oil. Take a heaping tablespoon of batter and flatten it with your hands, patting it into a pancake, before gently placing it in the hot oil. Continue doing this for as many latkes that can fit in the pan without crowding. Fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once, about 8 minutes total.
  4. Repeat with remaining potato mixture, adding more oil as necessary. Remove cooked potato pancakes to paper towels to drain. Serve with dairy-free sour cream or applesauce.


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I find the simplest recipes are usually the most delicious. Just a few quality ingredients and some fresh herbs. That’s really all you need to make delicious food. These herb roasted potatoes are just that. They are hearty and filling, but with just a drizzle of olive oil, they aren’t greasy or fattening.

I sprinkle rosemary and thyme over the potatoes and butternut squash, but sage would also taste delicious. I use garlic powder in addition to fresh garlic because I like these garlicky! You could also use a lemon pepper to change things up. Garnish with fresh Italian parsley for a pretty presentation. Have fun with these and make them your own!

Herb Roasted Potatoes & Butternut Squash

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes , peeled and cubed
  • 1 package peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 2 Russet potatoes or 4 Yukon gold potatoes , peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary , finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme , finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper , to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the potatoes and butternut squash on a baking sheet.
  2. Drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the herbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

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This homemade pico de gallo is super easy (and fun to make with the kids). I made a batch for Taco Tuesday last week and it went really fast…made me wish I had doubled the recipe. There’s really nothing to it, just a few ingredients chopped up and mixed together. It’s best eaten the same day, but can keep if sealed in an airtight container for another day or so. It’s a great option for your arsenal of Cinco de Mayo recipes.

Quick & Easy Pico de Gallo

Ingredients

  • 2 Roma tomatoes , finely chopped
  • ½ yellow onion , finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro , finely chopped
  • ½ the juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well to combine. Taste and add more lime juice and salt, as needed.

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My kids went crazy for yuca while we were in Miami this past summer. Yuca is also know as cassava, and is a starchy plant that is tubular in shape, kind of resembling a sweet potato. It is commonly eaten as fries and popular in Cuban cuisine in the U.S. I decided to create a healthier version of the yuca fries my family has come to love. These baked yuca fries are surprisingly quick and simple to make with just 3 ingredients! Not only are they vegan, but they are also naturally gluten-free.

The hardest part of this recipe is peeling the yuca, which you do very carefully with a knife. A regular vegetable peeler won’t penetrate the skin, so you have to use a knife to pry a small piece off and then use your fingernails and a paring knife to pull it off.

Once you have the yuca peeled, slice it into fry sticks, toss with olive oil and seasoning, and then bake. Super easy! I served it alongside our favorite roasted chipotle salsa, which the kids loved.

Baked Yuca Fries

A healthy alternative to French fries, using yuca (vegan and gluten-free). Write a reviewSave RecipePrint

Ingredients

  • 2 large yuca , peeled and cut into sticks
  • Tajin seasoning (or other favorite taco seasoning blend)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the yuca with the olive oil and seasoning.
  3. Spread the yuca sticks onto a baking sheet and place in oven for 7-10 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Allow to cool and serve immediately with salsa for dipping.

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Latkes are potato pancakes traditionally topped with sour cream or applesauce, and served during Hannukah. Since converting to Judaism almost 11 years ago, I have strived to master the art of the latke.  For the last two years, my havurah, (a group of Jewish families), has held a latke competition.  I am proud to say that I won third place last year for my “chip and dip” latke!  I am currently developing my entry for this year!

Sweet potato latkes are a fun alternative to the traditional pancakes, and they are easy to veganize by swapping out the eggs with an easy alternative that adds a protein superfood boost to these otherwise greasy snacks.

Tips for Making Sweet Potato Latkes

If you have never made latkes before, there are a few important things to know:

  • Grate your potatoes and onions well.
  • Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  • Don’t use too much oil.
  • Make sure the oil is hot enough before placing in your latkes.

To grate the potatoes and onions, I use a food processor with the grater blade instead of doing it with a box grater.  It makes less work and prep much faster.  If I can recruit my kids to peel the potatoes, I have hit the jackpot!

Once I have shredded the potatoes and onions, I scoop everything into a clean kitchen towel and wring out directly into the sink.  Once I get all the liquid out that I can squeeze, I empty the contents into a large mixing bowl with the rest of my ingredients.

Before making the potato patties and placing them into the oil, make sure you only pour a thin layer of oil.  Too much oil will cause the latke to fall apart and take longer to cook.  You also want to make sure the oil is hot and “fry ready” before placing your sweet potato latke down in the pan.  To test it, place the handle of a wooden spoon into the oil.  If the oil sizzles, it’s ready.

Traditional latkes use yellow onion, but for this sweet potato version, I went red instead.  Feel free to stick to the traditional if you prefer.  My kids love these topped with my caramelized onion dip, but you can also have lots of fun creating themes with your toppings.  This year, I am going to try a “taco latke” and top it with homemade guacamole and soyrizo!

This recipe makes a batch of 12 latkes.  These go so fast in my house that I can barely keep up with the demand! Because of the heavy prep involved, I usually triple the recipe and make a huge batch that the family can eat all week long.  They also freeze really well, so you can store and reheat whenever your potato craving calls!

Egg-free Sweet Potato Latkes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds (2 medium to large potatoes)
  • ½ pound sweet potatoes (1 medium to large sweet potato)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons water)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Canola oil , for frying

Instructions

  1. Prepare the flax eggs. Combine the flaxseed meal and water in a bowl. Stir well to combine and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Slice the potatoes and red onion into wedges to fit into a food processor feeder tube, and process with the shredder blade. Using a kitchen towel, squeeze out excess liquid from the potatoes and onions.
  3. Place the onion and potato mixture in a bowl and add the flax eggs, flour, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat a thin layer of oil. Take a heaping tablespoon of batter and flatten it with your hands, patting it into a pancake, before gently placing it in the hot oil. Continue doing this for as many latkes that can fit in the pan without crowding. Fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once, about 8 minutes total.
  5. Repeat with remaining potato mixture, adding more oil as necessary. Remove cooked potato pancakes to paper towels to drain.

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Whether you are going dairy-free for an allergy, want to keep it healthier, or want to do right by mama cow, you’ll want to try this recipe and experience how delicious mashed potatoes can still be without the dairy. I am ditching the dairy products for equally silky results with ingredients like Earth Balance butter, almond milk, and Tofutti sour cream. Not everyone adds sour cream to their potatoes, but I like the extra creaminess it adds. Sour cream is one of my must-haves on a baked potato, so it is only natural for me to add them to my mashed potatoes too.


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