food news


The Full Helping

The Full Helping
Thu, 26 May 2022 16:03:28 +0000

15 Nutritious Vegan White Bean Recipes

White beans are packed with nutrients, including folate, fiber, calcium, iron, and protein. They've also got a wonderful, buttery texture and are extremely versatile! These 15 nutritious vegan white bean recipes will help you to feature this simple superfood in your plant-based meals.

A slice of toast is topped with smashed white bean salad, artichokes, and microgreens.

As a registered dietitian, I'm always giving my clients gentle nudges toward variety. Eating a variety of foods, we know, is the best way to maximize our intake of both micro and macronutrients.

For example, we're encouraged to "eat the rainbow" because the different colors of vegetables signal different phytochemicals, or plant compounds that give vegetables their distinctive colors. And each phytochemical has been associated with different preventive health benefits.

I'm pretty good about vegetable variety, though of course I have my go-tos (I probably eat broccoli every day).

But variety also matters when it comes to macronutrient sources, including the foods we rely on for protein and complex carb intake.

Different plant proteins provide different amino acids. While we don't need to eat "complete" proteins within meals, but it is essential to source all of the amino acids that we need through eating adequate protein and a variety of foods.

It's always a good idea, then, to mix things up when it comes to what we eat. I can be pretty repetitive, especially when I'm busy or stressed.

Lately, I've noticed that I'm defaulting a lot to chickpeas and lentils for my legume intake. There's nothing wrong with that in the sense that both are wonderfully nutritious plant proteins.

But there's a wide world of beans out there, and too often I find myself eating only two of them.

Fortunately, there's another type of bean—several beans, really—that I also love. White beans have always been a favorite legume, and I have a lot of recipes that feature them.

For whatever reason, I tend to associate white beans with spring and summer recipes and produce. For example, I love to pair them with both tomatoes and artichokes. So it feels like a good time to be sharing fifteen of my favorite vegan white bean recipes.

What are white beans?

"White beans" describes a family of beans that share the same color, rather than a single type of bean.

In the US, the most commonly available types of white beans are:

  • Cannellini beans (sometimes called white kidney beans)
  • Navy beans (sometimes called Boston beans, because they're the bean typically used to make Boston baked beans)
  • Great northern beans (sometimes called large white beans)
  • Lima beans (also called butter beans)

These are not by any means the only white beans. The Rancho Gordo company sells some heirloom varieties, such as alubia blanca and ayocote blanco.

Because of my background, I know that the Greek dish Gigantes plaki is often made with large lima beans, though it's my understanding that it can also be made with a variety of runner beans as well.

When one of my vegan white bean recipes calls for "white beans," I'm thinking of cannellini beans, great northern beans, or navy beans, which can be used interchangeably. But the heirloom varieties mentioned above will work, too.

How to cook white beans

The process of cooking white beans is similar to that of making other beans.

You begin with two options: cooking your beans from scratch, or using canned.

I won't lie: I almost never cook beans from scratch. Over time, I've found that it's an extra step that isn't worth it to me from a taste or cost perspective. I like canned beans, they're super convenient, and while cooking dry beans from scratch is cheaper, canned beans aren't expensive.

If you do prefer to cook beans from scratch, then you have more options. You can use a pressure cooker or an Instant Pot (I don't have either) or you can soak the beans overnight and boil them the following day.

My experience has been that overnight-soaked white beans need about 75-105 minutes of boiling in order to be cooked through. Navy beans take less time to cook than cannellini or great northern beans.

Cooking beans from scratch

In the unusual times that I do cook beans from scratch, I soak them in overnight first in a pot of water. The following day, I drain and rinse the beans before cooking.

If you prefer to do a quick soak method or to not soak beans at all, that's always an option. Not soaking the beans will just lengthen their cooking time.

I like an overnight soak for the shortened cooking time, and it creates no extra effort for me.

After soaking, draining, and rinsing, I return the beans to the pot and cover them with fresh water—enough to submerge them by 3-4 inches. I bring the water to a boil, then I turn the heat to medium low, or enough to keep the water at a simmer.

I cook the beans, uncovered, until they're tender but still hold their shape well. When it's time to test the beans for doneness, I recommend tasting a few, so that you can be sure that all of the beans are cooked uniformly. Cooking time for dry beans can vary considerably with their age.

Storage & freezing

You can store cooked beans in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. And you can freeze cooked beans for at least 8 weeks.

If you scratch cook a whole pound of beans, it's easy to freeze a portion of the batch and defrost them whenever you need quick, nutritious protein for soups, salads or bowls.

Dry beans can be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dry part of your home for up to a year or two.

Are white beans good for you?

I'm pretty resistant to ever claiming that a particular food is "good" or "bad" for anyone—context is everything, of course. But white beans are certainly good for anyone who already enjoys and feels good eating beans!

White beans are very nutrient-dense. They're good or excellent sources of all of the following:

  • Protein
  • Dietary fiber
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc

White beans also supply calcium, thiamine and Vitamin B6.

It's wonderful when a single food offers so much varied nutrition. Better still when that nutrition is packaged with all sorts of culinary potential.

What to make with white beans

There are a few vegan recipes that I associate specifically with white beans, and you'll find some of them below.

For example, I pretty much always make this brothy pot of beans, these burgers, and the smashed bean salad recipe that I'm sharing today with white beans.

However, white beans are versatile and can be used in so many ways. They can be added to any bowl or salad for protein. I love adding beans to pasta dishes: this beans & greens pasta is one of my favorites, and white beans are excellent in it.

Pile some white beans, or white beans and tomato sauce, onto your favorite toast or a burger bun. You can stuff them into a wrap, along with some vegetables and a good dressing, like my vegan Caesar.

White beans are excellent on top of savory oatmeal. They make a good addition to simple, whole grain dishes and to vegan risotto.

In short, there's no shortage of ways to use these buttery-textured, nutrient-dense legumes.

If you need some more specific recipe inspiration, I've got you! Here are fifteen of my favorite ideas.

15 Nutritious Vegan White Bean Recipes Best Brothy White Beans These are the best brothy white beans! Turn a pound of dry white beans into a tender, savory, all-purpose vegan protein. This is a one-pot recipe that's versatile, simple to make, and freezer-friendly. Two matching, white bowls are filled with beans, broth, and torn pieces of fresh bread. Get the recipe Artichoke, White Bean & Quinoa Burgers These vegan artichoke white bean burgers are packed with Mediterranean flavor and healthful ingredients! They're also gluten free and super versatile. An angled photograph of a vegan artichoke white bean burger, served on a bun with greens and a creamy dip. Get the recipe Vegetable White Bean Pasta This vegetable white bean pasta is an easy, one-dish meal that includes nutritious white beans and lots of fresh, summery produce. A bowl full of white bean pasta and tomato sauce rests on a linen napkin. Get the recipe Vegan Kale White Bean Caesar Salad This vegan kale white bean Caesar salad is a non-traditional take on the classic. It's made with kale, protein-packed white beans, and a cashew based dressing. It's exceptionally nutrient-dense and so satisfying. A nutritious, green salad is being served on a round, white plate with some crackers nearby. Get the recipe Cheesy Vegan Quinoa Bake This cheesy vegan quinoa broccoli bake is the epitome of comfort food, but it's made with wholesome, plant-based ingredients, including quinoa, beans, and broccoli. It's kid-friendly, freezer-friendly, and easy to make ahead. A ceramic plate rests on a gray linen cloth. It holds a cheesy vegan quinoa bake. Get the recipe Creamy Vegan Kale White Bean Soup This Italian-inspired, creamy vegan kale white bean soup is so nutritious. Silken tofu provides protein, and it's loaded with leafy greens. A ceramic bowl has been filled with a cream-colored soup and leafy greens. It's resting on a white surface. Get the recipe Pesto White Bean Bowls These pesto white bean bowls are made with whole grains, white beans, and vegetables. The grain bowls are topped with vegan pesto. They're brimming with nutrients, colorful, and bursting with the flavors of summer! A white bowl has been filled with tomato, zucchini, eggplant, whole grains, and legumes. It rests on a white cloth. Get the recipe Artichoke White Bean Wraps These white bean artichoke wraps are a tasty, healthful lunch idea. They're made with a garlicky white bean artichoke spread and nutrient-dense kale. I like to heat them up in a pan, similar to quesadillas, and serve them with a green herb dipping sauce! Artichoke white bean wraps have been cut into quarters and drizzled with a green sauce. Get the recipe White Bean Avocado Panzanella This non-traditional panzanella salad is made with a tart, creamy avocado dressing, tender white beans, zesty radishes, and pieces of your favorite bread. It's refreshing and light, yet filling, thanks to lots of healthful fats and fiber. Get the recipe Quinoa Bean Salad with Tahini and Pumpkin Seeds This quinoa bean salad with tahini and pumpkin seeds is packed with nutrition, protein, fiber, and flavor! It's a fast and healthful lunch option that can be made ahead of time. It also happens to be a no oil vegan recipe. A white, rimmed plate is covered in green spinach leaves and a red quinoa bean salad. It rests on a white surface. Get the recipe Warm Leek White Bean Salad This warm leek white bean salad is perfect for winter. Leeks are sautéed and tossed with nutritious white beans in a Dijon vinaigrette, then served warm or at room temperature. Serve the recipe with lettuce leaves, over a bed of greens, or with your favorite crackers or toast. Vegan hors d'oeuvres with beans and crackers have been served, along with lettuce leaves. Get the recipe Vegan Spaghetti & White Bean Balls This dish of spaghetti & white bean balls is a vegan interpretation of a classic pasta dinner! The white bean balls are great with marinara and spaghetti, linguine or fettuccine. However, they're a versatile vegan protein that can be served in many additional ways! A white bowl has been filled with a mix of spaghetti & white bean balls, along with marinara sauce. It's topped with fresh, sliced basil. Get the recipe White Bean Dip with Fresh Herbs One of my older recipes for Food52, this dip remains a favorite of mine for the spring months! Get the recipe Polenta Tomato Tart with White Bean Spread This polenta tomato tart with garlicky white bean spread and roasted cherry tomatoes looks fancy, but it's simple to prepare—and delicious! A perfect summer appetizer. An angled image of a polenta and cherry tomato tart, which is topped with a white bean spread. Get the recipe Garlic Tahini Smashed White Bean Salad If you like chickpea "tuna," then you need to try smashed white bean salad! It's a flavorful, protein-packed spread for toast, sandwiches, wraps, or dipping. This version is made with an irresistable roasted garlic tahini sauce. An overhead image of a piece of toast with white bean salad and microgreens. It sits on a white, rimmed plate upon a white surface. Get the recipe Garlic tahini smashed white bean salad

That last recipe—garlic tahini smashed white bean salad—has made a comeback in my kitchen in the last few weeks.

It's an older recipe, but I remember loving it when I first made it, and it has stood the test of time.

Yes, chickpeas are great in a smashed bean salad. But white beans, especially cannellini and great northern beans, give them a run for their money.

The substantial size and creamy texture of these beans is great for mashing. The resulting bean salad has some mashed beans, some whole ones, and they're all brought together by a savory, roasted garlic tahini dressing.

The smashed white bean salad is ideal for meal prep. Serve it in a wrap, on toast or in a sandwich, as part of a bowl, with vegetable crudités, or however you like. It can be part of lunch or a great snack.

If you're as eager for lunch variety as I am these days, this is a good option to bookmark and enjoy all summer long. Here's the recipe.

A smashed white bean salad is held in a white, ceramic bowl, resting on a white surface. An overhead image of a piece of toast with white bean salad and microgreens. It sits on a white, rimmed plate upon a white surface. Print 15 Nutritious Vegan White Bean Recipes: Smashed White Bean Salad If you like chickpea "tuna," then you need to try smashed white bean salad! It's a protein-packed spread for toast, sandwiches, wraps, or dipping. Plus, 15 of my favorite, nutritious vegan white bean recipes. Course dip, Side DishCuisine AmericanDiet Gluten Free, Low Lactose, Vegan, VegetarianKeyword beans, lunch, salad, tahini, white beans Prep Time 10 minutesCook Time 45 minutesTotal Time 55 minutes Servings 6 servings Author Gena Hamshaw Ingredients
  • 1 head garlic, top sliced off crosswise
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini (70g)
  • 1/3 cup water (80ml)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked white beans (480g cooked beans, or two 15oz / 425g cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 large stalk celery, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed, chopped fresh herbs of choice (such as parsley, dill, or basil; 10g)
  • Optional toppings or mix-ins of choice (such as microgreens, artichoke hearts, toasted pine nuts, or cashew parmesan cheese)
  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Rub the teaspoon of olive oil over the exposed garlic cloves. Wrap the whole head of garlic in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until the head of garlic is very soft and the cloves are lightly golden.
  • Place the tahini, water, lemon, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor. Squeeze all of the cloves of garlic from the roasted head into the blender. Blend the ingredients on high till creamy and smooth.
  • Place the beans, celery, shallot, and herbs in a mixing bowl. Add about three quarters of the dressing (you may want to hold off on using all of it until you mix up the salad and see whether you'd like to use more). Use a potato masher or fork to mash the dressing up with the beans and to smash about half of the white beans (you want about half of them to stay intact, or adjust the texture to your liking).
  • Taste the salad, add more dressing as needed, and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper, additional salt, and/or additional freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • Spread the salad on toast and add any optional toppings you like, or serve it as desired. The smashed white bean salad will keep for up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge.

I'm always inspired by how the simplest and most foundational plant-based ingredients, beans and grains, can create countless meals.

If you love cooking with these foundational vegan ingredients and want more inspiration, you can check out my roundups of lentil recipes, sweet potato recipes, chickpea recipes, and quinoa recipes.

In the meantime, I hope that this post will spark or revive your love of white beans!


The post 15 Nutritious Vegan White Bean Recipes appeared first on The Full Helping.

The Full Helping
Thu, 19 May 2022 15:21:54 +0000

Vegan Strawberry Muffins

These light, tender vegan strawberry muffins are the perfect muffin for spring. They're full of juicy, fresh strawberries, and they're so easy to prepare.

Vegan strawberry muffins, baked in white muffin liners, are resting on a white surface.

Oh, these muffins.

I made them for the first time about three weeks ago, in a fit of excitement about the beginning of strawberry season. I kept the recipe simple: basically, a vanilla muffin with chopped strawberries folded in and a bit of sparkling sugar on top.

I was expecting to be happy with the recipe—I love both muffins and strawberries, after all—but I wasn't prepared for how special these would be within their simplicity.

It's the strawberries. Those juicy pockets of fruit become so sweet upon baking. With their presence, the strawberry muffins don't need any bells or whistles.

This muffin recipe is all about fresh, seasonal fruit, and it's better for it.

A small, round, white serving plate has been topped with a single vegan strawberry muffin. How to make vegan strawberry muffins

When I wrote about vegan buttermilk earlier this week, I mentioned that a lot of vegan baking recipes don't actually require egg replacer.

I've found this to be especially true when it comes to quick breads: muffins, banana bread, pumpkin bread, and so on. It can also be true when it comes to vegan cake recipes.

This is possible with the right flour (or flours) and leavening agents. Eggs usually provide structure and leavening to baked goods, along with some richness, from fat.

It's easy to create that same richness with plant-based fats, such as oil, vegan butter, nut or seed butter, or vegan yogurt.

Mimicking the effect of egg on leavening and structure/binding is trickier, yet very possible. Leavening agents, combined with something acidic (like vegan buttermilk), create rise.

Using a flour with gluten preserves structure. So can the right combination of gluten-free flours and starches.

All three of these ingredients—leavening agents, vegan buttermilk, and all-purpose flour—come together to make the vegan strawberry muffins work.

A freshly baked muffin has been broken into two halves. It's resting on a small white serving plate.

The muffins are light, but they still have structure. The muffin crumb is sturdy enough to support the fresh, diced strawberry pieces, without their collecting at the muffin bottoms.

Vegan strawberry muffin ingredients

Simplicity is the name of the game for this particular muffin recipe. Here's what you'll need.

A white mixing bowl contains a mixture of flour and other dry ingredients. It rests on a white surface. Flour

I use unbleached, all-purpose flour for the vegan strawberry muffins, not to mention nearly all of my other baking endeavors. It gives me light, moist, fluffy treats with very consistent results.

If you've got your heart set on using a whole grain flour in the recipe, that's OK. Just be prepared for the muffins to be slightly denser or more dry than they would be otherwise. I recommend white whole wheat flour for the best results.

If you bake gluten-free, I recommend an all-purpose flour and starch blend. This one is my favorite by far.

Leavening agents

I use my go-to combination of baking powder and soda in a 2:1 ratio for the strawberry muffins.

An overhead image of milk in a glass bowl. Vegan buttermilk

And in order to make those muffins rise, I use my vegan buttermilk.

This straightforward mixture of unsweetened, non-dairy milk and freshly squeezed lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar) contributes some acid to the muffin batter.

In doing that, it sets off a neutralization reaction with the leavening agents, which are bases. That reaction produces tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide, which help the strawberry muffins to rise.

You can read more about how that magic happens in this post!

Melted vegan butter

I use melted butter as the fat source in the muffins. I like the way buttery flavor works in this recipe.

However, you can use a neutral-flavored vegetable oil to make the strawberry muffins, too. Refined avocado oil is my go-to for baking.

A mixing bowl contains flour, melted butter, and a whisk.
If you
Cane sugar

The strawberry muffins are sweetened with cane sugar. If you like, you can use coconut sugar as a substitute.

Vanilla extract

These muffins benefit from just a hint of vanilla flavor. I use vanilla extract, but if you have vanilla powder or syrup instead, that's fine.

An overhead image of a white bowl of batter for baked goods, which is specked with pieces of fresh fruit. Strawberries

The muffin recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of chopped, fresh strawberries. Typically I tell readers that frozen fruit is a fine substitute for fresh in baking recipes.

For these strawberry muffins, though, I think that it's important to use fresh fruit. The texture and flavor of chopped, fresh strawberries is key in the recipe.

Sparkling sugar

Sparkling sugar is a shimmering sugar that can be used to very simply decorate muffins, scones, and cookies. It gives them just a tiny bit of irresistable, sugary crust on top.

Each time I mention sparkling sugar, I'm asked where it can be purchased. I really like the sparkling sugar from King Arthur Baking, which you can order from the KAB online shop.

However, you can also find a bunch of sparkling sugar options on Amazon. If you have a local cake decorating store or specialty baking store, you ought to be able to find it there, too. Sometimes sparkling sugar is even easy to locate in the baking section of a big grocery store.

If you don't have sparkling sugar but you do happen to have demerara sugar in your pantry, you can use the latter instead.

Can I substitute blueberries for strawberries?

If you don't have fresh strawberries, an alternative option is to use fresh blueberries in their place. Go for the same amount of fruit: 1 1/2 cups.

Meal prep & storage

Homemade muffins are without a doubt one of my favorite sweet breakfast foods for making ahead. I nearly always make a dozen and freeze half.

Homemade muffins make a wonderful, on-the-go light breakfast or sweet snack.

As far as breakfast goes, you could of course pair the strawberry muffins with all sorts of other foods. I like to have them with a cashew or almond yogurt and some additional, fresh strawberries.

You could serve them with some nuts or nut butter, a pat of vegan butter, a smoothie, or a nice, frothy oat milk latte. Or whatever else you might be in the mood for.

Store the muffins in a sealable container or resealable bag at room temperature for up to 2 days or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Room temperature storage will keep the muffins moist—fridge storage tends to dry out baked goods—but keeping them in the fridge will extend their freshness.

Can I freeze vegan strawberry muffins?

Definitely. The strawberry muffins can be wrapped or transferred to an airtight container and frozen, individually or in batches, for up to 6 weeks.

Two layers of vegan vanilla cake have been turned into strawberry shortcake, decorated with whipped cream and quartered strawberries. More treats for strawberry season

If reading this post makes you excited to bake, then you might enjoy these additional ways to savor fresh, juicy spring and summer strawberries:

Vegan strawberry muffins, baked in white muffin liners, are resting on a white surface. Print Vegan Strawberry Muffins These light, tender vegan strawberry muffins are the perfect muffin for spring. They're full of juicy pockets of fresh strawberry, and they're so easy to prepare. Course baked good, Breakfast, SnackCuisine AmericanDiet Low Lactose, Vegan, VegetarianKeyword baking, breakfast, muffins, strawberry Prep Time 15 minutesCook Time 25 minutesTotal Time 40 minutes Servings 12 muffins Author Gena Hamshaw Ingredients Instructions
  • Preheat your oven to 350F and oil or line a muffin baking pan with liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • In another, medium mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, cane sugar, and vanilla extract.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet mixture. Use a spatula to fold the ingredients together, until you have a batter and no visible streaks of flours remain in the bowl. It's OK if the batter has small lumps—don't over-mix!
  • Set aside 1/4 cup of the diced strawberries. Fold the rest of the strawberries into the batter gently, until they're just distributed.
  • Use a muffin scoop or 1/2 cup measure to fill the muffin pan (each muffin container should be about 2/3 or 3/4 of the way full). Dot the tops of the muffins with the remaining strawberry pieces. Sprinkle each top with 1 teaspoon sparkling sugar, if using.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are puffy, set, and turning golden at their edges. As soon as the muffins are cool enough to handle, remove them from the pan and transfer them to a cooling rack. Cool for 10-15 more minutes before enjoying.
Freshly baked breakfast goods are lined up on a white marble surface, against a white tile backdrop. They're studded with seasonal berries.

I've made the strawberry muffins four times (!) since I first made them left than one month ago.

I've now shared them with yoga friends, gifted them to a friend on Mother's Day, and enjoyed a batch all to myself. I'm happy to say that I still have some in my freezer.

I hope you'll like them as much as I do. Here's to spring.


The post Vegan Strawberry Muffins appeared first on The Full Helping.

The Full Helping
Tue, 17 May 2022 17:07:58 +0000

Homemade Vegan Buttermilk

Vegan buttermilk is the trick to making perfect vegan muffins, cakes, pancakes, cornbread, biscuits, and other quick breads. Learn how to make it with this simple recipe!

Half of a cut lemon is resting next to a mason jar full of vegan milk.

I love any and all of the baked goods that qualify as quick breads.

These include muffins, scones, cornbread, waffles and pancakes, banana bread and zucchini bread, many cakes, brownies, cookies, and more.

All of these tasty breads use chemical leavening. They rise because of the chemical reactions that happen when a leavening agent—usually baking powder, baking soda, or a combination of both—is added to batter.

Acids play a key role in allowing leavening agents to do their job in baked goods. This is why buttermilk is such a useful ingredient in baked goods that include baking powder or baking soda.

I can't tell you how many times I've gotten an email or a DM asking me whether I have a recipe or an idea for vegan buttermilk. Fortunately, I do, and it couldn't be easier.

What is buttermilk?

I'll never forget the first time I tasted buttermilk.

I was maybe eight or nine, and I was at my grandmother's home. I saw what I thought was a quart of milk in the fridge.

I opened it, helped myself to a glass, took a big gulp, and promptly found myself spitting it out into the sink.

Of course it seemed to me that the milk was spoiled. It was thick, a little lumpy, and quite sour.

In fact, this was a quart of buttermilk. I was bewildered that anyone would voluntarily buy such a product at the store.

My grandmother explained that buttermilk was a good ingredient for pancakes and for baking. Some people, she told me, enjoyed drinking it plain.

The latter bit blew my mind. Even then, I was fascinated by baking, and I remember being curious about this mysterious liquid and its role in making homemade treats. Little did I know how much I'd come to rely on a vegan version one day.

Buttermilk is the by-product of making butter. When you whip or churn cream enough, you end up with butter, which consists of the fat and proteins from the cream.

You also end up with a liquid. It contains water, milk proteins, sugar in the form of lactose, and a little fat. This liquid can become buttermilk.

In the past, when people regularly churned butter at home, they would apparently leave the leftover liquid out at room temperature overnight. It would ferment, thicken, and turn into buttermilk.

Nowadays, commercial buttermilk is made by pasteurizing skim or low-fat milk, then adding cultures that initiate a controlled fermentation process. The fermentation process turns lactose into lactic acid, and characteristically sour buttermilk results.

Incidentally, the conversion of lactose to lactic acid means that buttermilk is lower in lactose than regular milk. It's more tolerable for folks with lactose intolerance than regular milk.

How to make vegan buttermilk

Fortunately, the process of making vegan buttermilk at home is much less complex than either the old-fashioned or the commercial means of making regular buttermilk!

In fact, it's as straightforward as adding an acid—my preference is freshly squeezed lemon juice—to non-dairy milk.

A lemon is being squeezed into a mason jar full of milk. It rests on a white surface.

That's it, really and truly. This "recipe" is not so much a recipe as a method and a ratio: one tablespoon acid for every cup of vegan milk.

After you add the acid to the non-dairy milk, you'll allow the mixture to sit for at least five minutes. In this time, it curdles and thickens slightly.

An overhead image of milk in a glass bowl.

At this point, the milk is ready for adding to baked goods. You can also store it for up to three days in an airtight container in the fridge.

What type of non-dairy milk is best for vegan buttermilk?

Over the years I've made homemade vegan buttermilk with most types of plant milk. In spite of the fact that regular buttermilk is relatively low in fat, I find that the best vegan milk options are those that have a slightly richer texture.

I usually use plain/unsweetened soy milk to make my homemade vegan buttermilk. The rest of the time, I reach for oat milk.

With that said, I've had success with both almond and cashew milk, too. I recommend choosing an almond milk that's a bit thicker (think: Califia Farms) rather than thinner in texture (for example, Almond Breeze).

The plant milks that I don't recommend for making vegan buttermilk are flax (too thin) and hemp (too distinctively hemp-y in flavor).

What type of acid can I use in vegan buttermilk?

Over time, I've come to prefer using freshly squeezed lemon juice in my vegan buttermilk.

However, vinegar will also work well for the recipe. I regularly use either apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to make vegan buttermilk at home.

One of the nice things about this preparation is that you can use what you have in your fridge or pantry, whipping up vegan buttermilk for baking at a moment's notice.

A glass jar of homemade vegan buttermilk rests on a white surface. Storing vegan buttermilk

Because it takes only minutes to prepare vegan buttermilk, I usually only make as much as I need at one time.

If you bake very often, though, you might choose to make a few cups of vegan buttermilk at a time. You can use some immediately and store the rest.

Vegan buttermilk will keep for up to three days in an airtight container in the fridge. I usually store it in a glass mason jar.

A mixing bowl contains flour, melted butter, and a whisk. Why does buttermilk make quick breads rise?

As you whip up a cup of vegan buttermilk, you may wonder why, exactly, it helps vegan baked goods, pancakes, and waffles to rise.

The answer is that baking soda, which is a common chemical leavening agent in baking, is a base.

When baking soda is combined with an acid, including this vegan buttermilk, the acid neutralizes the base. That neutralization reaction creates carbon dioxide.

Tiny bubbles of the CO2 gas help baked goods to rise, puff up, and become the fluffy delights that we love to eat.

A small dessert plate holds vegan banana walnut muffins. Two are intact, in their liners, while a third has been broken in half.

It's worth noting that baking soda is one of two common chemical leavening agents in baking. The other is baking powder.

Baking powder, unlike baking soda, already has a weak, powdered acid added to it. This is commonly a combination of monocalcium phosphate and either sodium acid pyrophosphate or sodium aluminum sulfate.

Because baking powder has some acid in it already, it can create lightness and rise in baked goods without the need for adding an acid (like lemon juice or vinegar) to batter.

In all of my baking experiments, I've found that I have the best results when I use a combination of baking soda and baking powder. I usually use a 1:2 ratio of soda to powder.

And I nearly always bake with my vegan buttermilk in order to activate the baking soda in the recipe and enhance the rise that my two leavening agents create.

A three layered vanilla cake rests on a round plate. The cake has had a slice cut into it and is decorated with white buttercream frosting.

By the way, I often find myself telling people that it's not necessary to replace eggs in many vegan baked goods.

It's true that using a flax egg or aquafaba can be advantageous in certain recipes. But I've had great luck in preparing quick breads without any egg replacer.

I think that part of my success in bypassing egg replacer is the ability to create lightness—often aided with the use of egg in conventional baking—with the right combination of leavening agents and acid.

Vegan buttermilk contributes greatly to that result!

An overhead image of strawberry scones on a white parchment baking sheet. How to use vegan buttermilk

Unlike regular buttermilk, I wouldn't recommend drinking vegan buttermilk on its own.

I do, however, recommend it for any and all of your quick bread needs. Here's a sampling of recipes that will get a beautiful lift from it:

My baking archives will supply you with plenty more ideas—and of course, I hope that you'll find many creative, personal uses for this handy household staple.

Half of a cut lemon is resting next to a mason jar full of vegan milk. Print Homemade Vegan Buttermilk Vegan buttermilk is the trick to making perfect vegan muffins, cakes, and quick breads. Learn how to make it with this simple recipe! Course baked goodsCuisine AmericanDiet Low Lactose, Vegan, VegetarianKeyword baking, dairy free, plant milk Cook Time 5 minutesTotal Time 5 minutes Servings 1 cup Author Gena Hamshaw Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (substitute apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 cup plain, unsweetened soy, oat, almond, or cashew milk
  • Add the lemon juice to your plant milk. Allow the milk to sit for at least 5 minutes, or until it has a slightly curdled appearance. Store or use immediately in your favorite baking recipes.
A stack of vegan blueberry cornmeal pancakes.

It's no secret that baking is one of my big joys. More and more, I make jokes about quitting all of the various things that I do so that I can open a vegan bakery.

I doubt that's in the cards, at least not anytime soon. But I can continue to create a steady rotation of sweet, fragrant, light and fluffy quick breads and treats here in my home.

I hope that this easy vegan buttermilk will help you to do the same.


The post Homemade Vegan Buttermilk appeared first on The Full Helping.

The Full Helping
Mon, 09 May 2022 17:17:17 +0000

Vegan Chickpeas à la King

This vegan dish of chickpeas à la King is cozy, comforting, and quite nostalgic for anyone who's a fan of the traditional chicken recipe! It's super quick and easy to make, and you can serve it over rice, toast, or whatever you like.

A dish of chickpeas à la King has been served over a bed of brown rice.

I ate quite a few Stouffer's frozen dinners growing up, and I loved them.

I loved them specifically because they presented me with the classic, all-American comfort food dishes that my mom and grandmother didn't tend to cook at home.

My mom's family is Greek, so I was raised on the flavors of oregano, dill, garlic, tomato, and lemon. Lots and lots of lemon.

My Yaya's table offered up traditional Greek fare: broiled keftedes, fragrant sheet pans of patates lemonates, tsoureki and kourabiedes at the holidays, and my personal favorite: slow cooked fasolakia, with its flavorful sauce of tomatoes and olive oil.

In spite of this, the women who raised me loved American comfort food. In fact, my mom's two culinary specialties were meatloaf and tuna noodle casserole. Her favorites to purchase and heat up in the oven were chicken pot pie and crab cakes. Her grilled cheese was legendary.

My Yaya would choose Haagen-Daaz vanilla ice cream over baklava nine times out of ten. And she had two clear favorite Stouffer dinners, which became my two favorites as well: Turkey Tetrazzini and Chicken à la King.

How I loved those dishes, with their creamy textures and cozy, starchy accompaniments: mashed potatoes or rice. There's a photo of me as a four-year-old, digging into a plastic tray of Turkey Tetrazzini with a fork and a gleeful expression on my face.

I'm still working on a vegan Tetrazzini of my own. But I think I've finally figured out an à la King recipe that fits my present-day life. It's vegan, of course. And I chose my all-time favorite bean, chickpeas, as the protein.

What is chicken à la King?

Chicken à la King is a creamy dish of diced chicken, red or pimiento peppers, and mushrooms. It can be seasoned with sherry, though my version doesn't include it, and I didn't miss it.

Chicken à la King is typically served over cooked rice, toast, noodles, or a biscuit.

According to Wikipedia, there are a few apocryphal stories about the origins of this dish. One is that it was created at Delmonico's restaurant in the 1880s. Another version claims that it originated at the same time, but across the pond, at Claridge's Hotel in London.

There's another tale linking the dish's origins to a hotel in Brighton Beach, and yet another suggesting that it was created by a hotel cook (William "Bill" King) at the Bellevue in Philadelphia.

No matter the case, mentions of the dish appeared in the New York Times as early as 1893, and recipes for it were published in 1900 and 1905.

I was introduced to Chicken à la King via TV dinner. I thought it was tasty and comforting, but I became vegan before I had enough cooking know-how to try making it myself.

These chickpeas à la King are my first attempt at creating the dish at home. I was so happy with how easy they were to prepare. I love the versatility of the recipe, the fact that it can be served with/on top a few different starches.

Best of all, chickpeas à la king are as tasty, simple, and comforting as I remember.

A dish of mushrooms and beans is simmering in a skillet. Dots of red pepper are distributed through the dish. Chickpeas for chicken

Clearly, the main departure I made in my à la King recipe was to use chickpeas in place of the traditional chicken.

Chickpeas are a go-to plant-protein for me. I love their creamy, satisfying texture, their plump, round shape, and the fact that they are super versatile.

I scramble chickpeas, blend them into hummus, simmer or puree them in soup, fold them into pasta, add them to grain salads, use them as the base of vegan meatloaf, and turn them into burgers. I'm constantly thinking of new, creative ways to use this nutritious legume in recipes.

The trick for chickpeas à la King was to season the beans in such a way that they'd stand in ably for chicken. That's where Orrington Farm's vegan chicken flavored base came in.

A container of bouillon powder is held up for a photo, against the backdrop of simmering beans.

This broth base has become a VIP ingredient in my pantry.

As the name implies, this powder can be added to hot water in order to create a chicken-flavored broth that's completely vegan. I now use it to season soy curls, make pots of soup, add umami and salty flavor to casseroles, and more.

Do you run out of cartons of store-bought vegetable and chicken broth all the time? Me too.

That's why I love the chicken flavored base, along with Orrington Farm's vegetable base, ham flavored base, and beef flavored base. Whether I've grocery shopped recently or not, I can always have a hot cup or two of broth ready to cook with at a moment's notice.

An overhead image of a pale yellow, powdered bouillon base.

The broth base jar contains enough powder to make a whole 28 cups of vegan chicken-style broth. It's so convenient to have on hand.

And, if you don't need to create broth, you can use the powder as a seasoning instead. I've added it to skillet meals, rice dishes, and stuffed peppers, among other dishes, for extra flavor.

A few other features of this versatile product: the broth base is gluten-free and made in small batches. For those who avoid MSG, it's seasoned with sea salt instead. And it's farmed in the US, in St. Louis, Missouri.

How to make vegan chickpeas à la King

In addition to being hearty, filling, and versatile, the chickpeas à la King are very easy to prepare!

You'll start by sautéing onion, pepper, mushrooms, and garlic in vegan butter (or oil) for 8-10 minutes, or long enough for the mushrooms to release their juices and become tender.

Next, you'll add some non-dairy milk and water to the skillet with the vegetables. This liquid will become the chickpeas' creamy sauce.

The packaging of a store-bought bouillon, resting on a white surface.

In a small bowl, you'll whisk together the Orrington Farms broth base, some additional water, flour, and nutritional yeast. This savory mixture is a slurry: a starchy liquid, usually made with flour or cornstarch, that goes on to thicken a dish.

You'll add the slurry to the vegetables and simmer until their sauce is creamy. Then, you'll fold in your cooked chickpeas.

Chickpeas, mushrooms, and red peppers are simmering in liquid in a skillet.

From here, the only remaining steps are to warm the chickpeas through, taste them, and adjust your seasonings.

With that, chickpeas à la king are ready to eat.

Two white bowls hold a dish of chickpeas à la King. A container of bouillon powder and gray napkin lie nearby.

When it comes to serving, you've got options! I like to pile the chickpeas over cooked rice or toast. But they're also great over pasta or noodles, cooked quinoa, mashed potatoes, or biscuits.

Instead of serving the chickpeas à la king over a starch, you could choose to serve them over steamed or sautéed leafy greens or zucchini noodles instead.

Do I need to cook my chickpeas from scratch?

In a word, no. It's my personal preference to use canned beans in my cooking 95% of the time.

I think it's cool if you prefer to soak beans and scratch cook, but a pantry full of canned beans makes quick meals with plant-protein an easy reality.

Whether you cook from scratch or use canned beans, you'll need 3 cups of cooked chickpeas for the recipe. That's about two cans.

A close-up image of cooked beans and parsley. Chickpeas à la King ingredients

With simplicity and ease in mind, I kept the ingredients of the chickpeas à la King pretty simple.

You'll need vegetables: onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic. There's plenty of opportunity to vary the vegetables in this dish if you like. I want to try it with green peas. It would also be nice with green beans, chopped zucchini, broccoli or cauliflower florets, or diced carrot.

For seasoning, the Orrington Farms broth base packs a punch. I keep the seasonings simple otherwise: salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast for additional savoriness.

You can add herbs or spices that you love to the recipe. Parsley, tarragon, and paprika could all be good additions.

The creamy sauce in this recipe depends on flour for thickening and non-dairy milk. I used unsweetened, plain soy milk. However, you can use another plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice, including oat milk, cashew milk, or almond milk.

I don't recommend rice milk, as its texture is too thin for the recipe. I'd personally opt against coconut milk because it tends to make things taste coconutty, which isn't the goal here. However, a lot of folks love cooking with coconut milk, and its creaminess certainly suits the recipe. If that's your preference, then go for it.

Finally, I like to use vegan butter to sauté the vegetables at the start of preparing the chickpeas à la king. This is a comfort food recipe, and I think that the buttery flavor is authentic. However, both olive and avocado oil are a fine replacement if you prefer them.

Meal prep & storage

Once cooked, the chickpeas à la king will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

The recipe is a good meal prep option because you can enjoy it through the week in a few different ways. Try varying the grain, starch, or vegetables that you serve it with.

You could even get creative and add the chickpeas to tofu scramble or add them to your favorite vegan lunch bowl.

Can I freeze chickpeas à la king?

Most definitely. The chickpeas à la king can be frozen for up to six weeks. Thaw overnight in the fridge and enjoy them when you're ready.

A white bowl holds a vegan dish of chickpeas à la King, topped with chopped, green scallion tops. More classic comfort food fare

If this recipe speaks to you, then you may share my love of cozy, comfort food classics.

Here are a few others that I love to make.

It's such a joy to savor vegan versions of these nostalgic favorites!

A close, overhead image of cooked beans, chopped scallions, and red peppers with mushrooms. Print Vegan Chickpeas à la King This vegan dish of chickpeas à la King is cozy, comforting, and nostalgic for anyone who's a fan of the traditional chicken recipe. It's super quick and easy to make, and you can serve it over rice, toast, or whatever you like! Course main, Main CourseCuisine AmericanDiet Gluten Free, Low Fat, Low Lactose, Vegan, VegetarianKeyword chickpeas, comfort food, mushroom, quick and easy Prep Time 10 minutesCook Time 20 minutesTotal Time 30 minutes Servings 6 servings Author Gena Hamshaw Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (substitute olive or avocado oil)
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 8 ounces sliced button or baby bella mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened, plain soy, oat, cashew, or almond milk
  • 1 cup water (divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour (35 g)
  • 4 teaspoons Orrington Farms Vegan Chicken Flavored Base
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (480g, or 2 15-ounce/425g cans, drained and rinsed)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cooked rice, pasta, toast, or vegan biscuits, for serving
  • Chopped green onion tops, chives, or fresh parsley leaves, for serving
  • Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, pepper, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until the mushrooms have released their juices and are completely tender and reduced in size. 
  • Turn the heat to medium high. Add the non-dairy milk and 3/4 cup water to the skillet and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup water, flour, chicken flavored base, and nutritional yeast until you have a smooth slurry. Add this mixture to the simmering vegetables and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low and continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened considerably, 2-3 minutes. Add the chickpeas to the skillet and warm through, about 2 more minutes. 
  • Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper as desired. Serve the warm chickpeas and vegetables over cooked brown rice, pasta, toast, or vegan biscuits. Top with chopped green onion tops, chives, or parsley, if desired. Enjoy.
An overhead image of a bean dish, with a gray napkin and a container of bouillon powder nearby.

Another nice feature of the chickpeas à la king recipe? Like all comfort food, it's especially nice when it's cold out. But it's not really a seasonal dish. I've been enjoying it so much as the weather warms up. And of course there's lots of possibility to add in seasonal flourishes with the vegetables and herbs that you choose.

I hope that this recipe will come in handy on some evening when you need to quickly whip up a nutritious, filling vegan supper. And I hope you'll explore the Orrington Farms vegan broth bases. They make meals like this all the easier and more convenient.

Till soon,


This post is sponsored by Orrington Farms. All opinions are my own. Thanks for your support!

The post Vegan Chickpeas à la King appeared first on The Full Helping.

The Full Helping
Wed, 04 May 2022 17:42:54 +0000

My Favorite Vegan Tempeh Bacon

This is my favorite recipe for tempeh "bacon," a smoky, salty staple in my sandwiches, wraps, salads, breakfast plates, and more. This tempeh is versatile, easy to prepare, and a great source of vegan protein.

Two small baking sheets are lined with parchment paper and strips of vegan tempeh

Staple foods and plant-based basics continue!

If you missed this weekend's weekend reading post, I came down with the flu on Saturday. I'm bouncing back, thanks in part to the Tamiflu that I qualified for when I went in to urgent care. But the first few days were rough, and I wasn't feeling like myself in the days leading up to getting sick, either.

I was mighty grateful, therefore, to have some of my favorite vegan tempeh bacon in my fridge.

My batch of tempeh bacon made homemade vegan BLTs easy when I didn't have the energy to make any other lunch. And it was a concentrated source of vegan protein that I could crumble onto homemade soup as I was recovering.

Tempeh bacon is something that I casually reference all the time on this blog. Just made tofu scramble? Add some tempeh bacon. Whipping up some potato or Brussels sprout hash? Tempeh bacon to the rescue. Want to add savoriness and a bolt of flavor to an otherwise simple salad? Tempeh bacon it is.

But I've never really shared my go-to recipe or process for making tempeh bacon here. Since I'm turning to this recipe more than ever, I figured it was about time to share.

Green asparagus spears have been topped with a plant-based, crumbled tempeh What is tempeh bacon?

Good question. Tempeh bacon is sort of like "nooch" or cashew cheese insofar as it's a food that longtime vegan eaters sometimes refer to without thinking.

People who are new to plant-based eating, on the other hand, may be baffled when they hear about it.

Tempeh "bacon" is a tempeh preparation that evokes bacon in its salty, smoky flavor profile. It can be used in recipes similarly to regular bacon: crumbled, chopped, or in strips.

What is tempeh?

For those of you who aren't familiar with it, tempeh is a vegan protein made from soybeans.

Unlike tofu, which is also made from soybeans, tempeh is dense and has some texture. You'll be able to tell that it's made from a cake of whole beans. On the other hand, tofu is made from beans that have been crushed, boiled, turned into a soy "milk," and then coagulated.

Tempeh has an earthy flavor. It can be on the bitter side, which is an effect that's lessened if you steam it it before marinating and cooking it.

These days, I almost always steam my tempeh before cooking it. However, I don't find steaming to be a necessary step in making tempeh bacon. The tempeh is sliced so thin and marinated with so much flavor here that you won't catch any bitter flavor in the finished strips.

Tempeh health benefits

Tempeh is one of the most nutritionally rich plant-based ingredients to work with. First and foremost, it's a great source of plant protein.

A 3-oz serving of tempeh has about 17 grams of protein. As a registered dietitian, I advise many of my nutrition clients to aim for about 20 grams of protein per meal (a recommendation that can go up or down with a person's unique needs). 17 grams is a significant contribution to the protein content of any plate!

Tempeh is also a good source of dietary fiber, which may be beneficial for heart and digestive health. And it's got a small amount of zinc, which is associated with strong immune function.

Tempeh is low in sodium and saturated fat, and it's free of cholesterol. This makes it a great protein source for those who are managing cardiac concerns or high blood lipids.

A glass mason jar has been filled with a dark brown marinade. How to make tempeh bacon

Fortunately, the process of making tempeh bacon is simple.

You'll begin by mixing a 5-ingredient marinade together. Next, you'll slice your block of tempeh into strips.

Tempeh can come in different shapes, depending on where you purchase it. In the US, it's usually sold in 7.5- or 8-oz rectangular blocks.

I like to slice my tempeh width-wise along these blocks, into short strips. If you prefer, you can also slice it lengthwise.

Either way, I recommend strips that are about 1/4-inch thick.

A close-up image of a plant-based protein, which is being marinated in a deep amber colored sauce.

Once your tempeh is sliced, you'll need to submerge it in the marinade.

I usually marinate my tempeh in a glass storage container with a tight-fitting lid. I end up storing the tempeh in the fridge while it marinates, anyway, and the tight lid of this container makes it easy for me to shake the tempeh gently to disperse the marinade.

However, it's also fine to marinate the tempeh in a shallow, rectangular or square baking dish, then cover it with cloth, aluminum foil or plastic wrap while it marinates.

Strips of a vegan protein are lined up in a baking dish, marinating in a deep amber marinade. The dish rests on a white surface.

The covered tempeh can marinate for as little as 2 hours or up to 48 hours in the fridge. I almost always let it marinate overnight, as the tempeh soaks up the most flavor this way. If two hours is the time that you have, though, 2 hours will be fine.

Next, you'll bake the tempeh bacon in a 400°F oven for about 20-25 minutes, flipping the strips once halfway through the baking time.

A sheet of white parchment paper has been used for baking dark brown slices of vegan tempeh

When the tempeh bacon emerges from the oven, it ought to be browning, crisp along the edges, and ready for all of your bacon-worthy vegan recipes.

How to serve tempeh bacon

What might some of those recipes be?

I feel as though I use my tempeh bacon in and on just about everything. It frequently appears in my sandwiches and wraps at lunchtime. It's great crumbled over soup or a vegan salad.

Tempeh bacon is the idea accompaniment to tofu scramble, of course, and it works well with so many other breakfast dishes. I like to put it onto avocado or hummus toast in particular.

Here's are some other recipes that your tempeh bacon might like to live in or on:

Salads Soups Breakfasts Pastas Sandwiches & wraps

Of course, this is just what comes to my mind. There are so many other possibilities for the tempeh bacon.

Remember also that, rather than using it in a proper recipe, you can simply add the tempeh bacon to any food or meal that could use a little boost of plant protein.

As you can see below, I really like to crumble it over steamed, roasted, or freshly sautéed green vegetables. This could be broccoli or broccolini, garlicky chard or spinach, steamed asparagus spears, sautéed zucchini, or massaged kale salad.

A round, white plate holds freshly cooked asparagus spears. It rests on a white surface. How to store tempeh bacon

Tempeh bacon can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days, or you can freeze it for up to six weeks. It keeps very well!

To reheat, you can warm the tempeh bacon strips up over low heat in a nonstick frying pan. You can alsoheat them in your air fryer or oven at 350 for about 5 minutes.

Celebrating tempeh

Over time, tempeh has become my favorite plant protein of all. I'm always looking for new ways to enjoy it, and I'll continue to share my experiments here.

In the meantime, some of my other favorite, simple tempeh preparations:

Two small baking sheets are lined with parchment paper and strips of vegan tempeh Print My Favorite Vegan Tempeh Bacon This is my favorite recipe for tempeh "bacon," a smoky, salty staple in my sandwiches, wraps, salads, breakfast plates, and more. This tempeh is versatile, easy to prepare, and a great source of vegan protein. Course side, Side DishCuisine AmericanDiet Gluten Free, Low Lactose, Vegan, VegetarianKeyword protein, tempeh Prep Time 5 minutesCook Time 25 minutesMarinating time 2 hoursTotal Time 2 hours 30 minutes Servings 4 servings Author Gena Hamshaw Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos, soy sauce, or tamari (90mL)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (60mL)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 8 ounces tempeh, sliced crosswise into thin (1/4-inch) strips (225g)
  • Arrange the tempeh strips in a rectangular dish or storage container. It's fine if they need to overlap a bit.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the tamari, vinegar, oil, maple syrup, and paprika. Pour this marinade over the tempeh strips. Tilt the container around in order to coat all of the strips in the marinade. Cover the container and transfer it to the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours.
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the tempeh strips from their marinade and arrange them on the baking sheet. 
  • Bake the tempeh strips for 10 minutes, then flip them over and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until browning and crisp along the edges. Use in recipes or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days. 

I finished the last of my batch of tempeh bacon a few days ago, but I already have plans to start marinating another this weekend (hopefully as I whip up some tofu or chickpea scramble). It's one of those foods that I make nearly every week, with no plans to stop anytime soon.

Maybe it'll become a staple protein for you, too—something that you can turn to when you need quick, flavorful nutrition. I hope so!


The post My Favorite Vegan Tempeh Bacon appeared first on The Full Helping.

The Full Helping
Thu, 28 Apr 2022 16:42:18 +0000

Spring Vegan Pasta Primavera

This vegan pasta primavera is lemony and creamy, yet light. It's a perfect celebration of fresh, green spring produce, and it can be adapted for other seasons of the year, too.

An overhead image of a bowl of vegan spring pasta primavera, which is packed with bright green vegetables.

It has been blustery and brisk this week. It's also that time of year when the heat stops coming up in the morning in my apartment in spite of the fact that it's 40 degrees in the morning.

Springtime in New York City can be a chilly season. All the more reason for bright, springtime recipes in my kitchen—meals that promise warmer days ahead.

This lovely, springtime vegan pasta primavera is one of those. I made it a couple weeks ago, after a month or two of having little energy to cook more than staples.

It was my first time this year having fresh asparagus and sugar snap peas, and it was delightful.

I've made the pasta again since then, and I'm sure that it will become an April favorite for me. It's so easy to make, and its simplicity is totally appropriate. Because it has only few ingredients, the fresh, crispy produce and hint of lemon zest shine.

This vegan pasta primavera features a light cream sauce. That sauce is achieved by using either vegan sour cream (homemade or store-bought), or my all-purpose cashew cream.

The effect is a pasta that's just a little creamy and luxurious, but not as heavy as carbonara or alfredo—a perfect in-between for an in-between season.

What is pasta primavera?

Pasta primavera is an American pasta dish that originated in the 1970s. It's attributed to chefs at Le Cirque restaurant in NYC. It's made with vegetables and pasta, along with butter, cream, or both.

Pasta primavera recipes vary significantly. I've seen the dish made with green vegetables and spring produce, much like the recipe that I'm sharing today.

I've also seen pasta primavera recipes that call for broccoli, peppers, fresh tomatoes, carrots, red onion, zucchini, and more. This is an adaptable dish, one that can be made with vegetables that are available and in season.

How to make vegan pasta primavera

My recipe was inspired by two others: Melissa Clark's pasta primavera with asparagus and peas, which is made with Greek yogurt, and J. Kenji López-Alt's version with crème fraîche.

It isn't a stretch to veganize this type of pasta dish. Really, the only task is to re-create the creamy component without dairy.

An overhead image of a blender, filled with a creamy white mixture.

The first option is to use the vegan sour cream that I posted last week. That sour cream is similar to crème fraîche, and it works beautifully in this light, fresh, springtime pasta dish.

A jar and round bowl have been filled with vegan cashew cream. Another bowl of raw cashews is in the background.

The other option would be to use my all-purpose cashew cream, which (longtime readers know) I use in just about everything, from pasta dishes to scones and pie.

These two components are made in the same way: by blending soaked cashews and water in a high-speed blender or a food processor.

A food processor is blending up a creamy vegan dairy replacement.

The recipes each give instructions for blending, soaking cashews, which cashews to choose, and more.

If you make the creamy component in advance, actually whipping up the pasta primavera is incredibly simple.

You'll start by steaming your spring vegetables until they're crisp-tender. Then, you'll boil your pasta, reserving some cooking water to help bring the dish together at the end.

A small, silver frying pan is being used to cook thinly sliced shallots.

Next, you'll sauté some shallots and garlic. At this point, you'll add your cooked pasta, followed by the cashew cream, some cooking water, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper. As you stir everything together, a light cream sauce will envelop the pasta.

A silver saucepan is filled with pasta and vegetables.

You'll finish the recipe by folding your vegetables in. Garnish with cashew parmesan and/or fresh herbs, and you're ready to eat.

A small, white bowl rests on a white surface. It's filled with raw cashews. Cashew cream substitutions

What if you don't have either a food processor or a high-speed blender? Or you do have a cashew allergy?

That's OK. I've experimented with a number of cashew cream substitutions, and I've landed on three that work well.

For each cup of cashew cream (or cashew sour cream) that's called for in a recipe, substitute:

  • 1/2 cup / 120g vegan cream cheese (nut-based or tofu-based) blended with 1/2 cup / 120ml water
  • 1 cup / 220g silken tofu, blended till smooth
  • 1 cup / 240ml unsweetened plain coconut yogurt

These options will work for this vegan pasta primavera, if cashews aren't for you.

A round, white bowl is filled with various types of green vegetables. It rests on a white surface. Spring pasta primavera ingredients

One of the things that I love about this dish is the relatively simple ingredient list. Here are the highlights.


My intention here was to take advantage of fresh, spring produce, and I chose my favorites: asparagus, sugar snap peas, and green peas.

You can celebrate the season with me, if the same vegetables are available near you. However, you can also modify the pasta dish to include the vegetables that you have at home. Here are some that you might like to try:

  • Thinly sliced bell pepper strips
  • Broccoli florets
  • Cauliflower florets
  • Chopped spinach, kale, broccoli rabe, or Swiss chard
  • Thinly sliced zucchini or summer squash half moons
  • Pearl onions
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Julienned carrots

90% of the time, I use regular old pasta to make my pasta suppers.

The remaining 10% of the time I use whole wheat pasta, or I reach for bean/lentil pasta. Legume-based pasta isn't my favorite from a taste/texture perspective, but I do like its plant protein content.

You can use your pasta of choice in the vegan pasta primavera. Regular, whole grain, legume, gluten-free: it's up to you.

4-ingredient vegan sour cream

As I mentioned, you can use vegan sour cream, regular cashew cream, or one of my suggested substitutes.

Lemon zest

"The lemon zest is everything," said a friend who tasted this recipe, and it's true. Because the ingredient list is so simple, this pop of flavor goes a long way. This definitely isn't an ingredient to skip!

Finishing touches

Keeping in the theme of simplicity, your final garnishes on the pasta primavera can make a big difference. They provide a final, vibrant pop of flavor.

My favorite finishing touches? Fresh, chopped herbs (I like parsley), an extra bit of lemon zest, or cashew parmesan cheese.

You can use my favorite, homemade cashew parmesan cheese, or you can use a store-bought vegan parm.

A white and gray ceramic bowl holds a dish of grains and bright green produce. It's topped with herbs and resting on a white surface. Meal prep & storage

I think that the pasta primavera is a dish best whipped up right before eating. However, the pasta keeps nicely for up to three days. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

If you'd like to get a head start on the recipe, the best meal prep option is to make your cashew sour cream or all-purpose cream a day or two in advance.

In addition, it's easy to freeze cashew cream. I freeze mine all the time; in fact, I often make double batches specifically to have extra in the freezer. Cashew cream can be frozen for up to 6 weeks.

Can I freeze the pasta primavera?

In spite of how nice it is to enjoy this dish right after it's folded together, you won't want to let any left over portions go to waste!

You can freeze the pasta primavera for up to four weeks, defrosting it in the fridge overnight before serving.

Celebrating spring

I love putting celebrating the bright green colors and fresh flavors of spring in my dishes. Here are a few other seasonal favorites:

A gray and white ceramic bowl serves a vegan spring pasta primavera dish. It's topped with chopped fresh herbs and black pepper and resting on a white surface. An overhead image of a bowl of vegan spring pasta primavera, which is packed with bright green vegetables. Print Vegan Spring Pasta Primavera This vegan spring pasta primavera is lemony and creamy, yet light. It's a perfect celebration of fresh, green spring produce, and it can be adapted for other seasons of the year, too. Course main, Main CourseCuisine AmericanDiet Gluten Free, Low Lactose, Vegan, VegetarianKeyword asparagus, cashew cream, pasta, peas, spring Prep Time 15 minutesCook Time 20 minutesTotal Time 35 minutes Servings 4 servings Author Gena Hamshaw Ingredients
  • 8 ounces asparagus, bottom ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (225g)
  • 8 ounces stringless sugar snap peas, halved crosswise (225g)
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen and thawed green peas (100g)
  • 8 ounces pasta of choice (225g)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 shallots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons cooking water (90mL; reserve 3/4 cup/180mL in case you need more)
  • 4-6 tablespoons cashew sour cream or all-purpose cashew cream (60-90mL)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (more as desired, for garnish)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus extra for pasta water
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh herbs, lemon zest, and/or cashew parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Fill a large pot with a few inches of water and fit it with a steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil, then lower it to a simmer. Place the asparagus in the basket and steam for 3-4 minutes, or until bright green and tender. Remove the asparagus from the basket and transfer it to a colander or bowl for holding. Add the sugar snap peas to the steamer basket. Steam the snap peas for 2 minutes, or until bright green and crisp tender. Remove the peas and add them to the colander with the asparagus. Finally, add the peas to the steamer basket. Steam for 1-2 minutes, or until the peas are bright green and tender, then transfer them to the colander or bowl with the other vegetables. Set the vegetables aside. 
  • Fill the pot with enough additional water to boil pasta. Salt the water and bring it to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions, or until cooked through but still slightly al dente (or to your liking). Drain the pasta, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water. 
  • In the meantime, heat the olive oil on medium low heat in a large, deep skillet. Add the shallots. Cook for 1 1/2-2 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the shallots are clear and tender. Add the garlic. Cook for another minute, stirring constantly, or until the garlic is very fragrant. Add the the pasta to the skillet, along with 6 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. Add 4 tablespoons of cashew sour cream or all-purpose cashew cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt to the skillet and stir to coat the pasta well. 
  • Add the steamed vegetables. Fold everything together gently, heating the ingredients as you go. Add an additional couple tablespoons of the cooking water or cashew cream to loosen the pasta as needed; you're aiming for a creamy, yet light, sauce. Add freshly ground pepper and additional salt or lemon juice as needed. 
  • Serve the pasta right away, garnished with fresh chopped herbs or cashew parmesan, or store for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. The pasta can also be frozen for up to 4 weeks.
NotesInspired by Melissa Clark's pasta primavera with asparagus and peas and J. Kenji López-Alt's pasta with spring vegetables. A grayish white bowl is filled with a vegan spring pasta primavera dish. It's topped with herbs and a light cream sauce.

I find it tough to cook these days unless I make things ahead of time, over the weekend. But one of the nice things about the pasta primavera is that it truly is a weeknight-friendly dish.

I'm hoping that you'll have the time to enjoy it soon, on a springtime evening, maybe as you savor the lingering sunlight of lengthening days.

Till soon,


The post Spring Vegan Pasta Primavera appeared first on The Full Helping.

website no use cookies, no spying, no tracking
to use the website, we check:
country: US · city: · ip:
device: computer · browser: CCBot 2 · platform:
counter: 1 · online:
created and powered by:
RobiYogi.com - Professional Responsive Websites
 please wait loading data...