Category Archives: Meatless Monday

IKEA-Style Vegan Swedish Meatballs

These gluten-free vegan IKEA meatballs are brought to you in partnership with my friends Little Northern Bakehouse. As always opinions are 100 percent my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site and my Swedish meatball cravings possible!

When I think of IKEA, my most familiar association is not a trembling, near-collapse bureau drawer, nor the panic attack involved in building it. It’s not even the blue bags that were responsible for single handedly moving Charlie and I from our old apartment to our current home. Rather, when I think of Ikea, I think of Swedish meatballs. And then I think of my dad’s old assistant Darren.

Darren loved Ikea meatballs and used to brave the swollen throngs of college-bound cheap bookshelf seekers just to get his fix. This should not surprise me, since Darren also used to brave other horrors of dorm set-up without any promise of a creamy gravy sauce as compensation.

I used to call him “big brother Darren” because his responsibilities as my dad’s minion included moving me in and out of multiple dorm rooms, and chauffeuring me, my duffel bags, and mini fridge the 3-hour drive to and from. Needless to say, even though he never assembled furniture, Darren was an angel. And I only wish I had my cooking prowess back then to make him imitation Swedish IKEA meatballs as a thank you for all the schlepping.

My memories of what these meatballs actually taste like is a little fuzzy, but my hunch is that even if they weren’t packed with gluten, I wouldn’t be crazy about the mystery meat concoction today. For the die-hard fans amongst us though (and big brother Darren, I know you’re out there somewhere), I thought it would be fun to craft a plant-based, gluten-free version …

Vegan Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Leek and Fennel Croutons

This vegan stuffed mushroom recipe is brought to you in partnership with my friends Little Northern Bakehouse. As always opinions are 100 percent my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site possible!

Every year on Thanksgiving, I feel a little sorry for my dad.

He is the lone plant-based dude in the family. And when your family’s holiday table includes 50 people, being the one anything can make you feel a little left out.

As the lone gluten-free person who can’t eat the normal stuffing or gravy, I should know.

Over the years, I’ve amended my own situation by being the volunteer who brings her own stuffing to the potluck meal. Every year is something different. You can see past contributions here, here, and here.Seeds & Grains Bread from Little Northern BakehouseStuffing in a cast iron panstuffed mushrooms on a sheet pan

But since my dad’s only homemade delicacies are oatmeal and smoothies, he’s been remiss to contribute anything, let alone a vegetarian main event for himself.

So to save him from side city, I thought this year instead of a new stuffing combination, I’d figure out something to stuff that he can actually eat. Enter: these vegan stuffed portobello mushrooms with leek and fennel croutons.

Now that I can eat alliums again, I must say that leeks are my favorite addition to Thanksgiving stuffing. But even more so, it comes down to the bread. Especially when you’re the lone GF weirdo making a side for fifty, whatever you choose has to taste legit.

stuffed mushrooms on a sheet pan

Enter, again: Little Northern Bakehouse’s seeds & grains loaf. If you’re new around here and didn’t get the memo, I am absolutely obsessed with this gluten-free bread. Not only is it rich in fiber that boosts nutrition (especially important when mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie are on the menu), but it’s made from 100 percent

Cauliflower Couscous with Golden Raisins and Mint

Couscous is one of those easy back pocket starches that is perfect for last minute dinners. It takes five minutes to cook and is always super satisfying when served alongside a chicken tagine. Luckily, it’s equally hands-off and lightning fast to do a grain-free version using cauliflower!

Simply pulse the florets in a food processor to create a crumbly couscous-like texture. You can also find frozen riced cauliflower now in most supermarkets, but I promise it won’t take much time to make your own.healthy couscous in a pancauliflower couscous in a bowl

In this recipe, I use a turmeric hack to get the saffron-hue of couscous or yellow rice pilafs, without having to shell out the cash for those rare threads.

If pine nuts are too rich for your blood too, you can swap slivered almonds or chopped cashews. Really any nut or dried fruit works well here—many varieties are staples of Moroccan cooking.

cauliflower couscous in a bowlcauliflower couscous with a spoon in a bowl

This cauliflower couscous is a fabulous paleo weeknight side for pretty much any protein, especially if served with this green harissa as an additional condiment.

With health and hedonism,


cauliflower couscous in a pan

Cauliflower Couscous with Golden Raisins and Mint

This paleo version of quick couscous uses cauliflower rice as the base, anti-inflammatory turmeric to create that yellow hue and lots of herbs for flavor!

  • 1 head cauliflower (cored, broken into small florets)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins (plumped in warm water for 10 minutes)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped mint
  1. Place cauliflower florets into a food processor. Pulse several times until the cauliflower looks like a coarse meal, resembling traditional couscous.
  2. Cover the bottom of a large sauté pan with a thin layer of water. Add the salt, turmeric, and zest. Bring to a simmer over medium

Vegan Wild Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is one of the dishes in my arsenal that I love to teach.

I seem to forget about it as one of my personal favorites until fall rolls around and I’m really hankering for something thick and rich to pack on the requisite sweater weather extra padding.

A few weeks ago, a couple I was doing a private class for requested a vegan mushroom risotto. So I wrote up a recipe and then held their hand as they slowly added the stock, cup by cup, until all the starchy goodness was coaxed from every last grain.

wild mushrooms on marble; cremini mushrooms, chanterelle, oyster mushrooms, maitaki mushroomswild mushrooms in a bowl; cremini mushrooms, chanterelle, oyster mushrooms, maitaki mushrooms

The worst part of teaching is when, after all that love and hard work and delicious smells, you have to leave. After this particular class, I ordered Thai takeout en route to my apartment, and it was one of the sadder meals in recent memory. Ever since that night I’ve been craving mushroom risotto with a fiery passion. Luckily, I had an excuse to have a second go of it for a date night with Charlie.

Risotto is one of those intimidating dishes that’s actually really simple. What makes it scary is that a recipe won’t really help you because so much of the process depends on instinct and feel. That’s why I like to teach it. But the basic concept is taking a high-starch grain (traditionally Arborio rice) and toasting it in oil so that it maintains its shape during the slow cooking process. Then, you allow the grains to gradually absorb stock, one cup at a time, until they’ve released their starches and become tender.

When I’m entertaining, I’ll follow this process until the grains are al dente with just a little bit of bite. Then right before my guests arrive, or while everyone is drinking wine, I’ll finish it …

Moroccan Red Lentil Soup with Chard {Video}

It’s always a fun to see what recipes end up topping the Feed Me Phoebe charts every year. One of the dishes whose popularity continues to surprise me is this Red Lentil and Spinach Masala recipe, which is now one of your all-time fan favorites.

Lentils always seem like the lowly vegan peasant food that most self-respecting meat eaters wouldn’t touch unless providing structural support for some thinly sliced lamb on a restaurant plate. But I was pleasantly shocked a few summers ago when my favorite self-respecting meat eater, Charlie, ordered the vegetarian entrée—a bowl of lentils with a fried egg—when we went out to a nice meal on Martha’s Vineyard.

Ever since then, I’ve added lentils back into our shared meal cycle. Now that I’ve successfully added most FODMAPs back into mine and tallied the votes (er, clicks), I see that my perceived legume bias was totally unfounded across the board. This is a win win for me, as it means this simple red lentil soup, which I once might have considered too pedestrian for your collective taste buds, now has a home here.

Moroccan Red Lentil Soup Recipe HariraMoroccan Red Lentil Soup Recipe HariraAfter a long month away, I came home to the onset of fall craving simple, healthy soups. In a effort to clean out my pantry, I decided to use up my remaining red lentils in a Moroccan harira-like concoction with lots of carrots and red chard mixed in.

This red lentil recipe is just the kind of healthy comfort food this site was founded on, even if I didn’t realize its proper place here until recently.

Moroccan Red Lentil Soup Recipe Harira

As you begin to dial back on the summer hedonism and get back into a healthy fall routine (whatever that means for you), I hope you’ll give this warm bowl of goodness some love. I’m trying to …

Vegetarian Japchae with Braised Eggs (Korean Sweet Potato Noodles)

My recipe output has been at an all-time high recently. But it’s been at an all-time low on the site. Last week, you found out why. It was a good excuse, right??

I’ve taken my book creativity suck as an excuse to mine some of my friends’ recipe gems for the blog, which has been a much needed helping hand, and conversely also something that’s stoked my creative fires when they are starting to dwindle.

A few weeks ago, I got my hands on my friend Hetty’s new cookbook, Family. Not only was I blown away by the photography, which literally made me want to lick the pages, but her recipes are always such a refreshing take on vegetarian main courses, something I am always trying to offer you guys more of here.

The book offers very special glimpses into the family life, lineage, and cooking outputs of a variety of different families, including Hetty’s own. I could have flagged half the recipes to try, but instead dug into the Asian Roots section, which has a bundle of healthy takes on traditional dishes like this vegetarian Japchae recipe with braised eggs.

For those who are unfamiliar, Japchae is like the pad Thai of Korean cooking. It’s a staple noodle dish and one that can be easily adapted to be gluten-free thanks to the base being made from gelatinous, starchy sweet potato.

If you can’t find authentic Japchae sweet potato noodles at a local Asian grocer, you can easily find rice vermicelli or glass noodles in the Asian aisle of Whole Foods. You can also make them completely paleo by using coconut aminos instead of tamari or soy sauce. Kelp noodles–which actually have a quite similar weight, thickness, and opacity—or spaghetti squash, which is a little thinner, are …