3 Ways to Make Vegan Dishes Feel Like a Meal

Blogger Jeanine Donofrio of Love and Lemons © Jack Matthews
By Kristin Donnelly Posted September 02, 2014

The blogger behind Love and Lemons shares her tips for going meatless, along with her favorite ingredients of the moment.

Here, the blogs you should be reading right now with recipes and tips from their creators.

The blog
Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews of Love and Lemons create and photograph healthful vegetarian (and often vegan recipes) in their beautiful white kitchen. Here, her tips for making vegan food satisfying and delicious.

1. Don’t try to make vegan imitations of meaty foods. I was in college when I first stopped eating meat; I was living in Chicago, trying to be vegan and it felt like total deprivation. I’d walk down the street and would literally just smell beef everywhere. I went straight toward soy burgers and other weird meat substitutes to try to re-create old favorites, which, in retrospect, was entirely the wrong approach. My epiphany was a falafel—something that was so full of delicious flavors and spices—it was nothing like the meat-and-potato-style foods I had grown up with. Try new things, especially ethnic foods with big, bold flavors.

2. Build meals with the same basic components as healthful nonvegan meals. Use good fats like avocado and olive oil; proteins such as chickpeas, black beans or walnuts; and hearty whole grains like quinoa, farro or soba noodles. Then pile on the veggies and herbs to create tons of texture and interesting flavors. And season! Don’t forget to season your food with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper and other spices.

3. If all else fails, just put stuff in a tortilla. It’s the Austin way.

Jeanine’s new ingredient obsessions (with awesome ways to use them).

1. Spicy jams: I’ve been really into using them in non-jammy ways. I recently made some simple but incredibly delicious mango tacos with habanero jam.

2. Sunflower seeds: More and more people seem to have nut allergies these days, so I’m making more nondairy cheese-ish-sauces with sunflower seeds instead of my usual cashew cream.

3. Collard greens. They’re the new kale.

4. Umeboshi vinegar. I’ve been obsessed with Japanese ingredients for a while, but lately I’ve discovered umeboshi vinegar. I pickle red onions with it, among other things.

5. Matcha. I’ll take a matcha latte over coffee any day.

Jeanine’s new favorite blogs.
Some newer-to-me blogs are the Clever Carrot, Flourishing Foodie and Two Red Bowls. I also regularly follow Cookie & Kate, Naturally Ella, A Couple Cooks, I Am a Food Blog, My Name is Yeh, Cannelle et Vanille, Green Kitchen Stories… and too many others to list here.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

Related: 33 Incredible Vegan Recipes
32 Vegetarian Dishes
19 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants

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