Easy Vegan Potato Salad Recipe – a Perfect Side Dish for Mother’s Day Brunch, Barbecues, Picnics, etc.

Hi all! Today I’m sharing my easy vegan potato salad recipe that’s been a big hit at potlucks, outdoor gatherings, or just as a side dish for a casual homemade meal. I’m so excited that it’s finally May! All of the opportunities for warm weather picnics and gatherings with all kinds of vegan deliciousness are here again, with Mother’s Day approaching in no time. Over here in Western Washington state, we’ve had a long winter (it snowed at least three times! 🙂 ) and a rainy, chilly spring, so I can’t wait for the weather to warm up a bit. I’m usually pretty bad with posting seasonal recipes in time for various occasions when they’d be perfect to enjoy, but this time, with Mother’s Day approaching, I was determined to share a recipe that’s both appropriate for a nice springtime brunch (bring on the mimosas!) and calls for fresh, seasonal … Read the rest of the post

New Recipe: Barbecue Portobello Sandwich with Roasted Rosemary Fries

I think we all can agree that sometimes it’s nice to dig our teeth into a good burger, especially if it’s served with a side of delicious, crispy French fries. Thankfully, being vegan doesn’t mean forever depriving yourself of this simple pleasure: there are more vegan burger recipes on the internet than my fingers could ever count (I’ve shared my recipes for Black Bean Tempeh and Sweet Potato Chickpea burgers here before). For those of us who don’t feel like experimenting in the kitchen, a lot of grocery stores offer veggie patties – I’m not a huge fan of those, but they’ll do in a pinch, as long as you’re not turned off by the ingredients list. But sometimes, the craving for a nice burger hits when it’s too late to run to the store or start making veggie patties from scratch. The solution is easy – use Portobello mushrooms! The … Read the rest of the post

White Potatoes – A Nutritional Powerhouse That’s Seriously Underrated. Plus: Why Potatoes Are Not Fattening.

I never get tired saying that potatoes are one my favorite vegetables: I cook them at home a few times a week, plus I’ve featured a number of recipes with potatoes on this blog. White potatoes were a big part of my menu while I was training for a marathon last November, and later during my running streak that lasted from Thanksgiving till New Year’s Day. So whenever I hear someone declaring that a white potato is a starch-laden vegetable with hardly any nutritional benefits that will make us all fat and devoid of energy, I shake my head with disappointment at yet another expert who didn’t do their basic homework. Carbohydrates have gotten a lot of bad rap lately. New low-carb diets keep popping up every day with claims of turning us into slender, energetic machines if only we stop consuming all carbs altogether. And yet our society is growing fatter and unhealthier year by … Read the rest of the post

Warm Potato Salad with Spinach and Chickpeas

I make it no secret that potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables: I cook them in different ways a few times a week, and I’ve featured a number of recipes with potatoes on my blog in the past. Today’s recipe for a warm potato salad is very easy to make, requires only one pan (less cleanup!), and is almost impossible to mess up! As you see, this is not your typical potato salad with mayo and not much else that’s usually served at barbecues and picnics. In this recipe, potatoes are cooked with the rest of the ingredients on a hot skillet, and there’s no need to add any dressing at the end because the combination of fresh rosemary, basil and other spices brings all of the flavors together very nicely. I’ve been making a version of this potato salad for a few years, usually as a side for eggs before … Read the rest of the post

Classic Russian Borscht, Veganized! – Virtual Vegan Potluck, November 2013

I am superexcited to be participating in my first Virtual Vegan Potluck – an online event that unites over a hundred food blogs in an awesome chain of all-vegan recipes, from appetizers to beverages to entrees to desserts! VVPs happen twice a year, and for this month’s event on November 16, my blog is being featured in the Soups category. Welcome Virtual Vegan Potluckers! I’m so glad you’ve stopped by my blog! To check out the rest of the Potluck, scroll down to the end of this post and click the ‘Go Forward’ or ‘Go Back’ buttons – they’ll continue to work even after November 16. To see the full list of participating blogs, click here. I was thrilled to find out that the featured ingredient for this November’s potluck is BEETS! This has become a great incentive for me to finally share my recipe for the world-famous Russian soup called BORSCHT – completely veganized, … Read the rest of the post

Veggie-Loaded Enchiladas – a Plant-Based Dinner to Warm Your Soul!

I’ve been kind of obsessed with potatoes lately, and there are a few recipes to prove that: Black Bean-Potato Stew with Kale, Barley-Lentil Soup with potatoes, and my most popular recipe to-date, Eggplant Rollups with Black Bean-Potato Stuffing. What can I say? I’m Russian, after all, and Russian people have a special place in their hearts for potatoes! Another tendency you might notice in the above mentioned recipes – I like to pair my potatoes with beans and lots of different vegetables. Potatoes just do such a good job of binding all of the ingredients together without overpowering their taste. They also add a nice nutritional punch to any dish: in addition to being loaded with fiber, they have more potassium than bananas, as well as good amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamin C. And yes, that’s regular white potatoes I’m talking about! Today I’m sharing with you another … Read the rest of the post

Black Bean-Potato Stew with Kale

Just before we left Alabama, I made this black bean and potato stew on a night I was craving something warm and comforting with no added oil. This dish turned out to be one of those one-pot wonders that don’t require a lot of attention an can be prepared well within an hour. I usually add kale to soups and stews in the last couple minutes of cooking (or even as I take the pot off the stove) because I don’t want it to wilt too much. If you prefer your kale more wilted, feel free to add it 5-7 min before the dish is done. You can also use other leafy greens instead of kale, bearing in mind that more tender varieties like spinach will take even less time to wilt. You may have noticed that I use very little oil – or omit it completely – in my recipes. … Read the rest of the post

Eggplant Rollups with Black Bean-Potato Stuffing

Are you familiar with that sweet feeling that you get when you’re experimenting with a new recipe for dinner, and your newly invented dish turns out to be a success? Well, not all of my inventions come out great the first time I make them, but the other night I was just that lucky! That dish is on today’s agenda – Eggplant Rollups with Black Bean-Potato Stuffing. Boy did these come out great! Not only they are fully vegan, they also have no added oil in the recipe. My only wish was that I had bought two eggplants instead of one to have some leftovers! UPDATE July 2015: This recipe has been approved by Dr. Michael Greger of Nutrition Facts.org to be a part of his healthy plant-based recipe directory! I’ll admit that the idea of using roasted eggplant instead of lasagna noodles in Italian-inspired dishes is not new. I’ve seen some recipes online, … Read the rest of the post

Hearty Barley-Lentil Soup with Potatoes

A simple recipe for a comforting, hearty soup comes in very handy on those days when you’re pressed for time to cook dinner, and yet you’re in the mood for a warm, filling soup that tastes like you had to put a lot of effort into it. I tend to use lentils in soups quite often because they are filling and yet relatively quick-cooking – other kinds of legumes are usually high-maintenance. In the past, I’ve made similar soups with only lentils and some kind of grain, usually brown rice, farro or barley. However, adding tomatoes yields  a much tastier broth in my opinion, and potatoes add to the heartiness of the soup. I used regular potatoes for this soup, but you can use cubed sweet potatoes as well. Regular white potatoes tend to take a while to cook through, so I add them at the same time as lentils and barley. Alternatively, … Read the rest of the post

Vegan Minestrone Soup with a Twist!

Another heartwarming healthy vegan soup is on today’s agenda: this time it’s minestrone, a classic Italian vegetable soup. This version of plant-based minestrone is relatively simple and quick (don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients!), and you can customize it by using different vegetables and their amounts. FYI: In modern Italian language, there are three words that relate to the English word ‘soup’: zuppa, which refers to tomato-based soups or fish soups; minestra, referring to a more substantial vegetable soup or ‘dry soup’ such as pasta; and minestrone, which denotes a very substantial or large soup or stew. While there is no set recipe for minestrone soup, cooks agree that a classic version should include beans, pasta, and an array of vegetables, such as potatoes, tomatoes, celery, onions, zucchini, etc. Non-vegan versions often call for bacon, meat, or some kind of meat-based stock, but they are unnecessary if you want to … Read the rest of the post