Lemon Garlic Orzo with Fresh Veggies {Gluten-Free}

Gluten-Free Lemon Garlic Orzo with Fresh Veggies -- Epicurean VeganThis amazing dish will be ready in less than 30 minutes but will taste like you spent a good hour on it. I came across Viviana Foods gluten-free & vegan lemon garlic orzo and it looked pretty interesting, so I thought I’d give it shot.
Gluten-Free Lemon Garlic Orzo with Fresh Veggies -- Epicurean VeganThe orzo is ready in about 7 minutes and all I had to do was just had to chop some veggies and herbs and saute some for just a few minutes. The flavor is fantastic; I only seasoned it with a tiny bit of salt and pepper. The only downside is that the orzo costs around $7! Yeah, it was a splurge. I guess I was so drawn to the cute little package.  So it may not be something I’d buy on a regular basis, but it really was tasty!

1 8-oz pkg. Viviana Lemon Garlic Orzo
1 tsp olive oil
2 C mushrooms, sliced
1/2 C green onion, sliced
3/4 C fresh basil, chopped
1 C cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
Salt and pepper

Cook the pasta in boiling water for 6-9 minutes. Test it for doneness. You’ll want to use a fine mesh strainer to drain the orzo, otherwise you’ll pretty much lose most of it down the drain. Rinse with hot water and return to the pan.

Gluten-Free Lemon Garlic Orzo with Fresh Veggies -- Epicurean VeganWhile it’s cooking, however, heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the mushrooms and green onion. Saute over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes—just until the mushrooms start to cook down. Fold the mushrooms and green onions into the orzo and season with salt and pepper. Top individual servings with some basil and tomatoes. Enjoy!

Lemon Garlic Orzo with Fresh Veggies {Gluten-Free}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3
  • 1 8-oz pkg. Viviana Lemon Garlic Orzo
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 C mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ C green onion, sliced
  • ¾ C fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 C cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Cook the pasta in boiling water for 6-9 minutes. Test it for doneness. You'll want to use a fine mesh strainer to drain the orzo, otherwise you'll pretty much lose most of it down the drain. Rinse with hot water and return to the pan.
  2. While it's cooking, however, heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the mushrooms and green onion. Saute over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes---just until the mushrooms start to cook down.
  3. Fold the mushrooms and green onions into the orzo and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Top individual servings with some basil and tomatoes. Enjoy!



Vegan & Gluten-Free Lasagna

Vegan & Gluten-Free Lasagna -- Epicurean VeganI’ve had some rice lasagna noodles sitting in the cupboard for quite a while, so I thought I’d finally give them a try. They are from Ener-G (which strangely, I couldn’t find on their website). I was really impressed with them. You can use your favorite ingredients, but I went with tofu ricotta, mushrooms, spinach and Field Roast (which isn’t gluten-free, so omit for a 100% gluten-free dish). The noddles are the perfect size for an 8×8″ pan, so great for a small batch. I also recommend cooking them until they are completely done. Typically, when I make lasagna with regular noodles, I don’t cook them all the way because they tend to cook more in the sauce in the oven. These rice noodles, however, don’t do that, so make sure you cook them completely. I also usually add 2-3 extra ones in case any of the noodles come out ripped and unusable. I would certainly use these gluten-free noodles again—I thought they tasted great.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

Vegan & Gluten-Free Lasagna
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 9 servings
  • 12 Ener-G rice noodles (If you'd like, add 2 more if any rip during the boiling process)
  • 2 Field Roast sausage links, crumbled (I used Apple-Sage flavor--again, omit if you want this 100% gluten-free)
  • 2 C mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 C fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • .
  • Tofu Ricotta
  • .
  • 14-oz container extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and crumbled
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ⅓ C nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • Optional: ½ C Daiya Mozzarella shreds
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cook pasta according to package instructions (about 10-12 minutes).
  3. Prepare the ricotta by placing all of the ingredients, except the Daiya cheese, in the food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the cheese. Set aside.
  4. Saute the Field Roast in the olive oil and garlic on medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
  5. To assemble, pour about a cup of the marinara on the bottom of an 8x8" baking pan and top with three cooked noodles. Layer on some mushrooms, spinach and Field Roast. You can also spoon a little sauce on top.
  6. Repeat layers until you've topped the lasagna with the final three noodles.
  7. Pour the rest of the sauce on top.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Slice and enjoy!


Vegan & Gluten-Free Mini Quiches

Vegan & Gluten-Free mini quichesI’ve been wanting to figure out how to make vegan mini quiches for a while now, but I wasn’t sure where to start. Do I use tofu? Flour? Wave a magic wand? Well, when I came across this recipe, I knew my search was over. I only made one modification and that was to add the veggies to the batter instead of just topping the batter with them. Doing so, will give you about 4 more quiches (16 instead of 12). That works great as long as you have 2 muffin tins. Otherwise, you could add your veggies just to the tops. I was thoroughly impressed with these. They taste like a cross between an actual egg-y quiche and a biscuit. They’re packed with protein and make a great quick breakfast on the go—just zap in the microwave for 20-30 seconds and you’re good to go. (These are especially ideal for a post-workout snack).


2-1/2 C garbanzo/chickpea flour (I also had some garbanzo & flava flour mix that worked great, too)
3 C cold, filtered water
3 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp salt Cooking spray
Veggies/toppings: Use your favorites, but I like to use 1-1/2 to 2 cups of chopped . . . spinach tomato mushrooms green onion cilantro Other options: veggie bacon or ham, bell pepper, sauteed garlic, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, basil, Swiss chard, shredded (and squeezed dry) zucchini, peas, . . . the list is endless.
Note: I used sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) in a batch and I recommend easing up on the oil in the batter by at least a tablespoon. Also, throw in some chia seeds. Pepitas or sunflower seeds would also be great additions.


DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 500 and lightly spray the muffin tins. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, water, oil, and salt. Be sure to whisk until all the lumps are gone and  you have a smooth batter. You can then pour the batter evenly among 12 muffin cups and just add your veggies to the top, OR (as I would recommend) add the veggies to the batter.


Fill the muffin tins . . . DSC08149Bake for 14 minutes, then crack the oven door slightly, and cook another 11 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes or so, and remove with a knife. Enjoy!


Quinoa-Rice Salad with Tempeh and “Feta”

Quinoa-Rice Salad with Tempeh and "Feta" -- Epicurean Vegan

We had a fabulous July 4th holiday feast with great friends and family. Our friends made these incredible grilled vegetable sandwiches and an outstanding gazpacho! (recipe soon to come, for sure).

Quinoa-Rice Salad with Tempeh and "Feta" -- Epicurean Vegan

Cold quinoa and/or rice salads tend to be ideal for outdoor get togethers, plus, being vegan AND gluten-free, makes it so everyone can enjoy. Granted, there was a lot of prep work for this salad, but you can save yourself some time by making certain things ahead of time. I love the different flavors in this salad, as well as the crunch from the nuts. I made quite a big batch, so feel free to halve the recipe for a smaller crowd.



2 C wild rice mix (cooked in 2-1/4 C vegetable broth)
1 C quinoa (cooked in 1-1/4 C vegetable broth)
1-1/2 C dried apricots, diced
1-1/2 C toasted nuts, chopped (I used walnuts and pecans, but I think pepitas and almond slivers would be great too)
1 C fresh parsley, chopped

Tempeh + marinade:
8-oz pkg. tempeh, cut into small cubes
1/4 C tamari
1 Tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced

Tofu “feta”: (adapted)
1 14-oz pkg extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/4 C cashews
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp yellow or mellow miso
2 Tbs reserved marinade (below)

3 Tbs lemon juice
5 Tbs white wine vinegar
1-1/2 Tbs yellow or mellow miso
1 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 C lime juice
4 Tbs red wine vinegar
4 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt


I recommend making the feta and marinating the tempeh ahead of time, even a day or two ahead if you can. I didn’t, and I think the salad still turned out great, but it’ll bring out the flavors even more. We’ll start with the feta.

Tofu Feta -- Epicurean Vegan

Slice the tofu into 1/2″ slabs and place into a large dish. Whisk together the feta marinade and coat the tofu thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, or preferably over a night or two. Next, blend the cashews, olive oil, miso, and reserved marinade. I used my blender, but I couldn’t get a smooth consistency, so I transferred the mixture to a mortar and pestle, to mash it up even more.


Crumble up the tofu with your fingers, then add the cashew mixture; combine well. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container.

To make the tempeh, combine all of the marinade ingredients in a medium zip bag and add the tempeh. Let it marinade for several hours to overnight.


When ready, heat a tiny bit of olive oil to a small skillet and add the tempeh. Saute over medium heat until the tempeh has crispy edges.


Meanwhile, cook the rice and quinoa (separately) according to package instructions. I tend to use veggie broth for added flavor. I also used what quinoa I had: some red, some regular.


Combine the two in a large bowl and refrigerate until cooled. (Be sure to place a hot pad or trivet underneath the bowl when placing directly onto a cold, glass refrigerator shelf.) Once cooled, fold in all of the ingredients: nuts, feta, parsley, tempeh, and apricots. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad; fold gently to incorporate everything. Enjoy!

Quinoa-Rice Salad with Tempah and "Feta" -- Epicurean Vegan

Polenta Marsala

Polenta Marsala -- Epicurean Vegan

It’s great to be back with a new recipe! I haven’t worked with polenta much, so I decided to take the easy route and use the pre-cooked version.

Polenta Marsala -- Epicurean Vegan

It’s great when you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Having always liked Marsala-anything, I wanted to give it a try with polenta, another new favorite around here. The recipe calls for flour, but feel free to make this meal gluten-free by using another type of flour, such as rice flour. The Husband called this “f***ing brilliant.” Need I say more?


1-18oz tube of pre-cooked polenta (I used the basil garlic variety)
1-2 Tbs olive oil
2 C mushrooms, sliced (I recommend cremini or baby portobello)
1/2 C green onion, sliced
3 Tbs Earth Balance
1/4 C flour, any variety
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp black pepper
1  to 1-1/4 C vegetable broth
1/4 C Marsala cooking wine


Slice the polenta into about 18-19 slices.


In a small bowl, combine the flour, marjoram, and pepper; set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the polenta slices. You may have to do a couple of batches, like I did. Brown the polenta, about 5-7 minutes on each side.

Polenta Marsala -- Epicurean Vegan

Once they are all browned, set aside. Wipe out the skillet and add the Earth Balance. After it melts, whisk in the flour mixture. Over medium heat, add the broth and Marsala, little by little, continually whisking until it’s smooth. You may have some extra broth leftover at this point, but hang onto it in case you need to thin the sauce out more later. Add the mushrooms and green onion, and mix together. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mushrooms cook down a little. You may need to add a little more broth to thin the sauce.

Polenta Marsala -- Epicurean Vegan

Add the polenta slices to the pan and carefully fold them into the sauce. Simmer on low until the slices are heated through again. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Burrito Bowls with Avocado-Lime Rice

Gluten-Free Burrito Bowls with Avocado-Lime Rice -- Epicurean VeganThis is my new favorite versatile meal. I saw this recipe for the avocado rice, where they also suggested making burrito bowls using it. Obviously, I wasn’t keen on their meat and dairy version, so I made my own, healthier ones. I also made some changes to the rice recipe by using this awesome rice from Lundberg. The guys tend to be white rice kind of men, but there were no complaints! It’s a blend of sweet brown rice, short grain brown rice, long grain brown rice, whole grain Wehani (brand) rice, whole grain black Japonica (brand) rice.

Lundberg Rice And I have to mention the quite ingenious Velcro re-closeable bag!

DSC07545This is such a fresh, simple, and healthy meal where everyone in the family can create their own with their favorite fresh ingredients. Now, my new favorite ingredient . . . is this tri-bean blend. Organic and on sale for $1 a can! Love these. Packed with protein and fiber.

Tri-Bean BlendSo, on to the recipe!

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 6 bowls)
3-1/2 C water
2 C Lundberg Jubilee rice
2 avocados, mashed
1/2 C cilantro, chopped
zest and juice from one lime

The beans:
3 cans tri-bean blend (black bean, pinto, and kidney)
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp Ancho Chili pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 C water

The rest (toppings):
Green onion, sliced
Tomato, diced
Daiya cheese
Sour cream
Lettuce, chopped
Corn tortilla crunchies/chips

The rice will take 35-40 minutes, so you’ll want to get that started first. Bring the 3-1/2 cups of water to a boil, add the rice, stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Check after 30 minutes.

DSC07551Meanwhile, in a small to medium saucepan, add the beans, seasonings, and water. Heat on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

DSC07549When the rice is done, stir in the mashed avocados, cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice.

DSC07552Fill a bowl with about 1 to 1-1/2 cups of the avocado rice . . .

Avocado-Lime Rice -- Epicurean Vegan . . . layer on some beans and toppings and enjoy!

Gluten-Free Burrito Bowls with Avocado-Lime Bowls

Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli

Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

Nothing says Easter like ravioli, right? Well, if you’re vegan and some of your dinner guests can’t eat gluten, then yes, raviolis are an ideal Easter meal—or for any occasion, actually. In all of the excitement, I didn’t get a good picture of the finished product with the amazing garlic-butter-walnut sauce, but I did get one with some regular raviolis that I made as well.

Vegan Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

In addition to the raviolis, one guest brought some delicious vegan horseradish mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts with pecans and another guest brought this incredible corn and avocado salad.  So, I was living on the edge when I decided to not do a test run on the gluten-free dough before the big day. Luckily, it turned out ok, but not before having a slight meltdown when the GF dough wouldn’t fully cooperate with me. First off, don’t try using your pasta maker; the dough will fall apart. You’re better off using a rolling pin and lots of GF flour to roll it out. Believe me, it’s doable and worth the extra effort; just be patient. I also recommend using a ravioli plate like this one—and that goes for any type of raviolis—it just makes life easier. For the filling, I made two: pureed beet/cashew and tofu ricotta with spinach and mushrooms. Make it easy on yourself and prepare these fillings ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use. If I was unable to eat gluten, I would miss homemade pasta, especially raviolis, so I’d be making these all the time. Our GF guests loved them and happily took the few leftovers home with them. My friend Kerrie gave me a conversion for GF flour and regular flour a while back and uses it for most things, so I thought I’d give it a whirl for pasta. Basically, for every 1 cup of regular flour, use 7/8 C of rice flour and 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum—worked like a charm.



1-3/4 C white rice flour
7/8 C brown rice flour
3 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 C warm almond milk
2 Tbs olive oil

Spinach-Tofu-Mushroom Filling:

14-oz pkg extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 C nutritional yeast
2 Tbs lemon juice
3 C fresh spinach, chopped
3 mushrooms, diced small

Beet/Cashew filling: see link above

Garlic-Butter-Walnut sauce: (I was feeding a crowd, so for 3-4 people, you may want to halve the sauce recipe)
1-1/2 C walnuts, chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1-1/2 C Earth Balance margarine, cut into pieces


To make the spinach filling, puree the first 9 ingredients in food processor. Set aside, or refrigerate until ready to use. The beet filling will take just over an hour to prepare, so keep that in mind if using that one. (click on link above to see instructions).

Ravioli Filling -- Epicurean Vegan

To make the dough, combine both rice flours, xanthan gum, and salt in a bowl of a stand mixer. On medium speed, slowly add the oil, then the warm almond milk. When it’s fully incorporated, form it into a ball and refrigerate if not using right away. The dough will probably work better if it’s room temperature.

Gluten-Free Ravioli Dough -- Epicurean Vegan

On a constantly-floured surface, roll out the sections of the dough into long pieces, big enough for your ravioli plate. I wouldn’t bother using the plastic mold part, as it will easily break through the dough. Gently use your fingers to create a small dip where the filling will go. Fill each dip with about a teaspoon of the filling. If using the spinach one, place a few pieces of mushroom on top of the filling. Roll out another long piece of dough and place it carefully over the top of the filling and gently press down. You can use the rolling pin to then finish the process. (This is a great YouTube video showing how to use the plate). Here’s a pic of the regular dough with the fillings:

Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

I was pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out. A couple of them had some a filling peeking out, but they still cooked up great.

Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

Let them sit for 20 minutes. While this is happening, prepare the sauce. In a medium, dry saucepan, add the walnuts and brown them over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, then add the Earth Balance. Stir over low to medium heat until the butter is melted and reduce the heat to low.  To cook the raviolis, boil them, about 4-6 at a time, for 3-4 minutes, or until they float to the surface. I usually give them a minute more, just to make sure they’re heated though.

Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli

I’m happy to tell you that none of them fell apart and they were delicious. The regular ones seemed to taste a little sweeter, but otherwise, they tasted very much like regular raviolis! Top them with a ladle of the garlic sauce and enjoy!

Quinoa Pasta with Kale and Mushrooms

Quinoa Pasta with Kale & Mushrooms -- Epicurean VeganThis is a very quick and healthy lunch. It’s also a good idea to munch on if you’re feeling under the weather since it has immune-boosting ingredients like kale, mushrooms, garlic, and pepita seeds. Regardless, it’ll hit the spot!


8-oz quinoa pasta, veggie curls (I used Ancient Harvest brand)
2-3 C chopped kale (I used red kale)
2 C diced or quartered mushrooms
1/2 C green onions, sliced
1/2 C pepitas seeds
1 Tbs olive oil or 2 Tbs Earth Balance
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste


Cook the pasta according to package instructions. You don’t want to overcook quinoa pasta, as it tends to get mushy if you do. Drain and set aside.

Quinoa Pasta

Using the same pot, heat the olive oil or Earth Balance and add the garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the kale, mushrooms, and green onions and cook 5-7 minutes, or until they soften.

DSC07293Once the veggies are cooked down a little, stir in the pasta and pepita seeds. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Quinoa with Dried Apricots and Black Beans

Quinoa with Dried Apricots & Black Beans -- Epicurean Vegan

The next time someone asks you, “Where do you get your protein?” you can (politely) point out this dish as one of numerous options. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 amino acids essential to human health. It offers up roughly 8 grams of protein per cup and also passes along calcium, iron, folate, manganese, and other vitamins. Black beans also carry nearly 15 grams of protein per cup, so add some veggies and you have healthy lunch!


1/2 C red quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/2 C regular quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 tsp Better than Bouillon paste
1-1/2 C water
1 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1 C green onions, sliced
1 C dried apricots, chopped
1/3 C pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp lime juice
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 Tbs olive oil


In a medium sauce pan, whisk together the bouillon and water; bring to a boil. Stir in the quinoa, cover and cook on low for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cilantro, green onion, apricots, pepita seeds, salt, lime juice, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.


Once the quinoa is finished, add it, along with the black beans to the bowl.

Quinoa with Dried Apricots & Black Beans -- Epicurean Vegan

Combine well and enjoy! (You can also chill it in a covered dish and serve cold).

Quinoa with Walnuts and Spinach

Quinoa with Walnuts & Spinach -- Epicurean VeganI hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday! For the first time in many years, we had snow falling on Christmas Eve! You wouldn’t think that’d be such a rarity in Colorado, but a drought will do that to ya. It’s even snowing as I type! So I wasn’t sure what to call this dish because it has more than just walnuts and spinach it—it’s loaded with veggies. I served this warm, but I think it would be tasty cold as well.


1 C regular quinoa
1 C red quinoa
2 tsp Better Than Bouillon
3 C water
1 C spinach, chopped
4 green onions, sliced
4 mushrooms, chopped
1/3 C fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbs chia seeds
1/2 C walnuts, chopped (and toasted, if you’d like)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs lemon juice

Quinoa with Walnuts & Spinach -- Epicurean Vegan


In a medium or large saucepan, whisk together the bouillon and water and then bring to a boil. Add the two quinoas (you can also use tri-colored quinoa if you’d like), stir, reduce heat, and cover. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until just a little bit of liquid remains. Stir in the spinach, green onion, and mushrooms and let cook for a few minutes—just enough for the spinach to wilt and the mushrooms to cook down a little.

Quinoa with Walnuts & Spinach -- Epicurean Vegan

Stir in the salt, pepper, chia seeds, and lemon juice. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and walnuts. Enjoy!