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!


A Spectacular Superfood Salad

A Spectacular Superfood Salad -- Epicurean Vegan

So what’s a superfood, you might ask? Well, according to the online dictionary, it’s “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.” That sounds about right. Chances are, your fridge and pantry are stocked with these very ingredients and a salad is a great way to make the most of them—all in one bite. You won’t find meat and dairy labeled as superfoods. Ever. (Okay, some people consider salmon a superfood, but it’s really the omegas they’re after, which are readily found in plant foods). I made a very light dressing to coat the salad, also packed with immune-boosting deliciousness, so dig in and feel super energized, super healthy, and super happy with this spectacular superfood salad!

The super benefits:

Kale: high in fiber, iron, Vitamin K, C, and A; an anti-inflammatory food, supports cardiovascular health and is full of antioxidants.
Spinach: high in Vitamin A, K, D and E; good source of omega-3 fatty acids, loaded with antioxidants (fights cancer & inflammation), rich in calcium and magnesium, as well as carotenoids for eye health.
Pepitas (pumpkin seeds): high in magnesium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber and anti-inflammatory properties. They’re also high in tryptophan—you know, the “sleep hormone” found in turkey? Sprinkle some pepitas on your next Thanksgiving dish and enjoy the same post-meal nap without the dead bird.
Walnuts: cancer-fighting properties, heart health benefits, extremely high in antioxidants, as well as Vitamin E, folate, melatonin and omega-3 fatty acids.
Red onion: high in quercetin, a bioflavonoid with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
Blueberries: said to help with memory decline, reduce heart attack risk, and are full of antioxidants. Also high in Vitamin K, manganese and fiber.
Chia seeds: high in protein, fiber, phosphorus, manganese, calcium and potassium. They also contain healthy antioxidants and are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas): high in fiber, protein, manganese, and iron. They can also stabilize blood sugar and help lower one’s cholesterol.

A Spectacular Superfood Salad
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 8-10
  • 2 heads of kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves chopped small
  • 3 C spinach, chopped small
  • 2 C fresh or dried blueberries
  • 1 C red onion, diced small
  • 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ C pepitas
  • 1 C walnuts, chopped
  • .
  • Dressing
  • .
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs yellow miso
  • 1 Tbs tahini
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • ½ tsp chia seeds
  • ¼ C water
  1. Toss all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Let the dressing sit about 10 minutes to allow the chia seeds to thicken the dressing just a bit.
  3. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat thoroughly. Enjoy!


Hummus & Tomato Tart

Hummus and Tomato Tart -- Epicurean VeganThis is great for a last minute appetizer and is extremely versatile. Change up the veggies, spices, and herbs and you have another great appetizer. I used Pillsbury crescent rolls (yes, they’re vegan) and I actually like them as a crust a bit more than puff pastry (which is also vegan). The crescent rolls have a fluffy layer effect that’s light and tasty. I cut the tart into 9 squares, but feel free to slice and dice the way you’d like.

1 pkg. Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (8 to a package)
1/3 to 1/2 C prepared hummus
2 tomatoes, sliced thin (about 9 slices)
1/3 C chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9×13 baking sheet. Unroll the crescent rolls on the baking sheet and press the perforated edges to seal them. Using your fingers, firmly press the dough in several directions in order to get it to fit the baking sheet.

Hummus & Tomato Tart -- Epicurean VeganBake for 9 minutes, or until golden brown.
Hummus & Tomato Tart -- Epicurean VeganLet it cool completely, then spread on the hummus, add the tomatoes and sprinkle on the basil. Cut into squares and enjoy!


Creamy Kale & Mushroom Pasta

Creamy Kale and Mushroom Pasta -- Epicurean VeganKale and mushrooms. Two of my favorite veggies. Together with pasta: a new favorite meal! It’s incredibly easy to make and will be ready in no time.

1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C onion, minced
3 Tbs flour, divided
1 C vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
1 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
3/4 C unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp lemon juice
2 portobello mushroom caps, sliced, then cut in half
2 C kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 C green onions, sliced
Optional: 1/3 C Dairy-free sour cream
12-14 ounces pasta of your choice (I used rotini)

Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and garlic over  medium heat; cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions, and cook another 6-8 minutes, or until the onions are softened. Add two tablespoons of the flour and coat the onions well; cook 1 minute. Little by little, add the broth and whisk until the mixture is thickened. While I prepare the sauce, I had the kale and mushrooms in my steamer pot. They only need about 5-7 minutes to steam, so keep an eye on the pot; I find that kale can get bitter-tasting if it gets over-steamed. Once it turns bright green, it’s perfect—remove from heat.

Stir the nutritional yeast into the sauce, along with the salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg. In a small cup, whisk together the almond milk with the remaining tablespoon of flour. Again, little by little, whisk it into the sauce until it has thickened. Stir in the lemon juice. Combine the cooked pasta with the green onions and the steamed kale and mushrooms.
Creamy Kale and Mushroom Pasta -- Epicurean VeganPour the sauce over the pasta mixture and combine well. If using, add the sour cream and mix thoroughly. Season with more salt and pepper if you’d like, serve and enjoy!

Tofu-Avocado Bowl with Cilantro-Ginger Cashew Sauce

Tofu Avocado Bowl with Cilantro-Ginger Cashew Sauce -- Epicurean VeganIt’s been a busy spring, but I hope to get back to posting more regularly very, very soon. I’m excited to bring you this new recipe that is a “smorgasbord of flavors,” as The Husband called it. (That’s a good thing, I found out). This weekend, we went to WaterCourse Foods in Denver where I thoroughly enjoyed their Street Tacos that had a cilantro cream sauce. I have no idea how they made theirs, but it inspired me to make my own. Then came the veggies, rice and tofu and an incredible meal was born! (Sorry, a little dramatic). But I think you’ll really love this easy to make meal (no judgment here if you lick the bowl).

Cilantro-Ginger Cashew Sauce:
1 C raw, unsalted cashews, soaked for at least an hour in hot water
1 Tbs white or yellow miso
1/3 C packed cilantro leaves
2 Tbs lime juice
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 Tbs fresh ginger
1 tsp salt
1/4 C water
1/4 C unsweetened, unflavored almond milk

The rest:
1-3/4 C vegetable broth
1 C wild rice (I used Lundberg Jubilee variety)
14-oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed, cut into 6-7 slabs
1-1/2 C snowpeas, ends trimmed and cut in half
3/4 C green onion, sliced
2 carrots, grated
Shallot salt (or regular salt)
1-2 avocados, sliced
Cooking spray


Start with preparing the rice. Combine the broth and rice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, to make the amazing sauce, drain the cashews and transfer them to the food processor. Add the other ingredients and puree. Scrape the bowl a few times and process until completely smooth.

Tofu-Avocado Bowl with Cilantro-Ginger Cashew Sauce -- Epicurean VeganSpray a large skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Place the tofu slabs in the skillet, season with shallot salt. Turn the tofu once one side is browned. Season once again with shallot salt.
Tofu-Avocado Bowl with Cilantro-Ginger Cashew Sauce -- Epicurean VeganOnce the tofu is done, transfer to a cutting board and cut each slab into 3 long pieces, then again in half.
Tofu-Avocado Bowl with Cilantro-Ginger Cashew Sauce -- Epicurean VeganAdd the snowpeas and green onion to the same skillet. Over medium heat, saute the veggies for just a few minutes; enough to soften them a little. If need be, spray the skillet again with cooking spray. Stir in the carrot and cook another few minutes. Season with a little shallot salt, if you’d like.
Tofu-Avocado Bowl with Cilantro-Ginger Cashew Sauce -- Epicurean VeganTo assemble, start with rice, top with the vegetable mixture, then add the tofu and avocado. Drizzle, drop or dump some sauce on top. Then . . . mix it all together and enjoy!
Tofu-Avocado Bowl with Cilantro-Ginger Cashew Sauce -- Epicurean Vegan


Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Hummus & Avocado

Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Hummus and Avocado -- Epicurean VeganAll right. I have two confessions. First, these aren’t technically grilled, nor do they have avocado on them. *GASP* I know, I’m sorry. But let me explain. So, it’s very early spring here in Colorado and the outdoor grill, much like my legs, are still winterized. But, I do have the spray tan of grills . . .
 Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Hummus and Avocado -- Epicurean VeganNow, about that avocado. I’ve had 4 avocados sitting in a paper bag on my counter for about 5 days and they are still rock solid. I made the mistake of trying to cut into one and it was like stabbing a butternut squash. And if that wasn’t enough, I tried a second avocado and ended up with the same results. In fact, I couldn’t even get the halves apart! I was all ready to place the beautiful slices of avocado next to the fresh basil . . .

Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Hummus and Avocado -- Epicurean VeganIn spite of these culinary catastrophes, I assure you, the “grilling” process worked beautifully, and the avocado would be a grand addition to these sandwiches.

1/2 C balsamic vinegar
1/2 C red wine
1/4 C olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
The rest
2 small zucchini, sliced length-wise
1 red bell pepper, cut into wide strips
1 eggplant, sliced length-wise, then again length-wise
1/2 large onion, cut into wide strips
1 avocado (preferably real and not imaginary), sliced
1 C fresh basil leaves
1/2 C hummus, homemade (easy) or store bought (even easier)
6 French rolls, or other sandwich bread

Combine the marinade ingredients in a large zip bag. Add the veggies and let them marinate in the frige for about an hour. Turn the bag over halfway through. Spray the grill pan with a small amount of cooking spray and heat pan over medium heat. Using tongs, place the veggies in the pan. I recommend putting as many slices of bell pepper on as you can because they’ll take the longest to cook. I also suggest flattening them out a little so that you can turn them over to cook both sides. The zucchini and eggplant will take about 3-4 minutes per side.

Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Hummus and Avocado -- Epicurean VeganI continued cooking all of the zucchini and eggplant, transferring the cooked slices to a large sheet of foil and sealing it up while everything else cooked. Everything stayed nice and hot. I then added the onions while the peppers continued to cook.
Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Hummus and Avocado -- Epicurean VeganOnce the vegetables are cooked, start assembling your sandwiches! (You can toast the bread first, if you’d like). Spread on some hummus, add the veggies, basil and of course, a few beautiful slices of avocado. Enjoy!


And the winner is . . .

Congrats to Scout and Bodhi who won a copy of The Oh She Glows Cookbook!

Thank you to everyone who visited and entered!

The Oh She Glows Cookbook -- Epicurean VeganAnd by the way, I also made the Fiesta Taco Potato Crisps that are on page 85 and brought them to a get together. Everyone (including us) declared they were the Best. Appetizer. Ever. I made them again last night when my Mom came over for dinner. Again, Best. Appetizer. Ever.

Fiesta Taco Potato Crisps from The Oh She Glows Cookbook -- Epicurean VeganThanks again, everyone!

Empowered Noodle Bowl + A Giveaway of The Oh She Glows Cookbook!

The Oh She Glows Cookbook -- Epicurean VeganI was thrilled to have an opportunity to post a recipe from Angela Liddon’s The Oh She Glows Cookbook AND be able to give a copy away to one lucky reader! I’ve been glued to this cookbook since I received it because not only is it full of beautiful photographs (about every recipe has a pic), but the recipes look downright delicious. Like Liddon, I had some unhealthy eating (or should I say, not eating) habits before I went vegan. I can truly say that a vegan diet saved my life. This is a great cookbook to have in your collection because it is full of tasty, healthy recipes that use only whole, minimally-processed ingredients. If you’ve been a fan of the Oh She Glows website, you’re going to love this cookbook with 75 brand-spankin’ new recipes, plus 25 updated reader favorites. So if you want to win this beautiful cookbook, leave a comment; it’s that easy! You have until midnight (PST) on Sunday, April 6. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, April 7th. 

Empowered Noodle Bowl -- Epicurean Vegan

You’ll love Liddon’s Empowered Noodle Bowl, two ways: Thai Peanut & Orange-Maple Miso on page 153. I decided to make both dressings and honestly, I can’t tell you which one is my favorite; they’re both delicious. The Thai Peanut is thicker with some garlic kick, whereas the Orange-Maple Miso is a tad thinner and milder. They’re both easy enough to make, so why not do both? This is a fantastic lunch or light dinner, that comes together rather quickly. I like how the veggies take precedence over the noodles—it’s not a heavy pasta dish, but rather, a bowl of fresh veggies with some noodles thrown in and coated with a tasty dressing. A winner for sure.

Serves 4
Thai Peanut Sauce
1 large garlic clove
2 Tbs toasted sesame oil
3 Tbs natural smooth peanut butter
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 Tbs + 1 tsp low-sodium tamari
1-2 tsp granulated sugar
Orange-Maple Miso Dressing
3 Tbs light miso
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs tahini
1/4 C fresh orange juice
1 Tbs water
1 tsp maple syrup
4 oz gluten-free soba noodles
Extra virgin olive oil, for the noodles
16 oz bag frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 English cucumber, diced
1 carrot, julienned
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
Sesame seeds, for serving

To make the Thai Peanut sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Do the same for the Orange-Maple Miso Dressing.

Empowered Noodle Bowl -- Epicurean VeganCook the noodles according to instructions on the package (5-9 minutes). Drain, rinse under cold water and transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle with a little of the olive oil, then toss with the veggies and dressing of your choice. Top individual servings with sesame seeds and enjoy! If you like the looks of this recipe, you’re going to want this cookbook, so leave a comment and you just may get it! Good luck!

Empowered Noodle Bowl -- Epicurean VeganWith the Thai Peanut Sauce
Empowered Noodle Bowl -- Epicurean VeganWith the Orange-Maple Miso Dressing

 Reprinted by arrangement with AVERY, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © GLO BAKERY CORPORATION, 2014.

I’ll be back soon…I promise!

Sorry it’s been a while since my last post! I’ve been swamped with training for a half marathon, helping coordinate a writer’s conference and traveling. We spent a wonderful week in the Big Apple, so for now, I’ll leave you with this drool-worthy pic of a a vegan cheeseburger from PeaceFood Cafe in NYC.

20140319_114039I’ll be back with new recipes very soon!

Quinoa & Kale Pitas with Tahini Dressing

Quinoa and Kale Pitas with Tahini Dressing -- Epicurean VeganThese are packed with some of my favorite ingredients! Quinoa is loaded with protein and the kale is well . . . it’s kale! We all know kale is high in iron, calcium and several vitamins. Check out these 10 Health Benefits of this super green. I also threw in some pepitas, which are rich in vitamins, beta carotene, and protein. I made a pretty big batch so that I can nosh all week (especially post workouts), but feel free to halve the recipe if you’re fearful of getting quinoa’d out. (Inconceivable! ;-) )

2 C tri-color quinoa
4 C vegetable broth or water
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C red onion, diced
3/4 C green onion, sliced
2 C mushrooms, diced
1 bunch kale, leaves removed and chopped (stems discarded)
3/4 C pepitas
2 large cloves of garlic
1 Tbs tahini
2 Tbs yellow/light miso
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
1/2 C cold water
2 Tbs chia seesds
1/4 tsp black pepper
The rest
Pita pockets
Avocado slices

I recommend making the dressing first. It’ll be a little runny, but letting it sit for 20 minutes or so, will allow the chia seeds to do their thing and thicken up the dressing. In a food processor or blender, combine all of the dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Quinoa and Kale Pitas with Tahini Dressing -- Epicurean VeganIn a large soup pot, combine the broth (or water) with the quinoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover, and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.

Quinoa and Kale Pitas with Tahini Dressing -- Epicurean VeganMeanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet. Add the red and green onions. Saute until softened and a tiny bit browned. Add the kale and mushrooms and saute until the the kale is bright green, about 5 minutes.
Quinoa and Kale Pitas with Tahini Dressing -- Epicurean VeganFold the veggies and pepitas into the cooked quinoa.
Quinoa and Kale Pitas with Tahini Dressing -- Epicurean VeganI placed a little dressing inside the pita,  along with a slice or two of avocado, then added the filling, and topped with some more dressing. Enjoy!
Quinoa and Kale Pitas with Tahini Dressing -- Epicurean Vegan