Salt & Wind Travel

One of the most common questions we get when we lead our group trips is, “How do you eat like this and still stay healthy?”

As you know, we’re all about balance. A case in point is our last boutique group trip to Oaxaca. Chiles Rellenos, barbacoa, and mole were on the menu but not for every meal. When we travel we tend to eat fresh fruit and veg (largely meat free) for two of our three daily meals and then have one meal a day that has animal product.

And, when we’re home there’s even less meat and dairy in our diet. A couple times a month, we’ll roast a whole chicken or cook up a perfect steak, but the rest of the time meat is more of a condiment or not in our diet at all.We eat a largely Mediterranean, whole foods diet, that’s more and more plant based.

And we’ve shared more and more of those recipes with you here on the site. Blame it on our California roots but if there’s fresh, seasonal produce to be celebrated, we dive in!

What Is A Plant-Based Diet?

A plant-based diet can be different things for different people. Around here we take it to mean a diet that is heavily based on whole foods and plants but that can have the occasional addition of a bit of dairy. As such these recipes are all free from animal meat and (mostly free from) eggs but a few do have a drizzle of cream or a crumble of cheese.

From breakfast to weeknight meals and pasta to tacos, here are more than 50 recipes that are naturally plant-based or are easily modified (hold the meat!) to be plant-based.

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Santa Barbara Tropical Ginger Smoothie Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

It’s impossible to have a bad day when you start it off with this sunshine-y, delicious smoothie. If you keep bananas and mango in your freezer, you can whip this up at a moment’s notice!

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Green Goddess Smoothie Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

As far as plant based smoothie recipes, this is one we adore. It’s got a distinct coconut flavor, not too much of a “green” taste, and the mango is the only natural sweetener so it’s really well balance. Not to mention it has made smoothie converts out of the most anti of eaters.

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Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Smoothie Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Truth is, we’re not all that into the pumpkin spice phenomenon. But this smoothie — made with almond or oat milk, oats, pumpkin, maple syrup, and spices — brings just a touch of those classic fall flavors without being overwhelming. Use gluten-free oats to make this smoothie 100% gluten free.

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Cinnamon Walnut Date Shake Smoothie Recipe

Gluten-Free, Vegetarian

This is actually two recipes in one as you first make a slightly sweetened vanilla walnut milk (which could be used anywhere you use nut milk!) and use that to make a healthier take on the iconic Palm Springs treat: the date shake. It’s incredible filling so we have it for breakfast and don’t even think about eating again for hours.

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Cuban Iced Chocolate Frappe Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Just because you’re eating more plants, doesn’t mean you want to skip dessert! We like to make this just sweet, chocolate-y drink for anything from a snack to a dessert. The key is to soak the cacao nibs in the nut milk (or oat milk if you want to make it nut free) until the cacao flavor is apparent.

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Classic Mexican Horchata Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Speaking of soaking and making your own nut milks, it’s hard to find a more old school version of just that than horchata. All you need is patience and a high quality blender to make this yourself.

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Tropical Coconut Chia Cacao Acai Bowl Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

As what is essentially the original smoothie bowl, açai bowls took over the world in the first era of Instagram with our feeds filled with the colorful bowls. But we still turn to them because they’re packed with antioxidants and a delicious way to start the day when you’re in a hot, humid spot like Hawaii.

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Persimmon Overnight Oats With Pepita Streusel Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Whether you’ve got an early morning flight or are trying to get on the ski slopes for first chair, there are many times you just don’t want to cook when you wake up. Enter overnight oats. While most recipes are gluey and anemic on taste, these are packed with maple syrup, nut butter, and chia seeds for a healthful, satisfying start to the day.

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Toasted Quinoa Blueberry Walnut Muesli Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Whenever we spend time in the Alps, we come back remembering just how much we adore muesli. This version is made with toasted quinoa, dried blueberries, and walnuts for a slightly sweet, healthy way to start the day.

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Apple Cinnamon Coconut Oatmeal Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Yes, oatmeal is one of the easiest things to make but a lot separates delicious oatmeal from the ho-hum. Here we cook apples (preferably Pink Lady or Fuji variety) in coconut oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon for a twist on the classic that’ll help you start your day right.

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Spicy Beet Salsa Chilaquiles With Fried Eggs Recipe

Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegetarian

One of the things we adore about Baja California cuisine? It combines our favorite Mexican food flavors — ahem, chilaquiles — and gives them a fresh, seasonal twist like with this recipe. Serrano chiles, lime, garlic, and roasted beets combine for an unexpected (and very welcome) take on the classic.

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Tex Mex Tofu Hash Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

The title of this vegan breakfast hash might be “Tex Mex” but it’s inspired by Blu Jam cafe, one of the most beloved breakfast spots in Los Angeles. It’s not a tofu scramble because the tofu stays whole but we promise you’ll like it better than that. To make quick work of it, use leftover boiled potatoes and cook the tofu up to a day ahead so you can have it on the table before your coffee is brewed. Of all the plant based recipes for breakfast that we’ve shared, this is one that is the most filling and satisfying even for carnivores!

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Broiled Polenta Bites With Green Harissa Recipe

Gluten-Free, Vegetarian

Is this a recipe that’s perfect for using leftover polenta? A vegetarian bite that is a crowd pleaser? Or two recipes that are as good together as they are apart (try the green harissa as a sandwich spread or top the bites with Romesco Dip (see below))? The answer is yes, yes, and yes!

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Herbed Avocado Green Goddess Dip Recipe

Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegetarian

At more than 100 years old, Green goddess is one of the most iconic recipes from California. But the viral Green Goddess salad proves it still has plenty of staying power. Here we add in another very California ingredient — Haas avocados — to make the classic dressing a very delicious dip.

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Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Hummus Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Yes, we like our hummus from scratch and, yes, we’re particular about how to make it for the smoothest, creamiest hummus around. But we also like to break from convention and make recipes that fit (pretty much) all the diets like this twist with pumpkin, roasted garlic, and lots of lemon.

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Walnut Beet Caviar Spread Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Ok, the name of this dip is a bit of misnomer because there is no “caviar” (as in fish roe) in the recipe. Rather the texture of roasted beets, walnuts, and dates once blended has a texture that is reminiscent of the prized ingredient but with a sweet, earthy taste.

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Roasted Red Pepper Romesco Dip Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

You know how it’s so hard to find a recipe that meets (almost) all the diets and is loved by kids and adults alike? The answer is this dip that’s reminiscent of Spanish romesco and is a simple as blending together jarred roasted peppers, almonds, paprika, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. And, of all the easy plant based recipes we’re sharing, this just might be the simplest.

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Red Pepper Muhammara Dip Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

If you’re looking for a red pepper dip that’s a bit more interesting, make this take on the classic Middle Eastern dip, Muhammara. Use gluten free breadcrumbs to make it gluten free!

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Smashed Minted Peas And Avocado Toast Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

If you like minted peas and avocado toast as much as we do, then we pretty much insist you make this as soon as fresh peas come around in the spring. The recipe as is calls for butter and olive oil but omit the butter to make it 100% vegan and use gluten free bread to stay away from wheat.

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Baked Sweet Potato Fries With Cilantro Avocado Dipping Sauce Recipe

Gluten-Free, Nut, Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Of the many plant based sweet potato recipes we have (keep reading for many more), this is one that’s always popular. Why? Because they’re healthy-ish fries! Use plant-based yogurt to make it 100% vegan.

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Classic French Potato Leek Soup Recipe

Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Come winter, we’re serious soup people around here. Anda, of themany plant based soup recipes here, we make this one regularly. It’s filling, it’s healthy, it’s comforting, and, if you use plant based butter or olive oil anda gluten free bread, it’s totally vegan and gluten free.

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Classic French Lentil Soup Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

We’re not sure but we’re pretty sure that lentil soup is the very first way we ever learned how to cook lentils. We like to use the celebrated green French lentils known as lentils du Puy but you could use brown or black too (just don’t use red lentils as they’ll turn to mush).

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Spring Minestrone Verde Soup Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

We know, you’ve had minestrone soup before. But have you had minestrone verde? This is our ode to the green styles of minestrone soup that you see in Spring that are loaded with seasonal vegetables from peas to fava beans to even artichokes sometimes. The key here is the pistachio gremolata, which would be incredible as a garnish to almost anything but makes this soup!

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Ribollita Rustic Tuscan Bread And Vegetable Soup Recipe

Dairy-Free,Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

If you love a good bread bowl with your soup, we can guarantee you’ll adore this soup where bread slow cooks into a delicious vegetable stew. Make it even easier by making it in the slow cooker and use vegan cheese and gluten free bread as desired.

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Chilled Zucchini Walnut Basil Soup Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

We’re dropping the recipe here as a quick PSA to remind you that gazpacho iis not the only delicious chilled soup out there. This is the recipe we turn to in the height of summer when it’s too hot to cook a lot and when we usually have a ton of zucchini. Use plant-based yogurt to make this vegan.

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Icelandic Vegetable and Oat Soup Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Sometimes the simplest is the best. Case in point: this vegetable oat soup that is a twist on aa classic dish from Iceland. And the good news is it gets better the longer it cooks so go ahead and make it in the slow cooker! Use gluten-free oats to make this gluten free.

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Black Bean And Sweet Potato Chili Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Time and again and year after year this plant based chili recipe is one of the most popular recipes on the site. Why? Because it’s filling, healthy, hearty, and can be made as easily on the stove as in the slow cooker.

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Chopped Salad With Buttermilk Peppercorn Dressing Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free,Vegan, Vegetarian

If there’s one thing we know when it comes to food in Southern California, it’s how to make incredible salads. A prime example of that are the hearty, filling, and oh-so healthful salads served at spots like M. Cafe. This is our homemade version of one of their salad, which can be made vegan by using vegan buttermilk.

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Butternut Squash Amaranth Salad With Peanut Dressing Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

This is a total sleeper of a recipe as we feel it doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves. Change up the veggies and greens based on the season but don’t skip the peanut dressing made with kaffir lime and coconut milk. It’s incredible!

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Mexican Corn Panzanella Salad Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

This salad takes all the flavors you love in elote (aka Mexican street corn) and turns them into a salad. Yup, it’s as good as it sounds! Use gluten-free bread and plant-based dairy as desired.

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The Austin Salad Recipe

Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Our friend Camille Styles knows a thing about beautiful and delicious entertaining and this salad is proof of that. It’s simple to make but not simple in flavor thanks to the combination of soaked currants, avocado, and greens. Note you’ll want to sub out the honey if you want it to be vegan.

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Green Herbed Falafel Wraps Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Using chickpea flour makes quick work of these pan-fried falafel. They’d be delicious in a pita or on a salad but we like them in these wraps along with avocado, toasted peanuts, and a tahini drizzle. Nix the yogurt to make it vegan.

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Split Pea Veggie Wrap With Cilantro-Mint Chutney Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Poor split peas: they always get forced into being soup. Here we make them into a hummus-like spread that would be great as a snack dip. But then we put it in a wrap (use gluten free wraps, if desired) with fresh veggies and a Cilantro-Mint Chutney sauce that is so good you might just eat it off the spoon. Omit the yogurt or use plant-based yogurt to make it vegan.

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Mixed Mushroom Toasts With Parsley Salad Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Use pretty much any mushrooms from shitake to cremini to oysters (or a mix!) to make the sauteed mushroom bit of this recipe (which can be made ahead, by the way). Then top them on toast with the parsley salad and shaves of Parmigiano-Reggiano (or plant-based cheese) for a simple but satisfying meal.

P.S. If you eat eggs, this is a dream with a poached egg on top.

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Grain Bowl With Cashew-Lemon Sauce Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

We don’t need to tell you how filling, healthy, and fabulous a good grain bowl can be. But we do need to tell you that this Cashew-Lemon sauce is everything and you’ll want to put it on everything!

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Mushroom Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

We love ourselves some Korean BBQ, but, unless we’re cooking for a crowd, we do not want to cook all that just for ourselves. Enter these bulgogi-style mushroom lettuce wraps that are just as delicious, totally plant based, and super easy.

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Black Bean Quinoa And Feta Tacos Recipe

Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegetarian

Why, no, there is not a taco like this in all of Mexico so it’s anything but a classic Mexican street taco. But it is a super simple recipe (the key is in good quality ingredients — use frijoles de olla if you have time to make them!) that can be added to as you’d like. We like them topped with feta, avocado, and tomatillo salsa but find what you like!

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Squash Tacos With Chipotle Peanut Salsa Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Always ISO of delicious vegan tacos, we came up with this simple but satisfying recipe to fill our cravings. We use roasted squash but you could use mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and more. The salsa is a take on Chile Arbol Peanut Salsa so it is spicy but it is incredible. Sub out the honey to make it vegan!

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Crunchy Fried Avocado Tacos Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Of all the plant-based taco recipes on the site, this just might be our favorite. The fried avocado slices could be served like avocado fries but we tuck them into tortillas with cabbage, tomatillo, salsa, and chipotle crema for major flavors!

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Enfrijoladas: Black Bean-Smothered Enchiladas Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Just because you’re eating whole food plant based recipes doesn’t mean it should be boring. And this recipe for Enfrijoladas that hails from Oaxaca is anything but. We make it with dried beans but you can totally used canned beans to make quicker work of it all. It’s high fiber and filling and total comfort food. Skip the crema and cheese (or used plant-based versions) to make it vegan.

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Whipped Goat Cheese And Sweet Potato Sandwich Recipe

Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

There isn’t a hard and fast rule as to exactly what a “California Veggie Sandwich” but most will agree it’s a recipe that came about in the 1970s and usually includes whole grain bread, sliced cheese, sprouts, avocado, and loads of veggies. This is our updated version with whipped goat cheese for creamy texture (use plant-based cheese if vegan), roasted sweet potato coins (for crunch), and a load of veggies.

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Smorrebrod Potato With Horseradish Creme Fraiche Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

What is that? You’re wondering if this is a baked potato on bread aka a double carb sandwich? Why, yes, yes, it is. A smorrebrod is a classic Danish open-face sandwich and this version — with fried shallots, chives, and horseradish creme fraiche — is our favorite. Use gluten-free flour and bread to kick the wheat and plant-based yogurt to make it vegan.

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Pomegranate Persimmon And Pistachio Wild Rice Salad Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

If you ask us, wild rice doesn’t get nearly enough attention in the kitchen. It’s an ingredient that’s healthy, hearty, and provides a distinct nutty taste that we love in everything from sides to salads. This salad is one that’s on our holiday table every year as the combination of pomegranate, persimmon, and pistachio means there’s sweet, tart, and crunch. But what really makes it is the Miso-Orange Dressing that’s easy to make and provides a punch of flavor.

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Roasted Beet Citrus Salad With Achiote Dressing Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Have you had a roasted beet and citrus salad before? We’d bet on it. But have you had one with a rich, flavorful achiote citrus dressing that gives it a flavor reminiscent of cochinita pibil? Ya, we didn’t think so. Try this out and don’t skimp on the nuts which add a welcome other layer. Skip the cotija cheese and use maple syrup instead of honey to make it dairy-free and vegan.

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Root Vegetable Salad With Balsamic-Date Dressing Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Oh, this balsamic-date dressing! Make it once and you’ll NEVER go back. It’s tart, sweet, and has all the comforting flavors that taste like fall to us. It’s a must on this salad but would be just as perfect on a spinach and beet salad. Or topping some grilled radicchio. Or paired with pears, blue cheese, walnuts, and tatsoi. It’s a you-gotta-try-it recipe so promise us you will!

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Classic Creamy Polenta Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Of the many plant based gluten free recipes here, this just might be the one we make the most. When dairy-free or vegan friends come over we make it with broth or nut milk and skip the cheese and cream. But it’s a recipe you should have in your back pocket because it’s just as perfect as we have it here with sauteed veg as a breakfast bowl as it is served with a mushroom ragu or roast meat (if that’s your thing).

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Roasted Eggplant Tomato Pasta Recipe

Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

The reality is that a good deal of the pasta recipes on this site are plant based pasta recipes (or can easily be adopted to be so), but we wanted to call out a few in particular. This is the recipe we turn to in late summer when all these flavors — eggplant, tomatoes, basil — are at their peak. The key here is roasting the eggplant and making the garlic chips as they take a combo of flavors from familiar to intriguing.

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Charred Poblano Pesto Pasta Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Okay, calling this a “pesto” isn’t accurate because there are no herbs, nuts, or cheese in the sauce. But what there is are charred poblanos, roast onion, garlic, and olive oil and it gets blended for a puree that’s earthy, spicy, and satisfying on anything from pasta to even roast sweet potatoes or grilled white fish.

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Avocado Green Curry Noodles With Toasted Cashews Recipe

Dairy-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Along with our Pumpkin Almond Butter Red Curry Noodles this recipe is one of the noodle recipes we started making more and more the less meat we ate. The combination of avocado, crisp kale, and toasted cashews tossed with noodles makes for a super satisfying dish that you’ll make time and again.

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Sweet Potato Grain Bowls Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Is this the most basic grain bowl around? Possibly. But don’t knock it til you try it because the combination of quinoa, sweet potato, cabbage, chickpeas, and almonds makes for a satisfying meal that’s begging to be riffed on! Add in shredded beets, a drizzle of tahini, some of our green harissa (see above), or some roast tofu. It’s all fair game!

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Citrus Salad With Cinnamon-Cayenne Syrup And Cacao Nibs Recipe

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

We’re shared a lot of simple plant based recipes here but this just might be the simplest. You simply take the assortment of citrus you have on hand — we like it with blood oranges, cara cara oranges, and mandarins — and then drizzle it with this sweet-spicy syrup. Pretty much the perfect end to any meal.

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Read on for tips on how to make your favorite Mexican dishes meatless!


Opening phot by Sergey Narevskih

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