Stunning plant-based entrées
We’re sure these suggestions from our collection will inspire your vegan pursuits—whether side dish or starring attraction. With a few tweaks to seasonings, a change in cooking method, or last-minute flavour combos, you’ll easily elevate your vegan repertoire to new heights of WOW!
When you’re leafing through our new collection of vegan main-plate recipes, you’ll be star-struck by the flavour combinations—from garlic-laced creamy pasta to savoury pot pies. Can anything this good be meatless? And vegan? Yes it can! It’s all about seasonings, textures, and flavourful blends. Plus, much like cooking with meat, poultry, or seafood, it’s also about the cooking method—roasting, sautéing, grilling—and using flavour-spikers like mirepoix or soffritto for maximum return on plant flavours.
Mirepoix (named after the Duke of Mirepoix in the 18th century) is a French flavour base using diced vegetables, like onion, garlic, celery, and/or carrot, cooked slowly over low heat in olive oil or butter to release their sweetness, that’s then used in other dishes. Soffritto is an Italian aromatic base much like the French mirepoix, which may include similar vegetables and may also include parsley. The word soffritto means “underfried.”
Veggie cooking techniques—think roasting over boiling; sautéing over steaming; grilling over stewing—garner delicious returns when enhanced with creative prep techniques and next-level seasonings. Another way to intensify plant food flavours is with the addition of dried fruits, nuts, citrus, and fresh herbs. Not only do some of these additions beam up the protein content of the dish, but they also add delicious texture. We’re sure these sensational suggestions will inspire all your vegan pursuits—whether side dish or starring attraction. Use your imagination: with a few tweaks to seasonings, a change in cooking method, or last-minute flavour combos, you’ll easily elevate your vegan repertoire to new heights of WOW!
Plant foods have often been considered only as side dishes. Times are changing, with new focus on plant-based eating for our health and the health of the environment, along with the influence of different cultures and their unique culinary contributions.
If you’re looking to beef up your veggie side dishes, consider the following rules: fat, acid, sweet, and salt. Together these four combos make any dish an umami sensation. Toss in a carbohydrate such as beans, grain, or rice, then sprinkle with a zing of fresh herbs, and you’ll have a satisfying vegan meal in a bowl.
|Flavourful additions||The WOW factor|
|toasted nuts, seeds, a splash of flavoured oil||from cashews to hemp hearts, there’s no limit to what you can toss with vegetables: drizzle with a flavoured herbal, lemon, or spicy chili oil|
|lemon or lime, a splash of vinegar||add that extra edge|
|dried or chopped fresh fruits, maple syrup, or agave||a hit of sweet sparks a collective flavourful sensation|
|salt, miso, dulse, soy sauce||the addition of a salty component marries your ingredient stars|
|beans, lentils, tempeh, soy||give yourself a hearty feeling that’ll keep you satisfied for hours|
|assorted herbs||especially our favourite trio: mint, parsley, and cilantro, a Mediterranean favourite|
Gone are the days of throwing your veggies into a pot of boiling water to cook the flavour—and the goodness—out of them. Step up your veggies to star status with these easy, flavour-enhancing cooking methods.
Marinate and place veggies in a grill basket or directly onto the grill, brush with oil, and season. The smoky tones over a gas, charcoal, or wood flame add immense flavour.
The easiest method to add flavour all year round is roasting. Simply oil and season, then bake in a hot oven at 425 F (220 C) until vegetables are charred on the edges.
Start with a mirepoix (three simple ingredients—carrots, celery, and onions—finely chopped to release the ultimate aromatics). Top it up with a mound of veggies and sauté with flavoured oils and a splash of vinegar.
Veggies love to be broiled and outer skins removed for more aromatic dishes. Think peppers and eggplant.