Yellow Curried Tofu

Yellow Curried TofuWe can thank my Aunt Treva for this delicious curry recipe and for turning me on to cooking Thai food. Makes 4 servings.

4 cups cooked brown rice
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 tablespoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 to 2 tablespoons Thai yellow curry paste
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/2 lime
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 12-ounce package firm or extra firm tofu
2 to 3 kaffir lime leaves chopped (optional)

Stir-fry the broccoli and carrots in oil for 3 to 4 minutes, but make sure they stay firm, since they will continue to cook in the sauce later. Set aside.

Combine coconut milk, sugar, yellow curry paste and lime leaves in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes or until the coconut milk begins to thicken.

Add chopped mint, juice of 1/2 lime, broccoli, carrots and tofu. Cook at a low simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to let the flavors blend together.

Serve with brown rice and additional lime wedges.

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  • Add 1/2 cup chopped pineapple when you add the tofu. If you use pineapple, you might want to reduce or eliminate the sugar.
  • Experiment with other vegetables.
  • Pre-bake the tofu if you want it to be a little more firm.
  • Can easily be made gluten-free.

More information for Yellow Curried Tofu recipe:

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 20 min
  • Total time: 40 min

Grilled Vegetable and Tofu Dagwood

These can be made fresh for dinner as a variation on the Grilled Vegetables and Tofu meal, or you can make the sandwich the next day using leftover grilled vegetables and tofu. Be prepared for a huge sandwich that will barely fit in your mouth! Makes 1 sandwich.

1 hearty sandwich sized ciabatta roll sliced in half (or any other thick, hearty bread)
1 slice grilled tofu (about the size of the roll or 2 small slices)
1 slice grilled eggplant
2 slices grilled zucchini
1 slice grilled bell pepper
3 – 4 sun-dried tomato slices (reconstituted)
4 – 5 whole basil leaves
olive oil for brushing the bread
salt and pepper to taste

Brush the cut side of the bread with olive oil and briefly grill or place it under the broiler for a couple of minutes to lightly toast the bread.

If you aren’t making this with freshly grilled vegetables, heat the grilled tofu, eggplant, bell pepper and sun-dried tomato in the microwave or oven until warm.

Pile all of the ingredients in layers in between the roll for a huge Dagwood sandwich.

Buy the What Dawn Eats: Vegan food that isn’t weird cookbook for more recipes like this one.


  • For a regular sandwich that can be consumed by mere mortals without unhinging your jaw to bite into it, limit the sandwich to tofu, 1 grilled vegetable, sun-dried tomato and basil.
  • Experiment with any variety of grilled vegetables or tempeh instead of tofu.
  • If your grilled vegetables seem a little dry, you might want to brush the bread with a little extra olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Make a low-sodium or gluten-free version by choosing an appropriate type of bread.

More information for Grilled Vegetable and Tofu Dagwood recipe (reduce total time to 5 minutes if using leftover grilled vegetables):

  • Prep time: 30 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Total time: 45 min

Lentil Soup with Tomato and Basil

Lentil Soup with Tomato and BasilThis is one of my favorite soups. It’s delicious, quick and easy to make, which is the ideal combination for my busy life. The real secret to this recipe is the sun-dried tomatoes, but you really can’t go wrong with anything based on tomatoes and basil, and as an added bonus, the lentils make it a hearty soup. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

1 cup lentils (rinsed)
2 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 peeled and chopped carrot
1/2 cup reconstituted, chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 chopped medium onion
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add all other ingredients and bring to boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

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  • Add 1/2 cup rice and an additional 1 cup water.
  • Experiment with additional spices. Oregano and thyme would make good choices.
  • Make a spicy soup by adding some crushed red pepper or chopped chili peppers.
  • Add a few mushrooms, broccoli or other vegetables.
  • Naturally gluten-free and can be easily made low-sodium by substituting water from reconstituting the sun-dried tomatoes in place of the vegetable broth.

More information for Lentil Soup with Tomato and Basil recipe:

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 40 min
  • Total time: 50 min

Spicy Roasted Red Potatoes

I love those cute little red potatoes! Despite the longer cooking times, this is a pretty easy meal to make, and you can always get a little work done around the house while it bakes as long as you remember to swing past the oven a few times to turn them. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

12 small red potatoes cut into quarters
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 cloves minced garlic
dash cayenne pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all ingredients (except for the potatoes) in a large mixing bowl and set aside while you wash and prepare the potatoes.

Add potatoes to the olive oil mixture and toss to coat. Spread evenly on a baking sheet or pan in single layer with no overlap.

Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes stirring every 15 minutes.

Buy the What Dawn Eats: Vegan food that isn’t weird cookbook for more recipes like this one.


  • Add a handful of garlic cloves 15 minutes before the end.
  • Add a few slices of onion.
  • Experiment with other spices. Basil and oregano or sage would be good choices.
  • Naturally low-sodium and gluten-free.

More information for **TITLE** recipe:

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 50 min
  • Total time: 60 min

Kindle Edition of What Dawn Eats is Available

I finally found some extra time over my holiday vacation to finish formatting What Dawn Eats for the Kindle! The Kindle edition is now available on Amazon for only $9.99.

I took the time to do a bit of reformatting and build a proper table of contents with links to most sections of the cookbook, so it should be fairly easy to use on the Kindle. The nice thing about having a cookbook in an electronic format, like the Kindle, is that you can easily search for a specific recipe or favorite ingredient.

You can also get What Dawn Eats in other formats:

  • Amazon Kindle edition for $9.99
  • Printed Paperback copy for $12.99
  • Electronic PDF version for $12.99

I know you have some Amazon gift certificates that you are dying to spend on books for that new Kindle that you got over the holidays 🙂

Thai Peanut Sauce

Use as a dipping sauce for fresh salad rolls, spring rolls, tofu or grilled vegetables. You can also use it as sauce for stir-fried vegetables and tofu. Serving it over steamed broccoli and carrots is a traditional Thai Pra Ram dish. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon chili paste for mild or more for spicy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar or palm sugar (omit if using sweetened peanut butter)
1/4 cup freshly ground peanuts (or peanut butter)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Warm the coconut milk in a saucepan over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. Add the chili paste and sugar. Stir to dissolve. Add the ground peanuts or peanut butter. Stir frequently until the peanut butter has melted and the sauce has started to thicken.

If the peanut sauce is too thick, you can thin it with a little bit of water or coconut milk.

Buy the What Dawn Eats: Vegan food that isn’t weird cookbook for more recipes like this one.


  • Omit salt for a low-sodium sauce.
  • Omit or reduce the sugar for a less sweet sauce. When using a sweetened peanut butter, I always leave out the sugar.
  • Add more peanut butter for a little extra peanutty goodness.
  • Naturally gluten-free.

More information for Thai Peanut Sauce recipe:

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Cook time: 10 min
  • Total time: 15 min

Traditional Vegan Coleslaw

Traditional Vegan ColeslawThis is the slightly healthier vegan version of the coleslaw that you remember from the picnics and parties of your youth. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Slaw Ingredients

1/2 head of shredded cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrot

Sauce Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon dried minced onions
1/2 cup vegan mayo
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons dijon or spicy mustard
1 clove minced garlic
freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Stir briskly or whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Add more or less vegan mayo to taste.

Shred the cabbage and carrot and place in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sauce and toss together to combine. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

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  • Use a mix of green and purple cabbage for a little color.
  • Add a few other vegetables for more variety.
  • Omit the mustard and replace the celery salt with ground celery seed for a low-sodium version.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Traditional Vegan Coleslaw recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 0 min
  • Total time: 15 min

Beans and Greens

Fresh greens are so healthy and full of vitamins, so this is one of the dishes I make when I have been busy and not eating as well as I should. It makes a great dinner on it’s own or as a side dish. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

4 cups chopped kale, chard or collard greens
1 15-ounce can white beans (great northern or others)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small diced shallot
1 teaspoon tamari
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chili paste
3 strips tempeh bacon
freshly ground pepper to taste

Drain and rinse the can of white beans and set aside.

Heat olive oil over medium heat and add shallots. Sauté for 3 minutes until the shallots have softened. Add tempeh and sauté for another 3 to 5 minutes until the tempeh begins to brown. Add garlic, greens and beans. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until the greens are wilted, but still firm.

Pictured with mixed salad beans, instead of white beans.

Buy the What Dawn Eats: Vegan food that isn’t weird cookbook for more recipes like this one.


  • Main Meal: Serve as-is or over a bed of your favorite grain.
  • Experiment with a variety of mixtures of different types of greens and different spices. This is great with rosemary or basil, for example.
  • You can make a very simple version of this with just a little balsamic vinegar and some spices.
  • Instead of the vinegar, serve with lemon wedges or add lemon juice for added flavor.
  • For a low-sodium version, eliminate the tamari and tempeh bacon and use a low-sodium can of beans.
  • This can easily be made gluten-free.

More information for Beans and Greens recipe:

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 10 min
  • Total time: 20 min

Roasted Root Vegetables

This is a great fall and winter meal when you can find a wide variety of fresh and interesting root vegetables at the local market. This recipe is really flexible and forgiving on both ingredients and cooking times, which makes it a great side dish since you don’t have to worry about having it done at exactly the same time as everything else. Makes 4 servings.

2 lbs root vegetables, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch pieces (potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, celeriac, beets*, etc.)
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 1/3 inch wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon rosemary
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (more or less to taste)
salt & pepper to taste
1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the olive oil, balsamic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.

Toss the vegetables and onion (but not the garlic) with the oil and spices in the large mixing bowl. Remove from the bowl and place the root vegetables and onion in a roasting pan or cookie sheet, but do not crowd or stack the vegetables. Try to get everything in a single layer if possible, which might require an extra sheet or pan.

Roast the mixture for a total of 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, scatter the garlic cloves in with the vegetables. Continue stirring every 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender and evenly browned.

Pictured with carrots, red potato, garnet yam, parsnip, rutabaga, golden beet and turnip.

Buy the What Dawn Eats: Vegan food that isn’t weird cookbook for more recipes like this one.


  • Dinner: To make this into a main meal, serve over a bed of grains or with a side of cooked tofu or tempeh.
  • Try different combinations of vegetables and spices.
  • Add some crushed red pepper to make it a little spicy.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free and low-sodium.

* Note: if you are using red beets, you might want to put them on a separate tray for cooking unless you like having all of the vegetables turn pink.

More information for Roasted Root Vegetables recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 45 min
  • Total time: 60 min

Mexican Coleslaw

This looks suspiciously like my Thai Coleslaw recipe, but it’s different. Trust me. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Salad Ingredients

1 small shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded or thinly sliced carrots
1 medium thinly sliced red bell pepper
4 thinly sliced scallions (also called green onions)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes


1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce (or other smoky hot sauce).
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine salad ingredients in a bowl.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small container and whisk for 1 minute to combine.

Drizzle sauce over veggies and toss to coat evenly. You might want to add a little more lime juice or vinegar to taste.

Let stand at least 10 minutes or refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Toss again before serving.

Buy the What Dawn Eats: Vegan food that isn’t weird cookbook for more recipes like this one.


  • Replace carrots and red bell pepper with other colorful vegetables.
  • Add some jicama for additional crunch.
  • Can be easily made low-sodium and gluten-free.

More information for Mexican Coleslaw recipe:

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 0 min
  • Total time: 20 min

Vegan Food That Isn't Weird