Category Archives: Dinner at Home

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.

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


  • 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

Grilled Vegetables and Tofu

Grilling is a great way to spend a warm summer evening, since you move the cooking outside and get to enjoy some great summer weather. If you have a big enough grill, make a few extra veggies and keep them around for lunches or to add to other meals. Makes 4 servings.

1 14-ounce package of firm or extra firm tofu
2 batches of Italian Marinade
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sliced medium eggplant
1 sliced red bell pepper
2 small sliced zucchini
1 onion cut into wedges
8 white button or crimini mushrooms

To make the tofu, follow the instructions for the Soy Marinated Tofu to press the tofu. Instead of the Soy Marinade, you will be marinating it in one of the 2 batches of Italian Marinade. Also eliminate the baking step, since you will be grilling the tofu in a later step instead of baking it.

Turn the grill on over medium high heat.

Put the mushrooms and onion onto skewers to keep pieces of them from falling through the grate. Place all of the vegetables on a tray and brush with olive oil and some Italian Marinade.

If your grill doesn’t have a warming grate above the main grate, you might want to place a plate in the oven and turn it on to 125 degrees to keep any veggies warm that cook more quickly than the others.

Place all of the veggies on the grill or cook in batches. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes turning the vegetables over after 5 to 7 minutes. Keep a close eye on the vegetables, since they can burn quickly and different grills vary widely in temperatures and cooking times.

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


  • Experiment with all kinds of different vegetables.
  • Simple Dipping Sauce: Instead of using the marinade, brush the vegetables with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Vietnamese Peanut Sauce, Thai Peanut Sauce, Tahini Sauce or Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce.
  • Balsamic: Instead of using the marinade, brush the vegetables with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • Citrus: Instead of using the marinade, brush the vegetables with olive oil. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice on the veggies.
  • Replace the Italian Marinade with Asian Soy Marinade.
  • Can be easily made low-sodium and gluten-free.

More information for Grilled Vegetables and Tofu recipe:

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

Mushroom Stroganoff

Stroganoff was one of my favorite foods as a kid, but it was a traditional beef stroganoff made with a can of cream of mushroom soup that wasn’t easily made vegan. After much experimenting and a few pretty terrible failures, I finally came up with a recipe that I love. Finding a really good commercial vegan sour cream made a world of difference in this recipe. As a bonus, it’s even fairly quick and easy to make. Makes 2 servings.

2 cups cooked brown rice
12 ounces sliced mushrooms (10 to 15 mushrooms)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small chopped onion
2 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon basil
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup non-dairy milk
3 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in a small amount of cold water.
1/2 cup vegan sour cream

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until they are soft, translucent and starting to brown around the edges.

Add mushrooms, garlic and tamari and sauté about 4 minutes or until they are soft. Reduce heat to low.

Add non-dairy milk, basil, and pepper. Bring to a low simmer.

Add the cornstarch mixture a little at a time stirring quickly to dissolve. Add as much cornstarch as needed to thicken the sauce.

When sauce has thickened, add vegan sour cream and cook until it has heated through, but do not bring it back to a simmer. You might want to add a little more sour cream to taste.

Serve over rice.

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


  • Serve over wide noodles, penne pasta or baked potatoes instead of rice.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Mushroom Stroganoff recipe:

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Total time: 25 min

Cornmeal Pizza

Cornmeal Pizza Crust

This is the basis for the Cornmeal Pizza below. A big thank you to Mara and Raven who gave me the original recipe for this crust. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

1/2 cup warm water (below 110 degrees)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (heaping)
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (fine grain if available)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil

Dissolve the yeast in warm water in a medium mixing bowl. Let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes while you start gathering and measuring the other ingredients.

Add half of the flour and half of the cornmeal to the warm water and yeast mixture. Mix thoroughly. Add the salt, sugar and olive oil and stir until mixed. Add the remaining flour and stir until all of the flour has been incorporated.

Flour the counter and your hands. Knead for 3 minutes working in more flour as needed to prevent sticking. Dough should be smooth and elastic.

Oil a second mixing bowl with a little olive oil all the way up the sides of the bowl to the top. Place the dough in the bowl turning once to coat with oil. Cover with a towel and set aside to rise for an hour until doubled in size.

Oil your hands and a spot on the counter. Remove the dough from the bowl and roll into a ball while squeezing all of the air out of the crust. Sit the ball of dough on the counter and let rest for 30 minutes.

Press the ball flat to squeeze out the excess air before rolling into pizza shape. See the Cornmeal Pizza recipe below for more details on making this crust into a pizza.


  • For a very thin crust, divide the dough in half and make 2 balls of dough before you let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Grilled Pizza Crust: Knead dough for 15 minutes – you’ll want it a little tough to stand up to grilling without falling apart.
  • You can make a low-sodium version by reducing the salt, but the dough gets really hard to work with.

More information for Cornmeal Pizza Crust recipe:

  • Prep time: 120 min
  • Total time: 120 min

Pictured above: Grilled cornmeal pizza crust.

Cornmeal Pizza

It’s gotten a little predictable with pizza every Sunday, but this is my favorite Sunday meal. It’s a great way to end the week. Makes 2 servings.

1/2 recipe Cornmeal Pizza Crust (see above) for a super thin crust
1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (reconstituted in water)
1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
1/4 cup grilled veggies (broccoli, zucchini, eggplant)
1/4 cup chopped peppadew peppers or hot peppers
1 clove sliced or minced garlic
2/3 cup tomato-based pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups grated Follow Your Heart, Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella cheese (about half a brick)
10 – 15 fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 495 degrees (we also preheat our pizza stone at the same time).

For a crispy crust, cook the crust by itself for a couple of minutes without any sauce or toppings (2 minutes for a very thin crust on a hot pizza stone, longer for a thicker crust).

Top with sauce and veggies. Add cheese. Cook for 12 to 14 minutes at 495 degrees or until the cheese has melted.

Sprinkle with torn fresh basil after you’ve cooked the pizza, but before serving.


  • Grilled Pizza: Instead of cooking the crust for 2 minutes before adding the toppings, you can put the crust right on the grill for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. To get the crust on the grill, heavily flour a pizza peel, put the pizza on the peel, spray liberally with oil and flip in over onto the hot grill. After 1 to 2 minutes, use tongs to pull the crust back onto the peel, spray again with oil, flip and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, especially for thin crust pizzas.
  • Pesto Pizza: Replace the tomato sauce with Pesto.
  • Experiment with all kinds of different vegetables (artichokes, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, etc.)
  • Use a whole recipe of the Cornmeal Pizza Crust for a thicker crust.
  • For my non-vegan friends: this vegan cheese takes a long time to melt, so if you decide to use regular mozzarella, you’ll want to reduce the cooking time drastically. Also, other vegan cheeses melt at different temperatures, so keep a close eye on the pizza the first time you make it.

More information for Cornmeal Pizza recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 20 min
  • Total time: 35 min

Enchilada Casserole

All the great enchilada flavor but without the work required to roll everything into little enchiladas. This recipe calls for 2 cups baked or grilled vegetables, so I usually plan to have this the day after one of those other meals as a creative way to use the leftovers without feeling like I’m eating leftovers! Makes 6 servings.

Casserole Ingredients

1 14 ounce can rinsed and drained hominy
1 14 ounce can rinsed and drained pinto beans
1 14 ounce can enchilada sauce
2 cups chopped Baked Vegetables or Grilled Vegetables
1 chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup minced onions
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (divided)
1 recipe Mexican Marinated Tofu

Topping Ingredients

tortilla chips
avocado slices
vegan sour cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the tofu into 1-inch squares.

Lightly oil a large casserole dish. Spread a couple of spoonfuls of enchilada sauce across the bottom of the dish. Add remaining casserole ingredients, except for half of the cilantro, and stir to combine. Bake uncovered in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cilantro over the top.

Serve in a bowl with tortilla chips, avocado slices and vegan sour cream.


  • Add a couple layers of corn tortillas, which makes it kind of like an enchilada lasagna.
  • Serve with corn tortillas and use the enchilada casserole as filling to wrap like burritos.
  • Top with vegan cheese before baking.
  • Add fresh or sun dried tomatoes.
  • Experiment with other kinds of beans or vegetables.

More information for Enchilada Casserole recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 40 min
  • Total time: 55 min

Tofu Veggie Pad Thai

For when you just want a big plate of Thai noodles. Vegan Black Metal Chef techniques are optional, but encouraged. 🙂 Makes 4 servings.

1 ounce tamarind paste
3/4 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
4 ounces rice stick noodles (may be called Pad Thai noodles)
2 cups chopped veggies (broccoli, carrots, etc.)
1 recipe Baked Soy Marinated Tofu
1 to 2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 chopped shallot
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped and divided
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Place the tamarind paste in the boiling water and set aside while preparing the other ingredients.

Combine the tamari, palm sugar, chili paste and rice vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.

Place the rice stick noodles in a mixing bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Once the other ingredients are measured out into separate bowls, drain the water from the noodles and set them aside. The noodles should be soft and ready to eat. If not, cover with more hot water or boil on top of the stove for a minute or two like you would any other pasta. Drizzle the noodles with an extra tablespoon of tamari if you want to give the noodles a little more flavor.

Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch wide strips, similar to French fries.

Press the tamarind paste and hot water through a fine mesh strainer, pushing as much of the pulp through the strainer as possible and add to the sauce. Discard any remaining pulp or bits that were too big to strain.

Add peanut oil to the pan and heat over high. Add shallots and cook for about a minute. Add the garlic and cook for 10 to 15 seconds.

Add veggies and stir-fry with 1/4 of the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes or until almost done. Add the noodles and stir-fry for another 2 to 3 minutes until the noodles taste done.

Add the tofu and half the peanuts. Add the sauce slowly as needed (you might not want all of the sauce). Toss everything until heated through, but no longer than 1 to 2 minutes total.

Sprinkle with the cilantro and remaining peanuts. Toss to coat. Serve immediately with lime wedges.


  • Replace rice noodles with 2 zucchinis (spiral sliced) for a slightly healthier veggie noodle version. Dunk the zucchini strings in hot water for a minute or until warmed.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Tofu Veggie Pad Thai recipe:

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 5 min
  • Total time: 25 min

Barley Stuffed Acorn Squash

Served in half a squash, this makes a really nice main dish or side for any fall holiday dinner. While it has quite a few ingredients, most of them are fairly common so this dish comes together more quickly than you might expect. Makes 2 servings.

1 large acorn squash*
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 stalk chopped celery
1 medium chopped carrot
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons port or red wine (preferably out of the glass you’re drinking while making dinner)
1 cup cooked barley
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (reconstituted in water and retain the water)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut squash in half, remove seeds, and bake cut side down for 30 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, sauté the onions in oil for about 5 minutes or until they start to turn translucent. Add celery and carrot and sauté until they are tender, but still firm. Add mushrooms, and continue cooking until they are soft and start to release their juice. Add garlic and stir to combine. Add port or wine and simmer for about a minute.

Add barley, raisins, pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes and walnuts. Stir to combine. Add sage, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. If it gets too dry, add some water from the sun dried tomatoes and add a drizzle of olive oil.

Continue to cook over low until everything is combined and hot. You can remove from the heat and cover to keep warm if it starts getting too done or drying out before the squash is ready.

After the squash has finished cooking cut side down for 30 minutes, flip them over to fill with stuffing. Add stuffing to interior of squash, mounding as needed, and bake covered another 20 to 30 minutes. For a crunchier top, remove cover for the last 10 minutes.


  • Try this with quinoa, brown rice or other grains in place of or in combination with the barley for something a little different.
  • Experiment with different dried fruit to replace the raisins – dried cherries or cranberries are good.
  • If you are using a small acorn squash, you can probably cut the recipe in half. You could also reduce the stuffing recipe and not heap them as full.
  • Easily made low-sodium.
  • Replace the barley with quinoa or rice for a gluten-free version.

More information for Barley Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe:

  • Prep time: 15 min
  • Cook time: 60 min
  • Total time: 75 min

* Note: This recipe is for a large acorn squash. If you are using a smaller squash, you’ll want to reduce the amount of filling made. If you end up with extra filling, it makes a great side dish or snack for later in the week or to eat while you are waiting for the squash to come out of the oven.

Pad Phet – Thai Eggplant

A delicious way to use an Asian eggplant, and it’s a nice change from the various Thai curries that we usually make for dinner. Makes 4 servings.

Sauce Ingredients

1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar
1-2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

Other Ingredients

4 cups cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon oil
4 Kaffir lime leaves – thinly sliced into threads
3 cloves garlic
1 shallot
1 large or 2 small sliced Asian eggplants (long and thin)
1 recipe Baked Soy Marinated Tofu
1 sliced red bell pepper
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup baby corn
10 sprigs of Thai basil with stems on (tear any very large sprigs in a couple pieces)

Combine sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat oil in a wok or large pan over medium heat. Sauté shallots for 2 to 4 minutes or until they turn translucent.

Increase heat to high and add veggies, garlic and kaffir lime leaves. Stir-fry veggies for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add basil, tofu and sauce. Stir-fry another 2 to 4 minutes until done.

Serve with cooked brown rice.


  • If you can’t find Thai Basil, use 10 sprigs of regular basil, but remove the stems and use the whole leaves.
  • Experiment with some other vegetables, like cauliflower and zucchini.
  • Can be easily made gluten-free.

More information for Pad Phet – Thai Eggplant recipe:

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

Indian Spiced Cauliflower

This is a lighter, less saucy, baked version of something similar to Aloo Gobi, but without the potatoes. I think it’s a nice compliment to the Chana Masala and Creamy Red Lentil Dal when served together in a big Indian meal with rice or naan. Makes 4 servings.

1 medium head cauliflower
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
red pepper flakes to taste
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the cauliflower into medium sized florets and place in a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together olive oil and all of the spices except for the cilantro. Drizzle the oil and spice mixture over the cauliflower. Add the cilantro and stir to combine. Add a little more oil if it seems too dry for your taste.

Transfer spiced cauliflower mixture to a glass baking dish. Cook covered for about 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Stir once or twice during baking.


  • For the saucy version, add some chopped or pureed tomatoes.
  • Substitute potatoes for some of the cauliflower. You might need to cut the potatoes into smaller chunks or plan to cook it a little longer with the potatoes.
  • Can be easily made low-sodium and gluten-free.

More information for Indian Spiced Cauliflower recipe:

  • Prep time: 20 min
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Total time: 50 min