3 Vegetable Recipes to Put Meat on Your Bones.

Via Erica Leibrandt
on Oct 28, 2013
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Yummy Vegetarian Chili

I’m no dainty waif, picking at my plate of ruffled greens dressed with a drop of lemon juice.

I like to eat.

I particularly like to eat when the weather is crisp and the leaves vermillion, driven, perhaps, by an ancient instinct to layer on (more ) fat for the winter.

Just because I tend to eat vegan by no means implies that the food I favor is not hearty. In fact, if I were to qualify my vegan cooking, I would call it “vegetable recipes that put meat on your bones.”

Here are three ways to beef up your veggies.

Vegetarian (really vegan) Chili

This is an old recipe of my mother’s and probably the first vegan thing I ever ate as an entree. She came to visit recently, and made this easy, tasty dish again. As always, I was captivated by it’s hearty simplicity.

1 cup onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup green peppers, chopped

1 cup plum tomatoes, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

2 cups broccoli florets

1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced

3 tsp chili powder

salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

16 oz can of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

For toppings; more chopped onion, fresh cilantro, chopped scallions or shredded soy cheese, cheddar flavor.

Sauté onions in olive oil, five minutes. Add garlic, sauté one minute. Add green pepper, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms and seasoning, stir and simmer 10 minutes. Add beans, heat through.

Serve in big bowls with toppings on the side and maybe a hunk of cornbread.


Aloo Saag (Indian Creamed Spinach and Potatoes)

This exotic dish provides creamy deliciousness and will undoubtedly stick to your vegan ribs.

1 lb fresh spinach, washed

6 new potatoes, diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 tbl grapeseed or other neutral oil

1/2 tsp turmeric

salt to taste

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

3 tbl plain soy milk plus more as needed

Put spinach leaves in a pot with 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil, then simmer, covered, seven minutes. Drain and puree in a blender or food processor. Meanwhile, put potatoes in a pot with just enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Add a dash of salt and cook 10-15 minutes until fork tender. Drain. Meanwhile, heat up oil and  sauté onions and garlic for three minutes. Add turmeric and cook one more minute. Add the spinach, potatoes, milk, garam masala and crushed red pepper plus more salt to taste and stir well. Bring to boil and simmer three more minutes, adding more milk if necessary.


Classic Split Pea Soup (no ham hocks required)

This dish will fill your house with homey, good for you smells and get your whole family salivating.

1 bag split green peas, picked over and rinsed

1 large onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

10 sprigs fresh parsley

6 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1 tbl olive oil

8 cups vegetable broth

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Croutons if desired

Two links Tofurkey Italian sausage if desired

Tie the bay leaf, thyme and parsley together tightly with string. Sauté onions, carrot, celery and garlic in hot olive oil with a dash of salt, three to five minutes. Add all other ingredients and bring to boil. Lower to simmer and cook one and a half hours or until the peas are tender. Remove herb bundle. Puree with immersion blender or in batches in a blender until chunky smooth.

If you want, toss in two link of Tofurky Italian Sausage cut into bite sized pieces and heat through. Serve with croutons.



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Ed: Bryonie Wise


About Erica Leibrandt

Erica Leibrandt is a licensed mental health clinician, certified yoga instructor, and mother to six heathens who masquerade as innocent children. If she occasionally finds herself with a fried egg on her plate or dancing until dawn, she asks that you not judge her. Life is short, she knows the chicken that laid the egg, and we can never dance too much. Connect with Erica on FacebookTwitter, and Tumblr. And visit her website.


3 Responses to “3 Vegetable Recipes to Put Meat on Your Bones.”

  1. Carrie says:

    Receipes looks amazing!!!! Wish there was a Pinterest widget

  2. piercingillusions says:

    Thanks Erica. Just what I need to balance the green smoothies. I love the carbs beans and peas provide; these sound delicious!

  3. Diana says:

    I made your Aloo Saag recipe while visiting my daughter & son-in-law. I added a bit more Garam Masala than the 1 teaspoon, and used Almond Milk instead of the soy; it was fantastic! My son-in-law, who is from India, said it tasted perfect–just like home. Thank you for such an easy and delicious recipe–I can't wait to try the others!