Vegan Mushroom Philly Sandwiches

5-Ingredient Vegan Portobello Philly Sandwiches

Just calling a sandwich a Philly automatically declares what you’re in for: something filling, something we wouldn’t necessarily call health food and maybe a little more grease than normal. Is it an everyday dinner? Most definitely not. But when you want something that hits the spot in the way the unique mixture of flavors of a Philly do, look no further. 

Obviously we aren’t using meat in this recipe, but we’re also not going to be doing anything fancy. It’s actually one of the most simple recipes we’ve done in a while. This dish is all about building layers of flavor: some sweetness from the onion, a little saltiness from the grilled bread and a massive rush of umami from the mushrooms. 

The two secret things that ensure success for this recipe? A sharp knife and some restraint — it’s tough to not just keep eating the mushrooms while you’re cooking them!

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time 

30 minutes

Serves 

4

Difficulty 

Easy

Ingredients

4 large portobello mushroom caps, stems and gills removed

2 bell peppers, sliced thinly

1 medium sweet onion, sliced thinly

1 tbsp soy sauce

½ cup vegan cheese (optional)

3 tbsp vegan butter, split in half

Neutral cooking oil like canola

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 ½ tbsp butter over medium heat.
  2. Add mushrooms in even layer and stir every couple of minutes until moisture is cooked off, around 5 minutes.
  3. Pour soy sauce over mushrooms and allow mushrooms to absorb. 
  4. Continue stirring until mushrooms start to sear. Set aside.
  5. In a separate, larger skillet, heat other 1 ½ tbsp butter over medium high heat.
  6. Once butter is melted, add sliced onion and bell peppers and stir. 
  7. Allow onions and peppers to caramelize in the pan, around 10-15 minutes.
  8. If using, add vegan cheese to mushrooms and turn heat on low until cheese is melted and mixed throughout.
  9. Toast some bread and stack pepper and onions atop mushroom mixture. 
  10. Serve immediately.

Ella’s Harvest is a project simply to live simply and to cause no unnecessary harm. We strive to make delicious plant-based recipes accessible while growing our own food and help fellow vegans and those transitioning to the lifestyle. Follow us on Instagram @ellas_harvest or visit us on the site ellasharvest.com. 

Vegan Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

Vegan Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

Vegan Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

They often say we eat with our eyes first — and if that’s true, there’s zero shame in going back for seconds or thirds of these stuffed peppers. 

While you can make seasoned rice from scratch, to cut down on prep and cook time, we used parboiled rice with a ready blend of spices. There’s still dicing, mincing and seasoning to do, so don’t get too relaxed.

We also used some new-to-us products in this recipe — there’s no chance we’d skip cashew queso, are you kidding me? — that rounded out all the flavors beautifully. If you embrace the trinity of chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika, don’t sleep on this one.

Make sure you read the recipe all the way through before getting started. There’s some multitasking involved here!

Prep time

15 minutes

Cook time

35 minutes

Serves

4

Difficulty

Intermediate

Ingredients

4 red bell peppers, halved with membrane and seeds removed

1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

5 oz. finely diced bell pepper

1 medium onion, minced

1 package Spanish rice

1 lime (optional)

1 tsp paprika

½ tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp cumin

2 tsp chili powder

2 cloves garlic

Salt to taste

1 jalapeno pepper, sliced

Non-dairy sour cream

Non-dairy nacho cheese

Cilantro, chopped, to garnish

Olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F (190º C)
  2. Cook rice according to package directions. 
  3. While rice is simmering, lightly oil a 9” x 13” baking tray and halved red bell peppers with olive oil.
  4. Place bell peppers cut-side down into the baking tray and put entire tray into oven for about 20 minutes or until the peppers’ skin begins to bubble up.
  5. While peppers are baking, heat about 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. 
  6. Once oil is shimmering, add onion and garlic. 
  7. Stir until garlic is fragrant but not browned, 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add chopped finely diced bell pepper and black beans and stir. 
  9. Cook off excess moisture from bell pepper and beans, about 2-3 minutes. Watch for steam to dramatically reduce.
  10. Add a splash more olive oil and all spices. Stir until onions have darkened and chili powder has cooked (Raw chili powder has a distinct taste, so take a taste test.).
  11. Remove from heat and mix in rice. 
  12. If you have not removed the peppers at this point, take out the tray and flip the peppers so the cut-side is facing up.
  13. Spoon rice mixture into bell pepper halves. 
  14. Cover entire tray with aluminum foil and place back into the oven for 5 minutes. 
  15. Remove foil, add non-dairy sour cream and cheese, cilantro, and jalapeno slices. 
  16. Serve immediately.

Ella’s Harvest is a project simply to live simply and to cause no unnecessary harm. We strive to make delicious plant-based recipes accessible while growing our own food and help fellow vegans and those transitioning to the lifestyle. Follow us on Instagram @ellas_harvest or visit us on the site ellasharvest.com. 

Pumfu Recipe Vegan Pad Thai

Vegan Pumfu Pad Thai Recipe

Vegan Pumfu Pad Thai Recipe

With fresh ingredients — and one that you may have never even heard of before — this pad thai balances bold flavors without being heavy-handed. Soy sauce or tamari lays a salty, savory foundation, while brown sugar, vinegar and a new-to-us protein add both a satisfying texture and unifying flavor to all of it. 

We first tried Foodies Vegan’s Pumfu (a tofu substitute made of pumpkin seeds) a week before writing this up and had the eureka moment when describing its flavors: It’s slightly nutty but also fully takes on the tastes of marinades and sauces as well. 

So what has a delicious sauce and is made even better with a nutty flavor added in? Pad thai of course. 

Fresh produce makes all the difference in this recipe and is the key to balancing textures and flavors. There’s nothing quite like the crunch of bean sprouts and the unmistakable peppery hints of fresh cilantro next to chewy noodles and fresh spritzes of lime juice. Note that this doesn’t have any sort of spiciness as the recipe is written. If you choose to add some heat, red pepper flakes or sriracha in the sauce to taste would be the spot to do it.

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

15 Minutes

Difficulty

Simple

Serves

2

Ingredients

1 pack Pumfu

3 servings pad thai noodles

8 tbsp low sodium soy sauce/tamari, split in two portions

3 tbsp organic brown sugar

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice

3 tbsp cornstarch

3 garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp sesame oil

2 ½ tbsp neutral cooking oil

2 carrots, julienned

Bean sprouts to garnish (one handful)

Chopped peanuts to garnish

Cilantro to garnish

Directions

  1. Cook noodles according to directions.
  2. Add first portion of soy sauce/tamari, brown sugar, vinegar and lime juice to small mixing bowl. Stir well.
  3. Place Pumfu in large mixing bowl and break apart into bite-sized chunks with fork.
  4. Add second portion of soy sauce/tamari to Pumfu and mix gently to coat. 
  5. Dust cornstarch on Pumfu and toss gently to coat.
  6. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat cooking oil over medium high heat. 
  7. Once oil is shimmering, add Pumfu and saute until golden brown. 
  8. Use slotted spoon to remove Pumfu and let rest on paper towel-lined plate. 
  9. Add sesame oil in same skillet/wok and turn heat down to medium. (Add neutral cooking oil as necessary to coat bottom of the pan.)
  10. Once oil is shimmering, add garlic and stir until fragrant, around 3 minutes.
  11. Add peppers and carrots and saute. 
  12. After two or so minutes, add noodles. The vegetables should still be crunchy.. 
  13. Once noodles have been broken up and stirred in, add sauce and continue to saute for another few minutes. 
  14. Plate noodles and veg in a bowl and garnish with chopped peanuts, fresh cilantro leaves and bean sprouts. Squeeze extra lime juice over top if desired.

Ella’s Harvest is a project simply to live simply and to cause no unnecessary harm. We strive to make delicious plant-based recipes accessible while growing our own food and help fellow vegans and those transitioning to the lifestyle. Follow us on Instagram @ellas_harvest or visit us on the site ellasharvest.com. 

Homemade Vegan Japanese Curry

Comforting Homemade Vegan Japanese Curry

Homemade Vegan Japanese Curry

If you’ve never had Japanese curry, let’s just make sure you’re prepared for what you’re getting into here. The Japanese style is roux-based, thicker and generally a little more mild in terms of flavor. 

What you find in Asian grocery stores, while quick and easy and satisfying, is usually full of preservatives. The good news is that making your own homemade version is easy — maybe just not quite as quick. 

The key to getting good textures in this curry is being mindful about how you cut your veggies. Unless you’re using whole baby carrots, cut your carrot pieces into different lengths so they all cook evenly with the potatoes. 

Prep time

20 minutes

Cook time

1 hour

Difficulty

Intermediate

Ingredients for the roux

4 tbsp all-purpose flour

4 tbsp vegan butter

1 tbsp curry powder

1 ½ tsp garam masala

½ tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp paprika

Ingredients for the curry

2 tbsp oil 

2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” chunks

1 large onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and chopped. 

2 tbsp dark-chocolate chips (optional)

1 apple, peeled, cored and shredded

4 cups of water 

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. First make the roux: Melt the butter over medium low heat in a nonstick skillet.
  2. Once the butter is melted, add the butter. Stir continuously for approximately 10 minutes until the roux has darkened. You’re looking for a light brown, a little after the “blond” stage. The cooking process can obviously be sped up with more heat, but it also carries the risk of burning the mixture and being forced to start over. 
  3. Add the curry powder, garam masala and paprika and stir. Remove the skillet from the heat and continue to stir until all spices have been well incorporated. 
  4. Remove curry roux from the skillet with silicone spatula and set aside (get as much of it as you can!)
  5. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, add oil over medium high heat. 
  6. Once oil is shimmering, add in onions, potatoes and carrots. As noted above, try to make sure the vegetables are cut so they cook evenly. 
  7. Season veggies with salt and pepper and stir occasionally for approximately five minutes or until you see some browning on the vegetables. 
  8. Add the water to the pot and bring the mix to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for about 10 minutes. 
  9. Once potatoes are just about fork tender, add the curry roux and mix, mix, mix. Make sure to stir in and break up all big dollops. It will take a minute or so for the roux to work its thickening magic on the entire pot.
  10. Once roux is well distributed, add shredded apple and dark chocolate chips. The apple adds natural sweetener, and the chocolate is one of those “I can’t put my finger on it” ingredients that gives the curry a wonderfully smooth finish.
  11. Turn off the heat and serve curry over steamed rice, tofu katsu, croquettes, seitan katsu, deep-fried gyoza — anything. 
  12. Refrigerated leftovers will last three or four days.
Vegan Black Bean Burger

Vegan Black Bean Burgers

Vegan Black Bean Burgers

Take your tastebuds to Flavortown A good black bean burger is about achieving the right texture and a balance of flavors. 

These quarter-pound patties are pan fried to get crispy and finished in the oven. A little bit of salt, some umami and smoky undertones from smoked paprika add complexity while the addition of soy sauce-sauteed baby bellas add a healthy dose of savory flavor that’s as delicious as it is full of plant-based goodness.

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

30 minutes

Difficulty

Intermediate

Yields

4 quarter-pound patties

Ingredients

1 tsp canola oil

¼ cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped

Soy sauce to taste

1 cup black beans, rinsed and patted dry

1 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and patted dry

½ tsp salt

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp tapioca powder

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

¼ cup oats

¼ cup corn kernels

1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F (177º C) 
  2. Preheat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat and add canola oil.
  3. Add mushrooms and soy sauce and saute until all liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
  4. Add all ingredients, including mushrooms, except for corn into blender jar.
  5. Pulse the mixture a couple times and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula if necessary. 
  6. If mixture is too crumbly, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. 
  7. Continue pulsing until the mixture can hold together into a ball. You should still be able to see the different ingredients in the blender jar (so we’re not looking for refried beans consistency here), but soft enough to stay together. Add corn in last and mix by hand.
  8. Turn mixture onto a lightly floured surface, split into 4 pieces, and roll into balls. 
  9. Shape balls into about 1” thick patties. (It’s OK if there is flour on the surface of the patties.)
  10. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat with the coconut oil. 
  11. Fry the patties on both sides until golden brown. 
  12. Transfer to a lightly greased baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
  13. Serve with classic burger accoutrements or get fancy.