Crispy Shallot Farro Salad

Crispy Shallot Farro Salad - The Vegan Rhino

Crispy Shallot Farro Salad - The Vegan Rhino 

This Crispy Shallot Farro Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette is simply divine! Using the cooled infused shallot-oil as the base for the dressing adds a depth of flavor like no other! The perfect thing about this salad is how universal it can be, as either a side dish or main entree.

Crispy Shallot Farro Salad - The Vegan Rhino

Yield: 4 servings


2-3 romaine lettuce heads, washed, quartered & chopped

1 cup farro

2 cups vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt


Shallot Vinaigrette

3 oz. shallots, halved & thinly sliced

1/3 cup avocado oil

3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 tsp. agave

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper



2 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped



  1. In a small skillet on medium heat, add oil and sauté shallots until golden brown, roughly 8 minutes. Remove shallots with slotted spoon onto a paper towel and add oil to a blender.
  2. Begin a low speed and carefully drizzle apple cider vinegar with Dijon, agave, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a pot, bring vegetable broth, bay leaf, and salt to boil and add farro. Reduce heat to low and simmer, cooking for 27 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and cooked. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
  4. On a large plate, place lettuce down and top with farro and vinaigrette. Top with crispy shallots.
  5. Serve garnished with parsley and basil.

Chef’s tip: For individual plates, top romaine with 1/2 cup farro for each plate. 


Sufganiyot - The Vegan Rhino

Sufganiyot - The Vegan Rhino   

Thinking back to my childhood when my grandmother used to make these  Sufganiyot or Jelly Donuts for us. They were always such a treat during the Jewish holidays. Filled with a strawberry jelly, this fried donut is the ultimate dessert. Although this dessert is most commonly found during Hanukkah, you can enjoy them anytime of the year!

Sufganiyot - The Vegan Rhino

Yield: 10 donuts



180 mL (3/4 cup) warm water, about 100 degrees F.

2 tsp. active dry yeast

2 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour

1/4 cup + 1 tsp. organic cane sugar

3/4 tsp. Himalayan pink salt

2 Tbsp. Bobs Red Mill Egg Replacer + 4 Tbsp. water, mixed

2 Tbsp. plant-based butter, room temperature

3 cups vegetable oil, for frying

1/2 cup jam of choice

Sufganiyot - The Vegan Rhino



  1. In a stand mixer, combine water and yeast and let sit until foamy, about 8 minutes. Add sugar, salt, and 1 cup flour on medium speed. Mix in egg replacer and slowly add remaining flour. Once flour is almost mixed, add butter and knead by hand in bowl until incorporated.
  2. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with wrap tightly. Allow dough to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until it’s doubled in size.
  3. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 1/4”-in. thickness. Using a 2 1/2-in. round cutter, cut 10 rounds in total. Cover with a dish cloth or wrap and let rise for 20 minutes.
  4. In a saucepan, heat oil to 350 degrees F. Fry each donut for ~45 seconds on each side until golden brown. Remove and transfer to a wire wrack with paper towel below. Roll donuts in sugar to coat.
  5. Fill pastry bag with jam or jelly and make a hole in the side of the donuts with a toothpick. Fill about 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons with jam or jelly.

Chef’s tip: If you plan on making these in advance, refrigerate dough overnight instead of the 1 1/2 hours.


Sufganiyot - The Vegan Rhino

How To Make Herb-Infused Oils For Culinary Use

Herbed Oil DIY Gift
Rosemary Oil DIY Gift
Photo by: Earth to Kathy


From homemade infused oils to enhance your culinary foods to DIY gift ideas, this step-by-step guide will show you what you need to know.

Herbs are known throughout history for their incredible health benefits. With high-quality oil and dried herbs, you can create your own DIY infused oil perfect for culinary use. They also make for a great gift. Let’s make some healthy infused oils that you can add to your daily cooking for a flavor boost.

What you’ll need

  1. Dried or fresh herbs

There are countless numbers of herbs that you can use when infusing oils, depending on your needs. Always opt for organic herbs when infusing oil and drying your herbs—wilting fresh herbs on your counter for 10-12 hours before bottling will reduce mold and your oil from going rancid. Never use herbs that show any signs of decay.

Common herbs to use:

  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Bay leaves
  • Tarragon
  • Savory
  • Marjoram
  • Thyme
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Citrus peel

Herbed Oil DIY Gift

  1. Premium grade oil

When choosing which oil to use, you should go for lighter olive oil or one of the below choices:

  1. (2) Glass containers with lids

It’s highly important to sterilize your jars before using them. You can either put them in the dishwasher using a normal rinse cycle or in your oven on a newspaper at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. This will help kill any lingering bacteria that may create unwanted mold in your oil. For storage, an amber glass can block light and may help keep your infused oil lasting longer.

  1. Cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer

Two methods: quick vs. sun method


Dried or fresh herbs of choice

Light cooking oil of choice


  1. Remove any soil on the herbs and check for any insects. Wash your herbs by rinsing them off and drying them. For fresh herbs, wilt them for roughly 12 hours to remove excess water. Extra water will cause the oil to go rancid during the infusion.
  2. Sterilize your jars and set them aside.
  3. Take dried herbs and press slightly with a rolling pin to release oils, also known as bruising.

Quick Method

  1. Follow directions 1 to 3.
  2. In a pot on medium heat, bring oil to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Add dried herbs and allow them to infuse for 1-2 hours. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Pour oil through cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer into a sterilized jar. Cover with lid and keep out of direct sunlight for storage.

Sun Method

  1. Follow directions 1 to 3.
  2. Fill jar with herbs so you have 2 inches remaining above herbs to cover with oil.
  3. Pour oil over herbs, so you have about an inch of oil covering.
  4. Set in a sunny area for 2 to 3 weeks, removing any herbs that may float to the top. Make sure herbs are fully submerged and remove any floating herbs that may cause mold.
  5. Strain oil through cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer into a sterilized jar. Cover with lid and store in a cool dark place.

If you are going to give these as a gift, make sure to provide a card with the below note.

Note: Homemade infused oils will not keep as long. Once you begin using it, make sure to use it within 2-3 months. I suggest putting a “use by” date or label so you can remember the infusion date.

This DIY infused oil is a great way to enhance your daily cooking and the perfect gift idea made with love. Depending on the herbs you use, the combinations can be endless, so feel free to mix herbs and have fun with this.

Hot Cocoa Bombs

Vegan Hot Cocoa Bombs


Try these vegan hot cocoa bombs drizzled in plant-based white chocolate and filled with hot cocoa mix and mini marshmallows. Whether you’re plant-based or not, you can still enjoy all the goodies during the holidays. My favorite thing about hot cocoa bombs are how easy they are to make and store for later use. Who is ready to tackle the cocoa bombs?!

Yield: 5 hot cocoa bombs


12 oz. vegan semi-sweet chocolate

4 Tbsp. hot cocoa mix (recipe below)

4 Tbsp. plant-based mini marshmallows

3 Tbsp. vegan white chocolate


Hot cocoa mix

1 Tbsp. soy mylk powder

2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. cocoa powder



8 oz. oat mylk, per glass, scolding hot



  1. In a small bowl, combine cocoa mix and set aside. 
  2. In saucepot, full 1/4 way with water and bring to simmer. In a glass bowl, add chocolate and set on pot. Melt chocolate, stirring frequently.
  3. Place one tablespoon melted chocolate in 10 mold cavities. Brush chocolate on sides in even layer. Set in refrigerator for 5 minutes. Take out of refrigerator and gently remove chocolate from molds. Fill 5 halves with one tablespoon hot cocoa mix and mini marshmallows. To seal, press the other chocolate half on a hot pan and stick it to the bottom portion.
  4. Melt chocolate the same as before or in a piping bag submerged in hot water. Place melted chocolate in a piping bag and cut a small hole st the tip. Drizzle on top of hot cocoa bombs and place in refrigerator to set.
  5. Place cocoa bomb in mug and pour hot oat mylk over to serve.


Chef’s tip: Store for up to 1 week in airtight container. Keep in a cool spot.


Lemoncello - The Vegan Rhino

Lemoncello - The Vegan Rhino

Limoncello is an Italian liquor made from the zest of lemons steeped in alcohol until the natural oils and aromatics release. The resulting liquid is combined with a simple syrup and bottled, resulting in a delicious drink to sip or drizzled over ice cream, either way you decide its delicious! This is one of those things you can enjoy year round, and makes for the perfect gourmet gift for any occasion.

Lemoncello - The Vegan Rhino

Yield roughly 2 bottles, 3 1/2 cups lemon juice


15 lemons, peeled

850 mL vodka

2 cups organic cane sugar or 3/4 cup monk fruit sugar

3 3/4 cups filtered water




  1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin of the lemons and trim away any pith remaining on the lemon peels.
  2. In a large pitcher with the lemon peels, pour the vodka over them and cover tightly. Steep the peels in the vodka for 8 days at room temperature.
  3. In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and water until it dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour the syrup into the vodka mixture, mix, and strain into bottles. Let sit at room temperature for 14 days before storing in refrigerator until cold.
  4. Serve chilled and enjoy.


Chef’s tip: Make sure you use 100 proof and higher.

Mushroom Marsala Spaghetti

Mushroom Marsala Spaghetti - The Vegan Rhino

Mushroom Marsala Spaghetti - The Vegan Rhino

This easy to make Mushroom Marsala Sauce is a great addition to elevate plain spaghetti into a restaurant-quality dish. You could serve these mushrooms over cauliflower steaks, mashed potatoes, or whatever you’d like! For someone who grew up not enjoying mushrooms, I have to be honest, this dish rocks with a savory flavor that keeps you wanting more.

Mushroom Marsala Spaghetti - The Vegan Rhino

Yields 4 servings, roughly 1 3/4 cup sauce


1 lb. spaghetti, or as much as you’d like

1 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp. avocado oil

1 cup shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced 

1 cup  baby Bella mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/4 cup shallot, minced

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/4 tsp. Himalayan pink salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

3/4 cup Marsala wine

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 Tbsp. plant-based butter

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped



  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to boxed instructions and drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the mushrooms and shallots until tender and slightly brown. Add garlic and cook unfurl fragrant. Sprinkle with flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Slowly add the Marsala wine and cook until reduced by half. Stir in vegetable stock, butter, and heat until sauce thickens. Stir in cooked pasta and slowly add pasta water,  as needed.
  4. Garnish with parsley and serve.


Chef’s tip: Using pasta water helps thicken the sauce and helps stick to the noodles.

Pomegranate-Feta Salad

Pomegranate-Feta Salad

Pomegranate-Feta Salad

Bring this light and fresh Pomegranate-Feta Salad with sliced pears to any party and watch it disap-pear! Dark leafy greens always make for the healthiest salad, especially when adding other vibrant fruits and vegetables. It’s super easy to toss together and makes for the perfect side dish for any meal.

Pomegranate-Feta Salad

Yield 8


1/2 cup pecans

1/4 cup organic cane sugar

1 (10 oz) container mixed greens or arugula 

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1/4 red onion, sliced thinly

1 large Bosc pear, cubed

1 (8 oz) package vegan feta


1/4 cup avocado oil

3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 lemon, zested and juiced

3 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. freshly grated ginger

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper


  1. In a small mason jar, combine all of the dressing ingredients and shake until combined; Set aside.
  2. Using a small skillet on medium heat, add the pecans and sugar. Melt the sugar until it coats the pecans and turns to a syrup-like consistency. Place pecans onto a parchment lined baking sheet to cool. Be sure to separate them as the cool, otherwise they will stick together.
  3. On a plate or bowl, place the lettuce and top with onions, feta, pears, and pomegranate seeds.
  4. Drizzle dressing before serving and enjoy.

Chef’s tip: Add a dash of maple syrup to the dressing to sweeten it up!

Other recipes

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

If Thanksgiving had a specific taste, I think it would be this recipe. This butternut squash macaroni and cheese is the perfect alternative if you are living a plant-based lifestyle or if you simply can’t tolerate dairy.  This meal is simple, comforting, and can be paired well with a simple green salad for a perfect meatless meal. I think you may have just stumbled across your new favorite fall dish!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Yields 6 servings


1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced

1 small shallot, quartered

1-1/2 cups oat milk

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1-1/2 cups vegan cheddar cheese

1/4 cup vegan Parmesan cheese

1 lb. box elbow pasta, cooked


  1. In a pot over medium-high heat, add the butternut squash, shallots, oat milk, vegetable broth, and salt. 
  2. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until squash is tender. Check with a fork after 20 minutes. Add the cheddar and Parmesan cheese, stirring until melted.
  3. Using an immersion blender, purée the squash mixture until smooth. Mix in the pepper and nutmeg.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the pasta with the sauce.
  5. Stir until the pasta is well combined and the cheese has melted. 
  6. Serve and enjoy. 

Chef’s tip: For an added bonus, crisp up some sage leaves in vegan butter. Drizzle some of the sage butter on top as well. 

Festive Kale Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Festive Kale Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
Festive Kale Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Welcome to your new favorite holiday kale salad! Kale has been one of my favorite go-to leafy greens for awhile now because it is so nutrient dense. It is an excellent source of Vitamin C and is loaded with powerful antioxidants (Kale Yeah!) The cranberry vinaigrette is made with freshly squeezed citrus, cranberries, vinegar, agave, and other flavorful components. Whether it is your first time trying kale or you have had it plenty of times before, this recipe is something you’ve gotta check out.

Festive Kale Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Yields 4-5 servings


6 cups kale, de stemmed and sliced – need

3 Tbsp. avocado oil

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/2 cup Vitacost organic walnuts

2 clementine oranges

1/2 cup cranberries

1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp. shallot, minced

1 Tbsp. agave

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar


  1. In a large bowl, add the kale and massage with a drizzle of olive oil for 1-2 minutes, until tender.
  2. In a small pan, add the oil and shallots and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add the garlic, lemon juice, garlic, agave, and apple cider vinegar. Cook for 1-2 minutes on low and remove from heat.
  3. Place the clementine wedges and walnuts onto the salad. Drizzle the slightly warm vinaigrette over the salad and give a good toss.

Chef’s tip: If you would like to add pomegranate seeds, they would be a delicious touch to this salad!

Potato-Parsnip Leek Soup

Potato-Parsnip Leek Soup

Potato-Parsnip Leek Soup

Potato leek soup, or as the French call it potage parmentier, is a classic dish that can be found in many restaurants. In my plant-based version, I added parsnips, which pair well with the subtleness of the leeks, potatoes, and shallots. Not only does this meal taste delicious, but it is ready in under 30 minutes- double score!! Being able to have meals that are healthy and quick at your disposal help keep you on track. Be sure to give this one a try, my tip to make this real special is to drizzle truffle oil on top.

Potato-Parsnip Leek Soup

Yields 6 servings


3 Tbsp. vegan butter

5 cups leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped

2 shallots, diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1/2 cup parsnips, chopped

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped

7 cups vegetable broth

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup cashew milk

Chives, finely chopped, for garnish


  1. In a pot on medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks, garlic, and shallots- cooking until wilted, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes, parsnips, vegetable stock, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover soup and reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes (until the potatoes have softened). Remove the thyme and bay leaves once done and blend using a hand-held immersion blender until smooth.

Chef’s tip: Enjoy this soup with toasted baguettes or croutons.