Gourmet Mushroom Risotto

Gourmet Mushroom Risotto - The Vegan Rhino

Earthy Mushroom Risotto - The Vegan Rhino

This creamy gourmet mushroom risotto is a real crowd pleaser and a must try! Making a creamy homemade risotto takes time but its well worth it. With just a few simple ingredients, you can turn plain rice into a delicious entree or side dish.

Earthy Mushroom Risotto - The Vegan Rhino

Yield 5

Ingredients

.7 oz. dried porcini mushrooms

4 cups vegetable broth

2 Tbsp. avocado oil + 2 Tbsp. vegan butter

5 cups sliced baby Bella mushrooms

1/2 cup shallots, chopped

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 thyme sprig

2 Tbsp. vegan butter

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup vegan parmesan 

Parsley, to garnish

Directions

  1. In a medium pot bring the vegetable broth to a boil and reduce heat to low. Add the porcini mushrooms and leave it covered for roughly 4 minutes, removing the porcini mushrooms and slicing them.
  2. In a large pot on medium heat, add the oil with butter and sauté both mushrooms, shallots, and onions for 6 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme sprig and cook for 2 minutes, removing mushroom mixture and their liquid once done. Combine the remaining butter and stir in the rice, cooking for an additional minute, being careful not to brown the rice. Season with salt and pepper and pour in the white wine; Cook until the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. To the pot with your rice mixture, add the mushroom mixture back and slowly pour 1/2 cup of hot vegetable broth and stir until it is almost absorbed completely. Add another 1/2 cup and so on until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid, takes roughly 35 minutes. Stir in the vegan parm until combined. Remove the sprig of thyme before serving.
  4. Serve with choice of side and garnished with parsley.

Chef’s tip: You want to make sure that the liquid absorbs completely before adding more hot broth. This is very important!

Vegan Italian Wedding Soup

Vegan Italian Wedding Soup - The Vegan Rhino

Vegan Italian Wedding Soup - The Vegan Rhino

Italian Wedding Soup has always been one of my favorite soups, especially growing up as a kid. Thanks to SunFlower Family, I’m able to recreate some awesome meatless meatballs using their sunflower haché, while keeping it 100% vegan. It’s packed with protein and a great alternative to tofu, tempeh, or seitan.

Vegan Italian Wedding Soup - The Vegan Rhino

Yield 54

Ingredients

3 (16 oz.) vegetable broth

2-1/4 cups chopped escarole

1 cup Acini de pepe or pearl couscous

“Meatballs”:

1 box Sunflower Haché

1 small onion, grated

2 Tbsp. avocado oil

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tbsp. Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer + 4 Tbsp. filtered water, mixed

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp. Nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat air fryer or oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, soak the haché according to the box instructions. Combine the onion, parsley, egg replacer, garlic cloves, salt, breadcrumbs, and nutritional yeast. Using a Tbsp., shape the mixture into 1-inch round “meatballs”; Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil on medium-high heat. Add the acini de pepe, and escarole; Simmer on medium for 10 minutes, or until al dente.
  4. Using a 1 tsp. measuring spoon, roll meatless meatballs into rounds and place into air fryer.
  5. Cook “meatballs” for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Add to individual soup bowls with broth before serving.
  6. Serve warm

Chef’s tip: Add a can of mashed black beans or chickpeas! The meatballs will not hold together when cooking in the broth, so be sure to cook them in the oven.

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup - The Vegan Rhino X Sunflower Family USA

Italian Wedding Soup - The Vegan Rhino X Sunflower Family USA

Italian Wedding Soup has always been one of my favorite soups, especially growing up as a kid. Thanks to Sunflower Family USA, I’m able to re create some awesome meatless meatballs using their sunflower haché. It’s packed with protein and a great alternative to tofu, tempeh, or seitan. This is one of the best Italian wedding soups I’ve had, and I’m here to tell you how easy it truly is to make this soup. It may just  be your new favorite thing to make!

Italian Wedding Soup - The Vegan Rhino X Sunflower Family USA

Yield 54

Ingredients

3 (16 oz.) vegetable broth 12 c

2-1/4 cups chopped escarole

1 cup Acini de pepe or pearl couscous

“Meatballs”:

1 box Sunflower Haché

1 small onion, grated

2 Tbsp. avocado oil

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tbsp. Egg Replacer + 4 Tbsp. filtered water, mixed

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp. Nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat air fryer or oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, soak the haché according to the box instructions. Combine the onion, parsley, egg replacer, garlic cloves, salt, breadcrumbs, and nutritional yeast. Using a teaspoon, shape the mixture into 1-inch round “meatballs”; Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil on medium-high heat. Add the acini de pepe, and escarole; Simmer on medium for 10 minutes, or until al dente.
  4. Cook meatballs for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown.
  5. Serve soup with meatballs added at the last minute.

Chef’s tip: Do not cook the meatballs in the soup or it will fall apart.

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

If you are looking for a classic lasagna recipe, then give this plant-based version a try! Each New Year, we would always have a lasagna at the dinner table, amongst other things.Being able to re-create a favorite meal, that my aunt used to make, is truly special. This plant-based mushroom and spinach lasagna is packed with flavor, protein, and nutrients our bodies need and can easily consume. Although making lasagna may take a little bit of prep and cleanup, it is totally worth the creation. From the homemade ricotta to the oh so yummy mushroom mixture of onion, spinach, garlic and tons of cheese, you will surely impress your guests and family with this recipe.

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

Yields 4-6 servings

Ingredients

12 lasagna sheets, cooked

1 (8 oz.) baby Bella mushrooms, diced

4 cups spinach

2 Tbsp. hemp seeds

1 large onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped

1-1/4 cup lentils, cooked

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

5-6 cups pasta sauce

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/2 cup Follow Your Heart Parmesan Cheese

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

Ricotta Cheese:

2 cups cashews, soaked overnight

4 Tbsp. filtered water

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. basil, chopped

1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

Pinch of Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

Directions

Ricotta Cheese:

  1. In a blender, combine cashews, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and salt. Blend for 1-2 minutes using your stick, until smooth consistency is achieved.
  2. Add the chopped basil to the mixture and stir in. Set aside. 

Lasagna:

  1. In a pot, cook the lasagna pasta according to the box instructions. Drain and individually lay pasta sheets out to avoid sticking together or tearing.
  2. In a frying pan on medium-high heat, add onions, mushrooms, garlic and sauté for 4-6 minutes. Add the spinach and cooked lentils, and stir until spinach has wilted. Season with salt, pepper, oregano and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. On the bottom of your casserole dish, put 1/2 cup sauce on the bottom. Add the lasagna sheet in an even layer, followed by 1/3 of the following: homemade ricotta cheese, mushroom mixture, hemp seeds, basil, more sauce, and topped with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Repeat layers and top with remaining Parmesan cheese and ricotta. Cover with foil and make sure it does not touch the cheese to prevent sticking.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes and remove the foil. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until bubbling and brown on top.
  7. Serve with side salad.

Chef’s tip: Allow lasagna to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. 

Walnut-Pesto Pasta

Walnut-Pesto Pasta
Walnut-Pesto Pasta

This aromatic and simple walnut-pesto goes great on any pasta you choose! Whether its bow ties or penne, it’s simply delicious. When you make your own, with fresh basil and mint, there is something about the flavor and and feeling of doing it on your own, that doesn’t compare to any store bought version. To make this, just clean the leafs, add some oil, walnuts (a few other ingredients), and you are on your way to a delicious and versatile sauce that you can use for pasta’s, salad’s, sandwiches, are more!

Walnut-Pesto Pasta

Yields 3-4 servings

Ingredients

2 cups fresh basil

1/4 cup fresh mint

1/2 avocado

1/4 cup walnuts

2-3 Tbsp. avocado oil

1/4 cup nutritional yeast 

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Pink Fine Salt

1 clove garlic, minced

1 box pasta of choice

salt, for boiling

Directions

  1. In your food processor, combine all ingredients until well mixed.
  2. Cook pasta according to box directions. When finished cooking, drain and stir in pesto sauce.
  3. Serve with vegan parmesan cheese and parsley.

Chef’s tip: Feel free to go with pine nuts for a more classic spin.

Parmesan Chickpea Cutlets

Photo Cred: Ivy Becker

I’m a sucker for authentic Italian food. Pretty much any combo of sauce, cheese and some sort of breading used to be my go-to. Going vegan certainly doesn’t change this. All it takes are a few alternate ingredients to duplicate any classic Italian dish. I created the following recipe to vegan-ize my favorite one of all! These chickpea cutlets come together super quickly and taste great when smothered in homemade tomato sauce with cashew “Parmesan” (or your preferred dairy-free cheese!). Be sure to pile your serving platter high because your family will devour this delicious, cruelty-free take on typical Parm.

Yields 4 cutlets

Ingredients

1 cups Vitacost Garbanzo Beans, soaked and drained

1 cup Lundberg Organic California White Basmati Rice

1 Tbsp. Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer Gluten Free + 2 Tbsp. Water, mixed together

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley + extra for garnish

1 small clove garlic

1/4 tsp. Simply Organic Thyme

1 tsp. Simply Organic Oregano

1 tsp. Frontier Co-Op organic Poultry Seasoning

1/4 cup Edward & Sons organic Panko Breadcrumbs

1 cup plain almond milk

1 cup King Arthur Flour Organic Unbleached All Purpose Flour

2 cups tomato sauce

2 cups vegan Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/2 tsp. Spicely Organics ground black pepper

Photo Cred: Ivy Becker

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In food processor, pulse chickpeas, white rice and egg mixture until well combined.
  3. Mix in poultry seasoning, parsley, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper.
  4. Form dough-like mixture into flattened patty-shape discs.
  5. Bread chickpea cutlet first by dipping into almond milk, then into the flour, then back into the almond milk, and finally into the bread crumbs.
  6. Place breaded cutlets onto lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Chef’s tip: For easier breading, place formed cutlets into the freezer to harden.

Eggplant “Meatballs”

Eggplant "Meatballs"

Meatballs

The best meatless “meatballs” recipe, that is made out of farmed fresh ingredients, is here. Italian food like this is normally made with large amounts of cheese and meat. But not these ones guys! Having a dinner like this  brings back so many good memories. In the process of making this recipe, I was able to reminisce in flavors that I remember as a child with my grandmother’s cooking. Those ladies sure know how to cook! Being able to create something that is 100% fresh and plant-based but still taste like a meatball is molto bene in my book!

Meatballs

Yields 10 medium 

Ingredients

1 eggplant, peeled

1 cup cooked TruRoots Organic Sprouted Green Lentils

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 small yellow onion

1 tsp. fresh thyme 

1 tsp. Simply Organic Oregano

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley

2 Tbsp. fresh basil 

1/2 cup Edward & Sons Organic Panko Breadcrumbs 

1/4 cup Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast Seasoning

1 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/2 tsp Spicely Organics ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Begin by chopping both the eggplant and onion and placing onto a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled. Roast for 15 minutes or before it browns, once the liquid has been released.
  3. In a food processor- take your cooked lentils, eggplant and onion mixture, and garlic and pulse until mixed and smooth. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl. 
  4. Add your thyme, oregano, parsley, and basil, breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and mix to combine. If mixture is moist, add more breadcrumbs. Allow mixture to set in fridge for 15 minutes. 
  5. Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and place and light oiled pan. You will bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown. Turning every so often to get all sides crispy. 
  6. Remove from the oven and serve with favorite sauce. 

Chefs tip: You can add 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese to the mixture before rolling into balls.

Italian Sausage and Peppers

Photo Cred: Jermaine Bullard

This easy sausage and peppers recipe will be the new house favorite at dinner. This classic meal is hearty and can be made several ways. You can either serve this in a hoagie Italian-style with your tomato sauce or you could place the sausage and peppers over white rice and serve with the sauce on top. Either way, the choice is going to leave your belly full and your mouth smiling.

Photo Cred: Jermaine Bullard

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients

Vegan Sausage:

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour

1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten

4 oz tofu firm, drained but not pressed

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 tsp Simply Organic oregano

2 tsp. Simply Organic fennel seeds, optional

1 Tbsp. fresh basil

1 tsp liquid smoke

1 Tbsp. Vitacost Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

1/2 tsp Spicely Organics ground black pepper

1 cup authentic homemade italian tomato sauce

Peppers and Onions:

1 medium red bell pepper

1 medium green bell pepper

1 large yellow onion

1 garlic cloves

1/2 cup authentic homemade italian tomato sauce

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 tsp Simply Organic oregano

2 Tbsp. Vitacost Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

pinch Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

pinch of Spicely Organics ground black pepper

Directions

Peppers and Onions:

  1. In a frying pan, drizzle olive oil and place your thick onion slices (do not cube) and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Then add the peppers,  salt, pepper, and oregano. Allow to slightly brown, 10-15 minutes. Add garlic and cook for additional 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

Vegan Sausage:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor, pulse all ingredients until dough like mixture has formed and is well combined.
  3. Using parchment paper, cut into 4 squares depending on how large or small you want to make the sausage links. Grab some of the mixture and roll it into the shape and wrap it up in the parchment paper (twisting the ends to seal).
  4. Bake sausages for 20-25 minutes.
  5. To crisp up the outside, drizzle of olive oil to coat a pan. Turn on medium-high heat and pan fry sausage for 3-5 minutes.
  6. To assemble, place the peppers and onions in a hoagie with the sausage on top. Drizzle some homemade sauce on top and add some parsley or vegan parmesan cheese.

Chef’s tip: You can rub a clove of garlic on the bread and smear with vegan butter. Top with parmesan cheese and bake at 375 degrees F to get it nice and crispy!

Baked Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Ahoy there, matey! These spaghetti squash boats are a staple dish in my weekly meal prep. The reason being because they are extremely universal in how you can create them. Here, we have a baked lasagna, using my homemade tomato sauce and some other freshly picked veggies from Bedner’s. One of my favorite things about making these dishes is that its always a 2-for-1 deal. You get to make the spaghetti squash boats and then later use the seeds for granola, roasting, or even gardening!

Yields 2 servings

Ingredients

1 large spaghetti squash

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup cooked TruRoots Organic Sprouted Green Lentils

2 cups homemade tomato sauce

4 cups of baby spinach (2 handfuls)

4 oz. baby bella mushrooms

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 tsp Simply Organic Thyme Leaf

1 tsp. fresh basil, chopped

1 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp Vitacost Himalayan Pink Salt

1 tsp Spicely Organics Ground Black Pepper

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Remove and transfer seeds to paper towel or cloth to dry. Scoop out slimy flesh.
  3. Transfer squash halves onto pan—inside facing up. Lightly drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes or until tender.
  4. Meanwhile sauté garlic, mushrooms and onions in pan to make the filling. Mix in spinach to wilt. Add cooked lentils and continue stirring.
  5. When ready, use fork to scrape down the spaghetti squash to create “noodles.” Transfer to separate bowl and set aside.
  6. Pour sauce into the wells of each squash boat followed by the “noodles.” Then layer on lentil mixture. Repeat until boats are filled—ending with a layer of “noodles.” Optional: Sprinkle nutritional yeast and/or vegan mozzarella on top.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until top is golden and sauce starts to bubble. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh basil and parsley. Serve immediately.

 

Chef’s tip: Top layers with vegan cheese if you would like or you can use nutritional yeast.

Authentic Homemade Italian Tomato Sauce

Before I realized how easy it is to make my own mouthwatering pasta sauce, I opted for store-bought varieties. The downside to pre-made sauces is that they’re often tainted with preservatives to maintain longer shelf lives—no thanks! Now, I use homegrown tomatoes from my garden (or local farm when necessary!). With organic, fresh and local ingredients, it’s easier than ever to sneak in some added nutrients (think fresh herbs such as thyme and basil!). Italian lover? This sauce is the perfect addition to pizza, lasagna and beyond!

Photo Cred: Jermaine Bullard

Ingredients

10 medium tomatoes, cut into quarters 

3 cloves of garlic, smashed 

1 small white onion, chopped roughly

1 Tbsp. Simply Organic Oregano

1/4 cup  fresh basil leaves 

1 1/2 tsp. Simply Organic Thyme Leaf

1 tsp Vitacost Himalayan Pink Salt- Fine

1 tsp Spicely Organics Black Peppercorns Tin

3 quarts water

 

Directions 

  1. In medium saucepan, heat tomatoes, garlic and onion. Fill with water 2-in. below brim of pot.
  2. Add oregano, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to boil on high heat. Boil for 10 minutes until tomatoes and onions soften.
  3. With hand immersion or blender, combine until everything is broken up. Pour back into pot and bring back to a boil.
  4. After boiling, reduce to simmer for 3 hours. Once time has elapsed and you’ve reached desired thickness, remove from heat and let cool. Serve immediately or can sauce for longer shelf life.

To learn how to can the sauce you have just made, click here.

 

Chef’s tip: Great for Pizza, Spaghetti, and lasagna! Fresh and homemade is a much better choice than store bought.