6 Gourmet Vegan Recipes Without Sugar, Salt, or Oil

© 2012 Book Publishing Company. Yellow Corn Chowder.

Dietary restrictions shouldn't make your meal bland and boring -- but how to get those prime 5-star flavors without sacrificing your health?

Bravo! Health Promoting Meals from the TrueNorth Kitchen is here to help. This cookbook by Dr. Alan Goldhamer, founder of TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California and Chef Ramses Bravo, TrueNorth’s executive chef, features nearly 100 tasty plant-based recipes -- all miraculously sugar-, oil-, and salt-free -- plus two weeks of menu plans.

Check out six of these recipes -- as described by Chef Bravo and including his tips and tricks -- below.

Sold? The Bravo! Health Promoting Meals from the TrueNorth Kitchen is available for purchase on Amazon for $11.

1. Yellow Corn Chowder (Yield: 6 Servings)

If you are yearning for a sweet soup with a chewy texture, this recipe will fit the bill. You can make it year-round, but fresh corn is sweetest in late summer and early fall.

Ingredients
2 leeks, thinly sliced 3 shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
kernels sliced from 4 ears fresh corn, or 4 cups thawed frozen or drained canned corn
2 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened soymilk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried

1. Put the leeks, shallots, and garlic in a medium dry pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the corn, potatoes, celery, and red pepper flakes.

2. Cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes, making sure the vegetables don’t brown. Stir in the broth and soymilk. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 20 minutes, using a ladle to skim off any foam that forms at the surface.

3. Discard the foam. Stir in the chives and thyme. Serve hot.

Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, Yellow Corn Chowder will keep for 3 days. Reheat before serving.

Note: If you replace the yellow corn with sweet white corn, this soup will taste just as good. I prefer yellow corn for this recipe because the color contrasts so well with the other ingredients.

Per serving: calories: 178.1, protein: 6.2g, carbohydrates: 38g, fat: 1.6g, calcium: 101.1mg, sodium: 106.5mg, omega-3: 0g

2. Breakfast Potatoes (Yield: 6 Servings)

© 2012 Book Publishing Company

This is a wholesome alternative to the greasy fried and overly salted potato dishes often served at breakfast time. This dish can be prepared ahead of time, so all you need to do is bake it before serving.

Ingredients
8 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed
2 cups small cauliflower florets
2 cups quartered white mushrooms
6 roma tomatoes, cubed
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon granulated onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1 tablespoon dried
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Pierce each potato a few times with a fork or paring knife. Put the potatoes directly on a rack in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender. The potatoes are done when a paring knife can be easily inserted in the center. Turn off the oven.Transfer the potatoes to a cooling rack.

2. When the potatoes are cool to the touch, peel and dice them. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the potatoes on the lined baking sheet. Scatter the cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes, and onion over the potatoes. Sprinkle with the granulated garlic and granulated onion. (At this point, the baking sheet can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 8 to 12 hours.

3. When you are ready to bake the dish, bring the vegetables to room temperature while you preheat the oven. Remove the plastic wrap before baking.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until all the vegetables start to brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the basil and parsley. Serve hot.

Note: It takes about 1 hour for the baked potatoes to cool down enough to be peeled. For speed and convenience, the potatoes can be baked 1 day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

Per serving: calories: 276.4, protein: 9.1g, carbohydrates: 62.4g, fat: 0.7g, calcium: 76.7mg, sodium: 37.8mg, omega-3: 0.1g

3. Eggplant Cannelloni (Yield: 6 Servings)

© 2012 Book Publishing Company

Cannelloni are round pasta tubes. In this recipe, I substitute rolled eggplant for the pasta. Select eggplants that are heavy for their size.They should have shiny, firm skins without any soft or brown spots.

Filling
6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut in half widthwise
kernels sliced from 6 ears fresh corn, or 6 cups thawed frozen or drained canned corn
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon blanched fresh tarragon, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried

Cannelloni
2 large eggplants, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
4 cups Tomato sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

1. To make the filling, steam the potatoes until fork-tender, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Put half of the corn and the broth, soymilk, granulated garlic, and granulated onion in a blender and process on high speed until smooth. Spoon into the bowl with the potatoes.Add the remaining corn and the tarragon and whisk gently. (Whisking gently, rather than whipping, prevents the potatoes from getting gummy.)

3. To make the cannelloni, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the eggplant on it in a single layer. Brush with the broth and sprinkle with the granulated onion. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn over and bake for 3 minutes longer. Let cool.When cool enough to handle, lay on a flat surface. Spoon one-sixth of the filling on the end of one slice and roll up. Assemble 5 more rolls in the same fashion (to make 6 rolls in all). Put the rolls in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, pour the tomato sauce over them, and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.

Topping
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1 teaspoon chopped garlic 1 pound fresh spinach

1. To make the topping, put the onion and garlic in a medium dry saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

2. Add the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted and tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Arrange the spinach on top of the cannelloni. Serve hot or warm.

Per serving: calories: 375.6, protein: 14.3g, carbohydrates: 83.2g, fat: 2.6g, calcium: 181.1mg, sodium: 124mg, omega-3: 0.2g

4. Mango-Papaya Smoothie (Yield: 1 serving)

© 2012 Book Publishing Company

The tropical flavor of this smoothie reminds me of a white sandy beach on a sunny day. What a great way to start the day!

Ingredients
1 mango, diced
1 cup diced papaya
1 cup fresh spinach, lightly packed
1/2 cup cubed celery
1/2 cup ice (optional)
1/4 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats
6 or 7 cashews
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

Put all the ingredients in a blender and process on high speed until smooth. Pour into a tall glass. Serve immediately.

Note: For a thicker smoothie, add more cashews.

Per serving: calories: 391.2 protein: 9.7g, carbohydrates: 75.6g, fat: 8.8g, calcium: 202.1mg, sodium: 239.7mg, omega-3: 0.2g

5. Bravo Pizza with Polenta Crust (Yield: 4 9-inch Pizzas)

© 2012 Book Publishing Company

This fantastic pizza is worth the time and effort.

For the Crust: Polenta Crusts or Croutons (Yield: 4 (9-Inch) Pizza crusts, or About 8 cups of croutons

Here, the polenta is cooked, cooled, and chilled in the refrigerator until it is firm enough to be cut into various shapes with a knife. Use this recipe to make wholesome, gluten-free pizza crusts or croutons for floating on soups or dressing up salads.

Ingredients
8 cups vegetable broth
2 cups yellow corn grits
2 tablespoons diced shallot
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or
1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or
1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon blanched fresh tarragon (see page 26), chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or
1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend

1. Put the broth in a large saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil.Whisk the corn grits into the broth and continue whisking vigorously for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, whisking about once per minute. Stir in the shallot, basil, parsley, tarragon, thyme, and salt-free seasoning blend and remove from the heat.

2. To prep the polenta for making pizza crusts, pour the hot polenta into a 9-inch round pan; the polenta should be about 2 inches deep. Let cool at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, then refrigerate uncovered for 8 to 10 hours, until firm. Once firm, cover loosely with plastic wrap.

3. When you’re ready to make the pizza crusts, turn the polenta out onto a cutting board. Use a long, sharp, and preferably serrated knife to carefully slice the polenta horizontally (use a sawing motion) into four rounds, each about 1/2 inch thick. (For instructions on how to bake and use the crusts, see Bravo Pizza with Polenta Crust, page 110.)

4. To prep the polenta for making croutons, pour the hot polenta into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Let cool at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, then refrigerate uncovered for 8 to 10 hours, until firm. Once firm, cover loosely with plastic wrap.

5. When you’re ready to make the croutons, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

6. Turn the polenta out onto a cutting board and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.Arrange on the lined baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden brown and crispy all over.

Note: Once poured into the pan for either crust or croutons, polenta can be covered and stored in the refrigerator, where it will keep for 5 days. Freezing is not recommended.

Per serving (1 crust or 2 cups croutons): calories: 220.8, protein: 5g, carbohydrates: 46.9g, fat: 2.2g, calcium: 3.7mg, sodium: 121.4mg, omega-3: 0g

Now for the Pizza:
Polenta Crust (see above), chilled and cut into 4 pizza crusts
2 cups bravo Tomato sauce
1 zucchini, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, lightly packed, shredded
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
16 fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, chopped
11/2 teaspoons dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

1. Put the crusts on the lined baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Carefully turn the crusts over and bake for 5 minutes longer. Spread with one-third of the sauce and bake for about 5 minutes. This process will dry out the crusts and the sauce, making the crusts crispier and giving them a more intense flavor. Spread with another third of the sauce and bake for about 5 minutes. Spread with the remaining sauce.

2. Top with the zucchini, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, basil, garlic, and oregano. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Per serving: calories: 446.3, protein: 12.8g, carbohydrates: 94.8g, fat: 4.3g, calcium: 72.1mg, sodium: 231.3mg, omega-3: 0.1g

Variation: Once the pizza crust is ready for toppings, any combination of vegetables (such as mixed mushrooms or roasted red peppers) can be used, in addition to or instead of the ones listed in the recipe.

6. Tortilla Soup (Yield: 6 Servings)

© 2012 Book Publishing Company

One of my earliest food memories is having tortilla soup from my grandmother’s kitchen. Corn tortillas are easily available in most supermarkets.White corn tortillas are more common than yellow ones, but either kind will work.

Ingredients
6 corn tortillas
kernels sliced from 2 ears fresh corn, or 2 cups thawed frozen or drained canned corn
3 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, scrubbed and diced
3 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
11/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
5 roma tomatoes
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
12 cups vegetable broth
10 fresh epazote leaves, sliced into strips (optional)
2 ripe avocados, sliced, for garnish 10 sprigs cilantro, for garnish
1 lime, sliced into 6 wedges, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Slice the tortillas into small strips.Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until crispy.

2. Put the corn, celery, carrot, shallots, and garlic in a large dry pot and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the oregano, granulated garlic, and granulated onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

3. Put the tomatoes in a blender and process on high speed until smooth.Add the tomatoes and potatoes to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the broth and increase the heat to medium-high. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the optional epazote and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with the avocado, cilantro sprigs, and lime.Top with the tortilla strips. Serve immediately.

Note: This recipe results in a brothlike soup. For a thick and creamy soup, put the soup and the baked tortilla strips in a blender and process on high speed until smooth. Serve immediately, garnished with the avocado, cilantro sprigs, and lime.

Per serving: calories: 269, protein: 6.7g, carbohydrates: 47.2g, fat: 8.3g, calcium: 99.5mg, sodium: 147.9mg, omega-3: 0.1g

Tags: Fruits & Vegetables | Recipes | Vegan | Vegetarian