entertainingfoodFood & Drinkin the kitchen withkristina gillrecipes

in the kitchen with: the best of vegan recipes

by Kristina Gill

When I went to Australia earlier this year, I overdosed on egg and bacon rolls.  I sent an enthusiastic email to Grace about how I was enjoying recreating my own here at home, and she wrote me back that she is pretty much vegan these days.  I was a bit crestfallen that my enthusiasm for bacon had fallen on deaf ears, but it got me to thinking whether I could ever make that transition.  I took a stroll through our archives to see what dishes we had here for vegans and I decided to just do a Best of.  We have quite a few recipes in the archives which are made with the addition of a sprinkle of cheese which would be an easily skipped ingredient but I have not included those here.  I have however tried to include quite a few recipes that can be easily personalized with your favorite ingredients.  Hope you enjoy our collection!  –Kristina

Above, Green Kitchen Stories’ Portobello Mushroom Burger.  I could say so much about this burger but the photo speaks for itself.  This would definitely make my list of best burgers!  Tuck your napkin into your shirt, roll up your sleeves and have a bite!

Sharon Spain shared her recipe for homemade pickles with us a few years ago.  I sat for a while trying to conceive of how I could make a mouth-watering picture of a pickle, but took my problem to Matt Armendariz (who shot the image above) and he helped me right away with the idea of a pickle sandwich.  Don’t worry, cheese is not part of the recipe, just part of the presentation.

More fantastic vegan recipes after the jump…

If you’re making your own pickles, why not make your own bread for a sandwich?  Vanessa Rees, Brooklyn-based photographer developed this recipe for sesame pancake sandwich bread to break the monotony of catered lunches on her photography shoots.  Vanessa has updated the recipe based on your feedback.  I think this bread would make any lunch great!



Andrea Nguyen, someone I’ve dubbed the Dumpling Queen, developed this vegan wonton recipe just for us!  Dumplings are one of the best food candidates for personalization according to your own tastes.  We’ve had a few versions here on the column, all of which I’ve loved and overdosed on.


“Sushi” is another food that is perfect entertaining food.  It can be made to fit the palate of anyone who is eating it.  Many readers shared their own favorite combinations that they prepare at home.  I am lucky because my husband doesn’t like “sushi” with fish or without, so whenever I make it it’s all mine.  Jill Bliss’ sushi recipe just using carrots, cucumber and avocado is a classic and addictive roll!


Tara O’Brady pitched right for my heart when she offered a recipe for pakoras and green chutney.  Her recipe is her own version of this traditional Indian vegetable fritter, and definitely worth the try.  This really would be the perfect dish to savor with a cold drink.


Israeli photography and styling team Matkonation provided the answer to a years’ old question when they shared their recipe for falafel with us earlier this year.  I try to save my consumption of fried foods for the times I eat outside of the house, but having a recipe for falafel might put a large dent in that rule!



Heidi Swanson, author of the beautifully written and photographed blog 101 Cookbooks, wrote one of the most beautiful books to pass through my hands in so very long.  The jury at the James Beard Foundation had it right when her book Super Natural Everyday won the “Focus on Health” award this year (2012).  Its predecessor was nominated, also.  This recipe for roasted strawberries is from the book.  Perfect for any time of the day.



Though I intended for this Best Of to be exclusively savory, there were some flavors that I just could not leave out as we head into summer.  A beautiful fruit sorbet was a definite priority.  This recipe for plum marsala sorbet is from Kristin Silverman, the lawyer behind The Kitchen Sink blog.  It’s a perfect refreshing dessert for summer that won’t weigh you down.  An ice cream machine is worth it, just so you can make this!  But don’t worry.  Kristin has provided instructions on how to enjoy the sorbet as a granita if you don’t have a machine.

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  • I know this is weird and slightly off topic and negative sounding and I do apologize but…food photos with dirty hands/fingers/nails drives me bonkers! I realize, the smudges on the fingers are probably from assembling the mushroom burger, I totally get that. It’s just so unappealing to guess. So photographers, if you are going to take the time to take a photo of gorgeous food, maybe a quick wipe of the hands is in order as well!

  • Hi Donald! I know exactly how you feel. I have the same reaction when people work really hard to share their work with us here and I open the post and see that someone has taken the time to leave a negative comment that is prefaced by a kind apology. It’s just so unappealing. -Kristina

  • The food looks great and I just sent the link to my daughter, who recently became a vegan. That said, please give Donald a break. I don’t see the need for such a defensive response–his comment was offered civilly and constructively. I personally find the photo of the sandwich to be mouth-watering, but everyone has their idiosyncrasies.

  • I was going to say the same thing, Melissa. I don’t think Donald’s comment was rude or even all that negative, just an observation. It’s weird to see someone from a big site like this respond so passive-aggressively. Eesh! Anyway, I personally think it looks delicious (and I don’t even like mushrooms… sorry).

  • While I don’t necessarily think Donald’s comment was that constructive given the forum, (and because I actually think the grubiness on the fingers is from the bread—the flour on that kind of bread tends to get all over the place!), I do agree with Melissa that the defensive response was a bit uncalled for. Very smothered in sarcasm when a more direct, kind, and professional response could have sufficed.

  • Oh yes. Those sloppy photographers. They also forgot to wipe up under the strawberries and didn’t even take the time to pick up those extra sesame seeds. Tsk tsk. KIDDING!! Tongue in cheek comment. I work with photographers and everything in a shot is intentional, painstakingly so sometimes!

    But for real, these recipes look super tasty. Bookmarked!

  • I’m a food photographer (I shot that pickle image) and since we strive for realness I’m not bothered by hands that have been cooking and may have some food on them. If its excessive we might wipe them down but for the most part we try to keep things real. Dirty fingernails can be a deal breaker but if I’m photographing a farmer holding what he’s grown I would most likely go with it. We all have those funny things that drive us bonkers!

  • Thanks for the round-up; these all look tasty.

    Thought you might want to know when I zoom in (23″ imac, and I’m sitting about 2′ away) the white boxes that make your posts readable don’t scale up with the rest of the page. Which, for me, pretty much makes the site unreadable.

  • I’m finding it rather curious that some of you are jumping on Kristina’s back about her response to a negative comment. Yes, people are entitled to their own opinions but her response was in kind to Donald’s original comment; just because you apologize profusely about being rude doesn’t mean you’re not being rude. And, by the way, this is a round-up of previously published recipes, so commenting about how you don’t like the look of something is irrelevant at this stage.

  • I’m vegan and great to see some great recipes instead of the same ol’ same ol’ doing the traps and giving vegans a bad name.. let alone indigestion!

  • @STEPH: Neither Safari nor Firefox in OS X 10.6.8 scale the artwork; just the text. Try using Chrome — it scales up the entire web site, text and art together.
    Also, if you hold the Control key down and have a Magic Mouse, flicking your finger on it will zoom the entire page instead of scrolling.

  • I can’t wait to try all of these. Thanks for sharing alternative eating choices, i’d love to see one with kosher/halal/gluten free. A round up of best of recipes for seasonal fruit (ie. strawberries in July, apples in September) would be so helpful!
    As an visual artist myself, I’ve come to see how critiques of image making are valuable to understanding meanings and trends of our visual culture. What an image means to us, why we like it or not, is always a constructive and important conversation :)