Following my first round of Whole30 earlier this year, I challenged myself on several more occasions to go dairy-free for a while. Now, I love a good cheesy vegetarian casserole and creamy pasta as much as the next person, but I've learned I feel best when I take a pass on the cheese, cream, and the like. And with a few simple, totally satisfying vegan recipes on hand, I never feel like I am missing out.
From tacos to a creamy (no-cream-added) soup, here are my five favorite dairy-free vegetarian recipes for easy weeknight dinners.
If you're tempted to order takeout tonight from your favorite Chinese restaurant, squash that urge and try this sweet and spicy tofu stir-fry instead. This dish comes together in the same amount of time it takes to steam rice, and the tofu gets browned and crispy without all the fuss of deep-frying.
Make this once and it'll become the miracle meal you keep your back pocket at all times. With a can of black beans, some spices, whatever tortillas you have in the kitchen, and of course your favorite toppings, these tacos are a weeknight wonder that come together in minutes.
Stir-fries are a smart way to get a wholesome veggie-friendly dinner on the table without involving dairy. This version features meaty eggplant stir-fried with lots of garlic served over a big bowl of steamed rice with fresh basil.
Make this weeknight chowder from now through the end of winter and you won't be sorry. After a quick simmer on the stovetop, a few cups of soup are whirled through the blender and then stirred back into the pot, which creates a super-creamy and velvety consistency.
This creamy vegetarian stew will help you clear all those veggie remnants from the fridge. The ginger- and curry-scented coconut broth gives this wholesome stew extra richness and flavor. This is also an extremely versatile recipe, so it's easy to swap different veggies in or out — sub sweet potatoes for red potatoes, swap spinach for any types of leafy greens you have handy, and feel free to add other hearty ingredients, like winter squash, carrots, or parsnips.