UNews Cookbook: Vegan Edition


Graphic by Grace Dunlavy

As college students, many of us struggle to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Running to and from class, extracurriculars, meetings, internships and jobs is not necessarily conducive with healthy eating, especially on a college student budget. But now, an abundance of time (and my mother’s well-stocked kitchen!) has given me the opportunity to try out numerous vegan recipes. And the same goes for other University News Staff Writers — so, once again, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite vegan recipes. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! 

Six recipes included: brussel sprouts with lime and pecan, crispy potatoes with vegan nacho sauce, quinoa tacos, chocolate peanut butter protein bars, vegan mac and cheese, and spaghetti squash burrito bowls.


1. Brussels Sprouts with Lime & Pecan – Sydney Compton (Arts Staff Writer)

This is a really easy and delicious recipe that can be made as a side dish, or add a form of protein to the top and make it into a meal. YES, brussel sprouts are good.  

Recipe adopted from “Eating from the Ground Up” cookbook

Prep time: 5 min 

Cook time: 10-15 min 

Serving size: 3-4


  • About ⅓ cup neutral oil (canola, vegetable, grape seed, etc.)
  • 1 package of Brussels sprouts, quartered 
  • 1 shallot, sliced, kept in rings (if you do not have a shallot, green onion is a good substitute) 
  • ⅓ cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 lime 
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt 


  1. In a deep skillet, heat a couple tablespoons of oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add your shallots and fry them until just golden. Place them on a paper towel to dry off excess oil and crisp up.
  3. In the same pan, add your brussel sprouts. Add a pinch or two of kosher salt and cook until dark brown or at desired color (the best bits are the crispy leaves that fall off and get super crunchy, so it’s okay if they look burnt!). 
  4. When sprouts are close to done, add pecan. Cook another minute, then add shallots on top. 
  5. Right before serving, squeeze fresh lime juice over the dish, about half a lime. 
  6. Finish with a bit of kosher salt if desired and enjoy! 


2. Crispy Potatoes with Vegan Nacho Sauce – Celia Searles (Arts Editor) 

I tried out this recipe when I was in search of a cheesy nacho-like dish without the dairy! This is a great alternative, and both the potatoes and sauce can be used on their own or together. It’s a great way to try something new with ingredients you probably already have at home! 

Recipe adopted from: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/easy/a36256/crispy-potatoes-with-vegan-nacho-sauce/ 

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serving size: 4 


  • 2 lb. mixed baby potatoes, halved 
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil 
  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked and drained overnight 
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice 
  • ½ tsp. chili powder 
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin 
  • ½ tsp. sweet paprika 
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp. coarse sea salt 
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast 
  • ½ jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped 


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Toss potatoes with oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼  teaspoon pepper. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread potatoes evenly; roast 30 minutes until golden and crispy, stirring once.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree cashews, lemon juice, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, nutritional yeast and jalapeno with 1 cup water until smooth. Transfer to 2-quart saucepan; heat on medium-low 5 minutes or until warm, stirring occasionally. Makes about 1⅔ cup. Transfer to bowl; serve with roasted potatoes. (Refrigerate the remaining sauce up to one day. Also good with tortilla chips, roasted cauliflower, etc.)


3. Quinoa Tacos – Claire Battista (Arts Editor) 

As I try more and more vegetarian and vegan recipes, I’ve realized that meatless options taste just as good (if not better!) than the meat alternative. And these quinoa tacos are the perfect example! They’re fresh, delicious and full of flavor. 

Recipe adopted from https://minimalistbaker.com/quinoa-taco-meat/

For the quinoa:

For the seasoning:

  • ½ cup salsa 
  • 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground chili powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive or avocado oil


  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add rinsed quinoa and toast for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add vegetable broth and water and bring back to a boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to low, cover with a secure lid and cook for 15-25 minutes, or until liquid is completely absorbed. Fluff with a fork, then crack the lid and let rest for 10 minutes off heat.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  4. Add cooked quinoa to a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients (salsa, nutritional yeast, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and oil). Toss to combine. Then spread on a lightly greased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20-35 minutes, stirring/tossing once at the halfway point to ensure even baking. The quinoa is done when it’s fragrant and golden brown. Be careful not to burn! Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days. Reheat in the microwave, in a 350 degree F (176 C) oven or in a skillet on the stovetop.


4. Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars – Claire Battista (Arts Editor)

These have been my go-to snack recently—they’re delicious and easy to make. Plus, the protein powder helps to keep you full and satisfied for longer, preventing the mindless snacking that I’ve fallen prone to in quarantine! 

Recipe adopted from: https://minimalistbaker.com/easy-5-ingredient-protein-bars-peanut-butter-chocolate/


  • 1¼ creamy salted peanut butter 
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted (add more for extra sweetness!) 
  • ⅔ cup hemp seeds 
  • ⅓ cup chia seeds 
  • ⅓ to ½ cup protein powder (can be chocolate, vanilla or a flavor of your choice) 


  1. Add peanut butter and pitted dates to a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to incorporate. Then add hemp seeds, chia seeds and protein powder, and pulse until all ingredients are well combined and a cookie dough-like texture forms. 
  2. If too wet, add more dry ingredients of choice, such as protein powder or hemp seeds. If it is too dry, moisten with a little more peanut butter. 
  3. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more protein powder of choice for flavor or more dates for sweetness (if adding more dates, chop first to encourage even blending). Mix again until well combined.
  4. Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper. Transfer mixture into the pan and spread with the back of a spoon, then use a flat-bottomed object (such as a drinking glass) to flatten into an evenly packed, flat layer.
  5. Transfer to the freezer to chill for at least 10-15 minutes to help the mixture firm up. Enjoy! 


5. Vegan Mac and Cheese – Daniel Bernas (Arts Staff Writer) 

You often hear people saying going vegan is too expensive and time consuming. While this recipe has a number of ingredients, the ingredients are all relatively common, especially in a vegan kitchen. It also gives you your time and money’s worth of filling meals. A little of this delicious mac and cheese will go a long way!

Recipe adopted from: “But I Could Never Go Vegan!” by Kristy Turner 

Ingredients for the mac and cheese itself:

  • ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets (roughly 2½ to 3 cups or 300 g)
  • Cooking spray
  • ¾ tsp. garlic powder, divided
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water at least 1 hour, water discarded
  • 1½ cups non-dairy milk
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. vegan butter, melted
  • 1 ½ tsp. tomato paste
  • ½ tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. white miso
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric, optional
  • About 8 cups water
  • 16 ounces pasta
  • Vegan bacon crumbles, optional

Ingredients for the pecan parmesan topping

  • 3 cups pecan pieces
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast 
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Spread the cauliflower florets on the baking sheet and lightly spray with cooking oil. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of the garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper over the florets. Toss to coat. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping once halfway through. When the cauliflower is tender and golden, remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes.
  2. To make the cheese sauce, process the cashews and non-dairy milk in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Add the cooled cauliflower, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, melted vegan butter, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, miso, onion powder, turmeric and the remaining ½ teaspoon garlic powder. Process until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-by13-inch casserole dish with olive oil and set aside.
  4. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add a pinch of salt before adding the pasta to the water. Stir immediately to prevent any pasta sticking together. Cook the pasta following package instructions until al dente; remove from the heat and drain off the water. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta and mix thoroughly. Gently fold in the vegan bacon crumbles.
  5. Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared casserole dish and spread evenly. Top with 1 cup of pecan parmesan (recipe follows) and bake until the topping is golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit about 5 minutes before serving.

To make the pecan parmesan:

  1. Combine the pecan pieces, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use. 


6. Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls – Elle West (Arts Contributor) 

I’ve enjoyed experimenting with different vegan recipes throughout college, and now that I have extra time on my hands, I decided to give this recipe a try. My family loved it, and I’m looking forward to making it for my roommates when we’re back at SLU! 

Recipe adopted from: https://cookieandkate.com/spaghetti-squash-burrito-bowl-recipe/


For the roasted spaghetti squash:

  • 2 medium spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds each), halved with seeds removed
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cabbage and black bean slaw:

  • 2 cups purple cabbage, thinly sliced and roughly chopped into 2-inch-long pieces
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ⅓ cup chopped green onions, both green and white parts
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 to 3 tsp. fresh lime juice, to taste
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Avocado salsa verde:

  • ¾ cup mild salsa verde, either homemade or store-bought
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • ⅓ cup fresh cilantro (a few stems are okay)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 medium garlic clove, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up. On the baking sheet, drizzle the halved spaghetti squash with olive oil. Rub the olive oil all over each of the halves, adding more if necessary.
  2. Sprinkle the insides of the squash with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Turn them over so the insides are facing down. Roast for 40 to 60 minutes, until the flesh is easily pierced through with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, to assemble the slaw, in a medium mixing bowl, combine the cabbage, black beans, bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and salt. Toss to combine and set aside to marinate.
  4. To make the salsa verde, in the bowl of a blender or food processor, combine the avocado, salsa verde, cilantro, lime juice and garlic. Blend until smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  5. To assemble, first use a fork to separate and fluff up the flesh of the spaghetti squash. Then divide the slaw into each of the spaghetti squash “bowls,” and add a big dollop of avocado salsa verde. Finish the bowls with another sprinkle of pepper, cilantro and optional crumbled feta or pepitas.