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Vegan, Gluten Free & Yummy

August 8, 2012 | by Avigail Markova

Creative dishes that will satisfy even the most dietary restricted guest.

With all the newly discovered food allergies and intolerances, people are having trouble figuring out what to serve guests who may be vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free. Here are some creative ideas for side dishes, snacks, and desserts that will satisfy even the most dietary restricted guest.

Gluten Free Black Bean Burgers

A great source of protein and fiber, these burgers are an alternative to a meat meal and are delicious served with fresh veggies, salsa, cheese, in a wrap or on a salad.

  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced mushrooms
  • 1 tblsp tehina
  • 1 handful fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup flour – rice, almond, and oat flour are good binders for gluten free burgers
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot sauce and 2 tblsp nutritional yeast optional

Food process the black beans. Pour into bowl and add the remaining ingredients, leaving out the flour until the end. Slowly add the flour and continue to mix until the consistency becomes solid enough to form patties with your hands. You may not end up using exactly half a cup of flour depending on the flour you use, but don’t add more than necessary so the patty doesn’t become doughy.

Fry in olive oil on a low heat in an uncovered pan. Place the patty into the hot oil and let it fry a bit, then press down with a fork to flatten them, making sure they cook all the way through. After a few minutes, flip them and do the same on the other side. Get them on a plate with a paper towel to absorb extra oil. Served above on lettuce, tomato, avocado, topped with a drizzle of hot sauce and tehina, and garnished with fresh and dried parsley.

Tuscan Quinoa

I went to friends for Shabbos who left out a giant bowl of plain quinoa for me to put together in a unique way. Inspired by the pine nuts I saw laying on the counter, I began to assemble the flavors of pesto into the quinoa, turning it into a Mediterranean inspired dish. The best part is that though it tastes like a grain, quinoa is a complete protein and is a good source of fiber and iron.

  • Quinoa
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes
  • Handful fresh basil - about 6 large leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tblsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa by the instructions on the package. Generally you would use 2 parts water for 1 part quinoa. 1 cup dried quinoa serves at least 4 as a side dish. Once tender, remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Note that the amount of olive oil should be reduced if the sundried tomatoes are bottled in oil. Use enough oil to coat the quinoa, giving it the light flavor olives.

Turnip Mash

Turnips are a similar texture to potatoes and are a great addition to a traditional mash for their extra hint of flavor, vitamin C, and fiber.

  • Equal parts turnip to red potato
  • 1 large onion
  • Olive oil
  • Dried dill
  • Fresh parsley and scallions
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Boil diced turnips and red potatoes with their skin on. Once boiled, mash with a fork and add fthe remaining ingredients. Served above with a teriyaki salmon and balsamic chickpea and tomato salad.

No Crust Pizza

With all the right flavors but no crust, a hearty portabella mushroom is the base of this "pizza".

  • 1 large portabella mushroom
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Sliced Red onion
  • Olives
  • Minced garlic
  • Pizza seasoning (any combination of basil, rosemary, thyme)
  • Goat, feta, or mozzarella cheese

Remove the stem of the mushroom and toast it cap down in a non-stick pan on low heat without oil. Flip over and add the herbs, veggies and cheese. Cook covered on low heat until warm. The raw version is without cheese or the cooking process. Alternatively, cook it in the oven on low heat for a few minutes.

Chocolate Mousse Pie

This chocolate pie is made using only a food processor. It's so creamy and chocolately, no one can believe it has no added sugar and that one of the main ingredients is beans!

  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful berries (any kind)
  • 1 handful beans - I have successfuly tried this recipe with chickpeas, pinto, and kidney beans but think any beans would work
  • 7 large Medjool dates
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 heaping tbsp peanut or almond butter


  • Finely chopped macadamia nuts, pecans, and dark chocolate chips

First blend the dates with the nut butter and coconut oil until the dates are broken up well. It should become a creamy mixture. Add the other fruit, beans, and finally the cocoa powder. The final product should be the texture of a chocolate mousse. Pour into circular cooking tin and sprinkle on the topping. Freeze and remove for several minutes to thaw before serving. Makes 8-10 servings.

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