Make no assumptions when ordering vegetable dishes in a steakhouse. Copious amounts of butter, cream and cheese are standard ingredients. When you’re in a restaurant, ask for vegetables with light seasoning and no oil. When you’re at home, though, knock yourself out. Chose between three steakhouse style vegan vegetable recipes: creamed, spicy or air-fried. Transform basic and boring vegetables into heavenly health food without using oil or sugar.

You know you’re truly whole foods plant based when you prefer to cook and eat at home.

Creamed Spinach (first recipe)

Jump to Spicy Kale Saute

Jump to Crispy Air-Fried Vegetables

Vegan Creamed Spinach Recipe

This rich, vegan creamed spinach has an elegant Steakhouse-style presentation--sans butter, cream and cheese. Plant-based recipes can be as simple and delicious as their artery-clogging counterparts. Easy prep, and done within 10 minutes. Make this with other leafy greens as well, such as swiss chard, mustard, collard or beet greens and kale.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sides and Snacks
Servings 6 servings


  • 14 ounce white beans cannellini, navy, garbanzo or or other
  • 1/4 cup cashews substitute walnut or almonds
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion loosely chopped, substitute 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic substitute 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar substitute lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • dash of nutmeg or red pepper flakes optional
  • 10-15 ounces fresh spinach frozen ok


  • Blend all ingredients except spinach until creamy and smooth.
  • Transfer cream to a skillet. Turn on low heat. Add spinach by the handfuls, stirring constantly, adding more spinach as each batch wilts. If sticking occurs, either reduce the heat or splash with water. Remove from heat as last batch cooks. If using a cast iron skillet, remove from heat before it's finished as it will continue to cook.
  • Alternately, sauté spinach on low heat in a little water before adding the cream. As the volume decreases, add the cream sauce. Remove from heat.


Sticky Blender Solution: Did you know that your blender will wash itself? Yep. Just fill it 2/3 water and a drop of dish soap. Blend until clean.
The volume of this dish depends on how you cook the spinach. If you use the second method, or substitute frozen spinach, the spinach is evenly cooked. If significantly reduced, you may need to hold back some of the sauce (or add more spinach). This is why I prefer the first method, as some of the spinach leaves remain large and fresh looking. Cooking in cast iron skillets is a bit "touchy."  but it can work. A stainless steel skillet would be easier. Either way, keep the heat low and stir constantly.

Spicy Kale Sauté Sauce

Turn basic and boring vegetables into high demand centerpieces. The spicy kale sauté sauce layers all five tastes: spicy, sweet, salty, sour and umami. This recipe can be used with other greens or any other vegetable. Drizzle over sweet potato, marinate eggplant or roast with cauliflower.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauce
Servings 4 servings


spicy kale sauté sauce

  • 1 Tbsp. garlic chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Bragg's Liquid Aminos or soy sauce of choice; substitute coconut aminos for soy free
  • 1 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil optional
  • 1 bunch of kale or 5 oz container, ~4 cups


  • Remove stems from kale and rip into small pieces. If you like kitchen gadgets, there is a handy helper that makes this fast and easy. It works for small stems too, like oregano and thyme.
  • Whisk the spicy kale sauté sauce ingredients in a large bowl. Add kale and stir until leaves are coated.
  • Option One: Refrigerate until leaves are tender. Serve cold.
  • Option Two. Sauté for a few minutes until leaves are tender. Serve warm.


The spicy kale sauté sauce isn't just for kale . . .

Make Crispy Air-Fried Vegetables with No Oil

You can make crispy air-fried vegetables with no oil if you have the right blend of seasonings. This simple seasoning recipe works well on everything. Serve these tasty snacks as finger food, sides or toppers for soup and salad. A micro-spritz of avocado oil improves the crunch factor.
1 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Sides and Snacks
Servings 6 people


seasoning for crispy air-fried vegetables with no oil

  • 2 Tbsp. Bragg's Liquid Amino  soy sauce of choice, or coconut aminos for soy free
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar substitute rice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger optional
  • 1-2 pounds chopped vegetables green beans, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, fingerlings--whatever! Frozen works too.
  • 1 spray avocado oil optional, or substitute 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste or sprinkle Everything seasoning


  • Preheat the air-fryer to 375 to 400 degrees. Use lower heat for soft veggies like zucchini and tomatoes, and higher heat for firm veggies like root vegetables and squash.
  • Make crispy air-fried vegetables with no oil seasoning—just whisk the ingredients. Next, chop vegetables into bite size pieces. Thoroughly coat vegetables with the seasoning in a large bowl. Continue to stir until the liquid has been absorbed by the veggies.
  • Place vegetables in air-fryer. If desired, spritz with avocado oil. Heat for 10-20 minutes (depends on the size of the batch and desired doneness). Stir periodically and add another spritz of avocado oil at the halfway point.
  • Taste. Add salt and pepper (or Everything seasoning) if desired. Serve warm or cold.


You can make crispy air-fried vegetables with no oil. However, a spritz of avocado oil can improve the crunch factor. Avocado oil spray is the only oil spray I allow in my kitchen. Regular oil sprays have propellants such as butane or propane in them. Seriously. Do not put that on your food! Avocado oil is pure, and can make crispy air-fried vegetables thanks to a high smoke point. A minimal amount creates a big crunch. If you don't have avocado oil, you can add 1 tsp. sesame oil to the seasoning. Or just skip it.  
If you want a dipping sauce, try healthy horseradish sauce. It's oil free and nut free. 
horseradish sauce

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