Just like when you’re traveling abroad, it helps to know the language of the locals. Here, in the South, we have a lot of sayings that aren’t common in other regions of the country. For example, if you walk into a Southern diner, you might need to know what the waitress means if she (or he) asks you if you want the “meat and three.” Let me translate that for you. It means you get a “meat and three vegetable sides.”
However, if you’re a non-meat eater, you just might leave that diner hungry due to the fact that even the vegetable sides are often “seasoned” with meat.
So, I came up with my own solution, these “Four Deliciously Awesome Southern Diner Recipes…Veganized.”
- Barbeque Lentil and Mushroom Loaf.
- Vegged-Out Potato Salad.
- Skillet Sauteed Cabbage and Collards.
- And, Simply Tomatoes and Cucumber Salad.
My Dad is 83 years old and I love spending time with him. Every moment with him is precious!
When we go visit him, we usually go out to dinner and he loves eating at little diner near his home. They serve homestyle food and the place is always packed. Needless to say, there’s slim-pickings on the diner menu for vegans.
By “slim-pickings”, I mean NONE! Dear hubby and I try to eat before we go so that we don’t end up “hangry” after the meal!
If the “At Meme’s Table” crew ran a diner, you can bet your bottom dollar that the menu would be plant-strong! Then, everyone could leave the table full and satisfied…never a “hangry” diner in sight!
Who doesn’t love a tangy, spicy loaf? This Barbeque Lentil and Mushroom Loaf recipe was inspired by fellow blogger, Brandi over at “The Vegan 8” blog,
This loaf is packed with mouthwatering flavor!
Any Southern diner worth it’s salt has got potato salad on the menu. And, our Vegged-Out Vegan Potato Salad can take on them all and come out the winner every time!
Packed with veggies and full of flavor!
Lick your bowl clean kind of goodness!
I’m a born and bred Carolina girl.
I love cabbage.
I love collards.
Few things can beat the simple goodness of garden fresh produce.
Cut up a few tomatoes and crispy cucumbers.
Toss in some fresh herbs.
Drizzle with a bit of vinegar (and oil, if that suits your fancy).
Lentil and Mushroom Loaf
This loaf is chocked full of spicy, barbeque goodness. Substantial and packed with flavor, this loaf will remind you of Sunday dinner at Grandma’s house. Old-fashioned goodness, without the meat of course! Perfect for Sunday dinner but just as good for a gourmet sandwich for Monday’s lunch.
Note: This recipe was inspired by Brandi over at the Vegan 8 blog. You can check out her version here.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 1/2 hours
Passive Time 1 hour
Makes 3 loaves
4 cups mushrooms chopped (I used King Oyster Mushrooms. I love the flavor and texture they bring to this recipe.)
1 medium onion finely chopped
1/2 Red Bell Pepper finely chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper finely chopped
2 TB Vegan Worcestershire Sauce, Either store bought our make your own. (I like this recipe from Martha Stewart. http://www.marthastewart.com/258132/homemade-vegan-worcestershire-sauce)
2 TB Tamari, you may substitute soy sauce if gluten is not a concern
2 TB Barbeque Rub Seasoning (You can use store bought. I usually make my own -a mix of organic brown sugar, smoked salt, smoked paprika, onion salt, celery seed, black pepper and cayenne pepper and keep some on hand.)
1/3 cup Organic Ketchup
1/3 cup Barbeque Sauce (Because I didn’t have any homemade sauce on hand I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Original. It doesn’t contain honey like some other store bought sauces. But, be aware that it does contain high fructose corn syrup. )
2 TB Dried Oinion
1 tsp garlic powder
3 TB Ground flaxseed
1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 – 2 cups medium grind cornmeal
1 cup Barbeque Sauce for glazing loaf and for additional drizzle if desired
Green Onion tops sliced for garnish (If desired)
Salt and Pepper To taste
Make a flax egg by mixing the ground flaxseed with cold water and set aside for later use.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a casserole pan with parchment paper hanging slightly over the sides for easy removal later. I like to free form my loaves, but if you prefer, you can certainly use a conventional loaf pan.
Rinse the lentils and add them with 4 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt to a medium stock pot. Bring to a boil over high heat and, once boiling, cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 35-40 minutes. Be sure to check your lentils occasionally. The water should be pretty much evaporated but you don’t want mushy lentils for this recipe. When lentils are tender, but not mushy, remove from the heat and let cool for at least 15 minutes. Set aside while you prepare the remaining loaf ingredients.
While the lentils are cooking, pulse the mushrooms 2-3 times in a food processor. Be careful not to over-process. You want to keep a bit of texture. In a large, lightly oiled skillet, cook the mushrooms over medium-low heat until browned and no moisture remains. When done, put in large mixing bowl and set aside.
Pulse onion and peppers in a food processor until coarsely chopped but not pulverized. Using the same pan in which you cooked the mushrooms, saute over medium heat until softened but not browned. Stir frequently. It usually takes about 5 – 7 minutes, but is important to cook these until no liquid remains. When done, put in bowl with mushrooms.
If any liquid remains in lentils, drain. Then, working in batches as needed, pulse 1 -2 times in a food processor. You just want to break them up a bit but you don’t want a mushy mess. You should have some whole lentils left. Put lentils in bowl with mushrooms, peppers and onions.
Add all remaining ingredients (except 1 cup of barbeque sauce) to bowl and gently mix to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired.
Put the batter in the casserole pan (or loaf pan) and freeform into a loaf. If using a loaf pan, spread out evenly in pan. For the best final texture, let your loaf sit for about 30 minutes before baking, so the cornmeal soaks up some liquid. Bake for 60 minutes or until firm and a toothpick basically comes out clean. Brush top of loaf with about Using about 1/3 cup of your barbeque sauce and return to oven. Bake an additional 10 -15 minutes. Make sure your loaf is done before removing from the oven, so it’s firm and not mushy.
Let loaf rest for 20 -30 minutes before serving. This will allow it to firm and develop a wonderful texture. Don’t try to cut it while hot or it will fall apart. Place on serving platter and garnish with sliced green onions, if desired. Have remaining barbeque sauce available at the table for passing.
Southern-style Vegan Potato Salad
A southern classic. This Vegged-out Vegan Potato Salad is creamy, cool and studded with vegetables. It’s sure to be the star of your summer picnic or barbeque.
Makes about 12 servings
5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
1 cup sweet salad cube pickles, drained (I use Mt. Olive Brand)
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup carrot, small dice
1/4 chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup Vegan mayonnaise (I use Just Mayo if not making my own mayo)
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 tsp. celery seeds
4 drops hot sauce
2 tsp Himalayan Black Crystal Indian Salt (Also known as Kala Namak. This salt is actually pink in color and gives your dish that funky, eggy smell and taste. You can purchase this at any Asian market, most larger grocery stores or here.
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Smoked or sweet paprika, for sprinkling on finished dish
Peel and dice potatoes (about 1/2 inch dice). Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water to cover 20 minutes or until tender; drain and cool 15 minutes.
Place cooled potatoes in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, except paprika.Gently stir to until mixed thoroughly. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Sprinkle with paprika. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 2 days.
Skillet Sauteed Cabbage and Collards
If you like greens, you will love these Skillet Sauteed Cabbage and Collards. Eat them as a part of a meal or grab a bowl, sprinkle on some hot pepper vinegar and dig in!
1 head green cabbage, washed, cored and thinly sliced
1 bunch (about 1 pound)collards, thoroughly washed and thinly sliced (Check out this video for how to cut your greens)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB Olive Oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less as desired)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Put sliced cabbage and just enough water to cover in a large skillet. Cover and cook over medium-heat until tender but still crisp. Remove from heat and carefully drain any remaining liquid from cabbage. Place cabbage in large bowl and set aside.
Put sliced collards and just enough water to cover in the large skillet you used for your cabbage. Cook over medium-heat until tender but still crisp. Remove from heat and carefully drain any remaining liquid from collards. Place collards into bowl with cabbage and set aside.
Wipe any remaining liquid out of the large skillet. Return skillet to stove and add oil,onions and peppers. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add drained greens and remaining ingredients. Saute greens for about 12-15 minutes. If needed, add 1/2 cup of water to aid in wilting the greens and cooking.Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
May serve with pepper vinegar, if desired.
Simply Tomato and Cucumber Salad
There’s really no recipe necessary. Cut up your field fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and scallions. Drizzle with vinegar of your choice and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and salt. If you want to get fancy, add a bit of olive oil and some freshly sliced herbs. Gently toss all to combine and ENJOY!