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Delicious Vegetarian Recipes for a Plant-Based Diet

With so many studies being published about the wellness benefits of a plant-based diet, lately, we’ve been enjoying cooking more vegetarian dishes in our home. If you’re looking to add more veggies into your daily routine, here are a few delicious vegetarian recipes from top chefs around the world.

Delicious Vegetarian Recipes - Green Pea Hummus

[Photo credit: Kody Melton]

Based in San Antonio, Texas, Chef Brooke Smith showcases Southern-style cuisine with overall tavern type feel to her food. While she masters Tex-Mex classics, she also makes a habit of incorporating veggies onto her menu. The Green Pea Hummus recipe below reigns on Downstairs at the Esquire Tavern’s menu – a very popular dish among tourists and locals alike. The green pea hummus is a sneaky way to get in your daily vegetable intake and is just as delicious as the other more hearty tavern bites.

Vegetarian Recipe: Green Pea Hummus

(Yields 3.5 quarts)


  • 1 Bag Green Peas
  • 2 oz Garlic
  • 1 tsp Ground Fennel Seed
  • 2 tbsp Capers
  • 2 oz Dill
  • ¼ cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup Tahini
  • 1 cup Chickpea
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • ¾ cup Water
  • 2 cups Olive Oil


  1. Defrost green peas with cool water.
  2. Toast and grind fennel seed.
  3. In a Vitamix blend green peas, garlic, fennel seed, capers, dill, lemon juice, tahini, chickpeas, salt, and water on high speed.
  4. Emulsify oil into the mixture.
  5. Pass through a chinois.
  6. Taste.
  7. Label and store.

Healthy Vegetarian Recipes - Lentil Pilaf

Executive Chef Kevin Templeton, from San Diego’s barleymash and The Smoking Gun, has whipped up the next delicious vegetarian recipe, which will surely delight your tastebuds. Chef Kevin attended and graduated with honors from Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, where he competed with the Portland chapter of the prestigious A.C.F. Culinary Olympic Team. Since joining barleymash in 2011, he has been voted as Chef of the Year for the local Lamplighter Awards, along with being named an honoree for San Diego’s ’40 Under 40′ in 2018.

Vegetarian Recipe: Healthy Lentil Pilaf

(Serves 3)


  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil (divided)
  • 3 tbsp. minced shallots
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup lentils, any color
  • ¼ cup chopped cauliflower
  • ¼ cup chopped carrots
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • salt and pepper, for taste


  1. Heat 1 tbsp. coconut oil in a saucepan and stir in shallots. Sauté shallots until they are a nice golden brown.
  2. Add stock (chicken or veggie) and bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in lentils and reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or until lentils are tender but not too soft. Be aware: Different types of lentils take less or more time to cook.
  4. Drain excess liquid and set aside.
  5. Heat remaining 2 tbsp. coconut oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Stir in cauliflower, carrots, onions, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender.
  6. Add lentils and sauté for 2 more minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.

Delicious Vegetarian Recipes - Tea-Smoked BBQ Squash Ribs

Derrick Kwa is the group chef for Wilde & Co, a group of boutique heritage and conservation hotels & lodges in Sri Lanka. At Wilde & Co, he looks to showcase Sri Lankan flavors and ingredients with fine dining techniques, modern finesse, and creativity to push the boundaries. He was trained in Montreal and has worked at fine dining restaurants in Singapore and Canada. To inspire you to think beyond meat during grilling season, here’s one of his delicious vegetarian recipes for BBQ squash.

Vegetarian Recipe: Tea-Smoked BBQ Squash Ribs

Ingredients for Dry Rub: 

  • 3 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Sweet Paprika
  • ¼ tbsp Chili Powder
  • ¼ tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Salt

Ingredients for BBQ Sauce: 

  • 1 medium Tomato, chopped
  • 1 Small onion, chopped finely
  • 10g ginger, chopped
  • 10g garlic, minced
  • 5g green chili, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 30g Soy sauce
  • 15g Honey
  • 15g Apple Cider Vinegar

Ingredients for smoking: 

  • 2 tsp black tea leaves
  • 2 tsp uncooked white rice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves


  1. Remove center of butternut squash, cut into slices about 1 inch thick.
  2. Mix dry rub ingredients together and coat squash pieces with dry rub. Let sit for at least 20 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, make BBQ sauce.
  4. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  5. Add Onion, garlic, Ginger, chili, cook until onion is soft (about 3-5
  6. Add Tomato and tomato paste, let the tomato paste brown slightly (another 3-5 minutes).
  7. Add vinegar, soy sauce, and honey, mix and cook until warmed through, and sauce coats the back of the spoon.
    Let cool.
  8. Cover a wok or large pan with foil (to protect it).
  9. Place tea leaves, spices, and rice at the bottom of the pan, with a few drops of water.
  10. Rinse spice rub off of squash pieces and brush with bbq sauce.
  11. Wrap a wire rack (or steamer rack) with aluminum foil, place it in the pan.
  12. Place squash pieces on foil.
  13. Heat pan on high until you start seeing some smoke.
  14. Cover to keep smoke in, lower heat to low-medium, and smoke for 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  15. To finish, coat squash pieces with more sauce, and sear in a pan over high heat, about 1 minute per side, until browned.
  16. Serve with more bbq sauce on top, and with coleslaw and corn muffin (or sides of your choice) on the side.

Delicious Vegetarian Recipes - Sweet & Sour Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Last, but certainly not least, is Louisiana-based celebrity Chef Isaac Toup’s (author of the cookbook, Chasing the Gator – Isaac Toups & the New Cajun Cooking) gourmet Sweet & Sour Roasted Brussels Sprouts dish. He says, “The sweet and sour sauce goes well not only with Brussels sprouts but other vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, butternut squash, green beans—anything you can roast in a pan. It’s a sauce that fires on every cylinder in your mouth: It’s sweet and sour, but also spicy, salty, gingery, and savory.” In case you weren’t aware, Chef Isaac has earned multiple prestigious honors including a James Beard award and “Best Chef: South” Finalist as well as Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” season 13 “Fan Favorite”.

Vegetarian Recipe: Sweet & Sour Roasted Brussels Sprouts

(Serves 4)


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts (if small, leave whole; if large, halve or quarter them into 1-inch chunks)
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper

Ingredients for Sweet & Sour Sauce:

  • ½ cup of soy sauce
  • ½ cup aged sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup cane syrup (or dark molasses)
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup minced fresh ginger

Instructions for Sweet & Sour Sauce:

  1. Heat all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Reduce the heat to low and maintain a simmer for 55 minutes, swirling the pan every 5 minutes, until the liquid reduces to about 1 cup.
  2. As it reduces, there will be sugar on the rim that will start to char so swirling will take that sugar back into the liquid. This will burn if you look at it wrong because of all the sugar, so the swirling is important.

Instructions for Brussels Sprouts:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the Brussels sprouts, oil, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl to season.
  2. Arrange in a baking sheet large enough for the sprouts to fit in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, until nicely charred. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer sprouts to a mixing bowl, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the sauce and toss until Brussels sprouts are well coated.

For more inspiring gourmet recipes, check out the Diet & Nutrition section on Inspirations & Celebrations.

[Article images and recipes c/o featured chefs. Header and main image via HauteStock.]

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