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The Most Delicious Plant-Based Meals for the New Year!

It’s definitely crucial to get a Buffalo-style hot sauce here. I can’t totally explain the flavor nuances of the Buffalo-style sauce, but there’s a salty tanginess at work and it’s a must-have. I know garlic powder is kind of a “Wha?!” ingredient here, but it adds that definitively ranch-y flavor–more so than fresh garlic, honestly. You will never ‘hear’ me ‘say’ those words again.

What You Need:


  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 green onion, finely minced
  • 1 sprig of fresh dill, minced
  • sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste


  • 3 heaped cups small cauliflower florets (from about ½ a large head)
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Buffalo-style hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, dried with a clean dishtowel
  • 2 stalks celery
  • ½ small red onion, peeled
  • 1 medium head of red leaf lettuce (or romaine, butter lettuce etc.)

What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
  2. Make the tahini ranch: In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water, mustard, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, green onion, dill, salt, and pepper. If the dressing seems too thick, whisk in more water by the teaspoon until pourable. Check the seasoning and set aside.
  3. Place the cauliflower florets on the baking sheet. Pour 1 teaspoon of the oil and the Buffalo sauce on top. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Toss the cauliflower to coat. Push the cauliflower over to one side of the baking sheet and then slide it in the oven. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss the chickpeas with remaining teaspoon of oil, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
  5. At the 15 minute mark, remove the cauliflower from the oven and give it a light toss. Transfer the chickpeas to the empty half of the baking sheet. Slide the baking sheet back into the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower florets are browned and the chickpeas are slightly crisp.
  6. While the cauliflower and chickpeas are roasting, thinly slice the celery stalks. Then, slice the red onion into thin half moons. Chop the lettuce.
  7. To serve, heap the plates with lettuce, celery, and red onions. Carefully transfer the cauliflower and chickpeas to the tops of the salads. Drizzle salads with tahini ranch and serve!

There will be extra dressing, but I’m sure you could find some creative ways to use it up. It totally holds up as a great veggie dip. Also, if you love that super creamy, almost fatty kind of texture in a creamy dressing, feel free to use soaked raw cashews in place of the sunflower seeds.

What You Need:


  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp tamari soy sauce
  • 2 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • salt + pepper
  • 1/4 cup water + extra


  • 1/2 cup raw pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp raw sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt + pepper


  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp tamari soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • salt + pepper


  • 2 bunches lacinato/dino kale, (I used the ribs and all)
  • 1/2 lb brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 head of green cabbage

What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
    Drain the sunflower seeds and place them in an upright blender. Add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, tamari, tahini, dijon, garlic, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup of water. Blend on high until you have a smooth mixture. Slowly add more water by the teaspoon until you have a dressing that will run off the back of a spoon. Scrape the dressing into a sealable container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. For the pine nut “parm”, in a food processor or dry ingredient-friendly blender pitcher, combine the pine nuts, sesame seeds, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper. Blend/Pulse until you have a crumbly mixture. Check it for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Set aside.
  3. Towel dry the cooked chickpeas and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the smoked paprika, tamari, maple syrup, salt, and pepper over top. Toss chickpeas lightly to coat and slide the tray into the oven. Roast chickpeas until slightly crispy, about 20 minutes, making sure to stir them around once or twice. Set aside.
  4. While chickpeas are roasting, slice kale, brussels sprouts, and cabbage into slaw-appropriate shreds. I knifed the kale and mandolin-sliced the brussels sprouts and cabbage. Place all veggie shreds in a large bowl and toss with about half of the caesar dressing, a little extra lemon juice, some salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the pine nut “parm” and smoky chickpeas on top to finish and serve immediately.
  • Sara Snelling, from All on the Table

    Nutrition Consultant & Culinary Educator

    Sara is a nutrition consultant and culinary educator with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. She has had a lifelong passion for culinary art, nutrition and the holistic sensory experience of food. Her expertise in the field of dietetics and nutrition includes extensive education, training and experience in culinary, agricultural, clinical and community applications. This broad and deep acumen provides the foundation for her practice. Her professional mission is to enable sustainable change in dietary lifestyle habits as a means to affect and improve physical and emotional well-being. She finds joy in exploring the wholly sensory experience of food.

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