Plant-Based Pantry Meals We’ve Been Cooking, Pt. 1

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Pappa al Pomodoro with White Beans and Kale - Golubka Kitchen

I’ve been posting regular pantry cooking stories on our Instagram, and I thought I’d have those recipes live here in written form as well. We’ve been minimizing our grocery shopping as much as possible, mostly depending on pantry staples and some longer lasting produce for our meals. This is not your regular, well-photographed post since all the photos are just quick cellphone snapshots I took at dinner time, but hopefully you won’t mind. The recipes are also very off-the-cuff and based on what we had in the pantry, so please feel free to adjust them according to what you have on hand. That’s really what these dishes are all about!
The theme here is canned tomatoes, since they are pantry royalty and can bring big flavor to all kinds of dishes, with very little effort. There are two tomato-based stews, a lush tomato pasta, a tempeh sausage recipe, and a little banana bread treat at the end. I hope to do more of these posts very soon as I continue exploring this theme. Let us know if you have any requests or need help with any particular ingredient/dish, etc. Sending big love as always.

Few things are as easy and satisfying as a simple marinara pasta, which can be easily made with canned tomatoes. The extra garlic and extra cooking time makes this version especially lush. You can watch me make it here.

Lush Marinara Pasta - Golubka Kitchen

Lush Marinara Pasta
Serves: 3-4
  • olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion - diced
  • sea salt
  • 5 cloves of garlic - thinly sliced
  • 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes - crushed up with your hands
  • pinch of red pepper flakes - to taste
  • a few sprigs of fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (only if needed)
  • about 10 oz pasta of choice
  1. Heat a medium pot over medium heat. Add a generous pour of olive oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and saute for about 7 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, basil sprigs, and more salt if your tomatoes are unsalted. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and simmer, stirring frequently, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the sauce is thickened and glossy. Taste for salt and adjust if needed. If your sauce tastes too acidic, add the sugar. Transfer about half or more of the sauce to a separate container to use later, leaving the rest in the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water and cook pasta according to the instructions on the package. Save about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water. Drain your pasta and add it to the pot with the reserved sauce. Start mixing, adding small splashes of the starchy pasta water, until the sauce is well-incorporated and sticking to the pasta. Garnish with more basil and enjoy.
You can use leftover pasta sauce in any of the dishes in this post that call for tomatoes.


Pappa al Pomodoro is a Tuscan bread and tomato soup, and it’s the coziest thing ever, plus a great way to use up stale bread. We filled this one out with white beans and kale for a more one-stop meal. You can watch me make it here.

Pappa al Pomodoro with White Beans and Kale - Golubka Kitchen

Pappa al Pomodoro with White Beans and Kale
Serves: 2-3
  • 4 thick slices of crusty bread, preferably stale
  • 2-3 slices of garlic
  • olive oil
  • ½ large yellow onion - diced
  • sea salt
  • ½-1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano (optional)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes - to taste
  • 14.5 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1½ teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 1 15 oz can or 1½ cups cooked white beans
  • vegetable broth
  • 2 large handfuls of kale - chopped
  1. If your bread isn't stale, toast it. Generously rub each piece of bread with the garlic on both sides. Slice or break the bread up into smaller pieces. Mince any left-over garlic.
  2. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add a pour of olive oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and saute for about 7 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, marjoram/oregano, if using, and red pepper flakes, and stir around for another 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, coconut sugar, white beans, more salt to taste, and enough vegetable broth to achieve a chunky stew consistency. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, stir in the kale. Let simmer with the lid askew for about 15 minutes. Taste for salt and spice and adjust if needed.
  3. Distribute the garlicky bread between bowls. Pour the stew over. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and/or any herbs of choice.
You can use any kind of canned tomatoes or even tomato sauce for this recipe, just adjust the salt and cooking times accordingly.


This is not a traditional Chana Masala by any means, but it uses a similar principle of chickpeas stewed with tomatoes and spices. I think that roasted cauliflower goes really well with this dish, and the (super easy!) chutney brings a much-needed pop of green. You can watch me make this dish here.

Chana Masala with Roasted Cauliflower and Cilantro Chutney - Golubka Kitchen

Chana Masala with Roasted Cauliflower and Cilantro Chutney
Serves: 2-3
for the chana masala
  • 1 head cauliflower - cut into florets
  • avocado oil or other oil of choice
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion - diced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger - grated or minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic - grater or minced
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste
  • 1½ 15 oz cans or about 2¼ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1-1½ cups tomato sauce or other canned tomatoes
  • purified water
  • juice from ½ lemon

for the cilantro chutney
  • 1 bunch cilantro with stems - roughly chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper - seeded if you prefer less spice
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • sea salt
  • juice from ½ lemon
to make the chana masala

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C). Prepare a lined baking tray. Place the cauliflower on the tray, drizzle it with some oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway, or until the cauliflower is cooked through and caramelized in parts.
  2. Heat a pot over medium heat and add a pour of oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and saute for about 7 minutes, until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic, curry powder, and some black pepper, and saute for 1 more minute, until fragrant. Add the chickpeas, stir to coat, and let the chickpeas toast in the spices for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and enough water to thin everything out to a chunky stew consistency. Add more salt if needed (this will depend on whether your chickpeas and tomatoes were salted). Bring to a simmer and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is finished roasting. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if needed. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Serve with the roasted cauliflower and cilantro chutney (recipe follows).

to make the cilantro chutney

  1. Combine the cilantro, serrano, sugar, salt to taste, and lemon juice in a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. You shouldn't need water, but add small splashes of water if your blender has a difficult time getting going.
If you made our freezer bouillon, you can use about 5-6 teaspoons of the fiery freezer bouillon in place of the onions, ginger, and garlic in this recipe.


This is a riff on the Italian classic of sausage and peppers, except that the ‘sausage’ is made by cooking tempeh with all kinds of herbs and spices, which makes it incredibly flavorful. Feel very free to adjust the spices according to what you have on hand, you kind of can’t go wrong here! You can watch me make this dish here.

Tempeh Sausage, Peppers, and Onions - Golubka Kitchen

Tempeh Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
Serves: 4-5
  • avocado oil or other oil of choice
  • 1 yellow onion - sliced
  • sea salt
  • 2 red and/or orange bell peppers - cored and sliced
  • splash of beer (optional)
  • 2 8 oz packages of tempeh - crumbled
  • tamari - to taste
  • maple syrup - to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage (or use dried sage)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • pinch of smoked salt (totally optional)
  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add a pour of oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and saute for 1-2 minutes to give the onions a head start. Add the peppers and another pinch of salt, and saute for about 5 minutes, until starting to soften. Add a splash of beer, if using, and let it cook off for 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover the pan, and let the onions and peppers stew for 20 minutes, or until soft and melted. If your pan gets too dry, add a splash of water.
  2. Meanwhile, put the crumbled tempeh in a bowl and drizzle some tamari and maple syrup over it. Mix to coat and let sit. Gather all your spices for the tempeh sausage by measuring them out into one bowl: garlic, sage, tomato paste, coconut sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, dried thyme, chili powder, red pepper flakes, and smoked salt, if using.
  3. Once the onions and peppers are done cooking, remove them from the pan and set aside for now. Add more oil to the pan. Add the tempeh and stir to coat it in the oil. Press the tempeh into the pan in one even layer and let brown undisturbed for about 3 minutes. Stir the tempeh, press it into the pan again, and keep cooking until mostly golden brown. Stir in the prepared spice mix and cook the tempeh for another 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Taste for salt and spices and adjust if needed. Add the onions and peppers back in, stir to incorporate, and let everything warm through together. Enjoy the sausage as is or on sandwiches, over rice, etc.


In our last post, I talked about my sourdough starter and how I’ve been experimenting with recipes that use up sourdough discard from feeding the starter. So far I’ve made cookies and this banana bread, which turned out delicious, but didn’t really taste like sourdough. It’s a great way to save some flour in any case, if you have a starter. You can watch me make it here.

Vegan Sourdough Banana Bread - Golubka Kitchen

Vegan Sourdough Banana Bread
Adapted from The Baking Fairy - this is a great recipe to use if you don't have sourdough!
Serves: 1 standard loaf
  • 5 very ripe bananas - peeled, divided
  • ½ cup sourdough discard/starter
  • ¼ cup refined coconut oil - melted or soft
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • generous pinch of sea salt
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C). Prepare an oiled and parchment-lined loaf pan.
  2. Mash 4 of the bananas in a large bowl. Add the sourdough discard, coconut oil, milk, and vanilla. Use a fork to mix until smooth. Add the sugar, salt, flour, and baking soda. Mix to just incorporate.
  3. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan. Slice the remaining banana in half lengthwise and use it to decorate the top of the loaf. Sprinkle more coconut sugar over the banana and top of the loaf. Bake for 50 minutes. Cover with a piece of domed parchment paper and continue baking for another 10 minutes, or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for at least 20 minutes in the loaf pan, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for another 20 minutes. Slice and enjoy.


Other pantry-friendly recipes we’re cooking this week:

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