Tag Archives: Vegan

Cinnamon Raisin Bites

28 Jan

I’ve been in the market for some healthy, sugar-free treats that I’d actually want to eat. I saw these come through my Chowstalker feed the other day and immediately put them on my list. They were super easy to make– just throw everything in the food processor (at least that’s what I did) and shape into small bites– and ta da! Delicious, addictive, healthy & sweet snacks at your fingertips! Bonus is, Sylvie LOVES these. Practically begs for them. Fine with me! As for me I’ve taken to eating a few for a quick breakfast. Nice to have something convenient that’s not pre-packaged and full of who-knows-what.

Now I didn’t use any coconut because I didn’t have any on hand, but I’m sure they’d be great with it. To help with the formation of the bites, I used a mini scoop which I’d guess was equal to a level teaspoon in quantity. I thought it was the perfect size, especially if kids will be eating them. And you can’t really “roll” them into balls as the mixture is a bit crumbly. I just squished mine into shape. Anyway, I’m sure these will be a staple around here from now on!

Cinnamon Raisin Bites

Makes about 40 bites

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • ¼ cup nut butter
  •  6-7 medjool dates
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon  cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • ¼ cup of raisins
  • 1/3 cup of finely shredded coconut

Directions

 In a food processor combine all ingredients except coconut and pulse until they are a fine texture.  Mixture should be loose & crumbly but hold shape when pressed together. If it is crumbly add 1 tbsp of water until the right consistency. Using your hands, shape the mixture into bite-size balls (about 1 teaspoon) and press into the coconut flakes. Refrigerate for one hour to set.
Adapted from A Kentucky Spoonful
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Cold Sesame Cucumber Noodles

24 Jan

cucumber noodles

I’ve been looking for a tasty way to replace traditional noodles in my diet and this is a nice alternative. I got me a new fancy spiral vegetable slicer (thanks Mom!) and it worked great for this. I wouldn’t say cucumber is an equally good replacement for real noodles, but for a person that doesn’t much care for cucumber, I thought they were pretty tasty, not to mention a lot easier on the ol’ waistline. So try this out next time you want a side of noodles with your meal. You won’t be disappointed!

  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon organic sunbutter (I used cashew butter)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos (or soy sauce if you don’t care about strict Paleo rules)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 tablespoon water (if needed)
  • 1 scallion, dark green part only, thinly sliced

Heat a small saute pan over medium heat, then toast the sesame seeds until light brown, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Peel the cucumbers, then turn them into noodles with a julienne peeler. Gently pat dry with paper towels then place in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, mix the tahini, sunbutter (or other nut butter), oil, coconut aminos (or soy sauce), vinegar,  red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger with a fork until smooth. If the sauce seems too thick to easily coat the noodles it can be thinned out with up to 1 tablespoon water.

Pour the dressing over the cucumber noodles and toss gently with a rubber scraper until evenly coated. Mound on a plate and sprinkle with the sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds.

Serves 2

Adapted from The Clothes Make the Girl

 

Veggie Pot Pie

25 Nov

vegan pot pie

This recipe came from a vegan cookbook I recently acquired. Now I’d made a recipe or two from the book before this one and was pretty underwhelmed with the results. So, I wasn’t expecting much from this. But, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this vegan version of one of my favorite comfort foods was just as delicious as its chicken-based sister.

As far as the prep for this recipe goes, don’t let the seemingly long list of ingredients/steps put you off. It really didn’t take that long to do and the results were well worth it. I would also stress proper preparation of the tofu. Make sure you press out all excess liquid to get the best texture. It’ll give you the most chicken-like results. I have to say that I was very pleased when Sylvie picked out all the tofu and ate it before anything else. Oh and I fully plan on preparing the “breaded” sautéed tofu like this in the future. It was really tasty stuff. I’d say this was my first successful tofu experience. Will definitely make this again.

Mushroom Gravy

  • 2 cups vegetable broth (can substitute 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup fresh mushrooms, diced
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon onion salt
  • flour

Mix all ingredients except flour in a saucepan and heat to a simmer. Slowly add flour a Tablespoon at a time and whisk well after each addition, until gravy thickens up to your liking. Season with black pepper as desired.

Veggie Pot Pie

  • 2 Pie Crusts
  • 1 recipe Mushroom Gravy
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups firm tofu, squeezed dry and cubed
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a pie plate with one of the pie crusts and bake for 10-15 minutes, until just starting to brown slightly.

Combine flour, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder. Place in a paper bag or medium-sized container with tofu and shake or toss well to coat tofu.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sauté tofu until lightly browned, then add the onion, celery, and carrot. Continue to sauté until the onions are soft, then add the mixed vegetables and cook until they’re slightly tender but still crisp. This should only take another 5-10 minutes.

Add the gravy to mixture in the skillet and stir well, then transfer as much as will fit in the pie plate containing the baked pie crust. Cover with the second unbaked pie crust. Seal the edges by pressing together with a fork. Cut a few slits in the top of the crust.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until top crust is lightly browned.

Recipe adapted from “Hot Damn and Hell Yeah: Recipes for Hungry Banditos” 

Vegan Ground “Beef”

6 Nov

In an effort to reduce my meat/dairy intake, I’ve been trying to find alternatives for some of my favorite foods. While this is fairly easy to do if you’re willing to buy off-the-shelf items, it becomes a little more frustrating when you add budgeting and health into the mix. Buying vegan versions of meat and dairy items is not only extremely expensive, the foods are often full of preservatives and such. Not exactly a great trade-off in my opinion.

Problem is, a lot of the recipes I’ve found that don’t use meat/dairy substitutes are weird. I mean weird in the sense that, it’s not what I’m used to eating. I see recipes with names like “Mexican Millet” or “Jamaican Yuca Shepherd’s Pie” and want to run away screaming. I just want normal food. Is that so much to ask? I mean I like trying new things and all, but there’s a limit to what I can handle. I’ve read countless reviews on vegan cookbooks and websites but it just gets so overwhelming. So I decided I needed to start with what I know.  I’m starting with the basics. Finding homemade, delicious replacements for my favorite, most frequently used ingredients.

Among the things I use the most is ground beef. It’s a staple in so many of my comfort foods. Granted, most comfort foods aren’t exactly healthy, but I think with this new veggie based substitute, they’ll be a little bit better.

A commonly used replacement for ground beef is TVP, or “Textured Vegetable Protein.” Sounds delicious, eh? I swear it’s better than it sounds. Basically it’s dried soy-based chunks. Or granules. Or whatever size/shape you decide to get. I got these because I figured they’d be closest to ground beef consistency. Now, you can buy beef flavored TVP, but I wanted something I could tailor to whatever recipe I was making. Plus, this way I can better control what’s in my food. Best part is, this stuff is super cheap. One cup of dry TVP is approximately equal to 1 pound of ground beef. Using those measurements, each pound of my ground “beef” would cost about $1. That’s right ONE DOLLAR for a pound of ground beef. Not a bad substitute, eh? Even if you are a beef eater, this is a great way to keep your grocery bill down and save your real meat budget for higher quality stuff that has more prominence in the meal, like a roast. No sense in spending $3 a pound or more for real ground beef when the flavor is just covered up by taco seasonings or hidden in a sauce. If cost wasn’t enough to convince you, TVP will keep without refrigeration making it perfect for camping or emergency food storage!

Now, I haven’t tried using this in any recipes where the ground beef is used in greater quantities such as meatloaf or meatballs, but I plan on giving that a shot soon and will keep you posted with any successful endeavors.

So, without further ado, here’s my fabulous recipe for ground “beef,” a delightful, even delicious replacement for the real thing. Enjoy!

beef tvp

  • 1 cup TVP
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (or Bragg’s liquid aminos)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • liquid smoke to taste, optional

Place TVP in a skillet with water and soy sauce. If any dry TVP remains, add just enough water to wet it. Cook over medium-low heat until the water is completely absorbed. Once water is absorbed, taste to make sure TVP is completely tender. If not, add a little water at a time until desired consistency is reached (about 10-15 minutes).

Add the oil, seasonings, liquid smoke & additional soy sauce to taste (if desired).  Fry over medium-low heat until the chunks are firm and the mixture resembles ground beef. Stir occasionally to make sure that it cooks evenly and does not stick.

Adapted from Vegweb.com

 

Roasted Buddha Bowl

29 Oct

buddha bowl

I wasn’t expecting a lot from a bowl filled with veggies and beans, but this really hit the spot. Both the cauliflower and broccoli were vastly improved by the roasting process as were the chickpeas. Seriously, if you’ve never had roasted, crunchy chickpeas, you’re missing out. But, my favorite part of the dish was the sauce. Holy moly. That was some good stuff. I think it was the nutritional yeast that gave it the unique flavor I loved so much, which was a relief because I was a bit scared of the stuff. I can’t wait to try using it to make “cheese” sauces and such. Anyway, the sauce was so good I made another double batch later on just to have on hand for other assorted veggie bowls. Oh and don’t be like me and forget about making some sort of grain to go with the Buddha bowls. Sadly I didn’t have time to make brown rice so I went with white. Which was delicious, but the nuttiness of brown rice would be so amazing with this.

Go to Recipe

Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash with Black Bean Guacamole

28 Oct

southwest squash

I’ve had several spaghetti squashes sitting on my kitchen counter for the last couple of weeks and finally decided to get them out of the way. Not wanting to do the typical “spaghetti” thing with them, I looked around for something a bit more unique. I thought this recipe looked great and was happy to find that it was easy to make and full of flavor. The black bean guacamole was especially delicious and even Sylvie gobbled up the squash!

Go to Recipe

Carrot Cake Muffins (or bread)

24 Oct

This was my very first venture into the vegan baking world and I was so happy it turned out successful! These had a ton of flavor, wonderful texture, and were very moist. In fact, I’d say these are probably the best muffins I’ve ever made. I’m definitely going to keep this recipe around!

carrot cake muffins

Makes 1 loaf or 12-15 muffins

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (i.e. soy, almond, rice, etc.)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups grated carrot (about 4)
  • ¾ cup chopped pineapple, drained
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¾ cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for about 10 minutes so the non-dairy milk curdles.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, & baking soda and set aside.

3. Combine the grated carrot, chopped pineapple, raisins and walnuts in another small bowl.

4. In another small bowl whisk together the sugar, canola oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and cardamom. Now whisk in the non-dairy milk mixture from step 1.

5. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl containing the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Stir in the shredded carrots, pineapple, raisins and walnuts.

6.Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.  Pour the batter into the muffin pan making sure the dough is filled up to the top of the pan and domed (a level ice cream scoop worked well for this).   Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

 

To make bread:

Pour the batter into a lightly oiled 8 x 4 inch loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Adapted from veganbaking.net

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