Showing posts from June, 2019

Pesto and Tomato Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese with Pesto and Tomato - Grilled cheese is already amazing but when you add pesto, tomato slices, and make it vegan, it's even better! I highly recommend trying this jazzed up version of everyone's childhood favorite.

You could also make this with lots of different combinations, like salsa and avocado or fake ham and spicy brown mustard. I love both bread and (vegan) cheese, and just about anything tastes great with them. Enjoy!

4 slices white bread
vegan butter, room temperature (I used Earth Balance)
2 Tbsp vegan pesto
4 slices vegan cheese (I used Chao)
2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
basil for garnish, optional

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Butter one side of each slice of bread. On the other side of two slices, spread a thin layer of vegan pesto. For each sandwich, place bread butter side down, top with 2 slices of vegan cheese, then with tomato slices, and lastly top with another slice of bread butter side up. once the c…

Curry Trail Mix

I love a good trail mix. I'm a chronically hungry person, so trail mix is my friend. I keep nuts and dried fruits available at my work desk and in our cabinets almost always (and not to mention my purse!) For a quick jolt of energy and calories when I'm in a pinch.

I was trying to find a more savory trail mix because I wasn't in the mood for the sweet stuff, and I came across this curry flavored mixture that I just had to share. It is easy to make, delicious, keeps well in an airtight container, and is perfect for camping, a road trip, the beach, or whatever you have planned this summer.

1/2 cup raw peanuts
1/2 cup raisins
2/3 cup puffed rice
1/2 pretzels, broken into bite-sized pieces
2 Tbsp (heaping) curry powder
2 tsp chili powder

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until everything is evenly coated with the spices. Store in an air-tight container.

Makes 6 servings

Easy Garlic Bread

To me, garlic bread goes with just about everything. If it's a saucy dish, then it's practically necessary! We often whip up this quick and easy garlic bread recipe to go with dinner on a whim. Hubs likes when we have crusty bread because it makes the best garlic bread.

This time I picked up a sub roll (or hero, or hoagie, depending on who you ask) for 50cents at the grocery store on my way home because I knew we were having a particularly garlic-bread-friendly meal (polenta with eggplant, white beans, tomato). It was perfect for sopping up all that delicious goodness left behind in our bowls.

1 sub roll, sliced in half both ways
4 Tbsp vegan butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp garlic powder, divided
1 tsp paprika, divided
fresh chopped parsley, optional
olive oil, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place bread on baking sheet and coat the cut sides with a thin layer of butter. Sprinkle buttered sides evenly with garlic powder and paprika. Place in the o…

Baked Tofu with Strawberry Salsa

To me, June means strawberries. There's only one month per year in the Northeast USA that has really good, juicy, sweet strawberries. I don't trust those mid-winter grocery store strawberries that are almost as big as apples. I wait for the real, beautiful, natural thing and enjoy the heck out of them for those few short weeks.

In an effort to get creative with my strawberry supply, I developed this sweet/savory dish featuring the fruit of the moment. It's baked tofu slices topped with a strawberry salsa made with raspberries, green apple, and a touch of red onion. The sweetness of the fruit works so well paired with some balsamic sauteed swiss chard and some starchy rich farro (and don't the colors looks gorgeous together too?!).

This salsa would also be amazing with tortilla chips, with cinnamon sugar pita chips, or on top of vanilla ice cream! Hubby kept saying this dinner tasted like dessert. There's really no reason why fruit shouldn't be allowed to play …

English Breakfast

One of my favorite things about visiting England has always been ordering a full English breakfast. For me, that generally means going to a hipster restaurant that has a vegan or vegetarian English breakfast option on the menu. However, I have always thought that the best parts of a full English are the beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, and buttered toast. And you know what I realized? Those things are easy to make, easy to make vegan, and easy to make at home!

I decided to add some grilled veggie sausages to my homemade English breakfast because we have easy access to some very high quality veggie sausages that have a lot of flavor (in this case, I used Field Roast smoked apple sage sausage and it was superb), and I figured the sausages would make it feel more authentic.

In the same vein, I made the intentional decision to omit the bacon because in this case, it's supposed to be the star of the show, and truth to be told, I haven't really met a vegan bacon that offered a comparabl…

Lemon Bars

Is there anything more refreshing than the taste of lemon? I think that refreshing quality is why lemon makes such a great dessert flavor. It is the perfect way to end a meal, especially when you're already full from a heavy entree!

These lemon bars are not only refreshing, but they're also remarkably healthy. They're only sweetened with a little bit of maple syrup, and the main ingredients are cashews, almonds, oats, and coconut milk, making them packed with healthy fats and protein! Knowing all of that, I honestly couldn't believe how good they tasted.

If you own a high speed blender, this recipe will be a cinch for you. If you have a normal food processor like me (mine cost $20 at Walmart, whoops), this recipe will also be easy for you, but you will need a little more patience as the "liquefy" setting works its magic. Don't settle for a grainy texture, keep processing until it is creamy smooth. And if you're in the latter category, make sure not t…

Chik'n Caesar Salad

My sister-in-law recently sent me a recipe for a vegan Caesar salad from skinnytaste and it was the most beautiful Caesar salad I've ever seen! That recipe was a more modern take on the classic favorite, including interesting ingredients like microgreens and chives, but it inspired me to develop my own version of this simple and beloved salad. The dressing in this recipe is borrowed from skinnytaste -- I found it to be easy to make and spot on flavor-wise!

This salad is made up of fresh romaine leaves, capers, croutons, and some grilled chik'n strips (Lightlife's savory chicken is the perfect size, flavor, and portion for this salad). I definitely recommend including the chik'n if you can find it in your grocery store because it transforms this side salad into a satisfying meal for two. And plus, once the chik'n strips are smothered with the delicious Caesar dressing, who's going to know the difference from the real thing?

PS - this one is hubby approved! He l…

Radicchio and Squash Salad

I had never cooked with radicchio before but I saw a similar dish elsewhere and was inspired to make my own! I absolutely love the deep red color and, as you know, I'm really into trying new things. I learned that radicchio is sometimes called Italian Chicory because it is commonly used in Italian cooking. The white leaves can be a bit bitter so make sure to "core" the head before you chop the leaves.

I used frozen chopped butternut squash instead of fresh because the frozen squash is much less work (have you ever chopped a butternut squash? It's a huge headache!), takes less time in the oven (20min max), and also it becomes very soft when mixed in the salad -- the sweetness and the soft texture of the squash complement the crunchy, bitter red greens really well. I suggest using frozen squash, or if not, cooking the squash until it is very tender and caramelized.

The maple Dijon dressing is the perfect topping to round out the flavors of this salad - there's swe…

Cauliflower Wings

When smothered with buffalo wing sauce, these cauliflower florets are a great alternative for wings. I'm so excited to have this vegan substitute available for the next game night or viewing party. Plus, they're baked, and they are vegetables, so they are good for you!

Making these wings is a multi-step process, which includes dipping the florets in batter and baking, and then dipping them in the sauce and baking again. I used Frank's RedHot Wing Sauce but you could substitute your favorite vegan BBQ sauce, or a garlic herb sauce, or a teriyaki sauce, or whatever your heart desires!

Hubby quickly whipped up a vegan ranch dipping sauce by Karissa's Vegan Kitchen because we happened to have all the ingredients on hand. I highly recommend serving these with a vegan ranch or blue cheese dressing if you can find it or make it!

1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup flour
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 ts…

Vegetable Lo Mein

I used to almost always order Lo Mein when we would order Chinese food takeout. I love everything about it: the slimy noodles, the crunchy vegetables, and the delicious salty sauce in which it's all drenched. Lo mein is typically made with Chinese egg noodles, so I figured it was high time to veganize (and health-ify -- I make up words now!) this favorite takeout dish.

I substituted Japanese udon noodles for the egg noodles. Udon noodles are made with wheat flour and are a great replacement in terms of texture. My dish admittedly differs from the traditional takeout carton because it is loaded up with lots of vegetables, rather than just the regular thinly sliced cabbage and carrots. I wanted this version to be healthier and more substantial so we could serve it for our dinner. 

But, all these added veggies did not mean more work. I took a short cut: frozen bag of stir fry veggies (shhhh don't tell anyone!). For the broccoli, carrots, snap peas, and water chestnuts, I didn…