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Showing posts from July, 2019

Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

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We were recently in Vancouver for a vacation with hubs' family -- it was amazing! go there now! -- and I visited a fancy olive oil store in Victoria. If you've ever been into one of these specialized olive oil shops, you know that they typically have tons of flavors to sample. I must've tried dozens of exotic flavored oils and vinegar! If you find yourself in that blessed position, I highly suggest you seek out MapleBalsamic Vinegar. (I know, it's cliche, but "when in Canada....")


I thought this maple balsamic would be perfect for roasting vegetables, specifically carrots and Brussels sprouts, which to me just caramelize so beautifully. Guess what... I was right! We ate our maple roasted veggies with rice and tofu, a regular every-day meal that we jazzed up with this special sweet flavorful balsamic vinegar!


If you don't have access to maple balsamic vinegar, you can make your own by mixing 2 parts balsamic vinegar to 1 part maple syrup. It will give you…

Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

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Ever since I was a kid, I've loved the ooey gooey texture of rice krispie treats. Since marshmallows aren't typically vegan, I haven't had one of these sticky squares in a while. I had puffed rice cereal leftover from when I made curry trail mix that I wanted to use up, and thinking back to my lust for rice krispie treats, these peanut butter squares were just the trick!


Plain puffed rice cereal isn't as sweet as rice krispies or as crunchy, so these treats are airier and lighter than the original. But, the melted peanut butter + maple syrup that replaces the marshmallow makes this dessert delightfully rich and sweet. Plus, a bit of semi-sweet chocolate on top adds the perfect bitter compliment to it all!


The main difference between these peanut butter squares and rice krispies is the saltiness of the peanut butter. I love a sweet & salty dessert, like pretzels in ice cream or chocolate covered almonds, so this change was my favorite part!



Ingredients
2 1/2 cups pu…

Garlic Roasted Radishes and Asparagus

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Did you know that roasting radishes makes them way sweeter and removes their famous sharp bite? Neither did I until I had an abundance of radishes and started experimenting with ways to cook them! They mellow out and caramelize in the oven, proving my hypothesis that roasted veggies = best veggies!!!


I roasted my radishes with asparagus and flavored them with fresh garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper. You could substitute the olive oil with melted vegan butter, but I think the olive oil has a greater depth of flavor that comes through during the roasting process.


I recommend this side as a way to change up the usual roasted veggie routine, and experience the wonder of the roasted radish! You'll never be the same again!


Ingredients
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped
5-6 radishes, trimmed and chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, toss asparagus, radishes, olive oil, salt and pepper and sprea…

Chili Dogs

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It isn't a summer festival or a baseball game without a chili dog! I've been craving this summertime favorite for a while now, and decided to just go ahead and make the dang thing vegan -- it couldn't be too hard, right?

Right! 🌭


A hot dog is one of those things that you can't really tell if it's vegan because, what are hot dogs even made of anyway? The soy ones are just as good as the mystery meat ones, and at least they are better for the environment and for the animals!


I topped my vegan 'dogs with some of my quickie chili from when I made chili-topped hash browns (see here), and a little bit of vegan cheese for good measure. It was everything I was craving and more.


Ingredients
4 hot dog buns
4 veggie hot dogs (I used Lightlife Smart Dogs -- see great list of options here)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 cup frozen Gardein crumbles
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper
1/2 t…

Fish and Chips with Mushy Peas

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Fish, chips, and mushy peas. Oh boy do I miss this classic pub & chippy fare! I resigned myself to never being able to have it again, but alas, anything you can make I can make vegan!


Hubby always gets fish and chips when we are back in his homeland (and let's face it, at almost every American pub-like restaurant). Basically he's a fish and chips addict. And I like to do thoughtful and nice things for my husband sometimes by trying to make his favorites. He does let me cook whatever I want and always eats it with a smile on!


The main event of this dish was definitely the "fish" (tofu). I think that Avant Garde Vegan's recipe is spot on. I modified it somewhat, as I'm lazy and a bit radical, but it's mostly to his credit.

Plus, the mushy peas add the perfect color + sweetness + texture to the whole fried lot. There's a reason this is such a tried and true trio!


Chunky chips are always tough because the texture has to be so specific -- crispy on th…

Sausage Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

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Do you ever play the game, what would your last meal be? I find it fascinating to hear what my friends and family would choose as their final bit of satiation on this planet. I find that most people choose nostalgic meals from their youth, things their parents made often, or guilty pleasure fast food items! 
Mine would be a bagel breakfast sandwich.

When I realized that there was a decent egg substitute available in Whole Foods called Just Egg, I was so excited to try it out on a bagel and make a decent vegan version of one of my all time favorite foods. I paired the Just Egg scrambled eggs with Gimme Lean veggie breakfast sausage patties and my go-to Daiya cheese shreds (a slice would've been better but I only had shreds in the fridge). Of course we had our sausage egg and cheese sandwiches on everything bagels because... duh! Doesn't even need an explanation.


Quick moment to say: hallelujah for excellent vegan substitutes in grocery stores! I feel so lucky to live in a time…

Cheesy Potato Croquettes

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Croquettes are usually a bread-crumbed + fried form of leftovers. Very typically they are made of leftover mashed potatoes, but I've also seen them made of leftover pasta or sweet potatoes, etc. Here is a vegan version of this comfort food made with vegan cheese shreds, almond milk, and vegan butter. I chose to bake instead of fry these croquettes to save on calories and mess, and they turned out great!

Although they are yummy just by themselves, you could also top these beauties with a mushroom and leek gravy, or go towards the sweet side with a maple drizzle (I suggest frying instead of baking if you're heading the sweet route).

If you have leftover mashed potatoes, don't think twice about making these quick, cheesy potato croquettes. And if you're starting from scratch like I did, they are well worth it!



Ingredients
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 Tbsp vegan butter
4 Tbsp + 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, separated
2 Tbsp Daiya mozzarella shreds
1 Tbsp …

Radish Toast

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Want to feel European? Make this super simple but surprisingly delicious snack/appetizer of radish + butter toast. The key is to slice the radishes really thin (use a mandolin if you have one!) and use lots of butter and salt. A healthy sprinkle of salt takes away the sharp bite of the raw radish -- make sure to put the salt on the radishes, not the butter.


I used a French baguette, but you could also use a pumpernickel, rye, or other dark German bread and it would be very tasty as well. This is a common breakfast or picnic food in France, and can be eaten open faced or as a traditional sandwich. It proves my common theory that the simplest food is oftentimes the best!



Ingredients
1/2 baguette, sliced
4-5 radishes, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup vegan butter, room temperature (I used Earth Balance)
healthy sprinkle of kosher salt
chopped fresh chives, optional garnish

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes, turn…

Gazpacho

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I think we should all eat more gazpacho. This cold tomato+veggie soup is a breeze to make, it's full of great fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and is super refreshing, sweet, and tasty. If you're skeptical of this "cold tomato soup", please do yourself a favor and give it a try - you won't be sorry!


If you're trying to limit your carb or gluten intake, you can omit the bread. It's traditionally made with stale, leftover bread in Spain, and it just adds a creamy texture, but is by no means indispensable to this delicious dish.


I suggest pairing it with avocado or radish toast (recipe coming soon! see pics here), or just topping it with croutons and fresh chives. It's also cute and yummy served as an hors d'oeuvres gazpacho "shot" at parties! Give it a try and let me know what you think!


Ingredients
3 large beefsteak tomatoes, cored, de-seeded, and roughly chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled, de-seeded, and roughly chopped
1/2 bell pepper, de-s…

Ratatouille

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Ratatouille, the dish made famous by Disney. Beyond associating this dish with the cutest animated rat in history, I love how healthy and celebratory it is! It's the perfect dish for summer's bounty of squashes and eggplants and juicy red tomatoes. I highly suggest taking a trip to the local farmers market and picking out the freshest and ripest goodies for this special meal.


Beyond slicing and stacking, this meal is very simple to make and lets the beautiful flavors of the veggies do the talking.


I've made a version of ratatouille for the slow cooker (see here), and although that is a very convenient and easy recipe, it leaves out the most fun part of making this recipe: the perfect/imperfect spiral in the baking dish! Mine was definitely imperfect, but trust me, it tasted just as good.


We went very simple and served our ratatouille with a baguette and vegan butter, but you could serve this over couscous, rice, or with a side of pasta. Bon appetit!


Ingredients
1 eggplant,…