Showing posts from November, 2019

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Lasagna + Spaghetti Squash = a combination of two wonderful things that is a match made in heaven! I decided to add some tender spaghetti squash noodles as a layer in our vegan lasagna, and it was a great addition.

I'm always trying to take tried and true recipes and make them more interesting and challenging. Veggie lasagna is such a classic, but I've never heard of it made with spaghetti squash. It is such a flexible vegetable that's always tasty and can be used in many ways. And honestly, what doesn't taste good sandwiched between pasta, red sauce, and some creamy tofu ricotta?

1 spaghetti squash, halved and de-seeded
1 package firm tofu
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 jar marinara sauce
4 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup vegan mozzarella shreds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place spaghetti squash cut side down in a casserole dish and add about 1/…

Roasted Beet Salad

Easy healthy dinner ideas? Count me in. This is a simple salad that's warm and cold, salty and sweet, and tender and crunchy. It's got it all.

If you can find vegan feta, I definitely recommend including it in this salad. The salty taste and crumbly texture brings out the best about all the other flavors. The beets feel warm and comforting while the carrots feel crisp and cool. It's heaven on a plate.

Dare I say, I think this could be a great Thanksgiving side? Maybe it would be a bit controversial but I think people would appreciate having a healthy but festive dish on the table. If you try it out, let me know what you think!

3 carrots, trimmed and peeled
5 beets, trimmed, peeled, and chopped
1/2 bag baby spinach, washed and roughly chopped
4 Tbsp olive oil, separated
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
salt and pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup vegan feta, crumbled (I used Violife from Whole Foods)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On…

Pumpkin Hummus

We gotta live up the pumpkin season to the fullest, now that the end is upon us! That sounds dramatic, but truly, there are only a few months per year that it's appropriate to cook with canned pureed pumpkin. This recipe is a super easy way to spruce up your everyday homemade hummus, with just a bit of pumpkin and a dash of cayenne pepper. Voila, the perfect simple holiday hors d'oeuvres!

We served our homemade pumpkin hummus with lightly salted pita chips, but it would be fantastic with raw veggies or lots of different fancy crackers, whatever your heart desires! It tastes and looks so festive that you and your guests will definitely love snacking on this unique dip.

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried rosemary for garnish
pita chips for serving, optional

Add pumpkin, chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, caye…

Stuffing Casserole

Stuffing! The absolute highlight of Thanksgiving, without a doubt. It's truly undeniable that stuffing makes the entire meal and is what everyone is really looking forward too. It's seems so backwards that most people probably never eat stuffing outside of the Thanksgiving meal + leftovers, especially since it is so universally beloved!

I've made cornbread stuffing before (UGH to DIE for), but typically I stick to the instant Stove Top stuff (see exhibit A) because it's so tried and true. No complaints about Stove Top here, but I figured it was high time I try my own take on stuffing, particularly with Thanksgiving right around the corner.

I'm calling this a stuffing casserole because it includes carrots and sausage, which are not typical stuffing ingredients. I added those ingredients because I wanted to eat this as a stand alone dish with enough substance and nutrition to make it acceptable. 😂 I think I succeeded, but please see for yourself!

7-8 sli…

Coconut Noodle Soup

Soup soup soup! I'm in a soup mood, what can I say? I love a meal that all fits neatly in a bowl and warms the soul. This particular soup is slurpy in all the right ways, full of noodles, bok choy, and thick creamy broth, and is just the right amount of spicy + salty + sweet.

The base is vegetable broth and coconut milk, and the goodies inside include cubed tofu, peppers and onion, Chinese cabbage bok choy, packets of dried ramen noodles (yes, really!), and lots of flavors.

Get the broth simmering on the stove and let it warm up your kitchen, literally, and figuratively with rich yummy aromas! This is truly a soup that is #betterthantakeout and is healthy, hearty, easy, and absolutely delightful.

2 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 head bok choy, washed and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp red chili paste
1/2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 cups vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup chopp…

Leek and Potato Soup

I guess winter has arrived? It's been super chilly in NYC this past week, and I'm not ready for it. But I am ready for soup season. If I have to be cold, I might as well make some delicious and cozy soups and make lemonade out of lemons!

Leek and potato soup is such a classic combination of flavors, but it usually has lots of cream that gives it a heavy feeling. This vegan version allows the creaminess of the potatoes to take center stage and just uses flavorful veggie broth to help puree it down to a beautifully thick, silky soup.

I also made some quick homemade croutons to add some crunchy texture on top of the creamy and smooth soup! Enjoy and stay warm!

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed and chopped (only white parts)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
3 cups vegetable broth
2 slices of bread, cut into small cubes
1 scallion, sliced, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a …

Vegan Enchiladas

For this meal, I basically went to Trader Joe's and was inspired by their vegan offerings, out of which this enchiladas recipe was born! They have an awesome vegan enchilada sauce and a vegan cheese blend that was perfect for this purpose. I also used their beef-less ground beef, some fresh veggies, black beans, and corn tortillas (see below).

I must confess that my husband requested full-dairy cheese for his half of the enchilada tray, so the above picture and the right side of the below picture feature real cheese -- you can tell because it looks different when melted. However, I thoroughly enjoyed my soy cheese and definitely didn't sacrifice on flavor or creamy / meltiness.

The filling of the tortillas was nice and hearty, with lots of protein and a touch of heat from a few spoonfuls of medium salsa. Each enchilada is like eating a wonderful surprise rolled up and smothered in melted 'cheese'. What could be bad about that?

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow on…

Japanese Curry

I had never had Japanese Curry before my coworker suggested I give it a try. I am lucky to have a Japanese food mart right near my office so I can easily go browse and pick up interesting ingredients. Japanese curry comes in a powdered block that dissolves in water and makes a thick, warm, spicy sauce.

This dish is typically made with meat, but I decided to make a vegetable stew Japanese curry with potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, and onion. It takes about 30 minutes of sauteing and simmering to get the veggies all tender and soft. We served ours over starchy white rice so it could sop up all the thick curry sauce.

If you don't have a Japanese food store near you, you can make your own curry roux with these ingredients (in your international foods aisle) and this easy recipe: 3 Tbsp butter, 4 Tbsp all purpose flour, 1 Tbsp curry powder, 1 Tbsp garam masala, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper.

Below is a picture of the package/brand of Japanese curry I used. I bought the "hot" v…

Messy Vegan Tiramisu

When I set out to make vegan tiramisu, I was attempting to make the beautiful layered dessert we all know and love. But, as the imperfect vegan, I guess I should've known it would come out looking less than perfect! 😂

I followed Chef Chloe's recipe from her Vegan Italian cookbook (absolutely love), so full credit to her for this pure genius. However, the messiness is all mine!

Of course I don't have a trifle bowl (who does?) so I improvised and used wine glasses for single serving goodness. No matter what it looked like, it tasted super delicious and was a scrumptious, decadent treat for a rainy day!

Here's how to make it, as paraphrased from Chef Chloe:

For the cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup Water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp almond extract

For the whipped coconut cream (or you could buy coconut whipped cream if it's available to you!)
1 can coconut milk, chilled overnight (be careful not to…