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Monday, July 15, 2019

Vegan Waldorf Salad with Black Lentils

Hey everyone. I'm back with another salad. It's savory and sweet, good for you and has loads of crunch. Perfect for Summer time meal prepping too. Make a batch and toss over some shredded romaine and spinach and there you go. No need for an added dressing. I have even added chickpeas to this salad for a little spin.

When I first tried this salad a few months ago, it was ok but it did not overwhelm me. Surprisingly, the mayo in it did nothing for me. It wasn't horrible but it did not leave me wanting more. The tahini dressing completely turned this salad around.

I recently made Ashley Nicole Rice's Summer Fruit & Veg Salad. OMG, it is so good. I was floored at how delicious it was. Here is a link to her recipe my third batch of Ashley's salad, I thought to myself, I wonder how the Waldorf salad would be with the tahini dressing. All I can say is I am so glad I tried it. Already on my third batch of it too. The sweet fruit pairs so well the the savory dressing. Keeps you wanting more and more.

Let's get to the recipe. Here is what you will need.
2/3 black lentils
1 1/4 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 heaping cup sweet green grapes cut in quarters
1 large granny smith diced
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup organic raisins
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2-3 stalks of celery finely diced

Optional: shredded romaine, spinach

1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 to 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tamari
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Let's start cooking the lentils. Add to a medium pot with a lid the lentils, 1 1/4 cup water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, cover and let simmer for about 25 minutes. Once done, remove from the heat, let cool and remove the bay leaf. 

Let's make the dressing. Add all of the dressing ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk until smooth and creamy. Set aside. 

Let's make the salad. Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss to combine. Add the dressing and toss some more. Give it try. 

You can enjoy this salad by itself or over some shredded romaine and spinach. That is a perfect lunch. Enjoy. 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Vegan Tortilla Roll Ups Savory & Sweet

Ok everyone, you are going to love these. Another classic treat that was so easy to vegan and they are so incredibly tasty too. You might know them as Pinwheels but whatever you call them, you are going to love them. Now I have to admit, I did not come up with these, Stevie did. She is a genious in the kitchen. 

We went to a vegan potluck yesterday and made these roll ups to take and everyone raved over them. Even taking one more as they were leaving.

One of the ingredients used is Tofurky Hickory Smoked Deli Slices lightly cooked in a fry pan to crisp them up. How and why Stevie decided to cook them is beyond me but even when cooked, these deli slices are super tasty.

Another ingredient used is the 365 brand Cheddar style alternative slices. Can't recommend these enough. They remind me real American cheese. 

Perfect for a kids lunch too. Well, they are perfect for any lunch really. Or any party or get together you might be having. You will not never have left overs either. That's how good they are.

The banana roll ups are really good too. They are kind of like a churo hack. You might even want to dip them in some chocolate. 

This recipe is for one roll up. Of course, I do not recommend making only one but I did this for ease of the recipe.

So, let's get to the recipe. Here is what you will need.

1 8 to 10 inch flour tortilla
4 slices of Tofurky Hickory Smoked Deli Slices
1 1/2 slices of your favorite cheddar or American style cheese alternative preferrably at room temp
1 tbsp vegan mayo
1 tbsp Kite Hill Chive cream cheese alternative at room temp
small amount of vegan butter
5 or 6 toothpicks

First, in a dry fry pan on medium heat, gently cook the tortilla on each side for about a minute. Be careful not to let it get to browned or crispy. This will cause it to break when trying to roll it. Set aside. 

In the same pan, melt a small amount of vegan butter. 1 1/2 teaspoons should be good. Add the four deli slices and allow to crisp up lightly on each side. Once finished, lay on towel to absorb extra butter.

In a small bowl, mix together the mayo and cream cheese. Then spread all of it on to the tortilla. Layer with the lettuce, then deli slices and finally the cheddar alternative. 

From one end, tightly roll it up and insert the toothpicks about an inch apart. With a bread knife, cut the ends off then cut into about 1 inch slices. If you cut it just right, you can get five slices. Serve and enjoy.

The banana roll ups are super duper easy. 
Here is what you will need. 
1 tortilla
1 banana
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
small amount of vegan butter

In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Set aside.

Peel the banana and wrap with the tortilla. On a medium low heat, gently brown each side in some melted butter. While it's still hot, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mix all around. Slice and enjoy.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Vegan Cocoa Crispy Treats

Hey everyone!! During the July 4th weekend, Stevie and I are going to a Vegan Potluck. We are really excited to meet local vegans too because we do not know any other vegans in real life. ha ha Anyway, one of things Stevie wanted to make are these Cocoa Crispy Treats. Then I had the brilliant idea to add extra chocolate. Stevie didn't care for the extra chocolate but I loved and preferred it. So, when making your own, you can decide.

I've never really been into marshmallowy treats or marshmallows even but I must say these are really quite tasty. I will also say I do like marshmallows in my hot chocolate during the cold winter months but that is another story because it is flaming hot here today. 

I even had some non vegan co-workers try these and they enjoyed them. 

If you have never made these kinds of treats before, you will definitely need to keep a couple things in mind when making them. The first is have your 9x9 pan ready to go when the cereal marshmallow mix is all melted and ready to pour. If your pan is not ready, it will be a little difficult to mash the mix into the pan as it will begin to cool and set up. The second thing is have your cereal already measured and ready to pour into the hot melty marshmallows. 

The Cocoa Comet Crispies are the best in our experience. There are some other's out there that are ok but these really are the best.

Now, let's get to what you will need. Here we go.
5 cups of vegan cocoa crispy cereal 
4-5 tablespoons of vegan butter
1 - 10 ounce package of vegan mini marshmallows
1/2 cup chocolate chips for added drizzle
9x9 parchment or foil lined pan

In a large pan, melt the butter over a medium high heat. Once the butter is all melted, add the marshmallows and stir until all melted. Do not walk away because they can burn really fast. 

Quickly add the cereal and stir to incorporate into the melty marshmallow. Carefully pour into your prepared pan and press firmly to compact them. Let them sit for about an hour to cool and set up. 

Cut them however you like. I was able to get 24 pieces by cutting them in half, then into fourths and then into eighth's. Then I cut each eighth into thirds.

Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe glass bowl for 15 second intervals stirring between each interval until nice and melted. Drizzle over little treat or dip one end into the chocolate and let set up. Enjoy.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Vegan Dessert Pizza

Yes, it's another dessert pizza. This one is so fun though and the kiddos will love it. Oh and the adults will love it too. I know I do. It's great for parties and get togethers as well. Especially in the Summer. I used to make this for 4th of July every year. It's just fun. 

The crescent dough works really well for a dessert pizza crust. It's light on the stomach, not heavy like a traditional pizza dough. 

You can prepare ahead of time and let everyone make their own too. This would be an excellent idea for those who might have allergies to fruit.

The second best thing about this recipe is the ease of ingredients. I mean, there are really no precise measurements. Well, maybe one or two but it's all up to you and how much fruit you would like on your pizza. 

Let's get to the recipe. Here is what you will need. 
1 pkg of crescent dough
1 8 ounce pkg of vegan cream cheese room temperature
1 pkg of instant vanilla pudding
2 cups of plain almond milk
fruit of choice - I like sliced strawberries, banana's, blueberries, blackberries, shredded coconut
I also like chopped pecans but that's totally optional. 

Preheat your oven according to package directions. 

Open the crescent dough and leave in one piece. Place onto the end of a piece of parchment and gently unroll the dough. With a rolling pin, roll the dough to about 8x12 inches. Pinch together any seams there may be. Gently place the parchment with the dough onto a 9x13 inch baking tray. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden. Mine baked for 20 minutes but your oven might be different so keep an eye on it. Once done, remove from the oven and let cool completely. 

While the crust is baking, let's make the dessert sauce. In a large bowl, whisk the instant vanilla pudding with two cups of cold plant milk. Should be really thick like a pudding. Next whisk in the cream cheese and set aside. 

Prepare your desired fruit.

Slather on as much of the vanilla sauce as you like and then add your fruit. Cut, serve and enjoy. 

Oh yea, when I first had this vegan version, the banana and vanilla pudding sauce reminded me of banana pudding. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Vegan BLT Pasta Salad

A long time ago, before I was vegan, I used to enjoy BLT dip. Well, everyone enjoyed it really. I only made it for special occasions though as I did not want to get sick of it, ya get me. There were never any leftovers either. No matter how much I made, no leftovers. 

Anyway, I have been wanting to make a vegan version for a long time. Not sure what I've been waiting for but I'm so glad I finally got around to it. It's soooo good.

I decided to turn it into more of a side dish rather than a dip so I added some pasta. But if you want just the dip, leave out the pasta. You will not be disappointed either way. 

Let's talk about the "bacon". I've tried most types of vegan bacon that I can find. The only one I really prefer is LightLife Fakin Bacon. It's tempeh which is an excellent source of protein. So, with that said, you can use whatever kind of vegan bacon you like but at least try the tempeh stuff in the salad. 

Let's get to the recipe. Here is what you will need. 
1 - 6 ounce package of LightLife Fakin Bacon (or your favorite vegan bacon)
8 ounces of pasta of choice
1/2 cup vegan mayo
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
1 - 2 cups shredded romaine 
2 medium tomatoes diced

Cook the "bacon" according to package directions. I cook the tempeh bacon in a really small amount of oil to help get it crispy. Remove from the pan and let it cool. Once cooled, chop it up into bite size pieces.

Also cook the pasta according to package directions. I used Fusilli but you can use whatever pasta you like. Once it's done, let it drain and cool. 

In a large bowl, combine the mayo and sour cream. I do this now to make sure it's mixed well. Add the bacon and pasta and mix again. 

When you are ready to serve, add the lettuce and tomato and give it a good stir again. Enjoy.

As always, I cut the recipe in half, so if you want to make a bigger batch, double everything. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

You guys know I love Mexican food and green enchilada sauce is one of my absolute favorites. I have not had in a while and have been really missing it. I wanted something somewhat healthy too. So, I came up with this casserole. It has quinoa pronounced (keen-wah), black beans, onions, jalepeno, spices, corn, bell pepper and that fabulous green enchilada sauce. OMG it's so good.

This dish is perfect as a side or as a meal on it's own. When I first made it, I had tortilla chips with it. As I'm writing this, I realized corn or flour tortilla's would work really well with it too. 

When you are buying your enchilada sauce, be sure to read the ingredient label. Not all sauces are created equally. Some put chicken broth in it. Shame on them. 

Let's get to the recipe. Here is what you will need.
1/2 cup quinoa
1 onion diced
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 jalapeno diced
1/2 of a green bell pepper diced
1 cup of organic corn
1 1/2 cups green enchilada sauce 
1 1/2 cups of black beans
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
vegan cheese which is optional

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Saute the onion, peppers until tender. I sauteed them using water but feel free to use a little oil. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. 

Add the corn and if frozen, cook for a couple minutes in the pan to let it thaw. 

Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. 

Pour the casserole mix into a medium size casserole dish. If adding cheese, you can sprinkle on top. Cover and bake for about 20 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven, remove the lid and let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes to let it cool. 

Serve with tortilla chips or in tortilla's and enjoy.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Vegan Veggie Pizza

Hey everyone, I know it's been a while since I've posted anything. Just wasn't feeling creative and had no motivation. Hopefully I'm back on track now. 

This pizza is so fun and an absolute favorite with my daughter. She always loves it and when I made this one, I only had two pieces, ha ha. She finished it. 

This is great as a snack or for parties. Make one and take it to your next special occasion at work and no one will know it's vegan.

Here is what you will need. 
1 package of crescent dough
1 package of your favorite vegan cream cheese (I used Kite Hill Everything)
1/2 cup vegan sour cream or additional cream cheese
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pink himalayan salt

Vegetables of choice. I used broccoli florets, chopped tomato, chopped black olives, chopped red bell pepper, chopped cucumber, shredded carrots. You will need about 1/2 cup of olives and carrots and about 1 cup of everything else.

Preheat your oven according to crescent dough instructions.  

Carefully remove the dough and try to keep it in one piece. 

Line a cookie tray with parchment place the roll of crescent dough near one end of the sheet. Gently unroll the dough and pinch any seems together that may have come apart. With a small rolling pin or a glass, roll the dough to enlarge. Or you can remove it while still on the parchment and roll it out that way. Roll it out as much as you can but not larger than your cookie tray. Return to cookie tray and bake about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool completely.

While your crust is baking, mix the cream cheese and sour cream with all of the seasoning. Set aside.

Prepare the vegetables you would like. 

When your crust is ready, spread the cream cheese mix over the entire crust. Sprinkle your vegetables as you would like. 

Cut, server and enjoy.