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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.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Vegan Strawberry Valentine Cookies

So, I'm really not into Valentine's Day but I'll find any excuse to make cookies. I came up with these cookies about 20 years ago. I use to make all kinds of cut out cookies by using already made cookie dough from the store and canned strawberry frosting. They were really good too. 

Anyway, I have not made these in quite a while and decided to try them again. This time though, I wanted to make homemade dough and frosting. So I found a sugar cookie recipe from Nora Cooks. I must say these are really good too. Here is the link to her blog.  I made up my own instructions and the cookies turned out great.

For the icing, I used powdered sugar, freeze dried strawberries and a little almond milk. 

I used two heart shape cookie cutters. One that is 3 inches wide and the other is 1 3/4 inches wide. You do not need these exact sizes but I just wanted to give some sort of reference.

On to the recipe. Here is what you will need for the cookies. 
3/4 cup room temp vegan butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp almond milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. 

Mix in the milk, vanilla, cornstarch, salt and baking powder.

Gradually mix the flour in. The dough will get really thick. 

Divide the dough in half. It will be easier to work with. On a floured surface, roll the dough as thin as you can, 1/8 inch would be good but I found that was pretty hard with this dough. 

With the larger heart shaped cookie cutter, cut as many cookies as you can. Gently transfer the cookies to a parchment lined cookie tray and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Roll out some more dough and cut the same amount of cookies as you did the first time. Transfer to the cookie tray. Using the smaller cookie cutter, cut out the center of the hearts and bake 8 - 10 minutes. I got enough cut outs for eight sandwich cookies. That may differ for you depending on how thin you get the dough.

Roll out the remaining dough and cut a bunch of small hearts. I got about 30 little hearts.

For the icing you will need:
2 cups of sifted powdered sugar
2 cups freezed dried strawberries
6 tbsp of almond milk

You will need to turn the strawberries into a powder. I did this by throwing them into the Vitamix for about 30 seconds. 

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, powdered strawberries and milk. Whisk to combine. 

Once the cookies are cooled completely, gently spread or dip the flat side of a large heart. Top with one of the cookies that has the center cut out. 

For the little hearts, ice the top. 

Lay flat until the icing has set. Then store in an air tight container. Enjoy.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Vegan Huevos Rancheros

I have a confession to make. You know I love Mexican food. Well, I've never had huevos rancheros, of any kind, vegan or with real eggs. There, I said it. Ha ha I really can't say why I've never tried it. It just never really appealed to me I guess but I was glancing over this menu from a new Mexican restaurant by where I work and I came across something that sounded like it would be really tasty. It was Chilaquiles Desayuno. While researching what it was, I came across recipes for huevos rancheros. Finally it sounded like something I would like and it would be so easy to veganize. 

I'm not going into what Chilaquiles Desayuno is right now. Go ahead and Google it. It sounds really good though and might be something I try to make in the future.

Let's make the rancheros sauce. I looked up several recipes and took something from each of them and came up with my own which I am in love with by the way. It's so freaking good. 

Let's get to it. Here is what you will need. 
Rancheros Sauce
1 tbsp cold pressed oil or some extra veg broth for sauteing
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1 jalapeno finely diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup freshly diced tomato
1-8 ounce can tomato sauce
freshly chopped cilantro

In a medium size pan, over medium heat, saute the onion, peppers, garlic and spices in the oil or vegetable broth until the vegetables are tender. 

Add the vegetable broth, tomato sauce and tomato. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 25 minutes. The sauce will reduce and thicken up. 

While the rancheros sauce is simmering away, let's make some tofu scramble. Nothing to fancy though. The sauce will have plenty of flavor. 

The Tofu Scramble
1 package extra firm tofu that's been pressed
2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp black ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black salt

In a large saute pan, crumble to tofu and let heat up over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients and mix really well. Once the scramble is thoroughly heated, set aside. 

This is totally optional but you can also cook two corn tortillas until crispy. Chop into bite size pieces and set aside.

Once the rancheros sauce is done, ladle some into a bowl, add some of the tofu scramble, freshly chopped cilantro and crispy tortilla's and enjoy. OMG it's sooooooo good.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Vegan Hot Artichoke Dip

I often get asked how do I come up with the vegan recipes I share. Most of them are old recipes that I used to enjoy and learned how to veganize. This dip is one of those recipes. It is so super easy too. 

Artichokes have many great benefits as well. They are most known for their antioxidants but they also have protein, fiber and prebiotics just to name a few. They also have folic acid, great for bone health, boosts your metabolism and is great for alkalizing your body. 

You can easily double or even triple this recipe for parties and get togethers. It can be served with chips, crackers or even other vegetables. 

Let's get to the recipe. Here is what you will need. 
18 ounces of artichoke hearts marinated in water diced
1/2 - 3/4 cup vegan mayo
1/2 cup shredded vegan parmesan
1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella
1 or 2 cloves fresh minced garlic

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

Toss everything into a large bowl and stir well. 

The best pan to use would be an 8 x 8 inch square. I used a pan that was 6x6 and baked it about 10 minutes longer because it was more thick. Make sense?

I let it cool for about 30 minutes and it was still pretty warm. My favorite way to enjoy this dip is with tortilla chips but any cracker will do. Enjoy.