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Monday, August 19, 2019

Vegan Chick'n Fajita Nachos

Who doesn't like nachos!!?? I don't think I've ever met anyone who does not like them. They are so fun and you can put anything on them. You can have them as meal or serve them at a party. Oh that's a great idea. Make your own nacho party.

The toppings are endless too. Beans, guacamole, tomato, lettuce, olives, onions, cheese (vegan of course), vegan chick'n, vegan veg crumbles that have been seasoned, salsa, sour cream and my current favorite, fajita chick'n. 

I can't take the credit for this idea though. This is another of Stevie's creations and I have to say it turned out phenomenally. Originally we wanted to use Morning Star Pulled Pork but couldn't find it anywhere. I tried it a couple months ago and really enjoyed it but now it seems to be missing from any shelves. So we ended up buying Morning Star Chick'n Strips. They are pretty good too. I'd buy them again for sure. 

I've used this seasoning blend for veggie fajitas and it turn out really good so we are using it again.

Let's get to the recipe. Here's what you'll need. 
Fajita Seasoning
3 tbsp cold pressed safflower oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano (Mexican is best)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp no chicken bouillon

1 pkg of Morning Star Chick'n Strips thawed
tortilla chips
vegan cheese - Violife is really good
vegan sour cream

In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients for the fajita seasoning and whisk to combine. 

You can leave the chick'n in strips but I like to cut them up into little pieces that are easier to manage with your nachos. Once the are all cut, add them to the fajita seasoning and stir combine. 

Toss them into a preheated fry pan and cook for a minutes or until they start to caramelize. 

While your chick'n is cooking, you can get your other nacho ingredients ready. 

On a large plate, spread some tortilla chips evenly. Once the fajita chick'n is done cooking, add some or all to the top of your tortilla chips, sprinkle with some vegan cheese. Top with your other choice toppings. Guacamole and sour cream is really good. 


Friday, August 9, 2019

Baked Banana Oatmeal

After I made the peanut butter baked oatmeal, I wanted to try banana baked oatmeal. I was pretty sure it was going to be really similar to banana bread which is what I was wanting. 

Not to toot my own horn but I was right, for once. ha ha Stevie liked it and some coworkers liked it so much, they asked for the recipe. Of course I was happy to share.

This banana baked oatmeal is super moist and like the peanut butter recipe, it's perfect for breakfast on the go or a healthier dessert. These will not last long either so you might want to make another batch. 

For the oats, I used a combination of 2 cups rolled and 1 cup quick though any combination will work.

Let's get to the recipe. 
2 or 3 large banana's (I used 3)
1 cup of sucanant or sweetener of choice
2 cups of plant milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups of oats
2 tbsp flax meal
6 tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 

Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining it with parchment of lightly oil it and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flax meal and water. This will be the flax egg. Set aside for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, mash the banana really well. Then whisk in the sucanant, salt, baking powder, vanilla, plant milk and flax egg. I mix it this way to make sure everything is mixed properly. 

Once everything is mixed and whisked well, add the oats and mix again. 

Pour into your prepared pan and bake for at lease 30 minutes. At this point start checking to see if it's done by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, the oat meal is done. If not, continue another few minutes. 

Let cool before enjoying. 

Monday, August 5, 2019

Vegan Potato Salad

Mayonnaise or salad dressing? How do you like your potato salad? For me there is no question. Potato salad should always be made with mayonnaise. Always!!! Personally, I never liked salad dressing. It should not even exist. When I was not vegan, I would get so incredibly annoyed at restaurants when they would call salad dressing mayonnaise. It's not the same and should never be compared. 

Now that I am done venting, let's talk about potato salad. There are so many versions of this wonderful summertime salad. I mean nearly every family in America probably has their own recipe and my family is no exception. I was never a fan of my families salad either, even with mayo. 

Then about 20 years ago, I was at an event with friends and one of them brought potato salad. As always with a strange salad, I was hesitant to try it so I only helped myself to a little. I mean a little, just enough to sample it because I was sure I would not like it. I took that one little bite and man oh man was I surprised. I loved it. It didn't have that tangy aftertaste that I couldn't stand. I went right away and helped myself to more before it was all gone then begged my friend who made it for the recipe. She gladly shared it with me and I never looked back. My entire family loves it too. Even my daughter Stevie and she is one hard person to please.

When I made this salad, Stevie was positive she wouldn't like it either because I used black salt and vegan sour cream. Neither of which she likes. Yes, I said black salt. The non vegan potato salad that I used to enjoy, was made with hard boiled eggs. Since I do not eat eggs anymore, I simply replaced the eggs with black salt a.k.a. kala namak. 

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

3 pounds of red potatoes
1 cup vegan mayo
1 cup vegan sour cream
1 cup super finely diced celery
3/4 cup super finely diced onion
1/2 tsp black salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
optional regular salt to your liking

Boil the potatoes in a large pot until fork tender. Do not over cook. You want them to to keep their shape and not be mushy. Carefully remove from the heat and drain the hot water and replace with cold water to stop the potatoes from cooking. 

In a medium bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and give it a taste. You can adjust with regular salt and additional pepper to your liking. I mix it separately to ensure it's mixed and seasoned well.

When the potatoes are cool enough, peel and cut into cubes and put in a large bowl. Add the mayo mix and stir to combine. Enjoy!!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Hey everyone!! Did you ever make a creation and just couldn't get enough of it? That happened to me with peanut butter and oatmeal. Last Winter I had it nearly everyday for breakfast. Hot of course. It's such a wonderful combination. I am drooling just thinking about it. 

Now that it's Summer time, I do not eat a lot of hot breakfasts. I've been that way for as long as I can remember and if you live in the Midwest, you will understand. When it's cold out, I prefer a hot breakfast and vice versa. 

Anyway, I am still thinking about that peanut butter and oatmeal breakfast so I decided to make some baked oatmeal with peanut butter. It's kind of like peanut butter oat bread and it is a nice healthy treat.

For this recipe, I use two types of oats. Rolled and quick. This combination worked out perfectly making this a kind of quick bread. I am sure you can use what type of oats you like but your recipe might have a different consistency.

In the video, I used 1/2 a cup of maple and 1/2 tsp of salt. Made it again with 1 cup of maple and 1 tsp salt and it was way better.

Let's get to the recipe. Here is what you will need. 
2 cups of plant milk
2 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of quick oats
1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup of maple syrup or sweetener of choice
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of pink salt
2 tbsp flax meal
6 tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. 

Start by combining your flax meal and water. Give it a whisk and set aside. 

In a large bowl, combine everything except the oats including the flax meal. Give it a really good whisk making sure the peanut butter is mixed in and not lumpy. 

Now add the oats and stir to combine. 

Poor into a parchment lined 8 x 8 pan and bake for about 25 minutes. Carefully insert a toothpick in the center of the baked oatmeal and if it comes out clean, it's done. If not, continue baking checking every few minutes until it's done. 

Let it cool completely. 

An optional and highly recommended topping is a chocolate drizzle. 

In a medium bowl combine the following:
1/4 cup cacao
1/4 cup melted coconut oil 
1/4 cup maple syrup

Whisk it up and poor over the cooled baked oatmeal. Serve and enjoy.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Vegan Lasagna Skillet

While scrolling through IG the other day, I came across a photo that really intrigued me. It was for a recipe called Beefy Lasagna Skillet and it just looks wonderful. It's by Vegan Travel Eats. If you ever crave lasagna, this will cure you for sure. It's so incredibly quick and easy,which is always good if you do not have lot's of time to cook. Total time to make this skillet meal is less than 30 minutes.

Of course I had to change it around just a little only because I didn't want to buy any veg crumble when TVP is so much less expensive. And lasagna wouldn't be lasagna without ricotta, so I added a little of that too but it's completely optional.

Here is a link to Vegan Travel Eats recipe: Thank you so much to Valerie for sharing this wonderful recipe. It is going into my recipe favorites and I can't wait to make it again.

Here is the recipe again with the changes I made. 
The Italian TVP
1 cup TVP
1 cup hot water
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp ground sage
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp pink salt
4 tbsp low sodium tamari
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Add all of the ingredients to the hot water and stir to combine. Cover and let sit for about five minutes. The TVP will absorb all the liquids. 

Transfer the the Italian TVP to a large skillet with a lid and add the following. 
1 24 oz jar of marinara
1/2 cup plain unsweetened plant milk
1 cup of water
8 oz of  lasagna that has been broken into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 tbsp nutritional yeast

You will also need the following:
1 cup of shredded mozzarella
2 tbsp of ricotta
1 handful of chopped spinach

Stir to combine ensuring the lasagna is mostly covered. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 15 - 20 minutes. Be sure to stir a few times while it's simmering to make sure nothing sticks. 

After 20 minutes, add the mozzarella and ricotta. Stir and cover again. Leave it on the heat for another five minutes. 

You can add the spinach when you add the vegan cheeses if you like. I do not like to wilty, so I add it at the very end. Stir, serve and enjoy. 

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.