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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

DIY Dollar Tree Halloween Wreath

While in a rather famous craft store, I came upon a Halloween wreath that was made of tulle, lights, a styrofoam wreath and a few halloween decorations. It was really cute until I saw the price tag. $60. I said no way and told my daughter I bet I could make this with Dollar Tree supplies. 

So, I went to the Dollar Tree and found almost everything I needed to make this wreath.

A couple items I already had is some craft wire, wire cutters and a piece of thin black string of any kind. 

Here is what you will need.
6 rolls of sparkle tulle
1 green styrofoam wreath
1 pack of LED lights
1 pack of AA batteries
Halloween decorations of your choosing. I used a spider and bats. This allowed me to make two wreaths
1 pack of plastic bands you will find in the hair section of the store
craft wire
wire cutters
1 foot of thin black string
hot glue gun

First step: cut the tulle into 12 inch pieces. You should get 9 pieces from each roll. 

Second step: take a piece of tulle and scrunch it together long ways. Wrap it around the wreath making sure the ends are even. Tie it off with a plastic band. Complete this step all the way around the wreath.

Third step: cut 2" pieces of wire and fold in half making a bobby pin style anchor.

Fourth step: add the lights from the back making sure the little light part is sticking out between the tulle. Pin the first light to anchor it. Then adjust the remaining lights but do not anchor until you have them evenly spread out. Once you have them where you like them, then you can pin them down. Once everthing is pinned or anchored down, hot glue the battery back down so that it is not flopping around every where. Make sure you glue the battery pack with the screw side up. This will allow you to change the batteries when needed.

Fifth step: tie the spider on where you like or glue it on if you found one different than the one I used. Add the bats too. 

I used an over the door hook for mine but if you like you can add a piece of ribbon to hang it. 

That's it. I hope you enjoyed this wreath. If you made one, be sure to tag me on instagram.

Happy Halloween!!!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Vegan Breakfast Enchilada's with Fat Free Gravy

I'm not sure who the star of this show should be. The gravy or the enchilada's. I really can't believe how well this gravy turned out. Super easy too. Who would have thought you could make gravy from beans.  

This was my second time ever making enchilada's of any kind. Can you believe it??!! ha ha They turned out really great too. Completely oil free and low in fat. 

There are a few different steps to making these but the turn out is so worth it and they really do not take long to prepare. I will leave links for the tofu scramble and TVP chorizo below the video. I would make the scramble and chorizo first. 

Oh yea, I added some crispy hash brown's too. These are optional but if you are going to add those too, I would have those ready as well.

Heat up your corn tortilla's too. This makes it easier for rolling.

Let's get to it. Here is what you will need for the gravy.
4 cups boiling water
1 15ounce can of cannellini beans rinsed and drained
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp onion powder
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tbsp braggs liquid aminos
2 tsp no beef bouillon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Toss everything into your blender and blend for about five minutes. Gravy should get thick. If it doesn't get thick like mine did, you can heat it up on the stove over a medium heat stirring constantly. Should thicken up pretty quickly. 

Give it a taste and make sure it's to your liking. Mine was perfect first time around. 

Once everything is prepared and depending how many enchilada's you are making, you will want to combine everything. If you are making four like I did, you will add to a bowl about 1 cup of tofu scramble, 1 cup of hash browns and about a 1/2 cup of gravy. 1/2 cup of chorizo too if you want it. Stir to combine. 

Put a thin layer of gravy in the bottom of your baking dish. 

How much of this mixture you use will depends on the size of your tortilla. I used six inch tortilla's and used about 1/2 cup of mix per enchilada. Roll kind of tightly and put the enchilada seam side down into your baking dish. 

When your dish is full, cover with some of the gravy. You can add some vegan cheese too if you desire. 

Cover and bake for about 20 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. If you are making more than four enchilada's like I did, you will need to bake it longer to make sure everything is heated through. 

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes then ENJOY!!! 

This gravy would be great over biscuits too. I promise it really is that good. 

Tofu scramble. This is for 7 ounces of tofu but you can easily double it if you want to make the entire 14 ounce package.

TVP Chorizo

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

TVP Chorizo

If you have been following me, you know I love Mexican food. I always have too. Two things I do not like though are mole sauce and until now chorizo. The last time I tried it was about 20 years ago. It was greasy, gristly and just gross.

Lately I've been wanting to give it another go. I bought the chile's two or three months ago and I've been waiting for what I don't know to try it. I think it was because I was sure I would not like it. I finally looked up a bunch of recipes and came up with my own. A lot of them called for tofu but I wanted to try TVP. 

So, let's get to it. Here is what you will need. 
1/3 cup of diced onion
1 tsp oregano
2 cloves
1/2 tsp salt
2 dried guajillo chile's (I seeded mine but you don't have to, it's totally up to you.)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup tvp
1 tsp no beef bouillon
1 cup water for the chile's
1/2 cup water for the tvp

Bring 1 cup water to a boil and remove from heat. Add the onion, oregano, cloves, salt, chile's and vinegar. Cover and let sit for about ten minutes. 

Bring 1/2 water to a boil and remove from heat. Add the tvp and no beef bouillon. Stir it up and let it sit. The tvp will absorb all of the liquid.

After ten minutes, put the chile's and spices and about 1/2 the liquid into a processor and process until a nice puree has formed. Make sure those cloves get processed. Poor the puree over the tvp and stir it up. 

Poor the tvp into a fry pan with the remaining liquid and over medium heat, let it cook until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Serve on corn tortilla's with avocado and tomato. Vegan cheese too if you like. Enjoy!!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fat Free Nut Free Easy Vegan Cheese

Recently I heard of someone using beans instead of cashews for vegan cheese. I thought what a super idea. This would be great for my daughter too since she is allergic to nuts. It is also way less expensive.

I've tried the potato and carrot cheese too. Tasted like cardboard. I can't even tell the difference between the cashews and beans. Super delicious and my daughter approves. She is having some right now with tortilla chips.

This recipe is nearly the same as my #EasyVeganCheese too. The only two differences are the beans of course and use less red peppers. Oh and I added a clove of garlic too.

Let's get to the recipe. Here is what you will need. 
15 oz can of cannellini beans rinsed and drained
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup onion powder
1/2 cup of roasted red pepper
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup of super hot water 
1 tsp salt
1 clove of garlic
the juice of 1/2 a lemon

Put everything in a blender and blend for several minutes on high. If you have a vitamix, should only take 2 or 3 minutes. Enjoy with chips or on tacos, enchilada's, cauliflower, broccoli or whatever you like cheese on.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cheesy Zucchini Squares

So, the other day my mom posted a recipe video on my FB wall that she thought I would like and try to make vegan. For two days, all I thought about was this video even though it was not vegan. I knew I could vegan it and it turned out so great, I made it twice in one day. I am totally digging this recipe.

This would be a great appetizer too. If I had them now, I would be eating them for breakfast. ha ha

So let's make it. Here is what you will need. 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
1 large zucchini shredded (about 2 cups)
1 egg replacer (used both Neat and Bob's Red Mill Egg replacer. Both work really great.)
1 clove of garlic minced
1/2 tsp of dried oregano
1 cup vegan mozzarella
1/4 cup vegan parmesan
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
additional mozzarella and parsley for sprinkling on top

For the zucchini, you might have to squeeze out the extra liquid.

In a large bowl, combine the zucchini and egg replacer. Stir to combine and make sure the egg replacer gets distributed really well. Then add everything else combining really well. 

Dump the mix onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and spread out evenly forming a rectangle. Should be about 1/4 inch thick. 

Bake for 25 - 30 minutes. The edges should be browned and looking crispy. Remove from the oven and sprinkle on fresh or dried parsley and some additional mozzarella. Bake about five more minutes or until the cheese is melty. 

With a pizza cutter, cut into squares and serve with your favorite marinara or pizza sauce. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Napa Cabbage Salad with Sugar Free Dressing

If you were to ask me ten years ago to eat raw napa cabbage, I probably would have been completely grossed out and said never, no way, not in a million years. Today I think to myself, what the hell was I thinking. Napa cabbage is freaking delicious. In the last month I bought and consumed four heads of it. There are only 13 calories per cup so you can eat all you want. 

I am currently seeking other ways to enjoy napa cabbage. When I come up with something, you will be the first to know. 

All of the recipes I found for this called for sugar. Since I am trying to avoid sugar, I had the bright idea of adding date puree instead and turned out great. They also called for a ton of oil. I just replaced it with water. I know, I'm a genious. ha ha

Let's get to the rest of the recipe. Here is what you'll need. 

The Dressing
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup date puree (process 10 pitted dates with 1/3 cup water. Just enough water to turn it into a puree).
2 tbsp tamari or braggs (I've used both and they both work)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tsp of water

Bring the vinegar, water, date puree, tamari or braggs and sesame oil to a boil. Turn off the heat and quickly whisk in the cornstarch mixture. It will get lumpy if you're not quick. Remove the dressing from the heat and let cool. 

The Crunchies
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
1 cup almond slices
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 to 1 1/2 cups of crumbled chinese noodles 
1 tbsp of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

Toss everything into a bowl and stir to combine making sure everything is coated well with the oil. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a bowl.

The Salad
1 head of napa cabbage shredded
1 or 2 green onions sliced
dried cranberries which are optional
Some of the crunchies
Some of the dressing

In a large bowl, combine 1/2 of the shredded cabbage, 1/2 of the crunchies, 1/2 of the dressing and however much green onion you like. And some dried cranberries too. Toss to combine and enjoy.

Only prepare what you are going to eat. Do not make the entire batch and let it sit. It will get soggy and nasty. I usually make half and save the other half for the next meal.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Lemon Herb Potatoes

So my original intent for this sauce was to put it on zoodles but while I was making it, I thought to myself I bet this would be good on potatoes too. And it was. I never even got to the zoodles. ha ha 

I love a good lemon sauce too. BV, before vegan, I used to love chicken scallopini picata and it's only because of that lemon sauce but to make it you need to use flour and butter or oil. Both of which I am trying to avoid right now but I watched #maddielymburner make a dill sauce with hemp seeds and discovered that would be a great base for any sauce or dressing. That dill sauce by the way is delicious.

Enough chit chat, let's get to it. Here is what you will need. 
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup nooch
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
the juice of a lemon
Adobo with saffron to your liking (I found mine at a hispanic grocery)
1/2 cup plain plant milk
1 or 2 diced steamed potatoes

Blend everything except the potatoes. Give it a taste and adjust accordingly. Coat the potatoes with the lemon sauce and enjoy.