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Sunday, December 29, 2019

Cheesey Taco Dip

This is the perfect party food that will fool everyone. Even non vegans. I made some and took it to work to share and it was loved until it was all gone. 

Super easy to make too. Mostly just a lot of stirring and a little pouring. 

This is definitely one of those dishes that if you do not tell them it's vegan, they'll never know.

For the veggie crumble, I highly recommend Morning Star. I tried Beyond and it's not the same as it used to be. Of course you can use whatever you like. TVP would even work.

Here is what you will need. 
1 package of your favorite veggie crumble
2 - 3 tbsp taco seasoning (low sodium is best)
water, veg broth or oil for cooking the veg crumble
1 container of Kite Hill Plain Cream Cheese
1 package of Violife Cheddar Shreds
plain unsweetened plant milk
tortilla chips for dipping

In a large skillet, cook the veg crumble until nice and hot and thawed if still frozen. You can add a little water, veg broth or oil to keep from sticking.

Next add the taco seasoning and stir to combine. You might need a little water to combine the seasoning too. Remove from heat.

In a sauce pan and on low medium heat, melt together the cream cheese and cheddar shreds until nice and creamy. You will need to stir continuously. Here you can add some plain unsweetened milk to thin it out a little. I think I added about 1/2 a cup. 

When the cheeses are all melty, add the taco veg crumble. Stir to combine. 

You can keep it warm in a tiny crock pot which is what I did. 

Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Vegan Peppermint Patties

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who love peppermint and those who don't. I'm one of those who love it and I can't seem to get enough. Especially in peppermint season, which is December by the way. 

These are so fun and easy to make. I'm already thinking of other flavors I could use instead of peppermint. Cherry, strawberry, coconut!! 

I highly recommend using edible peppermint oil (not essential oil) but if you can't find that, peppermint extract will work too. I used 1/4 tsp of this oil but you might want to start with 1/8 tsp. I thought it was perfect but Stevie said it's to strong. 

Let's get to it shall we. You will need the following:
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp room temp butter
2 tbsp Ripple half-n-half
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp peppermint edible oil or extract
12 ounces of semi sweet chocolate
extra powdered sugar for rolling the patties

Put everything into a large bowl or the bowl of your stand alone mixer. Turn on low until everything is incorporated the turn it up high medium and let it go for about 5 to 10 minutes. You should be able to easily roll into a ball.

I rolled mine into about a teaspoon full. You might need some of the extra powdered sugar to keep from sticking. Once you've rolled the little ball, gently flatten into a pattie. Place onto a parchment lined cookie tray.

When finished, place in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. 

While you are waiting for the patties in the freezer, melt your chocolate over a double broiler or in the microwave at half power at 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval. Once the chocolate looks mostly melted, keep stirring and eventually, all the chocolate will melt. 

Once the patties are partially frozen, gently coat them in some of the chocolate and place them back on the cookie tray and let set. Do not let them sit in the chocolate to long or the patties will quickly melt.

Best straight from the fridge. Then enjoy!!

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Vegan Cake Mix Cookies //#vegancakemixcookies #vegancookies

The most delicious and easiest ever cookies to make and only three ingredients needed.

1 box of Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake Mix

2 3/4 cup all purpose flour

4 sticks of vegan butter (2 room temp, 2 melted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together cake mix and flour.

Mix in room temp butter then mix in the melted butter.

Scoop cookies onto a baking tray and bake until edges are just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool a few minutes before removing from the tray. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Vegan Neiman Marcus Cookies

Have you ever heard of the famous Neiman Marcus cookie. There is a crazy story behind these cookies which is how it was shared across the globe. Well, there are many different versions of this crazy story and here is the version I know.

A mother and daughter were shopping at Neiman Marcus and decided to have lunch there. The mother had one of their cookies and fell in love with it. Asked if she could have the recipe and the waiter said sure, it'll be two fifty. She said OK and went on here way. The next month when she received her credit card statement there was a charge of $250 from Neiman Marcus. She tried to get her money refunded but they said no. So she shared the recipe with the world.

I have been wanting to make these for a really long time. One of the ingredients that has been holding me up is the the milk chocolate. You see, the recipe calls for two kinds of chocolate. One milk and the other semi sweet. Semi sweet is easy to find but milk chocolate has been a little difficult until now. There is a little candy bar by No Whey called Milkless. The packaging kind of looks like a Hershey bar. I ordered some with low hopes despite it having good reviews. We tried it today and Stevie and I were both surprised at how good it is.

So I got right to making those Neiman Marcus cookies and man are they good. The Milkless bars melt perfectly in this cookie and they taste just like I remember.

Let's get to the details about this cookie. There is a lot of prep work making these cookies but if you love baking cookies, you will not mind one bit.

First, you will need to blend some oatmeal to measure 2 1/2 cups. Set aside.

Next you will need to chop your milk chocolate. The recipe calls for 9 ounces but I had about 5 1/2 so I just went with it. Put that in a bowl and set aside.

You can use any nut you like but I've always used walnut for these cookies. If they are not chopped already, you will need to do that too and set aside.

Prepare your Bobs Red Mill egg replacer.

Finally the ingredients!! You will need the following:
1 cup vegan butter at room temp
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
2 Bobs Red Mill Egg replacer eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups blended oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 ounces of semi sweet chocolate chips
9 ounces of vegan milk chocolate
1 1/2 cups of walnuts

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk to combine and set aside.

In an extra large bowl, mix the butter and sugars until nice and combined.

Add the vanilla and Bobs Red Mill egg replacer and combine some more. Add the oatmeal and combine then add the flour mix and combine.

Add both chocolates and the walnuts and combine again. At this stage you might need your hand because the dough will be really thick.

Once all of that is done, scoop tablespoonful scoops onto a parchment lined baking tray and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the tray for a few minutes before removing.

This batch made seven dozen using the Pampered Chef cookie scoop. And I cut the original recipe in half. That is a lot of cookies. 

That's it. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Vegan Tuscan Style Soup

Hello everyone!! Sorry I've been gone for so long. It was not intentional. I've been really busy preparing for several craft shows I've been in and then in the middle of all that, I somehow managed to get bronchitis, severe pharyngitis and a sinus infection. I was a hot mess. It took me over a month to completely recover from all of that. Anyway, I still have a few more shows that I need to prepare for but wanted to get a video and blog post done. 

You know since I have become vegan, I just can't get enough soup. I love it, especially in the colder months and it's so easy to make. And when you are sick with a nasty sore throat, warm soup is soothing and comforting.

I mostly wanted to try this soup because in the colder months, I have a really hard time getting greens and veggies in. If you live in a cold climate, you will understand. If you don't, you should try it anyway. This soup is so good and tasty it's hard to stop eating it. I'm serious. The first batch was gone in a day between my daughter and myself. ha ha 

Let's get to the recipe shall we. Here is what you will need. 

1 pkg of Beyond Italian sausage
2 carrots diced
1 onion diced
4 medium potatoes diced
1 cup of diced portobello mushrooms
2-3 cloves minced garlic
2 15 ounce cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed
64 ounces of veg broth
1 bunch of Tuscan Lacinato or dinosaur kale chopped
the juice of half a lemon
Adobo seasoning optional but highly recommened.

Cut each sausage link in half the long way then in half again. Then cut into bite size pieces. This step is essential to the taste of the soup. If you cook then cut, there will be less flavor from the sausage. 

Once all of the sausage is cut, cook in a large soup pan over medium heat for 10 - 15 minutes stirring occasionally. 

Add the carrots, onion, potato, mushrooms and garlic and cook another 10 minutes. 

Add the veg broth and beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender. 

Once the potatoes and carrots are tender, turn the heat off and add the kale, lemon juice and adobo and stir to combine. The heat from the broth is enough to wilt the kale perfectly. 

You can serve with some crusty bread with vegan cheese melted on top. MmmmM.

Please enjoy.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Peanut Butter Bars That Taste Like a Reese's Cup

Before I was vegan, I loved a Reese's cup. It was my favorite of all the candy bars. There should be no other. ha ha The holiday one's were my favorite too. You know the one's, they were shaped like a tree or pumpkin. Not sure why I liked them so much but I think it was because there was more peanut butter in them. 

I have not had a Reese's cup in a really long time and when I came across this Instagram post by Nora Cooks, I knew I had to immediately try them. OMG they are so good. Definitely keep them in the fridge. They are much better cold in my opinion and they really do taste just like a Reese's cup. 

I've been wanting to make a copycat version of a vegan Reese's cup for a super long time but honestly, I did not want to mess with the little cup things. You know, melting the chocolate, pouring it into all those little molds. Letting it set up, doing the peanut butter part, letting it set up again, melting the chocolate again and so on. 

Which is another reason why I love this recipe so much. It's quick and easy. Yes, you still have to the let peanut butter and chocolate set up but it's one big bar and not a lot of little cups.  Don't get me wrong, I love the cups but I just do not have time for them.

For the butter, I used my D.I.Y. butter and it worked perfectly but you can use any type of vegan butter you like. 

I used vegan graham cracker for the crumbs but Nora used Chocolatey Chip Teddy Grahams. Either one being used should definitely be processed in a food processor to get them as fine as a crumb possible. I did not do this the first time and the bars are way better with a finer crumb.

Let's get to this fantastic recipe. Here is what you will need. 
The bar layer:
1 cup of natural peanut butter
1 cup of butter
2 cups of powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

The topping:
12 ounces of chocolate chips
1/4 cup natural peanut butter

Line a 9X13 inch pan with parchment paper leaving the sides long enough to overhang making it easier to grab. 

In  medium sauce pan, melt the butter and peanut butter. Stir in the powdered sugar and graham cracker crumbs. I did this over the heat and it made it easier to stir. Once everything is combined, pour into the 9x13 inch pan. Spread out evenly and let it set up in the fridge for about an hour. 

Once the peanut butter layer is set up, it's time to add the chocolate layer. Melt the chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of peanut butter. I melted the chocolate and peanut butter by constantly stirring them over medium heat in a medium pan. Do not walk away from it. You really need to stir constantly. It will only take a minute or two to melt everything. Pour evenly over the bar layer. Let it set up in the fridge for another hour or so. 

If you put your bars in the freezer to set up, let them rest on the counter for about 10 - 15 minutes. The chocolate layer will crack if you try to cut them too soon. 

This will make a lot of little bars but they are so worth it. Keep them covered in the fridge or in the freezer. They will not last long, I promise.

Here is a link to Nora's original blog and recipe post.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Vegan DIY Butter // Palm Oil Free

Butter!! I love it!! Here is a palm oil free recipe by Miyoko Shinner that I have been using for a long time. In my expericence, it works just like other vegan butter you might find in the store.

Any palm oil you use, should be certified by the RSPO to help save the homes of the orangutans and other primates.

In the U.S., palm oil is found in about half of the products sold in grocery stores. It can be found in everything from candy to soap and the demand for it continues to grow.

Here is another link to an incredible blog about palm oil. PLEASE CHECK IT OUT. 

Here is another site with some really useful information.

I'm not perfect by any means but I do read my labels and try to avoid palm oil as much as I can. So when I came across this recipe, I had to try it. It's super easy and delicious. The best part, no palm oil. Yes, I said it again.

Let's get to the recipe. Here's is what you will need. 
1 1/2 cups refined coconut oil melted
1/2 cup soy milk
1/3 cup canola or a neutral oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp liquid soy lecithin 

Simply put all ingredients into a blender and blend just until everything is combined. The amount of time will depend on your blender. If you have something like a Vitamix, it will only take a few seconds on high.

Transfer to container with a lid and let it set up in the fridge. I use an old butter container. Use as you would with any vegan butter. Enjoy.

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.

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.

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.