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Tag Archives: dinner

Greek Chickpeas and Rice

26 Jan

I think there’s something really comforting about a big bowl of beans and rice. There’s so many different variations from different cultures that it’s hard to choose just one to love. Fortunately for me, no one is making me choose. But if I had to, I’d probably pick this dish because I love tangy Greek tomato sauces and creamy chickpeas.

Greek Chickpeas and Rice

This dish is very similar to the spanakorizo I posted a while ago, but without the spinach and a little more flavorful sauce. It’s an awesome meal for the cold days of winter, especially if you’ve recently been sick and have absolutely no appetite for anything but comfort food. Maybe that’s just me. If you want to make it even more authentic, try a few cubes of this delicious vegan feta on top. You won’t regret it.

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Tomato Tuna

10 Jan Tomato Tuna

Last year I read about Tomato Sushi and attempted my own version over the summer.  I read online that it was simply skinned tomatoes in a marinade, cooked sous vide. My attempt was ok, but the flavor was mostly soy sauce and nori.

Tomato Tuna

A few weeks ago I purchased Earth Balance with added omega 3. I was put off by the strong fish smell from the algal oil, but I was determined to find a good use for it, as I hate food waste. I saw a post on Instagram that was of the real tomato sushi and thought,  “well, there’s a use for that stinky fish butter.

Tomato Tuna

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Vegetable Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta

29 Dec Vegetable Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta

As many vegan bloggers before me, I have discovered the magic that is cashew ricotta. Creamy, savory cashew cheese between layers of soft pasta and marinara…I don’t think there’s anything that could make me happier. If I’m being absolutely honest, I only had ricotta once before switching to a vegan lifestyle, but I definitely don’t think I’m missing out on anything.

Vegetable Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta

I love making lasagna because it’s a meal that lasts for days and tastes even better as leftovers. I always used lasagna noodles that require boiling in the past, but we switched to the no boil kind and it makes this meal that much easier.

Vegetable Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta

Like most everything I make, I like to change up the vegetables in this. My only consistency is the spinach and ricotta. Try it with roasted red peppers and portobello mushrooms,  or sundried tomatoes and caramelized onions.

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Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

28 Nov Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

I’m still enjoying experimenting with the Follow Your Heart VeganEgg because as I’ve admitted before, I tend to get “committed” (read: obsessed.) It’s been sold out by most retailers, but it should be coming from back to Amazon and Vegan Essentials soon! I’ll be checking regularly with the rest of you, because I know I’m going to run out!
Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

The carton of VeganEgg contains a recipe for quiche florentine, but I wanted to put my own twist on it by using a hashbrown crust and vegan sour cream. This came out even better than my previous tofu quiche texture, and I usually never admit to improvement. I think I could eat this daily for breakfast and never get sick of it. Like a proper Midwesterner, we ate this with ketchup for dipping, because in the Midwest we put ketchup on everything. Or maybe that’s just me and I’m using my location as an excuse. I guess we’ll never know.

Quiche with VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart

I would highly suggest prepping this early by getting your cold water ready, or even preparing your filling and crust the night before if you want to serve it for breakfast.

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Review: Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg

24 Nov

Long before the ages of the new vegan cheeses, there was Follow Your Heart. Their vegan cheeses were some of the first I tried when my husband had gone vegan and I was vegetarian. I’ll be honest, as a vegetarian, I wasn’t impressed.

And then they went and revamped their cheeses.  Holy cow…Have you tried them yet? They are my new favorite cheese on the market. Seriously, put down your phone/computer/tablet and go buy some or order it online.

So naturally when I heard Follow Your Heart was coming out with a Vegan egg, I was intrigued. Anyone who has been vegan for a certain period of time has tried the tofu scramble or chickpea flour omelettes, but there’s just something intrinsically different about scrambled eggs that neither can emulate.

And that’s where VeganEgg comes in.

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Thanksgiving Stuffed Squash

21 Nov Thanksgiving Stuffed Squash| Avocados and Ales

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, and traditionally we have a “post-thanksgiving thanksgiving.” This year I decided to cook early, since we won’t be picking up any discounted Tofurky’s after Thanksgiving.Thanksgiving Stuffed Squash| Avocados and Ales

I’ve seen the recipe for vegducken circulating around Facebook for a few weeks, but for me, Thanksgiving is mostly about the sides. I thought “screw Vegducken, I just want potatoes and stuffing!” And that’s how this dish was born.

Thanksgiving Stuffed Squash | Avocados and Ales

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Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

4 Nov Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

Once upon a time, a long time ago (read: before I had a baby) Gardein sent me a few coupons so I could review their products. Well, those coupons came and went, and I never posted a review.  At the time, I intended to do a review of the new Fish Filets, but they’re old news now. With the new Crabless Cakes and Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites, they have plenty of new offerings that there aren’t hundreds of reviews on already. (Or maybe there are, I haven’t read them!)

But, the fishless filets hold a special place in my heart and my freezer.  I grew up eating fish filets on Fridays during Lent and I loved seafood before I discovered how awful the seafood industry really is.Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

One thing I really appreciate about Gardein is that they don’t cut corners when it comes to “short on time” options. We all know that’s code for “too dang busy chasing a toddler to cook.” I usually bake these if I get a chance to, but there’s been many a day where nap time happens and I use the microwave method. True story-you can microwave them for 2 minutes and get away with eating it floppy.

Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

 

I obviously had to showcase my new cheddar cheese recipe and the classic veganized McDonald’s filet-o-fish was an imperative. Have I told you guys we have a view of McDonald’s from our living room window? It’s pretty classy and definitely adds to our real estate value.

Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

The filets themselves are extremely reminiscent to their omnivore counterpart. There’s a vaguely fish-y flavor to them that isn’t strong as nori, but definitely makes you think “I’m eating fish.” I’ve had a few “tofu fish” sandwiches and there’s just some things that aren’t perfectly replicated with nori and deep frying. I believe it’s the algal oil that contributes to the fish-flavor, but they probably have some other awesome secrets to the taste. The breading and texture are spot on, they even “flake” apart while you’re biting into them (assuming you don’t swallow them whole.)

I made a simple tartar sauce for the sandwich with vegan mayo (I like Just Mayo, but you can also make your own), pickle relish, dill, parsley, and a splash of vinegar.

 

Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

 

If I had a rating system, I’d give these a 9/10. The only reason they aren’t a 10/10 is due to the lack of a family-size package. We can easily polish off a bag of these in one meal and I’d love to have a package that lasts two meals instead of just one.

Aquafaba Cheddar

3 Nov Aquafaba Cheddar

“But how do you live without cheese!”

If you’re vegan (or lactose intolerant) you’ve probably heard that at least once, or a thousand times. Thankfully, there’s been some really amazing vegan chefs who have made our cheeseless existence quite tolerable. Miyoko Schinner, Jay Astafa, Somer McGowan, and Skye Michael Conroy, have all taught me some valuable tips on vegan-cheese making. I actually took the inspiration from this from Richa Hingle at Vegan Richa.  Her vegan cheddar cheese ball came across my feed around Halloween and I knew the flavors would be perfect for an adaptation of my mozzerella aquafaba cheese. The original recipe that I drew inspiration from for the cashew mozzarella was developed by Jay Astafa. You can watch the YouTube video here. I noticed he uses soy lecithin as an emulsifier, which aquafaba has been shown to do in recipes like Nina’s butter and Peanut Butter and Vegan’s mayo. This inspired me to make the cashew mozzarella using aquafaba as the emulsifier.
Aquafaba Cheddar

Vegan cheese doesn’t create casein protein strands like dairy cheeses do, which is why we use tapioca starch to create that stretchy texture. Some places may have it labeled at tapioca flour, but they should be interchangeable. I find mine at an international market for a cheaper price. I use vegan lactic acid powder to create that dairy-like tang in this recipe. It’s definitely worth the purchase, but if you cannot buy it, substitute a tablespoon of lemon juice instead. Since cheddar has a significant tang to it, I include apple cider vinegar as well as miso paste. Nutritional yeast also adds to the cheesy flavor. Refined coconut oil helps with firmness upon refrigeration and improves the mouthfeel and melt.

Most vegan cheeses use either agar or kappa carrageenan as a binder to be sliceable and shreddable. I choose to use kappa carrageenan, as I prefer the melt and mouthfeel it imparts. I am well aware that many people choose not to consume it and I completely respect that; this recipe may be possible with agar powder, but I have not tested it. If you do test it, please contact me with your results!

Aquafaba Cheddar

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out these other vegan cheese recipes:
Cheddar Cheese Ball
Another Cheddar Cheese Ball
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Cultured Cheddar

The Vegan Meringue group on is a great place for more aquafaba recipes as well.

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Aquafaba Buns

19 Oct

Last week we celebrated my husband’s birthday. He’s a pretty neat guy, but one of his few flaws is his favorite foods-burgers. I have a particular dislike for most vegan burgers on the market these days. I’d take a black bean burger over a Boca Burger any day.

But, being the wonderful wife I am, I indulge his burger cravings occasionally, especially on his birthday. These homemade buns were perfect for burgers and actually made them palatable for me. We’ve been enjoying these buns for other sandwiches recently too!

Aquafaba Buns

Aquafaba works great as a binder in this recipe. Be sure to check out the Facebook page for more aquafaba recipes!

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Cheesy Ham and Quinoa Skillet

14 Oct

I’m often inspired by the ingredients in my fridge or freezer to make easy weeknight dinners like this. To be more accurate, I’m more often inspired by the LACK of ingredients, so I throw something together like this.

 

ham

Casseroles are not common in our weekly menu, but I really enjoy recipes like this that are one pan-dishes. The less dishes I have to do the more time I get to spend with my family, and that’s always a win.

You can use any vegan cheese sauce you prefer for this recipe. I am particularly partial to the carrot-potato cheese sauce, but hey, that’s just me. You could also sub the quinoa for rice or noodles. For some reason I always forget about quinoa in the back of my pantry, but it’s delicious and good for you, so I probably should remember it more often.

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