Posted in Asian Food, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

Quick & Easy Vegan Salads ~ Cucumber & Wakame Salad w/Ponzu Dressing

For today’s recipe I’m going to get back to one of my favorite vegan recipes. Salads.

I don’t know about you but everyone in my life who isn’t vegan–which is most of the people in my life–loves to make jokes about salad being the only thing my husband and I eat. They think they’re hilarious but any good vegan knows just how delicious a properly made vegan salad can be. I’m not talking about a few tomato wedges or three slices of cucumber with some heavy creamy salad dressing.

Oh no.

If you’re interested in some delicious vegan salad recipes that are a meal on their own, check out these recipes:

(Mostly) Raw Vegan Cabbage Salad
Vegan Sushi Salad
Crispy Chickpea Rainbow Salad
Vegan Buffalo Chicken Salad
Vegan Potato Salad

Today’s vegan salad recipe is a side salad and it goes great with just about anything. In fact, this salad was a nice little addition to a pizza bread recipe, which you can find here.

Why You’ll Love This Vegan Salad Recipe:

*Just 8 ingredients (mostly ALL pantry staples)
*It’s delicious
*Packed with nutrients
*Uses wakame!

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Continue reading “Quick & Easy Vegan Salads ~ Cucumber & Wakame Salad w/Ponzu Dressing”
Posted in International vegan cuisine, Mexican Dishes, Plant Based, Potatoes, Salads, Vegan

Lazy Vegan Meals ~ Vegan Tortilla Pie

The good news is that we all have those lazy days when it comes to whipping up something healthy and delicious in the kitchen. The better news is that with every passing month, every other day there are more options to allow you to be a lazy vegan cook.

Today I have one such vegan food find, the vegan tortilla pie by Vemondo. This company is a German company and the products are sold exclusively in Lidl, probably wherever Lidl stores exist, but certainly here in Romania.

Are you one of those grocery shoppers who just makes a beeline for only the things they need? That is totally my husband while I go up and down the aisles that are likely to have some kind of new vegan food products. He can usually be found waiting for me at the end of any particular aisle, protecting the cart with his life as if all the Romanians in the store actually want our veggies and vegan food products!

Anyway, my browsing skills are how I found this particular food. Vegan potato, onion and chickpea tortilla pie or cake, however you’d like to classify it.

Lazy vegan meals

However you call it, this was perfect because what I thought was just a one week heatwave has entered its fourth week, making too much time in the kitchen totally unbearable.

I kept it simple and sweet and vegan, because that’s how I roll.

Continue reading “Lazy Vegan Meals ~ Vegan Tortilla Pie”
Posted in Grains, International vegan cuisine, Italian, Pasta, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Easy Vegan Dinners ~ Creamy Vegan Tagliatelle w/ Chanterelle Mushrooms

I don’t know how to say this without sounding weird so I’m just gonna say it. I have an ongoing love affair with mushrooms. I LOVE some Pleurotus(oyster) mushrooms and I will use them whenever possible. They are great as a vegan meat alternative, especially if you’re looking for something like Vegan MInce Stuffed Mushrooms, Shredded Vegan BBQ Pork or King Oyster scallops, but they also work well in so many vegan applications that I literally never get tired of eating them.

But there’s also shitake mushrooms, enoki and even wood ear mushrooms, which are great pickled, all of which hold special places in my heart. But chanterelle mushrooms? These elusive beauties are hard to find in even the largest grocery stores throughout Europe so you know when I find them, I always grab a box. Or two.

Chanterelle mushrooms for vegan recipes

There is just one huge, glaring downside to Chanterelle mushrooms. They are dirty. So, so dirty. And yeah, that is a good thing because they are natural and all that jazz, but they can also be a gigantic bitch to clean. After many years of trying–and failing–different methods of cleaning chanterelle mushrooms without noshing on grit and rocks, I’ve finally figured it out and I’m going to share it with you because everyone should be eating this fungi especially if you’re vegan and doubly especially if you have a mushroom addiction.

As soon as I spotted these golden babies I knew exactly what I wanted. Okay well not exactly but I knew tagliatelle pasta would be involved and some kind of cream sauce. So when I got home, that’s where I started and this is where I ended up.

Chanterelle mushrooms & creamy vegan pasta sauce

What’s your favorite quick and easy vegan dinner recipe?

Continue reading “Easy Vegan Dinners ~ Creamy Vegan Tagliatelle w/ Chanterelle Mushrooms”
Posted in Bowls, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Potatoes, Vegan

Vegan Beef Gyro Fries & Creamy Vegan Tzatziki

As you guys know, I love to test out different vegan products when they come out, so when I was visiting Metro last week, which is what I like to call Romanian Costco, I found a big ass bag of vegan beef. After some quick math to figure out if the grams versus price was worth it–it was–I dropped it in the giant shopping cart and started creating recipes in my mind.

I’ve cooked a few different vegan gyro recipes including Mediterranean Vegan Gyro Fries, Vegan Gyro Bowl and Vegan Gyro Salad Bowl. But this new vegan beef from Metro is delicious. It’s not too greasy or too dry that you need to add extra fat. And the best part? It soaks up flavors like you would not believe. Whether it’s broth or sauce, you won’t be disappointed with this vegan beef product…if you can find it.

The weather here has been INSANE. So hot that most days I’ve been tempted to make something like salad or sandwiches, anything that doesn’t require turning on the oven or the stove. The air fryer will do in a pinch but I also want to eat good, warm food so that’s my dilemma.

But this was my Hubs’ night to cook so I asked for gyro fries with vegan yogurt tzatziki sauce and even though HE forgot to take photos of the vegan tzatziki sauce, I’m still posting this recipe.

I hope you try it and enjoy it. Leave a link in the comments or find me on Instagram with your recipes.

Continue reading “Vegan Beef Gyro Fries & Creamy Vegan Tzatziki”
Posted in Desserts, Vegan

New Vegan Food Find! ~ Vemondo Coconut & Caramel Ice Cream

You guys know how much I love to find new vegan food items, whether in the grocery store or a restaurant. I feel compelled to try them out and as long as it’s something I like or might reasonably like I will test it out.

Once.

Okay, at least once.

Today (or was it yesterday) I was browsing the aisles of my local Lidl and my husband was bored watching me squint to check the ingredients on a tiny package of sun dried tomatoes. Why? To make sure there were no anchovies or crustaceans in the oil or the jar itself. There weren’t.

Anyway he zoomed right through the canned good aisles and went straight to the freezer section and found these babies, Vemondo Coconut & Caramel Ice Cream bars.

Ice. Cream. Bars.

Continue reading “New Vegan Food Find! ~ Vemondo Coconut & Caramel Ice Cream”
Posted in Bowls, Grains, Herbs, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Salads, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

(Mostly) Raw Vegan Cabbage Salad Recipe

With the heatwave sweeping through both the United States and Europe, now is the perfect time to revisit one of my favorite lunch time recipes; salad.

I love salad because it is a low calorie dish that is packed with wonderfully colorful vegetables, nutrients and fiber. It’s a win-win-win for my tastebuds and my palate and better than that, it doesn’t require you to use the stove at all…unless you need to rehydrate some TVP, which I used for this recipe.

Some people might quibble over my use of the word ‘salad’ when this recipe lacks any form of lettuce, and the use of cabbage might prompt some to think its a slaw, but I promise that it is a salad. The problem is that here in Romania there seems to be a fresh salad shortage. If you want any type of leafy green that’s (allegedly) been washed for you and packed, you have some options but I prefer my salad with some dirt on it that I wash off myself and that, has been sadly lacking for the past few weeks, maybe a month.

So I’ve had to get creative with my salads because it’s too dang hot for stoves and ovens and all that jazz.

For today’s vegan salad recipe, I decided to use a mix of green and red cabbage, keeping it 95 % raw and vegan.

Creamy vegan cabbage salad recipe

You can forego the protein altogether or replace with chickpeas or quinoa, or any type of vegan meat alternative you choose.

Continue reading “(Mostly) Raw Vegan Cabbage Salad Recipe”
Posted in Asian Food, Curry, Indian, International vegan cuisine, Travel, Vegan

Surprisingly Yummy Vegan Food in Sinaia

Happy Friday, people!

As you all recently know, I achieved a goal of mine by climbing to Caraiman Peak which is in the Bucegi Mountains in Romania. It was a wonderfully thrilling and terrifying experience and you can read all about it here.

But though the trip was mainly about climbing the mountain, it’s always nice to make the short drive to Sinaia and visit what has become a vegan staple in the area, Ramayana.

Ramayana isn’t a vegan restaurant, unfortunately. But it’s the only place you can get any vegan food that’s not a burger. There are quite a few places where you can eat with your non-vegan friends and family, if you never get tired of eating the same old vegan burger. Ramayana is, or was, the only place you could get more than one vegan food option and after a complicated first visit, things have only gotten better.

Vegan Aloo Gobi Curry
Continue reading “Surprisingly Yummy Vegan Food in Sinaia”
Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, International vegan cuisine, Noodles, Vegan

Asian BBQ Cauliflower Noodles

Some of the people I know who skirt with going vegan for many of the reasons the rest of have already adopted the lifestyle, ask me how I come up with recipes. They have all settled into the meat and potato version of meals with the occasional vegetable added in, so I get their confusion.

The thing they don’t understand is that before going vegan, I was a huge vegetable eater. They were a part of every meal so in those early days all I did was remove the animal products and replace it with non-animal protein, usually beans. And then slowly, but surely, I learned more. I discovered more.

The vegan food industry became more.

Still, it does get difficult to come up with new ideas when you have to cook often due to a lack of vegan restaurant food options. But we find a way, don’t we?

So for today’s vegan recipe, I had a few different ideas in mind. I wanted to take buffalo cauliflower (Buffalo Cauliflower recipe) and make it Asian style, but I also wanted Asian noodles and from there, the Asian BBQ Cauliflower Noodle dish was born.

Hoisin Cauliflower Noodles – Vegan

This vegan recipe is simple and delicious, so what more do you need?

Continue reading “Asian BBQ Cauliflower Noodles”
Posted in Fruit, Plant Based, Travel, Vegan

Vegan Snacks & Bars for Mountain Climbing

So guys, I did a thing. A big thing. A thing that I am so proud of myself for accomplishing that I just can’t contain myself.

I climbed a mountain….again (technically).

A few years ago me and Cos (my husband) hiked from Peștera to Babele on one of our first trips in Romania. I had never climbed anything other than a few hills during my time in Germany and this was hard. I had only been vegan for about a year and I was still close to 100kg in weight, but I did it. I made the whole hike without using a telecabina (gondola in English) or calling out for the Mountain Rescue crew.

Before going vegan and taking control of my health and my life, I was a mess. 127kg at the fattest ever and mostly sedentary, typing away on my laptop as my romance author penname, N.D. Jackson. And now, 5 years after cleansing the animals from my diet and my life, I was able to do this. THIS BIG THING!!!

And there at Babele, staring at the Sphinx I decided that I would make my way to Caraiman Peak. It was a totally arbitrary decision and location but for me it was just a test or a milestone to see if I was fit enough and brave enough to do it.

Make Every Bite Count & Count Every Bite

And then the pandemic happened.

And then 2022 came upon us and I just knew this was my year.

And it was.

July 2022, to be exact, was the month that I did a trip far longer than Babele and up to the actual top of a real mountain.

To do this properly you need the right equipment of course, including a solid pair of broken-in hiking boots, a windbreaker and trekking sticks. But what you also need is the right fuel, which for animal eaters can be fairly easy to find.

For vegans? Not so much. But after a few trips to different grocery and health food stores in town, I found a few options.

Continue reading “Vegan Snacks & Bars for Mountain Climbing”
Posted in Casseroles, International vegan cuisine, one pot recipes, Vegan

Vegan Spanakopita ~ Photo Fail, Recipe Success!

Since I was so busy last week I figured I would give you with an extra, albeit short, post.

Last week I made another attempt at spanakopita and this one was more of a success than my last, in terms of taste, seasoning and composition. It was however, a photo fail as you will see. Soon.

I didn’t used to be much of a spinach fan and today I’ll stay that I don’t love it but I don’t hate it either. I can tolerate it in a few instances, such as a variety of spinach & artichoke recipes:

Spinach & Artichoke Open-Faced Sandwiches
Squash & Spinach Vegan Queso Dip
Spinach & Bean Pinwheels
Vegan Sausage, Spinach & Mushroom Risotto 
Southern Style Vegan Black Eyed Pea & Spinach Stew

Which of course means I had to jump right to vegan spanakopita, right?

Right!

I hope you enjoy this Vegan Spanakopita Casserole Recipe.

You can make it however you choose, in a large baking dish to serve family style, individual casserole dishes or you can even do it fancy by rolling into little bite-sized triangles. The choice is yours.

Continue reading “Vegan Spanakopita ~ Photo Fail, Recipe Success!”