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

Easy Vegan Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts Recipe

When it comes to Brussels sprouts there are usually two types of people: those who love Brussels sprouts and those who have bad taste. Hahaha, just kidding! Seriously though if you have a love-hate relationship with Brussels sprouts, I have a easy vegan recipe that is guaranteed to change your mind.

It’s Brussels sprouts season here in Romania and pretty much around the world, which means there’s plenty of time to experiment and find a way to eat Brussels sprouts that you absolutely love.

Why?

For starters this cruciferous vegetable can help you with health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease. It can also help stave off many different types of cancer. And I mean who doesn’t love baby cabbage?

I personally love Brussels sprouts and this week I found a new (to me) recipe to challenge my husband and change the way we think about Brussels sprouts. Kung Pao Brussels sprouts is a fun twist on a Chinese takeout favorite that is totally vegan, super flavorful and really easy to make.

Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts recipes

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

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Posted in Asian Food, Beans, Bowls, Desserts, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Travel, Vegan

A Day in Bucharest ~ Sightseeing & Vegan Eats

Last week was our 18th wedding anniversary and we decided to do something that we have been avoiding for the past few years. Driving in Bucharest. Well, that’s not entirely true as we did spend some time in 2021 there in order to get some tattoos, but in general it is a huge headache and something that was just…ick.

But there are some tourist attractions that I really wanted to see and figured I could pull the Anniversary Card to make it happen. It worked like a charm.

The plan was simple; spend the morning sightseeing and stop at some kind of cafe for a coffee or a drink and then finish off our day of sightseeing at Ceauşescu Mansion and then a nice vegan dinner. But then we both remembered that this is Romania and things rarely work out the way you planned, especially in Bucharest.

The good news? We did manage to get in some sightseeing so you’ll have some pretty and historic sights as well as some delicious vegan food!

Let’s start with this beautiful tapestry made by an unknown Romanian artist for Ceauşescu Mansion.

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Posted in Beans, Breakfast, International vegan cuisine, Sides

A Day in the Mountains + Full English Breakfast Recipe

Last week I meant to add a bonus post because I’ve been so spotty lately while working and writing my new novel, not to mention taking in all the sights Romania has to offer. I didn’t get to it because I had a really trippy dream last week and it put me off while I dealt with the after effects of that, so I’m giving you a Friday freebie post/recipe.

Last week the Hubs and I decided to take a trip to the mountains but instead of going in the car, he wanted me to experience the Bucegi Mountains on the back of his motorcycle. I was on board–mostly–but there’s always a bundle of anxiety when it comes to being on a two-wheeled vehicle. Still, I promised him we would go so I sucked it up and put on my gear and we hit the road.

Of course, there was the promise of a vegan lunch at Snow in Sinaia which soothed my frazzled nerves by about 10% which any sufferer of anxiety knows isn’t basically nothing. But the Bucegi Mountains are beautiful and the scenery is magnificent so that alone was worth it.

Bucegi Mountains in Sinaia, Romania

We’ve been to Snow Restaurant many times and you can see the post about it here. The vegan sausages with grilled mushrooms, cabbage and mamaliga is wonderful but this time there were NO mushrooms–boo, hoo–but the food was decent.

We split the sausages, mamaliga and cabbage along with a vegan burger & fries meal. The vegan burger was tasty as were the toppings (lettuce, tomato & red onion) but the bun was entirely too big for the burger and not warmed so it totally fell apart as we each ate our halves.

With that in mind I decided to share with you a vegan meal that I’ve made a few times, Fully Vegan Full English Breakfast while also enjoying a great view in Sinaia of the Bucegi Mountains.

Let’s do it!

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Posted in International vegan cuisine, Sauces & Creams, Sides, Vegan

Old School Americana Recipes ~ Beyond Salisbury Steak Dinner

I grew up in the Midwest of the United States. From the day I was born, I lived in the Midwest and even spent my college and graduate school years in the Midwest. It was only after my post-graduate years that I left for the East Coast and then the West Coast and finally–so far–Europe.

All of this to say that I have a few Midwestern meals that I love, that I miss. For better or for worse, these recipes are deeply ingrained into me and once in a great while, I long for some of these dishes. They don’t all have happy memories but they mostly have a sense of comfort that makes me long for a small sliver of life back then, or just enjoying the simple meal with people I love.

Recently I had a longing for Salisbury Steak. When I was a small kid we had the frozen steaks all the time. You know what I’m talking about, the ones you poke holes in the plastic and pop in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, right? Well I think we can all agree that they’re not as delicious in reality as they are in the memory, but memories are often stronger than taste buds, or so I’m told anyway.

So I decided one night that I wanted vegan Salisbury steak made with Beyond vegan meat alternative and that’s how we ended up here.

In my childhood when I would make these frozen steaks, I would always have peas but sometimes there was rice or mashed potatoes. Unfortunately we had mashed potatoes recently so I opted for rice, super fluffy and extra delicious.

Vegan Americana Recipes ~ Vegan Salisbury Steak & Rice

So let’s talk about this quick and easy vegan comfort food recipe, shall we?

The ingredients list is short and simple, so let’s get down to vegan business.

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Posted in Casseroles, Cheese, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, one pot recipes, Pasta, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Hot & Spicy Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe

My husband loves mac & cheese. I mean he REALLY loves it and if I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it, he would request it at least once a week. Calories and fat and inflammation be damned.

Not that I mind (don’t tell him that) because vegan mac & cheese is delicious, especially this version that doesn’t actually include any cheese at all, not even vegan cheese. This is basically a thick and creamy vegan bechamel sauce with turmeric for color, tons of nutritional yeast, herbs & spices for a big ol’ pop of flavor.

The best part of all is that this vegan mac & cheese recipe is hot and spicy, and super easy to make!

If you’re not a big fan of spicy foods, I would recommend that you either take out ALL the seeds of the chili peppers or omit them altogether because I also added hot sauce to the bechamel because I am a crazy person who LOVES spicy stuff.

Hot & Spicy vegan mac and cheese

This is a quick and easy vegan recipe and you’ll be able to feed your family or a crowd of vegan guests in 30 minutes or less!

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Posted in oil free vegan recipes, one pot recipes, Plant Based, Soup, Vegan

UPDATED: Waste Free Homemade Vegan Broth

You know how TV chefs and know-it-all cooks always tell you not to boil your vegetables? They say that because when you boil your veggies most of the nutrients end up in the water that you inevitably discard.

Well that’s the basic premise behind my waste free vegan broth. That and the fact that you get double usage out of your fresh herbs and vegetables by hanging on to the leftover bits and bobs to make a delicious and flavorful broth that you can use for pretty much anything that requires water.

Ways To Use Vegan Broth:

*Risotto
*Soup starter
*Ramen noodle broth
*Deglaze pan (perfect for oil free vegan cooking)
*Water for rice/bulgur/couscous
*In place of oil in cooking

There are so many ways you can use this waste free vegan broth and the best part? If you cook regularly or even semi-regularly you will have an endless supply of homemade vegan broth. If you think you don’t have time for that, check out my Slow Cooker Waste Free Broth recipe.

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Posted in Bowls, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Sides, Vegan

The CREAMIEST Vegan Polenta

I’m not sure if you guys know this or not but I kind of love polenta. When I grew up it was all about grits but now that I’m an adult, polenta is where it’s at.

If you’re not sure about whether or not you love polenta, check out some of these recipes to get you started:

Creamy Polenta & Oven Roasted Veggies
Sweet Potato Polenta
Vegan Meatball Stew & Polenta

As you can see, I’ve done quite a few vegan polenta recipes in an effort to get it just right. Some end up too grainy or chunky and I was striving for perfectly silky polenta that doesn’t leave you feeling heavy and bloated.

Today I think I’ve finally gotten it right!

The full recipe is Crispy vegan chicken & veggies with creamy polenta but I’m going to focus on the polenta.

So, let’s get to making the creamiest vegan polenta you’ll ever eat!

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Posted in Sides

New Vegan Food Find ~ Spicy Vegan Sausage (on a stick)

Ah, here we are once again, checking out new vegan food products. Today’s product, a simple vegan sausage, was found by accident as I browsed the aisles of my local Kaufland.

Take it Veggie is a well-known vegan brand, one that I’ve been accustomed with since the early days of my vegan life back in Germany. It is a German brand of vegan and vegetarian foods and they are average in taste but they are affordable and it seems as if they add new products every couple of months.

I hadn’t planned on buying vegan sausages but when I saw that they were spicy, I let myself be fooled. I mean, I lived in Germany for nearly a decade and ‘Germany spicy’ is always sweet, never spicy.

Never.

Still, I was hopeful. And here we are.

Let’s talk a little about these sausages, made from pea protein, and what I did with them.

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Posted in Bowls, Grains, Herbs, International vegan cuisine, Salads, Vegan

Quick & Easy Vegan Lunch Ideas ~ Vegan Rainbow Bowl

For those of you vegans who work outside the home, lunchtime usually means a break from the office, time away from annoying and chatty coworkers, bosses looking to get a few extra minutes of free work and endless tasks. To escape that, we usually head out of the office for lunch–at least I know I used to and often–which usually means eating out.

Whether it’s fast food or restaurant food, we choose it because it’s convenient and consistent. Mostly. But what if I told you that you could make a vegan lunch bowl that’s just as convenient and consistent?

With a little bit of prep work and forethought, of course.

Easy vegan buddha bowl lunch recipes

This Vegan Rainbow Bowl recipe ticks all the boxes:

It’s quick
It’s colorful & nutritious
You can switch up ingredients for different flavor profiles so it’s like you’re always eating someplace new.

Grab your favorite kitchen tools and ingredients and let’s do this!

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Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, International vegan cuisine, Noodles, Plant Based, Vegan

Vegan Cafe Treats

Since yesterday was a holiday in the United States I decided to hold off on posting a vegan recipe until Wednesday but I wouldn’t leave you hanging so I thought I’d share some more goodies from a local vegan cafe.

This is kind of a big deal since there are just about NO vegan places to eat in Ploiesti. There are a few places that have a couple vegan items but most of them are the same vegan meat alternatives we have in our fridge or freezer so why pay the markup, right?

Exactly.

But this place, Cafeneaua Nației, has a few completely vegan dishes made from scratch. They have a few of the well-known vegan meat alternatives like Mici and Schnitzel but they have quite a few surprises like the chickpea pancakes we had last time, which you can read here.

This time around we chose a few different dishes and one that’s already become an old faithful dish, the pureed lentils and rice dish with caramelized onions served on top.

To start we tried something other than beer and water. I chose a ginger lemonade with fresh ginger which was very delicious and refreshing, which was much appreciated on one of the last days of this European heatwave. He ordered a green smoothie that came with kale and apple and carrot and a bunch of other stuff that was…okay for me but he loved it.

It was another nice day out and we decided to eat outside this time, enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.

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