Posted in Beans, Grains, Herbs, one pot recipes, Plant Based, Snacks, Vegan

Hearty White Bean & Veggie Vegan Stew

Soup season is upon us!

What does that mean, exactly? It means we have the best of what fall vegan recipes have to offer from herbs and spices, to locally grown ingredients that make your fall vegan soups the best they can be.

When it comes to making seasonal vegan stews, I love knowing that my big supermarkets and even the local farmer’s markets will have fresh thyme, rosemary and oregano to add to my favorite autumn recipes. Toss in a few seasonal vegetables and you have everything you need for the perfect hearty vegan stew.

When it comes to buying vegan soup recipes in the fall, I like to pick up what I can find. Whether that is corn or zucchini, eggplant, celery or cabbage, whatever I can find locally and at a reasonable price is a top candidate for my favorite vegan soup recipes.

Today I decided to shoot for a hearty white bean vegan stew which is perfect for any level of vegan home cook because all you need is a few vegetables, some herbs and spices and you’re ready to feed your family or a big crowd for football Sunday!

Let’s dive into this quick and easy vegan fall stew recipe that is guaranteed to satisfy a hungry crowd.

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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 Beans, Mexican Dishes, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

Vegan Taco Salads ~ Black Bean & Corn Taco Salad

The thing I love about salad is that that you can do so much with it. You can toss together a quickie salad that looks pretty much what people think vegans eat, or you can go all out and make a proper salad that fills you up with food and nutrients.

Guess which one I enjoy?

If you guess a big ass salad, you are correct, my friend.

Sometimes I enjoy what call it a hot & cold salad because I like to mix fresh raw ingredients with cooked ingredients, especially when it comes to burrito bowls, taco salads and Buddha bowls. Grab your favorite raw veggies, any kind of vegan protein you want and cooked veggies if you’re feeling spunky.

Check out my Sushi Salad Bowl or the Chickpea Rainbow Salad or Buffalo Chicken Salad or this Summer BBQ Salad recipe.

Sometimes I prefer something a little more traditional like potato salad, or a mostly raw vegan salad.

Today’s vegan taco salad is similar to dozens of vegan salad recipes I’ve made over the years but the difference is that I jumped out of my comfort zone and made something that I have yet to have a good experience with: peach & cucumber salsa.

It’s always been a hate-hate relationship with non-tomato salsa because I just don’t find the combination of peaches or nectarines with cucumbers all that pleasant to my taste buds. Today I decided to do it again just to see if my mind or my palate has changed.

So let’s dig into this black bean and corn taco salad.

Vegan taco salad recipe

Gather your ingredients and let’s get started!

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Posted in Beans, Bowls, International vegan cuisine, Soup, Vegan

New Vegan Eats!!! ~ Lunch @ Cafeneaua Nației in Ploiesti, RO

If you’ve been following this blog for the past year or two or three (has it been 3 years already?) then you’ll know that the town where I live in Romania, Ploiesti, has very VERY limited options when it comes to vegan food. I mean, sure, you can eat anywhere if you don’t mind eating a basic salad, French fries and other items on the ‘side dishes’ list. But if you want something to satisfy your appetite? Well, look outside Ploiesti.

Things have gotten better here, at the grocery store anyway. But everywhere else we’ve gone like Constanta, Cluj and Sinaia have all had incredible options for vegans.

So, imagine my surprise when I decided to torture myself by seeing if there were any new vegan options in Ploiesti because I was feeling a little sluggish and I hadn’t been outside for a few days and I was in the mood for some yummy vegan food on a sunny terrace. And guess what pops up?

Cafeneaua Nației.

Cafeneaua Natiei – Ploiesti Romania

It’s in the city center which was nice–except for the traffic–and the place was great. This was our experience.

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Posted in Beans, Desserts, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Sandwiches, Soup, Travel, Vegan

More Vegan Travels & Food ~ Constanta, Danube & Tulcea (Romania)

One of my favorite things to is travel to new places and explore new cultures, history and art. I love to see how people live all over the world and whenever I can find time I like to go pretty much anywhere that has a few items of interest.

My partner and I had been planning a trip to the Danube Delta and then COVID struck and we postponed it. Twice.

But we finally got there and we took a rather circuitous route, starting with Constanța to see the port and the Black Sea, which is a place my husband and his family often spent summers when he was a kid. The day was nice and warm and we walked around the city before taking in the Museum of History and Archeology which was incredible. There really is a lot of Roman history to be found in Romania, in addition to the Austrian and German influences found throughout their history. It was a wonderful day of sun and history and exploration.

I love the town signs that give you a silhouette of each town entering and leaving

So we started with Constanta and if you don’t know it is the birth place of tennis player Simona Halep and actor Sebastian Stan! Just a little bit of fun trivia for ya.

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Posted in Beans, Bowls, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

Crispy Chickpea Rainbow Salad & Creamy Vegan Yogurt Dressing

When the weather is nice and the greens are fresh and crispy, nothing is better than a big ol’ satisfying salad.

When it comes to making salad, I don’t like to stand on ceremony, I like to paint outside the lines by using vegetables not traditionally associated with a boring salad, such as buffalo vegan chicken. Don’t just limit yourself to tomatoes and cucumbers, which are incredible by the way, but they aren’t the only way to make a salad.

For today’s vegan salad recipe, I decided to go with a rainbow theme. Why?

Because the more colors in your salad, the more nutrients you’re giving your body, it really is just that simple.

Easy vegan rainbow salad recipe

Remember to rinse all of your ingredients before you eat them!

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Posted in Beans, Dips, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Snacks, Vegan

Easy Vegan Appetizers ~ Feed A Crowd & Party On!

Whether you’re having a birthday or anniversary party, Super Bowl or Australian Open party, you’ll need to be able to feed a crowd. Feeding a crowd a bunch of vegan appetizers is easier than you might think, as long as you stop thinking of party food in traditional ways.

The first party I threw after going vegan was to celebrate Wimbledon (Hello, I am a tennis nerd! :P) and I was thinking like an animal eating party thrower. My mind immediately went to things like meatballs and buffalo wings, spinach & artichoke dip and all those other party snacks filled with dairy and flesh. No bueno.

As time went on, I became more comfortable just thinking about vegan appetizers and ways to veganize old school party foods. That was (almost) five years ago and now, I feel like a pro.

I mean, I’m not a pro but I feel less stressed when making food for a crowd. Then again that could be because I haven’t attended many crowded events for…some time now.

Tasty vegan appetizers to feed a hungry crowd!

Feeding a mixed crowd of vegans and non-vegans isn’t something I worry about. Why? Because my husband and I are both vegans and so is our household. If you come to our house, you should expect to be served vegan food. Period.

But you know what? Even if it’s just you and your family, however big or small that is, vegan appetizers are a great way to have a snack fest all day on special days. This particular spread of vegan party food was for me and the hubs on New Year’s Eve.

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Posted in Beans, Grains, Plant Based, Potatoes, Soup, Vegan

Southern Style Vegan Black Eyed Pea & Spinach Stew

I know, I know, it’s barely September and here I am with a stew recipe. The weather is still nice but has cooled dramatically after the super warm summer we’ve had all over Europe (and home in the US too, no?), which makes it the perfect time to hop on the stew train. Or if you prefer, the soup train?

Not to mention the fact that black eyed peas are very difficult to find here so when I found them (jarred, boo) I grabbed them, held on tight and knew I had to make a southern style vegan bean stew.

Why? Both of my grandmothers have southern roots–Alabama & Tennessee, respectively–which means I have eaten my fair share of bean soups, stews and the mysteriously named soup beans. Sometimes, when my longing for time with my grannies gets too strong, this is one of my go to recipes. Or when it’s a little bit chilly and I’m making an excuse to eat soup. Or just because the mood strikes.

Black eyed peas are perfect for vegan stews or slow cooker vegan recipes

This is a very hearty stew which means, in my opinion, it doesn’t require bread or crackers or anything else on the side. You’ve got spinach for dark leafy greens, onions and potatoes for fiber and tons of other nutrients. Just season well and let this big bowl of vegan goodness do it’s thang.

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Posted in Beans, Grains, Herbs, Plant Based, Potatoes, Salads, Vegan

Vegan Summer Salads ~ Broccoli, Sweet Potato & Chickpea Salad

With this unbelievable and sometimes, unbearable, heat, I have been working to up my salad game.

We’ve all heard the vegan jokes about munching on lettuce nonstop to fuel our malnourished bodies, but the truth is that if I’d known how amazing I could make salads in my pre-vegan days, my life might be very different today. Thank goodness, I didn’t figure it out until now.

This is what my friends think I eat.

Nothing wrong with this…as a side salad.

But this is what my salad actually looks like.

Sweet potato, chickpea & broccoli salad

See the difference?

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