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 Grains, International vegan cuisine, Italian, oil free vegan recipes, Pasta, Vegan

Vegan Tuna Orecchiette with Lemon & Capers

Back in my early 20’s I spent a lot of time learning, or rather re-learning how to cook because my grandmothers cook mostly soul food and my dad was (and is) a huge steak eater and that was pretty much my culinary education. Well unless you count making those Lipton rice packets and ramen noodles, a la nearly every college student ever.

Anyway I watched a lot of Food Network to learn more about cooking. The basics, different ingredients and how they worked together, why we do certain things like rinse or drain pasta. I learned a lot and one of the things that stuck with me was a love of orecchiette.

Weird, right?

Anyway Tyler Florence, Rachel Ray and even Ina Garten used these little pasta “ears” in a variety of ways that I always enjoyed and so whenever I find them, they find their way into my shopping cart. That’s just the way it is.

Not sure what orecchiette is or how to identify it, check it out here.

When it was my partner’s turn to cook I have him just a few parameters about what I wanted: orecchiette, lemons, capers and vegan tuna. “Do what you want,” was my only other direction and this dish is what he came up with.

Vegan tuna, lemon & caper pasta recipes

It’s simple and delicious and earned him two gigantic thumbs up. Ok, I have normal size thumbs but you get what I’m saying, right?

Let’s get to the kitchen and make some vegan food!

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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, 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 Grains, Herbs, Italian, oil free vegan recipes, Pasta, Plant Based, Vegan

Quick & Easy 30-Minute Vegan Pasta Recipe

Let’s be honest with ourselves if not each other, shall we? Some nights you just don’t feel like making a delicious vegan dinner but in the spirit of being a responsible adult who doesn’t want to waste money on crap, we do it anyway.

Some nights the result isn’t worth the effort. Some nights it is.

Instead of making due with crappy or greasy vegan takeout meals that are nutritionally imbalances, gross or just filled with processed foods, how about we try to find ways to make the results worth the effort.

How?

For starters, 30 minute meals. Whether you’re a parent, single or merely part of a couple, 30 minute vegan meals are a great way to get a healthy vegan meal on the table without a lot of hullabaloo.

(Like that word, don’t ya?)

The other night I was very hungry because some days I am always hungry, but I digress. I wanted food but it was incredibly hot outside (over 30 degrees Celsius) and spending time in the kitchen did not sound like any kind of fun. But adult here and so I had to, plus it was my night to cook.

So I went to the pasta cabinet and grabbed this tomato tagliatelle I found at Lidl that had no eggs, no milk powder, and no other unnecessary animal products. From there I grabbed a handful of ingredients and I was ready for something tomato-y, a little bit spicy and above all else, delicious.

Enjoy this simple vegan Tagliatelle Arrabbiata

30 minute vegan pasta dinners

Grab your ingredients and get in and out of the sweltering kitchen in thirty minutes. Or less!

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Posted in Bowls, Curry, Grains, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Vegan

Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe ~ Jerk Roasted Eggplant Bowl

It’s only Wednesday but already this week has been crazy! My book, Let It Be Love is officially LIVE which means book promo and events galore. Even though I knew it was coming, it still kind of snuck up on me.

All of that to say that this will be short (ish) and sweet.

As you may or may not know up until moving to Romania I was not a fan of eggplant. I had tried it a few times and absolutely hated it. The taste. The texture. The mouth-feel. Nothing about it was enjoyable to me and that persisted for most of my life.

But here in Romania eggplant is almost the only vegetable people eat. It’s in Vinete (eggplant dip) and Zacusca (vegetable dip) or just served overcooked with tons of oil for “garnish”. Still wasn’t a fan.

And then my aunt-in-law made some Vinete and I tried it and…liked it.

So I began to experiment with it. Mostly for my husband who is Romanian and loves my baba ghanoush. And then I saw this roasted jerk eggplant recipe and it actually looked good.

Check out my Graffiti Eggplant & Courgette Couscous Salad recipe, or Vegan Eggplant Fries for a different take on eggplant recipes.

So I made a vegan buddha bowl with jerk seasoned eggplant, curry TVP and a grain cooked with plenty of turmeric. And here we are.

Jamaican Jerk Roasted vegan eggplant steaks

I’m still experimenting with cooking eggplant and finding ways to add it to the menu but this one came out pretty well. It was a little softer than I would have liked but next time I’ll shave 5 minutes from the cooking time.

Enjoy!

Continue reading “Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe ~ Jerk Roasted Eggplant Bowl”
Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Sweet & Sour Vegan Cauliflower

Hey there my fellow vegans and vegan-curious readers!

One of the things I like to do when it comes to vegan takeout recipes at home, is to make a few compromises. Instead of choosing vegan meat alternatives like TVP, vegan beef or seitan, is to go totally plant based and vegetable based to minimize my calorie intake.

If you’re interested, check out my General Tso’s Soy Strips, or  Takeout at Home for the Lazy Vegan or the Mongolian Tofu recipe.

I know, I know, it sounds obsessive if you’ve never struggled with weight problems in the past, but now that I know what I did so wrong for so many years, I refuse to repeat that behavior. So instead of sweet sour vegan chicken, I chose sweet and sour cauliflower.

Why?

Cauliflower is super satisfying and it takes on a variety of flavors really, really well. It’s the perfect vessel for a dish that’s full of flavor. If you’d rather eat a shoe than cauliflower, do your thang. Just switch out cauliflower for any other vegan main dish you desire.

Now, let’s get into this Sweet & Sour Vegan Cauliflower recipe.

Easy vegan cauliflower recipes

You can cook this recipe in the oven or on the stovetop, and if you’re really feeling energetic, you can fry the cauliflower first and toss it in the sweet and sour sauce.

The choice is always yours, it’s just a matter of what you feel like doing in the kitchen!

Continue reading “Sweet & Sour Vegan Cauliflower”
Posted in Asian Food, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Korean Style Vegan Mince Bulgogi

If you’re like me and you love all food from the continent of Asia then you know that the best way to constantly improve your Asian recipes is to keep making them. Each time I watch my favorite food bloggers I learn more and more about what little extras I need to add to my spice pantry and I slowly gather them until every dash of this or pinch of that helps me become a better home cook.

When it comes to Bulgogi, practice makes the best progress. Each time I make this dish the flavors are a little bit better, a little bit deeper and just so darn good that I always wish for more. And then a little bit more because you take the fat out of girl but you can take out the fat girl!

Today’s vegan bulgogi is made when vegan mince instead of soya strips, mushrooms or any other vegan beef strips alternative. I wanted the emphasis to be on the sauce and mince provided the perfect outlet for that.

This is an easy vegan recipe that is packed full of flavor, it’s easy to make and can be achieved with pantry staples.

Korean Style Vegan Bulgogi recipe

So let’s not wait any longer, grab your apron and your favorite heat-resistant pan and let’s start gathering our vegan food ingredients!

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Posted in Grains, Herbs, Italian, Plant Based, Vegan

Creamy Vegan Polenta & Oven Roasted Vegetables

Some people might say that Spring is too warm for vegan polenta recipes and I say those people are wrong. 😛 Sometimes I get so deep into the writing cave that I’ll look up and find it’s 10:30 and it’s my night to cook, and that’s when a dish like this is a gift.

Seriously though, sometimes you want a homemade vegan meal that’s simple to throw together and doesn’t take a long time to make. Polenta does take about 10 to 15 minutes if you want it really creamy and delicious, but the good news is that the oven is doing all the work for the vegetables so you have plenty of time!

And this is also a perfect whole food vegan dinner, but if you want to add a vegan meat alternative feel free since you’re the one who has to eat it.

Creamy vegan polenta & veggies

This is an easy vegan dinner made with sheet pan vegetables so it’s also an easy weeknight dinner any vegan will enjoy!

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Posted in Grains, International vegan cuisine, Italian, Pasta, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Easy Creamy Vegan Chicken Alfredo

Hello, my beautiful people. Today we have another quick and easy recipe because I am–still–knee deep editing Mustang Prairie so I can get it off to the editor as soon as possible. I promise not to skimp on details for this delicious weeknight vegan dinner, but I’m also not going to give you some long backstory on the recipe.

But there will be a short backstory, lol.

Does anyone watch Love After Lockup? Anyway someone suggested it and I decided to give it a shot this season and one of the former inmates blew off the girl that had been waiting for him for over a decade while he was in prison, to go to a strip club which isn’t the worst part of the story, if you can believe it.

His excuse? The strip club has “bomb ass shrimp alfredo”. Yep, you read that right. he blew her off for strip club alfredo, which is what I named this recipe in my Cronometer App but for reader, Google and SEO purposes, I’ve switched it up.

Easy vegan chicken alfredo recipes

This is a quick and easy vegan recipe that doesn’t require soaked cashews, coconut cream or any of that. This is the perfect vegan dinner when you want something delicious that won’t take hours in the kitchen.

I promise.

Continue reading “Easy Creamy Vegan Chicken Alfredo”