I used to be a sandwich snob. The kind of snob who thought that open-faced sandwiches were an abomination. A way to eat a sandwich without actually enjoying it. I don’t know, there’s just something about biting into two pieces of bread filled with goodness and hoping like hell that the insides don’t fall down your shirt.
Ah, good times.
I still contend that closed sandwiches are superior, but I am doing my best to become a better human, to expand my horizons, and to learn to love open-faced sandwiches. Progress, as they say, comes in teeny tiny baby steps.
Do you love spinach & artichoke dip? You know filled with vegan mayo or veggiegurt, with red bell peppers, tons of spinach and artichokes and garlic, topped with cheese? Well this is one of my favorite dishes to recreate into pasta dishes, dips, stuffed mushrooms, pizza and pretty much anything that can be spinach and artichoke-d.
If you do, this vegan sandwich recipe is right up your alley. It gives you all the goodness that you get from the dip, only now it’s a hearty and satisfying meal perfect for any weather, the pickiest eater or just for your beautiful self.
I have tried to make dirty rice and even dirty rice & beans, but so far I have yet to perfect it. Let’s just say that it is a work in progress and some days, it feels as if it might always be a work in progress.
The good news is that I’ve been practicing rinsing and soaking rice grains. Using different grain lengths, colors and shapes. It turns out, the issue isn’t the rice. It’s me. Or maybe it was me, because I think this one came out pretty good.
If you’ve never had dirty rice, it is a southern staple that’s filled with vegetables, herbs, spices and delicious meat alternatives. The first few times I tried to make vegan dirty rice, there was too much liquid. The next time, the rice was too sticky. There may (or may not) have been an instance of burned rice too, but we’re not here to talk about that.
I don’t have much time for a post today but I did something recently that I swore I would never do again after a very bad experience when I was ten years old. Eat Kale.
Came across some beautiful looking kale at the market and I figured it was time to give it another try, and guess what? It was pretty damn good. Okay sure, the vegan mince (Naturli brand) helped, as did all the other veggies, but it was tasty (and bitter) and worked very well with the recipe.
If you’ve made one stir fry, you know how to make them all! Start with the veggies with the longest cooking time and work your way down, ending with the vegan mince.
As much as I complain about the temperature dipping below what I find naturally comfortable, there are two things that I truly look forward to when autumn hits; Halloween and soups. Okay, the changing of the leaves is also a beautiful sight to behold but nothing is better than soup.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a creamy bisque, a hearty curry, a veggie stew or a delicious Asian inspired vegan Pho, or any other variety of noodle soups I can come up with, I want it all and I want it every day. Soup is my go to in fall and winter, consider it my warm liquid salad for the half the year. I haven’t made too many soups because it’s only just getting chilly, but the apartment block we rent in Romania is old school…like so old school that it is made up mostly of cement. Add to that, our side of the building is NOT the sunny side and you can see why I am constantly cold.
But, I digress. We were talking soups, no?
For today’s vegan soup recipe, I went with a simple lemon and wild rice soup, though it doesn’t taste anywhere near as simple as it sounds. I swear.
Soups are always easy vegan recipes because mostly they are or can be one pot recipes as well, which this one is. Sometimes I will make the rice separately but this time I wanted every grain of wild basmati rice to soak up all the waste free vegan broth, the lemon juice and all the delicious herbs and spices.
It’s time for another vegan salad with all the delicious goodies you know and love, but this time the focus is on the vegan salad dressing.
Want a unique vegan salad? Check out my vegan sushi salad bowl recipe here!
When I first got on the Salad Train, I can admit that I wasn’t very imaginative, not with my ingredients and certainly not with healthy salad dressing options. I started with simple vinagrettes and then creamy dressings made with vegan yogurt, mustard and even Sriracha. But the oil is a real killer.
I know, I know, life isn’t just about calories. But when you’re trying to lose weight, which was my original goal, much of your eating life is about calories and oil comes in at 120 calories per tablespoon which is INSANE. Add in how much you need to use to make a proper vinaigrette and you can see why I started to explore other options.
So when the weather permits and when the supermarket or farmer’s market has them, I pile up on herbs. Dill, parsley, basil, mint, and pretty much whatever else green I can find. Except cilantro, it is not my jam and never has been.
So, let’s do this, shall we?
This is a hot & cold salad, which means you don’t need to cook everything but that also makes it versatile enough to eat during the hottest day of summer or as the autumn chill sets in.
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.
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.
Have any of you noticed that it’s not as easy to find all the foods you need at one supermarket these days? I used to be able to hit up Kaufland and get most of what I needed, using a delivery service for the rest. But given everything going on in the world, it seems to be hit or miss with lots of things.
At the top of that list I would put lettuce. Romaine lettuce has been gone for months, which leaves very few options because I’m not a fan of bagged lettuce or salad mix. There have just been too many problems over the years so I try to stay away from those. But I LOVE to eat a big, hearty salad for lunch on most days.
So, what am I to do?
Improvise, of course.
This warm couscous salad with graffiti eggplant and zucchini fits the technical definition of a salad, and it was delicious to boot, so here we go!
I came across some beautiful graffiti eggplant and my husband asked me to get some because he loves the stuff. I, on the other hand, have just started to like eggplant and not out of necessity. Here in Romania there’s a dish called vinete, which is basically an eggplant dip. For me, it’s hit or miss but we were recently visiting Sinaia and I actually slathered it on two slices of bread…and ate them both.
You know what I love that I don’t eat nearly enough of? Peanut butter. It’s creamy and delicious and the expensive stuff tastes like you just ate a handful of peanuts. There’s nothing about it that I don’t love, except the calories. My life would be complete if I could find calorie-free peanut butter for cookies or international stews, or did I mention cookies?
But my love of Asian food means that occasionally I do give in to my love for peanut butter to make a quick sauce to accompany whatever noodles I’m craving at the moment. Try my Mongolian Fire Noodle recipe!
If you love nuts or nut butters, this is an excellent way to indulge without going overboard, just remember that the key is always…moderation.
This vegan chicken and noodle dish seems small, right? I know, but when you add peanut butter you have to make certain adjustments. It’s still delicious, though. I promise.
This vegan dinner has a few unusual ingredients but I think you’ll find them wonderful additions that make this dish taste like it was made my a professional.
Have I mentioned how much I love to experiment with new vegan food products? They can be hit or miss, but when they hit, they hit BIG.
And today I have a quick and healthy vegan recipe that uses vegan tuna from Vantastic Foods that I think you’ll find easy to make and delicious to eat.
It’s another Buddha Bowl recipe, technically but there are plenty of fresh veggies that could easily slide this into the vegan salad category. If you enjoy bowls, consider this vegan sushi bowl! Call it what you want, just call it tasty.
Don’t worry, this is an easy vegan recipe that only requires basic knife skills.
When I’m not in the mood to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I go for something that’s simple and tasty. Not necessarily comfort food, but delicious home-cooked food that’s easy to make. Something that always satisfies.