Vegan Junk Food ~ Vegan Animal Fries

Sometimes you have to take a break from your healthy eating regimen and just go a little big garbage-y. Right?

I’m not really a person that subscribes to so-called cheat days, at least I try not to be, but if I’m having a craving for something then I’ll just go with it–in moderation–and eat something better for the next meal or the next day. But my go-to hack for vegan junk food is to keep the portion sizes adequate and that seems to work for me.

I’d rather finish my plate and want more than push away from the table in regret.

But that’s just me.

Vegan animal fries with homemade burger sauce

So when The Husband requested Animal Fries for dinner the other night, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do, I just had to be very careful how I weighed everything out so we could get enough of everything to make it proper vegan animal fries without going overboard. The last time I made Beyond Animal Fries, they were incredibly delicious but also packed with calories and fat and just…junk.

So I added more ingredients but in a lesser quantity. Intrigued?

Keep reading…

Happy Thanksgiving!

I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday because this year I am cooking to celebrate American Thanksgiving for the first time in many, many years. Maybe it’s the lockdown, the lack of traveling or just my insane desire to reconnect with home, but I’m only doing the cooking and celebrating what I am thankful for the past (two) year, not the whole historical context.

Anyway my in-laws are coming by for a vegan Thanksgiving, so wish me luck!

I made a sweet potato pie but I used a cookie and vegan butter crust so I guess it’s more of a sweet potato tart, but it’s beautiful and I am quite proud of it so I wanted to share it with you!

Vegan Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Pie

Of all the things that happened in 2020 and 2021, I am most grateful that I have someone I can rely on, lean on if needed, and laugh with through all the crap, the fear, the insanity and the whole damn calendar year. I am also eternally grateful that I have a job that allows me to continue to work–from home–and earn a good living.

Vegan Egg Roll in a Bowl

Hello fellow foodies! I’m going to keep today’s post short and sweet because like my American followers, I am gifting myself with a vegan Thanksgiving feast. It’s been a few years since I’ve done the whole Thanksgiving meal but my Romanian in-laws are excited-ish so I have a bit of work to do.

But first, Egg Roll in a Bowl.

Why?

That’s simple. It has been an uphill battle to find vegan egg roll wrappers at stores here and online. Okay, they are abundant online but as much as I love egg rolls, I don’t need 125 wrappers. Then I stumbled upon thousands of vegan recipes for egg roll bowl and egg roll in a bowl and I thought to myself, “Why not?”

So now you are all caught up.

Easy vegan egg roll bowl

The best thing about having all the yummy goodness of an egg roll but in a bowl on a bed of rice? No deep frying, no air frying, no frying involved. At all.

So how do you make this deconstructed vegan egg roll recipe?

Vegan Breakfast Recipes ~ Vegan Sausage & Potato Hash

I’m going to let you guys in on a little secret. I don’t eat breakfast. I drink about half a liter of water in the morning before I have my single cup of coffee (with brown sugar and almond milk), and a little later I pop a few vitamins. That’s it.

I know “they” say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but is it? I mean, most breakfast food isn’t really all that conducive to getting a productive start to your day. Pancakes or waffles? Tons of protein in the form of vegan eggs, meat alternatives, various types of vegan bacon which often include added fat and sugar to anything, whether it’s carrot bacon or mushroom bacon. Then there are potatoes, which can honestly do no wrong in my book, but who wants to feel sluggish and lethargic before you’ve even fired up your laptop to start working?

Not me.

I guess you could say that I am an intuitive eater, though not consciously. If the hubs makes the coffee a little too strong and I need something to settle my coffee, I’ll eat something. If I’m hungry, I will eat something. Otherwise, I skip the first meal of the day and I usually eat what I call ‘day meal’ and ‘evening meal’ with a snack or two tossed in there somewhere.

Do what that information what you will.

*Shrugs*

Now, does that mean i turn my nose up at all breakfast foods? No way, man! I have very fond memories of the days of brunch, and boozy breakfasts in college and my absolute favorite breakfast food in the world, the breakfast burrito. It just means that I don’t eat it first thing in the morning.

Breakfast for dinner is one of the greatest creations since the smartphone and e-books, and let me just tell ya, it is my JAM! American style breakfast, English breakfast, vegan corned beef hash or any other type of breakfast, it’s all right by me as long as it’s not in the morning.

So, let’s dig into this easy vegan breakfast recipe that you can eat for any meal you want because you’re an adult and you can do what you want.

Track Your Nutrition & Health Data with cronometer.com

Now the first thing I want to tell you about this easy vegan recipe is that it is SUPER easy to make. You don’t have to love to cook, be a proficient home cook or any of that jazz. All you have to do is collect four basic ingredients, raid your spice cabinet and you’re good to go.

Vegan Meatball Coconut Curry & Noodles

Do you love curry? Vegan meatballs? Coconut curry? Because I love pretty much everything about all of those things so when you combine them, you have a pretty good vegan meal on your hands.

The good thing about a recipe like this is that you can use pretty much whatever you want in it, as long as you adhere to certain staples like ginger, garlic and your favorite type of curry. Actually, you don’t even have to do that…but it will totally alter the taste of your vegan curry.

Because of the vegan meatballs, I kept this meal pretty simple without compromising flavor. This way it’s easy to simplify if you’re in a time crunch.

Coconut & vegan meatball curry noodles.

I’m going to start you with a basic list of ingredients and you can use whatever substitutes you want/need because you’re the one who has to eat it.

Moroccan Style Vegan Chicken & Couscous

One of the things I’ve learned over the past year of nonstop cooking, is that you can have a simple meal that’s full of flavor and doesn’t require a lot of hard work. How?

Simple, you just have to step outside of your cuisine comfort zone. For me, that’s no problem. I lived in Los Angeles for many years where I was able to take advantage of all that Mexican and Mexican-American fusion cuisine has to offer. Then there was Germany, which gave me a great appreciation for sauerkraut that I didn’t have before. No to mention the flammkuchen, the beer and all the myriad ways there are to enjoy the King of vegetables, potatoes (click here for my potatoes two ways recipe). And now there’s Romania, where I’ve had plenty of exposure thanks to living with a Romanian born man for more than 17 years, but being here in the country, it’s different.

My long-winded point? Trying new things is good for the palate and good for you. How else can you take a simple dish like texture vegetable protein and couscous, and turn it into a mouthwatering dish?

All you need is the will to try and a fully stocked spice cabinet.

Tasty vegan chick & couscous, Moroccan style

The ingredients in this dish are pretty simple: TVP, couscous, cauliflower, peanut oil, onion and bell peppers. Open up your spice rack and let the herbs and spices do the rest.

Vegan Fusion Recipes ~ Asian Style Risotto

I don’t know about you guys but sometimes I get tired of the same old recipes. I mean, really tired. To the point that if I have something other than ramen noodles, mashed potatoes or French fries too often, it will be a LONG, long time before I’ll even want it again. Yeah, I can be picky like that.

But with this new crop of fusion recipes that seem to pop up every single day, that’s become less and less of a problem for me. Take the other day, for instance. I had no idea what I wanted and it was my night to choose what we had for dinner. Then I thought about rice, but we’d just had rice the other day so I thought, “Risotto”. I love risotto (try my vegan risotto Bolognese recipe!) but there’s only so many times you can have mushroom risotto or vegan risotto Milanese. Right?

I thought so, anyway, so I wondered if there was a way to mix risotto with my favorite type of cuisine. Asian.

Guess what? There was!

And so this broccoli and king oyster mushroom risotto with Asian flavors was born. Or rather, it was born to me because the internet was chock full of recipes of this style.

King oyster mushroom & broccoli risotto

If you know how to make risotto, then this recipe will be super easy for you. If you don’t, grab a box and read the instructions. I learned and perfected my risotto recipe thanks to Rachel Ray and Tyler Florence years ago on Food Network.

Easy Plant Based Vegan Lunch Recipe ~ Veggie Ramen & Miso Soup

It’s no secret that one of my biggest food weaknesses is noodles. Whether it’s Fire Noodles, or a peanut butter soba noodle dish, or a vegan noodle soup, I love it. I want it. I need it. I’ll take a double portion of someone else is making it vegan.

And when I’m feeling a little bit lazy or if I just want noodles, I will dig around in the veggie crisper, grab a few favorites and combine them with ramen or udon or soba or…whatever else is out there that I can buy or get shipped to me. When the weather dips a little, add a tiny bowl of soup using the waste free broth I keep on hand, and BAM, a quick and easy vegan lunch.

Easy veggie ramen and vegan miso soup.

Have you ever felt like having Miso soup but you don’t have all the ingredients? Me too. I’ve looked into the ethnic food aisles in Germany and Romania and you know what? NONE of them are vegan. They all have some type of fish flakes in them so you have to improvise, and that’s how I came up with my own version of vegan miso soup.

Vegan Seafood Pasta ~ King Oyster Scallops & Creamy Garlic Wine Pasta

Well I’ve finally done it. I have jumped on the bandwagon to try a dish that I have REALLY been looking forward to trying on my own, while all the vegan bloggers in the world have been able to try this dish. I’m not jealous or bitter, not at all, but I have to tell you that I was seriously stoked when my partner and I were strolling the produce section at Metro (Romania’s version of Costco) and what did I happen upon but King Oyster mushrooms!

Instantly I knew that this was my moment. My chance to see if these King Oyster vegan scallops were as tasty and amazing as they seemed.

They are. No, they’re not. They are better, but only if you’re not expecting for a mushroom to taste like a creature that lives in the sea.

But I did it. Yay, I frickin’ did it y’all!

How to make vegan scallops & pasta.

There are two schools of thought–apparently–when it comes to making these vegan scallops. Some have advised slicing the mushrooms and marinating them overnight while others say that thirty minutes or more will suffice.

Vegan Sushi ~ Spicy Tuna & Veggie Rolls

Back in the days when animal products could be found in pretty much every facet of my life, I wasn’t a huge fan of sushi. Okay, that’s not entirely true. As a pre-teen girl in love with romance novels that featured women in expensive suits who ate sushi for lunch, I was obsessed with it and whenever I made a trip from the suburbs to Chicago, I would take advantage of all the sushi offerings.

Eventually sushi made its way to the burbs and I could eat it more often and I did, and I enjoyed it. Immensely.

Then one day in 1997, as it happens with so many animal consumers, I got sick. Really, disgustingly sick within hours of eating (allegedly) fresh sushi. That was the last time I ate sushi until I went vegan.

Now, I can safely say that I’ve developed or re-developed a fondness for the vegan sushi.

Full disclosure: as much as I wish I was responsible for this incredible vegan meal, the kudos belong to my husband who is our resident sushi expert. I may be a pro at rolling some things, but not sushi, so whenever we have it, he’s the vegan sushi chef in our house.

So if you’re impressed, it’s with him. Not me.