Posted in Casseroles, Cheese, oil free vegan recipes, one pot recipes, Vegan

Cheesy Vegan Cauliflower & Potato Casserole

One pot recipes. They are a staple in most households because they’re easy and–often–contain vegan cheese, but that’s not always the case.

One pot vegan meals are wonderful if you’re a busy vegan like me, consumed with a ghostwriting career, publishing romance novels and sharing yummy vegan recipes with the world. And when the weather gets chilly and sunlight fades too soon, sometimes you just want a vegan meal that is quick and easy, and doesn’t require using all the dishes in the kitchen.

Am I right?

This particular vegan dinner recipe is similar to casseroles I’ve eaten most of my life as a born & bred girl of the Midwest. Take a bunch of veggies, add potatoes and cheese and you have yourself a casserole! It brings back wonderful memories of a time when calories and nutrition meant very little to me and all that mattered was the ooey-gooey dish baking in the oven…and eating two helpings. At least.

These days it’s more of a convenience and a way to indulge in a mostly guilt-free way. Feel me?

Anyway this vegan dinner recipe is pretty simple, had limited ingredients and is so delicious everyone will swear you slaved in the kitchen for hours.

Fingers crossed.

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Posted in Noodles, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Soup, Vegan

Easy Vegan Soups ~ Turnip Greens & Veggie Noodle Soup

It’s that time of year again when every home cook, recipe blogger and pretty much everyone else you know is touting their favorite soup recipe. Right?

If you’re sick of it, I’m sorry, because I am now that cook, that blogger and even that friend. It’s soup season y’all and you know that means I have another vegan soup recipe for you today.

Why?

Because soup is good for your body and your mind. The right soup (ahem, a vegan soup) is packed with colorful vegetables that are rich in necessary vitamins and minerals. Deficient on a particular nutrients? Add a handful of a particular vegetable to the pot. And you don’t have to get fancy about it, start with your basics: onion, garlic and celery. Build from there.

This recipe came about because I had a couple handfuls of turnip greens, three small turnips and I really wanted a hot bowl of soup. So instead of making regular turnip greens, (check out my other greens recipes here, here and here), I decided to drop them into a soup. With noodles, because of course with noodles.

So, let’s gather our kitchen tools, our vegetables and make some vegan autumn soup.

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

Easy Vegan Soul Food ~ Kohlrabi Greens & Smoked Tofu Dinner

I don’t know about you guys but I grew up on soul food. Delicious, fill up your heart–and arteries–soul food.

After years of enjoying a vegan lifestyle, I still have a slight longing for soul food on occasion. But the thing I want with my vegan soul food is fewer calories and more heart healthy choices but with the essence of my granny’s soul food.

Here in Romania the soul food choices are…not the same and that’s okay. I don’t need it to be exactly the same but one of the things I crave often, especially during the fall & winter months is greens. If I were at home in the US then it would be collard or mustard greens, but alas those are not options here so I have to get creative.

One way I do this is with turnip greens but a quick trip to the supermarket recently gave me another creative option. Kohlrabi greens.

Yeah, that kohlrabi. I was browsing the grocery store and found a bin of kohlrabi but there was twice as many leaves as there were vegetables so I moved to the side adn did what any good vegan would, I Googled ‘can you eat kohlrabi greens’ and found a quick and easy answer.

Yes, you can eat them. You can cook them the way you cook pretty much any dark leafy greens from spinach to kale to collard greens.

SCORE!!

I grabbed a few hundred grams that had been discarded by other shoppers, stuffed them into my mesh produce bag and happily paid pennies for them at checkout.

Now, let’s see what I did to turn kohlrabi greens into a delicious vegan soul food dinner!

Smoked kohlrabi greens, smoked tofu & couscous

This is a quick and easy vegan soul food dinner that’s sure to please any crowd!

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Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, International vegan cuisine, Noodles, oil free vegan recipes, Salads, Sides, Vegan

Vegan Banana Blossom “Meat” & Hong Kong Style Noodles w/ Crunchy Vegan Side Salad

Yep, here we are again back in my vegan kitchen with noodles on the menu. I know what you’re thinking, does this chick eat anything other than noodles? The answer is yes, I do eat plenty of other grains but Asian cuisine is my favorite and I love to experiment with it.

And I love to eat noodles.

It’s somewhat of a comfort food for me in that it is the perfect backup when I’m testing out a new recipe because noodles make everything better. If I screw it up, at least we’re having noodles, right?

So there are noodles but there are also banana blossoms. Don’t judge because I know what you’re thinking, here we go with another of those specialty ingredients that are impossible for normal vegans to find. I would have said the same thing, except I was just browsing the Asian section of Kaufland and happened up these canned banana blossoms in water. Of course I grabbed them, because all these vegan chefs have been making everything out of it from vegan fish to vegan chicken and I was curious to try it out.

But deep frying? Not for me, please and thank you. I decided to keep it simple and go with a sauteed version that does still serve as a vegan meat alternative, but subtly so.

And this dish is the end result.

Delicious vegan noodles with banana blossoms

This vegan dish is easy to make and it feels as if it takes a lot more time than it does, which means its a great way to impress vegans and non-vegans alike!

Continue reading “Vegan Banana Blossom “Meat” & Hong Kong Style Noodles w/ Crunchy Vegan Side Salad”
Posted in Asian Food, International vegan cuisine, Noodles, oil free vegan recipes, one pot recipes, Plant Based, Soup, Vegan

Vegan Hot & Sour Soup Recipe

With fall upon us and autumn weather barreling in like she owns the place, our house become a soup kitchen, quite literally. Just this month alone, we’ve probably had soup about 7 out of 10 days because yeah, we love soup that much.

But cooking–and eating–so much soup means you have to keep it fresh or else someone (by someone, I mean me) will start complaining about having repeat dishes. That means scouring vegan blogs, recipes that can be veganized, making fusion soup recipes and tweaking old favorites. It can become a lot if you let it.

I refused to let it because soup is just a warm cold weather salad, right?

All right, maybe that’s a poor comparison but they are both low in calories, high in nutrients and full of vegetables, which is basically a bowl full of goodness.

I don’t always post a lot of vegan soup recipes because the photos hardly ever (cough, cough, never) turn out great. But soup, at least my soup recipes, would be perfectly categorized in my ugly but delicious category.

Anyway this vegan soup recipe isn’t my own, it’s from Will Yeung who had some really great Asian style vegan recipes. I follow him on YouTube and this Hot & Sour Soup recipe has become a favorite since he posted it.

Vegan Hot & Sour Soup Recipe

The list of ingredients, at first glance, may seem overwhelming but once it’s all chopped up, I promise you it’s easy peasy…ish.

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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 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!

Continue reading “Vegan Tuna Orecchiette with Lemon & Capers”
Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Vegan

Vegan Fried Rice & Vitasia Veggie Spring Rolls

Here’s a secret I want to share with you all. Sometimes I can be a bit of a food snob and it’s not necessarily one of those instances where I believe that I’m too good for a certain type or food product but more so that I’m very distrusting of a lot of pre-packaged foods and it gives me extreme anxiety so I just avoid them. This is especially true when it comes to bagged or any other pre-packaged salad products, thanks to a childhood of recalls that left me deathly afraid of food poisoning and other food borne illnesses.

But the more this vegan food blog grows, the more I try to step out of my comfort zone to try new vegan food products because I know I’m not the only one. So when I was at Lidl this week and came across a package of veggie spring rolls from Vitasia, I took a long hard look at the ingredients list and decided to give it a shot.

What goes well with vegan spring rolls? Well to be honest plenty of things but my Hubs requested veggie fried rice so that’s what we went with and it was pretty dang delicious. Mostly.

I wanted to make a quick and easy vegan meal that was plant based and delicious, so I kept it simple but please, tell me what you prefer to eat with vegan spring rolls?

Easy vegan Asian dinner recipes

The pre-packaged spring rolls came with those little packets of what I still call duck sauce even though I have always and only eaten them with egg rolls, but I improvised and added a few things to them, which we will talk about.

DO you have a favorite brand of vegan egg rolls? Brand names & links welcome in the comments!

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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”