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.

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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 International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Potatoes, Sides, Vegan

Summer Vegan BBQ Recipes ~ Vegan Potato Salad

This is the time of year to fire up the grill and sit outside to enjoy as meals as possible. It’s too hot outside to warm up your kitchen and you can put just about everything on the grill from vegan sausages to vegetables, and even potatoes.

The first year or two after going vegan, it was hard to think of things to bring to cookouts because there weren’t nearly the options then as there are today and we’re only talking about five years’ difference. My pre-vegan days potato salad didn’t include mayo because, yuck. I always preferred Miracle Whip which is an impossible ask to find veganized, so mostly I just went without potato salad.

And then came tons of vegan mayo options and I gave them a try, at least three or four brands. Still, yuck. But then vegan yogurts exploded on the market and I thought to myself, “We’re back in business, baby!”

But…we weren’t. Some of those vegan yogurt brands were too runny to stick to the potatoes and ended up pooling at the bottom of the bowl, taking the rest of the vegan potato salad ingredients with them.

And then came Take It Veggie, a German brand of vegan food products.

Hooray for me!

And for you, because it’s not summer until you’ve made your first batch of vegan potato salad, right?

Creamy vegan potato salad

Yesterday was Independence Day in my homeland, the United States of America, and I whipped this dish together to give the Hubs and I piece of home.

I hope you enjoy it!

Continue reading “Summer Vegan BBQ Recipes ~ Vegan Potato Salad”
Posted in oil free vegan recipes, Potatoes, Sauces & Creams, Sides, Vegan

Easy Vegan Salisbury Steak & Onion Gravy w/Mashed Potatoes

When you spend much of your time far away from home, traveling the world, is that you find yourself homesick for the weirdest things. Food you haven’t thought about in two decades often pop into your mind and then BAM, it’s all you can think of until you satisfy that craving.

So here I am with vegan Salisbury steak on the brain when the truth is I really disliked it as a kid. Remember those six packs with the grill marks and a brown sauce that passed itself off as real gravy? They were never as good as you thought they would be, but somehow in June 2022 that’s what was on my mind and when a Romanian brand of vegan foods put a burger on the grocery store shelf, I knew what I had to do.

Check out this version of old school Vegan TV Dinners!

Fair warning, this recipe is pure nostalgia. No matter how much you fancy it up, veganize it or whatever else you do to it, this is still Salisbury steak. It’s tasty enough but it serves as a perfect reminder that being homesick is mostly about the memories, so I ate it and then called my sisters.

But some of you won’t listen or your heart will override your head and you’ll want old school Americana meals veganized so, let’s hop to it.

Vegan Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy & Mashed Potatoes.

Quick & easy vegan Salisbury steak recipe

This is a meal that will transport you right back to the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, so grab your Doc Martens, NKOTB t-shirt or Cross Colors jacket and get ready to go back home.

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Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Easy Vegan Lunch Recipes ~ Mushroom & Snow Pea Bowl

Whether you work at home like me or you have to head to an office each day, lunch is inevitable. By the time noon rolls around, your belly might rumble with hunger or maybe you skipped breakfast, or maybe you just practice intuitive eating and lunchtime is when your hunger kicks into overdrive.

Enjoy some of these vegan lunch recipes:


Veggie Ramen & Miso
Smoke Tofu Bahn Mi
Soul Food Lunch Plate

Whatever the reason you need to eat lunch and you have choices. Will you head to the nearest drive-thru to satisfy your hunger with something greasy and delicious but that won’t provide you for much energy to get through the day? Or will you load up on something healthy and full of vegetables and nutrients to keep you going?

I know which choice we all want to make. The easy choice and that’s a given since our brains are hard-wired to maintain the status quo, to avoid doing anything that might cause the smallest amount of pain or discomfort. But with a few seconds of thought and good decision making you’ll reach your health, work or life goals much easier.

And all of that was just my way of introducing my latest dish, Mushroom & Snow Pea bowl. So simple, right?

Darn tootin’!

Simple and delicious.

Continue reading “Easy Vegan Lunch Recipes ~ Mushroom & Snow Pea Bowl”
Posted in Italian, oil free vegan recipes, Vegan

Vegan Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

I’m not sure if you guys know this or not because for the past decade or more I have been in Germany and then Romania, but I am a Chicago girl at heart. It is the city of my heart, the place where I fell in love with big cities and traveling. And though it has been a long time since I’ve been home and taken advantage of all it has to offer, I was recently in the mood for a bit of home.

When you think of Chicago cuisine there are probably just a few dishes that come to mind. Deep dish pizza and Chicago style hot dogs. Since I have never been a fan of hot dogs, I visited my hometown via deep dish pizza which I veganized and–tried–to reduce in, well everything.

It’s important to note that being from Chicago I am a bit of a deep dish pizza (and all pizza) snob. Not all deep dish pizzas are created equally. Some have too much sauce or the sauce is too thick or not seasoned enough, sometimes the crust is too doughy because some people love to go CRAZY with the pizza toppings/fillings.

And since I was making my own vegan deep dish pizza, I decided to address a few of those concerns and improve upon it for us. Also because my husband has only ever had deep dish pizza once in Chicago and I needed to make sure he loved it enough that he would be willing to try this one.

And the next one…

So here is my vegan version of Deep Dish Pizza!

Vegan deep dish pizza ~ Jalapeno, Cheese & Veggie Deep Dish Pizza

This vegan pizza recipe is delicious and fairly easy to make so I hope you give it a try!

If you want a different type of pizza, try my Pesto Pizza Brot recipe!

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Posted in Asian Food, International vegan cuisine, Noodles, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Easy Plant Based Vegan Udon w/Veggies

The 2020’s have been wonderful for vegans. There’s a plethora of vegan meat alternatives available for you to satisfy your appetite from old faithful tofu to vegan sausage, steaks, chicken and even seafood. If you live in one of the major cities around the world, there’s no end to the vegan options available to you to try out and enjoy. Even if you live in a smaller town, the internet makes it easy to order just about anything that strikes your fancy.

But some days you just want to keep it simple. An easy plant based vegan recipe that’s full of vegetables and creamy udon noodles.

This is a simple vegan recipe that is the perfect answer when you want to use up the rest of your vegetables before your next shopping trip, or if you’re out of ideas but you really need to eat. ­čÖé

Cooking vegan food at home doesn’t mean that you need to whip up gourmet food every single day, sometimes it’s about simple and vegan and nutritious.

Easy vegan udon noodle recipes.

There are really just three components to this dish: noodles, veggies & sauce. If you want anything else, feel free to add it and I’d be happy to see/hear the results.

Continue reading “Easy Plant Based Vegan Udon w/Veggies”
Posted in Asian Food, Curry, Indian, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Vegan

Traditional Style Vegan Vindaloo Soya

Just in case you are wondering, yes I am still knee-deep in editing Let It Be Love because well, because editing takes time and it has taken me a while to write this story because my day job–more writing–has been insane over the past few years.

We should all be so lucky to have that problem, right?

Anyway instead of spending my time writing up recipes I have been spending a little bit of extra time actually making the recipes. There’s just something about cooking that doesn’t just relax me, but helps clear my mind. I’ve been cooking while listening to police interrogation videos–an off-shoot of my love of true crime docs–and they are surprisingly Zen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been doing prep work and an idea will pop in my head, forcing me to wash my hands and type notes or put them in a voice recorder.

So…the good news is that I did get a few plot ideas while I was making this vegan vindaloo recipe. The not quite as good news is that I went with the traditional-ish method of making Vindaloo.

What does mean? Well it means I did what I could with what I had, while adhering to the traditional methods such as cooking and then grinding whole spices. It was a whole thing and I completely understand if you opt for already ground spices to get this recipe on your table.

So, let’s give it a go! (Are you a fan of That Chapter on YouTube? It’s Mike’s catchphrase only picture it with an Irish accent!)

Easy vegan lamb vindaloo recipe

Get ready for some major prep work and some insane flavors!

Continue reading “Traditional Style Vegan Vindaloo Soya”
Posted in International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Potatoes, Vegan

Vegan Junk Food ~ Mediterranean Style Vegan Gyro Fries

I don’t have cheat days but there are days where I’ll request a dish that has more calories or fat than I usually do. This is part of my effort to maintain and continue my weight loss without getting bogged down in the notion that I have to eat like an Olympian just to be fit and healthy.

With some caveats. When it comes to vegan junk food, I am no different than any other vegan on the planet. I want to try out new vegan foods when they come on the market but I don’t want to succumb to the craze of just constant over-the-top dishes. So these vegan gyro fries are delicious and a splurge but not as much as they could have been.

And I should add that I did eat these on my workout day to mitigate some of the damage because those last few kilos are really hard to lose!!!

Vegan gyro fries are the perfect vegan junk food

I’ll give you a few tips and ingredients that you can add to enhance your culinary experience, or to change out ingredients you might not like.

Continue reading “Vegan Junk Food ~ Mediterranean Style Vegan Gyro Fries”