Posted in Beans, Bowls, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

Crispy Chickpea Rainbow Salad & Creamy Vegan Yogurt Dressing

When the weather is nice and the greens are fresh and crispy, nothing is better than a big ol’ satisfying salad.

When it comes to making salad, I don’t like to stand on ceremony, I like to paint outside the lines by using vegetables not traditionally associated with a boring salad, such as buffalo vegan chicken. Don’t just limit yourself to tomatoes and cucumbers, which are incredible by the way, but they aren’t the only way to make a salad.

For today’s vegan salad recipe, I decided to go with a rainbow theme. Why?

Because the more colors in your salad, the more nutrients you’re giving your body, it really is just that simple.

Easy vegan rainbow salad recipe

Remember to rinse all of your ingredients before you eat them!

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Posted in Herbs, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Salads, Sandwiches, Vegan

Quick & Easy Vegan Lunch Ideas

I know that not everyone has the luxury of working from home, which means you can’t take your time in the kitchen to whip up healthy and delicious vegan meals at your leisure. Many of you have to commute and work in an office or warehouse or studio somewhere and you’d just really like to get something healthy and delicious, with the caveat that it’s also fast.

Right?

Believe me, I know and this is where a little bit of prep time in the kitchen can go a long way. A really long way.

Today’s quick and easy vegan lunch ideas make great vegan sandwiches, salad dressings and even pasta, so let’s not waste anymore time, yeah?

Easy vegan lunch ideas for me, usually start and end with sandwiches because they are delicious and you can literally put just about anything between two slices of bread and call it a sandwich.

Vegan pesto & tapenade sandwiches

The question in our home when it comes to sandwiches is usually, open faced or closed? Why? Simple, open-faced sandwiches give you more yummy sandwich filling while closed-face can satisfy any carb craving.

So, choose wisely from one day to the next.

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Posted in Salads, Sides, Vegan

Easy Vegan Salads ~ Buffalo Chicken Salad

Salads are…everything. They are a great way to fill your bowl with vitamins and minerals, making sure you get all the nutrients your body needs to stay fit and healthy. It’s also a low calorie way to sprinkle in some of the things you love–and miss–in your effort to eat better.

I love to make salad a mainstay in my diet, adding things like ramen noodles, quinoa, couscous and even bulgur (check out my Pesto & Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad recipe). You get the carbs and therefore the energy you need to satisfy your hunger, while still eating healthy. Or like today’s vegan recipe, you get to add something delicious like a spicy buffalo sauce on your favorite vegan alternative such as TVP, tofu, seitan or tempeh.

What I’m trying to say is that salads are a great way to have the best of both worlds, eating healthy and getting some of the foods you’ve put on your no-no list.

Spicy buffalo vegan chicken salad

This vegan salad recipe is easy, relatively quick and wickedly delicious. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to add buffalo vegan chicken to salad. I must be crazy!

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Posted in Bowls, Grains, Herbs, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

Pesto & Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad

We all know how much I love salads and Buddha bowls (get my vegan sushi bowl recipe here). I can eat them just about every single day of the week without eating the same thing, or getting sick of them. But, that doesn’t mean that I’m not always trying to improve a recipe or improvise on existing recipes. The possibilities are endless and it’s important in general, but especially when you’re trying to eat clean and healthy, that you keep things fresh.

It’s easy to get sick of eating anything, but that is especially true of healthy, whole foods that aren’t fatty and addictive, that aren’t made to keep you coming back for more. So it requires some effort, not a lot, but some.

So a while back my niece made tabbouleh for me and the husband since we’re the only two vegans in the family. She was adorable, at fourteen years old, making this dish for us. So proud of herself and I was too, honestly. And when I was in need of a new vegan salad recipe, I thought back to Alex and her tabbouleh.

This is technically tabbouleh, but not in it’s traditional way. This is how vegans fancy up a simple salad.

Pesto & chickpea tabbouleh

Before we even begin, I’ll let you know that chickpeas aren’t a traditional ingredient in tabbouleh and I, of course, omitted the oil. Those are the major changes I made so if you’re still interested, keep reading for a unique twist on tabbouleh salad.

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Posted in Cheese, Salads, Sandwiches, Vegan

Vegan Deli Sandwiches & Salad

One of the things that many of my non-vegan friends (which is most of my friends) think is that I spend a ton of time making meals because vegan meals are hard. I usually laugh and shake my head because nothing could be further from the truth. I spend time in the kitchen because I like to, also because losing weight requires that you take control of what you put into your body and that, sometimes, means experimenting or meal prepping, or cooking vegan food from scratch.

But there are times when I’m too busy working on my next Mustang Prairie novel, or (shameless plug) any of my other contemporary romance novels, to give my kitchen the love and attention it deserves. When that happens, I am like Joey from Friends (am I giving my age away?) and I just want a really good sandwich. A really incredible vegan deli sandwich filled with meat alternatives, lettuce, red wine vinegar and all kinds of other goodies.

This is an easy vegan sandwich that doesn’t require much work.

Vegan deli sandwich with the works.

The best thing about whipping up a good sandwich, is that it takes almost no time. There are also plenty of hacks that can decrease your time in the kitchen if you want a vegan sandwich for lunch because you work at home like I do, or you have a make a sandwich to take into the office. Just…do what needs to be done to eat as many whole foods as you can, while enjoying what you eat, and you’re good.

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Posted in Bowls, Grains, Herbs, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

Couscous & Tofu Salad w/Green Goddess Salad Dressing

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.

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Posted in Bowls, Plant Based, Salads, Sides, Vegan

Vegan Backyard BBQ Salad Recipe – Smoked Tofu, Sweet Potato & Corn Salad

We have all seen the vegan salad memes and if you’ve been vegan for even a few months, you know how true the meme is.

loaded vegan salads

It’s kind of sad to think that only vegans are privileged enough to enjoy these delicious salads when they are so packed with nutrition, vibrant colors (which is also a clue to nutrition) and tons of raw, high fiber vegetables. But hey, if you need animals in your salad…

Today’s vegan salad recipe is kind of my own creation. In my mind, I love a good backyard barbecue and that probably stems from all the great cookouts spent at my grandmother’s house as a kid. But the reality of charcoal and lighter fluid, the awful smell and burnt food makes it less appealing.

So I decided to veganize and salad-ify the backyard barbecue.

Easy vegan salads and homemade vegan salad dressing
Fresh cut corn, smoked tofu & herbed veggiegurt vegan salad dressing

One of the first lessons I learned when I became a vegan and a healthy (ish) eater, was that a salad can be just about anything. I always thought of salad as the pitiful thing you get at restaurants when the choice is soup or salad, you know two quartered tomatoes, iceberg lettuce and a few half-moons of cucumber. That can–and has–turned plenty of people of eating salad.

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Posted in Bowls, Grains, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

Graffiti Eggplant & Courgette Couscous Salad ~ Easy Vegan Meals

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.

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Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, Dips, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

Vegan Sushi Salad Bowl

As I’ve mentioned before, I have been working on upping my salad game and so, the trend continues into a new week. I had a dental appointment today which was, let’s just say, less than quick & easy. We went grocery shopping today because tomorrow is my release day for my newest novel, and it was 32 degrees Celsius all day.

All day.

So what else is an exhausted, overheated vegan, author and wife to do? Salad.

But I wanted to do something a little bit different from what I usually do, while also making a salad that was substantial enough to satisfy.

Enter, vegan sushi salad bowl. We probably need a better name, don’t we?

Yeah, but this is the name we got and I promise, the dish tastes much better than the title.

There are quite a few components to this vegan salad recipe, but it’s not difficult at all. Honestly, this recipe is all about the prep work. If you’re willing to prep, this is another easy vegan recipe you can add to your repertoire.

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Posted in Bowls, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

Grilled Corn & Smoked Tofu Salad

Are we back on salads, again? Yes! Yes, we are.

It’s still hot and last time I checked, salad was still delicious. And today, we have a completely different salad for you test out, tweak and enjoy.

There isn’t much to say about making vegan salads that I haven’t said already, so let’s keep this post short & yummy, shall we?

Grilled corn and smoked tofu…what?

I know, right?

But hear me out, you get to eat corn, which is delicious, and grilled smoked tofu which is smoky and delicious and the perfect thing to eat after an exhausting strength training workout.

I used a grill pan because I REALLY wanted to get the grill marks on the corn, even though I totally cut it all of the fresh corn cob. What can I say, I’m complicated. The grill pan isn’t completely necessary but I was trying to be more creative so there you have it.

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