Vegan Bar Food ~ Oil-free Buffalo Cauliflower Nuggets

As a girl from Chicago, one of my favorite foods to eat is anything deep fried and drenched in hot sauce. When I switched over to a vegan lifestyle, that meant TVP in the air fryer and dunked in my famous Frank’s-based sauce. And then cauliflower had her glow-up.

Now I’m not like most people who used to hate on cauliflower as being the paler, less delicious form of broccoli. I’ve always been a fan and I don’t need it covered in cheese or breading, no matter how good it might be.

In fact, I made it a goal to find different ways to have vegan buffalo wings without all the oil and calories.

And I’m pretty sure this is the winner.

Oil free vegan cauliflower in buffalo sauce

So what’s the trick to tasty but oil-free cauliflower nuggets? High cook temperature.

Vegan Chicken & Soba with Peanut Sauce

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.

Quick & Easy Vegan Dinners

It’s no secret that I love to spend time in the kitchen, whipping up vegan recipes from around the world. For me, cooking is another creative outlet that allows me to stay healthy and fit, while forcing me to take a much needed break from my excessive daily screen regimen.

But some days I am just too busy with writing for clients, publishing my books, catching up with family back home in the U.S., and even just doing stuff for me. Days are long and days are busy, but that doesn’t mean I want to crack open a frozen pizza and call it a meal. But there is something in between vegan junk food and elaborate vegan dinners.

Right?

For me, yeah.

So today let’s take a look at a very simple vegan dinner that doesn’t require even an hour in the kitchen. What is this mythical vegan recipe, you ask?

Easy. Vegan falafel balls with a delicious barbecue sauce and one of my favorites…vegan garlic mashed potatoes!

Even the photos look as simple as this meal is to make, which means there is no reason to reach for takeout menus that probably don’t have enough vegan offerings to satisfy your hunger. Do it yourself.

It’s easy, I swear.

Spicy Vegan Cheese & Sausage Fries

As much as I try to eat healthy, enjoying big colorful Buddha Bowls, salads and other healthy vegan options, some days you just want something greasy and good. At least I do.

After a week of nonstop marketing and promotions across all time zones for my latest romance novel, Bared., I was in desperate need of some vegan comfort food. Other than a million different types of ramen, nothing says comfort to me like potatoes.

And what is greasier and more comforting than cheese fries? Vegan cheese fries with sausage, of course!

Potato & squash fries are the centerpiece of this vegan dinner!

With a few fun vegan hacks, you can enjoy this (mostly) guilt-free version of cheese fries, or you can make a few small adjustments and make comfort food light.

Vegan Chicken & Penne Arrabiata

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.

Like pasta.

Whether you just like pasta or you want to try something new, enjoy this easy vegan fried chicken and penne Arrabiata.

If you love pasta, quick cooking times and delicious vegan tomato sauce, this is a dish you’ll love and add to your roster of old faithfuls.

Easy Vegan Döner Kebab/Shawarma with Pickled Cabbage

The first thing I ever ate when I moved to Germany was not sauerkraut, not any of the variety of brats the country has to offer, and not even the famous, delicious, pretzels. Nope, my flight from Chicago got in pretty late and we stopped at one of the many Döner Kebab shops that can be found on just about any/every street.

It was the first time I’d ever eaten it and my first thought was, “Oh it’s like a gyro.”

It is not just like a gyro, but it is similiar.

Anyway, I fell in love with this dish because I loved the combination of flavorful meat, cabbage slaw and all the different choices for spicy add-ons they give you. It. Was. My. Jam.

And then I went vegan and even though Berlin is the place to be for vegan foodies, I lived in Stuttgart. There were hardly any vegan restaurants, never mind vegan Döner shops, much to my dismay.

And then I learned how to make my own vegan gyro meat from seitan and the rest, as they say, is history.

So whenever I get a craving for vegan Döner or Shawarma, I make it myself.

There are three components to this dish: the vegan meat, the veggiegurt sauce and the pickled veggies.

The veggiegurt is simple: vegan yogurt, diced cucumber, dill, lemon juice & zest, and cumin. Put in a bowl and stir, refrigerate until you’re ready to start plating.

Easy Gnocchi & Vegan Red Wine Beyond Bolognese

Depending on where you live, it might be hard to come by gnocchi. It took us forever to find an egg-free vegan option and whenever they’re in stock, I make sure to add a package to the shopping cart. I mean, what could possibly be better than potatoes masquerading as some kind of pasta?

Nothing, that’s what.

It’s great with tofu, with a vegan cheese sauce, or cheesy with meatballs. Take your pick!

The vegan bolognese is the star of this dish so however you make it, be sure to take your time and season it well.

Really well.

This dish has just two components, the gnocchi and the sauce. The gnocchi isn’t very time-consuming but you can cook it in a variety of ways.

Spicy Buffalo Vegan Tacos w/Corn & Tomato Salsa

In our house, any night is taco night. Whether is taco bowls or taco nachos or even something as simple as a taco salad, we LOVE tacos.

My personal favorite is hard shell tacos but for some reason they have been pretty difficult to come by recently so I had to settle for my second favorite, corn tortilla taco shells. Poor me, right?

Anyway the Hubs requested buffalo soya tacos and that was my starting point for what I called our taco bonanza!

Quatro Vegan Formaggio ~ Vegan Shells & Cheese

I’ll tell you up front that I was so excited about how well, and by well I mean cheesy this dish came out, that I dug right in and finished it all before I remembered the small matter of taking photos. Oops.

Forgive me?

Since the Hubs and I still do the Midnight Tokyo Diner dinner choices, our meal choices are at the mercy of that on any given night, which means some nights we have more not-so-healthy meals than others.

This is one of those nights.

He requested cheesy mac & cheese and I may have gone a little overboard, but here we are.

The truth is that I like to experiment with different vegan foods when they hit the market and well, my most recent haul included several different types of vegan cheese and since my husband LOVES mac & cheese, I knew this request would come, sooner or later.

So when he made his request, I had my marching orders.

Super Cheesy Vegan Meatball & Gnocchi Bake

I’ve made no secret over the years that one of the things from my old, pre-vegan life that I do not miss is cheese. I mean, cheese is good. It’s fine. It’s just no longer my jam since I’m not addicted to it. I’ve experimented with all types of vegan cheese brands and until the past few months, I’ve been underwhelmed. I’ve even done the alt-cheese thing myself, using white beans, a turmeric & nooch béchamel for pizza, a milk-based cheese-ish sauce, and even a carrot cheese. I have tried it all and made an informed decision that I can take or leave cheese.

And then, I did my semi-regular online order of vegan food from a source in Germany and…wow. This super cheesy vegan gnocchi bake was incredible. Ooey and gooey cheesy deliciousness, minus the need to keep eating and eating.

And eating.

Vegan mac & cheese requires the right vegan cheese, the rest is up to you!

If you know how to make mac & cheese then you know how to make this dish, but there are a few caveats since I got a little fancy with it.