Posted in Casseroles, Grains, Pasta, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Vegan Comfort Food ~ Vegan Broccoli Mac & Cheese

There’s nothing quite like a warm, comforting bowl of vegan mac and cheese on a cold winter day. Not only is it delicious and satisfying, but it’s also a great way to incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet. Broccoli is and has always been one of my favorite vegetables and this vegan dinner recipe is a staple in our house, but you can add cauliflower, carrots or any other vegetable that tickles your fancy.

One of the great things about vegan comfort food is that it can be just as indulgent and creamy as its non-vegan counterparts, but without the negative health consequences. By using plant-based ingredients like nuts, seeds, and vegetables, you can create rich and flavorful dishes that are much lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than traditional comfort foods.

One of my favorite vegan comfort food recipes is vegan mac and cheese with broccoli and garlic. Not only is it packed with flavor, but it’s also loaded with nutrients thanks to the addition of broccoli. Plus, the garlic adds a nice depth of flavor and helps to boost the immune system.

What is your go to vegan comfort food recipe?

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Posted in International vegan cuisine, Italian, oil free vegan recipes, Pasta, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Vegan Stuffed Pasta Shells with Silken Tofu Ricotta

Happy 2023!!!

Show of hands, who loves pasta? The easy answer is just about everyone except one girl I’ve known since I was a kid!

One of the pasta dishes I haven’t thought about in a long time is stuffed pasta shells. Back in the day I used to love it, bursting with bubbly cheese and a thick tomato sauce–usually from a can–I couldn’t get enough of it. But then as the years went by, I kind of forgot about it for years and years and years.

Until recently (well not so recently but these suckers aren’t easy to find in Europe) when I found myself watching some non-vegan cooking show and what did I see? Stuffed pasta shells. I looked everywhere, at all the grocery stores in town, even online and there was nothing.

Then one day at Lidl, which does a fantastic job of bringing in specialty items from week to week, I saw a giant bag of pasta shells. Score!

I still had a box of silken tofu in the fridge for just this purpose so I knew what would happen, and SOON.

So, if you’re looking for a delicious and easy vegan twist on the classic stuffed pasta shells recipe, look no further! This recipe uses silken tofu as a substitute for ricotta cheese, and is filled with flavorful vegetables such as spinach, onion, tomatoes, garlic, and bell peppers. Plus, the addition of tomato paste adds a rich and savory depth to the filling.

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

Quick & Easy Vegan Meals ~ Pesto Vegan Eggs

You ever have one of those weird thoughts about something you want to eat but the weirdness of it prevents you from having it? Something that sounds like it probably won’t take very good but you can’t get it out of your head?

For me that dish recently was pesto eggs.

Weird, right?

So weird.

Anyway I let the thought sit with me for a good week or so, ignoring it because I was sure it would end up gross and who wants to waste calories on a gross vegan meal? Not me.

But then I was at Lidl and there was a ton of fresh basil, and I don’t know about you but I am not one of those women who can walk past fresh basil without grabbing at least four packages.

I love having pesto on hand because it goes with so many different things. You can use it on sandwiches, salad dressing, pizza, subs, pasta or a bread topper. You can even use it as a sauce! There are so many options and when it’s fresh and green and garlicky it’s just mouthwateringly delicious.

So, let’s talk about this weird pesto eggs dish that I couldn’t shake free.

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Posted in International vegan cuisine, Sauces & Creams, Sides, Vegan

Old School Americana Recipes ~ Beyond Salisbury Steak Dinner

I grew up in the Midwest of the United States. From the day I was born, I lived in the Midwest and even spent my college and graduate school years in the Midwest. It was only after my post-graduate years that I left for the East Coast and then the West Coast and finally–so far–Europe.

All of this to say that I have a few Midwestern meals that I love, that I miss. For better or for worse, these recipes are deeply ingrained into me and once in a great while, I long for some of these dishes. They don’t all have happy memories but they mostly have a sense of comfort that makes me long for a small sliver of life back then, or just enjoying the simple meal with people I love.

Recently I had a longing for Salisbury Steak. When I was a small kid we had the frozen steaks all the time. You know what I’m talking about, the ones you poke holes in the plastic and pop in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, right? Well I think we can all agree that they’re not as delicious in reality as they are in the memory, but memories are often stronger than taste buds, or so I’m told anyway.

So I decided one night that I wanted vegan Salisbury steak made with Beyond vegan meat alternative and that’s how we ended up here.

In my childhood when I would make these frozen steaks, I would always have peas but sometimes there was rice or mashed potatoes. Unfortunately we had mashed potatoes recently so I opted for rice, super fluffy and extra delicious.

Vegan Americana Recipes ~ Vegan Salisbury Steak & Rice

So let’s talk about this quick and easy vegan comfort food recipe, shall we?

The ingredients list is short and simple, so let’s get down to vegan business.

Continue reading “Old School Americana Recipes ~ Beyond Salisbury Steak Dinner”
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 Grains, International vegan cuisine, Italian, Pasta, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Easy Vegan Dinners ~ Creamy Vegan Tagliatelle w/ Chanterelle Mushrooms

I don’t know how to say this without sounding weird so I’m just gonna say it. I have an ongoing love affair with mushrooms. I LOVE some Pleurotus(oyster) mushrooms and I will use them whenever possible. They are great as a vegan meat alternative, especially if you’re looking for something like Vegan MInce Stuffed Mushrooms, Shredded Vegan BBQ Pork or King Oyster scallops, but they also work well in so many vegan applications that I literally never get tired of eating them.

But there’s also shitake mushrooms, enoki and even wood ear mushrooms, which are great pickled, all of which hold special places in my heart. But chanterelle mushrooms? These elusive beauties are hard to find in even the largest grocery stores throughout Europe so you know when I find them, I always grab a box. Or two.

Chanterelle mushrooms for vegan recipes

There is just one huge, glaring downside to Chanterelle mushrooms. They are dirty. So, so dirty. And yeah, that is a good thing because they are natural and all that jazz, but they can also be a gigantic bitch to clean. After many years of trying–and failing–different methods of cleaning chanterelle mushrooms without noshing on grit and rocks, I’ve finally figured it out and I’m going to share it with you because everyone should be eating this fungi especially if you’re vegan and doubly especially if you have a mushroom addiction.

As soon as I spotted these golden babies I knew exactly what I wanted. Okay well not exactly but I knew tagliatelle pasta would be involved and some kind of cream sauce. So when I got home, that’s where I started and this is where I ended up.

Chanterelle mushrooms & creamy vegan pasta sauce

What’s your favorite quick and easy vegan dinner recipe?

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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.

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Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Sweet & Sour Vegan Cauliflower

Hey there my fellow vegans and vegan-curious readers!

One of the things I like to do when it comes to vegan takeout recipes at home, is to make a few compromises. Instead of choosing vegan meat alternatives like TVP, vegan beef or seitan, is to go totally plant based and vegetable based to minimize my calorie intake.

If you’re interested, check out my General Tso’s Soy Strips, or  Takeout at Home for the Lazy Vegan or the Mongolian Tofu recipe.

I know, I know, it sounds obsessive if you’ve never struggled with weight problems in the past, but now that I know what I did so wrong for so many years, I refuse to repeat that behavior. So instead of sweet sour vegan chicken, I chose sweet and sour cauliflower.

Why?

Cauliflower is super satisfying and it takes on a variety of flavors really, really well. It’s the perfect vessel for a dish that’s full of flavor. If you’d rather eat a shoe than cauliflower, do your thang. Just switch out cauliflower for any other vegan main dish you desire.

Now, let’s get into this Sweet & Sour Vegan Cauliflower recipe.

Easy vegan cauliflower recipes

You can cook this recipe in the oven or on the stovetop, and if you’re really feeling energetic, you can fry the cauliflower first and toss it in the sweet and sour sauce.

The choice is always yours, it’s just a matter of what you feel like doing in the kitchen!

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Posted in Breads, Sandwiches, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Vegan Reuben Deli Sandwiches & Homemade Russian Dressing

So today’s post will be a quick-ish one but I just had to share another new find from Filgud…vegan pastrami!

I found this on the day I found the vegan caviar and as soon as I saw it, I made a beeline to the bread section to find some type Rye or Pumpernickel bread. I have very fond memories of this sandwich at real delis in Chicago and Boston and I couldn’t wait to recreate it and–cross my fingers–hope the pastrami had that delicious herb-y, pepper-y pastrami flavor.

Vegan Reuben Deli Sandwiches

I have to say that the Filgud vegan pastrami did not disappoint. It had the exact right flavor profile and my only complaint, if you can call it that, was that the strips were a little too thin. I ended up tearing a few strips which made for less pretty photo.

So, let’s get this sandwich party started!

Continue reading “Vegan Reuben Deli Sandwiches & Homemade Russian Dressing”
Posted in Asian Food, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Korean Style Vegan Mince Bulgogi

If you’re like me and you love all food from the continent of Asia then you know that the best way to constantly improve your Asian recipes is to keep making them. Each time I watch my favorite food bloggers I learn more and more about what little extras I need to add to my spice pantry and I slowly gather them until every dash of this or pinch of that helps me become a better home cook.

When it comes to Bulgogi, practice makes the best progress. Each time I make this dish the flavors are a little bit better, a little bit deeper and just so darn good that I always wish for more. And then a little bit more because you take the fat out of girl but you can take out the fat girl!

Today’s vegan bulgogi is made when vegan mince instead of soya strips, mushrooms or any other vegan beef strips alternative. I wanted the emphasis to be on the sauce and mince provided the perfect outlet for that.

This is an easy vegan recipe that is packed full of flavor, it’s easy to make and can be achieved with pantry staples.

Korean Style Vegan Bulgogi recipe

So let’s not wait any longer, grab your apron and your favorite heat-resistant pan and let’s start gathering our vegan food ingredients!

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