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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
What’s your favorite quick and easy vegan dinner 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.
You can forego the protein altogether or replace with chickpeas or quinoa, or any type of vegan meat alternative you choose.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
As you all know things have been HECTIC around here with the final push before the launch of Let It Be Lovejust around the corner. My editor had a family emergency and I had to do a quick re-edit to send it off to my release team and that’s what I did yesterday instead of sharing a vegan food recipe with you yesterday.
But never fear, I have something else equally cool to share with you today.
Not a recipe, but a new vegan food product that you must try out if you can find it or get it shipped to your neck of the woods.
Yep, that’s what I said, vegan caviar.
Specifically, vegan black caviar.
Sounds a little strange but as a fellow vegan and a vegan blogger, it is my responsibility to try this out and let you know if it’s worth the cost and the taste.
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.
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.
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.
Anyone else have a serious carb addiction? Just me?
I spend some of my time perusing the vegan food blogs for recipe ideas because as much as I am creative and well-traveled and experienced with new cultures, there are many, many times where someone else is more so. When that happens, I make an effort to defer to those know either know more or do it better. At least…somewhat.
So when I came across tons of vegan recipes for variations on French onion pasta, I was eager to try it, experiment with it and make it my own. Because that’s what we do as creatives, as vegans, as home cooks, as…humans.
This is a simple vegan recipe that also happens to be a 30-minute vegan recipe which in my eyes kind of makes it the gold standard of the perfect vegan weeknight dinner. The only thing is, this one was of my recipe requests which means that my partner, Cos, made it.
And it was simple, delicious and exactly what I wanted.