Last week I meant to add a bonus post because I’ve been so spotty lately while working and writing my new novel, not to mention taking in all the sights Romania has to offer. I didn’t get to it because I had a really trippy dream last week and it put me off while I dealt with the after effects of that, so I’m giving you a Friday freebie post/recipe.
Last week the Hubs and I decided to take a trip to the mountains but instead of going in the car, he wanted me to experience the Bucegi Mountains on the back of his motorcycle. I was on board–mostly–but there’s always a bundle of anxiety when it comes to being on a two-wheeled vehicle. Still, I promised him we would go so I sucked it up and put on my gear and we hit the road.
Of course, there was the promise of a vegan lunch at Snow in Sinaia which soothed my frazzled nerves by about 10% which any sufferer of anxiety knows isn’t basically nothing. But the Bucegi Mountains are beautiful and the scenery is magnificent so that alone was worth it.
We’ve been to Snow Restaurant many times and you can see the post about it here. The vegan sausages with grilled mushrooms, cabbage and mamaliga is wonderful but this time there were NO mushrooms–boo, hoo–but the food was decent.
We split the sausages, mamaliga and cabbage along with a vegan burger & fries meal. The vegan burger was tasty as were the toppings (lettuce, tomato & red onion) but the bun was entirely too big for the burger and not warmed so it totally fell apart as we each ate our halves.
With that in mind I decided to share with you a vegan meal that I’ve made a few times, Fully Vegan Full English Breakfast while also enjoying a great view in Sinaia of the Bucegi Mountains.
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.
As you can see, I’ve done quite a few vegan polenta recipes in an effort to get it just right. Some end up too grainy or chunky and I was striving for perfectly silky polenta that doesn’t leave you feeling heavy and bloated.
Today I think I’ve finally gotten it right!
The full recipe is Crispy vegan chicken & veggies with creamy polenta but I’m going to focus on the polenta.
So, let’s get to making the creamiest vegan polenta you’ll ever eat!
Ah, here we are once again, checking out new vegan food products. Today’s product, a simple vegan sausage, was found by accident as I browsed the aisles of my local Kaufland.
Take it Veggie is a well-known vegan brand, one that I’ve been accustomed with since the early days of my vegan life back in Germany. It is a German brand of vegan and vegetarian foods and they are average in taste but they are affordable and it seems as if they add new products every couple of months.
I hadn’t planned on buying vegan sausages but when I saw that they were spicy, I let myself be fooled. I mean, I lived in Germany for nearly a decade and ‘Germany spicy’ is always sweet, never spicy.
Still, I was hopeful. And here we are.
Let’s talk a little about these sausages, made from pea protein, and what I did with them.
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?
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.
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.
Hey vegans, wannabe vegans and almost there vegans! Things are a little crazy this week as I am at the tail end–finally–of my fifth book in the Mustang Prairie series so between my day job as a writer and my night job as an author, things are chaotic.
So not only am I being a lazy vegan but I’m going to pass on my lazy meal to you.
Now, if you’re expecting ‘lazy’ to mean pop a vegan pizza in the oven, you’re way off base. I have yet to find a vegan pizza that I love enough to waste the calories so no. No way. Nope. Not even a little bit. But if you have any recommendations, drop links in the comments.
When I say lazy vegan meals, I mean that I let the oven do all, if not most, of the work.
Here’s what a lazy vegan meal looks like:
As you can see from the photo, this is a lazy vegan recipe with just a handful of ingredients.
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.
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!
Sick of the same old meals week in and week out? Yeah, I get that way sometimes too especially with things being the way they are and the limited vegan take out options in my adopted town. Despite all of my recipes on everything from sushi bowls to warm salad recipes, not to mention the wealth of vegan recipes available online, sometimes it feels as if I’ve made everything.
But that can’t be, can it? Of course not. That’s why when I get into a vegan cooking rut, I decide what I want to eat first. Am I in the mood for broccoli or mac & cheese or a Gnocchi Bake? And then I just do a little switch-a-roo. Take an Italian dish and turn into something else like, Asian style. It doesn’t always work, but it’s always worth a shot because when it does work…whoa boy!
Sunday night is the night before I hit up the grocery store so often I try to use all the odds & ends to make room for fresh items, mostly produce. I went through my spice rack and came up with a few things to make a Jamaican style curry and put it all in a bowl.
It looks like a whole feast, doesn’t it? Well it was and the other it was? Super easy to make.
I know, I know. As a certified carb-a-holic, it seems crazy to cook a meal without rice or noodles or pasta or…whatever. But sometimes you’re just too lazy, especially on workout days and you just want something quick and easy that tastes good.
Enter this super fast lazy vegan dinner. And the best part? If you need more sustenance, add a baked potato or a side of rice, like I did for this lazy vegan mashed potato bowl.
The second best part? You can switch this up use a vegan burger with corn on the cob, vegan sausage with roasted carrots or whatever meat alternative and vegetable you want.
This might not be lazy enough for some of you, but I promise that this meal will be done before your delivery order arrives at your front door. Don’t take my word for it, just test it out.