Posted in International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Sides, Vegan

Vegan Soul Food Recipes ~ Vegan BBQ, Baked Sweet Potatoes & Greens

Soul food is a traditional cuisine that is steeped in history and culture. It’s a cuisine that has been passed down through generations and is known for its rich and comforting flavors. However, traditional soul food often relies heavily on meat and dairy products, making it difficult for vegans to enjoy. But, with a few simple substitutions and a little bit of creativity, it’s easy to create a vegan soul food Sunday dinner that is just as satisfying as the original. And healthier!

It doesn’t matter if you’re from the United States or anywhere else in this world, you can enjoy a traditional albeit vegan, soul food dinner.

The key to creating delicious vegan soul food recipes is creativity! Think up your favorite 3 or 4 vegan soul food dishes and then think about how you can veganize it. Really, it’s all about the seasoning that you use whether you have barbecue vegan chicken or vegan ribs. Just think about it and let today’s recipes guide you.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, vegan soul food recipes aren’t just for Sunday dinner!

Continue reading “Vegan Soul Food Recipes ~ Vegan BBQ, Baked Sweet Potatoes & Greens”
Posted in Bar Food, Plant Based, Sides, Vegan, Vegan Food Products

New Vegan Food Product ~ Vegan Fish Sticks

Who remembers being a kid and constantly craving fish sticks?

Not me and that is the honest truth. I barely tolerated them even back then and not because I was some budding little gourmand, but because they were always…off. The breading would be super crispy but bland and the fish parts in the middle were always dry. So dry that you couldn’t eat them without drowning them in ketchup or tartar sauce.

I do not have fond memories of eating fish sticks as a kid.

So why, you might ask, would I dare bother to test out vegan fish sticks the moment they hit the shelves in my local grocery store? Honestly? I guess maybe I am a glutton for punishment or maybe I just love to see if the vegan version can make me love something I previously tolerated.

Or maybe I’m just crazy. Who knows?

The point is that the same brand that makes a delicious vegan canned tuna, has some out with breaded fish, white fish and now fish sticks and I decided it was worth the price of admission to give it a shot. The real question is, was it worth the calories on my backside?

Keep reading to find out!

Continue reading “New Vegan Food Product ~ Vegan Fish Sticks”
Posted in Bar Food, Sides, Vegan

Quick & Easy Vegan Bar Food – Spicy Tofu Wings

Sometimes the intersection between eating healthy and succumbing to food cravings is a congested mess of sacrificing one for the other, but with a little bit of creativity and willingness, it can be done.

Vegan bar food is one of my favorite things to make and not just because it’s easy. Who doesn’t love fries and hot wings? I for one, LOVE them. Both of them.

But the truth is that today’s post isn’t about making vegan hot wings, it’s about the yummy vegan and accidentally vegan hot sauces I recently purchases which coat today’s lovely tofu wings. The recipe itself is quite easy and we’ll go through it later, but let’s talk a little about the hot sauce.

The main ingredient you might find in some of the most popular brands of hot sauce to make them not vegan is cane sugar, which is often whitened with bone char. So like any good vegan, you have to carefully look at the ingredients list and a good rule of thumb is that the shorter the list, the better it is in general and almost certainly for us vegans.

The first hot sauce is a brand I only became aware of recently, Marie Sharp’s. The sauces are spicy and delicious and some of them are flat out vegan while others just happen to be vegan. And then there’s a totally vegan brand, HiyaSelf.

I used a mixture of three sauces to create a super spicy vegan tofu wing and now we’ll talk about everything I did!

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Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, International vegan cuisine, Noodles, oil free vegan recipes, Salads, Sides, Vegan

Vegan Banana Blossom “Meat” & Hong Kong Style Noodles w/ Crunchy Vegan Side Salad

Yep, here we are again back in my vegan kitchen with noodles on the menu. I know what you’re thinking, does this chick eat anything other than noodles? The answer is yes, I do eat plenty of other grains but Asian cuisine is my favorite and I love to experiment with it.

And I love to eat noodles.

It’s somewhat of a comfort food for me in that it is the perfect backup when I’m testing out a new recipe because noodles make everything better. If I screw it up, at least we’re having noodles, right?

So there are noodles but there are also banana blossoms. Don’t judge because I know what you’re thinking, here we go with another of those specialty ingredients that are impossible for normal vegans to find. I would have said the same thing, except I was just browsing the Asian section of Kaufland and happened up these canned banana blossoms in water. Of course I grabbed them, because all these vegan chefs have been making everything out of it from vegan fish to vegan chicken and I was curious to try it out.

But deep frying? Not for me, please and thank you. I decided to keep it simple and go with a sauteed version that does still serve as a vegan meat alternative, but subtly so.

And this dish is the end result.

Delicious vegan noodles with banana blossoms

This vegan dish is easy to make and it feels as if it takes a lot more time than it does, which means its a great way to impress vegans and non-vegans alike!

Continue reading “Vegan Banana Blossom “Meat” & Hong Kong Style Noodles w/ Crunchy Vegan Side Salad”
Posted in Beans, Breakfast, International vegan cuisine, Sides

A Day in the Mountains + Full English Breakfast Recipe

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.

Bucegi Mountains in Sinaia, Romania

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.

Let’s do it!

Continue reading “A Day in the Mountains + Full English Breakfast Recipe”
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 Bowls, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Sides, Vegan

The CREAMIEST Vegan Polenta

I’m not sure if you guys know this or not but I kind of love polenta. When I grew up it was all about grits but now that I’m an adult, polenta is where it’s at.

If you’re not sure about whether or not you love polenta, check out some of these recipes to get you started:

Creamy Polenta & Oven Roasted Veggies
Sweet Potato Polenta
Vegan Meatball Stew & Polenta

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!

Continue reading “The CREAMIEST Vegan Polenta”
Posted in Sides

New Vegan Food Find ~ Spicy Vegan Sausage (on a stick)

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.

Never.

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.

Continue reading “New Vegan Food Find ~ Spicy Vegan Sausage (on a stick)”
Posted in International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Potatoes, Sides, Vegan

Summer Vegan BBQ Recipes ~ Vegan Potato Salad

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?

Creamy vegan potato salad

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.

I hope you enjoy it!

Continue reading “Summer Vegan BBQ Recipes ~ Vegan Potato Salad”
Posted in oil free vegan recipes, Potatoes, Sauces & Creams, Sides, Vegan

Easy Vegan Salisbury Steak & Onion Gravy w/Mashed Potatoes

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.

Check out this version of old school Vegan TV Dinners!

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.

Quick & easy vegan Salisbury steak recipe

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.

Continue reading “Easy Vegan Salisbury Steak & Onion Gravy w/Mashed Potatoes”