Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, Indian, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Vegan

Oyster Mushroom Vegan Mujadara Recipe

Mujadara is a delicious and hearty dish that is perfect for vegans looking to expand your culinary knowledge or to simply tickle your tastebuds. I love trying out new recipes from around the world because it’s fun to veganize them and then I get to experiment with new herbs and spices in all kinds of other dishes.

Made with golden lentils, wild rice, and oyster mushrooms, this easy vegan recipe is full of flavor and nutrition. The addition of ginger, garlic, onion and turmeric give it a warm and comforting taste that is sure to please.

You can use a variety of vegan meat alternatives to make this dish include tofu, vegan beef strips or even beans. The choice is yours!

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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 Asian Food, Bowls, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Vegan

Vegan Fried Rice & Vitasia Veggie Spring Rolls

Here’s a secret I want to share with you all. Sometimes I can be a bit of a food snob and it’s not necessarily one of those instances where I believe that I’m too good for a certain type or food product but more so that I’m very distrusting of a lot of pre-packaged foods and it gives me extreme anxiety so I just avoid them. This is especially true when it comes to bagged or any other pre-packaged salad products, thanks to a childhood of recalls that left me deathly afraid of food poisoning and other food borne illnesses.

But the more this vegan food blog grows, the more I try to step out of my comfort zone to try new vegan food products because I know I’m not the only one. So when I was at Lidl this week and came across a package of veggie spring rolls from Vitasia, I took a long hard look at the ingredients list and decided to give it a shot.

What goes well with vegan spring rolls? Well to be honest plenty of things but my Hubs requested veggie fried rice so that’s what we went with and it was pretty dang delicious. Mostly.

I wanted to make a quick and easy vegan meal that was plant based and delicious, so I kept it simple but please, tell me what you prefer to eat with vegan spring rolls?

Easy vegan Asian dinner recipes

The pre-packaged spring rolls came with those little packets of what I still call duck sauce even though I have always and only eaten them with egg rolls, but I improvised and added a few things to them, which we will talk about.

DO you have a favorite brand of vegan egg rolls? Brand names & links welcome in the comments!

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Posted in Bowls, Curry, Grains, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Vegan

Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe ~ Jerk Roasted Eggplant Bowl

It’s only Wednesday but already this week has been crazy! My book, Let It Be Love is officially LIVE which means book promo and events galore. Even though I knew it was coming, it still kind of snuck up on me.

All of that to say that this will be short (ish) and sweet.

As you may or may not know up until moving to Romania I was not a fan of eggplant. I had tried it a few times and absolutely hated it. The taste. The texture. The mouth-feel. Nothing about it was enjoyable to me and that persisted for most of my life.

But here in Romania eggplant is almost the only vegetable people eat. It’s in Vinete (eggplant dip) and Zacusca (vegetable dip) or just served overcooked with tons of oil for “garnish”. Still wasn’t a fan.

And then my aunt-in-law made some Vinete and I tried it and…liked it.

So I began to experiment with it. Mostly for my husband who is Romanian and loves my baba ghanoush. And then I saw this roasted jerk eggplant recipe and it actually looked good.

Check out my Graffiti Eggplant & Courgette Couscous Salad recipe, or Vegan Eggplant Fries for a different take on eggplant recipes.

So I made a vegan buddha bowl with jerk seasoned eggplant, curry TVP and a grain cooked with plenty of turmeric. And here we are.

Jamaican Jerk Roasted vegan eggplant steaks

I’m still experimenting with cooking eggplant and finding ways to add it to the menu but this one came out pretty well. It was a little softer than I would have liked but next time I’ll shave 5 minutes from the cooking time.

Enjoy!

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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.

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

Easy Vegan Lunch Recipes ~ Mushroom & Snow Pea Bowl

Whether you work at home like me or you have to head to an office each day, lunch is inevitable. By the time noon rolls around, your belly might rumble with hunger or maybe you skipped breakfast, or maybe you just practice intuitive eating and lunchtime is when your hunger kicks into overdrive.

Enjoy some of these vegan lunch recipes:


Veggie Ramen & Miso
Smoke Tofu Bahn Mi
Soul Food Lunch Plate

Whatever the reason you need to eat lunch and you have choices. Will you head to the nearest drive-thru to satisfy your hunger with something greasy and delicious but that won’t provide you for much energy to get through the day? Or will you load up on something healthy and full of vegetables and nutrients to keep you going?

I know which choice we all want to make. The easy choice and that’s a given since our brains are hard-wired to maintain the status quo, to avoid doing anything that might cause the smallest amount of pain or discomfort. But with a few seconds of thought and good decision making you’ll reach your health, work or life goals much easier.

And all of that was just my way of introducing my latest dish, Mushroom & Snow Pea bowl. So simple, right?

Darn tootin’!

Simple and delicious.

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Posted in Italian, oil free vegan recipes, Vegan

Vegan Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

I’m not sure if you guys know this or not because for the past decade or more I have been in Germany and then Romania, but I am a Chicago girl at heart. It is the city of my heart, the place where I fell in love with big cities and traveling. And though it has been a long time since I’ve been home and taken advantage of all it has to offer, I was recently in the mood for a bit of home.

When you think of Chicago cuisine there are probably just a few dishes that come to mind. Deep dish pizza and Chicago style hot dogs. Since I have never been a fan of hot dogs, I visited my hometown via deep dish pizza which I veganized and–tried–to reduce in, well everything.

It’s important to note that being from Chicago I am a bit of a deep dish pizza (and all pizza) snob. Not all deep dish pizzas are created equally. Some have too much sauce or the sauce is too thick or not seasoned enough, sometimes the crust is too doughy because some people love to go CRAZY with the pizza toppings/fillings.

And since I was making my own vegan deep dish pizza, I decided to address a few of those concerns and improve upon it for us. Also because my husband has only ever had deep dish pizza once in Chicago and I needed to make sure he loved it enough that he would be willing to try this one.

And the next one…

So here is my vegan version of Deep Dish Pizza!

Vegan deep dish pizza ~ Jalapeno, Cheese & Veggie Deep Dish Pizza

This vegan pizza recipe is delicious and fairly easy to make so I hope you give it a try!

If you want a different type of pizza, try my Pesto Pizza Brot recipe!

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Posted in Asian Food, International vegan cuisine, Noodles, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Easy Plant Based Vegan Udon w/Veggies

The 2020’s have been wonderful for vegans. There’s a plethora of vegan meat alternatives available for you to satisfy your appetite from old faithful tofu to vegan sausage, steaks, chicken and even seafood. If you live in one of the major cities around the world, there’s no end to the vegan options available to you to try out and enjoy. Even if you live in a smaller town, the internet makes it easy to order just about anything that strikes your fancy.

But some days you just want to keep it simple. An easy plant based vegan recipe that’s full of vegetables and creamy udon noodles.

This is a simple vegan recipe that is the perfect answer when you want to use up the rest of your vegetables before your next shopping trip, or if you’re out of ideas but you really need to eat. 🙂

Cooking vegan food at home doesn’t mean that you need to whip up gourmet food every single day, sometimes it’s about simple and vegan and nutritious.

Easy vegan udon noodle recipes.

There are really just three components to this dish: noodles, veggies & sauce. If you want anything else, feel free to add it and I’d be happy to see/hear the results.

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Posted in Asian Food, Curry, Indian, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Vegan

Traditional Style Vegan Vindaloo Soya

Just in case you are wondering, yes I am still knee-deep in editing Let It Be Love because well, because editing takes time and it has taken me a while to write this story because my day job–more writing–has been insane over the past few years.

We should all be so lucky to have that problem, right?

Anyway instead of spending my time writing up recipes I have been spending a little bit of extra time actually making the recipes. There’s just something about cooking that doesn’t just relax me, but helps clear my mind. I’ve been cooking while listening to police interrogation videos–an off-shoot of my love of true crime docs–and they are surprisingly Zen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been doing prep work and an idea will pop in my head, forcing me to wash my hands and type notes or put them in a voice recorder.

So…the good news is that I did get a few plot ideas while I was making this vegan vindaloo recipe. The not quite as good news is that I went with the traditional-ish method of making Vindaloo.

What does mean? Well it means I did what I could with what I had, while adhering to the traditional methods such as cooking and then grinding whole spices. It was a whole thing and I completely understand if you opt for already ground spices to get this recipe on your table.

So, let’s give it a go! (Are you a fan of That Chapter on YouTube? It’s Mike’s catchphrase only picture it with an Irish accent!)

Easy vegan lamb vindaloo recipe

Get ready for some major prep work and some insane flavors!

Continue reading “Traditional Style Vegan Vindaloo Soya”
Posted in International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Potatoes, Vegan

Vegan Junk Food ~ Mediterranean Style Vegan Gyro Fries

I don’t have cheat days but there are days where I’ll request a dish that has more calories or fat than I usually do. This is part of my effort to maintain and continue my weight loss without getting bogged down in the notion that I have to eat like an Olympian just to be fit and healthy.

With some caveats. When it comes to vegan junk food, I am no different than any other vegan on the planet. I want to try out new vegan foods when they come on the market but I don’t want to succumb to the craze of just constant over-the-top dishes. So these vegan gyro fries are delicious and a splurge but not as much as they could have been.

And I should add that I did eat these on my workout day to mitigate some of the damage because those last few kilos are really hard to lose!!!

Vegan gyro fries are the perfect vegan junk food

I’ll give you a few tips and ingredients that you can add to enhance your culinary experience, or to change out ingredients you might not like.

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