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.
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.
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?
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!
This vegan pizza recipe is delicious and fairly easy to make so I hope you give it a try!
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.
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.
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!)
Get ready for some major prep work and some insane flavors!
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!!!
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.
This weather has been so all over the place lately that it makes it difficult to meal plan. Okay the truth is that I’m not much on meal planning, our Midnight Tokyo Diner nights have been working out incredibly for the past few years so we get tons of ingredients, many of them fresh and then pantry staples, and then we can decide from one night to the next.
But with food shortages and shipping delays it’s harder and harder to get what you expect to find in the grocery stores in April. For example, there has been a TON of butternut squash lately which I love, but for me it usually means soup like, Squash & Lentil Stew. Or cookies. Or cake. Those are my go to recipes for squash, but sometimes I feel creative and make Vegan Spinach & Squash Queso Dip or Squash Blondies.
But I wasn’t in the mood and the weather was just insane. It was super warm and we went for a long walk without jackets one day and the next it was gray and gloomy and super chilly. And the only thing to like about a cold and gloomy day is cold weather vegan food. Chili and soups and stews and casseroles are all great vegan meals when the temperature dips and I knew when The Hubs asked for cauliflower curry, exactly what I would do.
Roasted Cauliflower & Butternut Squash Curry
This isn’t a quick vegan dinner but the good news is that the oven does most of the work.
I know that not everyone has the luxury of working from home, which means you can’t take your time in the kitchen to whip up healthy and delicious vegan meals at your leisure. Many of you have to commute and work in an office or warehouse or studio somewhere and you’d just really like to get something healthy and delicious, with the caveat that it’s also fast.
Believe me, I know and this is where a little bit of prep time in the kitchen can go a long way. A really long way.
Today’s quick and easy vegan lunch ideas make great vegan sandwiches, salad dressings and even pasta, so let’s not waste anymore time, yeah?
Easy vegan lunch ideas for me, usually start and end with sandwiches because they are delicious and you can literally put just about anything between two slices of bread and call it a sandwich.
The question in our home when it comes to sandwiches is usually, open faced or closed? Why? Simple, open-faced sandwiches give you more yummy sandwich filling while closed-face can satisfy any carb craving.
We’re all so busy all of the time that we’re often on the lookout for easy vegan recipes, right? I mean, for example I’m committed to the cause, I annoy my friends and family and all that, but some days I want something delicious, vegan and easy. Whether it’s an easy vegan salad or my favorite Easy Vegan Colcannon, sometimes easy is the priority.
Of course, I don’t mean easy like frozen pizza or other vegan junk food that doesn’t quite hit the mark in terms of taste, calorie friendliness or satiety. I mean is this something I will enjoy and not regret when I’m finished eating.
When it comes to this easy plant based vegan recipe, you won’t have any regrets, except that there isn’t enough for seconds. But you can easily double this recipe to make four servings.
So let’s not waste any time and get right into these saucy spiced chickpeas and rice. You can thank me later. 😉
If you want to forego the sauce, simply toss the chickpeas in dry seasoning and pop them in the air fryer or the oven. Otherwise, keep reading to get the recipe.
Sometimes you want pasta for dinner but you don’t really know what you want, which is exactly what happened to me the other night. We have pasta in the pantry. Always. All types and shapes of pasta, but that doesn’t make the decision any easier.
So the other night The Hubs and I were both out of ideas for dinner. It was his turn to pick and didn’t know, which is usually something I enjoy because it means I get to choose what to make. But on this night I had no idea. I didn’t feel like anything in particular and I was just plumb out of ideas.
Until I spotted the bag of orzo in the pantry. It’s not something that’s widely available here in Romania so when Lidl had one of their specialty weeks–Greek week for this particular item–I knew I would find it.
So I grabbed a bag of mince, a mix of fresh and canned tomatoes, a chili pepper and then I was off to the races, as they say.
This spicy orzo with red sauce is full of flavor, easy to make and a great excuse to bust out the vegan feta cheese you just bought but refuse to eat with just a knife.
This is a quick and easy vegan meal that works especially well on those nights you don’t feel like making dinner or you have other things waiting for you. Enjoy!