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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.