Posted in Bowls, Grains, Herbs, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

Pesto & Chickpea Tabbouleh Salad

We all know how much I love salads and Buddha bowls (get my vegan sushi bowl recipe here). I can eat them just about every single day of the week without eating the same thing, or getting sick of them. But, that doesn’t mean that I’m not always trying to improve a recipe or improvise on existing recipes. The possibilities are endless and it’s important in general, but especially when you’re trying to eat clean and healthy, that you keep things fresh.

It’s easy to get sick of eating anything, but that is especially true of healthy, whole foods that aren’t fatty and addictive, that aren’t made to keep you coming back for more. So it requires some effort, not a lot, but some.

So a while back my niece made tabbouleh for me and the husband since we’re the only two vegans in the family. She was adorable, at fourteen years old, making this dish for us. So proud of herself and I was too, honestly. And when I was in need of a new vegan salad recipe, I thought back to Alex and her tabbouleh.

This is technically tabbouleh, but not in it’s traditional way. This is how vegans fancy up a simple salad.

Pesto & chickpea tabbouleh

Before we even begin, I’ll let you know that chickpeas aren’t a traditional ingredient in tabbouleh and I, of course, omitted the oil. Those are the major changes I made so if you’re still interested, keep reading for a unique twist on tabbouleh salad.

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Posted in Beans, Dips, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Snacks, Vegan

Easy Vegan Appetizers ~ Feed A Crowd & Party On!

Whether you’re having a birthday or anniversary party, Super Bowl or Australian Open party, you’ll need to be able to feed a crowd. Feeding a crowd a bunch of vegan appetizers is easier than you might think, as long as you stop thinking of party food in traditional ways.

The first party I threw after going vegan was to celebrate Wimbledon (Hello, I am a tennis nerd! :P) and I was thinking like an animal eating party thrower. My mind immediately went to things like meatballs and buffalo wings, spinach & artichoke dip and all those other party snacks filled with dairy and flesh. No bueno.

As time went on, I became more comfortable just thinking about vegan appetizers and ways to veganize old school party foods. That was (almost) five years ago and now, I feel like a pro.

I mean, I’m not a pro but I feel less stressed when making food for a crowd. Then again that could be because I haven’t attended many crowded events for…some time now.

Tasty vegan appetizers to feed a hungry crowd!

Feeding a mixed crowd of vegans and non-vegans isn’t something I worry about. Why? Because my husband and I are both vegans and so is our household. If you come to our house, you should expect to be served vegan food. Period.

But you know what? Even if it’s just you and your family, however big or small that is, vegan appetizers are a great way to have a snack fest all day on special days. This particular spread of vegan party food was for me and the hubs on New Year’s Eve.

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Posted in Grains, International vegan cuisine, one pot recipes, Plant Based, Vegan

Hot & Spicy Vegan Sausage Jambalaya

When it comes to making a one pot vegan dinner, few dishes are easier or tastier than jambalaya. And my favorite part of making a good vegan jambalaya is that there are just so many options. You can switch out meat alternatives like vegan chicken and vegan sausage and use beans. Or multiple types of beans. Or even go with tofu or tempeh, the choice is yours are there are so many of them.

You can switch up the different types of rice available at your local markets, switching up basmati for jasmine, wild rice or black rice or even red rice. Just remember that different grains mean different cooking times and you’ll have to adjust your vegan recipe to suit that.

You can even turn your jambalaya into a Cajun style casserole with or without cheese, or even topped with your favorite spicy peppers.

Easy vegan sausage jambalaya recipe.

Since this is a one pot vegan recipe, you will have focus on prep before you do anything else, so if you’re a spontaneous sort of home chef who grabs this and that from the cabinets at the last minute, prepare yourself for a lot of “oh crap” and running to stir to prevent things from sticking to the pan.

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Posted in Bowls, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Vegan

Lazy Vegan Meals ~ Greek Spiced Veggies & Orzo

Let’s be honest, no matter how much you LOVE spending time in the kitchen, creating new recipes, veganizing old favorites, some days you’re just not in the mood.

Takeout is always an option but if you live someplace that doesn’t have a lot of (good) vegan options, you still have to get in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible…without compromising the nutritious deliciousness that’s going on your plate and in your belly.

My favorite combination when I’m feeling lazy is to just do an easy paint by numbers lazy vegan recipe.

That’s how I came up with today’s recipe.

Greek spiced veggies & green olive orzo

Lazy vegan meals are super easy to create, just follow this simple formula: Veggies + protein + grain = YUMMY.

Simple, right?

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Posted in International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Potatoes, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Vegan Bar Food ~ Oil-free Buffalo Cauliflower Nuggets

As a girl from Chicago, one of my favorite foods to eat is anything deep fried and drenched in hot sauce. When I switched over to a vegan lifestyle, that meant TVP in the air fryer and dunked in my famous Frank’s-based sauce. And then cauliflower had her glow-up.

Now I’m not like most people who used to hate on cauliflower as being the paler, less delicious form of broccoli. I’ve always been a fan and I don’t need it covered in cheese or breading, no matter how good it might be.

In fact, I made it a goal to find different ways to have vegan buffalo wings without all the oil and calories.

And I’m pretty sure this is the winner.

Oil free vegan cauliflower in buffalo sauce

So what’s the trick to tasty but oil-free cauliflower nuggets? High cook temperature.

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Posted in Beans, Grains, Plant Based, Potatoes, Soup, Vegan

Southern Style Vegan Black Eyed Pea & Spinach Stew

I know, I know, it’s barely September and here I am with a stew recipe. The weather is still nice but has cooled dramatically after the super warm summer we’ve had all over Europe (and home in the US too, no?), which makes it the perfect time to hop on the stew train. Or if you prefer, the soup train?

Not to mention the fact that black eyed peas are very difficult to find here so when I found them (jarred, boo) I grabbed them, held on tight and knew I had to make a southern style vegan bean stew.

Why? Both of my grandmothers have southern roots–Alabama & Tennessee, respectively–which means I have eaten my fair share of bean soups, stews and the mysteriously named soup beans. Sometimes, when my longing for time with my grannies gets too strong, this is one of my go to recipes. Or when it’s a little bit chilly and I’m making an excuse to eat soup. Or just because the mood strikes.

Black eyed peas are perfect for vegan stews or slow cooker vegan recipes

This is a very hearty stew which means, in my opinion, it doesn’t require bread or crackers or anything else on the side. You’ve got spinach for dark leafy greens, onions and potatoes for fiber and tons of other nutrients. Just season well and let this big bowl of vegan goodness do it’s thang.

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Posted in Asian Food, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Sandwiches, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Easy Vegan Döner Kebab/Shawarma with Pickled Cabbage

The first thing I ever ate when I moved to Germany was not sauerkraut, not any of the variety of brats the country has to offer, and not even the famous, delicious, pretzels. Nope, my flight from Chicago got in pretty late and we stopped at one of the many Döner Kebab shops that can be found on just about any/every street.

It was the first time I’d ever eaten it and my first thought was, “Oh it’s like a gyro.”

It is not just like a gyro, but it is similiar.

Anyway, I fell in love with this dish because I loved the combination of flavorful meat, cabbage slaw and all the different choices for spicy add-ons they give you. It. Was. My. Jam.

And then I went vegan and even though Berlin is the place to be for vegan foodies, I lived in Stuttgart. There were hardly any vegan restaurants, never mind vegan Döner shops, much to my dismay.

And then I learned how to make my own vegan gyro meat from seitan and the rest, as they say, is history.

So whenever I get a craving for vegan Döner or Shawarma, I make it myself.

There are three components to this dish: the vegan meat, the veggiegurt sauce and the pickled veggies.

The veggiegurt is simple: vegan yogurt, diced cucumber, dill, lemon juice & zest, and cumin. Put in a bowl and stir, refrigerate until you’re ready to start plating.

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Posted in Breads, Cheese, International vegan cuisine, Italian, Pizza, Vegan

Friday Night Vegan Pesto Pizza Brot!!

I don’t usually post on Fridays anymore because everyone is so busy planning for the weekend there isn’t much interaction but I just couldn’t resist with this easy vegan pizza recipe.

It doesn’t require a whole big thing, in fact that only difference is that I replaced pizza dough with bread.

Why?

Mostly because pizza dough is super high in calories and honestly, as good as pizza is, it’s just not worth it. But if you love pizza and want to enjoy it without an 800+ calorie meal, try out the different options at your local bakery, or if you’re like me bakeries.

Enjoy my Friday Night Vegan Pesto Pizza Brot!

This particular vegan recipe included: vegan mince, homemade pesto, bell peppers, onions, shallots & vegan mozzarella shreds.

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

Vegan Chickpea & Quinoa Tandoori

Let’s just get this out in the open right now; I do NOT have a clay Tandoori oven so, sure, technically this isn’t a real vegan Tandoori. But I used all the delicious flavors that mean Tandoori to me, so here we are.

I’m not going to let myself get boggled down in the details when I have a perfectly good stove, oven and air fryer. You work with what ya got, and this is what I got.

Vegan Chickpea & Quinoa Tandoori.

If you’re into one pot vegan meals, then you’ll be happy to know that you can pop this all into one pot and minimize your dish load. I didn’t do that, but it’s only because I like to have different flavors and textures on my plate. Instead of popping everything in one pot, I used the air fryer for the sweet potatoes and the oven to crisp up the chickpeas.

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Posted in Grains, International vegan cuisine, Salads, Sides, Vegan

Tofu Steaks with Chimichurri

When it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping, I am a champ. I mean, not to toot my own horn but I’m pretty great at it because I take the time to be. I subscribe to different recipe blogs both vegan and non-vegan because let’s face it, inspiration can come from anywhere. Sometimes it comes from my love of cooking shows, a spark of an idea and sometimes I just re-create the recipe as is…mostly.

Before I went vegan I wasn’t much of a steak eater because my dad is a HUGE steak eater and we ate it too much growing up. So when I became an adult, I shied away from red meat altogether which means I never got to really and truly enjoy chimichurri sauce. Okay, so I never even tried it.

But I saw a recipe for steak with chimichurri and thought, why the heck not, right?

One reason jumped out at me immediately. Oil. Chimichurri contains a ridiculous amount of oil so I figured I’d follow the recipe, mostly and use the oil as needed. If you’re a purist, you’ll hate this recipe…fair warning.

The tofu steaks were pretty simple, just press them and then marinate before you do anything else so that when you’re ready to put them in a hot skillet, they’re ready. Use whatever seasonings you want, I kept it simple to highlight the chimichurri.

I stuck to the recipe pretty closely using: parsley, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, piri piri peppers, fresh oregano, green olives, lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Toss it all into the food processor and it’s ready to go. I used lemon juice to help get everything blended instead of olive oil and sure, it wasn’t as liquidy as traditional chimichurri but I’d argue the taste was more powerful without 1/4 cup olive oil.

The great thing about a meal like this is that the tofu steaks and chimichurri are so flavorful that you can go light and easy on the side dishes or even just make a simple salad like the bulgur salad below.

To feed 2 people there was about 50 grams of bulgur, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and scallion, tossed together with a dill mustard sauce and ta-da, you’ve got a healthy and delicious meal!

Want even better news? This recipe came in at less than 400 calories per serving!

Eating healthy and vegan doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming.

Don’t be afraid to take a meat/dairy recipe and make it your own!