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 Bowls, Grains, International vegan cuisine, oil free vegan recipes, Vegan

Easy Vegan Soul Food ~ Kohlrabi Greens & Smoked Tofu Dinner

I don’t know about you guys but I grew up on soul food. Delicious, fill up your heart–and arteries–soul food.

After years of enjoying a vegan lifestyle, I still have a slight longing for soul food on occasion. But the thing I want with my vegan soul food is fewer calories and more heart healthy choices but with the essence of my granny’s soul food.

Here in Romania the soul food choices are…not the same and that’s okay. I don’t need it to be exactly the same but one of the things I crave often, especially during the fall & winter months is greens. If I were at home in the US then it would be collard or mustard greens, but alas those are not options here so I have to get creative.

One way I do this is with turnip greens but a quick trip to the supermarket recently gave me another creative option. Kohlrabi greens.

Yeah, that kohlrabi. I was browsing the grocery store and found a bin of kohlrabi but there was twice as many leaves as there were vegetables so I moved to the side adn did what any good vegan would, I Googled ‘can you eat kohlrabi greens’ and found a quick and easy answer.

Yes, you can eat them. You can cook them the way you cook pretty much any dark leafy greens from spinach to kale to collard greens.

SCORE!!

I grabbed a few hundred grams that had been discarded by other shoppers, stuffed them into my mesh produce bag and happily paid pennies for them at checkout.

Now, let’s see what I did to turn kohlrabi greens into a delicious vegan soul food dinner!

Smoked kohlrabi greens, smoked tofu & couscous

This is a quick and easy vegan soul food dinner that’s sure to please any crowd!

Continue reading “Easy Vegan Soul Food ~ Kohlrabi Greens & Smoked Tofu Dinner”
Posted in Asian Food, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Vegan

Easy Vegan Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts Recipe

When it comes to Brussels sprouts there are usually two types of people: those who love Brussels sprouts and those who have bad taste. Hahaha, just kidding! Seriously though if you have a love-hate relationship with Brussels sprouts, I have a easy vegan recipe that is guaranteed to change your mind.

It’s Brussels sprouts season here in Romania and pretty much around the world, which means there’s plenty of time to experiment and find a way to eat Brussels sprouts that you absolutely love.

Why?

For starters this cruciferous vegetable can help you with health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease. It can also help stave off many different types of cancer. And I mean who doesn’t love baby cabbage?

I personally love Brussels sprouts and this week I found a new (to me) recipe to challenge my husband and change the way we think about Brussels sprouts. Kung Pao Brussels sprouts is a fun twist on a Chinese takeout favorite that is totally vegan, super flavorful and really easy to make.

Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts recipes

So, let’s get to it, shall we?

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Posted in Plant Based, Potatoes, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Quick & Easy Vegan Dinners

It’s no secret that I love to spend time in the kitchen, whipping up vegan recipes from around the world. For me, cooking is another creative outlet that allows me to stay healthy and fit, while forcing me to take a much needed break from my excessive daily screen regimen.

But some days I am just too busy with writing for clients, publishing my books, catching up with family back home in the U.S., and even just doing stuff for me. Days are long and days are busy, but that doesn’t mean I want to crack open a frozen pizza and call it a meal. But there is something in between vegan junk food and elaborate vegan dinners.

Right?

For me, yeah.

So today let’s take a look at a very simple vegan dinner that doesn’t require even an hour in the kitchen. What is this mythical vegan recipe, you ask?

Easy. Vegan falafel balls with a delicious barbecue sauce and one of my favorites…vegan garlic mashed potatoes!

Even the photos look as simple as this meal is to make, which means there is no reason to reach for takeout menus that probably don’t have enough vegan offerings to satisfy your hunger. Do it yourself.

It’s easy, I swear.

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

Sweet & Spicy Apricot Mushrooms & Tofu Vegan Dinner

I don’t know about you guys, but I love to cook. I don’t have a problem with blasting some music or listening to a true crime podcast while I get busy in the kitchen. Whether it’s making my favorite dessert from scratch–brownies–or any other thing that’s asked of me, I’ll do it.

But that doesn’t mean I’m all that creative in the kitchen. I will mix and match with the best of’em. For example, I recently made Jerk Cabbage Ramen and it was delicious, if I do say so myself. But vegan cooking isn’t my main job, or even my second job. It’s more of a passion so when it comes to creativity, I have no problem looking to others for inspiration.

One of my favorite vegan food blogs is Rabbit & Wolves because they have tons of unique vegan recipes and they’re just complicated enough to be challenging without pissing me off. So a few weeks back I was scrolling through recipes in search of something delicious and made with mushrooms, and most importantly, something I hadn’t eaten in the past, oh I don’t know, six months.

And that’s when I spotted it. Sticky. Apricot. Mushrooms.

Yep, you heard me right. I was like, “what?” And then I immediately knew what I wanted my partner to make on our next Midnight Tokyo Diner night. But when that night rolled around, there were no apricots and no apricot jam anywhere in the house, because who the heck keeps apricot jam on hand?

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

Vegan Takeout Recipes ~ Mongolian Tofu & Rice

When you’re in the mood for a nice hot vegan meal that won’t have you in the kitchen all day, here’s my advice: grab a grain, a protein, a vegetable and make a quick sauce. In thirty minutes (give or take) you’ll have a delicious vegan meal that will make you feel good about yourself.

Bonus points, it’ll satisfy your hunger.

If you’re familiar with the popular Chinese takeout dish, Mongolian beef, you’ll be very happy you popped over to The Spicy Spatula today, because we have veganized this popular takeout dish and made it our very own.

The great thing about popular vegan takeout dishes, is that you can make them as simple or as complicated as you want, depending on your time constraints. As you can see from the photo above, the ingredient list isn’t all that complicated but it’s the sauce that gives this Mongolian Tofu most of the flavor.

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Posted in Bowls, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Italian, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Soup, Vegan

Vegan Meatball Stew & Creamy Polenta

Nothing is better than a nice stewy dish when the weather is cold, and let me tell ya, the weather here has been COLD!!!

I was really in the mood for a hearty vegetable stew but my partner wanted me to make creamy polenta so I split the difference and added a lot less broth and served it on top of polenta. With the help of Beyond Burger vegan meatballs.

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

Picnic Style Vegan BBQ Buddha Bowl

With the weather turning cold and 2020 being the year that never ends, I was in the mood for something simple to remind me of those times when he weather was nice, when you could outside and have a picnic without worry, when you could just go…outside.

And I just got a new tablecloth and it’s so picnic-y that I just couldn’t resist!

And when you want something healthy with a splash of something less than healthy, vegan Buddha bowls are an excellent choice. Just remember to add: protein, carbs and loads of veggies.

It looks really good, I know, but this is also a very calorie friendly vegan meal, and if you need to cut a little more, I recommend cutting the corn on the cob in half.

The tofu was seasoned and popped into the air fryer for about 10 minutes giving it a crisp & crunchy taste that was perfect with the rice and broccoli.

The corn was par boiled in salted water and then seasoned before it went into the oven for about 15 minutes and I kid you not, it tasted like street food corn, minus the loads and loads and loads of butter.

The broccoli received the same treatment as the corn, only less time in the oven and it was delicious, but I am also a huge fan of broccoli so…yeah.

The best thing about a meal like this is you can easily turn it Mediterranean by switching up the spices, maybe rubbing pesto onto the corn. Add ginger and garlic and garam masala for an Indian taste. Or whatever flavor profile you want because herbs & spices are what makes food taste GOOD.

The point is that you can do what you like because it’s your kitchen and your body, and anything that makes it easier to make healthy vegan meals is what we should all be doing.

What’s your go to meal when you need to change your mood?