Aloo Keema ~ Vegan Mince & Potato Curry Recipe

I love a good curry. Who doesn’t? I mean, you get tons of vegetables and rice steeped in delicious and vibrant flavors, sometimes spicy with your favorite vegan meat alternative and it’s just a big bowl of goodness. Unlike soup, I am never opposed to eating a curry in the heart of summer of the depths of winter.

And I recently discovered Aloo Keema, a dish that originated in Pakistan/Northern India that has the simplest of ingredients: mince, potatoes and rice with bread if you choose to double-carb it.

The flavors of the dish really appealed to me so I figured, why not?

Vegan Aloo Keema ~ Mince & Potato Curry

As far as vegan curry recipes go, this is a pretty easy one with a manageable list of vegan ingredients.

Another Vegan Buddha Bowl Recipe

I have talked time, and time again about my love of the marvelous Buddha bowl.

I mean, what’s not to like about a bowl of food that contains tons of veggies, a heaping pile of grains and just enough protein to provide a well-balanced vegan meal that nourishes while tasting wickedly delicious?

I can’t think of one thing that’s unappealing about any of that.

So, here is (yet) another vegan buddha bowl recipe for you to enjoy. Or experiment with. Or try to top.

Whatever you prefer. 😉

It doesn’t matter if you’re a new vegan or an old vegan, the Buddha bowl is the perfect way to get you in the kitchen, cooking healthy vegan meals, and taking control of what you put inside your body.

Corn & Tofu Taco Salad Bowl ~ Vegan

Today I thought I would do something a little different. Instead of a traditional recipe, because you can add whatever you want to your favorite vegan taco salad, I just want to talk about what I did and how I did it.

I’ve made no secret about how much I love tacos, or taco salads and even taco bowls, so feel free to use any of those for inspiration.

I made corn, mushroom and mince taco salad inside a tortilla salad bowl. Let’s start there.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of what makes a good vegan taco salad bowl, let’s talk about what you can put in your salad bowl.

Easy Vegan Comfort Food ~ Vegan Schnitzel & Cheesy Pasta

Many of my friends think that eating a vegan diet means always eating healthy, and it doesn’t. Sure, most days I try to eat a whole food, plant based diet with plenty of fresh & colorful vegetables, grains, beans and legumes.

That doesn’t always happen.

As a professional writer and self-published author, there is a lot on my plate and sometimes I just want something hot and yummy and not necessarily totally healthy, and that’s all right because I work out regularly and I am as active as possible when I’m not parked in front of a computer screen.

So when I want to eat a greasy vegan schnitzel with creamy cheesy pasta and broccoli, I do.

This post doesn’t require a full on recipe because you can find your favorite brand of vegan chicken, or make your own vegan fried chicken, and cook in the air fryer or the oven with your desired seasonings. I used garlic, black pepper and smoky paprika and popped it in the oven on 200C so it would be crispy enough not to get soggy on top of the pasta.

Vegan Pepper Steak Stir-Fry

So this time, we’re starting with a story.

Way back in 1998 , I was an eager high school graduate headed to downstate Illinois for my very first Freshman orientation with my best friend. We visited the entire campus and I was sure–absolutely certain, in fact–that I, of the dubious navigation talents, would be able to get from one class to the next with ease after this two-day trip.

For those of you wondering, it took me two weeks to navigate the campus freely.

But, I digress. On the first day of orientation, lunch was served in what was considered the “freshman dorm cafeteria” where my bestie and I didn’t end up getting a room, but we had a dish I had never had before. Pepper Steak. It wasn’t very good because the steak was tough, but the sauce was spicy and tangy and delicious. My taste buds were intrigued, needless to say and since then, I have recreated it about a dozen times.

This time, I went for something a little different, pepper steak stir-fry with mushrooms and mince instead of tofu or seitan. Let’s see how it went…

It wasn’t until years later, when the internet became A THING, that I looked up a real recipe and tried to recreate it but over the years I have used pretty much every source of protein and every blend of Asian flavors to get it just right.

Easy Vegan Lunch Ideas – Spicy Buffalo Tofu Sandwich & Salad

Sandwiches are one of my favorite foods in all the world. I’m like Joey when it comes to sandwiches, just give me some good bread, tons of veggies, some good sauce like pesto or hummus or dill-veggiegurt and I am a happy camper! And when you find bread that is delicious and low calorie, well it’s like sandwiches are calling my name.

So when my mother in law brought over a bag filled with little ciabatta rolls just 60 grams per roll, I was ECSTATIC! Like Joey-level excited and I knew exactly what I wanted. Spicy TVP, cooked in the air fryer and tossed in a blend of spices & hot sauce.

Spicy Vegan Buffalo Tofu Sandwich

This recipe is pretty easy as far as vegan lunch recipes go.

Ingredients:
2 Ciabatta Rolls
70 grams TVP ~ I use inedit but use whatever you like
1 Garlic clove (pressed/minced)
Franks Red Hot (which is accidentally vegan!)
1 tbsp. Vegan ketchup
5 grams Olive oil
5 grams Cider vinegar
Sriracha
50 grams Veggigurt
Scallion & Dill
Salad fixings

Rehydrate the TVP in water or broth and let it rest to get as much liquid out as possible. When you’re ready, toss it in a variety of seasonings & spices such as: smoky paprika, turmeric, piri piri, garlic, cumin & white pepper…don’t forget the oil.

Pop the vegan buffalo strips in the air fryer for 10 to 15 minutes. I ended p going closer to 15 minutes because I use the big chunks and cut them in half before seasoning them. When the spicy tofu is done, toss it in a mixture of hot sauce, vinegar (optional), and vegan butter (also optional).

I used: Sriracha, ketchup, pressed garlic, hot sauce & cider vinegar (just enough to think out the mixture).

For the sauce, mix veggiegurt, dill, lemon juice and thinly sliced scallions. Season with salt & pepper and add to bread.

Then whip up your salad and dress it with a quick vegan vinaigrette (mustard, vinegar, herbs & spices), and your easy vegan lunch recipe is ready to go. If you do your prep work, this is a quick and easy vegan lunch for two but if you’re cooking for more, just double the recipe as needed.

Wondering what that drink is above? Just a little bit of Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition & Bundaberg sarsaparilla, also known as a Lynchburg Beer or, since I used Jameson, Dublin Beer!

Soya Biryani with Crispy Onions

Simple food can be good food. There is a time and a place for complicated dishes that take plenty of time, but only when and if you feel like it. Biryani seems like a dish that could be complicated if you let it, especially if you decide to take forty-five minutes to get those onions properly crispy. Luckily for me, this was a night my husband cooked and the only thing I had to do was come up with what I wanted to eat for dinner this night. 🙂

I chose Biryani because it is a simple but flavorful dish that feels like it takes hours and hours in the kitchen, but an efficient vegan home cook could get it done in under an hour.

The best thing, aside from taste, about this recipe is that the ingredient list is simple.

TVP (I use inedit, but use whatever textured protein you can find)
Basmati rice
Onion
Veggiegurt
Ginger
Garlic
Red bell pepper
Peanut oil
Herbs & Spices

I know, it seems impossible that a dish so simple could produce such a flavor explosion on your tongue but…it’s true.

If you’ve never had a vegan Biryani, I recommend you do a little research so you understand the basics, but basically this is a dry dish compared to a curry, for example. The key here is the fried onions because they add SO MUCH FLAVOR!

While you re-hydrate the soya, get those onions going in oil or vegan butter, cooking them low and slow until they start to turn golden and sweet-ish. Once the soya is ready, let it cool and then toss in veggiegurt and Indian spices. My hubs couldn’t wait to make use of our new air fryer, so that’s how he cooked the soya!

While the soya got nice & crispy, he cooked the Basmati rice in salted water with a teaspoon (or two) of turmeric thrown in for the health benefits and that gorgeous yellow color.

When the onions are close to ready, add the red bell pepper, garlic and ginger to the skillet and you’re good to go. Now toss in the soya and top it on a bed of rice.

You can always substitute one protein for another, using chickpeas, tofu or any other kinds of beans. If you use seitan or tempeh, I’d love to know about it!

I truly enjoyed this dish and I’ll probably add it to the rotation, but I’d love to see your take on a vegan biryani dish.

Fast, Easy & Low Calorie: Vegan Energy Ballz

When I went vegan a few years ago, my goal was simple: eat what I want and still lose weight. Protecting the environment was a close second and then there was the health and welfare of the animals. Now, as a fully realized vegan, those are all part of my goals but my focus has shifted a bit more. Now I’m also concerned with improving my health instead of just losing weight, which is going spectacularly by the way.

One of my tasks has been to find low calorie and healthier ways to enjoy things like snacks and desserts. My “thing” is potato chips, specifically salt & vinegar but traveling makes them difficult to come by for a variety of reasons. First is that even here in Romania there is ONE brand of salt & vinegar potato chips but they are Pringles, which for some odd reason contains MILK POWDER. So it’s a no go and after months of testing out all the other chip flavors, I’m dissatisfied and off chips until I find my brand again.

But I have discovered something else…energy balls!

I first came across these little treats while watching a video from Those Annoying Vegans. I’ve since taken their recipe/tips and ran with it!

As you can see, the first batch wasn’t very pretty but they were pretty tasty and best of all, they are super easy to make!

What you’ll need is dried fruit and nuts, plus any other additional flavors you might want to add.

This is my apricot, date and puffed millet energy ball.

Making these balls is really easy. Simply measure out your ingredients, pretty evenly, and dump everything into the food processor. let it run until the chunks are small enough to gather and roll into bite-size balls. Add lemon juice a teaspoon at a time until it’s tacky enough to mold into balls and voila…energy balls!

This was my second batch of energy balls. On the left is dates, cranberries, candied ginger, pecans and golden raisins. When they were in perfect circles, I rolled them through coconut flakes. These were my absolute favorite of the first 2 batches I made. Beside them are cranberries and raisins with cashews and lemon juice.

Apricot, pecan & cocoa powder energy balls! (116 calories per ball)

vegan fruit nut balls

Batch three was the most successful and tasty by far! This is cranberry, date, pistachio and coconut flakes with a hint of lime juice. If you want to make them easier to manage, chop the pieces before tossing them into the food processor but I don’t think its necessary. Also, just 67 calories per ball!

papaya macadamia nut vegan balls

These were ridiculously delicious and I recommend that you use extreme moderation because though they are low in calories (about 69 calories per ball), they are still sweet as hell and likely to put your dentist’s kids through college.

This was the most recent batch of energy balls and I used some dried papaya, golden raisins and macadamia nuts. It was buttery and creamy and tangy and sweet and delicious!

Lay them out on parchment paper to keep them from sticking together and then keep refrigerated if you like. I keep them at room temperature because I make small batches that don’t last long! Use them for road trips, midday snacks or even dessert.

30 Minute Vegan Pasta + Sauce

Ages ago when I first started to change the way I ate, I turned to Food Network for lessons on cooking, picking out the best quality food and even nutrition. It wasn’t a complete education but it gave me the tools I needed to keep moving forward. And it worked. Back then I was still shoveling animal products down my throat but there was a lot less food on my plate and it was a better quality.

Making the switch to plant based eating meant I needed to re-learn some things, such as how to make a meal complete without meat. Most days I don’t mind spending an hour in the kitchen to whip up a good and healthy meal for us and he doesn’t either, but some days I just don’t have the time. Or the energy.

Enter, quick but satisfying vegan meals in 30 minutes.

Normally I prefer whole wheat pasta, the darker the better. But I found this adorable pasta at Kaufland and it was so big and fat that it called out to me, and like any good vegan, the first thing I did was flip it over to make sure the manufacturer hadn’t snuck in some milk (lactic acid) or cheese. They didn’t.

They don’t look like much in the photo but that is a life-size image on the right so imagine how big they will get while cooking. Because I was cooking for 3 people, I used 250 grams instead of 200 just to be sure everyone got a proper serving. Before you gasp at the amount, keep reading.

One of the keys to making a meal quick and delicious is the ingredients. For this particular pasta dish I kept it simple:

Onion
Bell pepper
Garlic
Crimini mushrooms
Cherry tomatoes
Tomato sauce
Leftover pesto(from the creamy pesto)

Add the onion and bell pepper to a skillet–with or without oil–and saute for a few minutes before adding garlic. Then tomatoes and then tomato sauce. You’ll want to add some herbs & spices for seasoning, including oregano, basil, thyme or rosemary.

Add the tomato sauce and stir, adding seasoning as you go until the flavors are delicious without being too salty.

I added about a tablespoon of pesto to each serving because the pop of color and freshness made the pasta even more delicious.

And it only took 30 minutes!

If you prep everything first, meaning chop all the veggies and put the herbs & spices together, you’ll save even more time.

Make it yourself and the next time someone tells you that eating healthy is too time consuming, give them a knowing smile…

and then prove them wrong.

Guten appetit!