Posted in Asian Food, Bowls, oil free vegan recipes, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Easy Vegan Lunch Recipes ~ Mushroom & Snow Pea Bowl

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.

Enjoy some of these vegan lunch recipes:


Veggie Ramen & Miso
Smoke Tofu Bahn Mi
Soul Food Lunch Plate

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?

Darn tootin’!

Simple and delicious.

Continue reading “Easy Vegan Lunch Recipes ~ Mushroom & Snow Pea Bowl”
Posted in Cheese, International vegan cuisine, Italian, Pasta, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Vegan Chicken Alfredo

Have I mentioned lately how much I love pasta and noodles? That I could eat it at least four times a week without getting sick of it even though I very easily and quickly get sick of dishes if I have them too often? Of course I have, it’s me we’re talking about!

I’ve already made a couple of different vegan alfredo sauces, one with lots of garlic and mushrooms and another with peas, chickpea alfredo sauce and vegan parmesan. Despite my love of pasta and alfredo sauce, I’ve made this dish again because I feel as if my vegan alfredo sauce gets better with every go round.

At first it was too think and clunky, then it was too watery. Whether I used a roux, processed tofu or early versions of mediocre vegan cheese, it was good but it wasn’t quite right. Thus began my Goldilocks method of perfecting my vegan alfredo sauce.

Today I kept it simple with this vegan chicken alfredo made with Naturli brand breaded schnitzel, which includes this particular dish in the easy vegan recipes column. Pop the schnitzel in the oven until crispy and sizzling, let it rest while you take care of everything else.

Easy vegan chicken alfredo with pasta.

If you think making vegan alfredo sauce from scratch couldn’t possibly qualify as ‘easy’, think again. Even the recipe list on this bad boy is fairly simple.

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Posted in French, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Bourbon Vegan Chick’n & Mushrooms w/Barley

Way back in the early 2000’s, I lived in Boston and worked for a progressive non-profit organization. It was my second “real” job straight out of college so the hours were long and the pay was crap, but it was Boston, a city me and a very close friend had talked about living in during grad school.

I was there and the reality didn’t quite match the dream. Don’t get me wrong, the city was incredible. It was beautiful and old, with marks of history featured everywhere from the roundabout roads to the brick-paved streets downtown, Fenway Park and all that good stuff. Unfortunately I was (mostly) too busy working to see much of the city and surrounding area until after the election was over.

But one of the things that still sticks in my mind, years later is this freestanding food court off the Downtown Crossing exit on the orange line. There was all of your basic crap from burgers & fries, to greasy fried rice, fried chicken, smoothies and the like. But there was this one place, tangentially New Orleans themed, and they had the most amazing bourbon chicken.

I loved it. I devoured it. I ordered it all the time. Just a simple dish of chicken breasts, pan fried until crispy and coated with a delicious sauce and served on a bed of rice. You could sit in the food court to eat it, but it came in a totally not sustainable foam packaging that–unfortunately–made it perfect to eat at your desk while trying to dispense payroll for sixty offices located around the country.

So it became one of my favorites.

Over the years I have tried to recreate this dish with varying measures of success, but this time I think I’ve finally gotten it right.

Boo-ya!

Vegan bourbon chickpeas & mushrooms

Like I said, I’ve tried this recipe plenty of times even in my vegan life, using everything from tofu, smoked tofu, Quorn filets and even seitan, and they come out good but not quite the same. Ya know?

Continue reading “Bourbon Vegan Chick’n & Mushrooms w/Barley”
Posted in Chicken, International vegan cuisine, Plant Based, Potatoes, Vegan

Vegan Fried Chicken Dinner

Am I the only one who has a handful of recipes that you can whip up with just about anything, no matter how badly you don’t want to cook? Just me?

Bummer.

Well I have a few of them. I can always go for ramen, soup or stir-fry or any other recipe I can justify. Potatoes are good any day of the week and I will build a meal around them if I’m not in the mood to cook. Pasta and sandwiches are always nice to whip up in a time crunch.

But the one meal my vegan heart goes to when I’m not in the mood to cook, or I’m just exhausted, is vegan fried chicken. There’s just something about this particular meal that is always satisfying. Vegan fried chicken. Corn on the cob. Mashed potatoes. Is there anything better?

Not that I can think of.

Vegan fried chicken with hot sauce.

Full disclosure, today’s particular meal didn’t come about because I wasn’t in the mood to cook. It does happen, but it’s rare. Actually I was browsing hot sauce options online because that’s how I roll, and I came across a giant multi-pack that I was beyond eager to try. They arrived and I needed to cook something that was the perfect test food for hot sauce.

Continue reading “Vegan Fried Chicken Dinner”
Posted in Asian Food, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Noodles, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Vegan Chicken & Soba with Peanut Sauce

You know what I love that I don’t eat nearly enough of? Peanut butter. It’s creamy and delicious and the expensive stuff tastes like you just ate a handful of peanuts. There’s nothing about it that I don’t love, except the calories. My life would be complete if I could find calorie-free peanut butter for cookies or international stews, or did I mention cookies?

But my love of Asian food means that occasionally I do give in to my love for peanut butter to make a quick sauce to accompany whatever noodles I’m craving at the moment. Try my Mongolian Fire Noodle recipe!

If you love nuts or nut butters, this is an excellent way to indulge without going overboard, just remember that the key is always…moderation.

This vegan chicken and noodle dish seems small, right? I know, but when you add peanut butter you have to make certain adjustments. It’s still delicious, though. I promise.

This vegan dinner has a few unusual ingredients but I think you’ll find them wonderful additions that make this dish taste like it was made my a professional.

Continue reading “Vegan Chicken & Soba with Peanut Sauce”
Posted in Chicken, Drinks, Potatoes, Sauces & Creams, Sides, Vegan

Quick & Easy Spicy Drumsticks

It’s been a while since I brought up the pre-made vegan food products the Hubs and I occasionally buy online to pique or curiosity or just because we’re having a greasy, junk food craving that can’t be satisfied by firm tofu alone. But I’ve saved the best of the most recent batch for last. Vegan drumsticks, y’all!

Okay so there is a teeny tiny chance that maybe I’m over-selling these, but I’m not. Yes, they are a little bit greasy (15g of fat per 100 grams) but honestly that is a MAJOR part of the charm since we all know I keep my oil intake to a minimum when I can. I’m glad there were just a few in the package because they were THAT GOOD.

As you can see, I really tried my best to keep this meal what I like to call “sane” in calories. The entire package of vegan drumsticks was 250 grams, with each drumstick weighing in at 50 grams a piece. We had 2.5 each and when combined with the corn on the cob and the herb baked potatoes, the meal was delicious, satisfying and calorie friendly.

The packaging wasn’t much to look at but I appreciate that about Vantastic since vegan products can be a bit higher priced than their animal-based counterparts.

Now on to the business. Since all I did was add salt & pepper and vegan butter to the corn on the cob, and a fresh rosemary, salt, pepper & lemon zest for the potatoes, there’s no point wasting your time with that! But here’s a tip to keep this meal quick and easy: prepare the potatoes first and get them started in the oven while you shuck & clean the corn, and make the sauce for the drumsticks.

Did I mention I like spicy things? Well I do.

A lot.

I mixed up a nice blend that contained:

Chili powder

Smoky paprika

Garlic granules

Onion granules

Worcestershire sauce (yes, there are vegan brands out there!)

Gochujang

Lemon juice (half a lemon)

Cumin

Cornstarch

Water

Mix it all into a bowl and then toss drumsticks in the bowl, OR toss it in small baking dish so you can pop it in the oven when you put the corn in there.

If you want to make buffalo style sauce with this, be VERY careful with the butter portion of the sauce because if you look very closely you can see how much grease cooked off the drumsticks.

The cute little sticks are bamboo and edible too!

This photo didn’t come out as impressive as I’d hoped but that’s okay, I just wanted to give you an idea of the size of this meal, which ended up being 478 calories per plate, which isn’t a lot but this was plenty satisfying.

Okay, fine, full disclosure: I made a cocktail with this meal so I had to make sure there was room leftover for Cucumber-Elderflower gin & tonic with lime. It might seem weird but it was delicious and the hubs thought it was a nice help to take some of the spice off the fiery drumsticks.

The oven did most of the work, for which I am eternally grateful, and it took about 30 minutes which was mostly the time it takes for potatoes to get and crispy.

Even though I am not a huge fan of these products, these vegan hanchensticks were a big win for me and yes, I did order more here. (Not a paid endorsement just a shout out for a yummy product…but I am open!)

Posted in Chicken, Drinks, Grains, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Food Court Flashback ~ Bourbon Chicken Tofu

Way back in 2004, I was living in Boston working on the 2004 Presidential Election as an eager holder of a Masters in political science and delusions of…something. I had just met my husband, who was one of half a dozen roommates I shared a giant colonial with in Everett. Anyway the office where I worked was right in the Downtown Crossing T stop, which meant there was this great little food court right around the corner. The food was…okay.

But there was this little cart on the way there that had incredible falafels, but that’s for another time. Inside this food court was this tiny hole int he wall that served bourbon chicken. This was back in my meat eating days and I couldn’t get enough of this simple dish that I could eat at my desk without making a mess. The ingredients were pretty simple from what my taste buds could gather and remember, after all this time.

I recently caught up with a friend from Boston and it made me nostalgic for this dish so, of course, I made it.

I’d say this was one of the most straight forward recipes I’ve come up with/recreated in a while.

What you need:

Tofu

Onion

Rice

Broccoli

Brown or coconut sugar

Bourbon (or whiskey)

Ginger

Garlic

Soy sauce

Cornstarch

Water

For this recipe I experimented with the dehydrated soy pieces because I love how you can manipulate the texture by simmering it longer or leaving it sitting in the water longer than recommended. Since this recipe would involve simmering, I chose to get the pieces good and thick so I could get a nice crisp on the outside before adding the sauce.

Stay prepared by making your bourbon sauce first. In a bowl, whisk together bourbon, sugar, grated ginger and garlic, soy sauce, cornstarch and water. Set aside so it’s ready when  you need it.

If you want a bit more flavor, add tomato paste by the teaspoon until you get that yummy umami flavor.

The tofu is the most time-consuming part because you have to simmer it before putting it in the skillet, but it’s well worth it.

For the broccoli I took the lazy cook’s route and chopped it with vegan butter, salt, pepper and garlic before wrapping it in foil and popping it into the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Serve the bourbon tofu over rice and add more spice if needed and voila, you’ve got my favorite fast food meal of 2004 on your table in 30 minutes.

And I enjoyed it with a tall glass of water since there was already 2 ounces of bourbon on the plates!

You can have healthy, delicious vegan meals in no time at all. Believe it!