vegan soy free

Cheesy Veggie Bowl

I learned this from a friend in middle school. It’s warm, easy, pretty healthy, and insanely filling. I recommend making it in a deeper, rather than wide and shallow, bowl, or even a mug for a snack size portion.

Ingredients

-rice (leftover or fresh)

-Veggies (I use spinach, mushrooms, peas, and shredded carrots but anything you like can work. Fresh or frozen work better than canned)

- sliced or shredded cheese (I use shredded jack, but whatever meltable cheese works. Use vegan cheese to make this vegan/dairy free)

Steps

Mound some rice into your bowl. If it’s leftover, I recommend adding a teaspoonish of water on top. Pile on veggies, as much as you want to eat. They go further than you think. Then, cover the top with cheese. Narrow bowls or mugs work best because you can get a really good cover. Then, microwave the whole thing for a couple minutes, until the cheese melts really well. I like to poke a few holes in the top and pour soy sauce on top. You could add leftover meat, any veggies about to god bad, it’s just a great recipe for clearing out the fridge. Tasty and tummy filling!

Cucumber Cauliflower Salad

I sort of stopped eating salads for a while because my dad kept making them and trying to put All The Vegetables into one salad and it was Too Much and All Over The Place! But! I stumbled across this simple combo a few days ago and have made it twice now!  It makes a nice little side salad!

- Salad greens (I do a mix of dark greens, like a spinach/kale type mix, but you do you!)

- Cucumber

- Cauliflower

- Red onion

- Salad dressing (I’ve been using a creamy Italian w/ romano cheese, but use what you want!)

Slice your cucumber however you like it. (I slice medallions and then chop those into quarters)

Chop some red onion.

Break your cauliflower into bite-size little florets.

Toss all that w/ your greens & dressing & salt/pepper to taste!

Enjoy!

Vegan Peanut Butter Pretzel Balls

My family and I woke up to snow, rain, and windy weather Saturday morning.  Other than having to plow out of this fall snow storm, I didn’t mind being stuck in the house the whole day.  Actually, I welcomed it!  I am not going to go out and run errands, or anything for that matter that involves driving. Bad weather means I can spend extra time in my kitchen making treats for us to enjoy.

Since the weather outside was freightful, and my kitchen so delightful, I made these scrumptious peanut butter pretzel balls.  

Ingredients:

1 ¾ organic pretzels (gluten-free)
1 cup organic peanut butter (or any other nut butter that you prefer)
3 T organic coconut oil, melted
1 ¾ cups organic confectioners sugar
3 cups organic vegan 85% cacao chocolate chips

Method:

Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, set-aside.

Crush pretzels into small pieces, and set-aside. You can do this by placing pretzels in a small sandwich bag and lightly hitting them with the back of a spoon.

In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter and melted coconut oil.  Add sugar, stir to combine.  Mix in the pretzels pieces.

Using a small melon baller scoop up mixture and place on the lined baking sheet.  Place cookie sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a small heat proof bowl that is placed on top of a small saucepan that has a little water.  Stir chips until completely melted.
Remove bowl and place on a kitchen towel.

Remove peanut butter balls from the freezer and dip into the melted chocolate.   Allow excess chocolate to drip off.

Place the balls back on the lined baking sheet and let harden at room temperature.  Drizzle any remaining chocolate over the top of each peanut butter ball.

*recipe adapted from Gluten Free Living magazine.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This recipe is the only way I’ve ever liked brussels sprouts and its ridiculously easy. My partner @americaskitchensink taught it to me but I’m not sure if she came up with it or what. 

Sprouts are super healthy, though they can be a bit pricey and don’t last too long in the fridge. The good thing is that they go a long way–you don’t need a lot of sprouts unless you’re cooking for a lot of people. 

Ingredients and tools: 

  • fresh, raw brussels sprouts (as much or as little as you want) 
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • garlic powder or minced garlic (optional) 
  • oven
  • cookie sheet or baking pan (lined with foil if you want to make cleanup easier)
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • bowl big enough for the sprouts 
  • your hands for mixing (or a spoon, but hands work better imo)

method: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (205 C)
  2. Wash the sprouts well and pick off any gross outer leaves (the inside will be okay). 
  3. Cut each sprout in half lengthwise and dump in the bowl. If the stem part is long, cut that off if you want and discard. Some of the outer leaves will fall off while you’re cutting–you can dump them in the bowl too or discard them.
  4. Pour a little bit of olive oil into the bowl with the sprouts–you need less than you think. You don’t want to drown the sprouts, just veeeeery lightly coat the outside. 
  5. Add salt & pepper & garlic (if using) to taste.
  6. Mix it all together with your hands or a spoon.
  7. Dump the sprouts onto the baking pan or sheet and spread them so they’re in a single layer.
  8. Put into the oven for 30-45 minutes, checking every now and then. Baking less means they’ll be crunchier and more the texture of raw broccoli, while baking more means they’ll get softer on the inside and crispy on the outside. 
  9. Serve right away after you get them out -or- cover in plastic wrap (you may want to put them back in the bowl for this) and stick in the fridge until they’re chilled (this is my fav way to eat them). 
Vegan Squash & Lentil Curry Soup

Comfort food season has started! Let’s see, if I had to make a short list of my top comfort foods they would be:

Thick and creamy soups
Freshly baked bread
Stews
Chili
Mashed potatoes and gravy

and for dessert, warm fudgey brownies.

Not bad huh?  These foods could easily carry me through until spring.

This is a recipe that I adapted from the latest issue of Eating Well magazine.  It’s rich in flavor and the squash and lentils are perfect together.  

If you want to stretch this to become a larger meal serve over rice or noodles.

Ingredients:

2 T organic extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups diced organic onion
2 t organic curry powder
20 ounces 1" cubed organic butternut squash
1 cup organic lentils
1 cup diced organic tomato
1 ½ t sea salt
1 14 ounce can of coconut milk
Organic cilantro for garnish

Method:

Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Add minced onion and cook until softened.  Stir in curry powder, squash, lentils, tomato, and salt.  Cook for 1 minute.  Reduce heat, add water and cover.  Let the soup simmer until the squash and lentils are broken down, approximately 20 minutes.

Stir in coconut milk and continue to simmer until heated through.

Spoon into bowls and garnish with cilantro.

I’ve been trying to do a better job of trying to heal my body through nutrition. I’ve been trying to add things to my smoothies to help with inflammation.

- Chia seeds, for protein, fiber, Omega-3, calcium, and iron.
- Tumeric, for its anti inflammatory properties
- Ginger, improves digestion, reduces inflammation
- Keifr yogurt, for its probiotics
- Pineapple, for its long list of nutrients and anti-inflamatory properties

Presto Pesto

Ok first things first everyone should have a food processor they make little ones for $25 dollars. Buy one.

Now this is a a throw it all on the good processor and tada.

Lots of Greens (spinach, basil, cilantro, parsley, arugula, mustard, radicchio etc.) or sun dried toms, or other dried fruit or veggie probably.

Oil of choice

Salt pepper

Cheese (recommended optional) (Parmesan is best)

Acid (citrus juice and/or zest, vinegar) (recommended optional)

Nuts (recommended optional)

Serve on pasta as a spead on a sandwich as a dip use to marinade meats or veggies in soups. As a sauce. Other ideas??

Good for about 10 days in the fridge or can be frozen.

Save Those Pickle Jars!

So if you’re like me, and you buy root-based vegetables a lot (radishes, turnips, carrots) because they are cheap and last forever, but often forget you even haven them. Have no fear I’m here to save you from wasting the poor things!

With good old picklin’! A lot of folks have their own pickling methods, and that’s great- because different methods yield you different flavors. I strongly encourage you to look at them.

For this tip, for the noive or those who have no time/energy- just save the pickle jars and pickle whatever you have that’s about to go bad. There is literally no limit to pickling.

Some pickling ideas to try:

  • Eggs
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Potatoes (dice ‘em up, top with mustard, green onions and your choice of 'mayo or veganise’ and you got an amazing potato salad)
  • Radishes
  • Turnips

Anything that is dense and doesn’t immediately fall part when in liquids are a good idea to pickle to be honest. My (non vegan) friends even pickle old sausages and hotdogs to keep them from going bad to elevate their flavors in things. 

You can eat them whole, put them in your salads and other meals, or even let them brime till kingdom come.

Your basic pickling is going to be:

  • 1 cup of vinegar (any but balsamic)
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup of (white) sugar (or ½ cup of packed brown)
  • 1 tbs salt (kosher works best)
  • Add herbs, spices of your choice. Garlic powder is amazing as are crushed red peppers for those who like it spicy. 

Your pickle friends will need at least 24 hours before they get to the pickled point. 

Enjoy your food savings and flavors!