Tag Archives: vegetarian

A Very Vegan Hanukkah – and cookbook giveaway preview!

Saturday marked the last night of Hanukkah and we celebrated with our annual family gathering hosted at my sister’s house. It was a great night exchanging presents, spending time with family, and enjoying some yummy vegan versions of our favorite Hanukkah foods!

Let’s take a little tour of my plate, shall we?

hanukkah dinner

At the bottom right of this delicious plate, you’ll see my mom’s famous potato latkes. Mom makes the best latkes in the world. Seriously. I’ve never found any that stand up to hers. And, it’s family tradition that my sister and I help mom fry and flip the latkes on the stove before dinner. So they are fresh! Never frozen! If you don’t come out of Hanukkah dinner smelling like vegetable oil, then it’s not a real Hanukkah dinner! and of course, served with apple sauce and Tofutti sour cream.

Moving to the left, you’ll see the maple roasted Brussels sprouts that I’ve started to make for everything. I don’t even think my family likes Brussels sprouts. But I do. So I make them.

Next, you’ll see my veganized Brisket! It was so easy, and turned out delish! I based the recipe on my mom’s traditional brisket recipe, which calls for  one packet of onion soup mix, two bottles of chili sauce, water (fill up the two bottles and add that to the pot), potatoes and baby carrots, but substituted Gardein beef tips in place of the brisket meat. I also threw everything in the slow cooker and set it on low for the day.

My aunt made a yummy salad and left the cheese on the side for the vegans. My Brother-in-Law also made a vegan peach pie, which was pretty tasty too!

Mom also brought her yummy mock chopped liver, based on this recipe. It gets better and better each time she makes it, and it was yummy to begin with! All the taste without the guilt or the cholesterol!

It was such a great night and we all rolled ourselves home and slept well with full hearts and tummies.

Giveaway Alert!! On Monday, December 24, I am excited to be participating in The Happy Herbivore’s 31 Days of Giveaways for her new cookbook, Happy Herbivore Abroad. So please check back in on Monday to read a Q&A with the Happy Herbivore and enter to win a copy of the book!

 

Pinterest-Inspired Dinner

I, like many other bloggers, am addicted to Pinterest. I use it mostly to pin recipes, and yoga poses that I aspire to be able to do.

I wanted to find an easy, quick and healthy dinner to make after work on Monday night, so I perused my Pinterest board to see what I had pinned. I was instantly inspired by this Spaghetti Squash recipe.

Courtesy of Dashing Dish

We had an amazing spaghetti squash dish during the yoga retreat, and I’ve been craving it ever since. I had heard about cooking spaghetti squash in the microwave, and since I like anything that’s quick and easy, I decided to give it a go.

I really didn’t do anything fancy for “my” version of spaghetti squash:

  • Poke LOTS of holes in the spaghetti squash and nuke for 8-10 minutes (10 was too mushy, 8 was still hard in spots, so I’d try 9 next time.)
  • Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and scrape “meat” into a bowl with a fork.
  • Dump squash into saucepan
  • Crumble package of favorite brand of soy crumbles
  • Pour in tomato sauce of choice
  • Heat up on stove
  • Top with some Nooch and enjoy!

Sure, it’s not gourmet. It’s basically what I do with actual spaghetti, but healthier and even faster.

What’s your favorite way to make spaghetti squash?

Vegan Confession: Tofutti Sour Cream

Hello all. I’m in Florida this week, soaking up some natural vitamin D. I think I’ve mentioned before, my mom is recently vegan, so we’ve been experimenting with some recipes this week. Oh boy, the fun that is in store.
But today. I need to make another vegan confession.

I’m also addicted to Tofutti Sour Cream.

My go-to super-indulgent snack is Veggie Chips dipped in Tofutti. Also, take a Lipton’s onion soup package and mix it with Tofutti and you have a yummy Onion Dip!

I also add it to pretty much every good winter food. Chili, soup, Tacos. You name it, Tofutti Sour Cream will go on it.

So, bless me, for this is my latest confession.

*Tofutti has no idea who I am. I buy TONS of it with my own dime. So needless to say, this is not a sponsored post. I’m just a big, big fan.

Happy Vegan MOFO!!

Happy Monday, and the first day of Vegan MOFO! I’m going to shoot for 20 posts this month. That’s about 4 post a week, so I’ve got some blogging to do!

Now that they weather is getting cooler (if you call 70 degrees cooler), I though it time to whip out the slow cooker and prepare some hearty fall meals.

Behold, my first slow cooker meal of the year – Vegan Enchilada Casserole and Spanish Yellow Rice

Vegan Enchilada Casserole and Spanish Yellow Rice

The casserole recipe is courtesy of Kathy Hester’s The Vegan Slow Cooker. (P.S. Check out her Healthy Slow Cooking blog for other yummy slow cooker recipes.)

This recipe is super easy. I layered all of the ingredients in the slow cooker before work, and then set the time and forgot about it for the rest of the day. In my version, I substituted tofu for vegan chorizo and it was super tasty.

This dish is a bit spicy, so if you aren’t into heat, make sure to pick up a mild enchilada sauce.

For the yellow rice, I veganized this recipe from Food Network - which pretty much just involved using Earth Balance in place of the butter. The recipe was SO easy and D loved it, so I’ll definitely be making again (and it’s easier on the wallet to buying the pre-made kind).

What’s your favorite slow cooker recipe?

Vegan Shortcuts

Everyone feels a little lazy now and then. Sometimes, I can barely muster up energy to put ingredients in a bowl, let alone chop and peel and dice. So, I’ve found some easy shortcuts that make cooking quick and easy.

1. Pre-chopped veggies: sure, it’s a little more expensive, but you can get pre-chopped onions, celery, tomatoes and other veggies at Publix. Our Kroger doesn’t have them, but sometimes Whole Foods does as well. They are great for lazy nights.

2. Canned Beans: I use canned because a) I find they are cheaper than dry beans and b) I just don’t have the patience to soak beans. Sure, I can soak them overnight the same way I do cashews, but truthfully, they intimidate me, and it’s easier to pop open a can and rinse the beans.

3. Nooch: I put that $%!^ on everything!: Not really a shortcut, but I find that nutritional yeast makes a really good substitute for Parmesan (for some reason, I can’t find vegan Parmesan in ATL), makes a great cheese substitute when you need a cheesy flavor, AND it’s a good source of B12. So, just sprinkle some noochy nooch for a b12 and flavor boost!

4. Frozen veggies: I know, fresh is usually best, but I’ve heard arguments that frozen veggies sometimes retain more nutritional value if they are flash frozen. . .or something. BUT, they are EASY. Especially the kind that steam right in the bag in the microwave. If I have a bigger grocery budget, this is usually my splurge. I cook the veggies, and then throw them into whatever stir fry I’m cooking up or serve as an easy side dish.

5. Pre-cubed tofu: If you are feeling EXTREMELY lazy, then you can actually buy your tofu pre-cubed. It saves about 2 minutes of cubing it yourself, but it’s good when you really don’t have a lot of time to throw dinner together. I have found that the pre-cubed tofu never seems like as much quantity as when I cube myself, so I save this extravagance for nights of uberlazy.

What are your favorite vegan cooking shortcuts?

ETL Week One

ETL Six Week Challenge is going well. I’m already down three pounds!

It’s been a busy busy week, but I’ve managed to find easy meals that fit the Eat to Live guidelines, and that satisfy my hubbers too.

What did we eat this week?

I found this recipe on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen for No-Pasta Eggplant Lasagna. I actually used the recipe from Happy Herbivore Cookbook for the Tofu Ricotta as the filling, since I like it and it’s a super simple recipe. Since the “salad is the main course” I also had a HUGE mixed greens salad, topped with Chickpeas and Nooch.

From Fat Free Vegan’s website. Not my photo.

Another night, we enjoyed the Asparagus and Chickpea Casserole from Fat Free Vegan. I actually used green beans instead of asparagus.  I also took Susan’s recommendation and made gluten free with cornstarch instead of using flour. D loved it, especially because it was topped with hash browns!

R. Thomas vegan yummies

On Tuesday, I had a doctor’s appointment at Piedmont Hospital. D wanted to treat me to lunch following the appointment, so we decided to try out R. Thomas Deluxe Grill, a funky 24-hour diner that has a ton of vegetarian and vegan friendly options. I ordered the Lucky Green Tea Bowl, which had quinoa, tofu and a plethora of other veggies. It was topped with a kale/collard salad. They probably used more oil than Dr. Fuhrman would have liked, but it was delicious.

D enjoyed a tofu scramble, with vegan sausage and the kale/collard salad. Although he said the tofu scramble wasn’t as good as my tofu scramble (shh. Don’t tell him it’s really Happy Herbivore’s Tofu Scramble).

I’ll be posting more eats from week two!

What we’re eating. . .

I’m back. Last week was sad and hard; my grandpa passed away. So this is my quick attempt at blogging catch-up.

I bring you. . .What we’re eating/What we ate:

-We had a vegan potluck two weekends ago. I made this vegetarian paella from whole foods. It takes more than 10 minutes to cook the rice btw. It simmered for about 30 minutes, but was mighty tasty.

-Last Monday I went back to an old favorite: Pinto Burgers from Everyday Happy Herbivore Cookbook.

-The thing about funerals is, you end up eating a lot. However, a lot of the food brought to us wasn’t of the vegan variety, so mom and I made Tuno Salad from That Was Vegan?, Eggless-celent Salad from Luminous Vegans, and Mock Chopped Liver from Vegetarians in Paradise (scroll all the way down). I’m still eating the mock chopped liver, it’s great on crackers, chips and sandwiches. Even my omnivore sister likes it.

-Needing some comfort food, I cooked up The Grit’s Golden Bowl (Amybites’ version).

-This week’s menu includes:

  • Mexican Chowder  (pg. 112, Everyday Happy Herbivore)
  • Fettucini Alfredo by Chef Chloe
  • BBQ Beans and Rice (another old favorite) from The McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook

-We also ate out a couple times. Napoleon’s  (we went there twice this week) in Oak Grove has a couple vegan options. Their tofu tacos are great, but avoid them if you don’t like spicy food. The Napoleon’s Bowl can be customized to be vegan. They are happy to take out and substitute ingredients as needed. However, be warned, their veggie burger has egg (Why? I don’t know. We are trying to get them to change it).

Also in Oak Grove, Taqueria El Vecino has a few different items that can be made vegan. Also, they have skinny margaritas which I love, because I can pretend like they are healthy and drink two of them.

 

DSCN3653

Easy Burgers

On the weekends, I’m always looking for easy lunch recipes. This weekend, I turned to the Happy Herbivore and her Quick & Easy Black Bean Burgers.

Only, I didn’t use black beans. I used Pinto Beans.

And they were delish!

They are super easy to mix and assemble (only six ingredients!!)

They are also super tasty and hold together really well.

I topped the burger with shredded daiya and a little bit of salsa and paired it with some steamed mixed veggies. A healthy and filling weekend lunch!

 

A Kosher Vegan Passover

This week is Passover, a Jewish spring holiday celebrating the Jews freedom from slavery in Egypt (I’m sure you can catch The Ten Commandments on TV sometime this week and get the scoop on Passover from Charlton Heston). It’s also one of my favorite holidays because it involves lots of eating and four mandatory glasses of wine.

We were invited to Seder (the passover feast) at our friend A&B’s house to enjoy a “kosher for Passover” feast with many vegan options. Since I don’t keep kosher, I wasn’t sure what to make/bring to the Seder. I turned to a famous Jewish vegan, Blossom (Mayim Bialik) to tell me what would be appropriate to bring to this special occasion and decided upon a vegan Eggplant Casserole.

Happy to see everyone enjoyed the eggplant!

A had put together an amazing spread too!

We started off with this yummy zucchini soup that I gobbled up before I could get a photo.

A’s mother-in-law brought a colorful salad.

Then we enjoyed some vegan Tzimmes, asparagus, and new potatoes with pesto.

 

Thanks to A&B for hosting an awesome Seder. Next year in Jerusalem! (or our house maybe :) )

 

Stroganoff Sans Mushrooms

I was inspired by Luminous Vegans post on veganizing Beef Stroganoff. D is also a big stroganoff fan, and that’s actually one of the first meals he ever made me (back when we were still eating animals).

However, D doesn’t like mushrooms. So although Veggie Grette’s recipe for mushroom stroganoff looked and sounded delish, I knew it wouldn’t be the right recipe for us.

I scoured the web and came upon this recipe from Lux Hippie for the “Best Vegan Stroganoff Ever.” Well, with a name like that, I had to give it a try.

"beefy" "cheesy" goodness

I didn’t have Seitan on hand, so I substituted with Gimme Lean “beef.” I also used quinoa shells instead of brown rice fusilli, since it’s what I had on hand.

The stroganoff was so quick and easy to make, and super delicious. D approved, and we both happily ate two bowls.

* * *

Now, a small warning. Sometimes we forget that we can get food poisoning from greens. I think my kale was bad, because about 30 minutes after dinner, both of us had. . . well, some stomach issues. We don’t normally have reactions to any other ingredient used in the dish, so I definitely think the Kale was the culprit.

So, just be careful and make sure your greens are fresh and well washed before eating. Your tummy will thank you.