Monday, February 5, 2018

Super Bowl Party Food


It's Super Bowl Sunday, a day that can be difficult for vegans who are invited to parties or hosting their own parties. What do we make? What will people think? Will people come and try our vegan food? Well... worry no more. I have the perfect vegan recipes to help you host a Super Bowl party or any party with full confidence. 

Warning: this menu is full of vegan convenience foods, if you are a health food vegan you may want to skip this post! The point of this menu was to show off great vegan alternatives to the usual chicken wings and cheese dips. Besides, no one needs a recipe for a veggie tray. On the menu tonight was vegan chili con queso (Vegan beer cheese sauce mixed with 1 can vegetarian chili), veggie dogs in a blanket (1 pack veggie dogs, halfed & tucked into 2 tubes of crescent rolls- Try Annie's all natural organic - they're vegan!), 2 different salsas, twice baked potato skins, black bean and corn taquitos, Gardein spicy BBQ wings, sausage & mushroom stuffed mini peppers, 2 different types of hummus, and gluten free buffalo cauliflower bites. 


And now... the recipes!! 


Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Mini Peppers 

1 package LightLife vegan sausage 
1 cup chopped mushrooms 
5 slices of bread (can use gluten-free)
1/2 cup veggie broth
Olive oil
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Thyme
1 tsp. Paprika 
Salt & pepper
About 40 mini peppers, remove steams

1. Preheat oven to 400°

2. Over medium heat, sautee sausage & mushrooms with a little olive oil for about 10 minutes. 

3. Add bread to a food processor. Pulse until bread becomes breadcrumbs.

4. Add breadcrumbs, cumin, thyme, paprika, veggie broth, salt & pepper to sausage and mushrooms. 

5. Cook an additional 5 minutes until sausage mixture becomes stuffing.

6. Stuffed peppers with sausage and mushroom stuffing and place on a greased baking sheet. 

7. Cook for 20 minutes. 

8. Turn oven up to broil to char the pepper skins for about 2 additional minutes. 

Makes 40 pieces (about 10 servings).


3 Tbsp. Aquafaba
1/2 cup gluten free all purpose flour 
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 cup unsweetened plain plant milk 
1 tsp. Paprika 
Salt and pepper 
2 small heads of cauliflower, chopped 
Buffalo sauce
Vegan ranch to dip
Oil to fry

1. Preheat oven to 400°

2. Heat about 1/2" of oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. 

3. Whisk aquafaba, flour, corn meal, plant milk, paprika, salt & pepper together in a bowl.

4. Dip cauliflower in bater to coat. 

5. Place cauliflower pieces in the oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan.

6. Let cauliflower lightly brown in the oil. 

7. Remove and set on a paper towel to absorb access oil.

8. Place cauliflower pieces on your greased cookie sheet. 

9. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

10. Remove from oven and drizzle with buffalo sauce. 

11.Return to oven an additional 5 minutes.

12. Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes before serving. 

13. Serve with vegan ranch

Makes about 4 dozen bites. (8 -10 servings)


24 gluten free small corn tortillas
1 (15 oz.) Can of black beans, drained
1/2 cup of corn
1 (11 oz) can of tomatoes with green chilis- hot or mild, drained
1 package Follow Your Heart vegan pepper jack cheese slices, cut into 24 slices. 
2 avocados, peeled & chopped  
1/4 cup vegan sour cream 
Chopped fresh jalapenos (optional)
Toothpicks 

1. Preheat oven to 400°

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine black beans, corn, and tomatoes. 

3. Tip: corn tortillas are FRAGILE. it is easiest to work with them slightly warm. You can microwave them for 15 seconds in a damp paper towel to make them easier to roll.

4. Place the black bean mixture in your tortilla and top with a slice of cheese. 

5. Carefully roll your taquitos and secure with a toothpick. 

6. Place taquitos on a greased cookie  sheet.

7. Bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

8. In a mixing bowl, combine avocado, sour cream, salt & pepper.

9. Smash avocado & vegan sour cream together until smooth. Add jalapenos if desired. 

10. Remove taquitos from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving with avocado dipping sauce.

Makes 24 taquitos (12 servings)



12 small potatoes 
1/4 -1/2 cup of vegan sour cream 
1/2 cup Bacos (vegan bacon bits)
Water
Salt & pepper 

1. Preheat oven to 400°

2. Cut potatoes in half & hollow out the centers.

3. Place the center parts in a microwave safe mixing bowl with a lid.

4. Place potato skins on a greased cookie sheet. 

5. Salt & pepper the potato skins

6. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. 

7. Add about 1/4 cup of water to the bowl with the potatoes & top with a lid.

8. Microwave potatoes until they are soft enough to smash with a fork. (Start with 6 minutes & add time as needed).

9. Remove potato skins from the oven.

10. Smash your potatoes that you just microwaved.

11. Add sour cream, bacon bits, salt & pepper to your smashed potatoes. 

12. Stuff you potato skins with your smashed potatoes *tip: to make them extra fancy, use a piping bag!

13. Return potatoes to the oven for 20 minutes. 

14. Remove potatoes from the oven and drizzle with cheese sauce.

Makes 2 dozen potatoes (12 servings)












Monday, December 25, 2017

Cheezy Tater Tot Casserole


Merry Christmas. This year we have new vegans (yay!!), those limiting their meat intake (yay too!), a baby (!),  and my daughter, who has been diagnosed with Celiac disease. So.. I had to prepare a complete vegan & gluten free breakfast for Christmas brunch. Challenge accepted! 

I probably was great entertainment for the staff at our local Harris Teeter. I walked back and forth through the store,  looking at Pinterest (my saving grace most night!), searching for ingredients, and coming up with a plan to make tge best vegan & gluten free breakfast for my family - one that even the picky ones would eat & enjoy (no pressure 😂).

This was the filling, crowd pleasing recipe I can up with to make everyone happy. My entire meal plan is in the footnotes, if you want to know how to make a gluten free & vegan brunch fir your family.

Recipe:

2 bags frozen tater tots
Olive oil
paprika 
8 oz. Sliced mushrooms, chopped 
8 oz. Kale, chopped & de -stemed
1 Tbsp. Cumin
1/4 cup vegetarian chick'n broth (or veggie broth)
1 tsp. Onion power
1 tsp. garlic powder 
Salt & pepper

method:

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Pour tater tots into a greased 11x13 pan. 

3. Toss tater tots into a little olive oil and paprika.

4. Bake about 20 minutes, until tater tots are brown. 

5. While tater tots are cooking, make your cheezy sauce (see recipe link above).

6. Once cheese sauce is ready, start your vegetables. 

7. Steam your chopped mushrooms and kale in the vegetarian chick'n broth, paprika, cumin, onion powder,  garlic powder, salt and pepper. 

8. Cover & steam over medium heat until softened.

9. Remove tater tots from the oven.

10. Top tater tots with kale/ mushrooms and  the cheeze sauce. 

11. Toss lightly to mix all ingredients. 

12. Bake 30 - 40 minutes, until golden brown. 

Makes 8 servings. 

* Entire vegan & gluten free breakfast plan:

2. Vegetarian baked beans
3. Southern style grits
4. Cheezy Tater Tot Casserole 
5. Olive platter
6. Fruit roasted with pecans 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Italian Roasted Veggies over Chive & Turmeric Mashed Potatoes


It's Summer time and vegetables are plentiful. We have so many fresh zucchini, summer (yellow) squash, green beans, & tomatoes. Roasted Veggies is a very frequent meal at our home in the Summer and mashed potatoes are ALWAYS a favorite...so let's have BOTH!

This is an easy meal. I'm taking the short cut of using mashed potato flakes and "doctoring" them for convenience (nothing against homemade, please use homemade if you have the time). All you have to do is cut up your vegetables, toss them in your marinade (which becomes a delicious sauce for your potatoes!), and roast while you do your laundry,  help kids with homework, or enjoy a glass of wine while catching up on one of your favorite shows. This is so simple, it will become a staple in your home too.


RECIPE:

3 small yellow squash, chopped 
1 large zucchini, chopped 
8 oz. Mushrooms 
2 cups green beans, chopped 
2 cups carrots, chopped 
1 large purple onion, chopped 
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes w/ juice
1 head of garlic cloves, pealed
1 cup Italian dressing 
Salt, pepper, paprika to taste
6 servings of mashed potatoes 
Fresh chopped chives 
1 Tbsp. Turmeric 


METHOD:

1. Preheat oven to 450°

2. Toss chopped veggies with diced tomatoes (do not drain!), Italian dressing, salt, pepper & paprika.

3. Pour veggies into a large roasting pan. 

4. Cook 30- 40 minutes (depending on how large you chopped your veggies), stirring once about half way through.

5. Prepare your mashed potatoes adding fresh chives and turmeric. 

6. Once your veggies are "fork tender", remove from oven.

7. Layer your mashed potatoes & top with roasted veggies. Make sure you get the pan sauce to pour over your mashed potatoes because it's delicious!

Makes 4-6 servings

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Thai Style Veggie Panang


As any vegan will tell you, ethnic food is one of your best bets when eating a meal at a restaurant. Our family loves Thai food. Our local Thai restaurant offers many vegan options, that make going out to dinner very easy. This is one of our favorite meals when we go out to that Thai restaurant. 

I found panang curry paste at our local Asian Market and decided to give it a try. We usually order panang with tofu, but today I decided to make it with Asian style veggies. Using the veggies, makes this an easy & quick weeknight meal... which is very important in this family! 


Recipe:

6 cups of prepared rice
1 (4 oz) can of panang curry paste*
2 (13.5 oz) cans of coconut milk 
3 Tbsp. Oil
2 Tbsp. Creamy peanut butter (optional, but it makes it creamier!)
2 (14 oz) bags of Asian style veggies, defrosted
Sriracha to garnish (optional)

Method:

1. Cook your panang curry paste in oil over medium heat until fragrant. 

2. Add peanut butter.  Let peanut butter melt into the curry paste. 

3. Add coconut milk. Stir to combine. 

4. Add you veggies to your curry. Let the curry come to a boil.

5. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes. 

6. Serve over rice.

* if you want it less spicy, adjust panang paste to taste. 1/2 a can is mild, full can is medium heat.

Makes 4 - 6 servings 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Vegan Breakfast Burritos


Breakfast burritos are great! You can make large batches and freeze for later. You can eat them as "breakfast for dinner". You can pack them up for a "breakfast on the go". This is a great recipe to use up leftover veggies too! Breakfast burritos are good for you and make your life easier too, gotta love that!


Recipe:

2 (14 oz.) Extra firm tofu, drained well
3 Tbsp. Earth Balance vegan butter
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast 
1 tsp. each- garlic powder, turmeric, chicken seasoning, paprika 
Ground black Sea salt (regular salt if you don't have it, but black salt is preferred)
Fresh cracked pepper 
4 cups cooked, cubed potatoes
 8 flour tortillas 
2 cups cooked, shredded kale (optional)
I prepared package vegan bac'n or sausage, crumbled (optional)
Leftover veggies like mushrooms, onions and peppers (optional)
Vegan cheese (optional)
Salsa (optional)

Method:

Melt vegan butter over medium heat. 

Add your tofu, crumbling as you add it to the pan to resemble scrambled eggs.

Add nutritional yeast, spices, salt & pepper to tofu.

Turn heat to medium- high and cook tofu until all liquid is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes, depending if you liked a softer scramble or a hard scrambled texture.

In a large mixing bowl, combine tofu, potatoes, kale, vegan bac'n or sausage, leftover veggies, and vegan cheese (or any combination you like with your tofu).

Mix well and divide evenly between the 8 tortillas. 

Top tofu with salsa (optional) and roll up tightly into a burrito. 

Serve immediately, or freeze once they are completely cooled.

Makes 8 servings 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Oven Baked Crispy Tofu


Yesterday my daughter wanted to go to the local Farmer's Market. We picked out some beautiful, fresh, local produce to prepare for dinner tonight. I bought a "cheddar" cauliflower, green tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, swiss chard, and got a great smoothie. 

Tonight we decided to make a "soul food" dinner. I turned the cauliflower into a beautiful, creamy, vegan cheese sauce ( based on my sauce in my Baked Spinach and Artichoke Pasta with added vegan cheddar cheese) and made a baked Macaroni. I sautéed the swiss chard with a little garlic & onions. I just needed a "main attraction" for my soul food night. 

I looked in the refrigerator and found 2 packages of tofu. I decided now is the time to try the oven baked tofu recipe that has been dancing around my head. It was perfect with all my soul food dishes tonight! If you like a spicier tofu, add your favorite hot sauce to the wet mixture. If you like it mild, stick to the recipe. It's great either way.



Recipe:

2 blocks tofu, pressed well 
1.5 cups unsweetened plant milk 
3 Tbp. Aquafaba*
1/4 cup flour
Hot sauce  (optional)
2 cups panko breadcrumbs 
Roasted chicken seasoning **

Method:

Preheat oven to 400°

Place a metal baking rack over a cookie sheet. This will allow the heat to circulate around your tofu and make it extra crispy. Spray rack with non stick spray. 

Cut your tofu into strips.

Mix milk, aquafaba, flour and hot sauce in a shallow dish to make a wet batter. 

In another shallow dish, mix panko breadcrumbs with the roasted chicken seasoning **( if you can't find it, mix paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper together) together to make a dry coating.

Dip your tofu strips in your wet batter and tgen coat with your dry coating. 

Place your tofu strips on the baking rack.

Bake for 25 minutes, until golden and crispy.

Serve with vegan ranch, BBQ sauce or sriracha mixed with Just Mayo.

Makes 6 servings. 



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Simple Peach & Blueberry Cobbler


I can't bake. I wish I could, but I can't. (You have probably noticed I do a lot of cake mix creations). There is only one desert I'm usually proud to serve. That desert is cobbler. 

I grew up in the country. My Great Grandparents owned a large farm that sustained our entire family. We gathered on Sundays, after church, to visit.. and eat. 
My Great Grandma Johnson made an amazing cobbler. It was simple, sweet and you coukd use any fruit that was in season. This is my version of her perfect cobbler. Of course, I made it a little more convenient. I have about 30 minutes to cook dinner every night before the family starts to get "hangry". Take all the shortcuts you can get in the kitchen! 

This recipe makes a large 11x13 casserole dish...about 6 - 8 servings. This is enough for my family, plus, leftovers for breakfast. If you are cooking for a couple or just yourself, you should cut this recipe in half.


Recipe:

4 (15 oz.) cans of peaches, rinsed and drained * 
1 cup blueberries  ( or any berry you like)
2 cups all purpose flour 
2 cups of sugar
1 tsp. corn starch 
1 stick vegan butter, softened 
1 1/2 cups unsweetened plant milk 
1 tsp. Vanilla extract 

Vegan vanilla ice cream  (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 400°

Grease your 11×13 casserole dish 

Add fruit to casserole dish 

In a large mixing bowl,  combine flour, sugar, and corn starch. Mix well.

Add your unsweetened plant milk, softened butter, and vanilla extract. Combine all ingredients well.

Pour batter over fruit.

Bake 45 minutes, until crust pulls away from the sides of your dish & is golden brown.  

Top with ice cream while warm.


* If using fresh or frozen peaches ..

Make sure your fruit is peeled, thawed, and patted dry.

You will need 4- 5 cups of fruit for this recipe 

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