The pasta salad I made earlier this week inspired a quinoa salad with a twist… the “healthier” version. I still can’t decide if I like the pasta or the quinoa more. Anyway, really simple recipe and pretty healthy. I made enough to last me the week for lunch, so it’s a good meal prep recipe.
1 c quinoa uncooked
For the butternut squash
1 tbsp oil, more as needed
1 c butternut squash, diced
1 tbsp garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
dash of cayenne
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
Veggies for the salad
1 red bell pepper diced
1 cucumber diced
1 c corn
1 small onion diced
2 small tomatoes diced
1 c cilantro
For the dressing
2 tbsp lime
2 tbsp sriracha
1/3 c veganaise
dash of chili powder
Cook the quinoa according to the package.
Heat the oil in a medium pan, add in the garlic for a minute until fragrant, and add the butternut squash, followed by all the spices, mixing well. If it’s a little dry add a touch more oil or a couple tablespoons of water or broth. Cook for 5 minutes, stir and cook another 5 minutes until crispy and you can pierce easily with a fork.
Prepare the dressing, mix all ingredients together in a small bowl, set aside.
In a large bowl, add all of the veggies except for the cilantro, prepared quinoa, butternut squash and stir. Mix in the dressing and once the temperature has cooled a bit, mix in the cilantro and enjoy.
Left my comfort zone of safe recipes and sooo glad I did. These little pockets of yum aren’t difficult to make and feel like the ultimate comfort food. There’s a mini movie about a steamed bun, “Bao” and since watching I have been thinking about whipping some up, finally I have!
They aren’t the prettiest, but taste is spot on. I think I may have fried the wrong side first? Either way it works, and they didn’t take long to steam. Using a combo of pan frying and steaming, you get a really nice fusion of firm and soft. So, go on and get-cho ass in the kitchen to fire these babies up. This amazing recipe is from Bianca Zapatka, made by Bianca.
2/3 c warm water approx 95 degrees (35 C)
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour + more for dusting
1-2 tbsp sesame oil for frying
1 stick leek finely chopped
7 oz white cabbage shredded
1 large carrot shredded
1 red bell pepper finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
7 oz tofu, crumbled
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
salt to tast
1 tsp chili paste or sriracha
1 tbsp oil
1/4 c water
To serve (optional)
2 tbsp sesame seeds
chopped green onions Dipping sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp agave syrup
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp srirach or chili paste
For the dough
Mix the yeast with the water and sugar in a small bowl and set aside for around 5 minutes.
Whisk together the flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Pour in the water with yeast slowly and stir with a chopstick (or wooden spoon) until it clumps together. Transfer to a work surface and knead with your hands (or use a mixer with dough hooks) until a smooth and soft dough forms, about 5 minutes.
Put the dough back in the bowl, cover and let rest for about 45 minutes, or until the ball has doubled in size.
Preparing the filling
Heat the oil in a pan and finely chop the vegetables. Add the leek, cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, and garlic to the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the veggies are slightly tender.
Then crumble the tofu in (it doesn’t have to be super small but broken up like chunky ground meat), soy sauce, salt and chili to taste. Mix well, cook off a bit of excess liquid from the tofu for about 3-4 minutes, and set aside to cool.
Assembling the buns
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, knead it briefly to remove all air bubbles.
Then roll it into a long log and cut into 10 pieces. Work with one piece at a time and cover the rest with a clean kitchen towel to prevent from drying out.
Flatten one piece of dough with your palm and roll it into a round wrapper with thinner edges, about 4.7 in (12 cm) in diameter.
Add about 2-3 tbsp of filling to the center, then fold the bun up and around the filling, making sure you deal the top. Repeat until all the buns are assembled. *Attached is a little photo to help visualize closing the bun.
Cooking the buns
Heat the oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Place the buns in the pan with the pinched side up (make sure to not overcrowd the pan), and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Once the bottoms are golden-brown and crispy, flip them over and carefully, pour in 1/4 c water to create steam. Immediately cover the pan, reduce to low heat and allow buns to steam for about 10 minutes, or until the water has evaporated.
Remove from pan, sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions, and serve with the dipping sauce. Enjoy that sh*t.
If there was one recipe I could have anyone try from anything I’ve ever posted… it would be these lil babies because holy sh*t. I keep checking for crack in the ingredients list (haha). But in all seriousness, if you’re looking to show up anyone at some bake off or win over your in-laws, this is the recipe.
They are incredibly moist, and contain the perfect mixture of banana and cinnamon tastiness. I used bananas that were about to start oozing because of how soft the peel got, and they were completely brown… maybe this is why they tasted like heaven? I found this recipe on Dirty Blonde Vegan, made by the lovely Erin. Also shout out to Erin for one of my new favorite recipes.
2/3 cup granulated sugar(choose organic to be sure it’s vegan)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2/3 cup mashed ripe banana (approximately 2 small bananas)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 & 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Cinnamon toast topping
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2-3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Line your 12 count, standard size muffin tin, with paper baking cups and spray each cup with non stick spray. Set muffin tin aside.
In a mixing bowl, mash two overripe (brown spots/patches are the softest and sweetest) bananas with a fork.
Add the sugar, applesauce, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Use a whisk to combine well. Some clumps from the bananas are expected.
Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon (1/2 tsp) and mix to just combine the wet and dry ingredients into a batter. It will be thick, but do not over mix. Stop mixing when you can no longer see dry flour anywhere.
Spoon the batter into the pre-greased muffin cups. The batter should be exactly the right amount to divide evenly between the 12 cups with no extra. (As a rule, muffin cups should be filled about 80% full to allow for rising in the oven.)
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of sugar with 1/2-3/4 tsp of ground cinnamon to make the cinnamon-sugar topping. Mix with a spoon.
Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar topping over the twelve muffins with the spoon. Divide the topping evenly over each muffin top.
Bake for 17-22 minutes at 375F. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean, with no sticky batter on it. Resist the urge to open the oven during the first 15 minutes of baking, this is when the muffins are rising the most!
Cool the muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy!
Baking times vary by ovens, so start checking the muffins at 17 minutes, and remove from the oven when a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean (no batter stuck to it).
For Gluten-Free: Substitute a gluten-free flour mix (such as Bob’s Red Mill) for the flour.
For Oil-Free: Use additional applesauce instead of the vegetable oil. This may result in a denser, but still delicious, muffin.
Back in the kitchen and recreated this banger. I was scrolling through Pinterest and saw this recipe, in all of its carb-loaded glory, and knew I needed to chef it up (although this dish doesn’t call for much effort at all).
So, if you’re also a fan of pasta covered in a creamy, southwest dressing, getcho butt in the kitchen and try this one out.
This was an immediate favorite of mine, so flippin’ good. I didn’t have to soak the cashews either (a lot of cashew recipes call for that) so this baby was ready in under five minutes. Hell yeah. Also, a little added bonus, less than 10 ingredients mf. It has the perfect seasoning and nutritional yeast balance that really ties everything together, giving you a great alternative cheese recipe! So get your butt in the kitchen and give it a try. It’s perfect for gatherings(football vegan apps) and great to top on your favorite nacho recipe. Borrowed from Garlic Head, and made by the lovely Emily.
1 cup cashews, unroasted
1/4 cup chunky mild salsa (red or green, not very watery)
1 Tbsp taco seasoning (alternatively, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, pinch of salt)
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 jalapeño pepper
Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and combine with 1/3 cup of water. Let blend on medium until full incorporated. To make even more creamy, add 1/4 cup more water and blend until completely soft.
Taste and add more seasonings as you like! I love adding more nutritional yeast and some jalapeño if serving to a spice-loving crowd.
If you’re looking for a sweet and spicy bowl of deliciousness, you’ve come to the right place. Containing so many of my faves, it was hard not to eat more than seven bowls of this in one night… I won’t judge if you don’t. I love this recipe so much that I’m making it again tonight, and also because cauliflower is the sh*t and I just can’t get enough.
I used store bought teriyaki sauce, but you adventurous folk can surely use a homemade recipe, or whatever you prefer. I also like to cut corners where they can be cut, so I opted for coleslaw mix rather than spending time cutting and preparing cabbage… talk about pain in my booty. The cauliflower recipe is borrowed from From the Comfort of My Bowl, made by the lovely Jhanelle.
1 c rice, dry (2 c if serving more than 4)
1 avocado, optional
14 oz bag of coleslaw mix or 1 3/4 cups of cabbage
handful of chopped green onions for topping, optional
In a medium sauce pan, prepare rice according to package. And set your oven to preheat 400 degrees F.
While rice is cooking, you’ll combine all of the coleslaw ingredients into a medium or large sized bowl, stir, and place in the fridge until it’s time to munch out.
Next, you’ll get a baking sheet, line with tinfoil or lightly grease it, place the florets of broccoli, top with the olive oil and mix around. Finish with salt and pepper, and place in the oven for 10 min.
While the broccoli is cooking, you’ll prepare the cauliflower. In a bowl, combine all ingredients under “Cauliflower” except cauliflower, teriyaki sauce and green onions, to make a thick and smooth batter.
Rinse and drain cauliflower then dip each piece in the batter, coating completely. Shake off excess batter then place on the lightly oiled or nonstick baking tray. Once the broccoli has been removed, place the tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven then dip in or brush each nugget with the teriyaki sauce and place the baking tray back into the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Creation time!!! How I served my bowl: a bed of rice, topped with coleslaw, broccoli florets, cauliflower, avocado, a drizzle of extra teriyaki, and topped with green onions. Enjoy that mouthwatering deliciousness.
Who else is balancing the stress of a pandemic with a healthy amount of unhealthy treats? Shout out to sweets for always making me feel better and helping me escape boredom… this recipe especially. It’s so f*cking good, and probably the best brownie recipe I’ve tried up to this point. These babies have a nice and firm, almost-crunchy outside, with a soft gooey middle that pairs fantastically with a fat scoop of ice cream. Hello, comfort food. The recipe is borrowed from My Darling Vegan, made by the lovely Sarah.
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
6 tbsp warm water
1/2 cup vegan butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper, letting excess paper hang over the edges. Spray parchment paper with cooking oil. Or lightly oil your 8×8 baking pan.
Prepare the flax eggs by mixing the flax and water, and setting aside.
Fill a pot with a couple inches of water and bring to a boil. In a medium heat-safe bowl combine vegan butter, sugars, cocoa powder, and salt. Place on top of the pot – the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water – and remove from heat. You can also use a double boiler. Stir butter/sugar mixture occasionally until the butter has melted completely. Meanwhile, mix together flour and baking soda and set aside.
Stir in vanilla extract and flax “eggs” to the butter/sugar mixture. Add the flour and baking soda and stir vigorously until well combined; the batter will be very thick. Once well combined, transfer into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until mostly set. They should be slightly underdone.
Remove brownies from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
It has been some time… this whole covid shutdown has had me distracted in a weird way, even with mostly everything closed. My boredom finally led me back to cooking again, which led me here. And back with a kick-ass stuffed shell. Pumpkin ricotta filling for all you basic bitches out there. Topped with a super delicious garlic alfredo sauce… I suggest making double because you can make fettuccine alfredo for “Pasta Night: Round 2”. This lovely recipe is as seen on Rainbow Plant Life, and made by the lovely Nisha.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 175°C). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil.
Cook the pasta shells. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and generously salt the water. Add the jumbo pasta shells and cook according to the box instructions until just al dente (do not overcook!), then drain well.
Transfer the cooked pasta shells to a baking sheet and drizzle with the 1 tablespoon olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the Tofu Ricotta. Drain the block of tofu and dab away the excess water with some paper towels. Place the tofu, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and crushed red pepper flakes (if using) in a food processor and pulse repeatedly until the texture is smooth but still a little chunky, similar to the texture of ricotta cheese.
Make the pumpkin ricotta filling. In a large bowl, combine the Tofu Ricotta, pumpkin purée, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper to taste, and vegan parmesan cheese (if using). Fold the ingredients together using a silicone spatula. Taste the filling and adjust the seasonings accordingly, adding more salt, pepper, or nutmeg as needed. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the filling into each jumbo pasta shell, and set aside.
Make the Garlic Béchamel Sauce. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add onion and season with a pinch of salt. Cook for 6-7 minutes, or until the onion is softened and lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the flour, whisking constantly for a minute until well incorporated. Gradually pour in the lite coconut milk in stages, whisking after each addition to prevent clumps, and then cook for 2 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
Transfer the sauce to a blender and add the 1 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Blend until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Taste the sauce for seasonings, adding more salt or pepper as desired.
Assemble the dish. Pour 1/2 cup of the Garlic Béchamel Sauce in the prepared baking dish. Arrange the stuffed jumbo shells on top of the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce on top of the shells. Scatter the chopped fresh sage leaves on top of the sauce. Bake the stuffed shells for 25 minutes, or until the pasta shells are lightly golden. Serve warm.
Cue the stress eating, this year is so overwhelming, I need a distraction and what better way to distract than with some new recipes full of comfort. This curry surprised me, since I just threw together a few ingredients, have never cooked with curry, and wasn’t sure what I was doing, it turned out great!
I used full fat coconut milk because ya girl wants to get them gains, but you can most def sub in light coconut milk. This baby also uses just 10 ingredients and is ready to eat in less than 30 minutes… what a f*cking delight. So, if you’re short on time but still want something tasty for dinner, give it a try.
1 tbsp oil
2 c butternut squash
1 c peas
1 can of coconut milk (I used full fat, but you can sub light)
2 1/2 tbsp vindaloo curry spice
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 15 oz can chickpeas
prepared basmati rice, cooked according to package
In a large saute pan, heat up the oil over medium heat, add in the squash and peas. Saute about 2-3 minutes, and then add in the coconut milk, all the spices, and give it a good stir. Bring to a simmer, add the chickpeas, and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender. You can check this by piercing with a fork, once tender, it’s ready to eat.
Serve over a bed of basmati rice. Enjoy that sh*t.
Get ready to put in some work for a very rewarding recipe mf’s, prepping eggplants takes a little bit of patience so they cook right… but I promise you, it’s worth it. The sauce for this dish is super easy to put together, starting with the peanut butter, stir in the wet ingredients and you should find yourself with a delicious ass sauce.
I coat the veggies in corn starch before cooking to help keep them from absorbing too much oil and becoming soggy. A lovely trick I learned from Bianca at Bianca Zapatka who shared a Chinese Eggplant recipe, I made some alterations.
The recipe takes about 30-40 minutes, plus I know you’ve got time… we’re in lame ass quarantine, which feels never-ending. It uses basic household ingredients for the sauce, and tastes mf great. PLUS eggplant is a great source of vitamins and minerals, helps with digestion, improves heart health and has many more great qualities… so if you’re an eggplant hater I would reconsider. Sometimes it takes a few times to cook right, but ultimately sooooo delicious.
2 eggplants each 10oz (small long ones if possible)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cornstarch optional
For the Sauce
1 1/2 tsp peanut butter
1 ½ tbsp soy sauce or tamari sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1-2 tbsp water
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp coconut sugar or other sugar
2 ½ tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp ginger minced
3 garlic cloves minced
1 chili pepper chopped or 1 tsp chili paste
For serving (optional)
2 spring onions sliced
Cut the eggplants into small chunks as shown in the step-by-step photos above. Then transfer them to a large bowl, add the salt and mix well to combine. Allow to soak for 15 minutes (or up to 1 hour).
Then pat the eggplants dry, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and mix well to coat. (If you find the eggplants too salty after soaking, you can also rinse them under cold running water before patting them dry.)
Place the peanut butter in a small bowl, mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and pour into the peanut butter stirring. It may not immediately combine but after enough stirring it will. Mix the rest of the sauce ingredients in.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick pan or wok over medium heat. Add the eggplants and fry for about 5-8 minutes. Once the skin is well browned and the inside turns soft, remove the eggplants and transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining oil, ginger, garlic, and chili to the same pan and roast for a few seconds while stirring until fragrant. Then put the eggplants back to the pan. Mix the sauce again until the cornstarch is completely dissolved and pour it over the eggplants. Stir immediately until the eggplant is evenly coated and the sauce thickens.
Garnish the eggplants with spring onions and sesame and serve as a side dish or as a main course over rice or pasta with lime wedges on the side.