Cauliflower Casserole

Yum. This casserole completes me.

Throw it on a pile of fettuccine, or eat it alone, you won’t be disappointed. I did both and they both tasted great. I’m also a monster… I cook for one and finished the entire casserole in less than three days haha. I added sriracha for an extra kick, feel free to add chili flakes or any other extra spices.

It’s a great side dish, and if it’s your main accompany with a couple great sides that carry some more protein for a well-rounded, filling meal.

I got this recipe from Vegan Huggs.

 Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower , cut into bite-size florets (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (GF if preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter , melted (+ more for greasing dish)

Cheese Sauce

Optional Toppings

  • Fresh-cut parsley 
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C). Lightly grease a 3-quart casserole dish and set aside. 
  2. Combine the melted butter, breadcrumbs and a pinch of granulated garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. To soak cashews, boil water in a small pot and remove from heat. Add cashews and cover for 15-20 minutes, until softened (*see note).
  4. While the cashews are soaking, you can steam the cauliflower. Place about 1 ” of water into a med/large pot that will fit your steamer basket. Place your basket on the bottom and cover pot with a lid. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to med-low to maintain a low boil and place cauliflower florets into the basket. Cover and steam for 7-10 minutes, until just tender. Uncover and remove from heat. 
  5. Drain and rinse cashews (discard soaking water). Now place all cheese sauce ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until cashews have completely broken down and the sauce is smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Pour cheese sauce into a medium skillet/pot over medium heat (I used the same pot for steaming the cauliflower). Cook for 4-5 minutesuntil it thickens up a lot and becomes slightly stretchy. Stir often to prevent burning. If sauce is too thick for your taste, you can add a little soy milk or broth to thin it out. Taste for seasoning, and add more if needed.
  7. Pour 1/2 the cheese sauce on the bottom of the greased casserole dish. Now add the cauliflower on top in one layer. Pour the remaining cheese sauce on top of the cauliflower. Now sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs and cover with foil. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is hot and bubbly. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until breadcrumbs are light golden brown. Remove from oven. *Sprinkle with optional fresh-cut parsley and crushed red pepper flakes. Enjoy! 

Bomb AF Vegan Tacos

Well SH*T D*MN, these tacos were fire. I was really impressed with myself for these… but like how hard is it to throw tacos together haha. What really made these the bees knees was the sauce, I have a post for that recipe and I’ll link it below… don’t skip it!

Not sure if Aldi is available to everyone but if you can go, they have AMAZING vegan options. The brand is “Earth Grown” and their substitutions taste great, not dry or tasteless. I’ve tried some brands of chickenless nuggets and patties that are awful, and no-meat crumbles that were extremely lacking in spices and I guess moisture. But hey, gotta start somewhere and I should just be grateful more options are being created for vegans!

Anyways, Aldi has meat-free crumbles for tacos and the consistency of them are amazing and they taste really great, I was extremely impressed. So, if you can go for that, then do it! And try all their other meat substitutes, you won’t be disappointed. Trader Joe’s and Ralph’s also have okay meat-free crumbles for backup.

For the shells, you can either make your own or buy them, I’ll give instructions for making them below.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c canola oil*
  • 8 tortillas* OR 8 taco shells
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1 package of meat-free crumbles
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 head of lettuce, chopped
  • avocado sriracha sauce

Instructions:

*In a medium sized pan, heat the canola oil for a couple minutes, so that when you place the tortilla in it to fry it gets all loud and sizzles. You’ll use tongs to first dip both sides, and then fold the tortilla so that half of it is cooking while you hold the half up with the tongs. Make sure you are folding it into a taco shell shape, hold for about 30 seconds or until golden brown, switch sides and allow to cool. Continue until you’ve made as many shells as you want.

  1. In a medium pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and add the package of meat-free crumbles, cook according to package. Fill you shell with the meat, top with the BOMB avocado sriracha sauce, lettuce, and tomatoes. Enjoy the heck out of these puppies.

Avocado Sriracha Sauce

Poured this baby on my tacos and it made them unbelievable, no lie I ate four fat ones. It would probably be amazing on a tostada, in a burrito, on a taco salad… or wherever else you think it would taste good (comment ideas below!)

It’s super quick and easy to throw together too, and I added probably five tablespoons of sriracha since I’m a spice freak but it’s open to manipulation based on your preferences.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 c vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lemon or lime
  • 2-4 tbsp sriracha (or more!)

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients into a bowl or food processor, mash with a fork or if using a food processor run until smooth.
  2. Top it on any of the above mentioned dishes!

Sweet Potato & Veggie Breakfast

I’m into cooking morning food apparently… this one was a goodie, and super tastey. I’m really happy with how it turned out, and there is a really great tip to getting your potatoes to cook the right way and not get mushy.

The tip: Instead of stirring your potatoes with a spatula or spoon, once they are on the pan, let them cook for minimum five minutes and TOSS them, allow to cook another 5-10 minutes, TOSS, and repeat until they look and feel right. This allows the potatoes to not get squished and actually cook properly for a sturdy, slightly crisp finish. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ruined my potatoes by stirring them and they turn into mush and the pan burns more. There is magic to the toss method, give it a try!

Example of: “the toss”

I added black beans for some extra protein and avocado, with a finish of paprika and cumin. I wish I had cilantro because that would have been bomb af. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced (smaller than a dime)
  • 1 red potato, diced (smaller than a dime)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (I skipped salt, but add as you see fit)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced

Optional Toppings:

  • sprinkle of paprika
  • sprinkle of cumin
  • cilantro
  • avocado
  • black beans

Instructions:

  1. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, I would advise not going too high on the heat and make sure the oil heats up. Add the potatoes, make sure they are spread, add black pepper and let cook for 8-10 minutes, no stirring.
  2. Add in the rest of the veggies and toss, don’t stir, mixing everything. Let cook for another 8-10, and toss again. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes and pierce the potatoes with a fork and see if they are finished. If you want to cook to be more crispier, give it another toss and let sit for another minimum of five minutes.
  3. Serve and add your toppings. Enjoy!

Vegan Potato Hash Breakfast

If you’re vegan and have been craving a good breakfast for those mornings after a long night out (a.k.a. a cure for your hangover), your wait is over!

This is one of my favorite breakfasts, it’s full of so many delicious veggies and on top of that soy chorizo! Sooo so so good and filling. Takes about 30 minutes to put together and tastes just as great as leftovers. I like to top mine with avocado and sriracha. I didn’t have cilantro but if you do, throw some on top because it’ll only make this dish that much better.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced (no larger than the size of a dime)
  • 3 red potatoes, diced (no larger than the size of a dime)
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 package soy chorizo

Extra Toppings:

  • avocado
  • sriracha
  • salsa
  • cilantro

Instructions:

  • Heat a large pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Allow that to heat up and add in the garlic for about 30 seconds
  • Add in the potatoes and mix, coating in the oil, then let cook for about five minutes before stirring. Give a toss around, and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Add in the bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno, stir, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  • Add in the soy chorizo, mix well and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Fork the potatoes and see if it pierces easily, if not continue cooking or serve! Add toppings and enjoy!

Roasted Brussel Sprout, Beet, and Carrot Quinoa Salad

A big and healthy salad that’s PACKED with flavor and nutrition. This week I’m aiming to eat better, my body hasn’t been too thrilled with my latest food choices consisting of take-out… So here’s to a healthy week!

This was a spur of the moment recipe, all I knew was I wanted to have beets (the ones from Trader Joe’s oh my goodness), roasted carrots (colorful!), and roasted brussel sprouts… what better way to get that all together than over arugula and quinoa. I wish I had a few more ingredients, like clementines and balsamic glaze, but I made do.

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The dressing I used was a refrigerated green goddess dressing from Trader Joe’s, I thought it went pretty well with the salad, but another option I’m going to try out is balsamic glaze and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

IMG_3839

 

Ingredients

  • 6 carrots, peeled and sliced into ovals (instead of chopping straight down, cut at angle)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 1 lb of brussel sprouts, stems cut and halved
  • 8 oz package of baby beets (from Trader Joe’s) OR 3-4 cooked beets, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
  • package of arugula
  • handful of walnut pieces (per serving)
  • 1 clementine, peeled and seperated (per serving)

optional choices for dressings

  • green goddess dressing from trader joes

OR

  • balsamic glaze
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil or parchment paper, and place your carrots. Drizzle with one tsp of olive oil, saving the other tsp for the brussel sprouts, and give the carrots a good mix. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and a hefty dash of garlic powder. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, giving them a little shuffle half way through.
  3. While the carrots are in, line another baking sheet and place your brussel sprouts on with the other tsp of olive oil and mix. Then, make sure all brussel sprouts are face down, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and garlic powder. Make sure the lower rack isn’t on the bottom and when the carrots have 15 minutes left you can place these in there.
  4. While those cook, get your quinoa ready, and cook according to package.
  5. Remove the carrots and set aside in a bowl, they can cool while the brussel sprouts continue to cook for another 10 minutes after flipping cut-side up.
  6. Once those are done, and hopefully the quinoa is ready, you’ll place 1/3-1/2 cup of quinoa down, followed by a cup of arugula, and topped with brussel sprouts, carrots, and beets. I used about 1/2-3/4 cups of each. Top with a handful of walnuts, the clementine pieces, and your dressing of choice. It doesn’t need a lot!
  7. Enjoy.

Hearty Vegan Chili

Been slacking on staying consistent but I’m back and better! I’ve been so busy traveling, I went to Michigan and San Fran, it was so much fun, but I’m coming in hot with a killer new recipe. It has a special ingredient thanks to Healthy Midwestern Girl, I added and it made it one of my new favorite chili recipes… It gives it the perfect chili look and consistency that I’ve been missing as a vegan.

 

This recipe doesn’t take that long to throw together, you basically are going to saute the veggies and then bring everything to a boil, and bam! It’s chili time. I like to eat mine with chips or cornbread… I’ll make sure I get a post for that recipe soon.

I started off sauteing the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, adding the bell pepper, and jalapenos if you like the extra spice! Followed by the diced tomatoes and giving it all a stir. I let it start to simmer before throwing in the secret ingredient…

Mushrooms!! Throw a package of these into your food processor/chopper and voila, you have that thick “meat” crumbly chili consistency that makes for AMAZING chili. You throw that in your pot and mix.

You’ll add all your spices at this point, making any adjustments you want, more spicy/less spicy (cut the cayenne), and two cans of beans — kidney and black beans. For mine, I poured in the black beans with the juice from the can and rinsed and drained the kidney beans. It gives the dish more liquid but doesn’t take in allll the sodium from two cans of beans, which can add up.

Lastly I added liquid smoke, just to add a bit more flavor, it’s totally optional though. But from here you’ll just let it simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, and then you can enjoy!

Ingredients 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small red onions OR 1 large red onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 jalapenos, minced (optional)
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes (or stewed, or crushed)
  • 8 oz package cremini mushrooms
  • 2-3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 14 oz can black beans, with juices
  • 14 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

Instructions

  1. Start by heating up the olive oil on medium hot in a large pot. Once heated add your onion and garlic, sauteing for a few minutes, 2-3, until fragrant. Add the bell peppers and jalapeno, cooking for about 5 minutes until everything softens.
  2. Pour in the tomatoes with all the juices and give everything a stir and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. While the veggies simmer, throw in your package of mushrooms (rinse first) into your food chopper and process until the mushroom is very fine and crumbly looking. I did this in two separate batches, if you don’t have a food chopper, hand chop until the mushrooms are minced. You’ll transfer this into the pot and continue simmering.
  4. Add in your spices, black beans with juices from the can, and kidney beans rinsed and drained. Finally, add in your liquid smoke, give everything a big stir and let cook for another 5-10 minutes to combine ingredients and spices, stirring occasionally.
  5. Enjoy over cornbread or chips!