Tag Archives: vegan recipes

Summer Thai Chopped “Chickn” Salad

I’ve been so busy my poor blog has been neglected. I haven’t forgotten about you guys. As a stay at home mom with boys, a husband that works 24/7 and a new dog, life gets busy and I don’t have time to make new recipes. I stick to my tried and true recipes in an effort to save time. 


I finally had time to do this one for you guys. It’s a wonderful Thai Chopped Chicken Salad, cruelty free and still absolutely amazing!


INGREDIENTS

Salad

  • 2 chikn scallopini Gardein pieces cooked or you can marinate tofu first using this recipe
  • 1 small head green or white cabbage (2 cups shredded)
  • 1 large carrot (1½ cups shredded)
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup green onions
  • ½ cup chopped peanuts
  • 1 tsp. avocado oil

Dressing

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 bird’s eye chili peppers (sub ½ teaspoon minced hot pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat up a tsp of avocado oil on a non-stick (I prefer cast iron) pan on medium heat. Add the chikn and flip it often until fully cooked. Or cook tofu according to instructions. 
  2. Chop the cabbage into very thin pieces, like it would be for coleslaw. I did this by rolling up several leaves together and making thin vertical slices across the roll and then chopping them once horizontally. Peel and grate the carrots. Roughly chop the cilantro and green onions. Toss the chikn/tofu and vegetables in a large bowl and keep chilled.
  3. Mince the garlic and chili peppers. Place garlic and peppers in a small mixing bowl with the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, lime juice, oil. Whisk until smooth. Add the peanut butter and water and whisk again until smooth and creamy.
  4. Toss the salad with the dressing. Add the crushed peanuts. Serve chilled. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to one day. For best results, keep the leftover salad and dressing separate until ready to serve.

NOTES

Nutrition information is for 6 servings.

Egg Substitutes

A common question I get asked is how to replace the egg in recipes. It really depends on what you are using the egg for. The egg replacer you would use in baking, you wouldn’t use for an egg scramble or a quiche. I will make this easy for you, here is your guide to replacing eggs by category all in one place. 
 
Why should I replace eggs?
You may have heard health benefits of eggs. However, if you break down the nutrient content, you’re getting a lot of saturated fats and cholesterol for protein. Simply replacing that egg with tofu, gives you the proteins without the saturated fats and cholesterol. Unless you’re eating organic eggs, the chicken you got your egg from was given massive amounts of antibiotics, growth hormones, etc. which are then passed onto you. Another down side of eggs are that they’re a chicken’s period….say what?! Yes, it’s a chicken’s period. So beyond the fact that they’re totally disgusting, you’re also intaking that chicken’s hormones. Which, if you’re a lady can throw off your monthly cycle. A lot of egg cartons say that they’re antibiotic or hormone free, but if you read articles on egg production, they will openly say that if a chicken isn’t producing eggs they will give them hormones to produce them. Since they’re not giving all of the chickens hormones, they can still label it hormone free. Either way, save your heart and health and use these amazing egg replacers. 

 
 
 
 
Scrambled Eggs/Quiche/Custards
Use tofu, remember it won’t “fluff” up like eggs but it does create a great texture. Plus, it’s tasteless so you can season it any way you need to, to get the taste you’re going for. 
 
1/4 cup tofu = 1 egg


 
 
Desserts/Baked Goods
You can use applesauce or a banana as an egg replacer, but it does add flavor. Make sure apple or banana would compliment your recipe. It also tends to make the baked good denser. You can add baking powder to counter act the heaviness of the fruits. If you want a light, fluffy dessert go with Ener-G egg replacer. It’s a self-stable egg replacer that’s around $2.50/box, it’s found at most grocery stores down the baking aisle, Whole Foods and other health food stores carry it as well. 
 
1/4 cup banana = 1 egg
1/4 applesauce = 1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. Ener-G egg replacer + 1 tbsp. cold water = 1 egg


 
 
 

Savory Recipes such as Meatloaf

Try binding agents like mashed potatoes and tomato paste. Again, a 1/4 cup of either equals 1 egg.




 
 
Egg Whites
Mix 1 tbsp plain agar powder (available from health food stores/Chinese stores etc) with 1 tbsp water. Whip together, chill it and then whip it again.

 

Italian “Drunken” Noodles

I made this amazing dish for dinner the other night and I think it may be my new favorite recipe. It was so flavorful, filling and absolutely delicious. Plus, my kids loved it and wanted seconds. 

Here is a link to the original recipe:

 
http://pinterest.com/pin/118712140150325563/
 
Original ingredients:
 
  • Olive oil
  • 4 spicy Italian sausage links, casings removed
  • 1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
  • ½ cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned, divided use
  • 8 ounces Pappardelle noodles, uncooked
 

My Version


Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 4 Tofurky Italian sausages
  • 1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I mixed basil & thyme)
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic (I used 4 tbsp pre-minced garlic)
  • ½ cup white wine 
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped (I used oregano from my herb garden instead. Use whichever you prefer)
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, julienned, divided use
  • 8 ounces Pappardelle noodles, uncooked (I couldn’t find Pappardelle noodles, so I used the 1/2 a pack of linguine I had left over from my Cajun Pasta recipe–see my first blog recipe post) 
 
Directions:
 
Cook time: about 20 minutes
  • Place a large, heavy-bottom pan or braising pot over medium-high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and once the oil is hot, crumble the spicy Italian sausage into the pan in small chunks (you want to keep the sausage fairly chunky), allowing it to brown in the oil for a few moments on each side.
  • Prepare the noodles according to instructions on package. Then, drain the noodles very well.
  • Once the crumbled sausage is browned, remove it from the pan/pot and place into a small bowl to hold for a moment. 
  • Next, add the sliced onion into the pan, add more oil if needed and allow it to caramelize and become golden for roughly 5 minutes or so, stirring to keep it from burning 
  • Once the onion starts to become golden, add the salt, Italian seasoning and cracked black pepper, and stir to combine, then add in the sliced bell peppers, and allow those to saute with the onion for about 2 minutes until slightly tender and golden.
  • Next, add in the garlic, and once it becomes aromatic, add in the white wine and allow it to reduce for a few moments, until almost completely reduced. 
  • Next, add in the diced tomatoes with their juice, and return the browned spicy Italian sausage back into the pan, and gently fold the mixture to combine; allow it to gently simmer for about 3-4 minutes to blend the flavors, then turn the heat off. 
  • To finish the sauce, drizzle in about 2-3 good tablespoons of the olive oil (I used olive oil from my friend, Jennie’s specialty store, The Olive Vineyard. The Tuscan Herb olive oil was just perfect) to create a silky, rich flavor, and add in the chopped parsley and about half of the julienned basil.
  • Add the noodeles directly into the sauce, using tongs to gently toss and combine the noodles with the sauce and all of the ingredients in it. Check the seasoning to see if you need to add any additional salt or pepper.
  • To serve, add equal portions of the “Drunken” noodles to bowls, and garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining julienned basil and an extra drizzle of olive oil (if you’d like)

World’s Best Pasta Salad

In the summertime, my mom always made large batches of pasta salad for us to bring to barbecues and to eat while camping. I always used her recipe and while delicious, it wasn’t very vegan friendly. I had to experiment quite a bit to get the right seasoning combination to make it flavorful. I finally found it and I had to share!! This is my “go to” recipe when it comes to side dishes I am supposed to bring to cookouts with friends. It’s always a hit!!

It’s also perfect for those veggies you have in your fridge that are about to go bad. The ingredients listed below are just what I had on hand, feel free to add whatever veggies you have in your fridge.

Here it is, enjoy friends!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 package of organic tri-colored pasta, cooked al dente
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tsp. dried Thyme 
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • Seasoning salt (msg free) to taste
  • 5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • Green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • Your favorite vinaigrette

Directions:

  1. After you have cooked your pasta, drain it and run cool water over it
  2. Put pasta in a bowl, add seasonings and add the veggies.
  3. Pour your favorite dressing over the top until all noodles are evenly coated, mix all ingredients well.
  4. Let it chill in the fridge for a couple hours. Now it’s ready to enjoy!

Vegan Mexican Mashup

When you combine beans and rice, you get all of the 9 essential amino acids, making it a perfect meal. It’s also high in fiber, good source of iron and even the pickiest of eaters usually love it. It is easy for this meal to get monotonous though. So here is something I threw together for dinner tonight and it turned out pretty good.


What you’ll need:

  • 1 red onion, chopped 
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans vegetarian refried beans (I prefer Amy’s organic, I mixed refried pinto and refried black beans)
  • 2 cups rice of your choice (I had organic brown rice in my cupboard so I used that)
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 green chile, diced
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • Cajun spices to taste
  • Tortillas

Directions:

  1. Cook rice according to package label, add 1/2 of the chopped red onion, tomato paste, cajun spices, tomatoes and green chile while it simmers so the flavors bake into the rice as it cooks.
  2. Meanwhile, on low heat cook the refried beans with the other 1/2 of red onion, red pepper and cajun spices to taste. After it’s warm add the chopped cilantro and mix in.
  3. Warm tortillas on non-greased skilled, each side for 10-15 seconds. 
  4. Spoon the rice and refried beans onto the tortillas and top with your favorite toppings. Enjoy! 

This recipe adds a lot of flavor naturally to an otherwise bland meal. It’s quick, cheap and the kids will love it!

Creamy “Chicken” Cajun Pasta

Here are the original ingredients before veganizing it:


http://www.food.com/recipe/creamy-cajun-chicken-pasta-39087?oc=linkback

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips

4 ounces linguine, cooked al dente

2 teaspoons cajun seasoning (your recipe, Cajun Seasoning Mix or store-bought)

2 tablespoons butter

1 thinly sliced green onion

1 -2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese



VEGAN VERSION:


The first challenge I had making this dinner is that it’s impossible to buy a 4 oz. bag of linguine. So I bought a 16 oz. bag of organic linguine and then cooked half of the pasta in the bag. So I doubled this recipe, except the “chickn”. The ingredients I provided below have the doubled version measurements. So use those, don’t double it.



2 of Gardein’s Chickn Scallopini cut up into thin strips

8 oz of linguine al dente

2 teaspoons of cajun seasoning (I used Weber’s cajun seasoning)

2 tablespoons of your favorite vegan margarine, I used Earth Balance

2 thinly sliced green onion stalks

2 cups vegan heavy cream (the recipe for that is below)

4 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 black pepper

1/4 garlic powder

1/2 cup grated vegan parmesan (I used the vegan parmesan cheese made by Galaxy Foods you can find it on the Amazon website or not use it at all)


Heavy Cream ingredients:

1 1/2 cups plain soy/almond/hemp milk

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 cups oil (I used olive oil but safflower or grapeseed could be substituted)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup


Directions:


1. In a skillet put 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil or any type oil to cook the Gardein chickn, follow the instructions on the package. When done cut into thin strips and set in a bowl.


2. In a bowl combine the soy milk and lemon juice to make the heavy cream (or you can do it in a blender) use an electric mixer or turn your blender on high for 1 minute and blend the soy milk and lemon juice. Then add the oil, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Keep blending or mixing until it thickens, it’ll take about 2-3 minutes. Set aside.


3. Pour the cajun seasoning over the chicken and stir til evenly coated.


4. In the skillet over medium heat put the chicken in with the butter. Let it sit for about 2-3 minutes.


5. Reduce heat, then add the green onions, heavy cream, sun dried tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and heat through. 


6. Pour over sauce over the hot linguini then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


I post these recipes to be as close to the original as possible. However, I do eat healthy and would like to extend a healthier option out to my health conscious followers or people who are very comfortable with a vegan lifestyle that are willing to branch out. Instead of the Gardein “chikn” add spinach or baked tofu, use whole wheat or whole grain linguine and don’t use the vegan parmesan. This will be a more “whole foods” recipe than it currently is. Although, vegan options are already much healthier than the original recipe. Do what you feel comfortable with and have fun with it. If you have any recipe requests please use the comments section and provide a link. I’d love to veganize your favorite meals.