Tag Archives: vegetarian 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.

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!

Vegan Lettuce Wraps

This recipe has been my favorite so far for a quick easy dinner. It honestly tastes like restaurant quality lettuce wraps, plus it was pretty easy to make. 
 
 
 
The original ingredients:

 

  • 16 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
  • Green onions (3-4)
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp minced pickled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Asian chile pepper sauce (optional)
  • 1 (8 oz.) can of water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped




My Ingredients:

  • 16 butter lettuce leaves
  • 1 package of Gardein ground “beef” (you can use tofu instead, which would be healthier and just as yummy, but if you’re just trying out being vegan I recommend the Gardein brand or LightLife’s Smart Ground, both GMO-free)
  • Green onions (3-4) 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (Bragg’s liquid aminos is best)
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp minced pickled ginger (I used ground ginger and it worked just fine)
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar and it was good)
  • 2 tbsp Asian chile pepper sauce
  • 1 (8 oz) can of water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped. I don’t like them so I used bamboo shoots (finely chopped) which was amazing!
  • 2 tsp dark sesame oil


Directions:


  1. Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground “beef” in 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring often on medium heat. Set aside to cool. Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. 
  3. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked “beef”; continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  4. Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter, and pile meat mixture in the center. To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito, and enjoy!

Andrea’s Tomato Quinoa Soup

This amazing recipe and photo was brought to you today by my lovely startup sister, Andrea Hartwig. In addition to being my husband’s business partner’s wife, she is also a very talented chef and photographer. She will guest blog for me from time to time. So get used to her, she’s awesome! She’s a vegetarian and studied nutrition at ASU so she’s all kinds of crazy smart. 

She created this dinner because she had 4 jars of opened tomato sauce in her fridge. 



Ingredients:

1/4 onion diced 
4 cloves garlic 
Tbsp-ish olive oil 
Add 1/4 c white wine 
1/2 c quinoa 
However much spaghetti sauce you have, I used a 12 oz jar of putenesca. 
Spices: Cajun, cumin, pepper, crushed ginger. 
1 c veggie stock 
 
Directions
1. Mix it all together and cook until quinoa is done. 
 
That sounds easy enough, right? 
 
Benefits to this meal are:
 
Tomatoes– helps protect skin against aging, rich in fiber and keeps you feeling full, good source of vitamins K, A, C, folate and potassium. Contains lycopene which fights osteoporosis. Tomatoes are natural cancer fighters thanks again to lycopene, they also fight free radicals which have been linked with cell damage. The extra vitamin A helps fight against night blindness and also keeps your hair looking shiny and healthy. They also help release chronic pain and reduce inflammation. 


Quinoa– It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids. It has twice as much fiber as other grains, making it the “super grain”. It’s a great source of iron and lysine, lysine which is essential for tissue growth and repair. It also has a high content of manganese, an a
ntioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.

…..and those are just the two main ingredients! There are many other benefits from the spices and oils. Eat up, my friends!

BLT Pita

This is not a recipe from Pinterest, but I wanted to share it since it’s one of my favorites for a lunch or light dinner. I originally grabbed it from some magazine several years ago and turned it vegan. I’ve since lost the original recipe but I make it from memory.

This recipe is great if you have a bunch of veggies that are going to go bad soon and you need to use them. I made this the other night because we bought a ton of lettuce and hadn’t used most of it. So I needed to use it quickly. I threw in every vegetable we had and it was amazing. So if you don’t have any of the veggies I listed off, don’t worry just use what you have. The only exception is the lettuce, you’ll want a lot of lettuce.

Ingredients:

2 romaine hearts chopped (or 1 head of lettuce, 2 bags of spinach, etc.)

1 red pepper

1 tomato

1 cucumber

1/4 onion

2 green onions

1 bottle of your favorite dressing

1 package of pita bread

1 package of Smart “Bacon”

Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When oven is pre-heated, put the pita in for 3 minutes or until warm.

2. In a skillet, I prefer cast iron since it adds iron to your food, heat up some cooking oil on medium heat, and add the bacon. Keep turning the bacon until the edges are golden brown then set aside.

3. Wash and chop up all your vegetables, then put them in a bowl

4. Cut up the bacon and add it to the bowl. Pour your dressing over the top and add any seasonings if you’d like. (I used fresh basil and oregano from my herb garden). Then toss.

5. Tear off the end of the pita and fill with the mix. Enjoy!

Other Variations:


If you’re a seasoned vegan or you’re looking for a whole foods recipe. Substitute the “bacon” with garbanzo beans or any other beans you like. Use spinach or kale instead of romaine as it has more protein and amino acids. Use whole wheat pita. I always recommend that you use organic ingredients.

“Pepperoni” Bites

I did this really great recipe yesterday, which complimented Super Bowl “cuisine” quite well. Since I didn’t have a mini muffin tin, my came out looking deformed and were not photo worthy. They did turn out pretty tasty though and were so easy to make, so I’m posting the recipe any ways. 

Happy Meatless Monday! 


It took me awhile to find a recipe that made pepperoni bites without Pillsbury biscuits as the main ingredient. The main reason for not using them, is because they’re not vegan. They’re also made with low quality genetically modified ingredients. I do this blog with many ingredients I wouldn’t normally use since they’re processed. However, the point of this blog is to show people that you can eat your old favorite foods, comfort foods or fun food while still maintaining a cruelty free lifestyle. We all know the fun foods usually aren’t the healthy foods, but I draw the line at using genetically modified foods. Making your own dough is so easy and you know which ingredients are going into it, so I prefer to do it this way. 

The recipe I augmented is from Family Fresh Meals. They have a vegetarian option in the original recipe, but I chose to go the full 9 yards and make it vegan. Enjoy!!

Original ingredients:


http://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2012/04/cheesy-pepperoni-bites-with-vegetarian-option.html


Here is what you need to make 24 bites:

3/4 cup flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup milk

1 egg

4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)

4 ounces turkey pepperoni, chopped

1/2 cup pizza sauce

2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

My Super Awesome Vegan Version:

Ingredients


3/4 cup flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup plain soymilk or hemp milk (I always use organic)

1/4 cup olive oil 

4 oz. Daiya “mozzarella cheese”

One package of Yves pepperoni or LightLife’s Smart Pepperoni (both are GMO free)

1/2 cup pizza sauce (I used Wild Organics Tomato Basil spaghetti sauce)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil (I got this from my organic herb garden)


Directions


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees


2. Grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan (I use olive oil and brush it on lightly or you could use Earth Balance butter)


3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder, whisk in the milk and the olive oil 


4. Next, stir in the mozzarella 


5. Stir in the pepperoni and mix well. Let stand for 7-10 minutes.


6. Divide batter among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.


7. While waiting for the bites to bake, you can microwave the pizza sauce, however I recommend to avoid microwaving since it zaps out the nutrients in food. I heated mine up on the stove in a little sauce pan. Stir in 1 Tablespoon of your fresh basil.  

8. Sprinkle the puffs with the remaining 1 Tablespoon basil.  Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping. Voila! 

So easy and tasty!



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.