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Cheesy Vegan Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa Recipe

16 Aug
A delicious alternative to meat, quinoa, black beans, Vegan cheese and other ingredients make this a delish' dish!

A delicious alternative to meat, quinoa, black beans, Vegan cheese and other ingredients make this a delish’ dish!

 

It’s always a good sign when the kids celebrate with a “Hooray!” when you tell them what’s for dinner.  Tonight’s celebration involved stuffed peppers that is loaded with nutrients, filling and will have your taste buds dancing, along with some eager (and hungry) people!  (Psst… if you don’t like bell peppers, the stuffing is awesome without them so Try it!

Carve out a little bit of time because this isn’t something you can put together in a pinch but it DOES make for awesome leftovers as the flavors intensify overnight 🙂

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 1

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 1

 

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 2

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 2

 

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 3

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 3

 

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 4

TiV Vegan Stuffed Peppers Step 4

 

 

 

Serves 8-10

What you need:

  • Olive oil (or grape seed oil) to coat pan
  • 1 cup of onion diced small (1/3 -1/4 large sweet onion)
  • 2 large or 3 medium stalks of celery diced small
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (drain but save the juice)
  • 1 package 11oz. frozen spinach defrosted and drained
  • 3 medium to large carrots grated small
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups sweet corn kernels (canned or frozen is fine if you don’t have fresh)
  • 3/4 cup sprouted quinoa (or regular quinoa) rinsed very well
  • 1 can drained and rinsed black beans (or 1 1/2 – 2 cups cooked)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups shredded vegan cheese (we like Enjoy Your Heart Vegan Mozzarella & Cheddar mix)
  • 5 bell peppers -we prefer red, orange and yellow  (Go crazy, get organic if you can with all of the ingredients 🙂

 

What to do:

 

Step 1:  Add oil to pot over medium heat.  Once heated, add celery and onion and cook until tender (5 min.).  While cooking, drain canned tomatoes and pour tomato juice into baking dish (we recommend a pan with a higher lip).  Mix in cumin and garlic for one minute.

Step 2:  Add tomatoes, spinach, grated carrots and quinoa.  Stir and allow any liquid to evaporate (around 3-5 minutes)

Step 3:  Continue by adding beans, corn, and mix in 2 cups of water.  Put the lid on the pot, bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium low for 15 minutes.  Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Use this time to grate the cheese and clean & cut the bell peppers.  Place the peppers in baking pan or dish atop the tomato juice.

Step 4:  Use 3/4 of your cheese and mix in pot.  Fill the peppers with mixture and place in the oven, covered with aluminum foil, for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and sprinkle remaining vegan cheese on top, turn broiler on to melt cheese (10-15 minutes – keep an eye on it)

We choose not to use salt and pepper and those in the house that prefer it normally have admitted that it doesn’t need it however feel free to add if you please 🙂

 

Great for parties and all seasons!  Enjoy! 🙂

 

A delicious alternative to meat, quinoa, black beans, Vegan cheese and other ingredients make this a delish' dish!

A delicious alternative to meat, quinoa, black beans, Vegan cheese and other ingredients make this a delish’ dish!

 

Sexy Summer Pasta Salad Recipe! (with Photos)

31 May

Need a dish to bring to a summer BBQ or have a party that needs a dish that will “WOW!” everyone?  You will LOVE this and after one bite, they will love YOU!

This is by far, a favorite request and it’s versatile so have fun adding more ingredients!  If you are new to Try it Vegan, note that we LOVE to eat with our eyes first so that is why there is a rainbow of colors in this salad.

Sometimes there are some dishes that require some extra love and this is one of them so plan accordingly and plan to make this the night prior to let all of the flavors marinate or if you don’t have time, make extra because it is AWESOME the next day like some other dishes.

For the record, the hot dog is vegan 🙂

tiv close up hot dog sexy pasta

Tiv Sexy Summer Ingred

20130531_135517 Tiv sliced veggies TiV sexy salad food prep Tiv sexy salad dressing

20130531_143726

Ingredient Suggestions for Pasta Salad:

(I didn’t measure this time around but offer suggestions below)

  • small jar of artichoke hearts in oil (2 cups chopped)
  • sun-dried tomatoes in oil (about 10 or 1/2-3/4 cup chopped)
  • 2 small cucumbers diced
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 1/2 small jar of roasted red peppers or 1/2-3/4 cup chopped
  • red, yellow and orange small sweet peppers (2 of each color or 1/2 of bell peppers) chopped
  • cup of sliced cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of diced red onion
  • 1 pound of pasta

(broccoli florets cut small make a great addition to this salad along with black olives, not shown)

Dressing:

(*****if making a day ahead, make half of the dressing, mix all ingredients and allow the flavors to set overnight.  Prior to serving, make and add the second half)

  • 1 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 2/3 cup red vinegar
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 avacados
  • 2 cloves of garlic

Cook pasta according to package directions, rinse with cold water.  Add all ingredients in large bowl.  In a Vitamix or blender, add half of the dressing ingredients (or all if you will serve immediately) and blend until smooth.  Pour over vegetables and pasta and chill prior to serving.

tiv hot dog sexy pasta

Try it! 🙂

Opa! Some Cyprus Love: Vegan Keftedes, the Greek Cypriot Meatball Recipe

26 Mar

This favorite Cyprus dish is a common one and once we stopped eating meat in our house, I knew that I would have to Veganize my mother-in-law’s recipe.  If you are watching your cholesterol or have been looking for a meat-less-ball recipe with a LOT of taste, you have found it!

Opa! Greek Cypriot Fried Meatballs

Opa! Greek Cypriot Fried Meatballs

(Υια, κύπριους φίλους μας! Γνωρίζω ότι το χοιρινό & αυγού χρησιμοποιείται για αυτό το πιάτο παραδοσιακά. Είμαι περίεργος, ποιος ξέρει από οποιοδήποτε κρέας εναλλακτική λύση στην Κύπρο; Περιμένω κάθε χρόνο αλλά δεν βρίσκω.)

This dish takes a little bit of prep but the rewards are worth it.  This is a great time to pull out the food processors, if you have one, to lighten the prep work.  More pictures will come soon…

What you need for 5-8 hungry people:

Some of the ingredients for our Vegan Keftedes

Some of the ingredients for our Vegan Keftedes

  • 2 packages (24 oz) of vegan meat crumbles (we prefer Lightlife Smart Ground veggie protein crumbles)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 large grated potatoes
  • 1- 1 1/2 large yellow onion (soft ball size) grated or chopped small in food processor ***but make sure it doesn’t turn to mush***
  • 4 large lemons
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 2 slices of whole grain bread to grate and make bread crumbs (or 1/2- 1 cup of bread crumbs from the container but I recommend the bread, highly)
  • 1-2 egg substitutes  (I just use one, some may want the second just in case)
  • 2 tbsp of cinnamon (you can play with this, we like a bit more)
  • 1 tbsp Greek seasoning (or make your own using a combo of the following: dried oregano, dried thyme, dried basil, dried marjoram, dried minced onion)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • oil for frying (olive or canola oil)

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 (before frying the meatballs, I prefer to bake them for a little bit so that they don’t fall apart as easily)
  2. Drain grated potatoes and squeeze juice from 2 lemons for flavor and to protect the color from changing to brown due to oxidation
  3. Make egg substitute (this is how we make ours)
  4. Add vegan crumbles, potato (we like to make it so it is 1:1 meat/potato), onion, parsley, bread crumbs (I simply rub the slices in my hands, little chunks the size of chocolate chips are great too), egg substitute, cinnamon, Greek seasoning and salt and mix.  (This is one dish that I use my hands for, get in there ;))
  5. If too wet, add more bread crumbs (from scratch) but it should be moist.  Make oval balls in your palm and place on baking sheet an inch apart.
  6. Heat oil in pan and place meat-less-balls in the oven for 8 minutes, until slightly hardened.  Remove and place in oil and cook until browned to your liking.
  7. Place vegan keftedes on paper towel lined plate to absorb the oil
  8. Serve with lemon slices

Additional Suggestions/Ideas that are favorites in our home…

(Vegan plain yoghurt and a fresh salad with lemon & Greek olive oil for dressing or one of your choice complement this dish.  Also, Tahini mixed with water, lemon and salt (tashi) is awesome to dip in or to line a pita with and make a wrap with the keftedes and some chopped cucumber, tomatoes, parsley and onion.  )

*Exclusive* Our BEST Vegan Baked Macaroni & Cheese Recipe, Secrets Shared!

20 Mar

This is THE most asked for dish in our home by family and friends.  Dairy-free.  Lactose-free.  Perfect for those with a dairy allergy and miss cheese!  The closest thing to the REAL THING and many believe, BETTER than the BEST Macaroni and Cheese they have had.  Seriously. 

I am revealing my secret family recipe… I’m taking a deep breath here, so give it a shot and give me your feedback!

This is completely, 100% my recipe and considered to be  VEGAN COMFORT FOOD.  If you are looking for a healthy low-fat alternative, stop reading now.  I wouldn’t recommend eating this every day if you are planning on losing some pounds however this is the BEST dish for everyone, regardless of their eating preferences.

*AWESOME for the kids to pop in a lunch box (heated thermos) for school lunch… this has nominated me to BEST MOM OF THE YEAR on several occasions 😉

I do not measure when I make this dish however I will give you my best estimates.

TryitVegan Mac and cheese pasta

Choose whatever pasta you like however we prefer this brand and shape for this particular dish.

Try it Vegan Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Bread Crumbs Ingredients

Try it Vegan Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Bread Crumbs Ingredients

Ingredients for 5-6 people:

1 lb. pasta

10-12 oz. almond milk (unsweetened)

Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cheddar Cheese block

1 brick of Earth Balance

1-2 cups of bread crumbs or panko breadcrumbs (we like a lot)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Start water for pasta.

Cook pasta al dente

Cook pasta al dente

In a medium pot, add milk and entire block of Vegan Cheddar and stir until melted on medium heat.

Melt Vegan Cheddar in Almond Milk

Melt Vegan Cheddar in Almond Milk

Make sure that the pasta is cooked al dente so drain it a couple of minutes prior to their recommended cook time.  Grease your baking dish lightly with the Earth Balance vegan butter and melt the remaining 7 tbsp or so.  (This can be cut in half, the full stick of “butter” isn’t needed however I did say that we love bread crumbs, yes?)  In a medium bowl, mix bread crumbs with completely melted Earth Balance adding more crumbs if wanted/needed.

Mix bread crumbs with melted vegan butter

Mix bread crumbs with melted vegan butter

Once pasta is ready, drain and toss into baking dish.

Pour Vegan Cheese over drained pasta

Pour Vegan Cheese over drained pasta

Pour cheese directly on top and mix until evenly distributed.  spread bread crumb mixture on top.  Bake in oven for 30 minutes covered for the first 20 and uncovered for the last 10 for the bread crumbs to slightly brown.

Try it Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese with Bread crumbs

Crazy Carrot Wednesday- 20 Carrot Recipes to Try!

27 Feb

A rainbow of carrotsIn my quest of having the family get in the habit of trying new foods, I bought some purple, orange and golden yellow carrots.  If anything, it was worth seeing the expression on their faces that made it all worth it!

I happen to need to eat with my eyes first so the more color on our plates, the happier I am that we are serving a nutritional plate of goodness for each of us.  If you can’t find purple and yellow carrots at the store, keep an eye out for one day that they may have them in the future.  In the meantime, if you haven’t eaten many carrots lately, I’m sure you will be successful in finding a recipe or three that you and whoever you are cooking for, will love!

Fun carrot facts:

  • Carrots were not originally orange.  Back in the day they were purple or red with thin roots
  • What’s up, Doc?  Maybe Bugs Bunny was on to something since the first carrots were grown for medicine
  • Research shows that colorful carrots may help prevent heart disease and cancer & reduce cholesterol
  • Eat/drink too many orange carrots and you WILL take on an orange/yellow pigment in your skin (called Carotenemia) because of beta carotene, a form of Vitamin A in the carrots

Question:  Are carrots better for you eaten raw or cooked?

No one loves a glass of fresh carrot juice better than I (although, I will admit, I will stick with drinking orange carrots since the purple carrots have a slight peppery taste and the yellow are a bit sweet and mild).  I happen to eat half of my meals raw each day because there are many nutrients that are lost when cooked one way or another.  However, there are exceptions to the rule when it comes to eating and being able to process certain foods.  (So the answer is both!)

colorcarrotstryitveganPicture bubble wrap for a moment:  when it comes to nutrition and eating certain foods, there are a ton of nutrients that are inside the item but you have to pop all the nutrients out.  This is one reason why it is SO important to chew your food well which most of us are very guilty of NOT doing.  50-100 chews per bite is what is recommended to ensure that you break down the food and make it accessible for your body to absorb the nutrients.  This is why juicing is a great thing from a nutritional perspective because it pops all the “bubbles” releasing the nutritional benefits (especially kale!)

  • Research has shown that when you eat a raw carrot, only 3% of the entire beta-carotene (Vitamin A) is released.
  • Falcarinol is a substance found in carrots that has been found to reduce the risk of cancer (cancer cells grow more slowly when exposed to it)
  • When boiling or steaming whole carrots, you lose 30% of falcarinol
  • When boiling or steaming pre-cut, small carrots the loss is higher at 60%.
  • Boiled/steamed carrots are easier to digest and preserved antioxidants (carotenoids) rather than frying.

Ok, now that you know more than you thought that you would ever want to know about this common (or not so common) root veggie, go on out and try some of these awesome ways to enjoy this nutritious wonder!

(Common sense input:  if honey is called for, substitute with agave or other sweetener.  Butter, use earth balance.  Etc)

  1. Fresh squeezed carrot juice  (can be as addicting as cigarettes?)
  2. Roasted Carrot Soup
  3. Carrot salad
  4. Roasted carrots
  5. Carrot muffins (using earth balance as opposed to butter/margarine)
  6. Hummus and veggie wrap
  7. Vegetable sushi
  8. Potted carrots (great idea for the kids!!!  with a vegan ranch dip)
  9. Simple carrot fries
  10. Moroccan Carrot Dip
  11. Marsala glazed carrots with hazelnuts
  12. Carrot cake cupcakes
  13. Marmalade Candied Carrots 
  14. Roasted Vegetables with Pecan Gremolata
  15. Carrot cake oatmeal
  16. Carrot pancakes
  17. Lunch Box carrot slaw with apples and vegan yoghurt
  18. Carrot, Avocado and orange salad
  19. Marinated dill carrots
  20. Brown sugar sweet overload carrots

Enjoy 😉  TiV

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