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Arugula & Farro Wheat Salad with Pesto Dressing: The Perfect Heart Healthy Spring Salad!

30 Apr

TiVArugFarroPestoIf you are looking for a new twist on salads, this is a great healthy option that is loaded with flavor!  Pesto is a great dressing for salads- not just pasta- and we must admit, we are hooked 🙂

Whether it’s for one, family dinner or even great for a party or BBQ , it will be sure to please!  Try left over vegetables from your previous meal and toss them in, really, anything goes…

What you need:

  • Fresh Arugula
  • Toasted Farro Wheat
  • Baby Spinach
  • Grape Tomatoes
  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Onion
  • Pesto

Farro

Farro is a whole grain and soft on the outside, a bit firm and crunchy on the inside and worth it to give it a try!  Simply pour grain in pot and cover with water (a couple of inches above the grain) and bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour.  You don’t need to soak them but you certainly could to increase your body’s ability to digest it.

Pesto

There are so many ways to make a really, really good pesto so play around and Try it!  We have a favorite that we talk about HERE   but here is another suggestion:

(for a salad and some extra)

  • 1 cup of basil or 1/2 cup basil, 1/2 parsley or cilantro
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts or walnuts

Throw in a Vitamix or blender and Ta-Da!  Your new salad dressing 🙂

TryitVeganArugulaandFarroSalad

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Kale and Quinoa Salad (The Beautiful Skin, Hair & Nail Salad)

16 Apr

Don’t believe it?  Try it.  We didn’t believe it either and as a thirty something year old, I bought kale for the first time a few years ago after reading about other people’s experiences with clearing up acne and having hair with luster and shine.  I wanted and needed those same results and that’s exactly what I got!  If you have dry, dull hair or problem skin (cystic acne or otherwise), read on…

 Unlike many of you, I didn’t grow up eating kale.  Honestly, a few years ago I had to Google kale to see what it looked like!   If you have never had it before, there are many ways of consuming kale: steaming, baking or using a dehydrator for kale chips, raw and of course, making smoothies and juicing.  (Stay with me here, don’t lose me if any of those ideas horrify you at first glance.)  

Once heat is used to cook anything, vital nutrients are lost.  In this case, we encourage you to focus on eating it raw to get the most benefits from your food.  Remember, the darker the green, the better it is for you!

TiV Kale Quinoa salad closeThis is an incredibly simple salad:

  • kale
  • cooked quinoa  (great if you have leftovers, throw it on a salad!)
  • red onion sliced thin
  • sunflower seeds (seasoned or not, play around with the seed and nut aisle and treat yourself to various flavored or spicy nuts or seeds for a little topping on a salad or throw on some raw for extra benefits)

If you enjoy dressing, go for itIf someone were to have told me years ago that I would a) eat kale b) add kale to a smoothie or c) eat a salad without dressing I would have thought they were off their tree.  Clinically insane.  Not a chance years ago. (I was a nose scruncher back then when it came to anything remotely healthy, let alone vegetables.  Yes, now eating a vegan diet, funny, right?)

Now, if I add anything, it is simply squeezing some lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon on top and massaging it in.  If you have tahini, I recommend mixing up tahini, water and some lemon and salt to make a great little dressing to drizzle on top which is absolutely delish’ too!

If you have a favorite dressing then use that, we don’t care- as long as you take the first step and eat the leaves, that’s all we wish for you! 🙂

If you have never eaten kale before, let us offer some recommendations:

  • Chop it up into small pieces or thin strips and add to a salad with greens that you are used to especially if you are used to eating light green or white lettuce such as an iceberg (which is nearly all water!)
  • Try adding some leaves to your fruit smoothie (ex.  frozen strawberries, banana, almond milk and ice cubes) and yes, you will watch it turn green but I promise you if you can get over the color, the taste surprises everyone!  Add some raspberries to make the color more of a vibrant purple for added nutrition and to appease the eye if you like 🙂
  • Massage your kale!  I know it sounds weird but by ripping up the leaves into smaller pieces (remove the stem) and once in a bowl, squeeze some lemon on top (salt and pepper too if you like) and use your hands and rub all of the leaves.  You will notice that the leaves become softer and a more vibrant green
  • Experiment with different kinds!  There are different types of leaves and colors and of course, try and stick with the organic.

Pay attention for 24 hours – 2 weeks:

  • You will notice that you will be more regular because you are consuming fiber which is like Earth’s toothbrush and it sweeps out all of the built up “gook” in your system.  This is a good thing and you will notice that you will feel, what we describe as, “lighter”.
  • If you have dry, limp hair especially you will see some awesome benefits with your hair gaining luster and shine but it takes a couple of weeks and consuming the kale daily.
  • If you already have great skin, you will notice a healthy glow.  For those that have issues with their skin, as I did, I’m so excited for you to see real results!  Remember, I have nothing to benefit from you eating it but YOU surely do and there is nothing to lose!
  • Expect people noticing.  From personal experience I can assure you, get ready for compliments because those around you WILL notice and often times, it will be their observations and compliments that will bring it to your attention.  Enjoy the spotlight 🙂

TiV Kale Quinoa Salad

You have to eat, right?  Why not TRY IT!  It certainly can’t hurt, only help 🙂

Vegetable Lasagna with Tofu Ricotta Cheese Vegan Recipe (with 20+ photos)

12 Apr

This is the best tasting lasagna that we have made to date so if you are looking for a healthy, low fat, lower in calories and zero cholesterol meal, here you go!  If you are in the mood for comfort food without the “I’m so sick” feeling afterwards or the “I’m so full I’m going to bust a button”, you found the right dish.

(No worries, the meat eaters love this– we are confident you will too!)  Save this recipe for the next time you are in the mood for Italian and let me know how it turned out, your opinion is welcomed, as always 🙂 )

The photographs show you the process and I have the ingredients, directions and suggestions below.

These ingredients are all you need to make this Lasagna.

These ingredients are all you need to make this Lasagna.

Drain and wring out the water from the tofu

Drain and wring out the water from the tofu

Prepare the vegetables and heat the sauce

Prepare the vegetables and heat the sauce

Making tofu ricotta is easier than you may think and has been known to pleasantly surprise many

Making tofu ricotta is easier than you may think and has been known to pleasantly surprise many

Super Simple.  Layer the sauce, lasagna noodles, tofu cheese and zucchini.  Repeat 2 more times

Super Simple. Layer the sauce, lasagna noodles, tofu cheese and zucchini. Repeat 2 more times

Continue the layering process until you run out of ingredients

Continue the layering process until you run out of ingredients

Vegetable lasagna is served!

Vegetable lasagna is served!

This should take you about an hour and a half to make so if you don’t have the time, hold off until you do 🙂

Try it Vegan’s Vegetable Lasagna with Tofu “Ricotta Cheese” Vegan Recipe

6-8 Servings

Ingredients you need:

  • Cooking spray or oil to coat the baking dish (we used the typical 9 x 13)
  • 1 box No Boil Lasagne noodles
  • 1 -2 packages of tofu 14 oz (we use firm) drained  ( **We used 1 this time but the kids reminded me that we usually use 2.  It’s good either way just remember to double ALL of the ingredients to make the tofu ricotta.)
  • 2-3 jars (24 oz each) of Marinara sauce (we ended up needing 1/2 of a 3rd jar this time but we like a lot of sauce)
  • 3 bell peppers diced(we prefer red, orange and yellow)
  • 2 large zucchini sliced thin (we like our mandolin for this as we mentioned previously here about playing with your food)
  • 2 large carrots grated fine
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast  (gives a cheese taste- if you haven’t had it before, it’s a great ingredient to have!)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (dry) powder or granules
  • salt (we don’t use a lot normally but recommend at least 1/4- 1/2 tsp here)
  • pepper

Instructions:

  1. First things first, drain the water from your tofu.  There are many methods to do this such as wrapping it in paper towels, place on a plate, cover with another plate and put something heavy on top for 20 minutes, changing the towels until at least once.  We didn’t have the 20 minutes so we wrapped the tofu in a towel and wrung it out over the sink.
  2. Heat oven to 350 F/ 177 C and spray your baking pan lightly.
  3. Empty tofu into a bowl and add nutritional yeast, garlic and salt and pepper
  4. Heat Marinara sauce in a pot and simmer
  5. Prepare vegetables by dicing peppers, grating carrots and slicing zucchini.  If you don’t have a mandolin you can dice the zucchini up instead. (I didn’t have one until a few years ago and literally use it every single day- I recommend it!)
  6. Add the peppers and carrots to the sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes (we did it in five minutes with our limited time)
  7. Coat the bottom of the dish with some sauce.  Next, place lasagne noodles in one layer on top.  Sprinkle 1/3 of the tofu “Ricotta cheese” on top.  Cover with some zucchini.  Top with sauce.  Repeat #7 two times and finally, add a last topping of sauce for the top.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for around 50 minutes
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Suggestions:

There are so many variations of vegetables that can be used so if you have other ingredients in your refrigerator, use them!  It’s a great place to hide vegetables, Moms and Dads.

Food processors speed up the process if you don’t have time… it’s worth the investment!

You can always sprinkle on some Daiya, soy or rice cheese on top 🙂

Serve with a simple salad (serve the salad first 😉

Try it!  That’s what we are all about…

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.  )

No Eggs? No Worries. How to Bake WITHOUT EGGS. 11 Photos with Instructions

25 Mar

One common question we get is “How do you bake without eggs and still have it taste good?”  This is the exact process we used for our Vegan Banana Muffins

Whether you choose not to eat eggs or are panicked because you started a baking process and are without eggs, this is a great way of replacing them in a healthy way.

To replace one egg:
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
3 tablespoons warm water

Just so you know, flax seed may be kept in a sealed tight container in the refrigerator, just like eggs, but lucky for you, they stay fresh MUCH longer!  Also, it is MUCH LESS expensive than buying eggs at the store or raising your own chickens.  😉

TiV Keep Flax Seeds in your Refrigerator Sealed

We don’t use eggs so this is the perfect spot for us to keep our flax!

Pour Flax Seeds in Coffee Grinder or High Powered Blender

Pour Flax Seeds in Coffee Grinder or High Powered Blender

Ground Flax Meal.  If some seeds don't grind, no worries, it gives your dish some character ;)

Ground Flax Meal. If some seeds don’t grind, no worries, it gives your dish some character 😉

Here is a close up of the Flax Meal which can also be purchased already ground up in stores.

Here is a close up of the Flax Meal which can also be purchased already ground up in stores.

Scoop out one full TBSP of Flax Meal

Scoop out one full TBSP of Flax Meal

Dump Flax Meal in Small Bowl

Dump Flax Meal in Small Bowl

Measure 3 TBSP of WARM water

Measure 3 TBSP of WARM water

Pour warm water into bowl with flax mixture

Pour warm water into bowl with flax mixture

Grab whisk, fork or mini blender

Grab whisk, fork or mini blender

Blend until the mixture thickens

Blend until the mixture thickens

Flax mixture is ready when it thickens into an egg-like consistency

Flax mixture is ready when it thickens into an egg-like consistency

Oh Yes I Did. The BEST(vegan) Banana Muffins You Will Ever Smell and Taste. EVER.

25 Mar
Check out our new Sexy Summer Pasta Saladgreat for parties and BBQ’s or our Vegan Enchiladas plus more meal ideas!

UPDATE 3/25/13

This, by far, has become our most popular treat.  We have updated it with “How to” links and photos so you can see just how easy it is thanks to many of your requests!

One of the biggest surprises that we had once we adopted a vegan diet, was how DELISH baking can be without the use of eggs and dairy butter.  Shocked is an understatement.  I’ve always enjoyed baking and I remember on a few occasions not having eggs and so I put on my best pout and had to wait until the following day to purchase them.  IF ONLY I KNEW THAT I COULD BAKE WITHOUT EGGS!

Whether you are Vegan or not (if if you aren’t, oh, we’ve got to chat 😉 I promise you that you will be pleasantly surprised!

I also have a secret that I will share with you… I HATE bananas.  I just… can’t.  It’s NOT for a lack of trying, I can assure you… (I’m big on trying everything once, hence my “Try it Vegan”)  After adopting a vegan diet I did a bunch of reading up on fruits and of course, the incredible nutritional benefits of bananas could not be ignored so I found out that I can DRINK a banana in a smoothie now and of course, make banana muffins which are on the sweeter side.

So what are the magic ingredients if I don’t use eggs OR fat?  (That’s right… fat-free, Baby)

  • Flax seeds and a coffee grinder, or flax meal  (Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it)  You keep them in the fridge, just like you did eggs but the great part is flax seeds/meal stay MUCH longer.  **see how to make an egg substitute below
  • Apple sauce instead of oil (I’m not a HUGE fan of using oil so I am one that likes to use apple sauce whether I make some in the vitamixer or I twist the lid off of a jar)
  • Whole Wheat pastry flour instead of unbleached all purpose although if you don’t have it, it’s not the end of the world
  • Almond or Hemp milk is my favorite to bake with

The only recipe that I absolutely love to use as a guide is below but I always use the above changes and some super-duper ripe bananas 🙂

The one complaint that I seem to have is no matter how many batches I make there never seems to be enough.  The kids inhale them and yes, they freeze well too!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:  (Try and go organic as much as possible)

2 super ripe (brown) mashed bananas (

1/3 cup (2.6 oz) unsweetened applesauce

2/3 cup vegan sugar

2 egg substitutes (click HERE to view how we make ours)

1/4 cup almond milk or milk of your choice

1 2/3 cup flour (we prefer whole wheat pastry)

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 baking powder

cinnamon to taste (we like 1 tsp)

(My teenage son is demonstrating how simple it all is!)

Make your Flax Seed Egg Substitute

Make your Flax Seed Egg Substitute

(Click HERE to see, step by step, how to make it)

The browner the banana, the sweeter.  Add all the wet ingredients down to and including the milk.

The browner the banana, the sweeter. Add all the wet ingredients down to and including the milk.

Mix Flax (Egg-less) mixture, sugar, applesauce, milk and bananas

Mix Flax (Egg-less) mixture, sugar, applesauce, milk and bananas

Measure flour and additional dry ingredients

Measure flour and additional dry ingredients

Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture but don't over mix it too high of a setting

Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture but don’t over mix it too high of a setting

Scrape down the sides to get every bit of goodness mixed up

Scrape down the sides to get every bit of goodness mixed up

Batter should be nice and thick like a cookie batter.

Batter should be nice and thick like a cookie batter.

Pour into pan of your choice

Pour into pan of your choice

Bake at 350 degrees 13-15 minutes for mini muffins and 17-20 minutes for regular muffins

Bake at 350 degrees 13-15 minutes for mini muffins and 17-20 minutes for regular muffins.  We doubled our recipe yielding the amount shown.

The BEST most MOIST Vegan Banana Muffins you will ever have!

Voila! The BEST most MOIST Vegan Banana Muffins you will ever have!

http://vegweb.com/recipes/best-ever-no-fat-banana-bread

To replace one egg:
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
3 tablespoons warm water (or other liquid)

Stir together until thick and gelatinous.

You can also use whole flaxseeds:

1 tablespoon whole flaxseeds
4 tablespoons warm water (or other liquid)

Process seeds in a blender to a fine meal, add liquid and blend well.

You can make a bigger batch by increasing the ingredient amounts. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Try it!
M

*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

Vegan Cheesy Enchiladas Recipe- treat yourself to Mexican tonight!

31 Jan

tryitvegan enchiladas with quacamoleThis is a fairly simple recipe and a family favorite!  Loaded with protein and no cholesterol, there is a ton of flavor and  great textures, this is sure to please! The cheese sauce also makes an incredible dip for nachos, chips, vegetables plus don’t forget Super Bowl and, of course,  perfect for this dish.

 

When we first introduced a Vegan diet in our house, this was one of my “best sellers” for the kids and DH.  Hook, line and sinker, they LOVED it and it has since become a monthly dish.  We don’t serve it with any other side dish since it is incredibly filling and we keep it fairly simple but you can go crazy with the toppings!

Sadly, leftovers normally sit in the fridge until it’s time to clean it out however with this dish, it is a different story 😉  (I’m actually looking forward to lunch tomorrow, nom!)  The recipe serves 5-6 people.  Enjoy and let me know your thoughts!

What you need:

  • 12 tortillas
  • 3 cans of beans of your choice (we used kidney, pinto and black beans, 14 1/2 oz. cans each)
  • 2 cans of enchilada sauce (15 oz. each)
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • Salsa (fresh is best, we grabbed some pre made at Whole Foods)
  • Guacamole (see above)

tryitvegan enchiladas insideCheese sauce:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mustard (ground)
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine (earth balance) (can be omitted if you are watching calorie intake)

Extra topping suggestions that we skipped but you may like:

  • vegan sour cream
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped olives
  • shredded vegan cheese

Start cheese sauce on the stove (medium heat) by adding flour, nutritional yeast, salt & garlic powder into a small pot and stir or whisk in the water and continue to do so until it is thick (6-8 minutes).  Take off of stove top and stir in mustard and earth balance, if using.  Pour some into a bowl for later (1/4-1/2 cup to drizzle on before serving)
tryitvegan enchiladesIn large pot on medium heat, pour 1 1/2 cans of the enchilada  sauce, beans, 1/2 cup of salsa and onions and mix together.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce on the bottom of of your pan.  Place tortillas in pan, coating the bottom with sauce and spoon mixture into tortilla, roll up and place in pan side by side.  Continue until all 12 are wrapped.  Pour vegan cheese mixture on top and pop in the oven (350) for 35 minutes.

Use a spatula (wooden works too) and serve with a scoop of guacamole and salsa.  Drizzle some of the remaining cheese sauce on top.

Margarita, anyone?  😉

So… Try it!

~M~

tryitvegan enchiladas vegan     tryitvegan enchiladas close up

A touch of citrus for dinner: Mandarin Orange Chick’n (Gardein) & Cauliflower with Garlicy-Lemon Zested Crumbs

27 Jan

TryitVegan Gardein orange chickenAfter nearly a week m.i.a. with a virus, it is safe to say that food was not something I was preparing, let alone, eating.  I have to admit, I had not been to the store in a week and didn’t know what was left in the fridge so my first night back in the kitchen and it was a fairly quick fix!

~The vegan chicken that may be too much like the real thing~

I was not prepared for everyone to enjoy this as much as they did and the boys, who still do eat meat at times when getting food from out of the home, enjoyed this chick’n the most *wink!  I’m thinking it was the texture… so if you have any meat eaters, give this a try!  Normally, I would serve this with some brown rice, which we were out of tonight, so some vegetable pasta did the trick and some awesome cauliflower (never saw those two words together?  Yeah, neither had I before tonight.)  My taste buds are still a little bit off or actually, missing all together so the texture may have been a little too real for me but after this past week,

TryitVegan Delish Cauliflower ingredients organic bread crumbs garlic lemon zest olive oil parsleyI’m not the most reliable when it comes to food tasting when not all senses are working up to full throttle.

TryitVegan cooliflour with breadcrumbs zestThe kids went back for seconds and, in addition, my eleven year old finished off my plate so… totally kid & omnivore approved 😉

The cauliflower dish is a must make next time you grab a head of it and I would guess that you would turn some “cauli-haters” into “cauli-lovers” this way.

Within 30 minutes you will be able to have dinner on the table so a quick fix as well!

Here’s the deal…

TryitVegan Gardein mandarin orange crispy chicken

For the chick’n dish, grab a bag (or two) of the Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n in the freezer section of your supermarket.  I popped the contents on a pan and baked for 17 minutes on 425 and heated the sauces (which are in bags) in a mug of hot water.

For color, I grabbed a couple of bell peppers (red and yellow- organic, go crazy!) and heated them (1/2 a pepper each) on medium low heat with simply some water so they don’t stick to the pan.

 

If you are making the cauliflower side, you need to prepare it by washing and cutting it into small florets and they will need more time in the oven (425 for 20 minutes or until slight coloring/browning).  Great part is you can have them both in there together.

What you need (we served 5 with no leftovers): (organic if you can… go crazy!)

  • cauliflower head cut into florets
  • Olive oil (1/8- 1/4  cup plus 2 tbsp on the side)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I did 1/2 cup with 1/4 cup olive oil and would half it next time)
  • organic lemon -zest of entire lemon
  • one garlic clove minced
  • parsley
  • salt & pepper

Toss the cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet, cooking for 20 minutes on 425 or until slightly browned (toss/flip halfway through).  While baking, grab a pan, heat on medium and warm remaining olive oil.  Include bread crumbs and mix until slightly browned (2 minutes) then add lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper until fragrant.  Chop up a tbsp of parsley and toss it in, empty into bowl and once the cauliflower is done, sprinkle on.

Our final meal looked something like this:  (thanks to finding the idea for the recipe here)

  Tryitvegan dinner Gardein mandarin orange chicken with delish cauliflower garlic lemon bread crumb style copy TryitVegan Gardein mandorine orange chicken  TryitVegan cooliflour with breadcrumbs

Try it!

~M~

 

 

 

 

 

 

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