Tag Archives: try it

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
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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~

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Diner Classic: Scrambled Eggs, Garlic Chive Home Fries and Bacon

11 Jan

IMG00022-20101115-1003

One of the biggest favorites at the local diner is your traditional scrambled eggs with home fries, bacon and toast.  We went ahead and recreated this classic American breakfast and found it to be…well, surprisingly better than the original.  When we first started consuming a vegan diet, the comfort foods were necessary in making a smooth transition and before our taste buds were completely converted over, we were thrilled with the tofu scramble and surprisingly, the bacon-style tempeh.

Scrambled Tofu Recipe:

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 block firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 2 tbsp grape seed or other oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

Once oil is heated add onion & tofu and cook for a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix well, breaking up the tofu into smaller pieces, about 5 minutes more.

Bacon Tempeh      tempeh_smoky_201210

We enjoy Light Life’s “Fakin Bacon” but there are other brands that are crunchier, also in the refrigerated section of your “faux meats”.  Add some oil to the pan and heat for a few minutes on each side, super easy and very tasty!

Garlic & Chive Home Fries  (we had a craving for mashed… keep them in bits if you prefer 😉

  • 2 large potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion diced
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan  butter
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil or Vegan butter
  • 1 tsp finely chopped chives
  • 1/2-1 tsp minced garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, 8-10 minutes, drain water.  Add oil or butter to pan and cook onions until transparent, add garlic for 1 minute.  Toss potatoes, chives and a dash of salt and pepper to your liking, mixing well.

Pop some bread in the toaster, finish it off with your favorite cup of Joe & don’t forget to tip your waitress 😉

Apple Match Stick Fries: Reducing the risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes

7 Jan

20130107_094003

This morning I posted a link on Twitter that speaks of the great health benefits of apples (HERE)  Thanks to my mandoline, we have found some creative  ways to make snacking on an apple a bit more appealing to even those who insisted that they didn’t like apples.  
 
With much more focus on eating smaller meals with healthy snacks twice a day, apples are a great go-to for all ages.  With over 7000 different varieties around the world, there are at least a handful that will make your mouth water.  (For an apple directory, try HERE)
 
Cardiovascular disease and cancer are the two top killers in North America, choose apples for preventative measure considering they are loaded with phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that are known to reduce the risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes.  (http://www.nutritionj.com/content/3/1/5)
 
Give your palate a treat, pick some apples the next time you are out and make a point of including an apple once a day in your diet, however you choose to slice, dice or bite it 😉  Your body will thank you!
 
Try it!
-M

 

 
 
 
 

Check out what the kids (big & small) had for lunch: Vegan Steak Marsala…

1 Jan

Vegan Chicken Marsala

Maureen:  “JUST SAYIN’… The 13 year old thanked me for his lunch today.  If that gives you any idea if the kids would like it…”

Ok, we will say it.  There are some vegetables that we like better than others and mushrooms are definitely classified under the “other” category.

YET, we have made them a staple in our weekly diet because when a few other ingredients are added to cover up enhance the taste, you are left with a delish’ dish that has the consistency of meat while tricking your eyes and taste buds.

Personally, we like sauces and lots of it so we do make more for us but for you, play around with the recipe and Try it!

For two hungry people (or for you and gift yourself of a leftover!):

  • 3 Portabella mushroom caps (look for organic if you can)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 tbsp oil (olive or grape seed)
  • 3/4 cup of Whole Wheat or Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper
  • pasta, rice, quinoa or couscous for underneath (we used pasta this time- you decide but start it before your “steak”)
  1. Slice up one mushroom cap into flat slices the size of a penny or dime.
  2. Dice Green onions and mince garlic
  3. Add oil to pan on medium heat
  4. coat the two whole mushroom caps with flour and place in hot pan.  I cooked them for 3-4 minutes on each side and removed from pan
  5. add chopped mushrooms, garlic and green onions and cook until soft, just a few minutes
  6. I added the wine and broth with a couple of tbsp of flour and thickened up the sauce putting the temperature on simmer
  7. I added a little salt and pepper
  8. place both mushroom caps in sauce and allow to absorb the flavor…
  9. serve over your rice/pasta/seed/grain

Once again, the technique may not be the best but as I’ve said before, I’m not the best cook.  With that said, I need to eat with my eyes and then my mouth and I like tasty food that leans on the healthier side.  I wish that I had learned of this earlier because I think I would have enjoyed this back when I was eating meat, in case you have any omnivore friends or family 😉  Try it Vegan!

 

Image

Greek/Cypriot Macaroni with meat… the Veganlicious version!

29 Dec

Greek/Cypriot Macaroni “me kema” (Macaroni with meat… the Veganlicious version!)

Warning!!  Aroma fills the kitchen quickly and attracts family/friends before food is ready!”

One dish that my Cypriot/Greek mother in law taught me is a favorite in our house.  Once I went Vegan and stopped buying/handling/eating meat, I found a better, tastier alternative minus the added cholesterol and so-full-I’m-sick feeling.  This is omnivorous husband and kid approved… a monthly staple in our house.

~Disclaimer:  It should be noted that I am not the best cook in the world, close to it nor claim to be anything other than someone who wants good tasting food that leans on the healthier side.  I welcome your cooking tips and suggestions to make this a better site for all 🙂  With that said… enjoy!  (I know you will… :))

What you need for 4 hungry people:

1lb of Pasta (I personally use Whole Wheat)

1 package Vegan Beef crumbles (Boca or my favorite by Smart Ground)

1-2 tbsp oil (I like olive or grape seed oil)

1/2 cup diced onion (sweet/yellow)

1/2 cup chopped parsley or cilantro (combo of both isn’t bad either)

14oz. can of diced tomatoes (whole tomatoes I like better and then dice myself.  Go crazy… use organic!  Your taste buds will thank you!)

(I’ve been known to add a little tomato paste, tomato sauce or in a pinch, ketchup (GASP!!) at times… with or without it’s still yummy)

(OPTION:  no canned tomatoes?  Use fresh!  4-5 Organic Roma tomatoes and a couple of tbsp of tomato paste works great too!)

cinnamon

1 tbsp Greek seasoning (No Greek seasoning?  Use Italian seasoning.  Have mint?  Go crazy, add a dash ;)

salt to taste

pepper to taste

Vegan Parmigiana is optional but delish!

Directions:

(Cook pasta according to box, save some water when you drain it)

1.  Pour a tbsp or two of your oil into a pan and place your onion, cook until soft.

2.  Add your “beef crumbles” and cook according to instructions.

3.  Add your tomatoes (if using fresh, add some water)

4.  Sprinkle the cinnamon on top (I eye-ball it, sorry…just coat the top like my MIL -completely covering the mixture in a light coat-but I’d say at least a tbsp.  If it gets too thick, just add some water.

5.  Add salt and pepper, mix and put the lid on top for a few minutes for the flavors to come together.

(TiV WARNING:  Aroma fills the kitchen quickly and attracts family/friends before food is ready)

6.  Add the parsley (or pars/cilantro mix) a few minutes before serving.

7.  Add drained pasta to the mix and if too thick and sticking, add some of the water from the pasta.

8.  Serve with a piece of parsley.  Why?  For one, it gives a nice finishing touch and you and I both know that we first feed our appetite with our sight first, then our sense of smell and taste.  Second of all, parsley is a natural and great way to freshen your breath for after the meal and you will be prepared for the hugs and kisses after for making an incredibly quick and tasty meal ;)  Nutritionally, it contains Vitamins A & C, Folic Acid and Iron PLUS contains phytochemicals (phyto=plant) that are linked to fighting cancer cells with antioxidant properties, preventing blood clots and reducing the risk of stroke.

“Try it… it’s Vegan!”

M

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