Sunday, February 24, 2013

Vegan Taco Quesadillas

YUM YUM YUM!!!! All I can really say about this recipe. My mom surprised me with a Quesadilla maker before Christmas and I have only used it handful of times. When I was in Florida for Christmas I bought some tofurkey vegetable pieces to help my dad out because I knew he would want to make tacos one night. But it was so gross because it came already seasoned and I would prefer to season it myself. Anyway I was at the local grocery store last week and I had a coupon for Boca anything when I came across the vegan vegetable crumbles that were not seasoned,  I was so excited. Anyway I didn't buy any hard taco shells even though they are my favorite because I still had soft ones at home. My mom has told me that she and my dad have used ground beef in the quesadilla maker before so I figured I would give it a shot. And that is how I came up with VEGAN TACO QUESADILLAS!!!! I hope you make this recipe and enjoy it as much as I did because they were awesome!!!

Total Cook Time: 1 hour
Makes: 2 medium quesadillas 

1/2 bag boca veggie crumbles
1/2 yellow onion
3/4 medium red pepper
1 tomato
2 green onions
4 medium taco shells
taco seasoning
3/4 cup water
daiya cheddar cheese
tofuti sour cream
garlic salt
olive oil
spray oil
Gucamole (click for recipe)

In a medium pan add boca veggies crumbles with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place on medium heat until they are defrosted. Once they are defrosted add the water and taco seasoning. The more seasoning you add the more flavor so it all depends on what you are looking for. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let cook until water has evaporated. Next dice your yellow onion and pepper and place in a different pan with some olive oil. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until they are soft. Toss them in with the veggies crumbles and mix around. While that is still cooking cut up your lettuce, tomato and green onions. Place in separate bowls as they will be used for garnish. Once the water has evaporated remove the pan with the veggie pieces, onions and pepper from heat. Turn on your quesadilla maker. If you do not have one you can just use your oven I would turn the oven on to about 450 degrees. Take 2 shells and place on 2 separate plates. Sprinkle with some daiya cheddar cheese. Add the veggie pieces (with onions and peppers) evenly on top and add a little more daiya cheddar. Place another taco shell on top of both. Spray either your quesadilla maker with spray oil or your pan with spray oil. Spray the top of your quesadilla with some more spray oil and add some garlic salt. Cook for about 5 minutes or until it is crispy. If you are cooking it in the oven it may take almost 15 minutes to get crispy. Use a pizza cutter and cut into 6 even pieces. Serve hot with lettuce, tomato, green onion, tofuti sour cream and your homemade qucamole. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Spinach & Chickpea Patties

So I saw these at Costco the first time we went but I wasn't about to spend 10 dollars on something I hadn't tasted before but luckily this time they were out for us to taste. The lady was super nice and told us a bunch of different ways to cook them. We decide to just make sandwiches out of them. I will tell you though they do have EGG WHITES in them. Like I said I'm the "accidental vegan" so I still eat eggs. It is the only thing that is not vegan I still eat. They do not upset my stomach so it does not bother me. But those of you who do not eat eggs this may not be something you want to try. I will add other recipes I make with them later on but for now here is a simple and delicious sandwich. 

2 patties
1 tablespoon veganise
1 tablespoon basil (in a tube)
2 hamburger buns
1/4 onion
2 mushrooms
olive oil

Total Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 2 sandwiches 

Turn oven onto 400 degrees. Place 2 patties on non stick tray and place in oven. Let cook for about 15 minutes flipping at least once. You may want to keep them in a little longer if you want them extra crispy. While they are cooking slice the onion and mushrooms and place in a small pan with very little olive oil. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they are soft. Next make the pesto mayonnaise by mixing the basil from a tube and the veganise. If you want to toast the buns place upside down in the oven for about 2 minutes but be careful not to burn them. Remove buns and place patties on bottom portion of buns. Add the basil pesto to the top portion and finally add the the onions and mushrooms on top of the pattie. Serve hot and enjoy :)

I served my patties with my homemade red potato french fries It was a great combination!!!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pasta with Cream Sauce

This recipe is so quick and absolutely amazing. It literally took me 30 minutes from start to finish. I was really excited because I was starving and was not in the mood to be in the kitchen for hours. It is kind of a mix between an Alfredo and a cheese sauce but has an amazing flavor. Also you can defiantly add different vegetables to it I have just been craving broccoli and mushrooms with garlic for over a week now!

Total Cook Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 2 meals

1/2 box pasta 
1 medium head broccoli 
2 large mushrooms
4 cloves garlic
Olive oil
Vegan Parmesan 

Sauce Ingredients 

1/2 cup,almond milk
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk (optional)
2 tablespoons vegan butter
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon tahini 
DirectionsCook pasta according to directions. (This usually takes 15 minutes). Cut your broccoli and mushrooms and add with sliced garlic to a pan with some olive oil. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until broccoli is soft.  In a small pot combine milks, butter, yeast and tahini. Bring to a boil and add the pepper. Remove from heat to help thicken sauce. When pasta is cooked combine all ingredients in pot and mix. Serve hot with some vegan Parmesan. :) 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vegan Cheesecake

Ok so this one I do not get to take even a little bit of credit for but I wanted to share anyway. I stole this one from the besest who started me on my Vegan adventure. She has been sending me pictures of all the cheesecakes she has made since the summer and I finally remembered to buy a pie crust this weekend. Let me tell you I am so glad that I did because cheesecake is one of the only desserts I really enjoy. I have never been a huge sweets person but there has always been a place in my heart for cheesecake. Especially being from New York where the best cheesecakes are made. Anyway the only thing I did differently then Colynn was I didn't have any fruit to add to mine so I melted chocolate and peanut butter and drizzled it on top. Here is the link to Colynn's recipe on her blog. Just follow the recipe and enjoy! While you are there take a look at some of her other recipes. She has some really amazing stuff she posts. I miss our dinner dates and her cooking for me she's a pretty amazing cook!

Vegetable Chili

This idea came from my Aunt Dee down in Orlando. She mentioned it to when while I was visiting at Christmas and then emailed me her recipe. Of course I took my own plan of action and kind of made some parts up as I went but there were definitely a few parts that I would not have thought to add to a chili. I was in the mood for something homey when I woke up on Sunday and decided I was going to attempt it. I do not have a crockpot but if you do I highly recommend using it for this. Of course you can add or take out anything you would like but here is my simple 
and delicious vegetable chili recipe!!!!

1 medium onion
Red, yellow, orange or green pepper (or combination of all)
2 large mushrooms
1 tomato
4 cloves garlic
Green onions
1 can corn
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
1 small can tomato paste
3/4 cup water
1 cup uncooked pasta
Daiya cheddar cheese
Tofuti sour cream
Olive oil
Chili powder or taco seasoning
Lawrys seasoned salt

Dice all of your vegetables. ( you can do the green onions later). In a large pot place olive oil, onions, peppers, garlic and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the corn, black beans, canned tomatoes, and tomato. Cook for another 5 minutes. 
Add the water and tomato paste. Mix until paste is combined. Add the chili powder and/or taco seasoning, and Lawrys seasoned salt. Add as much or little as you like depending on how spicy you want it. You may want to add more as it cooks as well. 
Cover the pot and cook for at least 2 hours but the longer you cook it the better it will be. At some point while it is cooking make your rice according to the directions on the package. When you are ready to eat preheat the oven to about 450 degrees. Place about 1/4 cup of cooked rice in the bottom of a bowl (something that can go in the oven). On top of the rice place a few spoonfulls of the chili. FIll it pretty close to the top of the bowl. Add your daiya  cheddar cheese on top of the chili. Place in the oven for about 5-10 minutes or until or cheese is melted. Don't forget if you haven't cut your green onions to do that now! Remove from oven and place a spoonful of tofuti sour cream on top and sprinkle your green onions on top. Serve your chili hot and enjoy. Be careful not to touch the bowl with your bare hands as it will be EXTREMELY hot. 

***If anyone has suggestions as to what other vegetables would work with this recipe let me know! Like I said I really enjoy suggestions to help make my food even better***

:) :) :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Quinoa with Corn & Vegetables

I decided to go a little Mexican last Sunday and was going to make a fried rice type thing and then I remembered that I had an entire bag of quinoa that I had not opened since my last shopping trip. I decided to try and make something similar to the fried rice but use the quinoa instead. I was pretty low on fresh vegetables but I had enough to make a delicious dish anyway. There ended up being a ton left over and I had it for lunch twice throughout the week. If you are looking to make something a little different I definitely recommend this. You could easily serve it as a side with dinner or even bring it as a dish to a party. I think it would be really good in the summer as a side dish at the beach or something. It is simple, filled with flavor and just plain delicious. 

3/4 cups uncooked quinoa
1 can corn
1 tomato
3/4 of a yellow onion
3/4-whole red pepper
caned chopped jalapenos 
fresh cilantro
olive oil
lawrys seasoned salt
taco seasoning
Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the back of the package. Dice your onion, pepper and tomato. In a medium pan heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil and add the onion and pepper. Cook until they become soft and then remove from heat.. Drain the corn and rinse off. In another pan heat another 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the corn. Cook on high until the corn starts to brown and remove from heat. When the quinoa is completely cooked add all the ingredients. (onion, pepper, tomato, corn, cilantro & jalapenos). I did not tell you how many jalapenos to add because it is totally up to you on how spicy you want it to be. I just added a few for some flavor. Mix all ingredients together and then add the seasonings. Again you may add as little or much as you like because the more you add the spicier it will be. You may want to add some olive oil to if the quinoa seems to be sticking together. Like I said earlier you may serve this as a whole dish or a side dish. I hope you enjoy it.

Optional Ingredients
black beans
green onion

These are just other items you could add to this dish to put a different twist on it. I was going to add the beans but I was also making black bean soup so I didn't want have an overabundance of beans! I really wanted to add some green onions but I was all out. If there are any other ingredients you think would help make this recipe better defiantly let me know I am always looking for ideas to help improve my recipes :) 

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

So Jimmy's mom makes these garlic mashed potatoes that are to die for. Unfortunately I can. I longer eat them so I have managed to take her recipe and make it my own. I have kept he main ingredients but changed a few to make it Vegan. Well I have been craving mashed potatoes and we have an abundant amount that we bought at Costco and I needed to use. They came out so good I wished I had made more but at the same time knew it was good that I didn't. Well here is what you will need to make these amazing mashed potatoes.

8 medium red potatoes
1/2- whole medium onion
8 cloves garlic
Olive oil
2 tablespoons tofuti sour cream
2 tablespoons almond milk
2 tablespoons vegan buttery spread
Garlic salt
Salt/pepper (optional)

Cut potatoes into medium squares keeping the skin on. Boil in a pot until they are really soft probably about a half hour. While those are cooking dice the onion and garlic and place in a pan with some olive oil. Cook on medium heat until they become soft. Remove from heat until they are ready to be mixed in. When the potatoes are extremely soft strain them in a strainer in the sink. Let them cool off for a minute or two. Place them back in the pot and add the butter. Mix it around first so it can melt. Then add all the other ingredients including the onions and garlic. I do not yet have an automatic mixer of any type but if you do I highly recommend using it. If you are like me though you can use either a potatoe masher or a spoon with slots in it. Mix until the potatoes are smooth. If you like them a little clumpy then you can leave them that way as well. You can serve them as a whole meal or as a side dish. I hope you love them as much as I do, just writing this is making me want to go home and make them again :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pesto Flat Bread

This one reminds me of home. In the summer (and apparently now the winter) my dad makes this pesto pizza on the grill. He got the recipe from his friend Vinny one year on cinco de mayo and it has become one of my favorite things he makes when we are on the boat/at the beach. Its so simple to but the flavor is unbelievable. I have had to change a few things but mostly I have just added to it a little. The shape of mine is not ideal but hey its not always about the look but about the taste. Jimmy's looked a little better then mine but mine was delicious!!!!

Pizza Ingredients
1 package pesto (made according to directions)
1 mushroom (sliced)
1/4 red onion (sliced)
1/2 tomato (diced)
daiya mozzarella 
garlic salt

***the dough will make 3 mini flat breads but the ingredients are only for 1 flatbread***

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Make the dough and after it has risen cut it into 3 pieces. Roll out one piece into a small rectangular shape. If you are using a pizza stone make sure you heat it in the oven for about 15 minutes first and if you are just using a cooking tray make sure you spray some non stick cooking spray on the bottom. Place the dough on stone or tray. Evenly spread some pesto onto the bottom. Use your discretion as to how much but probably no more then 6 tablespoons. Sprinkle on top the mushroom, tomato and onion. Spread the daiya on top. Again depending on how much cheese you want will depend on how much you put on. I like to put just enough on to give it some good flavor. Finally sprinkle with just a little garlic salt. Place in oven and cook for about 20 minutes. Check it frequently to make sure it does not burn. When the crust looks crispy remove it from the oven. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then using a pizza cutter cut into even pieces.  You may want to use some vegan Parmesan when you serve it.  Enjoy :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Homemade Gucamole

This is most definitely one of my favorite recipes. I have been making this one since before I even started eating Vegan. There is nothing better then finding out one of your favorite foods is Vegan already! I like to make it for a snack on the weekends sometimes, or at the beach on a hot summer day when we are on the boat. It's simple and quick and very filling. I have gotten many people who say they hate avocados because of their color to try it (one of those people being my dad) and actually go back for seconds. The only problem with it is that it is so addicting you just can't stop eating it! 

2 ripe avocados 
1/2 red onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 small tomato 
Fresh cilantro 
Lime juice

Cut open avocados and take the pit out. Remove insides and place in a medium bowl.
Dice the red onion into very small pieces and place in bowl with avocado. Dice the tomato into small cube like pieces and place in bowl with avocado and onion.
Take a few pieces of the fresh cilantro and cut the leaves as small as possible. Add as little or as much as you like. You want to taste it but you don't want it to be too over powering. Peel the garlic and if you have a garlic press use it and put the garlic in the same bowl. If you do not have a garlic press dice the garlic and using a fork press the garlic between the fork. This will help let out the garlic juice. Next add the lime juice if you are using a fresh lime usually about half is good enough but if you want more flavor add more. I jut used the lime juice out of a bottle and put about 1 tablespoon in.  Next add the olive oil. Just about 1 tablespoon is more then enough otherwise it will get to oily. Also add the salt and pepper. Using a fork or a spoon I have found forks work better mix all the ingredients together. You want the avocado to breakdown a little but you also want some medium sized chunks in it too. You may want to taste it before you serve it and add some more salt and pepper as well. When you think it is mixed to your liking serve it! I like to serve it with whole wheat or whole grain tositos  scoops but you can choose any kind you want or even some pita bread. 

Also if you want to use your food processor you can. It is a quick and easy way to make it. I did it one time but I do not think it tastes nearly as good but it is totally up to you!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Vegan Alfredo, Spinach & Mushroom Pizza

This is one of my all time favorite pizzas that I use to love ordering from Domino's and buying the frozen one at the store. Obviously I have not been able to eat it in quite a while and since it was Saturday night and we were doing nothing but laying around all day I figured it was a good time to make it. It is really is very simple to make and comes out so delicious. I used my pizza stone which made the crust just about perfect. I almost ate the whole thing is one sitting but I fell asleep before I could go back for more. Luckily today is the Super Bowl and the left overs will be a perfect snack :)

Pizza Dough (I used the recipe from my calzone)

Alfredo Sauce 
1 cup raw cashews (soaked for at least 8 hours)
1 yellow onion 
2 cloves garlic
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
olive oil

In a medium pan cook onion and garlic with some olive oil until onion becomes soft. Combine all ingredients in food process until it reaches a smooth texture. Place in a medium pot and heat on medium heat. Once it was hot I removed it from the heat to help it get a little bit thicker. Place to side until ready to make pizza. 

Pizza Toppings
1 package of frozen chopped spinach (defrosted)
3-4 mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
daiya mozzarella cheese
vegan Parmesan
garlic salt
olive oil

Slice the mushrooms and place in medium pan on medium heat until they are cooked to your liking. I left them on for not even 5 minutes this time because I knew they would get cooked in the oven as well. Once fully cooked remove from heat and set aside until ready to make pizza

Making the Pizza
Preheat oven to 450
Once your dough has risen roll it out into a rectangle. (I cut the dough in half and made 2 separate pizzas so my picture will look smaller then yours). If you are using a pizza stone make sure you heat the stone for about 15 minutes otherwise the dough will stick. If you are just using a cooking tray make sure you spray it with non stick cooking spray. Place dough onto the stone or tray. Add the Alfredo sauce first. On top add the spinach, mushrooms and garlic evenly across the pie. Next add the daiya mozzarella cheese (the amount is up to you). Finally sprinkle a little garlic salt on top. Place in oven for about 20 minutes. When it looks like it is almost done you may want to turn the oven to broil for about 2 minutes to help the crust get extra crispy. Be careful though because it WILL burn very quickly. Remove from oven and let it cool. Slice it and serve with vegan Parmesan!!! 


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Baked Eggplant Sandwhich

We went snowboarding yesterday (my second time ever) and when we got back I was STARVING! When I made that egg plant lasagna last week I did not use all of the egg plant so I froze some to make a sandwich with. We still had to pieces of ciabatta bread leftover so I decided to make eggplant sandwiches. It is fast, easy and so full of flavor. I wish I could eat it for lunch during the week but it is not something I can make at a school unfortunately. I love that it is all vegetables though and because the eggplant is nice and thick it is like having meat on a sandwich :)

leftover breaded & baked eggplant 
ciabatta bread
yellow onion
red, yellow or orange pepper
fresh spinach
olive oil
steak seasoning
garlic salt

If you don't have leftover eggplant see this recipe to make fresh egg plant. Otherwise take your frozen eggplant and place on non stick cooking tray. Turn oven on to about 350 and place in oven until they are warm. I flipped them once so they did not burn. I didn't give you a specific amount on the vegetables because it really depends on how much you want. I made 2 sandwiches so I needed enough for 2. Also some people may want more or less of something so it is really up to you on how much of each you would like. Anyway cut up or vegetables and add onions, peppers and garlic to a non stick pan with a little bit of olive oil on medium heat. When they start to get soft add the mushrooms. Make sure you mix them so they do not burn. Add the garlic salt and steak seasoning to taste and just before you remove from heat add the spinach. Mix around to help the spinach wilt. When everything is cooked remove from heat. Cut the ciabatta bread in half and spread a little olive oil on the top and bottom. Place face down in oven to toast it. When toasted remove bread and eggplant from oven. Add the eggplant on the bottom and place the vegetables on top. If you want to add any sauces you may want to do that. I did not i just ate it plain because it was so full of flavor I think a sauce would have taken away from that flavor. It was delicious and very filling. Enjoy :)


Portabella Mushroom Burgers

I sent Jimmy to the store on Sunday to get mushrooms for my mushroom soup he requested and he came back with baby Bella's and big ones. I just laughed and said there the same thing but it was ok I decided I would finally be able to make mushroom burgers one night. Well last night was the night, I'm am extremely sick and it was something nice and easy. I used ciabatta bread for the buns which is definitely the way to go and I made a home made vegan mayo pesto to top it off with. It was delicious and this will definitely be on the menu again soon.
This recipe makes 2 meals

2 large portabella mushrooms
2 ciabatta rolls
1/2 onion
1/2 red, orange or yellow pepper
Olive oil 
Garlic salt
Minced garlic (fresh or jared)
2 tablespoons veganese mayo
1 tablespoon squeeze basil
Lemon juice

1. Slice onion and peppers. Add it to a small pan with a little olive oil. Cook on medium to high heat until they are soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Take mushrooms out and place on a plate. Combine minced garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put this on top of mushrooms as a marinade. Place mushrooms in large pan on medium to high heat for about 10 minutes or until mushrooms seem soft. You may add some garlic salt form flavor. Make sure to flip them a few times so they cook on both sides.
3. Cut ciabatta bread in half and place some olive oil on all ends. Place in oven or toaster to make it a little crisp. Be careful not to burn it.
4. Make the pesto mayo by adding veganese mayo, squeeze basil(to taste) and lemon juice. Mix it together and place on top of ciabatta bread.
5. When mushrooms are done place on bottom of ciabatta bread and add onions and peppers. 

I also served this with my homemade red potato french fries  :)