Saturday, March 30, 2013

Crispy Potato & Leek Patties

WOW! This week has flown by! I was planning on putting this recipe on Monday and it is already Saturday! Woops! Time flies when you are having fun! We have been on Spring Break since last Friday and have been very busy! We did not do a whole lot last weekend as our days were filled with watching March Madness! I could not convince myself to move much because the games were just so good! Gonzaga And Georgetown lost and just killed my bracket but that is what it is all about I really enjoy watching underdogs win! Anyway this week we were able to go Snowboarding the resort is closing tomorrow and even though it has been about 60 everyday there is still snow up on the Mountain! We also made a spur of the moment trip to Moab, Utah! It is only about 2 hours from us and the scenery is unreal! I will post some pictures later in the week! We went the this place called the Aarchways and it was just miles of beautiful mountains and rock. We hiked about 6 miles by the time we were done. Anyway it was a busy week and I am finally sitting down to add this recipe because it was so yummy and quick!!!!

the insides of 6 potatoes (I used the leftovers from my loaded skins)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup almond milk (optional)
1/2-1 cup water (optional)
olive oil
spray oil
1 leek 
fresh parsley
vegan sour cream

Total Cook Time: 20-45 minutes
Makes: 8 patties
Ok if you are using the insides of your potatoes from your skins you will want to heat them for a minute in the microwave. If you are using fresh potatoes you will want to peel them and place them in boiling water until they are extremely soft. Strain them and let cool. Next add your flour. and smash together. Now in my ingredients I have listed almond milk and water as optional because I only had to use it because my potatoes were very dry and I needed to moisten them. If you are boiling them I do not think you will need these ingredients as they will be moist. Chop your leek to your liking and cook on medium heat with some olive oil in a pan until they start to get crispy. Remove from heat and mix in with your potatoes. Make sure they are smashed good like you are making mashed potatoes. You do not want any lumps. Also add some salt and pepper to taste. Turn your pan on medium and spray with spray oil. Form your potatoes into mini patties and place in pan. Mine made 8 patties so I did 4 and 4 but if your pan is big enough make all 8. Let them cook and when they begin to brown on the bottom flip over. Once both sides are crispy remove and serve. 

I also made a a sour cream and parsley sauce to eat them with. All I did was use tofuti sour cream and added chopped parsley and pepper. I mixed it together and served it on the side. 

Enjoy :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tempura Fried Vegetables

This recipe reminds me of the summer I lived with my Uncle in Michigan. I had just started dating Jimmy and we were just getting to know each other. One night my Uncle had a bunch of people over and we had a Fry Party. It was a blast because there was food coming out all night! Friday was my Uncles Birthday so it seemed to be the perfect time to have our own Fry Party! 
Even though most fried food except french fries always kills my stomach when I eat out I have found that if I make it at home with fresh oil the effect is much less. I have not had fried food from a restaurant in over a year and a half but I mean who doesn't love fried food? This is a simple recipe to fry just about anything you really want. The batter is extremely light and it cooks very fast. When I went shopping yesterday I took my time in the produce section deciding which vegetables I wanted to purchase. Also I will tell you I am going to write down the correct recipe but when I made my batter I completely messed up and added way to much water. 2 1/4 cups is WAY different then 2 3/4 cups let me tell you. I ended up just adding more flour until the consistency seemed right. I guess I read it wrong and by the time I realized it was too late. I fixed it though and they still came out delicious. So if you ever have a bad day or week or are just feeling like you need some fried food I suggest using this recipe!!!!

Batter Ingredients
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 1/4 cups ice water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Cayenne 

Whisk your dry ingredients together and then add the wet ones. I would suggest using a whisk to mix everything together. If you need to add more flour to get it a little thicker and less watery just do so. Once all ingredients are combined you can place in fridge until you are ready to use it. 

Vegetable Suggestions
Small Whole Mushrooms
Green Beans

You will need to fill a pot with about 2 inches of vegetable oil. If you have a deep fryer I would most defiantly use that. The oil should be heated to about 350 degrees. If you are like me and just used a pot when the oil starts to bubble it is hot enough. 

Dip your vegetables in the batter and one by one place in hot oil. I did each vegetable separately (like all the green beans and then all the mushrooms etc).Be careful that you do not place them together and then they stick together. Let sit in oil for about 1 minute or until they are crispy and flip them about half way through. After you take the vegetables out place them on a paper plate or paper towel to soak up some of the grease. Allow a minute for the oil to reheat as it does loose its temperature each time. Repeat process until all vegetables are done. 

If you need to keep the cooked vegetables warm while the others are still cooking I suggest placing them on a cookie tray and putting them in the oven on warm. They will not get soggy. 

Serve with any type of vegan dipping sauces you would like and enjoy! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Avocado Loaded Potato Skins

This is the best idea ever!!!! I use to love loaded potato skins and this is a new fun way to enjoy them and is completely Vegan! I saw a similar recipe in my cookbook and just got so excited. These ingredients I did have to buy on my trip to the store today but I am so glad I did. Cooking the potatoes is the worst part just because they take longer then we all would like. But the rest is just simple. This would make a great snack for a party too! 

5 medium potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Wash potatoes off and using a fork poke holes in them. Place in a large bowl and evenly spread olive oil and salt and pepper on them. Place on baking sheet and place in oven. They will take anywhere from 45-60 minutes to cook. You may want to turn them a few time during this time. 

While those are coking you will want to make your Homemade Guacamole recipe. Just follow the directions from that post. The only thing I would suggest to do differently is not to mash them nearly as much. You kind of want all the pieces to be whole as we are not using this one as a dip. 

When to potatoes seem like they are soft in the middle and the skin is nice and crispy remove from oven. I would let them sit for about 5 minutes. Using a large knife cute each potato in half. I would then let them sit for another 10 minutes as they will be extremely hot. When they seem to be cool enough using a spoon scoop the inside out and place in another bowl for a later use. You should be left with just the skins of the potato. 

The last step is to fill each skin with the Homemade Guacamole Mix. Evenly place inside each skin. You may want to top with a little more salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature!!!! 

*** I am going to post a way to use the insides either later today or tomorrow! Don't just thrown them out as they can be used for other things such as mashed potatoes! But I will be posting another amazing recipe using them soon***

Garlic Hummus

Today is a snack kind of day! I went and did some shopping to get some things for the week and left Jimmy at home today. This week is our "spring break" so I will have lots more time to cook fun things.I decided to go with snacks because it's March Madness weekend and it just felt like we should be eating snacks. I love March Madness because you never know what is going to happen. Yesterday the HUGE upset of FGCU beating Georgetown was a bracket buster for everyone I know. I had them in the final and my dad had them winning the whole thing. But hey that is exactly why they call it March Madness. Today there are games all day so we are just sitting on the couch enjoying them! Anyway,  I actually had everything to make this one because it is just so simple. Of all the different hummus's I have made Jimmy claims this one is his favorite. I love garlic so it was not a hard decision for me! 

2 cans chick peas
3/4 cup water
5-8 cloves garlic
1/3 cup fresh parsley (more for garnish)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons tahini 
1 tablespoon cumin

Mix all ingredients in food processor. Add salt, pepper, cumin and parsley to taste. If you want more or less just add it. I left the garlic open ended as well because it all depends on how garlicy you want it. I would start with a small amount and if you think it needs more add it. Same with the seasonings. Serve with chips, pita or whatever you want. It also makes a great spread on sandwiches. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pesto Black Bean Burgers with Avocado Slices

I am not even sure what inspired this one but I put some random ideas together and this is what I cam up with. I love eating bean burgers and was trying to make something a little bit different. I love pesto and I figured it would have to taste good in a burger. This is a pretty simple recipe and there will be plenty for leftovers I promise!

Total Time: about 1 hour
Makes 6 burgers

Burger Ingredients
2 15ounce cans black beans
1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pesto (more for topping)
1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup spinach
fresh parsley (to taste)
6 hamburger buns
Cayenne pepper
non stick spray oil

Toppings (for 2 burgers)
1 avocado
1 small tomato
6 pieces spinach
8 tablespoons pesto

Drain and rinse black beans. Place aside for later. In food processor combine onion, chopped onion, garlic, pesto, spinach, parsley and spices. Once it is finally chopped add bread crumbs and black beans. Mix for about 30 seconds. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes. If you leave it in longer it will be fine. The longer it sits the better it will be. 

Spray a cooking sheet with your non stick cooking spray and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. I used a hamburger press but if you do not have one just use your hands and shape into 6 even patties. Place them on the cooking sheet. Place in oven for about 8 minutes. When you can see that the bottom is starting to get a nice sear on it using a spatula flip them over and put back in oven for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes.

While the burgers are cooking you will want to get your toppings ready. Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Using a knife trace around the outside of each half and then with a spoon remove the inside. Slice into even slices. Cut your tomato into even pieces. Mine was small so I needed more then one piece for each burger. You will also want to spread the pesto evenly onto each half of the bun. Place these in the oven face down for about a minute and a half or until they are golden crispy. Be careful not to burn them. Once the buns are done remove and place on your plate.

Add the burger to the bottom half of the bun. On top add the spinach, tomato and avocado. If you want sprinkle with some fresh pepper. 

***Remember it makes 6 burgers but the toppings are only for 2 burgers. If you do not use all the burgers just freeze them and reheat them in the oven at a later date***

Vegan Loaded Tater Tots

This recipe was inspired by an old restaurant in Muskegon Michigan. It was located right on Lake Michigan and went by the name Captain Jack's aka JC's. Unfortunately last summer they did not open up but I still can taste their amazing loaded tater tots. When we were good shopping last week I cam across Baco's. I looked at the ingredients and even googled it after to double check but they are completely vegan. Bacon is one of the things I miss the most so I was so excited. I knew I was going to make burgers tonight and all we had left was tater tots so I decided to make laded ones. It's really not a complicated recipe but they are very yummy!

1/4 bag frozen tater tots
daiya cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons bacos
1 green onion
non stick spray oil
2 tablespoons tofutti sour cream (not pictured)

Spray baking sheet with non stick spray oil and place tater tots evenly. Cook tater tots according to directions on back of bag. When they are almost done maybe about 3 minutes out remove from oven and sprinkle daiya cheddar cheese on top of tater tots. You can also sprinkle the bacos now if you would like or add them later. Place back in oven and let cheese melt. Remove from oven and place on a plate. Sprinkle the cut green onion on top and serve with tofutti sour cream!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Vegan Straw & Hay Pasta

I found my Chole's Kitchen cookbook hiding under my coach today. It has been hiding from me for a while. I started looking at it and came across quite a few recipes I was interested in but in the end I decided to go with the Straw & Hay Pasta dish. I can not take any credit for this recipe as it is Cholo Coscarelli 's recipe. If you click that it will bring you to her website. She has some really amazing recipes and I am very happy I looked at this again today. I plan on trying more of them very soon. The only thing I did differently was I only used regular lingunie and I did add a little Thyme to it because I finally bought some today & it smelled very good! Anyway I followed her recipe almost to a tee and it came out absolutely perfect. 

Total Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
Makes: 4 dinner sized servings

16 ounces lingunie (1 full box)
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 medium crimni mushrooms
sea salt
2 cups almond milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
10 sundried tomatoes chopped
1 tablespoon thyme 

Cook pasta in a large pot according to directions on back of package. Add the frozen peas to the boiling water with the pasta about a minute before draining. Drain and return to pot.

While the pasta is cooking heat the oil in a medium sauce pan. Thinly slice the mushrooms and add to pan. Saute for about on medium heat until they become soft. About 5 minutes. 

After you get that started in a medium pot you want to make the sauce. Combine the almond milk, water, tahini, soy sauce, minced garlic, onion powder,thyme and some salt. Turn on medium heat and add the corn starch that is mixed according to directions on back of package. Stir consistently for about 5 minutes until it begins to boil and starts to thicken. Remove from heat and continue stirring. 

You will also want to slice the sun dried tomatoes. I found using kitchen scissors did the best trick. 

Once everything is completed mix all ingredients (mushrooms, sauce, sundried tomatoes, pasta & peas) together. Serve right away. You may want to serve with some Vegan Parmesan as well. Enjoy :)

Spinach & Mushroom Risotto

I absolutely LOVE Risotto's but I swear 90% of the boxed ones out there have cheese in them AKA I can no longer eat them. I found this one at the local grocery store. I added extra mushrooms because I just love them so much! I used it as a side dish to the dinner I made on Sunday and it was absolutely delicious. It takes about a half hour to be completely cooked but it so worth it!

Just follow the directions on the back of the box. For the extra mushrooms just slice them and cook them for a few minutes in a pan with a little olive oil. You can add as many as you would like or none if you would like. I also sprinkled it with a little Vegan Parmesan because the box recommended it!

Here is the website for this particular Risotto brand.
It appears the only other one that doesn't contain butter or milk products is the Organic Risotto Tuscan. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Toast with Vegetables, Cashew Cheese & Avocado

Happy Friday everyone! Today Jimmy had to work which is not a normal thing out here for us. The school district we are in started a 4 day school days this year but about once a month teachers have to go in and go to meetings and such. Anyway I let him take the car so I could sleep in. It was absolutely amazing! The weather here is starting to turn around and the snow is melting. Only a few days left of snowboarding. Anyway, this afternoon I went for a 2 mile run and when I came back I was STARVING! We are pretty low on food right now but I was still able to throw together a simple yet flavorful sandwich. It took me about 8 minutes from start to finish. If you are looking for something quick and extremely filling this is the way to go. Avocados are very filling but very healthy for you. There are multiple components to this but I will put both recipes for it on here. Hope you enjoy :)

Sandwich Ingredients
2 pieces whole wheat bread
1 avocado
1/4 red onion
1 mushroom
1/4 red, orange or yellow pepper or 2 small ones
3 -5 pieces fresh spinach
Cashew Cheese (recipe below)
olive oil

Cashew Cheese 
1 cup raw cashews
4-5 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil

You need to soak cashews for a few hours to let them soften. Peel the garlic. In a food processor mix cashews, garlic, olive oil and salt/pepper. Mix until smooth. You can also add a little water to help get the consistency you want. You can put this in a container and place in fridge to use on things whenever you want. It doesn't really go bad very quickly. When you see it hardening you should probably throw it out but it usually lasts for a few weeks. 

You will want to slice your onion, pepper and mushroom. I did small pieces but whatever you like will work. In a small pan heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the vegetables and saute for about 5 minutes or less if they cook faster. Add some salt and pepper to taste. While that is cooking toast your whole wheat bread. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Using a knife trace around the edge of both halves. With a spoon remove entire inside. Cut into long slices. Sometimes its so soft that it falls apart but try your best. Once toast is done place some cashew cheese on both pieces. Add the fresh spinach to one half. On top of that add your onions, peppers and mushrooms. Place avocado slices on top. Place other piece of bread on top and cut in half. You will have remaining avocado (unless you make multiple sandwiches) you can just add some salt and pepper to that and eat it. Its absolutely delicious.

***If you are a cheese person feel free to add some daiya mozzarella cheese as well***

Pasta with Olive Oil, Garlic & Veggies

I KNOW I have not written in almost 2 weeks. I have been so busy I haven't even had time to make anything that fun to even put on here.My best friend Colynn visited us last weekend from Florida so we did not cook very much. We had an amazing weekend that went way to fast. This week has been filled with subbing and baseball practice for Jimmy. Lots of late nights. Anyway, I made this one about a week and a half ago and have not been able to sit down and put it on here. So here it is. When I go to Italian restaurants  this is usually my go to dinner. Of course I have made the mistake before of not checking if they add butter which the answer is almost always yes. Just ask them to not add butter and they will do it for you. I just hate how they label it as olive oil and then they add butter but anyway just ask and the chef don't usually have a problem doing it. Of course you can add other vegetables if you would like but I like to keep mine simple. It does not take very long and is delicious.

1 box linguine (or any other pasta)
6 mushrooms
1 head of fresh broccoli
6 cloves garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
garlic salt
vegan Parmesan
Cook pasta according to directions on back of box. While that is cooking slice mushrooms to your liking and cut up the head of broccoli. I like small pieces but if you like them bigger then cut them bigger. Also peel and slice your garlic into thin pieces. In medium pan add about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic and broccoli and cook on medium heat until broccoli starts to get soft. Add mushrooms after about 5 minutes and sprinkle with some garlic salt. You may want to add another tablespoon of olive oil at this point as well.Continue cooking until vegetables are cooked through. Once the pasta is done drain and add vegetables with olive oil. Mix together. You may need to add some more olive oil and garlic salt for flavor. Serve hot and use vegan Parmesan to top. 


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Garlic Parmesan French Fries

This one as silly as it sounds was inspired from a dish I have gotten numerous times at the Titled Kilt. I think Jimmy mentioned going there last week or something and the memory of them came back. I obviously had to change one main ingredient but they still came out amazing! Again they are quick and easy and can be added as a side to many different recipes. :)

1/2 bag Ore-Ida french fries
2 tablespoons vegan buttery spread
1 tablespoon olive oil
6-8 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic salt
PAM cooking spray
vegan Parmesan cheese
Vegan Ranch (optional)

Preheat oven according to directions on back of Ore-Ida French Fries. Spray medium cooking tray with PAM cooking spray. Evenly spread french fries onto tray. Cook french fries according to directions on until they are cooked to your liking. I like mine extra crispy so they always take longer then the bag says. While they are cooking you will want to get your garlic sauce ready. Dice 3 gloves of garlic and using a garlic mincer mince the remaining gloves. If you do not have one just dice them all. In a small pan melt the buttery spread, add the olive oil and  garlic. Add the dried parsley, pepper and garlic salt and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the garlic is beginning to get a brownish look to them. Remove from heat. Once the french fries are cooked remove from the oven and place on a plate. Add the garlic sauce evenly to the french fries. Sprinkle a good amount of vegan Parmesan on top as well. Serve hot with vegan ranch or any other type of sauce you enjoy dipping your fries in! 

Vegan Macaroni Salad

WOW! What a long week it has been. I am finally able to sit down and write some recipes down. Not that I even made very much to add this week but I do have to different sides for you guys. I think Friday was the first night I cooked since last Sunday. I had made a lasagna on Sunday though so it kept us full throughout the week. This week is going to be crazy as well. My bestest Colynn is flying in to Denver on Wednesday for the weekend. She is the one who got me on this vegan kick so I am sure we will have fun cooking a few things this weekend. I haven't seen her since Jimmy and I dropped by hew hometown in Ohio right after fourth of July last summer. So lets just say I am more then excited to see her!

Well this is one of the things my mom has always "cooked" for us. My dad has always been the cook in our family but my dad taught her a few things over the years and once and awhile we allow her to cook. But this one is pretty simple. It reminds me of summer and being on the boat or just a nice dinner outside on the patio. I am going to give away her secret ingredient so I hope she doesn't get too mad at me!!!! I just enjoyed a bowl of leftovers and it was just as good if not better then it was Friday night! It's fast and easy & I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!!

Makes: 4 servings
Total cook time: 20 minutes

1 box bow tie pasta
1/2 white onion
1/4 red onion
2 small red peppers
2 small orange peppers
2 small yellow peppers
3-4 tablesppons veganise 
steak seasoning (secret ingredient)
ms.dash seasoning (optional)

Cook pasta according to directions on back. This usually takes about 15 minutes to complete. While water is boiling and pasta is cooking chop your vegetables. You want to cut them into small squares because if they are too big they will be very overwhelming. Once pasta is cooked drain and let cool for a minute. In a large bowl add all ingredients including the veganise and spices. Mix together until the veganise is coated evenly over pasta. Add seasonings to taste, the steak seasoning can be overwhelming too if you add to much so taste it before you add too much. You can serve this recipe still warm or let it sit in the fridge for a little. It is great for leftovers as well. 

***If you have celery that would be a great ingredient to add to this recipe. I did not have any at home but it would add a little extra crunch to the salad***

I served my macaroni salad with my Portabella Mushroom Burgers