For the next 5 days, I have decided to return to eating raw vegan. Let’s just say I went off the rails during vacation with my vegan cooked foods and kept it up for a few days afterwards.
I usually like to make huge salads for dinner while raw and seek a recipe from the internet or something store bought for the dressing but tonight, with inspiration from recipes I’ve seen online, I decided to go ahead and make my own.
Here’s the recipe:
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of raw cashews
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon of juice from olives (you can even throw in a couple if you choose).
1 tablespoon of spicy brown mustard
Blend together and enjoy this creamy dressing with your veggies!
This past Saturday was our 6th anniversary! One of the ways we celebrated was trying Nu Vegan Cafe. It did not disappoint. I hadn’t indulged in any cooked food since June 30th and this meal was well worth the wait.
I had “chicken drummies” with macaroni and cheese and broccoli and hubby had General Tso’s with rice, string beans and some of the most delicious cabbage I had ever tasted. I am so happy to report they knew how to season their food!
We even tried some of the vegan cornbread which is not to be missed! I had to slow down as my body was not used to eating cooked foods again. So while we did go back to try their brunch on Sunday (french toast was everything!) we will have to slow down as I am back on mostly raw foods. Make no mistake, we will be back. I still have so much more left to try!
I wrote a post months ago about having to say no in order to say yes to myself. Well, I am doing it again. I have been working extra hard lately and tonight, I will nourish myself and rest. I also thought about something special to share. I have made many vegan dishes–mostly cooked but several raw vegan. I had many favorites like African peanut stew, Raw No Bake Brownies, Vegan Shepherd’s Pie, Sweet Potato Enchilada Bake, Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo and Raw Taco with Cashew Sour Cream.
I look back and think how proud I am that I pushed myself to find and cook these recipes. I didn’t just rely on salads (but I have made plenty of those!). I can’t believe it took this long to become more creative with my cooking but mostly I am grateful that I used this as a way to take better control of my health.
I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings as I start to prepare more raw meals and watch food play a much bigger role in my healing.
After speaking to a group of young writers, hubby and I visited Legume Kitchen and Bar in Fredericksburg, VA. We had meant to visit on Valentine’s Day but I wasn’t feeling well. We always meant to make the trip and since the restaurant was only 15 minutes away from the library, it was a perfect time to visit!
Although Legume isn’t a vegan restaurant, they had plenty of plant-based options available. We started off our meal with vegan nachos. For my entree, I ordered the Meatless Ball Sandwich and a side salad. It was a hearty sandwich made with garbanzo bean fritters, marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella. My husband ordered the coconut-green curry rice noodles meal with shitake mushrooms, tofu and bok choy. We ordered dessert, too: dark chocolate cake with rasberry torte and for him, a mango sorbet. Even though the chocolate cake wasn’t my favorite, I definitely indulged in a few bites. Everything was well-made and I am planning a trip back to Legume in the very near future.
I had a full day and when I stopped over at Whole Foods for lunch. While I was shopping, I saw Beyond Meat has started selling a few flavors of their “sausage”. I also spied an almond milk, soy an dairy-free version of ravioli by Kite Hill. I chose the Hot Italian flavor of the sausage and the spinach and ricotta for the ravioli. When I ate dairy products, cheese was one of my favorites so I have always been willing to explore the alternatives. Most brands get it wrong but I love what Kite Hill did with their nut cheese filling. The consistency and the taste were better than I expected. Tonight, I kept it simple. I boiled the ravioli and cooked the Beyond Meat sausages on a stick-free pan. I added some tomato sauce and basil and I was satisfied. As much as I love discovering new recipes, some nights call for discovering new products to cook quickly and have the rest of the night to yourself.
In our effort to do more gluten-free vegan dishes, I chose a vegan taco bake dish from buildyourbite.com. It was a relatively easy recipe that also did not use oil which I am also trying to get away from cooking with so often. Outside of the flavor of the dish, squeezing half a lime over it provided just the right amount of acid. I am so glad the recipe called for it. I would definitely bring this to our next vegan potluck. We also ate some broccoli to make sure we got our greens in tonight. Here’s the recipe:
1 large bag of tortilla chips (13 oz)
1 can of black beans, drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika (see notes)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 of a lime, juiced
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 cups of salsa
sliced lime, for serving
In a bowl, add drained black beans, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and the juice of ½ of a lime
Stir ingredients until well combined
Get out a 9 X 13 casserole dish and lay down an even layer of tortilla chips
Spoon evenly half of the bean mixture over the tortilla chips
Cover with ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
Add 1 cup of salsa, spreading out evenly
Repeat steps of chips, beans, nutritional yeast, and salsa
Top with remaining tortilla chips, crushed into small pieces
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until browned
Serve hot with fresh lime juice squeezed on top
Be sure to reheat any leftovers in the oven for best results
This was such a life-saver tonight as allergies are currently sapping my energy. I am going to have to look into more recipes from buildyourbite.com.
This past weekend, Hubby and I went to another vegan potluck at a friend’s home. This time, it was a cookout complete with barbecued seitan ribs, corn on the cob, garden burgers, potato salad, pesto pasta salad, fresh cantaloupe slices and ice cream. Hubby even baked his chocolate chip cookies again.
My friend’s husband at the grill focusing on his seitan ribs
Pesto pasta salad
Since it was basically the same group, we had an amazing time yet again. I was pretty wiped out from attending 3 events and cooking before we even got there but we looked forward to seeing everyone and of course, it was all worth it. I also realized I had never been to an all-vegan cookout, either. We were all outside, talking, laughing, eating at picnic tables and watching the children run and swing. There’s really not much of a difference.
There’ s comfort in going to a place where you don’t have to explain why you eat what you do but by far, the comfort is always because of the people.
And the connections.
As I’ve written here many times before, it never stops being about the people and the connections.
Tonight, I decided to do things a little differently. Hubby and I are big smoothie lovers and I realized I’ve never featured any on my Meatless Monday posts. I decided to make pesto for the first time, too. I definitely had become a little too dependent on tomato and vegan Alfredo sauces so it was time to change things up. I got the recipe from greenevi.com and the Honeydew and Lime Smoothie was inspired by a YouTube video from Health with Kisha. I don’t remember her exact recipe but I remembered Honeydew melon and limes and I figured I could adjust according to my own taste.
We used a container of honeydew that was 1.17 lbs, the juice of 3 limes and blended it with ice.
Here’s Hubby hard at work juicing the limes for me:
We used organic red lentil penne pasta for our vegan pesto pasta. We love the Explore Cuisine brand for red lentil and black bean spaghetti.
Here’s the recipe:
Pasta of your choice
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
¼ cup of pine nuts
1 cup of fresh basil (tightly packed)
1 clove of garlic
¼ cup of olive oil
1-3 tbsp nutritional yeast
½ lemon (optional)
Prepare your pasta according to package instructions.
Meanwhile roast pine nuts in a skillet until lightly toasted.
Add basil, garlic, toasted pine nuts, nutritional yeast, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor and blend until smooth. Mix pesto into pasta and add cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!
Hubby has already said he wants to me cook everything again next week. I fell in love, too. The honeydew and lime smoothie was incredibly refreshing. I can see making that regularly especially when summer hits.
Let me know in the comments if there are any new plant-based recipes you have tried or want to try.
I have been craving buffalo cauliflower ‘wings’ for a few days now. I’ve made them before and this time hubby baked them. This particular recipe came from gimmedelicious.com. We decided to pair it with spinach and Yukon gold potatoes (not pictured–we have it on the side). The only things I do differently is bake for 15 minutes longer to achieve the level of crispiness I enjoy and use a Texas Pete Wing Sauce.
Here’s the recipe:
1head of cauliflowerapprox. 4 cups of florets
1/2cupmilkfor vegan: use water or almond or soy milk
1cupall-purpose flourcan sub gluten-free rice flour
1tbspbutterfor vegan: use earth balance buttery spread
Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or grease very well with oil. Preheat your oven to 425-450 F depending on your oven.
Wash and cut cauliflower head into bite-sized pieces/florets.
Mix the milk/water/flour and spices in a medium mixing bowl (set aside the hot sauce and butter for later). Mix until the batter is thick and is able to coat the cauliflower without dripping.
Dip the cauliflower in the batter. You can do this one by one or in batches. shake off excess batter before placing cauliflower on the baking sheet. Lay the cauliflower single layer on the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown, flipping the florets over halfway through to get all sides golden brown and crispy.
While the cauliflower is baking, get your buffalo wing sauce ready. In a small saucepan low heat melt butter and mix in hot sauce. Remove from the heat just as it starts to melt. Stir together and set aside.
Once the cauliflower is done its first bake in the batter, remove them from the oven and put all the baked florets into a mixing bowl with the wing sauce and toss to coat evenly. Return cauliflower to the baking sheet and bake in the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until reached desired crispness. Serve with ranch, blue cheese, or your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!
I have been holding onto this recipe from shelikesfood.com for a few weeks. I have never cooked with enchilada sauce so I was excited to try. I also have been a little rice and potato heavy so getting back to eating more quinoa seemed like a good idea. I definitely took longer than the prep time indicated but I dice vegetables slowly.
1/2 cup dried quinoa
4 cup cubed sweet potato, about 2 large ones
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup grated cheese, divided (I used vegan cheese)
2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
Optional garnishes: cilantro, red onion, tomato, avocado, jalapeno
Rinse quinoa and place it in a small pot with 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer and cook until water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. On a large baking sheet, toss together the cubed sweet potato with 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake sweet potato for 20 minutes.
While sweet potato is baking, add all the diced bell peppers, zucchini and onion to a bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Add the vegetables to the sweet potatoes, stir and make sure they’re in an even layer. Place back into the oven 10 minutes.
Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Place the sweet potatoes and veggies into a large baking dish and stir in the cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, 3/4 cup of the cheese, enchilada sauce, spices, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Top with the remaining 1/4 of the cheese and place back in the oven until heated through and cheese is melted, 10-15 minutes.
Hubby and I loved it! We chose to garnish it with avocado. It blended together well and it came out light. While we were eating it, I thought it would be interesting to add mushrooms, too. I definitely look forward to making it again.