Lunch & Dinner

These recipes are healthy, full of color, flavor and nutritious ingredients. They are easy to prepare, most in 30 minutes or less.

Homemade Black Bean Burger

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What you’ll need:

-2 cups black beans (cooked)

-1 flax  egg (1 tbs flax powder + 2 1/2 tbs water)

-1/2 yellow onion, chopped

-1/2 bell pepper

-1 cup bread crumbs

-1 tsp dried oregano

-2 tsp dried basil

-1/2 tsp garlic powder

-1/2 tsp sea salt

-3 tbs chopped sun-dried tomatoes

-1 tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil

Method:

  1. Put beans in a large bowl and mash well. Add flax egg,  onion, bell pepper,  bread crumbs, oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and sun-dried tomatoes. Mix well to combine then shape into patties. For nice, normal sized patties, use enough of the mixture to make  6 of them.
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  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange patties in a single layer  and cook until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.

Assemble burger. I used homegrown lettuce, tomato and dairy-free mayo.

This was my first time making black bean burgers so I did some experimenting with sweet potato as well. They were ok but I wasn’t a big fan of the overall texture.

If you’d like to try: bake 2 large sweet potatoes (drizzled in olive or grapeseed oil) for 45 minutes or until tender. Remove skin and  mash it together with 1 cup of black beans and the remaining ingredients listed above.

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Vegan Burrito

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What you’ll need:
-1 tsp olive oil
-1 onion
-4 cups  of tomato sauce
-1 ½ cups of water
-½ cup of quinoa
-1 packet of taco seasoning
-4 cups of black beans
-Tortillas
-Toppings of your choice (vegan cheese, corn, salsa, fresh herbs, avocado)

Method:
1.Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook and stir the onion for about 5 minutes.
2. Add tomato sauce, quinoa, and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil.
-Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender. Add black beans and let simmer for about 5 minutes more.

For the tortilla, I used a regular flour tortilla (recipe below) and added “cheese” and fresh spinach. The brand of cheese is  Go veggie.  Once my burrito was assembled, I browned it stove top on both sides for a nice crunch.

Tabbouleh

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What you’ll need:

-One cup cooked quinoa ( I used a super grain mix)

-2 cups fresh parsley, chopped

-2 tomatoes, diced

-1 cucumber, diced

-1/4 cups mint, chopped

-1 small red onion

-3 tbs grapeseed oil

-3/4 tsp sea salt, black pepper, garlic

-3 tbs lemon juice

-1 tbs lime juice

Method: Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and enjoy.

Cabbage Wraps

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What you’ll need:

-1 head of cabbage (you’ll use about 8 leaves)

-1 cup cooked quinoa

-2 to 3 cups of prepared tomato sauce

-1 zucchini, diced

-1 bell pepper, diced

-1 red onion, chopped

-1 bunch of kale, chopped

-3 garlic cloves, minced

-3 tbs of olive or grapeseed oil

-sea salt/pepper and any dry herbs of your choice. I used basil & oregano.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Over medium heat, heat 3 tbs of oil in a pan and sauté the garlic and onion until fragrant. Add kale, bell pepper, zucchini and herbs. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes. You want the veggies cooked but they should still have a nice crunch.
  3. Mix in a large bowl with pre-cooked quinoa and set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. At this point, you’ll be preparing the cabbage. Cut out the core and carefully remove the leaves. You don’t want to rip them because that’ll make them difficult to wrap.
  5. Boil each leaf for about 2 minutes. They’ll be soft. With a knife, trim the stem (some may call it the rib) and place 1/3 cup filling starting at the stem end.
  6. Fold stem over filling, fold sides to the middle and roll tightly to close.
  7. Place in a pot with tomato sauce and bake for 20 minutes.

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Avocado Hummus

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What you’ll need:

-2 avocados

-2 cups of chickpeas (cooked, rinsed, dried)

-1 tbs olive or grapeseed oil

-1/2 tsp sea salt

-1 tbs lemon juice

-Handful of fresh parsley

-crushed pepper (optional)

Method:

  1. In a high speed blender or food processor, blend until smooth. I sprinkled mine with fresh parsley and crushed pepper.

Baked Kale Chips

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What you’ll need:

-1 bunch of kale

-1 tbs olive oil

-1 tsp sea salt

-2 tbs parmesan “cheese (I used go veggie brand)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Remove leaves from the stems (optional but takes away the bitterness. I rip them apart with my hands. No knives or scissors necessary).
  3. In a large bowl, toss kale in olive oil, sea salt and parm.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.

Kale Chips are what you make them. You can eat them plain with sea salt or go for something on the spicy side like jalapeno powder, paprika or cayenne powder.

Note: don’t use too much olive oil. The leaves only need to covered lightly or else they’ll be limp and too greasy. Be sure to keep a close eye, they burn easy.

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Southern Style Potato Salad (Vegan)

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What you’ll need:

 -5 large potatoes, peeled
-2 celery stalks
-2 tbs sweet relish
-1/2 onion
-3 tbs mustard (I used Dijon)
-1/2 cup dairy-free mayo (recipe for homemade listed or just mayo is a recommended brand)
-1 tbs sugar
-Garlic salt & pepper to taste
-Paprika and fresh herbs to garnish (optional)
Method:
  1. Boil cubed potatoes for 15 minutes. Drain and cool.
  2. In a large bowl, add all ingredients and  mix until well incorporated.
  3. Place in the fridge and serve when chilled.

Chickpea Meatless Meatloaf

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Total Time: 1 hr

Serves: 7-8

What you’ll need ( for the loaf):

-3 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

-1 small onion, diced

-2 celery stalks, diced (optional)

-3 cloves of garlic, minced

-2 1/2 cups bread crumbs

-1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

-1/2 cup shredded carrots (optional)

-1/2 cup bell peppers (optional)

-1/2 unsweetened almond milk

-3 tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce

-2 tbs olive oil

-2 flax “eggs” (1 tbs flax powder + 2 1/2 tbs water)

-2 tbs tomato paste

-4 tbs  dry basil

-sea salt/pepper to taste

What you’ll need (for the glaze):

-2 tbs tomato paste or sauce

-2 tbs of mustard (I used Dijon)

-2 tbs brown sugar

-2 tbs white vinegar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line baking dish with parchment paper. I used a bread pan.
  2. Add all ingredients to a food processor ( you’ll need to work in batches, all of it wont fit).
  3. Chickpeas should be broken down and all ingredients should be well incorporated. Careful not to over blend. You still want the mixture to be a little rough.
  4. Add mixture to baking dish and bake for 35 minutes.
  5. While it’s baking, start your glaze. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. After the 30 minutes, remove loaf from the oven and use a wooden spoon to cover the loaf with the glaze.
  6. Bake for 25 more minutes. Let it cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting to give it some time to harden.

I garnished mine with freshly picked parsley leaves.

Notes:

-you can throw in any veggies you’d like.

-If you want to make this loaf gluten free, add oat flour instead of breadcrumbs.

-You can also use cooked lentils for this loaf.

    Vegetable Fried Rice

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Serving Size: 4

Time: 15 minutes

What you’ll need:

-2 tbs olive oil

-2 cloves garlic, minced

-1 tsp minced ginger

-3 cups cooked rice ( I used brown)

-1/2 cup green peas

-1 cup red pepper, diced

-handful of bean sprouts

-1/2 cup onion, diced

-1 cup chopped kale

-3 tbs soy sauce

-2 tbs Sriracha

-salt/pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add oil, garlic, ginger, red pepper and onion. The garlic and onion will be slightly brown and fragrant.
  2. Toss in the rice and add peas, kale and sprouts. Stir-fry until the rice turns golden brown. This will take about a minute or two.
  3. Add Sriracha, soy sauce, salt and pepper to coat. Stir until well incorporated.

Serve immediately.

Notes: You can start with freshly cooked or cold rice. Either way you want to ensure the rice doesn’t clump while being stir fried. When using freshly cooked rice, I spread it on a tray and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. When using cold rice, it’s usually leftover for two or three days. At that point, I break down any clumps before adding it to the pan.  For a less spicier version, reduce the  Sriracha or skip it completely. Eggroll recipe with steps below.

Vegan Mac & Cheese

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What you’ll need:

-4 cups macaroni pasta (gluten-free, wheat, your choice)

-2 cups non-dairy mozzarella cheese

-2 cups non-dairy cheddar cheese

-6 oz non-dairy sour cream

-4 oz non-dairy cream cheese

-2 tbs non-dairy butter

-2 tsp sea salt

-2 tsp black pepper

-2 tsp garlic powder

-1 tsp mustard, yellow or brown

-1 cup almond milk

Method:

  1. Boil pasta per instructions on package. When ready, strain and place in a baking dish.
  2. In a small sauce pan, on medium-low heat, mix sour cream, cream cheese, almond milk, butter, salt, pepper, garlic and mustard. Stir until well incorporated and cream cheese is melted.
  3. Pour mixture over pasta. Add cheese and mix until well incorporated. I added another layer at the top.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cheese will be melted and lightly browned.

I enjoyed mine with homegrown collard greens and cornbread.

Notes: you’ll find a handful of vegan cheese brands at Whole Foods. I recommend Field Roast.

Meatless Tacos

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What you’ll need for the “meat”:

-2 Tbsp olive oil

-1/2 white onion, diced

-3 cloves garlic, minced

-1/2 green bell pepper, diced

-1 cup pre-cooked lentils

-1 cup pre-cooked black beans

-Sea salt and black pepper to taste

-1 cup vegetable broth

-5 cups tomato sauce

-1-2 Tbsp vegan-friendly worcestershire sauce

-1-2 tsp chili powder, plus more to taste

-1 tsp ground cumin, plus more to taste

-1 tsp paprika

Optional Toppings:

-shredded greens (lettuce, cabbage, spinach, etc)

-non-dairy sour cream

-non-dairy cheese shreds

-salsa

-cilantro garnish

Method:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1 tbs of olive oil, diced onion and minced garlic. Cook until lightly brown and fragrant.
  2. Add green peppers, lentils, black beans,  vegetable broth, tomato sauce and spices. Mix until well incorporated and  let simmer on medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes. Mixture should be thick and warmed all the way through.
  3. Once done, add to a food processor or high powered blender and pulse until you get a “meaty” texture. Lentils should be completely broken down.
  4. Add filling to your hard or soft taco and top.

I got my taco shells from Whole Foods. They also sell really yummy taco sauce.

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Crispy Baked Potato Wedges

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Serving size: 2

Total time: 35-40 minutes

What you’ll need:

-4 potatoes (I used red)

-1 1/2 tsp paprika

-1 tsp cumin

-1 tsp garlic powder

-1 tbs dry basil

-2 tbs olive oil

-sea salt/pepper to taste

Toppings:

-chopped green onion

-dairy-free sour cream

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Wash the potatoes and cut them in half. Cut each half into 4 wedges. Try to keep them as even as possible so they’ll bake evenly.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, add the potatoes, herbs and olive oil. Toss until well combined.
  3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick foil and place the potatoes on a single layer.
  4. Bake until golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.
  5. Add toppings (optional)

Since the oven will already be hot, feel free to toss some carrots and brussel sprouts in with your potatoes. A simple mix of olive oil, your favorite dry herbs and sea salt/pepper will do.

Cucumber & Tomato Salad

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What you’ll need: 

-1 cucumber

-3 tomatoes

-1 handful fresh dill

-1 tbs olive oil

-1/2 lime

-1 tbs dry basil

-2 tsp sesame seeds

-sea salt/pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Wash and dice your tomato and cucumber. Add to a small mixing bowl with the dill.
  2. Drizzle olive over the top and add lime, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. Adjust flavor as needed.
  3. For maximum flavor, let your salad sit for a few minutes before eating.

I garnished mine with fresh mint.

Vegan Lettuce Wraps

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What you’ll need:

This recipe really depends on how much you’ll be eating or how many people you’ll be cooking for.

-One head of romaine lettuce

-2 cups of rice ( pre-cooked)

For the black beans:

-One can of organic black beans

-2 tsp olive oil

-2 cloves of minced garlic

-2 tbs red bell pepper, diced

-half of one white onion, diced

-3 tbs cilantro

-1 bay leaf

-one pinch of cumin

-one pinch of oregano

-1 tsp red wine vinegar

-salt/pepper to taste

Toppings:

-1 tomato, diced

-4 tbs fresh cilantro

-1 tbs of fresh lime juice

-fresh herbs for garnish

-Sriracha  hot chili sauce

Method:

  1. Add black beans, including liquid to a saucepan.
  2. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Now it’s time to assemble your wrap. I start with 4-5 tbs of rice and then 4-5 tbs of black beans.

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Rustic Tomato Pizza

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Time: 1 hr, 20 minutes

Serving Size: 2

What you’ll need for the crust:

-2 1/2 cups of bread flour

-1 tsp fast action dry yeast

-1 tsp salt

-3/4 cups + 2 tbs warm water

-1 tbs olive oil, plus more for drizzling

What you’ll need for the topping:

-6 tbs basil pesto

-tomatoes, red, orange and yellow (cherry and plum)

-salt/pepper to taste

-fresh thyme for garnish

Method:

  1. For the base, mix: flour, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a small well in the center of the mixture and pour in the water and oil. Mix until a soft, wet dough appears.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let it sit for about an hour in a warm spot until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare your pizza pan or baking sheet.
  4. Knead and roll the dough into a large oval. Place on your baking tray.
  5. To top, brush with pesto and arrange the tomatoes in a single layer over the pesto. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil and brush edges. Bake for 20 minutes until base is lightly browned and tomatoes are tender. Garnish with thyme.

To speed this recipe up a little, prep and freeze your crust and pesto in advance.

Mango & Parsley Salad

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Time: 5 minutes

What you’ll need:

-2 mangos (diced)

-1/3 cup fresh parsley (chopped)

-Juice of half a lemon

-Sea salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Combine mango, parsley, salt & pepper.
  2. Squeeze on lemon juice and mix until well combined.

Homemade Vegan Eggrolls

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What you’ll need:

-1 pack of eggroll wrappers (eggless)

-1 head of green cabbage

-1 head of red cabbage

-4 large carrots

-1 cup diced green onion

-garlic, salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Shred the cabbage and carrots. Add to a large bowl and mix in the green onion and seasoning.
  2. Assemble your eggrolls.
  3. Lay one eggroll  wrapper with the corner facing you (diamond) and fill with 3-4 tbs of the veggie filling. Use your finger to brush water on each edge.editegg
  4. Fold side 3 towards 2 covering the filling. Press edge down to seal.new1
  5. Fold side 1 towards 4. Press edge down to seal.new2
  6. Fold side 4 towards 1. Press edge down to seal.new3
  7. Roll tightly like you’re rolling a burrito to enclose filling tightly. Repeat.egg5
  8. Fry on each side until golden brown. My pan holds 4 at a time. Drain on a paper towel.

    Notes: This package makes 20 eggrolls. If you won’t be frying them all at once, add pre-filled rolls to the freezer. All you’d have to do is thaw them before frying your next batch. If you’ll be eating them within 24 hours, you can just sit them in fridge. To keep eggrolls warm, place in pre-heated oven, about 150 degrees, until all are fried. Best served hot but leftovers are just as good. They will hold for a day or 2 in the fridge.

What you’ll need for the Teriyaki Sauce:

-3 tbs soy sauce

-3 tbs rice vinegar

-1/8 tsp olive oil

-1 tsp ground ginger

-1/2 tsp onion powder

-2 tbs brown sugar

-1 tbs cornstarch

Method:

  1. Whisk together all ingredients until smooth and evenly combined.

What you’ll need for the Duck Sauce:

-3/4 cups  apricot jam

-4 tbs rice vinegar

-1/2 tsp soy sauce

-2 cloves garlic, minced

-1 tsp chili powder

Method:

  1. Whisk together all ingredients until smooth and evenly combined.

Notes: Under sauces, toppings & dressings, you’ll find a recipe for Apricot Jam if you’d like to make your own.

Vegan Stuffed Tomatoes

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Total time: 45 minutes

What you’ll need:

-8 medium tomatoes

-1 large yellow  pepper, chopped

-2 cups kale, chopped

-1 cup quinoa

-2 cups of water

-2 tbs olive oil

-1/2 cup  vegetable broth

-1 tbs parsley, chopped

-1 tbs basil, chopped

-1 tbs celery, diced

-3 garlic cloves, minced

-1 shallot, minced

-2 tbs tomato paste

-salt/pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Place quinoa and water in a small pot and  bring to a boil. Cover and cook until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy.
  2. Heat your oven to 350 and lightly grease your baking dish.
  3. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the flesh. Sprinkle a little sea salt in the middle of each one.
  4. Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a pan and sauté the garlic, celery and shallots until soft and fragrant.  Stir in the yellow pepper, kale, parsley and basil.
  5. Add cooked quinoa, tomato paste and vegetable broth. Stir until well combined and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Brush each tomato with olive oil. Place the tomatoes in your baking dish and fill with the quinoa mixture.
  7. Add tops and bake for 20 minutes or until tomatoes are slightly brown and tender.

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Notes: You can substitute the quinoa for rice if you’d like. Don’t throw your excess tomato flesh away. Use it for soup, salsa or even juice. To make this recipe 30 minutes or less, feel free to prep your veggies and quinoa in advance. That way you can skip to filling and baking your tomatoes.

Avocado Toast

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What you’ll need:

-two slices of whole grain bread
-1 avocado
-1 tsp fresh lemon or lime juice
-1 sliced tomato
-fresh basil leaves
-1 to 2 tsp crushed pepper (optional)
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Method:
  1. Mix mashed avocado, lime, salt and pepper. Spread over toasted spread.
  2. Top with tomato, fresh basil, and crushed pepper.

Spinach Tortillas

I’ve already posted a recipe for the flour tortillas and here’s a simple one for the Spinach courtesy of Momables.

Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6 tortillas

What you’ll need:

-3 cups spinach

-1/4 cup water

-1 cup all purpose flour

-1/4 tsp baking powder

-1/2 tsp salt

Method:

  1. In a sauté pan, cook the spinach in water until wilted. Drain excess water and set aside for use in the dough.
  2. In a food processor, grind spinach until smooth. Add the baking power, oil and salt. It will form a crumbly mixture.
  3. Add reserved water and mix until a smooth dough is formed.
  4. Divide dough into equal parts and roll into thin circles
  5. On medium heat, toast on each side until golden spots or bubbles

Mexican Salad Pineapple Boats

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This Mexican Salad consists of romaine lettuce,  brown rice, spicy black beans, tomato, onion and corn. Drizzled with a light and extremely flavorful cilantro and lime dressing. Optional toppings include cilantro garnish, avocado and vegan cheese. Be creative.

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Method:

Pre-cook your fillings and set aside. Cut your pineapple in half and use a spoon to scoop out the insides of each half. You want your bowl to be sturdy so don’t take too much off of the sides.  Drain any of the excess juice. Refrigerate or freeze the flesh for a quick smoothie or fresh juice later on.

Note: For a more manageable experience cutting your pineapple, place it in the fridge upside down for about 30 minutes before cutting. That gives the juice a chance to flow to the top and make less of a mess.

What you’ll need for the Cilantro and lime dressing:


– 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded

-1 garlic clove

-1/4 cup lime juice

-1/3 cup honey

-2 tbs balsamic vinegar

-1/2 tsp salt

-dash of black pepper to taste

-1/4 cup cilantro

-1/2 cup olive oil

Method:

  1. Place the jalapeno pepper and garlic clove into a food processor or high powered blender until finely chopped. Pour in the lime juice, honey, balsamic vinegar, and salt, add the cilantro leaves; pulse a few times to blend. Turn the food processor or blender on, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil until well incorporated into the dressing.

Southern Fried Okraokra

Total time: 20-25 minutes

Serving size: 8

Not exactly the prettiest dish to look at but extremely delicious! It seemed impossible to find a place that sold fried okra and when I did, it wasn’t vegan. The batter was filled with eggs and cow milk which made me decide to make my own. No dairy required.

-2-3cups oil, for frying
-1/2 cup cornmeal
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. black pepper
-2 lbs. fresh okra, sliced 1/2-in. thick
-1/2 cup almond milk

Method:

  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the almond milk,  cornmeal, flour, salt and black pepper. Dip the okra in the mixture to coat well.
  3. Fry until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Notes:

-The amount of oil used while depend on the size of your pan.

One Pan Pasta

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Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 2

This pasta may look bland but it’s all in the flavor. The water, olive oil and herbs make a really tasty sauce. No additions needed but you can toss in a little vegan parmesan if you’d like.

What you’ll need: 

– dried pasta  (I used half of one box of linguine)
– 3 tbs olive oil
-1 cup chopped tomatoes
-1/2 cup white onion
– 3 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 cup of Kale
-1 cup fresh herbs (your choice, I chose 1/2 cup parsley and 1/2 cup basil)
-Salt and pepper to taste
-1 tsp crushed pepper
Method:
  1. Place all ingredients into a large skillet and add just enough water to cover the pasta. Once it starts to boil, simmer and stir until pasta is done.

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  Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”

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These “wings” are the  healthier alternative to chicken wings. Back in my meat eating days, buffalo chicken was my favorite.  I’ve had my share and can say with honesty, I couldn’t tell the difference. All it takes is the right sauce and you’re in business. I ate mine as a wrap with dairy free mayo, lettuce, and tomato. This meal can be served as an appetizer, with fries, pizza, or over rice. Very satisfying.

Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4

What you’ll need:

-1 cup water or almond milk
-1 cup flour
-2 tsp. garlic powder
-1 head of cauliflower, chopped into pieces
-1 cup buffalo or hot sauce
-1 Tbsp. olive oil or melted vegan margarine

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Combine the almond milk , flour, and garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well combined.
  3. Coat the cauliflower pieces with the flour mixture and place in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 18 minutes.
  4. While the cauliflower is baking, combine your buffalo sauce and olive oil or margarine in a small bowl.
  5. Pour the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for an additional 5 to 8 minutes.

Vegan Stuffed Peppers

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While helping my grandmother clean out some old boxes  we came across recipe clippings she’d collected over the years. I noticed all of the recipes included meat or some type of animal product so I thought it would be fun to veganize a few . I created this dish  because  I wanted something filling and nutritious, but simple. The peppers require minimal ingredients and the stuffing is delicious all on  it’s own. They get even tastier with the sweetness of the roasted peppers and basil marinara.

For this recipe I  packed the peppers with kale, zucchini, shallots, and fresh herbs ; these peppers make a great main or side dish.

Stuffed peppers can be whipped up pretty quickly if you have cooked rice and marinara on hand.  I prefer homemade  marinara so I tend to make my own . To save time,  use store bought sauce.  When my schedule is very hectic,  I prepare extra to store for quick meals throughout the week.

prep : 45 mins

cook: 25 mins

total time: 1 hr, 10 mins

serving size: 6

What you’ll need: (For the sauce):

I listed a simple recipe for Basil Marinara below if you’ll be making it yourself. If you’re using store bought or previously prepped sauce, you can move on to the peppers.

What you’ll need: (For the Peppers) :

-6 peppers, cut in half from top to bottom, seeded

-2 cups cooked rice or quinoa of your choice  ( I used brown rice)

-2 tbs olive oil

-3 cloves garlic, minced

-1 large shallot or 2 small, diced

-3 medium zucchini, diced

-half a bunch kale, stems removed and chopped

-1  handful of chopped parsley plus more for garnish

 Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook brown rice and set aside 2 cups
  3. Prepare peppers by Cutting them  in half from top to bottom.  Brush with olive oil and salt and pepper. Lay peppers cut side down on cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the shallot and garlic, season with sea salt and pepper and cook until softened. About 3 minutes.  Next, Add in zucchini, kale, and parsley and cook for about 5-7   minutes more, until the zucchini is tender and the kale is wilted.
Assembling the Peppers:
  1. Once the sauce is done, spread an even layer on the bottom of a large baking dish.
  2. Place the peppers cut side up.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the vegetable mixture with the brown rice and about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce
  4. Stuff the peppers well with the mixture.
  5. bake the peppers for 20-25 minutes, tender.
  6. Serve with additional sauce and a generous sprinkling of fresh herbs

Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce florida11.png

To make my marinara I use organic homegrown vegetables  fresh from my garden. Like most vegetables,  tomatoes at the top of the dirty dozen list and are genetically modified. As a conscious consumer, it’s very important to me to avoid GMO’s, artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors and preservatives.

Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 8

What you’ll need

-2 tbs olive oil

-56 oz tomatoes

-1 white onion

-3 cloves garlic

-1/2 cup fresh basil

-1/2 cup fresh oregano

-salt/pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to food processor until diced and mixed.
  2. Heat olive oil on medium heat and add your mixture. Cook on low for about 45 minutes.

Sesame Cauliflower

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Serving size

Total time 30 minutes

What you’ll need: 
– 1-2 tbsp. vegetable oil
– 1¼ cups almond milk
– 1 cup whole wheat flour
– ½ tsp. salt
– ½ tsp. baking powder
– 1 large cauliflower crown, broken into florets
– ½ cup soy sauce
– ½ cup maple syrup
– ¼ cup rice vinegar
 
For the sauce:
-2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 tbsp. cornstarch
-¼ cup cold water
 -sesame seeds
For this recipe I used white rice but You can use any rice you’d like. Quinoa works well also.
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Use about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to coat the bottom of a large roasting pan or oven-saf
  2. Stir almond milk, flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl. Dip cauliflower bits in mixture to coat. Arrange in a single layer on roasting/baking pan
  3. Bake 10 minutes.
  4. While cauliflower bakes, combine soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and ginger a in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir cornstarch and water together in a small container until cornstarch is fully dissolved. Add to soy sauce mixture and stir to blend. Remove from heat.
  5. Remove cauliflower from oven and flip. Lightly brush florets with olive oil. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes more.
  6. Remove from oven and pour sauce over florets. Return to oven and bake 3-4 minutes more, just until sauce becomes very sticky and coasts florets.
  7. Serve over rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

 Homemade Vegetable Broth

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time: 2 hours

serving size: 8 cups

What you’ll need:

  • 2 red potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 celery stalk
  • handful of fresh herbs ( I used thyme, basil, and oregano)
  • 1 gallon of water

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and let sit for 2 hours.
  2. Cool and discard solids.

Notes: If you don’t have a slow cooker, this can be done in a pot- stove top. Bring ingredients to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for 2 hours.

I used my solids as compost in my garden. If you can think of anything to use the extra veggies for, I suggest you do.

Flour Tortillas

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Serving size 8 tortillas

Total Time 30 minutes

 What you’ll need:
-3 cups of flour
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/3 cup canola oil
-1 cup warm water
Method:
  1. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, and oil. Slowly add the water, mixing with a wooden spoon. Stir until it forms a sticky ball.
  2. Turn the ball onto a floured surface, and knead for 2 minutes until a soft smooth dough has formed.
  3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  4. Flatten dough. I used a rolling pin. tt1
  5. Heat a skillet or a griddle to medium high heat. Cook tortillas for about 1 minute on the first side, until it starts to bubble. Flip, and cook for about 1 more minute until golden brown.
  6. Remove and serve. I ate mine with basil pesto, sautéed green pepper, onion, zucchini, shredded lettuce and tomato.

Note: Don’t worry about making them perfectly round. They taste amazing no matter the shape. If not using right away, store and cool. You’ll need to reheat when ready to eat if you won’t be eating them fresh off the stove.

Mexican Quinoa

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What you’ll need:

-1 tbs olive oil
-2 cloves garlic
-1 jalapeño pepper
-1 cup white quinoa
-1 cup vegetable broth
-1 can of black beans
-1 cup of corn
-2 teaspoons of chili powder
-½ teaspoon cumin
-1 green pepper diced
-salt/pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan and add garlic and jalapeño peppers. Cook for about a minute.
  2. Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt/pepper and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. When ready, you can stir in some avocado chunks, some fresh herbs and the juice of one lime (optional).You may even want to try some vegan shredded cheese, sour cream or green onions. I ate mine as the base of some vegan tacos. This can be a great side dish or appetizer.

Adapted from Cook Like A Champion.

Hot Sub

florida25

This sub consists of  dairy free mayo, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, grilled onion, broccoli, and green pepper. Packed in some  toasted bread with a side of fries.

 Sautéed Zucchini Tomato & Onions

florida31

Time: 15 minutes

serving size: 3

What you’ll need:
-2 large zucchinis
-2 tbs olive oil
-½ cup purple onions
-1 cup of cherry tomato
-2 cloves of garlic
-1 tsp of salt/ black pepper
-1 tbs fresh basil

Method:

  1. Chop your veggies. The zucchini should be in nice sized chunks so it won’t cook too fast and get soggy.
  2. Heat the olive oil and sauté the red onions until soft.
  3. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper.
  4. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes and add the basil.

Pesto Pizza

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At first glance a pizza without cheese may look funny but it’s one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had. Going vegan never meant giving up my favorite foods, it just meant finding ways to adapt. Pesto is definitely the answer when it comes to pizza without cheese. Not only does pesto give veggie pizza an incredible flavor, it is low in calories, fat free and  is much easier for the body to digest.  I have family members who don’t eat pizza because they are lactose intolerant.  They switched to using pesto and are now eating pizza regularly which I think is awesome!  So next time you want pizza
use a thin garlic crust, top with pesto and your favorite fresh veggies.  This quick 15 minute meal makes for an incredible lunch or dinner any day of the week.
If you’re interested in making your own crust check out my pizza crust recipe.  I always make enough to freeze and use later.
For the basil pesto you’ll need a handful of fresh basil, 3 tbs nuts ( I use pine), 3 tbs olive oil,1 tsp salt,2 cloves garlic and 1 tbs vegan parmesan.
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Sautéed Kale Onion & Tomatoes

florida37

time: 20 minutes

servings: 4

What you’ll need:

-1/4 cup olive oil

-3 cloves garlic

-1 bunch of kale

-1 small chopped white onion

-1/2 cup of sliced tomato

-1/2 vegetable broth

-salt/pepper to taste

– crushed pepper

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic until fragrant.
  2. Add kale, onion and seasoning. Turn heat to medium-high and add broth. Toss for about 5 minutes until the kale is soft and wilted but still green. Add tomato and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Note: I sprinkle more crushed pepper when done because I like it spicy.

Chickpea “Meat”balls

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What you’ll need:
– 1 flax egg (1 tbs of flax powder + 2 tbs of water)
-3cloves minced garlic
-1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
-1/3 cup fresh basil
-1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (chopped and dry, not in oil)
-1/3 cup vegan parmesan cheese
-sea salt, pepper, and red crushed Pepper flakes to taste
-2 tbs of fresh oregano
-1 15-ounce can of chickpeas (drained, rinsed and dried)
Coating:
-2 tbsp vegan Parmesan
-3 tbsp  bread crumbs

This recipe made about 9 “meatballs”. If you need more, simply double the recipe.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and add one tbs of flax powder and 2 tbs of water to your food processor or blender and let it sit while completing the second step.
  2. Heat a metal skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and minced garlic. Sauté until slightly browned.
    Remove from heat and cool slightly, then add to food processor or blender with flax egg.
  3. Add  bread crumbs, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, vegan parmesan cheese, salt and  red pepper flakes, dried oregano and 1 tbsp olive oil. Process until small bits remain.
  4. Next add rinsed/dried chickpeas and process until a moldable “dough” is formed. You don’t want the chickpeas to turn into a paste, but you also don’t want any left whole.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added more basil, crushed pepper, salt, pepper and oregano.
  6. Scoop out rounded 1 tbsp amounts of dough, then roll in additional vegan parmesan cheese and bread crumb mixture to coat.
  7. Reheat your same skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add enough olive oil to form a thin layer on the bottom of the skillet , then add meatballs in two batches, as to not crowd the pan. Add more oil as needed.
  8. Brown for about 5 minutes total, shaking the pan to roll them around to brown all sides.
  9. Add balls to a bare baking sheet and transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Once meatballs are golden brown and fairly firm to the touch, remove from oven. Let cool briefly before serving.

Adapted from  Natural Sweet.

Meatless Tacos

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There are so many vegan taco recipes online and the majority of them have one thing in common, Textured Vegetable Protein (TPV). I’d never heard of it so I did some research before adding it to my grocery list. It’s basically a meat substitute that’s high in fiber and protein.

Before I get into it, I’m just going to say that just because something is “plant based”, doesn’t mean  it’s automatically healthy. The same goes for people that think ordering a McDonalds salad and a parfait is clean eating. It’s just not. At the end of the day, it’s all processed.
I was very alarmed to discover TPV is a soy product.  I personally don’t touch soy unless it’s organic/ non GMO  because it’d full of glyphosate. Yes, soy can have its benefits but when it’s genetically modified, all bets are off. There are some mock meat brands you can find in Whole Foods and they will state Non GMO soy/wheat. Definitely the ones you want to aim for and I’ll touch more on this subject later. Bottom line is, I was turned off and found a better way to make some vegan tacos with natural ingredients. Things found in nature that I can actually identify.

What you’ll need:
-1 tsp olive oil
-1 onion
-2 cans of tomato sauce
-1 ½ cups of water
-½ cup of quinoa
-1 packet of taco seasoning
-2 cans of black beans
-Tortillas or romaine lettuce leaves
-Toppings of your choice (vegan cheese, corn, salsa, fresh herbs, avocado)

Method:
1.Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook and stir the onion for about 5 minutes.
2. Add tomato sauce, quinoa, and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil.
-Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender. Add black beans and let simmer for about 5 minutes more.

In this recipe, the quinoa and black beans stand as the meat substitute and for the “cheese” I used a brand named Go Veggie. Topped with lettuce, tomato, corn, and sautéed peppers.

Same recipe, different tacos. These were soft and topped with lettuce, tomato, corn, cucumber, and jalapeno peppers.

Zucchini Pasta with Kale Pesto

florida56

florida5

Time:25 minutes

Serving size:2

If you’ve been looking for a healthier, low-cal alternative to pasta, this is for you. This dish can be eaten raw or cooked which makes it an incredibly versatile option for lunch or dinner. All it takes is a few of your favorite veggies and a spiralizer.

This recipe is what you make it. You can substitute the kale for spinach ,cashews for almonds or pine nuts, zucchini for squash or carrots, etc.

What you’ll need:

-2 large zucchinis
-2 large squash
-3 cloves garlic
-1 cup of fresh basil
-½ lemon
-1/3 cup cashews
-1/3 cup of olive oil
-1 bunch of Kale
-Few leaves of mint
-Salt/ pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Spiralize the zucchini.
  2. In a food processor, mix: basil, kale, garlic, lemon, cashews, olive oil, mint and salt/pepper.
  3. Over medium heat, mix the pesto and tomatoes. Cook for about two minutes. Add zucchini and squash and toss for about 3-4 minutes. Not too long, you want the zucchini to be crunchy.

Serve immediately.

Note: Zucchini is  watery. I suggest placing it in a colander, and tossing in a little salt, and draining it for 10 minutes or so. You also want to squeeze out the excess liquid.

Roasted Asparagus & Brussel Sprouts

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What You’ll Need:

-1 bunch of asparagus

-1 to 2 lbs Brussels sprouts

-olive oil

-salt/pepper to taste

-dried basil and thyme

Method (For the Asparagus) :

  1. Break off the ends of the asparagus, place on baking sheet, coat with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread asparagus in a single layer and bake for 10-15 minutes. Asparagus will be tender and crisp.

 Method (For the Brussel Sprouts) :

  1. Cut off brown ends of Brussel sprouts. Toss in olive oil and sprinkle with fresh herbs. I use basil and thyme. Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly brown and crisp

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

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Pesto:

– 4 cups of pasta ( I used fusilli)
– 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
– ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
– 1 cup fresh basil
– 4 garlic cloves
– 2 tbs of Vegan Parmesan

Method:
1. Cook pasta according to directions on thebox. While your pasta is boiling, blend or process your sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, vegan parmesan, fresh basil,  salt  and pepper to taste. You don’t want to blend it too much.  Keep it long enough to break down the sun-dried tomatoes. It will be a thick texture when done.

2.When the sun-dried tomato blend is complete, pour a little olive oil over your pasts and stir.  Additional vegan parmesan is optional.

This pasta can be eaten hot or cold. I prefer mine hot so I mix everything on the stove until it heats before serving.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

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I had no idea what I was going to do with my eggplant when I added it to my garden. I remember posting a picture on Instagram asking everyone for ideas.  I’d never cooked them before and had no clue what to expect. Got everything from eggplant pizza to soup and pasta.  Decided to start with pasta and work my way down the list. This recipe will take longer than the 30 minutes with prep time included so if you have the time, it’s worth the try. Great substitute for meat when you want a simple pasta dinner.

What you’ll need:

-1 medium eggplant ( I used 4 mini ones)

-1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour

-1 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp vegan parm ( link to my recipe)

-1 tsp dried oregano (or 2 tsp fresh)

-1/4 tsp sea salt

-1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

-1 tsp cornstarch

Pasta and sauce:

– 8 ounces pasta  ( your choice, I used linguine)

– 2 cups marinara sauce

Method:

  1. Slice eggplant into thin rounds slightly less than 1/2 inch thick, and sprinkle each side generously  with sea salt. Arrange in a circular pattern in a colander and place in the sink to draw out the bitter taste of the eggplant.
  2. Let rest for 15 minutes, then rinse and arrange on a clean absorbent kitchen towel. Top with another clean dish towel and lay a baking sheet on top. Place something heavy on top, such as a cast iron skillet, to thoroughly dry for at least 10 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil and spritz with nonstick spray. Also, if making pasta, bring water to a boil in a large saucepan.
  4. Prepare your dipping stations by placing almond milk + cornstarch in one bowl; flour in another bowl; and bread crumbs + sea salt + oregano + vegan parm (link to my recipe) to another bowl.
  5. Once thoroughly dry, dip eggplant slices in flour, then almond milk mixture, then breadcrumbs. Arrange on the baking sheet and pop in oven to bake for a total of 20-30 minutes
  6. Once thoroughly dry, dip eggplant slices in flour, then almond milk mixture, then breadcrumbs. Arrange on the baking sheet and pop in oven to bake for a total of 20-30 minutes

Author Minimalist Baker

Chunky Vegetable Italian Soup

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There’s an amazing vendor at The Yellow Green Farmer’s Market that has me sold on Italian Soup. I had some veggies to get rid of so I decided to try and make some of my own. I started following a recipe and ended up free styling so I’ll just tell you what I used.

-2 large zucchinis
-6 red potatoes
-5 large carrots
-1 kale bunch
-½ cup each of black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, green lentils
-4 celery stalks
-1 each: green, yellow, orange pepper
-½ large red onion
-2 large to tomatoes and one small can of crushed tomatoes
-8 cups vegetable broth

Seasoned with oregano, garlic, basil, and a little seasoned salt. The majority of the flavor depends on the type of broth you choose.

I tossed everything into a crockpot and let it cook for a little over an hour. On the stove top, I’d imagine 20-30 minutes will do. We ate ours with wheat bread on the side. You can eat with crackers or something but it’s definitely good all by itself.

 Pan Roasted Broccoli With Garlic & Onion

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What you’ll need:
-1 broccoli bunch
-1 tbs olive oil
-1 clove of garlic
-¼ tsp of crushed pepper
– Salt/pepper to taste
-Onion to taste

Method:

1. Over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and stir for about a minute and set aside.
2. Add the broccoli, onion, and crushed pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and  steam for about 3 minutes.
3. Uncover, stir, and continue to cook for about 2 more minutes. The broccoli will be tender and lightly browned. Drizzle the garlic on top.

As a side dish,  it can be paired with baked or mashed potatoes, rice, quinoa, or pasta; be creative.
Best served immediately.

 Quinoa and Brown Rice with Veggies

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Pre-cooked quinoa and brown rice mix with sautéed veggies. I added a little stir fry sauce to give it some extra flavor.

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I sauté my veggies with olive oil and seasoning for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Then I add the brown rice/quinoa and stir fry sauce tossing for another 5 minutes.

Stir Fry Veggies

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what you’ll need (for the veggies):

-2 tbs olive oil

-2 tsp sesame seeds

-2 cups broccoli

-2 cups snow peas

-2 carrots

-1 red pepper

-1 cup mushrooms

What you’ll need (for the sauce):

-2 tbs soy sauce

-1 tbs rice vinegar

-1 1/2 tsp olive oil

-3/4 tbs flour

-2 tbs maple syrup

-1/2 tsp ginger

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil on medium-heat and add veggies. Stir fry until veggies are crisp. 5-7 minutes should do.
  2. Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl and pour over veggies. Miix until well blended.
  3. Remove from heat, Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Note: If you’re ever in the area of an oriental market, they have a pretty good selection of vegan stir fry sauce.

Kale Salad

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What You’ll Need

-1/2 bunch of kale (chopped, stemmed optional)

-2 tbs olive oil

-2 cloves garlic

-salt/pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil on medium heat and add kale. Sautee for about 5-7 minutes until leaves are soft and wilted. Add tomato and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add your toppings. I chose Chickpeas, a few sunflower sprouts, cucumber and blueberries.

 Veggie Fritters

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It’s been a while since I’ve made veggie fritters. In my vegetarian days, I would add egg and carnation milk but since going vegan I winged this recipe a little. I was nervous but they came out lovely. I used  broccoli, onion  red and yellow peppers. I seasoned the fritters with crushed pepper, seasoned salt, and fresh garlic. Homemade Chimichuri Sauce for dipping.

I’m not kidding when I say I winged it. I just threw the almond milk and flour in a big bowl and mixed it until I got the texture I wanted. Then I dumped in the veggies and fried until golden brown.
I ended up making another batch and went thinner. Chopped the veggies up smaller and added more almond milk. Much easier to fry that way. Working on a set recipe with measurements.