Recipes

Baked Bean Mac n Cheese Bowls (Vegan)

I’m working on building a repertoire of recipes that my more junk-food-vegan leaning husband loves and that fit in with my unprocessed preferences. They tend to take a little more effort, but are as delicious as junk food while also being healthy.

This recipe is our favorite hybrid so far. (In case you can’t tell, I generally only share my favorite recipes with y’all!)

It’s a southern-inspired feast that has 3 parts, and they go SO well together. It takes me about two hours to make, which isn’t bad given it results in 5 nights’ worth of dinner for two–and given it tastes as good as our favorite restaurant food and is packed full of veggies & beans. It also happens to be low fat, with the only overt fat being some cashews in the sauce.

Want to make it fat-free, and skip the macaroni? Try the baked beans + kale over a baked potato. That was actually the original version of this recipe for us!

(This recipe is for a bulk amount because feeding my 6’6″ bodybuilding husband with low-calorie-density food requires a LOT of food.)

Serves 8-12

Baked beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • Pinch of allspice
  • 4 cans navy beans, rinsed

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add onion to a pot over medium-high heat, and saute for a few minutes until they start to get translucent. Add garlic and saute for a few more minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat, and add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and stir until well combined. Pour mixture into a 13×9″ pan, cover with tinfoil, and bake for 45 minutes.

Cheese sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups roughly chopped gold potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened nondairy milk (I use soy)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • Dash of cayenne (optional)

Directions:

  1. Boil the potatoes, carrots, and onion until tender.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Add more salt and lemon to taste.

Pasta & Kale

Ingredients:

  • 24oz dry macaroni, cooked according to package directions
  • 32oz frozen kale (or use raw kale that is about 32oz when cooked)
  • 5 large cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste

Directions:

  1. Add the kale and garlic to a pot over medium heat. Saute, stirring regularly, until the kale is tender. Add lemon juice and salt to taste.
  2. Make the final bowl: put the macaroni in a bowl, top with cheese sauce, then baked beans, then kale, and enjoy! (And, possibly, become as addicted to it as we are)

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Recipes

Vegan Black Bean Plantain Burger Recipe (WFPB)

Confession time: I’ve never been a fan of veggie burgers. Especially grain or bean-based burgers.

When I first went vegetarian 15 years ago, vegetarian burgers weren’t anything like they are today. Having to eat them at every school function or barbecue got a bit tiring, and I never found a very satisfying recipe for veggie burgers. Then the Beyond and Impossible burgers came on the scene, and since then I’ve pretty much just eaten those whenever I have a burger craving.

But, I love to eat whole food plant based (aka unprocessed food) most of the time. So I decided to try coming up with my own recipe that would be good and unique enough that it could have its own role at the table, besides just trying to replace a burger.

I went with a Caribbean vibe, and was inspired by empanadas since black bean & plantain are a match made in heaven when used in empanadas… so why not burgers? I also made an avocado lime spread for it, and the combo is so good that I actually enjoy just having the patty + spread at times, without a bun or anything.

Makes 4-6 patties

Ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 ripe plantain, sliced
  • 6 tbsp corn grits (or cornmeal)
  • 6 heaping tbsp whole cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne

Directions:

  1. Sauté plantain and red onion together over medium-low heat until plantain turns golden brown and onion begins to turn translucent.
  2. In a food processor, add all the ingredients and process until the mixture still has some small pieces remaining, but holds together well. If it is too dry to stick together easily (if you’re using more absorbent cornmeal, for instance), add a tbsp of water at a time until it sticks together.
  3. Form mixture into 4-6 patties about 1” thick. Sauté over medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes per side, until they are lightly browned. Alternatively, you can put them in the oven at 375 degrees: bake 10 mins, then flip, then bake another 10 minutes, or until both sides are crispy.
  4. Top with avocado lime spread and your favorite burger toppings, and enjoy!

Avocado lime spread:

  • 1 avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 tsp dried chipotle powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
Mash together all the ingredients until it has a guacamole-like texture.

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Recipes

Beefy Vegan Gravy Recipe (for Biscuits)

Over the summer, I moved to the South after living in California all my life. To celebrate in the months before moving, I had fun experimenting with vegan Southern food–and my husband’s and my favorite dish that came out of that was this gravy with biscuits.

This gravy was a labor of love, but we sacrificed and ate about 4 test batches of it over the months as I developed the recipe. 😉 Through experimentation I’ve found that it should work with any type of vegan beef, but our favorite version is with Impossible, or a mix of Beyond and Impossible meat.

I use Minimalist Baker’s vegan biscuit recipe to serve this with, and they went perfectly!

Makes enough to generously cover ~15 biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp vegan butter
  • 7 tbsp flour
  • 3/4lb vegan beef (= 3 Beyond burger patties, or 1 Impossible pack)
  • 1 large yellow or white onion 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp vegan chick’n bouillon (I use Better than Bouillon’s)
  • 4 cups unsweetened cashew milk or other neutral non-dairy milk*
  • 3 tsp mushroom umami seasoning**
  • 1/3 tsp pepper
  • Salt & pepper to taste
*This definitely tastes best with cashew milk, but soy or almond would likely work as well. I don’t recommend coconut milk.
**OR powdered mushroom OR 1/2c finely chopped or puréed mushrooms

Directions:

  1. Make a roux: add the butter and flour to a pan over medium heat, and stir together as the butter melts. When the mixture starts to turn golden brown, add the milk and whisk well.
  2. Simmer 10-15 minutes over low-medium heat, whisking occasionally, until milk has thickened substantially.
  3. While the milk mixture is simmering, sauté the vegan beef and onions (and diced mushrooms, if using) together until the beef is about 70% of the way cooked–it will be slightly pink still.
  4. Add the beef and onions to the pot with the milk. Add seasonings, and simmer until it reaches your desired consistency.
  5. Serve over your favorite biscuit recipe, mashed potatoes, or even noodles for a stroganoff feel. It keeps great in the fridge too!

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Recipes

Vegan Healthy Chocolate Blender Muffins (Made with Nuts and Oats!)


I’m a big fan of muffins. And when I’m craving muffins, I also tend to be in a lazy mood. Something about weekend mornings…

But, I also strive to make my diet as high in whole, unprocessed foods as possible.

These muffins solve both of those problems. They’re oil-free and *almost* all whole foods (besides the sugar), are packed with nutrition from nuts & oats, flexible with the type of ingredients you use, and are super easy to make. Literally less than 15 minutes for prep & dishwashing time. You don’t even need a bowl–just a blender or food processor!

Makes one dozen muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats*
  • 3/4 cup nuts–I do half walnuts half cashews
  • 6 tbsp maple syrup
  • 6 tbsp vegan white sugar or brown sugar**
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 & 3/4 cups water
  • Optional add-ins: chocolate chips, chopped nuts

*If you have oat allergies, you can substitute rye flakes

**If you want to try substituting the sugar out for more syrup to make them more wfpb, I bet it would work great, just use less water!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add all ingredients (besides the optional add-ins) to a blender or food processor and blend until the oats are in tiny pieces–about the size of breadcrumbs. The batter will be very thin, like pancake batter.
  3. If using add-ins, stir them into the batter.
  4. Distribute batter evenly in a greased 12-cup muffin tin.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, and enjoy!

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Recipes

Quick Pickled Carrots and Red Onions Recipe

One of the biggest silver linings of quarantine for me has been discovering the wonder of making your own quick-pickled veggies. I am officially a pickle addict!

My new pickling habit has led to a massive, accidental increase in my veggie consumption. I find myself craving them all the time because they make a perfect snack or side for lunch, and the onions make a perfect topping for avocado toast.

Unlike canned pickles which require a canner and exact proportions, making quick pickles is super easy and flexible–you just stick them in your fridge and wait a few hours. I have been making these almost every week, and I usually eat half of them within the first day. They’re just too good!

You can also sub out pretty much any veggie you want, because the pickling broth is really versatile. I’ve tried adding cauliflower and red cabbage and loved it. You could also do cucumbers, jalapeños, green beans–just about anything!

Ingredients:

  • 5 large carrots, chopped into discs*
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 4 cloves sliced garlic
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill (optional)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)

* You can, of course, use any shape you want for the veggies!

Directions:

  1. Combine the vinegar, water, garlic and spices (so, everything but the veggies) in a pot over medium heat. Bring it to a boil, then remove it from heat. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  2. Layer your chopped veggies into a jar. I suggest using a jar with a plastic lid, because the vinegar makes metal lids rust quickly. (You could also put clingwrap over the jar before putting the metal lid on)
  3. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the veggies. The liquid should be able to cover all the veggies–if there isn’t enough to submerge all of the veggies, remove some of them. Put the lid on, turn it over a few times to distribute the spices, and then store in the fridge.
  4. Wait 8+ hours, then enjoy! Keep them stored in the fridge and use them up within a few weeks–it shouldn’t be difficult to 🙂

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Recipes

Vegan Jamaican-style Beans and Greens with Coconut Rice

This is one of my proudest recipes: cooked completely off the top of my head on a whim, using what I had on hand. And it’s one of my favorites now too. It’s hearty, it’s comforting, it’s nutritious. Not to mention, it’s really simple, doesn’t require many ingredients, and ingredients can be easily substituted (a quarantine must!): instead of the kale you could try collards, chard or other greens, and you could use black beans instead of red kidney beans.

I never found a Jamaican red beans and rice recipe I really liked, but I knew I could find one someday because I’ve loved it in restaurants before… all it took was randomly combining things myself! And the best part is, this was the perfect way to use up kale from my garden that had gotten really big. This recipe really made the kale shine!

Now my Caribbean beans have some competition for my favorite bean recipe.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white long-grain rice (or brown rice, but add an extra cup of water)
  • 1 can of coconut milk, with 1/2c of it set aside
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cans red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 medium-large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves minced garlic, 2 cloves set aside
  • 1 bunch kale, washed and chopped
  • 2 tsp Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • 1 tsp chick’n bouillon (or veggie bouillon)*
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*You can also sub chickenless seasoning or other umami seasoning, but you probably won’t need a whole teaspoon of it if you do.

Directions:

  1. Make the rice: add the rice, water, and 1/2c of coconut milk to a rice cooker and start it. (Or make it using your preferred method, but substituting 1/2c coconut milk for 1/2c water)
  2. Add the onion to a pot over medium heat and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add 3 cloves minced garlic and saute 3 more minutes. Add water or oil if necessary to prevent sticking.
  3. Add the beans, the rest of the can of coconut milk, Jamaican spice mix, and chick’n bouillon to the pot. Bring it to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. While the beans are simmering, prepare the kale: add the chopped kale, 2 cloves minced garlic, a splash of water or oil, and 1/4 tsp salt to a pan over medium heat. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted and tender, about 8 minutes. Taste it and add more salt if needed–it should be a bit too salty to want to eat it on its own. (But that’s what makes it extra amazing in the beans!)
  5. After the beans have simmered for 10 minutes, smash some of them in the pot with the back of a wooden spoon. You want about half of them to be whole beans, half broken/smashed.
  6. Continue simmering until the beans are tender and melt in your mouth, about 5-10 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, erring on the side of undersalted. Add broth if they have dried out too much; you want them to be a similar consistency to the pictures here. Then stir in the kale.
  7. Serve with coconut rice, and top with additional sauteed kale if you have extra! (The more, the better, honestly.)

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Recipes

3 Ingredient Baked BBQ Cauliflower Wings Recipe (Vegan!)

I went a bit overboard on cauliflower in my grocery delivery last week, so I needed a seriously cauli-heavy recipe to use up a few heads before they went bad. (You can only pickle so much cauliflower!)

I was scrolling through recipes for inspiration when I decided that buffalo cauliflower wings would be the perfect way to use them up! But… I was all out of buffalo sauce. And I didn’t want to use up a bunch of other ingredients. (Quarantine problems.)

So after looking through a few recipes for general strategies, I decided to try my own thing: 3 ingredient baked BBQ cauliflower! They’re fat free and super easy. They’re not quite crispy like buffalo wings: they’re sticky and chewy and oh so good.

And, because I know all of us are running out of ingredients right now–I bet these would work great with teriyaki sauce or other marinades too.

And I bet they would be crispier in an air fryer… I’l let you know once mine finally gets delivered next week (after a month of waiting!). 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp water
  • ~1/4 cup barbecue sauce* (I used Carolina Gold)

*The amount of sauce you need depends on how thin/strong it is–you want the cauliflower to have a nice even coating without dry spots, but you don’t want it to be overwhelming either.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450. Rinse cauliflower and chop it into florets.
  2. Combine the flour and water, and add a dash of your barbecue sauce. Add more water or flour as necessary to create a thick glue-like consistency–you want it to be a bit thicker than pancake batter. It should easily coat your cauliflower without running off much.
  3. Coat the florets in the batter, spread them out on a baking sheet, and bake for about 15 minutes or until they start to get golden brown.
  4. Now toss the cauliflower in your barbecue sauce until they’re evenly coated. (I suggest trying one at this stage to make sure they have the amount of barbecue flavor you want!)
  5. Place cauliflower back on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until they start getting browned again. The goal is to get them somewhat crispy/firm at this point!
  6. Remove from oven and eat as soon as they’re not too hot! Serve with more sauce, or vegan ranch!

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Recipes

Easter Treat Vegan Recipe Roundup

It’s time for another showcase of recent recipes from fellow WordPress bloggers! I don’t know about you, but to me the most Easter-themed food out there is desserts.

So the theme of this showcase is recipes for vegan treats, especially ones that work well for Easter. But, because I know many of us have limited ingredients right now, I’m including a variety of treats!

This Easter is an especially tough one for most of us having to stay at home, but a silver lining is that leaves us with more time to go all-out on cooking.

Lemon blueberry madeleines by Pies & Tacos

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Madeleines

Flapjack M&M cookies by Nourishing Amy

Lemon cheesecake bars by Vegan Miche

(I don’t usually include my own recipes in these features but I love making Easter dessert recipes 😀 )

Canned peach cake by Hungry and Frozen

P1190846

Naturally sweetened chocolate tart by Healthy Goodies by Lucia

Vegan Chocolate tart with blueberries | Healthy Goodies by Lucia Marecak

Rhubarb almond cake by Freistyle

veganer Rhabarber Mandel Kuchen

Healthy chocolate chip cookies by Healthienut

the best healthier chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate shortbread by Megan Louise Home

Carrot cake bliss balls by Vegan Miche

2-ingredient orange chocolate mousse by Clayton’s Cookbook

Lemon chia coconut loaf by Healthienut

lemon coconut chia loaf

Sea salt and caramelized almond brownies by Tassybakes

Matcha cookie dough cups by Healthy Little Vittles

easy vegan dessert recipes

Chocolate coffee donuts by Sugared & Stirred

Decadent chocolate braid by Lucy’s Friendly Foods

No-bake mini chocolate cheesecakes by Upbeet Kitchen

This photo shows one individual vegan chocolate cheesecake on a plate with a bite taken out of it. It's topped with a cherry compote for a punch of tart flavour and colour.

Small batch banana muffins by E2 Bakes Brooklyn

Small Batch Banana Muffins

Do you know of any vegan recipe bloggers who deserve a feature? Comment with a link to them below and I’ll check them out for the next recipe showcase! (You can nominate yourself too!)

I hope you have a very happy, healthy Easter filled with delicious vegan food.

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Recipes

Easy Granola Recipe (with oat-free option)

For today’s recipe, I have a super easy but addictive granola that’s heavy on nutritients, but light on time & effort.

It can either be made the normal way (aka with oats), or with an oat replacement. Why would anyone want an oat replacement, you may ask?

I’ve alluded to this vaguely on my instagram, but something tragic has happened: after years of having oats for breakfast most days, I finally figured out that me and oats don’t get along. Specifically, whenever I have them for breakfast, I get CRAZY bloated after lunch for the rest of the day. (And my stomach is pretty impervious to the typical bloating triggers, like lentils and beans and onions… nothing else does this to me besides oats!) It took me years of experimenting, but I’ve finally accepted it. After researching it, it looks like the protein avenin in oats is known to cause some people problems.

I thought I’d just have to accept no longer having oatmeal, or granola, or oat pancakes/pastries. But at my local food co-op, I found something that looked amazingly oat-like… rye flakes!

And lo and behold, they taste and cook JUST like oats, but without the horrible bloating! I first tried out ryemeal (aka rye oatmeal), and came up with the recipe on the fly to try them in granola for the first time. And it is AMAZING!

Of course, if you don’t have a problem with oats, you should probably just use those because they’re easier to find at stores and whatnot. 😛

Ingredients:

  • 1/2c rolled oats or rye flakes
  • 1/4c pecans
  • 1/4c walnuts
  • 1/4c almonds
  • 1/4c maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Coarsely chop all the nuts, preferably using a nut chopper (I have this one).
  2. Combine all the ingredients, and spread them out evenly on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F, then stir. Bake for 3 more minutes or until evenly golden brown. If it begins to get browner around the edges than the middle, stir every few minutes until it’s all golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet for 10 minutes.
  5. And enjoy! I suggest trying it sprinkled it on smoothie bowls, oatmeal, or yogurt, using it as cereal, or even having it on its own as a snack!

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Recipes

The Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Last weekend I got to attend the loveliest holiday cookie party with an awesome group of vegan girls. We had vegan eggnog and peppermint mochas, a cookie contest, a white elephant gift exchange, some of the cutest Christmas decor I’ve ever seen, games, and most importantly, a ton of amazing cookies and holiday treats.

I decided to bring my ol’ faithful cookie recipe: classic chocolate chip cookies. I’ve been making these for years and everywhere I’ve brought them, someone has asked for the recipe–without fail.

So I thought it was finally time I posted it here for you all!

I know a lot of blogs call every recipe “the best ___”, and I haven’t done it before, but I really have heard from a lot of vegans AND omnivores that these are the best chocolate chip cookies they’ve had. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 & 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup vegan butter, melted (I use miyoko’s)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk* (I used soy)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

*If using vegan margarine instead of miyoko’s, use 1/4c milk instead.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda to a large bowl and stir until combined.
  3. After melting the vegan butter in a medium bowl, add the brown and white sugar, non-dairy milk, and vanilla. Stir until combined.
  4. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture, and stir until it begins to come together. Add the chocolate chips and stir until just combined.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet–I usually get about 20 cookies per batch.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until bottoms and edges turn golden brown.

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