• Meal Ideas

    Southwest Chick’n Salad

    The usual punchline is that all vegans eat are salads. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy a great salad but that’s not all we eat! And when we do eat salads-WE GO ALL OUT! We make GIANT salads loaded with all kinds of good stuff. Delicious, fresh and filling, this is one of our favorite salads and will leave you so satisfied on your hungriest of days!

    Southwest Chick’n Salad

    For 1 salad, you’ll need…

    Salad greens-I use bagged Romaine but feel free to use whatever you’d like! I’ve even used a lettuce mix with cabbage and carrots because that’s all I could find at the store.

    Boca Chicken Nuggets cooked per directions and sliced. I use 3 nuggets per salad. (PS. I throw these in my airfryer. If you don’t have one, I HIGHLY suggest adding one to your kitchen!)

    1/2 cup Black Beans, drained and rinsed.

    1/2 cup corn, drained and rinsed. I use fresh frozen that can be thawed quickly!

    Cherry tomatoes, quartered.

    Avocado, chopped.

    Tortilla Strips. These are vegan friendly!

    Buffalo Sauce

    Ranch dressing

     

    Here’s how you do it..

    Layer everything into your dish…

    Greens.

    Black beans

    Corn

    Sliced Chick’n Nuggets

    Avocado

    Cherry tomatoes

    Tortilla strips

    Drizzle of Buffalo sauce

    Drizzle of Ranch dressing

    Enjoy!!!

     

    And there you have it, a super delicious salad that comes together in just a matter of minutes! Let me know if you try this out!

     

  • Meal Ideas

    Potato Patty Perfection!

    When I was a kid, my mom used to make potato patties on the regular. These little pillows were a mix of my favorite things-soft, fluffy potatoes and cheesy goodness-fried to perfection. I’ve tried to veganize these in the past but failed-miserably. Thanks to the VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart, I was able to enjoy these once again!

    Look at that golden potato goodness!

    If you want to try these at home, here’s how you do it:

    You’ll need…

    5-6 Yukon gold potatoes (this will yield about 14 patties depending on size)

    FYH’s VeganEgg-prepare the equivalent of  HALF of one vegan egg prepared with water.

    1/2c or so of your fave vegan cheese. I used Daiya‘s mozzarella cheese.

    Salt and Pepper

    Flour for dredging+1 teaspoon

    Cast Iron pan

    Saucepan

    Potato Masher

    Oil for frying

    Toppings-Sour cream and fresh Pico de Gallo salsa!

    And here’s how you do it:

    1. Chop potatoes into cubes and add to saucepan. Boil until cooked through. Drain and set aside until potatoes are cooled.
    2. Once potatoes are cooled, mash potatoes until creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
    3. Heat frying pan and oil over medium heat. Oil should be about an inch deep.
    4. While oil is heating, add cheese to potatoes and 1 tsp of flour to potatoes. Mix well.
    5. Add vegan egg and stir until combined well. The potato dough should stick together well enough to form potato balls (about golf ball size)
    6. GENTLY flatten the potato balls. Don’t make them too thin, you’ll want them to puffy little pillows. If you make them too thin, they’ll fall apart.
    7. Just before adding patties to hot oil, dredge them in flour on both sides. You want to get a nice coating on them!
    8. Fry until brown on one side. While cooking, you can use a spoon to put some of the oil on the exposed size of the patty. Flip carefully and cook on the other side. You’ll want a nice dark brown on them.
    9. Place cooked patties on paper towel lined dish and repeat until all patties are cooked.
    10. Serve immediately with your fave toppings. Rice is also a great side dish for these!

    Give it a try and let me know what you think!

  • Meal Ideas

    Monte Cristo, please!

    Feeling a little inspired by my love for all things Disneyland, a local pop up restaurant and at the urging of the hubs, I whipped up some Monte Cristo sandwiches for dinner last night! And let me tell you…THEY WERE HEAVEN.

    They came together fairly easily and quickly which would make this a great recipe to keep on hand. And the sweet and savory combo is great for when you just can’t decide what you’re in the mood for! I served this along side some beer battered fries but feel free to serve this along side anything-from fresh fruit to salads. It’s all amazing.

    Now, I am no perfect recipe writer but I’ll try to walk you through what I did so you can recreate this classic at home.

    You’ll need:

    Texas Toast sliced bread-I buy the Rainbo brand at Von’s. If you can’t find Rainbo in your area, look for a THICK SLICED fluffy bread.

    Tofurky Ham style deli slices. You can also add some Turkey style slices as well. I used 2 slices of each variety for each sandwich.

    Follow Your Heart Gouda slices. I used 2 slices of cheese per sandwich.

    Follow Your Heart VeganEgg prepared with your fave plant based milk. I used soy milk and I only needed to prepare the equivalent of one egg for 2 sandwiches! This may be a little thick if you want to dunk your ENTIRE sandwich into the batter. You’ll need to thin it out a bit. Otherwise, its perfect for dipping like you do french toast. If you don’t have VeganEgg, you can use your fave french toast batter.

    Mustard

    Mayo

    Butter or oil for frying. I used Earth Balance.

    Cast Iron Pan or griddle

    Powdered sugar

    Preserves-Strawberry is fantastic!

    Maple Syrup

    And here is how it all came together:

    1. Heat pan over medium heat until hot.
    2. While pan is heating, prepare your batter and set aside. Make sure to use a bowl that is deep enough for dipping your sandwich.
    3. Assemble your sandwiches! Spread mayo and mustard on each slice of bread. You don’t need a lot. Just like you’re making a regular lunch sandwich. Then layer a slice of cheese, add your deli slices (alternate if using more than one variety) add another slice of cheese and add your top slice of bread.
    4. Add butter (or oil) to your hot pan and allow to melt.
    5. Dip your assembled sandwich into your batter and place dipped sandwich in the pan.
    6. Cook until nice and brown on the first side and then flip your sandwich over to cook on the other side.
    7. Remove cooked sandwich from pan and set aside.
    8. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.

    Allow your sandwich to cool for a minute before trying to handle it. Slice your sandwich in half and dust lightly with powdered sugar. Serve with strawberry preserves and maple syrup!

    Enjoy!

     

     

  • Meal Ideas

    Spinach & Tofu Tacos

    IMG_20150704_103015 (1)
    Spinach & Tofu tacos topped with salsa verde and chopped cilantro.

    A local restaurant that we go to has weekly specials. One of their specials was called “Popeye’s Tacos” and my hubby loves them! There is nothing fancy about them but the flavors are so good. I decided to try to replicate these at home and they were a success! Here is what you’ll need to make them at home:

    1 Package Extra Firm Tofu, drained and pressed

    8oz Baby Spinach leaves (I used a small clamshell package but you can adjust more or less depending on your love of spinach)

    1 TBSP oil

    1 TBSP Earth Balance

    Salt

    Pepper

    Corn tortillas for serving

    Your favorite salsa (I used a salsa verde I had on hand but a red salsa would also do lovely here)

    Fresh chopped cilantro for sprinkling.

    1. Shred the tofu using a box grater. You can use a handheld grater but make sure the holes are big. Don’t attempt to use a zester, that won’t work.

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    2. Heat cast iron pan over medium high heat until hot. Once the pan is hot, add in oil and Earth Balance butter. Allow oil and butter to get to temperature.

    3. Once oil and Earth Balance are hot, drop in shredded tofu. Season with salt and pepper and give it a stir.

    4. Let the tofu cook on one side, without stirring, until you see a nice golden color and crisp form. Once you see the golden color, flip using a thin spatula. Allow to cook on second side using the same method.

    5. Once tofu is cooked, add in spinach and stir to wilt down the spinach and heat through.

    6. Fill your tortillas with the spinach and tofu mix, top with salsa and any other toppings and enjoy!

    These tacos would pair well with breakfast potatoes or rice and beans for an easy dinner!

  • Meal Ideas

    Spicy Quesadillas!

    Sometimes, you just throw something together and it winds up being one of the best things ever. I just happened to go to Trader Joe’s that day and saw their awesome Chile and Onion tortillas. And I quickly realized they would make the best quesadillas. So, I picked up some soyrizo (their vegan soyrizo is back, FYI!) and headed home.

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    Spicy quesadillas served with tots.

    Here’s how I did it:

    Ingredients

    • Trader Joe’s Chile and Onion Tortillas (2 per quesadilla)
    • Soyrizo
    • your favorite vegan cheese (I used Daiya cheddar shreds)
    • Any garnishments you’d like

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    2. While oven is heating, brown soyrizo in a small pan. This should take about 5 minutes. Remove soyrizo from heat once it’s browned to your liking.
    3. Take one tortilla and place it on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle your cheese all over the tortilla. Then do the same with the soyrizo. Then top with a second tortilla.
    4. Place the assembled quesadillas in the oven and about about 7-10 minutes. You want the tortilla to be crispy and the cheese melted.
    5. Remove from oven and slice into wedges. Pizza cutters work wonders here!
    6. Serve alongside garnishments and your favorite sides. Since these quesadillas are spicy, cool garnishments like non-dairy sour cream, guacamole or fresh salsa would work best.

    Enjoy!

  • Meal Ideas

    Taquitos featuring Beyond Meat

    I love that there are so many vegan meat alternatives! Everyone has their own personal favorites, too. Most of the time I cook with Gardein at home because I have found Beyond Meat a bit difficult to work with. It’s tasty when I have prepared for me but I just can’t seem to cook it right at home…until now. After a few attempts, I have found the best way to prepare it, especially for taquitos, though the possibilities are endless. Here is how I did it:

    Ingredients

    • 1 Package Beyond Meat Chicken Strips (any variety)
    • 1 Poblano chile
    • 4 cups veggie broth
    • 1/4 onion
    • 1 medium tomato
    • 1 Serrano chile
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Juice from 1/2 lime
    • Cilantro (about a handful)
    • Corn tortillas
    • Oil for frying
    • Garnishes i.e. guacamole, salsa verde, pico de gallo salsa, non dairy sour cream, etc.

    Directions

    1. Roast the Poblano chile on the stove top until blackened on all side. Once it’s fully blackened, wrap the chile in a cloth towel or plastic bag and allow it to sweat for 5-10 minutes. Then, peel the charred skin off the chile, remove the stem and cut a slit in the side to remove the seeds. Set aside.
    2. In a medium pot, add Beyond Meat strips, broth, tomato, onion and Serrano chile. Bring to boil. Boil until the strips are swollen and are very tender.
    3. Once the strips are ready, use a slotted spoon to remove the strips. Shred the strips using two forks until all the strips are finely shredded. Put the shredded strips into a large bowl. Set aside.
    4. Using the slotted spoon, remove the tomato, onion and serrano chile from the pot and put them in your blender jar. Add the Poblano chile, cilantro, salt and lime juice. Puree until almost smooth.
    5. Add the salsa to the shredded meat and mix thoroughly.
    6. Add oil (about an inch) to pan and heat over medium heat. While this is heating, warm up your tortillas.
    7. When tortillas are warmed, fill with meat and roll up. You’ll want to work in batches here. I usually put about 5 taquitos in my pan at once. Place the taquitos, seam side down, in the hot oil. Cook until crispy on all sides (be sure to turn them to get a uniform crisp.)
    8. Remove cooked taquitos from pan and place on paper towel to drain while you cook the rest of the taquitos.
    9. Top with your favorite garnishments and enjoy!

    This filling would work well with various recipes like tamales, enchiladas or use it as a base for other fillings.

    Enjoy!

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  • Meal Ideas

    Dinner Idea-Taquito Night!

    I have always loved cooking and baking. There is no better feeling, to me, than cooking for someone and seeing them truly enjoy their meal. It’s the thing I do to cheer someone up, say thank you or let them know I’m thinking of them. It’s my therapy and it’s something I absolutely love doing.

    But as much as I love cooking and baking, I am no recipe creator. I do not come up with my own recipes, although I wish I could. But every now and then, I come up with a great dinner idea. And this is one of my hubby’s favorites: Potato Taquitos. They are delicious and relatively easy to make which makes them great for a week night meal. I will try to recreate my recipe below but in the mean time, here’s a picture of a recent batch of taquitos.

    20140603_182236

    Since my hubby love these, I usually make enough potatoes to make taquitos for a few dinners or about 20 taquitos. Feel free to adjust the ingredients below for the number of taquitos you are making.

    Potato Filling

    • 8 regular sized Yukon Gold potatoes (you can use any potato but I use Yukons because they have a natural, buttery flavor)
    • Veggie Stock
    • Cumin
    • Coriander
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Corn tortillas
    • Veggie oil
    • Toppings (fresh pico de gallo salsa, vegan sour cream, guacamole, chimichurri or whatever you want!)

    Fill large pot with water.

    Scrub, rinse and peel the potatoes. Cut potatoes into quarters and add quartered potatoes to pot. Place pot on the stove over medium high heat and boil potatoes until they are fork tender, about 15 minutes or so.

    Once potatoes are tender, remove from heat. Drain potatoes in a colander and add potatoes back to the pot. Add a few splashes of veggie stock and mash potatoes with a potato masher. You want the potatoes to have the consistency of mashed potatoes. Add veggie stock a couple of splashes at a time until you get the desired consistency. Add cumin, coriander, salt and pepper to taste. Start with about 1/2 tsp of cumin, coriander and 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper and adjust to taste.

    Warm up your tortillas that you will be using, placing them in a towel to keep warm. Once your tortillas have been warmed up, start heating up your oil. Place about 1/2 inch to 1 inch oil in a pan. Place pan over medium high heat until oil is hot.

    While you are heating your oil, assemble your taquitos. Take a warmed tortilla and place a spoonful of potatoes on one side. Be careful not to overfill, your tortilla may break. Gently roll up the taquito and place seam side down in the oil when ready. (I can get about 6 taquitos in my pan so I will assemble all 6 first, then drop them in the pan). Fry until golden brown and crispy, turn over and cook until golden brown and crispy.

    Serve with salsa, vegan sour cream, chimichurri, guacamole or whatever you’d like!

    Enjoy!

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    Chimichurri. Hand chopped and delicious!

     

  • Meal Ideas

    “Meat”ball Subs

    I know what you’re thinking: Meatball sub with no meat? No way! Well, believe it. I decided to make these subs after our trip to Sonoma, CA where we were able to try Ike’s Place for the very first time (which you should do if you go to the San Francisco area). I hadn’t had a meatball sub in so long and I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed it. While these subs were no Ike’s subs, they were dang delicious. And that’s really all that matters.

    So, here is what you’ll need for your subs:

    1 French Roll per person

    photo 5
    The package says it all. “For meat and veggie lovers alike!”

    1 Package Gardein Meatless Meatballs

    1 Jar of your favorite marinara sauce or homemade marinara

    Daiya Mozzarella style shreds (or your favorite non-dairy cheese)

    Earth Balance Roasted Herb & Garlic spread (or your favorite vegan butter spread), slightly softened

    Here’s how to assemble them:

    1. Add your marinara to a saucepan and heat through. Once hot, add the desired amount of meatballs (I use 4 meatballs per sub) to the pan and simmer on low for 15 minutes.

    2. While simmering the meatballs, slice your french roll lengthwise along the top (don’t cut all the way through. Your sub will turn into a very messy sandwich!) and spread Earth Balance on each side of the inside of the roll.

    3. Wrap the french roll in foil but leave the slit across the roll uncovered.

    4. Put the wrapped rolls into the oven and bake for about 5 minutes or just until the inside of the bread is slightly toasty and the butter is melted.

    5. Once bread is slightly toasty, remove the bread from the oven but keep it wrapped in the foil. Add the meatballs and some of the marinara sauce (don’t over do the sauce, your sub will be really soggy!)

    6. Top with cheese and pull the foil down around the sides so that the foil is only under the bottom of the roll (basically, your roll should sit on a “plate” of foil). Put the rolls into the oven and set the oven to “Broil” and broil until the cheese is melty and your bread is as crunchy as you’d like it (about 5-10 minutes).

    7. Enjoy!

    Shopping Note: If your new to plant based cooking, you might be wondering where to find Gardein and Daiya. Gardein can be found at Von’s, Sprout’s Farmers Markets, Target and Whole Foods in the Frozen aisles. Daiya can be found at Von’s, Sprout’s Farmers Markets and Whole Foods. If you aren’t sure about stores in your area, you can also check out there product locators: Gardein and Daiya.

    Perfectly toasty!
    Perfectly toasty!