Monday, September 30, 2013

September Favorites

1. Vegan Spicy Pumpkin Chai Latte 
It always bummed bums me out when Fall rolls around and the pumpkin chai comes out at coffee shops. There is something about processed, bottle chai concentrate that doesn't agree with me. But luckily there is away around this! I made this incredibly spicy, frothy pumpkin chai latte. I never thought to use my immersion blender to make foam, but it works great! I will certainly be making this again! //Fo Reals Life

2. Vegetable Loaded Chili
I'm finally done with my summer squash surplus! I'm surprised to say it's quite a relief and that I'm ready to move on to winter squashes. This chili was super easy, delicious, packed with vegetables, and incredibly spicy! I added a few dashes of liquid smoke to take the edge off. This chili is a great way to clean out your fridge and freezer by using all your vegetables. It's also freezer friendly! //Oh My Veggies! 

 3. Cajun Oven Fries
I finally shared my "secret" recipe for Cajun oven fries! It's one of the things I've missed since going GF and I am a potato fiend, obviously. These fries are so easy and delicious. We made them twice this month to pair with these amazingly vegan quick burgers. I suggest you do the same! //here!

 4. Vegan Cinnamon-Apple French Toast
There's something so comforting about warm, spiced fruit. This vegan French toast was surprisingly filling and easy to make. I used pears for the warm fruit compote and GF bread. I also ran out of bread, so I used waffles for the rest of the French toast batter. Yay for improvising! //Vegetarian Times

5. Kale Powered Pasta
Recently, Mike and I have been trying out a vegan/soy-free/GF meal plan from the Happy Herbivore. They include easy, cheap, and delicious recipes for every meal. We haven't been following it to a T just yet, but so far, it has been a huge time saver for us. This pasta was one of the recipes that made a TON and was super nutritious! We just cooked an entire bag of GF pasta, then added in a chopped bell pepper and a bunch of kale in the last few minutes of cooking. After we drained the pasta, we returned it to the pot and added a jar of Trader Joe's no-salt-added marinara, spices, herbs, etc. 

6. Slow-Cooker Elvis Oatmeal
I received a 2 qt (smaller) slow-cooker for my birthday last year and have been meaning to use it more. I have used it a few times for smaller dishes, but oatmeal works great in it. I finally bought some GF steel cut oats and decided to try it out. You put your oatmeal in the slow-cooker to cook before bed, and when you wake up: Voila! Instant breakfast. I enjoyed the texture and this oatmeal was enough for three servings. So I ate it for breakfast a few days that week, which was a huge time saver! It reheated wonderfully! The blog I got this recipe from has written both of the slow-cooker books I own (one is only for 2qts!) and she has many oatmeal recipes besides this one! //Healthy Slow Cooking

7. Pad Thai
Why has it taken me so long to make pad Thai? I keep asking myself this. Pad Thai is one of my favorite dishes of all time, when it's me-friendly of course. I finally decided to try Happy Herbivore's recipe and it's quick, easy, scrumptious, and easily adaptable. I can't really tell you how simple this is. It's cheaper than getting take out! I added Twin Oak's premarinated Thai tofu, shredded carrots, and shredded red cabbage. I highly suggest serving it with cilantro, lime wedges, and lots of sriracha. //Happy Herbivore

8. Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
So I obviously went a little pumpkin crazy one weekend when I made these and the pumpkin spice chai above. I don't go nuts for pumpkin as much as I do winter squash. But, I couldn't resist making us a special autumn breakfast. These pancakes were simple to pull together, but they make a TON of pancakes. I was eating these for breakfast for days (which isn't the worst problem to have...). These are perfect with maple syrup, warm fruit, and a hot cup of tea. //Allyson Kramer

9. Buffalo Chickpea Loaded Potato
I have made this dish before, but I just can't get over how easy it is. Actually, I don't think I can get over how much I love buffalo sauce. Buffalo smothered chickpeas cooked with caramelized onions, stuffed in a fluffy baked potato and served with a side of steamed kale. What more do you want for dinner?! This recipe comes together quickly and is a hearty autumn meal. //Naturally Ella

10. Orange Pan-Glazed Tempeh
I've become a little obsessed with finding different ways to cook tempeh. Recently, I have really enjoyed cooking it with Asian recipes. I've had my eye on this recipe for a long time, but kept pushing it aside because of the mirin. I finally gave in and bought some (it's not that bad!) to keep around for Asian dishes. If you have a well stocked "international" pantry, this recipe is super easy to make. Sweet orange juice pairs with soy sauce, mirin, garlic and more to make a delicious twist on Asian tempeh. I highly recommend serving it with rice, lime wedges, and a steamed vegetable. //101 Cookbooks

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Nutty Root

A nutty, creamy, slightly spicy cocktail!

The Nutty Root

Throw 3 ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Add whipped vodka, root beer liqueur, almond milk, and two dashes of nutmeg. Shake. Pour (including ice) in a glass. Top with root beer to the top and garnish with more nutmeg.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cajun Oven Fries

One thing I still get a craving for are the cajun fries from Cookout. They're spicy, sometimes garlicky, and all around damn delicious with ketchup. I set out to learn to make my own because:

A) Who wants to wait in that super long line that seems to never go away?
B) I'm pretty sure they don't have a separate GF fryer for these
C) I am 100% addicted to fries

You'll be amazing at how easy and tasty these are. And if you aren't making your own fries at home already, you're seriously missing out. I will also post a list of possible flavor combos, as well as oven fry links around the web. 

Cajun Oven Fries

  • Cajun seasoning (I use this)
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1-2 large Russet potatoes, or a handful of small potatoes (however many you will eat!)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel your potatoes after you wash them if desired. Cut into thin slices, coins, or fry-shapes, depending on your preference. The key is to make all of the slices the same thickness. I usually cut mine somewhere between 1/4"-1/2" thick. 
  2. Grab a baking sheet. Line with parchment if desired. Place potatoes on sheet and about 1-2 tsp of oil. You want to make sure that at least each slice is coated lightly with oil. Sprinkle enough Cajun seasoning to coat the fries, about 1-2 tsp or more. Warning: most Cajun seasonings contain salt so do NOT salt your fries, unless you're a sodium fiend. Toss to combine the oil and seasonings with fries.
  3. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir and try a potato. They may be done at this point. If not, check them again in 5 minutes, until crisp on the outside and cooked/soft on the inside. 
  4. Here's the key to good oven fries: As soon as they're out of the oven, toss them with more Cajun seasoning. This is the stuff that really sticks on the potato and gives it that spicy flavor. Don't overdo it though! Just try to split half of it between before the oven and after the oven
  5. Serve with ketchup (you betta) and enjoy!

Other favorite seasoning combos:
- dried rosemary, paprika, salt + olive oil
- cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt + olive oil
- thyme, salt + olive oil
- paprika, garlic powder, salt + olive oil
- curry powder, paprika, salt + olive oil

Oven fries around the web: 
ketchup baked fries//Plant-based on a budget
zucchini fries//Budget Bytes
black bean oven fry nachos//Oh she glows
curried squash fries//Generation foodie
curry spiced pomme frites//Sprouted Kitchen
panko green bean fries//Happy healthy life

Thursday, September 12, 2013

GF/V Student Emergency Essentials

One thing I am struggling with is putting my "foodie" habits to the side during the semester. What I mean by this is that I am constantly making recipes that take way too long and have too many ingredients. I like a good culinary challenge. It's hard for me to make something that's just simple. Is that weird?

So this semester has already gotten insane. I've quickly realized that I just don't have time to cook all of the complicated things I'd like to. I am literally forcing myself to cook simpler, quicker, and cheaper meals. Next week, I will be trying a vegan/gluten-free meal plan from Happy Herbivore just to see how it works for me.

I decided to make a post about my "fail-safe" items that I always have in my pantry. Things that I can always rely on if dinner is just not going to happen tonight. Or I am too upset over a ridiculous French paper I have due to even stand in my kitchen. I know, you're thinking "Why don't you just go out?": this is cheaper, more than likely healthier if you buy the right products, and you can stay in your little humble cave/office! So here is my list of things that makes surviving college a *little* easier:
 1. GF/V mac + cheeze: This is the ultimate comfort food for me, and sometimes I just don't feel like looking at a recipe. This brand is organic and you can pronounce all the ingredients, which is always a good sign! I've tried other brands of boxed GF/V mac + cheeze but this is my favorite. Bulk it up with beans or whatever vegetables you have on hand!
2. GF instant oatmeal: Getting up in the morning can be a real struggle, but I always have to eat before class. If I didn't, I would probably fail every class. This oatmeal has a TON of protein from different grains, and its super healthy. I add a spoonful of peanut butter and nuts to my oatmeal.
3. Peanut butter: Peanut butter might be the best portable, protein packed snack there is. Tote it around with a spoon, carrots, celery, or even apples. I use this on waffles, in oatmeal, just as a snack, or to make bugs in the bed. A PBJ sandwich even has enough protein to keep you full on a night of hard work!
4. Larabars: I don't eat these all the time because they aren't incredibly filling, but they do have a lot of protein and the only ingredients are fruits and nuts. I keep these on hand for when I'm staying on campus longer than usual. You can eat them on the way to class, heck, even in class if you want, and there's no mess! I like these better than Kind bars because they contain less sugar.

5. Amy's frozen dinners: Yes. I am telling you that I have frozen dinners on hand. Why? Because I have been eating products from this company for years now. I trust them and know their policies. Their ingredients are wholesome, sometimes organic, and even light in sodium sometimes! Amy's has great options for GF/V bowls, pizzas, burritos, etc. I keep these bowls on hand to have a wholesome meal when I can't make myself cook. My favorites are the brown rice vegetable bowl, stir fry vegetable bowl, black-eyed pea bowls, and non-dairy burritos.

6. Amy's soup: Same as above: these soups are great for a quick lunch or dinner, or especially when you're sick and can't make it to the store. I try to choose light in sodium options and those high in protein. My favorites are lentil vegetable, tuscan bean and rice, and the Indian lentil dal. Eat over rice or a baked potato for a super filling meal! 
7. Pasta: Fun fact: pasta and breads were my favorite foods growing up. Who'd guess I was allergic to them this entire time? Pasta has become my ULTIMATE comfort food. And it's incredibly versatile. GF pasta especially has a lot of protein and nutrients, compared to regular pasta. This is not the only pasta I eat but it was $1.50 a bag at Harris Teeter. I usually keep 3-4 bags on hand just in case. Pair this with your favorite organic pasta sauce, vegan butter and salt, or just steamed vegetables!
8. Tasty Bite Indian meals: These Indian dinners are quick and delicious! Like I said about Amy's, I trust this company and have never gotten sick or found any odd ingredients in their products. They have a pretty wide variety from instant jasmine rice, chana dal, to bombay potatoes. Throw the instant rice and a main dish together for an instant meal! 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What is Tempeh? + 10 ways to cook it

Tempeh. One of the things I like to include in "the vegan holy trinity" (i.e. tofu, tempeh, and beans). I have been eating tempeh since I was a kid, and never really knew what it was. But now I am cooking it more than ever! It costs about the same as tofu, but is quite different from tofu. So what is it?

Tempeh is made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans. Unlike tofu, tempeh has a mild nutty flavor on its own that some people steam to get rid of before cooking. So what can you do with it? Pretty much anything. It's firmer than tofu, but absorbs flavors just as well. Chop it, shred it, dice it, bake it, fry it. There are so many wonderful ways to cook tempeh! 

For any fellow gluten-free folks, fair warning: not every brand of tempeh is gluten-free. Be sure to read labels carefully. If it says "five-grain tempeh", it is most likely not GF due to barley or spelt. On average, 8 oz of tempeh racks up 48g of protein, so this is why I include it in my vegan holy trinity. I usually buy westsoy but soyboy is also great. Sometimes tempeh looks darker than other packages, but this is perfectly normal. It is not mold, that is just how tempeh looks sometimes. 

So what do you do with this stuff? 




1. Tempeh Chili Mac (Everyday Happy Herbivore)//2. BBQ Tempeh Kale Pizza (VV)
3. Tempeh Cacciatore (me!)//4. Buffalo Tempeh & Vegan Ranch Salad (PPK)
5. Sweet & Sour Tempeh (Everyday Happy Herbivore)//6. Buffalo Tempeh & Vegan Mozzarella Sandwiches (Vegan Yack Attack)
7. Smoky Tempeh & Peppers (Greens & Seeds)//8. Summer Tempeh Sandwich (TK)
9. Sriracha Tempeh & Green Beans (FoReals Life)//10. Orange Glazed Tempeh (101)

Hungry for more? Here are some saved recipes that I haven't tried:

10-minute brussels + tempeh stir-fry
Potato + Tempeh Curry
Tempeh + Broccoli Stir-Fried Noodles
Tempeh Reuben Club Sandwiches
Tempeh Chili Con Frijoles

Sunday, September 1, 2013

August Favorites

How is August already over?! I feel like time has been going by way too fast. I've also somehow already survived two weeks of school! So here are my favorite recipes from August, that I highly recommend making! If it's from a cookbook, leave your e-mail and I will gladly send it to you! 

 1. 6-ingredient Sriracha Tempeh + Green Beans
This dish marinates for 30 minutes but only takes 5 minutes to actually cook. The main ingredients are: water, sriracha, tempeh, GF soy sauce, and green beans. It sounds simple, but the outcome of the dish was incredible. I will be making this over and over again. I highly recommend this for any night that you are short on time but want something good and spicy!
//FoReals Life

2. Black Bean Summer Squash Enchiladas
In the summertime, I eat as much zucchini and squash as possible. What better way than to use them in enchiladas? These enchiladas are spicy, packed with flavor and so delicious. I highly recommend using a homemade enchilada sauce for these (see here; sub vegan sour cream + vegetable stock). Just be sure to make these before summer is over and zucchini is no longer in season! 
//Fat-Free Vegan

 3. Cauliflower Crust Pizza
I recently discovered that Mike can eat cauliflower (!!!). So after this amazing discovery, I have been cooking with it once a week. And I know what you're thinking: cauliflower in a pizza crust? But trust me. This is may be the best GF crust I've ever had. The ingredients and process are incredibly simple. The recipe I used isn't vegan but can easily be made so by using egg-replacer. 
//Love & Lemons

4. Lemon-Blueberry Bars with Coconut Crust 
Who doesn't love lemon bars? These are studded with blueberries and are on top of a delicious, "buttery", coconut shortbread crust. The lemon flavor is bright and amazing! These are not vegan, and I'm not sure if there is a suitable substitute for eggs in lemon bars. However, I used vegan earth balance sticks, brown rice flour, sorghum flour, and tapioca starch. 
//La Phemme Phoodie

 5. Lemony Chickpea Kale Stir-Fry

Apparently I'm on a lemon kick lately! This "stir-fry" is quick and satisfying. It has chickpeas, tofu, zucchini, lemon, and caramelized onions. I never thought I would like chickpeas and tofu together, but this lemony stir-fry is great for a quiet night in. Serve it with brown rice or quinoa with earth balance, garlic, and salt. 
//101 Cookbooks

 6. Easy Weeknight Curry

Every time I make curry, I feel like I get better at it every single time. I'm constantly saying "this" is the best curry, then I quickly change my mind to another recipe. So I'm doing it again: this is the curry of the summer. It has an incredibly buttery undertone that comes from cooking the vegetables in coconut oil and coconut milk. The lime juice, fresh basil, and sriracha toppings also tie the dish together. Make this before the summer is over and you will not regret it! Serve over jasmine or basmati rice. Leave your e-mail for the recipe!
//Super Natural Everyday

7. Buffalo Tempeh + Vegan Ranch Salad
I actually hated ranch dressing when I wasn't mostly vegan. I sat with kids at lunch in middle school who put it on their pizza, which disgusted me to no end! (no offense to any ranch lovers). But this ranch is vegan, healthy, and tangy. It pairs perfectly with the spicy hotness of buffalo smothered tempeh. This salad is great for lunch and also doesn't take too much effort to prepare.