It’s Taco Night!

Taco night is great any day of the week, it’s that quick go to meal that everyone loves. Use hard shell or soft tortillas to make this family favorite. Warning side effects make include huge smiles, and happy friends and family!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of tofurky chorizo
  • 1 head of lettuce, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 avocado (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • favorite block of vegan cheese (grated)
  • nondairy sour cream (I used follow your heart)
  • 8 hard taco shells or soft tortillas
  • hot sauce

Step1: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil at medium/high in a sauce pan. Put in the Tofurky chorizo and stir occasionally. While chorizo is heating chop all the toppings and grate the cheese, set aside. This is when you can worm the tortillas if you’d like. Now it’s time to assemble the tacos!

Serve with a side of rice and beans!

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LA Vegan Eats Vol. 1

Living in LA as a vegan is awesome! This place is a mecca for great vegan restaurants and tasty options. I love trying new places and food so here are some of my finds!

The Chicken Run Ranch Burger at Native Foods…Yummy!

” I AM CELEBRATING” Yep that’s the name of this dish from Cafe Gratitude. It’s a raw coconut and zucchini ceviche. Delicious!

This is the BBQ Tempeh Burger from Seed Kitchen in Venice. I go to Seed just to get this. Could be the best burger I’ve tasted! It was named a top 10 burger in the LA Times and I certainly know why! πŸ™‚

Vegan Miso Ramen from Fresh In The Box. This little restaurant has many veggie and vegan options that are very tasty!

This one is also from Fresh In The Box. Some of the most amazing tempera vegetables I’ve ever had and a yummy cucumber salad.

This is the Gardein BBQ Chicken Pizza from Green Peas in Culver City. I work near this restaurant and was delighted to know they offer a vegan version of almost everything on the menu from breakfast to pizza!

What I like to call the NOT tuna melt with a side of roasted potatoes also from Green Peas.

Hope you enjoyed LA’s Vegan Eats!

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Shiitake and Walnut Sauce

I found this recipe on The Vegan Version blog and had to try it! I altered the recipe to make do with what I had on hand. The sauce is rich and creamy and goes perfectly with the squash, this dish will have everyone asking for more. πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

Ravioli

  • 1 butternut squash halved and seeded or you can you use fresh prepackaged squash.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (red pepper)
  • nondairy ricotta or and nondairy cheese
  • vegan wonton skins. These are hard to find, so i didn’t even bother looking I just made my own! Learn how to make your own pasta here!

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
  • 2 garlic gloves, finely chopped or minced
  • 6 oz shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (highly recommended!)
  • 1/4 cup white wine or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup of nondairy milk (I used Almond)

Filling

Step1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Take the butternut squash and cut in half length wise, and then scoop out the seeds. place in a shallow casserole dish with about 1/2″ of water in the bottom. (this helps to keep it from burning) Cook for about 45mins to an hour or until they are soft all the way through. Once they are cooked let them cool and then scoop out the squash into a bowl. Mash with a fork and blend in the salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

Step 2: To make the ravioli, place wontons or homemade pasta on a lightly floured surface and scoop the squash filling and just a little nondairy ricotta onto each piece. Brush the edges with a little water and place another wonton on top and press with a fork to seal. You can also just fold in half a seal like I did! In a large pot of boiling water drop the ravioli in for about 3 to 5 mins.

Sauce

Step1: In a sauce pan heat and melt the nondairy butter. Throw in the garlic and shiitake mushrooms. Heat for about a minute and then pour in the wine or veggie stock and nondairy milk. While this is heating place the chopped walnuts on a cookie sheet and heat at 300 degrees until toasted. (be careful not burn) Once the sauce is simmering sprinkle small amounts of flour to thicken to desired consistency.

Place five ravioli on each plate and pour the sauce on. Serve with a side salad and you might have you guests thinking you’re a professional chef!

Homemade vegan pasta

Homemade pasta is amazing and sometimes its hard to find pasta or wonton wrappers that don’t have eggs. Surprisingly enough making your own pasta can be easy and fun! Here is a simple recipe that will get you started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups of semolina flour
  • 1/3 cup of water, add a little more if needed

That’s It!

Step1: Mix the flour and water together and need into a stretchy dough. I highly suggest using a pasta machine, but you can also just use a rolling pin and little muscle. Roll out the dough until it is about 1/8″ or smaller in thickness. Cut the pasta to desired shape, I made ravioli with mine. You can also use this to make other pastas like fettucine and spaghetti!

Check out the recipe I made with this!

Orange Ginger Glazed Yams and Carrots

This dish is perfect for fall with seasonal veggies and that hint of autumn spice. I love root vegetables and this recipe spotlights a couple of favorites. Served as a side or eaten alone, you can be sure this one will become a tradition πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

Serves 5

  • 2 cups of chopped cubed carrots
  • 2 cups of chopped cubed yams
  • Juice from 1 Orange
  • 2 oz raisins (2 snack size boxes)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut meat. (I scooped out of a fresh coconut, if you can’t find a fresh coconut you can probably find prepacked coconut.)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons of nondairy butter
  • Walnuts to top (optional)

Step1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut carrots and peel and cut yams. Place in a casserole dish. Mix the brown sugar, coconut, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, butter, and the juice from the squeezed orange in a blender until ingredients and mixed together well then throw in the raisins.

Step2: Pour glaze over carrots and yams and mix well. Cover and place in the oven and bake for 45 mins to an hour.

Great as a Thanksgiving side!

Sophie’s Vegan Crab Cakes

I am always on the lookout for new vegan products to try, and these days there are so many things to choose from.Β  I was at the store and came across Sophie’s Vegan Crab Cakes and while vegan seafood is always “ify” for me, this particular product intriged me.

Sophie’s crab cakes are soy free, gluten free, and of course meat/seafood free. 100% veggie based with the main ingredient being konjac powder and pea protein. Konjac is grown in India, China, Japan and Korea for its large starchy corms, used to create a flour and jelly of the same name.

It comes with 4 large “crab” cakes in a package that you can either bake or pan fry. I pan fried my “crab” cakes and served with a side of wild rice and peas. I made two dipping sauces, a creamy lemon and dill dip and a spicy berry sauce. The “crab” cakes were great! The texture was good andΒ  it had that slight hint of the ocean in its taste. I will definatly use these again, they would make a great sandwich!

You can find this product at various health food stores, wholefoods, and online shops!

Vegan Cheeseburger Pizza. MOFO Day 9!

It is safe to say most people like a classic pizza pie, but every now and again it’s good to switch it up. This is one of those weird but have to try things just based on the novelty alone! You can use whatever toppings you’d like, get fun with it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of premade pizza crust (make sure there is no whey)
  • 1 jar of your favorite pizza sauce
  • Veggie crumbles ( I used tofury original ground)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • sliced dill pickles
  • shredded nondairy cheese

Step1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pour as much sauce as you’d like on the pizza crust and spread out to the edge. Add all the toppings in the order of your choosing. Place in the oven and bake until the crust is crispy and the cheese has melted.

Now all that’s missing is a vegan milkshake! πŸ™‚

Stuffed [Vegan] Shells

There is nothing like a great pasta dish, and these stuffed shells are it. They are easy to make and quite satisfying. With a glass of wine and a salad, there might not be room for dinner conversation!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 140z can of tomato sauce
  • 1Β  can of tomato paste
  • 2 Garlic cloves (finely chopped or minced)
  • 1 tables spoon of fresh or dried parsley
  • 1/4Β  cup of vegan ricotta (prepackaged or homemade)
  • 1/4 vegan cream cheese ( I used Galaxy)
  • Fresh or dried chives
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: In a large pot bring about 8 cups of water to boil. Throw in the pasta with half a tablespoon of oil, so they won’t stick together. Cook the pasta until it is almost done. (el dente) While the pasta is cooking, you can start making the cheese mixture and sauce.

Step 2: Preheat your oven to 375 – 400 degrees. Put a little oil in a medium size pot, heat at a low/medium temperature. Thrown in the garlic and let it cook for about 3 mins. (careful not to let it burn) Now you can pour in the tomato sauce and paste, stir until everything is blended well turn to a low heat and let it simmer.

Step3: Now the Cheese! It is actually very easy to make. Mix the vegan cream cheese and ricotta, (prepacked or homemade) toss in some chives and blend until creamy, salt and pepper to taste. It’s time to stuff! In a casserole dish spoon in a thin layer of the sauce, then take the cooked pasta and stuff each shell.Place them in the casserole dish and pour on the rest of the sauce. You can throw a little vegan parmesan cheese on top if you’d like!

tempo per mangiare

(Time to eat!)

Vegan Banana Split

Everyone enjoys a classic banana split, and as vegan there are no exceptions. This olde fashioned dessert is simple to make and will put a smile on any ones face.

Ingredients:

Serves 1

  • 1 banana
  • nondairy vanilla ice cream
  • nondairy chocolate ice cream
  • nondairy strawberry ice cream
  • your favorite vegan toppings

Step1: Peel the banana and cut in half length wise. Place in a long shallow dish or bowl. Take one big scoop of each ice cream flavor and put in between the banana halves. Place as many topping as you’d like. I kept it simple and just used a blueberry syrup, but you can get creative with nuts, chocolate topping, fruit, etc.

bon appetit!

Vegan Jalapeno Poppers!

I have been wanting to make a vegan version of one of the most fun a tasty appitizers to eat. Jalapeno Poppers! Crunchy, spicy, and creamy…what’s not to love? They were an absolute hit with some friends I had over for dinner. With a little homemade ranch dip, these yummy treats will be the star of any gathering.

Ingredients:

Jalapeno Poppers

  • 7-8 Fresh Jalapenos
  • Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Your favorite vegan cheese ( I used a mixture of Galaxy onion and chive cream cheese and vegan riccota with some added spices.)
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Oil (I used Sunflower seed oil)

Ranch Dip

  • 1/4 cup vegan sour cream
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Jalapeno Poppers

Step 1: Cut the jalapenos down the middle length wise. Scoop out the seeds and disgard. (or put into your compost!) If you like a little more spice you can leave some seeds in. The seeds are where the heat comes from. My jalapenos were quite large so I then cut them in half to make them smaller. It’s all up to you!

Step 2: Take your favorite vegan cheese and fill the jalapeno halves. Now it’s time to make the batter for the breading to stick to.Β  Take the flour and add water slowly until its consistancy is like pancake batter. Take the jalapenos and dip them in your batter. Make sure the entire jalapeno is covered.

Step 3: Take the panko breading and put a thick layer in a shallow bowl. Place a couple jalapenos in the bowl and cover the entire thing with breading. The more the better! Repeat until all the jalapenos are done and breaded. Now it’s time to cook! Place enough oil in a pot to cover at least 3/4 of the jalapenos and turn on a medium/high heat. When the oil is hot enough (you can test one to see) throw in a few jalapenos and cook both sides until they are a golden brown.

Ranch Dip

Step1: Take all the ingredients and mix together. Add more of anything to make it how you like it!

Now Eat, Enjoy, and Be Happy! πŸ™‚