BBQ Sandwiches

THANK YOU to the blog Luminous Vegans for this recipe!! You rock :)

This barbeque sandwich was so delicious and easy too, I’m so glad we tried these! “How does a vegan eat barbeque?” you may ask. Enter the wonderful texture of Green Jackfruit. We found Young Green Jackfruit in the Asian isle at the supermarket.

young green jackfruit in brine

Get yourself two cans of Green Jackfruit in Brine. Green, not yellow! Also get a good, tasty bottle of barbeque sauce. We bought an organic one that was sweetened with agave. It was the best BBQ sauce eva! You’ll also want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees at this time.

green jackfruit

Now you know what Jackfruit looks like.

Jackfruit has a hard core in it which needs to be cut off and discarded. So get chopping and then you have this…

jackfruit with cores removed

Now into the pan…

jackfruit in frying pan

Now bust it up with your spatula! Nothing exciting yet, but take a closer look at the texture.

texture of jackfruit

Time to get saucy. Coat the jackfruit in the BBQ sauce. We used a whole bottle for the two cans of jackfruit. Simmer it in the sauce for about 20 minutes on a lower temperature.

Next, spread it over a baking sheet (covered in tin foil if you want less mess).

baking sheet covered in bbq jackfruit

Bake for about 20 minutes until it gets a bit crispy like this…

baked BBQ jackfruit

Pile the finished product on a bun and enjoy the amazing-ness!!

BBQ jackfruit sandwich

YUM!! Thanks again Luminous Vegans for the tasty recipe!

I Can’t Stop Eating These Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips

I think these might be the cure to my potato chip addiction!! I can’t get over how good these are, and can’t stop eating them! They also taste so deliciously like sour cream and onion, but of course don’t contain any dairy.

The recipe came from Thrive Foods cookbook. I made these in my food dehydrator but you can do them easily in the oven. I’ve included the instructions for both methods.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cashews, PRE-SOAKED in water for 35 minutes
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or 1 Tbsp cider vinegar and 1/2 Tbsp apple juice – I didn’t have apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch kale (I used some green and some purple kale)

Instructions

Combine the soaked cashews, water, onion powder, garlic powder, vinegar, salt, and parsley in a blender and process until smooth, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides if needed (this may take several minutes). Set aside.

soaked cashews in mini blender

sour cream and onion mixture blended
Wash the kale to remove any grit, then carefully dry the leaves. Strip the leaves into a bowl, roughly tearing any large pieces. Discard the stems. Pour the creamed mixture on top of the kale, using a small spatula or spoon to remove the mixture from the blender. Using clean hands, massage the mixture into the kale for 1 minute to evenly coat the leaves.

green and purple kale
Oven method:

Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then spread the kale chips over the sheets, as evenly and flatly as possible, to ensure even cooking time. (Don’t overlap them) Bake between 1 1/2 and 2 hours (time varies according to the dryness of the kale), tossing halfway through the baking, until the kale has dried out and is crispy but not burnt. Keep a close eye on the kale at the end of its cooking process, and remove any premature crispy chips from the batch if needed. Enjoy immediately or keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Dehydrator method (which also means this method is a raw recipe):

Warm the dehydrator to 115 degrees F. Spread the kale onto 4 mesh dehydrator sheets, and dehydrate for 10 – 12 hours, or until crispy (time will vary depending on relative humidity). We put this together before bed and let them dehydrate overnight!

sour cream and onion kale ready to be dehydrated

kale chips ready to eat

Ready to eat...nom nom nom

I think I just increased my daily kale consumption by 300%.

Tofu-Spinach Lasagna

Don’t let the title scare you, you can not tell this is made with tofu – this lasagna is great!! The two types of tofu blended become just like the texture of ricotta cheese – brilliant! Because of all the great texture, you don’t even notice the cheese missing. It is so satisfying!

They key to make the flavor great starts with a good, flavorful, rich pasta/tomato sauce. Start with this and you will have a great result. I got this recipe from the recipe section of the ADAPTT website.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. lasagna noodles (I used brown rice lasagna noodles)
  • 2 10-oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 lb. soft tofu
  • 1 lb. firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy milk (I used unsweetened almond)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tsp. minced basil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups (2 jars) tomato sauce

Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside on a towel. Be careful not to let them stick together. If this happens, run warm water over them to separate. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

cooking brown rice lasagna noodles

Squeeze the spinach as dry as possible and set aside. Place the tofu, sugar, soy milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

getting ready to make vegan ricotta

vegan ricotta

Check out that texture!

Cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles (use about one-third). Follow with a layer of half of the tofu filling and half of the spinach.

assembling vegan lasagna layers

Continue in the same order using half of the remaining tomato sauce and noodles and all of the remaining tofu filling and spinach. End with the remaining noodles, covered by the remaining tomato sauce.

tomato sauce layer

oven ready vegan lasagna

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Makes six to eight servings.

Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple, and Red Lentil Soup

This soup is SO TASTY. It’s probably my favorite! It’s comforting and creamy. I love using my hand blender to puree soups right in the pot. If you don’t have one just use a normal blender or food processor – just make sure you let the steam escape or the lid might go flying!

I adapted this recipe from one I found off All Recipes. The original used dairy products.

Serves 6.
Ingredients:

1/8 cup Olive Oil (can be less, whatever you want, but it’s a big pot of soup)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled (if desired) and chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 cups vegetable broth

Directions:

Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Place the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, and onion in the pot. Stir and cook the apples and vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.

sweet potatoes, carrots, apples cooking
Stir the lentils, ginger, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and vegetable broth into the pot with the apple and vegetable mixture. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.

Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot.

beginning to puree soup
very creamy soup after pureeing
Return the pureed soup to the cooking pot. Bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Optional: Add water/broth as needed to thin the soup to your preferred consistency.

This makes a good sized pot of soup! I have been meaning to freeze some, but we always end up eating it all up during the week. I would think it will freeze  well.

Lentil Cashew Burgers

A good veggie burger is so satisfying. I love veggie burgers, especially ones with mushrooms and nuts in them! Even if you aren’t a mushroom fan, you will like these. The flavor is even better the next day. I tried this recipe from The Vegetarian Collection cookbook.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews

2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil

4 cups sliced white or cremini mushrooms

1 onion, chopped

1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced (I am a garlic lover, so I used 2)

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

1 can (19 oz) lentils, drained and rinsed

1 Tbsp curry paste (I couldn’t find this, so I bought a jar of vegetable curry sauce instead and also used about 1/4 tsp of curry powder) *update – be careful with the kind of curry paste you use. I tried again when I found red curry paste, used 1 Tbsp and they were SPICY!!

1/4 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs (or try using more if you don’t want the burgers to be so moist)

1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander (I used about 1 tsp dried)

Topping Options:

Lettuce, bun, Veganaise, hummus, Daiya cheese, red onion, ketchup, mustard…whatever you like!

lentil burger ingredients

In a dry skillet, toast cashews over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to food processor.

In same skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat; saute mushrooms, chopped onion, garlic, salt and pepper until no liquid remains, about 5 minutes. Add to food processor.

mushrooms and onions cooking

rinsing lentils

Add lentils and curry paste/curry powder to food processor; pulse to combine.

lentil burger mixture in food processor

Transfer to bowl, then mix in bread crumbs and coriander. Shape mixture into 1/2 inch or so thick patties. This made 7 burgers for me.

raw lentil burgers

In a large nonstick skillet or grill pan, heat remaining oil over medium heat; fry patties until crusty, turning once, about 16 minutes or so. These are quite soft so be patient. I think if you added some more breadcrumbs and cashews, it would make them firmer. But it doesn’t matter, they taste great!

grilled lentil burgers

Assemble your burger and enjoy! I’m going to make a huge batch next time and freeze them.

The Best Creamy Mac and Cheese – Ultimate Comfort Food

Everyone loves a big bowl of creamy noodles, don’t they? I can’t think of a better comfort food. Since becoming vegan I never thought I’d have something like this again. But then I encountered this recipe, thanks to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and her book called The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. This recipe makes me do a happy dance!

Creamy Mac and Cheese

1 ¼ cups raw cashews
½ cup nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons onion powder
1-2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 ½ cups nondairy milk (I used unsweetened Almond milk)
3 tablespoons of a thickener such as cornstarch (this is what I used) or kudzu root
½ cup canola oil (I used 1/4 coconut oil, 1/4 canola)
¼ cup light (yellow or white) miso paste – get this in the Asian section of your grocery store, it’s a soybean paste
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (around 1 lemon)
12-16 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked (I used brown rice macaroni)

Instructions:

Add the cashews to the large bowl of the food processor, and using the pulse button, finely grind the cashews. Don’t allow the cashews to turn into a paste. Add the nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and white pepper. Pulse three more times to blend in the spices.

mac and cheese dry ingredients in food processor
Combine the milk, corn starch, and oil in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease the heat to low-medium, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until the cornstarch is dissolved.

With the food processor running, gradually add the milk-oil mixture to the cashew/nutritional yeast mixture. Blend for 2 minutes or until very smooth and creamy. Next, blend in the miso and lemon juice.

mac and cheese sauce in food processor

Combine the cheese with cooked macaroni and serve. If you have leftover sauce you can pour it over broccoli or cauliflower (or whatever else you want to sauce up!).

prepared vegan mac and cheese

delicious vegan mac and cheese

*Drool*

Any vegan or otherwise must try this! It delicious, and of course, way healthier than any chemical filled processed box of KD crap you buy at the store.

A Meaty Meatless Vegan Sub Sandwich

Ever since making a quick guacamole for the Roasted Chickpea Tacos, I think I’m becoming obsessed with guacamole. So I wanted to make a sandwich and incorporate it. I bought some fresh ciabatta bread (one of those long loafs) and this is what I came up with – a toasted sub with guacamole, melted Daiya cheese, lettuce, cucumber, Tofurky smoked “turkey” slices, and Tempeh bacon. It tasted better than any sub you would get from Subway!

quick guacamole

Quick Guacamole - mash avocado, a bit of salsa, onion & garlic powder, and a good squeeze of lime juice

And now the sub…

Tempeh bacon on sub sandwich

After cooking Tempeh bacon

Tofurky hickory smoked slices

assembled vegan sub sandwich

Full of meaty and fresh flavor…oh so satisfying!

Vegan “Meatballs”

Whenever I am craving something I used to eat as a non-vegan, I just do a Google search for a vegan alternative. I came across this recipe for Vegan Meatballs (Mushroom “Neat” Balls).

I’ve had this recipe saved on my computer and have been wanting to try it. So I did, and wow…worth the wait and effort for sure!!

Ingredients for Neat Balls:

  • 2 2/3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1 lb. cremini or baby bella mushrooms (should make 2 cups when finely chopped)
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 vegan egg (EnerG egg replacer works great)
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup almond/nutritional yeast mix (half nutritional yeast, half finely milled almonds)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Directions for Neat Balls

  • In a large saucepan, bring broth to a simmer over high heat. Add rice, reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, 18 to 20 minutes. Stir almost constantly during las 5 minutes of cooking. Transfer to large bowl.
  • In food processor, pulse mushrooms in batches until finely chopped.
  • In large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2-3 mins. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, 3-5 mins. Add to bowl with rice; let cool.
  • Preheat oven to 400F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Add vegan egg, breadcrumbs, almond/nutritional yeast mix, parsley, salt and pepper to cooled rice mixture and mix well. Form mixture into about 24 oval-shaped nuggets, each about 2 by 1.5 inches.

raw vegan meatballs

  • In clean large nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 tsp olive oil over medium high heat; tilt to coat bottom. Add half the nuggets and cook until browned on all sides, about 2 mins per side. Turn nuggets over onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining nuggets. Bake until nuggets are browned and firm, around 15 mins.

grilling vegan meatballs

oven baked vegan meatballs

The recipe (link at the beginning of this post) included a tomato sauce, which I’m sure would be great with these as well. Instead I made my sweet and sour sauce.

Sauce:
1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks, with juice
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar*
*Or reg. cider vinegar and replace the last ½inch of the measuring cup w/ apple juice
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

I threw this in my slow cooker on high before starting the meatballs. You could easily heat it for a while on the stove top as well.

Mixed the sweet and sour sauce with some cooked brown rice, topped with “meatballs”. YUM!

sweet and sour vegan meatballs