Delicious Vegan Wrap (or Sandwich) Filling – Starring Chickpeas

If you are someone who likes something portable to eat but you don’t want to buy processed garbage, then try this out. I think this recipe is pretty quick and easy to make, (AND DELICIOUS!) and the great thing about it is you can take it for lunches all week, and there is no heating required. It keeps pretty well in the fridge for about 5 days. Just don’t pre-load the filling into the wraps (if you’re using wraps) until the night before you’re eating it because otherwise it could make for a soggy lunch.

I was inspired by a recipe I found for a vegetarian chickpea sandwich filling on allrecipes.com and tweaked it to make it vegan (and full of good stuff). This recipe can be flexible with the kind of veggies you use. I like to stick with crunchy veggies like fresh cucumber, celery, carrot, and I’ve recently subbed in bell peppers which worked really well too. Use what you have kicking around, add more, whatever you like!

I hope you enjoy as much as I do!

Vegan Chickpea Wrap (or Sandwich) Filling

Makes ~6 large servings – lasts basically all work week for my hubby and me, so you can cut the recipe in half if you don’t need so much.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (19 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed, then mashed
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped – green or red onion would probably work well too
  • 2 carrots, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup hemp hearts (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped cucumber
  • 2 tablespoon veganaise (I use Earth Island Grapeseed Veganaise, for those in Canada I buy this at Superstore, natural foods isle where they keep the refrigerated stuff) – if you’re not down with veganise, perhaps mashed avocado would work just as well? It would just turn a bit brown throughout the week.
  • lemon juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • Optional: add 2 teaspoons of curry powder (you can do this to change it up if you make the recipe regularly)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • put in a wrap, with sprouts and/or greens of choice

Directions:

  • Drain and rinse chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Pour chickpeas into a medium size mixing bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher.
Chickpea wrap whole ingredients

The photos show a bit of a backwards order. I got too excited about photographing this which caused me to forget to mash the chickpeas first, separately.

mashing chickpeas

Thankfully I had everything neatly separated for photographing, so I made do and mashed the chickpeas off to the side, then combined everything.

  • Mix in celery, onion, carrots, hemp hearts, cucumber, veganaise (to taste), lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper to taste.

chickpea wrap filling

  • Add filling to a wrap with alfalfa sprouts/greens.
chickpea wrap

Poor photography 😦 I kept forgetting to take a photo of the finished wrap so I had to take this on my phone. Forgive the injustice to this delicious wrap!

Enjoy the fresh flavors!

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Backpacking Meals, Vegan Style

This post may come at an unseasonable time of year, however after thinking about it – perhaps not! If you’re like me, the miserable cold (in Canada anyway) and lack of decent quantities of sunshine makes me dream of summer and planning summer adventures. Otherwise I’d get pretty depressed.

I spend a lot of my summer planning, preparing for, and going on trips that get me outdoors and away from the city. Camping, hiking/backpacking, and canoeing trips keep me pretty busy during the few summer months we get here. After enough experience from several years of these activities I’ve become more organized. At least I try to be. When it comes to food, I seem to always be more frantic at the last minute trying to pull our meals together. That’s why I hope to do more pre-season preparation while I have the time during the winter months.

So you might be thinking…how the crap do I get meals together many months in advance? The answer is – with my trusty food dehydrator! I love this device and don’t know how I lived without it. This past year I decided instead of trying to find and purchase decent vegan dehydrated/freeze dried meal pouches when I need to pack compact, light weight meals for backpacking trips (which by the way are packed with a ton of sodium and chemical crap), I would be able to make better, healthier, and CHEAPER dried meals myself.

Making meals and dehydrating them takes time, so it’s not really a great idea to start preparing these while you pack. Packing your gear and food is time consuming enough, so if you add the “make your own dried meals from scratch” aspect to the process, you will be a little sick of preparing for your trip and probably not want to go through the trouble of making your dried stuff own again. So yup (* note to self…), start early 🙂

If you ever embark on adventures like mine, perhaps these meals to follow will inspire you!

The following photos show a glimpse of the process for my meals coming together, with recipes posted at the bottom:

Jambalaya with Quinoa

 

jambalaya with quinoa

jambalaya with quinoa

jambalaya with quinoa

Spread on the dehydrator tray lined with parchment paper

dried bag of Jambalaya with Quinoa

Ta da! The result!

Nice, compact, light meals great for packing into your hiking or canoe pack. I tend to fill my (80 litre!) pack to the brim so the lighter, the better. Here is a visual of said pack. It sits taller than me.

hiking with pack on scenic trail

Greek Red Pepper Dip

food processor filled with dip ingredients

blended dip ingredients

dip spread on dehydrator tray

When this stuff is nice and dry, I put it in the blender to make it into powder so it can rehydrate properly.

I used this in a wrap, pictured below. I also re hydrated potatoes and peppers to add to the wrap. (The potatoes were sliced and cooked before dehydrating.)

wrap with greek red pepper dip and veggies

Similarly, I make sauces which are dried kind of like the hummus (greek red pepper dip above) and powdered in the blender for use at camp. My favorite is probably the Mac and Cheese sauce from a recipe I’ve posted on this blog before. My hubby and I both love this recipe and make it often – it makes a lot of sauce so we just throw the extra on the dehydrator. Awesome!

I came up with a great combo for camp, inspired by a recipe from a non vegan cook book for asian beef lettuce wraps. The peanut sauce is so tasty and I use it for a sauce for dried TVP (textured vegetable protein) which of course will get re hydrated at camp. I also rehydrate some peppers and onions, fry them, then combine with the TVP and sauce. I’m gourmet like that sometimes.

Peanut Sauce

preparing peanut sauce in blender

peanut sauce on liquid dehydrator tray

peanut sauce from asain lettuce wrap recipe (3)

The top, darker looking bag is the sauce before powdering. The other is the TVP, and the other dried veggies for this recipe are in the background.

Finally, don’t forget about good ‘ol dried fruit! I have another previous post on drying your own fruit. You can snack on it, add it hot or cold to breakfasts, etc.

Now for the recipes used:

Jambalaya with Quinoa – from Backpacker Recipes website

dehydration time: 8 to 10 hours
makes 6 to 8 servings
3 cups quinoa (rinsed and drained)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 onion (minced)
2 bell pepper (minced)
20 fresh mushrooms (minced)
56 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
30 ounces canned white beans (drained)
2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Place the quinoa in a saucepan with 5 1/2 cups water, bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender and translucent. Set this aside.
  • Heat a fry pan over medium-low heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the onions, bell peppers and mushrooms and stir for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, beans, and herbs and bring to a boil, let in simmer for 5 minutes. At this point your kitchen should be filled with a heavenly smell.
  • Add the quinoa to the mixture and blend.
  • Spread this mixture out onto dehydrator trays and dehydrate. I did it overnight on the plastic trays that hold moisture, and I had to flip the food over in the morning to fully dry it all.
  • This then goes into ziplock bags. On the trail I simply put the Jambalaya into my cook pot, added water to cover the food and brought it to a boil and simmered a couple of minutes, and then let it sit several minutes to fully hydrate. The amount of water you add is something you need to experiment with, if you add too much you just end up with a bit of soup to finish off your meal with. I do stir the mix while heating to be sure that it doesn’t burn on the bottom.

Greek Red Pepper Dip – from Backpacker Recipes website

Dehydration Time: 5–7 hours
Makes 4–8 servings

2/3 cup roasted red peppers
2 19-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
6 tablespoons lime juice
4 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons capers
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of kosher salt

At Home

  • (I just used store bought) Roast the red peppers. Once they’ve cooled, peel them and chop them into 1/4-inch pieces.
  • Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or large bowl if using a hand blender. Process them until you have a thick paste.
  • Spread evenly on lined dehydrator trays, keeping the mixture about 1/4 inch thick. Dry for 5 to 7 hours or until the mixture crumbles and is thoroughly dry. Store in a medium ziplock freezer bag.

At Camp

  • Rehydrate the dip using a formula of 1 1/2 parts dried mix to 1 part water. Wait 5 to 10 minutes then add a little more water if it’s too dry. Serve as a dip with Greek pitas or your favorite crackers or use as a spread in a wrap.

Peanut sauce

1/4 cup light coconut milk
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
4 tsp low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
4 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp honey or agave
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp hot Asian chilli sauce

Combine ingredients in blender, then dehytrate. At camp, re hydrate sauce by adding boiling water to consistency and let it sit; once sauce is ready add to re hydrated pan fried veggies and re hydrated TVP, simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until the mixture heats through and has had a chance to absorb the flavor.

 

Now go fire up your dehydrators!

I’ve Discovered a Dairy-free Yogurt Made From Almonds!

I’ve tried a few different non-dairy yogurts since becoming vegan (soy, coconut..), but there hasn’t been anything I have been overly fond of. I came across a new product when shopping at an organic market – Amande Almond yogurt! I like the flavor and texture; it’s a good find. It’s not packed full of sugar but has a nice sweet taste. You also get a good sized tub for the price, unlike the coconut yogurt. Make sure if it looks liquidy, just give the whole tub a good stir. The good stuff hangs out in the liquid so don’t dump it out!

Just wanted to share my discovery!

top lid of almond yogurt

Front view of almond yogurt container

All Natural Blueberry Iced Tea

Here is a creation of my own! I’ve had blueberry iced tea before, however after a little iced tea research online, I came up with this concoction. If you enjoy herbal tea, I think you’ll like this recipe. My fiance mentioned how he has a tendency to hit up the pop machine at work, so we wanted to try something as a healthy, natural alternative to sugar-and-chemical filled soda.

This is so easy to make and takes so little time and effort. The flavor options are endless really – let me know if you come up with some funky creations of your own! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • About 3 packets of herbal tea, flavor of your choice – in this case blueberry.
  • 1-2 packets of a plain black tea you enjoy
  • stevia (or agave should work nicely too)
  • ice cubes – I used two ice cube trays full

Instructions:

Get your tea packets out. Don’t forget the lonely black tea packet.

blueberry herbal tea

And stevia.

stevia and tea

Boil a pot of water. Get a jug and fill it with ice while waiting on the water to boil. Such complex instructions, I know…

Once the water boils, add your tea bags and turn off the heat. You can vary the amount of tea used according to how much water you boil and how strong you want the flavor. You want the tea to be strong because you will be adding it to the ice, which will dilute the flavor. In the photo below I only used two blueberry tea bags, however the next time I made it I used 3 and liked it better.

tea added to boiling water

Let the tea steep for about 4 minutes, then remove the tea bags. Add the stevia or sweetener of your choice – start with a little and you can taste it and add more after if needed.

Once you have your sweetened hot tea, it’s time to shock this bad-ass tea in some icy cold ice!! This method apparently does something good with the flavor, according to my research.

jug of ice

This shows the amount of ice used.

Be careful not to burn yourself while pouring…

shocking the tea in ice

Now stir, taste, add more sweetness if needed and repeat until you get the flavor you like. Chill it in the fridge. A great summer beverage you don’t have to feel guilty drinking 🙂

Satisfying A Craving with Gardein Crispy Tenders

In my pre-vegan days, one of my faves was always chicken fingers with honey dill sauce. They are fried, crunchy and salty – come on, who doesn’t enjoy that!? Thankfully there are so many products out there to satisfy these cravings – you don’t need to break down and eat animal parts. I gave the Gardein Crispy Tenders a try. Craving satisfied!!

I find any craving you have – it’s all about the texture and nutrients!! We don’t actually crave meat, cheese, and eggs, we crave things like salt, fat, sugar, carbs, protein, etc. Get the true craving correct and it’s easy to satisfy 🙂

I made honey dill sauce to go with the crispy tenders from veganaise, dill, and honey/agave. Just spoon out a glob of veganaise, add a bit of honey or agave until it’s the right color, sprinkle as much dill as you like, and stir.

Crispy non chicken tenders

image

These make me a happy girl!!

Dairy Free Coffee Creamer

I have almond milk in my coffee often, however I love this coconut milk coffee creamer for something different. If you want something that gives you that super creamy coffee, you have to try this product. Check out the nutritional info! Just wanted to share 🙂

This one is the plain, but it also comes in french vanilla and hazelnut!

Coconut milk for coffee

nutritional info for coconut milk coffee cream

Non-dairy Milk and Breakfast Smoothie

I have a smoothie for breakfast almost every morning, so I stock up on a variety of non-dairy milk to always have on hand for smoothies. They have a good shelf life so why not stock up, especially when anything goes on sale.

non-dairy hemp and almond milk

I use unsweetened varieties in my smoothies – the fruit is sweet enough, so there is no need to add any sugar. I use the sweetened variety for coffee. If you’ve never tried Hemp milk it is definitely worth looking into; it has great nutritional content including plenty of calcium, Omega 3’s and 6’s to name a few.

When I make a smoothie, I don’t use a recipe. I basically just throw in frozen fruit and whatever else I feel like that morning, and then add enough liquid (non-dairy milk) to make a nice thick consistency smoothie. Start off with a little liquid and keep adding if it’s not blending well due to not having enough liquid. If you’ve never made your own smoothie, you get the hang of it after making a few.

Recently I’ve started adding greens into my smoothies. You can not taste them at all and it’s also a great way to not only get your greens, but use up whatever you have in the fridge!

smoothie ingredients - kale, spinach, berries, almond milk

Kale, spinach, berry blend, banana, almond milk, Vega Whole Food Optimizer (Vega One)

Usually my smoothies include Vega One (formerly Vega Whole Food Optimizer), which is a plant based nutritional supplement. You can put whatever fruit, etc. into the smoothie and it always takes on the flavor of Vega One. Meaning you could probably put a ton of greens in the smoothie and it will still have the Vega One flavor. I also put things such as cooked oats, flax and sometimes natural peanut butter in the smoothie also. So experiment with whatever you have!

smoothie

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 Bacon Cheese Burgers

Yes I said it…Vegan bacon cheese burgers?? Yup. This is possible with a Yves veggie patty, Tempeh bacon and Daiya cheese!! It was pretty satisfying. The veggie bacon smelled so good when I was grilling it up, like the meat version!

Vegan bacon and burgers

The bacon of course didn’t have the texture of actual bacon, but when you put it all together as a burger I really enjoyed it. One veggie bacon burger was very filling for me as well.

Vegan bacon burger

Vegan Bacon burger with mustard, Veganaise, ketchup, on whole wheat thin buns

My next posts will be actual home made cooking after having the chance to meal plan, grocery shop, and cook like crazy this weekend. Stay tuned…

Vegan Take-out

As I mentioned before, this week is one of those lazy weeks with not much cooking involved. I’ve always loved sushi and had a craving. It’s not the healthiest thing to have, but it’s not like I eat it every day.

vegan sushi yam roll

The roll in the photo had tempura yams in it, and a teriyaki sauce with sesame seed on top. I found the texture of this one to be like meat and it reminded me a bit of a salmon or tuna roll. I really enjoyed this one!

I am going to start writing my meal plan soon for the week so I can come up with a grocery list and go grocery shopping. I love making new recipes and never really eat the same thing week to week (which definitely ensures I don’t get bored of vegan food); I came across a post from Peta’s website with a two week vegan meal plan. It looks pretty good! I might try a recipe or two.

Any time I find a new recipe that looks good I save it on my computer as a document. Then when I want to decide what I’d like to add to a weekly meal plan, I just browse my own “electronic catalog” of recipes and pick what I want! It works out really well for me.

Do you make meal plans?