Tag Archives: easy vegan recipe

Guest Blogger: The Humble Plate – Five Minute Chocolate-Mint Ice Cream

7 Aug

We have a new contributor to VBU! Please meet the author of The Humble Plate Mary. Mary is a nutrition student from Winnipeg, Canada with a love for all things food and all things cat. The Humble Plate is dedicated to simple, comforting recipes which are manageable for all levels of chefs. Follow Mary on her adventure through her blog, Facebook page, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. Welcome Mary!

Hemp hearts, combined with avocado, make a rich, creamy vegan ice cream overflowing with healthy fats. This five minute chocolate-mint ice cream is begging to become part of your summer.  SONY DSC You know those moments in life you realize you’ve been caught in the act of an embarrassing mistake? You search your conscience for what to do.. you could deny your faux-pas and surrender to the blood rush waiting to make it’s way to your cheeks then slowly sink away from social contact until your ego’s recovered.. or you could suck it up, admit you messed up and laugh at yourself.  SONY DSC This is one of those moments. Except, I’m not laughing at me. In fact, if anyone is going to be laughed at it might be you, because you aren’t eating this ice cream. SONY DSC I really want to take credit for purposely designing a killer no-machine-needed vegan ice cream. I want to tell you I had some grand vision of a pile of chocolatey frozen hills dancing in my head as I threw in a dash of this and a pinch of that.

But, that would be a lie.

My real goal here was to make vegan fudgesicles that didn’t include coconut in any form (it’s been done) but after multiple attempts they just kept turning out too popsicle-like. Now don’t get me wrong, I like coconut. It’s delicious, extremely useful for baking in place of lard or shortening (uhh barf?) and it tends to act differently on health (in a good way) than other saturated fats. But, unlike the hundreds of claims made online, it isn’t a miracle food.  SONY DSC

One last attempt to convince myself this could be a fudgecicle and not the perfect ice cream it actually is.. ice cream on a stick, anyone?

As I searched my mind for alternative plant sources of wow-ness that would make my ice pops into a river of velvet, it hit me– I already knew of an amazing little seed that would work perfectly, and doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves.   SONY DSC   Hemp!

I had a flashback to the first time I made my own hemp milk.. it was magical. So rich, so easy. I spent the entire night trying to stay away from the pitcher in the fridge as it called to me..
It also doesn’t hurt that hemp is basically the nutritional powerhouse.
3 Tablespoons of hemp hearts boasts:
10 grams of protein
30% Iron RDA
30% Zinc RDA
70% Magnesium RDA
110% Manganese RDA
10 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids, in a beautiful omega 6:3 ratio  SONY DSC   Oh yeah — it builds sustainable houses and cars too.. no big deal.

Mixed up with my other favorite fat, avocado, and we have one heck of an easy ice cream ladies and gents! Don’t be scared, this doesn’t taste like avocado, just cold spoonfuls of whipped chocolate. SONY DSC cream3 Over the past few weeks, it seems that the recipe getting the most love (unsurprisingly, this stuff is addicting) has been my five minute cashew maple fudge. Now that it’s finally feeling like summer, I figured it’s time to expand on the  idea and start a recipe series of five minute, no-bake desserts to get you through the rest of the season. Nobody wants to turn on their oven in summer when you don’t have to!

So let’s add this beautiful mistake to the list, shall we? SONY DSC   It’s time to spend five minutes giving this creamy, dreamy seed a chance to brighten up your summer.

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Please see under the recipe for a picture tutorial on thawing the ice cream from tupperware.

Five Minute Chocolate-Mint Ice Cream
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 3 hours 30 mins
Total time: 3 hours 35 mins
Serves: 4 Servings or 5-6 Popsicle Molds (depending on mold size)
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 290 calories Fat: 16 grams Protein: 8 grams Fibre: 7 grams Iron: 25% RDA
Ingredients
  • Water – 1 Cup
  • Hemp Hearts – 1/2 Cup
  • Avocado – 1 Whole, Ripe (medium to large)
  • Cocoa Powder – 3 Tablespoons
  • Vanilla – 1 Teaspoon
  • Mint Extract – 1 1/4 Teaspoons
  • Agave or Maple Syrup* – 1/2 Cup (or more to taste)
  • Salt – Large Pinch
Instructions
  1. Blend hemp and 1 cup of water until creamy in blender (blend at least 1 min).
  2. Add the avocado, blend until smooth, wiping down edges as needed (approx. 1-2 min). The texture at this point should be very velvety and light, almost foamy.
  3. Add the rest of ingredients, blend.
  4. Adjust syrup to taste.
  5. Freezing:
  6. Use large, shallow tupperware container(s). Line with parchment paper, spray with cooking oil.
  7. Divide contents evenly between containers, filling about an inch in depth in each.
  8. Cover with Tupperware lid, securing the parchment paper under the lid so it is off the top of the ice cream.
  9. Freeze about 3 hours, checking on it every hour or so and remove when it has reached the consistency of a soft ice cream.
  10. If you freeze too long and it’s hardened or it becomes hard on edges, microwave 10-30 seconds (depending on how much of the ice cream is hard). Mix the ice cream and smooth out with back of spoon until it re-gains a soft texture (see pictures below).
  11. Top with chocolate chips, hemp hearts and, if you want a bit more sweetness, maple syrup!
Notes
*If you want to use table sugar, you can find a rough conversion here:[br]http://www.allaboutagave.com/substituting-agave-nectar-for-other-sugars.php

If you have frozen the ice cream too long (the edges or the entire thing are hard, not the texture of a soft ice cream):

1. Microwave 10-30 seconds (depending on how much is hardened.)SONY DSC

 After microwaving, edges are melting and top is firm but movable. 

2. Cut up ice cream into pieces.

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3. Flip over the pieces on their tops.

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4. Mix pieces until the texture starts to become softer and you can use the back of the spoon to flatten the ice cream and smooth it out.

 SONY DSC

5. Once it reaches your desired texture (somewhere between soft and hard ice cream), pour into bowl.

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6. Enjoy!

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Guest Blogger: Cheeky-vegan – VLT Open Sandwich: Seitan ‘Bacon’, Lettuce & Tomato with a Sicilian Tomato & White Bean Purée

22 Jul

Welcome back Sian! Sian White is from the UK and author of The Cheeky Vegan. Last time Sian was on VBU! she contributed her Thai-Style Squash and Tofu Curry recipe. Do give it a try and let her know VBU! sent you. Welcome back Sian!

Seitan Bacon. Or what I like to call ‘Beican’.

Vegan BLT open sandwich on homemade wholemeal bread with a Sicilian inspired tomato and white bean purée.

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Ok, I feel the need to justify this slightly, as I stated very bluntly in my about page that I don’t miss the taste of bacon. It’s true, I don’t. I never find myself thinking ‘I could murder a bacon bap’, and just last week a colleague of mine stank out the office with the smell of bacon, and it didn’t affect me. Naturally many other colleagues developed food envy and an entire conversation about how great bacon is followed (with yours truly keeping very quiet).

I’m not fussed about the taste of bacon, but I know a lot of people who are. You cannot deny that there are a lot of vegan ‘bacon’ recipes out there, ranging from aubergine (eggplant) to dried coconut flakes. Clearly some vegans are craving a crispy, salty sandwich filling.

What I am interested in is seitan – I find it fascinating. It’s so easy to make from scratch and it’s extremely versatile in terms of flavour and cooking method. Simmered and sliced, it makes a perfect, juicy centrepiece for a traditional roast dinner. Baked, it takes on a chewy and dense texture which makes an amazing sandwich filling. Obviously it has many more uses, but I’m not going to list them here. Instead I’m going to tell you how to make seitan that tastes and feels like bacon.

[A note to UK readers – seitan isn’t as well known here as it is overseas, so don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of it. It’s a meat substitute made with Vital Wheat Gluten, which is basically flour with the starch washed out of it. Unless you live in an area with a large whole foods shop nearby, VWG is easier to buy online, and I get mine from Honest to Goodness, where it is reasonably priced and delivered very promptly.]

If you’re planning on making this whole thing from scratch, you’ll need a little forward planning, as baking bread and seitan at the same time is a little hardcore. Make the seitan on one evening and the bread the following day. If you have a bread maker, you could get away with making them both at the same time, it’s entirely up to you. If you have a short attention span like me, and have a tendency to get distracted by video games and Adventure Time, it’s probably wise to spread this over a couple of days.

Of course, using shop-bought bread is perfectly acceptable. I won’t judge.

CHEAT ALERT: If you have a bread maker, you can definitely afford to be lazy with this – seitan made in a bread maker comes out just as good and simply involves pressing a button and having the afternoon off. Bread maker recipe adapted below.

IMG_9949


Ingredients

Seitan Bacon

  • 1.5 cups Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1-3 garlic cloves, crushed

 

Please note I’m not going to provide a recipe for the bread, as there are a million of them out there, and I just whipped this up quickly in the bread maker. This post is really all about the ‘beican’ and I want to keep it that way.


Method

Pre-heat oven to 160° C. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly to create a dough. It will feel slightly greasy to the touch. Knead for about 5-10 minutes (depending on your kneading skills) until gluten strings develop and the dough starts to feel quite tough. Try to keep it in a slightly flat ‘slab’, to ensure thin bacon-like slices at the end. Wrap in foil and bake for an hour.

Important note: When the seitan comes out of the oven it will only be partially cooked. If you don’t wish to fry it afterwards, then bake for about 90 minutes in total. However bear in mind that you won’t get the crispy exterior that comes with frying. I take it out after an hour while it’s still slightly doughy in the middle, slice it thinly and then fry it over a high heat in some olive oil. This makes it go lovely and crispy on the outside, while remaining chewy on the inside. Make sure the oil and pan are very hot before you add the seitan, and only fry it for about 30 seconds to a minute on each side. Keep an eye on it, as once it burns it’s not very nice!

Only fry what you need at the time – the rest can be wrapped in cling film and will keep in the fridge for about a week.

If you’re using a bread maker, start by adding all the wet ingredients. Then add the VWG and sprinkle other dry ingredients on top of this. Set to a manual cycle with about 5-10 minutes of kneading and 60 minutes of baking. If your machine doesn’t allow you to cut rise sequences, just reduce to the minimum time allowed. It won’t affect the seitan.

Once the seitan is ready, construct your VLT by spreading the Sicilian purée on your bread, piling on some shredded lettuce, a couple of slices of tomato and then layering on some lovely beican. Enjoy with hash browns. Gobble while it’s hot.

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Guest Blogger: Sugar Coated Vegan – Vegan Pinto Bean & Pepper Jack Quesadilla

3 Jul
More new bloggers! Exciting to see what vegan bloggers are doing and enjoying. Our newest contributor is Alexis from Sugar Coated Vegan. Here is Alexis in her own words, “My name is Alexis and I run the vegan food blog (sugar coated vegan)! I blog about  vegan desserts along with the occasional savory recipe! I’m a self proclaimed vegan foodie from NYC with dreams to open a vegan bakery one day in the near future!” Please follow Sugar Coated Vegan on:  TwitterFacebookInstagramPinterest and of course the blog! Welcome Alexis!

vegan quesadilla

quesadilla

The pepper jack cheese from Daiya sounded perfect for this yummy vegan quesadilla with pinto beans! It’s stuffed with the beans, peppers and tomatoes for a fresh twist and topped with a quick and simple salsa! There are SO MANY variations you can do with this like a mixed bean filling or stuffing it with different kinds of veggies and topping it with some fresh guacamole and vegan sour cream! I find that quesadilla or on a more broad note Mexican and Spanish foods are one of those things that you really miss when you go vegan. I swear everyone thinks it is so hard to replicate them but it really isn’t now that there are tons of vegan cheeses out there as well as easy nut based cheeses that actually melt.

These are SO QUICK and EASY to make!

I pulled these together within a few minutes and the only real waiting part is for the cheese to melt! Isn’t that the best part though?! It does take a bit for it to melt because it isn’t a traditional cheese but that problem is modified with cooking them on low for an extra amount of time so the tortilla doesn’t burn! Definitely try using a bunch of different color variety of peppers because the extra color looks so pretty in this! As you can see from the pictures I stuffed these a little too much because they’re not as thin as regular quesadilla but hey, the more the merrier! Feel free to use a whole wheat or gluten free wrap as well for an even healthier version!

vegan quesadilla

vegan quesadilla

Now, the salsa I made with this is not an authentic “omg I am in love” kind of salsa but a very simple one you can make when you don’t have anything else on hand. I actually used the “salsa” as a seasoning for the beans because I hate when you have smashed beans and they’re too dry so I like to add a little liquid while they’re cooking. You can definitely try adding whatever seasonings you like to it to spice it up a bit!

Continue reading

Guest Blogger: Fried Tofu – Vegan Bolognese Sauce

17 Oct

New bloggers almost every day! Thank you everyone for coming together, this is exactly what VBU! is all about – yay us!

 

Please meet Susan, blogger of Fried Tofu. Here she is in her own words.

Susan

“Hello, my name is Susan. I reside in Chicago, IL with my husband and my dog. I once was a competitive swimmer, turned runner (2 marathons, check!), turned corporate professional, turned wine-o (due to the job), turned Vegan, turned blogger. I am type A, but my husband and best friend (Morgan, my fellow blogger) do a great job of balancing me out. I love to travel. I grew up with two supportive parents and two uniquely awesome sisters. I ride my bike to work (almost) everyday. I have a strange obsession with air planes and still find air travel to be an amazing feat. If I’m not in my kitchen, you can find me at a concert.

Fried Tofu is a blog about two friends with different views on food, coming together on one blog. Susan, the Vegan, Morgan, the not-so-Vegan, working to share recipes, travel experiences, totally awesome products and much more. The main focus is recipe Face Offs, where we put our own spin on one dish. Morgan makes a non-Vegan dish and I Veganize it. We post a Recipe Face Off every 2 weeks.” Please follow Susan and her adventures on her blog, Facebook and Twitter. Welcome Susan!

I made a “real” bolognese sauce about 6 or 7 years ago that my husband went crazy over. I never wrote down the recipe and of course I could never repeat what I had created the first time around. I like to believe that the Vegan Gods were the cause of my forgetfulness. Well Seitan, you won… Continue reading

Guest Blogger: Turning Veganese – Recipe Veggies Makhani

16 Aug

Please welcome Christie and Brent who are a vegan couple with a lovely personality and a knowledge to share. Here they are in their own words, “Turning Veganese is written by Brent, Christie and Melissa. Melissa, the creator of the blog, invited Brent and Christie to participate when she felt the urge to do more for her health, the environment and animals by going vegan. Posts in the blog are submitted by varying combinations of the three authors, each bringing their own taste and style to the table. This particular post is brought to you by Brent and Christie. Brent hails from Washington state and spent 6 years in Portland, Oregon working as an engineer for Xerox and playing drums for the rock band Of Former Fame before moving to Miami to join long time love Christie. Christie’s early experience in genetics at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hosptal inspired her to continue her work as a biochemist and molecular biologist first at Cornell University and now at Jackson Memorial Hospital for the University of Miami. Brent and Christie are both avid mountain climbers, Brazilian jiu jitsu enthusiasts and lovers of all things SciFi. When asked “why vegan?”, Brent says: “Vegan is a choice that leads to knowledge, which encourages enlightenment. It challenges virtually every Western convention and results in empowerment. Consumption over preservation, slaughter and exploitation over sustainability, toxicity over longevity. These messages have been ground into me as an American since birth, and continued to be my lifestyle up until challenging myself to be vegan. Now I have a better understanding of my effect on the planet, the impact I have on my community, and the control I have over my own health. Vegan is positive change.” When asked “why vegan?”, Christie says: “Vegan isn’t a sales pitch or a diet plan, its a philosophy grounded in the idea that animals aren’t here for humans to exploit. A healthier body and a cleaner environment is merely good karma for treating our neighbors well.” You can find us on FaceBook, Twitter and we’d love to hear from you EMAIL US if you’ve got any questions, We’d also like to thank Vegan Bloggers Unite! for creating a forum for vegans to collaborate and find one another in this carnist world!” Aww, thanks for the shout out. Welcome Christie and Brent!

The man and I are always trying to reproduce take-out favorites at home. A few weeks ago I became obsessed with creating a truly vegan, gluten-free version of veggies makhani which we periodically order from a beloved Indian restaurant. “Makhani” means butter in Hindustani and though a lot of restaurants make it with olive oil as a cheap alternative to ghee, I still worry my special request for olive oil won’t be met. This version isn’t stereotypical Indian food but rather an Americanized version of the Indian classics but that shouldn’t stop you from giving this a try. We made ours with traditional herbs and spices, peas and tofu instead of paneer. Paneer is a traditional home-made Indian cheese often used in this dish. Tofu is a great vegan substitute. Other veggies that would be appropriate include bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, and potatoes.

I started with the following:
1 carton of firm Chinese style water packed tofu, cut into bite sized pieces
1 lb bag of frozen peas

Before you do anything, set these aside to drain and thaw
respectively. I like to marinade my tofu in lemon juice for 30 minutes
or so with a dash of ground coriander. I finish it by heating the tofu
lightly in the pan I’ll eventually add my sauce to and pouring off any
excess liquid.
1 tsp oil
1 generous pinch of cinnamon
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional, but recommended)
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, sliced (more if you like spice)
1 small onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 pinkie sized piece of turmeric, sliced OR 1/2 tsp dried turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp syrup (any kind will do)
2 cups vegetable stock (use water if you need more)
1/2 cup cashew nuts (soaked is good)
1 tbsp vegan “butter”
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and chili paste to taste
Fresh green coriander/cilantro for garnish

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the cumin and fenugreek seeds, and when they sputter add the cinnamon. Add the ginger and turmeric and stir for a minute or so over medium-high heat. Add the onions, “butter” and a little salt and saute until the onions start to brown, about five minutes. Add the tomatoes, cashew nuts and chilli powder. Saute the mixture until the tomatoes soften. If the mixture starts to get too dry before the tomatoes are done, add some water or vegetable stock and continue cooking. Once the tomatoes are really soft, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool. Pour into a blender along with the lemon, syrup, and tomato paste, using some broth to get all the
paste out of the can. An extra tablespoon of cashew butter won’t hurt but we’re trying to keep this light. Blend to a smooth paste adding veggie stock, syrup, salt, and chili paste as necessary.

I don’t recommend blending the mixture while it’s still hot because it can be dangerous. If you have a hand blender, this is the time to use it. Pour the blended paste back into the saucepan with your tofu, turn on the heat, add the remaining vegetable stock if the mixture is particularly thick. Now add the peas and any other veggies you like and stir them in. Let the mixture heat until it’s steamy. Garnish with coriander leaves, and serve hot with some rice, or a suitable substitute.

We used quinoa that we prepared by microwaving at 2 minute intervals. We also added some cardamom pods because they bring out the nutty smells and flavors in quinoa with their lemony aroma.

I just wish I could take a picture of the flavor for you: this is comfort food, pure and simple. I hope you get to enjoy some!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

Guest Blogger: The Unintentional Vegan – Roasted Tomato Artichoke Spaghetti

10 Aug

We love to welcome first time contributors. Meet Ashley, she is the author of blog The Unintentional Vegan, here she is in her own words,”My name is Ashley and I’ve been completely vegan for a little over a year now after being vegetarian for a year. I love creating new recipes that are (mostly) made from scratch, but are still easy enough for any skill level to make them. Making vegan food fun and accessible is my main goal and I love to share my vegan dishes at work potlucks and family gatherings. I have a cat and while I love him dearly, at heart I’m a dog person.” You can keep in touch with Ashley through her Facebook page, Twitter and of course her blog. Please welcome Ashley!

Annnnnnd we’re back to the work week! I hope you all had a fun and/or restful weekend. The fam and I went for a long hike yesterday and discovered some new trails, which was a blast. We were planning on going camping, but the weather has been sort of gross here – raining off and on with ridiculous heat and humidity – so we opted for a long day-hike instead.

Today’s recipe was born out of the husband’s desire for a new pasta dish. He loves pasta, but since I’ve been experimenting so much in the kitchen we rarely have it anymore. So, I thought I’d indulge him while still doing an experiment or two.

If you have a lot of tomatoes around from the farmer’s market or your own garden, then feel free to substitute the canned tomatoes for fresh ones – though I suggest boiling and peeling them before you roast them. One can is equivalent to about 4 medium-sized fresh tomatoes.

Balsamic Roasted Tomato and Artichoke Spaghetti

The balsamic gives the dish a nice tang and the overall dish seems a bit more refined than the normal spaghetti with marinara sauce. Serve with French bread and sprinkle a bit of Italian seasoning over the top for a yummy pasta dish!