Tag Archives: eating vegan

Guest Blogger: Spice Box of Earth – Quesadillas with Mexican Lentil Salad

15 Jan

Always nice to see vegan bloggers from around the world – one such blogger is Jenny, the author of Spice Box of Earth. You can friend Jenny on FB, catch her on Twitter, and Flickr.  Here she is in her own words, “I am Jenny, a vegan baker and blogger from Manchester, UK. I share recipes, reviews, lifestyle & shopping tips and all sorts of vegan goodness. Lots and lots of pie!” Please welcome Jenny!

My vegan friends, it’s a time for resolutions, and I was so torn about whether to eat healthy or not last night, that I ended up creating a half healthy/half naughty dinner. I haven’t had quesadillas in a while and had some luck last time using potatoes in the filling. I suppose it’s healthier than wodges of grated vegan cheese, so it ain’t all bad! This lovely lot should feed about 4 people.

To Make the Salad: Cook the red lentils in water along with the fajita spice. The lentils should be dolloped on top of the salad when cooked. Layer the lettuce, chopped red cabbage and spring onion. Drizzle the lime juice over the top and sprinkle a little salt to taste. Add the drained lentils when serving.

To Make the Quesadillas: Boil the potatoes until soft, then drain completely. In a small food processor, thoroughly blend the soya milk, garlic cloves, nutritional yeast and margarine. Mix this with the potatoes and mash until completely smooth. Mix in the grated cheese.

Place a tortilla in a dry, non stick frying pan. Spoon the potato mixture onto the tortilla, top with the 2nd tortilla and cook for a few minutes over a high heat. Flip the quesadilla over after a few minutes. You want the tortillas to be slightly crispy at the edges!

Serve with salsa and/or guacamole!



Guest Blogger: Vegan ESP – Bean and Bean Gumbo (Moosewood Lowfat Favorites) and Herbed Biscuits (Vegan Brunch)

7 Dec

Vegan ESP is a joint blog written by a couple, Elena and Seth from Atlanta, Georgia. Here they are in their own words, “We’re Elena & Seth. We’ve been vegan since late 2009 and we love it – so much so that we decided to share our wonderful voyage through this amazing vegan life on-line. We’ll talk (a lot) about what we eat, vegan events and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle. We’ll include features about vegan businesses, post articles and videos, and offer (hopefully) helpful information and tips.” Follow Vegan ESP’s blog, Facebook, Twitter. Welcome Elena & Seth!

So my mother’s Dr. Seuss garden (the plants are all of a ridiculous size and she gardens organically) produced copious amounts of okra this summer, despite the best efforts of the doe who stripped most of the plants of their leaves early in the season. My parents live in the country and one of my favorite things about visiting them is watching the deer emerge from the woods and nibble their way around the yard. Mom & dad are not as enamored with them as I am, since said deer tend to wipe out their crops – although they have a complex system of bird netting, thin wire fences and a variety of other defenses around the veggie beds. Besides, if it’s not the deer, it’s the rabbits or the groundhogs so it’s sort of a losing battle. Good thing my mom is such a badass as a gardener. Anyway, I was sent home with a boatload of frozen okra when I visited for Thanksgiving, so the only logical choice was gumbo. It’s been quite a while since I’ve made gumbo and it took some hunting to even figure out which cookbook it was in. I was relieved when I finally found it in the Moosewood book. I like this recipe for the very Southern black-eyed peas that are in it, as well as the healthy dose of veggies. It actually also uses white beans (hence the bean and bean name), which I really love for the smoothness they add. There’s a fair amount of chopping involved with the gumbo, but that’s true of pretty much any veggie soup recipe. I could’ve added a bit more salt, but otherwise, we thought the gumbo was pretty darn good. I decided that since we were having gumbo, we needed to have a proper Southern bread to dip in it. We’d pretty much finished off the corn muffins left from Thanksgiving, so I went with biscuits. I really like the recipe in Vegan Diner, but I poked around in Vegan Brunch for a minute and found the Herbed Wheat Biscuits recipe. Oh holy yum. I have no idea what the frak kept me from making these before now. (yes I said frak – we watch a lot of sci-fi) They are amazeballs. I actually used all-purpose flour since I was really low on whole-wheat pastry flour and I also wanted fluffier rather than crumblier biscuits. I also had to cheat a little since I technically didn’t have any shortening on hand. I used Earth Balance (I know, the palm oil) buttery sticks in place of the shortening and some of the homemade butter I had on hand for the margarine. (See? No palm oil in the homemade stuff.) I also used garlic salt in place of the plain salt. And I may have used heaping measures of the herbs. I got 16 biscuits instead of 12, so that’s a bonus. One can never have too many biscuits. A warm, comfy Southern dinner on a cloudy, chilly day in Georgia…

Guest Blogger: Cupcakes and Kale – Curried Chana Dal Soup

22 Oct

Our newest VBU! blogger is Jess, she is the authors of Cupcakes and Kale. Jess lives up in northern ontario and writes about her vegan eats and treats. She’s just launched her own vegan bakeshop, has a wee little vegan on the way, and counts cupcakes and kale among two of her favourite things. Follow Jess on her blog, Facebook and Twitter. Please welcome Jess!

alright mother nature, i fold – i’m finally ready to give in to autumn.  and not just because the equinox told me so, or because i’ve tucked away my sandals for another year, but because i’m ready to simmer soup.

i love one pot meals and this soup was the perfect lunch.  and then dinner.  and then next days lunch.

if i can help myself, next time i’ll try to freeze a few portions as i begin to stock my freezer with quick post-babe meals.

curried chana dal soup inspired by this recipe from 101 cookbooks

2 cups yellow split peas {chana dal}

7 cups water

2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small cooking onion, diced

3 green onions, diced

1 1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp corriander

1/2 tsp amchur powder {optional}

3 tsp sea salt

1 large carrot, chopped

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 can coconut milk

2 cups kale, stems removed & thinly sliced

start by rinsing the split peas under cold water, then place them in a large pot along with 7 cups of fresh water and bring it to a boil.  add the ginger, cover, and reduce to simmer for 25-30 minutes.  in a small frying pan, saute the onion in the olive oil until starting to brown.  then add in the spices and stir to cook through.  scrape this into the pot along with the carrots, tomato paste and coconut milk and stir well.  allow the soup to return to a simmer for another 15-20 minutes, then fold in the kale and serve.

thin the soup with more water if you like, or keep the pot simmering to thicken it up more.  we ate up our first servings as is and then as it sat on the stove until dinner it thicken to a wicked stew-like curry which we enjoyed over some short grain brown rice.  so hearty and wholesome and warming.


on another note, i’m a little sad to say that i won’t be participating in vegan mofo this year.  i loved it last year and had so much fun getting creative in my kitchen and also keeping up with everyone else’s kitchen antics.  this year is proving to be a little bit busier for me and i don’t think i’ve got it in me.  but i do hope to keep up with all of you who are going to mofo!

i’ll be keepin’ an eye out for one pot meals too…

Guest Blogger: Veggietorials – Kalbi Style Baked Tofu + Pajeon {Scallion Pancake}

12 Sep

Please welcome back the lovely Pacific Islander Kobi and her blog Veggietorials, which is full of beautiful and tasty recipes. I can’t get over how pretty her pictures are and how perfect the lighting is in her photos. You can see her previous contribution to VBU! here, it was a very pretty Cucumber Wakame salad. Do check out her out on all channels: Veggietorials, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube. Welcome back Cobi!

So this is how my crazy train of thought arrived at this recipe: I read an article about a photographer that was recreating death row prisoners “last meals”.Which then prompted me to think about what I would want as my final meal. And the no-brainer answer is Kalbi. My K-peeps understand that Kalbi (Korean BBQ) is a taste that’s hard to give up. For me, it’s more about the marinade and less about the meat. Heck, everything will taste better after a swim in this marinade. It’s the perfect balance of savory-salty-sweet. I used the Hey Shuga organic cane syrup and really liked the flavor. Sometimes I blend in some grated Korean pear, but a lot of times I don’t have it and the marinade tastes just as amazing without it.

  • Perfect for portobellas before you pan fry or throw them on the grill
  • Use a reduced sodium soy sauce for the Kalbi marinade and try it on seitan
  • Marinate tempeh overnight and pan fry

The baked tofu will have a deep flavor and chewy texture. I like to slice the baked tofu thin for banh mi style sandwiches. For salads and stir fries, I prefer the tofu cubed up. And for a quick dinner, I enjoy a Kalbi tofu “steak” with pajeon, kimchi, rice and a salad.

Pajeon (Scallion Pancake) is a savory side dish that looks fancy shmancy but is quite easy to make. I use scallions, green onions, chives or other seasonal veggies from my garden. Dip pajeon into kochoojang sauce for a little heat and a spicy kick. This Pajeon recipe was adapted from Maangchi, the internet demi god of Korean cooking. I was surprised that her original recipe was actually vegan♡. When I tried it without the Vegg and baking soda, my pancake was a globby mess even though I used a non-stick pan. The results were perfect once I added baking soda and The Vegg – Vegan Egg Yolk gave it the flavor of the pajeon my grandma used to make.

Kalbi Style Vegan Baked Tofu & Pajeon {Scallion Pancake}

by Veggietorials

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Keywords: bake fry entree side sandwich snack appetizer dairy free nut-free vegan vegetarian tofu Meatless Monday Korean

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Ingredients (4 servings)

For the Baked Tofu

  • 1 block firm or extra firm organic tofu,pressed
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons organic liquid cane sugar syrup or agave nectar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger,minced
  • 3 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  • optional-half Korean pear, grated. When using the pear, place all marinade ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

For the scallion pancake

  • 15 thin green onions, cut into 5 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon miso
  • 2 tablespoons The Vegg,pre mixed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil


For the Tofu

Drain tofu.Remove excess water with a tofu press or wrap the block of tofu between two kitchen towels and place heavy books on top for about 20 minutes. Slice the tofu block in half so that each piece is about 1 inch thick. This process will allow the marinade to be easily absorbed.

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Adjust seasoning and add black pepper to taste. Place the tofu in a rimmed dish and pour the marinade on top. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 2 hours, overnight is best.

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place tofu in the middle of the sheet and bake for one hour total. Flip the tofu over after 30 minutes to cook and brown evenly. Remove from oven and cool slightly before slicing.

For the scallion pancake

Mix together all the pancake ingredients (except the oil and green onions) to create the batter. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over high heat and place half of the scallions in even layer in the pan. Pour just enough batter over the scallions to cover them. Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes, until the edges start to form bubbles. Flip the pancake, reduce heat to medium high and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Repeat to make another pancake. Serve with kochoojang sauce if you like it spicy.

Please watch the video to master the technique.

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Guest Blogger: Vegan Masquerade – Maesri Curry Recipe

15 Aug

We love when bloggers come back for more guest posts. Here is the lovely Marissa living in North Dakota with her husband and two guinea pigs named Sage & Basil. You can enjoy her pervious post here. Keep up with her blog Vegan Masquerade via: Twitter, and the blog itself. Welcome back Marissa!

Disclaimer – This is my friend Brian’s recipe. @BrianLoeb on twitter. We went vegan within a week of each other. He’s pretty much pure awesome.


(2) 19-oz cans of coconut milk + 1/2 can water

(1) can Maesri Prik Khing Curry Paste

(1) tsp. cayenne pepper [more or less/this stuff ishot]

A few shakes dried mint leaves -(or)- 3-4 fresh mint leaves

(1) c. spinach

(1) c. mushrooms

(1) c. zucchini

(1) block of tofu – drained & cubed

A giant pot of brown rice

Start by bringing the cans of coconut milk to a boil [I kept the heat on medium high] – stirring frequently. I couldn’t find 19-oz cans so I bought three 14-oz cans and made it work.

Once the coconut milk is boiling, add the entire can of curry paste. Stir until dissolved.

Once the liquid is blended, stir in the spices. Warning – watch out with that cayenne. I think I added a bit more than a teaspoon and my mouth regretted it later. Less.Is.More. If you use fresh mint leaves, make sure you remove them before serving.

You could really use any veggies that you have lying around. I have a bunch of zucchini lying around that I haven’t figured out what to do with yet so I threw a cup of those in there.

Mushrooms – which I did saute first in some olive oil.

Spinach – which you can either throw in the pot and let it wilt… or lay a bed on the rice to help retain some of it’s nutrients.

Finally, tofu – which for me, is a must for curry.

Let everything simmer at a medium heat until heated through and the tofu has sucked in the curry-flavor.

With this much coconut milk, it will be a soupy-consistancy. Serve hot over brown rice. This makes a lot – and is even better leftover.


Guest Blogger: Vegan Meal Adventures – BBQ Mango Burgers

4 May

Always exciting when new bloggers are kind enough to be a guest on VBU. Please welcome Milo, he has been vegan for over five years and started Vegan Meal Adventures to track his attempt to stay away from processed foods. Two years later he now makes the majority of his meals and has a much greater knowledge of how to cook food that actually tastes good. Visit Milo on FB and Twitter. Please welcome Milo!

BBQ Mango Seitan BurgersI don’t think I can fully explain how awesome these are so you’re just going
to have to trust me and make some! The BBQ Mango Burgers stemmed from
a recipe my dad sent me. I had picked up a sweet potato and parsnip to
mash up for a side but thought it might be fun to make them into fries
instead and they ended up being the perfect side topped with the extra
mango BBQ sauce. Using the mango was a lot of fun, I had never bought
a fresh mango before and they have some pretty intense pits!

I highly recommend you try both. The only thing I would do differently
is put in a little less cider vinegar because the sauce was a little
tangy for my taste. Also, let the broth cool and add the broth to your
seitan mix slowly because you may not need all of it.

That’s it, enjoy!

Making the Burgers:

Broth –

6+ Cups of Water
1/2 Cup of soy sauce or Amino Bragg
1/2 onion coarsely chopped
4 cloves of garlic
4 slices of fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon of veggie bouillon
salt to taste
*Throw it all in a large pot (you’ll need the room) and bring to a simmer.

Burgers –

1 Cup of vital wheat gluten
2-3 Tablespoon of Tapioca flour (helps firm up seitan)
1 teaspoon of sage
1 teaspoon of thyme
1/2 teaspoon of garlic and onion powder
3/4 Cup +/- of broth (let it cool first!)
*Mix up all dry ingredients in medium sized boil then add in 2/3 cup
of broth and more as needed. After wet and dry combined, knead 6-8
times into a ball. It will be squishy! Divide the ball into 4 parts
and form into patties. Keep in mind they will expand and the more
compact they are the better they cook so don’t stretch the patties too
thin. Place patties carefully into simmering broth. DO NOT LET BROTH
COME TO A BOIL! It will ruin your seitan and cause it to not firm up.
Let simmer for one to one and a half hours or until firm. Let cool and

BBQ Mango Sauce –

3/4 Cup of Ketchup
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
3-4 Tablespoons of molasses (I LOVE molasses)
1/4 Cup of cider vinegar
2 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of liquid Hickory smoke (try Wholefoods)
2 teaspoons of mustard
4 3 inch slices of fresh mango
*Throw it all in a blender or food processor until the garlic and
mango are completely blended in.

Sweet Potato & Parsnip Fries

1 medium sweet potato peeled and cut into 3 inch x 1/2 inch fries
1 large parsnip peeled and cut into 3 inch x 1/2 inch fries
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
*Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place fries on large cookie sheet.
Sprinkle salt and pepper to amount desired and drizzle olive oil over
the fries. Use your hands (or a spoon) to evenly coat and disperse
fries on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake for another
15 minutes and your done! Just keep it in the fridge until your
burgers and fries are ready.

Guest Blogger: An Unrefined Vegan – Tofu Salad Sandwiches with Roasted Red Pepper Salad

11 Apr

Please welcome back Annie, author of An Unrefined Vegan, with her recipe for Tofu Salad Sandwiches with Roasted Red Pepper Salad. You know summer is around the corner when recipes like this. Connect with Annie on Twitter here. Please enjoy Annie’s wonderful post!

Tofu Salad SangiesSomewhere and at some time I vowed never to include a tofu salad recipe on my blog. I lied. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that at the time that I said that, I couldn’t foresee wanting to include a tofu salad recipe. Tofu salad. Blah. After all, one of my favorite all-time sandwiches was egg salad. Specifically my mom’s egg salad which had the exact right ration of creaminess to tanginess (and, incidentally, we were a Hellman’s household as opposed to a Miracle Whip household). How could I expect to replicate that with tofu? But, times have changed. After conquering scrambled tofu, it seemed right to explore tofu salad. Mom’s recipe was the inspiration.

Tofu Salad Sandwiches
Serves 4

Tofu Salad IngredientsTofu Salad:
14 oz. package firm or extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/2 cup Vegenaise
1/4 tsp. dried dill
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. red onion, chopped
1 tbsp. sweet pickle relish
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup green olives, chopped
2 tbsp. pepperoncini, chopped
pinch turmeric
pinch garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste

4 Whole Wheat Pita Breads
lettuce, tomato, sprouts, avocado…the works

Slice the tofu block in half. For one half cut into 1/4″ slices lengthwise, then into 1/4″ pieces width-wise – so you have small cubes. Put the cubes in a large mixing bowl. Now, crumble the other half of the tofu block into the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine.

When ready to serve, slice the pitas in half and lay in with the tofu salad and toppings. Serve alongside a big scoop of Roasted Bell Pepper & Olive Salad.

Roasted Bell Pepper & Olive Salad
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1-2 tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
1-2 tbsp. parsley, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425F. In a medium-sized baking dish, combine the vegetable broth, pepper and Liquid Aminos. Add the bell peppers, onion and garlic and stir. Bake in the oven, stirring frequently, until peppers and onions are tender. Add more vegetable broth and Liquid Aminos as needed – you want this to be a little bit juicy.

Remove pan from the oven and stir in the olives and parsley. I like to serve this at room temperature.

Bell Pepper & Olive Salad

Guest Blogger: Jessivore

14 Oct

I went to high school with Jessica and oddly enough we were in the same college program, just one year apart. I was so glad to find her on Facebook and see we were both vegan. Jessica is a lovely person who seems somewhat shy, yet can pin you down in a wrestling move in a flash. Recently married, she is beaming and with her amazing diet and work out regime I can’t blame her. In her own words, “I am a holistic nutritionist, and studying to become a Shiatsu therapist and an acupuncturist.” Pretty neat. Please welcome Jessica!

Pumpkin spice mini cakes

Although I have vigorous enthusiasm for fall, I am not really a Holiday Person. We all know Holiday People – at the first hint of fall colours and cooler temperatures, they pull a series of boxes out of storage and proceed to deck their houses with dried corn, pumpkins, gourds, and various types of straw and grasses. Even though Hallowe’en is a few weeks away, they probably have some cobwebs and skeletons hanging off their windows already. Me? I am still working on a list for last year’s Christmas cards. Oops.

In spite of my holiday shortcomings, I am a gleeful festive baker. Give me an occasion, and I will happily bake something for it, likely in miniature size. Because a mini cake or a cupcake is so much better than agonizing over what sized slice is too large from a regular-sized cake!

Pumpkin spice mini cakes combine the best holiday flavours, and give you a hit of beta carotene to keep your skin glowy. And really, pumpkin and spice – do you need any more convincing?

Pumpkin spice mini cakes

I am blessed with a pumpkin-shaped cupcake tray that is really only appropriate for a short time every year, so that’s what I use for these. However, they are equally tasty in regular cupcake form. And don’t let their cute little shape trick you into thinking that they’re difficult to make – once you have the ingredients together, just mix in two bowls, then pour into one bowl, then bake.

Here’s what you need:

  • Cupcake pan or mini cake pan – this recipe will make 6 cups of batter, so you will end up with about 12 mini cakes or 24 cupcakes
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter OR vegan margarine
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin (not pie filling!)
Here’s what you do:
  • Preheat your oven to 350F and grease your trays with butter. Some people are cool with baking two trays together and rotating halfway through – but I’m not completely sure my oven understands this principle, so I always bake in shifts. It’s your call what you want to do here. Prep both trays at the same time no matter what you choose, to save you time later.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl, whisk applesauce, sugar, butter and pumpkin puree until combined. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix gently until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into your pan and smooth out the top. Bake until it passes the toothpick test (about 40 minutes for the mini cakes, and 25-30 for cupcakes), then remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
Now, go make these and be thankful with the people you love!