Tag Archives: simple vegan food

Guest Blogger: Carrie on Vegan – Photo Food Journal & Vegan Delish Giveaway

21 Dec

Our newest VBU! contributor is Carrie Forrest, author of Carrie on Vegan. Here she is in her own words,”I am a graduate student in public health nutrition and I write about my recipes and adventures in healthy, plant-based living. I recently released an app for iPhones and iPads called Vegan Delish that features 60 simple, vegan recipes with all kinds of cool features like a digital shopping list and social media sharing options.” Carrie is the first contributor to have an app – how cool is that? Love how everyone is so creative and inventive. Keep in touch with Carrie on Vegan through: Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feed. Also check out Carrie’s app Vegan Delish: iTunes Preview page, website, and Facebook page. Please welcome Carrie!

Good morning and happy “What I Ate Wednesday“! Today I’ll be showing a picture of everything that I ate yesterday. It is always an interesting exercise to document everything I eat in a day, plus I hope you find it helpful in some way.

Breakfast was some leftover green smoothie with some buckwheat groats and almonds on top:

Leftover green smoothie with buckwheat groats and almonds.

I went for a hike in Palm Springs around 9 a.m. Despite cloudy skies, I thought the mountains were so pretty:

Cloudy skies in the desert.

Alan and I hiked further than we have ever gone before:

Carrie on a hike.

We then went to Costco to try and beat the holiday rush, but it was still craziness. I stocked up on all kinds of fresh fruit, frozen fruit, frozen edamame, etc. It was a huge load:

Attention Costco shoppers...

After all of that, lunch was much appreciated. I make a big romaine and vegetable salad with my Wild Blueberry Zinger Dressing, edamame and mandarin oranges for dessert:

Big lunch salad with edamame and oranges.

Here’s a closer view of the salad:

Lunch salad with peppers and broccoli.

Yesterday afternoon was spent catching up on work and doing a few errands. I decided to try using the pressure cooker again after my successful experience last Saturday night. This time, I just used brussels sprouts, collard greens, mushrooms, onions and water:

Ingredients for pressure cooker.

I checked with Jill Nussinow’s fantastic book, The New Fast Food, for the cooking times on the sprouts and the greens (don’t forget to enter to win a free copy of the ebook here!). I settled on a cooking time of two minutes for everything and I estimated about a cup of water. I added it all to the pot:

Sprouts, mushrooms, onions and water in the pressure cooker.

The chopped collards went on top:

Collard greens in the pressure cooker.

I locked on the lid, set the timer to two minutes on high pressure, and sat back and hoped it would turn out okay. I figured the worst that could happen would that the sprouts would be undercooked:

Fingers crossed that this works!

While I waited, I also made a really easy cream sauce for the veggies. After all, who wants to eat plain steamed greens? To make my typical cashew cream sauce less fattening, I substituted garbanzo beans for half the nuts in this recipe. I was so pleased with the results, the sauce was still very, very creamy and flavorful:

Cashew & Bean Sauce.

Here’s the recipe:


Cashew & Bean Sauce

6 servings


1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews

1 cup cooked garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons dried onion flakes

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon dried mustard

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk

1/2 cup white wine vinegar


Combine ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.


I used the quick-release setting on the PC when it was done and here’s what it looked like:

Cooked veggies in the pressure cooker.

I was so happy that everything was cooked to perfection! It’s not exactly a beautiful dish, but here’s what the final product looked like:

Veggies with sauce.

I’m telling you, this was a hit and I’ll be making the same exact thing tonight for dinner.

For dessert last night, I made a version of my Chocolate Cherry Bomb that I’ll be posting in ice cream form on Friday. It was so decadent and yummy:

Cherry Smoothie.

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this photo food journal.

To wrap up today’s post, I’m doing another giveaway of my recipe app Vegan Delish! I received 50 promo codes from Apple when we did our last update and I want to share them with you. If you already own Vegan Delish, you can still enter and you can give the code to one of your friends or family members. So, I’m giving the code to 50 readers selected at random who leave a comment on this post and who do any of the following things:

1. Tweet this message to your followers on Twitter “Check out Vegan Delish, the healthy #vegan recipe app for iPhones and iPads: http://bit.ly/TNOWnc.”

2. If you already own the app, leave a review on iTunes. Note: if you downloaded the app using a promo code, then Apple won’t let you leave a review.

3. Do something else to help me promote Vegan Delish, like tell your co-workers about it. Tell me what you did. I trust you.

You can do any or all of these things, just leave a separate comment telling me what you did. You have until Sunday, December 23rd, to enter.

Thank you for all of your support!!! I hope you have a great rest of your week and I’ll see you back here on Friday.

Guest Blogger: Fried Dandelions – Hot Tamales

1 Oct

Happy Vegan MoFo! Hope your second day is just as exciting as the first. Please welcome back Sarah De la Cruz, author of Fried Dandelions with another amazing recipe – Hot Tamales. You can read Sarah’s previous post recipe – Spiced Chocolate Pudding here and follow her on her blog and comment on her Facebook page. Please welcome back Sarah!

These tamales will be a hit at your next dinner party…or family dinner!

I’ve always thought that tamales were very time consuming and I’ve been intimidated by them. I used to tutor at risk kids at my church and one of the moms sold her own homemade tamales to us. They were amazing! But she would show us blisters she got from mixing the dough, and tell stories of how long she spent in the kitchen. Maybe she was just telling us this to keep her business booming and scare us from trying it ourselves? Because if I had known how easy it was to put these together I would have done so a long time ago!

Now, easy and quick are two different things. These are not fast. But they are simple, and there is a lot of hands off time. They are great to make once you are home for the afternoon. One way I saved time is by mixing my “filling” right into the dough. This is a technique I saw this summer at my local farmers’ market. Rather than a traditional filling surrounded by corn masa, the filling is mixed right in. It saves time, and you don’t have to worry about filling oozing out of the sides.

Not sure of how I would like these, I didn’t invest in any new equipment. I just rigged a roasting rack on top of a large sautee pan that is oven proof. When it came time to steam, I covered well with foil. Ideally you will have a rectangular roasting pan with rack to fit, but if you don’t, don’t worry about it. This worked just fine, and I’m debating about whether or not I need to bother with something fancy for next time!

I topped these with some quick homemade salsa. Your favorite salsa will be great, but its so easy to make a fresh one at home, so give it a try if you have a few extra minutes (and I really mean a few!). The best part…tamales freeze well…you could make a huge batch and freeze half for a cold, rainy day when you don’t have the time or energy to cook! Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Hot Tamales

by Sarah De la Cruz

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6-8, makes 20 tamales


  • 2 c black beans
  • 1 c corn (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ c bell pepper (I used orange for color and variety!)
  • ½ c green onions
  • ¼ c packed cilantro

Tamale Dough:

  • 4 cups masa ?(I used Bob’s Red Mill which avoids GMO corn)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted
  • juice of 3 limes + water to equal 3 c (my limes yielded ¾ c juice + 2 ¼ c water)
  • dried corn husks
Preheat over to 400.

Soak 20 corn husks (plus a few extra in case of rips) in a large bowl of water for 10 minutes. Drain and quickly rinse. Set aside.

Mix all filling ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

a rainbow of colors means a rainbow of vitamins!

Mix masa, baking powder, salt and cumin in large bowl.

Masa Harina is different than cornmeal, so make sure you get the right one. I got mine at Whole Foods. They also have this at regular grocery stores and Latin markets.

Gently warm coconut oil in microwave until it is melted (don’t heat for too long though, you just want it to be melted). Pour coconut oil over masa mixture and stir well. Once well combined, add water and lime juice mixture. It will seem like there is no way that the masa mixture can absorb all of the water, but it will surprise you! Once combined, add all of the filling and stir again until well combined.

Make sure it is well mixed…every bite will be full of flavor!

Set up an assembly line now. You want to have your corn husks, your masa mixture, a work surface, and a rack to steam on. Carefully unfold one corn husk (they will be more pliable once soaked, but still fragile). It will be sort of triangular in shape. I started with the point towards me. I scooped 1/3 c masa mixture and placed it in the center of my husk, and shaped it slightly with my hands to form more of a rectangular log. Then fold up the bottom, take one side and pull it over the top, then take the other side and pull it over to overlap. Place seam side down on your rack. Done! How easy was that? You could tie them with a strip of leftover husk but I didn’t have any trouble with mine staying together. They do look pretty with the tie though. You can tie in the middle, or if your husk isn’t long enough, tie at the open top. Now, repeat 19 more times!

not too tricky!

I had to steam mine in two batches because I couldn’t fit them all on my rack. I did end up stacking a couple at the end to prevent a third steaming and it seemed fine. I wouldn’t stack all 20 in at once unless you had a really big roasting rack, but you can be the judge of how it fits!

on my makeshift rack

Cover tightly with foil to trap steam in.

Tamale space craft ready for take off

Place in oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack without opening the foil. Let them continue cooking in the residual steam for 15-20 more minutes. Carefully remove foil, watching out for steam. You can plate these wrapped in the husks, or remove the husks. Once open, smother with salsa and devour!

they look like little presents just waiting to be unwrapped

unwrapped and ready to enjoy

Guest Bloggers: Vegan Vamps

28 Oct

Denise and Melina are two best friends who have been living together for almost 14 years. They have been vegan for roughly 10 years and started writing their blog Vegan Vamps. They dream of living in the country and are doing many creative things to try and get there. They have an Etsy store, Melina is a fabulous painter, Denise writes. They have 4 cats: Solstice (the oldest and only girl), Vanian (the very sensitive boy), Sherlock (very fluffy and very proper) and Banshee (who is wild but knows he gets away with everything because he is adorable). Please welcome the Denise and Melina!

When you’ve had a tough week and maybe your diet hasn’t been the best and you find yourself in the produce department on payday, you want to have nothing more than a delicious veggie sandwich. Your whole body is telling you to buy sprouts and avocado and make magic in the kitchen.

Denise wanted to add some tofu, and she wanted to bake it. I said I’d fry it.  She can up with the coating, as she was looking on line for inspiration.  As she does.  A lot.  (This paragraph describes the magic of compromise, a system refined over the past 14 years.  Try this advanced system too early in a relationship and it can result in fisticuffs.  Start slowly.  ~ Denise)

Amazing Veggie and Fried Tofu Sandwich

4 slices bread (your choice, we love the flax bread from our local grocery store)
1 block tofu 225 g
2 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tsp chipolte chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Veggies for your choice

Slice your tofu in 1/4″ slices, lightly press between paper towel. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and garlic powder, and mix throughly.

Dredge tofu through mixture and set aside. Heat oil in pan, and once hot enough to make tofu sizzle drop the dredged tofu into pan. Cook about 3 -5 minutes on each side till a nice light yummy golden brown. Pop on paper towel.

Cut up veggies, we used onion, avocado, sprouts, and tomato. And Denise likes Veganaise and I like Nayonnaise. So yummy.  (I went without tomatoes.  Note that I feel messy food is rather stressful.  Melina thinks messier is yummier.  Guess whose sandwich is whose. ~ Denise)

They were soooo friggin’ good. Fried tofu sandwich. With veggies. Oh, so good.