Tag Archives: vegan dinner

Guest Blogger: Vegan Richa – Samosa and Onion Bhajji Pizza with Wheat Chickpea Crust

6 Dec

Our newest guest blogger is Richa, author of Vegan Richa. Richa loves to bake, experiment, develop recipes and veganize everything that comes her way. She loves spicy but wholesome Indian food, multi-grain home baked breads and living as kindly as possible. You can find her breads, bakes, Indian, Vegan and quite a few gluten free recipes at her blog. She can be found talking recipes on the blog’s Facebook Page, pinning away interesting food and photography things on Pinterest, and capturing everyday food and a cute sleepy dog on Instagram. Please welcome Richa!

This is one fun Samosa Onion Bhajji Pizza. It is almost the Indian snack platter on a pizza crust 😉 You have the Samosa(potato) filling, and the Onion Fritters, I also threw in some Jalapeno Fritters since we all know my love for things spicy. 

The Crust has wheat, chickpea flour, semolina, carom seeds,(what you would find in a regular Samosa crust), is slightly overbaked to get a crunchy texture to resemble a crunchy fried samosa pastry. The Pizza once baked is topped with fresh Cilantro chutney(what you get on the side with the Samosas and Pakoras). Can this get any better!

And yes, I did sneak in some greens. totally optional. Chopped Spinach from our dying urban garden, under the potato mixture. All in all, this Pizza was very very well received by hubbs. It is easier than a Samosa or a Pakora too. No deep frying involved, and no rolling out small portions of the dough and making individual samosas!
The potato filling can be added to sandwiches, or served as a side. The Onion fritters get cooked up nicely at the high bake temperature, so no pre-baking or frying needed. Fresh Cilantro chutney drizzle completes this deliciousness.

I mean seriously, if you like Samosas, you have to make this Pizza! You can use any of the other Wheat crusts or  Swap out the crust with a glutenfree ones like this Oat one or the Teff crust or Millet chickpea one to make the Pizza gf. 

If you dont now what I am blabbing about since then, check out the real Samosa here. Samosas are deep fried pastry with savory filling, usually potato, served with chutneys(cilantro/mint, date tamarind etc)
Bhajji or Pakoras are veggies dipped in spicy batter(usually chickpea), fried and served with chutneys.


Roll out the crust dough after first rise, using some bread flour. 
Place on parchment lined sheet. Spray water on top.

Layer some chopped spinach, then spread the potato mixture on top.

Take Onion slices, dip them in the chickpea batter and place on top on the potato mixture.

Add more veggie fritters or jalapeno fritters as well in one layer.

Bake the Pizza in preheated 410 degrees F for 15-16 minutes.
Broil on Hi for half a minute.
Let the pizza sit for another half a minute in the oven, then remove.
Drizzle cilantro chutney on top.
Slice and Serve.


Vegan Richa: Samosa Pizza

Samosa, Onion Bhajji/Pakora Pizza with Wheat Semolina Chickpea crust
Dairy, egg, corn, soy, nut free
Makes 1 12-13 inch Pizza

1/2 cup warm water
1.5 teaspoons active yeast
2 teaspoons raw sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup semolina (cream of wheat)
1/4 cup bread flour
2 Tablespoons chickpea flour (or wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon carom seeds (or cumin seeds)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 Recipe Samosa filling (Samosa potato mixture is Glutenfree) -2 large potatoes or 3 medium potatoes will make enough for a 12 inch pizza. or make a larger batch for a fatter topping.
White or Red Onion sliced into rings
Jalapeno slices
Chickpea batter for fritters(recipe below)
Cilantro chutney(recipe below)

Chickpea Batter for Pakora fritters:
Blend into a thick paste the following-
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1 Tablespoon semolina (Omit to make glutenfree)
3 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons organic canola oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
pinch of garlic powder
generous pinch of cumin powder
generous pinch of chili powder or to taste

Easy cilantro Chutney:
Gluten, sugar free
Blend the following and keep ready
1/2 cup packed cilantro
1/4 cup chopped apple
1-2 Tablespoons water
salt, chili powder, cumin powder to taste( a pinch each)

In a bowl, add warm water, sugar and yeast and mix well. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Add the flours, semolina, salt and oil and knead for 2 minutes into a well mixed dough.
Spray top with water, cover bowl with a towel and let sit for 1.5 -2 hours.
Oil hands, use 1-2 Tablespoons of bread flour and gather the dough.
Knead for 2 minutes and form a ball.
Roll the ball out using some flour into a thin-ish 12-14 inch crust. 
Place on parchment lined sheet. Spray water on top.

Layer some chopped spinach, then spread the potato mixture on top.
Take Onion slices, dip them in the chickpea batter to just about coat, and place on top on the potato mixture.
Dip jalapeno slices in the batter and place on the Pizza. 
Add more veggie fritters if you like, in one layer.
Bake the Pizza in preheated 410 degrees F for 15-16 minutes.
Broil on Hi for half a minute.
Let the pizza sit for another half a minute in the oven, then remove.
Drizzle cilantro chutney on top.
Top with vegan cheese shreds before baking or immediately after(optional).
Slice and Serve.


Guest Blogger: V is for Vegetables – Lentils and Basmati Rice with Caramelized Onions and Spiced Pita

15 Nov

Please welcome back Vanessa, author of V is for Vegetables. You can read her previous post here a recipe for Zucchini Boats. Check V is for Vegetables on Twitter as well. Please welcome back Vanessa!


My new iPhone finally arrived in the mail. Can you believe the camera on it? I love how many different uses the iPhone has and the camera might be my favorite part on the new one. The camera has facial recognition technology on it which is nothing new but I loved how it kept finding faces in the rice. Do you see a man’s face to the left of the center onion ring? I didn’t see it at first until I realized my phone was trying to tag him as a person. The phone is almost too smart.

This Middle Eastern dish is often called Mujadarah which is a fancy way of saying “rice, lentils and onion.” I adapted this dish from Veganomicon, the excellent cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. The one downfall of this cookbook is the lack of pictures. When I first made this dish, I thought, “No wonder there are no pictures… This looks like kitty litter.” With a little garnish, this dish ends up looking as delicious as it tastes.

Ingredients for rice, lentils and onion:

  • 3 large red onions, peeled and sliced into thin rings
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup long-grain basmati rice (brown or white), rinsed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • Basil leaves for garnish

Directions for rice, lentils and onion:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Lay the onion rings flat and separated in a large roasting pan. Toss in olive oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes until translucent and slightly burnt.

3. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add rice, cinnamon, allspice, and cumin. Return to a boil then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Uncover and gently stir in the lentils. Bring to a boil again then lower heat, cover and simmer. Cook until all water is absorbed. For me, this takes 12-15 minutes. Allow the dish to cool for 10 minutes then fluff with a fork.

5. Fold in the caramelized onions, garnish with basil leaves and serve with pita bread.

Ingredients for spiced pita:

  • 4 whole wheat pitas
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil for brushing
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions for spiced pita:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice the pita bread into 1/8ths like a pizza.

3. Combine olive oil with the seasonings. Brush the mixture onto the insides of each pita crisp.

4. Spread the pita crisps out on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until light brown.

Serves 4-6

Slightly adapted from: Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

Guest Blogger: Healthy Cancer Chick – Vegan Lasagna Roll-ups

4 Oct

The new guest bloggers keep coming. Today we have Kristen Barry, author of Healthy Cancer Chick. Here she is in her own words, “Hi! I’m Kristen Barry, aka Healthy Cancer Chick. I was diagnosed, at the beginning of 2011, with the most aggressive form of breast cancer at the age of 43. At the time my daughters were 9 and 12 and I didn’t want to die. I started looking into diet and alternative ways to help my body heal and recover from the cancer and the treatments I went through intitially. Being vegan has change the way I look at food, at health, and at life. I want to now share with others health and wellness tips and ways to help make the transition from eating meat and dairy to being vegan easier.” Be sure to visit Kristen’s blog, and Twitter account. Please welcome Kristen!

Ahhh Sundays! When I lived up north in New York we had cold weather, rain and snow for most of the year (ok maybe not most of the year but it sure seemed like it). Sunday’s were always great days to make big lasagna’s, roasts, pots full of chili, nice hearty and heavy meals. Well, living in sunny Florida is great for eating a healthier diet. I eat so many fruits and vegetables that my kids think my skin is turning green 🙂 but with the rain we have been getting down here the past few days, I was in the mood for a nice hearty meal. This vegan lasagna is so good I ate it for three straight days and was sad when it was all gone. I adapted and tweaked different recipes and put them together to make one great tasting Sunday dinner meal….so enjoy!

Don’t be put off by all the steps to this lasagna. It’s not that difficult to make and it’s soooo worth it.

Walnut “Meat”


1 cup walnuts

10 sun-dried tomatoes (soaked for 1 hour if you are using dried variety not in jar)

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/4-1/2 Tablespoon chili powder

1/8-1/4 cayenne powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Simply blend all together until you get a chunky, meaty texture like the picture above

Lemon Basil Cheeze Spread


1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes

2 garlic cloves

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

sea salt and pepper (just a little of each)

Blend it all together until you get a creamy smooth spreadable cheese consistency like the picture above



10 whole wheat lasagna noodles

1 jar organic pasta sauce or homemade marinara

1-2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large zucchini chopped

2 large handfuls of fresh spinach

1 sweet onion chopped

1 red pepper chopped

3 garlic cloves

sea salt and pepper


1. Boil noodles and rinse

2. In large skillet saute zucchini, onion, garlic, pepper, and salt and pepper in olive oil for about 5 to 10 minutes. Add spinach and just saute another minute or two to wilt.

3. Preheat oven to 375

4. Pour 1 cup of sauce on bottom of large baking pan

5. Taking one noodle at a time, spread some of the cheeze mixture, layer with some crumbled “meat”, spoon on some of the sautéed veggies.

6. Roll it up and place in the pan with sauce. Repeat with all of the noodles.

7. Top with remaining sauce and bake, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes.

This is great with some fresh sprouts or a nice green salad.

Choosing healthy living over dying 🙂

Guest Blogger: Earth Friendly Sara – Rueben Rolls

3 Oct

Please welcome our newest addition to the VBU! family, please welcome Sara, author of Earth Friendly Sara. Here she is in her own words, “My name is Sara. I have a vegan blog called Earth Friendly Sara. Mostly it is full of vegan recipes. I also have some tips on how to be as earth friendly as possible, recycling, composting, natural gardening, etc. I make my own home-made vegan soap and share a little about that on my blog as well. I also share most of this and more information on my facebook page Sara King-Mullenix.” Let’s make Sara feel welcomed. Please feel free to be friendly on Facebook, check out her blog and twitter account. Welcome Sara!

I adapted this recipe from Spabettie.com The recipe called for frying and I try to not fry anything. So I adjusted the recipe so I could bake them. They are still wonderful. I can always tell when my husband really like something because his first words after his first bite will be “this is a repeat”. I can testify that these rolls are delicious and he called for a repeat as well. So you really should try them.
Ingredients for rolls
1 can chickpeas, drained and peeled
1/2 cup thousand island dressing
1/2 sweet onion, caramelized
1/2 cup shredded daiya cheese
1 large dill pickle, cut into strips
4 vegan tortilla shells
Cooking spray
Ingredients for vegan thousand island dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise (vegan)
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup dill pickle juice
1 dill pickle, finely chopped
1/3 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon raw sugar

Mash chickpeas, combine with half of the thousand island dressing, set aside to ‘marinate’ (I made this and refrigerated it while I prepped the remaining ingredients). Caramelize the onion in approximately one tablespoon of evoo.

To assemble the rolls. Place one tortilla shell on a flat surface and place approximately 1/4 of the chickpea mixture onto the shell, top with 1/4 of the caramelized onion, 1/4 of the chopped pickle and 1/4 of the Daiya cheese. Fold two opposite sides in then roll as you would a burrito. Place onto a greased baking sheet and mist with cooking spray. Continue until you have all four wraps on the baking sheet. Cook at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. The wraps should be crispy and brown. Top with the remaining thousand island dressing and enjoy.

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: Afro Vegan Chick – Warm Brussel Sprouts Spinach Chickpea

18 Jun

Here’s a Brussel sprouts recipe from Janyce, author of Afro Vegan Chick blog that will totally change your mind on the vegetables. Here she is in her own words, “Hi! I’m Janyce, a writer, artist, and natural hair enthusiast from Dayton, Ohio. A vegetarian for 14 years, ultimately decided to become vegan because there seemed an unjust wrongness to eating eggs and dairy, using beauty/home products containing nasty, harmful chemicals, and so on. Veganism started as a New Year’s Resolution for 2012, but became more. This final level gave spirit a fuller sense of enlightenment and compassion. I hope to continue inspiring others to a journey of a rich, more satisfying diet and to be aware of the unnecessary evils forced unto innocent animals and their families. Like Afro Vegan Chick’s Facebook page and follow her on Twitter. Please welcome Janyce!

Snacking on a little bit of these crunchy, heavenly chips before dinner. Highly recommendable! 😉

While standing in the kitchen devouring great potato chips, dancing to tunes (no one around thankfully!), and raiding cabinets and fridge, I wondered what to create on this cool Sunday evening.

In all honesty, not usually a fan of salad (rabbit food?), especially the cold traditional kind. Maybe it’s due to eating a lot of Chipotle takeout (burroto bols yo!), but that personal preference is starting to change more as the taste for fresh quality ingredients tantalizes taste buds and creates desire for undisguised flavor. For dinner tonight, a healthy dose of green and protein. A craving for blending of different flavors together- I wanted chickpeas, Brussels sprouts, and spinach all at once and here’s how that happened.


1 14 oz. bag of frozen Brussels sprouts
1 16 oz. drained canned chickpeas
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 chopped red onion
3 chopped sprigs basil leaf
2 teaspoons lemon
Italian seasoning blend
2 1/2 cups fresh spinach
pinches of salt and pepper

Bring Brussels Sprouts to a boil in salted water.
Drain & set these babies aside.
Prepare basil & onion mixture to be tossed in a skillet of olive oil & garlic.
Drain chickpeas if you haven’t already.
Add chickpeas to onion, basil, & garlic mixture, getting them completely coated in olive oil.
Squeeze out that lemon juice with Hulk like strength!
Toss in the Brussels Sprouts and stir this for a minute or two.
With stove promptly turned off, toss in fresh spinach and stir until beautifully wilted. Top with seasonings blend, salt, & pepper.
Now presenting- Warm Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, & Chickpea Salad!

Why didn’t I think of pinning these foods together until now?
Very delicious- the tenderness of America’s Favorite Vegetable- Brussels Sprouts paired with chickpeas and spinach are just right. Though basil and lemon flavors were lost (had to add a bit more!), it’s surprisingly light and delightful.

Plus side: plenty of leftovers for the week too.
Let’s see how this tastes after cold, overnight refrigeration…. 😀