Tag Archives: vegan meal

Guest Blogger: Ordinary Vegan – A World Without Fish & Stir-Fried Vegan Chicken in Coconut Buns

19 Jun

Looks like Nancy M – author of Ordinary Vegan is back. Click here for Nancy’s first contribution, a fantastic recipe for a No Bake Vegan Ricotta Lasagna. Doesn’t that sound delicious?

You can find Nancy on her blogFacebook, and Twitter.  Let’s welcome back Nancy to VBU!

A World Without Fish & Stir-Fried Vegan Chicken in Coconut Buns

Vegan Stir-Fry in Coconut Buns

Last week I was very honored to have an article published in T. Colin Campbell’s Center for Nutrition Studies. Since today is Earth Day, I am sharing that article about the environment and how we can help to protect it.

A World Without Fish: The Link Between Personal Action and The Environment

Last year I received my Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s online course at eCornell. I was very excited to learn more about Dr. Campbell’s philosophy on food and the connection between food and disease. One thing I wasn’t expecting was an eye-opening lecture from Bruce Monger, PhD about the environmental impact of food production on the ocean. Bruce Monger, PhD teaches oceanography in the department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University. He is also involved in numerous projects and studies involving whales and our ocean’s ecosystem.

One of the most enlightening details I learned from Dr. Monger was how nutrient runoff from agriculture, specifically fertilizer, which is primarily nitrogen, stimulates exceptionally strong growth of algae. So what is wrong with algae you might ask? When algae dies, bacteria consumes the dead algae for food, but that’s not all it consumes. It also consumes all the oxygen in the water. Simply put, the more nutrients you dump in the ocean, the more algae it produces which increases the amount of bacteria that eats the algae, and the oxygen in the water. This reduces the oxygen to zero and any fish you can think of needs oxygen to live. When a region’s oxygen is down to zero, the ocean floor is completely uninhabitable by any organism that requires oxygen for growth. This is called a “dead zone.” With the increasing use of fertilizer for factory farms, the more dead zones we have popping up around the globe suffocating our marine life.

Sadly, the agriculture industry in the USA is about to become larger. China is the world’s top dairy importer and American dairy farmers are seizing the opportunity to hawk their dairy products to Chinese consumers. According to the U.S. Dairy Export Council, shipments to China alone grew to $706 million last year, up from $137 million in 2009. Unfortunately, it gets worse. China’s largest meat producer has just acquired US pork giant Smithfield which is the globe’s largest hog producer. The deal is to send the USA made pork to China to meet their increasing demands for meat, relegating us to be one big factory farm for China.

The quickest solution to this imminent threat is to eliminate our own consumption of factory farmed products including meat and dairy. We are the solution the world is waiting for. We can take care of this problem. We have the power and what would be the downside? Our health would improve, our skin would glow, we would lose weight and reduce the risk of suffering from a chronic disease in our lifetime. It is that simple. Your personal actions can save yourself, marine life and the ocean. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Now on to delicious plant-based vegan food. I am always on the look-out for healthy meatless family dinners. I think this vegan chicken stir fry fits the bill. The kids will love the soft, sweet coconut buns and the stir fry is a great way to sneak lots of vegetables into your family’s diet. I used a product called Beyond Meat Seasoned Vegan Chicken. All Beyond Meat products have non-gmo ingredients, are gluten-free and kosher. The chicken is made with pea protein and amaranth and should satisfy your meat eaters. Hope you enjoy this plant-based vegan recipe as much as I did. Always remember, every plant-based meal you serve has a positive impact on the environment and the future of our children. Happy Earth Day!

Stir-Fried Vegan Chicken in Coconut Buns
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Ordinary Vegan
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 2-3
I used a two-tier bamboo steamer basket to steam my buns but you could use any kind of steamer over a pan of medium heat boiling water. Also, get creative with those vegetables. Anything goes in a stir-fry.
  • Coconut Buns
  • 1 14-ounce can of light coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cup of self-raising flour (If you don’t have self-raising flour – make your own by combining 1 3/4 cups regular flour with 3 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt)
  • Chicken stir-fry
  • 6 ounces of vegan chicken (or tofu)
  • 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 mushrooms, any kind, sliced
  • 1 small red fresno chili, chopped (optional)
  • 1 small bunch broccolini, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons Hoisin sauce (and extra for dipping)
  • 2 tablespoons of lightly toasted sesame seeds
  • Lime wedges to serve
Coconut buns
  1. Put the flour, maple syrup and coconut milk into a food processor and process until a dough forms. Remove and lightly knead the dough on a lightly foured surface. You may need a little four because it is a wet dough. Roll out 4 to 5 balls of dough. Place the balls into paper muffin holders and place into the steamer basket with lid, in a single layer. I like to use a bamboo steamer. Place the covered steamer over a pan of boiling water and steam for 10 minutes.
  1. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken, mushrooms and chili with the hoisin sauce. Set aside.
  2. Heat a medium non-stick pan and lightly toast the sesame seeds. Set aside.
  3. Place the broccolini in a steamer and steam for 3-5 minutes or until bright green and still has some firmness. You could also place in a microwave-safe container and microwave for 1 minute.
  4. Heat the oil in the pan you used for sesame seeds. When hot, add the vegan chicken mixture and saute for 5 minutes. Add the broccolini and saute another minute or two.
  5. Place the chicken and vegetables onto a plate. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Serve with some hoisin sauce on the side and lime wedges.
  6. Cut hot coconut buns in half and spoon vegan chicken mixture in, squeeze a lime wedge over it, a little extra hoisin sauce and eat.

Guest Blogger: New Vegan Age – Recipe: Vegan Bigos

2 Jan

Please welcome back the ever wonderful Tom from New Vegan Age. Tom has been a guest blogger on VBU! a few times: Vegan Creed, Harvey Diamond Interview, Vegans are good for your restaurant’s business (Kim Stahler), World Vegan Day, A Perfect Time to Stop eating Animals, Support vegan business and organizations.  Please follow on New Vegan Age on FacebookTwitter and of course the blog. Welcome back Tom!

If you’ve spent any time in Poland in the winter—or if you have Polish roots, relatives, or friends—you’ve probably enjoyed bigos, the “hunter’s stew” national dish that’s busy keeping millions of mouths and stomachs happy and warm at any given time.

This incredibly versatile dish is very easily veganized, without any loss of texture, flavor, or warmth. This year’s early arrival of winter sent us scrambling to buy sauerkraut, Tofurky kielbasa, and fresh-baked crusty European bread. Keep in mind that the variants below (traditional and slow-cooked) are only a suggested starting point: As every family has its own delicious recipe, don’t worry if you’re missing an ingredient or two (or want to add a few of your own). 

Serves 4-6 depending on portion sizes.


1 package diced Tofurky kielbasa (preferred, but any vegan sausage will do)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 32-ounce jar sauerkraut

1 28-ounce can/jar of tomatoes/tomato sauce

1 large diced onion

3 cubes (or liquid teaspoons) vegan bullion

1 medium diced apple

4 cloves diced garlic (or 1 tablespoon garlic powder/granules)

1 cup water

3 bay leaves

Salt and pepper, to taste


[1] Using water and bullion, create 1 cup of triple-concentrated broth. Set aside.

[2] Lightly sautee diced kielbasa, garlic, and onion together until just brown. Set aside.

[3] Strain sauerkraut (a little liquid is fine) and dump into large pot. Over medium-high heat, slowly stir in sausage mixture and all other remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45-70 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt, pepper, and any other ingredients (including water, for a soupier dish) during periodic tastings. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Slow cooker: Lightly sautee diced kielbasa, garlic, and onion together until just brown. Mix together with remaining ingredients in slow cooker and cook for 2-3 hours (until flavors have combined and sausage is not yet mushy), stirring occasionally.

Serving suggestion

Enjoy with mashed potatoes and/or with your favorite crusty European bread. Bigos goes well with just about any beverage, including hot tea or cold beer. There’ll be plenty of leftovers for lunches in the coming week—they taste great cold or heated up!

Guest Blogger: Mojo Central – Vegan chilaquiles recipe

5 Jul

Please meet Cat McDonald, she is the author of Mojo Central and “a freelance writer, Web editor, blogger, and former gypsy seeking clarity, community, and organic produce. She eats her lunch for breakfast.” Follow Cat on her blog and Twitter. Welcome Cat!

chilaquiles ingredientsThe first time I had chilaquiles, I was staying with friends at their family’s house in the Yucatan, near Progresso. The house was a white stucco with curving walls and red terra cotta tiled floors. We could walk in a straight (okay, meandering) line from the back porch to the pool to the beach, and wade right into the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico.

Every morning, the house rooster would wake us up and we’d make our way to the dining room. We’d have a feast that always included fresh fruit–my favorite was the perfectly ripe papaya sprinkled with lime juice, fresh juice–liquados made to order, and chilaquiles. The menu varied somewhat, but once I discovered chilaquiles, I had to have them every day.

In the old days, I had some luck recreating these uhr-chilaquiles. Now I’m giving it another go for the vegans. I think these come pretty close.


  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup tomatillo salsa*
  • 1 cup black beans, crushed a bit with a potato masher
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 medium red onion, sliced thin
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. each: cumin, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. epazote (or oregano)
  • 1 tsp. cocoa powder
  • optional: 1/4 cup shredded Daiya cheez
  • 2T chopped cilantro
  • fresh limes


  • avocado slices
  • shredded iceberg lettuce
  • roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • cashew creme


Bake the tortilla pieces at 350F for about 12 minutes, until crisp but not browned. You can also dry-roast them on in a cast-iron skillet. Cool, then cut or tear into wedges.

In a bowl, mix together the salsa and the chips. Pour them into the bottom of a cast-iron baking pan.

Sprinkle the cheeze on top, if using.

In the empty bowl, mix the beans, tomatoes, onion, and spices. Pour the bean mix on top of the chips.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

Serve hot with your choice of toppings.

* For the salsa, I used Trader Joe’s salsa verde. But if you’re from New Mexico, just grab about 1 cup of homemade green chile gravy from your freezer.

a plate of vegan chilaquiles with lime and cilantro

Guest Blogger: Poppy’s Patisserie – Smoked Tofu Carbonara Pasta

18 Apr

So many new vegan bloggers to welcome into the fold! One such blogger is Poppy. Here she is in her own words,”I’m Poppy and I write Poppy’s Patisserie which is now fully vegan. I was a vegetarian since the age of six and have now been a vegan for almost two years. I am a University student studying Animal Management based in Kent, UK. I love food and especially love experimenting with new ways to eat plant based foods, full of goodness and flavour. I also love animals. I have two lovely sibling cats, ten bunnies, three chickens and five degu’s. They are great fun. Below is a post I’d love to share for a vegan carbonara style spaghetti using smoked tofu. It’s a real favourite of mine, comfort food full of goodness.” Follow Poppy on Twitter – welcome Poppy!


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I’ve never eaten a real carbonara with bacon but have always been a sucker for creamy pastas. I remember once making a veggie version with veggie bacon and cream; it tasted delicious but I felt sick from the heaviness of the cream. I tried again with a traditional egg sauce but was so frightened of eating raw egg that I ended up cooking it to almost scrambled egg coated pasta. Yummy. Not.

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So when it came to having a go, now vegan, I had no idea how it would turn out. Of course, any Italian pasta purist would shoot me for even describing this as a carbonara, but then again, so would they of my cream abundant version or even my version using the traditional ingredients which led to a spaghetti omelette. Hey ho.

It’s rich yet not too heavy, tastes smoky and creamy and is low in calories. What could be wrong with that?

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For one serving: 652 calories

  • 100g dried spaghetti or pasta of choice
  • 10g soya or sunflower spread
  • 10g plain flour
  • 200ml unsweetened almond milk (or any other milk you prefer)
  • 1 banana shallot, finely chopped
  • 1tsp porcini mushroom powder (or add in a handful of sliced mushrooms instead)
  • 100g smoked tofu (I use Taifun’s sesame and almond smoked tofu), sliced into lardons or cubed
  • fresh chives to serve
  1. Put a pan of salted water on to boil. Once boiling, add the pasta.
  2. Spray or add a drop of oil to a pan and add the shallot over a low heat to soften. If using mushrooms, add now also. Once softened, remove and set aside. Set the heat to high and add the tofu. Fry until fragrant and starting to crisp and go golden. This should only take a minute or so.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the spread in a small pan over a medium heat then stir in the flour. Cook the roux, stirring, for about a minute.
  4. Gradually whisk in the milk until all is incorporated and smooth. Add in the mushroom powder (if using) and allow the sauce to thicken, stirring often. Season to taste. Stir in the shallot (and mushrooms, if using) and tofu.
  5. Toss the sauce with the drained pasta and serve sprinkled with finely chopped chives.

2013-03-26 14.16.31

Guest Blogger: On the path to zen… – Chick’n Fried Tofu

10 Apr

There are vegans in Texas! One is Kerry, she writes a blog called On the path to zen…. Here she is in her own words, “I am a vegan working always on finding her zen. Not easy these days, but the journey is well worth it! I am a Master Gardener and a Reiki Master/Teacher, and these combine very nicely with living the life of zen.” Join On the path to zen… on Facebook too! Welcome Kerry!

Growing up in Texas, there are two dishes you can find served at a restaurant within a stone’s throw, no matter where you are. Barbecue and chicken fried steak.

And if you are in Texas, never, ever, ever, refer to chicken fried steak and country fried steak. Trust me on this.

As I have tried to explain to many meat eaters, I bet nine times out of ten it is not the meat they like so much as it is the flavors of the food. To that end I like to make dishes that even I-will-never-be-vegan folks will eat and proclaim it delicious.

Chicken Fried Tofu

One package extra firm tofu, frozen, thawed, pressed, sliced into 1/4″ slices

3 T. nutritional yeast

2 T. panko breadcrumbs

2 T. soy sauce

Old Bay seasoning


In one shallow bowl, combine the nutritional yeast and breadcrumbs and mix well. In another shallow bowl, pour in the soy sauce. Dip the tofu slices in the soy sauce and place in the breadcrumbs mixture, coat well on both sides. Place coated pieces on a sprayed baking pan. Sprinkle on some Old Bay and salt. Bake for 15 minutes, turn over, season and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown. Serve. Enjoy!

I served mine with some peppered cream gravy, garlic mashed potatoes and green beans. Delish!

What I like most about this recipe is it is baked, not deep fried. Yummy, healthy AND cruelty-free!

Guest Blogger – Rachel in Veganland: Tahini chickpeas

28 Mar

After her wildly successful first post on VBU!Rachel in Veganland – Not Skinny how could I not have her back? This time Rachel is back to share her take on tahini chickpeas. You can follow Rachel’s posts through email, and find her on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. Welcome back Rachel!

2013-03-11 13.03.10Living in this house in Carrboro has been a throw back to my first few days at college when I was cooking vegan for the first time in the communal kitchen of my dorm. There were 2 things I always had in my food box in those days: garbanzo beans and tofu. As the garbanzo is my favorite legume, I would eat them quite often, and in a variety of ways.

I would often sauté them up with some fresh onions and garlic, add in a few seasonings to suit my mood, then a sauce to tie it all together. This past week I’ve revisited that dish, as again garbanzos and tofu were readily available. This time, instead of the goddess dressing I would often use to tie all of the ingredients together, I used some tahini.

2013-03-11 13.11.40

The result was caramelized fried-like glory with no breading, mess, or actual frying. What a fantastic and flavorful shortcut! The flavor was similar to fried chicken-like tofu but the garbanzos added a rich nuttiness to the dish that was only amplified by the tahini. Served atop a bed of fresh spinach, and it was heaven on a plate.

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Tahini Fried Chickpeas and Tofu

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly

1/2 block extra firm tofu

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 Tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped onions

dash dried basil

1/2 cup tahini

Over medium heat, sauté garlic and onions until the onions begin to brown and get all caramelized. Then pop in your tofu, cut into nice sized chunks and allow it to brown slightly too. Add those chick peas and let it all mesh together for a couple of minutes, then add in your tamari. At the very end, add the tahini and remove from heat, stirring to incorporate thoroughly. Serve immediately over a bed of fresh, raw greens and eat your heart out.

2013-03-11 13.11.55

Now that we’re back in Carrboro, we’ve of course been frequenting our favorite taco truck again, huzzah! This means the world’s most decadent and fantastic sauces. I always get an extra 2 oz. container to keep and smother on EVERYTHING I can. These chick peas were no exception.

Guest Blogger: In Vegetables We Trust – Panko and coconut fried seitan and mushrooms

14 Mar

The very charming Alex has been kind enough to contribute a post from his lovely blog called In Vegetables We Trust. You can catch Alex on Facebook, or Twitter and be prepared to be impressed. Welcome back Alex!

If you ever wanted some photos of seitan looking freakishly like meat, there’s one just sitting on this page, if that freaks you out (it does me a little) then use homemade seitan, it doesn’t look half as realistic as commercially produced stuff and its still super tasty. For a gluten-free option dice up tempeh and steam, then use as the seitan in this recipe and either use all desiccated coconut or use gluten-free bread crumbs instead of panko.
Enough vegetable oil to fill a pan about 2 inches up the sides.

1 tin of mock duck/seitan, cut into generous chunks
1 cup button mushrooms
5 tbsp tamari
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 stalk lemongrass, ends chopped off, bruised with rolling-pin, outer layers removed and then finely chopped
2 tsp fresh finely grated ginger

For the dry dredge:
1/3 cup corn flour seasoned with salt, pepper, a pinch cayenne pepper and 1/4 tsp garlic powder.

For the batter:
3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup cornflour
1 tsp baking soda

For the crumb layer:
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup desiccated coconut

Place the seitan and mushrooms in a bowl and toss through the tamari, red pepper flakes, lemon grass and ginger, cover with cling film and allow to marinate for about an hour. Mix together the ingredients for the dry dredge in a shallow dish, and whisk the batter ingredients together in a bowl. On another dish sprinkle the panko and desiccated coconut. Preheat the oil in a pan to a medium high heat and test the oil by tearing of a small square of bread and dropping it in, it should bubble steadily, not vigorously. If the oil is to hot bring the heat down and allow it to cool a bit. You are gonna want to start a mini production line, so line up your ingredients. It should go seitan, dredge, batter, breadcrumb mix – Line the components up in this order to make it easy on your self. Pick up a piece of seitan or a mushroom and dip in the dredge coating well to help the batter stick, dip in the batter then roll gently in the crumb mixture and drop gently in the oil. Fry off a 3-4 prices at a time – depending how much space you have in your pan – until a dark golden brown. Drain off some of the excess oil by placing the fried lil’ nuggets on kitchen paper. Serve with a sweet chili dipping sauce or just ketchup.


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: In Vegetables We Trust – Buckwheat Bolognaise Garlic Bread bake, with Basic White Bread Recipe

10 Jan

The very talented Alexander, author of In Vegetables We Trust, is back with a lovely new recipe. Alex’s first recipe Slow Cooker Chili, Roasted Butternut Squash and Fennel Flatbreads won everyone over during Virtual Vegan Potluck and it’s not hard to see why. His second post Portabello Stew also did not disappoint. Follow In Vegetables We Trust on Facebook. Alex does not believe in Twitter, perhaps we can goad him into starting an account? Please welcome back Alex!

It’s new years eve and I’m already getting started on my new years resolution, to get back into baking my own bread, I baked a couple of basic white baguette shaped loaves. The house smells amazing, I probably look a bit like a weirdo sitting at my laptop smelling a piece of bread, but there is nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread. One of the best memories of my childhood was baking cottage loaves with my dad, even if the bread doesn’t turn out fantastic its a lovely experience to bake it yourself, and even stodgy loafs, when fresh out the oven smell divine!


1 tbsp olive oil
2 Small yellow onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup of finely diced chestnut mushrooms
1 tin chopped tomato’s
1 tbsp Italian herb mix
1 cup buck wheat, rinsed
2 cups passata
1/4 cup tomato puree

1 half-sized baguette
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
2 big cloves of garlic
2 shallots
a good glug of olive oil

Pre heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium high heat, fry off the onion until softened and add the garlic, fry for a few seconds, then add the mushrooms. Give a good stir round before adding the tinned tomatoes, stock, buckwheat, herb mix and salt. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cook for 15-20 minutes, until the buckwheat is softened. Stir through the passata and tomato puree, poor the mix into and oven proof dish. Pulse the garlic, shallots and parsley with the olive oil in a food processor, then slice the baguette into 3/4 inch slices and spread on side with the parsley mix and place spread side up on top of the buckwheat tomato sauce, then pop under the grill to toast up. Spoon into bowls and enjoy!

Basic White Bread:

1 tsp active dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups tepid water
4 cups strong white bread flour
2 1/2 tsp salt
extra flour for dusting

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the tepid water, and set aside for a few minutes, it should froth up slightly, If it doesn’t the yeast isn’t active. Mix the salt into the flour, then add the yeast-sugar-water mix a bit at a time, mixing it in with your hands. Knead on a floured surface for 8-10 minutes, until springy and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and toss around in the oil so the dough it coated, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2- 2 hours. Once the dough has doubled in size, slice in half and form into two half baguette sizes and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Leave to rise uncovered for anouther 30 miuntes, then brush with cool water, before baking in a preheated oven at 200c/390f for 30 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack, before slicing.

Guest Blogger: Vegan Monologue – Gnocchi in Velvety “Cream” Sauce with Arugul

23 Nov

Vegan Monologue is not a stranger to VBU!, in this post she’s coming back to charm us with another lovely recipe. Read her first contribution to VBU! HERE, a recipe for Fruit and Nut Muffins. Recently relocated to Portland, OR to be closer to nature and better vegan food, VM is a twenty-something Florida native who strives to serve up budget-friendly vegan food that feels comfortable and familiar. She strives to make her recipes easy to follow and delicious. Her creamy gnocchi recipe is her favorite dish from 2012, and is guaranteed to be quick and impressive. Follow VM on her blog. Welcome back Vegan Monologue!


This entree blew my mind. It is the perfect blend of creamy, cheesy, spicy, salty, sweet and bitter. It speaks to every taste sensor in your mouth. It. Is. AMAZING. I wasn’t expecting much when I made this because I adapted it from a recipe I found in Southern Living magazine, of all places. (I had to tweak the sauce to make it thicker.) In fact, the only reason I made it is because we had some gnocchi laying around and had to use it up. My husband raved about it, and he is not even a fan of arugula.

Sweet corn has been cheap lately, and I got a bunch of arugula for a song. Gnocchi is pretty economical as well.

$2.50 per serving

Serves 4

  • 12 oz ready-to-boil gnocchi
  • 2 small ears fresh sweet corn, kernels cut off and set aside
  • 1 cup soymilk
  • a few Tbs flour, plus a little more, just in case
  • 3 oz. vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups torn arugula
  • a few shakes of crushed red pepper
  • handful of minced fresh basil

1. Cook gnocchi according to package, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Don’t rinse gnocchi, just drain.

2. Meanwhile, make cream sauce – combine soymilk, cream cheese, salt, garlic powder, pepper in medium saucepan

3. Cook sauce ingredients over medium heat for 10 minutes or longer until cream cheese is dissolved. Stir frequently with fork.

4. Add reserved pasta water and flour to sauce, stir until thickened. You can add more flour until desired thickness is achieved

5. Pour cream sauce over gnocchi, stir in arugula, sprinkle red pepper flakes. Sauce will thicken more as it cools.

This is my top favorite new recipe of the year-hands down!