Tag Archives: vegan on a budget

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!


Guest Blogger: Chronicles of Passion – Unmexican Burritos

27 Jun

Who doesn’t love burritos? Great comfort food and easy on the budget if you want to stretch a dollar. Laura, author of Chronicles of Passion, is a: runner, lover of cooking, baking and traveling. She is someone who enjoys being social, meeting new people, and gaining new experiences. By taking on challenges Laura discovered she enjoys participating in hot yoga – pretty healthy revelation! With hugs and boundless creativity she plans to take on the world; right after finishing University. Please welcome Laura!

Let’s be serious: the only thing Mexican about these burritos is that I called them that.

They are made with fava beans, not black beans or refried beans.

They have sweet potato, red cabbage and apple. A great combination together, but who puts that in burritos?

They are served in homemade 100% wholewheat flour tortillas. Semi-burrito-like I suppose.

They are a nice mix of spicy and sweet – not just all-out-burning-my-mouth-spicy like a lot of burritos.

Oh and they have kale. Healthified as my brother would say.

But really, they are just my own version of burritos. One that is a little different, a little uncharacteristic of said Mexican classic, and a whole lot original. Be original. Make whatever you want and call it whatever you want, because sometimes it’s not about being the same, conforming to the normal, going with the flow. It’s not about doing what every one else is doing, making what everyone else says and having the same thing over and over. It’s about being spontaneous, trying something new, making something different. Yeah you might mess it up (don’t worry, I mess up a lot of recipes, and they just never make it on here . . . ), sometimes it might just be a total flop (remember my sourdough bread?), but at the end of the day, you fail, mess it up, try again, start again and eventually succeed. And when you succeed in something a little out of the ordinary, it’s a little bit sweeter. Because it was nobody else’s successes that you were running after or coming second to. It was all your own.

Unmexican Burritos

Quite unmexican ingredients, but just as messy and awesome as the standard. Be original.

Ingredients (2 Burrito fillings)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 portobello mushroom, sliced
  • 1/4 cup red cabbage, diced
  • 1/4 cup sweet potato, cut into match sticks
  • 1/4 cup stewed tomatoes, with juice
  • 1/4 apple, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp ground Fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp garam Marsala
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp honey mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple wine (or juice or cider)
  • 2 flour tortillas (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fava beans, drained
  • 3 kale leaves, torn into pieces


  • In a small saucepan, cook onion and garlic over medium heat until fragrant.
  • Add red cabbage, mushroom, sweet potato, stewed tomatoes and spices. Cover and let simmer until vegetables are mostly cooked.
  • Add apple wine, balsamic vinegar, mustard and apple and continue to cook on medium heat until vegetables are fully cooked.
  • Add fava beans, kale and tomato sauce to thicken. Cover and simmer until kale has wilted.
  • Spoon into two flour tortillas and roll into burritos.

Don’t worry, these burritos are still just as messy as the classic kind. I guess that’s kind of normal.