Vegan French Bread Pizza

Vegan French Bread PizzaDid you eat that fancy microwave French Bread pizza in your youth? I don’t remember having it at home, but when I went to college I bought it to eat in my dorm room. The picture on the box always looked so delicious, but the flavor and texture never quite measured up for me. It was always a soggy, sad mess when it finally hit my plate. Last week I decided to use a loaf of bread from the Farmer’s Market to make a worthy vegan french bread pizza. Topped with Field Roast sausage, fresh olives and Follow Your Heart cheese this was a huge hit. Huge hit is probably an understatement. My husband and son inhaled their pizza and I should have made double the amount that I made. Lesson learned…make big portions of vegan french bread pizza!

Vegan French Bread Pizza

There isn’t a recipe for this pizza, more of a methodology. You can use any toppings and vegan cheese that you like. Cook the pizza at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes until the cheese is getting melty and the bread toasty. I turn the broiler on at that point to add some color to the cheese and really crisp the edges of the bread.

Tips for delicious vegan french bread pizza:

  • Use a light, airy french bread – really dense french bread makes a pizza that is difficult to bite into and the bread to topping ratio is hard to get right because the bread is so dense.
  • Cook your Field Roast (or veggie meat of choice) before you put it on the pizza and in the oven. This lets the veggie meat get crisp without burning your whole pizza.
  • Use a good quality pizza sauce. My favorite is the fresh sauce from Whole Foods. It is inexpensive and has great flavor.
  • Use good quality olives from the olive bar. These will up the flavor of your pizza.
  • After cooking for 7-10 minutes, pull your pizza out of the oven. Turn on your broiler. Spray the top of the pizza with a little canola oil spray. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes…watch carefully to prevent burning! The oil helps the cheese melt and get good color.

Vegan French Bread Pizza


Vegan Matcha Latte

Vegan Matcha LatteI was intrigued about the power of Matcha tea when I heard one of my coffee-obsessed friends say he made the switch to matcha. I knew it had to be powerful to inspire such a devout coffee lover to abandon his favorite drink! If your not familiar with matcha it is a powder tea made from dried, young green tea leaves. In the past I tried foods made with matcha and I hated them so I assumed I wouldn’t like the tea by itself. Happily I tried making myself a Vegan Matcha Latte and I am totally hooked. Every morning I wake up and make myself a mint latte and savor it while I read the paper before my son gets up. If you are looking for a delicious drink that supplies sustained energy, without the ups and downs of coffee, give my minty Vegan Matcha Latte a try.

Vegan Matcha Latte-4Kathy Patalsky over at Happy Healthy Life has created an awesome guide to matcha. Be sure to check out all of the information she has provided. She tested out an impressive number of matchas!

Vegan Matcha Latte-2Based on Kathy’s guide I tried DoMatcha from Whole Foods. I also tried ordering Encha online since she spoke so highly of the flavor and interviewed the founder in another matcha post. I was also inspired by the Encha story and their commitment to organic matcha. Since the tea is made from grinding the entire leaves it is very important to buy organic matcha if you want to reduce your pesticide exposure. I’m now a subscriber and have the Encha matcha delivered monthly. It is delicious and by far my favorite matcha.

Vegan Matcha Latte-1

To make my Vegan Matcha Latte I use both a milk warmer/frother and a handheld frother. I use both of these items since I am trying to not wake my son up early in the morning. I put all of the ingredients in my Secura milk frother using the “warmer whisk”. It warms the milk and stirs everything together, but it doesn’t produce any froth. I use the handheld frother to add froth once I pour the latte into my mug. If my son is awake I just heat the milk and blend everything in my blender. Traditionally people use a bamboo whisk to mix the matcha with milk or water. Personally I didn’t have any success with that method so I abandoned that technique. Nobody likes a chunky latte!

Vegan Matcha Latte-5

Some people love matcha in cold drinks as well. I definitely prefer it warm, but occasionally I’ll make a matcha smoothie. I use the same recipe as below, but I add 1/4 cup of ice and a scoop of chocolate protein powder.

Do you use matcha? What are your favorite recipes?

Vegan Mint Matcha Latte
 
Warm, minty latte that will have you ready to face the morning with the power of Matcha Tea.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon Matcha tea
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
Instructions
  1. MILK FROTHER: Add all ingredients to milk frother using the mixing disc. Mix until warm and frothy. Serve warm.
  2. BLENDER: Warm milk. Add warm milk and remaining ingredients to blender and blend until uniform. Serve warm

 *This post contains affiliate links.

Vegan Tortilla Casserole

 

Vegan Tortilla Casserole

Confession – I don’t only read vegan blogs. I’m often inspired looking at blogs that feature food I wouldn’t eat. One of my favorite non-vegan blogs is Pinch of Yum. It is beautifully written and photographed by Lindsay Ostrom. Her food looks delicious and the recipes include plenty of spices to get my creative juices flowing. She recently published a recipe for a vegetarian tortilla casserole. She actually uses tofu in her filling, so you can see why I like her! I set out to make a vegan tortilla casserole after seeing her post. Mine is made with black beans, green chiles, homemade enchilada sauce and vegan cheese.

Vegan Tortilla Casserole

The homemade enchilada sauce recipe is simple and can be made in just a few minutes in the blender. The recipe makes 4 cups and you will only use 2-3 cups in your casserole. I’ll be showing you a recipe for vegan beef and cheese burritos soon where you can use any leftover sauce. This recipe is delicious with homemade enchilada sauce, but I have also made it with canned sauce. I like the Hatch brand and the Frontera brand.

Vegan Tortilla Casserole

One thing I did not change from Lindsay’s original recipe was to cover it with her Magic Green Sauce. This sauce is everything I love – spicy and tangy with a bit of texture. We have used it in falafel bowls and sandwiches, as well as on tofu. If you like herby sauces with a kick be sure to try this sauce drizzled over the casserole. It is magic!

Vegan Tortilla Casserole

The casserole is great to make ahead and doubles really well for a large group. The leftovers are also delicious.

What are your favorite food blogs? I’m always looking for new recipes and inspiration.

Vegan Tortilla Casserole
 
Spicy, soul soothing black bean vegan tortilla casserole. Delicious right out of the oven and equally tasty for lunch the next day.
Ingredients
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 1 TB garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 4 oz can diced green chilies
  • 2 15.5 oz cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 8 oz vegan cheese shreds
  • 3 cups enchilada sauce - homemade or store-bought
  • Black olives (optional - for topping)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add chili powder, cumin, salt and diced green chilis. Stir to combine and then add in black beans. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  4. In greased casserole dish spread ¼ cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish. Layer pan with 4 tortillas. Take half of the bean mixture and spread over the tortillas. Sprinkle ½ cup of cheese over beans. Pour 1 cup of enchilada sauce over the cheese. Now repeat process - layer 4 tortillas, top with remaining bean mixture, ½ cup cheese and 1 cup of enchilada sauce.
  5. For final layer top with remaining 4 tortillas. Pour the remaining cup of enchilada sauce over the tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with black olives if desired.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and wait 5 minutes before serving.

Enchilada Sauce
 
Easy, spicy enchilada sauce made in your blender.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups tomato sauce - make sure no salt is added
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 TB garlic
  • 3 TB chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder (optional - leave out for a milder sauce)
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded if you want the sauce less spicy)
  • 1 TB cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 TB tamari
  • 1 TB agave
Instructions
  1. Add everything to your blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

 

Vegan Rice Crispy Treats with Dandies

We are major fans of vegan Rice Crispy Treats in our house. Not only are they delicious they also make a great classroom treat for the seemingly endless parties my son has at school. Since vegan rice crispy treats are dairy, egg and gluten free everyone in my son’s class can enjoy these goodies. When Dandies reached out to me to ask if I would like a few sample bags of their vegan marshmallows I was thrilled and Trey was jumping up and down with joy.

Vegan Rice Crispy TreatsDandies are our go to marshmallow brand. Dandies are the first Non-GMO Project Verified marshmallows on the market. They are completely free of gelatin, artificial ingredients, and high fructose corn syrup. The products are produced in the company’s dedicated facility, which is free of dairy, eggs, peanuts, and tree-nuts. Dandies marshmallows are also free of wheat, gluten and corn, 100% vegan, and certified kosher. I really appreciate Dandies care in making an allergen friendly food since many of Trey’s classmates have nut and gluten allergies. We can find them at our local Whole Foods. I have also ordered Dandies online at Amazon and Thrive Market.

vegan rice crispy treats

Dandies offers both mini and full sized marshmallows. I use the mini marshmallows to make vegan rice crispy treats and my S’Mores cookies. We used the full sized marshmallows several times this summer to make s’mores over fire pits. They worked beautifully and Trey was thrilled to roast marshmallows with his friends.

Vegan Rice Crispy Treats

I made two versions of vegan rice crispy treats with my Dandies samples. The first is made with my standard recipe, but I topped them with decorative sugar and sprinkles. The decorative sugar gives great texture and color, while the sprinkles add a variety of colors. These are Trey’s favorites and the ones I most often bring to his class for parties. Be sure to add the decorative sugars and sprinkles to the top before you cool the treats, otherwise they won’t stick.  **UPDATE – a kind reader, Paula, asked me about confectioners glaze in sprinkles. I had no idea confectioners glaze is usually not vegan. With that information I’ll be using Let’s Do Organics Sprinkles which are vegan. Thanks for the heads up Paula**

Vegan Rice Crispy Treats

The second variety is a chocolatey version that I made for my husband. He is a chocolate lover so plain vanilla rice crispies don’t do much for him. In this version I mixed in crumbled Brownie Crisps from Trader Joe’s. Any chocolate cookie broken into crumbs would work here. I have used Trader Joe’s and Newman’s Own chocolate sandwich cookies and they were delicious. We used the mint variety at Christmas and added crumbled candy cane on top. Those were a big hit! On top of the crispy treats I added more cookie crumbles and melted chocolate drizzle. These are a richer and more decadent rice crispy treat.

Vegan Rice Crispy Treats

Either version would make a perfect Valentine’s treat for a classroom party,an office party or for your significant other. You will see in my recipes below that I use a slightly lower amount of rice cereal than some other recipes. I love to have soft marshmallowy treats. If you prefer a firmer rice crispy just add 1/2 – 1 cup of additional rice cereal. I most often use Trader Joe’s Rice Cereal or Whole Foods brand.

Vegan Rice Crispy TreatsWhat are your favorite vegan classroom or office treats?

Colorful Vegan Rice Crispy Treats
 
Classic vegan rice crispy treats made more colorful and fun with sprinkles and decorative sugar.
Ingredients
  • 1 10 oz bag of Vegan Marshmallows
  • 3 TB Vegan Butter (homemade or Earth Balance)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 cups Crisp Rice Cereal
  • 2 TB decorative sugar and/or sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Grease an 8x8 pan and set aside.
  2. Over medium heat melt the vegan marshmallows and vegan butter in a large saucepan. Once the marshmallows and butter are fully melted and fluffy (this can take 5+ minutes depending on your stove) stir in the vanilla. Quickly stir in the rice cereal and mix with a spatula until well combined.
  3. Press the mixture into greased pan. Once the mixture is pressed into the pan fairly evenly top with sprinkles and sugar. Press toppings gently into the mixture to ensure they stick.
  4. Cool pan at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Slice and serve once cool.

Chocolate Vegan Rice Crispy Treats
 
Classic vegan rice crispy treats made decadent with chocolate cookie crumbles and a chocolate drizzle.
Ingredients
  • 1 10 oz bag of Vegan Marshmallows
  • 3 TB Vegan Butter (homemade or Earth Balance)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 cups Crisp Rice Cereal
  • ½ cup Vegan Chocolate Cookies, crumbled - plus more for topping
  • ¼ cup vegan Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Grease an 8x8 pan and set aside.
  2. Over medium heat melt the vegan marshmallows and vegan butter in a large saucepan. Once the marshmallows and butter are fully melted and fluffy (this can take 5+ minutes depending on your stove) stir in the vanilla. Quickly stir in the rice cereal and chocolate cookies. Mix with a spatula until well combined.
  3. Press the mixture into greased pan. Once the mixture is pressed into the pan fairly evenly top with additional cookie crumbs. Press crumbs gently into the mixture to ensure they stick.
  4. Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil over a double boiler or in the microwave. Once melted drizzle the chocolate mixture over pan of rice crispy treats.
  5. Cool pan in the refrigerator. Slice and serve once the treats are cool and the chocolate drizzle has firmed up.

*This is not a sponsored post. I was given marshmallow samples by Dandies at no cost. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Decadent, Coffee Shop Style Vegan Banana Bread

This is not a healthy recipe. This is not your whole grain, no refined sugar vegan banana bread. Don’t get me wrong…I love healthy banana bread. My favorite hippie, healthy recipe is from Laurel’s Kitchen (replace agave for honey). This vegan banana bread is decadent and designed to replicate the slices sold at coffee shops. The kind that border on being cake, and the kind that my husband gets almost daily. I wanted to make a similar vegan version.The results speak for themselves. We have made 3 loaves of this bread in the last 7 days! 
Vegan Banana Bread
I started with a recipe I found on Food Network that had excellent reviews. It is a recipe from Flour Bakery in Boston. I veganized the recipe by using vegan yogurt, chia seed instead of egg and adding soy milk. 
Vegan Banana Bread
When I make banana bread I like to put all of the liquid ingredients and the bananas in a blender. I don’t like chunks of banana in my bread and the blender gives the bread a smoother texture. If you like more texture you can mix the liquid ingredients with the banana by hand. The bread is delicious with or without the walnuts on top.
 Vegan Banana Bread
Decadent Vegan Banana Bread
 
Decadent vegan banana bread inspired by slices served in coffee shops. Perfect for breakfast or dessert.
Ingredients
  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup soy milk
  • 1 Tablespoon chia seed, ground
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 3 tablespoons vegan yogurt or vegan sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly oil a loaf pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and sugar. Stir until combined and set bowl aside.
  3. Place soy milk, ground chia seed, oil, bananas, yogurt and vanilla in a blender. Blend until smooth. Alternatively place all remaining ingredients in a medium sized bowl and stir until well combined.
  4. Add liquid ingredients to the large bowl of dry ingredients. Stir well. Pour batter into oiled loaf pan. Bake for 30 minutes then cover top of pan with a piece of foil. Bake for an additional 30 - 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Let bread cool before slicing and serving.
*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Vegan Halloween Tips

Vegan Halloween

If you are raising vegan kids Halloween can seem like a bit of a challenge. What is worse than everyone handing your kid a bunch of brightly colored, perfectly marketed candy that you need to take away since it is filled with animal ingredients?? I think you have a few options when it comes to Halloween that will allow your children to participate, but keep your ethics in tact. I have used each of these vegan Halloween tips over the years and now that my son is 8 we will use a combination of these ideas. This is my all time favorite post to put together…I love looking at all of Trey’s costumes over the years!

Vegan Halloween

SWITCH WITCH

This has been my go to since Trey was 2 years old. Trey goes out and trick-or-treats and I trade him all of his candy for a bag or box of toys. It is really important that these be good toys, remember they are giving you ALL of their candy in exchange. If you are not trick-or-treating at home be sure to bring your Switch Witch bag with you so you can swap out immediately. Several of Trey’s friends have started asking to swap out their candy for a Switch Witch bag which has been awesome.

Vegan Halloween

When Trey was really young I would just give him toys. Now that he is older and sees everyone eating candy I give him candy that I know he will like, but that is vegan and not full of dye etc.

VEGAN CANDY LIST

Here is a handy list of vegan candy from VegNews. I know some vegan families who let their kids keep all of the vegan candy they collect when they trick-or-treat. They take out what’s not vegan and might give their kids some of the extras that they were passing out to trick-or-treaters. Popular candies that are vegan include Smarties, Skittles, Now & Laters, Red Vines, Jolly Ranchers, Twizzlers and Dum-Dums (refer to list for specific flavors).

Vegan Halloween

I haven’t done this before for Trey because I really hate all of the dye and chemicals in most candies. As he gets older I don’t want him to see veganism as one big boring limitation so I was planning on letting him have some of these candies this year. Last week Trey’s friend gave him a pack of Skittles and since I just read they are vegan I decided to let him have the small “fun size” pack. It did not go well…his body gave them a full rejection! I’ll spare you the details but needless to say he won’t be eating anymore heavily processed candies. The good news is he was able to see how his body reacted to that type of food and he is not looking to repeat that experience.

Vegan Halloween

HEALTHIER VEGAN CANDIES

There are some candies that are less processed than others. If you look at Whole Foods they have quite a few candies that are vegan and also free of dyes and many of the less desirable chemicals. A few of my favorites:

  • TruJoy Fruit Chews – these are an awesome alternative to Starburst. These are my current favorite candy.
  • YummyEarth Lollipops 
  • Surf Sweets Fruity Bears – this is what I’m passing out this year. I was able to purchase them at Target. Check the label on Surf Sweets – they clearly label their vegan candies as Vegan.
  • Go Max Go  – 100% vegan candy bars that replicate popular chocolate candy bars.
  • Cocomels – Delicious, rich caramel with multiple flavor options

Vegan Halloween

This year I am going to use a combination of these healthier candies and the Switch Witch bag for Trey. He will get some candy, but he will also get a new Lego set he has been eyeing.

What is your strategy for a vegan Halloween? Any favorite vegan candies?

Vegan Halloween

Meatless Monday: Favorite Vegan Sides

Favorite Vegan Sides

When most people hear you are vegan they immediately envision a diet of all side dishes. It is hard for people who aren’t familiar with vegan options to understand that we eat a wide variety of foods, not all sides with a gaping hole on the plate where the main dish used to be. Most of the meals in our house are bowls, casseroles, tacos etc that don’t require side dishes. Occasionally we will need a side dish and I have 2 of my favorite vegan sides to share with you today.

GARLIC RICE

Favorite Vegan Sides

This simple Garlic Rice was inspired by a local Japanese restaurant, Blue Ginkgo, that we love. They started to make Garlic Rice and it is so delicious I have been known to just eat the rice with edamame for dinner.

Favorite-Vegan-Sides

I was sent a sample of Royal Basmati rice to try and it worked perfectly in this Garlic Rice. I cooked the rice both on the stovetop and in my pressure cooker. The pressure cooker rice turned out better, but that is because I have terrible luck cooking rice on the stovetop. Rice cookers/Pressure cookers are my friend! I’m looking forward to trying a few of Royal’s other products, especially this Basmati, Wild Rice and Quinoa blend.

Serve this rice with my Teriyaki Bowl or use it as a side for any Asian inspired meal. I’m planning to use this frequently now that we are approaching cold & flu season. Garlic is known as a potent antibacterial.

Garlic Rice
 
Fragrant garlic rice that works well as a side for Asian inspired meals or as the base of a Bowl.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1¾ cup water
  • 10 cloves garlic, whole
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Tamari
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin
Instructions
  1. Soak rice for 15 minutes then rinse. Place rice, water and 10 cloves of garlic in saucepan. Bring to a boil uncovered. Once boiling reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until rice is cooked. This can also be done in a pressure cooker or rice cooker. Follow your manufacturers cooking instructions.
  2. Once rice is cooked heat a skillet to medium high over the stove. Add in sesame oil and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Heat for 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add in cooked rice, Tamari and scallions. Toss to coat the rice. Taste for season. Add more Tamari and sesame oil as needed for flavor. Remove skillet from heat and serve.

 ROASTED POTATOES AND AIOLI

Favorite Vegan Sides

Potatoes are one of my absolute favorite foods. I blame my Irish heritage. I love them roasted, mashed, in potato salad and as fries. One of my favorite restaurants in Oakland, Encuentro, serves roasted potatoes with a side of aioli for dipping, The aioli changes frequently but my favorite is the Lemon Herb Aioli. I love the tanginess of the lemon combined with the fresh herbs.

The aioli can be used on sandwiches and the like but I love copying Encuentro and using it as a dip for my potatoes. Toss small potatoes that you have cut into wedges with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the potatoes at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the size of your potato wedges and potato type. Once they are done let them cool slightly and serve with this tangy, fresh aioli. These potatoes are a great accompaniment to veggie burgers and are also a hit at potluck meals.

Favorite Vegan Sides

Vegan Lemon Herb Aioli
 
Tangy aioli packed with fresh herbs. A perfect side for dipping potatoes or delicious as a spread on sandwiches.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup vegan mayonnaise (see note*)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, dill, basil are a good start)
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a serving bowl. Once thoroughly combined refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Notes
*I prefer Wildwood Organics Zesty Garlic Aioli

* This is not a sponsored post, but I did receive a free sample of Royal Basmatic rice for review. All opinions are my own. This post does contain affiliate links.

Vegan on-the-Go

vegan on-the-go

As I mentioned in my last post we moved at the end of last month. That left me without much time, energy, or in some cases a kitchen for cooking. These transitional times are when being vegan is a bit tougher than being an omnivore. It’s not like vacation when you have time to research new restaurants and then enjoy leisurely meals. You really need grab and go food that you don’t have to prepare, but you want food that fuels you. I thought I would share a few options we relied on for the weeklong period when we were transitioning from one house to the next. These are my vegan on-the-go favorites:

GROCERY STORE FINDS

NuGo Bars: These bars taste good, are high in protein and low in fat. Be sure to check the ingredients as not all of their bars are vegan. Here is a list of their vegan options. My husband likes the Chocolate Mint flavor, while I love the Chocolate Pretzel.

vegan on-the-go

Precut Fruit and Veggies from Whole Foods: This kept us eating fruits and vegetables without having to look for the cutting boards and knives.

Ranch Dressing: I normally make my own dressing, but this is a good option from Follow Your Heart when making your own isn’t in the cards. Trey loved dipping the pre cut veggies in the dressing.

vegan on-the-go

Shelf Stable Hummus & Bean Dip – protein packed dips that work with chips, crackers or cut up veggies.

Gardein Pocket Wrap – my husband loves these. It does require that you have an oven or microwave available, but they are fast and satisfying.

QUICK RESTAURANTS

Chipotle – savior of any vegan on-the-go. Their sofritas (marinated tofu) are delicious and filling. I like that I can have a salad, bowl, burrito, crispy tacos or soft tacos. Options are helpful since we ate here a few times during the move. I get bored eating the same thing each time.

Veggie Grill – We have a Veggie Grill about 15 minutes from our new house. This all vegan chain seems to be cropping up all over the west coast. My favorite dish is the Savory Kale Salad with tempeh bacon. Trey loves the kids meal options and my husband loves the buffalo chick’n.

vegan on-the-go

 

Spice Kit – This is a Bay Area restaurant with a few locations. Like Chipotle, they have several vegan serving options including salad, rice paper wraps or a bowl. My favorite is the Vietnamese Bowl without the fish sauce. Here is my homemade version.

Subway – The bonus with Subway is that they are everywhere. Their white bread is vegan and they have lots of veggies to load into your sandwich. Here is a guide from PETA highlighting vegan options at Subway. Will this be your most exciting meal ever…no, but it hits the spot when you are tired and hungry.

Ike’s Place – Ike’s is a sandwich shop that started in San Francisco. They are rapidly expanding (they now have locations in LA and Tempe) and have a huge vegan menu. The menu is different in each location, but they have multiple vegan meat substitutes, vegan cheese and delicious bread.

vegan on-the-go

What are your favorite vegan on-the-go eats?

Vegan Raspberry Lemon Muffins

 

Raspberry Lemon MuffinsI’m back from my temporary absence. We moved at the end of September and that did a number on my health (I have an autonomic disorder) so I have been in recovery mode for the past few weeks. I haven’t been cooking too much, but I feel like I am starting to get back on track. Right before we moved I made these vegan raspberry lemon muffins. They were great fuel for moving when I needed something quick to eat while I was packing. These also made easy snacks for Trey to bring to school.

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

You can use either frozen or fresh raspberries in this recipe. If you do use frozen raspberries, as I did, do NOT thaw them. They release a lot of liquid when they thaw and your muffin will turn completely pink.

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

I used raspberries because Trey doesn’t like blueberries, but you can definitely use either. The combination of cornmeal and lemon would work really well with blueberries.

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Raspberry Corn Muffins
 
Vegan raspberry lemon muffins make a delightful breakfast or snack. Lemon zest and a bit of cornmeal give these muffins a delicious taste and texture.
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon ground chia
  • 1 cup almond or soy milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
  • ¼ cup vegan butter (Earth Balance), softened
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup corn meal
  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup fresh or frozen raspberries (see note)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl or measuring cup mix chia, soy milk, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract and lemon extract. Set aside.
  3. In a mixer cream together vegan butter and sugar. Stir in bowl of liquid ingredients until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, lemon zest, baking powder and baking soda. Combine dry ingredients and liquid ingredients. Mix until well combined. Stir in raspberries.
  5. Quickly scoop dough into muffin tins. Fill each muffin tin ⅔ full.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Notes
If using frozen raspberries, do NOT thaw

 

5 vegan ways to use up your Summer Tomatoes

Summer TomatoesLately I have been buying tomatoes every week at the Farmer’s Market. They look so colorful and delicious, and I know they will be gone for Fall soon. Because I have been buying so many tomatoes I have been coming up with various ways to use up these end of summer tomatoes. Here are my 5 favorite ways to use up summer tomatoes:

Summer Tomatoes

Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

I loosely followed this recipe. I mixed the garlic, dried herbs and red chili flakes with the tomatoes before they went in the oven. I love the flavor of roasted garlic! This sauce was simple and delicious over pasta.

Summer Tomatoes

Vegan BLT

The classic sandwich is a great way to use heirloom tomatoes. I use the vegan bacon from Sweet Earth (apparently this is available at Target now!) for my BLT. You may notice I have mustard in my sandwich…I don’t like mayo in my sandwiches…EVER. I also used arugula because I had some on hand after making my Apple Arugula Salad.

Summer Tomatoes

Bruschetta

I have been enjoying bruschetta all summer long. You can use either cherry, plum or heirloom tomatoes in the recipe. Also if you have basil left over make a quick pesto. Spread your toasted bread with pesto before topping with the bruschetta.

Summer Tomatoes

Fresh Pomodoro Sauce

I followed this recipe from Giada de Laurentiis. I loved the technique of grating large tomatoes into the sauce. I substituted cashew cream for the ricotta and just added salt to taste to replace the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cashew Cream is 1/3 cup of cashews blended with 1 cup of water. Start with 1/2 cup of cashew cream in this recipes and add more to taste if needed.

Summer Tomatoes

Salsa

Fresh Salsa is a great way to use summer tomatoes…mostly because it means you get to eat more chips! I also use my fresh salsa on burritos, quesadillas and tacos. Pico de Gallo is another great summer tomato use up.

Summer Tomatoes

What is your favorite way to use up end of summer tomatoes?