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 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.

Vegan Sprinkle Cookies

Vegan Sprinkle CookiesLike most kids Trey loves sprinkles. He often sees treats in bakeries covered with sprinkles, but they are rarely vegan. I wanted to create soft vegan sprinkle cookies that look like some of those treats. I kept these soft since most of my other sugar cookie recipes make a crisp cookie designed for decorating.

Vegan Sprinkle Cookies

My great-aunts used to make soft sour cream cookies with sprinkles for us as kids and I was thrilled these vegan sprinkle cookies have a similar taste and texture.

Sprinkles that are not full of artificial colorings can be hard to find. I have purchased the India Tree brand at Whole Foods in the past and liked them, although they are expensive.  **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 Sprinkle Cookies

I was inspired by a recipe I saw on Sally’s Baking Addiction. It was fairly simple to veganize and the results are delicious. I’m planning to bring these to Trey’s next class party.

Vegan Sprinkle Cookies
 
Soft and colorful vegan sprinkle cookies. Perfect for classroom parties or any festive occasion.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Vegan Butter, softened
  • ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cup Soy Yogurt, unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 and ⅔ cups Flour
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Cornstarch
  • ½ cup Sprinkles, plus more for sprinkling on top
Instructions
  1. Cream vegan butter and sugar together. Stir in yogurt and vanilla. Set Aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cornstarch. Once combined mix liquid mixture into flour mixture. Stir completely. Add in sprinkles. Place dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out 1 Tablespoon size balls of cookie dough and place on cooking sheet. Press a few additional sprinkles on top of each ball of dough.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on baking pan and then place on cooling rack.

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Meatless Monday: Spicy Peanut Noodles

Spicy Peanut Bowl

I like weeknight meals that fall into one of two categories: Ready in less than 30 minutes -OR- Components can be made in advance and assembled quickly.

My Spicy Peanut Noodles fit into the later category. This is one of my favorite meals to make when Trey has a late practice. Early in the day I slice all of the veggies, cook the noodles and make the sauce. When we get home from his practice I toss everything together and we can sit down to eat 5 minutes after walking in the door.

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Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

As I have mentioned Harrison does not consider things that aren’t chocolate dessert. His favorite combination with chocolate is definitely peanut butter. I developed these vegan double chocolate peanut butter cookies to pack a punch of both chocolate and peanut butter flavor. They are made with cocoa powder, chocolate chips and ribbons of peanut butter.

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies Labeled

When I made these last week both Trey and Harrison enjoyed sampling the dough. Trey wanted to help me develop some additional recipes and suggested I make cookies with chunks of dough in the cookie. I explained how baking worked and that he would just end up with cookies, since the dough would cook in. Undeterred he suggested that I serve these cookies as sandwiches with whipped cream. Future chef!

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

The key to these cookies is the ribbons of peanut butter running through them. I learned this technique from Dreena Burton’s Eat, Drink & Be Vegan cookbook. She has a cookie called “You Got Peanut Butter in my Chocolate Cookie”. In her recipe you use a knife to barely mix peanut butter into the chocolate cookie batter. This allows you to see and taste the peanut butter in the cookie. I recommend using cold (not softened) peanut butter when making this recipe. Soft peanut butter ends up mixing right into the dough and you lose the ribbons.

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies Pan

If you are interested in making these to bring to school or an event where children may have allergies you can easily skip the peanut butter. Without the peanut butter you will have double chocolate cookies. These cookies are soft and moist, and popular with all ages.

Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
 
These cookies are packed with melty chocolate chips and ribbons of peanut butter. This classic flavor combination delights all ages.
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
  • ¾ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Earth Balance, softened
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • ½ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 TB ground Chia, mixed with ¼ cup Water
  • 1 TB Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Vegan Chocolate Chips
  • ¼ cup Peanut Butter, cold
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl mix butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together until well combined. Stir in chia/water mixture and vanilla.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients until well mixed. Mix in chocolate chips until combined.
  5. Cut in peanut butter with a knife. Do not over mix. You should see ribbons of peanut butter in the cookie dough.
  6. Roll dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on lined baking sheet. Bake cookies for 9-10 minutes.

* This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your cost will remain the same, but Vegan Gretchen will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is appreciated.

Homemade Popsicle Bonanza

I have a love hate relationship with popsicles. On one hand I like that they are normally vegan (assuming they aren’t a “creamy” variety). They don’t usually contain any common allergens like soy, dairy, gluten, or eggs. This makes them an easy treat to bring to school for the whole class to enjoy. On the other hand the majority of store bought popsicles are nothing but dyed sugar water. The fact that your tongue stays red for hours after eating a red popsicle is not a good sign for what is happening inside your body. Like most kids, Trey loves popsicles. I try to keep homemade popsicles in our freezer for him. Recently we bought a new box of popsicle molds from Tovolo. I decided to try out a few new homemade popsicle flavors. The results were tasty and have been helping us beat the summer heat.

Homemade Popsicles Pintrest

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Cooking with Kids: No-Bake Bars

Trey is very interested in helping me in the kitchen these days. Partially because he is interested in cooking and partially because he wants to be on this website. He says things like “Oh do you want to take a picture of me for your website”? I may be creating a monster. I wish I could say I was one of those great parents who always loves to have their kids with them in the kitchen. The truth is I love to be in the kitchen alone. I find cooking by myself really relaxing, and cooking with anyone else really annoying. Parent of the year! I have been making an effort to find and create recipes that Trey can easily cook with me. I saw an episode of Pioneer Woman where she made No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars, and they looked both delicious and easy. I veganized her recipe and it turned out to be my new favorite dessert. This recipe is so easy and so tasty. Trey helped me make them and he was also pleased with the results. Try making these No-Bake Bars next time you need to make a quick and easy dessert, with or without a little helper.

No-Bake Bars Labeled

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Vegan Apple Pie Muffins

My favorite dessert flavor is cinnamon sugar. I love the combination in most any form…cinnamon sugar toast, donuts, coffee cake or apple pie. I once had a vegan churro made by the team at Timeless Cafe and I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  I recently took my coffee cake recipe and made a muffin version that is a bit less sweet. I added apples and apple juice, inspired by one of my favorite recipes from Isa Moskowitz. Her Apple Crumb Muffins from Vegan with a Vengeance (a vegan cookbook must have) are a long time favorite. The resulting Vegan Apple Pie Muffins have that tasty combination of cinnamon and sugar, along with the spices and apple flavor reminiscent of apple pie.

Vegan Apple Pie Muffins

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Vegan Nachos for Game Day

We love to have sports parties in our house. During football season we have football parties, basketball season brings basketball parties etc. Lately we have been having lots of basketball parties as we watched the Golden State Warriors win the NBA Finals. Congrats Warriors! During these sports parties the 3 of us pile on the couch and eat snacks and/or dinner while we watch the game. Trey’s favorite game time food in vegan nachos. On Sunday night we watched the game with a big platter of vegan nachos. I make my own cheese sauce with Beyond Meat crumbles (recipe below) and pour it over warmed chips, melted Daiya shreds and black beans. On top we add salsa, olives, guacamole, vegan sour cream and pickled jalapenos. It is great game day food, whatever game you are into.

Vegan Nachos Pintrest

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Vegan S’mores Minus the Camping

I hate camping. I know, I know…camping is great, kids love it, you can enjoy nature, its so beautiful etc etc. As hard as I try I just hate the whole idea of camping. Sleeping outside or in a camper when I have a perfectly good home and bed is totally unappealing to me. Harrison has been trying for years to convince me that camping with Trey and the dogs will be great. It sounds like a complete nightmare. The roasting marshmallows for s’mores part of camping does seem fun, although I’d rather just do that over a fire pit in someone’s backyard. I decided to make vegan s’mores cookies so I could enjoy the one appealing part of camping without having to sleep on the ground.Vegan S'mores Pintrest

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