The Best Vegan Stuffing Ever

The Best Vegan Stuffing Ever

Happy Thanksgiving! Or happy turkey-free turkey day, as I like to say. People often ask me if I’m sad or somehow disappointed by the fact that I don’t eat turkey on Thanksgiving. My answer is HECK to the no because the sides + desserts are truly where it’s at (at least, for me). And one of my holiday favs? This stuffing. Which is the best vegan stuffing ever, in my humble opinion.the Best Vegan Stuffing

I’ve made this several years in a row and it’s always been a hit. What makes my version of the best vegan stuffing ever different? Well, while most veg-friendly stuffing recipes use veggie broth, I go a different route with liquid and coconut aminos and nutritional yeast for flavor.

Best Vegan Stuffing ever

 

I also use sprouted bread (Angelic Bakery is my favorite brand, but Ezikel or any other sprouted bread will work) instead of regular, which happened circumstantially originally, but ended up being delicious and has therefore remained part of the recipe.

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Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies

Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies

Don’t you love it when you turn on the oven, throw a bunch of stuff in a bowl, hope for the best, and the result turns out amazing? Same here. And that’s exactly what happened with these Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies today.

Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies

So this blog post is rather spontaneous. To be honest I’m in the middle of a few others that are more intensive in terms of scope and research required (think nutrition and sustainability).

But I’ve done so much grueling brain-sucking work this weekend I decided to take a break and make some cookie muffin things and they turned out so yummy I decided I’m extend said break by snapping a few phone photos (I need to get out my real camera…I’ve just been so damn busy the past few weeks) and toss them (figuratively) on the blog.

Oatmeal Almond Butter Blueberry Pancake Cookies

The plus of spending so much time on the grind this weekend for work/school is that I suppose I learned a lot. Including that school is hard, I have a lot of self-reflection to do with professional development/relationships, having a working kitchen is very therapeutic to my existance and that people definitely notice dog hair in jam photos. Oops.

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Vegan Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts. While I tend to be a chocolate-lover, I will stray from the norm for carrot cake.  It’s all about the textures, baby.

Carrot Cake Cookies! Easy, vegan and gluten free

It is my goal to create the best carrot cake-themed desserts ever in the near future. I like applying the flavor profile to other sweet treats, including granola and these cookies. I’m just getting started and feel more inspired than ever to conquer the carrot cake world. Stay tuned. Just like I’m currently staying tuned to this new season of Real Housewives of NYC. Gosh I’m happy Bethenney is back.

Carrot Cake Cookies ! Easy, vegan and gluten free

Back to carrot cake creations: I decided I wanted a slightly healthier tasting way to get a mini carrot cake fix early in the morning without feeling too sugared up. I wanted something that felt substantial and hearty, instead of like eating fluff. So I made Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies to grab for quick mid-morning or afternoon snack attacks. They’re awesome. Much like my dog. Hey, did you know I have a dog? I do.

Carrot Cake Cookies Vegan

These babies are slightly sweet, but full of nuts, carrots, raisins and whole grain goodness (go oats!) so they satisfy what I love about the taste and texture of carrot cake but give me a lil energy boost for the day. They’re the perfect breakfast or snack cookie and pretty darn good for ya as far as cookies go.

Carrot Cake Cookies Vegan Gluten Free

Plus, they’re healthy enough to be a respectable breakfast option. And I like excuses to eat cookies for breakfast. Hope you do too; enjoy these cookies and have a happy day. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1 tablespoon flax
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconuts
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, mix flour, flax, baking soda, and salt.

2. Melt coconut oil in microwave for 30-45 seconds. Add brown sugar or maple syrup and mix. Add wet mixture to dry. Mix gently.

3.Grate in carrots, add applesauce and almond milk and mix fold wet and dry ingredients together.

4. Add raisins, coconut shreds and walnuts and stir. Shape dough into 1″ inch balls and space about 1-inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden brown and fragrant.

Soba Noodle Asian Kale Salad with Soy Ginger Dressing

The April Recipe Redux challenge was to make a dish, and repurpose the leftovers of that dish for another meal. It’s like double the yummies with one grocery trip. Win.

Soba Noodle Salad Edamame Vegan

I’ve been wanting to play with Soba noodles for a while now. There’s something I love about the idea of a cold soba noodle salad.  I also love anything covered in gingery-soy dressing. Which is why I go to half price sushi every week with my mom and order a salad just so I can DRINK the ginger dressing they put on top. And then when the server comes to clear my bowl I hoard my bowl like “NO! I NEED THAT DRESSING!” so I can dip my sushi into it and soak up every last drop. I’m boarderline insane. Or just really weird. Or both. Anyways, SOBA:

Soba Noodle Salad  Vegan

I used my leftover Asian Kale Salad, added it to some cooked soba noodles, used the same dressing, and threw on some tempeh (could sub tofu or omit completely), and viola! Meal 2.0 was born, drenched in soy gingery goodness.

Asian Kale Salad Edamame Soy Ginger

Okay so I need to relax about my dressing obsession; regardless, this is a healthy, refreshing, yet filling and nourishing meal. The soba noodles were a welcome change of pace for me. I actually really loved the unique buckwheat flavor. They have a bit of a heartier feel to them than regular noodles, yet all the slippery slidy mouthfeel. Another bonus was that they cooked in 4 minutes are a source whole grain. Yay whole grains! #carbs5ever

Soba Noodle Salad Edamame Vegan tofu

Combine with the crunch from the Asian Kale Salad, the edamame, and the tofu, it makes for a power-meal that will keep you going for hours wtihout feeling icky or weighed down. This is like a bowl of power noodlez, y’all.

Soba Noodle Salad Edamame Vegan

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4-5 minutes
Level: easy

serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups soba noodles, cooked (about 4″ in diameter, uncooked)
  • 1 cup Asian Kale Salad
  • 1/2 cup Sesame Soy Ginger Dressing
  • 3/4 cup tempeh or tofu, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro or green onions (optional)
  • hot sauce or Sriracha (optional)

Directions:

1. Cook soba noodles according to direction on package. Drain and allow to cool. Transfer to bowl.

soba noodles

2. Pour 1/2 cup Sesame Soy Ginger Dressing on noodles and stir until noodles are lightly coated. Add Asian Kale salad and toss again.

Soba Noodle Salad  Vegan

3. Cube tempeh or tofu and use to top noodles. Chop cilantro or green onions and add to noodle bowl. Add hot sauce or Sriracha as desired. Enjoy~!

Soba Noodle Salad Edamame  Vegan

For more make one, eat twice ideas, click around below! Happy eating :-).

Hummus Barley Bowl with Sweet Potatoes & Kale

You ever have those days were you just want to eat the earth in bowl? Where you just want something earthy, hearty, warming, full of umami and spice and nourishment that will fill you up without making you feel weighed down? Well I do. And today was one of those days.

Barley Hummus Kale Sweet Potatoe Bowl  10

For reasons beyond my explanation I was really craving barley this morning. I’ve been very into plain grains lately. Kamut, corn, wild rice, black rice, oats…just something comforting about a bowl of simple grains to feed the body and mind.

Barley Hummus Kale Sweet Potatoe Bowl 6

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of eating carbs. They literally and figuratively fuel the brain and make you all sorts of happies, inside and out. The key is doing ’em right. Whole grains, vegetables, legumes and fruits are nature’s way of being like “hey everyone I love you.”

Barley Hummus Kale Sweet Potatoe Bowl 1

Back to barley. Couldn’t get it out of my head. And I was really craving a warm bowl of something hearty and filling. Barley fit the bill, as did the earthy creaminess of hummus. I decided to stir hummus (I used Horseradish hummus from Trader Joe’s…omg.) into barley while the barley was still slightly warm, almost to create a light hummus-sauce of sorts. The result was creamy flavorful grains in my face. In love. Adapting this idea and using it widely in the future.

Barley Hummus Kale Sweet Potatoe Bowl  pile

I decided to add some more delicious goodness to the bowl with an all-time favorite vegetable: the humble yet glorious sweet potato. Cubed and roasted plain and simple (okay I added a little cumin for extra flair). But this would be a miraculous way to use up any root vegetable or squash in your house. The pre-cut frozen butternut squash cubes would also work wonders.

Barley Hummus Kale Sweet Potatoe Bowl natural

Kale made it’s way into the dish because I had about a fourth of a bag to use up. I’m normally not into cooked greens (I like ’em raw) but a gentle sauté  seemed appropriate for the earth bowl. Cumin, curry powder, paprika and chili powder all lend earthy spiciness to the dish, as well. I threw some more chickpeas on top for extra filling power, adding some more texture, fiber, and protein to keep me satisfied.

Barley Hummus Kale Sweet Potatoe Bowl 6

I am so in love with this dish I can’t even express the words. It’s a perfect lunch or light dinner and tastes great eaten as leftovers out of the fridge later on.

Barley Hummus Kale Sweet Potatoe Bowl 2

I used barley, but truly any hearty whole grain would work. Quinoa or brown rice would also do the trick. Use whatever you have on hand, but by all means, give this a go. Your tummy will thank me. Happy hummus bowl-ing 🙂

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Level: easy
serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked barley (or wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, oats, etc)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup hummus of choice (I used Trader Joe’s Horseradish hummus and it was excellent!)
  • 1 large sweet potato (or about 1 cup cubed butternut squash – pre-cut frozen would work great!)
  • 1/2 large onion or 1 shallot
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper [ —> quick note on spices: if you really don’t have any of these or some of these on hand, a hearty dose of curry powder or cumin or any combination will get the job done and still be tasty]
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Cube sweet potato and place on a parchment paper or aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat sweet potato cubes. Toss gently with a spoon and add salt and pepper to taste. Place into the oven and roast until browned and tender, about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare spice mix by mixing curry powder, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together with a fork and set aside.

3. Prepare barley or rice according to package. For barley, I added the 2 cups of water to 1 cup of barley, brought to a boil, and simmered over medium heat until barley had plumped and thickened, about 12 minutes.

4. While barley is cooking, drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil into a small skillet or pan. Chop onion finely and add to oil. Add 1/3 of spice mix and simmer onions and spices lightly on low heat until onions are translucent. Lightly chop kale and add to pan. Toss kale gently to soften and cook down slightly.

5. Transfer barley to a medium bowl. While still warm, add hummus and remaining 2/3rds of spice mix. Stir to evenly coat barley with hummus and spices.

6. Add cooked kale and onions from pan directed to bowl and mix again. Top with cubed sweet potatoes and chickepeas. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy :-).

Vegan Animal Crackers with Coconut & Strawberry Icing

So a few weeks ago I had a wicked craving for these, so I bought some at Target.

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Except then I ate them and I wanted to cry because I was so disappointed in how gross they were…I don’t know why I remember them being tasty. They tasted like total junk – WAY too artificial and too sweet, I was surprised by how much flavor they lacked for how bright they were and the list of ingredients that was longer than most novels I’ve read.

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So I was deeply saddened grieving the loss of the enjoyment of a childhood treat; however, through my tears a glimmer of hope and inspiration struck me. I was determined to redo them. But make them delicious and flavorful and junk free.

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And today, I succeeded. These have a wonderful nutty, oaty flavor and are just pleasantly sweet, but light enough to eat as a snack or breakfast. I was actually surprised at how frickin’ delicious they are. My mom also enjoyed them quite a bit, as did Millie when I dropped one (lucky girl).

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I made these with half oat flour and half whole wheat flour because it’s what I had around, but for Celiac’s sufferers, it is very possible to use all oat flour or another gluten free flour as a substitute. These are also vegan, so they are friendly for those with dairy sensitivities.

“let’s makeout”

The icing is phenomenal, my friends. I basically used canned coconut milk and add powdered sugar. For the pink cookies, I pureed some freeze dried strawberries (available at Target and/or Trader Joe’s) which added color and flavor without ruining the consistency of the icing. A sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon adds a beautiful warmth to the cookie, as well.

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Overall, these are wonderful little nuggets of joy that taste and feel good for the body. A little more work than buying the junky ones, sure, but well worth the effort.

Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Level: Easy (but putsy)

Ingredients:

Cookies:

  • 1 chia egg (1 tablespoon chia seeds + 3 tablespoons almond milk)
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (I made my own in a food processor with rolled oats)
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (can also sub a gluten free flour, such as rice flour, or just use all oat-flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (can also use vegan butter or vegetable oil; I used Spectrum Coconut Oil)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash of sea salt
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of cinnamon
  • sprinkles (optional)

Frosting – Coconut:

  • 1/8 cup light coconut milk (canned)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Frosting – Strawberry:

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine chia seeds and almond milk. Mix and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

3. Melt coconut oil and mix in sugar and vanilla.

4. In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon.

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5. Slowly add coconut oil mixture and chia egg to flour mixture. Mix until combined. Roll into a ball and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes or pop in the freezer if impatient (you just want the dough to be chilled so it’s easier to work with!)

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6. Place dough ball between two pieces of parchment so it’s easier to roll and doesn’t stick. Roll until about 1/8 inch thick. Use animal (or whatever) cookie cutters to make shapes and place on baking sheet.

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7. Bake for about 10 minutes until slightly golden and fragrant.

8. Allow to cool. Meanwhile, combine coconut milk and powdered sugar in bowls. Puree freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor or blender and add to one batch of frosting.

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9. Ice cookies using an angled spatula or knife and place on parchment paper to dry. Sprinkle with sprinkles for an extra fun pop.

10. Enjoy!

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Rainbow Black Rice Salad

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Thanks to Beyond Sushi, I have a several month long obsession with black rice.

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So what is black rice? Well, I will tell you.

Not only is it more dramatic looking and exotic than white rice, it’s a  heck-of-a-lot healthier, too. It’s even better for you (and more chic) than brown rice. It’s much higher in fiber, because the rice kernel isn’t milled offed and polished the way it is in white rice. It also contains a lot of B vitamins that white rice is stripped down of (even though some are fortified back in, it’s not the same!), as well as manganese, phosphorous, iron, and all (yes, ALL) of the essential amino acids. Umm, hello vegetarian-friendly nutritional powerhouse!

As of about a month ago, it’s available for $2.69 per bag at Trader Joe’s ! HOLLA!

It’s also bursting with antioxidants. It contains anthocyanin – a water soluble antioxidant which colors things red, purple, or blue, depending on pH. This is what gives the rice that that blacky hue and makes it bleed purple (just like an NYU violet! #fightonNYUviolets #intimidating) It’s pink in acids, purple in neutral (ie water), and greenish-yellow in alkaline. So hypothetically you could even use black rice to test pHs of solutions. The possibilities with this stuff are endless. Anthocyanin also gives blueberries, acai, cherries, and concord grapes their colors. It’s also in a lot of flowers. Basically, it’s pretty.

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Speaking of being a complete amino acid source, I’ve been reading a book called The China Study on my shiny new Kindle that my sissy gave me as a graduation present. It’s very interesting. Actually, it’s more like eye-opening / life changing. It’s basically a summation of research that has been highly ignored in the public eye but is backed by NIH and the National Cancer Institute, all of which point to diet as one of the biggest factors in controlling, even reversing cancer. And a lot of it has to do with protein intake – primarily from animal sources. Basically, the high-protein low-carb fad is actually more than not-good for your health – it’s downright dangerous. One of my fav parts of this book? It sticks up for my little bullied friend – gluten. Bless you gluten. May you live on in my heart and soul. #carbs5ever. Anyways, I’d highly recommend anyone interested in health/cancer/science/nutrition check out dis book. Even if you don’t agree with all of it, it’s always good to broaden your horizons and widen your prospectives.

I made this for a graduation lunch I had with some lovely friends of mine. Regarding this lunch, someone told me no one has parties for college graduation. I say I just like reasons to cook nice things for people. Living alone, I feel weird taking a lot of time or buying a lot of ingredients to make myself fancier or complicated things. It feels frivolous. It’s not. I’m going to start #treatingmyself more. Anyways, in my opinion any small accomplishment is worth celebrating with food. Next time you get a cavity filled or an A on your test, hit me up. I’d love to cook you something yummy. Like this black rice salad.

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I was nervous that people wouldn’t like this. I actually had a mild panic right before all the people arrived like OMG ALL THIS FOOD IS WEIRD AND HEALTHY WHAT IF PEOPLE DON’T ACCEPT ALL THIS HEALTHY FOOD. WHAT IF SOMEONE JUST WANTS A DAMN CHEESEBURGER OR SOME WINGS. After a few deep breathes I realized it was too late to do anything except serve everything I made. And everything was well received, especially this salad. This post is now getting way too long and I bet no one is even reading anymore so I’m finna wrap things up.

This black rice salad really great for parties actually. It looks pretty. It looks impressive. It’s like tasting the rainbow in a non-Skittles way. And it tastes ah-MAZING. It can be served as a side dish or an entree. Whatever way you make it just make sure you do.

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 2 to 2.5 cups black rice
  • one large red bell pepper, diced
  • one large green bell pepper, diced (can also use orange or yellow, whatever is around)
  • one large mango, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 8-10 green onions, chopped
  • crushed peanuts and/or cashews (about 1/4 cup or more if you’d like, also can be omitted)

Ingredients for the Dressing:

Note: I eyeballed this. Use about 3 tablespoons each oil + 3 tablespoons lime juice with 1 tablespoon honey as a guideline

  • 1 part vegetable oil
  • 1 part lime juice
  • dash white vinegar
  • honey to taste (enough to emulsify and sweeten)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dash of sriracha or red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

1. Cook black rice as instructed on package. The package will probably tell you to use a ratio of 1:2 for rice:water. I suggest using a little less. And not cooking it until it’s mushy. The salad works better when it’s a little al dente.

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2. While rice is cooking, dice bell peppers and green onions.

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3. Cube your mango into about 1/4 inch cubes.

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4. Chop cilantro.

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5. Pop rice into the refrigerator and allow to cool completely. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for dressing in a small bowl and whisk.

7. Combine 3/4ths of chopped produce into cooled rice. Mix.

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8.Pour dressing over salad and toss gently.

9.Add remaining 1/4th of chopped produce on top. Garnish with crushed nuts.

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10. Watch out for creeping pups.

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10.5. Especially when they look super pathetic and are trying to tell you they need to go poop before you eat…

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11.EAT.

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