Saturday, April 13, 2013

Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

While rice and beans are pretty much a staple in my house, very much a comfort food, I haven't had spicy red beans and rice in a very long time. I thought I needed to remedy that situation.

Red Beans and Rice with Sausage

1 c. water
One onion, chopped
One green bell pepper, chopped
One bunch of green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
One small can of tomato sauce
1 t. mustard
One bay leaf
1/2 t. oregano
1 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. thyme
1 t. black pepper
1 t. basil
3 cans red beans, drained and rinsed
One package vegan sausage
Olive oil
Cooked rice

Add the water, onion, bell pepper, green onions and garlic to a Dutch oven, and cook over low heat, until vegetables are softened. Add tomato sauce and seasonings, cover, and continue cooking over low heat for about 20-30 minutes. Slice the sausage into coins and fry in the olive oil. Add the sausage to the vegetables and seasonings and heat through. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Warning: this stuff is HOT! You wouldn't think so, looking at the ingredients, but trust me. I found it a little too spicy hot for my tastes, but my kids loved it and devoured it. If you don't like that much heat, try halving the cayenne and black peppers.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Black Bean and Potato Hash

Skillet meals make life convenient. Like one pot meals, everything goes into one pot or pan and done. I like crockpots for the same reason. Plus, with the way my dishwasher sounds when it runs right now, the fewer dishes I use I figure the better.

Black Bean and Potato Hash

Potatoes - however many you want, probably about 2 per person, diced
One onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. oregano
One can black beans, drained

Add the potatoes, onion, garlic and bell peppers in a frying pan with a small amount of water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, around 30 minutes. Add the spices and black beans, stir well and cook until beans are heated through. Salt and pepper to taste. You can add some chopped cilantro, if you want. Serve. Enjoy!

As it cools, the sauce created darkens. Don't be put off by it. Once reheated, it remains tasty!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hamburger Helper, Vegan Style

When I told my daughter I was making a vegan style of Hamburger Helper for supper, she informed me that at least some of the Hamburger Helper mixes were already vegan. Even though I haven't verified this myself, I know mine will still be better - no weird stuff!

Okay, okay, some vegan stuff is considered weird by non-vegans, but we know better!

Hamburger Helper, Vegan Style

One package of vegan ground beef
One onion, chopped
One clove garlic, chopped
4 c. vegetable broth
One package penne pasta
One can diced tomatoes
2 cans green beans, drained
One small can tomato paste
2 t. oregano
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. ground cinnamon

In a skillet, saute the vegan ground beef, onion and garlic until just softened. Add the vegetable broth and penne pasta and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring back to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Serve. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fun with Food

We visit my parents every Sunday. Usually my mom serves up something to eat, anything from a full meal to banana bread. Since Easter fell on a Sunday recently, she asked if we wanted to do anything different or special. I knew she was going to cook up a spread, so I decided to bring my own version of a spread. A cheese spread!

Because it was Easter and springtime, I wanted to indulge myself by making something themed. So I did.

It's not a carrot, it's a cheese spread!

2 containers vegan cream cheese
1 c. Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
1 can sliced black olives, drained
3 green onions, chopped
5 t. taco seasoning
Crushed nacho tortilla chips (see note)
Celery leaves

Beat the cream cheese and Daiya until smooth. Gently fold in the olives, onions, and taco seasoning. Chill until somewhat firm. I wrapped mine in wax paper so I could easily mold it into a carrot shape. Before serving, unroll it from the wax paper and roll it in crushed nacho chips, covering the entire surface. Stick the celery leaves in the top. Place on a serving tray and surround it with crackers. Wait for the oohs and aahs.

Note: If you can't find any vegan nacho tortilla chips, I recommend you make your own. You can find an awesome recipe here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chick'n Salad with Mango Salsa

The weather is starting to warm up here, after a few fits and starts. Of course, I am totally okay with the weather staying cool as long as possible, what with our ridiculous heat in the summer. But right now, I can open up the windows and sleep comfortably without either the heater or the ac running, so this is my favorite time of year. If only it could stay this beautiful year round!

Chick'n Salad with Mango Salsa

1/4 c. soy sauce
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. grated ginger
One package Gardein Chick'n Scallopini
2 mangoes, cut into small chunks
2 green onions, diced
One serrano pepper, seeded and diced
1 c. cilantro, chopped
3 T. lime juice
1/4 t. salt
5 t. olive oil
1 T. lemon juice

Mix the soy sauce and cornstarch together and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the sesame oil, lemon juice and ginger. Slice the chick'n into strips and add to the soy sauce mixture, stirring to coat well. Set aside and let marinate for about 30 minutes.

Mix the mangoes, green onions, serrano pepper, cilantro, lime juice and salt in a separate container. Set aside and let marinate for about 30 minutes.

Shred the lettuce into a large bowl. Add the olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Stir well to coat.

After the chick'n has marinated, dump it and the marinade contents into a frying pan and heat over medium until heated through.

To serve: Place some of the lettuce on individual serving plates. Top with some of the chick'n, then some of the mango salsa. Enjoy!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage

On March 17, according to the  History Channel, everyone wants to be Irish. For those of us with Irish ancestry, it's an everyday thing!

I know corned beef isn't an Irish thing, it's really an American thing, but it is something we look forward to every year. When you are vegan, and Irish!, you look for ways to indulge cruelty-free, and it can be a challenge. I try out a different recipe every year to find one that everyone says, "This. This is it!" I came pretty close this year.

My daughter is a huge fan of the Meet the Shannons website. So when I found their recipe for Corned Beef-less Tips and Cabbage, I knew I had to try it. And it was delicious! It is made with Gardein Beefless Tips. The only complaint I have, and I'm not entirely sure how to fix that, is the pickling spices. They are an absolute must in duplicating the corned beef flavor, but they aren't fun to eat. Too often I found myself stopping chewing to pull out a little hard spice bit. I'm wondering if I could grind them up first, if that would work as well? It is definitely worth trying.

At any rate, this has been the best thus far and definitely a keeper.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Skillet Tacos

Before becoming vegan, the tacos we typically consumed were ground beef, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and shredded cheese. Simple. Ordinary. Cruelty in a taco shell.

Since becoming vegan, we have found we like to try variety in our taco making. Black beans. Sliced avocados. Rice. I don't think we've made a taco the same way twice since becoming vegan. When you don't make meat the main component, the selections become endless!

This is one we tried the other night. You can eat this as a rice dish, but honestly I discovered that the taste and crunch of the taco shell really pulled all the flavors together. We added nothing extra to the tacos other than the what was in the skillet. It didn't need anything else.

Skillet Tacos

1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. black pepper
1/4 t. cumin
3 c. cooked brown rice
One can kidney beans, drained
One can black beans, drained
One can corn, drained
One green bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
Several green onions, chopped
Several taco shells

Saute the garlic in the vinegar and oil until just cooked. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to mix and coat. Let it heat through on low to medium heat. Spoon rice mixture into taco shells. Serve. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spaghetti with Garlic Walnut Pesto

It never surprises me how often my youngest will eat spaghetti. He will go to the grocery store and buy a package of spaghetti and sometimes eat it with nothing more than vegan butter and cracked pepper. Okay, I taught him that, but he definitely eats it more often than I do!

Spaghetti with sauce is such a dinner staple for many people. And it's understandable - it's quick, easy and it tastes delicious! I've certainly made my share of it that way. But I also like to play around with it and try different sauces and toppings.

Spaghetti with Garlic Walnut Pesto

In a food processor, add:
1/2 c. walnuts
1/4 c. olive oil
1 c. fresh parsley
1/4 c. vegetable broth
6 cloves garlic
1 T. bread crumbs
1/2 t. salt

Give it a good whir until everything is chopped fine and blended smoothly. Mix it with an additional 1/4 c. vegetable broth and pour it over a bowl of steaming, drained, cooked spaghetti. Serve. Enjoy!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Healthy Fried Mushrooms and Okra

I love the occasional treat of fried foods, but really don't like the frying part. And then there's that niggling at the back of my brain telling me not to eat fried foods, they are so bad for me! So I found a way to get fried foods without the danger of getting nailed by popping hot oil and the other bad stuff that goes with it - oven frying!

Oven Fried Mushrooms

1/2 c. plain soy milk
1/2 c. vegetable broth
2 T. olive oil
1/2 c. nutritional yeast
One package whole mushrooms
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 t. salt
2 t. basil
2 t. oregano
Cajun seasoning to taste
Black Pepper to taste

Whisk wet ingredients and nutritional yeast in large bowl. Toss mushrooms in this mixture and coat well. Combine remaining ingredients in a large plastic bag. Scoop mushrooms into bag with a slotted spoon and shake until well coated. Arrange on a cookie sheet, spread out evenly and spray with an oil spray. Bake at 425 for 30-40 minutes.

Oven Fried Okra

One package frozen sliced okra, thawed
1 t. Cajun or creole seasoning
1/2 t. garlic salt
1 c. corn meal
Oil spray

Spray the inside of a gallon sized ziplock baggie with the oil spray. Add the okra to the bag with the Cajun seasoning and garlic salt. Seal bag and shake vigorously. Add the cornmeal to the bag and shake up again. Spread the okra over a cookie sheet, spread out evenly and spray okra with oil spray. Bake at 425 for 40 minutes.

After 20 minutes, flip both mushrooms and okra and spray once more with oil spray. And yes, I put both the mushrooms and the okra on the same cookie sheet.

Serve. Enjoy!

There were no leftovers. Serve it with your favorite dressing. Our dressing of choice is homemade vegan ranch. Yummy!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...