Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

I’m always skeptical when a vegan dish borrows the name from something that exists in the non-vegan world. Everyone knows what buffalo wings are – deep-fried chicken wings, coated in butter and hot sauce, and served with blue cheese dressing and sometimes celery. I have to say that these buffalo cauliflower bites completely deliver – so satisfying and flavorful, plus they’re baked and not fried! You can play with the proportions of the sauce ingredients… I chose to make them a little more kid-friendly, substituting BBQ sauce for some of the hot sauce! And the Daiya blue cheese salad dressing adds the necessary tang!

UPDATE: I added another delicious sauce to try as an alternative to the traditional Buffalo hot sauce. See Asian BBQ Sauce recipe below!

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
Line baking sheet with parchment paper
Cut one head of cauliflower into florets

……..
Make batter for cauliflower.

Ingredients:
¾ c. flour (I used GF blend but any is fine)
¾ c. unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp paprika (optional)

Whisk until smooth.

……
Pour batter over cauliflower. Toss florets in batter until evenly coated.
Use slotted spoon to place on cookie sheet in single layer.
Bake at 450 for 20 min.

…..
Make sauce while cauliflower is baking.

Ingredients:
2 T. vegan margarine, melted
4 T. BBQ sauce
2 T. Crystal hot sauce
2 T. veggie broth or water

Stir until blended.

….
Remove cauliflower from baking sheet and place in glass or metal bowl.
Pour sauce over cauliflower and toss until
coated.
Spoon cauliflower back on baking sheet.

Bake at 450 for an additional 20 min.

 

Here is also an alternate sauce to try that I’ve made recently… it is sweet and sticky and totally yummy for a sweeter alternative:

Asian BBQ Sauce: (add at the same time as you would Buffalo sauce)
2 T Chinese black bean sauce/paste
2 T soy sauce (or tamarin)
1 T olive oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 T rice wine vinegar
2 T brown sugar
1 T molasses
1 T Dijon mustard
2 T ketchup
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Serve with Daiya dairy free blue cheese dressing!

Creamy Mac and Cheeze (Non-dairy)

Okay, I’ve tried to make a vegan version for mac and cheese many times now! I’ve tried cashews, tofu, various pureed veggies, etc…. and while they’ve all been good, I could never achieve that creamy texture of traditional mac and cheese! Until now. This recipe is creamy and tangy, and really delicious! I know that some of these ingredients may be a little unfamiliar, but I’ve made this recipe many times now and it really delivers! I’ve also used it as a cheese sauce on nachos… and I’m sure there are other ways to incorporate it into other recipes!
NOTE: Ingredients like nutritional yeast and miso have very distinctive flavors. If you like a bolder or tangier flavor, you can add a little more than what’s listed!

2 c. unsweetened almond milk (or other plant-based milk)
3 T canola oil (or any mild oil)
3 T potato starch (or tapioca starch) (I use Bob’s Red Mill) – mixed with 3 T water
2 T nutritional yeast
1 T white miso (found in Whole Foods/Asian markets)
1 T tomato paste (I use single-serving packets)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp mustard
1 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt

Elbow noodle pasta (or any pasta of your choice)

Add all ingredients (except potato or tapioca starch) to a saucepan on medium heat.
Stir or whisk until combined and mixture starts to bubble.
Very slowly, add starch a little at a time while continuing to stir or whisk.

 

 

Continue to stir until mixture thickens and turns a golden color.
Adjust salt and seasonings to your own taste, or add a little more milk if too thick!

 

 

 

Cook and drain your favorite pasta (since I’m gluten-free, I used brown rice elbow noodles), and add enough cheese sauce to coat warm pasta.

You can also add in chopped veggies like chopped broccoli or cauliflower!

 

Enjoy this plant-based and healthy alternative to traditional mac & cheese!

Multi-Seed & Quinoa Granola Topping

This is a variation of granola that I like to use as a topping for smoothie bowls, non-dairy yogurt or overnight Chia & Oats for breakfast! This topping is super-high in protein due to the quinoa and seeds… plus it includes good fats like coconut oil and just a touch of sweetness! This crunchy topping is the perfect contrast in texture for a smoothie bowl or yogurt, or it can be enjoyed alone as a snack, or with some plant-based milk as a cereal!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 T sesame seeds
1 tsp cinnamon

In a small saucepan, heat:
3 T unrefined virgin coconut oil
2 T agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir.
Spread evenly on parchment-lined baking sheet using a spoon or spatula.
Bake for 23-25 min at 325 degrees until golden brown (watch closely not to burn).

 

 

Let cool completely and break up using spatula.
Store in an air-tight container.

 

 

 

Enjoy this granola topping for breakfast or any time of day!
It’s pictured here as a topping for a berry-banana smoothie bowl!

Tempeh with Maple-Mustard Glaze

I LOVE to use tempeh as a protein when preparing meals! (Tempeh is a pressed, fermented soybean cake) It has great texture and a slightly nutty flavor! Plus since it’s fermented, it’s good for digestion. This is a quick and easy way to prepare tempeh! You can let it marinate for an hour if pressed for time, or overnight in the fridge!

1 package of tempeh
1/4 cup veggie broth
3 T maple syrup (or agave or honey)
1 T olive oil
1 T dijon mustard
1 T ketchup
1 T soy sauce or tamari
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Additional 1 T olive oil (for sauteeing)

Cut tempeh cake into 4 equal pieces.
Carefully cut each quarter lengthwise into 3 pieces.
Place 12 pieces in single layer in shallow pan or dish.

 

Combine rest of ingredients for marinade.
Stir well and pour over tempeh.
Let marinate at least one hour.

 

Heat 1 T olive oil in a saute pan.
Add tempeh pieces in single layer.
Brown a few minutes on each side.
Add rest of marinade and simmer a few more minutes.

 

 

 

 

Serve this delicious tempeh with your favorite side dishes!
I served it here with mashed potatoes and my homemade sauerkraut. 🙂

Veggie Lasagna with Tofu Ricotta

Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food! This veggie lasagna is easy and versatile! You can use any veggies for the veggie layer and the tofu ricotta is very simple to make with only a few ingredients. I used steamed kale in this version, but you can use any other pre-cooked veggies like spinach, mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini peppers, onions, etc. If you prefer to make it gluten-free (like myself!), you can use brown rice pasta lasagna noodles and it will turn out just as well!
Note: This recipe makes an 8″x8″ lasagna, but can be easily doubled  for a 9″x13″ pan.

Ingredients:
1 package lasagna noodles, cooked according to directions
3 cups (or 26 oz. jar) tomato or marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
2 cups pre-cooked veggies
1 batch tofu ricotta (see below)
1 Tblsp nutritional yeast (to sprinkle on top)

Tofu ricotta:
1/2 block tofu, firm or extra-firm, drained
1 T lemon juice (approx 1/2 lemon)
1 T plant-based milk/creamer
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp garlic powder

To make tofu ricotta:
– First, press as much moisture out of the tofu as you can. I usually slice the tofu in 1/2″ slices and then press them all together over a bowl or sink, using even pressure to get out as much water.
– Combine tofu and other ingredients in a blender, food processor, or you can mash together with a fork. (I use my magic-bullet-style smoothie blender.)

To make lasagna:
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
– Spoon a little sauce in bottom of pan.
– Add 1st layer of noodles.
– Spread 1/3 tofu ricotta over noodles.
– Spread 1/3 cooked veggies over ricotta.
– Spread 1/4 tomato sauce over veggies.

– Repeat steps for 2nd layer (noodles-ricotta-veggies-sauce)
– Repeat steps for 3nd layer (noodles-ricotta-veggies-sauce)
– Add top layer of noodles.
– Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 min. (or until heated through)
– Let sit 5 min. before cutting.

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

Quick & Easy Vegan Brownies

Who doesn’t like a little chocolate every now and then? This is my go-to brownie recipe… quick, delicious, chocolatey (plus dairy-free and egg-free!) I love the simplicity of this recipe. It makes a perfect sized batch to make for home or to take to an party! Plus since I’m gluten-free, I’ve also made this recipe with chickpea flour (besan) and it turned out equally well 🙂

4 Tblsp vegan margarine (I like Earth Balance)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (or GF flour such as chickpea flour)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup chocolate chips (reg or mini)
1 tsp powdered sugar (for top)hcv_brownies-1

Preheat over to 350 degrees.

In mixing bowl, add flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and stir until well combined.
In a small saucepan, melt margarine.
Remove from heat and stir in sugar, water and vanilla.
Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until combined.
Stir in chocolate chips.

 

Spray 9″x9″ baking pan with cooking spray.hcv_brownies-1-1
Pour batter into pan.
Bake 16-18 min.

 

 

Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Dust with powdered sugar (using strainer)hcv_brownies-1-2

 

 

 

 

Hope you enjoy these guilt-free treats!

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Holiday Side Dishes – Brussel Sprouts & Sweet Potatoes

I love to cook big, plant-based dinners around the holidays! I always host our annual Compassionate Feast on Thanksgiving, and I also like to cook a similar meal around Christmas or New Year’s. I like to make lots of delicious side dishes using organic, local veggies! In this post, I’m sharing two of my favorites… Agave-Mustard Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Maple-Cumin Mashed Sweet Potatoes!

Agave-Mustard Roasted Brussel Sprouts:
1 bunch fresh brussel sprouts
2 Tblsp olive oil
2 Tblsp agave nectar (or you can use honey)
1 Tblsp spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Few sprinkles of hot chili flake

hcv_holidaysidedishes-1Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Rinse and trim ends off brussel sprouts (Just keep any leaves that fall off)
Toss with other ingredients.
Spray large baking pan with cooking spray.
Add brussel sprouts in single layer.
Bake for 40 min or so, tossing occasionally, until tender and slightly crispy/carmelized.

Maple-Cumin Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
3 med sweet potatoes
2 Tblsp vegan margarine (I like Earth Balance)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond like (or other plant-based milk)
2 Tblsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin or garam masala

hcv_holidaysidedishes-1-1Peel and chop sweet potatoes and place in boiling salted water.
Cook approx 15 min or so until fork-tender
Drain and add margarine and almond milk.
Mash with hand-masher until desired smoothness.
Stir in maple syrup and spices.

 

 

 

Finished dishes… so yummy!

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Here’s what the rest of our Compassionate Feast looked like this year (complete with Tofurky, mushroom gravy, roasted veggies, cornbread stuffing and homemade cranberry sauce!)

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Yummy Granola (low-oil & low-sugar)

I’ve been making my own granola for longer than I can remember! I have tweaked the recipe over the years, and this is my favorite version these days. This granola includes lots of nuts and seeds, and therefore good fats and protein. Plus it definitely fills you up! I love to eat it any time of day, especially with fresh fruit and unsweetened almond milk!
Note: You can also add 1 cup raisins or dried fruit near the end of the baking process!

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

hcv_granola-1-1In a food processor, pulse until roughly chopped:
1 cup natural unsalted almonds (or any nut combo)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, unsalted

Combine the chopped nuts/seeds with the following ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats (you can use gluten-free oats if desired)
1 Tblsp sesame seeds
2 tsp cinnamon

In a small saucepan, heat:
3 Tblsp oil (e.g. canola, coconut, etc)
2 Tblsp maple syrup (or honey or agave nectar)
3 Tblsp brown sugarhcv_granola-1-2
1 tsp vanilla extract

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine. That’s it!

Coat 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray and spread and pat granola evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 12 min and toss in pan and then pat down again.
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Bake for another 12 min and repeat. At this point you can also add in any dried fruit (e.g. 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries). Pat down again.

Bake for additional 5 min.
Allow to cool in pan and then store in air-tight container.

 

Enjoy for breakfast or as a snack any time of day!

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I love fall squash, especially sweet, mild butternut squash! Roasting the squash first is an extra step, but definitely worth the time! It creates a much more caramelized, nutty flavor. As with making many pureed or creamy soups, an immersion blender is a invaluable tool!

1 med butternut squash, cut and de-seeded
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
2 T maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
Other spices – few dashes dried parsley, sage, thyme
Garnish – Toasted pumpkin seeds, chopped parsley

hcv_butternutsquashsoup-1

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare cookie sheet with olive oil or cooking spray.
Lay squash cut side down and prick with fork.
Bake squash for 40 min or until soft.
Let squash cool a bit and scoop out flash with a spoon.

 

 

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In a soup pot, add cooked squash, veggie broth, water, maple syrup and spices.
Bring to boil and simmer 15 min.

 

 

Puree soup with immersion blender (or food processor).

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Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh parsley.
Enjoy this delicious, warming soup!

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Super-easy Overnight Oats & Chia Breakfast

This is my new go-to breakfast! As much as I love my avocado toast, it’s nice to mix things up once in a while! These overnight oats are so filling and versatile. This is the basic recipe, but I always make a double or triple batch! It will keep well for a few days in the fridge. I also like to add a handful of raisins sometimes. This is such a easy and delicious breakfast to grab in the morning!

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 Tblsp chia seeds
1 Tblsp maple syrup
2/3 cup any type of milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)

Raisins (optional)hcv_overnightoats-1-2

In any container with a lid (I like to use one of my smoothie cups with a screw on top), mix or shake basic ingredients until well-combined.

Let sit for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.

 

Enjoy on its own or topped with fresh fruit!

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