This is a communal blog to share recipes, meal ideas, questions, support and knowledge about eating and living a meat and/or dairy free lifestyle. It's also a place for omnivores to learn more about healthy ways to cut animal products out of their diets. Submissions encouraged!
We're two sisters and lifelong herbivores (one vegan, one vegetarian). We promise not to bicker too much.
All American Vegan Dinner: Hot Wings and Nacho Cheese with Veggies
I love taking classic greasy, heavy, “American” foods and making them vegan, delicious, and of course much healthier. Tonight I was craving traditional tasting cheese sauce, and my mom was craving these ‘wings’ so we put our inspiration together and created an awesome meal.
For the veggies, I steamed broccoli and covered it with cheese sauce. We microwaved the potatoes for a few minutes to speed up the cooking process, then baked them for about half an hour. I microwaved frozen peas and mashed them into my baked potato with earth balance vegan butter, salt and pepper.
I usually make thicker yeasty imitation cheese sauces, and this one was creamy with just a hint of yeast which was perfect. For the wings, we followed directions and poured the margarine/hot sauce over some of the wings before it was finished baking, but we found they had a harder time crisping up. I would recommend leaving some of the wings un-sauced to see which you prefer.
Thanks to VeganDad and YourVeganGirlfriend for these recipes. All in all, a delicious meal. Enjoy :)
Back in January I was given an amazing cookbook called “Big Vegan”. It’s huge, and beautiful, and full of delicious recipes that are not only meat and dairy free, but also largely gluten-free and low-fat. When I first got the book I would often peruse it and drool, but I wasn’t cooking from it a whole lot, although I did make this scrumptious Indonesian Noodle Salad.
Then, a few weeks ago, my doctor nonchalantly informed me that I should probably cut all gluten out of my diet. Like, all gluten. She said it wouldn’t be a big deal, babbling cheerfully about all the gluten-free options in the Bay Area. I stared at her, stunned, as my gluten-y life flash before my eyes: Acme bread, Zachary’s Pizza, cranberry scones, Tofurkey Beer Brats, Seitan, Veggieburger buns, warm chocolate chip cookies…
Needless to say, I’m not ready to quit gluten altogether. However, I am trying to cut down on it, and to find other ways to satisfy my perpetually hungry belly. Instead of going at it with an attitude of deprivation (“No gluten for you!”), I’m trying to frame this in a more positive light (“Let’s make a recipe that just happens to not include gluten”). For instance, Hot and Sour Broccoli Salad:
And that’s where Big Vegan comes in. The last few weeks I’ve started to actually cook lots of Asbell’s coincidentally gluten free recipes. Instead of lamenting what I can’t have, I’m focusing on what I can. Like New Potato Rendeng, pictured up at the top of this post.
Now here comes the meaningful life lesson (uh oh I really have become an obnoxious blogger): I think this is the only way to make a real dietary change. Don’t try to do it all at once. Don’t stress about little slips ups here and there (I’m talking to myself right now; I just ate a cake pop). Don’t torture yourself with weak imitations of whatever food you are no longer eating. DO find a cookbook, or a website, or a person who will give you oodles of recipes featuring your target food groups. And go buy Asbell’s cookbook- you won’t regret it!
You know how when you go to buffets or dining halls or salad bars the salads are always SO good? There are so many choices and textures and flavors. There are croutons and veggies and fruits and seeds and peas and dressing and it’s all so crunchy and wonderful. When I moved off my college campus and away from those salad bars, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and create a salad just as exciting and versatile.
I have figured out that they key components to creating a successful salad are: croutons, good dressing, lots of colors, and small juicy items like peas or corn. I prefer making my own croutons to buying them (cheaper, healthier, more fun). I save the ends of bread (yeah, I don’t eat the ends, so what) and freeze them. When salad time rolls around I pop them in the microwave, chop them up and sautee them til they are crispy and greasy and delicious.
In terms of dressing, I love tahini dressing or sesame-soy-ginger, but an easy and still yummy way to go is olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or lemon juice, salt and pepper, or all of the above.
I made this salad with my wonderful best friend, A. She is just getting into cooking and it’s so much fun to teach her what I know and watch her get excited as she invents new and delicious meals.
You can really put in almost any vegetable and your salad will taste great, but here’s what we did:
Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
Frozen peas, cooked and let to cool
Canned corn, drained
Broccoli (raw, or slightly steamed)
Several pieces bread
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary and thyme
Defrost bread if necessary, cut into crouton size pieces
Heat olive oil in a pan, add bread and mix around so all the pieces get oily
Add herbs and oil as needed (it takes a bit of oil to get them crispy)
Sautee until croutons are crispy and flavorful (this tends to take at least 10 minutes)
Meanwhile, wash and chop veggies into bite size pieces
Mix veggies and croutons together in a large bowl, add dressing and toss
Green Garlic has come! Easy to miss, this little-known flavor vessel looks like a fat green onion or a skinny leek, and will make your food taste fragrant, but not metallic. It’s available at farmer’s markets in the early spring (which comes extra early if you live in Cali), and is good with pretty much everything: in stir fry, on pizza, with your egg or tofu scramble…
2T grease of choice (margarine, olive oil, coconut oil…)
Veggies, cut into bite-size morsels (I like broccoli but anything goes)
1/2 cup veggie broth
1T Tamari or soy sauce
Veggie protein of choice, cut into bite-size morsels
Hot Sauce (optional)
Lemon wedge (optional)
When it’s rolling, add noodles and rest a strainer full of veggies over the water. Cover with lid so the veggies steam while the noodles cook. Keep an eye on this pot as you continue, as the noodles may finish cooking before the veggies.
Cook green garlic on medium low heat with grease of choice for 2-3 min.
Add veggie protein of choice, sauté until golden brown.
Strain noodles and veggies, add to pan.
Add veggie broth and Tamari, saute until liquid is gone.