Simple Kale Chips

Simple vegan kale chips
20 Simple vegan kale chips

I was going to buy kale chips the other day, and then I was like  “why would I do that?” They are so simple, and quick to make at home, and wayyyy cheaper. So here is your very simple kale chip recipe. Feel free to add other seasonings of choice to jazz them up a bit, though they are delicious as is. My toddler loved them! She kept asking for the “crackers” how could I say no? The picture above is her sneaking a few as I was attempting to shot a legitimate photo. I couldn’t keep her out of them long enough to get a good picture, so you have proof these are irresistible to toddlers.

 Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of curly kale de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 TBL olive oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200F.
  2. Place the chopped kale into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Using your hands massage the kale with the oil until each leaf is coated with oil.
  3. Place kale in a single layer (very important!) on a baking sheet, or two if needed.
  4. Sprinkle lightly with salt and bake for 15-20 minutes until the kale is crispy to the touch and the edges are just starting to brown. Start checking around 10 minutes and check every few minutes after to make sure it isn’t burning.
  5. Allow to cool before consuming.
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Vegan Thai Stuffed Peppers With Peanut Sauce

Vegan Thai Stuffed Peppers With Peanut Sauce
Thai Stuffed Peppers With Peanut Sauce

So this is not authentic Thai food, but there are some delightful Thai flavors going on. These stuffed peppers have a mixture of rice, lentils, and vegetables set off with some Thai red curry paste, and topped with a comforting peanut sauce. Super tasty, gluten free, vegan, easy, and comforting.

This recipe was developed in my quest to try new things and was inspired by my wonderful mother-in-law makes super yummy stuffed peppers (and has made me vegan ones because she’s awesome). I wanted to do a stuffed pepper, but take it outside the box a bit.

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1/4 cup brown lentils
  • 2 cups mushroom or vegetable broth
  • 4 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers cut in half lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced, about 1 cup
  • 1 cup diced yellow squash of zucchini
  • 1 cup diced mushrooms
  • juice from half a lime, about 1 TBL
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TBL minced fresh cilantro
  • 2-4 tsp red curry paste

Instructions

  1. Mix rice, lentils, and mushroom broth in a medium pan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice and lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375.
  4. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with a silicone mat, parchment paper, or aluminium foil. Place peppers on baking sheet cut side up and bake for 20 minutes until starting to soften.
  5. While peppers are cooking cut your vegetables.
  6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  7. Add olive oil, onion, squash, and mushrooms sauteing until tender, about 7 minutes.
  8. Add lime juice, salt, and garlic cooking 1 additional minute and remove from heat.
  9. Stir together the cooked rice and lentils, the vegetable mixture, cilantro, and the red curry paste. Add the curry past a teaspoon at a time and taste adjusting to your preference.
  10. Once peppers have cooked remove them from the oven and fill with rice mixture to overflowing.
  11. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes until cooked through.
  12. While peppers are cooking make peanut sauce.
  13. Serve hot with peanut sauce and garnished with cilantro.

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 TBL brown sugar
  • 2 TBL tamari -Gluten free if needed
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 chopped cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  1. Boil water in a small saucepan.
  2. Once boiling whisk in peanut butter until smooth and remove from heat.
  3. Stir in brown sugar, tamari, lime juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Taste, and adjust seasoning to your liking.
  5. Add in cilantro if using and serve immediately.

Mexican Fried Rice (vegan and gluten free)

Vegan Mexican Fried Rice
Vegan Mexican Fried Rice

We are in between holidays right now. The perfect time to basically eat all the leftovers, clean out your pantry and freezer, and get ready for the next round of cooking. At times like these one must use what you have to make delicious food that eats as a perfectly composed meal, but takes little planning or preparation. I say between the holidays, but really, with two under two this is every day.

This Mexican Fried Rice was developed with bits and odds from my kitchen. It turned out so well my mother and my husband told me I had to blog it. Super simple, rich, just a little different, easy, and delicious. Feel free to mix and match veggies from what you have on hand. Same with the beans, kidney, pinto, black, or pretty much any bean you like would work just fine here.

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked in mushroom or vegetable broth (or whatever leftover rice and add a bit more salt to the whole mix)
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 other bell pepper (white, red, yellow, orange) diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 7.5 oz can El Pato tomato sauce, or other enchilada sauce (100% prefer El Pato)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 TBL nutritional yeast
  • Salt to taste.
  • Optional cheese to top

Instructions

  1. Cook rice in vegetable broth according to package directions.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add oil, and saute onion and mushrooms for a few minutes, until starting to soften.
  4. Add zucchini and cook about 2 minutes more.
  5. Add bell pepper and cook until just starting to soften 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add coked rice, garlic, kidney beans, and El Pato stirring to combine.
  7. Stir in nutritional yeast and garlic, taste, and add salt as needed.
  8. Sprinkle with cilantro and cheese if using and serve hot.

Easy Vegan Gravy Without a Recipe-Thinking Thanksgiving

Vegan Gravy
Vegan Gravy

Thanksgiving is coming!! I can’t wait! I love a holiday dedicated to food, especially comfort food. A necessary addition to any Thanksgiving table is gravy. Creamy, umami filled, and delightfully full of vegetables it is the perfect addition to your table, Thanksgiving or otherwise.

Some people think that gravy can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. It can me a simple process, and one that is easily adapted to various dietary needs such as vegan or gluten free. It is also something that is so very quick to make and delivers flavor as if you have been slaving for hours. When we have just odds and ends in the house I’ll make gravy to top biscuits for breakfast, or to finish potatoes or other fall vegetables for a quick and hearty dinner.

Discussion:

What is important for successful gravy?

  1. Creamy texture
  2. Flavor
  3. Add-ins

I I like to think of gravy as a beautiful vegetable filled umami bomb. It is a versatile vehicle for bringing vegetables and protein, a way to round out a meal, and the perfect sauce. It is an easy process to make gravy and you can easily change things up to fit your mood and your pantry.

 

How Does It All Work? 

The Texture 

Balancing ingredients for the proper texture.

  1. The ratio of flour to liquid above has worked well for me, however, feel free to adjust it to your preference. The ratio will also be slightly different if you are using different flour such as garbanzo bean flour. Start with the ratio I have listed, then add more flour to make it thicker, or more liquid to thin it out. Make sure to cook the gravy before attempting to make it thicker as cooking with thicken the texture.
  2. To incorporate the flour you can either mix it with cold liquid until smooth, then whisk into the hot pan, or you can sprinkle the flour into hot fat, suck as oil (equal parts flour and fat) and cook while whisking until it starts to brown and begins to smell fragrant. Then add liquid.
  3. Vegetables are optional, so are beans. The will affect the overall texture so think about how you want them cooked before adding them.

Flavor

Optional additions for flavor

  1. I pretty much always use a mixture of non-dairy milk and vegetable broth (or water and vegetable broth powder), however, I have used just water when I’m out of milk. The balance of these will affect the flavor.  Just water makes it a little less cream and less rich. More milk can make it taste more like the milk you are using, just be sure to have a type of milk you want to eat in gravy. If you use sweetened vanilla almond milk it will taste like a nasty vanilla flavored gravy,
  2. Herbs are your friend. If you are using dried herbs, add them in the beginning. If you are using fresh, add them at the end. I love thyme, sage, and black pepper for a fall gravy. I might leave out the sage and add smoked paprika and vegan sausage for a breakfast gravy, or just salt and pepper with lots of vegetable broth for a lighter version.
  3. Nutritional yeast, lemon, and Dijon mustard are some of my favorite other additions to boost flavor.
  4. The vegetables you choose to add in will also affect the flavor. I nearly always use onions, often mushrooms and kale. Celery, onions, and carrots would lean toward a more traditional chickeny flavor.
  5. Don’t forget the salt!

 

Add-ins

More flavor, more texture, and all the fun

  1. Your gravy can be as simple as the vegetable broth that has been thickened and a few herbs and spices, but feel free to add anything else you like.
  2. Protein- I love adding cooked brown lentils to my gravy. The texture is fun and it adds a big punch of nutrients. Other options are garbanzo beans which I like to mash a bit and/or pre-made veggies sausage or other fake meat products.
  3. Vegetables- as in this recipe I usually use onions, mushrooms, and kale. The combination is delicious. Other options are anything in your fridge. I do a breakfast gravy with carrots, celery, red peppers and lentils. My daughter loves the addition of peas. Try things out as you have them available.

Vegan Falafel

Vegan Falafel
Vegan Falafel

Falafels are one of my favorite foods, when done correctly. They can easily be dry or tasteless, but when perfectly crunchy on the outside, light on the inside, and bursting with flavor they are delicious! The trick to perfect falafel is to used soaked, but not cooked, chickpeas. The texture is far superior to those falafels using cooked chickpeas. I also love the addition of lots of fresh herbs in this recipe. These flalafel are also surprisingly easy and quick as long as you remember to soak the chickpeas the night before and you use a food processor to bring everything together.

I suggest making a double batch if you plan to share.

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried chickpeas
  • 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4-6 tablespoons flour or chickpea flour if gluten free
  • Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
  • Chopped tomato for garnish
  • Diced onion for garnish
  • Tahini sauce
  • Pita bread or salad

Instructions

  1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
  2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
  3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
  4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.
  5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Using either salad or pita, top with flalafel and any garnishes of your choice.

Quick and Easy Vegan Garbanzo Bean “Tuna” Salad

Vegan Garbanzo Bean "Tuna" Salad
Vegan Garbanzo Bean “Tuna” Salad

This has been my go-to lunch throughout this pregnancy. It seems to be perfectly satisfying, and easy enough that I can make it even when I’m already hungry. I usually make just enough for one meal, which is what this recipe is for. Sometimes, when I’m feeling the need to do so, I will reduce the fat in this recipe by halving the mayo used and subbing in the same amount of aquafaba (liquid from the can of beans). The flavor is almost as good, and during this pregnancy the lower fat is better every now and again.

Makes 1 serving

 Ingredients

  • 1/3 cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1 TBL vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp sweet pickle relish
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp each minced sweet onion and celery (optional)

Instructions

  1. Mash garbanzo beans in a small bowl with a fork.
  2. Stir in the mayo, pickle relish, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the onion and celery if using and stir to combine.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference.
  5. Serve on bread, or with crackers, sliced veggies, or however you desire.

Vegan Slow Cooker Carrot Cake and Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

Vegan Slow Cooker Carrot Cake and Zucchini Bread Oatmeal
Vegan Slow Cooker Carrot Cake and Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

More vegetables for breakfast?! Well, yes. And it’s vegan and gluten free. This recipe is one that I found before children from the cookbook “The Vegan Slow Cooker” It is a lovely way to mix in some vegetables for breakfast, and it tastes delicious! It’s also perfect for when you have overnight guests, or know you will have a rushed morning. It smells wonderful and is done by the time you get up in the morning. Yes, my toddler loved this!

You don’t have to sweeten this at all, and can add what you like for toppings just before serving. Nuts, fruit, milk, sweetener, anything that sounds good will be a lovely addition.

Originally from The Vegan Slow Cooker

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup steal cut oats (certified gluten free if necessary)
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup coconut water, or more non-dairy milk
  • 3 small carrot, grated
  • 1/2 medium zucchini, grated
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 TBL brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine everything except the pecans in the crock of your slow cooker.
  2. Stir briefly and cook on low 6-8 hours (overnight).
  3. In the morning stir in the chopped pecans and whatever else your heart desires.

Additional notes

You can use all carrots, or all zucchini.