Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

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Another nice and simple recipe for when you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen. The sweet potatoes take the most time here but that’s because of the cooking time, not active time.

Sweet Potatoes
Preheat oven to 400 °
Dice 1 sweet potato
Place in a casserole dish and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil. 
Top with a few pinches of freshly ground black pepper, pink salt, onion powder, and garlic powder. Sprinkle with all spice and nutmeg. Mix well and add 1/2 tsp minced ginger. Bake for 35 minutes, flipping halfway through. They should be easily pierced with a fork when done.

Spinach

For the spinach, I used a frozen package, be sure to set it out to thaw. To speed up this process, run thr package under hot water. Then press spinach in a paper towel to remove excess liquid.

Preheat a skillet over medium. Lightly coat with hot pepper sesame oil.
Add 1 tsp minced garlic and spinach and cook. Add 1/2 tsp onion powder and 1/4 tsp garlic powder.  
Mix in a pinch each smoked salt (or sea salt) and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for about 8-10 minutes.

I loved these two together and love how simple it is to make.

Got lentil taco left overs?

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We had lentil tacos the other night, and as you may have noticed if you’ve made it, the recipe makes a good bit.
With parades making it a little tough to get home, by the time I made it home I wasn’t wanting to cook anything too complex. Hooray for leftovers!
For one of these I heated two tortillas and reheated the lentils. I added a slice of Daiya cheddar slice to a tortilla, topped with lentils, topped with another slice of cheese and put into a preheated skillet. Heat until cheese has started to melt and flip. I put a plate on top before flipping to make it easy and clean. Heat the other side until the cheese on that side is melting. I then opened it up, added some chopped lettuce, half a mashed avocado,  and some Toffuti Sour Cream. Cut into triangles and enjoy!
Nothing like a simple to prepare dinner that doesn’t taste like it was!

Creamy dressing

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This is a super simple dressing that I use on salads and buffalo cauliflower or anywhere where I would have used bleu cheese dressing.
2 tbsp Veganaise
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Several dashes garlic powder
Mix well

This recipe doesn’t make too much, perfect amount for a big salad like the one pictured above.

I absolutely love Veganaise. If you need a mayo replacement, this is it! It’s an amazing vegan addition to sandwiches, I even add a little bit to my sushi for a little creaminess. It may sound weird, but don’t knock it til you try it!
I have yet to find a vegan creamy dressing that I love so I this recipe has been wonderful. Follow Your Heart, makers of Veganaise,  have dressings I have yet to try.  I have a feeling they’ll be the store bought dressing I’m waiting for for those days I either want to bring dressing somewhere or just don’t want to make my own.

Veganaise!

Smoothies

I love smoothies, convenient and easy, so many possibilities. Here’s a few I’ve had this week:

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Cherry Berry
1/4 c (about a handful) frozen cherries
1/4 c frozen mixed berries
A couple of strawberries
Almond milk to cover
Blend until smooth

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Peachy breakfast
A couple slices frozen peach
1 frozen banana (I cut up bananas and throw them in a bag in the freezer, it’s a great thing to have on hand for smoothies and desserts)
Orange juice* to cover
Blend until smooth
Top with blueberries

I really like topping smoothies with blueberries. They end up being a delicious little surprise at the end that reminds me of tapioca balls in bubble tea.

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Breakfast Berry
A few fresh strawberries
1/4 c frozen raspberries
1/2 a frozen banana
Orange juice to cover
Blend until smooth
Top with blueberries

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Berry Banana Peach
1 frozen banana
1 frozen peach
A couple fresh strawberries
Almond milk to cover
Blend until smooth

Good Belly Berry

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Fresh Strawberries
1 cup frozen mixed berries
Good Belly Blueberry Acai to cover
Blend until smooth

* orange juice- watch out for heart healthy, omega 3, or vitamin D OJ. They often contain things derived from fish, sheep’s wool, and gelatin.

Lentil tacos

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This is one of my absolute favorite recipes, I love making this when we’re having people over because it makes a pretty good amount and there isn’t very much active cooking time.

Canola oil
1/2 onion diced
1 c lentils, uncooked and rinsed
2 c (plus 1/4 c) veggie broth or water
1 tbsp (plus 1 tsp) cumin
2 tsp garlic powder (seperated)
2 tsp onion powder (seperated)
1/2 tsp turmeric
Several dashes kelp granules (or finely ground sea salt)
Several dashes freshly ground black pepper
A pinch ground green pepper or cayenne
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1/2 package (4 oz) Upton’s Chorizo Seitan
Taco shells or wraps
Toppings! (Lettuce, sprouts, avocado, salsa, vegan cheese and/or sour cream,  diced tomato)

Coat a skillet with grapeseed oil (or veggie oil) and heat on medium.
Add onion and sautee for a couple of minutes.
Add lentils, stir, add 2 cups water. Mix in 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp onion powder,  1/2 tsp turmeric, kelp granules (or salt), and peppers. Mix well and cover. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
After the 15 minutes, stir, make sure it isn’t sticking to the bottom and add 1/4 cup broth or water. (If it is sticking adding the water will take care of that)
Mix in 1 tsp each cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric,  1 tbsp nutritional yeast. If using, add chorizo seitan.  Mix and cover for 15 more minutes checking occasionally to make sure it isn’t sticking.  If it is sticking and the lentils are not quite finished, add another splash of broth.
Smash lentils gently with spatula.
Heat up your taco shells/wraps according to their instructions and fill with lentils and the toppings of your choice!

I used Daiya havarti style wedge cheese in these, adding a bit to the shells before putting the lentil mix in. It’s a nice melty surprise to help hold the lentils to the shells. I’m a big Daiya fan. They have shreds, wedges, and slices. It melts very nicely and makes vegan grilled cheeses so much more accessible!  Here’s their site: Daiya!

I used Toffuti Sour Cream also, I very much enjoy this product and definitely recommend it for all of your sour cream alternative needs! Here’s their link: Toffuti Sour Cream!

This was the first time I’ve used Upton’s Chorizo Seitan and it was great!

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I usually use Light Life Smart Ground Original Protein Crumbles if I add anything to the lentils, which I do prefer. Light Life has a Mexican Style protein crumble, and between the Upton’s Chorizo and Light Life Mexican Style I prefer Upton’s. All yummy options but completely unnecessary to this recipe, it just gives it a little bit extra and a good taco texture.

Dreamy Weenies, New Orleans

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Dreamy Weenies is a wonderful restaurant in the French Quarter that specializes in hot dogs. Luckily they have several vegan options. Several! Multiple weenie choices, vegan buns, and an array of toppings and sides to choose from. Pictured above is a vegan andouille hot dog with vegan chili and guacamole with a side of vegan chili cheese fries. Vegan, vegan, vegan! They even have vegan potato salad which is delicious (try it on their Pothole hot dog.) It’s cash only but they have an ATM right inside with a .99 service charge,  probably the lowest you’ll find in the area. It was the perfect follow up after walking I’m Barkus today,  the canine Mardi Gras parade. Dog parade followed by vegan dogs. Good times!

Dreamy Weenies!

Blueberry Pancakes

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1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp raw sugar
1 tbsp oil (peanut or veggie)
1 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp orange juice
1/4 c blueberries

Preheat an oiled skillet over medium heat.
Combine dry ingredients,  mix well until there are no clumps.
Add wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Fold in blueberries.

Pour about 1/4 cup batter per pancake and cover. Let cook several minutes,  just past when it bubbles. The pancake will look slightly cooked on top. Flip, cover, and allow to cook for a couple more minutes until lightly browned. Repeat until batter is used up. Makes about 2 servings, or 6 pancakes.
Topped with Earth Balance buttery spread and organic maple syrup.

We tried Upton’s Naturals Bacon Seitan for the first time with this. Great flavor, would do well on a BLT.

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