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!

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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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Easy Pasta Dinner

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The sauce for this pasta was ready before the linguini was, and it was delicious!

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the linguini. Cook according to directions, drain, set aside.
Dice and sautee 1/2 a red bell pepper, 1/2 a green bell pepper, and some mushrooms and set aside. (I left mine raw and added to the sauce with the protein crumbles)
Blend 1/2 cup cashews and just enough water to cover them in the Vitamix for several minutes.
Add 1 can of diced tomatoes,  blend.
Add 1 tsp. minced garlic, 1 tbsp. Italian herbs, 1 tsp. onion powder, a pinch of cayenne, a bit of fresh ground black pepper,  1 tsp. olive oil and blend until smooth.
Add the peppers, mushrooms, and 1/2 cup Light Life Smart Ground Protein Crumbles. Mix gently until just combined.
Pour sauce into pot and add pasta back into it. Mix until heated through. I topped my bowl with Go Veggie Parmesan.

Interested in protein crumbles? They’re delicious and can be a nice and easy addition to “beef up” a meal:
http://www.lightlife.com/Vegan-Food-Vegetarian-Diet/Smart-Grounds-Original

I love this parmesan replacement from Go Veggie!
http://goveggiefoods.com/our-products/dairy-free-cheese-alternative-products/grated-topping/parmesan/

Hearty Hash with Asparagus – Valentine’s Dinner

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This was a nice little dinner we cooked together for Valentine’s Day.

Preheat oven to 400°. Rinse and bend the asparagus so the ends snap off. Toss in olive oil to coat in a casserole dish and sprinkle with Sea Seasonings Kelp Granules (or salt) and pepper. Top with a few small slices of onion. Bake for 20-25, adding a little minced garlic atop the asparagus for the last 5 minutes. (If you don’t have minced garlic just sprinkle on some garlic powder with the other seasonings)

The hash! We were just throwing in some veggies we had on hand and were so pleased with the results. We shredded carrots.  We were going to julienne the potatoes but did them a little thicker than that. Chopped onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and mushrooms. No measurements, it all depends on how much you want. We did 1 carrot, 1 giant potato, half of each pepper, half of an onion, several mushrooms.
Sautee the onion for a few minutes in grapeseed oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan), add carrots, and potatoes over medium heat.  We added a large amount of garlic powder, basically just coating the top layer of veggies.  Several dashes of pepper and kelp granules. 1 tbsp. of nutritional yeast. Sprinkle onion powder and parsley.  Stir and add the rest of the produce. Cover and let cook for a bit, stirring occasionally. When the potatoes are starting to look cooked through, do the seasoning again.  We added a bit of Phoney Baloney’s Coconut Bacon at the very end to get some of that smoky goodness mixed up in there.  Taste to see if you would like to add more seasoning and to ensure potatoes are cooked through.  I used a large heart shaped cookie cutter to plate it because sometimes I just want pretty food and it was Valentine’s Day, so why not? It’s a nice meal to cook together and didn’t take very long to make. Allowing the hash to sweat in a covered pan gives you time to clean up a bit after yourself or prep anything else you’d like to for your meal.

Curious about Phoney Baloney’s Coconut Bacon?  I recommend checking it out!
http://www.phoneybaloneys.com/

Interested in Kelp Granules? I love it as a salt alternative and get them at Whole Foods.
https://www.seaveg.com/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=18