November 14, 2015

Chinese Fried Quinoa


This recipe comes from The Domestic Geek. She suggests making it
for back to school lunches. What a great idea! My guy doesn't give compliments too often but he did declare he liked quinoa after trying this.
2 1/2 cups water with 1 vegetable stock cube
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 small onion, chopped
2/3 cup carrots, peeled and diced*
2/3 cup frozen peas
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp soy sauce (gluten-free)
1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
Add vegetable stock and quinoa to a large pot. Bring to a boil. Once its boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit will still covered. 
Add sesame oil to a large frying pan on medium heat. Once heated add onion, cook till translucent. Add carrots for about 3 minutes, until they soften up a bit. Add garlic and peas; cook for 1 minute. Toss in the cooked quinoa along with soy sauce and green onions. Serve cold, room temperature or warm it’s up to you.

* To save time just use baby carrots in a bag that are already peeled and easy to chop because they are already small.

September 26, 2015

Southwestern Stuffed Red Peppers


There was a time when I stopped making stuffed pepper recipes because I found them to be on the bland side, not this one. I think the secret is making your own homemade enchilada sauce. It's not hard to do nor does it take much time. I'm sure once you try it you will never go backed to canned again. That's what happened to me. Don't forget you can always make extra sauce and freeze it. In the picture it shows the peppers covered with Daiya vegan cheese. I don't bother using the cheese anymore, it tastes great without it.

4 large bell peppers (any color), sliced in half stem-to-tip, seeds removed

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup rice, uncooked
1 small onion, diced

1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup chili seasoned tomatoes, drained
1 Tbsp picked green chills, diced
2 Tbsp cilantro, minced (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cup red enchilada sauce (recipe below)
1/2 cup Daiya vegan pepper jack, shred (optional)
1/2 cup Daiya vegan mozzarella, shred (optional)
Add rice and onion to a large saucepan with water and a pinch of salt. Cook rice.  In the meantime, microwave pepper halves for 3 minutes to soften slightly. Remove from microwave after each minute and move peppers around to ensure even cooking. 
Pour rice and onion mixture into a mixing bowl. Stir in black beans, tomato, green chilies, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Pour 2 cups enchilada sauce into a 9x13" baking dish. Divide filling among peppers. Nestle stuffed peppers into the enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with cheeses. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook about 5 minutes longer. Serve peppers drizzled with enchilada sauce.

Red Enchilada Sauce

3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour (gluten-free)
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
3 cups water
1 1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 Tbsp chipotles in adobo sauce, blended (gluten-free)*
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and chili powder. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring sauce to a boil and reduce to simmer. Simmer about 10 minutes. Makes about 4 cups.

Enchilada sauce recipe above from.......

* Not all brands of chipotle in adobe sauce are gluten-free so check the label. The following brands are gluten-free Goya, San Marcos, Le Morena, Roland and Herdez (says gluten-free on it)

June 30, 2015

Chipotle Maple Tofu Bacon (soy-free option)


 I made Candice Hutchings – the face of The Edgy Veg’s eggplant bacon and the eggplant part didn't work out for me. It was totally my fault though because you need to use a dehydrator to cook the eggplant and I don’t have one. I don’t intend on getting one because I don’t have the space in my kitchen for one nor are there many recipes that I want to make using one. What did workout was the was awesome! So much so that I decided to try something else to use the marinade on. 
Tofu was the natural choice. When I made it with tofu I found that once I would reheat any left overs they would lose their flavor and the texture would go too chewy and hard. So promise me you won’t try to reheat these once they are cooked. Just leave them in the marinate and then pan-fry when needed.
I'd like to thank Candice Hutchings for creating such an incredible marinade. If you want a soy-free option and have a dehydrator then check out her recipe. Or you can just make my soy-free chipotle maple bacon seasoned mayo (recipe below) and add it instead of the marinade tofu. You’ll get that same wonderful flavor without the soy.

1 block SUPER firm or smoked tofu, thinly sliced. Extra firm will work it's just a little more delicate to work with (doesn't stay together as well) 

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce (gluten-free)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce* blended 
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
Pinch black pepper
Mix marinade into a small container with a lid. Add the tofu slices to the container. Put lid on and shake to coat tofu slices. Marinade for an hour or more. Can keep in the marinade for days in the fridge till needed. 

In a frying pan, over medium heat; add tofu slices (don’t need to oil the frying pan). Once tofu has browned, gently flip and brown the other side. Keep the marinade you will still need it. Once cooked put on a plate, LET COOL.  Your tofu bacon slices will then change to a more firm texture. Before serving dip pieces back into the reserved marinade. 
Classic BLT

1 piece of bread, lightly toasted (gluten-free)
2 leafs of head lettuce
a sliced tomato
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp vegenaise mayo or make your own recipe below
2 layers of chipotle maple tofu bacon
1 piece of bread, lightly toasted (gluten-free)
Make sandwich in the order of the ingredients listed above.

1/2 cup firm tofu
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sugar (Redpath brand is vegan) 
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp wet mustard
Black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup light tasting oil (any light tasting oil)
Place everything in a food processor (EXCEPT THE OIL) and blend. While it’s still running very slowly pour in the oil using a very thin stream of oil. It will thicken when kept in the fridge.
Chipotle Maple Bacon Seasoned Mayo (Soy-Free)
1/2 cup cashew cream*
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp wet mustard
Black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup light tasting oil (any light tasting oil)

Place everything in a food processor and blend. In a small bowl add 1/4 cup of the soy free mayo with 1 Tbsp of the Maple Tofu Bacon marinade.
*Cashew cream – place a half cup of cashews in a bowl of boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain and put into a blender. Blend then slowly add some water, keep adding water until it turns into a thick cream.  

June 8, 2015

Broccoli, Spinach, Garlic Hummus Lasagna (soy-free)


This recipe is on my all time favorites list!!!!!

For the picture above I used 4 layers just because it looked nicer. This is the size of lasagna portion I would love to eat.... lol but in reality I make it using only 2 layers just like in the original recipe.....

I had stopped making lasagna a long time ago. I just found making it too labor intensive. Then I stumbled upon this recipe (the link above). It tastes GREAT and it's easy and doesn't take too long to make especially if you use frozen broccoli and spinach.  I found out my guy has a soy sensitivity problem. The first thing that went through my head was that we were going to have to give up this wonderful lasagna....grrr. I decided to try swapping out the 2 cups (1 pound) of extra tofu used in the original recipe and in its place I added 1 cup of cashew cream and 1 cup of Daiya mozzarella cheese. I think it tastes even better the following day. It freezes well too. If you're going to stick with using the tofu version (which is quicker and cheaper) you don't need to press the tofu like the recipe calls for. I forgot to press it one time when I made it and I never noticed any texture difference.

I have to admit I had some serious reservations about using the garlic hummus because my guy is not a big garlic fan. I decide to throw caution to the wind and follow the original recipe amount except I removed the garlic chunks in the center of the hummus container and only used the blended part and it was not over garlicky at all!

I also, used 3 cups broccoli not just because it tastes great but adding the broccoli bulked it up since it was going to be missing the firmer texture of the tofu.

6 lasagna noodles (gluten-free)*
2 1/2 cups broccoli florets fresh or frozen (thawed)
  chopped into smaller pieces, cooked
1 cup cashew cream*
1 cup Daiya shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup garlic hummus *(see note)
1/2 cup chopped spinach, frozen, thawed, water squeezed out
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil

1 26 oz jar of marinara sauce (I use spicy pasta sauce)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook your lasagna noodles according to package directions until they're a bit underdone (mine took about 6-8 minutes).

In large bowl add the broccoli, cashew cream, mozzarella cheese, hummus, nutritional yeast, spinach, salt and basil. Using your hands, mix ingredients together until a creamy, ricotta-like texture is achieved.

In a 7" by 11" baking dish, pour in enough sauce to cover the bottom. Layer 3 lasagna noodles on top. Top the noodles with enough cheese to cover evenly (leave enough to repeat again). Add some pasta sauce, then noodles again, then more cheese. Finally pour over the rest of the past sauce. It's ok if it looks like a lot of sauce! Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy! Serves 6

*To make cashew cream.....just add cashews to a bowl filled with boiling water. Wait for 20 minutes or more. Drained then add to a food processor. Slowly add some water and blend. Stop occasionally and with a soft spatula scrap down the sides and continue to add water till it has the texture of a thick cream.
*Scoop out the chopped garlic in the center of the hummus and only use the blend part.

*I cook 9 lasagna noodles because some of them after there cook end up tearing.

May 12, 2015

Lentil and Mushroom Sloppy Joes

I tried the mushroom sloppy joes recipe from the food blog, Restless Palate. 

They were really good but I then I thought I would decrease the mushrooms and add lentils. I also, changed the ingredient amounts and of course I had to add my favorite ingredient...chipotle powder. The results were great! I'm not a huge fan of green peppers but in sloppy joes, there a must add ingredient.

These make a nice alternative to veggie burgers and veggie hotdogs during barbeque time.  Don't forget to toast your buns on the barbeque. These are also great with melted vegan cheese on top such as the Daiya cheddar slices...yum! There not very sloppy, the neat freak in me just couldn't do

1/2 cup lentils

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups mushrooms sliced
1 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, grated
3/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp soy sauce (gluten free)
1 Tbsp grainy mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle powder 
6 toasted hamburger buns or bread (gluten free)
vegan cheese (optional)

Put the lentils in a medium pot with 3 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms, pepper and onion in the oil for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté a minute more. Add tomato paste, water, soy sauce, mustard, maple syrup, smoked paprika, chipotle powder and cooked lentils.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  Pour sloppy joe mixture onto each bun. If your adding cheese then put that on top and heat in the oven or on the grill till cheese has melted. Serves 6

March 24, 2015

Spring Salad with Maple and Lime Vinaigrette


I love this salad. I have it almost every day. Although, it’s a favorite of mine it has everything in it that my guy doesn't like in a salad.... kale, citrus and nuts….more for me! In the picture, I did add some cucumbers and peppers just to pretty it up. When I make it I only have it with chopped kale or mixed greens, maple and lime vinaigrette and lots of roasted almond slices. The vinaigrette recipe came from the website 86 lemons. I renamed it, changed the ingredient amounts and I used maple syrup instead of agave. I did make the recipe California chipotle chop that goes with this dressing and it was good.


Once you have the ingredients below just mix and enjoy!

kale, chopped or mixed greens or a combination
sliced natural almonds sliced, roasted (the kind with the skins still on)
maple and lime vinaigrette (recipe below)

Sliced Natural Almonds Roasted

You can roast the almonds in the oven but I prefer pan fry. Put them in a frying pan on low to medium. Stir often, making sure they don’t burn.

Citrus Vinaigrette

1/4 cup lime juice
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp maple syrup

Put all ingredients into a dressing bottle and shake well before using.

January 29, 2015

Red Hot Tahini Mexican Dip


I hear people love to eat nachos while watching the super bowl. So what better time for me to add this recipe since the super bowl will be on this Sunday. Why have the same salsa with your nachos all the time when you can step out of the box and try something new. This dip/sauce is also great to pour over bean burritos!

Regarding heat level of this dip....even though the name indicates that it will be really spicy it's not. So please don't skip trying this recipe because you may have adults or children in your family who don't like spicy foods. Frank's red hot sauce is used in the making of this dip but once the salsa and mayo is added to it it does mellow out the heat. Of course, if you like your dip with heat you can always add a bit of cayenne pepper to it. Either way your really going to enjoy it.

I came up with this recipe after falling in love with Isa Chandra’s Red Hot Tahini Dressing which she used in her Hoppin John recipe. I’m still addicted to it.

1/2 cup hot tahini sauce (recipe below)
1/2 cup vegenaise (or recipe below)
1/2 cup chipotle salsa
Combine dip ingredients above into a clear glass bowl; stir to combine. Garnish with green onions and cilantro.

Red Hot Tahini:
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 Tbsp Louisiana Hot Sauce (like Frank's Red Hot)
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
Simply blend everything up in a food processor until smooth.


1/2 cup firm tofu
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp wet mustard
black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup light tasting olive oil or canola*

Place mayo ingredients in a food processor (EXCEPT THE OIL) and blend. While it’s still running very slowly pour in the oil using a very thin stream of oil. Keep blending and occasionally, stop the food processor to scrape down ingredients from the sides. Mayo will thicken when kept in the fridge.
 *DO NOT USE extra virgin olive oil to make the mayo dressing. It has too strong of a flavour and will make the mayo taste awful.

November 28, 2014

Southwestern Bean and Tofu Scramble

This dish has so much flavor that when I asked my guy if he wanted hot sauce or ketchup for it he said no it's good just as it is. This is a high compliment for him.
I feel like the person that wrote this recipe. I wasn’t really impressed by tofu scrambled recipes I made in the past. I do have one that I posted on my blog that was pretty good but I like this one way better. What’s not to love…it’s inexpensive, easy and quick to make. Oh and it's healthy too!

I did make a lot of alterations to the recipe based my personal taste but the credit goes to Morgan for coming up with the original recipe. I think just adding black beans to tofu scramble alone is genius! (yes I get impressed very easily…lol)

I omitted the celery, carrots and corn. I didn’t serve it over potatoes which I think is a great idea it’s just that I try to limit how often my guy eats white potatoes. Instead of adding 2 roma tomatoes I added one can of chili seasoning diced tomatoes (that was suggested by someone in the comments section on her page). I love the smoky flavor of chipotle chili powder so much I had to add 1/4 tsp of that instead of a pinch of cayenne powder. Black salt instead of regular salt. Finally, 2 cloves of garlic instead of 1.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 block of extra firm tofu, crumbled by hand
1 19 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp salt or black salt*
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
freshly ground black pepper

1 can diced tomatoes with chili seasonings, loosely drained
5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp prepared mustard (wet)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chives or green onions (optional) 

In a large frying pan skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion. Sauté for about 7 minutes until softened. Add the garlic; cook for 1 minute.

Add tofu, black beans, salt, cumin, paprika and chipotle powder in the frying pan. Sauté for 3 minutes to incorporate the spices well and gently cook the beans and tofu.

Add diced tomatoes, nutritional yeast, mustard and cilantro, and stir to incorporate. Taste and add any additional salt and pepper if needed. Tastes great with some hot sauce on top. Serves 4. 

*Black salt can be found in Indian grocery stores or online.
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