Tag Archives: easy recipes

Vietnamese Inspired Banh Mi Bowl

We absolutely LOVE Vietnamese food in our house! We are so lucky to have a large number of amazing and authentic Vietnamese restaurants just a few blocks away!

Since going vegan, I’ve had to give up the beef pho and pork banh mi I once loved, so I really haven’t been to them! Today I decided enough is enough and I would just have to make it myself!

For this recipe, I can’t emphasize enough the benefit of pickling the veggies and marinading the tempeh ahead. The pickled carrots and radishes are what really make this dish taste authentic. You can begin the pickling process 1 to 3 days ahead.

Today I actually came up with this idea last minute, so I only had a few hours for the veggies to pickle (I know, I know, do as I say, not as I do). They came out crisp, fresh, but with a slight tang. It was still super delicious so if you’re short on time, don’t let it stop you!

As for the tempeh, marinading ahead really helps prevent it from having a bitter flavor. I always keep a block of it in my freezer so today I soaked it in the marinade while I let it thaw on the counter.

As a side note, if you want to make this banh mi bowl into…well…banh mi: serve it on a roll instead of over rice! We try to avoid over doing refined grains in this house (and we had pizza yesterday…whoops!), so bowl it is!

Vietnamese Inspired Banh Mi Bowl

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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A fun, healthy twist on your favorite Vietnamese street food.

Pickle the carrots/radishes/red cabbage ahead ideally 1-3 days before serving. The longer it pickles, the stronger the flavor.

Ingredients

    For the pickled vegetables:
  • 1/2 pound carrots, julienned or sliced thin
  • 1/2 pound radishes, julienned or sliced thin
  • 1/4 of a head of red cabbage (optional)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white or rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • For the tempeh:

  • 1 block tempeh
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (I used sesame)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white or rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha or chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • For the bowl:

  • brown rice (1 cup dry)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • fresh scallions, chopped (optional)
  • fresh lime for serving

Directions

  1. Before any other steps, start with pickling the veggies. Julienne the carrots and radishes, or slice extremely thin. Slice your red cabbage thin as well if you are using it. Combine the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Taste test the pickling liquid and add more vinegar, sugar, salt, or water as needed to balance the flavor to your liking. Pour over the vegetables and keep in an air tight container with a lid overnight or up to 3 days ahead. I also recommend pickling the cabbage in a separate container from the carrots and radishes. Remember to reserve the pickling juice for sprinkling over your bowl at the end!
  2. Marinade the tempeh. Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, water, sriracha (or chili garlic sauce), ginger, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro in a bowl. Mix together and pour over tempeh. Marinade in a container with lid for at least one hour, making sure to turn once halfway through.
  3. Begin making your brown rice. Submerge the rice in water and boil 30 min, then drain, return to stove top and let sit with lid to steam for 5 minutes before fluffing with fork. Chop the remaining cilantro, basil, scallions, and slice up your cucumber while the brown rice is cooking.
  4. Time to make the tempeh! Heat 2 tbsp cooking oil in a large pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the tempeh and the remaining marinade. Cook the tempeh approx 5 minutes on each side. The tempeh is ready when it has a puffed look from absorbing the liquid and is slightly browned on both sides. When finished cooking, cut into slices and set aside.
  5. Assemble your bowl! Spoon in some brown rice and pile on the cilantro, basil, scallions, cucumber, pickled vegetables, and tempeh to your liking. Squeeze some fresh lime on top and spoon on a drizzle of your leftover pickling liquid. Enjoy!

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I did! It was so easy, delicious, and perfect for summer. Let me know what you think!

Greek Pizza

Sometimes you just need pizza. Sometimes you take all the scraps in your fridge and turn it into pizza. Sometimes it ends up becoming Greek Pizza!

After making tofu souvlaki earlier this week, I got on a crazy Greek food kick. I also have been craving pizza. Out of my bizarre food cravings and refrigerator leftovers came this recipe!

For the pizza, I ended up making my own mozzarella AND feta cheese, but bought a pre-made pizza crust. Feel free to use store bought vegan mozzarella (violife and myokos are my fav brands), but I DEFINITELY recommend making your own tofu feta. It is incredible! No really, it’s actually incredible in both flavor AND texture…PLUS it’s an excellent source of protein!

The recipe for the feta comes from Bianca Zapatka. Click the link to her blog to learn more, but I’ll also summarize below. If you are making this recipe, I HIGHLY recommend making the feta the morning of or night before. The longer the flavors get to marinade- the better!!!

PS: she also has a super simple pizza dough recipe if you want to make that yourself too!

The mozzarella recipe came from www.groenteboertje.com (their name means Green Grocer in Dutch). Click the link for a video of how they made it!

Greek Pizza

  • Servings: 2 pizzas
  • Difficulty: easy
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An incredibly flavorful pizza you'll want to eat again and again


Links to creators of mozzarella, and feta recipes in blog post above.

Ingredients

  • 2 pizza crusts (pre made, or make dough from recipe linked above)
  • 6 oz jar of marinated artichoke hearts (1/2 a jar for each pizza)
  • 1 small package of sliced mushrooms (or if buying loose a few handfuls and slice)
  • 1 small jar kalamata or black olives (pitted, sliced, use as much as you like)
  • 6 tbsp pizza sauce (3 tbsp per pizza: I bought a small jar from the supermarket in the sauce aisle)
  • 1 small red onion or 1/2 large onion, minced
  • 2 small tomatoes or 1 large, diced
  • Optional: fresh basil

Directions

  1. The ingredients listed above are to be split between the two pizzas. If you’re only making one pizza you’ll only need half of these ingredients.
  2. Take the pizza crust or rolled out dough, spoon on about 3 tbsp of pizza sauce per pizza (or as much as you need to cover the dough in a thin layer).
  3. Layer on mushrooms, artichoke hearts, olives, red onion, and tomato to your liking.
  4. If making your own mozzarella, it comes out thick, gooey, and sticky. I took a spoon and just drizzled it across in stripes. If using store bought vegan mozzarella, grate and sprinkle on top to your liking.
  5. Sprinkle on tofu feta and fresh basil last. Bake pizza according to dough or crust instructions. Pizza will come out extra crisp if baked directly on an oven rack (no pan underneath) and then allowed to cool on a wire rack after.

Mozzarella Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cashews soaked in 1 cup boiling waterer 30 min and strained (or soaked >2 hours room temp water and strained)
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water

Directions

Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor until completely smooth. Cashews must be soaked prior to blend in properly. Pour ingredients into a small sauce pan on medium heat, stir with whisk frequently until thickens into a gooey “cheese.” This takes about 5-10 minutes. The longer you cook, the thicker it gets.

Tofu Feta Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 package extra firm tofu (press between dish towels to squeeze out liquid and cut into small cubes)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 cloves minced garlic (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/2 cup cashews soaked in 1 cup boiling waterer 30 min and strained (or soaked >2 hours room temp water and strained)
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Directions


Mix oil and spices together and pour over tofu in a small container. Cover and let marinade in the refrigerator as long as possible! (I marinaded mine about 4 hours and it was stellar)

My husband gave this recipe “10 stars out of 5” and said “I could eat this every day.” You really have to try it! Drop a comment and let me know what you think 🙂

Easy Veggie Chili

Today I was lucky enough to have a day off before heading to Long Island for a quick weekend trip. I decided to take the time to make a giant veggie chili I could freeze that would last me for lunches throughout next week.

I absolutely love this chili recipe because it’s the first vegan meal I really perfected. I have always loved cooking chili and was in need of a meat replacement more than just beans! This combination of vegetables turned out to be a tried and true winner, better than any meat based chili I’ve ever tasted. It’s sweet, savory, loaded with flavor, colorful, and incredibly easy. It’s also great to throw in a crock pot or instant pot if you have one!

The secret weapon in this chili recipe is using a can of salsa. It really makes the flavor complex and unique. I also love having sweet potato and corn in here to add sweetness, green bell pepper to balance to the sweeter flavors, and mushrooms to add a “meatiness” so that you don’t need multiple cans of beans.

PS: in my recipe I suggest serving with a spoonful of vegan sour cream (it’s already mixed into the chili in the photo). I find it creates an amazingly creamy texture and tastes FAR better than cheese ever did! I can’t believe I ever wasted my time by putting cheddar on my chili in the dairy days. Once it melts in, the flavor gets masked! Sour cream somehow permeates the entire dish in both flavor and texture. Squeezing a fresh wedge of lime at the end really takes it up a notch too!

This recipe freezes great and tastes even better as leftovers!

Easy Veggie Chili

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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An incredibly flavorful, incredibly easy veggie chili that's more than just beans!


Feel free to customize this chili to include any ingredients you like! I absolutely LOVE adding in a spoonful of tofutti (vegan sour cream) and a squeeze of lime when serving. When I have lime flavored tortilla chips on hand (which is almost always) I like to throw some of those on top too!

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • one small package of cremini or white mushrooms (or if buying loose about 1/2 pound/a few handfuls)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can kidney beans (or bean of choice)
  • 1 can salsa (any brand)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp chili powder (depending on how strong you like your chili to taste)
  • 1-2 tsp cumin (depending how strong you like your chili to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Optional: fresh lime and vegan sour cream to serve with

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp oil on medium heat. Once oil is hot, add the onion and sauté until fragrant and translucent (2-4 minutes)
  2. Add in the garlic and spices and stir until fragrant (1-2 minutes)
  3. Add in the veggies and canned ingredients, stir, and bring to a low boil.
  4. Once bubbling, turn down to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally at least 30 minutes for veggies to cook, but the flavor will mature better the longer you simmer it. I prefer to leave it for an hour if on stove top. If using an instant pot- there is a button for bean chili! Either hit that button or set to pressure cook for 30 min on “normal.”
  5. Enjoy! Serve by itself, with tofutti sour cream, fresh lime, tortilla chips, and/or over rice! Sometimes I get really wild and serve it over vegan mac and cheese

Do you guys have any favorite chili ingredients, tips, or tricks? Drop a comment below to let me know what you think!

Pasta Primavera with Vegan Parmesan

This is one of my favorite summer recipes that my parents made when I was growing up. It’s incredibly simple, light, and is perfect for using up leftover veggies! It also is a fantastic meal prep because it makes a huge batch and reheats well throughout the week. My parents used to make it with shrimp and chicken, but if you add a decent variety of veggies and a can of cannellini beans (or navy beans or great northern beans), you don’t miss the chicken one little bit!

Primavera means “Spring” in Italian. This dish is all about celebrating the growing season and welcoming back fresh garden vegetables to the dinner table.

The absolute best part of a primavera, though, was always drowning it in parmesan cheese. When I went vegetarian, I made this all the time, but when I ditched the dairy, I missed the way that parmesan complimented the dish so much that I actually abandoned it! Since then, I have found a few halfway decent vegan store-bought parmesans, but today I finally tried making my own and it did not disappoint!! (Recipe from the Minimalist Baker)

Today I used chickpea pasta (rotini) for extra protein (Banza brand), but feel free to use whatever style you like! Today’s veggies included red onion, garlic, broccoli, red pepper, zucchini, tomato, great northern beans, and spinach. I also love using mushrooms and carrots but didn’t choose them today. If you are making this at home, I encourage you to definitely use at least three kinds of vegetables in addition to your onion and garlic and make sure you have a protein source like beans, chickpeas, edamame, or green peas.

Pasta Primavera with Vegan Parmesan

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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A simple Italian pasta classic. that does not disappoint


The vegetables I used here are just a suggestion, feel free to use any kind you like. I do recommend at least three types of vegetables plus a plant based protein source like cannellini beans

Ingredients

  • extra virgin olive oil (4-6 tbsp)
  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 crown of broccoli
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 large or 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste (but at least 1/2 tsp salt)
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Optional: 1 fresh lemon
  • For the parmesan (Recipe from the Minimalist Baker, see link in post):

  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Because it can take a while for a large pot of salted water to come to a boil, start by heating up the pasta water while you chop the veggies into bite sized pieces.
  2. In a second large pot or dutch oven, warm up 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. When oil is hot, add the onion first and sauté until fragrant and translucent.
  3. Next, add garlic, broccoli, and a dash of salt and pepper (at least 1/4 tsp salt). Stir to combine and allow to sauté with the lid off for approx 5 min until broccoli begins to soften.
  4. Add the red peppers and zucchini, stir to combine, and sauté until slightly softened (approx 2 minutes), then add the beans and tomatoes, plus another round of salt and pepper to taste (at least another 1/4 tsp salt).
  5. The water is likely boiling at this point, go ahead and cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  6. Turn down the heat on the veggies to low. Leave the lid off of the veggies to ensure it doesn’t get too watery. If you are making your own parmesan, now is a good time to whip it up while you wait for the pasta to cook. (The only instruction is to combine all parmesean ingredients in a food processor and mix/pulse until combined into a fine meal)
  7. After the pasta is drained, combine with the vegetables and fold in the spinach. Check out the consistency of the combined dish. Th pasta should have a slick consistency. If not slick, go ahead and add another 1-2 tbsp of olive oil (or as much as needed so it is all lightly coated in olive oil). If adding fresh basil, fold it in now as well.
  8. Enjoy! Feel free to fold in a hefty amount of parmesan, plus save extra for sprinkling on top. If you like an extra bright flavor, slice up a lemon and sprinkle some lemon juice on top as well.

What are your favorite pasta primavera variations? Drop a comment below!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Tostadas With Avocado Sauce

Above all else, my absolute favorite kind of food is Mexican. Not Tex-Mex. Not Taco Bell. Actual Mexican food from Mexico. It is simple, delicious, and typically uses just a few ingredients. Because Mexican food features so few ingredients, it’s incredibly easy to veganize.

You might be thinking “but what about the sour cream! And cheese!” For those of you who are not familiar with authentic Mexican cuisine, you might be surprised to hear dairy is actually an extremely small part of Mexican cooking. Perhaps a sprinkling of cheese here and there, maybe a drizzle of crema at a restaurant (a more runny version of American sour cream), but that’s about it. It isn’t central to any dish, and can easily be replaced by a squeeze of lime or some avocado without compromising the integrity of the dish.

And yes, I understand that sweet potatoes aren’t Mexican, but I do LOVE how they taste with black beans and they are just so good for you. How can I NOT Mexicanize them?

Tostadas are one of my favorite Mexican dishes to eat. A tostada is essentially a tortilla that has been baked until it becomes a giant round tortilla chip. They are a creative way to reduce food waste (they’re made from tortillas that are just starting to go stale). The revamp is both useful and delicious. I love tostadas because the open faced style allows you to enjoy the flavors of what’s on top in a different way than if it were wrapped up inside of soft shell tortilla. In a taco, you would taste the shell first and get the flavors of the filling on the back end. In a tostada, you get all the flavors at the same time, plus a nice crunch and a little extra flavor from the baked shell.

**Tip for the Avocado Dressing: make ahead the day before or a few hours before serving if you can. Although it tastes great fresh, letting the flavors marinade together makes them REALLY blend as one. The best part about the avocado dressing? Even if you make ahead, it stays green!

PS: this is a great recipe for meal prepping. Instead of tostadas, put the potatoes and beans on a bed of lettuce, rice, or wrap it up in some tortillas for tacos or burritos. The sky is the limit!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Tostadas

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A flavorful, fun Mexican-inspired recipe perfect for Taco Tuesdays


Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 15 oz can black beans
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-4 tbsp salsa
  • tostadas (or small tortilla shells if making your own)
  • oil of choice
  • optional for topping: shredded lettuce, diced tomato, fresh lime, fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Peel and dice the sweet potato and red onion into small pieces. If making your own tostada shells, begin pre-heating the oven to 350.
  2. Put 2 tbsp oil in a sauce pan and turn to medium heat. Add onion first and sauté until fragrant, then add sweet potato. Stir and cover with lid.
  3. While sweet potato and onions are cooking, drain and rinse the black beans and begin measuring your spices.
  4. Once the sweet potatoes begin to soften, add the spices, salsa, and black beans. (The salsa will help add moisture to the dish. If you don’t have any on hand, add a few tbsp water instead).
  5. If making your own tostadas, take out a baking sheet and either lightly brush or spray both sides of tortillas with oil of choice. Sprinkle a dash of salt on one side of tortillas. Bake for approx 10 minutes. Tostadas are ready when the edges begin to curl up and the tortillas are slightly brown.
  6. My favorite way to top these is the traditional way. First, a bed of finely shredded lettuce, then the protein, then some finely diced tomato, cilantro, avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime. Today I made an avocado dressing that combined all of my favorite usual toppings…I have to say I HIGHLY recommend it! I will definitely be using this on many more Mexican dishes to come.

Avocado Sauce

  • Difficulty: easy
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This dressing is incredibly easy. If you like cilantro, lime, avocado, and all things Mexican NEARLY as much as I do you will seriously love it!

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/3 cup vegan sour cream (or plain unsweetened yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (I actually just used half a bunch)
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender, blend until liquified.
  2. Add more liquid if you want a runny salad dressing, use less if you want a dip or thicker topping more like the consistency of sour cream.
  3. Enjoy!

What do you think? Leave a comment below if you’ve tried it or have a suggestion for something I should try!

Easy Lemon Tahini Dressing

Lemon Tahini Dressing on my Paprika Chickpea Meal Prep

I’ve mentioned my lemon tahini a few times, I thought it might be nice if I actually posted a recipe for it! This lemon tahini dressing is so good on salads, over roasted veggies, or drizzled over almost anything! It’s so easy to make, healthy, and freezes well. What’s not to love?

Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds. It’s used in recipes for home made hummus, baba ganoush, as well as salad dressings!

I found a super easy tahini paste recipe online, but you can also buy the paste already made in almost any grocery store. You might just need to ask for help finding it! I love making it from scratch because buying in bulk saves money and really cuts down on the plastic packaging waste in our home. Plus, it always tastes better and is super satisfying to when you’re done!

The base for the tahini paste recipe comes from inspiredtaste.net. I’ll include a summary in my lemon tahini dressing recipe below!

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Feel free to skip making your own paste if you prefer store bought.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hulled sesame seeds
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil (or other neutral oil of choice)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 to 1 whole lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

    For the paste:
  1. If making your own paste, I highly recommend toasting the sesame seeds. To do so, take a dry sauce pan and heat on medium. Add sesame seeds and stir for about 3 minutes until fragrant and lightly colored (can burn easily so watch closely and stir frequently!)
  2. Add sesame seeds to a food processor and process until a crumbly paste forms (1min)
  3. Add oil (I used 3 tbsp like suggested in original recipe) and blend until smooth. If too thick, add another tbsp oil.
  4. The tahini paste is done! I set aside about half of the paste to freeze for other recipes. Then I used the other half for the dressing…
  5. To turn into dressing, add spices and the juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tbsp if using concentrate) to the tahini and mix! You can do it with a spoon or right in the food processor. I used this ratio of spices for a half batch of paste. If you want to turn the whole batch into dressing, just double the spice quantity and use the whole lemon (or 2 tbsp concentrate)!

Easy right? Do you have any other plant based dressings you make at home? I would love to try it! Drop a comment below!

Paprika Roasted Chickpea Meal Prep

I’m a little late on posting this…but I promised a second meal prep recipe! This was made in about 45 minutes, mainly due to how long it takes to cook brown rice. Short on time? Pick another grain that cooks quicker! Or skip the grain and add more roasted veggies!

My meal preps have to be simple, easy, healthy, and quick. This one is based on seasoned, roasted chickpeas paired with roasted broccoli and brown rice. I paired this with a home made lemon tahini dressing that I keep in the freezer, but feel free to use just a squeeze of fresh lemon instead or pour some of your favorite pre made dressing on the side.

An easy, flavorful, quick meal prep for a weekday lunch or dinner.

I used chickpeas, broccoli, and brown rice. Feel free to swap out the broccoli for another veggie or add more veggies. Brown rice can take a while to make, so if you’re short on time consider something quicker like couscous.

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 crown of broccoli
  • 1 cup of dry brown rice
  • 2 tsp paprike
  • 1 cup of dry brown rice
  • 1 cup of dry brown rice
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees while you begin the brown rice.
  2. To cook brown rice, add the rice to a large pot of water (about 6 cups of water), bring to a boil and allow to boil uncovered for about 30 minutes. Drain the rice, then return to pot and cover with lid. Allow to rest off heat for another 5-10 minutes.
  3. While the rice is coming to a boil, rinse and chop the broccoli to the size you prefer. Put the broccoli in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with about 1 tbsp of olive oil (or other preferred cooking oil). Toss to lightly and evenly coat the broccoli. Transfer to an uncreased baking sheet and sprinkle salt and pepper over broccoli. Cook in oven for 10 minutes, then flip and cook another 10 minutes for crispy broccoli.
  4. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. In the same bowl you used for the broccoli, go ahead and toss the chickpeas in. Add another tablespoon of oil, then the paprika, onion, garlic, plus salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a separate baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, then stir and flip chickpeas and bake for another 5 minutes. If you overcook the chickpeas, they will turn out extremely crunchy, almost like a crouton. These can be great for snacking. For this meal, however, I like them just a little crisp. Bake longer or shorter to your desired level of crunch!
  5. When everything is done cooking, combine! Drizzle on your favorite dressing, a squeeze of lemon, or both!

Do you have any favorite meal preps or plant based dressing recipes you’d like to share? Drop a comment below, I’d love to try them!