Tag Archives: easy vegan 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!

General Tso’s Cauliflower

Do you ever just CRAVE Chinese takeout?

Of course you do. It’s savory, sweet, universally loved, and straight up addictive.

Since the vegan days I haven’t gotten to enjoy that greasy, sticky Chinese chicken, I saw a few inspiration pictures of how to make it yourself around the internet and came up with this!

This General Tso’s Cauliflower is approved by my omnivorous husband, tastes great as leftovers, and completely cured all of my cravings. Although it still has a quite a bit of sodium from the soy sauce and some added sugar to give it that General Tso’s taste, it and has a FAR lower fat content (NO deep frying for this one) and much less salt and sugar than what actual Chinese takeout would have!

General Tso's Cauliflower

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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As easy vegan version of your favorite Chinese takeout

I absolutely love serving this with rice and steamed edamame to balance the powerful flavor of the cauliflower and for protein. You can buy bags of pre-shelled edamame in the frozen section of the grocery store. Just steam for five minutes, sprinkle some salt and you’re good to go!

Ingredients

  • 1 large head or 2 small heads of cauliflower
  • For the sauce:
  • 2 pounds vine ripened tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger minced (or 1tbsp pre minced ginger)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Juice of one orange (or lemon or lime, if you don’t have citrus on hand, increase the rice vinegar to 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2-4 tbsp coconut sugar
  • Optional: if you like it spicy can add 1 tsp Chinese chili garlic sauce or 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes!
  • For the batter:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/ 3cup corn starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup plant based milk

Directions

  1. Prepare the cauliflower by cutting florets into bite sized pieces and keeping the stems cut short so that it is easy to coat in batter
  2. In a large sauce pan or skillet, start the sauce. Turn the stove top to a medium heat and add the sesame oil. When the oil is warm, add the garlic, ginger, and tomato paste. Sauté until fragrant (approx 2 min)
  3. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, orange juice, water, and sugar. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally while you prepare the batter (approx 20 min).
  4. Pre heat your oven or air fryer to 400 degrees. Prepare the batter in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, dry corn starch, salt, and slowly add the milk, 1/4 cup at a time until the batter is watery to submerge the cauliflower but thick enough to stick! I find that 3/4 cup is usually the right amount.
  5. Dump your cauliflower florets into the batter and cover completely. Spray a baking sheet or a flat pan in your air fryer with a high smoke point oil like avocado, grape seed, or canola oil. Don’t use a mesh basket for this, you will need a flat surface for it to cook on! Lightly spray the cauliflower once on the sheet. Cook the cauliflower in the air fryer for 7 minutes on each side, or bake for 10 minutes each side in the oven. The batter will become lightly golden brown at the end and your cauliflower will be nice and soft in the middle. Remember to keep stirring your sauce! If you’re cooking rice and edamame, now is a good time to start making those as well.
  6. Add the corn starch/water mixture to the general tso’s sauce to thicken it. Continue to stir until the cauliflower is cooked. Once the cauliflower is done, add to the general tso’s sauce, turn off the heat, and toss to coat. I had some sesame seeds on hand so I sprinkled some of them in at the end as well! Enjoy!

Let me know what you guys think! Drop a comment below if you have any other takeout suggestions you want me to try to create!

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!