Tag Archives: healthy

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!

Mexican Quinoa Meal Prep

Hey everyone! This is a super busy week for me, I am working two 13 hour shifts and one 14 hour shift (which is pretty typical), but my day off between shifts is going to be taken up my errands, packing, and cleaning and on Friday I’m off to Austin, TX!

I’m still working on convincing my husband that vegan food can be something he enjoys eating all the time, daily. He really loves simple, plain food and I love food with bold, rich flavors. Don’t get me wrong, he’s open minded, super supportive of my plant based lifestyle, and happily eats whatever I put in front of him…but along the course of my adventurous experiments, I think I accidentally convinced him that vegan food is spicy, rich, and heavy. If he could eat lunchables for the rest of his life, he would, so some of these experiments have scared him a little. This week I needed to make a big enough meal prep that would supply lunches for both of us since I’m working on brainwashing him.

The key to ANY good meal prep is simplicity. My favorite way to do it is to pick two-three veggies that go together and a grain. I often roast the veggies and cover with the same seasoning while the grain is cooking stove top. Combine and throw a wedge of lemon, lime, or pour a little vegan dressing on the side to make it interesting. The combinations are endless and the sky is the limit.

Here is one of my favorites! The base recipe is a super simple Mexican Quinoa Bowl. Sometimes during the week we turn it into a burrito or make it a super fancy bowl and add lots of ingredients. When it comes to weekday survival though, simplicity is the name of the game. This recipe is super simple. It’s designed to please the pickiest eaters, the vegan doubters, and the busiest people.

Yes, food CAN be healthy, quick, easy, compassionate, AND delicious.

Mexican Quinoa Meal Prep

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Incredibly easy, two pan dish, no chopping required (unless you want to, of course!)

This is the base recipe for a quick, easy meal prep. If you want to add more veggies like fresh diced tomatoes, red onions, and avocado, you won’t be disappointed with the extra time spent!

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional toppings: salsa, tofutti (“sour cream”), vegan cheddar, fresh lime wedge, cilantro

Directions

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer. Place in a sauce pan with 2 cups of water or veggie broth for extra flavor, bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer until the water is absorbed (approx 15-20 min). Turn the heat off, leave the cover on and let it sit in its steam 5 min before taking the lid off to fluff quinoa.
  2. While quinoa is cooking, coat the bottom of a pan with 1-2 tbsp oil and put the stove top on medium heat. If you are cooking with onion, add it when the oil is hot and cook until onion is fragrant and translucent (2min). If you didn’t feel like chopping an onion, go straight to the next step.
  3. Add the corn, black beans, and spices. Sauté until veggies until the spices are fragrant and the veggies are warmed (approx 10 min)
  4. That’s it! I almost always top with salsa, cilantro, tofutti, and lime. Sometimes we get wild and wrap it in a tortilla or add avocado. Enjoy!

Let me know what you think! There are a million ways to do this recipe. Drop a comment below and let me know your favorite version!

Mexican Inspired Vegan Ceviche

This recipe may appear extremely simple (spoiler alert: it is), but trust me, when the flavors come together it is…unbelievably delicious. It has been tested on my vegan-suspicious-seafood-snob parents. Not only did it pass with flying colors, they’re making it tonight and bringing it to a barbecue for all their meat eating friends!

This recipe was specifically inspired by a trip I took to Cancun with my husband. I will say seafood was the last thing to go (even after cheese!) on my plant based transition. After all, what is more refreshing than a cool, limey ceviche on a hot, sunny day? I won’t lie to you, I missed it…that is until I went to a restaurant in Philly called Bar Bombón (which you absolutely MUST try if you are ever in Philadelphia). I saw vegan ceviche on their menu and knew I NEEDED to try it. Their ceviche used hearts of palm, which does in fact, have a seafood look about it, and no, is not from the same type of palm that is killing orangutans in Indonesia and Malaysia.

(PS: If you’re not up to date on the palm oil crisis, I encourage you to take a quick gander… https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/8-things-know-about-palm-oil)

After trying their ceviche, I realized it was extremely similar to a recipe I already have been making for years (but without the palm)! So I thought to myself…I can do this!

Mexican Inspired Vegan Ceviche

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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A cool, refreshing summer dish perfect for parties.


Tip: Serve in a cocktail glass and a fork like ceviche, with tortilla chips like a dip, or use it like a side for any summer dish!

Ingredients

  • 1 large( or 2 small) tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion (or 1/2 large onion)
  • 1 mango
  • 1 lime
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 can of hearts of palm, drained and rinsed (found in grocery store with canned veggies)
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro (or more if you like!)
  • Salt

Directions

  1. Drain and rinse hearts of palm and cut into small pieces (about 1/4 inch)
  2. Chop red onion, mango, tomatoes, and avocado small and combine with hearts of palm in large mixing bowl (tip: the smaller the red onion is chopped, the better for flavor distribution)
  3. Squeeze juice of one lime over bowl, get out as much juice as you can! The more lime the better.
  4. Chop or use kitchen scissors to cut the cilantro into fine pieces and add to bowl
  5. Add salt (I used about 1/2 tsp, you don’t need much) and mix!
  6. Pop the bowl in the fridge and let sit for at least 30 minutes (or longer) for the flavors to marinate. Enjoy!

Drop a comment if you make it and let me know what you think!

Pineapple Teriyaki Tofu

Pineapple Teriyaki Tofu

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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About: This recipe is a sweet and savory summer dish. It’s fully vegan, highly customizable, and best of all requires only one pan! I know it looks like a lot of steps but stay with me! The three main tasks of this meal are baking the tofu, chopping the veggies, and sautéing the teriyaki sauce.

Original recipe inspiration: Sticky Teriyaki Tofu by Vegan Travel Eats (https://vegantraveleats.com)

Additional ideas: Rather than making this a stir-fry, try grilling! You will still need to make the teriyaki glaze in a pan and bake the tofu to make sure it’s crispy, but don’t add in the solid pineapple or veggies. Instead, take a bamboo skewer and pop on the raw veggies, pineapple, and cooked tofu and brush the teriyaki glaze on. Then throw on the grill and cook until the veggies are done! You may need to add more corn starch or simmer longer to get it to thicken.

Optional shortcuts: Using canned pineapple and/or store bought sauce of choice.

Serving suggestions: Make with rice or nothing at all! Feel free to add any other veggies that make your heart sing.

Ingredients

    For the stir fry
  • 1 pineapple (chopped, with juices kept in separate bowl for teriyaki sauce)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup corn starch (plus 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper)
  • For the teriyaki sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp ginger (about a 1 inch piece)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil (can substitute any oil if you don’t have it)
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos or tamari)
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp corn starch dissolved in 2 tsp of cold water
  • -Optional: if you like it sweet, add 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or agave syrup or maple syrup). The pineapple will naturally sweeten it up, so add sweetener to taste
  • Optional: if you like a little heat, can add 1 tsp of chili garlic sauce or 1/2 tsp of red chili pepper flakes. Feel free to add much or as little heat as you like!

Directions

    For the Tofu: To get the tofu nice and crisp, I HIGHLY recommend planning ahead and squeezing out the excess moisture. This is less important if you enjoy tofu, but extremely important if you have a meat eater around that is not on team tofu yet.
  1. Drain and Press the tofu:
  2. Open the package of tofu and drain any excess water. To press, take two dish towels and fold them up into nicely packed rectangles (fold in half about 3x). Place the tofu between the dish towels and “smoosh” between two plates. To make sure tofu is comes out as firm as possible, place in refrigerator for two hours. If tight on time, gently press on the top plate to get out as much water as possible, then leave in the fridge as long as you can while you prep the other ingredients.
  3. Once the tofu is ready, pre heat oven or air fryer to 400 degrees.
  4. While the oven is pre heating, take the tofu out of fridge and cut into small cubes (about 1/2 inch in size).
  5. Toss the cubes in a medium sized bowl with the corn starch plus salt and pepper. Make sure the cubes are covered on all sides
  6. Spray down a baking sheet with an oil that can handle a high heat (avocado, canola, and grape seed oil all work). Place tofu cubes on sheet and spray a light coat of the same oil on top.
  7. If using an air fryer: bake for five minutes, flip, and then bake for another 5 minutes. The tofu will have a light golden brown appearance when finished. If using an oven: may take 7-10 minutes per side depending on your oven. Set aside on a plate when done.

While the tofu bakes, make your teriyaki sauce
1. Before you do anything else: cut your pineapple into 1 inch chunks, making sure to preserve the juices for your teriyaki sauce later.
(I found it easiest to take a chef’s knife and cut the entire pineapple in half vertically, then score hashmarks into the flesh of the pineapple vertically and horizontally, then spoon out the pieces into a bowl. This not only preserves the pineapple itself as a bowl for a beautiful presentation later, but it also helps to preserve the pineapple juices)
2. After you are done cutting the pineapple, strain out the bowl of pineapple into a second empty bowl so that you can collect the juices for your sauce. I ended up having about 1/3 cup of pineapple juice.
3. Mince the garlic and ginger before you start the sauce.
(If the ginger is fresh, I like to use a vegetable peeler to get the skin off, then use a grater for speed and also enhancing the disbursement of flavor throughout the dish)
3. Take a sauce pan, add the sesame oil, and turn to a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger, stirring for about 2 minutes until it becomes fragrant.
4. Add all other ingredients including soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, sugar, chili garlic sauce (or chili pepper flakes), pineapple juice, and dissolved corn starch. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down low to simmer with the lid off for about 10 min, stirring frequently.
5. While the sauce is simmering, chop the onion and bell pepper.
6. After the sauce simmers for about 10 minutes, add the red onion, bell pepper, and half of the pineapple to the pan (save the rest for a snack later), stir frequently until the onion and pepper begin to soften (approx 5 min). If your sauce is too thick, cover the pan with lid. If too thin, take the lid off!
7. By now the tofu is most certainly done! Toss the crispy tofu into the pan and cover it with that teriyaki juicy goodness. Feel free to turn the heat off, you’re done!