June 24, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
Who out there can’t live without their food processor? Mine is perpetually in the dishwasher, being that I use it on the daily. Now that I’ve had one, I don’t think I could happily go on without one.
I regularly make hummus, broth, dressings, and drizzles with it. I’ve dabbled with ice cream-making and pie crusts with it, too. Surprisingly enough, this was the first time I’ve made pasta sauce with it, and I feel like I’ve found a key to a door that should’ve been opened a long time ago.
Pasta dishes seem so boring and cliche. Not to mention that the pictures are pretty unstimulating, as well. (Who has the energy to put the oregano leaves on top, and surround the final photo with the raw ingredients used? Hmm… real photographers, I guess. Complaining like a true amateur.) But trust me when I say that despite the dullness these photos may exude, this pasta sauce is easy to make and easy to fall in love with.
Spicy Red Pepper Pasta Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: 3-4 servings
- a heaping cup of tomatoes
- a heaping cup of red bell pepper
- 1/2 lemon, squeezed
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbs fresh oregano, minced
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Other ingredients seen in pictures:
- gluten-free quinoa spaghetti
- 1 1/2 cups baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup baby eggplants, sliced
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
STEP 1: Mince the garlic and oregano.
I use my NutriBullet’s mincing blade to make these two as small as possible. I find that if I throw the garlic and herbs full-sized along with the other ingredients in the food processor, it doesn’t get the ingredients as small as I want it to be. The smaller it is, the more flavor throughout.
By the way, I would like to congratulate my oregano on its first appearance! It’s doing well in the herb garden.
STEP 2: Throw in all ingredients in the food processor.
Make sure it’s a strong food processor, as you want the sauce to be smooth. If not thoroughly mixed, this will not produce the “chunky” sauce you want.
Set aside when smooth.
STEP 3: Chop up other ingredients you wish to feature in your pasta.
I found these adorable baby eggplants at Nelson Family Farms in Fort Pierce, FL! There a bit longer than my palm. I’ve never seen these before! This variety of eggplant is easy to chop, perfect for bite-sized disks, and absorbs flavors like a dream.
I also chose to throw in onion and mushrooms. It was a medley of perfection.
STEP 4: Cook pasta and chopped veggies.
I used two tablespoons of coconut oil to cook the veggies with. It takes about 10 or so minutes to accomplish.
STEP 6: Simmer sauce and strain pasta.
Once the veggies are cooked down, set the stove to a low setting and pour in the spicy red pepper sauce. Mix and let it sit for a few minutes.
Dish out the pasta noodles, pour the sauce on top, and enjoy!
June 17, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
I think I have a poser green thumb. I love nature, and I desperately want to have my own garden. However, it seems that I have a knack for killing plant life. Quite a dilemma indeed. Whatever I touch seems to turn to shit. Dead shit.
Okay okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. The truth is, growing plants is not easy. Sometimes it takes the plant wilting or drying up before I realize how much sunlight/water it needs. I’ve gotten a lot better about it. Now, I research what the plant needs as soon as I get it, as the wait-and-see approach seems to have failed me time and time again.
Through my wannabe green thumb ups-and-downs, the only plant that has seen me through is my rosemary. The ironic thing is that rosemary is an herb mostly used for meat, so I haven’t used it very much. That is, until recently, when I realized it pairs well with potatoes, too.
French fries are my ultimate weakness. In a world full of restaurants that have items I can’t eat, you can bet that the one thing I CAN eat are those french fries. Matt is a fanatic, too. Celiac people are strangely addicted to potatoes, which I suppose is a result of the lack of starches in their lives, I guess. I digress, potatoes rock.
We have combined our love for french fries and rosemary and created these kickass fries.
Rosemary French Fries
Prep Time: Less than 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40-45 minutes
Yield: 2 large servings (for the massive french fry lovers) OR 4 small servings
- around 6+ red potatoes (medium sized)
- 1 tbs coconut oil + 1 tbs coconut oil (used in different parts in the recipe)
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt (1 tsp seems like a lot, but potatoes easily absorb salt, making it seem like less. Use to your discretion.)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
STEP 1: Preheat your oven to 425 and start chopping your potatoes.
I’ve always had trouble with this until Matt, the potato guru (Mr. Potato Head himself) came along. He showed me step-by-step on how to perfectly chop potatoes to create french fries.
Slice them vertically, like so…
Then, take each potato slice and slice them about a quarter inch thick, and there you go! Awesome fries!
I suppose you could skin your potatoes prior to slicing, but why would you go and strip the potato from its nutrients? We’re a pro-skin household, so we prefer to keep it on.
STEP 2: Grease the baking pan.
Take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to grease up the baking sheet you will use.
STEP 3: Make the seasoning in the food processor.
Start off by throwing the rosemary, salt, pepper, and garlic into a food processor. Grind it up until everything is minced. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can certainly chop by hand. It just doesn’t become as small as I would prefer.)
Add in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to the food processor with the rosemary mixture, and process it a little more. (If no food processor, just mix it all together by hand.)
STEP 4: Place the fries on the baking sheet.
Gloop the rosemary mixture on top of the fries. Using your hands, work the mixture and the fries together until every fry is coated.
STEP 5: Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Use the extra time to clean your kitchen and basque in the wonderful aroma that will be wafting through the house. I prefer to dance with my golden retriever Mia during this time.
Beautiful, tasty fries! GET IN MY BELLY, NOW!
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June 10, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
For a teacher, summer vacation is a time of pure bliss.
Now that I have my mornings available, I am switching my mundane breakfast routine. No longer do I need to resort to a quick bowl of cereal while standing up. Now, I have the time to get creative with breakfast (and sit down while eating it).
Looking for something new, I found this on Pinterest:
The idea is ingenious, but instant pancake mix? Ugh. So much no is happening here. I know, no one likes the judge-y vegan girl, but come on. The ingredient list is so nast. And no, it’s not perfect for kids.
Needless to say, it was a recipe that was easy to top.
I used a tried-and-true GF pancake recipe with this creation, and it came out great. GF pancakes are a lot heavier, so these pancake bites aren’t as airy as “normal” pancakes are. However, they still stay intact, and will deliciously fill up your belly.
I love this recipe because it’s so versatile! Pancake bites are perfect for any breakfast situation, whether it be on-the-go, a cool breakfast side, a bake sale item, or a trendy item for brunch entertaining. It’s also versatile in the way that there are so many different items you can throw in. Fruit, chocolate chips, spices… the possibilities are endless!
It’s summer, so it’s berry season! I tried four different fruits to see which pancake bite was the yummiest. Scroll to the bottom to see the winner! LET THE HUNGER GAMES BEGIN!
Gluten-Free Pancake Bites
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes per batch
Yield: 50+ mini muffins
- 1 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/4 cup teff flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cup nondairy milk mixed with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I used coconut milk, which made the mix sweet and thick)
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- But honestly… do what you want!
STEP 1: Mix your nondairy milk with the apple cider vinegar.
Guess what? You don’t need butter to create buttermilk! I love this part. It’s very science-y!
STEP 2: Add the buttermilk, oil, and warm water into a mixing bowl.
STEP 3: Whisk the dry ingredients together.
Do this in a separate bowl.
STEP 5: Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
Slowly add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients until full incorporated.
STEP 6: Pour the batter into the mini muffin pan.
Use a tablespoon to scoop the batter into a mini muffin pan. Fill up the batter 3/4 full.
STEP 7: Add in your add-ins!
Push them down into the batter. I put my four contenders in their own rows.
Bake your pancake babies in the oven at 350° for 15 minutes, or until your pancakes are golden brown.
So, which one was the winner?
Actually, they were all delicious, but think I’m going to have it to give it to Strawberry. Despite being the least aesthetically-pleasing bite, the juices leaked into the batter during bake time, making it irresistible. I think that fruit was in its peak ripeness compared to the others, which also tipped the scales in its favor. They were all fantastic, though. Great work out there, fruits.
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