Spring Rolls

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July 3, 2015 By

I used to think that spring rolls were too intricate for an amateur cook like me to make. It turns out that assumption was false; spring rolls are actually a fancy imposter. A spiffy poser, if you will. A sophisticated con artist.

Despite what the spring roll’s bright colors and flawless presentation lead you to believe, spring rolls are incredibly easy to make. You can assemble 8 spring rolls in about 20 minutes from start to finish if you’re working alone. Although rice paper isn’t raw, the veggies inside will be, making this a mostly raw delight.

 

Spring Rolls

For a picture-free printable version of this recipe, click here!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 spring rolls

 

Ingredients

Spring Rolls:

  • a package of rice paper / spring roll paper (found in the International aisle or Asian section of your grocery store)
  • nori sheets (found in the International aisle or sushi-wrapping section of your grocery store)
  • 1/2 large cucumber, cut into strips
  • 2 carrots, skinned and cut into strips
  • 1-2 hass avocados, cut into strips
  • 5-10 green onions, cut in half to shorten length
  • one bunch of sprouts or frisée
  • 8 romaine lettuce or cabbage leaves, cutting out thick ribs
  • vegan cream cheese (optional)
  • sesame seeds (as garnish)

Dipping Sauce:

  • 6 tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Wasabi powder

 

Step 1: Prepare the veggies.

For the nori flakes, I take a package of nori sheets, put it in a blender/food processor, and blend until the nori is milled. These flakes make a great seasoning!

Nori sheets

Nori sheets

Nori flakes

Nori flakes

Cut your cucumbers, carrots, and avocados into 3-4 inch (7-10 cm) strips. The green onions can stay intact. Cut out the thick ribs from the lettuce; if you leave them in, your roll might look like it has weird bones sticking out of the sides, making it harder to assemble.

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Step 2: Assemble the spring rolls.

Have an assembly station ready: rice paper, a large bowl or pie pan filled with warm water, a plate for creating/rolling the wraps, and a plate to place your rolls when they are done.

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When ready, place a sheet of rice paper in the warm water for 10 seconds. The paper will start to soften. Next, place the softened rice paper on the assembly plate. In the middle of the paper, spread your cream cheese (optional), sprinkle a pinchful of nori flakes, and place on your cucumbers, carrots, green onion, avocado, and sprouts. As for the lettuce, if you are using romaine, try to compact it on top of your veggies as much as possible to make rolling easier.

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Roll your spring roll like a wrap; take a horizontal edge and wrap it around the vegetables, fold the sides in, and continue to wrap until everything is secure. I always thought rice paper would be delicate, but it actually can take a slight beating. Rice paper is clumsy finger approved!

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Tip: The rice paper should be wet, yet sticky. If it takes more than a minute to assemble your roll, you’ll find that your rice paper will start to become DRY and sticky, which makes it impossible to wrap. In other words, don’t drag your ass.

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You can choose to cut them in half to see the beautiful contents in the middle, or leave them whole for easier eating!

Step 3: Make the dipping sauce.

I find a lot of Asian sauces to be too much, so I make something simple: Wasabi powder, minced garlic, and Tamari (or soy sauce). Whisk together and place in a bowl.

 

Step 4: Garnish and enjoy!

Sprinkle those sesame seeds on your savory blankets of rainbows and chow the f down.

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They see me rollin’. They hatin’.

Connect with me!

 


Happy rollin’,

thisvegangirllogo

 

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Mushroom-Walnut Tacos with Queso

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January 29, 2015 By

The idea for these tacos came in bits and pieces. I guess it started a few weeks ago  when my soon-to-be brother-in-law was telling me how mushrooms are the umami, or savory part, of vegan dishes. He’s right! Mushrooms have volume, can easily absorb flavors, and ooze juices when cooked just right.

Fast forward to that special time of month when my stomach becomes a dumping ground from all the crap I stuff my face with. Okay, I’m exaggerating a tad, but the cravings were a bit out of control this month. I was obsessed with this Dairy-Free Dorito Popcorn recipe from Whole New Mom.

I thought about that perfect spice blend nonstop that week. Then, it came to me: “This would be a delicious taco seasoning.” That thought, plus the thought of the savoriness of mushrooms, led me conceive this dreamy meal. The “meat” here is full of flavor and has a great consistency!

Don’t get me wrong; I looove black bean tacos. However, it’s difficult to incorporate taco seasoning in black beans. They’re just not the absorbent type.

Try this recipe and you will not be disappointed. In fact, you might be obsessed like I am.

 

Mushroom-Walnut Tacos with Queso

Click here for a print-out version of this recipe!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10-20 minutes

Yield: 8 tacos

 

Ingredients

For the Mushroom-Walnut Meat:

  • 2 large portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, crushed (but not minced)
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

For the Queso:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, milled in the blender or food processor
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/8 cup grape seed oil

Additional Ingredients/Toppings:

  • Taco shells/tortillas (I used mini corn tortillas to keep it gluten-free)
  • tomatoes
  • red onion
  • spinach
  • avocado

 

Step 1: Prepare the toppings.

I’m trying to get more organized in the kitchen by chopping the little stuff first.

I got an EXTREMELY rare, beautiful picture of my cockatiel Fleegle here. I was taking pictures of my chopped fruits and veggies, and Fleegle flew over to see what was going on. As soon as I snapped this picture, he flew away, leaving me with a lovely picture of his wingspan! I’ve never seen the details of his underwing, and it’s so beautiful!

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Step 2: Blend/mix/cook the meat.

I like to start with the spices. Since nutritional yeast is made with flakes, I like to put all the spices in the blender together at once. That way, all the spices are evenly distributed and fused together.

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After that, throw the mushrooms in the food processor until the mushrooms are in tiny pieces.

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Are your walnuts crushed yet? If so, do that now. Make sure your walnuts are decent chunks. I lightly crushed mine with the handle of my cutting knife.

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Mix the spices, mushrooms, and walnuts together in a bowl. There’s your meat!

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Throw the meat on a skillet set at medium heat. Stir/flip the meat every minute or so for about 10-12 minutes. You’ll start to see the meat become more crumbly; this is jackpot, people.

No, you're not looking at poop in a ramekin. It's deliciousness in a ramekin.

No, you’re not looking at poop in a ramekin. It’s deliciousness in a ramekin.

Step 3: Blend your queso.

The queso can be made in 5 minutes while the taco meat is cooking (as long as you keep stirring the meat every minute or so).

Start by placing only the cashews in the blender/food processor. Blend until the cashews are in tiny bits or like cashew meal.

 

Post milling

Post milling

After that, toss or pour the rest of the cashew cheese ingredients in the blender/food processor and blend until all ingredients turn into liquid gold.

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Step 4: Prepare your taco shells.

If you’re using corn tortillas like I did, you’re going to need to fry them on the pan on medium heat. I used a tiny bit of coconut oil for every tortilla I used. The tortillas fried for about 2 minutes on each side.

For those of you that are baking your tortillas in the oven, follow the packaged directions to do that.

For those of you eating soft flour tortillas, you may happily be on your merry way to Step #5… asshole. What? I didn’t say anything. Okay, I’m just super jealous, alright? Sorry.

 

Step 5: Assemble your tacos.

Oh yay! This is the fun part! Will you put on the leafy greens first, or the meat? Who cares? It’s up to you!

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If you like what you see, you might want to do the following:

  • Follow me on Instagram @thisvegangirl. I post my day-to-day meals there. If you try one of my recipes, I love when you post a picture and tag me!
  • Like me on Facebook for quick updates on new recipes.
  • Follow my board on Pinterest to see what’s pinspiring me.
  • Comment below!

 

¡Olé!

thisvegangirllogo

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Greek Cucumber Noodles

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December 25, 2014 By

I love eating raw food! Raw food never drags me down or changes its mind on how it wants to behave that day. Raw is fresh, bold, and gives me a healthy energy boost.

Cucumber noodles are an excellent alternative for anti-pasta people. It’s a lighter choice that packs a ton of that cool, crisp cucumber flavor that you know you love.

I love eating this recipe for dinner, as it doesn’t make me feel like a heavy sack of shit when I’m lying in bed.

You can serve this recipe on top of toast, with corn chips, or simply by itself. It doesn’t matter. It would probably be good if eaten off the sidewalk, for Christ’s sake. Try it for yourself!

 

Greek Cucumber Noodles

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

 

Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Other ingredients:

  • 2 large cucumbers, spiraled
  • 1 cup Castelvetrano olives, cut into thirds
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 2/3 cup red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 avocados, pitted and diced
  • 2 cups of spinach, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of Cream Cheese with Chives (click for recipe), optional

 

Step 1: Spiral your cucumber noodles.

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To turn your cucumber into noodles, you will need a device or appliance. I bought the Vegetti, available at Bed Bath and Beyond for a good price. This is one of those items that actually is as easy as it looks. It takes only a minute to transform the cucumber into those healthy, raw noodles. You can also use one of those spiral peelers used for apples or potatoes, too, but you’ll spend more and it’ll take up more space.

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Once your noodles are made, take some kitchen scissors and cut the noodles into smaller pieces. You might think it’s cool that they’re long, but trust me, there’s no reason to have a 6ft-long noodle. Place your noodles in a large bowl and set aside.

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Step 2: Mix dressing ingredients in a separate bowl.

Start with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice in a separate bowl. Whisk those ingredients together quickly for 30 seconds until contents aren’t separating from each other. (This step can also be done in the food processor.) Add the minced garlic, oregano, and salt to the dressing.

Let the dressing sit for a few minutes, letting all the flavors fuse together. You may want to return to the bowl at least once to whisk the ingredients together.

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Step 3: Chop up all veggies.

Do this step while the dressing is sitting. When finished, place all ingredients, including the dressing, in the large bowl with the noodles. Mix and serve!

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If you like what you see here, why don’t you try doing one/some/all of the following?:

  • follow me on Instagram @thisvegangirl, where I post my day-to-day meals. I love when readers try my recipe, take a picture of it, and tag me or use the hashtag #thisvegangirl so I can see it. It’s so exciting!
  • like me on Facebook to get updates on new recipes posted
  • follow my board on Pinterest to see what’s inspiring me
  • comment below!

 

Thanks for your love and support. Happy Holidays!

 

Love,

thisvegangirllogo

 

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Fiesta Potatoes

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August 1, 2014 By

In Florida, it’s unfortunate, and a little surprising, that vegan and/or raw food restaurants are hard to come by. Cities give you more options, but finding a vegan restaurant in a little town? Fa getta bout it.

When I go to visit my parents in South Florida, it’s a miracle that we have Christopher’s Kitchen in Palm Beach Gardens. It’s a raw vegan restaurant with modern cuisine that my whole family loves. My sister and I always order the Iron Man smoothie, which inspired me to start adding cinnamon to my smoothies with yellow & orange fruit in it! (Seriously, try it.) Matt has a wide selection of gluten-free options, too. It’s just a fantastic restaurant.

When I bought my Prius back in March, we decided to try Christopher’s to celebrate and/or gorge ourselves afterward. For anyone who has bought a car from a dealership before, it’s a guarantee that you’re starving by the time you leave. Thus, we went a little crazy when we went to the restaurant.

We ordered an appetizer called the Fiesta Potatoes, and we fell in love. With Matt being gluten-free and me being vegan, he’s oddly obsessed with potatoes, and I’m oddly obsessed with avocados, so this side dish satisfies both weaknesses. We’ve been copying the recipe ever since!

 

Fiesta Potatoes

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes (can be done during cook time)

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 sides

 

Ingredients:

  • Petite red potatoes, quartered into 3 cups
  • 2-3 tbs olive oil
  • 3 ripe avocados, mashed
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup grape tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • hot sauce (optional)

 

Step 1: Wash, cut, and bake your potatoes.

Use the olive oil on the baking pan, put the cut pieces of potato on top, and move the potatoes around the dish with your fingers until every potato is coated with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

Potatoes before cooking

Potatoes before cooking

Potatoes after cooking

Potatoes after cooking

 

Step 2: Make the guacamole.

You have plenty of time to make the guacamole AND clean up the kitchen afterward!

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Once the fruits and veggies are cut, put all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. I love chunky avocados in guacamole on any given day, but for this side dish, you’ll want keep your guacamole mashed and on the creamier side. It’ll help your guacamole bind to the potatoes. Therefore, I’ll use my potato masher if I have to.

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When completed, set aside or put in the fridge until potatoes are finished.

 

Step 3: Mix potatoes in with guacamole.

Once the potatoes have finished cooking, dump the potatoes in your guacamole bowl, mix, and serve!

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Only three steps for a recipe?! That might be a This Vegan Girl record low!

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I love to pair this side dish with my Quesadillas with Monterey Jack Cashew Cheese! Click here to see the recipe.

If you make any of my dishes, take a picture and tag me on Instagram using #thisvegangirl to let me know how it went!

 

Happy cooking,

thisvegangirllogo

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The Toast Sampler

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July 7, 2014 By

It’s breakfast time, and you’re not quite sure what you’re in the mood for. Never to fear, for The Toast Sampler is here!

The Toast Sampler cures breakfast heartaches and solves all your morning culinary problems, including:

  • I don’t know what I’m in the mood for. Each piece of toast caters to a different taste region of your tastebuds, so it’ll combat any/all cravings.
  • I don’t want a sugary breakfast. I hear ya. With The Toast Sampler, few strawberries will be the only sugar you’ll consume, and it’ll be the perfect amount of sweetness.
  • I need something to-go. Have you ever tried eating cereal and driving? I have, during my stupid teenage years. Not only was it completely idiotic, but extremely difficult. My point is that toast is a lot easier, and more safe, to eat on-the-go.
  • I’ll be hungry in an hour. You obviously didn’t have The Toast Sampler for breakfast, then. I pile on the vegetables and fruit, with filling spreads on the bottom.
  • It’s not gluten-free. Oh, but it is. I use GF bread and toast them up. The GF bread will also help with problem of staying full.
  • I’m not hungry in the morning. The Toast Sampler is so yummy, you’ll want it.
  • I don’t have time. You’ll need a bit more time to prepare this than cereal, but definitely not as much time as, say, pancakes.Wake up 10-15 minutes earlier to indulge in this breakfast delight. It’s worth it.
  • I don’t cook. … it’s toast.

 

Are you convinced? If not, maybe the pictures will help. BEHOLD:

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Forgive me, as I don’t  have exact measurements on spreads and seasoning. Just spread and sprinkle, guys. It’s not that hard.

 

Avocado Toast

  • Tofutti vegan cream cheese base
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper
  • spinach on top (I took a few leaves and tore them with my fingers.)

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If you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or someone who loves avocado, you’re probably very good friends with avocado toast. There is my spin on it.

 

Almond Butter Toast

  • almond butter base
  • lots of strawberry slices on top

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I actually have two almond butters right now. One is a CRUNCHY VARIETY (hardly ever seen), which I adore. The other is a vanilla espresso variety, which I equally adore. I hope that eating the vanilla espresso almond butter gives me a tiny boost in the morning.

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Hummus Toast

  • hummus base
  • grape tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • arugula leaves
  • hemp hearts

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This one was a spur-of-the-moment toast that I ended up loving! I used a kalamata olive hummus, which was divine.

 

Happy toasting,

thisvegangirllogo

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Mexican Stuffed Peppers

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April 19, 2014 By

I’ll admit that throughout my life, I’ve never loved stuffed peppers. It was never made for me as a child. In fact, peppers in general haven’t been a member of my  craving palate.

That is, until recently. A friend of mine made stuffed peppers for me, and I liked it. No, I really liked it! Why were my previous attempts to enjoy stuffed peppers so sour? It was a food epiphany.

It was your traditional stuffed pepper, complete with a grain stuffing and tomato sauce on top. But after my friend told me she made Soy Sauce stuffed peppers once, it got my mind reeling of all the possibilities a stuffed pepper could become. I bet there could be a stuffed pepper for every type of cuisine, I thought. I got right to work.

The Mexican Stuffed Pepper was my first creation, and it was love at first bite.  I even got my nose-in-the-air anti-stuffed-pepper boyfriend to jump on board with it. We paired it with Fiesta Potatoes, which will be featured soon.

 

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour total

Yield: 4-5 stuffed peppers (the pictures feature 2 stuffed peppers, but I’ve done the kindness of doubling the recipe for you)

 

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 red peppers, cored and seeded
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 can of organic vegan refried beans (I use Amy’s)
  • 1 can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup of grape tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of onions, chopped
  • 1 can of salsa
  • 1 avocado, chopped, as garnish (optional)

 

STEP 1: Prepare the quinoa by boiling 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa. Once at a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Do you do anything interesting with your quinoa? I always buy one package of white and one package of red to mix together. The red quinoa is more firm than the white, which provides a bit of variety in the texture when mixed together. Not to mention that the colors look awesome when mixed.

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STEP 2: Core and seed the peppers by making a round incision at the top of the pepper and taking out the innards.

After that, boil the peppers in a big pot for 5 minutes.

When ready, remove and allow to cool.

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Hey guys. Lookin’ hot. Want to come back to my place?

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“HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!”

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You need to loosen up a bit. How about a dip in the hot tub?

 

STEP 3: While the quinoa absorbs and the red peppers dance in the boiling water, prepare the beans, tomatoes, and onion.

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STEP 5: When the quinoa is ready, scoop out about 4 hearty tablespoons of refried beans in the quinoa. This will give the stuffing a thick texture, while providing a lovely contrast of moisture and saltiness.

While you’re at it, add the vegetables and black beans and stir.

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STEP 6: Stuff those babies and stuff ’em good.

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STEP 7: Place peppers on a tray and pour salsa on top. Place in the oven at 350° for 30 minutes.

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STEP 8: Garnish with avocados, slice in half, and dig in!

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Happy cooking,

thisvegangirllogo

 

 

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Rasta Pasta Salad

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January 12, 2014 By

Happy New Year, everyone! I officially went vegan on January 1, 2013, so here’s to 1 full year of veganism!

Pasta salad is an easy go-to for anyone. It’s perfect for big groups and entertaining. You can arrive with a vegan pasta salad to an event and no one will bat an eye. It’s a wonderful “clear the fridge” dish, too, as it is so versatile. Every time I make pasta salad, different veggies go into it, depending on what’s chilling (literally and figuratively) in my fridge.

For a long time, I was going through a trial-and-error period with my pasta salad recipe, particularly the dressing. In the past, I’ve tried to make the dressing from scratch, but something always went wrong. Too lemony. Too tart. Way too much balsamic. Too creamy. Too salty. Too bland. For someone who loves pasta salad so much, I couldn’t seem to get it right. It was a dark place.

Then, my sister and I decided to cook it together one day, and it was PERFECT. Who knew that the answer to my pasta problems was someone so close to home?

Cooking with others is so fun. I always come out of it feeling like I’ve learned something new. So here is the product of collaboration and deliciousness.

Oh yeah, and the Rastafarian thing? This is definitely not an authentic Rastafarian dish by any means. It’s only based on the matching flag colors. 😉

 

Rasta Pasta Salad

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients

Pasta Dressing:

  • 8 tbs EVOO
  • 1 1/2 tbs white wine vinegar (In a pinch, any vinegar will do, really. I used Apple Cider.)
  • 2 heaping tsp Veganaise (or as I like to call it, “goops.” Two goops of Veganaise.)
  • 2-3 tbs Agave Nectar
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and minced

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of Quinoa Pasta (gluten-free deliciousness; so much better than any GF pasta out there)
  • 1-2 cups of grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup of carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 can, or 7.5 ounces, chickpeas
  • salt/pepper as garnish

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STEP 1: Cook the pasta.

Start boiling that water and get the pasta started! When your pasta is finished cooking, strain it and run it under cold water. Pasta salad shouldn’t be hot, so cooling off your pasta right after cooking keeps it cool and firm. Set aside or place in the fridge if you are still working on the meal.

Mmm… I love the Garden Pagodas!

Mmm… I love the Garden Pagodas!

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STEP 2: Create the magic sauce!

There’s a science behind the sauce, so don’t throw in everything at once and mix.

In a bowl, mix the olive oil and balsamic first. Whisk it quickly for about 30 seconds. This will allow the two opposing ingredients to blend. Add the Veganaise next and whisk, but not like a crazy person this time. Just normal whisking. After that, you may add the other pasta sauce ingredients in any manner you’d like.

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STEP 3: Chop up those veggies!

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STEP 4: Mix all ingredients.

The fun part! Get a great, big bowl and mix the pasta, pasta sauce, veggies, and chickpeas all together! Add more salt and pepper as needed.

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RASTA!

 

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Extra pepper on mine, please!

 

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Happy cooking,

thisvegangirllogo

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Spicy Black Bean Burger Wraps

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September 29, 2013 By

I’m not anal retentive about much. In fact, I’m quite okay with disorder in my daily life. Just ask my car.

However, when I eat, I try to keep things as neat as possible. I try to not let any peas touch any of my mashed potatoes, or to let any toppings come out of my sky-high sandwiches. Furthermore, one can empathize with my frustration while eating black bean burgers.

I’ve found that black bean burgers can get a bit messy and crumbly. Therefore, I wanted to make the yummy black bean burger a little more enjoyable to eat, you know, to quiet the irritating voice in my mind. So, here’s a black bean burger all wrapped up.

This also seems to be a better option for the GF crowd, as well. Matt has seemed to have better palatable luck with GF wraps than GF burger buns, so hooray for the Spicy Black Bean Burger Wrap!

 

Spicy Black Bean Burger Wraps

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 patties / 8 wraps

 

Ingredients

For the patties:

  • 1-15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 C cooked brown rice (1/2 cup dried with 1/2 cup water)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/8-1/4 C gluten-free bread crumbs

Other ingredients:

  • 1 package of wraps
  • Condiments: mustard, ketchup, Sriracha sauce
  • Toppings: avocado, sliced tomato, kale/spinach, red onion, pickle

 

STEP 1: Cook the brown rice.

Brown rice takes forever to cook, so start that now. Use the package instructions to guide you.

 

STEP 2: Hand-mash the black beans.

While the brown rice is cooking, hand-mash the black beans. I like my patties to have a lumpy texture, not a mushy one, so go easy on the mashing. In other words, don’t think of something you hate (like the traffic you had to battle on the way home) while you mash these black beans.

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STEP 3: Food process the onion and garlic.

Place the onion and garlic in the food processor. Again, same mentality with this as the black beans; we want some texture, so don’t ground the poor onions to a pulpy soup. Give them a quick spin and they’ll be read to be placed on top of the black beans.DSC_0006

 

STEP 4: Mix all patty ingredients.

Place the food processed onion/garlic mix on top of the black beans, along with breadcrumbs, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir it all together with the cooked brown rice. Stir together, form into patties, and drizzle hot sauce (with salt & pepper) on top of them.

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STEP 5: Cook the patties.

Place burgers on the “grill” (or George Foreman). I placed mine on for about 20 minutes, flipping one time halfway in-between.

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Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies! … just kidding.

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STEP 6: Cut up all your fresh toppings.

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STEP 7: Assemble!

Get the wraps together, pile on the toppings, wrap it up, and enjoy!

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By the way, these wraps make EXCELLENT leftovers. In fact, the leftovers might even be better than the original dinner!

Place the patties in the toaster oven to be toasted for 5 minutes. This way, they come out a lot more crumbly, which gave a more ham-burgery, even feel.

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Happy cooking!

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Portobello Sandwich with Spicy Garlic Mayo

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August 6, 2013 By

Oh, the mushroom. So juicy, so versatile, and so delicious.

And yet, so easy to mess up when it comes to something like a sandwich/burger.

You don’t want it too juicy, as it will turn your bread into undesirable mush. You don’t want to undercook it, as it has a dry texture and a lack of succulent flavor. Not to mention that portobellos have a habit of breaking, which can just ruin the presentation. (Don’t laugh… It’s important to me!)

Portobello mushrooms make a great meat substitute for sandwiches. They’re filling, luscious, and omit such a wonderful, one-of-a-kind flavor! I was determined to make the perfect portobello sandwich, but first, I had to think of the best way to cook those problematic portobellos.

And then, it hit me: I have a George Foreman grill! It sits out on my back porch and it’s a hassle to clean, so it barely gets any love. However, I knew that the grill would be the ultimate solution to my over-juicy mushroom problem.

 

OOOOH, a solution indeed. This sandwich is fantastic.

This sandwich is hearty, succulent, and tangy. It’s stacked high with flavors that complement each other beautifully. The mushrooms have just the right amount of juice & flavor without doing unpleasant things to the bread. It’s like a burger with class. It’s the perfect thing to pack for lunch, or could be a delightful addition to a vegan barbeque.

 

Portobello Sandwich with Spicy Garlic Mayo

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5-7 minutes

Yield: 1 sandwich

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of hearty bread (GF people, I’d recommend an Udi’s bagel)
  • 4-5 portobello slices (or 1 portobello mushroom, sliced)
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup alfafa sprouts
  • 1/4 spinach
  • 2 Dill pickle slices
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • mustard (optional)

 

Spicy Garlic Mayo Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs Veganaise
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, miced
  • 1/2 tsp salt

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STEP 1: Begin by heating up your grill to a medium high heat. On my grill, I put my setting on 4, with 5 being the highest setting. Basically, you want to hear your mushrooms sizzle.

Drizzle your portobellos with olive oil, salt, and pepper. After that, throw them on the grill. After 5 minutes, flip them over and let them cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Drizzle lightly; I swear mushrooms are more absorbent than sponges!

Drizzle lightly; I swear mushrooms are more absorbent than sponges!

 

Tsssssss!

Tsssssss!

 

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After cooking for 5 minutes, they reduce in size and turn golden brown.

After cooking for 5 minutes, they reduce in size and turn golden brown.

 

 

STEP 2: While the ‘bellas are sizzling away, start cutting up your veggies and creating your mayonnaise by mixing the mayo ingredients in a small bowl. I was surprised at how simple it was to make the mayo fit the desired taste I was looking for! Go me!

Take out the bread, spread on the mayo, and… ohp! The mushrooms are ready!

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Look how excited the bread is!

 

 

STEP 3: Gather your mushrooms and start building your masterpiece! The order of your stack can be the crucial difference between a firm sandwich and a jumbled mess, so choose your order wisely.

I started off with a spinach base with the mushrooms on top. (In hindsight, the tomato would’ve fit nicely underneath the portobellos, but that’s up to you to decide.)

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Next, I went with the avocado, followed by the tomatoes and onion. I only had grape tomatoes on-hand, which made things a bit more topple-y than I wanted, but whatever. Tomato, tomata.

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Finally, I added the alfalfa sprouts and topped it with the sliced pickle. NO REGRETS WHATSOEVER.

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I added mustard on the top slice before completing the sandwich, but it’s optional. The sandwich is still amazing without it.

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And voila! In 3 easy steps, you’ve got yourself a lovely gourmet sandwich.

 

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Happy devouring!

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Gluten-Free Balsamic Veggie Wrap

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July 12, 2013 By

Members of the gluten-free community get the crap end of the stick sometimes.

At Publix in Florida, they sell Goodbye Gluten wraps (not vegan, so I don’t eat them, but he enjoys them.)  Here in Mississippi, Matt and I spend quite a good chunk of time searching for gluten-free wraps at our local grocery store. We were really disappointed when we didn’t end up finding what we were looking for.

You know, sometimes, people in the GF community don’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen creating things that “normal” people find 20 varieties of in the grocery store, like GF wraps. If I’m feeling especially lazy that day, shouldn’t I have at least one option that I can just fall back on? It’s very frustrating sometimes.

With this recipe, we ended up settling with Corn Tortillas. It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, as I wanted something bigger and with a more flour-y taste, but at least we had something.

 

Despite the initial dilemma, these ended up tasting amazing. It tasted like sweet, sweet summer! The flavors blended nicely. These would be perfect for a picnic lunch, or perhaps a light dinner.

 

Gluten-Free Balsamic Veggie Wrap

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5-10 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings

 

Wrap Ingredients:

  • 1 package of your favorite tortillas
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 peach
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup grape tomatos, quartered
  • 1/2 cup edamame
  • 1 handful of natural almonds, halved
  • 1 handful of kale, chopped
  • vegan cream cheese (optional)

 

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs balsamic glaze
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

 

STEP 1: Begin by boiling your edamame. No exact measurements here. I just boiled some water and threw a couple handfuls of edamame in there. Boil for 3 minutes, drain, and set aside.

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STEP 2: Cut up all your fruits, veggies, and nuts!

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STEP 3: Create your balsamic glaze and whisk it up!

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STEP 4: If you’re using corn tortillas like I did, start a non-greased skillet on the stove with medium-high heat. Throw on your corn tortilla for 10 seconds on the first side, flip, and 5 seconds on the second side. Don’t get cocky with this or you’re tortilla will get burnt!

But don’t worry, there’s 50 more tortillas in the bag anyway, so play around with it and see what works for you and your stove.

Quick as a snake, swift as a deer.

Quick as a snake, swift as a deer.

 

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Good tortilla!

 

BAD tortilla!

BAD tortilla!

 

STEP 4: Begin building your masterpiece! If you’re looking for a more wholesome wrap, leave off the cream cheese. However, if you don’t mind splurging a bit, the cream cheese is an lovely addition.

 

Without cream cheese:

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With cream cheese:

 

Double Trouble! (glued with cream cheese)

Double Trouble! (glued with cream cheese)

 

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MMMMMMMM!

 

 

If you love the pet pics, here’s one I got while I was making my wraps. This is Nala, my roommates’ Rottweiler puppy. It’s so difficult to get a picture of this fiesty, wiggly girl, but here she is!

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“I can’t have a wrap?” 🙁

 

 

Happy cooking!

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