March 20, 2015 By This Vegan Girl
Are you allowed to eat cupcakes for breakfast? I guess so, but it’s highly frowned upon. If you tell someone that you ate a cupcake for breakfast, you will probably get scolded for it. It’s the dessert label, or high sugar content, that turns people off.
Despite the sugar that exists in both pancakes (with maple syrup) and yogurt, they’re both considered to be acceptable breakfast options. I suppose the fat and sugar content isn’t as high in these two items.
What if I were to tell you that you can have your cupcake (for breakfast), and eat it, too (without being judged or berated by others)?
If you have pancake batter, a mini muffin tin, an oven, and yogurt, you have the makings of breakfast cupcakes!
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 17 minutes
Yield: 48 mini cupcakes
For the Pancake Batter:
- 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
For the Yogurt “Icing”:
You may use any yogurt you’d like, but I recommend nondairy Greek yogurt (you’ll see why later).
I created my own concoction. If you’d like to use my recipe (as seen in pictures), use the following ingredients:
- one container of nondairy Greek plain yogurt (I used the brand So Delicious)
- 4 small strawberries
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
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 4: Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
Slowly add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients until full incorporated.
Step 5: Pour the batter into the mini muffin pan.
Grease up your mini muffin pan. Use a tablespoon to scoop the batter into the mini muffin pan. Fill the cup 3/4 of the way.
Place this in the oven at 350°F for 17 minutes. There’s a good chance that they’ll look like perfect puffballs of golden perfection when they’re done cooking.
Step 6: Gather/create your yogurt icing.
If you just plan on plopping your yogurt on top, that’s perfectly legal! I guess all you have to do is take it out of the fridge.
If you plan on using the yogurt from the package, there are two roads you can take. To Greek, or not to Greek? That is the question.
If you want a more “glazed” cupcake (as seen in my photos), go for non-Greek yogurt. If you’re looking for the normal cupcake look, go with Greek yogurt. Here is a picture from my Instagram of an instance where Greek yogurt was used with minimal modifications:
That looks cool, too, right? It’s all about preference.
However, I must stress that if you plan on using the yogurt icing recipe I have provided on this page, you MUST use Greek yogurt. If you use non-Greek yogurt, the result will be way too runny. The strawberries carry water that that waters down the Greek yogurt.
For those of you using the yogurt icing recipe, place all ingredients in a blender and mix until fully incorporated. While waiting for the pancakes to finish cooking, place in the refrigerator or freezer after mixing to cool down the mixture. The pancakes might be a little warm, and we don’t want the warmness of the pancakes to melt the yogurt even more.
Step 7: Put the icing on the cupcake!
Wait for your pancakes/cupcakes to fully cool down before placing on your icing. You don’t want the yogurt to melt even more on top due to the heat.
Use this opportunity to get creative here. You can choose the classic frosted look:
You can dip your pancakes into a yogurt pool:
You can even dress them up elegantly with a topping of your choice:
This recipe allows for you to get inventive and use your imagination! If you’re on Instagram or Facebook, take a picture of your breakfast cupcakes and tag me in your post so I can see your unique result!
Connect with me!
November 21, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
As a vegan, you sometimes have to take a deep breath and go to a normal restaurant. I met up with my sister at a local restaurant in Stuart, FL at a restaurant in the downtown area called Eighteen Seminole Street Italian Bistro. Italian restaurants are almost completely safe for vegans, as you can always settle for spaghetti and veggies if they don’t have much to offer.
They had a dish called Linguini Puttanesca, which was the only menu option I could eat. I’ve never had it before. Linguini alla Puttanesca is literally “linguini of the whore” in Italian. Well, smack my ass and call me a whore, because this dish was fantastic. It was salty and tangy, which was a fun change from the plain ol’ spaghetti sauce I’ve been eating for 25 years.
Here is my version, “fattened up” with some lentils to give it a meaty texture. This one is A+ husband/boyfriend approved. It’s so easy to make: in fact, this recipe is only broken up into 3 steps! Enjoy!
Linguini Puttanesca in a Meat(less) Sauce
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the food processor:
- 4 Roma tomatoes, quartered
- 3 oz, or 1/2 cup, tomato paste
- 3 tbs lemon juice
- 1 tbs coconut oil
- 1 tbs, or 1 sprig, fresh oregano
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 pound of pasta (I use Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Quinoa Linguini)
- 1 15oz can of lentils, drained
- 1 cup of Castelvetrano olives, pitted and cut into thirds
- 2 tsp capers
- basil, for garnish (optional)
Step 1: Make the tomato sauce.
Throw in all the food processor ingredients into your food processor. Mix until fully incorporated.
Traditional Italian cuisine dictates that Puttanesca is made with olive oil. However, since Puttanesca is a salty dish, I decided to use coconut oil instead of olive oil. The coconut oil has a subtle sweetness that can help offset the tang a bit, so it complements the sauce well. Not only that, but apparently, olive oil doesn’t do well in high heat, but coconut oil does. I’ve been trying to mix up my recipes to only use olive oil in raw dishes.
Once your sauce has been mixed, pour the sauce into a sauce pan set at medium heat. When the sauce starts bubbling, set heat to low.
Step 2: Cook your pasta.
In a separate pot, boil your pasta until cooked. Strain and rinse your noodles when finished. Set aside, if necessary. Normally, my everything seems to be finished by the time the noodles are finished cooking, so I jump right in and serve!
Step 3: Add the olives, capers, and lentils to your sauce.
I’m an olive snob; I only buy my olives from Whole Foods’s olive bar. These were the olives that turned me on to liking olives in the first place, so it’s been hard to endure low-quality olives when I’ve already had the best. Therefore, I refuse to buy my olives anywhere else. Their Castelvetrano olives are out of this world!
I also buy my lentils canned. It sounds sketchy as f, but it’s actually not that bad! The lentils are organic and come in a non-BPA lining can, so I trust the source. A sad amount of attempts were made (years of trying) to try and transform dried lentils into that texturally-perfect plump consistency, but it never, ever worked for me. Ever since I’ve found organic canned lentils in my local grocery store, it has changed my life. It’s quick, easy, delicious, and perfect for a perpetual lentil failure like me.
Anyway, add in the olives, capers, and lentils. Mix. Cover the sauce and let it sit until your pasta is ready.
Step 4: Serve!
Pour some sauce on top of the pasta, garnish, and serve!
Before you go…
- Follow me on Instagram @thisvegangirl, where you’ll see my day-to-day meals and snacks. Use the hashtag #thisvegangirl if you happen to make this meal and take a picture of it. I’d love to see your result!
- Like me on Facebook to my This Vegan Girl page to get blog updates.
- Follow my board on Pinterest to see what’s inspiring me.
September 26, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
When it comes to my own recipes, sometimes I need to get Pinspired. I follow a lot of vegan recipe boards on Pinterest, which allow me to step out of my comfort zone and make something I’ve never made before. These recipes aren’t for my blog, though. It’s just for me to enjoy.
However, there are the rarest of occasions when I step out of the vegan realm, put on my big girl pants, and reluctantly creep into a scary world: the vague search option Food & Drink. Anyone who is vegan knows that just looking at the Food & Drink option on Pinterest without anything in the search bar is very, very difficult. The worst, even. Recipes oozing with cheese and countless amounts of other options I can’t indulge in flood my feed.
But there’s a method to my madness: the Barney Stinson in me is bored and wants to challenge himself by looking for something to veganize.
Sure enough, a few days ago, I came across this famous pin from The Kitchen is My Playground:
They’re called Individual Veggie Quiche Cups To-Go. Woah! That’s cool! My Gluten-Free Pancake Bites have probably been my most popular recipe to-date, so I am a huge fan of the cute little to-go breakfast treats! Unfortunately, the quiche recipe above has egg and cheese in it.
Challenge accepted, I told myself.
My first attempt at the recipe you are about to see was a huge success. Don’t you love it when that happens? Who knows… maybe I’m just getting better at this stuff!
Anyway, I’m very impressed with the taste and texture of these Quiche Bites. I can picture them as being an awesome hors d’oeuvre. I just relocated to a new Florida city, so I’m thinking about making these when I attend my first vegan potluck!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40-45 minutes (depending on which oil you use)
Yield: 24+ mini quiches
For the food processor:
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbs grape seed oil or coconut oil
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 12oz package of extra firm tofu, cubed
To (finely) chop:
- 1 cup spinach (or any dark leafy green)
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 cup mushroom
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup green onion
Step 1: Blend the food processor ingredients.
You want to start out with the cashews. Just the cashews. My food processor is pretty weak, so here are the results it yielded:
After that, add all the other food processor ingredients (oil, milk, nutritional yeast, salt, smoked paprika) but the tofu. We’ll save the tofu for last.
As far as oil preference, I’ve found that different oils produced a different quiche. If you’re looking for a light, airy quiche, use grape seed oil. The batch containing coconut oil was more moist and hearty, so if that’s what you’re all about, use coconut oil. The ones photographed here contained coconut oil, but I’ll admit that I prefer the taste/texture/results of grape seed oil in this recipe.
Now, what I like to do with the tofu is plop in the cubes while the food processor is turning. I don’t know if it does anything special, but I like to think that it’s less overwhelming for my appliance.
Once all the tofu is mixed in, you’re going to be left with a strange concoction: the base! Pour/gloop the base into a big bowl. Set aside.
Step 2: Place chopped veggies in the bowl.
If you haven’t chopped your veggies yet, now is the time to do so.
I’m proud to share that my green onions are doing very well! I’m using them for today’s recipe. All of these have grown just by placing the white bulbs in soil… that’s it!
Just to let you all know, you don’t have to do use these particular vegetables. You might want to take this opportunity to clear out the refrigerator by using veggies you have on-hand. In my previous batch, I used arugula instead of spinach, white onion instead of green, and didn’t use any mushrooms at all. It still tasted marvelous. Use whatever you’ve got, and I’m sure it’ll be yummy.
Once your vegetables are chopped, place them in the same bowl as your base. Mix.
Step 3: Pour and bake.
I need you all to know that I used a mini muffin pan for these Quiche Bites. Using a regular muffin pan will not yield the same fantastic results; it’s too heavy and thick, causing the quiche to fall apart. However, if you have a round pie dish lying around, you could probably yield some nice results from that.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Get out your mini muffin pan. I didn’t use muffin cups for this recipe, but hey, that’s up to you. Also, I didn’t grease my muffin pan, as the mixture has enough oil in it to moisturize the pan with minimal stickiness.
Take a tablespoon and try to neatly spoon your mixture inside the divots. Here was my best attempt at cleanliness:
I really, really wanted to only do only one batch of these, so I stuffed and stacked them high. If you have enough patience to do another batch, by all means, do that. You’ll get to see my results in a few seconds, anyway.
If you used olive oil or grape seed oil, your bites should be ready in 40 minutes.
If you used coconut oil, bake them for 45.
Take them out and let them cool down for 5 minutes. They’ll seem a little moist when you first take them out, but the cooling process will help them harden a bit.
Step 4: Spoon out quiche bites and enjoy!
Actually, I “forked out” my quiches (with a fork). It won’t be perfect, but that’s the glamorous life of someone who doesn’t like to buy cupcake cups!
These little babies are SO GOOD! They’re the perfect breakfast treat for those of us who miss omelets!
If you decide to make the best decision of your life and try these out, make sure you let me know how your dish turned out! You can comment below, tell me on Facebook, or use the hashtag #thisvegangirl on Instagram. I update the blog once a week, but I post on Instagram several times a day. Also, you can follow my board on Pinterest. I post my own recipes there, but I also post other recipes that tickle my fancy.
August 31, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
If you care about something, you want to improve it and make yourself better, right? For me, this blog is a constant reminder of that. I get to see how far I’ve come with not only vegan cooking, but cooking in general. In fact, some of my earlier posts are a bit embarrassing for me to look at.
On that note, here is a specific recipe in particular that I’ve made slight improvements to over the past year, and that’s the Buffalo Quinoa Salad recipe. This is a staple recipe in our household, as it’s one of Matt’s favorites. This version is less processed, less work, and more delicious. You can’t argue with that!
Buffalo Quinoa Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes (mostly completed during cook time)
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
For the Tempeh Tenders
- 1 8oz package of tempeh, diced
- 4 tbs Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo wing sauce
- 1/3 cup GF vegan breadcrumbs
- 1 15oz can of garbanzo beans
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 cup celery, sliced
- 1/2 cup white onion, diced
- 1 cup quinoa
- your favorite hummus
- Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo wing sauce (for drizzling and such)
Step 1: Prepare and roast chickpeas.
STEP 1: Preheat oven to 400°F. Drain the chickpeas and pat them dry. Get an oven pan oiled and ready, place chickpeas onto the pan, and dress them with 1 tbs of olive oil. The ONE TABLESPOON is crucial, people. If you add more, your chickpeas will turn out either too mushy or burnt. Move your fingers along the tops of the chickpeas until every chickpea is coated with a bit of oil.
Now, you’re ready to place them in the oven for about 50 minutes. Your result should be crunchy, roasted chickpeas. It’s a great GF crouton, and way more nutritious!
Step 2: Prepare and cook tempeh tenders.
Here is a step that I’ve changed about the previous recipe that will save you lots of time, is less messy, and produces better-quality results. Plus, it’s more fun this way, as dancing with food is involved.
Take your diced tempeh and place it in a tupperware container. Next, pour in the buffalo wing sauce and GF bread crumbs. Put the top on the tupperware container and shake it up! Dance and have fun with your tenders.
When you open up your container, perfectly-coated nuggets will be revealed, without getting a single finger messy!
Grease a baking sheet, pour the tempeh tenders on top, and place in the oven for 30 minutes. It’s okay to share the oven with the chickpeas. I do it all the time.
Step 3: Cook the quinoa.
Two cups of water and one cup of quinoa will go into a pot. Bring the pot to a bowl, lower the heat to simmer, and cover the pot for 15 minutes.
Step 4: Cut the vegetables.
With three things cooking at once, you’ll have one more task: cutting the vegetables. CHEF STATUS! Lol, just kidding. Real chefs start prepping their food at 8am.
Step 5: Combine ingredients in a big bowl.
As things start finishing up, start placing them in a big bowl. Mix it all together.
I like to save the hummus for “garnish” in my own bowl. I like to use Publix’s Jalapeño Cilantro hummus in this dish, as it amps up the kick. However, I’m sure every hummus, store-bought or homemade, works just fine here. Add a heaping tablespoon of your favorite hummus in your own bowl, mix, drizzle some hot sauce on top, and enjoy this heavenly dish.
Add a heaping tablespoon of your favorite hummus in your own bowl, mix, drizzle some hot sauce on top, and enjoy this heavenly dish.
I hope you all give this improved version a try!
August 15, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
Ever since I defied the “sucky vegan cheese” odds with my Quesadillas with Monterey Jack Cheese, I’ve been trying to think of new ways to use my invention.
This past week, I have been surrounded by children. My cousins (ages 11-12) came down to visit from Delaware, which allowed me to channel my inner tween. I also babysat my former colleague’s little girls (ages 6 and 8) for the week, for whom I was a personal chef of mini treats.
Surrounding myself around young ones all week put my mind in a juvenile place. It wasn’t surprising that by the middle of the week, I was having an intense craving for the ultimate American young’un meal: grilled cheese and tomato soup. And now, with my new discovery of melty vegan cheese, I could finally pull off this gem! Don’t forget to check out my Tomato Basil Soup, which goes perfectly with the grilled cheese sandwiches!
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: 4-6 grilled cheese sandwiches (depending on the size of the bread)
- 4 handfuls raw cashews (milled, OR soaked for 8 hours, then drained)
- 4 tbs nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- your favorite bread (I used Trader Joe’s gluten-free vegan Brown Rice bread)
- grape seed oil or coconut oil, for frying
Step 1: Blend the raw cashews.
Let’s get the most difficult part out of the way first, and that’s the cashew cheese. I have a NutriBullet, which has a milling blade that grinds cashews to a flour without the need for soaking. (Seriously people, buy a NutriBullet. They’re the best.) I believe a coffee grinder will do the job, as well. For the non-soakers, blend your cashews first before adding the rest of the ingredients.
For most of you, you will need to soak your cashews for 8 hours prior to making this meal. Once the soaking is over, drain your cashews. Make sure you have a strong blender or food processor to avoid chunks of wet cashews (ew). For the soakers, you’ll probably need blend the cashews and coconut milk first before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Step 2: Blend the rest of the cashew cheese ingredients.
Blend ingredients until you have a smooth, thick consistency. This cheese is really thick and oozy.
Step 3: Scoop cashew cheese onto your bread slices.
If you’re using frozen gluten-free bread like I did, you’re going to want to toast your bread before you scoop. Don’t cook the bread fully, but toast it just enough to evaporate the wetness and make it warm throughout. (Disregard if you’re not using frozen bread).
Lay out your bottom slices and scoop 2-3 heaping tablespoons of cashew cheese onto your bread. Our bread is small, so we use 2 tablespoons of cheese per sandwich. If you’re using bigger bread slices, feel free to use three, or even four, scoops of cashew cheese. With the back of your spoon, spread the cheese evenly throughout the bread slice.
Once the cheese is on the bottom slice, place your top slice on top of the cheese, making the sandwich kiss. Resist the urge to smoosh the sandwich down, as we don’t want the cheese to drip down the bread.
Step 4: Fry your sandwiches on both sides.
In a frying pan on medium-low or medium heat, pour about 2 tablespoons of oil onto the pan. Place your sandwiches onto the pan. I like to shake the pan around for a few seconds to help move the oil throughout the bottom of the bread.
Keep checking the face-down part of your bread every minute or so. When your bread becomes golden brown, flip the sandwich over. You might want to pour another tablespoon of oil onto the pan and mix it around again, just as an added measure to prevent break stickiness (the worst). Your bread should be ready to remove from the pan within the next few minutes.
Step 5: Slice in half and enjoy!
I paired this bread with my Tomato Soup recipe, and oh my goodness, it was a dream. It was the perfect thing to dip my sandwich into! I haven’t enjoyed this treat in so long, and it was such a treat to indulge in this cruelty-free delight.
If you make the grilled cheese sandwiches, I have an amazing Tomato Basil Soup (seen above) to pair it with! Also, don’t forget to take a picture of it, post it on Instagram, and use the hashtag #thisvegangirl so I can see it. I’d love to see your grilled cheese sandwiches and how you decide to present them. Speaking of Instagram, follow me! I post my day-to-day meals, if anyone gives a crap. I’m also on Facebook, too. Thanks for all your support!
Happy reminiscing (whilst cooking),
August 7, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
The word “porridge” makes me think of something I’d hate. Lumpy, tasteless nast. Perhaps a mix between grits (which I’ve never liked) and bland oatmeal, which sounds absolutely awful, doesn’t it?
I’m pleased to say that my quinoa porridge tastes nothing like that! It’s delightfully sweet, a hearty texture, and pleasantly filling.
So, what’s the difference between this and, say, the Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl? Not much, actually! If you want something more light, go with the smoothie bowl. If you want something more substantial and pie-tasting, then try the quinoa porridge.
Using vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg in this recipe make you feel like you’re enjoying a decadent pie. This is the perfect breakfast for someone who wants protein, has a sweet tooth, and wants something that won’t do damage on your figure.
Peach Pie Quinoa Porridge
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes (can be done during prep time)
Yield: 4 bowls (adjust measurements accordingly)
For the base:
- 6 bananas, frozen or ripe
- 4 peaches, pitted
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- coconut milk or almond milk
- 2-3 handfuls of dark leafy greens (optional)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 4 peaches, pitted and diced
- hemp hearts
- chia seeds
Step 1: Start cooking the quinoa.
Start by gathering one cup of uncooked quinoa and two cups of water. Pour these items together in a pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
I prefer cold porridge (like Mama Bear), so when my quinoa is done cooking, I’ll place my quinoa into the freezer for a few minutes to cool down. You might prefer hot porridge, in which case you would scoop your quinoa directly into your porridge bowl.
Step 2: Prepare the base.
In essence, the base is a smoothie. A mock-dessert smoothie, that is. Thankfully, only spices create the illusion that you’re indulging in a pie, so you don’t need to worry about added sugar.
First, add all the “base” contents EXCEPT COCONUT/ALMOND MILK into your blender or food processor. I personally use a NutriBullet for my smoothie needs. Add the milk last, filling it up until it almost reaches the top of the rest of the contents. You don’t want to add too little (too lumpy) or too much (too watery).
As I mentioned before, I like my porridge cold, so I’ll use frozen bananas and frozen dark leafy greens to make the base a little icy. If you’d prefer your porridge to be warm/hot, you might opt for non-refrigerated fruit and milk as your base.
The dark leafy greens are optional because they don’t do anything for the taste or texture. I throw in these greens to create the most nutritious breakfast I can. If that’s not your style, leave it out! The base will turn out a beautiful peach color instead of a deep green, which might look more appealing to the dubious guest.
Once the base is ready, I place my porridge bowls in the freezer to keep cold until everything is ready. Otherwise, pour your base in bowls and set aside.
Step 3: Prepare toppings.
Cut up your peaches and gather all your nuts and things. I didn’t have walnuts this day, so I opted to use chopped almonds instead. Personally, the almonds failed in comparison, as they were a bit too crunchy next to the other contents in the bowl. It’s all about preference, though. Use whatever nuts/seeds you have on-hand. Don’t be stressed if you don’t have everything, as all the added nuts and seeds are optional.
Step 4: Create your bowl and serve.
Each smoothie bowl should receive roughly 1/4 cup of quinoa, 1 sliced peach, 1 tbs hemp hearts, 2 tbs walnuts, and 1 tsp chia seeds.
I like to decorate my bowl to make it look as pretty as possible. Ultimately, you end up mixing everything together to get the full “porridge” effect, so the beauty is a fleeting moment in time. That’s why I take pictures of all my decorated bowls on Instagram. 🙂
By the way, the peach route isn’t the only way you can take this bowl. In fact, I’ve made this exact bowl with strawberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple, and raspberries. See what’s in-season and go for it! You can see my day-to-day bowls on my Instagram account. Follow me there and see what I’m eating for the day. Also, I’d love to get inspired by you. If you use one of my recipes, take a picture and use #thisvegangirl so I can see your creations!
August 1, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
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!
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes (can be done during cook time)
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 sides
- 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.
Step 2: Make the guacamole.
You have plenty of time to make the guacamole AND clean up the kitchen afterward!
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.
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!
Only three steps for a recipe?! That might be a This Vegan Girl record low!
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!
July 21, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
It’s a damn shame that after a year of blogging, I have yet to post a single hummus recipe. It’s better late than never, I suppose!
Ever since I’ve had a food processor, I have been stirring up hummus around once per week. It’s such a staple in my diet, I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it. I don’t think I’ve ever turned down hummus before, nor will I ever do such a thing. If I ever turn down hummus, please put me down to sleep, as I am bedridden, being fed by tubes, and most likely shitting my pants. I should put that in my will…
As I digress from that disturbing thought, let’s shift the topic over to something more pleasant: how easy it is to make hummus. Dump, mix, taste, mix some more, taste again, tweak, mix one more time, and serve. It’s the best snack/light lunch of all time.
I’ve been making the same recipe for a long time, involving chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon, garlic, and salt. Simple, but it was a bit plain. Spices are a vegan’s best friend, so I decided to, ya know, SPICE THINGS UP A BIT. The result was WOW! It definitely had the kick that was missing for so long. Thus, the classic hummus routine had become revamped.
If you’re looking to revamp your classic hummus recipe, give mine a mix!
Classic Hummus (Revamped)
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Yield: 2 cups of hummus
- 1 can of organic chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs tahini
- 4 tbs lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- hemp hearts as garnish (optional)
STEP 1: Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
STEP 2: Place all ingredients in the food processor.
STEP 3: Mix.
STEP 4: Enjoy.
Wow. That was the easiest entry I’ve ever written. Again, this is why hummus reigns supreme.
Don’t forget to add me on Instagram, which I update every day. Also, use the hashtag #thisvegangirl so I can see your renditions of my recipes you try!
July 7, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
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:
Forgive me, as I don’t have exact measurements on spreads and seasoning. Just spread and sprinkle, guys. It’s not that hard.
- Tofutti vegan cream cheese base
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- lemon juice
- spinach on top (I took a few leaves and tore them with my fingers.)
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
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.
- hummus base
- grape tomatoes, thinly sliced
- arugula leaves
- hemp hearts
This one was a spur-of-the-moment toast that I ended up loving! I used a kalamata olive hummus, which was divine.
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!