Friday, October 28, 2011

Healthy Joes: Sloppy Joes with a Twist!

Kids and kids at heart love Sloppy Joe sandwiches. Well here is a healthy vegan version of this classic sandwich filling that you can eat in a big bun, over pasta, over rice, or even alone! Its super yummy too!

Healthy Joes: How to Make this Artichoke Vegan Joes Mixture

2 tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
12 oz artichoke hearts (I used frozen)
12 oz veggie "ground beef"
1.5 cup tomato sauce
sea salt & pepper to taste

Heat vegan butter on medium heat in a skillet. Add artichoke hearts to skillet and cook until they are no longer frozen. Add veggie "ground beef" and cook until browned. Add in tomato sauce and heat until all ingredients are warm, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and serve in buns, over bread, or any other way you'd like. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rosemary Thyme Sweet Potatoes

This is a nice easy side that is packed with flavor! Rosemary and thyme go great together and the sweetness of the potatoes is a delicious combination. Yum!

Herbed Roasted Sweet Potatoes

2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced into think rounds
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
sea salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss together so the potatoes are coated well. Place rounds on a baking sheet or pan and bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tofurky Stuffed Mushroom Pizzas!

Maybe you don't want to eat so much bread all the time. But that doesn't mean you don't want to be Naughty! Or how about those frozen pizza snacks your kids have been seeing in the grocery store and possibly bugging you about. Maybe their friends eat them after-school and now your kids want them too. No worries, these tasty mushroom pizzas are bite-sized, have lots of protein from the Tofurky, and are still Dirty Vegan approved. You're gonna love these!

These are so fast and easy, this is definitely a great after-school or dorm room snack!

Tofurky Sausage Stuffed Mini Mushroom Pizzas

8 large stuffing mushrooms, de-stemmed
3 Tofurky Italian Sausages, chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup Daiya Mozarella Style Shreds (or vegan cheese of choice)

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Take your de-stemmed mushrooms and fill them all equally with chopped Tofurky Sausage. Place in a baking dish. Cover them with tomato sauce then sprinkle with Daiya cheese shreds. Bake in oven for 15- 20 minutes, or until cheese is melty. Enjoy!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dijon Maple Mustard Tofu Steak & Asparagus

For this dish, I was inspired by a recipe in a health magazine. The recipe in the magazine was in no way vegan, but I decided to make it vegan. I added my own spin to the asparagus and made the tofu totally Naughty. This is a quick and comforting meal that easily tastes like you just ordered it from some swanky restaurant in the city. Yum!

Before you get started, shortcuts: I used my TofuXpress to press the tofu into steaks. I also used Seeds of Change Ready-to-Eat Rice. They come in convenient pouches that pop right in the microwave for 90 seconds. I just discovered their products and am excited to try more of their stuff! I love the fact that they are organic and so far, from what I've seen, their rices are vegan friendly.

Dijon Maple Mustard Tofu Steak & Roasted Asparagus

For the asparagus:

1 bunch of asparagus (about 1 lb), trimmed at the woody ends
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
sea salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees. Toss asparagus, garlice, and oil in a pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 12- 15 minutes, or until tender. In the meantime...

For the Tofu Steaks:

1 container of firm tofu, drained & pressed to very firm texture
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp vegan butter
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp shoyu (or soy sauce)

Slice and cut tofu into small steak fillets (or to your desired size). Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat and place tofu steaks in. While they are sauteing, sprinkle the tops with salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until slightly browned, flip, and season the opposite side with salt and pepper. Cook another 3 minutes. While that side is cooking, place vegan butter and maple syrup in a small bowl and melt (if you choose to do this in the microwave oven, it takes about 20 seconds). Add dijon and shoyu to the melted mixture and wisk together to create your sauce. Flip over tofu steaks and drizzle half the sauce on them. Cook for about 1 minute, then flip and do the same on the other side with the remaining sauce. Serve over rice or grains (like Seeds of Change, only takes 90 seconds!) with asparagus on the side. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tofurky Salad

Ok, so this tastes Naughty, and has the illusion of being real Dirty, but by adding only half the vegan mayo and the rest creamy hummus, its not that bad. Also, sneaking 1/4 cup of broccoli is a tricky way to get your kiddos to eat it in this really delicious tasting salad. The Tofurky really makes it easy to sneak in some healthy stuff. Shhh, it's our secret, the kids will never know!

Dirty Vegan Tofurky Sausage Salad

2 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
1 Tofurky Italian Sausage, chopped
2 tbsp hummus
2 tbsp vegan mayo
1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp capers

In food processor (or by hand), chop celery, broccoli, and Tofurky, place in a mixing bowl. Process hummus, vegan mayo, and dijon mustard to make a dressing. Mix the dressing into the chopped salad. Sprinkle in capers and serve over a bed of greens or on toasted bread. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yummy "Chick'n" with Asparagus & Beans Recipe

"Chick'n" with Asparagus & Beans

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
sprinkle dried Italian seasoning
sprinkle dried thyme
sea salt & pepper to taste
1 cup veggie "chick'n" (I used Trader Joe's Chicken'Less Strips)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 15oz cans kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 tbsp Shoyu (or tamari or soy sauce)
12 oz frozen asparagus spears, defrosted & chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 cups vegetable broth

sprinkle dried Italian seasoning
sprinkle dried thyme
sea salt & pepper to taste

Combine first 6 ingredients in container and let marinade in refrigerator. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat and cook garlic and onion until aromas are released. Add kidney beans, shoyu, asparagus, vegetable broth, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for about 20 minutes. Add your mari
nated "chick'n", and cook until warmed. Season with salt and pepper and serve over rice, pasta, with crispy bread, or over greens. Enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tofurky Makes My Day Better

"How delightful to find a friend in everyone." -Joseph Brodsky

This next recipe uses a great product from my friends at Tofurky. I love all of their products so very much! Their products contain whole soy that is non-GMO and I just adore them. The first Thanksgiving that I was vegan, their Feast was such a special delight - and still is to this day! Out of all the veggie "meat" products out there, Tofurky will always be my favorite and hold a special place in my heart, especially since I feel so great after eating it. Cheers!

A Festive Way to Eat Your Tofurky Sausage!

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet potato, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables of your choice
1 tsp garlic herb seasoning of your choice
1 package (4 sausage links) Tofurky Italian Sausage
1 tsp Shoyu (or Tamari/ Soy sauce/ Bragg's Liquid Aminos)

Heat olive oil in medium skillet and add sweet potato. Mix and add vegetable broth. Cover with lid and simmer for 5 minutes on medium/ high heat. Then mix in frozen vegetables, sprinkle with garlic herb seasoning, cover with lid, and simmer again for about 5- 7 minutes, or until sweet potato is soft. Slice Tofurky Sausage and mix into skillet with shoyu. Cook until mixture is thoroughly warmed. Serve alone, over rice, or with a side salad. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

How to Eat Vegan in the Apocalypse: a Home-style Recipe

Have you ever seen that show Apocalypse man?
All he really eats are canned foods he finds around the abandoned city, things like cat food. He never addresses being a vegan, natural foodie during the Apocalypse. So today, I'm going to give you a great idea for a comforting vegan meal, that is Apocalypse-friendly!

As soon as the shit goes down, head to the natural foods store. I'm sure no one will be there, because everyone figures there will be an abundance of grass and twigs outside after the catastrophic event takes place. It will be our little secret that there is actual good food in there - wink, wink. Grab a bunch of those pouches with brown rice, quinoa, and grains (you know the ones that say, "microwave in the pouch for 90 seconds"), then head to a Target or Walmart (the grocery is too obvious of a choice - really who is going to go to a place that sells targets and walls?). You might have to fight others in the bean isle, but once you win, grab yourself a can of black beans. In that same isle, you will find canned vegetable mixes that are natural and seasoned, especially if you are in a Super Target or Walmart. In my mock-Apocalypse scenario, I chose a can of seasoned okra, tomatoes, and corn. If you are concerned with your health still, read the back of the label, some cans of seasoned mixed vegetables do contain preservatives. The same goes for the black beans. If at this point, you don't give a flying fudgesicle about keeping your beautiful vegan body healthy, do what you gotta do. Now, you will have to find a bowl, which won't be hard in a store like this. Like really, who would be looting bowls at a time like this? Find one that is fire-safe. *Please note, the Dirty Vegan does not encourage or condone looting. We are talking about a fictional scenario that probably will not occur in our lifetimes (insert foot in mouth if the Mayans are right, hello 2012!)* Now is probably a good time to get a can opener and hang on to it. You will really need this now. Also, it might be a wise idea to cruise down the camping isle and get yourself some supplies. *Side note: After you enjoy your delicious home-style meal, you will want to get to a library. At the library, grab a book that tells you what plants are edible and safe to eat, you will be needing this also* Find a safe place for your fire. Set up one of those hangy things that you see hobos heat their beans on. Start a fire to cook your food. Don't ask me how to do this, I'm not a boy scout, I'm a vegan food blogger. Open pouch of grains, can of beans, and can of mixed seasoned vegetables, and combine in bowl. Heat food to your desired temperature, and enjoy!

Here is the full recipe:

Survival Home-style Vegan Meal #1 (yes, this means I will be doing another one of these ridiculous posts in the future)

2 cups rice/ quinoa/ grain combination
1 15oz can black beans
1 15oz can seasoned mixed vegetables

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Saute a Cozy Side!

Broccoli Rabe (also known as Broccoletti or Rapini), is a neat green that is in the mustard family and the same species as turnip. This vegetable has leafy greens that feel almost like a cross between kale and collard greens when raw. They also contain small bunches that resembles little broccoli bundles. Broccoli Rabe is chock full of vitamins and minerals like Vitamins A, C, and K and also contains iron, calcium, and potassium. These delicious and nutritious greens are commonly made by Italian families like mine! So I did grow up eating this wonderful food. This is an easy way to prepare Broccoli Rabe while making the most of its flavors and keeping some of it's bitterness (and boiling out some of it). No one likes overly bitter veggies. Think bitterness similar to the way arugula is. You're going to want to keep it so its pleasant, not overpowering. I compare the bitterness to arugula, but definitely not the flavor - Broccoli Rabe is in a flavor class of it's own - uniquely delightful!

Try My 'Easy Italian Style Sauteed Broccoli Rabe' Recipe

1 bunch of Broccoli Rabe (about 4 cups)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
Sea salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Trim the woody or tough ends of the broccoli rabe, and place it in the water once it's boiling. Boil for 5- 8 minutes, or until stems are noticeably softer. Drain and place in a saute pan with olive oil and garlic. Saute for about 10 minutes on medium heat. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a side with tofu, rice, or to your favorite dish. Broccoli rabe also tastes great served over pasta. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Indian inspired Dish

I love the spices and flavors used in Indian cooking, and I was inspired by Indian cuisine while creating this recipe. I thought of dishes like Keema and ones with Paneer when making this vegan version.The ingredient's flavors all complement each other, making this meal tasty and mouthwatering!

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 14oz container firm tofu, drained & cubed
6 small carrots, chopped
1 15oz can sweet peas
26oz tomato sauce
2 cups unsweetened vegan milk (you can use coconut milk if you want that flavor, I used almond milk to make this sauce thick and creamy)
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
sea salt to taste

Heat large skillet (I use a wok when working with big recipes and lots of ingredients like this) with olive oil and saute onion on medium heat until it begins to soften. Add tofu and saute until tofu browns. Add carrots and saute until they begin to soften. Add the remainder ingredients and heat until bubbly. Let simmer for 30 minutes on low heat. Season with salt to taste. Serve over rice and/ or with naan. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Polish Inspired Dish

For this recipe, I was inspired by Polish dishes like Kapusta and Bigos. This meal is so warm and cozy! Perfect for that comforting meal we all crave after a long day. It is so easy to prepare, so that is a bonus also! 

Dirty Vegan Cabbage Dish

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 large head cabbage, sliced
6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 bay leaf
pinch dried thyme
9 oz veggie "meat" (I used Gardein Beefless Tips)
sea salt & pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Saute onion for about 2 minutes, then add mushrooms. Once soft, begin to add cabbage, tomato paste, water, bay leaf, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally until cabbage is soft, then add veggie "meat". Saute on low until cabbage and meat are soft and well cooked. Enjoy with bread, over pasta or rice, or alone. Yum!

 Warm, comforting, and totally delicious!
W zdrowym ciele, zdrowy duch!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Crockpot Eggplant Stew

Nothing is more comforting in the fall, than a nice warm stew. And nothing is easier than cooking food in a crockpot. If you are in favor of yummy, vegan comfort food but are low on spare time, this recipe is for you! 

28oz can tomatoes, (chunky w/ liquid)
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 large eggplant, cut into chunks
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt & pepper to taste
(Top w/ vegan cheese if desired)

Place all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for 5- 6 hours, or on high for 3- 4. Serve with crusty bread or with vegan cheese sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

MoFo Du Jour? Roasted Butternut Squash!

"Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter." -Carol Bishop Hipps

I haven't met many people who don't favor, or at the very least, appreciate fall. It is such a wonderful season, especially in New England. As a writer, vegan chef, and baker, I love all seasons, especially autumn! Autumn allows me to do what I do best, sit in big cushy chairs, at home or at coffee shops, work on my literary projects, and also bake and cook to my heart's content! The heat of the summer is no longer a challenge to me. As a vegan chef, I do indeed enjoy all seasons, especially for what they can bring to my culinary creativity. However, autumn is in my heart all year long. This next recipe can be enjoyed other times of the year, but I'm sure you will treasure this in the fall, as do I. Just the smell of this squash roasting in the oven, lifts the spirits and sends comfort and holiday feelings all throughout the home. Now, that is what I love about what I do!

Fall For My 'Buttery Maple Roasted Butternut Squash' Recipe

1 butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
sea salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp vegan butter (like Earth Balance), melted
2 tbsp pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean and dry your squash then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds then drizzle with olive oil. Spread olive oil into the flesh side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place squash fleshy side down, in a baking pan. Roast for 45- 60 minutes, or until squash can be easily pierced all the way through. Carefully remove from oven and turn over, fleshy side up (a good quality pair of tongs and using oven mitts works well for turning these over). Mix melted vegan butter and maple syrup together in a small bowl. Then drizzle that all over the fleshy cut part of the squash. Roast for an additional 5 more minutes. You can scoop this out when it cools some, mash, or serve it right out of the skin (like I did)! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Green Stir Fry

I should have saved this one for St. Patrick's Day...but what the hell!

Go Green With My 'Green Tofu Curry Stir Fry' Recipe

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cups frozen snap peas
1 container of tofu, drained and cubed
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 tsp curry powder
2 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or Tamari, Shoyu, or Soy Sauce)
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch of sea salt

In a wok or skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Saute onion until aromas are released and onion begins to soften, then add frozen snap peas. Cook snap peas until thawed, stirring frequently. Next add tofu and stir fry for about 3- 5 minutes before adding spinach, Bragg's and pepper. Combine and stir fry for 3- 5 minutes. Season with salt before removing from heat. Serve over rice or noodles. Enjoy!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Food Tastes Better With Vegan Cheese In It

"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces, just good food from fresh ingredients" -Julia Child

Cheezy & Crispy Vegetable Casserole

10 button mushrooms, quartered
1 small yellow squash, chopped
1 small green zucchini, chopped
 10 kalamata olives, sliced
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb wheat pasta, cooked al dente
1 cup vegan mozarella shreds (I used Daiya)
4 tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
1/4 cup vegan cream (I used Silk Original)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup french fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add first nine ingredients into a large casserole dish. Drizzle olive oil then top with french fried onions. Bake for 30 minutes covered. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until casserole is melted, bubbly, and topping is crisp. Enjoy!

Rich, creamy, cheezy - is there anything more divine?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pan Roasted Veggie Side Dish!

Pan Roasted Country Kale & Tofu

2 cups kale, torn into small pieces
1 cup tofu, drained & cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Aminos (or Soy Sauce/ Tamari/ Shoyu)
sea salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in skillet pan on low/ medium heat. Pan roast kale in skillet, stirring occasionally until kale begins to turn bright green and vibrant. Add tofu and roast until tofu begins to brown on one side. Add Bragg's and pan roast until kale is slightly crisp and tofu cubes are nicely golden coated. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

I mixed some brown rice with mine. This side dish would be perfect for fall and winter dinners or during the holidays! Yum!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Give It To Me Toasty For Breakfast!

Now this is eating breakfast like a queen!

Banana Foster French Toast

Vans Cinnamon French Toast Sticks
2 bananas, sliced
3 tbsp vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
3 tbsp pure maple syrup, plus extra for drizzling
cinnamon to taste

Prepare french toast according to package directions. They do not recommend stove top, however I did mine in a fry pan and lid on low heat with cooking spray, until defrosted, then turned the heat up and lightly browned them. In a small sauce pan, combine bananas, vegan butter, and maple syrup. Cook until caramely. Top french toast with sweet banana sauce, drizzle some maple syrup over it all, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Bon appetit!

Carte blanche!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vegan Frittata For Everyone!

A simple frittata recipe that just tastes complicated! And without the use of vegan cheese (making our own creaminess with tofu), this is a dish that anyone can make using ingredients from any grocery store. Easy recipe with spectacular flavor, now that's Naughty!

Veggie Tofu Frittata

2 cups fresh spinach
1 tbsp garlic, minced 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 yellow zucchini, chopped
1 green zucchini, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 container tofu, grilled & cubed
1 container tofu, drained
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried thyme
sea salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Place first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. In a food processor, blend one container of tofu with about half of the vegetable broth, reserve the rest of broth. Add blended tofu to the large bowl. Mix everything well then add in the rest of the broth, oil, and the seasonings. Mix again until everything is well combined, then transfer to a greased casserole dish. Bake covered for 30 minutes, uncovered for an additional 25 minutes, or longer (until firm). Let frittata settle. Use a spatula to cut/ scoop out to serve. Enjoy!

Yum! This tastes amazing as-is...but I eat mine with ketchup because that's what Dirty Vegans do!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Family Pleasing Creamy & Cheezy Bake

"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." -James Beard

Don't we all just love easy and cheezy? Bakes are super simple, come together nicely, and can be popped right into the oven until they are ready to serve. They also provide great leftovers for the next day's lunch! Another thing about casseroles is that you can easily make them a balanced meal. This recipe has protein in your tofu and beans, lycopene in your tomatoes and paste, healthy carbohydrates in your rice (I used brown rice to be extra healthy), and lots of other healthful ingredients. You can add more or different veggies depending on what you have on hand. At any rate, this is a great meal that tastes absolutely sinful!

Savor My Family Friendly 'Cheezy Rice & Beans Bake' Recipe

1 cup cooked rice
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
8oz tofu, drained & cubed
15oz can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
1 package (2 cups) Daiya Pepper Jack Shreds "cheese"
1 6oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup Veganaise
2 tbsp Silk Original Creamer
1/ 2tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp chili powder

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Add all ingredients to a casserole dish. Combine very well and level with a spoon. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then an additional 15 minutes uncovered. You may want to serve this with a dollop of your favorite complimentary condiments, like guacamole, Tofutti Sour Cream, or pico di gallo. Enjoy!