Stephanie Dreyer, Author at Stephanie Dreyer

Stephanie Dreyer, Author at Stephanie Dreyer

March 17, 2021
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(This post is sponsored. I received compensation to write this post but all opinions and ideas are mine alone.)

 

What’s for dinner? How about this Vegan Italian Mac and Cheese that you can prep on the weekend and place in the oven just 10 minutes before serving? If your family loves a hearty pasta dish but is looking for something new to add to the mix, this recipe is for you.
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There are a few steps to this Italian Mac and Cheese, but I promise it’s worth it! It starts by roasting a head of garlic, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms in a balsamic vinaigrette. While that’s doing its thing in the oven, boil and cook your pasta. While the pasta cooks, crumble some vegan Italian sausage into a skillet.

Italian Mac and Cheese 2

The creamy garlic “cheese” sauce is a quick blend of the roasted garlic, cashews and just a few other ingredients. Once the vegetables, pasta and sausage are done, transfer it all into a baking pan and pour the sauce over it. Give it a nice stir and pop it in the oven for just 10 minutes to heat through. With only 10 minutes in the oven, you can see why this is an easy weeknight meal pleaser if you assemble it all on the weekend. Bon appetit!


Vegan Italian Mac & Cheese

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 55 minutes 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

6 ounces cremini mushrooms

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 head (12 cloves) + 6 cloves garlic, divided

2 Tbsp olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp dried thyme

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

½ pound cavatappi 

14 ounces vegan Italian sausage

1 cup vegetable broth 

½ cup raw, unsalted cashews (Soak overnight if not using a high-speed blender.)

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

sea salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn

 

Directions:

  1. Set the Digital Toshiba Convection oven to “Roast” at 400ºF. 
  2. Clean and cut the mushrooms in quarters.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, thyme and pepper. Stir in the mushrooms and tomatoes, mixing well so that everything is coated. Transfer to a baking dish with the marinade. 
  4. Place the peeled cloves of 1 garlic head in a piece of foil and wrap it into a ball. Place it in a baking dish along with the vegetables. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring the vegetables every 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  6. While the pasta and vegetables cook, in a medium skillet cook the sausage, breaking it up with a spoon. (You may need to chop the sausage depending on the firmness of the product.)
  7. When the garlic is done roasting, prepare the sauce: In a high-speed blender, combine the roasted garlic, vegetable broth, cashews, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  8. When the pasta is done cooking, add the pasta and sausage to the pan with the mushrooms and tomatoes. Stir well to combine and pour the sauce on top. Mix well. 
  9. Set the Digital Toshiba Convection oven to “Bake” and cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and top with the fresh basil.

Italian Mac and Cheese 3

 

 

 


March 17, 2021
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(This post is sponsored. I received compensation to write this post but all opinions and ideas are mine alone.)

 

I can’t get enough of one-pan meals with my 10″ Skillet from Karibe. Just one pan to cook AND clean! This week, I experimented with a Pesto & Potato Vegan Frittata. With Spring upon us, I’m all about the pesto and it’s the perfect drizzle on this vegan frittata. I also coated the potatoes and roasted them with a bit of the pesto to seal in even more lemony herb flavor.

From the oven to table, this vegan frittata makes a beautiful centerpiece for a Sunday brunch, and could even be shared as part of a Spring celebration. Of course, you can also serve it easily during the week for a refreshing twist on breakfast for dinner. Batch cook the pesto on the weekend to speed up your weeknight dinner prep. Enjoy!


Pesto & Potato Vegan Frittata

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes 

Serves 4 to 6

 

Ingredients:

4 cups tightly packed fresh arugula

¼ cup walnuts 

6 large cloves garlic, divided

juice of 1 1/2 lemons divided

½ cup nutritional yeast, divided

½ tsp sea salt, divided (plus more to taste)

¼ cup + 1 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1 cup baby Dutch yellow potatoes (about 4-6), sliced in half

1 head lacinato kale, ribs removed and thinly sliced

1 14-oz package firm tofu

½ cup vegetable broth

¼ tsp turmeric

½ tsp garlic powder

zest of 1 lemon

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Add the arugula, walnuts, 4 garlic cloves, juice of 1 lemon, ¼ cup nutritional yeast and ¼ teaspoon of salt to a food processor. Mix on high until a loose paste forms.
  3. Stream ¼ cup of olive oil into the processor a little at a time while the machine is running. Taste and adjust the flavor as needed, adding more salt, nutritional yeast or lemon juice.
  4. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat, toss the potatoes with 2 Tbsp of the pesto. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a cast iron skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the remaining 2 cloves of garlic. Saute for 3 minutes and add the kale and a pinch of salt. Cook for 2 minutes until slightly wilted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. In a food processor, combine the tofu, vegetable broth, the remaining ¼ cup of nutritional yeast, turmeric, garlic powder, juice of half a lemon, zest and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Puree until smooth. 
  7. Reduce the oven to 350°F. Layer the potatoes in a single layer on top of the kale. Pour the frittata batter over the vegetables. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the pesto on top and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until cooked through and golden at the edges.
  8. Remove the skillet from the oven and cut into wedges. Serve with the remaining pesto. 

Vegan Frittata 3

 

 

 


January 19, 2021
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(This post is sponsored. I received compensation to write this post but all opinions and ideas are mine alone.)

 

I don’t believe you need a lot of fancy gadgets to be a good cook, but I do believe you need two key tools: a good knife and a good pan. When it comes to the former, I rely on five pieces of cookware for my daily cooking and weekly meal prep: a Dutch oven, large skillet, small skillet, saucepan and last, but certainly not least a cast iron skillet.

If you haven’t invested in a cast iron skillet yet, let me introduce you to Karibe and their 10″ Skillet. This is your new BFF. From stovetop to oven and straight to the table to serve, this skillet does it all – and it does so effortlessly and beautifully. There is nothing that I love more than a one-pan meal so this Lentil Bolognese Skillet Lasagna is my new go-to for effortless weeknight cooking. All three of my kids and my husband LOVED this meal so you know it’s a winner!

Skillet Lasagna

Plant-powered with layers of flavor, this Skillet Lasagna starts with a hearty bolognese sauce that gets its protein from lentils. The broth comes together in just about 10 minutes before nestling in the lasagna noodles. I used no boil, gluten-free noodles from Jovial Foods and no one could tell they were gluten-free. (Another win for me!)

I folded in three vegan cheeses, because…it’s lasagna! I’m a bit biased about brands when it comes to vegan cheese so take note of my choices (and no, they’re not paying me, they’re just the best in my opinion!). This Lentil Bolognese Skillet Lasagna is easy enough to whip up during the weeknight but sophisticated enough to serve for a special family dinner. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did.


Lentil Bolognese Skillet Lasagna

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes 

Serves 4 to 6

 

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable broth

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ onion, minced

1 14-ounce can lentils, drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp Italian herb seasoning

2 cups marinara

1 ½ cups vegetable stock

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

½ cup red wine

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

8 oz regular or gluten-free lasagna noodles, broken into large pieces

½ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

⅓ cup vegan ricotta (such as Kite Hill)

4 oz vegan mozzarella grated or sliced (such as Miyoko’s Creamery)

2 Tbsp grated vegan Parmesan (such as Violife Foods)

 

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil or vegetable broth in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until translucent.
  2. Stir in the lentils, Italian herb seasoning, marinara, vegetable stock, tomatoes and red wine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and nestle the lasagna noodles into the bolognese sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes. 
  4. Fold in the basil and vegan ricotta. Top with the vegan mozzarella and Parmesan.
  5. Broil for 3 minutes until golden brown.

Skillet Lasagna

 

 

 


September 21, 2020
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(This post contains affiliate links.)

 

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me where I get my protein, I’d be really, really rich! All kidding aside, “Where do you get your protein?” is probably the #1 question I get asked as a vegan. It’s also the thing that my well-meaning family and friends worry about most. Thanks to Robin Robertson, I can now hand them her new cookbook, The Plant Protein Revolution Cookbook and let them page through the over 85 mouth-watering recipes that showcase an abundance of plant-based protein, (along with a load of other nutrients and a ton of big, bold flavors).

This recipe for Indonesian Noodles with Tempeh is just one delectable example that offers robust protein that anyone, vegan or not, can enjoy. From snacks and appetizers, to soups, stews, salads, sandwiches and of course, main courses, Robin shatters the annoying myth that you can’t get enough protein on a vegan diet. Before sharing her fantastic array of recipes, she dives deep into the many sources of plant protein and how much we really need. This chapter is loaded with great information and a valuable resource for new and experienced vegans alike.

The subsequent chapters are a delicious round up of recipes by category. The “Stovetop Simmers and Skillets” is one of my favorites, including this recipe for Indonesian Noodles with Tempeh, as well as Tofu Ramen Bowls, Edamame Fried Rice and Quinoa and many others that I’ll be rotating into my family’s weekly meal plans very soon!

I also love the chapters on Protein-Rich Sweets (YUM!) and Plant Protein Basics that includes some general recipes for creating vegan meats, as well as some non dairy sour cream, mayo and cheese. Oh and did I mention there’s a whole chapter on breakfast? That chapter alone makes this cookbook worthy of adding to your collection!

Whether you are a vegan wondering where your protein will come from or an omnivore who wants to eat meatless on occasion but needs to know you’re getting plenty of protein, you can count on The Plant Protein Revolution Cookbook to deliciously deliver all the recipes you need.


Indonesian Noodles with Tempeh

(Recipe reprinted with permission from The Harvard Common Press)

Makes 4 to 6 servings

 

Also known as bami goreng, these flavorful noodles are a popular dish in Indonesia. Tofu or seitan can be used instead of tempeh, if you prefer. Substitute rice for the noodles and you will have a dish called nasi goreng.

 

Ingredients:

8 ounces (225 g) rice vermicelli (or use cooked ramen or cooked spaghetti)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) water, or 1 tablespoon (15 ml) avocado oil
8 ounces (225 g) Braised Tempeh (page 167), cut into 1/2-inch [1 cm] dice
1/3 cup (70 ml) tamari
1/2 cup (130 g) creamy natural peanut butter
2/3 cup (140 ml) low-fat unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 teaspoons sambal oelek or other Asian chili paste (depending on how spicy you want it)
1 teaspoon natural sugar
11/4 cups (295 ml) water
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
6 cups (420 g) chopped bok choy
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 cup (50 g) chopped scallions, white and green parts
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon (8 g) grated fresh ginger
1 cup (134 g) frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup (35 g) chopped unsalted dry roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons (8 g) minced fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. Soak the rice vermicelli in hot water until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain well, rinse, and set aside.
2. Heat the water in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add the tempeh and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the tamari and cook until the tempeh is browned on all sides. Remove the tempeh from the skillet and set aside.
3. In a food processor, combine the peanut butter, coconut milk, lemon juice, sambal oelek, sugar, and the remaining 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (64 ml) tamari. Add 1 cup (235 ml) of the water and process until smooth, then set aside.
4. Heat the remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper, bok choy, carrot, scallions, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 10 minutes.
5. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the peas and the reserved tempeh. Add the reserved noodles, stir in the sauce, and simmer until the noodles are hot and well coated with the sauce. Serve garnished with peanuts and cilantro.

Indonesian Noodles

 


September 20, 2019
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Sheet pan meals are a busy mama’s best friend! I love how easy it is to whip up dinner all on ONE PAN (and I’m not gonna lie…I love how easy the clean up is too!)

These fajitas are very versatile…use my veg combo below or roast your family’s favorite veggies with your go-to season rub. (I used Penzey’s Spices Southwest but they also have a Fajita blend that I love.) You can cook the veggies and tortillas all on one pan (just watch the cooking times for various veggies since some cook quicker than others). I added the tortillas last for just a couple of minutes at the end of the veg cooking time.

I served the fajitas with black beans. (I just spiced up a can of black beans with garlic powder, cumin, and salt on the stove top while the veggies roasted). Top them with guac and salsa and this Creamy Cilantro Pepita Dressing I blended up. I’d love to hear what you think of it.

Vegan Sheet Pan Fajitas with Creamy Cilantro Pepita Dressing

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the fajitas:

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 red onion, sliced into wedges
  • 2 Portobello mushrooms, sliced into strips
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp of your favorite fajita or taco seasoning
  • Flour tortillas
  • Guacamole and salsa, to serve (optional)

For the Creamy Cilantro Pepita Dressing

  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup cilantro, tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp dairy-free mayo (such as Wildwood Garlic Aioli)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread all of the vegetables on a sheet pan. Add the olive oil and seasoning. Using your fingers, rub the seasoning and olive oil into the vegetables. 
  3. Layout all of the vegetables on the pan (except the mushrooms) so that they aren’t overlapping. Roast for 10 minutes and add the mushrooms. Roast another 10 minutes. Add the tortillas (use another sheet pan if you can’t make room on the pan) and cook 2-3 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables are roasting, heat a small, dry frying pan. Add the pepitas and cook for 3 minutes until they are toasted (stir or shake the pan every minute or so).
  5. Add the pepitas and remaining dressing ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

 

 

 

 


September 3, 2019
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In my pre-vegan days, stuffed chicken breasts were one of my “go to’s” for a special dinner. I had mastered the art of creating a pocket in the breast, just large enough to stuff with sun-dried tomatoes, cheese or whatever else I was experimenting with for that meal. I may not eat chicken anymore but I still love the idea of a “pocket of surprise” inside my dinner entree! 

Gardein makes a Chik’n Scallopini that has become my chicken replacement when I want a traditional breast. The Scallopini isn’t thick enough to make a pocket inside but it’s thin enough to stack with something yummy and roll into a croquette (basically just a food roll that’s fried)! And that’s how I came upon this recipe that I prepared recently for Friday night Shabbat. Although I cook dinner every night, I like to do something a little extra on Friday nights and these Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Gardein Croquettes are just that. 

They look and sound fancy but they are surprisingly simple. I layered each Scallopini with a half slice of Violife Provolone (Kite Hill Ricotta would be equally delicious), a few baby spinach leaves and a couple of sun-dried tomatoes. Other options could include: olive tapenade, Kite Hill chive cream cheese, any of Miyoko’s cheeses, artichoke hearts…you get the idea. Have fun stacking and rolling!

You need to let the Scallopini defrost for about 20 minutes so it’s soft enough to flatten out and roll. But be careful to not let it thaw so much that the Gardein falls apart. I hope you enjoy these. Let me know what you think below.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Gardein Croquettes 

Makes 4 croquettes

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Gardein Chik’n Scallopini (4 pieces)
  • 2 slices Violife Provolone, sliced in half
  • 8 cups baby spinach 
  • 8-12 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 toothpicks
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

Directions:

  1. Thaw the Garden Scallopini for about 20 minutes until softened but still firm enough to handle without breaking.
  2. Layer each Scallopini with a cheese slice, then a few spinach leaves, followed by 2-3 sun-dried tomatoes. 
  3. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Roll each Scallopini and secure the middle with a toothpick.
  5. Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the croquettes and cook about 10 minutes, rotating to brown on all sides.
  6. Remove the Scallopini and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic. Cook 2 minutes until the garlic is browned. Add the remaining spinach and saute just until wilted.
  7. Spread the cooked spinach on a serving platter and place the croquettes on top. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

 


August 27, 2019
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If you want something quick and easy to serve up, this is your salad! With just 5 ingredients, you’ve got an easy and delicious meal that’s ready in 10 minutes!

Easy Pesto Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces farfalle
  • 1 container Trader Joe’s Basil, Cashew and Kale Pesto
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 3 hearts of palm, sliced

Directions:

  1. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients with the pasta. Stir to combine.

 

 

 

 


August 20, 2019
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These Teriyaki Seitan Skewers are a throwback to my childhood when my mom made a similar recipe using flank steak. I loved the smell of this marinade as it broiled over the skewers, which my mom lovingly twisted every couple of minutes under the broiler. We ate them over steamed white rice and alongside broccoli.

I’ve reinvented the recipe with seitan to create these Teriyaki Seitan Skewers that I think are better than what I grew up with (sorry, Mama!). I love it when I can veganize a recipe from my childhood with delicious results! A big bonus for me with this recipe is that my oldest daughter, Gaby, loved them and she’s not a seitan fan at all. Now, I just need to figure out a way to get her (and the rest of my kids) to eat tempeh!

This recipe is all in the marinade. It’s oil-free and I boil it after to serve alongside the skewers. The longer the seitan marinates, the tastier these Teriyaki Seitan Skewers become! I’d love to hear what you think of them so drop a note in the comments below. I hope your family enjoys them as much as mine did.

Teriyaki-Seitan-Skewers

Teriyaki Seitan Skewers

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Shoyu (or soy sauce)
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (such as Annie’s)
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 24 ounces seitan
  • 10-12 skewers

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the seitan in a sealable container or bag (I used my gallon reZip bag).
  2. Cut or break apart the seitan into skewer-like pieces or chunks. Add the seitan to the marinade. Marinate at least 2 hours.
  3. When ready to cook the seitan, soak the skewers in water (if not using metal) and slide the seitan pieces onto the sticks.
  4. Broil for 3 minutes on each side.
  5. Meanwhile, bring the marinade to a boil. Remove from the heat and serve alongside the skewers.
  6. Makes 10-12 skewers.

 

 

 


August 14, 2019
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Forget Taco Tuesday. I’m all about Tostada Tuesday with these Pinto Bean and Potato Salsa Verde Tostadas! The secret sauce is the jarred Salsa Verde from Trader Joe’s (it’s the best!). With layers of guacamole and crunchy, shredded romaine, the whole fam will go crazy for these.

Some habits die hard and my family comes to expect homemade pico de gallo so I made a batch for topping these Salsa Verde Tostadas. I love this alternative for Tuesday nights. It’s fresh, flavorful and surprisingly just as easy as tacos. I don’t know why I haven’t put tostadas in the rotation sooner. I kept things lighter than our usual fried taco shells by baking the tostadas.  

So much to celebrate with these Salsa Verde Tostadas. Here’s to Tostada Tuesday!

Salsa-Verde-Tostadas

Pinto Bean and Potato Salsa Verde Tostadas

Ingredients:

  • 2 Russet potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 14.5 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 jars (10 ounces) Salsa Verde (such as Trader Joe’s)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 3 avocados
  • 1 lime
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

Pico de gallo (optional, for serving)

Lime wedges (optional, for serving)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, scrub the Russets and cut into a small dice.
  2. Spread on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time.
  3. When the potatoes are done cooking, heat a large pan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent (about 4 minutes).
  4. Add the drained beans, potatoes, and the Salsa Verde. Simmer 10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, brush the tortillas lightly with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and cook at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  6. While the tortillas bake, make the guacamole: Mash the flesh of the avocados in a bowl with the juice of 1 lime. Season with salt to taste.
  7. To serve, spread a layer of guacamole across the tostada. Top with lettuce and 2-3 generous tablespoons of the pinto bean and potato topping. Top with more Salsa Verde and/or pico de gallo. Serve with lime wedges.

 

 

 


August 6, 2019
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This sounds super fancy but it’s really nothing more than a braise. It’s a one-pot meal (woo hoo!) and very simple to make. I served it with crusty French bread for sopping up the delicious juices. It pairs great with a crisp green salad drizzled with a light vinaigrette.

Artichokes and Chickpeas with Tomatoes in White Wine Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and sliced in half
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Crusty bread, toasted (for serving)

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pan. Add shallots and cook until soft and golden (about 2 minutes). 
  2. Add garlic and bay leaves. Cook until garlic is golden (about 2 minutes). Add the wine and simmer for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the tomatoes and cover. Cook 8-10 minutes until tomatoes are almost bursting.
  4. Add the artichokes and chickpeas. Cover and cook 4-6 minutes until heated all the way through. 
  5. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the fresh tarragon.
  6. Serve alongside toasted French bread.

 

 

 

 


July 30, 2019
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What’s better than a vegan BLT? How about BLT Avocados? These stuffed avocados are inspired by my love for the all the flavors in a traditional BLT: smoky tempeh bacon (Lightlife is my go to brand), juicy tomato, crunchy lettuce, creamy avocado, and tangy mustard. 

Stuffed avocados are one of my favorites. I mean, c’mon! Stuffed – avocado! I worship the avocado and could easily eat one a day (I actually did at one time in my life!) so turn it into a meal with a savory stuffing and I’m in!

These BLT Avocados are simple to make and are delicious alongside a big green salad or cup of soup. I added quinoa to the “stuffing” to make these stuffed avos even heartier. Check out the recipe below and let me know what you think.

BLT Avocados

Ingredients:

For the Avocados:

  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups romaine
  • 6 ounces tempeh bacon
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 4 large avocados

For the Mustard Vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tbsp mustard
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp grapeseed (or olive) oil

Directions:

  1. Combine the quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until quinoa is cooked through. Set aside to cool.
  2. While the quinoa cooks, finely chop the lettuce and bacon, and quarter the tomatoes. Add everything to the quinoa and stir to combine.
  3. Slice the avocados in half and remove the pits.
  4. Whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients.
  5. Using a spoon, slightly hollow out each avocado half by scooping around the sides and middle of it. You want to create enough space for the filling to be able to sit inside. Chop the scooped out avocado flesh and reserve.
  6. Spoon the filling into each of the avocado halves. Top with the reserved chopped avocado and drizzle the vinaigrette on top.

 

 

 

 


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These Falafel Burgers might just be my favorite Trader Joe’s meal hack yet! Using their falafel mix as a base, I added in some of my favorite Greek condiments to make a tasty burger (that tastes like an oversized falafel). I topped it with a quick DIY garlic dill aioli and easy pickled red onions for a Mediterranean burger that is bursting with flavor. I’d serve these with homemade steak fries, seasoned with Penzey’s Spice’s Greek seasoning and a drizzle of red wine vinegar. Yum! 

But these Falafel burgers aren’t just for inserting between buns or pita pockets – crumble them on salads, chop them in Mediterranean bowls or layer them in a Greek casserole. I’m excited about all the ways to use these in all kinds of ways! This recipe makes a big batch and they freeze well so store them to reinvent into new recipes again and again.

Falafel Burgers with Garlic Dill Aioli & Pickled Onions (Vegan)

Servings 30 burgers

Ingredients

For the Falafel Burgers

  • 1 box Trader Joe's Falafel Mix
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup spinach chopped
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives coursely chopped
  • 15 pita bread rounds

For the Garlic Dill Aioli

  • 1/4 cup dairy-free mayo such as Wildwood Garlic Aioli
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 clove garlic grated

Pickled Onions

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 red onion sliced in rings

Instructions

For the Falafel Burgers

  1. Combine the falafel mix and water. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. If batter is too thick, slowly add in up to a half cup more of water until desired consistency is reached.

  2. Stir the remaining ingredients into the burger "batter".

  3. Using a cookie scoop, spoon a full scoop onto a greased baking sheet. Flatten the scoop so that it looks like a hamburger patty. The patties will be looser than traditional veggie burgers, but they should stay together and not be runny. Continue with the rest of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. 

  4. To serve, slice a pita in half. Spread with the Garlic Dill Aioli. Insert a falafel burger and a few of the Pickled Onions. 

For the Garlic Dill Aioli

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well.

  2. For the Pickled Onions

  3. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside for at least 20 minutes (the longer, the better).


June 25, 2019
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As much as I love a good veggie burger, I love to change it up on the grill. Vegetable steaks are one of my go-to foods to cook up for a crowd. I keep it simple with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of a good salt and pepper. But, the magic happens in this chimichurri. My brother-in-law is from Argentina, where this is served tableside on everything. When he taught me how to make it, he didn’t use measurements. It was “a little of this and that.” I’ve refined the recipe just a tad so I can share it with you! My brother-in-law chops everything by hand but I suppose you could throw everything in a blender or food processor if you want to save yourself some prep time. I personally love the process of the chopping as the chimichurri all comes together. For maximum flavor, make it a couple of hours in advance to allow everything to meld together.

I love this on everything – grilled tofu, Portabello mushrooms, cauliflower steaks, roasted vegetables, grilled bread, corn on the cob…there really isn’t anything that isn’t delicious with chimichurri on it!

Chimichurri Sauce

Servings 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch parsley finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the parsley, garlic and lemon juice in a bowl.

  2. Pour in the olive oil and salt. Stir to mix.

 

Tell me how you’re going to serve this Chimichurri Sauce in the comments below!

Grilled Vegetable-Steaks-and-Chimichurri


June 19, 2019
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We didn’t have a pool when I was a kid but my aunt had a friend who did. We spent many summer days splashing inside and lounging poolside. My aunt always brought a huge round Tupperware of pasta salad – raw chopped veggies, sliced olives and rotini tossed with Newman’s Own Italian dressing. Simple but delicious. I still think of that salad today whenever I’m at a pool party. It’s synonymous with summer living and pool fun for me.

A poolside pasta salad is easy breezy for summer fun. I fancied things up in this Italian Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad that takes things back to my Italian roots. I roasted the vegetables to pack a powerhouse of flavor into the pasta without adding in a heavy or greasy dressing. Except for roasting the vegetables, the rest of this recipe comes together quickly. And it’s portable and can sit out for a bit without worry so you can have your poolside fun in between bites!

 

Italian Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 10 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup baby bell peppers chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1 can artichoke hearts in water drained and sliced in half
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Italian herb seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package orecchiette pasta
  • 1 can white beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free mozzarella cheese (such as Follow Your Heart) cubed
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup basil sliced in chiffonnade

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a pot of salted water to boil.

  2. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread peppers, olives, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves on top.

  3. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil and sprinkle with the Italian herbs, garlic powder and salt. Roast for 30 minutes.

  4. While the vegetables roast, add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook according to package directions. Drain and add to a large serving bowl.

  5. When vegetables are cooked, add them to the bowl with the pasta. Stir in the white beans and cheese.

  6. Toss with the vinegar and fresh basil.

  7. Serve at room temperature or store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

What’s your favorite food to eat poolside? Tell me in the comments below!

 


June 12, 2019
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Caesar Smashed Potatoes!!! I’m so excited about this easy and delicious recipe. It’s the perfect side dish for all your summer grilling.

I’m not sure what inspired the vegan Caesar dressing on top of these smashed potatoes but it’s delicious drizzled on top (although my kids said they loved them plain). You be the judge!

I microwaved the potatoes first instead of boiling to save time so adjust your prep by about 20 minutes if you plan to boil instead. The longer you roast the potatoes after smashing, the crispier they get. I used olive oil to “baste” them, but I bet Miyoko’s dairy-free European Cultured Butter would be equally delicious. The process for the smashed potatoes is simple so you can top these a thousand ways for a variety of fun side dishes – or alternatively, you could set up a bar with various toppings and sauces and let your fam make their own. I love a tasty DIY food bar!

Vegan Caesar Smashed Potatoes

Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

For the Smashed Potatoes

  • 6 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley chopped

For the Vegan Caesar Dressing

  • 1 1/2 cups cashews raw and unroasted
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 Tbsp capers
  • 2 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 cloves garlic

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Clean and pierce the potatoes with a fork. Microwave for 20-25 minutes until fork tender. Alternatively, set potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes until fork tender.

  3. Place potatoes on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until desired crispiness.

  5. Meanwhile, make the Caesar dressing. Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

  6. To serve, drizzle the potatoes with desired amount of dressing and top with the chopped parsley.

I’d love to hear what you think of these vegan Caesar Smashed Potatoes. Tell me in the comments below!


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I’m obsessed with the Roasted Garlic Chipotle Salsa at Trader Joe’s. It’s smoky and garlicky in all the right ways. It’s one of my favorite snacks alongside limy tortilla chips. Yum!

I created my own homemade version of TJ’s salsa with delicious results! Mix up the tomato blend for variety in flavor. Play with the texture by how much you process the ingredients. The flavors gets better overnight so make it a day ahead to allow the flavors to “marinate”.

I love serving my Roasted Garlic Chipotle Salsa on a snack platter with homemade taquitos, chips, guacamole and cucumbers. 

Roasted Garlic Chipotle Salsa

Ingredients

  • 12-16 small garden tomatoes
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt or more to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the tomatoes and garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast for about 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes slightly burst and are juicing.
  3. Transfer the tomatoes along with their juices into a blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until you get the salsa to your desired consistency.
  4. Refrigerate the salsa for at least an hour before serving.

Photo: Canva


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I love gazpacho any time of year but it’s even more delicious around May when the tomatoes are beautifully in season. My recipe below is super simple and tastes even better with heirloom tomatoes.

Top with chopped avocado and cucumber before serving.

Easy Vegan Gazpacho

Ingredients

  • 2 plum tomatoes quartered
  • 1 English cucumber or 2-3 Persian cucumbers sliced in chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into chunks
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
  2. Chill for 2 hours or more.
  3. Serve cold topped with freshly chopped avocado and/or cucumber.

Photo: Canva


April 24, 2019
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Take your taste buds on a trip to the islands with this recipe for Tropical Tempeh Kebabs.  The best part?  You can feel like you are on vacation because you barely have to cook.  This homemade-ish recipes uses a store bought marinade, saving you time and energy in the kitchen.

Pineapple chunks, mushrooms and bell pepper are skewered along with the tempeh and basted in a teriyaki sauce. I used a store bought sauce to make these Tropical Tempeh Kebabs quick and easy, but you could have some fun creating your own tropical sauce blend.

They cook quickly on the grill, making it a perfect destination dinner! Check out the recipe below!

 

Tropical Tempeh Kebabs

Ingredients

  • 2 packages soy tempeh
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into bite-sized "squares"
  • 16 button or cremini mushrooms cleaned
  • 1 pineapple core removed and cut into chunks
  • 1 jar Soyaki Teriyaki sauce available at Trader Joe’s
  • 8 bamboo skewers soaked in water at least 15 minutes
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Cut each tempeh block into about 16 cubes. Place in a bowl along with the bell pepper and mushrooms. Pour half the bottle of marinade over the tempeh pieces and vegetables. Allow to marinate at least an hour.

  2. Divide the tempeh, pineapple and veggies among 8 skewers and stack them in any combo you please.
  3. Heat oil on a grill or in a grill pan on the stove. Grill the skewers on each side, approximately 3-4 minutes. Baste with reserved marinade before turning the skewers.


April 9, 2019
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A bounty of asparagus landed in my lap, along with a big, beautiful watermelon radish in my Imperfect Produce box…and this salad was born. With all the crunchy, bright vegetables, it sings Spring to me!

Layers of veggies are tossed with a simple red wine vinaigrette and topped with a sprinkle of the delectable Kite Hill Ricotta cheese.

Simple, fresh and delicious. It makes a great side dish to grilled tofu but would also make a great addition to an Easter or Passover menu.

 

Chopped Asparagus Chickpea Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches asparagus trimmed
  • 1 watermelon radish chopped
  • 1 English cucumber chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives sliced in half
  • 1 cup chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Kite Hill ricotta crumbled
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon juiced

Instructions

  1. 1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Insert the asparagus and blanch for 3 minutes.

  2. 2. Remove the asparagus from the boiling water and transfer to an ice bath immediately.

  3. 3. Chop the asparagus into bite-sized pieces.

  4. 4. Combine the asparagus, chickpeas and olives with the rest of the vegetables.

  5. 5. Whisk the vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice together. Pour over the salad and toss to combine. 

  6. 6. Sprinkle the ricotta on top. Serve immediately.

Chickpea-Salad


April 3, 2019
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Homemade vegan ramen is a labor of love so I’m super excited about this Easy Vegan Miso Ramen that is ready in 5 minutes. Five minutes!!! Thanks to Trader Joe’s, you can put together this soup with just 5 ingredients. And if you have instant hot water like I do, all you need is 5 minutes to make this meal. Oh and it’s delicious…so so so good! It’s also very healthy and low calorie. Miso soup for everyone!

It all starts with the Vegan Instant Miso Ramen from Trader Joe’s. Yep, that’s right – instant soup! I use pre-cooked and pre-shelled edamame so it will take a little longer if you buy frozen. To make this recipe, you’ll chop your vegetables while the water boils or the soup steeps. Then, it all gets stirred together and this Easy Vegan Miso Ramen is served!

This is supposed to make 1 serving (which I eat all by myself every time), but realistically, this could easily serve 2 (or more if you’re serving it as a first course and not a meal). 

Vegan-Miso-Rame

Easy Vegan Miso Ramen

Ingredients

  • 1 container Trader Joe's Miso Ramen
  • 1 stalk baby bok choy chopped
  • 2 green onions sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 1/3 cup edamame beans shelled and cooked
  • Dash Trader Joe's Umami seasoning (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add boiling hot water to the contents of the Ramen cup along with the seasonings. (I toss the oil packet).

  2. While the soup steeps, prep the vegetables.

  3. After 5 minutes, stir in the vegetables, edamame and Umami seasoning, if using.

  4. Add more boiling water if desired. (I like to add a little more because the broth is so delicious.)

Vegan-Miso-Ramen


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