Monday, November 12, 2012

Vegan Thanksgiving - Recipes, Tips & More

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and for most people, it's a day of food comas and giving thanks but for new vegans, vegetarians (and people having veg-types over for dinner), Thanksgiving can be quite a daunting and stressful day.

To help alleviate that stress, I've put together a list of links and some tips to help you sail through the holidays :)

No Turkey? No Problem!

Thankfully, a bunch of companies have been rolling out turkey replacements for Thanksgiving.
While I have had a 'faux-turkey less' Thanksgiving, I do love that there are options for people who still want to have 'meat' on their Thanksgiving plate.

Here's a list of "Top 7 Vegan Turkey Alternatives" put together by PETA. I'm torn between Gardein's Holiday Roast or Trader Joe's Turkey-Less Stuffed Roast for this years meal.

For my very first vegan thanksgiving, I made this meatloaf. It's still my favorite meatloaf recipe to date! It's so easy to make and even my non-vegan family members love it.

My absolute favorite store bought option, so far, is Field Roasts' Celebration Roast. It's a bit on the more expensive side, but totally worth the price. If you have leftovers, you can mash it up, add a bit of vegan mayo and cranberry relish and have yourself a celebration roast salad sandwich!

And these two were left off of PETA's list, but I think they're worth a mention:

Vegetarian Plus Vegan Whole Turkey: I've seen this at Whole Foods, but never tried it. It's shaped like a turkey, which is kinda cool, and I've heard good things about their products in general.

Quorn Turk'y Roast. I haven't tried this but I've heard nothing but good things about it! (vegetarian but not vegan)

And All The Rest...

What I'm thankful for at times like these, is the internet! There are thousands of recipes and sites where you can find amazing recipe suggestions for any holiday or event! Check out a few of my favorite links below:

(X) Compassionate Holidays: Old-Fashioned Stuffing, Green Bean Casserole, Easy Vegan Gravy, Pumpkin Pie

(X) Yummly: Every Recipe You Need for a Vegan Thanksgiving

(X) Ecorazzi: Vegetarian and Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe Round up!

(X) Finding Vegan: Holiday Tag

(X) The New York Times: Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2011

(X) Huffington Post Food: A Vegan Thanksgiving: 12 Recipes That Could Change Your Holiday:

(X) Veg Kitchen: Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner (Vegetarians Welcome!)

Also, you can find about any recipe on Google or VegWeb!

If  'from scratch' isn't your thing and you're looking to buy pre-made items, check out Amazon's Grocery Department, Vegan Essentials, Pangea: The Vegan Store or your local Trader Joe's, Whole Foods or Natural Foods store. You can also find a bunch of boxed items, that are accidentally vegan, at 'normal' supermarkets that can be whipped up fairly quickly.

Looking for an Egg Nog alternative? Here's a list of vegan 'nogs you check out. And don't forget the whipped topping for your nog and pumpkin pie!

North Jersey area people: You can get a full vegan Thanksgiving dinner from Sweet Avenue Bake Shop for $20! (Must be ordered by 11/20/12. Available for pick up on Thanksgiving morning, 11/22/12, from 8am - 12 noon.)

Do you have any additional tips or dishes that you love? Feel free to comment below!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Raw "Donut" Holes

As much as I love to cook, I'm also fascinated by some of the raw food concoctions that people create. I'll occasionally peruse raw food blogs for inspiration and find recipes that I have to try - like this video for for a two ingredient "donut" hole recipe that I came across on youtube from Lisa Paris of

It's something that anyone can make: it's quick, easy, inexpensive and it definitely hits the spot if you're in the mood for something sweet! And another major plus: they're better for you than real donut holes :) Give it a try, you won't be sorry!

Raw "Donut" Holes
(Makes around 12 - 1 1/2 inch balls)

8 oz Pitted Dates
8 oz Sweetened Coconut Flakes (6 oz for mixture, 2 oz for rolling)
Sea Salt (to taste - optional*)

Add dates, coconut flakes and salt (optional) to (at least) a 3 cup food processor. Mix together until it forms sort of a dough - it will probably take a minute or two. You'll know it's done when it starts to actually ball up like a cookie dough inside the food processor. The mixture should feel a bit tacky/sticky.

Roll dough into small balls and then roll them in the leftover coconut flakes to cover.

You can eat them immediately or refrigerate to let them harden up a bit.

If you're interested in how much these cost to make, here's the breakdown:
[2] 4.25 oz boxes of Champion Premium California Pitted Dates (Walmart - $.99 each)
[1] 14 oz bag og Great Value Sweetened Coconut Flakes (Walmart - $1.72)

Total = $3.70 (that's only about $.30 per ball!)

*Although the original recipe called for salt, I made half the balls with salt and the other half without and while they were both good, I preferred them without the salt.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

There is no added sugar in this recipe; the muffins get their sweetness solely from the bananas.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

(makes 6 large muffins)

2 cups of Bisquick
4 medium sized over ripe bananas
4 tbsp Chocolate PB2
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 scoop vanilla soy protein powder
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a large muffin pan with cooking spray.

Mash bananas and stir in Bisquick in batches.

Add 1/4 cup of water and mix.

Add chocolate PB2 powder, vanilla extract, soy protein powder and the other 1/4 cup of water and stir together until all ingredients are combined.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill each well in the muffin pans about halfway and then place in the oven.

Cook for 20 minutes. Take the muffin tray out of the oven and wait at least 5 minutes before removing the muffins - allowing them to cool a bit.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tofu Vegetable Lasagna

My last attempt at lasagna didn't turn out so great, but I'm happy to say that this time around it was quite the success! It even tasted better when it was reheated a couple of days later.

Unfortunately, we started eating before I got the chance to get it ready for its close-up, so this picture will have to suffice.

Tofu Vegetable Lasagna

(8-10 Servings)

1 16 oz pkg firm tofu
1 large onion (chopped)
1 16 oz package mushrooms (sliced)
2 tablespoons garlic (chopped)
1 can mexicorn (mixed peppers & corn)
1 16 oz bag frozen broccoli, carrots, watercress (defrosted)
1/2 of a medium sized eggplant (optional)
1 box of oven ready lasagna
2 lg jars of tomato sauce
1 16 oz bag frozen spinach (defrosted)
4 or 5 plum tomatoes (sliced)

Seasonings (to taste): oregano, basil, dill, salt, pepper, old bay, chili, nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

If using (optional) eggplant: Peel and cut [4] slices of eggplant. Brush with olive oil, salt & pepper and place in oven for about 15 minutes (until slightly browned). Flip over and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Press and drain tofu. Crumble into a large bowl.

Saute the onions, mushrooms and garlic, on medium heat, until onions are translucent and mushrooms are cooked.

Add the can of mexicorn and the bag of broccoli, carrots & watercress to the bowl. Add seasonings to taste.

To assemble the lasagna:

Cover the bottom of a 13x9x3" pan with a layer of sauce.
Add a layer of [4] noodles
Add another layer of sauce (covering all the noodles)
Add half of the tofu/vegetable mixture
Add 4 slices of eggplant (optional)
Add another layer of [4] noodles
Add another layer of sauce
Add a layer of spinach (use all of it)
Add the rest of the tofu/vegetable mixture
Add another layer of [4] noodles
Add another layer of sauce
Cover the top with sliced plum tomatoes and then sprinkle nutritional yeast, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.

Cover with foil and place onto a baking tray to avoid leakage. Cook for about an hour. Remove from the oven and let it sit on the counter for about 10-15 minutes. Serve.

If there is a lot of excess sauce on the sides, spoon it out before serving and place it in a bowl. It can be used to top off the lasagna or poured over leftovers for the next day. If you divide it into individual sized containers and freeze it, it makes for a great quick and easy lunch during the work week.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cauliflower "Shrimp" Cocktail

In my pre-vegan days I absolutely loved shrimp cocktail, so when I came across this recipe in the February 2012 issue of Bon Appetit, I knew that I needed to give it a try.

The results? It was okay. On its own, the cauliflower doesn't taste all that much like shrimp but when dipped in the cocktail sauce, it definitely helps add to the flavor. It may not be an exact replica, but at least it's a new spin on cauliflower! I'm excited to give other seasonings a try now.

Cauliflower "Shrimp" Cocktail
(4 servings)

1/2 cup dry crab boil seasoning (Old Bay)
1/8 cup sea salt
1 onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves
1.5 lemons, halved crosswise
1 head of cauliflower, cored, trimmed into 2" florets
Cocktail sauce

Combine crab boil, salt, onions, garlic, and 3 quarts water in a large pot. Squeeze juice from lemons into pot and add lemon halves. Set pot over high heat and bring liquid to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes to let flavors meld. Using a slotted spoon, remove onions, garlic, and lemons from broth; discard. Return liquid to a rolling boil.
Add cauliflower; turn off heat, cover pot tightly, and let stand until cauliflower is crisp-tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain; spread out cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and let cool completely. DO AHEAD: Cauliflower can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Arrange room-temperature or chilled cauliflower on a platter with cocktail sauce for dipping.

The original recipe can be found here at Bon

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chocolate Mousse

I absolutely adore anything chocolate, so when I came across this recipe, while browsing Pinterest the other day, it looked so delicious and easy to make that I had to give it a try. It turns out that it was!

Chocolate Mousse
(2-3 Servings)

1 (13.5oz) Can Coconut Milk [I used Goya]
5 Tbsp Cocoa Powder [Hershey's]
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Sweeten with any sweetener to taste. [I used Splenda]

Open the can of coconut milk and put it in the refrigerator to chill overnight. The next day, It should be pretty thick, but if there's still some liquid in the can, don't worry about it.

Dump the can of chilled coconut milk into a bowl and add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and sweetener. Mix together, with a hand mixer, until thick and fluffy. Taste to see if you need add more sweeter.

If you'd like to make it even thicker, after mixing, place back in the refrigerator for an hour or so to chill.

When finished, devour. :)

Original recipe can be found here @ Chocolate Covered Katie