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Simple Clean and Homemade I Our Favorite Green Beans 2

My favorite food for as long as I can remember has been green beans. I was infatuated as a kid. I often would eat only green beans for dinner especially when we had something icky. I love the crispiness and the fresh fast of fresh green beans. I specifically like uncut green beans. When no one is around, I like to eat them with my fingers like french fries.

Simple Clean and Homemade I Our Favorite Green Beans

This recipe is our go to green bean recipe. I make them quickly in the wok. I like to keep them a little on the crispy side, so I cook them until they start to get small blackened spots on them. That is the key. When they start to get black all over, they are too soft for me but still tasty.

Simple Clean and Homemade I Our Favorite Green Beans 8

We simply season them with garlic, butter, salt, and red pepper flakes. Best. Green Beans. Ever.

Our Favorite Green Beans

by Jessica

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 6-10 minutes

Ingredients (2-3 servings)

  • 1 quart fresh green beans with the ends snapped off
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste

Instructions

Heat a wok on high. To test if the wok is hot enough, sprinkle a small amount of water on the wok. If it evaporates, the pan is ready.

Add the oil and the green beans to the pan. Cook stirring frequently until the beans start to get slightly browned. Add butter, garlic, red chili flakes, and salt. Serve hot.

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Simple Clean and Homemade I Asian Style Coleslaw 2

This weekend was a big weekend for us. We had to move from one storage unit to another one. Plus it was dog grooming weekend. That left us with one very busy Saturday after a week filled with late nights. It was nice to spend a quiet evening with the boys and enjoy a fast, simple dinner. Especially after all the running around, planning, and coordinating. It is nights and weeks like the one we just had that makes fast and easy meals a necessity. For the rest of this week, I want to share with you the components of a meal that takes about 15 minutes total to put together. Plus, I use this coleslaw on a sandwich I will share with you later along with the leftover chicken. I really don’t know what we would do without quick side dishes like my Asian Style Coleslaw.

Simple Clean and Homemade I Asian Style Coleslaw

The thing I really love about this is how healthy it is. It is packed with cabbage, herbs, and tomatoes as well as carrots and jalapeños. It takes only a few minutes to prepare all of the ingredients. It is still good for a few days so make ahead to use a couple times during the week.

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This coleslaw does not contain mayonnaise like your average coleslaw. Instead, it is lighter with some lime juice as a flavor infuser and some grated ginger. The tomato is a necessity. It adds a sort of umami flavor to the whole dish. I garnish with some peanuts. You can omit the peanuts if you want to have a nearly fat free side dish with few calories.

Simple Coleslaw

by Jessica

Prep Time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

  • 1 bag angel shredded cabbage
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/2 jalapeno, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • juice 1 1/2 limes
  • peanuts for garnish

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve immediately.

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Simple Clean and Homemade I Mango Salsa 4

There is something about mango salsa that my mom is slightly obsessed with. She begged me to make some for weeks. I think she likes the sweet, salty combination when she eats it with chips.

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I have to admit, when I made this I did think it was delicious. It is sweet, salty, with a hint of garlic and freshness from the lime and cilantro. I can understand why she enjoys it so much.

Simple Clean and Homemade I Mango Salsa

I like this with some salty corn tortilla chips or on top of chicken. Serve it along side any summer meal for a delicious side dish or in the winter to remember all those yummy summer flavors.

Mango Salsa

by Jessica

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (6-10 servings)

  • 2 mangos, diced
  • 1 cherry bomb pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • juice 2 limes
  • salt to taste

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Simple Clean and Homemade I Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce 8

I love a fast dinner. Especially when I can have a delicious meal on the table in less than 20 minutes on a hectic weeknight. In order to do that, I am more than happy to invest some extra time prepping in advance so that I can save some time when I don’t have it after work. One of my husband’s favorite meals is spaghetti and meatballs. If I would let him eat it everyday, I am sure he would. With his obsession, I like to keep homemade sauce in the freezer. I make it in huge batches so we can pack the freezer for later.

If you follow me on Facebook, you probably already know that I spent a couple days last week making sauce using fresh, local tomatoes. I made it twice. The first batch was my trial run and the second was to make sure I had a solid recipe. I have to say, this is some of the best sauce that I have ever eaten. It tastes like summer and will be so good in January (if it lasts that long) to taste fresh, summer tomatoes.

This sauce is very versatile. You can use it as is to make a big bowl of pasta or use it as an ingredient in other sauces. I like to use basic sauce to make Vodka sauce, Bolognese, and even minestrone soup. The most important part of this process is to peel the tomatoes. If you have never done that before, look below for pictures.

Simple Clean and Homemade I Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce

Score each tomato with an x on the bottom using a sharp knife.

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Core the tomato.

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Dunk the tomatoes in boiling water. I like to do 5 tomatoes at a time. Count to 30.

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Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water using a slotted spoon and dunk them in an ice bath.

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Peel off the skin. It should come off easily.

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Some recipes tell you to dice the peeled tomatoes. That seemed time consuming to me. I just squeeze them into a bowl.

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I doubled the recipe to make this pot and ended up with 25 pints. I like to keep the banana peppers and freeze them in the sauce. I use them on pizza.

Simple Clean and Homemade I Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce 9

If you have a little extra freezer space and some tomatoes, this is a great way to enjoy summer fresh tomatoes all winter.

Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce

by Jessica

Prep Time: 60 minutes

Cook Time: 2-3 hours

Ingredients (12 pints)

  • 1 peck plum tomatoes
  • 1 bag ice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 20-30 basil leaves
  • 2-3 hot banana peppers
  • salt to taste

Instructions

In an 8 quart or larger pan, heat olive oil and cook onions on medium low until translucent.

While the onions are cooking, fill a large bowl with ice and water to create an ice bath. Boil water in an 8 quart pot filled about half full (enough to cover a tomato). Core the tomatoes and score with an x on the bottom.

Next to the boiling water, set up the ice water, a slotted spoon, a bowl for the tomato peels and a large bowl for the peeled tomatoes. Boil 5 tomatoes at a time for 30 seconds. Remove quickly from the boiling water and place in the ice bath with a slotted spoon. Remove from the ice water and peel the skin off of the tomatoes. Squeeze the tomatoes in a large bowl. Repeat until all the tomatoes are peeled.

When the onions are translucent, add the garlic, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and the basil. Cook for 20-30 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, blend the tomatoes until smooth. Add the banana peppers and salt to taste. Cook for about 3 hours until the sauce has reduced by about 1/4. Allow to cool before freezing.

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Simple Clean and Homemade I Pine Nut Hummus

I can’t even believe it is already to end of August. Life is about to get much busier. I am sure many of you are looking for quick and easy recipes for school lunches, parties, potlucks, and all the events that you will hurry to in the late summer and fall. One of my favorite snacks is hummus. I love how creamy it is and I especially love to have a cup of it in my lunch for veggie or pita chip dipping.

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I have made a ton of hummus over the years. This by far is my favorite recipe. I think good hummus just requires roasted garlic. Raw garlic makes it too strong for me really quickly. The pine nuts really make a huge difference in the taste of hummus. They add a little taste of nuttiness and richness.

Simple Clean and Homemade I Pine Nut Hummus 2

To serve, I like to garnish with smoked paprika, more pine nuts, and a drizzle of olive oil. Then I serve it with tons of veggies and maybe a few pita chips.

Pine Nut Hummus

by Jessica

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients (10 servings)

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained (reserve 2 tablespoons of the liquid)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • smoked paprika and olive oil for garnish

Instructions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the garlic in foil with some oil drizzled on top. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the garlic from the skin.

Put all ingredients in the food processor and process on high until smooth and creamy (about 2-3 minutes).

Store in a container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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Simple Clean and Homemade I Thai Peanut Pasta Salad

This summer has been the summer of potlucks and picnics. We have hosted or gone to so many that it has equaled out to almost one per week. I like to try to bring something new and different to each one. Plus, I like to bring something that someone on a special diet or with dietary concerns is able to consume. This pasta salad is made with peanut sauce. While it is not friendly to those with a peanut allergy (although I have made it with almond butter instead), it is dairy free, sugar free, and vegan. I like to use maple syrup (vegan), but you could use honey or brown sugar instead.

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My favorite thing about pasta salad is that you can experiment with lots of different flavor combinations and ingredients. It can be different each time. I really like the little hint of sweetness from the mango contrasted with the spice of jalapeño in this salad.

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You could make this gluten free by using your favorite rice noodles. If you wanted to make this a meal (which we have), you can add grilled shrimp. It is a versatile salad with a delicious base. I can’t wait to hear how you experiment with it!

Peanut Pasta Salad

by Jessica

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: blender side salad appetizer vegan sugar-free vegetarian

Ingredients (8-12 servings)

    For the Peanut Dressing

    • 1/2 cup soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
    • 1/3 cup coconut milk
    • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
    • handful cilantro
    • 1/4 cup peanut butter
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon hot chili oil
    • juice 1 lime
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1/2 cup water

    For the Pasta Salad

    • 1 package whole wheat linguine, cooked according to package directions
    • 1 mango, julienne
    • 1 carrot, julienne
    • 1 cucumber, julienne
    • 1/3 each orange, yellow, and red peppers, julienne
    • 1 large handful cilantro, chopped
    • 1/4 cup green onions diced
    • peanut dressing

    Instructions

    For the Dressing

    Combine all ingredients in the blender. Store in the refrigerator.

    For the salad

    Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve cold.

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    Simple Clean and Homemade I SRS 2

    June is not even over yet and it has been the busiest month we have had in a really long time. Today is the June reveal day for Surprise Recipe Swap. This month I was matched with Trisha from My Hobbie Lobbie. I had never visited Trisha’s blog before, but I found tons of yummy recipes. It was difficult to choose.

    Simple Clean and Homemade I SRS 4

    We decided on Rajma Masala which is curried red kidney beans. This is her favorite version of the dish and now ours, too. I followed the recipe for the most part. I used a can of red kidney beans in lieu of soaking the dry beans over night. All other directions I followed exactly.

    Simple Clean and Homemade I SRS 5

    Trisha suggests adding butter to the dish at the end. We decided not to do that because it was so delicious already. I served it over rice with a scoop of yogurt on the side. I garnished it with cilantro. The beans were slightly spicy with delicious Indian spiced flavors. It was a great lunch to take to work. I will be making this again for sure. To join the fun next month, click the button below. I hope you join us!

    HungryLittleGirl

    Simple Clean and Homemade I Tabbouleh 2

    Tabbouleh has been one of my favorite salads since I was a child. It is fresh, vibrant, and savory. Tabbouleh is a traditional Middle Eastern specialty that consists of parsley, tomatoes, onions, couscous, and garlic. All the ingredients are finely chopped and combined. They taste best the next day or even a few days later. It takes a while for the parsley to wilt and really take on the flavors of lemon, garlic, and onion.

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    Most of the time, I see other people making tabbouleh as a grain salad with just a little of the veggies. The kind that I grew up with has very little grain in it and is mostly parsley. I like to use both flat parsley and curly. I like the contrast in texture.

    Simple Clean and Homemade I Tabbouleh

    This is a great summer salad because all of the ingredients are available at the farmer’s market. Plus, it is cool and refreshing to go along rich, grilled main dishes. It is light and zesty. Perfect for your next barbecue or for your father’s day cookout.

    Tabbouleh

    by Jessica

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Keywords: raw appetizer salad side summer

    Ingredients (6-8 servings)

    • juice 2 lemons
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 bunch flat parsley, chopped
    • 1 bunch curly parsley, chopped
    • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
    • 1/2 cup prepared couscous
    • salt to taste

    Instructions

    Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Allow to sit in the refrigerator overnight. Serve cold.

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    Simple Clean and Homemade I Cucumber Salad 2

    Over the weekend, I tried a delicious recipe for Tandoori Chicken. We skewered the chicken and grilled it. For a light side to go with it, I made a fast cucumber salad.

    Simple Clean and Homemade I Cucumber Salad 3

    The cucumber salad is slightly sweet and tart with a hint of spice and toasted sesame. It was the perfect accompaniment for the skewers.

    Simple Clean and Homemade I Tandori Chicken 3

    I would serve this salad at a cook out as a light, crunchy side dish. It adds a bit of a kick to any dish. I highly recommend trying it with the tandoori chicken.

    Simple Clean and Homemade I Cucumber Salad 4

    Cucumber Salad

    by Jessica

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Keywords: raw salad side cucumber summer

    Ingredients (2 servings)

    • 1 1/2 cucumbers, sliced thinly
    • 2 teaspoons chopped green onions
    • 1/2 jalapeño, sliced thinly
    • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
    • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
    • juice 2 lime
    • sesame seeds for garnish

    Instructions

    Combine all ingredients except sesame seeds in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes. Serve with sesame seeds as a garnish.

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    DSC 0905

    Sunday is a big day in our house. It is the day that I do most of my meal prep work for the rest of the week. I make any salads or soups that we will be eating. This weekend, I made a giant chopped veggie salad, pasta fagoli soup, Greek salad dressing, and some cupcakes for an upcoming party. If I don’t prep for the week I will fall back on one of my favorites, goldfish crackers.

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    While I love goldfish crackers, they are not exactly the basis of a healthy diet. So, I make an effort to pack a lunch for work that is packed with veggies. I like to roast them or grill them, but I get bored. So, I make something like this.

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    I chop tons of veggies and load them with some sort of seasoning (Vindaloo in this case) and roast. Then, I can easily pack lunches, avoiding the goldfish cracker lunch. This is one of those Sunday prep activities that makes eating vegetables a little easier.

    Roasted VIndaloo Vegetables

    by Jessica

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

    Keywords: roast entree side

    Ingredients (4-8 servings)

    • 1 onion, sliced pole to pole
    • 1 yellow pepper, sliced
    • 1 red pepper, sliced
    • 1 orange pepper, sliced
    • 1/2 pound mushrooms, quartered
    • 1 pound green beans
    • 2 jalapenos, sliced
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup Penzy’s vindaloo spice
    • 1-2 pounds chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (optional)
    • salt to taste

    Instructions

    Heat the oven to 450.

    Place all ingredients in a large bowl and combine. Spread out onto a large baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve with rice, jedra, or Greek yogurt.

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