It’s surprisingly easy to make homemade vegan butter. I never would have attempted it myself, but Richard decided to try it and was very successful. I was immediately converted! I couldn’t believe how delicious and realistic this butter tasted, and we’ve completely switched from store-bought brands like Earth Balance to making our own at home.
You’ll need to get liquid lecithin for this recipe. Lecithin is used as an emulsifier – it prevents ingredient separation so it’s a crucial element! We use one made from soy called Better Than Lecithin.
You can really use any kind of store brand soy or nut milks for this butter, but we find cashew works the best and produces the nicest flavor. One thing you must make sure of is that your coconut oil is refined and not extra virgin – the butter won’t turn out properly otherwise.
Homemade whipped butter will keep in the fridge for 3-4 weeks, but we make batches of it and store them in the freezer for months at a time. When we need a replacement we just move one from the freezer to a butter dish in the fridge; once thawed it’s ready to use.
I’m all for Buffalo-flavored anything – vegan chick’n wings or nuggets, cauliflower bites, pizza, even mac and cheeze. So when Richard decided to make a Buffalo chick’n dip I was totally on board!
However when he first mentioned wanting to try this, I didn’t really understand the concept so I was intrigued. Then as it started to come together I found myself wondering “Why haven’t we made this before?”
This dip was adapted from a recipe by Erin of Philly Vegans. One of the modifications we made was to chop up our chick’n strips into little cubes, rather than keeping them in long strips. You can use any vegan chick’n you like, but we used the Beyond Chicken Lightly Seasoned Strips by Beyond Meat (you could use their Grilled Strips too if you prefer).
Another option would be MorningStar Chick’n Strips, but the Beyond ones are a bit denser which we felt worked best for this recipe. Another nice thing about the Beyond Meat strips is they don’t need to be pre-cooked before adding them to your dip!
For the cream cheese, the creamier the better – I personally think Tofutti would do the trick, but our favorite vegan cream cheese is actually found at Fairway Market. It’s a tofu-based cream cheese that we happened to randomly find during a shopping trip, and have been using it ever since. You can see what it looks like here (this is the chive one but we get the plain). If you have a Fairway near you I highly recommend it!
Another change we made to the original recipe was to add more cheese! We used Daiya Cheddar Shreds and ended up doubling the amount to make the dip cheesier and thicker. Our final modification was to use my Easy Vegan Ranch Dressing recipe (it’s our favorite!).
We ate this dip with tortilla chips, but it would work well with any kind of dipper you like.
Smoothies are a really great way to start the day, although I can have one anytime. There’s nothing wrong with smoothies for dinner! Depending on what you put in them, they can also be very “dessert-y”, like this vanilla peanut butter version. Sweet but healthy, this is a treat that definitely makes you feel like you’re indulging.
The vanilla in this recipe comes from both vanilla extract and vanilla protein powder. I use Terrasoul Foods Vanilla Protein Powder (they also have Chocolate, Turmeric, Deep Green and Unflavored). The vanilla is not overpowering; if want to heighten the flavor, you can add more extract or protein powder to taste, or use vanilla soy or almond milk instead of plain.
I like to freeze bananas – once they’ve ripened I’ll break them into pieces and store them in the freezer in a bag. Bananas add an extra creaminess and sweetness to the smoothie, but it’s very important your bananas are at the proper stage of ripeness to make sure they’re sweet. It turns out I was eating them way too soon. If you’re like me and aren’t sure when to eat your bananas, I recommend this post on how to tell if a banana is ripe by Veronica Grace of Plant Based U.
As I usually do with my smoothies, I added ground flaxseed. It’s optional, but I like to include it as flaxseed is an excellent way to get both fiber and Omega-3. I also use all natural peanut butter, such as Justin’s All Natural.
This makes two 12 oz. smoothies, or one 24 oz. smoothie.
Ahh, Caesar salad. There’s just something about it. It seems so indulgent and decadent, like the cheat meal of salads.
In my pre-vegan days, if there was a Caesar salad on the menu I most likely would get it. Fortunately it’s so easy to veganize this with the right ingredients to give it that zesty, creamy flavor.
Since most Caesar dressings have anchovies in them, the use of capers makes a great replacement. A bit of lemon adds a nice zing as well.
To me, croutons in a Caesar are imperative! We make our own using the ends of bread loaves or bread that’s gone a bit stale. All you have to do is cut the bread into crouton-sized squares, toss them with olive oil, garlic and onion powder, and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes, turning once, until they are nice and browned.
Store them in an airtight container and they will last quite a while – plus you end up with delicious little crouton crumbs when you get to the bottom, which you can top your salads with like we did here. Yum!
You can bake some tofu to add as your “chicken”, but we also like to use store bought like the Beyond Meat strips, or even Boca chick’n patties for a less traditional version. Here we used Morningstar Chik’n strips, grilled in a pan, and just threw them on top.
Chick’n caesar salad is also delicious in wraps for those times you’re not in the mood for just salad!
I’ve often though deviled eggs were the perfect party food – bite-sized, suitable for all types of toppings, soft and delicious. I could easily put away five or six at once (if not more!).
Being vegan doesn’t mean that type of appetizer is a thing of the past – not when you have little potatoes! The idea of eating cold potatoes may seem a bit weird at first, but it honestly works perfectly to replicate deviled eggs.
This recipe is a little time-consuming, mainly in the amount of time it takes to peel and cook the potatoes, and then waiting for them to cool down enough to be handled. It’s also a bit fiddly to fill them – you can use a piping bag to pretty them up, or just fill them in with a spoon like I did here.
I used kala namak in this (which I also use in my Tofu Eggless Salad), to give it more of an egg flavor. It’s optional, but I do like the extra “eggy-ness” it adds.
You’ll want to use young, small potatoes for this recipe, and I recommend trying to find ones that are as uniform in size as possible for the “egg” illusion. You will also want to peel the skin for the same reason, but if you’re okay with them looking less like eggs you could definitely skip that step and eat them with the skin on – I haven’t tried them that way but I’m sure they would still be delicious!
These are great to bring to potlucks and barbecues, or to make as a nice appetizer for holiday gatherings. You can add toppings to them, or just eat them plain (like I usually do!).
These potatoes are an awesome substitute for deviled eggs and the perfect appetizer for a potluck or barbecue.
6young small potatoes
2Tbsp.onion, diced(white or yellow)
Dashof Kala namak(optional)
Paprika, as needed(for sprinkling on top)
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Peel the potatoes and cut them in half length-wise. Coat them in olive oil and place on a pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until they are soft (if you cook them too long they may brown a bit on the edges, which is fine but will make them look less egg-like). Once they are done, allow them to cool for a while (they will be very hot!).
Combine all other ingredients (except paprika) and mix thoroughly, then set aside.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the middles (from the flat side) to make little cups where the filling will go. Add the scooped-out potato to the mayo/mustard/onion mixture and combine well.
Fill the potatoes with the mixture using a spoon or a piping bag. Sprinkle the paprika over the tops of the potatoes.
Enjoy immediately or chill in the fridge to save for later.
You can dress these up with toppings like olives, green onions, even sun-dried tomatoes or capers.
Like a lot of people, I’m a huge fan of cookies, and chocolate chip ones are definitely my favorite (anything with chocolate is a win in my book!). They make the house smell amazing while they’re baking, and there’s nothing quite like having them hot out of the oven.
I used flaxseed meal for this recipe – usually the ratio for one flax egg is 1 Tbsp. flax to 3 Tbsp. of water, but I used less water and more meal to make a denser “egg”. Alternately you could also use ground chia seeds to make a chia egg, or Egg Replacer.
The chocolate chunks I used in this recipe were Enjoy Life Mega Chunks, which were indeed quite huge! You can also use chocolate chips for these instead if you prefer, like these Mini Chips that are also by Enjoy Life.
When I made these I formed them into little balls so when they baked they ended up a bit rounder; if you want flatter cookies, once they’re on the baking sheet just flatten them down a little with the palm of your hand before putting them in the oven.
I really enjoyed these cookies and I plan on trying a future batch with a mixture of vegan white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts, or peanut butter and chocolate chunks. Yum!
Sloppy Joes – hearty, filling and oh-so-messy. What’s not to love?
Sloppy Joes were actually one of the few things I cooked on multiple occasions before going vegan. Granted, my recipe at the time consisted only of browning some meat and combining it with a pre-made can of sauce, but still – it was a form of cooking!
Since then, Sloppy Joes have always been a favorite of mine, and fortunately it’s a recipe that is super easy to veganize.
Any type of meatless ground will work for this – I tend to use either Boca Veggie Ground Crumbles or Gardein Beefless Ground, but you could use TVP as well; note that if you do use TVP, you will need to rehydrate it first. To rehydrate one cup of TVP, add 1 cup of water and let sit for about 10 minutes (one cup of dry TVP yields about 2 cups of ground meat replacement once it’s been rehydrated).
I love Sloppy Joes so much I can just eat them plain with a fork, but the traditional way to enjoy this recipe is on soft hamburger buns. You could even make little Sloppy Joe sliders! This is also a very quick meal to prepare, and is sure to be a hit with friends and family.
These meatless sloppy joes are delicious, easy to make and healthier than the traditional kind with ground meat.
¼ cupwhite onion, chopped
½ cupgreen pepper, chopped
½ tsp.brown sugar
½ tsp.garlic powder
3-4soft vegan rolls or hamburger buns
Heat a pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once it’s at temperature, add the white onion and saute for a few minutes, being careful not to brown.
Add the meatless ground and mix together with the onions until heated. (Meatless ground is usually kept in the freezer so it may come out in frozen chunks that you’ll need to gradually break up.)
Add all other ingredients and mix well, allowing to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring periodically.
Once the sauce has cooked down and the mixture is thoroughly heated, spoon liberally onto hamburger buns.
You can dress these up a bit by adding some lettuce, coleslaw or pickles for an added crunch, or you can top the buns with vegan cheese and pop them under the broiler for a few minutes until it’s nice and melted.