Browse Author by Christina DiLorenzo
Breakfast, Recipes, Smoothies

Vanilla Peanut Butter Smoothie

Vanilla Peanut Butter Smoothie | Blooming Vegan

Vanilla Peanut Butter Smoothie | Blooming Vegan

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.

Vanilla Peanut Butter Smoothie | Blooming Vegan

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.

Vanilla Peanut Butter Smoothie | Blooming Vegan

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.

Vanilla Peanut Butter Smoothie | Blooming Vegan

Vanilla Peanut Butter Smoothie

Sweet but healthy, this vegan vanilla peanut butter smoothie is a delicious treat.

Servings 2
Author Blooming Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of plain soy milk
  • 1 banana
  • 3 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp. vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract or one vanilla bean
  • 1 tsp. ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 2 cups of ice

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend thoroughly; you may need to stop it a couple of times and tamp down the sides or mix the bottom of the blender a little if it gets stuck.

Recipe Notes

Use vanilla soy milk for more vanilla flavor. 

If you want more peanut butter flavor, use 4 Tbsp. (or 1/4 cup).

This post contain Affiliate Links; please read our Affiliates Disclosure for more information.

Dressings, Recipes, Salads

Vegan Chick’n Caesar Salad

Vegan Caesar Salad | Blooming Vegan

Vegan Chick'n Caesar Salad | Blooming Vegan

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.

Vegan Chick'n Caesar Salad | Blooming Vegan

Vegan Chick'n Caesar Salad | Blooming Vegan

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!

Vegan Chick'n Caesar Salad | Blooming Vegan

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!

Vegan Chick'n Caesar Salad | Blooming Vegan

Vegan Chick'n Caesar Salad | Blooming Vegan

Vegan Chick'n Caesar Salad

This salad comes to life with a creamy, zesty Caesar dressing which is also perfect for making Caesar salad wraps. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2
Author Blooming Vegan

Ingredients

Caesar Dressing

  • 1 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. water (more for looser dressing)
  • 1 ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice (if using store bought, use a bit less)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp. capers
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Croutons

  • 12 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Vegan Chick'n

  • 10-15 vegan chick'n strips of choice
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Instructions

For the Caesar dressing:

  1. Combine the ingredients for the Caesar in a blender, adding water until you reach the desired consistency.

For the croutons:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit. 

  2. Cut the slices of bread into approximately 1-2 inch cubes. 

  3. Put the bread into a large bowl and add the olive oil and seasonings, mixing through so that all the pieces are coated evenly.

  4. Evenly spread croutons on a tray and bake for about 5 minutes each side, checking periodically until they are browned to your liking. 

For the vegan chick'n:

  1. Add the olive oil to a pan and bring to medium heat. 

  2. Add the chick'n strips and cook on each side, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until cooked through and the outsides are a bit browned. 

Appetizers, Recipes

Deviled Potatoes

Deviled Potatoes | Blooming Vegan

Deviled Potatoes | Blooming Vegan

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. 

Deviled Potatoes | Blooming Vegan

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.

Deviled Potatoes | Blooming Vegan

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!).

Deviled Potatoes | Blooming Vegan

Deviled Potatoes

These potatoes are an awesome substitute for deviled eggs and the perfect appetizer for a potluck or barbecue.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 deviled potatoes
Author Blooming Vegan

Ingredients

  • 6 young small potatoes
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp. vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. onion, diced (white or yellow)
  • Dash of Sriracha
  • Dash of Kala namak (optional)
  • Dash of tumeric
  • Paprika, as needed (for sprinkling on top)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Peel the potatoes and cut them in half length-wise. Coat them in olive oil and place on a pan lined with parchment paper.

  3. 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!).

  4. Combine all other ingredients (except paprika) and mix thoroughly, then set aside. 

  5. 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. 

  6. 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.

Recipe Notes

You can dress these up with toppings like olives, green onions, even sun-dried tomatoes or capers.

This post contains an Affiliate Link; please read our Affiliates Disclosure for more information.

Desserts, Recipes

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies | Blooming Vegan

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies | Blooming Vegan

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’ve often used pre-packaged mixes like Cherrybrook Kitchen Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix since it’s quick and easy, but making them from scratch doesn’t take that much longer. 

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies | Blooming Vegan

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.

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies | Blooming Vegan

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!

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies | Blooming Vegan

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

This recipe for vegan chocolate chunk cookies is easy to customize and perfect for satisfying sweet cravings.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 cookies
Author Blooming Vegan

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • tsp. salt

Wet Ingredients

  • ½ cup vegan butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed meal
  • 3 Tbsp. water

Additional Ingredient

  • ¾ cup chocolate chunks

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flaxseed meal with the water; let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. 

  3. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. 

  4. In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.

  5. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until you end up with a thick dough. Add in the chocolate chunks and mix well.

  6. Wet your hands and form the dough into balls. Place them on a greased cookie sheet, leaving space between them to expand. (You can also press down on them a bit to flatten them out.)

  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes.

Recipe Notes

If you use chips instead of chunks, use one full cup.

This post contains Affiliate Links; please read our Affiliates Disclosure for more information.

Mains, Recipes

Easy Vegan Sloppy Joes

Vegan Sloppy Joes | Blooming Vegan

Easy Vegan Sloppy Joes | Blooming Vegan

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.

Easy Vegan Sloppy Joes | Blooming Vegan

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).

Easy Vegan Sloppy Joes | Blooming Vegan

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.

Easy Vegan Sloppy Joes | Blooming Vegan

Easy Vegan Sloppy Joes

These meatless sloppy joes are delicious, easy to make and healthier than the traditional kind with ground meat.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Blooming Vegan

Ingredients

  • 2 cups meatless ground
  • ¼ cup white onion, chopped
  • ½ cup green pepper, chopped
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ½ tsp. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¾ cup water
  • Dash chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
  • ½-1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3-4 soft vegan rolls or hamburger buns

Instructions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.)

  3. Add all other ingredients and mix well, allowing to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring periodically. 

  4. Once the sauce has cooked down and the mixture is thoroughly heated, spoon liberally onto hamburger buns.

Recipe Notes

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.

Easy Vegan Sloppy Joes | Blooming Vegan

 

Recipes, Salads, Snacks

Tofu Eggless Salad

Tofu Eggless Salad | Blooming Vegan

Tofu Eggless Salad | Blooming Vegan

love tofu. It’s just so versatile, and the fact that you can do an abundance of things with it, including easily turn it into a mock egg salad, is pretty awesome if you ask me!

This is a very basic recipe which you can add whatever you want to (similar to my Chickpea No-Tuna Salad). Although it’s not necessary, I really like the addition of Kala namak – if you don’t have this in your kitchen, I definitely recommend you get it! Kala namak (also called Himalayan black salt) is a salt that contains sulfur, which gives it a distinct “eggy” smell and flavor.

Tofu Eggless Salad | Blooming Vegan

I love this salad on sandwiches, bagels and wraps, and it’s also great on crackers as a nice snack. When I put it on a sandwich or bagel I’ll usually add lettuce, tomatoes and vegan bacon (anytime I can add bacon to a sandwich I’ll do it!).

Tofu Eggless Salad | Blooming Vegan

Tofu Eggless Salad

This simple tofu recipe replicates traditional egg salad and is quick and easy to prepare.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Author Blooming Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz. block of firm tofu
  • ½ cup vegan mayo
  • cup dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. tumeric
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. Kala namack (optional)

Instructions

  1. Press the tofu and break into pieces by hand. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. 

    Enjoy immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

You can add veggies to this as well; I like the addition of green onions and sometimes celery which adds a nice crunch. Red or green bell peppers would be great in this too.

This post contains an Affiliate Link; please read our Affiliates Disclosure for more information.

 

Recipes, Salads, Sides

Four Bean Salad

Four Bean Salad | Blooming Vegan

Four Bean Salad | Blooming Vegan

You can never really go wrong with bean salad. It’s easy to make, inexpensive, and quite good for you – full of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It’s perfect to make in advance as it keeps well in the refrigerator for several days. Plus it’s just so colorful and pretty!

Richard started experimenting with bean salad dishes during the weekends, and this recipe is one of his creations. He makes a big batch of it so we can bring it to work as lunches, or have on the side with dinner (some days we do both!). This also works great as a snack with some pita chips. It’s a nice light dish, which makes it perfect for summertime barbecues, potlucks and picnics.

Four Bean Salad | Blooming Vegan

This recipe is readily customizable – you can add more or less Italian dressing or parsley as desired, and can even omit the salt and pepper (which we often do) and still have it turn out delicious. I recommend blanching the green beans; it not only softens them up a bit, but brightens their color as well.

Four Bean Salad | Blooming Vegan

Four Bean Salad

A simple and quick bean salad that’s perfect for any occasion. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6
Author Christina DiLorenzo

Ingredients

  • 1 8 oz. can of corn
  • 1 15 oz. can dark kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz. can pinto beans
  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, washed and drained
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (red, green or yellow will work)
  • cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup vegan Italian dressing
  • Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. First, blanch the green beans:

    Fill a pot with ice water and set aside. 

    Fill another pot with water and bring to a boil; add the green beans and leave for about 3 minutes. 

    Remove green beans from heat and add to the ice water to stop the cooking process.

    Once cooled, transfer the beans to a colander to drain the ice water.

  2. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well. 

    Enjoy immediately or chill in the fridge before serving.