Vegan Nacho Dip

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I guess this is more of an idea than a recipe, just because the possibilities are endless! This is my husband’s most favorite thing to eat, so I make it almost every week. It’s one of those meals that keeps getting better everyday, so, it’s very convenient to throw together and pre-bake, then just scoop out what you want and reheat. Not to mention, it makes so much, it feeds us for several meals! It’s also colorful, which is something I like in a meal. 😀

I’ll list what I have in mine, but get creative and add/subtract things that align with your tastes! 😉

Vegan Nacho Dip

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Here’s what I used:

  • 2 cans Vegan Refried Beans (Be aware that many contain lard, which would not be vegan!)
  • 3 Avocados – mashed & mixed with 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups cooked Brown Rice seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion flakes, cumin and chili powder
  • 1 cup Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce (Blend together: 1 c cashews (soak overnight if not using a high powered blender), 1/4 c almond milk, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 T Vinegar, 4 T Nutritional Yeast, 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder, 1/8 tsp Turmeric, 1/8 tsp Black Pepper, 1 Can Tomatoes and Green Chilies)
  • 2 cans Black Beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 Onion – chopped
  • 2 Green Onions – sliced
  • Handful of Grape Tomatoes – quartered
  • 5 Small Bell Peppers – chopped (I use the mini multicolored packs of bell peppers)
  • 1 Small Can Black Olives (drained and rinsed)
  • 3 T Jalapenos – chopped
  • Handful of Pumpkin Seeds

Here’s what I do:

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Layer 9×13 baking dish with ingredients starting from the top: refried beans, avocado, brown rice, vegan nacho cheese, black beans, onion, green onions, grape tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives, jalapenos, pumpkin seeds.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.
  • Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Scoop and enjoy with tortilla chips, brown rice tortillas, on top of a salad, or just on its own! ❤

I’d love to hear what variations you used!

 

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Vegan Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

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Before I met my husband, I had never even heard of Hot Cross Buns. Then once he made some… OMG! I was hooked! All of the spices mixed with the fruit in a warm, slightly sweet cinnamon bun…YUM!

Needless to say, when we went vegan and gluten free, this was one thing we thought was off limits. I’m not one to give up on things, so I gave a vegan, gluten free version a shot and we were both really surprised and pleased with the results! Now, anyone that bakes gluten free knows that the texture will never be the same as regular flour. The texture of these is somewhat like a cake, but the taste is spot on!

Vegan Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Here’s what you need:

Wet Ingredients

  • 2/3 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 T Coconut Oil
  • 2 T Coconut Sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp Yeast

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 Cup Gluten Free Flour Blend (I used this recipe: Gluten Free Flour Blend )
  • 3/4 Cup Almond Flour (not almond meal)
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 4 T Cold Coconut Oil
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Cloves

Fruit Mixture

  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • 1 Apple (chopped in small pieces)
  • Zest of an Orange
  • 1 tsp Orange Juice
  • 1 tsp each of: Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, Allspice

Topping Options

  • For the cross piping: GF Flour + enough water to make a paste.
  • Apricot Jam
  • Vegan Frosting (I brushed the tops with this: Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting)

Here’s what you do:

  • Heat almond milk in microwave until it’s about the temperature of warm bath water (not too hot, not too cold).
  • Stir in the rest of the wet ingredients and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes to let the yeast activate. (It should be poofy on top.)
  • While the yeast mix is activating, combine all the fruit mixture ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
  • Add the yeast mixture to your dry mix and stir well with a wooden spoon.
  • Gently fold the fruit mixture in.
  • Lightly coat a pie plate with coconut oil.
  • With a 1/3 measuring cup, scoop out dough, not completely filling the measuring cup, and drop onto pie plate.
  • Continue until you have about 8 equal size buns.
  • If you are piping the cross, do this now by placing your paste in a baggie with one corner cut off or a piping bag.
  • Preheat the oven to 350
  • Cover the pie plate with plastic wrap and set on top of the preheating oven for 30 minutes to proof.
  • Remove plastic wrap and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  • Brush with your preferred topping as soon as they come out of the oven.
  • Enjoy! ❤

 

 

 

Healthier Vegan Turtles

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One of our favorite Office episodes has a reference to Turtles, so, it’s becoming a common saying in our house…  LOL!

Turtles are typically made with milk chocolate and caramel, so lots and lots of refined sugar. These Turtles are made with simple ingredients and the sweetness comes from dates! When we want a sweet treat, these are our go-to!

Healthier Turtles

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Here’s what you need:

  • 60 Pecan Halves
  • 10 oz bag of Vegan Chocolate (I use 72% Simple Truth Chocolate Chips)
  • 20 Large Pitted Dates
  • Optional: Peanut Butter (Peanuts and salt as the only ingredients!)
  • Optional: Chopped Almonds

Here’s what you do:

  • Soak dates in hot water for about 10 minutes.
  • Drain water, then add to a food processor.
  • Blend together until it becomes a creamy paste. (You may have to stop a couple of times to scrape down the sides.)
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil & lightly spray or wipe down with coconut oil or other neutral tasting oil.
  • Drop date paste in small teaspoonful balls on baking sheet. (You may need to use a knife to rake it off of the spoon.) **Should make about 20.
  • Place 3 pecan halves on top of the date paste balls and lightly mash them in to make them look more like patties.
  • Using a knife that has been dipped in coconut oil, slide it under the date paste and flip them over so that the pecans are now on the bottom.
  • If you are adding peanut butter, do this now. Place a small amount on top of each date patty.
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer.
  • Put your chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 60 seconds. Stir and repeat in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the freezer.
  • Using a fork, dip the bottom of the turtle in the chocolate, then turn it over to coat the top. Flip it back over and lift it out pecan side down…let the excess chocolate run off.
  • Place it back on the baking sheet and top it with the chopped almonds if you are using those. Because they are cold from being in the freezer, the chocolate will harden faster.
  • Once all of the turtles have had their chocolate baths, place them back in the freezer to set, 10 minutes or so.
  • Keep any leftovers in the freezer.
  • Enjoy!

 

 

Vegan Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

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It’s about to get cold again…yuck! I’m ready for Spring!

This is one of our favorite soup recipes, especially during cold weather. It’s really versatile and you can easily add a little more of everything to make enough to last you several days. This is one of those meals that actually tastes even better the second and third day. I usually make some Vegan Gluten Free Bread to go with it!

Vegan Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup

 Here’s what you need:

For the Soup

  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 32 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (Be sure to look for cans with a BPA free liner!)
  • 6 ounces tomato paste (Be sure to look for cans with a BPA free liner!)
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces brown rice pasta (penne works well, or lasagna sheets cut into squares after they are cooked)

Cashew Ricotta

  • 1 ½ cups cashews, soaked*
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • fresh parsley for topping (optional)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Place all of the ingredients for the soup (minus the pasta) in the slow cooker, stir together, cover with the lid, and cook on high for 6 hours.
  2. To make the cashew ricotta, drain and rinse the cashews then add them to a food processor or high speed blender along with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, but still thick in texture. You will have to scrape down the sides in between blending.
  3. When the soup is done cooking, bring a large pot of water with 1 tablespoon of salt to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, then add to your soup and stir.
  4. Serve with a dollop of cashew ricotta on top and enjoy! 🙂

 

Notes

*Soak cashews in a large bowl covered with a few inches of water for at least 6 hours. If you’re in a hurry, you can soak them in boiling hot water for 30 minutes. If you have a Vitamix or other high speed blender, you won’t need to soak them.

Vegan-Gluten Free “Sausage” Balls

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When trying to decide what to take to our family’s Christmas Eve get-together, I just couldn’t quit thinking about sausage balls. We always had them around the Holidays when I was a kid, and everyone always loved them. So, when you’ve gone vegan, and you don’t eat gluten, I wasn’t optimistic that I would ever get to eat them again. I figured I would try an experiment and see if it worked. Let’s just say that it worked so well, we had them again for New Years Eve too!

It was super simple, and they were totally delicious…especially when dipped into some homemade vegan ranch (recipe coming soon!).

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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@BeyondMeat makes amazing products for vegans who also eat gluten free! Check them out!

 

_MG_0586Vegan-Gluten Free “Sausage” Balls

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Package Beyond Meat Burgers
  • 2 Cups Daiya Cheddar Cheese Shreds
  • 1 1/4 Cup Pamela’s Gluten Free Biscuit & Scone Mix
  • 1 Tablespoon Fennel Seeds
  • 2 Teaspoons Sage
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • Dash of Black Pepper
  • (optional) 1-2 Teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes

Here’s what you do: 

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl.
  • Using your hands, knead until everything is evenly mixed together. (If the mixture is too crumbly, add a teaspoon of water at a time until it holds together when you form it into a ball.)
  • Using a 1/8 measuring cup, scoop the mixture out, then roll into a ball.
  • Place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the outsides are golden brown.
  • Serve warm with ranch and Enjoy!

**Makes approximately 20

Vegan Gluten Free Bread

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I love, LOVE me some bread… So, when you can’t have gluten anymore, it’s pretty devastating to have to give it up. During our meal swaps with my parents, my mom was making this super tasty gluten free, vegan bread. I just couldn’t get enough of it. She gave me the recipe she had been using, and I only made a few little adjustments to reduce the oil and sugar… and, I didn’t have the exact ratios of flours, but it didn’t make a noticeable difference in taste. Next time, I’m going to test it out using unsweetened applesauce instead of the oil and see how that turns out. 😀

If you are looking for a fairly simple, but super yummy vegan, gluten free bread, this is a great one to try. It was adapted from A Little Insanity, Soft Gluten Free Vegan Bread. She has a lot of great gluten free recipes on her site.

Vegan Gluten Free Bread

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Here’s what you need:

YEAST MIX:

  • 1½ Cups Warm Water
  • 2½ Teaspoons Dry Active Yeast

AQUAFABA:

  • ¼ Cup Aquafaba – Liquid from canned Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas)
  • ½ Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

DRY MIX:

  • 1 ¾ Cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 ¼ Cup Tapioca Flour
  • ½ heaping Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

WET MIX:

  • 1/8 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar

 

Here’s what you do:

YEAST MIX:

  • Measure out warm water (not too hot or cold). Stir in Yeast. Set-aside & let proof while you are preparing everything else.

AQUAFABA:

  • Pour the Aquafaba (Garbanzo Bean Liquid) along with the Cream of Tartar into the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat on high until stiff peaks form. With a spatula, scoop out the mixture into another bowl and set aside.

DRY MIX:

  • While the Aquafaba is mixing, combine all of the Dry Mix ingredients together in a bowl.

COMBINING IT ALL:

  • Add proofed Yeast to the stand mixer bowl.
  • Add in Dry Mix ingredients with the yeast. Beat slowly while adding in the Oil & Apple Cider Vinegar.
  • Mix on Medium speed until dough is smooth.
  • Stop the mixer, then add in your aquafaba.
  • Mix on low speed until everything is well combined, being careful not to over-beat. (It only takes about 30 seconds.)
  • Spray a 9×5 Loaf Pan.

LET IT RISE, THEN LET IT BAKE:

  • Pour the bread mixture into your loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Set somewhere warm while your oven is preheating.
  • Preheat your oven to 375.
  • Let your dough rise about 20 minutes. It should not rise above your loaf pan.
  • Bake between 50-60 minutes.
  • Once the top is nice and golden brown and the center is cooked through, remove from oven and let cool only 1-2 minutes, then turn it out onto your cooling rack (lay the loaf on its side). Allow to cool completely before attempting to cut into slices.
  • Enjoy! ❤

 

Fudgy Almond Bars

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We don’t eat sweets very often, so when we do indulge, it had better be delicious! These certainly were! Yum! 😀

 

Fudgy Almond Bars

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Here’s what you need:

CRUST

  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 8 large dates (pits removed)
  • Pinch salt

ALMOND LAYER

  • 1 cup almond butter (or sub other nut or seed butter)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Pinch salt

GANACHE

  • 1 bag of vegan dark chocolate chips (at least 70% cocoa) (I used HEB Organics 70% dark chocolate chips in the 10 oz bag)
  • 1 can coconut milk (with about 2 tablespoons of the water poured out)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Here’s what you do:

Crust

  • Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until you have a coarse mixture that holds together when you mash it.
  • Empty mixture into 8×8 dish that has been lined with parchment paper. Pack down until it’s evenly placed on the bottom of the dish.

Almond Layer

  • Add all ingredients in a small bowl and stir together.
  • Empty out onto the top of the crust and spread evenly.
  • Place in freezer.

Ganache

  • This will make more than what’s needed for the top of the bars (unless you want an insanely thick layer of ganache!). You can save the rest to eat on its own!
  • Place chocolate chips in a large glass bowl.
  • Heat coconut milk in a sauce pan on top of the stove until it just starts to boil.
  • Pour on top of the chocolate chips and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Add cocoa powder.
  • Whisk all of the ingredients together until creamy smooth.
  • Place in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to let it start setting.
  • Remove the crust/almond layer mixture from the freezer and add ganache on top (use as much or as little as you like.), spreading it out smooth.
  • Return to the freezer and let sit for about 30 minutes, or until the ganache is firm.
  • Cut into 12 squares, serve and enjoy.

**You can keep them either in the freezer or the fridge, depending on which you like better. If kept in the freezer, you can actually just pick them up and eat them. If kept in the fridge, you’ll need a fork. 😉