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It’s getting Chili!

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Colorful, easy, healthy, Veggie Chili

Hi Friends!

I am writing this post in my fuzzy robe and fuzzy socks. I love fuzzy sock weather. There is something so comforting about a warm blanket and cozy clothing. Maybe it’s because we know that wonderful fall/winter activities are on the horizon. Who can resist the pumpkin patch, warm apple cider, that crisp cool air filling your lungs, running or walking outside without feeling as if you may melt? Fall is magical, beautiful and filled with delicious food!

As soon as the temps started to drop I started craving chili. It’s easy, quick, inexpensive and lasts for days. It’s the perfect no fuss weekend meal when you want a dinner, lunch and dinner again kind of recipe. I make mine as easy as possible by using canned beans. Soon and very soon I plan to venture into the land of dry beans. This is not as daunting as it may seem, just requires some additional time and planning.

I also wanted to include that other fall staple, pumpkin, in my meal. My goal was to get a bit creative. I came up with pumpkin cornbread. Truth be told, I am not a huge cornbread fan. I always think it to be a rather dry, boring buttery spread vehicle. So my mission was clear. Make a flavorful, sweet, not dry cornbread…that is also gluten-free. Baking is not my forte so feel free to tweak this recipe as you see fit. I was pretty pleased with my first attempt. It tasted good on its own and also dunked in the chili, yum!

Yummy Gluten Free Pumpkin Cornbread

Easy Veg Chili

1 package frozen onion and pepper medley (mine had onion, red, yellow, green peppers)

2 cloves fresh garlic diced

1 jalapeno (diced, I seeded half of mine)

1 sweet potato peeled and diced

1 28 oz Can stewed tomatoes plus 1 14 oz can diced or stewed tomatoes

1 can black beans (drained)

1 can red beans (drained)

1 can kidney beans (drained)

1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 cup frozen greens (I used turnip, you could also use collards)

3 Tbsp Chili Powder

3 Tbsp Cumin

1 Tbsp Garlic Powder

A dash or two of Cayenne (more for extra heat)

Salt to taste

Spray the bottom of a large pot with non-stick cooking spray and saute the onion/pepper combo, garlic and jalapeno until the onions are translucent.

Add your spices and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the remainder ingredients and bring to a boil, stir, then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender and salt to taste along the way.

Pumpkin Cornbread

3/4 cup yellow corn meal

1 1/4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix (if you don’t need to be gluten-free, I’m sure you could use busquick)

3 tbsp agave nectar ( you can use maple syrup, or 1/4 cup of sugar as well)

Flax Eggs ( 2 tbsp milled flax-seed mixed with 3 or 4 tbsp water, set aside until a gel forms and add to recipe)

3/4 cup frozen corn kernels

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup to 1 cup almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice… I would avoid rice since it has a watery consistency)

Mix all ingredients leave the milk for last and adjust for moisture. The batter will be quite thick. Since we are not using any raw animal ingredients you can taste the batter for sweetness and adjust to your taste.

Pour batter into a cake pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and bake at 400 degrees until a knife or toothpick come out clean.

I hope you will enjoy these recipes as much as my family did.

My kids are on fall break this week so finding time to write is more difficult! I will be sharing my 3 tofu recipes as well as homemade veggie burgers (so easy) and Meatless meatloaf in future posts. Stay tuned my friends!

As always, thanks for reading, please pin or share this post with your friends and family.

Much Love,

Your Vegan Friend

Save a Pig, eat some tempeh!

If this is your first time reading, thank you! I would love to see more of you here. If you like what you read, please subscribe, like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter!

Hello Friends!

When I read the very sad news that we were on the cusp of a national bacon shortage I was shocked, saddened…Oh, the humanity!!! Nope, not really at all what I felt:) However, I had to do something. Give the people what they want, right?

I have been wanting to try and make my own version of tempeh bacon and this was the perfect opportunity.  I had already planned to make a new version of Potato Leek soup, with cauliflower instead of the potato and a “B”LT was just the accompaniment my soup needed.

I could eat soup and soup alone all day,  I love fall, I love that soup can once again rejoin my weekly rotation of food. You will be seeing many soup recipes in the near future. It amazes me that a bunch of ingredients thrown in a pot with some water and seasoning can be so comforting and delicious.  My husband however, needs a sandwich to go with it. Feeding him soup and soup alone makes him very sad and I don’t like to make people feel sad about food!

So, on to the tempeh. Tempeh is a fermented soy product that is high in protein and has a much “meatier” and denser consistency than that other soy staple, tofu. Like tofu, tempeh will take on the flavors you marinade it in. It is inexpensive and very easy to prepare. Now, will this tempeh fool anyone into thinking it’s bacon? He** to the no!! The point is to have a savory, crisp, flavorful alternative. I have said it before, “Tofu, tastes just like chicken!…except it doesn’t”.

My husband loved this sandwich, he could have cared less that bacon was not present. My kids after smelling it baking couldn’t wait to try it and they loved it too. I am planning to tweak this recipe and try adding some liquid smoke and some other flavor combo’s.

As for the soup, I wanted a less starchy way to make a creamy comforting soup. I use cauliflower in place of potatoes quite a bit (Potatoes are a sometimes food) so I thought this could work. You can make a mean mashed cauliflower (this actually has faked my husband and others out on several occasions). This soup is remarkably easy and cheap! Veggies in a pot, seasoned and puree. We also have a good amount leftover for lunch today:)

Here are the recipes:

Tempeh Bacon

I sliced the tempeh in thin strips. Then steam the tempeh for about 10 minutes. You can skip this step but I find that the tempeh tastes a little bitter if you don’t steam it first.

an example of how I slice my tempeh

I prepared a marinade:

1/4 cup tamari (gluten-free) soy sauce

2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tbsp Agave Nectar (you could sub maple syrup or brown sugar)

2 crushed garlic cloves

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

You could also add 2tsp of liquid smoke ( I didn’t have any on hand, but it would make for that smokey bacon taste)

Add your tempeh strips to the marinade, cover and refrigerate until ready to use (at least 15 minutes), I marinated mine for a few hours.

When ready to bake pre-heat oven to 400 degrees

Spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and add the tempeh to the baking pan. Spray the tempeh with cooking spray.

Bake around 6 minutes on each side but watch closely since oven temps and times vary.

Build your sandwich and enjoy!

“B”LT, I made mine gluten-free by wrapping the tomato and pickle in lettuce.

Cauliflower Leek Soup

1 head Cauliflower

2 leeks (chopped white and light green portion)

2 small carrots, diced

2 ribs celery diced

2 garlic cloves sliced

4 cups Vegetable Broth or water

Salt to taste

Pepper for garnish

(I added a healthy dash of cayenne because I like some heat)

Saute the leeks, carrots, celery and garlic until the leeks are a bit translucent.

Add veg broth or water and the cauliflower and seasoning.

Bring to a boil then reduce to Medium heat. Cook until cauliflower is tender.

Transfer to a blender or use an immersion blender and blend veggies until smooth and creamy.

Creamy, decadent and HEALTHY!!! Topped with some tempeh bacon, of course.

I hope you will try, and enjoy these very pig friendly recipes. If there are recipes you would like to see on the blog or dishes you would like me to “veganize” please comment below or shoot me and email at yourveganfriend@gmail.com.

Once again, thanks so much for reading!

Much Love,

Your Vegan Friend

Piece Meal

Hi All!

I just returned from a fabulous girls beach vacation with eight of my girl friends. It was refreshing, relaxing, fun and inspiring. Nothing like a few days away to renew your mind and heart.

Yesterday was my first full day home and I didn’t have much time (or motivation, for that matter) to go through the pantry and make a grocery list. We still had to eat something for dinner so this is what I came up with.

This is what I found in the fridge, freezer and cabinets.

I had half an onion that was wrapped in foil, some garlic cloves, sweet potato, canned diced tomatoes, canned black-eyed peas and some frozen collards and corn. Along with some spices I decided to make a black-eyed pea and collard green soup with baked sweet potato fries. I didn’t have quite enough frozen collards so I added the corn in for some extra bulk.

I simply sautéed the onion and garlic over medium heat, then added all of the other ingredients. A teaspoon of turmeric, a dash of cayenne and some salt to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer until collards are tender (maybe 10 minutes).


Simmering Soup

For the sweet potato fries, cut the potatoes in to fry like wedges, spray with cooking spray and season as desired. I use Spike, it’s a low sodium all-purpose seasoning that can be found in most grocery stores. It adds great flavor and has far less sodium than any conventional fry would. Bake at 400 degrees for around 15 minutes, turn once at around the 7 minute mark.

Sweet Potatoes, cut, seasoned and ready to bake!

Voila! A pantry dinner in around 30 minutes that is healthy, inexpensive and satisfying.

Yummy dinner!

Some of my best meals come from the simplest ingredients. I will write more about my trip and the yummy pasta meal we shared later this week. Until then, enjoy the crisp fall weather!


Much Love,

Your Vegan Friend