Savory vegan oatmeal

One of my favorite dinners when I’m cooking for one is a big bowl of oatmeal. And as a girl who will take salty over sweet any day, I came up with the perfect way to make a meal out of the popular breakfast food.

Just throw in some spices & veggies & whatever else you have up in the cupboard and voila! A tasty, healthy dinner. And the best part… it takes a max of 15 minutes to prepare. That sounds pretty darn good to me when I come dragging home from work in the evenings.
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Ingredients:
1/2 cup Quaker oats
1 cup water
dash of salt
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1/8 cup shredded vegan cheese
Handful of spinach
Dash of Italian seasoning

Bring 1 cup of water to boil and cook oatmeal according to directions on package.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan. Saute mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes (if fresh). Sprinkle in Italian seasoning to taste. You can also use some fresh chopped basil or rosemary.

Once veggies have cooked, mix into oatmeal. Pour into a bowl, top with the shredded vegan cheese and enjoy your yummy, “cheesy”, savory oats!

Told you it was a cinch : )

Pineapple upside down oatmeal recipe

I’m not really a cake girl. When I reach for dessert (which is more often than I care to admit), I go for chewy oatmeal raisin cookies or dark chocolate brownies first. But there is one cake that I can’t get enough of: pineapple upside down cake! Obviously I can’t shouldn’t eat that for breakfast every morning. So I came up with this oatmeal recipe that combines all my favorite flavors of pineapple upside down yummyness into a healthy breakfast choice!

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup oats

1 cup water

2-3 pineapple rings or a few chunks of fresh pineapple

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBSP brown sugar

A pinch of allspice or cinnamon

 

Heat the water on the stove and stir in the oats. Once they are fully cooked, remove from heat. Mix in the vanilla extract, brown sugar, and allspice/cinnamon. Toss in the pineapple rings. Voila! One delicious serving of pineapple upside down oatmeal! No better way to start your day in my book : )

 

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Avocado chickpea salad recipe

Avocados are like candy to me. Seriously. The other day I read about a company that mails you a monthly stash of those delicious green fruits. How perfect! If I wasn’t a cash-strapped twenty something, I’d sign right up! I eat avocados with, on, and in ANYTHING. I realized the other day that I desperately need to include more protein in my vegan diet. I had a can of chickpeas in the pantry and thought… hey! Avocados + chickpeas + a few other good ingredients could be the recipe for a perfect spring lunch. Hence, the avocado chickpea “salad” was born!

avocado

Ingredients:

*this makes two servings!

1 cup chickpeas

1/2 avocado

1/2 cup salsa

1/2 red onion, chopped into small pieces

2 TBSP lime juice

Dash of salt and pepper

Fresh cilantro (to your liking)

 

Mash the avocado with the chickpeas. I like to keep it pretty chunky but feel free to use a food processor if you want a smoother texture. Then stir in the rest of the ingredients. I love cilantro so I definitely added quite a bit. Any salsa will do… I personally love the Mateo’s salsa from Costco or the black bean & corn salsa from Target!

Old fashioned southern lemonade recipe

One thing I absolutely love about the South is the drinks (non alcoholic of course!). To say I’m addicted to sweet tea and homemade lemonade would be an understatement. Since the weather is warming up here in North Carolina, I decided I’d try my hand at making some good old fashioned southern lemonade. I lightened it up by using Splenda…mainly because I didn’t have regular sugar at home. Oops! Feel free to use whatever sugar product you like most : ) Also, this recipe is the perfect balance of sweet and tart in my opinion. If you prefer sweeter lemonade or a little more tang, adjust the measurements to your tastes.

lemon

Amanda’s Southern Lemonade

8 lemons

8 cups water

2/3 cup Splenda

 

Juice the lemons in a small bowl. Save the rinds!

Boil 5 cups of water.

Put Splenda in a separate bowl and add 1 cup of the boiling water to it. Stir until it’s dissolved.

Place the lemon rinds in the rest of the boiling water. Remove from heat, cover and let sit anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

Remove the rinds. Mix the lemon-infused water, the sugar water, the lemon juice and the remaining 3 cups of water in a pitcher.

Let chill in the refrigerator overnight and serve on a warm sunny day. Delicious!

 

Vegan whole wheat pizza crust recipe

One of my favorite things to do after a busy day is to get a little messy in the kitchen with my boyfriend. We LOVE cooking together. It makes it much more enjoyable and we’ve had a blast trying out all the recipes I find on Pinterest. The other day, we were craving our favorite pizza from Sticks and Stones. But neither of us felt like making the 40 minute drive to Greensboro plus the Oscars were coming on! So we found a no rise wheat pizza crust recipe (that was vegan for me of course). It is SOOOO easy and quick and let me tell you… it was absolutely delicious! We scarfed that whole thing down. The recipe is perfect for two people so grab your boyfriend or hubby or best friend, load up on some yummy toppings, and enjoy a hot slice of homemade pizza.

 

pizza

 

Ingredients:

– 1 Tbsp yeast

– 1 cup warm water

– 2 Tbsp olive oil

– 2 & 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

– 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

– sprinkle of salt

 

Mix all of the ingredients together*. Press onto a pizza stone or greased baking sheet and top with any ingredients you like. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 450 degrees. Bon appetit!

 

*I adapted this recipe from here. The original recipe called for regular flour but since I used all whole wheat, you may need to add a little more than a cup of water to get the right consistency for the dough.

Baking vegan: butter substitutes

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I LOVE to bake. Cookies, brownies, bars, cookies, breads, cookies. Did I mention cookies?? Not only are baked goodies delicious to eat, they’re perfect for gifts and sharing at parties. But being a vegan baker has its problems. One of the biggest problems is butter. So many recipes call for butter so how do we, as vegans, get around that ingredient and still turn out some pretty tasty treats? Here’s a list of a few butter substitute ideas for baking:

– Vegan butters. Earth Balance is a non-hydrogenated butter substitute that can be found in most grocery stores.

– Oils. You can use coconut, extra virgin olive, or vegetable oil. There is a trick to this substitution though: 1 cup butter = 3/4 cup oil.

– Applesauce. This will make your cookies or bread a bit denser and may alter the flavor but it works. And adds a little serving of fruit : )

– Avocado. My hands-down favorite substitution. Did you know you can use avocado on toast instead of butter too? It’s delicious if you haven’t tried it!

What do you do to “veganize” your favorite baking recipes?

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Avocado dip recipe

Avocados are known as one of the super foods for all of the goodness packed inside them. It’s an added bonus that they’re ridiculously yummy! While I love eating them plain, sometimes its nice to mix it up. This avocado dip is great with multigrain crackers or nachos. Or, just eat it straight from the bowl like my boyfriend does. Its kinda like guacamole (but better). Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 whole avocados

1 cup chunky salsa (I use Pace Mild)

1 bunch cilantro

1 tbsp lime juice

Salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1. Peel & pit the avocados. Then chop into small pieces.

2. Add everything into a bowl and mix! I like to mash up the avocado pieces but still leave some chunks for more texture.  Also, adjust the amount of cilantro to your liking. I LOVE it so I add a ton!

3. Serve immediately with crackers/chips or store chilled in the refrigerator. It would also be yummy as a spread on a sandwich!

 

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