Recipes

Creamy Green Pea Mockamole – Low fat and cheap guacamole without avocados

By on September 15, 2017

 

Has anyone else noticed how expensive avocados are lately? I don’t know if it has anything to do with the current American political scene or what, but they are the price of rubies, even at affordable Aldi, where I do most of my grocery shopping. I have not bought them lately because they are too extravagant for my budget, but I know some people avoid them for different reasons, perhaps because they have a good amount of fat (even if it is “good” fat) or simply because they don’t like avocados.

This is a basic recipe for mock guacamole, or creamy green pea salsa, that you can jazz up to your liking with cumin, chili powder, peppers, hot sauce, herbs, tomatoes, or garlic. It is made in the blender and comes together in a few minutes.

It’s great on chips or on Beanadillas. Use it just like regular guacamole. For thicker sauce, use less plant milk and be prepared to scrape the sides of the blender or food processor a couple of times.

Also, since it’s made out of green peas, it doesn’t turn brown!  You can store it or freeze it and it will still retain its happy, bright green color.

1 and 3/4 cup frozen green peas, thawed – they will compress to 1.5 cups once thawed
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
1/4 cup unflavored plant milk such as soy or almond
2 tablespoons roughly chopped onion
Salt to taste – I used 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt

Directions:

Thaw green peas and strain off water if necessary.  I thawed mine in the microwave for 1.5 minutes on high.  Chop onion, set aside.  Combine peas, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil (optional, it’s added only to enhance the creaminess), salt, and the plant milk in a food processor or blender.  Blend or food process until the mixture becomes chunky and a little creamy because of the soy milk, about 30 seconds to one minute.  You might have to scrape down the sides of the blender/food processor with a spatula once or twice during processing, like I did.  Put the roughly chopped onions in the blender.  Taste and add more salt if needed.  Now would also be a good time to add hot sauce, spices, herbs, chopped peppers, or anything else you’ve got to make your salsa more exciting.  Pulse the blender a few more times to distribute the onions and your added seasonings.  Spoon it out of the blender — I use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and top.   Serve at room temperature or chill depending on how you like it.

Makes about 1 and 3/4 cup of mockamole.  Consume or freeze within a week of making it.

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Recipes

Creamy Cucumber Salad – Tasty, Dairy-free Side Dish with Classic Midwestern Flair

By on June 26, 2017

Cucumber salad, makes 4 side dish servings

2 medium cucumbers
1/2 teaspoon salt (to sweat the cucumbers)

2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise

1 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dill

Directions

Peel & slice cucumber thinly and toss with salt in a colander or strainer. Press out as much water as you can. It is OK to smash the cucumber down a bit.

Add strained cucumber to a large bowl. Add mayo, onion, and dill to bowl and mix well. Chill or serve immediately.

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Recipes

Eggless “Egg” Salad – Easy, Filling, Vegan Sandwiches on the Cheap

By on June 5, 2017

eggless egg salad

You can make this impressive, high protein, low fat vegan egg salad in under 7 minutes with less than 7 ingredients for less than $7.  Pair with your favorite bread, eat it on lettuce or cabbage leaves, or just eat it straight from the bowl!

Eggless “Egg” Salad, makes about 4 servings

1 package tofu

Paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, to blot tofu

1 tablespoon chopped onion, or to taste

2-3 ribs celery, chopped (about 1.5 cups)

2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise

1 teaspoon prepared mustard, we used regular table mustard

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon pickle relish or chopped pickle (optional)

Chop onions and celery.  Slice tofu into 3 or 4 slices and blot dry with paper towels.  The tofu does not have to be perfectly dry, it just has to have some of the dampness removed so the salad does not get too soggy.  In a large bowl, smash the tofu with all of the other ingredients: celery, onion, mayo, mustard, turmeric, and optional relish.

Serve immediately as a sandwich filling, wrapped in lettuce or cabbage leaves, or on its own.

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Recipes

Restaurant Quality Vegan Fried Rice in Minutes… Under $1 Per Plate!

By on May 16, 2017
vegan fried rice

You can make delicious fried rice that tastes like it came from a great Chinese restaurant in minutes… plus fried rice is one of the cheapest meals out there, adding up to $1 per plate or less in actual food cost.

You can do this!

It’s definitely NOT rocket science.

Almost finished…

Easily customizable! Add your favorite vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, or veggie meat.

vegan fried rice

RECIPE BELOW:

K’s Classic Fried Rice, makes about 4 servings

2 cups white, basmati, or brown rice, cooked and then refrigerated or frozen and thawed

1 cup broccoli, chopped

1 cup sliced cabbage or whole bean sprouts

1 cup frozen vegetable mix, thawed and drained OR miscellaneous leftover vegetables

2 tablespoons refined coconut oil or vegetable oil that can withstand high temperatures, such as sesame oil or canola oil

1/2 cup regular or green onion, chopped

1/4 cup soy sauce (to taste)

DIRECTIONS:

Set all ingredients near the stove. Heat a high-temperature pan or wok to high heat. Add oil to pan. Once oil begins to smoke… SUPER HOT…, add broccoli. Stir fry for 30 seconds, then add all remaining vegetables except onion. Stir fry 30 seconds to a minute. Add rice, stir fry 30 seconds more while tossing around the pan. Add onion and soy sauce, stir fry about one minute more.

Add salt if needed.

FAQ: What’s with the rice needing to be pre-refrigerated and/or frozen and then thawed?

Answer: Rice undergoes a molecular change when chilled. It gets harder and nubbier, which makes it not so great for reheating plain (unless you like hard rice!) but fantastic for high-temperature frying, because unlike freshly-cooked rice, the pre-chilled rice stays firm and takes on a delightful chew.

Question: Why the high-temperature + high temperature oil?

Answer: Most Asian methods of stir fry involve frying vegetables and other foods at high temperatures because it is quick and seals in the flavor. You should put all your ingredients to the side of the cooking area and bring the oil to the highest temperature you can get — turn the fan on high! — to get a great-tasting result. Olive oil cannot withstand high temperatures, so it is advised to use oils that can without breaking down, for instance corn oil, canola (rapeseed) oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, and sesame oil.

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Recipes

Beanadillas – Five Minutes to Feed Four!

By on April 12, 2017


Beanadillas — quick, cheap, healthy, and low fat!  This idea came about from my old days as a pre-vegan vegetarian.  Taco Bell offers many vegetarian (and nowadays vegan) options and they’re even willing to veganize some of the meat items.  One of their dishes, the “Mexican Pizza”, can switch out ground beef for beans.  It wasn’t too much of a stretch to think of making a toasted refried bean sandwich with a couple of tortillas and to top it with salsa and fresh avocado, like this:


The beauty of the beanadilla is that it requires 4 or less ingredients and takes only a few minutes to make.  It’s the perfect vegan meal when you are feeling hangry or have hungry kids who need to eat RIGHT NOW.

The ingredients: 

1 can refried beans or any cooked beans, drained and smashed (stick ’em in the food processor)
8 large tortillas
1 avocado or 1 package store bought guacamole
Store-bought or homemade salsa, to taste

Optional: oil for frying

For our non-American readers… What is a refried bean and are refried beans vegan?

For starters, refried beans aren’t actually fried, and they’re certainly not fried twice as the term “refried beans” would imply.  Refried beans are simply mushed-up pinto beans.  Yep, that’s it, brown beans that are mushed into paste.  Watch out though, because sometimes refried beans include animal lard.  The fat free ones are usually accidentally vegan, so always read the label. Suffice to say, if you don’t have refried beans in your neighborhood, take a can of beans, rinse them, and puree them in a blender or food processor with just enough water or vegetable broth to get them to blend to a thick paste.

Directions:

Spread beans about 1/2 inch thick in a layer across one tortilla, sandwich with other tortilla. Fry with or without oil in a pan or on a griddle on medium heat for about 1.5 minutes, flip and cook for another 30 seconds.

Transfer bean sandwich to a cutting board and cut like a pizza. Top with salsa and avocado.

Makes 4 large servings

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