Posts tagged Vegan main dish

Roasted Winter Squash Over Garlic Fettuccine with Baked Vegan Cheese

Baked Cheeze and Roasted Squash over Garlic Fettuccine

Crazy me, I thought I could get back to blogging again, but crazier me decided that I was going to knock something off of my bucket list and enter a bodybuilding/bikini competition this year. Yep. CRAZY crazy me.

So far, training has been awesome. I have 21 weeks under my belt of working out 5 days per week and HARD! I am very proud that I haven’t missed one workout. Not one! Now if I could just be as dedicated of a blogger… I know :( There’s something about knowing that I’ll be 41 years old, half naked on a stage and competing against girls half my age that really lights a fire under my @ss!

The good news is that I only have four weeks until show time and then it’s back to cooking and baking things I can eat without a care. It’s like, do I wanna be a chef or an athlete? It’s a total dilemma! But in all honesty, it hasn’t been that bad. I still eat most things I want. It’s the beauty of already having developed a healthy lifestyle. Back in my old “bodybuilding” days it was chicken, chicken, a side of chicken, tuna, eggs and more chicken. YUK. I can still smell it. Now that I’ve opened my mind, I can eat wonderful meals with diversity, colors and flavor. No more chicken. Bleh.  “GASP – But WHERE do you get your protein???” I was recently asked this question by a very shocked figure competitor who’s eyes were as big as saucers when I told her I was vegan. I LOVE IT!!!!

My favorite thing about this competition is knowing that I won’t be the girl on show day who is constipated, crabby and tired as all hell. Nope. I’ll be feeling great and all CARBED UP! GO VEGAN!

This recipe I’m sharing goes way back, B.V. – Before Vegan – to when my husband and I lived in Raleigh, NC. We shared great times and great dinners with some truly wonderful friends. We miss you Nic and Carrie! It’s hard no to think of our friends every time we serve this. We are thankful they introduced it to us and thankful most anything can be veganized! IT’S AWESOME!

Try this dish and attach some of your own memories to it. If serving to friends or family, they will be impressed. We were! It’s straightforward, simply beautiful and pairs great with a colorful side salad.

Gluten Free? I use brown rice fettuccine noodles and I “bread” the vegan cheese with finely ground cashews instead of bread crumbs in order to make this a wonderful gluten free dish.

Right now, I’m going to give you a good tip: Buy the Butternut squash already peeled OR pierce it with a knife and microwave it on high for about 4 minutes BEFORE peeling with an INSANELY sharp peeler. Your thumb will thank you. Don’t worry, it’s all good now. I healed just fine ;)

Baked Vegan Cheese and Roasted Squash Over Garlic Fettuccine

 Roasted Winter Squash Over Garlic Fettuccine with Baked Vegan Cheese

Ingredients

  • 6 Cups Cubed, Peeled Butternut Squash (1 inch)
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 TB Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt, divided
  • 1 tsp or more chopped fresh Rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 package of Teese Vegan Mozarella Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup dry Organic Bread Crumbs or 1/2 Cup finely ground Cashews
  • 1 Package Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta Fettuccine
  • 1/4 tsp crushed Red Pepper (I put it on the table as an option)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°.

Add butternut squash and bell pepper to a large bowl and add 1 tablespoon oil; toss well. Arrange mixture in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan.  Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and black pepper. Bake at 425° for 40 minutes, stirring once.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Return pasta to pan; add reserved pasta cooking water, remaining 1 1/2 Tablespoons oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and garlic. Toss to coat.

Cut the Teese cheese crosswise into 8 equal rounds. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Either dip the rounds into oil (or water, if watching oil intake) and dredge each round in breadcrumbs; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 6 minutes. Check after 4 minutes to be sure it isn’t melting all over the place. You want it to stay round and somewhat firm.

Place 1 1/4 cups pasta in each serving bowl and top with about 1/2 cup squash mixture and 1 Teese cheese round. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired. Serve with crushed red pepper as an optional condiment.

Enjoy!

~The Karmatarian

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Good Karma Bowl

The Good Karma Bowl

Who has been to the Native Foods Cafe?!! OMG. I just love that place. One of my favorite dishes is their soul bowl. I wanted to recreate this at home since the drive to the cafe is about an hour or so for me. Boooo. So the good karma bowl is just my knock off, give or take some ingredients. Ok, I totally just guessed at it, but I’m quite happy with the result. I bet the Native Foods Cafe cookbook has the exact recipe, as Chef Tanya seems happy to share, but I don’t have my own copy yet. I was just looking for another great vegan meal and remembered this dish… and let me tell you, it is comforting, it is delicious and it is fun! I tried to be a little fancy when I served it to my family, kind of like they do at the cafe. I put the veggie tenders on a skewer…

 Good Karma Bowl

What makes the original soul bowl so great is the Native Food’s homemade seitan. Homemade seitan is not going to happen anytime soon in my house, so I just buy it from the store.

But that’s not so healthy so you say? Here is what works for me… I committed long ago to making 4 or more dinners per week out of the Forks Over Knives cookbook or handbook or similar style cookbooks and recipes off the web. That means, no oil, little to no salt or sugar, no vegan processed foods, only tons of flavor through whole plant based foods and spices. The other nights I might add a little oil. One night a week I may add convenient vegan foods. This way I know me and my family eat top notch, delicious and healthy the majority of the time. So when I throw in a vegan pizza, or we cook veggie brats on the grill or enjoy gardein crispy tenders… it is fun, enjoyable and our cheat… but is it really cheating? I refuse to feel guilty. Sounds funny for a vegan to “cheat” with versions that are actually healthier than the original meat counterparts, but I’m just throwing it out there because too many non-veg people tend to look for flaws with people who eat healthy or vegan. They falsely think these types of vegan products are bad. They aren’t bad. Certainly not when you compare them to animal products and that whole mess. These types of vegan foods have their wonderful place and when vegans enjoy what they eat, they tend to stay vegan. That is key. You can be vegan or you can be a health nut. I am a bit of both, so I am armed with all the ammo I need to stay on this awesome vegan wagon!

We might be vegan in our home but we still enjoy the chewing sensation, which unfortunately is what eating dense animal flesh provides to many a non-vegan. This is why us vegans enjoy these kinds of convenient vegan foods and “meats” which are familiar to what we grew up with, without the harming the animals part. So there you have it and now there is no need to wonder any longer. It is as simple as… vegans still like to chew and we still like variety. I wish I didn’t have to justify any of this… but so go I. 

This recipe is easy, but takes some prep, multi-tasking and assembly. Over all it’s quick and easy. The whole recipe can be found at the end of the post.

rice for the good karma bowl

First, you need to prepare some brown rice. I like to use my rice cooker. I tend to throw it on early in the day when I am thinking about what’s for dinner so that I am not left scrambling without brown rice at 5 o’clock or forced to make something else that doesn’t require rice because I forgot or ran out of time. Brown rice takes a long time to cook. You can always freeze portions to be used at later time, too. The brand of rice I really enjoy lately is Lundberg short grain brown rice.

veggies for the good karma bowl

You’ll want to get your water boiling to steam your veggies. I enjoy a blend of broccoli, cauliflower, sliced carrots and this time I threw in organic shelled soybeans but you can omit these if you choose or add another type of veggie.

Gardein nuggets for the good karma bowl

Bake your gardein crispy tenders while your veggies are steaming. These take the longest amount of time, a whopping 20 minutes.

Beans and vegan mayo and bbq for good karma bowl

Prepare your kidney beans (meaning take them out of the can, rinse and drain). Pull your vegan mayo out of the fridge or make your own (recipe below) and find your favorite bbq sauce minus the high fructose corn syrup, of course.

Steamed kale for the good karma bowl

Lightly steam your kale in a skillet will a small amount of boiling water and a lid. Takes about 2 minutes to steam.

The Good Karma Bowl

When everything is ready, assemble. Start with a scoop of rice, then a scoop of beans, a scoop of veggies, a helping of steamed kale and then approximately 2 tablespoons of bbq sauce and 2 tablespoons of vegan mayo.

Good Karma Bowl Mixed

Mix until all the flavors are incorporated. You can cut the tenders into the dish….. and EN-freaking-JOY!

 Good Karma Bowl

 Good Karma Bowl

Ingredients

  • Cooked Brown Rice
  • Veggies for steaming (ex. California blend or broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and organic shelled soybeans)
  • Organic Kale
  • 1 Can of Organic-Low Sodium, Red Kidney Beans
  • Gardein 7 Grain Crispy Tenders 
  • Favorite BBQ Sauce
  • Vegan Mayo
  • Sea Salt for serving, to bring out the flavors, only if necessary.

Directions

Pre-heat the oven according to package directions for the crispy tenders. Boil water for steaming your vegetables. Rip the kale from the stems into bite size pieces and rinse. Set aside. Open the can of kidney beans, rinse and drain. Prepare mayo and bbq sauce. 

Bake the crispy tenders and steam your veggies. When those are both finished. Steam the kale in a skillet with about a 1/2 cup boiling water for about 2 minutes covered with a lid. Drain.

Assemble your bowls. Put a scoop of cooked brown rice, topped with a scoop of kidney beans, a scoop of steamed veggies and finish with steamed kale. Add approximately 2 tablespoons bbq sauce and 2 tablespoons mayo. Mix to incorporate flavors before digging in and enjoy!

My Homemade Vegan Mayo

Ingredients

  • 1 Package Silken Tofu or Firm Silken Tofu
  • 1 Cup Cashews
  • 3 Tbs fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1/8- 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Splash of Agave Syrup to taste

Directions

Put all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. This keeps for about 2 weeks and will thicken upon refrigeration.

Enjoy

~The Karmatarian

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Portobello Pizzas

Vegan Portobello Pizza

I love Portobello Pizza. It’s one of the easy, fast, low fat staples in my recipe rotation. It’s the kind of meal that let’s you have dessert afterward without guilt.  I usually serve this with a side salad and wild rice blend that is cooked up in veggie broth with a little added nutritional yeast. Or… whatever leftovers I might have on hand. In just 30 minutes, Dinner can be served!

Sometimes I add basil and extra garlic or spinach leaves. Sometimes I fill these with a vegan pesto. Either way, they are fast and good.

This idea of Portobello Pizza isn’t new to me and probably isn’t new to you, either. However, I used to make this pizza with dairy cheese (pre-vegan) and then went on to make it with vegan cheese. I found that in both scenarios, the texture of the mushroom paired with sauce AND slimy cheese, was well… too slimy. I can’t think of a better word. Maybe slippery? I mean, the whole topping just slides right off the mushroom if you aren’t careful.  Maybe you can relate?

I like to change up textures and flavors all the time in the kitchen and Portobello anything is a nice change of pace.  As for the pizza, I finally found a good combination that is very pleasing and complimentary. I now use a crushed cashew “cheese” topping that I have used before in other recipes, and it happens to be perfect for the mushroom pizza. You have to try it!

This can be a low sodium, oil free and gluten free meal depending on your sauce and your side dishes. It can be VERY hard to find a jarred pasta sauce without oil, a ton of sodium and sugar. Good luck to you! The last sauce I used was from Trader Joe’s, you know the fat-free organic one they usually hide waaayyyy down on the bottom shelf. I don’t know why? If I had the jar here now, I could tell you the sodium and sugar content but my guess is that it’s not great. I was just happy it was OIL FREE and ORGANIC. I’ll double check it next time I’m there. You probably can’t believe I let that slip by. I try to choose my battles over here and I tend not to fight them all at once. Things usually balance out over the course of the day.

I do know there is a brand of oil free and low sodium pasta sauce out there which my dad recently found and likes. It will most likely have to be ordered on line. I will get back to you with the name of it.

 

 

Portobello Pizzas

Ingredients

  • Large Portobello Mushroom Caps (the amount is up to you, I usually make 5 or 6 – 2 for each adult and one for my little guy)
  • A Jar of Your Favorite Pasta Sauce
  • 1 Cup Raw Cashews (this depends on how many pizzas you make but I always make extra topping to keep in the pantry
  • Optional – Other toppings you might enjoy, such as fresh basil, minced fresh garlic, spinach leaves

Directions

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees

Wash the mushroom caps gently, remove the stems and pat dry with paper towels

Fill the mushrooms with sauce and extra optional toppings and place in a shallow glass baking dish (I usually use a 9 x 13)

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes until the juices begin to flow (if the juices aren’t flowing, they have not finished cooking)

While the mushrooms are baking, pulse the cashews in the food processor until desired texture (I like a semi-fine Parmesan cheese-like texture mixed with chunky bits of cashew)

Remove the pan from the oven and top pizzas with ground cashews and bake again for 5-10 minutes longer… but watch closely. Cashews should be barely toasted. If you are brave, you could broil on low for a minute.

I would love to hear your reviews, topping ideas and more. Feel free to comment below.

Enjoy!

~The Karmatarian

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Power C Tempeh Over Minted Tricolor Quinoa

My cousin Rocks! She started researching food production and she took her new shock and awe and did exactly what I did… she turned that energy into something productive. She is very much on board with the vegan/raw movement and she is making the important and necessary changes for the health of her family. I am so proud of her!

Hard at work in the kitchen, she’s experimenting and trying new dishes that not only taste good, they are good for you. The best part is, she shares her good finds with me. She is an awesome cook! How exciting that I could just relax at her family parties, knowing I can graze on anything at the table! Could there be a family raw/vegan restaurant in our future? We might just change our family’s reputation from the family of Hair Stylists (although she isn’t a Hair Stylist, she escaped that gene, lucky her) to the family of passionate and healthy foodies. I am all good with that! My other cousin, sister and dad are also on the right train… My dad being very much vegan now, and wow did he turn his health around!

Recently, my cousin served this Tempeh recipe she found, at her daughter’s birthday party. It was so delicious! I went home and had to make it, but of course I didn’t have the exact ingredients on hand… so this is the twist I came up with. It got rave reviews!  At least I hope my husband wasn’t just being nice. He happens to be a great taste tester (and sport) for my recipes. Some days he gets a little luckier than others! And we are still talking about the food here.

Power C Tempeh over Minted Tricolor Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1- 8 oz package of Tempeh
  • 1 Cup Tricolor Quinoa (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 tsp Concentrated Vegetable Broth (I like Better than Bouillon brand)
  • 1 Cup Naked Brand Power C Smoothie
  • 1 Tbs Grated Ginger
  • 1 Tbs Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Tamari
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1-2 Tbs Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Lime
  • Handful of Chopped Mint Leaves
  • Sea Salt

Directions

Fill a medium saucepan with 2 cups water. Rinse quinoa well in cold water and add it to the saucepan. Bring to a boil and add concentrated vegetable broth. Stir, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook down until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, add the Power C smoothie to a bowl. Add the grated ginger, Tamari, rice vinegar, maple syrup, ground coriander and garlic. Mix this and set it aside.

Cut the Tempeh into 3rds, then diagonals, then turn pieces on their side and slice in half again to make thinner triangles. You could even cut these again to make them more bite sized.

Heat the coconut oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat. When heated, add the tempeh and cook 5 minutes per side until golden brown.

Add the Power C mixture and simmer for 10 minutes, being sure to turn the tempeh while simmering.

Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork and add a handful of chopped mint to taste

Serve the tempeh over the minted quinoa,  spoon the sauce over the top and finish it off with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of sea salt, which really helps to bring out the flavors in this dish. Garnish with mint leaves if desired.

Enjoy,

~The Karmatarian

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Chinese Spiced Beefless Tips Over Rice Noodles

Quite the emotional start to my Summer with the passing of my sweet Grandmother. A big life event that understandably set the tone for the rest of the season. And although I have a strong faith about where she now resides, I am waiting patiently for her to give me a sign that she is safe at home wearing her new angel wings. So, missing Grandma, I am feeling kind of melancholy for now. I’m hoping to create some relaxing days in the sun yet to come with gratitude for all things, big and small.  I’ve learned from my Gram that even 95 long years go by way too quick! But until I feel like whoopin’ it up again, I am living vicariously through everyone else and I’m ok with that. This is kind of a working summer for me anyway, being a 4 personal year (numerology). It’s pretty basic. 

My own experience aside, it is my sincere hope that Summer so far has been a fantastic one for all of my fabulous friends and readers!

So I’m thinking about all the wonderful miracles of life growing in gardens everywhere. The need may arise for another great recipe to showcase those robust tomatoes, flavorful green onions and delicious basil to come. Ha… I just like saying the word Rrrobust! This recipe I want to share I never thought I’d see again having gone vegan.  Hard to believe I used to make this with flank steak. Gasp-right?! Then I got my hands on the gardein beefless tips and remembered this old favorite. Now I can proudly share it with you! Even though I started this post off on a mellow tone, this recipe is anything but.

This dish is a fast fix (fast is always welcome) with bold flavor that flirts with spicy. You could amp up the spice if you like.  I’m not a huge spicy food fan, I don’t mind a little, but I really enjoy the spicy flavor in this particular dish.  I make this on rare occasion for a delicious change of pace. It shocks me that it even passed the toddler test. Well maybe I’m not too shocked, it’s pretty good! I have to add that the spice is nicely offset by the simple rice noodles. However, white rice noodles aren’t the usual ’round here, but they certainly make for a great presentation for this. You could substitute whole grain fettuccine or brown basmati rice and your favorite soy sauce sub for a health nut version.

Chinese Spiced Beefless Tips Over Rice Noodles

Ingredients

1/2 bag (about 6 ounces) Trader Joe’s Rice Sticks (Thai Style Pasta) Or 4-6 Oz Wide Rice Noodles

1 Tbs Organic Canola Oil

1/8 Cup Hoisin Sauce

1/8 Cup Trader Joe’s Mango Butter (Or you can use more hoisin sauce. I use the Mango Butter to tone down the spice a bit and to round out the flavors)

3 Tbs Low Sodium Soy Sauce

3/4-1 tsp Chinese Five Spice Powder (Usually found in the Asian isle of the supermarket. It consists of Cinnamon, Star Anise, Fennel, Ginger Cloves, White Pepper and Licorice. My taste buds prefer to use 3/4 tsp)

1 tsp Dried Basil or 1 Tbs Fresh Basil, chopped

1 Bag of Gardein Home Style Beefless Tips (frozen 9 Oz bag)

1 large or 2 medium Garlic Cloves, minced

2 Tbs Green Onions, minced

1 large Tomato cut into 8 wedges (If you love tomatoes, you can use 2 medium)

2 Green Onions, cut into 2-inch pieces

How to Prepare

Cook noodles according to package directions, omit salt and fat.

While noodles cook, heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Combine hoisin sauce, mango butter, soy sauce, five spice powder, dried basil (if using fresh basil, add near the end with tomato) set aside.

Once the oil is heated, add package of Gardein Beefless Tips and stir fry for a few minutes to brown.

When Beefless tips are browned and almost heated through add minced garlic and chopped green onion to the pan. Stir fry another minute until garlic and onion are just softened and add sauce mixture. Cook another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the beefless mixture is hot and lightly bubbling, stir in your tomato wedges and 2-inch green onion pieces (fresh basil now if using). Cover with a lid and cook another 2 minutes until softened and hot. Serve over noodles.

This recipe yields 2 large servings or 3 smaller servings.

It’s always nice to finish a spicy meal with a sweet treat. How about Vegan Chinese almond cookies? Here are two recipes I found. Personally, I would omit the sesame seeds on this first one. This second one looks good and is a bit healthier!

As always, I love to read your thoughts. Keep me posted!

Enjoy!!!

The Karmatarian~

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