Portobello Mushroom Steaks (GF, V)

Post by Megan Stulberg

I probably shouldn’t remember this part of the evening, but on my boyfriend and I’s first date ever, we went to a vegan restaurant where I ordered a portobello mushroom steak. Considering how much I wouldn’t shut up about how amazing it was, I am truly very very very lucky that he’s stuck around this long. But I recently went back to that restaurant, ordered the same dish, and they brought me a cauliflower steak instead. What?! It still tasted great, but I must admit I was pretty disappointed. So I set off to make a version at home instead, because I make my own dreams come true. I made this for Christmas dinner and it ended up tasting exactly like I hoped it would.

This recipe is vegan and gluten-free.

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INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 1/2 cup flourless vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • Splash of red wine (make sure it’s vegan! check barnivore.com)
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat vegan butter in a large pan on medium until it begins melting.
2. Add garlic and onion. Pour half the broth, half the soy sauce and red wine into pan, mixing together.
3. Add mushroom caps to pan. Pour remaining broth and soy sauce directly on top of mushroom caps. Add the basil, thyme, salt and pepper at this point as well.
4. Let cook for 2 minutes, then flip. Continue to do this until both sides have browned, mushrooms are completely coated and there’s no more sauce in the pan. If the sauce evaporates before the mushrooms are fully browned, add a bit more broth and garlic, then keep cooking.
5. Remove from heat. Serve immediately with side dishes — I opted for shepherd’s pie with gravy and Hilary’s gluten-free holiday stuffing.
Serve hot. Makes 2 servings.

RECIPES + TIPS TO BE VEGAN ON A BUDGET

Post by Megan Stulberg

One of the most common things I hear when I tell people I’m vegan is something along the lines of, “I want to go vegan too, but I can’t afford it”. I hate to call people out, but that just doesn’t make any sense! My diet isn’t a luxury, or the sign of a lavish lifestyle. Truth be told (and despite what our Instagram feed looks like) I eat very basic dishes 90% of the time. Meat and cheeses are expensive, tofu and veggies are not. Sure, if you’re buying organic cold-pressed juices and take-out vegan meals every day, then yeah. It’ll be expensive. But it’s not hard to do at all, as long as you do it right. Think of it like skipping a step — instead of feeding cows and pigs what they need to get big enough to be slaughtered and eaten, why not eat what the cows and pigs are eating instead? That way you save energy, water, money, and oh yeah. Lives.

Anyways, what I’m saying is stop making excuses. I went vegan when I was a broke ass university student, and you can too. Here are some staple recipe ideas to get you started that are balanced, cost-efficient and able to be prepared in bulk. 

Still have questions? You can always ask us! Here to help. Hit me up at vegangirlfriend@gmail.com.

SIMPLE PASTA BOLOGNESE:

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Ingredients Needed:

  • Pasta (I use corn-based)
  • Jar marinara sauce
  • Beyond Meat “beef” crumbles
  • Go Veggie vegan parmesan “cheese”
  • Dried herbs and spices like basil, thyme, garlic powder, onion, black pepper

Steps:

  1. Make the pasta.
  2. Heat the sauce, sauté the “beef” crumbles. Combine.
  3. Coat pasta evenly, top with parmesan and serve.

Servings: 2-4

SIMPLE CURRY:

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Ingredients Needed:

  • White rice
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Frozen veggies (optional)
  • Curry powder, chill powder, garlic, onion, salt, black pepper — whatever spices you like pretty much, the only one you really need here is the curry powder.

Steps:

  1. Make the rice. I am not going to write step-by-step instructions out for you. You should know how to make rice. If you don’t, well…*gestures to door*. 
  2. Heat the coconut milk on stovetop. Add the spices.
  3. Heat the chickpeas, sauté the veggies in olive oil, dump everything together and serve.

Servings: 2-4

SIMPLE SUSHI: 

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Ingredients Needed:

  • Sticky rice
  • Seaweed
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Gluten-free or regular soy sauce (optional)

Steps:

Follow our existing recipe here and just omit the meat substitute.

Servings: 2 servings, approximately 4 rolls.

SIMPLE MAC & CHEESE: 

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Ingredients Needed:

  • Pasta (I used corn-based)
  • Daiya cheddar cheese shreds
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Almond, soy or coconut milk
  • Garlic, onion, thyme, salt, pepper

Steps:

  1. Cook pasta.
  2. Heat non-dairy milk on stovetop. Add Daiya shreds and wait for it to start melting, stir until completely combined into pourable sauce. Add nutritional yeast and spices, stir until mixed.
  3. Combine pasta and sauce. Serve with topping of your choice (ketchup, coconut bacon, veggies)

Servings: 2.

SIMPLE EVERYTHING-BUT-THE-KITCHEN-SINK BOWL: 

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Ingredients:

  • A grain or starch (white rice, brown rice, potatoes, quinoa, pasta, whatever you have)
  • A protein (fake meat, lentils, beans, tofu, tempeh)
  • A vegetable (lettuce, peas, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, kale)
  • A sauce/oil (marinara, pesto, olive oil, lemon juice)
  • A seasoning (nutritional yeast, garlic, onion, chill flakes, rosemary, basil, salt)

Steps:

Don’t worry about it! Cook whatever you have, in the way that you think is best. Sometimes it might seem a bit strange, but sometimes you’ll come up with something super amazing that’ll become a staple in your weekly meals. I mean, that’s how I figured out you can make personal pizzas by baking corn tortillas. Keep an open mind and embrace the experimental process.

SNACKS!

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  • Ants On A Log. But modified, because nobody likes celery. Apple slices, peanut butter (I buy organic, sugar-free jars of this at Whole Foods for $2.50 — seriously, such a kitchen staple) and raisins.
  • Smoothies. Seriously! This isn’t a dumb thing to say is a snack! Healthy, filling and cheap. Buy those marked down, bruised bananas on sale in bulk. Chop them up, freeze them, and blend them with frozen spinach, almond milk, and a touch of maple syrup (optional). You can do this to make nana ice cream as well.
  • Popcorn. Buy the actual kernels and not the microwavable bags, it’s a much better deal this way. Add coconut oil and salt, maybe a little nutritional yeast, you can even do something crazy like melt chocolate on there.

OTHER TIPS!

  • Instead of buying fresh garlic, fresh onion, etc. — opt for the powdered versions. They won’t go bad and will basically last forever.
  • Buy frozen produce whenever possible, unless you’re really really really really good at eating everything in your fridge before it goes bad. Which I doubt. Sorry for the lack of trust, but I’m probably right.
  • Stock up on “cheap” proteins. Beans, lentils, tofu and peanut butter make the world go round.
  • Buy nutritional yeast in bulk. It’s super high in B12 and has a great cheesy taste to it. You’ll start putting it on everything, trust me.

Baked Mac & Cheese Cups

Post by Megan Stulberg 

Another dish I whipped up for American Thanksgiving last week! These were a big crowdpleaser — and by that, I mean everybody ooh’d and ahh’d over them but I ended up eating most of the batch myself. Can you blame me, though? These cups are so good, both as a side dish or an appetizer. These baked mac and cheese cups are gluten-free and vegan, FYI.

And oh look, we made another video! Watch below and then subscribe for more on YouTube.

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Ingredients…

  • 1 box standard gluten-free macaroni
  • 1/2 bag cheddar style shreds (I used Daiya)
  • 1 cup almond milk, roughly
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tbsp corn meal
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions….

  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Dump that box of pasta on in. Cook accordingly, then drain.
  3. While pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Put almond milk in smaller pot and heat on medium. Add cheddar style shreds, stirring regularly until pieces melt. Add nutritional yeast, sea salt, thyme, red pepper and garlic powder. Once thoroughly combined and slightly bubbling, remove from heat.
  4. Drain pasta, then slowly add sauce to larger pot. You’ll probably have some leftover sauce, but add a bit extra as you’ll want extra moisture for baking.
  5. Add flour and cornmeal to pot, then mix to coat pasta evenly with sauce.
  6. Prevent oven to 350F.
  7. Coat muffin tray in coconut oil. Scoop mac and cheese by the spoonful into each cup.
  8. Sprinkle additional cornmeal for crunch, nutritional yeast and thyme on top.
  9. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until slightly browned on top. Ensure that all liquid has evaporated when you remove them from the oven — this is crucial or else the cups won’t stay together.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool.

Serve warm, with dip or sauce of your choice. Makes 12 cups.

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Crunchy “Chicken”, Avocado and Cucumber Sushi Roll (Recipe + Video)

Post by Megan Stulberg 

Back in high school, one of my favourite things to do with friends was get all-you-can-eat sushi. I always felt like I was going to barf after, but in the best way possible. I still love eating it — all sushi places will have at least a few vegan options, and making it at home is super easy once you get the hang of it. I’ve made sushi tons of times before but this roll is by FAR my favourite one yet. The fried “chicken” pieces make it taste like a crunchy roll, making me barely miss tempura. This recipe is obviously vegan and also gluten-free.

Also, this is my first time making a video 100% by myself! Filmed it, made the food, and even edited it. Go me. Watch the video (and subscribe plz n’ thx) on YouTube at:

Photos & recipe below:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sticky sushi rice, organic if possible
  • 4 nori seaweed sheets
  • 1 255g bag Beyond Meat chicken strips  or alternative fake meat of your choice
  • 1 medium avocado, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut into long thin strips
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Gluten-free soy sauce, for dipping
  • Other supplies you’ll need: One standard bamboo rolling mat, large knife, water, plastic wrap, cutting board and chopsticks.

 

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Directions:

  1. Wash rice in cold water thoroughly until it runs clear. Bring hot water to a boil with the rice already in the pot. Cook covered for 20 minutes until water has been entirely absorbed and rice is sticky in consistency, stirring occasionally. If the rice is too hard, add water by the teaspoon and continue cooking. Fluff cooked rice with fork and set aside to let cool.
  2. In medium saucepan, heat EVOO until it sizzles. Add all “chicken” strips  and pan fry until crispy, adding additional olive oil while flipping. Set aside.
  3. Line your bamboo rolling mat with plastic wrap, then place on a larger cutting board or clean flat surface.
  4. Lay the rolling mat flat, and place a sheet of nori on top. Add a couple spoonfuls of rice onto the middle of the sheet. Wet fingers (or use a spoon if this grosses you out) and pat rice lightly down into a thin even layer. The rice doesn’t have to go right to the edges — basically, try to create a rectangular section of rice within the rectangular piece of seaweed 1/4 inch from the edge.
  5. Align the chicken strips, avocado and cucumber into a very thin horizontal line at the bottom of the rice on the seaweed sheet. Be careful not to overfill or else your roll will likely fall apart.
  6.  Tightly roll the seaweed sheet from the bottom, using the mat to press it together. Keep going, squeezing the roll to prevent it from falling apart. Dab a bit of water on the edge of the seaweed to seal it.
  7. Use a sharp knife to slice the rolled roll (lol) into bite-size pieces. Wet the knife between cuts to keep it clean. Having trouble doing this right? Use this easy guide here to help.
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 with the remaining sheets, rice and fillings.

Serve with gluten-free soy sauce and eat with chopsticks.

Makes approximately 4 rolls (2 servings).

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Pulled BBQ Tofu and Dijon Coleslaw

Post by Aine Davis

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I’ve always loved BBQ sauce but kind of low-key thought that unless you’re putting it on meat, it’s off-limits. But dang, it’s so good and is usually vegan-friendly! Just check the ingredients first if you opt for a store-bought version.

This is my favourite thing to make in the summer. Eat it outside, pair it with a cider and you’re good to go.

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FOR THE BBQ TOFU…

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 standard pkg extra firm tofu
  • 1 cup organic ketchup
  • 3 tbsp wheat-free tamari
  • 2 tbsp crunchy dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha or hot sauce of your choice
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 dashes liquid smoke
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Press tofu to remove any excess water.
  3. Cut tofu into thin, rectangular slices.
  4. Mix remaining ingredients together to make BBQ sauce.
  5. Marinade tofu in half of BBQ sauce for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Once tofu is done marinading, place slices on greased pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. When tofu is done, remove from oven and rough chop into much thinner slices.
  8. Mix in remaining BBQ sauce, let cool.

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FOR THE DIJON COLESLAW:

INGREDIENTS…

  • 1 head cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups purple cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup crunchy dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha or hot sauce of your choice
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS…

  1. Whisk vegan mayonnaise, crunchy dijon, Sriracha, lemon juice, salt and pepper in bowl until sauce-like consistency is reached.
  2. Mix chopped cilantro up together with chopped cabbage.
  3. Pour the sauce over the cilantro and cabbage. Mix together well. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

TO SERVE: 

Serve equal parts BBQ tofu and coleslaw up on your favourite gluten free (and vegan) bun.

Makes 2 servings.

Loaded Nachos!

Recipe by Megan Stulberg 

Los Angeles has this crazy effect on me where all I want to do while I’m here is eat junk food and sleep in. That being said, making these nachos just had to happen! Super easy to make if you want a lazy but filling snack to share with a pal. Also, please note that I’m a total DUMMY and took these photos before adding the vegan sour cream, tomato, guacamole and green onions. Total food blogger faux-pas, derp.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-4 heaping cups lightly salted corn tortilla chips, organic if possible
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 package Beyond Meat “chicken” strips
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1/4 cup Follow Your Heart pepper jack and cheddar shreds
  • 2 heaping tbsp refried pinto beans
  • 2 heaping tbsp sliced black olives, canned is fine
  • Dollop of Tofutti sour cream (not pictured)
  • OPTIONAL: additional chopped tomato, green onions
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

    DIRECTIONS:

    1) Preheat oven to 400F.
    2) Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Plop some sort of cooking oil (olive or coconut is best) to prevent sticking.
    3) Lay tortilla chips down in a relatively flat layer on aluminum foil.
    4) Sprinkle pepper jack and cheddar shreds evenly across chips.
    5) Add sliced black olives, refried beans and Beyond Meat.
    6) Bake in oven 15-20 minutes, or until all the “cheese” melts. All ovens will vary so check on nachos every few minutes.
    7) While nachos are baking, make the guacamole by mashing up the avocado with a fork and adding the lime juice, chopped onion, tomato, salt and pepper.
    8) Remove baking sheet from oven. Scoop nachos onto plate. Add guacamole, salsa verde, vegan sour cream, green onions and additional chopped tomato if desired.

    Enjoy! Serve hot hot hot. Makes 2 servings.

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Mushroom Gravy Poutine (Vegan, GF)

Post by Megan Stulberg

I’m Canadian. Like, grandparents-are-from-Nova-Scotia Canadian. That being said, I don’t mess with boring poutine! This poutine recipe is a delicious, healthy alternative to the OG dairy version.

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Ingredients…

For the gravy:

  • 2 cups gluten-free vegetable stock
  • 1 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground sage
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter-style spread
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Cold-pressed EVOO, as needed

Other:

  • 3 large potatoes
  • 1/2 bag shredded vegan mozzerella “cheese” of your choice (I used Daiya)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, throughout

DIRECTIONS…

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Scrub and wash potatoes to remove any dirt, then peel. Cut length-wise into long, thin strips. Toss in 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Line a baking pan with aluminium foil or parchment paper smothered in olive oil to prevent burning and sticking. Lay fries out in an even layer on baking pan.
  4. Bake in oven for around 35 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes or so.
  5. While the fries are baking, prep the gravy:
  6. Heat EVOO in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes until browned. Add sage, garlic, mushrooms, almond milk, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are browned, stirring regularly.
  8. Add vegetable stock and vegan butter-style spread, lower heat to simmer. Once most liquid has evaporated, add vegetable stock and brown rice flour. Stir occasionally and cook for an additional few minutes. For thicker gravy, feel free to add additional flour by the tbsp.
  9. Reduce heat to low simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep gravy warm.
  10. Remove fries from oven and wait to slightly cool. Plate the fries, take a handful of vegan “cheese” and sprinkle it on top, then pour the hot gravy over everything.

Serve hot! Makes approximately 2 servings.

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