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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Rice Bowl with Tofu in a Thai Peanut Sauce

Post by Megan Stulberg

My boyfriends works at PETA, which is basically a Vegan Girlfriend’s dream. He’s pretty great, for many reasons, but a bonus is that he used to do cooking videos for PETA2. I’m not going to link to it because he’d probably kill me, but there’s a super cute one he did about peanut butter a few years back and this sauce is in it. We made it together last month, and then I further modified it for this dish.

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INGREDIENTS: 

For the sauce…

  • 3/4 – 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup organic smooth peanut butter
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Black pepper and sea salt, to taste

For the rest of it…

  • 1 block extra-firm tofu (non-GMO if possible)
  • 1 cup texmati rice
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Lime slices, for garnish
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed EVOO

IMG_8569DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare tofu by pressing tofu in paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  2. Bring a pot of water (1 3/4 cup) to boil. Add rice, lower heat, then leave covered to cook for approximately 15 minutes. Every few minutes, stir rice with wooden spoon to prevent sticking. Remove from heat once all water has evaporated and set aside to cool.
  3. While rice is cooking, slice tofu into bite-size cubes. In large saucepan on high heat, add olive oil and wait for it to sizzle. Reduce to low heat, then add tofu to pan. Let tofu fry, flipping occasionally.
  4. Begin the sauce! Add coconut milk to another saucepan on medium heat, then lime juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper and soy sauce. Stir peanut butter like CRAZY before adding it — seriously, this is important or else it’ll be a pain to combine! Also, make sure the peanut butter is room temperature, or even pop it in the microwave for a few to melt it a bit. Anyways, add peanut butter by the tbsp, stirring as you go. The end result should be a creamy, pourable sauce.
  5. If tofu isn’t browned yet, raise to high heat for a minute or so. Add tofu to the other saucepan and thoroughly coat tofu in the peanut sauce.
  6. Serve tofu on a bed of rice, topped with fresh cilantro and lime slices for garnish.

Yum! Makes 4 lunch servings or 2 big dinner servings.

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Tomato Glaze-Crusted “Meat”loaf Casserole

Post by Megan Stulberg

I’ve been working like a crazy person lately, hence the delay in writing up recipe posts. But hey, a girl’s got to eat! If there’s a silver lining from this, it’s just that I have tons of recipes up my sleeve for y’all in the near future.

This was my Christmas day feast, yum yum. Being the only vegan in a family of carnivores is both good and bad. The bad is that they don’t want to eat the food I make, the good is…more for me! I ended up eating leftovers for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Boxing Day. Not a single regret.

I paired this dish with my sweet potato mash that’s already up on Vegan Girlfriend here, as well as some roasted asparagus! I also paired it with a gravy/stuffing hybrid that I’ve nicknamed “gruffing” that was oh-so-good but honestly was an accident so I don’t have a write-up for that.

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Ingredients…

For the loaf: 

  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free vegetable broth
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup canned lentils
  • 1/4 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted nuts of your choice (I chose walnut)
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • Cracked pepper and sea salt, to taste
For the glaze: 
  • 1/2 cup organic ketchup (or tomato paste)
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions…

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Rinse canned lentils. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Once oil begins to sizzle, add garlic and onion. Sauté 5 minutes until brown, then add carrot, celery and mushrooms. Add broth at this point.
  4. Use a high-speed blender or food processor to chop toasted nuts into small pieces.
  5. Add sautéed veggies to blender, along with rice flour, flax, maple syrup, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, thyme, basil, sea salt, pepper and of course, the lentils! Pulse until coarsely combined. If the mixture needs to be thickened, add additional brown rice flour by the tbsp and combine by hand. Be careful not to over-process, you want some chunks of veggies and stuff to stay intact for texture.
  6. Coat casserole dish with olive oil to prevent sticking. Use large spoon to transfer mixture from food processor to casserole dish, then flatten out.
  7. Bake casserole dish in oven for a total of 40 minutes.
  8. During this time, make the glaze! Simply whisk organic ketchup, maple syrup and sea salt together in bowl.
  9. Remove casserole dish from oven after 15 minutes, add glaze in a thin layer on top, then place back in oven covered and let bake for remaining 30 minutes.
  10. Wait for dish to cool, then slice and serve with side dishes accordingly.

Dig in! Serve warm, makes 4-6 servings.

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Lentil “Meat”balls and Heavenly Homemade Tomato Sauce 

Post by Alexandra Courts 

There’s something special about fresh tomato sauce that doesn’t come out of a jar or a can. It’s aromatic, rich in flavour and incredibly versatile. This time around I’ve paired this homemade sauce with some nutrient-dense lentil “meat”balls. Whether it be served overtop a bed of pasta or sandwiched in bread, these two are a match made in heaven!

Keep reading to find out how you can recreate this lovely and comforting meal at home.


TOMATO SAUCE:

Ingredients…

  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (14oz each)
  • 1 sweet onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions…

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in coconut oil on medium heat in a saucepan until tender.
  2. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, soy sauce, pepper, coconut sugar and basil.
  3. Simmer sauce on low heat slightly covered for about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Allow the sauce to sit while you prepare the lentil “meat”balls.

LENTIL “MEAT”BALLS:

Ingredients…

  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice (cooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups lentils (cooked until very tender)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 sweet onion (diced)
  • 5 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp basil (fresh/dried)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions…

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Coat an aluminium foil-lined baking pan with coconut oil.
  2. Sautée the onion and garlic in coconut oil on medium heat in a deep skillet pan until tender.
  3. Pulse mushrooms and kale in a food processor/blender. Ensure that the pieces aren’t too fine.
  4. Add the kale and mushroom blend to the pan. Sautée the combination for a couple of minutes before adding the soy sauce, brown rice and lentils. Mix the combination together throughly and then add in the tomato paste, nutritional yeast, basil and pepper.
  5. Continue to cook the mixture on low-medium heat. Pulse the raw walnuts and rolled oats in a food processor/blender. Ensure that the pieces are only coarsely combined. Mix into the “meat”ball mix. Allow this to cool before rolling.
  6. Roll the “meat”balls in your hands so that they are about 1.5 inches in diameter. Place them onto baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  8. Enjoy!

Makes 2 servings.

Hearty n’ healthy veggie pita pizza

Recipe by Megan Stulberg

Now I wouldn’t call myself lazy, but I’m all about being able to skip a step or two whenever possible. Prime example: I was going to make personal pizzas the other day, and then stumbled upon gluten-free (!!!) and vegan (obviously) pitas in the grocery store. And boom, pita pizzas happened. No crust, no fuss. You’re welcome in advance.

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Ingredients…

  • 2 standard pitas (I used Aidan’s gluten-free)
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped coarseley
  • 1 cup pure tomato paste
  • 1 cup Daiya mozzarella-style shreds
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup black olives
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic (roughly 2 large cloves)
  • 2 tbsp cold-pressed EVOO

Directions…

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2.  Lie pitas down flat on baking sheet lined with aluminium foil.
  3. Use ice cream scoop to place heaping dollop of tomato paste onto middle of pita. Flip ice cream scoop over, using back of spoon to smooth paste evenly over pita. Leave room at edges to form crust. Repeat for second pita.
  4. Sprinkle daiya, arugula, black olives and pineapple evenly all over pita. Repeat for second pita. Feel free to substitute or add additional toppings if desired.
  5. Place in oven for 20 minutes.
  6. In a medium saucepan on high heat, let garlic sauté in olive oil. Once it has browned, add onion slices. Lower heat and let sauté 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, then cook until everything has browned and olive oil is all gone. Remove from heat.
  7. Remove baking sheet from oven. Add garlic, onion and mushrooms to pitas.
  8. Let cook in oven for an additional 5-10 minutes. Be sure to check on it every few minutes to prevent burning, as every oven is different.

Let cool 15 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings (1 individual pizza/approximately 4 slices each).

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Tofu

Recipe by Megan Stulberg 

I found myself craving Brussel sprouts in the produce section of a grocery store a couple of weeks ago, despite never trying them before. I mentioned this to my mum a few hours later, and she reminded me that my grandfather had passed away that day exactly two years ago. Apparently they were his absolute favourite food, which I didn’t know about. I’m sure it was coincidence, but like…how eerie, right?

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Ingredients…

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, washed
  • 1 standard block extra firm tofu
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/4 cold-pressed EVOO
  • 1/4 cup vegan “butter” spread (I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp red chilli flakes
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions…

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Chop stems off of Brussels sprouts and slice all widthwise.
  3. Toss Brussels sprouts in large bowl with vegan “butter”, sea salt and black pepper.
  4. Place on baking sheet covered with aluminium foil. Cook in centre oven rack and let roast for approximately 35 minutes. Flip every 5 minutes to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts will be light brown when done.
  5. While Brussels sprouts are cooking, press tofu block between pieces of paper towel with something heavy on top (book, cutting board, etc) until drained.
  6. Chop tofu into bite-sized chunks.
  7. Add EVOO to hot pan. Add tofu in a single layer and let cook until tofu begins to brown. Sprinkle soy sauce, garlic, nutritional yeast, thyme, chilli flakes, sea salt and black pepper on top. Flip tofu, and toss to coat with additional seasoning. Continue cooking until tofu is browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
  8.  Combine tofu and sprouts. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

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