Banana Bread Pancakes

pancakes

I’ve been keeping my eye out for a good recipe for vegan pancakes, and every time I thought I found what I was looking for, the net result seemed to be a let down. I found coconut flour to be incredibly chalky, flax egg replacement to bland out a lot of the other flavors and the quick, 3 ingredient recipes to miss the flavor boat as well.

So I set out to make my own recipe. I wanted to use natural sweeteners, and make sure it was no more than 50% white flour, while still retaining moisture, and flavor. I think I fared pretty well on this, and I hope you do to! We called them banana bread pancakes, because that’s what we found them to taste like.

*Side note, our flat-iron skillet is older than I am. Literally. It’s a piece of junk, so the pancakes weren’t all that photogenic. I made some plain ones in hopes that they were prettier, the but were destroyed in flipping. If you make some yourself, please feel free to send me the pictures, and I would be happy to showcase your result.

Ingredients:
1 c AP Flour
1/2 c Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 c Quick Oats
1/2 c Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
pinch of salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
Equivalent of 2 Eggs worth of Egg Replacement*
2 Medium Bananas
1 c Unsweetened Almond Milk
2 tbsp Coconut Oil, Melted
2 tbsp Natural Maple Syrup

Method:
– Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl to homogenize the mixture. This includes both flours, oats, shredded coconut, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
– In a separate bowl, mash the banana until it starts to liquefy.
– Add coconut oil, maple syrup and almond milk, and whisk together.
*A friend of mine introduced me to a vegan alternative egg replacement for baking. I found it to work very well in this. It’s called Ener-G Egg Replacer, and it is made mainly from tapioca.
– Whisk your egg replacement into your liquid ingredients.
– Slowly add the liquid to the dry ingredients and fold to mix. Take care not to fold to much, and this will toughen the batter and make chewy pancakes.
– I use a 1/4 cup measuring spoon to size my pancakes.
– Spoon onto a grease cast iron skillet, or flat top griddle.
– Flip after about 3-4 minutes on each side. Should be lightly browned.
– Top with whatever you like! I used maple syrup, apples and currants.

*Should make about 10 pancakes

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Posted in Breakfast, pancakes | Leave a comment

Tofu Pad Thai

PadThai

We have a local restaurant in Rhode Island called Jacky’s Galaxy, and they have amazing Thai cuisine. One of my favorite dishes over there is their pad thai. I don’t think anyone can quite do pad thai like Jacky’s, but this comes pretty close.

My wife said that this was the best dish to-date, in her opinion. This was a big win, because she’s fairly finicky with her food. Also worth noting, if your not yet sold on tofu, this dish might win you over. It uses it perfect, to absorb the flavors and I found the browning it in the pan beforehand really added a nutty flavor which complimented the peanuts.

As with the Spaghetti Squash recipe, I didn’t change much.  Once again, I opted for parsley over cilantro, and I nixed the bean sprouts from the original. We also had some left over chopped white onion, so I added that in with the broccoli. I didn’t show that below, as it’s not necessary. Here is the link to the original, posted by Isa on her awesome vegan blog, Post Punk Kitchen: recipe

Ingredients – Sauce:
2 tbsp tomato paste
5 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
6 tbsp brown sugar
Juice of 1 large lime (about 1/4 cup)
2 tbsp Sriracha
2 tbsp miso paste (white, mellow miso prefered)
1/4 c water

Method:
– Mix all ingredients in a large bowl or measuring cup. Set aside for later.

Ingredients – Meal:
8oz of pad thai rice noodles (I used Thai Kitchen rice noodles for pad thai)
2 tbsp coconut oil
14-16 oz package of firm or extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups fresh broccoli florrets
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 c green onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/2 c parsley, chopped
1 c roasted peanuts, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Method:
– Start a cast iron pan on medium-high with about 1 tbsp coconut oil.
– Add the tofu cubes to the hot pan and sprinkle lightly with salt, allowing tofu to brown on both sides.
– Once browned, remove tofu from the pan, and set aside.
– Add the other tbsp of coconut oil, and cook broccoli for about 5 minutes. Pan should still be on med-high, so stir often to not burn.
– Transfer broccoli to the same plate/ bowl as tofu, and turn the heat on the pan down.
– Add garlic to the pan for about 15 seconds, stirring the whole time and add about 1/2 of the sauce from above.
-When the sauce is heated and starts to bubble, add the scallions and parsley and cook for a few minutes.
– Add the noodles, and toss to coat with the sauce.
– Add the tofu and broccoli, top the the remainder of the sauce, and toss again.

Serve while hot, topping with chopped peanuts, a lime wedge and Sriracha if you want a little extra heat.

Posted in Asian, Dinner | Leave a comment

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls

SpaghettiSquash

Sorry for the delay in getting some recipes up. Got tied up the last few days. Good news is that I’ll have double the recipes to share tonight. Bad news (for you) is that we have so many left overs from the last few days that I won’t need to make any new dinners this weekend. I will try to get creative with some breakfast ideas for a little morning variety as well. For now, and without further adieu, here is what we had Thursday night.

Taco night was always a big staple for us pre-veganism. If we had more time, we would try making enchiladas or burritos as well. While looking for recipes to plan for the week, my wife Kristin actually found this one. The only reason we didn’t make is sooner in the week, was because we forgot to pick up the vegan cheddar.

For all of you that aren’t fans of mushrooms, here is my first recipe without them! Furthermore, I actually though this that the best vegan meal I’ve had since making the change. I would imagine that transfers well to acorn squash and pumpkins as well, as long as you chop up the flesh.

I didn’t change much on this recipe, only substituted the cilantro for half the amount in chopped parsley. Here is the link to the original: recipe. Also, keep in mind that this makes a pretty good quantity. You can get about 4-6 servings per squash dependent on the size. Feel free to cut this recipe in half if you’re not anticipating using that many servings.

Ingredients:
2 medium spaghetti squash
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (low sodium is always a good idea)
1 16 oz or larger jar of salsa (we used a little more on top for serving)
2 tbsp olive oil*
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 large red onion, diced
1 jalapeno, cored, deseeded and diced finely
2 cups frozen corn, thawed or fresh corn (about a 12oz bag if frozen)
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
5-6 scallions, sliced
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup vegan shredded cheddar

Method:
– Preheat oven to 375
– Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil
– Cut each squash in half length-wise and remove all seeds as well as the sting that they are attached to.
– brush the flat, cut portion of the squash with olive oil and place round side up in the oven. for about 35-45 minutes, depending on size.
* I placed an astrisk on the olive oil, because I just sprayed mine with coconut oil in a can.
– While squash are cooking, saute the fresh vegetables that will make up the filling: In a large saute pan on medium heat, cook the onion and bell peppers. once they start to soften (about 5 minutes to stay on the crunchy side) add the jalapenos, cumin and salt and pepper.
– Mix the pan to ensure the contents are evenly distributed and cook for another 2-3 minutes
– Remove from heat and place filling aside until the squash is done.
– Once done, let squash cool for a bout 5-10 minutes so that they can be handled easily.
– Scrape out the inside of the spaghetti squash to remove the stringy flesh. Make sure to leave a few millimeters attached.
– Layer the onion and pepper mix, beans, scallions, corn, squash and cheese inside the bowl. Repeat the sequence a second time so that it is full.
– After all the bowls are filled, place them under the broiler for about 5-6 minutes until cheese is melted.

Serve with salsa and a lime wedge.

Posted in Dinner, TexMex | Leave a comment

Vegetable Pot Pie

VegPotPie

Twice in a row is going to make me sound a little bit picky, but I swear that I’m really not. With that said, I’m not really a big fan of [insert theme here] pot pies. Pre-vegan, I had tried chicken, turkey and even beef pot pies and while I didn’t dislike them, I certainly never preferred them. Wife was craving some comfort food, and well… happy wife, happy life, right? I didn’t particularly love this dish, but she thought it was good, so I thought I’d provide it here.
Here is the link to the original recipe from The Minimalist Baker: recipe

I didn’t change very much in my rendition, other than the type of thickener(s) and the addition of mushrooms. Here is mine:

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil or other preferred oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4-5 mushrooms, halved then sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c vegetable broth (Nature’s Promise Organic has been my preference)
1/4 c unsweetened, plain almond milk
1 16 oz pkg of mixed vegetables (green beans, carrots, peas, etc.)
1/4 c minus 1 tablespoon of whole wheat flour
1 tbsp of milled flax seed
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
topper*

*note – some recipes have called for crusts or phyllo for a pot pie topper. The particular recipe that I used also has one for biscuits that were actually really good. If you wish to go that route, you can find that recipe here. don’t bake the biscuits prior to baking the pot pies. Just put the raw biscuit on top, and bake according to the directions below.

Method:
-Heat large skillet on medium with onions, garlic and mushrooms. Saute until onions start to turn translucent, but making sure not to burn the garlic.
-Add flour and flax to the pan and stir in until mixture is even.
-Slowly whisk in vegetable broth, and then almond milk.
-Turn heat to low, and allow to thicken for several minutes. Stir often, as to not burn the mixture.
* If using the biscuits, make them while the sauce is thickening
-After sauce has thickened, add frozen vegetables, and mix them in. Allow to cook on low for another 3-4 minutes.
-Discard the bay leaves and divide the mixture evenly among baking dishes. The original recipe calls for a few round ramekins, but I used a few various baking dishes for my purpose.
– Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes

I used chopped parsley for a garnish.

Posted in Comfort Food, Dinner | Leave a comment

Lemon Asparagus Risotto

risotto

Before going vegan, I had risotto once. It was rolled into a ball, battered and fried. Obviously, I was no stranger to fried food, but I honestly didn’t care for it. I’m not sure what inspired me to try to make one myself, but I’m very glad I did.

Here is the link to the original post: Recipe

Even though I’ve never cooked one before, I’m well aware at my own likes and dislikes. So below is the recipe that I made by tweaking the original.

Ingredients:
2 32 oz cartons vegetable broth (I’ve been using Nature’s Promise Organic)
1 cup white wine
3 cups arborio rice (I used Whole Foods’ 365 brand)
1 leek, sliced and rinsed (light green and white parts only)
3 cloves garlic, minces
half medium red onion, chopped
3 scallions, sliced
6-8 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 inch lengths
1 medium zucchini, quartered length-wise and sliced
1/2 c parsley, chopped coarsely
juice and zest of 1 medium lemon
1 c vegan cheese (I used daiya mozzarella, because that’s what I had) (*optional)
1 heaping tbsp of nutritional yeast (*optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Method:
-Start by heating the oil in the bottom of a large pot. Add the garlic, red and green onions, as well as the leek and saute for about 5 minutes on medium until translucent.
-Once onions are tender, add the mushrooms and saute another 2 minutes, until they have given up their flavor.
-Reduce heat, add 1/2 cup of the white wine to deglaze the bottom of the pan.
-Add 1 cup of vegetable broth, and stir in all of the rice.
-About every 2 minutes when the liquid is low, add another 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, and stir.
*Make sure you’re scraping the bottom of the pan.
-Rice will double in size at about 20 minutes. At this time, add the zucchini, parsley and asparagus.
-Add last 1/2 cup of white wine, and continue adding 1/2 cups of broth every 2 minutes or so, as you see it running low.
-Various rices will run different times to done. Mine took about 30 minutes, while others take 45 or more. Use the directions on the package to determine.
-Once rice is done, remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, zest, ‘cheese’ and nutritional yeast and stir until cheese melts and everything is incorporated.

Be creative with your garnish. I used a lemon wedge, and some extra parsley and scallion slices.

Posted in Dinner, Risotto | 1 Comment

Mushroom Stroganoff

stroganoff

I’ve always liked creamy pasta dishes. I craved one a few days ago, so I whipped up this vegan version of a mushroom stroganoff. I was short a little on the mushrooms, and I would definitely recommend adding the full 16oz.

I grabbed this recipe from food.com here: original poster

My Ingredients:
1/2 package of brown rice fettuccine (I used tinkyada)
1 small yellow onion, minced
16 oz (about a pkg and a half) baby bella mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable broth*
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 c sour cream (I used tofutti vegan sour cream)

Method:
Cook and drain pasta according to directions on package. Nothing fancy needed here; no salt or oil to the water. Just make sure you stir them often, especially if using brown rice noodles, as they will stick together.

Heat a large skillet. I prefer my cast iron pan for almost anything. The original called for some vegan margarine here. I omitted that in mine, but if you need something to help make yours non-stick, please feel free to add it. Saute onions, garlic and mushrooms in pan until onions are translucent and mushrooms give up their liquid. Make sure you mix this softly to not break your mushrooms, but enough so that the garlic doesn’t burn.

In a separate medium saucepan, bring vegetable broth to a boil. Please note I marked this item above with an asterisk (*). This is because I found that several companies add milk to their vegetable broths. Read the back for allergy information and you’ll be fine, but it is worth noting. If you’re adding Worcestershire sauce, do so here. I was unable to find a vegan one as of yet.

Once at a boil, whisk flour into the broth slowly, and it will begin to thicken. Pour into the mushroom pan.

Pull the skillet off of heat, and stir in the sour cream.

Serve over noodles. Recommended garnish: parsley.

Posted in Dinner, Pasta | Leave a comment

Hello world!

Today I’ve decided to start the blog. I’m no expert on vegan-ism, nor will I ever claim to be. However, I thought this would be an immensely useful way to tackle a few different objectives. I’ll be using this blog as a platform to keep a journal of recipes I’ve used both for my and your information. I also will provide details on any changes I have made or would recommend making to them. In addition, I will document my transformation as I grow, er rather shrink into a more healthy lifestyle.

Please understand, I take [constructive] criticism very well. I’m always open to your ideas too, so please feel free to comment or send me an email if you prefer. Thank you, and I hope you all enjoy!

Posted in Introduction, Site Details | 3 Comments