That’s A Spicy Mock Meat-a-Ball!

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Okay, these aren’t really that spicy. I just wanted to say meat-a-ball. They are beyond delicious though. I think this will be my new in-your-face meal. Anytime I encounter a vegan naysayer, I’ll just go, “Bam! Try these meat-a-balls!”, argument over. Maybe I’ll just carry a few in my purse at all times. You know, for vegan emergencies.

Kidney beans, oats, carrots & walnuts make up the bulk of the Italian Bean Spheres, check out the recipe over here at Oh She Glows. Note, I had all intentions of making this with spaghetti squash but as the store was out, we had to settle for real spaghetti, Mike was devastated I tell you, devastated! ūüôā

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Fyi – sprinkled with nutritional yeast in lieu of parm.

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My Salad (And Arteries) Thank You , Whole Foods.

Fig Balsalmic, yum.

Fig Balsalmic, yum.

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Avocado Vinaigrette, yes please.

In my haste to eliminate all-things-oil from my diet I completely neglected to think about what was going to top my salads. Subbing in water or broth when saut√©ing, easy. Applesauce in baked goods, done. But what of my salads?! Dressings basically equal oil. Whole foods to the rescue! They’ve added a totally delectable line of oil-free low sodium, salad dressings that I¬†simply¬†swoon for.

Sesame Ginger, my absolute fav! Divine over spinach, strawberries, zucchini & sunflower seeds.

 

Pomegranate Vinaigrette, with beets & apples.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette, with beets & apples.

Pomegranate again, over spinach, clementines, endives, walnuts, quinoa & duh, pomegranate.

Pomegranate again, over spinach, clementines, endives, walnuts, quinoa & duh, pomegranate.

Vegan Caesar & Carrot Ginger, mmmmm.

Vegan Caesar & Carrot Ginger, with a guest  appearance by Mike!

It’s Just Another Mango Monday

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It’s mango season! Let’s all take a moment to applaud their deliciousness while secretly grimacing at¬†their annoyingness to chop. Let’s call it¬†grimaling. Anyway, in homage to this wondrous fruit I bring you two mango recipes. Both come from cookbooks my tr√®s fab fam gifted me for Xmas (thanks tr√®s fab fam).

Above are the mmmmm-inducing Carribbean Mango Black Beans from the Vegan Slow Cooker. Served over sautéed kale with some super easy vegan cornbread on the side.

Next up, we have the divine Mango Ginger Tofu, served with some lemon broccoli & asparagus, from Vegan With A Vengeance. Seriously, this marinade is good enough to bathe in.

Enjoy your Mango Monday!

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Veganize em!

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Upon ‘going vegan’ two years ago, a tear or five¬†fell¬†over¬†the prospect of losing my favorite breakfast item, the muffin. Particularly, my beloved blueberry bran muffin.¬†I must have been making a batch of these every week for a year (don’t judge!). After jumping in to the vegan baking world though, I discovered the tears were for naught, ¬†it really ain’t no big thang to veganize a recipe.¬†Here you simply swap in a flax egg (1TBS of ground flax with 3TBS water, whisked and refrigerated for 10 minutes) & your favorite plant milk. I swear you cannot tell the difference. Muffin crisis averted!

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Isn’t window light beautiful?

 

Caliente Cabbage!

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Even though it’s not vegan, or even a little vegetarian, I’ve still been unable to cancel my Cooking Light subscription. There is always some tip, trick or veggie recipe that justifies it’s place¬†in my mailbox.¬†Their monthly “Four Speedy Sides” is one of these things. It’s where they take a veggie or grain and give you four simple, under 20 minute ways, to prepare them. It’s so dang useful, I cut this page out every month and put it in my little recipe folder.

February’s ingredient was cabbage. This excited me! Excited by cabbage? you say. Considering I have zero idea of how to actually cook with cabbage, yes, I was enthused. I choose their Chile-Garlic version¬†because I reckoned¬†it would be easier to get Mike on the cabbage train if I told him it was spicy. I figured correctly, we have a cabbage convert. (Fyi,¬†¬†I subbed in soy for fish sauce & added in some broccoli too)

Now that I had my side (really, I used it more as a base) I needed the heft of the meal. Tempeh came right to mind. I decided to do a ¬†sweet¬†citrusy¬†marinade that would balance¬†the flavor of the zingy cabbage. First, I cut an 8oz package of tempeh into 10 strips (I like Lightlife’s Flax version). Then, though not necessary, I like to simmer my tempeh in water for about 10 minutes before using. I feel it softens it and allows it to soak up flavors better. For the marinade, I mixed: 1 cup orange juice, 2TB soy sauce, 1TB Mirin, 1TB¬†of maple syrup, 1tsp ginger powder & 1tsp coriander in a shallow dish. Then just add the temp and let it soak in all the goodness, the longer the better. I then baked at 350 for about 25 minutes, flipping once.¬†Just serve right on top of the cabbage.¬†Delicioso.

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Is Falafel Still Falafel If It’s Baked?

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I say heck yeah.

On Mediterranean¬†menus flush with steak filled gyros, lotsa lamb & various meats on a stick, falafel is my vegetarian beacon. And while I still partake in the crispy fritters when dining out, I haven’t made them myself since drastically trimming oil use from my kitchen two years ago. I still need a dab of oil here, a dollop there every so often, but just the thought of drenching innocent mashed chickpeas in the stuff produces a near anxiety attack. Is it hypocritical that I still enthusiastically nosh on the fried patties when out? Perhaps, but outta kitchen, outta mind, I suppose.

I’ve had¬†this baked falafel recipe from Blissful Bites on my ‘to make’ list forever. It looks scrumptious and¬†it’s oil free! I was skeptical though of its claim that the falafels would hold their shape. Vegan/vegetarians recipes often promise perfectly formed balls, loafs, patties only to have the end product be a pile of mush (a delicious pile of mush but still). My trepidation with this recipe was happily unfounded. Out of the oven came, real deal, stay together falafels. The wonderful tofu tzatziki (listed after the falafel recipe) was an added bonus that has tons of other uses besides being a delish falafel moistener.

I needed a side for this meal and thought for a bit, “Mediterranean? Mediterranean? Mediterranean? … eggplant.” Sticking with the baking theme I found this roasted tomato & eggplant dish. Just subbed in nutritional yeast for the parm.

Yum.

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Bangin Bogus Beef & Delectable Dumplins

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Yes, I just said bangin. I couldn’t help it, it fit so well!¬†My mom’s beef stew & dumplins are a stand out meal memory from my childhood dinners. I’ve just accepted that this dish was lost to me after going vegetarian. Seitan to the rescue! It should have clicked for me ages ago that seitan would have been the perfect sub in for beef cubes in this hearty stew but it didn’t jibe until I came across Bianca Phillips veganized chicken & dumplins recipe in Cookin Crunk. The base recipe (minus the faux chicken) seemed to fit my my ma’s stew perfectly¬†so I just beefized my old seitan recipe by omitting the curry, cumin & garam and adding savory, rosemary & thyme. Voila, bangin bogus beef!¬†

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Zucchini & Coconut: Match Made In Bread Heaven

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I never knew how much I love coconut shreds until I tried this recipe. I am now firmly in camp Coconut Flakes! I find myself throwing them in everything now, oatmeals, smoothies, granola and all kinds of desserts. They add such a nice tropical sweetness to this zucchini bread. Two slices of this make for the perfect, filling breakfast. Check out the recipe over at Two Peas and Their Pod. (To veganize – just sub in a flax egg, 1TBS of flaxmeal & 3TBS of water, for the egg & coconut or soy yogurt).

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Kraut, Sprouts, & Cheesecake

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Isn’t that just what you think of when you envision a Valentine’s Day meal? Here in casa de Cait & Mike, you do. First up, Mike’s beloved¬†tempeh reubens again. I had forgotten just how dang delicious that vegan russian dressing is, mmmm! Almost makes up for the scary sauerkraut.

I then took one of Mike’s favorite veggies, the brussel sprout, and made the ultimate sandwich side, the chip. Recipe is so simple, peel off about 8-10 of the outer leaves of the sprout (the little ones on the inside may burn too easy), toss with olive oil, salt & pepper. Lay on a baking sheet in oven at 325 for about 15 mins, shake and put back in for 5 more or until crispy & lightly browned. Voila, a perfect sandwich pairing. (Of course, don’t waste the inside of the sprouts, just toss them on the baking sheet too)

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For dessert I knew I wanted to do something with strawberries, but as my mom and I both say, fruit is not a dessert. At least not on it’s own. So I went searching for something to up the decadence factor. This recipe for Vegan Chocolate Chip Cheesecake fit the bill nicely. Simply mouthwatering.¬†Happy Valentine’s Day!

With an assist from Mike's lovely roses :)

With an assist from Mike’s lovely roses ūüôā