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Easy Peasy Smokey Mac N Cheesy

5 Mar

Hello, friends! It’s been a long, long time since my last post and for this, I apologize! Life has been overwhelmingly busy with work, with friends, with my newly adopted crippled hamster (yes, a hammy!), and with studying for the veterinary technician national exam. There have also been some recent changes to the way I feel comfortable creating recipes so, finding myself in the recipe writing, experimenting, and cooking “mode” is rare. Hopefully for all, posting this recipe will help me get back to form. So, as you can imagine, with the precious little time I have to cook for myself, when I do cook, it’s almost always easy, filling comfort food. Usually that means a massive, loaded salad, but every once in a while, it’s a pasta dish. I love pasta almost as much as I love casseroles and anything that requires an oven to cook.

Recently, I posted a photo of the less involved version of my Sweet Potato Baked Mac N Cheese on my personal Facebook page that got quite a bit of attention and requests for the recipe so, here it is, folks! This is a “staple” recipe in my book and one that I turn to whenever I need something quick and filling and good enough for lunch the next day. As far as I’m concerned, it gives its maddeningly unjust, sad, and fat laden dairy counterpart a swift kick in the arse–mostly because it’s free of animal exploitation (awesome!), and obviously because it’s delicious. Feel free to add vegan sausage, hot dogs, or broccoli–if you’re so inclined–to make it more hearty. I also recommend adding crisp tempeh bacon or barbecue spices if you like, to make it more “smokey.”

Until we meet again…enjoy!
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So Easy 3 Bean Salad

27 Aug

The impending threat of losing power because of Hurricane Irene has got me wondering about what the hell I’m going to eat if the power goes out. Mind you, if the power goes for a few hours, everything in my fridge will be safe. I have plenty of dry goods and raw vegan recipes to keep me well fed for several days. But I’ve been in situations where the electricity hasn’t come back for days (ice storms, living in a rural part of NH, etc.) and on a scale of no fun to awesome…it’s cruel and unusual punishment. Yes, yes, I know I sound like a spoiled American.

Anyway, I went shopping today for raw veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, crackers, and canned goods — all things that will keep if the power goes. It’s like vegans were made to survive the apocalypse! And hell, even if all we get is a “tropical storm” (how exotic) and the power doesn’t go, then I’ll just use these delicious goods to make myself something fancy while I enjoy staying in, hearing the rain pound on the ceiling while I sip on a glass of wine and curl up with a good book or movie and my lovable old pup.

Here’s a super simple, limited ingredient, delicious recipe that I love to make for lunch on a regular, full power day or for picnics, beach outings, and vegan barbecues. Its resourcefulness and use during power outages has made itself apparent many times! As well as how very filling it is! You can enjoy this many ways: in a wrap, on bread, inside a raw bell pepper or cabbage leaf, in salad, or just on its own in a bowl! Make sure your beans aren’t canned in animal products and be wary of those sneaky “natural flavor” claims!

Also, while I have your attention…if you’re in New England this weekend, please be safe, check on your elderly neighbors and bring your pets and any strays you find indoors!

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Sun-dried Tomato & Lemon Mayo-free Potato Salad

9 Aug

Normally, I would make potato salad with Vegenaise or Mindful Mayo, but I decided to make this one mayo-free for two reasons: first, I have a friend who really hates mayo (vegan and not) and for whom I wanted to provide a simple, delicious, light, mayo-free recipe and secondly, I didn’t want to rely on a processed product to make a great vegan dish. The result is a really savory, beautiful, summery potato salad that can be eaten as a stand alone meal or served as a side dish at your next vegan barbecue.

It so happens that the friend for whom this was intended hates potato salad — even the mayo-free kind. Shucks. Sorry, Jessie! Well, I guess this doesn’t change anything except that she won’t be eating it. That doesn’t stop anyone else, though!

I love this recipe for it’s freshness and ease. By the time I was done chopping the veggies, the potatoes were done. And I love how much all the flavors stood out, but especially the lemon and tomato. I enjoyed this for lunch for several days and it was very filling. Next time, I will remember to share it with others around me and not just eat it all myself!

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Absurdly Easy Tempeh “Tuna” Salad

29 Jun

As promised, here’s another salad sandwich recipe just in time for beach season here in New England or for lunch wherever you are. This recipe is so simple and easy, it only has two directions! I was going to use tofu or mashed chickpeas instead of tempeh, which seems to be a more traditional way of making vegan tuna, but tempeh once crumbled really does seem to have a similar texture to canned tuna. It is also a wonderful source of protein – the highest in a vegan diet per serving — and an invaluable resource to vegan cuisine because like tofu, it is a versatile “stand in” and it takes up flavor phenomenally!

In any case, if you prefer to use mashed chickpeas or tofu, you can. I am seriously in love with how easy and delicious this recipe is. Tuna sandwiches were my favorite when I was growing up, but this just hits the spot better than any fish could. I honestly feel like I just want a child to feed this to. So if you have kids who’ll like this, please feed it to them and tell me about their smiles because I need to live vicariously through you. I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

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Easy Eggless Egg Salad

20 Jun

It’s summer and it’s hot. Too hot to constantly be in front of the stove or running the oven. I know, I’m sad too. But, be not melancholy friends! Summer means beaches, picnic potlucks, hiking, camping, super expensive (and horrible) amusement park food and so, brown bag lunches! Which also means…wait for it…wait for it…SANDWICHES! Hooray!

Who doesn’t love a good sandwich? I must admit, I’ve neglected the awesome power ingrained in all of us to make something out of nothing. So much so, that my brain has been working in over drive on how to best cook this or that, rather than just eating it. For example, the other day I bought a bunch of fresh strawberries and I immediately thought to myself, “what can I make with this?” That’s when I knew I had a problem. That’s when I knew I needed to get back to a simpler time when you could just eat the strawberry right then and there and be happy. And as if by fate, in comes my friend Peter who reminds me that when all you have is a few veggies, some bread, and hummus, you can still have yourself a nice little feast. And I sure have been feasting!

I’ve decided to take up quick and easy sandwich making. I will be experimenting with sandwich dressings and spreads and probably also making things that are so simple and overdone by the vegan foodies that if you’ve been vegan for a while you’re probably going to say, “Oh. Great. Another TLT recipe.” Bear with me, I have quite a few non-vegan readers and I’m trying to keep it easy, tasty, enticing, and traditional, for their sakes. And let’s be honest, who of us doesn’t want to see how someone else makes the “regular” stuff? So, since we all know by now that the only peeps who need eggs are those little peep-peep-peepers themselves: the birds, I’m starting with this recipe for a basic, naturally high in protein, delicious tofu-egg salad. I hope you like it!

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Sweet Potato Baked Mac and Cheese: Three ways!

14 Mar

It’s been a rough week. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but this much needed week long vacation just couldn’t come soon enough. I recently had a death in the family and after days of funeral/wake attendances and seeing my family mourn, I just needed some serious comfort food. Baked macaroni and cheese is my most favorite food in this category. Growing up, I was a big fan of the blue Kraft box and had no clue one could bake mac and cheese. Now I know better than to eat that junk and make a healthier, just as tasty (or tastier – depending on how you look at it) version. Of course, there’s no animal based cheese in this meal, but you will easily be fooled and won’t even mind that it’s not there! And perhaps, you won’t get that bogged down, tired feeling one gets after eating dairy. If you do, well, kick back and get comfy and rejoice in knowing that your comfort is not at anyone else’s expense. Continue reading

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