avocado · beans · breakfast · field roast · hummus · lentils · newbie · quinoa · salsa · soup · thanksgiving

Top 5 Vegan Starter Recipes (that’ll leave you full and satisfied)

Salad, not included!
Today, I had a friend ask me for my top 5 vegan recipes.  That question is harder than it looks 
because the answer hinges on who is asking and what they hope to discover. 
If you are a newbie vegan, then it means I have to give my favorites at all 3 meal times so you have a full days worth of food.  If you are a vegetarian looking to cut out cheese and eggs, then I want to include things with cashew cream or flax eggs to make it seem like nothing is missing.  If you are a seasoned vegan looking for meat 
substitutes to grill, then I can get into the nitty gritty of seitan or veggie burgers.  The degree of kitchen skill also plays a role too, as you don’t want to scare anyone off from trying a plant-based diet with complex techniques or obscure ingredients.
My friend today was looking for  my favorite vegan starter recipes.  I thought about this long and 
Stir Fry, not included!
hard and have come up with a list, including 2 breakfasts, a sandwich, a soup and main dish as my top 5.  (Honestly, spinach chickpea salad and stir-fry are my go to dishes for lunch and dinner respectively, but since I make it different every time and there is no wrong way to do it, I didn’t include these in the top 5).  Enjoy!  
THE TOP 5

1.    Kale Strawberry Banana Smoothie
2.    Loaded Oatmeal
3.    Spinach Mushroom Hummus Panini
4.    Lentil Soup (with Field Roast)
5.    Black Bean Brown Rice Bowl

Recipes after the jump…

Picture taken pre-vitamix
Put the ingredients in this order into a blender (Note: if using a vitamix or any other super-power blender, put the ice on top)
·      1 cup water or soy/almond/hemp/rice milk
·      1/2 cup ice
·      Optional supplements (in order of most important for me)
o   1 tbsp ground flax 
o   1 tsp ground chia 
o   1 tsp spirunlina 
o   1 tsp raw maca 
o   1 tbsp goji berries 
o   1 tbsp cocao nibs
·      4 big leaves kale (Note: Spinach might be more palatable to a first timers palate)
·      Banana
·      Handful of strawberries (frozen work the best!!)
·      Optional flavor additions:            
o   1 tbsp nut butter
o   1 pitted date
Blend until smooth.  You may have to adjust the liquid/solid ratio depending on your blender.
Tastes better than it looks! Its all about how full and great you feel after… 
2. Loaded Oatmeal (adapted from Livestrong.com’s meals for vegetarian athletes)
·      1 cup of oatmeal,
·      1 cup water or soy/almond/hemp/rice milk
·      1 tbsp. of flaxseed
·      1/2 cup frozen blueberries
·      1 banana, sliced
·      2 tbsp. of sliced/crushed almonds or walnuts
·      I tbsp peanut/almond butter
·      ¼ tsp cinnamon
Cook oatmeal according to instructions along with flaxseed and blueberries
Stir in cinnamon and nut butter.
Fold in nuts and banana and top with a little more cinnamon.
3. Spinach Mushroom Hummus Panini (adapted from Engine 2)
·      4 tbsp hummus of choice
·      2 slices Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread
·      1 medium Portabella Mushroom
·      1 1/2 cups Spinach, Raw
·      1 Green Onion, diced
·      Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce plus water to sauté
Panini bliss
Sauté the mushrooms on medium heat in a nonstick skillet for about 5 minutes or until soft. (Note: you can sauté in any liquid, so oil isn’t necessary! I like soy sauce for the flavor.  Add water as necessary)
Spread bread slices thickly with hummus. Sprinkle one side with green onions and reserve the other as sandwich top.
Using a slotted spoon to allow any liquid to drain away from the mushrooms, place them on top of the green onions.
Put spinach on top of the mushrooms. Smush it down!
Top the sandwiches with the reserved piece of bread, and press to seal.
Carefully place the sandwich in a nonstick skillet.
Place a heavy casserole dish on top of the sandwich to flatten it. (Note: if you’re locuky enough to own a Panini press, use it!)
Cook the weighted sandwich on one side over medium heat for about 5 minutes, taking care not to let it burn.
Flip sandwich and cook the other side in the same way.
When done, the panini will be quite thin and browned on both sides.
  
Serves 4
A one-pot meal
·      2 carrots
·      2 celery stalks
·      1 medium onion
·      4 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
·      4 cups veggie stock or broth
·      4 cups water
·      1 and ½ cups green lentils
·      Bay leaf
·      3 cups spinach/chard/kale
·      Salt and pepper to taste
·      Optional: 2 Italian field roast sausages
In a large pot, sauté coarsely chopped carrots, celery, onion and garlic in a little water or stock until soft. (Note: no oil needed!) 
Then pour in the veggie stock/broth and water
Rinse and pick through lentils add to the broth and veggies.  
Throw in a couple bay leaves and pepper and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes.
If you want, sauté chopped field road for a few minutes until browned and add to simmering soup.
Add the greens to the simmering soup in last few minutes. 
Serve hot!  I like a little sriracha in mine. 
5.  Black Bean Brown Rice/Quinoa Bowl
Serves 2
·      1 cup dry Rice/Quinoa cooked according todirections
·      1 can Black Beans 
·      1 Large Green Pepper
Plant rainbow
·      1 Large Red Bell Pepper
·      1/2 Small Red Onion
·      4 oz. Mushrooms
·      1 cup Canned Corn
·      2 Tomatoes
·      2 sprigs Cilantro, Fresh
·      1 Avacado
·      1 tbsp Chili Powder Generic
·      1 tsp Ground Cumin
·      2 cloves Garlic Clove
·      1 tsp Liquid Aminos/soy sauce
Heat the beans with water or stock, along with corn, green pepper, Bragg’s, cumin and chili powder.
Cook rice/quinoa according to directions with mushroom, red pepper, onion and garlic
To serve, place several big spoonfuls of rice/quinoa onto large plates and ladle beans on top.
Add generous of tomato, avocado and fresh cilantro on top
Add hot sauce and bam!

appetizer · avocado · beans · nutritional yeast · salsa · taco · vegan

7-Layer Taco Dip

Week 1: Browns v. Eagles

In honor of the delayed suspension of Scott Fujita, our tailgate crew set out to have a “Fujita” Bar.  Naturally, Hispanic cuisine lends itself to the vegan palate.  In addition to crock pot red beans and rice and grilled veggies, I wanted something to share with everyone.

This recipe comes from “Quick and Easy: Vegan Comfort Food” by Alicia Simpson.  I added a 7th layer of nacho cheeze sauce to her six-layer dip .  Its easy to assemble and feeds a crowd.  Grab a large pyrex or one of those disposable foil tins and start layering!


Layer one: 2 cans refried beans.  I used Bearitos Spicy Refried Beans.

Layer two: a cup of vegan sour cream mixed with taco seasoning.  You can use store bought taco seasoning but its often unnecessarily loaded with salt.  It’s simple to make your own and store it in an airtight container.  The ratio is up to you, but in order from most amount to least:

  • Salt free chili powder (Penzey’s has the best salt free chili powder hands down)
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cayenne pepper (chipotle, ancho or other ground pepper works too.  More from Penzey’s)
  • Salt/pepper to taste
Layer three: 3 thinly sliced or mashed avocados
Layer four: chunky salsa.  You can use store bought, but this is where it is also fun to make your own.  Here is my recipe for fresh spicy salsa.  Assemble and let sit for a few hours to soak up all the flavor.
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis (Muir Glen brand)
  • 2 jalapeños (with seeds!)
  • Small red onion finely chopped
  • Small orange or yellow pepper finely chopped
  • Half bunch of cilantro chopped
  • Juice and zest of a lime
Layer five: nacho cheeze sauce.  This recipe also comes from “Vegan Comfort Food.”  I made a batch of fresh almond milk and went to town on this tasty sauce. Whisk all the ingredient in a saucepan on medium heat until the lumps are gone.
  • 11/2 cups vegan milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (What the heck is nutitional yeast? By Susan Voison of the amazing “Fat Free Vegan Kitchen”)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup canola or olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. tahini
  • Pinches of garlic and onion powder, paprika, chili powder, cayenne and salt
Layer six: shredded lettuce
Layer seven: diced green onions
A sloppy, delicious mess.  Like any good tailgate dip!
This was a huge hit!  Everyone at the tailgate enjoyed it and didn’t make one complaint about it being dairy and meat free.  Make sure to serve with strong chips because it takes a good effort to get to the bottom of this dip.