Archive for November, 2010

Guilty Pleasures: Taco Casserole

Many of us veggies share a dirty little secret: fast food. Oh sure, we like to think we’re above those drive-thru cravings that afflict the carnivorous masses, but it’s just not true. I happen to be a Taco Bell gal myself. Maybe it’s just their Fourthmeal ad campaign, but I get the most intense chalupa cravings late at night. I’ve been making this taco casserole vegetarian for years, and it was easy to veganize. Of course, this casserole isn’t as healthy as eating fresh fruits and veggies, but we all have our guilty pleasures.

Vegan Taco Casserole

Ingredients:
1 package Boca Vegan Crumbles
1 small onion, diced
1/2 package taco seasoning
1 8 oz. can tomato soup
8 oz. Tofutti vegan sour cream
8 oz. Daiya vegan cheddar cheese
Tortilla Chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brown the burger crumbles and onion together in a large sauce pan on medium heat. Add half of one package taco seasoning and stir. Next, add one eight ounce can tomato soup and stir. Opt for the low sodium version of Campbell’s Tomato Soup, which is just as yummy. Now you have the first layer of your casserole, so go ahead and spoon it from the pan into a medium-size casserole dish. The next layer is eight ounces vegan sour cream, and on top of that is eight ounces Daiya vegan cheddar cheese . Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until the cheese melts. Once the casserole is done, eat it as a dip with your favorite tortilla chips.

Vegan Blueberry Muffins From Scratch

Blueberry muffin

Vegan Blueberry Muffin

I found this recipe for vegan blueberry muffins on Vegetarian Times, but I switched out the applesauce for flax seed and made a couple other small changes. They came out well; I really love the sugar crunch of the topping, but it is not necessary if you want a healthier muffin. This recipe makes 12 muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Sugar in the Raw
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used original Silk)
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp flax seed mixed with 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Optional: 2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar mixed with 2 tbsp sugar in the raw for topping

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan with baking cups, or butter the pan with Earth Balance. Mix all ingredients except blueberries in large bowl. Carefully add blueberries and fold in so they don’t “bleed” all over your mixture. Add mix evenly to muffin cups and if you want, add sugar mixture on top. Heat 35 – 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Exciting News! I’m a Recipe Contest Winner!

Me and Chef Billy

Me and Chef Billy

I am very proud to announce that my Peanut Tofu Wrap won third place in Lowe’s Foods “Best Restaurant in Town: Your Kitchen!” Recipe Contest!  The winners were honored last night at Bleu Restaurant in Winston-Salem. There were 10 winners, one grand prize and 3 each in women’s, men’s, and children’s categories. There were over 350 entries! I’m really psyched that a vegan recipe won a prize; it just goes to show you that eating vegan can be super tasty!

My dinner at Bleu was excellent. I had a lemonhead martini, Chinese flat noodles with barbecue tofu, and a mango sorbet for dessert. The menu at Bleu is very seafood and meat heavy, but there are a few veggie options, and the martinis were superb.

It was great to talk to the other contest winners, especially the kids who won in the “Fixing My Own Lunch Box” category. The kids’ winning recipes were a kiwi strawberry lunch pocket, fresh spring rolls, and a spinach lasagna. Yum!

Billy Parisi, the official chef of Lowe’s Foods, presented me with my certificate and my prize, a set of non-stick cookware. Chef Billy does a lot of instructional cooking videos that are on the Lowe’s Foods website.  There’s an orange chicken recipe video up now that looks like it could be easily veganized.

I’m so stoked that my vegan meal won a prize, and I can’t wait to try out my new cookware. Thanks Lowe’s Foods!

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