Buffalo Chickpea Salad

Buffalo Chickpea Salad

Buffalo Chickpea Salad

Quick and easy, delicious, plant-based, whole food dish, high in fiber and protein. Perfect substitute for tuna, egg, or ham salad. Serve on a sandwich, as a side or over a bed of greens as the main course.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Main Dish, Sides and Snacks
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 15 ounce canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 14 ounces tofu, extra firm drained
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise plant-based, substitute plain yogurt or preferred salad dressing
  • 1/3 cup buffalo sauce (or preferred pepper sauce)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup celery diced (optional), substitute bell pepper or other crunchy veggie
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped; substitute green onions

Instructions
 

  • Drain the chick peas and the tofu. In a large bowl, use an immersion blend to mash (use a food processor or hand press with a fork if you don't have a stick blender).
  • Stir in the rest of the ingredients.

Notes

Want a chickpea salad with a little less spice? Try this!

Buffalo Chickpea Salad

Quick and easy, delicious, plant-based, whole food dish, high in fiber and protein. Perfect substitute for tuna, egg, or ham salad. Serve on a sandwich, as a side or over a bed of greens as the main course.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Main Dish, Sides and Snacks
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 15 ounce canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 14 ounces tofu, extra firm drained
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise plant-based, substitute plain yogurt or preferred salad dressing
  • 1/3 cup buffalo sauce (or preferred pepper sauce)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup celery diced (optional), substitute bell pepper or other crunchy veggie
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped; substitute green onions

Instructions
 

  • Drain the chick peas and the tofu. In a large bowl, use an immersion blend to mash (use a food processor or hand press with a fork if you don't have a stick blender).
  • Stir in the rest of the ingredients.

Notes

Want a chickpea salad with a little less spice? Try this!
Homemade BITCHIN’ Sauce Recipe

Homemade BITCHIN’ Sauce Recipe

Homemade BITCHIN' Sauce Recipe

I love Bitchin' Sauce. A sparky 16-year old vegan named Starr creates several flavors, and all of them are amazing. But lately, store shelves have been empty. Luckily, the list of ingredients is transparent and pure--it reads like recipe. Until stores reopen, try this cheap and easy homemade BITCHIN' Sauce recipe.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Sauce, Sides and Snacks
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup almonds soaked if possible--see recipe notes; substitute walnuts or cashews; Nut free? See recipe notes for options
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup yeast flakes optional--it's still great without if you don't have any
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice substitute lime juice or other vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar substitute other vinegar or more lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. tamari substitute soy sauce of choice or Coconut aminos for soy free
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 4 ounces canned jalapenos substitute green chilis or chipotle peppers (or 1/4 tsp. chipotle pepper powder or cayenne)
  • 14 ounces canned stewed tomatoes

Instructions
 

  • Blend all of the ingredients except for jalapenos and tomatoes until creamy and smooth. Once it's smooth, add jalapenos and tomatoes and pulse until only small chunks remain. It's okay if you don't want chunks--puree until smooth.

Notes

Why soak?I soak nuts, legumes and grains whenever possible for maximum nutrient availability and digestibility, I buy in bulk (saves money), soak for 12-24 hours and then dry and store in freezer. Then they are always ready to go. Learn more about the importance of soaking nuts and beans.
Nut-free? If you are nut free, substitute riced cauliflower, steamed potato, pumpkin or sesame seeds, tofu or a can of white beans. Depending on your choice, you may not need the 1/2 cup of water. Add water at the end if your Bitchin' sauce is too thick.
Sticky Blender Solution: Did you know that your blender will wash itself? Yep. Just fill it 2/3 water and a drop of dish soap. Blend until clean. This recipe is inspired and dedicated to Bitchin' Sauce, made in Carlsbad, CA. Support small businesses doing great things!

Homemade BITCHIN' Sauce Recipe

I love Bitchin' Sauce. A sparky 16-year old vegan named Starr creates several flavors, and all of them are amazing. But lately, store shelves have been empty. Luckily, the list of ingredients is transparent and pure--it reads like recipe. Until stores reopen, try this cheap and easy homemade BITCHIN' Sauce recipe.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Sauce, Sides and Snacks
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup almonds soaked if possible--see recipe notes; substitute walnuts or cashews; Nut free? See recipe notes for options
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup yeast flakes optional--it's still great without if you don't have any
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice substitute lime juice or other vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar substitute other vinegar or more lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. tamari substitute soy sauce of choice or Coconut aminos for soy free
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 4 ounces canned jalapenos substitute green chilis or chipotle peppers (or 1/4 tsp. chipotle pepper powder or cayenne)
  • 14 ounces canned stewed tomatoes

Instructions
 

  • Blend all of the ingredients except for jalapenos and tomatoes until creamy and smooth. Once it's smooth, add jalapenos and tomatoes and pulse until only small chunks remain. It's okay if you don't want chunks--puree until smooth.

Notes

Why soak?I soak nuts, legumes and grains whenever possible for maximum nutrient availability and digestibility, I buy in bulk (saves money), soak for 12-24 hours and then dry and store in freezer. Then they are always ready to go. Learn more about the importance of soaking nuts and beans.
Nut-free? If you are nut free, substitute riced cauliflower, steamed potato, pumpkin or sesame seeds, tofu or a can of white beans. Depending on your choice, you may not need the 1/2 cup of water. Add water at the end if your Bitchin' sauce is too thick.
Sticky Blender Solution: Did you know that your blender will wash itself? Yep. Just fill it 2/3 water and a drop of dish soap. Blend until clean. This recipe is inspired and dedicated to Bitchin' Sauce, made in Carlsbad, CA. Support small businesses doing great things!
How to Cook Beans

How to Cook Beans

How to Cook Beans

Learning how to cook beans gives you access to the cheapest and most delicious source of nutrition. Done correctly, cooking beans requires time, but little effort. This recipe is versatile. Keep it simple or build upon it. Once you know how to cook beans, you can make anything!
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 14 hrs
Course Main Dish
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound beans any variety
  • 2 bay leaves optional
  • 1 piece kombu optional
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt optional
  • 14 ounce Tomato Sauce substitute 4 cups veggie broth or 4 tsp. veggie bouillon
  • 14 ounce diced tomatoes optional, see Recipe Notes for more options
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder substitute 1 chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder substitute 5 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions
 

  • Soak beans overnight (up to 24 hours). See recipe notes for more information. Drain and rinse.
  • Add beans to a stock pot. Cover with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add bay leaves and/or kombu (optional, see recipe notes below). Reduce heat to medium low and cover (but don't seal.) Cook times will vary (see recipe notes). Best to cook when you are home and can periodically check.
  • Reduce heat to simmer, cover (but don't seal), and cook for 30 minutes to 2+ hours (the lower the heat, the longer it takes, but the more tender the bean). Skim froth that forms. When beans are soft (about 3/4 done), add salt. Set timer for 10-15 minute increments. Add more water as necessary to keep beans submerged. When beans are tender, and skins are wrinkly, and they taste perfect, they're done.
  • Once beans are nearly done, increase heat to medium high. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, onion and garlic. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, until beans are done. Remove bay leaves and kombu.
  • To finish off my beans, I added a dried vegetable and seasoning blend I picked up at a local market that sells Italian products. Scour your own pantry for blends you've purchased and saved for a rainy day. This basic recipe for how to cook beans can serve as a base for anything.

Notes

Beans and Digestion: Soaking improves digestibility and nutrient absorption, and breaks down anti-nutrients like phytic acid and leptins. Furthermore, bay leaves and kombu not only enhance the flavor of beans, but also improve digestibility and add essential minerals. Since I began soaking for 24 hours and adding bay leaves and kombu, the bloating, gas, and stinky "dutch oven" that roasted in our bedroom post legume consumption is a thing of the past. Knowing how to cook beans from scratch has one clear benefit—the "potlicker" broth. Potlicker is vegan bone broth. It retains nutrients and minerals lost during the cooking process, serves as a thickener and is very flavorful.
Cooking Time: Many recipes for how to cook beans give specific cooking times. But how long it takes can't be predicted. Cook times will vary based on the age of your bean (how long it's been sitting on the shelf) and the mineral content of your water. This is why I cook on the stove top (versus crock pot or pressure cooker). Monitoring for doneness prevents overcooking and allows you to get it right every time.  Best to cook when you are home and can periodically check.
Salt: There are a lot of opinions out there for when and if to add salt, and how much to add. Experts are divided and there is lots of conflicting science. I've tested various methods, and adding it towards the end of cooking works best for me. By all means, experiment to find what works for you. Read more . . .
Veggie Broth vs. Bouillon: Store bought organic veggie broth can be very expensive. I use Organic Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base, which allows me to make as little (or as much) as I need without paying $1/cup (it's about $0.20 cents/cup).
Get Creative: What are your favorite flavors? There are so many ways to serve beans. Think about adding BBQ sauce, red onion, and a dark beer. Add veggies (canned, frozen or fresh) and season with your favorite flavors. Go for Mexican, Italian, Asian, or create a fusion of your own design. Check out these bean recipes for more ideas. 

Vegan Black Bean Queso Blanco

 

Simple Spicy Red Beans

 

Cheater Chili

 

Caribbean Beans & Rice

 

How to Cook Beans

Learning how to cook beans gives you access to the cheapest and most delicious source of nutrition. Done correctly, cooking beans requires time, but little effort. This recipe is versatile. Keep it simple or build upon it. Once you know how to cook beans, you can make anything!
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 14 hrs
Course Main Dish
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound beans any variety
  • 2 bay leaves optional
  • 1 piece kombu optional
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt optional
  • 14 ounce Tomato Sauce substitute 4 cups veggie broth or 4 tsp. veggie bouillon
  • 14 ounce diced tomatoes optional, see Recipe Notes for more options
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder substitute 1 chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder substitute 5 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions
 

  • Soak beans overnight (up to 24 hours). See recipe notes for more information. Drain and rinse.
  • Add beans to a stock pot. Cover with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add bay leaves and/or kombu (optional, see recipe notes below). Reduce heat to medium low and cover (but don't seal.) Cook times will vary (see recipe notes). Best to cook when you are home and can periodically check.
  • Reduce heat to simmer, cover (but don't seal), and cook for 30 minutes to 2+ hours (the lower the heat, the longer it takes, but the more tender the bean). Skim froth that forms. When beans are soft (about 3/4 done), add salt. Set timer for 10-15 minute increments. Add more water as necessary to keep beans submerged. When beans are tender, and skins are wrinkly, and they taste perfect, they're done.
  • Once beans are nearly done, increase heat to medium high. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, onion and garlic. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, until beans are done. Remove bay leaves and kombu.
  • To finish off my beans, I added a dried vegetable and seasoning blend I picked up at a local market that sells Italian products. Scour your own pantry for blends you've purchased and saved for a rainy day. This basic recipe for how to cook beans can serve as a base for anything.

Notes

Beans and Digestion: Soaking improves digestibility and nutrient absorption, and breaks down anti-nutrients like phytic acid and leptins. Furthermore, bay leaves and kombu not only enhance the flavor of beans, but also improve digestibility and add essential minerals. Since I began soaking for 24 hours and adding bay leaves and kombu, the bloating, gas, and stinky "dutch oven" that roasted in our bedroom post legume consumption is a thing of the past. Knowing how to cook beans from scratch has one clear benefit—the "potlicker" broth. Potlicker is vegan bone broth. It retains nutrients and minerals lost during the cooking process, serves as a thickener and is very flavorful.
Cooking Time: Many recipes for how to cook beans give specific cooking times. But how long it takes can't be predicted. Cook times will vary based on the age of your bean (how long it's been sitting on the shelf) and the mineral content of your water. This is why I cook on the stove top (versus crock pot or pressure cooker). Monitoring for doneness prevents overcooking and allows you to get it right every time.  Best to cook when you are home and can periodically check.
Salt: There are a lot of opinions out there for when and if to add salt, and how much to add. Experts are divided and there is lots of conflicting science. I've tested various methods, and adding it towards the end of cooking works best for me. By all means, experiment to find what works for you. Read more . . .
Veggie Broth vs. Bouillon: Store bought organic veggie broth can be very expensive. I use Organic Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base, which allows me to make as little (or as much) as I need without paying $1/cup (it's about $0.20 cents/cup).
Get Creative: What are your favorite flavors? There are so many ways to serve beans. Think about adding BBQ sauce, red onion, and a dark beer. Add veggies (canned, frozen or fresh) and season with your favorite flavors. Go for Mexican, Italian, Asian, or create a fusion of your own design. Check out these bean recipes for more ideas. 

Vegan Black Bean Queso Blanco

 

Simple Spicy Red Beans

 

Cheater Chili

 

Caribbean Beans & Rice

 
Make Crispy Air-Fried Vegetables with No Oil

Make Crispy Air-Fried Vegetables with No Oil

Make Crispy Air-Fried Vegetables with No Oil

You can make crispy air-fried vegetables with no oil if you have the right blend of seasonings. This simple seasoning recipe works well on everything. Serve these tasty snacks as finger food, sides or toppers for soup and salad. A micro-spritz of avocado oil improves the crunch factor.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Sides and Snacks
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

seasoning for crispy air-fried vegetables with no oil

  • 2 Tbsp. Bragg's Liquid Amino  soy sauce of choice, or coconut aminos for soy free
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar substitute rice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger optional
  • 1-2 pounds chopped vegetables green beans, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, fingerlings--whatever! Frozen works too.
  • 1 spray avocado oil optional, or substitute 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste or sprinkle Everything seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the air-fryer to 375 to 400 degrees. Use lower heat for soft veggies like zucchini and tomatoes, and higher heat for firm veggies like root vegetables and squash.
  • Make crispy air-fried vegetables with no oil seasoning—just whisk the ingredients. Next, chop vegetables into bite size pieces. Thoroughly coat vegetables with the seasoning in a large bowl. Continue to stir until the liquid has been absorbed by the veggies.
  • Place vegetables in air-fryer. If desired, spritz with avocado oil. Heat for 10-20 minutes (depends on the size of the batch and desired doneness). Stir periodically and add another spritz of avocado oil at the halfway point.
  • Taste. Add salt and pepper (or Everything seasoning) if desired. Serve warm or cold.

Notes

You can make crispy air-fried vegetables with no oil. However, a spritz of avocado oil can improve the crunch factor. Avocado oil spray is the only oil spray I allow in my kitchen. Regular oil sprays have propellants such as butane or propane in them. Seriously. Do not put that on your food! Avocado oil is pure, and can make crispy air-fried vegetables thanks to a high smoke point. A minimal amount creates a big crunch. If you don't have avocado oil, you can add 1 tsp. sesame oil to the seasoning. Or just skip it.  
If you want a dipping sauce, try healthy horseradish sauce. It's oil free and nut free. 
horseradish sauce

Make Crispy Air-Fried Vegetables with No Oil

You can make crispy air-fried vegetables with no oil if you have the right blend of seasonings. This simple seasoning recipe works well on everything. Serve these tasty snacks as finger food, sides or toppers for soup and salad. A micro-spritz of avocado oil improves the crunch factor.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Sides and Snacks
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

seasoning for crispy air-fried vegetables with no oil

  • 2 Tbsp. Bragg's Liquid Amino  soy sauce of choice, or coconut aminos for soy free
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar substitute rice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger optional
  • 1-2 pounds chopped vegetables green beans, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, fingerlings--whatever! Frozen works too.
  • 1 spray avocado oil optional, or substitute 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste or sprinkle Everything seasoning

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the air-fryer to 375 to 400 degrees. Use lower heat for soft veggies like zucchini and tomatoes, and higher heat for firm veggies like root vegetables and squash.
  • Make crispy air-fried vegetables with no oil seasoning—just whisk the ingredients. Next, chop vegetables into bite size pieces. Thoroughly coat vegetables with the seasoning in a large bowl. Continue to stir until the liquid has been absorbed by the veggies.
  • Place vegetables in air-fryer. If desired, spritz with avocado oil. Heat for 10-20 minutes (depends on the size of the batch and desired doneness). Stir periodically and add another spritz of avocado oil at the halfway point.
  • Taste. Add salt and pepper (or Everything seasoning) if desired. Serve warm or cold.

Notes

You can make crispy air-fried vegetables with no oil. However, a spritz of avocado oil can improve the crunch factor. Avocado oil spray is the only oil spray I allow in my kitchen. Regular oil sprays have propellants such as butane or propane in them. Seriously. Do not put that on your food! Avocado oil is pure, and can make crispy air-fried vegetables thanks to a high smoke point. A minimal amount creates a big crunch. If you don't have avocado oil, you can add 1 tsp. sesame oil to the seasoning. Or just skip it.  
If you want a dipping sauce, try healthy horseradish sauce. It's oil free and nut free. 
horseradish sauce
Vegan Fried Chicken Nuggets

Vegan Fried Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Fried Tofu Nuggets

Freeze-and-thaw preparation transforms soft tofu into chewy meat. Once the tofu is ready, you're 30-minutes away from a standing ovation. Mix and match flours, seasonings and toppings to create crunchy (or soft), mouthwatering and flavorful Vegan Fried Chicken Nuggets.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 38 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 25 nuggets

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounces extra firm tofu Twice frozen, thawed and dried
  • 1/2 cup plant-based milk unsweetened
  • 1 Tbsp. tapioca flour
  • 1 cups almond flour substitute organic corn meal
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder substitute 1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning or other favorite
  • 2 tsp. onion powder omit if using alternate seasoning
  • 1 tsp. sea salt adjust if alternate seasonings have added salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces cooked quinoa optional; often available in frozen veggie isle. Substitute riced cauliflower

Instructions
 

  • The key to success with tofu nuggets is to freeze and thaw the tofu (TWICE if possible), and allow an extended dry time to avoid a goopy mess when applying coating. These two factors create an authentic nugget that most kids could mistake for actual chicken nuggets. Quick thaw in warm water (takes about an hour) to speed up the process.
  • Freeze the tofu (still in the package). Remove and thaw. For best results, repeat (freeze and thaw again). Remove from package. Squeeze out as much water as possible. Wrap in a thick, absorbent towel (I use a big bath towel as kitchen towels can't absorb as much water.) Or use a tofu press.
  • Once it's dry, you'll notice the texture is leathery. This is due to the expansion of the ice. When thawed, little holes are left. And when thoroughly dried, texture becomes chewier--similar to meat.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Gather three shallow bowls. Whisk the milk and tapioca in one bowl.
  • In the second bowl, thoroughly mix the tapioca and flour (or corn meal) with seasonings. My simple recipe with garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper is delicious. Or try your favorite seasoning blend, such as Cajun, Italian or Mediterranean. The key is adding enough salt, as the tofu is flavorless.
  • In a third bowl, add quinoa or riced cauliflower (you can skip this to keep it simple.) I experimented with three varieties. The riced cauliflower coating stays soft, the quinoa gets crunchy, and the two-step (flour-only) is a happy medium. All options were a success. Note: I used store-bought frozen quinoa and riced cauliflower. Each had some water post-thaw that easily drained off.
  • Cut the tofu into nuggets. Or just pull off chunks to avoid looking "square." Smaller chunks create a more flavorful result due to a higher breading:tofu ratio. Pat the nuggets again with a towel to maximize dryness.
  • Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  • Dip nugget into milk/tapioca mixture. Drag through the flour/cornmeal mixture. Dip in the milk/tapioca a second time. (The second swipe through the liquid is where drying the tofu makes a difference. On my first try, the thawed tofu was still a bit wet. It was a goopy mess—but still edible, no worries.) Roll in the quinoa or cauliflower and place on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until browning occurs. Serve with your favorite sauce. (Or not—these are so flavorful, they don't need sauce.)

Notes

In the top picture, the nuggets on the left were only rolled in corn meal and cajun seasoning. I skipped the third coating (quinoa/cauliflower). They were still delicious. The nuggets in the center were rolled in almond flower, seasoned with just garlic and onion powder (and salt), and rolled in cauliflower. The nuggets on the right were made with almond flour and quinoa.

Chicken Fried Tofu Nuggets

Freeze-and-thaw preparation transforms soft tofu into chewy meat. Once the tofu is ready, you're 30-minutes away from a standing ovation. Mix and match flours, seasonings and toppings to create crunchy (or soft), mouthwatering and flavorful Vegan Fried Chicken Nuggets.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 38 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 25 nuggets

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounces extra firm tofu Twice frozen, thawed and dried
  • 1/2 cup plant-based milk unsweetened
  • 1 Tbsp. tapioca flour
  • 1 cups almond flour substitute organic corn meal
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder substitute 1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning or other favorite
  • 2 tsp. onion powder omit if using alternate seasoning
  • 1 tsp. sea salt adjust if alternate seasonings have added salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces cooked quinoa optional; often available in frozen veggie isle. Substitute riced cauliflower

Instructions
 

  • The key to success with tofu nuggets is to freeze and thaw the tofu (TWICE if possible), and allow an extended dry time to avoid a goopy mess when applying coating. These two factors create an authentic nugget that most kids could mistake for actual chicken nuggets. Quick thaw in warm water (takes about an hour) to speed up the process.
  • Freeze the tofu (still in the package). Remove and thaw. For best results, repeat (freeze and thaw again). Remove from package. Squeeze out as much water as possible. Wrap in a thick, absorbent towel (I use a big bath towel as kitchen towels can't absorb as much water.) Or use a tofu press.
  • Once it's dry, you'll notice the texture is leathery. This is due to the expansion of the ice. When thawed, little holes are left. And when thoroughly dried, texture becomes chewier--similar to meat.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Gather three shallow bowls. Whisk the milk and tapioca in one bowl.
  • In the second bowl, thoroughly mix the tapioca and flour (or corn meal) with seasonings. My simple recipe with garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper is delicious. Or try your favorite seasoning blend, such as Cajun, Italian or Mediterranean. The key is adding enough salt, as the tofu is flavorless.
  • In a third bowl, add quinoa or riced cauliflower (you can skip this to keep it simple.) I experimented with three varieties. The riced cauliflower coating stays soft, the quinoa gets crunchy, and the two-step (flour-only) is a happy medium. All options were a success. Note: I used store-bought frozen quinoa and riced cauliflower. Each had some water post-thaw that easily drained off.
  • Cut the tofu into nuggets. Or just pull off chunks to avoid looking "square." Smaller chunks create a more flavorful result due to a higher breading:tofu ratio. Pat the nuggets again with a towel to maximize dryness.
  • Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  • Dip nugget into milk/tapioca mixture. Drag through the flour/cornmeal mixture. Dip in the milk/tapioca a second time. (The second swipe through the liquid is where drying the tofu makes a difference. On my first try, the thawed tofu was still a bit wet. It was a goopy mess—but still edible, no worries.) Roll in the quinoa or cauliflower and place on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until browning occurs. Serve with your favorite sauce. (Or not—these are so flavorful, they don't need sauce.)

Notes

In the top picture, the nuggets on the left were only rolled in corn meal and cajun seasoning. I skipped the third coating (quinoa/cauliflower). They were still delicious. The nuggets in the center were rolled in almond flower, seasoned with just garlic and onion powder (and salt), and rolled in cauliflower. The nuggets on the right were made with almond flour and quinoa.
Black Rice Kimchi with Cilantro Ginger Cream

Black Rice Kimchi with Cilantro Ginger Cream

Black Rice Kimchi with Cilantro Ginger Cream

A trifecta of fragrant flavors! The earthy beans and black rice are balanced by the savory spice of kimchi and brightened with cilantro ginger cream. Packed with probiotics, fiber and protein, this colorful dish electrifies the taste buds with mouthwatering sensations.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Dish
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Black Beans, Black Rice, Kimchi

  • 1 tsp. Veggie Bouillon
  • 1.75 cup water substitute veggie broth and omit the bouillon
  • 1 cup Black Rice
  • 14.5 ounce black beans (canned) ~1.75 cup
  • 1 cup kimchi

Cilantro ginger cream sauce

  • 1/2 cup cashews substitute almonds, soaked if possible
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup Fresh Cilantro loosely packed
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 inch cube ginger substitute 1/2 - 1 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder or one small garlic clove
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes optional

Instructions
 

  • Whisk bouillon into 1.75 cups of water. Add 1 cup of of black rice. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for ~20 minutes, until rice is tender. Fluff with a fork. Stir in 1 can of black beans and kimchi (depending on the variety, you may want to chop the kimchi into smaller pieces).
  • Add cilantro ginger cream ingredients to a high speed blender. Blend until creamy and smooth.
  • Fluff rice with a fork. Stir in 1 can of black beans and kimchi (depending on the variety, you may want to chop the kimchi into smaller pieces).
  • Drizzle cilantro ginger cream over the rice, beans and kimchi. Serve warm.

Notes

High quality, store-bought veggie broth is expensive. I use veggie broth in a lot of my recipes, but instead of paying $1/cup for the organic brands, I keep Better than Bouillon Organic Vegetable Base in my pantry.
I purchased this delicious kimchi (and other things) from the new Juice Jar in Fort Wayne. Support local businesses that offer healthy options.
If you've never tried black rice, I highly recommend. It's really good for you. Read more about the benefits . . .
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Vegan Shepherd's Pie is a savory, comfort-food classic, packed with protein, fiber and robust flavor. Red wine adds depth to the earthy mushroom and lentils, and tahini creates a creamy texture infused with umami. Coconut milk replaces the oil and butter usually required. Very healthy. And very satisfying.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 24 ounces potatoes or 2-3 large potatoes
  • 16 ounces riced cauliflower substitute one small head of chopped cauliflower
  • 1 Yellow Onion chopped into half moons
  • 10 ounces mushrooms
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp. thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine substitute vegetable broth
  • 6 cups veggie broth
  • 2 cups green or brown lentils ~ 1 pound
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce of choice substitute tamari if gluten free
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 14 ounce coconut milk (full fat) substitute any unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary substitute Italian seasoning, thyme or oregano
  • 1.5 tsp. sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chopped potatoes and cauliflower on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes (until potatoes are soft). You can drizzle some olive oil and dash with salt and pepper. But I didn't. We add plenty of flavor later.
  • Add chopped onion to a large stock pot. Sauté on medium heat, adding splashes of water to prevent sticking. Next add diced mushrooms, minced garlic and tomato paste. Cook for 7-8 minutes, until onions and mushrooms are soft.
  • Deglaze the onions and mushrooms with red wine. Sauté until most of the liquid is evaporated. (No worries, the alcohol evaporates.)
  • Add vegetable broth, lentils, bay leaves and paprika. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until most of the liquid is evaporated and the lentils are soft. (This is not an exact science. Cook time and liquid amount can vary with the type of lentils. If liquid is gone before lentils are done, add a bit more water and cook until texture is as desired.)
  • Once lentils are done, remove from heat. Add tahini, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Taste for flavor. Add more salt, black pepper or other as needed.
  • Remove potatoes and cauliflower from oven. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add coconut milk, yeast flakes, onion powder, rosemary and salt. Cream with a hand mixer or immersion blender.
  • In a 9x13 casserole dish, layer the potatoes and cauliflower over the lentil mixture. Return to oven and bake until lentil liquid is bubbling up (15-20 minutes).

Notes

This recipe does make a LOT of servings. If you don't have a big family, consider parsing into two casserole dishes. Skip the final bake and freeze the second for another time or pay it forward to a friend (What a gift!). You could also cut the recipe in half—the seasonings don't have to be exact.

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Vegan Shepherd's Pie is a savory, comfort-food classic, packed with protein, fiber and robust flavor. Red wine adds depth to the earthy mushroom and lentils, and tahini creates a creamy texture infused with umami. Coconut milk replaces the oil and butter usually required. Very healthy. And very satisfying.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 24 ounces potatoes or 2-3 large potatoes
  • 16 ounces riced cauliflower substitute one small head of chopped cauliflower
  • 1 Yellow Onion chopped into half moons
  • 10 ounces mushrooms
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp. thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine substitute vegetable broth
  • 6 cups veggie broth
  • 2 cups green or brown lentils ~ 1 pound
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce of choice substitute tamari if gluten free
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 14 ounce coconut milk (full fat) substitute any unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary substitute Italian seasoning, thyme or oregano
  • 1.5 tsp. sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chopped potatoes and cauliflower on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes (until potatoes are soft). You can drizzle some olive oil and dash with salt and pepper. But I didn't. We add plenty of flavor later.
  • Add chopped onion to a large stock pot. Sauté on medium heat, adding splashes of water to prevent sticking. Next add diced mushrooms, minced garlic and tomato paste. Cook for 7-8 minutes, until onions and mushrooms are soft.
  • Deglaze the onions and mushrooms with red wine. Sauté until most of the liquid is evaporated. (No worries, the alcohol evaporates.)
  • Add vegetable broth, lentils, bay leaves and paprika. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until most of the liquid is evaporated and the lentils are soft. (This is not an exact science. Cook time and liquid amount can vary with the type of lentils. If liquid is gone before lentils are done, add a bit more water and cook until texture is as desired.)
  • Once lentils are done, remove from heat. Add tahini, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Taste for flavor. Add more salt, black pepper or other as needed.
  • Remove potatoes and cauliflower from oven. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add coconut milk, yeast flakes, onion powder, rosemary and salt. Cream with a hand mixer or immersion blender.
  • In a 9x13 casserole dish, layer the potatoes and cauliflower over the lentil mixture. Return to oven and bake until lentil liquid is bubbling up (15-20 minutes).

Notes

This recipe does make a LOT of servings. If you don't have a big family, consider parsing into two casserole dishes. Skip the final bake and freeze the second for another time or pay it forward to a friend (What a gift!). You could also cut the recipe in half—the seasonings don't have to be exact.

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