gluten free

Asian Summer Roll Salad with Grilled Tofu

Asian summer salad with grilled tofu

We eat a lot of salads. Actually, most days I eat a salad for either lunch or dinner. We live in Florida where it is normally hot, so cold salads are my go to. I also love Thai and summer rolls, and really wanted to make a salad that included all of the goodness of a summer roll, but didn’t require me rolling up a batch. If I am being perfectly honesty, I am terrible at rolling them. If they handed out awards for ugly summer rolls, I know I could win! So I created this Asian summer roll salad with grilled tofu, and added in all the things I would put in a summer roll. Soaking rice stick noodles and adding them to this salad gives it a more summer roll feel and makes it extra delicious. I meant to add fresh mint and forgot, but will definitely add it next time and maybe even some cilantro. This salad is perfect for hot summer days. It was also great as leftover, even after being tossed in the dressing. So if you love summer rolls, but not all the work, give this salad a try. It’s quick, easy, delicious, and no rice paper rolling skills required.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

  • 2 cups copped/shredded cabbage

  • 1/2 English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced

  • 1 cup shredded carrots

  • 1/2 cup edamame

  • 2 green onions , chopped

  • 3 oz rice stick noodles

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced

  • optional add ins: fresh mint leaves, cilantro

THE TOFU:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu

  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoons garlic powder

PEANUT DRESSING:

  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter

  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Drain tofu and wrap in a clean kitchen towel or a few paper towels. Place a few books on top or a heavy pan, and let sit for 10 minutes to press out any excess liquid.

  2. Slice the tofu into strips. In a shallow pan mix remaining tofu ingredients. Let the strips marinate in the mixture for about 10 minutes. Heat a large grill pan over medium heat. You can use a regular skillet if you don’t have a grill pan. Give it a spray with some cooking oil, and add the tofu along with all of the marinade. Let the tofu cook, turning the pieces several times until the liquid is absorbed, and the tofu is slightly crispy around the edges.

  3. Place the rice noodles in a dish and cover in hot tap water. Let the noodles sit for about 5 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse in cold water. Set aside.

  4. In a small bowl whisk the ingredients for the dressing. I like to use a fork to get the peanut butter all mixed in. It takes a minute to get it broken down and mixed well with the other ingredients.

  5. Toss all of the the salad ingredients in a large bowl along with the rice noodles and cooked tofu. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss again.

Serves around 6.

If you like this recipe, try these:

Raw Sesame Zucchini Noodle Salad

Southwest Salad with Crispy Potatoes

Kale Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Asian summer salad with grilled tofu

asian summer roll salad with grilled tofu

Vegan Tuna Salad with Jackfruit

Jackfruit Tuna Salad Sandwich cut in half

In my pre-vegan days, tuna salad was my favorite. On a sandwich, on a cracker, straight out of the bowl, just about anyway you could think of. It was really the only non vegan food I kept craving and missing once we went vegan. I tired the chickpea tuna recipes and liked them fine, but being perfectly honest, none of them remind me of tuna. So once again, I turned to my favorite magical meat substitute, canned jackfruit in brine. Not only is it cheap, gluten free, and healthier than faux meats, it is a master at mimicking just about any shredded meat you could want. Once you shred it, the texture is spot on, and because it’s pretty flavorless, it can convincingly morph into so many shredded meats. For this recipe, I strongly suggest you don’t leave out the dulse flakes, because they are what give this vegan tuna salad that convincingly “fishy” flavor! Also, if you prefer sweet pickles in you tuna salad, feel free to swap them out for the dill. I personally have always been in the dill pickle tuna salad camp, but I won’t judge you if you are not a fan. You could also leave pickles out all together and add celery instead. You just do what ever makes you and your vegan tuna sandwich happy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can of jackfruit in brine

  • 1/4 cup minced onion

  • 2-3 teaspoons dulse flakes

  • 3 tablespoons vegan mayo

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2-3 tablespoons minced dill pickles

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Drain and rinse jackfruit. You can toss it in the blender or food processor to mince it up quickly, or finely chop it with a knife.

  2. Add the jackfruit and remaining ingredients to a medium sized bowl, and mix well.

  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days

If you like this recipe, try these:

Tarragon Almond “Chicken” Salad

Tofu Egg Salad

Vegan Pimento Cheese

Jackfruit Tuna Salad Sandwich

vegan tuna salad with jackfruit

Vegan Gluten Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

Vegan Gluten Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

When I was a kids I used to beg my dad to buy me a bag of the Keebler Danish wedding cookies in the pink bag, every time we went to the grocery store. I am not sure if it was the pink bag, or the delicious little cookies inside, all covered in snowy powdered sugar. Either way I loved them! I did not attempt making my own until I good and grown, and needed a Russian treat for an international school festival one of our kids attended. The Russian apple cake I fist attempted was an epic failure ( I forgot to add sugar, I’m and genius, I know) so In a pinch I turned to googling and found what seemed to be a Danish wedding cookie, but called a Russian tea cookie, but also commonly known as a Mexican wedding cookie. Apparently this cookie goes by a lot of names, but I most often hear it called a Mexican wedding cookie, or butter ball. The cookies were so easy to make, a huge hit, and whatever you call the, rest assured they are amazing. My awesome daughter was kind enough to bake up a gluten free batch recently for my Man Jong Club (I know, I am all over the place in this post, but y’all Mah Jong is SO FUN) so everyone could enjoy a treat. We used our favorite, fail proof, gluten free flour blend from the A Little Insanity website. It has worked in any recipe we have ever used it in, and is 100% worth your time to mix up a batch. Also, her site is great for all things allergy friendly and GF, so give it a gander! You can also use regular all purpose flour in this recipe if you are not GF! It works just fine. So if you have been craving a vegan Danish, Mexican, Russian, Italian, tea, butter ball, snow ball, international cookie of mysterious origin, we have you covered, dipped, and rolled in powdery sugar goodness!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend (we use this one, it is hands down the best we have tried)

  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for rolling

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

  • 1/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1 cup almond meal ( ground up almonds)

Vegan Gluten Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. In large bowl mix softened butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts and mix.

  2. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated. The dough be dry but wet enough to hold the shape of a ball. You can find almond meal in the baking section of most stores now. It is NOT almond flour. It is more coarse. We normally just pop some almonds in a blender to make the meal.

  3. Line 2 baking sheets wth parchment paper. Using a small cookie scoop or a talbesppon, scoop dough and roll into balls. The cookies do not really spread, so you do not have to space them out too much.

  4. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, just until the cookies are starting to brown around the edges.

  5. Allow cookies to cool completely before rolling them in powdered sugar. If the cookies are even still warm it will cause the powdered sugar to cake up and melt on the cookies. So make sure they are totally cool.

  6. Store cookies in an airtight container.

If you like this recipe, try these:

Vegan ranger cookies

The Perfect Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie

Easy Vegan Fudge

**you can sub the same GF flour blend in these cookie recipe. We have done it and it works great!

Vegan Gluten Free Mexican Wedding Cookies cut in half

vegan gluten free mexican wedding cookies

Vegan French Onion Dip

Vegan French Onion Dip

Who doesn’t love a good french onion dip with potato chips, or a veggie plate. Vegan french onion dip is super quick, and easy to throw together, and is the perfect dip for snacking. We used almond milk plain yogurt to make this dip, but use your favorite brand of vegan plain yogurt or sour cream. I often use plain vegan yogurt in the place of sour cream because for me, its easier to find, and works great in place of sour cream. I also prefer to use an almond milk yogurt to a coconut yogurt, but that is just my preference. Use whatever you like! Just make sure you have enough chips on hand because this dip is addictive!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion

  • 1/3 cup vegan mayo

  • 1/3 cup plain vegan yogurt or sour cream (we used Kite Hill yogurt)

  • 1 teaspoon onion salt

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • garnish with diced green onions, chives, or fresh chopped parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make sure the onions are diced super fine. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of oil or vegan butter and the onions. Cook until the onions are soft, and beginning to brown. Allow onions to cool.

  2. Mix mayo, yogurt, or sour cream, spices and cooled onions together. Sprinkle with garnish. Pop the dip back in the fridge to thicken. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

  3. Serve with chips or veggies.

If you like this recipe, try these:

Vegan Ranch

Vegan Alabama White Sauce

Cashew Queso

Dipping a chip into a bowl of vegan french onion dip

Vegan french onion dip

Vegan Pavlova with Sweet Lemon Ricotta and Berries (Meringue Cake)

Vegan Pavlova

Pavlova cake is named after the Russian Ballerina, Anna Pavlova, from her time touring in Australia and New Zealand. Supposably, a chef at the Wellington hotel created the cake for the dancer, claiming it reminded him of her tutu!! Because I adore ballet, and adore meringue, it only seemed logical we try to veganize this classic dessert. Traditional Pavlova is made with egg white meringue that is marshmalllowy inside. In this vegan version we use sweet, whipped, aquafaba to replace the eggs and made a drier meringue to help hold its shape. The result is a perfectly, light, delicate meringue cake, filled with sweet lemon tofu ricotta and fresh berries. This cake requires patients as it takes a long time to bake and dry out. I promise its worth every minute it takes. This vegan Pavlova makes for the most impressively beautiful, light, and delicious dessert and will surely impress anyone who tries it!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Liquid from 1 can of chickpeas

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch

  • 3-4 cups mixed berries, strawberries, blueberries, black berries, or raspberries

  • Fresh mint for garnish

LEMON RICOTTA :

  • 1 block extra firm tofu

  • Juice from 1 lemon

  • Zest from 1 lemon

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, or a few tablespoons agave

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 275 degrees

  1. Add chickpea liquid, powdered sugar, cream of tarter, vinegar, and tapioca starch to a stand mixer, and mix on medium speed for about 10 minutes or until a very stiff meringue has formed. If you need to use a hand electric mixer, add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix by hand until a stiff meringue has formed, don’t give up. It takes a while but will come together.

  2. Prepare 2 baking sheets by covering in parchment paper. Draw an 8 inch circle on each sheet of parchment then flip the sheet over. Divide the meringue between the 2 circle. Spread the meringue evenly to fit the circles using the back of a spoon.

  3. Bake the Pavlova for 2 1/2- 3 hours or until you can insert a tooth pick or cake tester into the center and the meringues are dry. Remove from the oven to cool completely. (ours took 3 hours but bake times will vary depending on ovens)

  4. Add the tofu, lemon and maple syrup to a food processor or high speed blender, and process until completely smooth.

  5. Divide the tofu ricotta in half. Lightly spread half of the ricotta over one of the meringues. Thinly slice some strawberries and evenly spread them over the ricotta. You can add some tother berries as well, just nestle them into the ricotta.

  6. Place the second meringue on top of the first. Add the other half of the ricotta to the center of the meringue and spread it out a little. Pile up the remaining fruit on top of the ricotta. Garnish with mint.

  7. Serve immediately. The liquid from the ricotta and fruit will eventually break down the meringues. If you wish to bake the meringues and serve later, store them in an airtight container and add ricotta and fruit when ready to serve. Any moisture in the air will cause the meringues to get sticky and they will no longer be dry and flakey, the way you want them to be. Storing them in an airtight container is essential!

  8. Slice to serve.

If you like this recipe, try these:

No Bake Vegan Strawberry Pie

Southern Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

Sweet Aquafaba Whip

Vegan Pavlova cut on a plate

vegan pavlova cake with sweet lemon tofu ricotta and fresh berries

Smokey Coconut Milk Chile Cheddar Cheese

Vegan Smokey Chile Cheddar Cheese sliced

I love experimenting with different vegan cheese flavors and bases. I really love using coconut milk because it’s easy and affordable. I am often asked if these cheeses have a strong coconut flavor and the answer is, not really. I always used refined coconut oil which has little to no coconut flavor at all, and all of the spices and other ingredients in the cheese mask the flavor of the milk very well. I love this particular chile cheddar for its deep smokey, peppery flavor without a lot of heat. You could always bump up the heat in this cheese by adding a few slashes of your favorite hot sauce. My kids and husband are not big fans of eye watering, nose running pepper heat, so this cheese has all the flavor without any of the pain. We added reconstituted dried chiles and a can of small green chiles for the perfect smokey and tangy combo. This vegan cheese will slice, shred, and even remelt, making it perfect for quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, sandwiches, or just snacking! This is a quick set cheese and is so simple to make, there is no reason to keep overpaying for store bought vegan cheese! You can have delicious vegan cheese, start to finish in about 2 hours, and for a quarter of the grocery store price!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk

  • 2 tablespoons agar powder

  • 2 teaspoons light miso paste

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 1 small can green chiles (4 oz can)

  • 2 dried chili peppers

  • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil

  • optional: a few shakes of your favorite hot sauce

Vegan Smokey Chile Cheddar Cheese on a cracker

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place dried chiles in a medium sized bowl. Pour enough boiling water over the peppers to cover and place a plate on top of the bowl. Let the peppers soak for about 20 minutes

  2. In a food processor or high speed blender, add all of the ingredients EXCEPT the milk, and agar and peppers.

  3. Pulse a few times to mix it all up.

  4. After the peppers are done soaking and have softened, remove from the water. Cut the pepper open and remove the stem and the seeds. I just run a paper towel down the inside of the peppers to wipe out the seeds.

  5. Drop the whole peppers into the food processor. Open the green chiles and dump them onto several folded up paper towels or a clean kitchen towel just to absorb some of the liquid. Add them to the food processor as well. Pulse until the peppers are broken down.

  6. Now add the milk, and agar to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens to the constancy of a thin pudding. This only takes a few minutes.

  7. Add the milk mixture to the ingredients in the food processor, and mix for about a minute. The mixture will quickly begin to thicken as agar begins to solidify at room temperature.

  8. Transfer to the mixture to several small bowls or cheese molds. I can fill three small bowls with this recipe.

  9. Allow the cheese to harden in the refrigerator uncovered for a few hours.

  10. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week or so.

If you like this recipe, try these:

Coconut Milk Colby Jack Cheese

Coconut Milk Pepper Jack

Smokey Cashew Cheddar

A cheese board with vegan coconut chile cheddar cheese surrounded by chiles and crackers

smokey coconut milk chile cheddar vegan cheese

Vegan Caramel Sauce

Vegan Caramel Sauce drizzled on pumpkin bread pudding.

Vegan caramel sauce is so easy make, and so delicious. We have tried many methods over the years and have settled on this recipe that is a combo of some of our favorite attempts. This vegan caramel sauce is thick and gooey, with a hint of salt and cinnamon. Its perfect for topping bread puddings, cakes, ice cream, brownies, anything you can think of. It even makes a delicious coffee drink drizzle. You can whip up a batch in not time, and keep in the fridge for those late night bowls of ice cream, or dip one of our vegan churro ice cream sandwiches in it. Hey, I’m not judging, I’m right there with you. Caramel makes the worst day better!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk or cream (the kind in a can, shaken well)

  • 3/4 cups brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • pinch of salt

  • 2 teaspoons tapioca or corn starch

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place brown sugar and starch in a medium size pot over medium heat, and allow it to cook while whisking for about a minute.

  2. Reduce the heat to low and add the coconut milk, salt and cinnamon.

  3. Whisk and Simmer for about 15 minutes until the caramel begins to thicken and sticks to the back of the spoon. Stir in the vanilla and allow to cool.

  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

If you like this recipe, try these:

Vegan Lemon Curd

Vegan Churro Ice Cream Sandwiches

Chocolate. Peanut Butter, Banana “Nice Cream”

The Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding featured in this picture is available in our Fall and Winter Holiday Menu E-Book. This E-book is a full holiday menu complete with 34 recipes including a main dish, sides, desserts, and cocktails.

Easy vegan caramel sauce with coconut cream and cinnamon

Vegan Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole

A baking dish of tater tot caserole with a plate of caserole in the foreground.

My mom doesn’t love to cook. That said, she taught me most of what I know about cooking, and is actually a really good cook (if you ask her she will claim the opposite, I think just to get her out of the task she doesn’t enjoy.) Since going vegan I have really missed some of the dishes she always made us. One of my favorite easy dishes she always makes is tater tot casserole. It’s cripsy tater tots, ground meat, all the “cream of” soups, and piles and piles of cheese. It took me a few tries to veganize this favorite comfort food, but once I did, it was game on. Obviously my kids love this dish! It has kids casserole written all over it. But I am a fully grown women and always go back for seconds. We use our easy vegan all purpose cheese sauce to sub in for all the “cream of” soups and the cheesy top! It works like a dream. You can use any meatless crumbles you like, but we always just thaw some Beyond Burgers and crumble them up. As a side note, I started finding Beyond Burgers at Costco and for half the price you find them at the grocery store, so be on the lookout if you are a Costco shopper! if you have ever had tater tot casserole in you per vegan days, and have been missing it, it’s finally time to rejoice. If you have never had it, let me tell you, it’s the most comforting, easy, gooey, cheesy, casserole recipe, ever!!! And thanks again to my mom for teaching me how to cook all those years ago!!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bag frozen tater tots

  • 1 yellow onion

  • 1 package meatless crumbles, or we used 3 thawed Beyond Meat Burgers

  • 1 batch Easy Vegan All Purpose Cheese Sauce, divided

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

INSTRUCTIONS:

preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Line a 9x13 pan with a single layer of tater tots.

  2. Dice yellow onion. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Sray the pan with a little oil, and add the onion. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent.

  3. Add the meatless crumbles or the thawed burgers. If using the burgers, break them up using a spatula and cook until the “meat” is cooked though. Sprinkle the “meat” evenly over the tater tots.

  4. Prepare the cheese sauce according to the directions. Divide the heated sauce. Pour half of the sauce over the tater tots and meatless crumbles, using a spatula to evenly spread it. Leave the other half of the sauce in the pan.

  5. Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons turmeric and 1 teaspoon smoked paprika to the other half of the sauce and whisk well. This will give the sauce a smokey cheddar flavor and color.

  6. Evenly spread the cheddar sauce over the top of the casserole and bake for 30 minutes.

  7. Allow to cool a little before serving.,

If you like this recipe, try these:

“Chicken” Divan with Jackfruit

Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan Italian Noodle Bake

Classic tater tot casserole made vegan using our easy all purpsoe vegan cheese sauce

Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic Remoulade (vegan)

Roast Red Pepper Sauce with a dipping spoon

I love a good sauce for sandwiches or for dipping my fries. I also love roasted red peppers and garlic, so this roasted red pepper and garlic remoulade is a personal favorite. This sauce comes together very quickly and can be used for so many things. Use it as sandwich spread, dip, a sauce for grilled or roasted veggies, or even a dip for our vegan fried cheese grits or fried green tomatoes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo

  • 2 roasted red bell peppers

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

  2. Use as a dipping sauce for fries or veggies or as a spread for sandwiches.

If you like this recipe, try these:

Vegan Alabama White Sauce

Lemon Tahini Dressing

Vegan Ranch

quick and easy vegan roasted red pepper and garlic remoulade

Vegan Fried Cheese Grits

In the south, we eat grits. In the south we also love to fry all kinds of things that were not originally intended to be fried! So cheese grits are no exception to that rule! These grits are crispy on the outside, and cheesy creamy perfection on the inside. We dipped ours in  vegan ranch  but I think they would be super delicious dipped in some marinara sauce as well. They are perfect a tasty snack, party food, or even a creative brunch side! I have not attempted to air fry these treats, but I think it would work just fine if you gave them a spray of oil and cooked them for 10-15 minutes or so on 375 degrees. And if you are one of those people in the sweet grit camp, I urge you to step over to the other side and give these a try. I promise you don’t have to be an absolute convert..just a little open minded..although I will never put sugar on my grits..like, never :)

In the south, we eat grits. In the south we also love to fry all kinds of things that were not originally intended to be fried! So cheese grits are no exception to that rule! These grits are crispy on the outside, and cheesy creamy perfection on the inside. We dipped ours in vegan ranch but I think they would be super delicious dipped in some marinara sauce as well. They are perfect a tasty snack, party food, or even a creative brunch side! I have not attempted to air fry these treats, but I think it would work just fine if you gave them a spray of oil and cooked them for 10-15 minutes or so on 375 degrees. And if you are one of those people in the sweet grit camp, I urge you to step over to the other side and give these a try. I promise you don’t have to be an absolute convert..just a little open minded..although I will never put sugar on my grits..like, never :)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup dry old fashioned grits

  • 2 cups plant milk ( we used almond)

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon Vegetable Better Than Bouillon

  • 1 cup vegan cheddar shreds, homemade or store bought

  • 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese

  • 2 green onions, finely diced

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs, regular or gluten free (make sure they are vegan, many brands are not)

  • 1/2 cup plant based milk

  • 2 tablespoons vegan plain yogurt or sour cream ( we used kite hill plain yogurt)

  • 1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour, or gluten free flour blend

  • oil for frying ( we use grapeseed)

IMG_2800.jpg

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Bring milk, water, and Better Than Bouillon to a boil in a medium/ large pot over medium heat.

  2. Once the liquid is boiling, add in the grits and stir. Reduce heat to low, and allow the grits to cook and thicken for about 15 minutes Be sure to stir the grits several times to avoid them sticking to the bottom of the pot.

  3. Once grits are done, stir in the cheddar, cream cheese, salt pepper, and green onions.

  4. Spray a 9 inch baking pan with some oil and transfer the grits to the pan. Place pan in the fridge for about 4 hours or until the grits seem firm. You can also do this the day before you want to make these. They will be fine hanging out in the fridge for a day or so.

  5. Once grits are firm, turn the pan over onto a cutting board. You may have to tap the pan on the counter to get the grits out, but if you sprayed the pan well, they should come right out.

  6. Cut the grits into sticks that are about 1/2 inch thick and 4 inches long. They will be a little soft still so just handle them gently to avoid them breaking.

  7. Place flour in a shallow dish. In a separate dish wish the milk with the yogurt. In another dish, add the panko.

  8. Start by dipping the grit sticks first into the flour, next the milk yogurt mixture, and finally into the panko. Repeat with all of the grits sticks.

  9. Heat a large deep skillet with about an inch of oil over medium heat. Once the oil is nice and hot, fry the grits sticks 3 or 4 at a time, turning them with tongs to make sure they get crispy on all sides. They only need a few minutes in the oil to get them nice and crisp. Line a baking sheet with some paper towels and place a cooling rack on top. Place finished grits on the cooling rack while you finish frying the rest.

  10. Serve fried cheese grits with vegan ranch or marinara sauce.

Reheat fried cheese grits in a 350 degree oven until crisp

If you like this recipe, then try these:

Southern Tofu Scallops and Grits

Fried Vegan Mozzarella Bites

Vegan Gorgonzola Fried Brussels Sprouts

IMG_2798.jpg

Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd’s pie is not a food I grew up eating. To be perfectly honest, I had never even heard of it until I married my husband, and he expressed his great dislike for traditional shepherd’s pie. I was in full agreement that the meaty version full of peas, and carrots and what ever else was in there sounded awful. Then recently our friend Deanne had us over for dinner, and served a vegan lentil version of shepherd’s pie, and much to my surprise, I liked it. I actually really, really liked it! Savory lentils and veggies topped with creamy mashed potatoes. What is not to like!!! It took some convincing to get my husband to try it when I decided to make my own, but when I did he ate two helpings!! So the husband is now a convert, the shepherd’s Pie ban has officaly been lifted, and I will now be adding this deliciously easy dinner to our regular rotation! Thanks again Deanne for proving us wrong!

Shepherd’s pie is not a food I grew up eating. To be perfectly honest, I had never even heard of it until I married my husband, and he expressed his great dislike for traditional shepherd’s pie. I was in full agreement that the meaty version full of peas, and carrots and what ever else was in there sounded awful. Then recently our friend Deanne had us over for dinner, and served a vegan lentil version of shepherd’s pie, and much to my surprise, I liked it. I actually really, really liked it! Savory lentils and veggies topped with creamy mashed potatoes. What is not to like!!! It took some convincing to get my husband to try it when I decided to make my own, but when I did he ate two helpings!! So the husband is now a convert, the shepherd’s Pie ban has officaly been lifted, and I will now be adding this deliciously easy dinner to our regular rotation! Thanks again Deanne for proving us wrong!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup dried green lentils

  • 2 carrots, finely diced

  • 1 small onion, finely diced

  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced

  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms

  • 3 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 1 teaspoon Vegetable Better Than Bouillon (optional, but adds flavor)

  • 3 large russet potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter

  • 2 tablespoon vegan cream cheese

  • splash of milk

  • salt and black pepper to taste (for the potatoes)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat.

  2. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and allow to cook unit the onions are translucent and soft.

  3. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for a few minutes.

  4. Add the lentils, broth, and spices and reduce the heat to simmer. Let the lentils simmer for about half an hour to 45 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the lentils are soft.

  5. While the lentils are cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until they are soft and you can poke a fork through them.

  6. Drain water from potatoes and mash using a hand masher or an electric hand mixer, adding in the butter, cream cheese, salt, and pepper. If they seem too thick, add a splash of milk.

  7. Scoop cooked lentils into a pie dish or shallow casserole dish and top with the mashed potatoes.

  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the shepherds pie for about 25 minutes.

  9. Garnish with fresh or dried parsley if you like before severing.

If you like this recipe, try these:

“Chicken” Divan with Jackfruit

Loaded Vegan Roasted Red Potatoes

Cheesy Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

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Vegan Rice Paper Bacon

Over the years I have attempted may faux bacons. I have burnt more batches of eggplant bacon than I care to admit. I really like an easy coconut bacon for adding flavor to dishes or sprinkling on salads, but I was still missing the bacon-y crunch on a BLT. So when I discovered that you could make bacon from rice paper, I was intrigued. What I like about this mock bacon is that it gets super crispy, and so far I have only burnt one batch of this magic vs the 5,999 batches of eggplant bacon Ive destroyed. I have also had a tragic knife incident involving eggplant bacon that I just can’t shake (eggplants are not that easy to cut, y’all!) But this recipe uses a pair of scissors so, hooray!! I didn’t get my nickname, Hazard, by accident. This fake bacon is cheap, easy, quick to make, and pretty foolproof! So break out the lettuce, and mayo, because its BLT time!

Over the years I have attempted may faux bacons. I have burnt more batches of eggplant bacon than I care to admit. I really like an easy coconut bacon for adding flavor to dishes or sprinkling on salads, but I was still missing the bacon-y crunch on a BLT. So when I discovered that you could make bacon from rice paper, I was intrigued. What I like about this mock bacon is that it gets super crispy, and so far I have only burnt one batch of this magic vs the 5,999 batches of eggplant bacon Ive destroyed. I have also had a tragic knife incident involving eggplant bacon that I just can’t shake (eggplants are not that easy to cut, y’all!) But this recipe uses a pair of scissors so, hooray!! I didn’t get my nickname, Hazard, by accident. This fake bacon is cheap, easy, quick to make, and pretty foolproof! So break out the lettuce, and mayo, because its BLT time!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 9-12 pieces of rice paper

  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos

  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Stack 3 to 4 circles of rice paper on top of one another, depending on how thick you want the bacon.

  2. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, trim the stacked circle into a square, then cut 3 to 4 strips of “bacon” from the square. (if you can find square rice paper, then it will be easier, but normally my local market only sells the round ones) It is very hard to cut the paper with a knife but they will cut quickly with scissors. Make sure to keep the pieces stacked after cutting. Repeat with remaining rice paper.

  3. Whisk marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Place the strips of rice paper bacon in a shallow dish and cover with the marinade. Let the bacon strips marinate for 10 minutes.

  4. Cover a baking sheet in a piece of parchment paper. Carefully pick up pieces of bacon, making sure they stay stacked, and let the marinade dip off some before placing them on the baking sheet. Give them a little spray with some cooking oil.

  5. Bake the rice paper bacon for 15 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and carefully turn the pieces of bacon over using a pair of tongs. Place back in the oven for 7-10 more minutes.

  6. Remove from oven and allow the bacon to cool before serving

If you like this recipe, you may also like this:

Easy Coconut Bacon

Vegan Maple Bacon Yeast Donuts

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Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Mac n Cheese (The Lori Mac)

It helps to have friends that are genius, like my vegan friend Lori! Lori is great for a multitude of reasons, including rodent rescue and release. She even took in, and raised, a baby mouse we found in our house, and was able to release it into the wild (and before you say, ewwwww, let me tell you, a baby mouse no bigger than you thumb nail is literally the cutest thing.) She is GREAT, and has the biggest heart for all animals. Lori also apparently has some mad culinary skills, because not too long ago I saw her post on Facebook that she was going to make spinach and artichoke mac n cheese!! WHAT!?!? Why had my brain not gone there yet? So we quickly whipped up a batch of our vegan  spinach and artichoke dip  and mixed into some noodles with a little extra cheese and, WOW! Lori was not wrong with this one!!! So thank you Lori for being all around awesome and genius, and thanks for always saving all the little critters nobody else wants to save! We are your biggest fans and so are our stomachs!

It helps to have friends that are genius, like my vegan friend Lori! Lori is great for a multitude of reasons, including rodent rescue and release. She even took in, and raised, a baby mouse we found in our house, and was able to release it into the wild (and before you say, ewwwww, let me tell you, a baby mouse no bigger than you thumb nail is literally the cutest thing.) She is GREAT, and has the biggest heart for all animals. Lori also apparently has some mad culinary skills, because not too long ago I saw her post on Facebook that she was going to make spinach and artichoke mac n cheese!! WHAT!?!? Why had my brain not gone there yet? So we quickly whipped up a batch of our vegan spinach and artichoke dip and mixed into some noodles with a little extra cheese and, WOW! Lori was not wrong with this one!!! So thank you Lori for being all around awesome and genius, and thanks for always saving all the little critters nobody else wants to save! We are your biggest fans and so are our stomachs!

INGREDIENTS:

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Boil noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

  2. Make Spinach and Artichoke dip according to recipe instructions.

  3. Mix in 1 cup of mozzarella shreds into the dip.

  4. Pour dip into a 9x13 casserole dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella.

  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Just long enough to heat through and melt the cheese on top.

If you like this recipe, try these:

Nut free Vegan Mac n Cheese

Vegan Buffalo Chicken Mac n Cheese

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Easy Summer Corn Salad

I have so many memories as a kids sitting around with family shucking corn. My grandparents lived on a farm and grew a lot of their food. Every summer we would have to shuck the corn so my grandmother could freeze it for later. As kids we  hated this job. As an adult, I am so thankful for the memories that come back to mind every time I shuck corn. Yes, you could use frozen corn in a bag to make this, but I promise it won’t be as good. Grilling the corn makes it so much more flavorful, that I would not even consider making this salad any other way! This salad is easy, affordable, light, and delicious. Its the perfect summer BBQ side, or even a quick weeknight dinner with a side of  Alabama White Sauce Tofu Skewers,  or a vegan burger or  carrot dog.  I will say that now that I am a grown up, I do try and make my kids shuck the corn. It’s still not my favorite task but, one that is worth it for the past memories and hopefully future memories for my kids.

I have so many memories as a kids sitting around with family shucking corn. My grandparents lived on a farm and grew a lot of their food. Every summer we would have to shuck the corn so my grandmother could freeze it for later. As kids we hated this job. As an adult, I am so thankful for the memories that come back to mind every time I shuck corn. Yes, you could use frozen corn in a bag to make this, but I promise it won’t be as good. Grilling the corn makes it so much more flavorful, that I would not even consider making this salad any other way! This salad is easy, affordable, light, and delicious. Its the perfect summer BBQ side, or even a quick weeknight dinner with a side of Alabama White Sauce Tofu Skewers, or a vegan burger or carrot dog. I will say that now that I am a grown up, I do try and make my kids shuck the corn. It’s still not my favorite task but, one that is worth it for the past memories and hopefully future memories for my kids.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6-8 ears of corn

  • 1 red bell pepper

  • 1/2 red onion

  • 2 green onions

  • handful of cilantro

  • 2 limes

  • salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Shuck and clean the corn. To grill the corn, spray each ear with a little oil and put directly on a hot grill. Allow the corn to grill for 5 minutes or so before turning. Grill another 5 minutes on the other side. You just want the corn to get some nice grill marks and color to it.

  2. If you do not have a grill you can place the corn on a cookie sheet and spray with some oil. Place the cookie sheet in the oven on broil. Keep a close eye on the corn. It should start to get some color to it pretty quickly. Carefully turn the corn once or twice with some tongs before removing from the oven.

  3. Allow the corn to cool before carefully cutting it off the cob with a sharp knife. I like to prop the corn cob up in a shallow bowl to cut it. The bowl catches the corn kernels with less mess, and helps to stabilize as you cut down the cob.

  4. Finley dice the onions and peppers. Chop the cilantro.

  5. Mix the corn and other veggies together and squeeze the juice from the 2 limes over the top. Salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

  6. Serve room temperer or chilled.

If you like this recipe, try these:

Vegan Street Corn

Southern Dill Potato Salad

Easy Vegan Macaroni Salad

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Quick and Easy Pickled Veggies

Pickles are a favorite food group of mine. These quick pickled veggies are no exception. They are perfect on sandwiches, salads, or just as a snack. Because they are so thinly sliced, they are ready to use in no time. Which is even better because I am not known for my patience.

Pickles are a favorite food group of mine. These quick pickled veggies are no exception. They are perfect on sandwiches, salads, or just as a snack. Because they are so thinly sliced, they are ready to use in no time. Which is even better because I am not known for my patience.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups thinly slice cucumbers

  • 1 cup match stick carrots

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 3-4 thinly sliced radishes (optional)

  • 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons agave

  • 2 teaspoons salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, thinly slice the cucumbers, and red onion.

  2. Add all of the veggies to a large bowl and cover in the vinegar, agave and salt. Stir well, so all of the veggies get coated.

  3. Transfer the veggies to a mason jar or another air tight container and store in the fridge.

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Bitesize Vegan Taco Dip Cups

I love party food, and I love to host parties!!! 7 layer taco dip being one of my favorite party foods. I mean it’s a bowl full of all the the most delicious taco-y things all stacked up together! What is not to love there? Recently I found these adorable little street taco tortillas and my oldest daughter suggested we use them to make little taco dip cups. I am so proud of our genius offspring and their brilliant ideas!! We have raised them well!! So as she requested, we made these bitesize vegan taco dip cups! Not only are they super tasty, they are so super cute…I mean if a food can be cute, then I am standing by these being the cutest! Make them for a snack, make them for a party, make them because eating tiny food is normally more fun to eat! I made them for lunch and our family plowed through them! But I am still rooting for another party in the near future to show off these adorable little bites.

I love party food, and I love to host parties!!! 7 layer taco dip being one of my favorite party foods. I mean it’s a bowl full of all the the most delicious taco-y things all stacked up together! What is not to love there? Recently I found these adorable little street taco tortillas and my oldest daughter suggested we use them to make little taco dip cups. I am so proud of our genius offspring and their brilliant ideas!! We have raised them well!! So as she requested, we made these bitesize vegan taco dip cups! Not only are they super tasty, they are so super cute…I mean if a food can be cute, then I am standing by these being the cutest! Make them for a snack, make them for a party, make them because eating tiny food is normally more fun to eat! I made them for lunch and our family plowed through them! But I am still rooting for another party in the near future to show off these adorable little bites.

INGREDIENTS:

*You will need a muffin tin for this recipe.

  • 24 (1 package) corn street taco tortillas

  • 1 can refried beans

  • 1/3 cup vegan cream cheese

  • 1/4 cup vegan cheddar shreds (homemade or store bought)

  • 2 avocados

  • 1 lime

  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder, divided

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, divided

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Handful of chopped lettuce

  • 1/4 cup diced bell pepper

  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup diced red onion

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

  • optional: hot sauce

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INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat over to 350 degrees

  1. Spray the inside of a cupcake tin lightly with some cooking oil. Take a tortilla and press it into the muffin tin so that it forms to the shape of the cup. You will have to overlap it some to make it fit. Corn tortillas tend to tear when you are trying to press them into the pan.No big deal, just overlap at the tear if that happens. Repeat with remaining tortillas. If you only have a 12 cup muffin tin, then you will have to do this in batches.

  2. Place the pan in the preheated oven and allow the tortillas to bake for 10-15 minutes. Just make sure they are crisp around the edges and down the sides before removing from the oven. Once they are done remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

  3. Mix cream cheese and cheddar shreds together with 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder. Set aside.

  4. For the guacamole, remove avocado from peels and add them to a medium size bowl. Mash the avocados with a fork until they are relatively smooth. Add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, juice from the lime, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and set aside.

  5. Remove the tortillas from the muffin tin and place them on a platter.

  6. Begin layering each tortilla by first adding a few teaspoons of refried beans, then the cheese mixture, lettuce, tomato, onions, peppers, and guacamole. Top each on with a sprinkle of cilantro and a drop of hot sauce if you like a spicy kick!

If you like this recipe, try these!

Grilled Watermelon Tofu Tacos

Alabama White Sauce Tempeh Tacos

Vegan Beer Battered Fish Tacos

Vegan Italian Potato Roll Up

Potatoes are my favorite food group. Mashed, fried, baked, loaded, stuffed, you name it. So obviously I am not going to bat an eye at the idea of using them as the vessel that holds in all of the cheesy, “meaty”, saucy goodness in this roll up! My whole family loved this recipe and fought over the leftovers! If you are not a fan of vegan sausage, you can easily swap it out for any meatless crumble you like, or even use a mixture of diced veggies. This recipe is hearty, filling and sooooo good! Just know that a fight might break out over any left overs, so get your game face on.

Potatoes are my favorite food group. Mashed, fried, baked, loaded, stuffed, you name it. So obviously I am not going to bat an eye at the idea of using them as the vessel that holds in all of the cheesy, “meaty”, saucy goodness in this roll up! My whole family loved this recipe and fought over the leftovers! If you are not a fan of vegan sausage, you can easily swap it out for any meatless crumble you like, or even use a mixture of diced veggies. This recipe is hearty, filling and sooooo good! Just know that a fight might break out over any left overs, so get your game face on.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 russet potatoes, peeled (I used 2 large potatos)

  • 1/2 batch tofu ricotta

  • 1 package vegan sausage (I used Lightlife)

  • 16 oz fresh spinach

  • 1/2 to 1 cup marinara sauce

  • 1/2 cup vegan parmesan shreds, any that melt (we used follow your heart)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Using a mandolin, cut the potatoes on the 1/8 inch setting. If you do not have a mandolin, you can try thinly slicing them on a box grater, using the side that has one single blade, or carefully, thinly slice them using a sharp knife. They need to be around 1/8 of an inch thick.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly spray with some cooking oil. Sprinkle the pan with 1/4 cup of the parmesan shreds.

  3. Lay the potatoes on the pan in a thin single layer, making sure each potatoes is touching and overlapping just a little. You should be able to cover the pan with the potatoes. Give the potatoes a little sprinkle of salt, and another spray with some oil. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

  4. While the potatoes are baking, prepare the ricotta according to instructions.

  5. Add the sausage to a large skillet over medium heat, breaking it into a crumble with a spatula and allowing it cook though. When the sausage is 3/4 of the way done cooking, add the spinach to the pan and let it wilt, and finish cooking with the sausage.

  6. Check the potatoes after 25 minutes. They should be soft and sticking together. If they do not seem done, give them 5 more minutes. Once they are done cooking, remove from oven (but leave the oven on) and allow them to cool on the pan for about 10 minutes.

  7. Once the potatoes have cooled, spread a nice thick, even, layer of ricotta over the surface of the potatoes. Next sprinkle the sausage and spinach mixture over the ricotta. Lastly, cover the sausage layer in a layer or marinara.

  8. Starting at the end that you began layering the potatoes, carefully begin rolling into a burrito shape, using the parchment paper to help you get started. One potatoes might break when you are rolling it up, just press them back together and keep rolling. Give the roll up another spray of oil, and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of parm shreds over the top. Put the roll up back in the oven for about 25 minutes. You want the roll up to heat through, and the parm to melt and brown.

  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool some before slicing and serving. Sprinkle with dried parsley or oregano to garnish.

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Vegan Chocolate Toffee Matzah

If you celebrate Passover then you probably already know all about matzah toffee, otherwise known as matzah crack. I mean if you have to eat matzah for a week, you gotta get creative! I don’t hate matzah. I am however 100% over eating it after a week. I don’t hate it, lets say I tolerate it. BUT when you pour butter, sugar, chocolate and sprinkles all over it, I FLIPPING LOVE IT! Suddenly Passover is the best time of year. So much for feeling afflicted! You may have also had something like this made with saltine crackers, but I promise, PROMISE, it is better on thin, crispy, light matzah! So even if you do not celebrate passover, you can still grab a box of matzah in the international isle of your local grocery store and make yourself a batch of this yearly favorite. And if you by some chance get invited to a Passover Seder, now you know what to make!

If you celebrate Passover then you probably already know all about matzah toffee, otherwise known as matzah crack. I mean if you have to eat matzah for a week, you gotta get creative! I don’t hate matzah. I am however 100% over eating it after a week. I don’t hate it, lets say I tolerate it. BUT when you pour butter, sugar, chocolate and sprinkles all over it, I FLIPPING LOVE IT! Suddenly Passover is the best time of year. So much for feeling afflicted! You may have also had something like this made with saltine crackers, but I promise, PROMISE, it is better on thin, crispy, light matzah! So even if you do not celebrate passover, you can still grab a box of matzah in the international isle of your local grocery store and make yourself a batch of this yearly favorite. And if you by some chance get invited to a Passover Seder, now you know what to make!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 pieces of plain matzah (you can use regular or Gluten Free)

  • 3/4 cups dairy free butter (I use earth balance)

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup chopped vegan dark chocolate, or chocolate chips

  • course sea salt

  • sprinkles (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat brown sugar and butter over medium heat, stirring continuously. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, allowing all of the sugar to melt, and the mixture to become smooth.

  2. Cover a large cookie sheet in a layer of parchment or foil (this makes for easier cleanup.) Make a single layer of matzah on the pan. You may have to break a piece in half to fit it all on one pan, or you can use 2 pans.

  3. Evenly spread the sugar/ butter mixture over the pieces of matzah. You want to completely cover each piece with the mixture . Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack. Allow the matzah to bake for about 5 minutes.

  4. Remove matzah from the oven, leaving it on the pan. Sprinkle the tops of the hot matzah with the chocolate. It will quickly melt. Evenly spread the melted chocolate over the matzah. Sprinkle with salt and sprinkles.

  5. Place the pan in the fridge or the freezer to cool, and allow the chocolate to harden.

  6. Once the matzah has hardened, either cut into bite size pieces with a knife, or break into pieces with your hands. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, or at room temperature.

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Easy Vegan Chocolate Fudge

When I was a kid, we spent countless weekends camping out in the North Ga Mountains. By camping I mean sleeping comfortably in an RV right outside of the tourist town of Helen, Ga. It’s a cute little mountain town that looks like an old Bavarian village. Growing up the shops ranged from things like candle making, local jewelry, outlets, a cool/creepy wax museum, and the fudge shop! My dad always let me get fudge and it was the thing I looked forward to the most. Fast forward 20 something years and we recently went back to take our own kids. Neeless to say, the architecture hasn’t changed, but the shops and crowds certainly have. It’s still charming and fun to visit, but It wasn’t the Helen of my childhood. Time keeps on moving I guess, and people no longer want swirly, hand dipped, wizard and dragon carved candles? What?!?! I was genuinely surprised by this? I was able to get ridiculous matching airbrush t-shirts with one of my favorite old friends, but otherwise it was sort of a let down. Also, now that we are vegan, I couldn’t share the joy of choosing a slab of fudge with my kids…So whats a girl to do, other than go home and make her kids some vegan fudge, and assure them that back in the day, Helen was once one of her favorite places on earth. An amazing place I spent summers floating down the Chattahoochee river on innerr tubes, watching candles get carved, and eating enough fudge to make you sick. I just hope we can give our kids memories like this, and find our own places that they hold dear in their hearts, even if they change over time. And I assure you every time I make a batch of vegan fudge, I will remember Helen like it was when I was a kid, and it will make my heart happy. So, now where can a girl get a swirly, glittered, hand carved wizard candle?

When I was a kid, we spent countless weekends camping out in the North Ga Mountains. By camping I mean sleeping comfortably in an RV right outside of the tourist town of Helen, Ga. It’s a cute little mountain town that looks like an old Bavarian village. Growing up the shops ranged from things like candle making, local jewelry, outlets, a cool/creepy wax museum, and the fudge shop! My dad always let me get fudge and it was the thing I looked forward to the most. Fast forward 20 something years and we recently went back to take our own kids. Neeless to say, the architecture hasn’t changed, but the shops and crowds certainly have. It’s still charming and fun to visit, but It wasn’t the Helen of my childhood. Time keeps on moving I guess, and people no longer want swirly, hand dipped, wizard and dragon carved candles? What?!?! I was genuinely surprised by this? I was able to get ridiculous matching airbrush t-shirts with one of my favorite old friends, but otherwise it was sort of a let down. Also, now that we are vegan, I couldn’t share the joy of choosing a slab of fudge with my kids…So whats a girl to do, other than go home and make her kids some vegan fudge, and assure them that back in the day, Helen was once one of her favorite places on earth. An amazing place I spent summers floating down the Chattahoochee river on innerr tubes, watching candles get carved, and eating enough fudge to make you sick. I just hope we can give our kids memories like this, and find our own places that they hold dear in their hearts, even if they change over time. And I assure you every time I make a batch of vegan fudge, I will remember Helen like it was when I was a kid, and it will make my heart happy. So, now where can a girl get a swirly, glittered, hand carved wizard candle?

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 1/2 oz vegan dark chocolate

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk or cream

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup peanut, almond, or sunbutter

  • pinch of salt

  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Chop the dark chocolate into small pieces.

  2. Add chocolate, sugar, and coconut milk to a medium sauce pan. Heat over medium/low heat, allowing the the chocolate to melt, and the mixture to come to a simmer. Let the mixture simmer for about 5-7 minutes, stirring continuously. Stir in the peanut butter and allow it to melt. Add the pinch of salt.

  3. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper. Pour the fudge mixture into the pan.

  4. Top with walnuts if you like, then allow the fudge to chill uncovered in the fridge for about 4 hours to firm up.

  5. Cut and serve fudge. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Alabama White Sauce Caesar Salad with Grilled Tofu

I have tried a ton of vegan caesar salad recipes, and dressings over the years, and until now none have been a winner. So when recently I was making a caesar salad, and contemplating the protein I would add, I decided on Alabama White Sauce Grilled Tofu, and a light bulb went off. Alabama White Sauce (AWS) is a a tangy, vinegar and mayo based bbq sauce which originated it Northern Alabama at Big Robs Bar-B-Q. Our AWS is a vinegar and mayo based sauce like the original, with a little kick and has just enough tang to work as a caesar dressing substitute. AWS is a staple condiment in our house because it is delicious and versatile, and not just for bbq! So after I grilled up the tofu, it occurred to me to take the leftover sauce and turn it into the dressing for this salad . PURE JOY! It was so good that I will never attempt another “caesar” dressing recipe again. I also added some carrots and avocado to this salad because I’m adult and I can do what I want..right?? And what I want is avocado and carrots on everything, even if it's not the norm, who cares if it tastes good. So if you are searching for a super tasty, all be it nontraditional caesar salad recipe, here ya go! And my guess is if you try it, AWS will become a fridge staple for you as well.

I have tried a ton of vegan caesar salad recipes, and dressings over the years, and until now none have been a winner. So when recently I was making a caesar salad, and contemplating the protein I would add, I decided on Alabama White Sauce Grilled Tofu, and a light bulb went off. Alabama White Sauce (AWS) is a a tangy, vinegar and mayo based bbq sauce which originated it Northern Alabama at Big Robs Bar-B-Q. Our AWS is a vinegar and mayo based sauce like the original, with a little kick and has just enough tang to work as a caesar dressing substitute. AWS is a staple condiment in our house because it is delicious and versatile, and not just for bbq! So after I grilled up the tofu, it occurred to me to take the leftover sauce and turn it into the dressing for this salad . PURE JOY! It was so good that I will never attempt another “caesar” dressing recipe again. I also added some carrots and avocado to this salad because I’m adult and I can do what I want..right?? And what I want is avocado and carrots on everything, even if it's not the norm, who cares if it tastes good. So if you are searching for a super tasty, all be it nontraditional caesar salad recipe, here ya go! And my guess is if you try it, AWS will become a fridge staple for you as well.

INGREDIENTS:

Alabama White Sauce Caesar Dressing:

  • 1/2 batch Alabama White Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

preheat oven to 350 degrees (for the croutons)

  1. For the croutons, cut day old bread into bitesize cubes. Place the cubes in a large bowl along with 2 teaspoons of oil and all purpose seasoning and toss.

  2. Once the bread is coated, spread the cubes onto a cookie sheet in a single layer, and bake for about 10 minutes or until the cubes are crisp and well toasted.

  3. Wash and chop the lettuce. Peel and dice the avocado.

  4. For the dressing, whisk together the Alabama White Sauce with 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, garlic and lemon.

  5. Add lettuce, avocado, carrots, and croutons to a large bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of dressing (enough to coat the lettuce) and top with strips of Alabama White Sauce Grilled Tofu and parmesan cheese to serve.

serves 4-5

If you liked this recipe, try these:

Alabama White Sauce Tofu Skewers

Alabama White Sauce

Alabama White Sauce Tempeh Tacos