Sides

Easy Coconut Bacon

 BACON! It seems to be that one food people miss when they go vegan, or plant based. I admittedly ate my fare share of turkey bacon back in the day, and have had my moments of missing that smokey, salty, crunchy element in certain recipe. Coconut bacon is great for topping salads, grit bowls, soups, or adding to any recipe that calls for crispy bacon. It’s easy to make, and pretty tasty! Don’t skip out on the liquid smoke, though. It is the key ingredient in making this mock bacon taste like the real deal.

BACON! It seems to be that one food people miss when they go vegan, or plant based. I admittedly ate my fare share of turkey bacon back in the day, and have had my moments of missing that smokey, salty, crunchy element in certain recipe. Coconut bacon is great for topping salads, grit bowls, soups, or adding to any recipe that calls for crispy bacon. It’s easy to make, and pretty tasty! Don’t skip out on the liquid smoke, though. It is the key ingredient in making this mock bacon taste like the real deal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or coconut aminos ( if you use coconut aminos add 1/2 teapsoon of salt)

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke

Instructions:

preheat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Mix coconut, and all other ingredients in a bowl.

  2. Spread coconut mixture onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, and bake for 5 mintues.

  3. Stir the coconut around on the pan, and continue baking for another 5 minutes or until the coconut is brown and crispy. Watch the coconut carefully to make sure it is not burning, as it can burn quickly.

  4. Allow to cool, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Soft Vegan Challah Pretzels with Vegan Cheese Sauce

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup aquafaba
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil (I use grape seed but you can use any neutral oil you like)
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup hot water. I just use hot water from the tap, you don't want it too hot or the yeast will die, and it will not activate
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda ( This is for the water you dip the pretzels dough in before baking)

Cheese Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 cup water 
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teapsoon tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprkia
  • 1 teapsoon dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoons light miso paste
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large glass bowl mix hot water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon sugar.
  2. Let the that sit for 10 minutes to activate, or until the mixture  is super foamy at the top. 
  3. In a stand mixer  add the yeast mixture, aquafaba, sugar, oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour. (you can mix by hand, just mix the above, and add remaining flour slowly. You will need to knead it for the same amount of time. It's a good workout though!
  4. Mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated, then add in the remaining flour. I typically will hand mix the first 2 cups of flour in, or use my paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook when I add the remaining flour.
  5. The dough should come together and not be sticky, if it seems sticky you can add 1/4 more flour a little at at time until the dough comes together. Your goal is smooth, and elastic-y dough, not sticky.
  6. Let the dough kneed in the mixer on low/medium speed for 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth at this point and have a sort of  bounce back if you poke it.
  7. Form dough into a nice ball, and place in a lightly greased glass bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel, and place inside your oven turned off, OR on the bread proof setting if your oven has one.
  8. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and place in the bottom of the oven. The heat and steam from the water will help the dough to rise.
  9. Let dough rise about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  10. Remove dough from bowl and split in half.  Next, evenly divide each half into 8 equal pieces. 
  11. Rolling the dough pieces between both hands, form ropes that are about 12 inches long with each piece of dough.
  12. Take each rope and make a U shape. Take the tops of the U, cross then twist them once. Now bring the crossed dough over the bottom of the U. ( the pictures will help if this is confusing.)
  13. Allow pretzels to rest for about 15 mintues. While this is happening bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once pretzels are done resting, add 2 tablespoons of baking soda to the water.
  14. Add pretzels 2-3 at a time into the water for about 30 seconds. You will need to flip them half way through. Just use a slotted spoon and gently turn them over in the water. Return them to a parchment lined cookie sheet once they come out of the water. 
  15. Brush pretzels with leftover aquafaba, and sprinkle with some corse sea salt before putting in the oven.
  16. Bake pretzels for 15- 20 minutes. I normally move my top rack to the highest position for this. That way they get nice a brown. You will need to keep a close eye on them, and if they brown really quickly, move them to a lower rack for the remainder of the bake time.
  17. Once done allow to cool on pan while you prepare the cheese sauce.

Cheese sauce:

  1.  Place cashews in microwave safe container and cover with water. Microwave for 3 minutes.
  2. Drain water from cashews, then add all ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor. 
  3. Blend until completely smooth.
  4. Pour mixture into a pot, and cook on medium heat, stirring the WHOLE time with a whisk. 
  5. As soon as the cheese starts to thicken remove from heat. If it gets to thick, add a little more water and it will thin back out.

Cheese sauce will last about a week in the fridge, pretzels can be stored in airtight container at room temperature.

Yields 16 pretzels 

 

Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

 Perfect for a quick snack, or school lunch. These cheese sticks are super simple to whip together and nut free! 

Perfect for a quick snack, or school lunch. These cheese sticks are super simple to whip together and nut free! 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups of full fat coconut milk or cream in a can  (make sure it's at room temp, and shake the can very well first. You need the liquid as well as the creamy part, and since they tend to separate, a good shake will help mix it back up)
  • 1/3 cup vegan plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons miso paste
  • 1 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 melted cup triple refined coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons agar powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons arrow root or tapioca starch

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a food processor or high speed blender, add all of the ingredients EXCEPT the milk, and agar.
  2. Pulse a few times to mix it all up. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Transfer the mixture to an 8x8 pan.
  6. Allow the cheese to harden in the refrigerator uncovered for about 2 hours.
  7. Once the cheese is set, remove from the pan and cut into sticks. Store in an air tight container for up to week.

Vegan Mexican Street Corn

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-6 ears of corn
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo
  • 1/4 cup vegan plain yogurt
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Shuck and clean each ear of corn, then prepare them for the grill by spraying each one with a little olive oil and squeezing juice from half the lime over the tops.
  2. Heat your grill and add corn, grilling for 10 - 15 minutes, turning a few times to get all side grilled, just be careful not to let them burn.
  3. In a bowl mix mayo, yogurt, and juice from other half of the lime, garlic, salt, and 1 teaspoon paprika.
  4. Once corn is off the grill, brush each ear with your mayo mix, saving some of the mix for drizzling over your corn.
  5. Mix parmesan and cilantro on a plate and roll each ear of corn in the mixture.
  6. Lay corn out on a serving dish and drizzle with remaining mayo, and sprinkle with the remaining paprika. 

Nut Free Mac 'n "Cheese"

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package macaroni , noodles regular or gluten free
  • 2  medium sized potatoes, peeled
  • 2 medium to large carrots 
  • 1/2 onion 
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut 
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional  yeast
  • 2 teaspoons miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt and a dash of pepper
  • 1/4 cup cooking liquid from vegetables

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Dice and boil potatoes, carrots, and onion until softened 
  2. Add cooked and drained vegetables to a high speed blender or food processor with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Blend on high until completely smooth
  4. Mix sauce with cooked noodles and transfer to a 9x13 baking dish
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes or until the top begins to brown.
  6. Optionally you can add bread crumbs, vegan shredded cheddar, or both to the top before baking! 

Southern Dill Potato Salad

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 cups red potatoes cut into large cubes
  • 1 small red onion
  • 3 stalks of celery 
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 2 tablespoons of pickle juice
  • 1/3 cup of vegan mayo
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons all purpose seasoning like Cavender’s or Trader Joe’s 21 season blend

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Boil the potatoes until they are cooked through but before they get mushy. 
  2. Drain potatoes and let them cool completely.
  3. In a small bowl mix the mustard, mayo, spices, and pickle juice.
  4. In a large bowl mix the potatoes, chopped onion, celery, and pickles.
  5. Put the mustard/mayo mix over the potato salad and mix.
  6. You can serve right away or refrigerate and serve cold!

"Meaty" Cheddar Queso

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INGREDIENTS:

Cashew Queso:

  • 1 bag of frozen meatless crumbles (we like Beyond Meat brand, but use your favorite)
  • 1 cup cashews soaked in hot water for one hour or microwaved for 3 minutes
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup of tapioca/corn starch or arrow root powder
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 small can of chili peppers
  • a few shakes of favorite hot sauce

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Add all ingredients except the, crumbles, chilis and hot sauce to a high speed blender or food processor.
  2. Process and blend on high until the mixture is completely smooth (no lumps at all).
  3. Transfer the mixture to a medium size pot and cook on medium heat, stirring with a whisk continually until the mixture thickens.
  4. Once the queso gets to a pudding like texture remove it from the heat and mix in the chilis and hot sauce.
  5. Heat the crumbles in a pan until cooked.
  6. In a baking dish or smalls cast iron skillet, combine the queso and cooked crumbles. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serve with chips, rolled tortillas, or veggies. Add to burritos or enchiladas. 

My favorite vegan cookbook is “Veganize It!” by Robin Robertson. I adapted her recipe for cashew “cheese” sauce and created this queso. If you omit the hot sauce and chiles, and meat you will be left with a very versatile cheddar “cheese” sauce.

Vegan Pimento Cheese

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bag of cheddar shreds (I use follow your heart)
  • 1/3 cup vegan cream cheese (I like kite hill but use whatever you like or can find)
  • 2 tablespoons of vegan mayo
  • 2-3 table spoons  diced pimentos, drained 
  • 1/4 of a small onion diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well mixed. That's it! It's so easy!

Quick Pickled Beets and Cabbage

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium shredded beet
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons salt

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium skillet, on medium heat
  2. Once the cabbage and beets begin to soften, reduce the heat to low and let simmer with a lid on for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally 
  3. After 10 minutes remove the lid. If there is liquid still in the pan, turn the heat back to medium and continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Cool and serve.

We love to add this to our falafel, but it would be pretty tasty on a sandwich, or just served as a side.