• Appetizers,  Bread,  Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Holiday,  Recipe,  Sides,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Autumn Squash Soft Pretzels (Vegan+GF)

    It’s getting so close to being officially Autumn and I’m so psyched!

    I won’t even bother starting on how much I love this time of year because I’m afraid it’s all I’ve been talking about lately. However, I will give fair warning that I’m almost certainly going to be getting a little excited about the theme in my coming recipes.

    So with these pretzels, I was thinking back to a recipe for dinner rolls that I made using pumpkin. It’s a similar idea, but let’s be honest, pretzels are way more fun. I had some different squashes that I wanted to try and both of them turned out well. One was a butternut squash and the other was an acorn squash. I preferred the butternut but the acorn squash was also very good. Pumpkin would work for these also, or any other type of squash that you might have.

    Okay, and since we all know that a pretzel goes so well with a cheese dip, you should definitely consider making this “cheese” dip.  I’m thinking about how much fun these would be at a Fall festival or party. Especially because these are pretty allergy friendly. Even though I don’t have a gluten allergy, I really enjoy trying out different flours in baking just to see how it turns out. These are also dairy free and vegan so just about everyone can enjoy them.

    Also, if you’re wanting to make these into a fun treat you should definitely try switching out the salt with some cinnamon and sugar. Then these become like churro pretzels and they go so well in a chocolate sauce if you’re feeling extra fancy.

    My little sister and I have been making a Fall bucket list of activities we want to do. Many of the items on our list are centered around a recipe, but I’m also hoping to visit a pumpkin patch and enjoy some other fun things. Tell me, what’s your favorite Autumn activity?

     

    Autumn Squash Soft Pretzels (Vegan+GF)

    Embrace the Fall harvest by making these soft and delicious pretzels that are sure to fill you're house with a wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread!
    Prep Time 25 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Resting Time 1 hour
    Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 3 cups autumn squash any variety such as butternut or acorn, sliced or cubed
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
    • 1/4 cup coconut sugar or regular
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups gluten free flour
    • 3 cups oat flour
    • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch plus more for work surface (or corn starch)
    • 1 tablespoon baking soda
    • 3 cups water
    • course sea salt for topping optional
  • Appetizers,  Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Main Course,  Recipe,  Sides,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Cozy Vegetable Sweet Pea Soup (Vegan+GF)

    I’m finally feeling the need to start coming up with some warm and comforting recipes now that Summer is almost over. There’s nothing like ending a chilly day with a bowl of creamy soup with bread, you know? Where I live it’s not quite cool yet, but the weather is definitely changing quickly. I thought this soup would be the perfect crossover between seasons because snap peas are a Summer veggie. This is a great soup to make if you’re like me and love cooking as seasonally as possible.

    Cozy Vegetable Sweet Pea Soup- This brightly colored pea soup is the perfect healthy meal for a chilly day or evening. It's easy to make, gluten free, and vegan.

    So I’m pretty sure if I keep going on and on about how much I love Autumn, you’re going to stop reading anything I post. Yeah, but I do looooove it. As I’ve mentioned in past post, I grew up near Nashville and down there we used to have the most incredible Fall colors on the trees. Actually, if I’m being completely honest, that’s one of the only things I missed about Tennessee when we moved North.

    Cozy Vegetable Sweet Pea Soup- This brightly colored pea soup is the perfect healthy meal for a chilly day or evening. It's easy to make, gluten free, and vegan.

    It’s not that there aren’t trees here in Northern Idaho, it’s just that they’re mostly evergreens. That’s why I’ve been loving the neighborhood we currently live in. They’ve planted so many different deciduous trees here that the colors are like a silent symphony every Fall.

    Cozy Vegetable Sweet Pea Soup- This brightly colored pea soup is the perfect healthy meal for a chilly day or evening. It's easy to make, gluten free, and vegan.

    Anyway, like I said, I love this time of year and I love sharing the recipes that I love to make around this time. If you like split pea soup I know this is one you really enjoy. It’s so simple to make and it freezes really well if you’d like to make a huge batch for later.

    Cozy Vegetable Sweet Pea Soup- This brightly colored pea soup is the perfect healthy meal for a chilly day or evening. It's easy to make, gluten free, and vegan.

    Also, if you want to get all fancy with the toppings, go for it. As a garnish I added a splash of coconut milk, some baby spinach leaves, and a fresh snap pea. Oh, and don’t forget some delicious toast for the side.

    Cozy Vegetable Sweet Pea Soup- This brightly colored pea soup is the perfect healthy meal for a chilly day or evening. It's easy to make, gluten free, and vegan.

    Cozy Vegetable Sweet Pea Soup (Vegan+GF)

    This brightly colored pea soup is the perfect healthy meal for a chilly day or evening. It's easy to make, gluten free, and vegan.
    Prep Time 30 minutes
    Cook Time 45 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
    Servings 8 servings

    Ingredients

    • 3 cups snap peas
    • 1 large russet potato washed and cubed
    • 1 cup broccoli florets
    • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
    • 2 medium carrots roughly chopped
    • 5 cloves garlic peeled
    • 1 small onion quartered
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 6 cups vegetable stock
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 2 cups baby spinach

    Optional garnishes;

    • coconut milk
    • baby spinach
    • fresh snap peas

    Instructions

    Combine the ingredients for the soup (except spinach and salt) in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and cover; simmer for about 25 minutes until the carrots and potatoes are fork tender.

    Remove pot from heat and allow it to cool for about 20 minutes. Add in the spinach and salt and use a wand blender to blend the soup smooth. If you don't have a wand blender, spoon about half of the soup into a food processor or blender and blend until completely smooth then repeat with the rest and return to pot.

    Serve the soup hot with desired garnishes and/or bread.

     

     

  • Appetizers,  Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Main Course,  Recipe,  Sides,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    BBQ Jackfruit Tacos + Kale Corn Slaw (Vegan+GF)

    Do I really need a reason for making tacos? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

     

    I’m thinking back to when I first heard of jackfruit and simultaneously heard of it being used as sort of replacement for pulled barbecue. I was so confused about what it even was and if it could taste anything like a barbecue sandwich. It is indeed a fruit but when it’s made like this guys, it’s so convincing as meat. I even got my brother to think it was basic bbq.

    Recently my focus in the kitchen has really shifted to making things simple, fast, and approachable. I know there are a few places to purchase jackfruit but for this recipe I bought some canned young jackfruit. Along with the jackfruit in this recipe I wanted to include some extra protein and fiber so I added some pre-cooked black lentils. You can use any type of cooked lentils that you like, or even use beans.

    Like I said, I’ve been keeping things easy and these are definitely that. They take about 20 minutes from start to finish and this is a great recipe to make ahead. If you do meal prepping this is for you. The kale and corn slaw is very simple and, omg, the dressing on it is one of my favorites! I’ve been using it for all kinds of things because it’s like a honey mustard. Even if you want to skip the slaw you should at some point try the 3-ingredient dressing combo.

    So if you’re looking for a good new recipe to try next meatless monday or taco tuesday, definitely make a note of these. You can go simple with any added toppings or go crazy with it. I just added some guac and cilantro and they were so good like that.

    Okay, so let me know what you think of these if you do decide to try them. I hope you enjoy!

    BBQ Jackfruit Tacos + Kale Corn Slaw (Vegan+GF)

    Try something new for taco night with these crunchy bbq jackfruit tacos. They're gluten free and vegan.
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    Kale + Corn Slaw:

    • 3-4 stalks fresh kale
    • 1 cup whole kernal corn
    • 1 teaspoon tahini
    • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
    • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
    • salt & pepper to taste

    Tacos:

    • 8-10 crunchy corn taco shells
    • 1 15 ounce can young jackfruit, drained and rinsed
    • 1 cup cooked black lentils drained and rinsed
    • 1 cup water or vegetable broth
    • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce be sure it's gf and vegan if needed
    • sea salt + pepper to taste
    • guacamole and cilantro for topping

    Instructions

    In a medium bowl, stir together the tahini, mustard, and maple syrup until smooth. Cut the kale around the stems and chop finely. Add it to the dressing along with the corn and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    For the tacos, add the jackfruit and water to a small saucepan or skillet with lid. Place over medium heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until the jackfruit begins to soften enough to shred apart. You can use a meat masher or forks to shred it.

    Add the barbecue sauce and salt and pepper to taste then cover and simmer until the sauce begins to thicken and the mixture is hot. (For added flavor you can spread out the mixture on a pan and bake for about 10 minutes before serving.)

    Scoop some of the slaw and some of the bbq mixture into each taco and top as desired. Enjoy.

     

  • Appetizers,  Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Main Course,  Recipe,  Salad,  Sides,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Creamy Avocado Pesto Zoodle Salad (Vegan+GF)

    I think I’ve discovered my favorite new Summer side salad!

     

    So I know I totally dropped the ball on getting a red, white, and blue themed recipe up for all my friends here in the States.

    I don’t know, I just had so many recipes lined up before the 4th that I had to share. The good news is that this salad is perfect for a picnic on a hot Summer day. In fact, all the bursting colors sort of remind you of fireworks, no?

    I’ve had a spiralizer for a while but because it’s not a tool I keep in plain sight I tend not to use it as much as I’d like to. This salad though, it may have changed that and the key component is the pesto. It’s made with just a few simple ingredients and they’re all just thrown into the blender. Done.

    Now I know there are some that would argue zucchini noodles are nothing compared to regular pasta and you know what, I couldn’t agree more. The point of the zoodle is that it’s just the most fun, and for me enjoyable, way of eating zucchini (or possibly tied with zucchini bread 😉 ).

    Like I said, the pesto is simple. Just a handful of ingredients pulsed together and tossed with zoodles, red onions, pine nuts, and cherry tomatoes. If you would rather use a nut instead of pine nuts, go for it. Also, to be completely honest, cherry tomatoes aren’t one of my favorites so if I made this just for me I’d use some red bell peppers in their place.

    Guys, guys, this salad is way better than it even looks. I know the sight of so much green might be off-putting to anyone who doesn’t eat a lot of veg, but if you have any curiosity about this one, try it. And by the way, it’s also gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and requires no cooking at all!

    One last tid bit I should add is that this salad’s only weakness is that it doesn’t save well. No worries though, you can still make it ahead and just keep the pesto separate from the veggies. When you’re ready to serve, just toss it all together and you’re all set.

    Creamy Avocado Pesto Zoodle Salad

    Creamy Avocado Pesto Zoodle Salad (Vegan+GF)

    Show the world that "salad" doesn't have to be a boring pile of lettuce with these epic avocado pesto zoodles!
    Prep Time 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 2 medium zucchini spiralized
    • 1/2 medium red onion diced
    • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes

    Pesto:

    • 2 tablespoons walnuts
    • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves washed
    • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast plus more for topping
    • 1 ripe avocado pitted
    • 2 teaspoons fresh garlic
    • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

    Instructions

    1. Combine the ingredients for the pesto in a blender or food processor and blend until nearly smooth, but still slightly textured.
    2. Toss the pesto with the zoodles, onion, and cherry tomatoes in a large salad bowl. Top with the pine nuts and some more nutritional yeast and serve immediately.

    Recipe Notes

    This salad is best served fresh. If you need to prepare it ahead, simply store the pesto in an air-tight container separate from the veggies and toss together just before serving.

  • Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Main Course,  Recipe,  Salad,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Crunchy Pinto Bean Salad Sandwich (Vegan+GF)

    So another week begins. I hope you had a great weekend.

    We went to see the new Jurassic World movie and I really liked it. Then I drove up to Sandpoint yesterday with my sister and we hiked to Snow Creek Falls and took lots of photos and video so I’ll be sharing that soon.

    I also did some recipe testing over the weekend. Tell me, were you a fan of tuna, egg, or chicken salad sandwiches as a kid? Did you ever consider what it might be like to star a bean in this recipe? I really hadn’t so that’s why I was extremely surprised at how good it was the first time I tasted one. I think it was a garbanzo bean salad, which is probably the most common, and it was so good I knew I wanted to try one in my own kitchen.

    When I decided to make it I didn’t realize I was out of garbanzos so I went to grab an alternative. Pinto beans have always seemed less common to me. I mean, if you love refried beans for taco night then you probably eat them a lot but we don’t think about the refried beans being pintos. It’s similar to how so many tomato-haters still love ketchup or pizza sauce. Sometimes we just don’t think about food, you know?

    My brother absolutely detests onions and mushrooms but he has no idea that they’re in so many of the dishes he likes. It’s just kind of funny. So for this recipe I put the salad on bread to make a sandwich but it’s also great with crackers, chips, wraps, or even on a bed of greens. I think my favorite part about it is that you can add all types of fresh veggies that you’ve got on hand. However, I’ll definitely recommend the riced cauliflower because it gives this perfect crunch. I’ve also tried it with zucchini and mushrooms.

    I also added a handful of chopped walnuts and some pepitas for a little more crunch but any nuts or seeds that you prefer can be used instead. This is just a great Spring/Summer recipe for picnics or easy lunches. It takes almost no time to mix the ingredients together and then it’s ready to enjoy. 😉

    Crunchy Pinto Bean Salad Sandwich (Vegan+GF)

    Chickpeas are great, but have you ever tried pinto bean salad? This recipe is a great way to expand your pinto horizons past refried beans.
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Servings 6 - 8 servings

    Ingredients

    • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/4 cups refried beans
    • 1/4 cup diced onion
    • 1/4 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
    • 2 tablespoons mustard
    • 1 tablespoon sriracha
    • 1/4 tablespoons dill pickles
    • 1 bell pepper seeded and diced
    • 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
    • 3 tablespoons pepitas
    • 1 cup fresh cauliflower, riced (can use other veggie you prefer such as zucchini or even mushrooms)
    • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
    • sea salt & black pepper to taste
    • sandwich bread can be gluten free
    • lettuce or spinach
    • fresh tomatoes. sliced
    • 1/2 medium apple, seeded & diced
    • 1 -2 tablespoons coconut sugar (optional)

    Instructions

    1. In a medium mixing bowl, add the refried beans and mash it together with the onion, yogurt, mustard, and sriracha. Add in the chopped veggies and nuts then season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the pinto beans and mix well until combined.

    2. Serve on a sandwich or as desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Quick & Easy Vegan Egg Rolls
    Appetizers,  Dairy Free,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Quick and Easy Vegan Egg Rolls

    This vegan egg rolls recipe is simple and versatile. Great for a plant-based dinner party or to bring to your family’s next holiday dinner. No one will know they’re vegan.

    What do you do when the craving for egg rolls hits? And what if, on top of that, you’re just not in the mood to leave the house?

    This post is all about Quick and Easy Vegan Egg Rolls Recipe

    vegan egg rolls recipe

    Just make them yourself! Besides, they’re way better that way in the first place. I think there are some foods that people assume have some secret complicated process.  They’re definitely one of those, but they can honestly be so simple. Of course, these rolls don’t actually have any eggs involved (calm down vegan police).

    vegan egg rolls wrappers

    In the past I’ve even made them by rolling out the wrappers by hand. That was back when I was living internationally and I couldn’t find anywhere to buy wrappers. I’ll admit, that doing them from scratch is a bit time consuming when you have perfectionist tendencies like I do. Even still though, there really isn’t any magical secret to them. Basically, they’re just like little Asian versions of burritos that get fried. If you do happen to want to try these from scratch and make homemade egg roll wrappers you can use the wrapper recipe from this Southwest Egg Roll Recipe.

    how to make vegan egg rolls

    Even if you don’t decide to never get egg rolls from your local Chinese place again, it’s still a really great recipe to have under your belt I think. Maybe it’s just me, but for some reason I really like to try making everything at least once. That usually involves me making a handful, or sometimes a lot, of tweaks to the basic recipe. That’s definitely been the case every time I’ve made egg rolls.

    vegan tofu egg rolls

    I’ve tried quite a few flavor variations for egg rolls in the past but I thought it would be nice to keep these rolls minimal. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t very easily change them or add in your own ingredients. Just don’t skip the toasted sesame oil because it adds so much flavor. Like I’m always saying, there are no rules in cooking that aren’t made to be broken.

    best vegan egg rolls recipe

    Well, okay you probably shouldn’t break every rule out there (please don’t put foil in the microwave!) but I think you catch my drift, right? The bottom line is that homemade egg rolls are nothing to be intimidated by and definitely something you should try for yourself.

    This post was all about Quick and Easy Vegan Egg Rolls Recipe

    Quick and Easy Vegan "Egg" Rolls

    Forget ordering takeout, you can make it at home and these egg rolls are just the thing for curing those Chinese food cravings!
    Prep Time 25 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Total Time 50 minutes
    Servings 18 rolls (about)

    Ingredients

    • 1 18-count package of square egg roll or wonton wrappers (check ingredients if vegan)
    • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
    • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
    • 1 large carrot julienned
    • 2 cups green cabbage shredded
    • 1 small onion diced
    • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
    • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons chili garlic paste
    • 1 quart oil for frying

    Optional for serving:

    • Asian dipping sauces like this sauce
    • fresh chives

    Instructions

    1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F (200C) and line a baking tray with parchment or foil. Combine carrots, cabbage, onion, garlic, ginger, and cilantro in a medium mixing bowl. Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, chili garlic paste, and rice vinegar then stir to combine.
    2. Fill a small bowl with water and use your fingers or a small brush to wet all of the edges of each wrapper. Spoon about 1/4 cup of filling onto 1 corner of wrapper then start rolling towards center. Fold in sides and wrap tightly. Add a little more water to seal the tip if necessary. Repeat until all of the rolls have been filled. (Note: you may not need all of the wrappers depending on how much you put in each roll.)
    3. Heat oil to 350 degrees F (180 C) in a wok or deep fryer and fry the rolls in batches (of about 4) for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Place them on prepared baking pan and bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden
    4. Serve hot with your favorite Asian dipping sauces. (We like this sauce)

    Here are some other posts you may enjoy:

    Crispy Baked Almond Crusted Tofu Sticks (Vegan+GF)

    Loaded Sweet Potato Chili Cheese Fries (Vegan+GF)

    Baked Yam Fries with Sriracha Hummus (Vegan + GF)


    Quick and Easy Egg Roll Recipe

     


  • Dairy Free,  Main Course,  Recipe,  Sides,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Orzo Pasta Skillet

    Dinner is on and it’s Roasted Red Pepper Orzo tonight! You know you’re onto something amazing when you decide to skip adding the cheese.

    This post is all about Roasted Red Pepper Orzo

    best vegan roasted red pepper orzo recipes

    That’s right, I was planning to add a good amount of cheese to this recipe and once I’d finished making it I realized it was just not necessary. In fact, the flavor was so perfect that I didn’t want the cheese to mess it up by adding cheese to distract from it. I mean, this was such a classic case of “why fix what ain’t broke?”.

    orzo stuffed peppers vegetarian

    So the topic of orzo is something of a humorous controversy in my house. Not that it isn’t very popular, but when I served this I kept getting asked to explain the purpose of rice-shaped pasta. If you want to eat rice why not just make rice, you know? Like, who is it for? Obviously if it were the other way around, rice pasta for example, it makes sense because it’s a gluten free alternative, but orzo is a little curious. My argument for it is that it does cook much faster and a little differently than rice. It has it’s purposes, okay!

    Easy Orzo Recipes

    Besides, it doesn’t have to make sense because this meal is pretty close to perfection. It’s packed with flavor, simple to make, pretty minimal on the ingredients, and I feel like it’s a pretty family-friendly type of meal (meaning the picky kiddos liked it). I love making any meal in a good old Cast Iron Skillet.

    best vegan orzo recipes

    Also, a great way to cut the time on this recipe is to have the peppers roasted and cooled ahead of time. I did that for one of my recipe trials and it made things so quick and easy.

    The key is not to skip roasting the pepper. I realize it might seem like an unnecessary or long step, but trust me, its worth it for the flavor it gives this dish. 

    vegan roasted red pepper orzo with peppers and onions

    I’ve served it as both a main dish and a side dish.  I can’t wait to hear what you think when the smell of this deliciousness is floating through your kitchen!


    Some FAQs about How to Make Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Orzo:

    Can I use Rice instead of orzo to make this a gluten free recipe?

    Yes! Now, you will probably need to simmer for a few minutes longer with rice and possibly add a bit of extra liquid. If using brown rice plan on simmering for about 40 minutes and add extra broth or water as needed.

    Do I have to cook this in a Cast Iron Skillet?

    No, I happen to just love a cast iron skillet but you can use a non-stick pan or even a pot.


     

    Roasted Red Pepper+Chicken Orzo Pasta Skillet (Vegan)

    Roasted red peppers bring all the flavor to this simple one-skillet dish. Serve it as a side dish or make it a meal.
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 1 hour
    Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
    Servings 4 - 6 servings

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F (200 C) and line a tray with foil. Lay the pepper evenly on the tray and place in the oven to bake for 25-35 minutes until they start to wrinkle and get brown spots. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
    2. Once the peppers have cooled, place them in the blender along with the garlic cloves. Blend until completely smooth then add the mixture, along with the onions, paprika, and the thyme to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat . Add about 1/2 inch of water and stir over heat for 7-8 minutes until it cooks down a bit and starts to thicken.
    3. Reduce heat to low and add the vegetable stock and orzo. Cover pan and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once all the liquid is absorbed and add the peas heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
    4. Remove the thyme sprig and serve immediately topped with fresh chives.


     

    This post was all about Roasted Red Pepper Orzo

    Here are some other recipes that you might enjoy.

    Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese Pasta (Vegan+GF)

    Roasted Garlic & Mushroom Farfalle Pasta (Vegan)

    Creamy Cashew Wild Rice with Mushrooms (Vegan+GF)