Holiday Nut Encrusted Cheese Ball

Happy holidays! The holiday party season is upon us and many of us will be throwing or attending parties and bringing along treats. This cheese ball recipe, inspired by one from Carol Kreutzer, is an easy delicious throwback to traditional cheeseballs. Your guests are guaranteed to love it!

Makes one large ball or two medium size balls.

Ingredients

4 ounces plant-based pepper jack cheese, like Daiya
4 ounces plant-based cheddar cheese, like Daiya
4 ounces plant-based cream cheese, like Miyoko’s
2 tablespoons plant-based mayonnaise, like Just Mayo
1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh onion
1 tablespoon grated horseradish
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup chopped walnuts and/or sunflower seeds

Chop all the cheese in blender or food processor until crumbly. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the walnuts and seeds. Mix well with a wooden spoon or clean hands. Form into one large or two small balls. Roll in chopped walnuts and/or seeds.  Refrigerate for up to 10 days. Serve with bread or crackers.

Curried Split Pea Soup

Budget-friendly recipe alert. Not only is split pea soup packed with goodness (dry peas are a good source of protein as well as important minerals), but they cost mere pennies. Savor your meal while thinking about all the money you saved. Serve with a salad and homemade cornbread for a filling winter meal. This recipe comes from my Meatless Monday Meal Planner.

Time: 10 minutes active, 1-1/2 hour cook time
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup yellow or white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium white potato, cubed
1 carrot, sliced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup dry split peas, rinsed and sorted for rocks
3 cups vegetable broth or water
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Method:
In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté onion in oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add potato, carrot, and celery and cook for 3 minutes. Add spices and allow to toast for 30 seconds. Add peas and broth and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir periodically. Continue simmering until peas are tender, about an hour.
Serve in two separate bowls, topping with a drizzle of coconut milk, optionally. Or, if you prefer a smoother soup, using an immersion blender, carefully pulse until smooth. Return to pot and heat until hot, adding more water if necessary.

Mix it up: You can use green or yellow split peas to add a variety to your meals. You can also double the recipe and place half in a sealed container for lunch or freeze for up to three months for easy work lunches or quick homemade dinners!

Oat Milk

Homemade Creamy Oat Milk

I’ve been trying to make my own plant-based milks at home for a while now – to reduce waste, save money, and believe it or not, for the convenience. If you have the right ingredients and equipment at home, it’s much easier to just whip up a batch when you need it rather than going to the store. Some, like almond milk and cashew cream, are better and have a higher yield when the nuts are soaked. And let’s face it, nuts are expensive. Oat milk is a great alternative. It’s super cheap–we’re talking less than five cents a cup–and requires no advance planning. And it can be made in minutes. It’s great in a pinch. For example when you’re about to bake and realize you’re out of milk.

The downside: it’s best when consumed within 2 days and it does become a bit glue-y. I use it in coffee, but it does leave a little slurry at the bottom of the cup. In this video, I don’t strain mine, but you can strain it through a  mesh strainer or nut milk bag to get rid of some of the graininess. Bottom line: this is an easy, quick, and cheap plant-based milk and a great one to have in your repertoire.

Enjoy!

Creamy Oat Milk

Ingredients

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 to 1-1/2 cup water, depending on desired thickness

Directions

Add water and oats to high powered blender. Blend on high until creamy, about 1 minute. Optionally strain through a mesh sieve or nut milk bag. Refrigerate and consume within 2 days.

Nacho cheese–you won’t believe the ingredients

This vegan nacho cheese is delicious and so easy. Your friends and family won’t believe it’s vegan, let alone that it’s made from potatoes and carrots. Omit chipotles and pour over pasta for a delicious mac and cheese. Recipe adapted from Chef Wanda White’s.

Ingredients:
2 cups potatoes, cubed
1 cup carrots, cut
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water reserved from boiling potatoes and carrots
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
dash cayenne
1 tsp. chipotle chile in adobo or salsa if you prefer

Instructions
Boil potatoes and carrots for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Reserve water. Add potatoes, carrots, and remaining ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth. Add more water 1/4 cup at a time if too thick. Serve over tortilla chips with your favorite nacho toppings.

Enjoy!

Music: https://www.bensound.com

Meatless Monday Meal Plan

Millions of people are eating meat-free on Mondays. Some stick with it, some go beyond Monday. One of the burning questions I often get is “what do I eat?” so I created this Meatless Monday Meal Plan replete with recipes to show how delicious and easy meat-free meals can be. The meal plan includes recipes for a month of Meatless Mondays, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal ideas. From Hunka Hunka Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes to Tempting Tofu Bacon Avocado Lettuce + Tomato Sandwiches, your family will enjoy these recipes any day of the week.

Download on Amazon today!

 

Overnight Sourdough Bread

I took a sourdough class a couple years ago and it’s changed my life. I love baking and always have a fresh loaf on hand. It’s much easier to make than you’d think. Here’s how to make easy, delicious no-knead overnight sourdough bread.

Recipe:
Time: 16 hours; 20 minutes active

Ingredients
2 cups all purpose or bread flour
1-¾ cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup sourdough starter that’s been fed at least 4 hours prior to baking
1-½ cups water

Directions

Combine dry ingredients then add starter and water. Mix well. It should be sticky enough to form a ball. Add additional water if needed to form a ball, a tablespoon at a time.

For the overnight “no knead” method (which is what I use), cover and allow to rest for between 8-18 hours; 12 hours is the sweet spot.

After 12 hours, Preheat oven to 500 degrees, placing dutch oven inside. Meanwhile, on a floured surface, stretch dough into a rectangle. Fold corners into each other, roll over and tuck to form a ball. Score.

Allow to rest until oven has reached 500 degrees.

Carefully add to hot dutch oven. Place lid on top. Bake at 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove lid. Reduce heat to 450 and bake at 450 for 5-10 minutes more depending on desired darkness of bread. Enjoy!

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To feed your starter (at least once a week); keep in fridge if not baking
Start with 1 tablespoon starter. Add 1/3 cup of flour (i blend white and whole wheat) and slightly less than 1/3 cup water. Mix. Allow to rest ~4-6 hours prior to baking.

Music: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-…

Pressure Cooker Minestrone

“You should get a pressure cooker,” my friends told me. And I resisted. “I don’t need any more kitchen equipment,” I’d say. And they persisted. Finally I caved. I’m not afraid to admit I was wrong. I won’t go so far as to say the pressure cooker has changed my life, but it does allow me to make delicious meals in minutes, like this one. And beans from dry to cooked and delicious without soaking in under an hour. I’ll leave you with one final thought: you should get a pressure cooker.

Quick and Easy Hearty Minestrone

 

Ingredients
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, sliced
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups kale, torn into bite sized pieces
2 cups kidney beans, or 1 15-ounce can
2 tablespoons fresh oregano or one teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
4 cups water or vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can tomatoes in juice (whole or diced is fine)
pinch salt

 

Directions
Place all ingredients in the pressure cooker and cook on the soup/stew setting for 30 minutes. Enjoy! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

 

Note that you can change this according to your preferences – use white beans instead of kidney, your favorite herbs, etc.

Homemade yogurt

After taking a sourdough class a couple years ago, a friend asked me to teach her to make sourdough in exchange for teaching me to make yogurt. I love making homemade sourdough and now that I have the hang of it, find keeping my starter alive as easy (or easier for me!) as riding a bike. Yogurt making involves a similar fermentation process, using a starter that you keep around so you can have a continuous supply of yogurt. It took me a few tries to get the hang of it, but now it’s easy–and fun! Let me know how yours turns out. This recipe is from Miyoko Schinner’s Artisan Vegan Cheese.

Soy Milk

Homemade soy milk is sooo simple. I simply use soybeans and water in my soy milk maker, but you can add sweetener, vanilla, chocolate, etc. to your liking. I love that it saves money and keeps packaging out of the landfill. I simply use 1/3 cup soy beans (soaked) and 5 cups water and always have soy milk on hand. Enjoy!

Here’s the Joyoung Cts-1078s Easy-clean Automatic Hot Soy Milk Maker. Mine is about 10 years old, so it looks slightly different, but it’s a solid choice!

Vegan Chicken 101: Plant-Based “Chicken” Options Galore!

A lot of people switch from beef to chicken when making the transition to a plant-based diet. Unfortunately, chickens are some of the most abused animals on the planet, so doing so could actually result in more animal suffering. The good news is there are tons of delicious plant-based chicken products on the market that will satisfy your cravings. Check them out in this video I did with World of Vegan.