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.
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
1 tsp. chipotle chile in adobo or salsa if you prefer
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.
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.
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.
Time: 16 hours; 20 minutes active
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
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!
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.
“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
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)
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.
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.
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!
Let’s face it: chickens have it rough. Many people trying to eat healthier switch from beef to chicken, unfamiliar with the horrors of chicken factory farming. Chickens raised for meat are bred to grow very large very fast and thus live short lives, many dropping dead of heart attacks, their organs unable to keep up with the pressures of their overgrown bodies. On top of that, many trying to eat healthy don’t realize that chicken meat still contains cholesterol and saturated fat.
The great news is there are loads of delicious foods we can nosh on sans chicken that offer the flavors we love. Here’s a favorite recipe, plus a list of some of my favorite chicken-free meats.
Napa Valley Chicken-Free Salad
Serve this chicken-free salad on a bed of greens or sandwiched between whole wheat bread for a delicious, filling meal. It’s ideal for a picnic or an easy workweek lunch.
Time: 10 minutes
1 9-ounce package chicken-free strips, like Beyond Meat Lightly Seasoned Strips, Tofurky Slow Roasted Chick’n, diced into small pieces
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1 celery stalk, diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions or chives
1/2 cup halved seedless red grapes
1/2 cup egg-free mayonnaise, like Just Mayo
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped
1 teaspoon poppy seeds, optional
Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until combined well. Best chilled for at least an hour.
To serve, layer your favorite sandwich bread with lettuce and chicken-free salad or serve on a bed of greens.
Five of my Favorite Chicken-Free Plant-Based Meats
These flaky, yet soft scones are perfect for impressing friends with a fancy brunch or tea party, or a bring-along breakfast for a road trip. The lemon complements the berries adding a hint of citrus. You can freeze the dough and bake later for a quick, yet decadent weekday breakfast.
Makes 6-8 scones
Time: 35 minutes, 15 minutes active
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dairy-free margarine, like Earth Balance
3/4 cup plain unsweetened soy or almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup mixed berries, fresh or frozen
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
If using frozen berries, thaw them in warm water and strain well.
In a large bowl, mix together both flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Separate margarine into 6 pieces and add to flour mixture using a fork or pastry cutter to cut in until margarine is evenly distributed, with no pieces larger than a pea.
Combine soy or almond milk, vanilla or lemon extract, and zest and pour into dry mixture. Stir until dough comes together. Add berries and gently fold into the dough. Some berries may get squashed and add a hint of purple—that’s okay.
Once dough is thoroughly mix with berries, place on a lightly floured surface, and flatten to about 3/4 of an inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or the mouth of a tumbler, cut into 6-8 scones. You may need to reform the dough into a ball and press out again to make all the scones. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with additional sugar, optionally. Bake for 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
Pro-Tip: You can substitute berries with your favorite fruit. Or go crazy and use chocolate chips. If you do that, use the vanilla extract rather than the lemon.