Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese–so good!

This creamy delicious mac and cheese is so good!! Your kids will love it!! The original recipe is taken from one of my favorite blogs called Monkey and Me.

Vegan Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

Boil together:
2 cups cauliflower, trimmed into small florets
2 cups Russet potatoes, peeled, small dice
1/2 cups carrots, diced, tiny dice
1/2 cups cashews
Sauce Ingredients:
1/3 cup unsweetened plain plant milk
1/2 cup vegetable broth *
1/2 cup water, (or broth)
1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar, (+/-)
2 teaspoons white miso *
1 Tablespoons reduced sodium tamari *
1/4 cup + 2 T nutritional yeast, (+/-)
1 Tablespoon dried minced onions
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground mustard
Pinch turmeric, (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt (+/- to taste) *
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Other Ingredients:
12-14 oz. GF elbow macaroni, (or pasta of choice)
Crumb Toppings:
1/2 cup GF panko, (or panko/bread crumbs of choice)

Fill a large stock pot full of water. Add some sea salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil then add the pasta. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Note: You want to coordinate the completion of the pasta cooking time with the completion of the sauce. If unsure, then just wait to put the pasta into the boiling water once the sauce is done. Just turn the sauce down really low or remove from the stove. Boil the pasta until el dente, drain, rinse with cold water to remove any excess starch, shake well, then transfer the cooked pasta into the sauce.

Set aside panko bread crumbs.

Preheat the oven to broil. Place the oven rack in the center.

Place the cauliflower florets, diced potatoes, carrots, and cashews into a medium stockpot, bring to a boil, gently boil until fork tender (about 10 to 12 minutes). Drain off the water, then place them in a high-speed blender. Add all the Sauce Ingredients into the high-speed blender with the cooked cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and cashews. Blend on high until smooth and emulsified.

Place the cooked pasta into a baking dish, pour the sauce over the pasta, mix well, then sprinkle the Crumb Topping evenly over top. Place in the oven and broil until the top is golden brown, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Watch carefully to ensure the crumble topping does not burn. Then turn off the oven and allow the dish to sit in the hot oven undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy

Vegan French Toast

Vegan French Toast? What? How do you make french toast without eggs? Well, look no further. Here is an awesome recipe from one of my favorite vegan bloggers, noracooks.com.

Serves 3-4 people

  • 1 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6-8 slices thick sliced quality bread, such as ciabatta or french
  • For serving: maple syrup, powdered sugar, or fresh fruit
  • In a shallow bowl, wide enough to hold a piece of bread, whisk together the almond milk, cornstarch, ground flaxseeds, baking powder, cinnamon, maple syrup and vanilla.
  • Add a little bit of vegetable spray to a pan set on medium high heat. Whisk the batter again right before dipping bread, as the cornstarch will settle to the bottom of the bowl. 
  • Dip each side of the bread in the batter and let soak for about 10 seconds, then add the bread to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.  
  • Serve with maple syrup, powdered sugar and fresh fruit, if desired.
  • Enjoy 🙂

Vegan Broccoli Pasta

This recipe is a deliciously creamy. and my son said that it was a TEN!! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! And please, if you make a recipe on my blog, please, tag @itsapegslife in your pic on Instagram or Facebook!

Vegan Broccoli Pasta

  • 12 oz pasta (whatever kind you would like)
  • Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons white miso paste
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Trader Joe’s sun dried tomatoes (add to your liking)
  • 3 cups broccoli
  • 12 oz. button mushrooms (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

Cook the pasta according to the instructions. Set aside.

In the meantime, make the creamy cashew sauce. Place cashews (see tip for cashews below), garlic cloves, nutritional yeast, miso paste, salt, Dijon mustard and almond milk in a high speed blender and process until smooth. Add Vegetable broth, corn starch, lemon juice and sun dried tomatoes.

Cut broccoli into small florets and slice mushrooms, cook in a bit of vegetable broth in a large pan about 10 min.

Add cashew sauce to the sauted broccoli and mushroom mix.

Cook about 10 minutes to thicken.

Stir in the cooked pasta or serve sauce on the top of pasta. Season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Vegan Thai Coconut Quinoa Bowls

I LOVED this recipe. There were so many different flavors on my tastebuds that every bite was a little different. The coconut quinoa was some good vegan comfort food. This recipe is taken from one of my favorite blogs called fitfoodiefinds.com. I adapted it for an oil free version. Also, don’t get overwhelmed by all of the cooking steps! It just creates more opportunity for family to help you in the kitchen. Make it a family event and it will be quick and easy :).

Prep Time: 40 minutes Bake Time: 30 minutes

COCONUT QUINOA

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 15-oz. can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

To prepare the quinoa RINSE WELL, place coconut milk, water, maple syrup, and quinoa in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil over high heat.

Next, turn the heat to low, cover the saucepan and let the quinoa cook for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked.

ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

  • 2 large sweet potatoes and or yams, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • Spritz with a little bit of water
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Then, place diced sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet and spritz with water. Toss to fully coat.
  2. Then, season with minced garlic, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
  3. Roast sweet potatoes at 400ºF for 25-30 minutes.

PURPLE CABBAGE SLAW

  • 1 cup purple cabbage, sliced
  • 1 cup shelled edamame (if you don’t have shelled edamame, you can use shelled like I did and spread them on top)
  • 1 large red pepper, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, cut into thin sticks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Place purple cabbage, edamame, carrot, and red pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Make dressing by whisking together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, maple syrup, grated ginger, and salt.
  3. Then, toss veggies in dressing. Set aside.

PEANUT SAUCE

  • 2.5 tablespoons all-natural peanut butter
  • 2.5 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  1. To make peanut sauce, place all ingredients into a medium bowl or jar and mix together to combine.

TOPPINGS

  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • squeeze of lime juice
  • Black sesame seeds, to toast

ASSEMBLY

  1. Evenly distribute the coconut quinoa, sweet potatoes, and coleslaw into four bowls or meal prep containers.
  2. Drizzle with peanut sauce if eating immediately and top with cilantro, chopped peanuts, a lime wedge, and more black sesame seeds.

Vegan Alfredo Sauce–SO YUM

Vegan alfredo sauce?? What the what?? This vegan alfredo is bomb!! Try it! It would be even better with homemade pasta!

Vegan Alfredo Sauce

  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bag cauliflower rice (see note)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 3/4 c. cashews (soaked overnight or boiled for 20 minutes)

Heat a bit of water in a medium size pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and let it cook for 3-4 minutes, or until it is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the cauliflower and vegetable broth to the pot, Cook until cauliflower is done–about 10 – 15 minutes until it is done.

Transfer cauliflower mix to a heavy duty blender, like a Vetamix, and add remaining ingredients, mix from low speed to high. Blend until creamy. Transfer this back into the medium sized pot and heat for a few minutes until it is hot. Service on your favorite pasta. Enjoy!

Note: This is the cauliflower rice I like to buy at Costco. It works great for this recipe.

Hearty Lunch Salad Ideas

One of the things that I love to have for lunch is a hearty salad. It just makes my body feel good when I nourish it with some good veggies for lunch. You can get creative with your own salad to use up leftovers you have in the refrigerator. I want to share just a few of my favorite combinations today.

Mexican Salad

Ingredients:

  • Spring mix
  • Baked sweet potato, cut into chunks
  • Black beans or pinto beans
  • Avocado
  • Salsa
  • Brown Rice

Layer ingredients in a bowl and enjoy. This is one of my favorite combinations. If you have a little cashew cream, that is a delicious addition as well. Just drizzle it on the top. No need to add dressing to this salad. It’s delicious with all of these wholesome salad toppings.

Mediterranean Salad

Ingredients:

  • Spring mix
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Avocado
  • Slivered almonds
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Lupini beans

These are the Lupini beans that I like to use and they are delicious for snacking too. They are very flavorful and again, no need for dressing. They flavors together are delicious. I would love your feedback if you try these salads. Please tag me @itsapegslife.com if you instagram a recipe made from my blog. Enjoy 🙂

Quick & Delicious Balsamic Glazed Seitan

Can you tell I’ve been on a Seitan kick lately? Haha. I actually am really liking it for a meat alternative. This week I’m bringing you an original recipe that I made up and it turned out to be one of our favorites. I’ll definitely be making it again. It was filling, packs a lot of flavor, and I loved the texture of the seitan.

I love this seitan from Harmon’s Grocery Store (if you live in Utah), as I mentioned in my last post. It comes in chunks, which I love, but some times the chunks are a little big, so I cut those in smaller pieces.

Quick & Delicious Balsamic Glazed Seitan

Serves 4-6

  • 2 packages chunky seitan
  • 1-2 teaspoons sage
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

Take seitan out of the pack and separate. I like to cut the bigger chunks into smaller ones so they are all kind of the same size. Sprinkle it with 1-2 teaspoons sage, salt and pepper and rub the garlic into the chunks. Let sit while you make the sauce.

For the sauce:

Place all ingredients into a sauce pan and let it come to a boil until it’s thickened. This usually takes about 10 -15 minutes.

Place seitan in a skillet with about 1/2 cup sauce, stir and heat on medium high. Once sauce is absorbed into the seitan, add a little more at a time and turn heat down to medium low. Keep adding sauce and simmer until sauce is absorbed into the seitan, but yet there is a little left to use on the rice. I like to simmer it for 10-15 min. It gives it some good flavor.

That’s it! Simple. Easy. Packed with flavor. I like serving this with rice and here I show it served with zucchini and summer squash, but I think I prefer broccoli. Enjoy :).

Vegan Mongolian Seitan

It’s FRIDAY Y’ALL!! Time for a new recipe and I think you are going to love it. We sure did. I’ve been wanting to experiment more with seitan. I looked up a few recipes and then decided on this one that is adapted from the yupitsvegan.com site. If you haven’t checked out her recipes, you should. She’s got some amazing ones. I made a few changes though in the way you cook the seitan because I wanted it to take on more flavor while cooking. And, of course, I did not use oil.

Also, have you noticed how you can’t buy tofu in the grocery stores? I asked my local grocer, “Where’s all the tofu?” and he said that the tofu plants are closed for 3 weeks. Ummm hello?? I need tofu for my recipes!! I then decided that I’m going to make my own, so stay tuned for that recipe in the near future.

Let’s get back to todays recipe………

Vegan Mongolian Seitan

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (this is to use in place of the oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or a scant half cup brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

For the crisped seitan:

  • 1 pound seitan, cut into 1 inch pieces (the seitan I bought was in chunks and it was awesome)

For serving:

  • toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • sliced scallions

To make the sauce:

Heat a little of the vegetable broth in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and the garlic; stir constantly. After about 30 seconds, add the five spice and the red pepper flakes, and cook for one minute or until fragrant.

Add the soy sauce and the coconut sugar and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer until the coconut sugar is dissolved and slightly reduced, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Whisk together the cornstarch and the cold water, then add it to the pan and stir. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the sauce becomes glossy and thickened slightly. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and keep simmering gently until ready to add to the seitan.

To make the seitan:

In a wok or skillet, heat some of the vegetable broth over medium-high heat. Add a bit of the sauce to the seitan and cook, stirring frequently, for about 4-5 minutes or until slightly browned and crisped around the edges.

Reduce heat to low and add the remaining sauce to the pan. Stir to coat all of the seitan pieces, and continue cooking until the sauce has adhered to the seitan. Remove from the heat and serve hot, with the rice and/or vegetables of choice, and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.

Serve with rice and broccoli.

Enjoy :).

Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

This week I have been thinking about some creative dinner recipes that I could publish on my blog. Maybe it comes from not having so much to do because of being isolated and 6 feet apart from everyone in my world haha. The struggle is real folks! I hope all of you are doing well and filling your time with the people you love (virtually and real life) and some things that you have time to now do.

Today I am bringing you an original and with this recipe you can get creative yourself and use a different bean other than garbanzo, such as pinto beans (try my instant pot pinto bean recipe) and give it a Mexican twist.

Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms (an itsapegslife original 🙂

Serves 3-4 people

  • 6 portabella mushrooms, washed, gills and stems removed
  • 1 sweet potato, baked, sprinkle with a little cumin and chili powder and smashed
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup raw quinoa, cooked in veg. broth (1/2 c quinoa to 1 c veg broth, bring to boil, cover, and cook on med. low for 20 min.)
  • 2 cans any type of bean. I did a garbanzo bean mixture with sauted onion and garlic, salt, pepper and tumeric and slightly mashed them.
  • 1 can vegan refried beans
  • 1 sliced avocado

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and once it is up to temperature, put mushrooms gill side up on a baking sheet lined with a splat mat or parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 min while you get the remaining ingredient together.

While mushrooms are cooking saute garlic, onion, red pepper and green pepper on medium high. To do this, first add a little veg broth to the pan and let it get hot, then add garlic and onion. Saute for 2 minutes and then add peppers. I like to add a few shakes of cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste (1/2 tea. each approx.) at this point. Saute until peppers are cooked through (about 10 min).

Add whatever bean you want to this mixture.

After mushrooms are done cooking, remove from oven and let sit while you get your ingredients in order for the “stuffing.” This is also a great way to use up some of the leftover stuff in the fridge. For example, the sweet potato, garbanzo mix and refried beans were leftover from other meals that I had prepared last week.

First blot dry the inside of each mushroom with a paper towel to absorb the moisture. Now for the assembly–

  • Refried beans
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bean, pepper, onion mixture
  • Quinoa
  • Green onion

Put back in the oven and bake for 10 min on 425. Remove from oven and enjoy. I like to serve this with some greens. So delicious. Please let me know if you make these and tag me at itsapegslife.