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 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.

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 :).

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.

Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe is coming to you from one of my favorite cookbook authors, Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Her newest cookbook is called, “I Can Cook Vegan,” and it’s a winner!

Let me tell you, Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie is definitely a keeper and one of our new favorites. And for those meat eaters in your family—they won’t even know that it’s Vegan :).

I prefer to leave the oil out of recipes, so I subbed veg. broth to saute the ingredients. I actually didn’t even oil the pan before putting the ingredients in and it was great. You can choose for yourself what you would like to do.

Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 8

  • 2 cups cold vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped into medium dice
  • 3 medium carrots, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, chopped into pea-size pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups cooked lentils, cooked in vegetable broth (do not add salt)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 recipe Classic Mashed Potatoes (at the bottom of the post)
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

1. In a measuring cup, mix together the broth and cornstarch until the starch is mostly dissolved. Mix in the tomato paste and set aside.

2. Preheat a large pan over medium heat. Saute the onion and carrots in a bit of veg. broth with a pinch of salt until the onions are lightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds or so, just until fragrant. Add the celery, mushrooms, and thyme with a bunch of fresh black pepper and salt. Let cook for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms have released a lot of moisture.

3. Add the lentils and use your spatula to mush them in the pan to create a “ground beef” effect. Add the corstarch-broth mixture and mix well. Let cook until the filling is thick and gravy-like, about 7 minutes. Fold in the peas. Taste for salt and seasoning.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 11 x 13 inch casserole dish. Transfer the filling to the casserole in an even layer. Dollop the mashed potatoes over the top, starting at the edges and working your way in, and then use a rubber spatula to spread them relatively smoothly.

5. Place the casserole dish on a baking sheet to collect any juices that bubble over. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the potatoes are browned. Let cool a bit before sprinkling with parsley, if desired, and serving.

Classic Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 1/2 lbs. new potatoes, peelings on (cooked in instant pot for 13 min. with natural pressure release or you can boil them)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup whole unroasted cashews (if you own a high speed blender, you don’t have to boil these beforehand. If you don’t own one, then boil for 20 minutes to soften.)
  • 2/3 cup vegetable broth, at room temperature
  • Freshly ground pepper

1. Cook potatoes.

2. While potatoes are cooking, place cashews and vegetable broth in a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth, scrapping the sides occasionally with a spatula to get everything.

3. When the potatoes are done cooking, drain and return to pot. Mash them with a potato masher to break them up a bit. Add half of the cashew mixture and the salt and pepper. Mash with potato masher until relatively smooth and no big chunks are left.

4. Add the remaining cashew mixture, mix it in and mash some more until it is mixed well. And there you have it! Enjoy!

P.S. All of the recipes I make from other bloggers/cookbook authors/instagramers (you get it 🙂 have a Peg twist to them, so if you look up the recipes on line they will be slightly different :).

Tasty Tacos– (the hub’s fav)

It’s my hubby’s birthday today, so in honor of his big day, I’m posting the recipe that is his ultimate favorite taco. You will love the little bit of spicy cauliflower & chickpeas for the filling, which completely transforms the flavor that cauliflower, chickpeas and cabbage normally have. The filling is complemented with a scrumptious cabbage slaw, avocado slices (optional) and a drizzle of cashew cream. Trust me–YOU WILL LOVE IT! GUARANTEED! Please read the full recipe before cooking.

There are 3 parts to this recipe–Cabbage Slaw, Cashew Cream Sauce, and Cauliflower/Chickpea mix.

For the Cabbage Slaw:

  • 1/2 Medium head purple cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1/2 Sm/Med Red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 T. Taco Time hot sauce
  • 2 T. Honey or Agave
  • 1/4 C Lime juice
  • Salt to taste

In a small bowl mix hot sauce, honey (or agave) and juice from limes together and pour over cabbage and onion. Mix with your hands. I like to massage it in really well together. (This is actually the part that the hub’s does :). Set in the fridge until serving. This can be made a day ahead (highly recommended, but not essential, for even better flavor), as well as the cashew cream sauce, which I’ll share next.

For the Cashew Cream Sauce:

  • 1/2 C. Raw Cashews, boiled in water for 20 min or let sit overnight)
  • 2/3 C. Water (not the water that you boil the cashews in–fresh water)
  • 1/2 tea. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 tea. Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tea. Nutritional yeast (optional-this makes it more cheesy)
  • 1/2 tea. Salt

Put all ingredients in a high power blender. I have a Vitamix that I love, and if you do have a Vitamix, you can skip the boiling of the cashews. It does make it a bit creamier if you boil them, but either way, it works great. Once that is blended together for a few min on high, then transfer to a container and set in the fridge. As mentioned before, this can be made the day before.

For the Cauliflower & Chickpea Filling:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Get out a cookie sheet pan and line it with a splat mat or parchment paper.

  • 1 head Cauliflower, broken apart into smaller pieces (not riced though–still chucky)
  • 1 can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Mix together cauliflower and chickpeas in a large bowl. Set aside while you make the sauce.

For the sauce:

In a saucepan on the stove heat together the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 C. Frank’s hot sauce
  • 1/2 C. Vegetable broth
  • 2 T. Honey or Agave
  • 1-2 T. Cornstarch

Mix together well in saucepan and cook on medium high heat until thickened. Pour on cauliflower and chickpea mixture. Mix together throughly with a spoon or once it cools enough, mix it with your hands. It just mixes better that way. Pour on cookie sheet and spread mixture out evenly. Cook for 15 min then turn and cook 10 -15 min more or to your liking. I like it a little crisp so I do 10 more min.

This is the brown rice that we use from Costco. It’s so fast to cook.

Now for the best part—- The assembly!!!

  • Corn Tortilla
  • Cauliflower/Chickpea Mix
  • Brown Rice
  • Cabbage Slaw
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Cashew Cream

ENJOY!!! YUM!!

You Won’t Believe Its Vegan Chili

Recently I set on a quest to perfect my chili recipe so those who are not whole food plant based people, would not miss eating meat in their chili. This original chili recipe came from https://eathealthyeathappy.com/killer-vegan-chili/ but I modified it a little bit. It’s quite a process to make but just like most anything in life that takes a lot of time—it’s sooooo worth it!!

I cooked the recipe for my pinto beans in the instant pot the night before. The recipe link is here https://itsapegslife.com/2019/03/09/delicious-instant-pot-pinto-beans/ They are my family’s favorite, so I thought the added flavor of these beans would just enhance the taste of the chili.

Next step is to make the cauliflower hamburger recipe as follows:

  • 1 head cauliflower, grated in food processor or you can just use your blade, whatever works best for you to make the cauliflower the size of rice grains
  • 6 oz. of button mushrooms, washed, dried and grated/blade in food processor
  • 1/2 c. walnuts, chopped medium (again you can use your food processor)
  • 1 -2 T. cumin
  • 1-2 tsp. chili powder
  • salt and pepper as needed

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together well. I like to use my hands and mix it really good. Taste the mixture to see if it is to your liking. Spread mixture out on a cookie sheet with a splat mat or wax paper on it. If you don’t have a splat mat or wax paper, just spray the cookie sheet with Pam and spread a thin layer of cauliflower mixture on it. I like to use two cookie sheets so the layer isn’t too think.

Cook on preheated 425 degree oven on the upper rack so it’s close to the element for 15 min and then turn the mixture. Cook again for another 10-15 min. And there you have it–cauliflower hamburger. Let cool.

Now for the Chili—–

You Won’t Believe Its Vegan Chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 1/2 Tbs chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 Tbs cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock)
  • 2 c chopped bell pepper, any colors

45 oz. cans Pome chopped tomatoes (you can find these at your Harmon’s for those of you that live in Utah)

  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 4 c water
  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 c uncooked quinoa (wash throughly)
  • 2-3 c cooked pinto beans (the homemade beans above)
  • 1 15 oz. can of kidney beans
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans
  • 1 can sweet corn

Toppings like fresh homemade cashew cream, cilantro, avocado or vegan cheese shreds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add a small portion of the broth to a large lidded cooking pot. Add onion and saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, basil, chipotle powder, cumin, oregano salt and pepper. Add a few splashes of the veg. stock to deglaze the pan and simmer 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat slightly and/or add more if the spices are burning at all.
  3. Stir in the bell and poblano peppers and the rest of the stock. Simmer about 7 minutes.
  4. Add the Pome tomatoes, brown sugar, soy sauce, salt, liquid smoke and water. Loosely lid the pot and simmer about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in the lemon juice, quinoa, beans, and corn. Reduce the heat to medium low, lid the pot and simmer about 60-70 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add enough water to make it the consistency you like as you need to.
  6. When soup is done simmering add cauliflower mixture. I like adding about half of it but you can add as much as you want.
  7. Serve with your favorite toppings.

I like to make this the night before I serve it and then reheat in the slow cooker. Sooooo good!

GNOCCHI WITH ROASTED BROCCOLINI IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

My daughter introduced me to gnocchi in Portland. She is an amazing cook and has introduced me to a lot of different foods. Well, she is a dietician and that helps too. Gnocchi has come to be one of my favs.

The other night when I got home from work and the “What’s for dinner?” question entered my head, as my stomach was growling, I needed to make a quick dish before I smacked myself to death, I remembered I had some gnocchi in my pantry that I’ve been wanting to cook. I originally was thinking of a mushroom marinara for this dish, but at the last minute I changed my mind (definitely a woman’s prerogative haha) because when I tasted the white wine mixed with the mushroom broth and spices it tasted fantastic.

If you want to make this sauce creamy, blend up 1/2 c cashews in about 1/4 c vegetable broth in a high speed blender and add it to the dish at the end. Make sure you blend this up well so you don’t get that gross grainy texture. Another trick is to soak the cashews for 15 min in boiling water, drain it before adding it to the blender with broth. Now to the recipe…..

GNOCCHI WITH ROASTED BROCCOLINI IN WHITE WINE SAUCE

Serves: 4 but if you have big eaters I would double.

Cook Time: 30 min.

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 small red onion

2 c. mushrooms sliced

1 bunch broccolini or regular broccoli (see recipe below)

1 package gnocchi, prepare as directed on package and set aside

1/3 c. dry white wine

1/2 c. vegetable broth (I like to make this with the “Better than Bouillon” brand

1 T. oregano

1 T. parsley

(Or in place of oregano and parsley add 1T. Italian seasoning)

1 tsp. salt

Prepare broth. Add 1/4 c. broth to a medium size Dutch oven or large rim pan and turn heat to medium high. As soon as pan is hot, add garlic and sauté for 2 min continuously stirring until it smells fragrant.

Add onion and sauté about 5 min or until slightly translucent. If you need to add more broth here to keep it from burning, do so. Add mushrooms and sauté these for 10-15 min or until a nice liquid broth forms from the mushrooms, add white wine and keep sautéing for 7 min or so until the alcohol burns off.

Add oregano, parsley and salt. Taste the mixture to see if it is to your liking. From here you can make a the cashew cream as mentioned above or leave it out. I thought it tasted good as is, so I opted not to. Add gnocchi and roasted broccolini. Mix well and taste once again to make sure it is properly salted and spiced. Enjoy.

ROASTED BROCCOLINI

Preheat oven to 425 degrees with baking rack on the top slot of the oven.

Place as much broccolini on a baking sheet pan as you want to serve.

Sprinkle broccolini with vegetable broth and salt and pepper.

When oven is up to temperature, place broccolini in the oven and set timer for 7 min. After 7 min stir broccolini on baking sheet and put back in oven for about 4 min or until it’s cooked to your liking.

Remove from oven and serve or add to cooking dish.

Peanut Sweet Potato Curry with Veggies and Peas

SWEET POTATOES AHHHH they are one of my favs, so I love to use them any way I can, whether it’s a Mexican recipe, Indian, Asian or just a plain sweet potato, they call my name. I know, that’s a little weird, but the flavor is so satisfying and a comfort food for me.  This recipe is based on a recipe from veganricha.com.  I served it with Jasmine rice and it was SCRUMPTIOUS!  Here is the recipe:img_0633

Peanut Sweet Potato Curry with Veggies and Peas

1 C. Onion, chopped

5 Cloves of Garlic, minced

1/2 inch Ginger, minced (optional, I did not use it)

2 C. Cauliflower florets, coarsely chopped

1 small Red Pepper, chopped

1 med to large Sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 tsp. Curry

1 tsp. Garam Masala

1 tsp Salt

1/3 C. Peanut Butter

1 can Chick peas

2 T. Lime juice

2 T. Maple Syrup

1 tsp. Distilled white vinegar

1/2 tsp. Garlic powder

1/4 tsp. Pepper flakes

2 C. Light coconut milk (1 poured the can into a 2 cup container, which is a few ounces shy of 2 cups and then filled it the rest of the way with water to make 2 cups exactly.)

3/4 C. Frozen peas

Black pepper to taste

Lemon juice and Cayenne

Basil and peanuts for garnish

Put a small amount of water in a Dutch oven or skillet over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, add onion and cook until translucent.  Fold in ginger.

Add peppers, cauliflower, sweet potato, curry powder, garam masala, and a dash of black pepper and cook for 3 min. or until spices are very fragrant.

Add the rest of ingredients until frozen peas and stir well. Partially cover and cook for 15 min.

Taste and adjust salt, sweet and heat.  Add a dash of lemon and cayenne if needed.  Add peas and simmer another few min until the vegetables are cooked to desired doneness.  Adjust consistency if needed, such as more coconut milk or water if its too thick.

Serve over rice.  This could also be served as a soup by adding more water and adjusting the spices to your liking.  Garnish with basil and peanuts.  Enjoy!