Livin' La Vida Vegan!

Soy Curl Mac & Cheese

soy curls

Full disclosure, I didn’t really like this dish but my husband enjoyed it — he did say that the Fettuccine Alfredo I created was much better though.  Recreating a cheesy sauce is just not as successful without the cashews.  I hesitated even sharing this recipe but some of you may love it and it was quick and easy.  It was very creamy and tasted a lot like homemade mac and cheese but I didn’t like the soy curls so next time I’ll try making it without.  Soy curls are a textured vegetable protein often used in place of chicken but they were not appetizing to me.

This recipe comes from the book, “Vegan Pressure Cooking” by JL Fields so you know it’s a quick meal!

Start by re-hydrating the soy curls by placing them in a large bowl and covering with 2-3 cups of water for ten minutes.  Drain the excess liquid and set aside.

Using the saute feature of the pressure cooker, heat two tablespoons of vegan butter and saute one chopped onion with two minced cloves of garlic for about three minutes.  Stir in the re-hydrated and drained soy curls along with two tablespoons of vegan chicken-flavored seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper.  Saute for another five minutes.  Add one cup of spelt elbow pasta (I used quinoa shells) and two to three cups of water (I used veggie broth/water combo), enough to cover the pasta and soy curls.  Next stir in two tablespoons of nutritional yeast.

Cover and bring to pressure — cook at low pressure for five minutes and use a quick release.  Remove the lid and add 1/4 cup of shredded vegan cheese (I used Daiya and I also added vegan parm).  Let sit for five minutes to allow to set for firmer consistency.  When ready top with chives and fresh ground pepper.

This recipe is supposed to yield two servings but we had more than enough left over for another meal.  We served it with a salad and Hazelnut Cranberry Roast en Croute with warm mushroom gravy (see 1/1/15 post for roast).

Leave A Comment »

Chia Seed Jam


This jam is super easy and healthy!  Why buy jam with preservatives when you can make it healthy in a few simple steps?  Start by putting two cups of your fresh fruit of choice in a blender — I used blackberries because they were on buy one get one free at Harris Teeter (my new favorite market).  Add in two tablespoons of chia seeds and two tablespoons of vegan honey or maple syrup.  Blend well, pour into a container, and keep over night in the refrigerator — when you wake in the morning your jam will be ready!

Chia seeds are rich in omega three fatty acids and full of fiber so this jam is the perfect way to start your morning.

Leave A Comment »

Miso Mushroom Zucchini Ramen Noodles


My husbands birthday is tomorrow (Happy Birthday John!) so I asked him what he’d like for dinner and he said that this soup is his favorite meal of everything I make so I thought I’d post it again — so delicious and healthy, enjoy!

From August 2014: Oh boy this soup is good!  Seriously a new favorite and it doesn’t get much healthier than this!  For the recipe follow the link below, I doubled it and it was plenty for my husband and I — I’d recommend cutting the red pepper flakes in half though unless you enjoy the heat!

Gather the following then click on the link below for the instructions:

  • one tablespoon olive oil
  • one cup sliced button mushrooms
  • one and 1/2 cup chopped bok choy
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • four cups Pacific Foods mushroom broth
  • 1/2 cup miso paste
  • 2 medium zucchini, spiralized
  • 1/2 cup diced scallions
  • one cup water

You’ll need a fun tool for this recipe — a spiral vegetable cutter.  My mother-in-law got me a Veggetti for my birthday so I was all set.

Now let’s talk about the healthy aspects of this soup — it’s made with miso paste which is just about the healthiest food on the planet!  The most octogenarians per capital live on the tiny island of Okinawa, Japan and they eat miso daily.

I found ten scientifically researched benefits of eating miso on

  1. Contains all essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.
  2. Stimulates the secretion of digestive fluids in the stomach.
  3. Restores beneficial probiotics to the intestines.
  4. Aids in the digestion and assimilation of other foods in the intestines.
  5. Is a good vegetable-quality source of B vitamins (especially B12).
  6. Strengthens the quality of blood and lymph fluid.
  7. Reduces risk for breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers.
  8. Protects against radiation due to dipilocolonic acid, an alkaloid that chelates heavy metals and discharges them from the body.
  9. Strengthens the immune system and helps to lower LDL cholesterol.
  10. High in antioxidants that protects against free radicals.

Just typing this up is making me crave it again — gotta run to the market to get the ingredients!

Leave A Comment »

Caramelized Onion, Spinach, & Avocado Quesadilla


Quesadillas are an easy and satisfying meal — I’ve made them many times in different varieties.  I found this vegetarian recipe and made it vegan by replacing the cheese with Teese, a new melt-able vegan cheese I found.

Follow the below link for the recipe — quick and easy meal in minutes.

I’m in Florida for the weekend to finish packing and loading the truck — close on the house Monday then back to Virginia!  I miss Florida…

Leave A Comment »

Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

banana cookies

My husband was searching through Hulu one night and came across a vegan channel – he watched what he said was an attractive young woman with her mother making these cookies.  He wrote down the ingredients without the source so my apologies to the original creator for not giving you credit!

Mix one ripe banana per 1/2 cup of quick rolled oats — we had two bananas so used one cup of oats.  The rest of the ingredients are portioned for three bananas so adjust as necessary.  One tablespoon of bee pollen (this is of course not vegan so not sure why a vegan cooking show used it but I replaced with pure maple syrup), a dash of cinnamon, and 1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown — effortless, the way I like it!

Leave A Comment »

Fried Rice with Yum Yum Sauce

yum yum

We used to love fried rice with yum yum sauce and we thought, why not make it vegan?  We found a bag of frozen Vegan Japanese Fried Rice with edamame, tofu, and hijiki seaweed at Trader Joe’s — it was a store brand and quite tasty.  Eventually I’ll learn how to make fried rice from scratch but this worked great.

I found a recipe for yum yum sauce on the Internet and made it vegan then tweaked it a bit for our taste.

Mix together 1 1/4 cups of Just Mayo, 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 pinch of cayenne pepper, 1/4 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance butter, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspooon of paprika.  Make sure to let it sit overnight for the flavors to blend.

We were happily surprised that it tasted just like the version we used to enjoy at our favorite sushi place — so easy to make your favorites vegan!

Leave A Comment »

Fiesta Jackfruit Over Polenta

jackfruit polenta

Another jackfruit dish — this unusual fruit can taste like pulled pork or shredded chicken!  This recipe is super simple and delicious — it tastes like a spicy chicken cacciatore over polenta, a family favorite.  All you need is one twenty ounce can of young green jackfruit in water or brine, one cup of salsa (recipe calls for half a cup but it wasn’t enough — I used Organic Muir Glen), one tube of polenta, vegan cheddar shreds, and fresh cilantro.

Note that if you get the jackfruit in brine you’ll need to soak the fruit in water for an hour or the taste will be too briny.

To find the recipe use this link — done in ten minutes!

Leave A Comment »

Spicy Scramble


Happy Easter!  I’m so used to eating colored hard boiled eggs for Easter so wanted to make some vegan scramble this morning.  Been suffering with the flu all week and this is the first day I’ve had an appetite and I wanted something spicy!  This is another great tofu scramble recipe I created — so tasty!

Start  by heating a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Then add a pound of extra-firm tofu (drained, pressed, and crumbled) along with a few dashes of turmeric for color and fresh ground salt and pepper to taste — blend well.  Add in one small chopped avocado, a cup of baby spinach and arugula blend (I used Organic Girl brand), and half a block of chopped up Daiya’s jalapeno Havarti.  Let simmer for a few minutes until the “cheese” melts and the greens are wilted.

Serve with your choice of salsa — we used Desert Pepper Trading Company’s Corn, Black Bean, and Red Pepper medium salsa.  This is a wonderful breakfast — enjoy!

Leave A Comment »

Caramelized Onion, Roasted Garlic, & Artichoke Pizza with Vegan Jalapeno Havarti


This pizza was inspired by JL Goes Vegan who I follow on Facebook.  she posted a picture of an artichoke pizza her husband made with the news that Daiya had a new Vegan Jalapeno Havarti cheese and I had to recreate it!  JL is also the author of “Vegan Pressure Cooking” – I’ve shared some of the recipes from that book on the blog before.

Start with the pizza crust of your choice — I used a prepared flat bread style.  Top with your favorite pizza sauce (I think I’ll try a white bean sauce next time).  I then added one caramelized onion, four roasted garlic cloves, and a can of rinsed and chopped up artichoke hearts.  I topped with slices of the Daiya jalapeno havarti cheese and baked for about ten minutes — follow the instructions on your pizza crust.

We loved this pizza and will make it often — thank you Daiya for introducing this delicious vegan cheese!

Leave A Comment »