Tofu Scramble

Tofu Scramble

Tofu scramble is sometimes my Saturday or Sunday breakfast. When I want to take a break from the usual oatmeal I will prepare this dish. It does take a bit more time than a bowl of oatmeal, but it’s well worth it.

The best part is that it contains plenty of vegetables. And incorporating vegetables into your first meal is a great start to any day.  I used the typical vegetables of onions, bell peppers, and spinach in this recipe, but you can add any vegetable you like. For instance, on this particular day, I added celery. Yet, my favorite part is the addition of potatoes. The potatoes are sure to fill you up and prepare you to focus on the work that’s ahead.

But, hey, this could also be a lunch or even a dinner meal. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of yellow or white flesh potatoes (even red-skinned potatoes), cubed and pre-cooked in the oven if possible
  • 1/2 package of firm or extra-firm tofu (ORGANIC if possible), liquid removed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 of a bell pepper (whichever you like)
  • 1/4 to 1/2  of a small onion (whichever you like, substitute scallions or green onions too)
  • 1/2 – 1 stalk of celery
  • a handful or two of fresh spinach
  • Seasonings (See suggestion below.)

Directions:

  1. Add vegetables to a (preferably non-stick) skillet with a bit of water to begin sauteing (skip the oil, continue to add small amounts of water to prevent the vegetables from sticking).
  2. Once they have softened, continue to cook until the water evaporates and the onions begin to carmelize.
  3. If you have pre-cooked potatoes, go to step 5.
  4. If you have not pre-cooked the potatoes, remove the vegetables from the skillet. Then add cubed potatoes and water (plus salt/pepper if you’d like). Add about 1/2 cup of water at a time and cover the skillet slightly to allow the potatoes to steam and simmer. Add more water as necessary. End cooking the potatoes when they are done and the water is absorbed. Add vegetables back to the pan. Go to step 6.
  5. If you have pre-cooked potatoes, add the pre-cooked potatoes to the pan.
  6. Add tofu and seasonings and stir until well mixed, heated, and until most of the water has evaporated.
  7. Don’t forget to taste

I like to serve with fresh avocado slices and fresh pico de gallo (or simply fresh onions and tomatoes are a good option too.)

Seasoning Mix: The goal is to add some sort of yellow color so that the scramble will resemble eggs. Here is a recipe I found at NutritionStudies.org. You can create this mix and then sprinkle it onto the scramble to satisfy your desired taste.

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

Other possible add-ins:

  • Mushrooms
  • Fresh peas
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes

Toppings:

  • Tomatoes or Fresh Salsa
  • Avocado or Guacamole

Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato

Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato

This recipe is an example of how you can quickly assemble a satisfying meal in 15 minutes or less. If you like “Tex-Mex”, you are going to enjoy this vegan, plant-based recipe. (A video for this recipe is below.)

Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato Recipe:
(Feel free to use other varieties of the ingredients listed below for onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and even the beans)

Pre-prepared:  2 Oven-baked Sweet Potatoes

Toppings To cook:
1/4 cup of chopped red onions
1/8 cup of chopped yellow bell peppers
3/4 – 1 cup baby Bella mushrooms
1 – 2 cups of black beans (pre-cooked or canned)

Additional Toppings:
Cashew Cilantro Cream Sauce
Chopped avocado
Chopped cilantro
Sriracha sauce  (At home we use this brand that is preservative-free. You can likely find it at your local grocery store.)

Directions:

  1. Add onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms to a pan over medium heat. Add 1-2 TBS of water or broth to begin the cooking process. Continue adding a little water or broth as needed to prevent the vegetables from sticking. Cook until slightly caramelized.
  2. Add the black beans to the pan with the veggies and allow them to heat up.

To Serve:

  1. Cut each baked potato in half length-wise.
  2. Add vegetable toppings
  3. Add any additional toppings that you would like.

Note: I have also added wilted Kale to this recipe. If you like Kale, you will like the addition of it in the recipe also.

 

3 Ingredient Date Balls

Date Ball Snacks

 

Date ball snacks are quick and easy to make using only 3 ingredients and a food processor. Loaded with real food for energy, vitamins, and minerals. This makes 12 – 15  1-inch size date balls.

Ingredients:

  • 6 dates, pittedDate Ball Ingredients
  • 3/4 to 1 cup dehydrated apples
  • 1 cup of walnuts (or any of your favorite nut)
  • pinch of salt (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into the food processor and process until well mixed.
  2. Form into balls. You can use a tablespoon to measure out the mixture.

Date Ball After Mixing

Notes:

  1. I usually make my own dehydrated apples. This way I can avoid added sugars and sulphur-treated appples. So be sure to look for “unsulphured” apples.
  2. I also soak the nuts for 4 – 6 hours and dehydrate them with the apples. Soaking nuts/seeds helps them to be more digestible.
  3. I’m sure you can substitute seeds (such as sunflower or pumpkin) if you have an allergy to nuts. Start by adding only 1/2 cup of seeds.

Another similar recipe that uses only 2 ingredients: Homemade Larabars

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Whole Grain, Plant-Based)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I came across this recipe a few years back. I thought for sure it was already included in the recipes here.

I’m posting two dessert recipes in a row!

Why? Because I want to help you make some better dessert choices during this Holiday season. (I consider 100% fruit-based desserts as the best choice.) So, check out this week’s podcast. Sugar – The Holidays and Your Immune System.

Related Podcast:  Sugar – The Holidays and Your Immune System.

Vegan Sweet Potato Pie

vegan sweet potato pie

Here is a vegan sweet potato pie recipe that I found on YouTube. For now, this will be the one I’ll be making to bring to the holiday gatherings. In the past, I have always been asked to bring desserts. Are desserts my specialty? Hmm…well, we will see what happens this year because anything I bring will be plant-based. I hope you like it.

More desserts/sweets for you to try.

Cucumber Caesar Salad Dressing

Cucumber Caesar Salad

I made the dressing not knowing what I would use for the salad ingredients, but I’m happy that I found this Cucumber Caesar Salad Dressing combination and I wanted to share it with you right away.

I decided to try this dressing because my daughter likes Caesar salad dressings.

And I enjoy cucumbers, especially when I can find really great tasting ones. That usually means a trip to the Farmers Market though. Yet, sometimes I find that the mini packaged cucumbers taste good too. Yet, the best cucumbers I’ve ever had were those that I grew in my own garden. I wish you the best in finding some good cucumbers for this salad.

Caesar Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/8 cup raw pine nuts, or raw sesame seeds (I didn’t have either, so I used tahini paste.)
  • 3 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp miso paste (I used a mellow white. See note* below.)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp kelp granules (I used powdered kelp.)
  • 1 tsp honey, or liquid sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 cup of water (I added more for a thinner version.)
  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil, optional (Omit for oil-free version).

Directions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a small food processor or in a blender until smooth.

*Note about miso paste: If miso paste is kept in the freezer it will last for at least a year. It never freezes solid, so it’s easy to measure out what you need as you need it.

Cucumber Caesar Salad

SERVE:  I served over a salad of sliced cucumbers, split cherry tomatoes and chopped celery. I will definitely make this Cucumber Caesar Salad again in the near future (like tomorrow).

It is so YUMMY! It’s quick and easy. I hope you will try it soon.

Click for more salad dressing recipes.

Watch Creamy Cumin Ranch Oil-Free Salad Dressing and a Vegan Tex-Mex Salad on YouTube.

Chickpea Salad Spread (Vegan Chicken and Tuna)

Chickpea Salad Dip Spread

…for Sandwiches, Wraps and Crackers

This chickpea salad spread has two options.  It can be prepared as “chicken” salad or “tuna” salad substitutes.  See “tuna” flavor salad add-in options below under the ingredients section.

Ingredients: Of course substitutions can be made for many of these ingredients, but this list serves as a general guideline.

  • One 15 ounce can of chickpeas (or 1 1/2 cup home cooked), drained and rinsed
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 green onion (or 2 TBS red/white/yellow onion or 1 scallion), finely chopped
  • 1 – 2 TBS tahini (or homemade vegan mayo or any dressing of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard of choice
  • 1/4 cup of nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc)
  • 1 – 2 TBS dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Chickpea salad dip and spreaddash of paprika
  • salt and pepper, to your liking

Add-ins for the “tuna” flavor: One or the other will do just fine

  • 1 sheet of nori seaweed, crumbled
  • 4 mini sheets of any nori seaweed snacks
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of kelp powder

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor then mix/chop.  Or mash the chickpeas with a fork and then add remaining ingredients.

SUCCESS!

I offered the chickpea “chicken” version salad to someone who had never tried anything similar to this before. I was informed that he was not a fan of hummus. I put the spread into a tortilla wrap with avocado and jalapenos. After the first bite, the response was, “Not bad.” But when the plate was empty, he asked for the recipe.

More chickpea recipes:

Vegan Meringue Cookies – Using Aquafaba

meringue cookies

Yes, vegan meringue is possible using aquafaba. Aquafaba is the left over water after cooking dried beans or legumes. The only one I’ve ever used is that which I have after cooking chickpeas/garbanzo beans. I think chickpea water is the most popular one for most recipes. (See the aquafaba recipe below.)

I cannot eat pure sugar, so these cookies are not for me, but I wanted to make a dessert that my daughters might enjoy and for those of you who might enjoy them too.  But really, I just wanted to try to try a substitute for egg whites to create a meringue cookie. And it works great!

Oh, and before you get started, the recipe below calls for the use of a pastry bag with a star (decorative) end. You can use a pastry bag with a hole cut in the bottom. Or simply use a spoon to plop the meringue onto the cookie sheets. Don’t worry…these cookies will taste the same once baked no matter what “shape” they are in.

Once baked and cooled, the cookies will be crispy. Store in an airtight container to keep away from moisture or they will lose their crispiness. Also, keep them away from heat because they will melt.

Leftover Vegan Meringue…

I had left over meringue, so I decided to make vegan lemon meringues desserts. Not pie, because I didn’t want to make a crust. I used this recipe . This recipe also contains good tips on making the lemon curd thicker (such as using agar agar flakes). I simply used the basic recipe even without the vegan butter. There is also a link to vegan pie crust recipe and suggestions for store-bought brands.

Leftover aquafaba…

I always like to keep aquafaba available for use in some requires that list eggs as an ingredient. I often use aquafaba in pancakes and cookies. But, if I don’t use the aquafaba right away, I freeze some in ice cube trays for later use.

How to make aquafaba

I enjoy using chickpeas in many recipes, therefore, I always have aquafaba on hand. I think chickpeas and pinto beans are my favorite legumes. Although, I’ve never used pinto aquafaba in any recipes…I supposed that you could, but it would give it a pink tint for sure.

I prefer to soak the chickpeas overnight (or at least 8 hours). Note: The cooking times below refer to soaked chickpeas.

Drain off the soaking water, prior to cooking.

Instantpot: Cover with 1 inch of water. Stovetop: Cover with 2 inches of water.

Instantpot: Cook for 13 minutes. Stovetop: Bring to boil for 1 minute, then simmer on low for about an hour.

I usually use a spoon to remove some of the froth that appears in the pot after cooking.

Strain the aquafaba into a container for later use.

Ta da! Chickpea Aquafaba

I usually put the chickpeas into the freezer for later use in soups, salads, hummus, and stir-fries.

More Vegan “Sweet” Desserts

Creamy Balsamic Dressing

This dressing has a tangy, burst of flavor. The cashews give it a creamy texture. I used the Vitamix which made it quick and easy.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of filtered water
  • 1 -2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1 -2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup cashews (soaked is preferable)
  • splash of lemon juice (optional, adds more “tang”)
  • dried herbs of your choice (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients except for the dried herbs to a blender and blend.
  2. Add dried herbs if using them.

Other Suggestions:

  1. Use fresh herbs in place of dried herbs. Basil is a nice addition. (Add once blended just to chop a bit, but not to puree the fresh herbs.)
  2. Use 1/8 cup balsamic and 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar.

Salad Made Easy

This technique makes creating a mid-day lunch or dinner snack easy.  It also helps with creating a variety in your meals.

What I like to do is put various toppings together into containers and add the salad dressing too. Ideally, choose any ingredients that you would like to marinate in the salad dressing. For me, this is everything other than nuts and soft lettuces, but I will add kale and cabbages because they are tougher lettuces.

Toppings in this photo:  beans – edamame and chickpeas, fresh sweet corn, zucchini, artichokes, bell peppers and olives.

There are so many vegetable toppings for you to choose from. For more ideas download the “Delicious – ‘No Fail’ Salads” Guide. Also, check out these delicious oil-free salad dressings.