Roasted Broccoli with Tempeh Sausage

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I sometimes forget how delicious tempeh is. This sausage recipe is really simple and satisfying. I think it is way better than the funky processed crumbles you can buy in the store. Homemade is the way to go! These sausage bites would go perfect on a pizza or in a pasta sauce, too. I was lazy and paired it with some roasted broccoli. I encourage you to get more creative.

Roasted broccoli recipe here.

Tempeh Sausage

Ingredients

- 8oz package of tempeh
- water
- 1 Tbls olive oil
- 1 Tbls tamari
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced

1. Crumble tempeh in a pan and add enough water to cover pieces. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until water has dissolved
2. Add remaining ingredients. Cook until tempeh begins to brown

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

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This is perhaps the best brownie recipe I have tried to date. With that being said, it is unfortunately not vegan friendly. The recipe calls for 4 eggs and a lot of butter. Granted the butter is an easy substitute. Usually anything over 2 eggs gets to be tricky when subbing with flax or Ener-G powder. It’s definitely worth a try though! Until then, the recipe will be vegetarian.

Ingredients

- 1 1/4 c unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 c sugar
- 1 1/2 c cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbls water
- 4 eggs, chilled
- 2/3 c flour
- 1 1/2 c walnuts
- handful of chocolate chips

1. Melt the butter, stir, and keep butter heating until brown specks start to form
2. Remove from heat, add sugar, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and water. Let cool for 5 minutes
3. Preheat oven to 325F and line cupcake tin with liners
4. Whisk eggs one by one into the cooled mixture until you have a glossy, unified consistency
5. Fold in the flour and stir for 1-2 minutes
6. Next, add the walnuts and scoop into cupcake liners
7. Top with chocolate chips and push the chips into the center of the cupcake
8. Bake for 15-20 minutes
9. Let cool before removing from the tin

Paleo Dessert Bites

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I was skeptical about these bites for some reason and yet they turned out wonderfully. Next time I will try using a different nut, perhaps a pecan or cashew. I would also encourage add-ins such as coconut or peanut butter.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

- 1 c raw walnuts
- 1 1/3 c pitted dates
- 3 Tbls cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- dash of salt

1. Blend everything together in a food processor
2. Roll into bite sized pieces

French Toast with Maple Blueberry Compote

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Unfortunately I did not measure much for this, but it’s very easy to recreate. For the french toast, I used one large slice of homemade bread…

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I then cut the piece into two smaller slices and soaked the bread in a mixture of egg, soymilk, cinnamon and maple syrup. I fried the slices in a little coconut oil over medium heat.

While the french toast was cooking, I put about 1/2 c of frozen blueberries in a pan over medium heat. Once the berries began bursting, I added a dash of maple syrup extract and a tablespoon or two of maple syrup.

Plate the french toast and top with a slice of butter and sprinkle of cinnamon before topping with the compote.

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Roasted Beet Salad

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I’m not quite sure what all the fuss is about beets. They have a beautiful, earthy flavor and are packed full of nutrients such as folate, potassium and fiber.

To make them the star of this salad, I simply roasted a golden and red beet, with skins on, drizzled with oil, at 400F until tender.

After roasting, I let them cool, then peel the skins off. Chop them into bite sized pieces and add other salad ingredients to your liking. I had some local goat cheese on hand, so I used that along with diced yellow peppers. I dressed the salad with a simple olive oil/balsamic dressing. Serve with a nice piece of warm bread and butter.

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

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My friend recently asked me to make him a tres leches cake and while I normally could do so, I was missing the main ingredients. Instead I created sinful dulce de leche cupcake with a salted butter caramel glaze. Some of my best creations come from improvising. These cupcakes turned out great!

Ingredients

- 1 1/4 c flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1/4 c packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 c oil
- 1 c non-dairy milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest

For the glaze
- 1/2 c non-dairy milk
- 1 Tbls cornstarch
- 1/4 c brown sugar
- 1 Tbls butter
- 1/4 c maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp caramel extract
- coarse sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Sift together dry ingredients
3. Beat together wet ingredients
4. Create a well in the dry ingredents, pour wet into dry and stir until everything is mixed together
5. Pour into 12 cupcake liners, bake for 22-24 minutes
6. While cupcakes are baking, create the glaze by heating milk and cornstarch, stirring well
7. Once mixture simmers, add brown sugar and butter. When this thickens, add maple syrup and extract
8. Let cupcakes fully cool before adding the sweet and sticky glaze. Top with a few sprinkles of course sea salt

Root Veg Curry with Chickpeas and Kale

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This was my first time fully deconstructing a curry recipe and building one from what I had in my pantry. Overall, it turned out pretty great! I think the main downfall was subbing unsweetened almond milk for the coconut milk. But, as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures…pun intended ;) Enjoy!

Ingredients
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 small rutabaga, peeled and diced
- coconut oil
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1″ chunk of ginger, minced
- 2 Tbls curry powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 2 Tbls tomato paste
- 1 jalapeño, diced
- 3 c veg broth
- 1 bunch of kale, destemmed and torn into bite sized pieces
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 c milk of choice (go for coconut milk!)

1. Roast the root veggies at 400F for about 20 minutes
2. Sauté onion, garlic and ginger in coconut oil until fragrant
3. Add spices, paste, jalapeño and broth. When root veggies are done, transfer them to the pot and simmer for about 5 minutes
4. Next, add the remaining ingredients. Cook until the kale has wilted
5. Serve over basmati rice. Feel free to add salt as I have a tendency to omit this

Chorizo Chili with Avocado Créme Fraîche

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My trip to overseas to Southeast Asia was a remarkable experience. What is less remarkable has been my return to a harsh, Minnesota winter. To cope with the cold I decided to make a spicy chili, full of flavor and an abundance of textures. Feel free to play around with the spices used. I would say this is a solid medium spice level. If you’d like to bump up the heat, add in some fresh jalapeños.

Ingredients

- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 bag of mini sweet peppers, de-seed and dice
- 2 Tbls chili powder
- 1 tsp chipotle
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 oz vegan chorizo (Upton’s is a great brand, Trader Joe’s also has a good one)
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 14-28 oz water

For Avocado Créme Fraîche
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 Tbls plain fat free Greek yogurt
- lime juice
- dash of garlic salt
- dash of nutritional yeast

1. Sauté onion and peppers in a little olive oil or water. Once soft, add the spices in
2. Next you can put the remaining ingredients in the pot. Simmer for 10-15 minutes

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3. To make the avo créme fraîche, combine all ingredients, whip together until smooth

Thai Butternut Soup

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To celebrate my next abroad adventure I made a Thai butternut soup. Ingredients that make it Thai-inspired include lime juice, coconut milk and ginger. I add extra sriracha to give it a bigger kick, but feel free to omit that part. The soup turned out creamy and full of flavor which makes it a recipe you must try!

Ingredients

- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
- oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbls fresh ginger, minced
- 1 Tbls tomato paste
- 2 Tbls lime juice
- 1 1/2 c coconut milk
- 3/4 c water
- sriracha to taste

1. Heat the oven to 400F. Coat the butternut cubes in a little oil and pour onto a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes or until soft 2. Sauté onion in a little water. Once soft, add the garlic and ginger. Cook for a few more minutes
3. Add remaining ingredients, including roasted butternut. Using an emersion blender, puree everything together. Top with srirarcha and serve immediately

Homemade Seitan with Braised Brussels Sprouts and Cheezy Roasted Cauliflower

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I bought a package of vital wheat gluten over a year ago…and I am now getting around to making Isa’s homemade seitan. It was much easier to make than I had thought. I will definitely be making this again in the future. I served the seitan with braised Brussels sprouts and cheezy roasted cauliflower. The combination of vegetables, sauce, and protein created a plate of deliciousness.

Isa’s Seitan
- 3 Tbls nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/2 c cold vegetable broth
- 1/4 c soy sauce
- 2 Tbls fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbls olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed

For the simmering broth:
- 4 c vegetable broth
- 4 c water
- 1/4 c soy sauce

1. Add the broth ingredients together and bring to a boil
2. While broth is heating up, add the seitan ingredients together. Kneed for a few minutes
3. Tear the seitan protein into 3 pieces. Kneed each piece. Let it sit until the broth is boiling
4. Add the seitan pieces to the boiling broth, slightly cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes, while turning seitan a few times
5. Remove from heat, let sit for 15 minutes. Then, I let my seitan sit out before putting it in the fridge/freezer for later

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Braised Brussels Sprouts
- Reserved broth
- Brussels sprouts
- 1 onion, diced

1. Cut ends off brussels and add to a pan with chopped onion and enough broth to cover half of the brussels
2. Loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil. Roast at 400F until brussels are tender

Cheezy Cauliflower
- Cauliflower florets
- 1 c unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1/2 c Daiya vegan cheddar cheese
- 2 1/2 Tbls nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp dijon mustard

1. Roast cauliflower with brussels, at 400F until tender
2. To make the sauce, bring milk to a simmer, add remaining ingredients. Once it thickens, remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste
3. When cauliflower is tender, add sauce to cauliflower florets. I used a small portion of florets and had a lot of sauce left over