Espresso Chip Banana Bread

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My new favorite way to make banana bread is with instant espresso powder. The subtle coffee flavor pairs nicely with the banana, nut, and chocolate chips. If you aren’t a fan of coffee, this is an easy ingredient to omit. Although, I’ve had a few taste testers with aversions to coffee find the bread delicious so it’s worth giving it a try!

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1-2 Tbls instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • one flax egg (1 Tbls flax with 3 Tbls water, let it sit for 5 minutes to thicken)
  • 1/3 c butter or coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c walnuts/pecans
  1. Mix the bananas, espresso, sugars, vanilla, flax egg and butter; set aside
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. After a few stirs, add in 1/2 c chocolate chips and 1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans
  3. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes. Let cool before removing from the loaf pan

Rolled Eggplant Lasagna with Cashew Filling

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Baked eggplant, stuffed with cashew cream… could it get any better? I wasn’t able to get a photo once the sauce and cheese was added, but let me tell you, no one missed the pasta with this dish.

I took one large eggplant and thinly sliced it using a mandolin. Eggplants contain a lot of moisture and it’s best to salt the slices to help release some of the water. While the eggplant was sweating away, I made the filling. First, I sautéed some baby kale. Then, I made the cashew filling as follows:

  • 2 c raw cashews, preferably soaked for 4 hours
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 Tbls lemon juice
  • 1 Tbls nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Blend all ingredients until you get a creamy consistency.

Next, pat the sweated eggplant with paper towels; coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 F until the slices are tender. Remove from oven, let cool. Spread with cashew filling and baby kale. Roll and place in a dish that has a foundation of pasta sauce. Cover rolled eggplant with remaining pasta sauce and top with cheese, if desired. Bake at 350 F for about 30-40 minutes.

 

 

Butter Tofu Paneer

When I lived in South Africa, I had the ability to try some delicious Indian dishes. One of my favorites was the sauce to a butter chicken dish. I’ve been looking for a meatless option and came across this recipe. I followed the recipe very closely and it turned out wonderfully. I kept my tofu and sauce separate, then added them together in a bowl with rice and greens:

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Recipe that follows is from Vegan Richa with a few of my own modifications:

Ingredients:
  • 14 oz firm tofu, pressed and cut into cubes
  • ½ tsp each of garam masala, paprika, salt, and turmeric
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 tsp water (1/2 tbsp)
  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
Butter Sauce:
  • 1 tsp coconut
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • Cashew cream made with with ¼ cup soaked (15 mins) cashews blended with ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ to 1 cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
Tofu Marinade:
  1. Mix spices, lemon juice, water, cornstarch, nutritional yeast and oil. Toss tofu in spice marinade. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the tofu cubes on parchment lined sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Butter Sauce:
  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden.
  2. Puree the tomato. Add to the skillet and cook until the puree starts to thicken
  3. In the same blender, blend the cashews and water until smooth.
  4. Reserve 1 tbsp of the cream for garnish. Add the rest of the cashew cream to the skillet. Add spices, salt and sugar and mix well. Use ½ cup water to rinse out your blender and add to the skillet. Mix and Bring to a boil. Taste and adjust spices as needed.
  5. In a bowl, add rice, greens (if using), tofu, and top with sauce

The Beyond Burger

If you haven’t heard of the Beyond Burger, I highly recommend you take a look. I am a fan of most veggie burgers, but this one is so similar to a beef burger, it’s unbelievable. I’ve purchased these at the Whole Foods in Minneapolis. They typically run $5-$6 for two patties. I have cooked the patties on the stovetop and on the grill.

Here is a breakdown of the nutritional facts found on Beyond Meat’s website:

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And here is how they look from package to grill (pictured left next to actual beef burgers):

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I hope you are able to give these a try! And if mock meats aren’t your thing, I have a few recipes for really tasty bean burgers!

BBQ Pulled Jackfruit

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Veganizing recipes can be a frustrating and arduous process. When successful attempts come along, it’s cause for a celebration! I came across this recipe today and thought, “mmm.. that looks good, but how can I make it better?”

The answer: Jackfruit. If you don’t know what jackfruit is, I suggest you buy some, preferably canned as it’s easier to work with. As jackfruit becomes more mainstream, you should be able to find it nearby. I just spotted cans of jackfruit at Trader Joe’s last weekend.

You can incorporate jackfruit into most shredded beef/chicken/pork recipes (think: burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, rice bowls, tacos, and sandwiches!)

Within minutes I was sautéing some onion and green pepper. When the veggies were tender, I added them along shredded jackfruit to a slow cooker. The special sauce follows in the recipe below. Together, the ingredients simmered low and slow for several hours.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbls brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 c ketchup
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 1/2 Tbls apple cider vinegar
  • pepper to taste
  • water
  • 1 can of jackfruit in brine (approximately 10 oz drained)
  1. Sauté the onion and green pepper in olive oil until tender (5-10 minutes)
  2. Mix the spices and liquids (water as needed) together to make a sauce
  3. Drain and rinse the jackfruit and shred the jackfruit with your hands or a fork
  4. Add the sautéed veggies and jackfruit to you slow cooker*, add BBQ marinade
  5. Set the slow cooker on low and cook for about 4 hours, then reduce to warm and eat when ready. You will likely want to add water along the way to  make sure the jackfruit stays saucy

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6. Serve on a bun or over rice and top with your favorite barbecue sauce!

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*Don’t have a slow cooker? No worries, follow this recipe and simmer all ingredients on the stove for at least an hour – making sure the veggies are tender and the jackfruit has absorbed some of the sauce.

Spaghetti Squash with Lentil Patties and Cashew Parmesan

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What a fun twist on the classic spaghetti and meatballs! I really enjoy working with traditional recipes and finding ways to get creative with them. This meal is completely plant based and is very easy to make.

First, I roasted a spaghetti squash at 400F until it was tender. Then, I set this aside to cool.

Then, I made the sauce – I used a jar of my favorite sauce and added some mushrooms that were sautéed in red wine and garlic, mmm!

For the lentil patties and parmesan, see the recipe below…

Lentil Patties

  • Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbls flax plus 3 Tbls water)
  • 1 1/2 c lentils, cooked
  • 1 Tbls Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbls tomato paste
  • 5 Tbls cashew parmesan (see below)
  • bread crumbs
  1. In a food processor, pulse all ingredients together until ingredients reach a dough-like consistency. I had to use about 1/4 c of breadcrumbs because my mixture was too wet
  2. Scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture and form into a patty. Add oil to a skillet and fry each side of the patty
  3. Once the patties have slightly browned, put them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 15 minutes

Cashew Parmesan

  •  3/4 c raw cashews
  • 3 Tbls nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  1. Pulse everything in a food processor until you reach a desired texture.

Veggie Enchiladas topped with Cinnamon Pistachio Verde Sauce

No photo for this one – I had a hard time getting one that was pretty. The green from the verde along with the monochromatic tortilla and cheese.. just believe me, I am sparing you from an unappealing image.

The recipe, on the other hand is outstanding. I love the trio of flavors: slight sweetness of the cinnamon, the crunch of the pistachio, and the spice and acidity from the salsa verde. I feel like cinnamon is underutilized in savory recipes and am trying to encourage its use!

Veggie Enchiladas topped with a Cinnamon Pistachio Verde Sauce

  • 1 jar of Salpica salsa verde
  • 1/3 c pistachios
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Olive oil
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 zucchini , chopped
  • ½ c black beans
  • 1/3 c corn
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4-6 corn tortillas
  • 4 oz of cheddar jack cheese
  1. First, make the enchilada sauce. This is not your traditional enchilada sauce as you will be using premade salsa. Pulse the pistachios in a food processor. Add the jar of salsa verde and cinnamon. Pulse a few more times. Set aside
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add the onion and zucchini. After 5 minutes, add the cumin and chili powder. Sauté the veggies until they are tender. Add the corn and beans. Salt and pepper your filling mixture as needed
  3. Add a thin layer of verde sauce at the bottom of a 8×8 pan
  4. Important step in making enchiladas: heat the tortillas first, and then dip each tortilla in the verde sauce. Stuff the tortilla with the veggie mixture, roll, and place in the 9×9 pan
  5. Continue this process until you run out of tortillas or room in the pan
  6. Top the tortillas with the remaining verde sauce, then add the cheese
  7. Cook at 350 F for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling

Cumin Citrus Jackfruit Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce

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If you aren’t familiar with jackfruit – you are not alone! You can work with fresh jackfruit or canned – since I too am new to the jackfruit game, I opted for canned jackfruit. I made sure the jackfruit was in a simple brine and not in a sugary syrup.

Jackfruit reminds me of pineapple, but is so very different from pineapple. The texture is soft with a little bit of chewiness. The flavor is neutral which allows you to adapt it to many types of recipes. I prefer to use jackfruit as a replacement for shredded meat, which makes it great for a taco!

Cumin Citrus Jackfruit Tacos

  • Olive oil
  • 1 14 oz can jackfruit in brine (not syrup)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/3 orange juice
  • 1 Tbls lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp chili
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Corn tortillas and toppings of your choice (tomatillo sauce, cilantro, red onion, avocado, fresh lime, pico de gallo)
  1. Drain jackfruit and place into a bowl. Tear jackfruit with a fork into shredded pieces
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together juices, minced garlic, tamari, liquid smoke and spices
  3. Pour marinade mixture over the jackfruit. Let sit for several hours in the fridge, if possibleimg_5026
  4. In a pan, heat some olive oil and sauté the onion. After 5 minutes, add the marinated jackfruit. Cook for 5 minutes uncovered, then cover and set heat to low. Simmer for 20-30 minutes
  5. Heat the tortillas and add the jackfruit along with any desired toppings

Spaghetti Squash Tacos

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Tacos are an incredibly versatile dish. You can keep it traditional with your protein asada or you can get creative and add new veggies, like spaghetti squash.

What I loved about this meal is that it was ready in less than 30 minutes. If you bake your spaghetti squash the night before, all you need to do the next night is marinate and heat the squash. I added corn to my squash, but you can add peppers, onion, beans, etc. I hope this recipe inspires you to get creative the next time you are craving tacos!

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash, roasted, set 2 cups aside
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp chipotle sauce, if you like more heat, add 1 chipotle pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ c to 1 c vegetable broth or water
  • 1 c corn
  • ½ c black beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Corn tortillas and toppings of your choice (cilantro, red onion, avocado, fresh lime, pico de gallo)

 

  1. Make the spaghetti squash ahead of time. Slice squash in half, scoop out the seeds* and coat inside of squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast flesh side down at 400 F until fork tender. Set aside to cool. Pull squash out using a fork.
  2. In a skillet, sauté olive oil, spices and garlic. After 3-5 minutes, add ½ c of broth or water
  3. Next, add the spaghetti squash, corn and beans into the marinade. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes or until warm.
  4. Season as necessary. Heat the tortillas, add the butternut squash filling to each taco and garnish with desired toppings

Grilling Meatless Burgers

I’ve tried a lot of great meatless meats in my day, and I must say, the Herbivorous Butcher in Minneapolis has a burger that will make anyone say, “wow!”

I was able to grill these burgers, which was a huge plus. When I make bean/legume based burgers, they aren’t always grill friendly. You can tell there are some hearty ingredients keeping it all together.

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I topped my burgers with their dill havarti cheese.

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I am so lucky to live in a state with a vegan butcher shop! They do offer shipping of some of their products, so if you aren’t within driving range, there is still hope!