Who doesn't love a loaded baked potato? I was skeptical as to how this would turn out because I was fearful that a vegan baked potato wouldn't be quite the same as the traditional kind from my childhood. I remember as a young child, waiting in long lines for countless years at the Wisconsin State Fair for a loaded baked potato! They were my favorite as a child but of course they were topped off with real butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon. Sadly, I didn't know any better back then. However, I have the rest of my life to make up for it!
This vegan baked potato is just as good and is bound to leave your craving satisfied! I usually make these for dinner when it's been a long night and we don't have much time. Whenever I have physical therapy I don't get home until 7:15 pm and my husband and I don't have time to eat beforehand. So, I serve up this loaded baked potato alongside a large portion of steamed broccoli! This is a perfect meal for a dinner in a hurry! You could even use smaller baked potatoes and make this a side dish! This recipe serves two.
2 baking potatoes
Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread
vegan shredded cheese (I like the Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Shreds in cheddar)
vegan sour cream (I usually use the Tofutti brand)
vegan bacon bits
2 green onions
freshly ground pepper
Scrub the baking potatoes under cold water until clean. Pierce the potatoes with a fork on all sides. Place both of the potatoes on one microwave safe plate. Cooking times will vary per size of the potato. I usually use the potato setting on my microwave. I place them in the microwave and hit the potato button. When it's done I flip the potatoes, and hit the potato button one last time. If you don't have a potato setting, I would start with about 5 minutes and turn the potatoes halfway through. Cook the potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork all the way through.
When potatoes are done, place the potatoes on separate plates. Slice the potatoes lengthwise making sure to not cut all the way through and only halfway down the sides. Make several cuts the opposite way just on the top of the potato and then gently break apart the top of the potato with a fork working down to the bottom and sides of the potato to loosen everything up.
Top off with your desired amount of Earth Balance butter and sprinkle with the vegan cheese. I like to microwave my potato for an additional 45 seconds at this point. Top it off with your vegan sour cream and slice one green onion with a kitchen scissors over the top of each potato. Sprinkle with bacon bits and add some freshly ground pepper if you'd like! Serve with a side of steamed broccoli and you've got yourself a meal in less than 10 minutes!
I don't know about you but I LOVE Greek salads! This recipe uses fresh ingredients without any fake "cheeses", it's ready in about 15 minutes, and the ingredients are simple! This is a simple recipe that is perfect for picnics, summer cookouts, a great summer side dish, and it can stand as a meal on its own on those hot summer nights (it's great when served with some nice crusty vegan bread)! I adapted this recipe from my Dad who is notorious for making some of the best Greek salads! Although, my Dad makes his Greek salad with feta cheese I have found that avocado is an even trade for no cheese to make it vegan! I have great memories of sitting out on the deck on hot summer nights and eating a refreshing Greek salad while sipping on some wine with my parents. I hope you can create some great memories with this salad too!
2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, sliced into 1/4" slices then quartered
1/2 of an English (seedless) cucumber, sliced into 1/4" slices then quartered
1/2 of a bell pepper, roughly chopped; red, orange or yellow peppers work best
1/4-1/2 cup red onion, chopped (amount to your preference)
1/2 avocado, diced
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbs. fresh thyme, minced
1 tbs. dried oregano
Salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. of cracked pepper)
Place the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, avocado, and kalamata olives in a large bowl. Pour lemon juice and olive oil on top. Add the thyme, oregano, salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat. You can add more lemon juice if you like your salad a bit more sour or you can add more olive oil if you like it less sour. Place everything in a serving dish and it's ready to enjoy!
Who doesn't love a great guacamole? My recipe is packed with flavor and can be altered to your spice level. It's easy to make and is sure to be a satisfying dish. Plus, it's naturally vegan! I make this dish a lot. Either I'll pair it with something or I'll serve it as an appetizer when we have company over. This bowl of guacamole always ends up empty!
2 avocados, pitted and chopped (save the pits)
1 plum tomato, seeded and finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1-3 clove of garlic, finely minced (the more the spicier)
1/2 c. red onion, diced (I usually slice about 2-3 slices off the onion and chop it up so I'm guessing on the amount but you can adjust to your taste. The more you add, the spicier it gets.)
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 c. cilantro, finely chopped
*sriracha sauce to taste (optional)
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mash it together until you reach your desired consistency (when I add the lime juice I simply stick a fork in the middle of the half of lime and I squeeze it around the fork with the pulp side up as to catch any seeds). I like my guacamole smooth with some chunks of avocado but everyone has their own preferences. You can mash it with a fork or use my favorite tool pictured below. Place the pits of the avocado into the guacamole, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve but chill for at least 15 minutes (30 minutes if your avocados are room temperature). The pits help the guacamole from turning brown. I like to chill my guacamole for at least 30 minutes because as my Mom puts it, "the flavors marry". Remove the pits before serving. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
If you're looking for an easy recipe for grilled veggies then you've found the right place! You can make these as a side dish or by themselves. These recipes are super simple and the veggies cook up in about 15 minutes! In this blog you will find two different recipes. One recipe is for the grilled veggies and the other is for the marinated & grilled mushrooms
Grilled Veggies Ingredients:
Zucchini, sliced 1/2" thick
Summer Squash, sliced 1/2" thick
Salt & Pepper to taste (season salt would be great with this)
Skewers (I used wooden skewers and soaked them in water for 20 minutes before assembling)
Prepare the grill and soak the skewers if using the wooden kind per package instructions (*TIP* If cooking both recipes start with the mushrooms first). Assemble the vegetables on the skewers as shown in this picture. I found it easiest to put the skewer through the vegetable slice when the slice was laying flat. I lined it up it the middle and made sure to push it in straight. My husband preferred to do the opposite and stand the skewer up and the thread the veggie slices on that way. Try both ways and see what works best for you! Place the assembled skewers on a jelly roll pan or a 13"X 9" pan and drizzle evenly with olive oil. Salt & pepper to taste (I recommend using season salt). Place on grill over medium-high heat and grill about 5-7 minutes on each side or until the slices are tender and slightly translucent in the center.
Marinated & Grilled Mushrooms Ingredients
16 oz. package of whole mushrooms (button or baby bella)
Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
Wash the mushrooms and slice in half. Place in a Ziploc bag. I used the "dump method" on this recipe. I added 2 large spoonfuls of hoisin sauce (about 2 tablespoons) to the mushrooms in the Ziploc bag. Next, I shook in enough soy sauce to make a mixture with the hoisin sauce to coat the mushrooms (about 4-5 tablespoons). Then, I added in the rice vinegar (about 1 tablespoon) and I sprinkled in some garlic powder (about 1 teaspoon). Next, close the Ziploc bag and shake it up making sure to mix all ingredients and coat the mushrooms. Place the bag of mushrooms in the fridge and allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Prepare the grill and soak the skewers if you are using wooden skewers while the mushrooms are marinating.
Assemble the mushrooms on pre-soaked skewers through the stem to the top of the mushroom half. Place on the grill over medium-high heat and grill for 5-6 minutes on each side or until tender.
*You can also make these spicy by adding in some hot pepper flakes or sriracha sauce!
Who doesn't love avocados?!?! I've been pretty obsessed with them lately...stuffing them in sandwiches, using them in salads, and eating them as a snack or as a side along with a low-fat dinner! Did you know that avocados contain nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals and they also serve as a nutrient booster? They help your body to better absorb fat-soluble nutrients such as lutein and alpha & beta-carotene. If I'm finding myself eating a lot of low-fat foods then I try to incorporate this dish into my diet. I think this is one of the best and most simple ways to eat an avocado! Plus, this recipe only takes about 5 minutes to prepare!
Olive oil (preferably high quality)
Salt & Pepper to taste
This one is really simple! Simply cut how many slices of avocado you want. Layer the slices on a plate. Drizzle with some high quality olive oil (you don't need a lot). Sprinkle with some fresh ground sea salt & pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Tip: I cut the avocado in half. Keeping the skin on, I slice off the amount of slices that I need and then I peel the skin off and arrange the slices on a plate. I take the remaining avocado and I place it back on the other half, keeping the seed in place. I then store it in an air-tight container. This keeps the avocado longer and prevents browning. The outer edges will still brown just a bit but the rest of the avocado won't. For later use, just do the same and cut what you need. For some reason, keeping the seed in helps the avocado from browning and keeps it longer.
If you're looking for a traditional style potato salad with a bit of a twist and more kick in the taste department then this is the recipe for you! I recently had an epiphany about this recipe one day. I had picked up some radishes from the grocery store because they looked so good and I've recently had a craving for them. When I got home I washed the radishes and I cut the greens and ends off them. My plan was to throw these in a container and put them in the fridge for when I wanted a snack during the week. All of a sudden a light bulb went off...why not put some of them in a potato salad?!?!? I don't know why I haven't thought of this before because this idea was genius! It really adds a whole new dimension to the potato salad and the mayo helps to smooth the spice of the radish. I raided my fridge in search for some other veggies to add to the mix and I came up with the perfect potato salad recipe that's bound to impress!
2 lbs. of potatoes (I used yellow potatoes but red potatoes would also be perfect)
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced,
1/4 cup celery, diced
5-6 radishes, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, stems removed, and minced
2 tsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3/4 cup Veganaise
1 & 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
fresh chopped dill for garnish (optional)
Peel the potatoes and dice into 1 inch pieces. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Place the pot on high heat and bring to a boil. Let the potatoes boil until tender being careful to not overcook (about 15-20 minutes after the water comes to a boil). Once the potatoes are ready, drain them in a colander and run cold water over them until they are cold (about 5 minutes or so). Drain well.
While the potatoes are cooking you can start chopping all of the veggies and the parsley. Place the bell pepper, onion, celery, radishes,
parsley, dill, cumin, black pepper in a large bowl. Add the cold potatoes, Veganaise, dijon mustard, and mix well using the spoon to break up some of the potatoes. Breaking up the potatoes a little bit more creates a creamier and thicker potato salad! Once it is fully mixed, let it chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with some fresh chopped dill for garnish if you like!
If you noticed, I did not add any salt to the potato salad mixture itself. I did this because potatoes have a tendency to really soak up the salt and I find myself not only adding salt to the mixture but also adding it just before I eat it because the potatoes soaked up all the salt. In order to avoid consuming so much salt, I just sprinkle it on top just before I eat it. If serving this at a party or something, you can always sprinkle a bit of salt on top just before setting it out!