Tamarind and Kabocha Squash Soup Recipe

Labor Day has passed, and you know what that means – fall recipes are beginning to pop up all over the blogosphere! Today I’d like to share with you the recipe for Tamarind and Kabocha Squash Soup that I recently came up with – but before you say to yourself, ‘Those ingredients sound way too fancy!’, bear with me for a minute: I’ve got some suggestions for easy substitutions down below. A couple weekends ago Rob and I visited Uwajimaya – the legendary Asian grocery store that has three locations in Seattle area and one in Oregon. I was amazed to see rows upon rows of green tea, seaweed, dried mushrooms, noodles, as well as some traditional Asian ingredients I’ve never heard of before. For a while, I’ve wanted to make tamarind soup after eating it a few times at Asian restaurants, so I made sure to find some tamarind paste … Read the rest of the post

Easy Vegan Pasta Primavera Recipe

The other day I was making this Pasta Primavera for dinner when it hit me: this dish embodies everything I believe vegan food should be – easy, quick to make, tasty and healthy – so it would be unfair to not share this recipe here on the blog! In fact, I’ve been making some variation of this pasta quite regularly because this recipe always saves the day whenever I’m too tired/lazy/pressed for time to make a more elaborate dinner. Plus, Rob being half-Italian is a big fan of pasta! The hands-down awesomeness of this recipe is that it’s very customizable depending on what ingredients you have on hand. I like it with spaghetti, but any pasta shape will do. Fresh veggies are great, but if you don’t have a lot of them, you can easily use a bag of assorted frozen vegetables in a pinch. Store-bought pasta sauce will work … Read the rest of the post

New Recipe: Gingered Broccoli & Cauliflower. Plus the Giveaway Winner Announced!

Oh my, so much has happened in the past few days! The biggest change of all (at least for me) is that I’ve just started a new job – yes, something other than tending to this blog like it’s my full-time occupation 🙂 Am I excited? Of course! I mean, it’s going to be great to be out of the house and around other people, especially since I was beginning to feel like all of the stress over my blog was slowly making me go cuckoo. Plus, I am going to use my writing abilities full time at this job and get paid for it – not too bad, huh? But wait – what about this site?! You need not worry: I am going to continue to pay as much attention to it as I can, but at the same time I don’t want to spread too thin in all … Read the rest of the post

Sweet Potato and TVP Chili Recipe

Since we are about to embark on a cross-country move from Alabama to Washington state, lately I’ve been trying to cook through all of the dried and canned food in my pantry. Okay, maybe not all – it’s unlikely that I’ll go through about 10 pounds of dried beans of all sorts, but at least I’m trying! One of the long-forgotten things in my pantry that I’ve stumbled upon the other day was a bag of textured vegetable protein, or TVP as it’s known in the cooking world. I bought it to make these vegan sausages from Lindsay Nixon’s Happy Herbivore Cookbook. The sausages were delicious, but I haven’t made them again since then, and the bag of TVP got pushed all the way to the back of my pantry. Once I rediscovered it the other day, I set myself for a challenge to use it. Enter this vegan chili recipe I came up … Read the rest of the post

Roasted Butternut Squash Two Ways: Curried or Italian-Style

Roasted butternut squash is one of my favorite side dishes in the winter. It complements just about any vegan dinner very nicely. Butternut squash is naturally on the sweeter side, and the flavor and texture falls somewhere in between sweet potatoes and pumpkin. However, it’s less starchy than sweet potatoes (not that I’m afraid of starches!), and I find it tastier than pumpkin – I’m sure that a lot of you will agree with me here. A lot of people stay away from butternut squash because it’s quite hard to peel and cut up. Some people buy pre-cut butternut squash in grocery stores to avoid the drama of having to chop it themselves, but we all know that prepped vegetables are more expensive to buy, plus you often get less food for more money. If you follow the directions I’ve outlined in the recipe below, you’ll prep a whole butternut … Read the rest of the post

Chickpea Salad Sandwich – My Husband’s Favorite Plant-Based Lunch

To say that my chickpea salad sandwich is awesome would sound kind of like bragging, and I’m not a fan of bragging. (I did say it’s awesome though!) Let me tell you this story: A few weeks ago, my husband Rob and I were flying from Dallas to Seattle some time in the morning. Earlier in the am while still at home, I packed a couple of chickpea salad sandwiches and a little container of baby carrots so that we had something to eat on that 4-hour flight. The idea was to avoid the stress of searching for vegan-friendly food at the airport while running from one plane to another. As soon as the first midmorning hunger pangs struck, we unwrapped our sandwiches and dug in. After a few bites, Rob’s face lit up and he told me: ‘These are SOOO GOOD!’ For the rest of the meal, he kept complimenting his sandwich … Read the rest of the post

Veggie-Loaded Quesadillas (No Cheese!) and Easy Guacamole Recipe

I might be having an affair with foods that have the words ‘Veggie-Loaded’ in their name: Veggie-Loaded No-Cheese Quesadillas today, Veggie-Loaded Enchiladas a few weeks ago… Well, that’s what plant-based food is all about for me – the more vegetables, the merrier! I’m still amazed sometimes at how easy it is to sneak even more vegetables into an already healthy, vegetable-based recipe. The idea for these no-cheese quesadillas came from Preety’s Kitchen blog. Preety has a lot of traditional Indian recipes on her blog, but her quesadillas were influenced by Tex-Mex flavors. I liked the idea of using hummus and refried beans on the same tortilla, but decided to try sneaking in even more vegetables, and then finishing off the assembled quesadillas on an open-fire grill (you can grill them on a dry pan on your stovetop instead if you don’t want to mess with an outside grill). I had some basic … Read the rest of the post

Virtual Vegan Potluck, November 2013: My Favorite Recipes, Plus It’s Time to Cast Your Vote!

For those of you who missed it, on Saturday, November 16, almost 150 food blogs were united in an online event called Virtual Vegan Potluck. Each blog submitted a delicious vegan recipe for us to try out. All recipes formed eight categories, from appetizers to salads to breads to main dishes to desserts. Didn’t get a chance to check it out? No worries, because the potluck is going to stay down this link indefinitely, so you can see it all for yourself! Each blog put ‘Go Forward’ and ‘Go Back’ navigation buttons at the end of the post (some blogs linked with words instead of buttons), so if you go to the first blog, you’ll need to scroll down to the end and press the ‘Go Forward’ button to go to the next blog in the lineup, etc. Honestly, it took me three days to go through all of the recipes – they all looked so delicious … Read the rest of the post

Classic Russian Borscht, Veganized! – Virtual Vegan Potluck, November 2013

I am superexcited to be participating in my first Virtual Vegan Potluck – an online event that unites over a hundred food blogs in an awesome chain of all-vegan recipes, from appetizers to beverages to entrees to desserts! VVPs happen twice a year, and for this month’s event on November 16, my blog is being featured in the Soups category. Welcome Virtual Vegan Potluckers! I’m so glad you’ve stopped by my blog! To check out the rest of the Potluck, scroll down to the end of this post and click the ‘Go Forward’ or ‘Go Back’ buttons – they’ll continue to work even after November 16. To see the full list of participating blogs, click here. I was thrilled to find out that the featured ingredient for this November’s potluck is BEETS! This has become a great incentive for me to finally share my recipe for the world-famous Russian soup called BORSCHT – completely veganized, … Read the rest of the post

How to Make Vegetable Broth at Home: the Easiest and Cheapest Way to Always Have Veggie Broth on Hand

I’ve got a confession. Until recently, whenever a recipe I was making called for vegetable broth or water, I almost always used water because I just didn’t have any veggie broth around the house. Did the flavor of my dishes suffer? Probably, but I didn’t know since I’ve never made those dishes with the broth before. Why didn’t I have any broth? Two reasons: I did’t want to buy any containers with mysterious liquid (often high in sodium) from the store, nor was I interested in commercial veggie bouillon cubes for the same reason. Being on a plant-based diet is more than just not eating animal foods, it’s about consuming WHOLE foods with no added junk. Out of money-saving reasons, I didn’t want to boil a bunch of perfectly good vegetables until they are completely broken down, and then throw them away. And then it hit me: I could save … Read the rest of the post