New Series: Tried and True Recipes! Plus Our 4th of July Weekend Trip to the Mountains

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You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting a lot of recipes lately. Before I pull out the “It’s hard to blog regularly while having a full-time job!” card, I’ve got to admit that lately I’ve been making a lot of recipes from various vegan cookbooks and blogs as opposed to experimenting on my own. So the other day I had an idea to put together a post about those recently tried recipes and share all that vegan deliciousness with you – after all, this post about my 10 favorite recipes from other blogs from a few months ago remains one of the most popular posts on Vegan Runner Eats. Then I had an even better idea – what if I start a new series here on the blog, and regularly share a few of the recipes I’ve recently tried?

So today I’m introducing the new series that I’m calling Tried and True Recipes! Before I proceed, I’ve got to admit that I rarely follow any recipes word for word, so there’s a lot of variations happening all the time. In some cases, I may make just one component following someone else’s recipe (like the cauliflower Alfredo sauce for the lasagna below), and then make the rest of the dish following my own ideas. When that happens, it doesn’t feel right to claim the recipes for the resulting dishes as fully my own – that’s just plain wrong! – so consider this post to be a nod of appreciation for other vegan cooks’ ingenuity.

See the second part of Tried and True Recipes Series here.

But before I proceed… This past weekend Rob and I finally had our first guests since we moved to Washington – Rob’s brother and his wife flew over from New Jersey, and we had lots of fun together! Notably, our guests have always been big fans of hiking and other outdoorsy activities, so this past Saturday we headed over to the woolly wild Olympic Peninsula of Washington State to visit Olympic National Park.

I’ve been in love with mountains all my life, so the trip was extremely enjoyable! The wildflowers were in full bloom, providing us with views like this:

MountainsWe got to see some wildlife too! This deer was casually grazing on the mountain slope right next to the visitor center at Hurricane Ridge:


Me in the mountainsYou know you’re high up in the mountains if the clouds are below you! By the way, note my choice of footwear – my trusty old Vibrams may not have been ideal for hiking since they don’t have any reinforced details on top, but their soles had a great grip that prevented me from slipping and falling on trails.

…And now – back to what I’ve promised you above, i.e. the new Tried and True Recipes series!

5 Recipes by Other Bloggers/Food Writers I’ve Recently Tried:

1. Chickpea Flour Omelet – the idea for this delicious breakfast/lunch dish comes from the Indian dish by the name of Pudhla, which is basically a large savory chickpea flour pancake stuffed with lots of vegetables. This omelet has been making its rounds through vegan blogosphere for years now, but I first discovered it on Cake Maker to the Stars blog (now defunct) by Kittee Berns, so to Kittee goes my praise for introducing me to this deliciousness!  Magic happens every time when chickpea flour is combined with some spices and a handful of vegetables of your choice. I think I put purple cabbage, onions and sundried tomatoes in this omelet below:

Chickpea flour omeletRob loves it when I spread one half of our chickpea omelets with my quick guacamole from this post and then fold it in half – the flavors of the omelet and the guac complement each other beautifully!

2. Freestyle Lasagna with Vegan Richa’s Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce. I came across this delicious recipe for Cauliflower Alfredo sauce on Vegan Richa blog not long ago, and immediately decided to use it in a lasagna of my own invention. The beauty of this sauce is that it is very creamy and light, unlike some heavier nut-, bean- or tofu-based lasagna sauces, and it survives baking very well. It was fairly easy to make, and if you have a heavy-duty blender like Vitamix (I don’t), you’ll love the results even more. My sauce had a ricotta-like consistency, which isn’t bad at all if you ask me. I proceeded to make a simple Bolognese with TVP crumbles, and threw in some Swiss chard leaves while assembling the layers of lasagna. Here’s a slice I packed for lunch at work the following day (sorry for a not-so-perfect phone pic):

LasagnaThis stuff was delicious! Even Vegan Richa herself found it ‘ahmazing’ on Instagram 🙂

3. Thai Coconut Curry with Tofu and Vegetables. This curry was inspired by this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Fat Free Vegan by Susan Voisin. Susan’s recipes never fail to impress, and I’m always amazed at her ability to recreate those one-of-a-kind flavors we get to savor at fancy restaurants. This curry was no exception: Susan describes the way to make the unique Thai green curry paste from scratch at home, and even shows how to make a lower-fat version of coconut milk in her recipe. I’ll admit that I cut a few corners and used store-bought curry paste and coconut milk while following the rest of the steps Susan listed. The curry was quite spectacular:

CurryMy curry also had more vegetables since our fridge is bursting at the seams with fresh veggies right now – the more the merrier, right?

4. African-Inspired Chickpea Stew with Peanut Sauce – this recipe comes from Everyday Happy Herbivore Cookbook by Lindsay S. Nixon, where it’s called Cheater G-Nut Stew (p. 107). I use Lindsay’s cookbooks more often than any other cookbooks I own because they are chock-full of tasty and simple recipes that only call for everyday ingredients. Plus, Lindsay doesn’t use oil, which is especially helpful since we try to consume as little of it as possible (ideally, none at all).

Chickpea and kale stewThis chickpea stew is based on a traditional Ugandan recipe. It isn’t fat-free since peanut butter is used, but it’s very easy and quick to put together – an extra bonus for anyone with a busy schedule. Instead of serving this stew over rice, I spooned it over some good ol’ steamed potatoes here. Surprisingly, they turned out to be great with the creamy, peanut-buttery taste of the stew! Also, I used locally grown Russian kale instead of spinach – it was a little tougher in texture but still good.

5. Dessert time! Enter Maple Coconut Macaroons by Kathy Hester. I’ve always been a fan of macaroons and missed them dearly since I went vegan (the traditional recipe calls for eggs). Luckily, I recently stumbled upon this recipe by Kathy, whose vegan ingenuity shines through all of her cookbooks (I own two of them, The Vegan Slow Cooker and The Great Vegan Bean Book) and her blog. How did Kathy manage to replace eggs in her macaroon recipe? She added quinoa flour and some coconut milk (from a can, not a carton) to the list of ingredients, and the batter consistency was just right before the macaroons were baked.

MacaroonsKathy mentioned in the recipe that only full-fat coconut milk can be used, but I happened to only have a can of ‘lite’ coconut milk on hand. The texture and flavor of my macaroons still came out perfect, so it’s up to you to use the lower fat kind of milk if you prefer.

 Time to wrap up the first episode of the Tried and True Recipes series – hope these will inspire you to make more delicious vegan foods in the near future. By the way, if you’ve recently tried a new recipe that came out great, share it with us in the comments!

Also, see the second episode of the Tried and True Recipes series.

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About Alina Zavatsky - Vegan Runner Eats

Alina first made a switch to a vegan diet in 2013 to optimize her athletic performance as a marathon runner. Being vegan eventually opened her eyes on the issues of animal welfare, environmental protection, human rights and feminism. Alina hopes that her blog will help its readers on their path to making this world a better place.

10 Responses to New Series: Tried and True Recipes! Plus Our 4th of July Weekend Trip to the Mountains

  1. Shannon says:

    This is a great idea for a post! It’s always kind of a strange sense of relief to make someone else’s recipes instead of your own 🙂 FatFree Vegan is one of the blogs that really turned me on to a plant-based diet a few years back and I have loved every single one of her recipes that I tried. And those macaroons are getting bookmarked for sure.

    • Alina says:

      Thanks Shannon! I’ll agree on FatFree Vegan – it helped me out a lot when I first went vegan. Susan really knows what she’s doing!

  2. Your curry looks so good–the more veggies, the better! I’m so glad that my recipe could be an inspiration to you!

  3. Oh, and I just saw your comment above. Thank you and Shannon for your kind words. It means so much to me to hear that my recipes have helped anyone get started on a plant-based diet.

  4. that lasagna looks loaded! so glad you tried it out!

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