We had planned on walking around and finding a typical New York bagel shop to grab a quick breakfast, but I guess we were in the wrong part of town for that. We were so excited (have I said that enough yet?) to stumble upon this empanada kiosk in the middle of Times Square for a great snack to power us through our sightseeing adventure. And they were super cheap! Definitely not expected in a place so overwhelming in the amount of advertising and commercialism all over the place.
I had the vegan Shiitake Curry, with shiitake mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, onions, peppers & coconut milk in turmeric dough. It was delicious! I definitely recommend it as a place to grab a quick bite if your in a hurry! And if you want more - you get a deal if you buy 3!
Nuchas Kiosk, Times Square
When Jay and I were in New York City over the holidays we stopped at the Nuchas empanada kiosk in Times Square. I was so excited! Since studying abroad in Santiago, Chile six (!) years ago I have been obsessed with empanadas. Since their main ingredients are ground beef or cheese, it's hard to find vegan ones. Lucky for me, Nuchas had a vegan option!
Beyond Meat Tacos
I try to eat whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible, but I like to try a new vegan product at least once. I find it exciting when I see advancements in vegan food options and I think vegan meat alternatives are a great way to help those making the transition from omnivore to vegetarian or vegan diets.
These Beyond Meat beef crumbles are so close to the real thing its amazing. Plus they're so convenient. They come frozen and defrost so quickly. You just dump the frozen crumbles right into your saute pan with a little bit of water and they're quickly ready to go. As you'll see in the instructions below, this was a super quick dinner came together in a breeze. The longest part was chopping up the tomato and avocado and putting everything in little bowls!
Cashew sour cream is a great alternative for those trying to avoid soy or if you just don't have any tofu in the house. That's how I found myself the other night, so I decided to whip up some cashew sour cream. Jay loves cashew sour cream more than regular, although tofu sour cream is his favorite, since it's naturally creamier. When I make cashew sour cream I make sure so blend it for as long as possible so that it gets creamier, since it can tend to have more of a grainy texture. Soaking the cashews beforehand can help with this, but I didn't have any time - the crumbles cooked so quickly and we were hungry!
1 Package Beyond Meat Frozen Beef Crumbles
6 Taco Tortillas (I used La Nina Tortillas)
1 Packet Taco Seasoning (I used Ortega 40% Less Sodium)
4 oz Cherry Tomatoes
Spinach or other green
Cashew Sour Cream:
1/2 Cup Cashews
1/3 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Slice the avocado and tomato.
Cook frozen Beyond Meat Crumbles on the stove with a little bit of water until it is no longer frozen. Add the taco seasoning a stir until well combined.
Add the cashews, water, and lemon juice to a food processor and blend until smooth.
Heat a second pan over the stove. Place a tortilla on the pan for about a minute, or until crispy, then flip to the other side and repeat.
Tear the spinach and place it on the tortilla, add a quarter cup of taco mix, sour cream, avocado, and tomato. Enjoy!
I made this recipe for Christmas this year. It is inspired by aveggie pot pie with cashew filling by Kathy Patalsky at Healthy Happy Life. Similar to the Brussel Sprout Casserole I made for Thanksgiving, I wanted to make something that had vegetables and grains/protein all in one since I wouldn't be able to eat much else that was served. This definitely did the job of filling me up! The cashew sauce is so rich and filling!
As you'll see in the instructions below, this comes together super quickly! Jay has mentioned before at how he likes pot pie and I had thought about making it for a while, but the word "pie" always turned me off. For some reason I have always thought of pies have difficult things to make. It definitely helped that I didn't make the pie crust on my own. I am not skilled enough for that and I didn't feel like experimenting on Christmas morning.
This dish was a huge it at Christmas! As you can see from the picture at the bottom of this post - there wasn't much left! I took that picture before I grabbed my second slice. There was just enough for me to have one slice for leftovers on Friday. I can't wait to make this for Jay and see what he thinks of it! It will be a great staple to have over the winter.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Chop all your vegetables. Measure how much you'll need by putting them in your pie dish. I used the leftover that I had from making the Spiral Veggie Tart the day before. Transfer your veggies to a large bowl.
Drain the cashews. Add the cashews, vegetable broth, and apple cider vinegar in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour over your bowl of veggies and mix until the veggies are all coated. Depending on what size of a pie you are making you may not need all the cashew sauce. If you filled your pie pan full of veggies then you just want enough to coat the veggies and fill in the space between them. They shouldn't be swimming.
Roll out the bottom layer of your pie crust so that its about an inch wider (or the height of your sides) than the pie pan all the way around. Add the veggies and cashew mix to the pie pan. Roll out the top layer the same way and place it on top. Squeeze the top and bottom layers together around the edge. Slice 3-4 vents in the top of the pie crust.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Serve and enjoy!
I made this dish as a side for our feast on Christmas Eve. I combined two recipes that I found on Pinterest. I saw this vegetable tart on Pinterest and thought it was so cool (check out the video on how they made it). My mom thought the same and decided it would look great on a buffet line! That recipe used pie crust and creme fraiche, so I needed to make it gluten free and vegan so that my brother and I could eat it. I had pinned this quiche with sweet potato crust recipe to try the crust sometime and thought it would work great for this. I decided to replace the creme fraiche with a white bean mixture. I'd used white beans as a tart base years ago. Their neutral nature lends them perfectly to this. You can add in whatever seasonings you'd like so the dish doesn't taste like beans and their moisture keeps the dish from drying out and binds the vegetables to the crust.
Make sure your potato isn't sliced too thin and there's a lot of overlap in your crust. It will look like your crust is too think, but the potato slices will shrink during cooking.
My mom was right. This is a great dish to put on a buffet. It's very impressive and looks much more difficult to make than it actually is. I had to be the first one to cut into it because no one wanted to disrupt how great it looked. While it may not have been difficult, it definitely was time consuming, especially because my mom and I did not have the same expectation of how much we were making. I was already to go with two 9 inch pie sheets and she came in and switched them out for 2 13 inch quiche pans.
I made the recipe for one 9 inch pan, since that is a more typical serving size, and much more manageable. It's also helpful if you have someone slicing the vegetables while you arrange them in the pie pan. Thanks Mom!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice sweet potatoes and arrange in a crust-like fashion in a 9 inch pie pan. You don't want your slices to be paper thin and a make sure that there is significant overlap among the slices. It will look like the crust is too thick, but the potatoes will cook down significantly. Spray the potatoes with cooking spray and put in the oven for 15 minutes.
If you end up with gaps in your crust you can cook some more potatoes on a cookie sheet and add them in. They will not need to cook for the full 15 minutes.
While your crust is cooking, prepare the base of the filling. Drain and rinse the white beans. Place them in a bowl and mash them with a fork. Add the lemon juice, milk, and nutritional yeast and mix until well combined.
Slice your vegetables using either a vegetable peeler or a mandolin. You can use a knife you you want, but that would take some great skills. You want the vegetable slices to be paper thin so that you roll them up. If you have some slices that are thicker you can use them on the outer edges that don't need to bend as much. Make sure that you get the skin on at least one edge of the slice.
Once the crust has cooled to the touch, fill in any cracks as necessary. Spread the white bean mixture over the crust. It will be thick, so place dollops of it throughout the crust and spread lightly with a fork. You may need to hold down some of the potato slices so they don't move.
Take a vegetable slice and roll it up in a spiral. Place it in the middle of your pie pan. Continue to wrap vegetable slices around the center in an alternating fashion until you finish the pan. You'll have to do a couple rows of the same thing in order to build up the color. Alternate the dark zucchini and eggplant with the lighter carrot and squash. Try to end with something other than the carrot so that there is separation from the orange crust.
Mince the garlic and sprinkle it over the top of the pan. Lightly pour the balsamic vinegar over the top.
Lower the oven temperature to 375 and put the tart in for 40 minutes. The tart is down when the skins of the vegetable slices have soften enough that you can cut through them.
Serve and Enjoy!
This blog is about my adventures adhering to a plant-based diet in a meat-based world and incorporating vegan practices into more parts of my life. As many of my friends and family aren't vegan, and the best part of cooking is sharing your food with others, I try to make recipes that can be enjoyed by vegans and meat-eaters alike.