Recipe: One-hour Cinnamon Rolls

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As someone who eats almost entirely vegan but indulges in dairy on rare occasion, my strategy for coming up with particularly tricky veganized versions of classic dishes often involves attempting to make the original versions first. In order to try to make a vegan version as similar as possible, I’ll taste some of the original to get an idea of what I’m aiming for, and give the rest away to friends. I try to avoid making non-vegan food whenever possible, but with cinnamon rolls, I knew I needed a reference point; I’d never made them before, and had no idea what homemade ones should taste like!

And this slightly modified version of a recipe from Averiecooks turned out amazingly. In fact, I was shocked at their resemblance to Cinnabon, especially considering that these only took an hour. The insides were tender and buttery, and the sweetness was perfectly offset by the tartness of the cream cheese frosting; my friends devoured them within minutes. I even added a splash of Bailey’s to the frosting for some St. Patrick’s weekend spirit!

As for the vegan version coming up: hopefully, curdling some soymilk will have a similar effect to the buttermilk called for, Earth balance should easily replace the butter, and I’ll be substituting Daiya cream cheese in for the frosting. If you try these (or other) substitutions, let me know how it goes!

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Makes about eight 3″ cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk, warmed
  • 2 & 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Inside filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), very soft
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon

Glaze:

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, very soft
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (Or more if you like it sweeter)
  • ~1 tbs half and half, milk, or Bailey’s, to your desired consistency
  • Dash of vanilla

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Directions

(See photos of the whole process below!)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ round or square pan.

2. Combine flour, buttermilk, yeast, oil, salt, and sugar in a bowl, and mix until it begins to form a ball. Turn onto a large cutting board or other clean surface, and knead for about 5 minutes either by hand or with a stand mixer. The ball should be smooth, no longer sticky, and getting difficult to knead.

3. Using a rolling pin or similar shaped object (since my rolling pin is back home, I had to use a jar!), roll out the dough until it is about 9″13 inches–you can use your 9″ pan for reference.

4. Spread the butter across the dough leaving a small margin at the edges. In a bowl, combine the sugars and cinnamon; sprinkle the mixture across the top of the butter in an even layer.

5. Starting with the longer side, roll the dough relatively tightly into a log. Depending on how large you want your cinnamon rolls, cut the log at 1-2″ intervals using a sharp knife or unflavored dental floss.

6. Arrange your rolls in the pan leaving at least 1/2″ between them, and reshape them a bit if they got squished during the cutting process. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the exposed parts of the dough aren’t squishy when tapped. (Warning: if you don’t leave a bit of space between the rolls when you first put them in the pan, the dough between them could end up raw, and they will be hard to separate! They’ll spread out into each other as they bake, so leave them a little room to do that.)

7. While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze by whisking together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla, and add liquid(s) of your choice until it reaches your desired consistency.

8. Remove the rolls from the oven, top with glaze, and serve immediately! Some of the cinnamon-sugar-butter sauce will be at the bottom of the pan; we found scooping it back on top of the rolls was a fun sort of second glaze!

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Recipe: Hazelnut Butter [Vegan]

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Something about being home from college makes me want to spend all my time experimenting in the kitchen. Perhaps it’s the free time, perhaps it’s the availability of actual cooking equipment like food processors and stand mixers; either way, I keep coming up with all sorts of concoctions.

One of my favorites from this spring break was homemade hazelnut butter–I’m a huge nut butter fanatic. I usually stick to almond and peanut butters, but saw a packet of hazelnut butter at the store and had to go home and try it for myself. A few toasted hazelnuts later and I was in nut butter heaven: it was rich, creamy, bursting with flavor, and like nothing I’ve had before. It’s also a great base for your own homemade vegan nutella: just add cocoa and sweetener!

I then proceeded to come up with a hazelnut-butter cinnamon roll recipe, but I’ll save that one for another post.

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Makes about a cup of butter.

Ingredients

  • 2 cup hazelnuts
  • 2/3 cup soy, almond, or coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • Optional: cinnamon, cocoa powder, maple, or other flavorings

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread hazelnuts on baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes.

2. Place nuts between 2 paper towels and rub together to remove the shells. You may have to take off a few stragglers by hand.

3. Put de-shelled nuts (leaving a few on is fine, but the shells are bitter) into a food processor, and process for about 10 minutes, until it becomes smooth and liquid. You’ll need to scrape down the sides of the processor every minute or so. If you’re having trouble getting it to go from fine powder to liquid, add the milk and continue processing until smooth.

4. Add the coconut sugar, flavorings, and milk if you haven’t already, and process until combined.

5. Optional: Add 1 part milk to 1 part almond butter, and blend until combined. You’ll essentially be halving the calories if you use a low-cal milk!

Enjoy it on fruit, bread, in pastries, or by the spoonful!

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Thanks for reading,

Michelle

Recipe: Garlic-Ginger Tofu Spring Rolls [Vegan]

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Yesterday was my first day of spring break. Usually I’m pretty oblivious to the whole “seasons” concept–I live in San Diego, where the weather is essentially 70 degrees and sunny year round–but I couldn’t help but notice how much it really feels like springPerhaps it’s because I’ve been trapped in a somewhat grungy urban environment for so long, but something about the rustling leaves, the chorus of chirping birds, and the lizard couples darting around my backyard was oddly intoxicating.

I was originally planning to make a coconut butternut squash soup for dinner, but decided it had to be put off for another day because it simply wasn’t spring-y enough. I’d been craving spring rolls for awhile–I’d never before worked with rice paper–and the name made it a painfully obvious choice to end the day. I also decided I wanted to come up with my own recipe by winging it, and tweaking things until it tasted best! (It actually works a surprisingly large percentage of the time.)

It was also my first time using frozen tofu: when I left San Diego after winter break, I had an unopened package of tofu in the fridge. Instead of throwing it away, I just stuck the whole thing in the freezer so it’d be there for spring break. Thawing it out from the big cube of ice and tofu was an odd experience, however, so if you ever plan to freeze your tofu, I suggest preparing it first by squeezing out the water and storing it in a freezer bag!

Anyways, back to the rolls: they were even more suited to my tastes than the ones I’ve had at restaurants, largely because I marinated the tofu for a bit. They were like an insanely flavorful salad, but all nicely wrapped up in the delightfully chewy rice paper–if spring had a taste, I’d imagine it’d be similar to these!

Also, don’t let the ingredient list scare you away: the last 2 parts use most of the same ingredients! In fact, I just used the leftover marinade in the peanut sauce.

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Makes ~4 rolls.

Time: about 30 minutes

Ingredients

These amounts are estimates, so change things up depending on your tastes/what you have on hand!

For the rolls:

  • 4 or 8 sheets of 8.5″ (22cm) rice paper, depending on how thin they are. (Mine were thin, so I had to double them up)
  • 1/2 cup cubed or about 4″x 1/2″ x 1/2″ extra firm tofu, with water pressed out
  • 1/2 cup carrots, julienned
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, julienned
  • 1/2 cup kale, steamed or boiled until tender
  • 2/3 cup bean threads or vermicelli noodles, prepared according to package directions
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup basil, sliced
  • 1/4 cup mint, sliced

For the marinade:

  • 2 tbs soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh ginger (or sub ginger powder)
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic

For the peanut sauce:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/6 cup water
  • Splash rice vinegar
  • Splash soy sauce (For this and the vinegar, you can instead just use any marinade that the tofu didn’t soak up)
  • Dash powdered ginger (or sub finely minced fresh ginger)
  • Dash powdered garlic (or sub finely minced fresh garlic)

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Directions

  1. Pan-fry the tofu, preferably without oil, until golden on both sides. While they’re frying, prepare the marinade in a medium sized bowl by mixing the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and ginger. Pour in the cooked tofu, and stir occasionally so it absorbs the marinade evenly.
  2. Fill a pan the size of your rice paper with about an inch of water. Set over low heat, until water is just barely steaming. Turn off the heat.
  3. Dip a sheet of rice paper into the water and hold it under for 5 seconds (depending on the directions on your package), then carefully set on a plate, ensuring it doesn’t fold over itself. If you’re doubling the rice paper (recommended), then prepare another sheet, and lay it directly on top of the first sheet, aligning the edges as well as you can.
  4. Lay 1/4 of each of the fillings in a line in the center, leaving at least 1.5″ margins at the ends of the rice paper. I recommend doing a single line/layer each of the basil, cilantro, and mint, as adding too much could be overpowering.
  5. Fold it together: first, fold an edge of the rice paper parallel to the filling line as tightly as you can over the filling. Then, fold in the short ends so they stick to the part you just folded over. Then, roll towards the last remaining edge (across from the side you started on). Unfortunately I have yet to get photos of the process, but here is a great guide to one method!
  6. Prepare the dipping sauce: combine peanut butter and water over low heat, or in the microwave for 20 second bursts. Heat until melted and combined, then add in ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and vinegar.
  7. Cut rolls in half and serve with dipping sauce.

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And taste the spring!

Thanks for stopping by,

Michelle

Recipe: Avocado Berry Smoothie [Vegan]

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People are always telling me how much they love avocados. I suppose it’s because I’m a foodie, but self proclaimed avocado fanatics tend to bring it up in conversation more than I’d expect.

But in my book, you aren’t a true avocado fanatic until you’ve embraced the avocado smoothie. Or the mousse. Or any other delectable sweet avocado concoction that, when mentioned, elicits a look of disgust from the aforementioned “avocado fanatics.” It’s as if non-savory avocado dishes are some kind of taboo; but come on people, they’re fruits!

My family, who are pretty neutral on the avocado-loving spectrum, thought I was crazy when I mentioned that avocado smoothies should be a thing. After two minutes searching for recipes, I found that it was indeed a thing, and decided to make my own: basically just avocado and milk (with some flavorings of course). And my family actually ended up liking it.

This recipe is a slightly more complex version of my original avocado smoothie (which I might also be sharing if people want it), and is pretty much a healthy-skin cocktail: it’s chock full of healthy fats and antioxidants. I’d imagine it’d also be a great pre-workout snack because of the combination of available carbs and fats!

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Makes one smoothie.

Ingredients

The amounts are estimates, so play around with the ratios until you get your favorite combos!

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries (or fresh berries + 3 ice cubes)
  • 1/2 banana, pre-sliced and frozen
  • 1-3 tbs protein powder (optional)
  • 1 tbs acai powder (optional, but delicious)
  • 1/4 cup soy yogurt
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk (or more to your desired consistency)
  • Dash vanilla
  • ~1 tsp lemon (or lime juice). If you have a bitter avocado, add more to taste
  • Agave nectar if desired
  • Handful of kale, oats, or other add-ins

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Directions

Combine all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth, without chunks of frozen fruit or ice. Play with the amounts to find  your favorite ratios!

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Recipe: Baked Vegan Vanilla Doughnuts

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People always look at me like I’m a wizard whenever they hear I make doughnuts. They tend to respond as if they’re some rare species of baked good that only Krispy Kreme holds the sacred knowledge to. But those of us who’ve made them know how simple they really are.

A few weeks ago, I brought a batch of chocolate peppermint ones (they tasted like thin mints!) to a vegan bakesale hosted at a local grocery store, which also happens to be one of my favorite stores in town. When they saw that I’d made doughnuts and I mentioned that I’m currently doing freelance catering, they offered me a job baking for the store. Now, three times a week, I deliver batches of vegan gingerbread doughnuts, chocolate doughnuts, pumpkin muffins, and brownies to them. Thanks to the aforementioned awe that doughnuts seem to elicit from people, I was able to get more routine baking work (compared to my more chaotic catering) that fits perfectly into my busy student’s schedule!

I hope these doughnuts will bring you as much luck as they’ve brought me. The recipe only took a few rounds of testing to come up with, and the best part is that it’s a simple vanilla base, that you can add just about anything to. I’ll be sharing my recipes for peppermint, chocolate, and gingerbread varieties in other posts, too!

They’re soft, pillowy, and almost impossible to resist!

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Makes a dozen 5-6″ diameter doughnuts.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups vegan white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (can sub in applesauce)
  • 3/4 tbsp apple cider vinegar (can sub white vinegar)
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup water

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Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 6-hole doughnut pans.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

3. In another small bowl, stir together the oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet. Mix just until lumps are gone.

5. Pour batter into doughnut cups until about 2/3-3/4 full.

6. Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Recipe: Skinny Mocha Banana Coconut Shake [Vegan]

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Sometimes, my chocolate cravings turn me into a bit of an animal, stuffing chocolate covered almonds and homemade haystacks into my face like I haven’t eaten in days. Okay, I exaggerate, but still; as you can probably imagine, my serial chocolate snacking never ends well for me or my stomach.

So I’ve been coming up with new, healthier strategies to satisfy my chocolate quotas. This low-calorie “shake” is definitely a winner, as it gets me my caffeine and chocolate fixes at the same time, using fruit as a base. I also incorporated my new favorite teavana tea, My Morning Mate, in place of coffee, as the latter tends to give me the jitters. Any black tea or coffee would work wonderfully, though! Also, if you’re not into caffeine, you can use your favorite kind of milk as the liquid, or even just water.

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Ingredients

  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • About 2 tbs shredded coconut – sweetened or unsweetened
  • 1/2-3/4 cup black tea or coffee
  • Soy, coconut, or almond milk to thin it out if you need to
  • 2-3 ice cubes
  • 2-3 tbs cocoa powder
  • Handful of walnuts (optional)
  • Chocolate or vanilla flavored protein powder (optional)
  • Sweetener if desired (I found it unnecessary)

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Directions

1. Slice bananas into a bowl and store in freezer until frozen.

2. Combine ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth. Add more liquid (milk or tea/coffee) or solids (walnuts, cocoa powded, banana, coconut) until it is at your desired consistency.

3. Pour into a glass or jar, garnish with coconut or banana slices, and enjoy!

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Thanks for reading,

Michelle

Recipe: Spaghetti Squash alla Norma [Vegan]

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Lately, I’ve been trying to avoid gluten as much as I can. Although I know it isn’t inherently unhealthy, I sometimes get the sneaking suspicion that I might have a sensitivity to it, as I often feel bloated and sluggish after consuming it. Cutting it out is nearly impossible when you spend as much of your time baking for people as I do, but I try to come up with alternatives when I cook for myself.

My latest addiction has been nature’s version of pasta: the shockingly tasty, insanely low-calorie spaghetti squash. The fact that it’s not only gluten free, but also only 30 calories a cup (compared to the 400 calories in its processed counterpart) makes it the holy grail of healthy carbs for me; I have trouble believing I’m actually eating vegetables and not pasta. I’ve dressed it up a number of ways–including pesto, curry, cauliflower alfredo, and marinara, which I’ll be sharing with you guys in the future–but have found that it’s delicious even with just a little bit of olive oil or Earth Balance and salt.

The first time I made spaghetti squash,  I was in awe at the way the flesh naturally comes out in the form of spaghetti strands–no work required. All you have to do is bake it, scoop it out of the shell, and put your favorite sauce on it!

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Serves 2-4.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 spaghetti squash
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large eggplant, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • About 10 cremini or baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans of diced roasted tomatoes, with garlic or other herbs for extra flavor
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes
  • 2 pinches of basil powder, or 3-5 fresh leaves; oregano; or thyme
  • Salt and pepper

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Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut your spaghetti squash in half. If you’re on the not-so-strong side of the spectrum like I am, you may want to microwave it for about a minute to soften it up. I stuck a cleaver into the side of the spaghetti squash, turned it upside down so the knife was supported by the table, and used the squash’s own weight to hit it down onto the cleaver until it split. Whatever strategy you use, be careful not to cut yourself!

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2. Clean out the seeds and slimy strings from the squash using a spoon. If you’ve ever carved a pumpkin on Halloween, you probably have experience with this! Scrape away until the bright orange part is gone, and only the uniform yellow flesh remains. (Refer to 2 photos above for what they look like once mostly cleaned.)

3. Lay one side onto a pan rind-down, brush the flesh with olive oil, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. If only making one half, wrap and store the unused half in the fridge. Bake in oven for about 35 minutes, or until tender, which can be tested by sticking a fork into the flesh.

4. Make the sauce: combine eggplant, zucchini, mushroom, onion, garlic in a pot over medium heat, season with salt, and saute until they shrink and start to become tender. (You can use oil if you want, but I prefer to dry-saute.) Add tomatoes and spices, and simmer until the vegetables are tender and cooked through. Salt and pepper to taste.

5. Remove spaghetti squash from oven, and cool slightly, or until you can handle it without burning yourself. Using a fork, scrape the flesh from stem to bottom and place the resulting strings in a bowl; it should fall into strands with very little pressure. If you get any resistance, the squash needs to be cooked more.

6. Top the “spaghetti” with as much sauce as you want, and enjoy!

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Bon Appétit,

Michelle

Recipe: Vegan Fudge Brownies

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In case it wasn’t already obvious, I’m a huge fan of animals. After some time here at Berkeley, I finally found a club for animal activism, and joined as soon as I discovered it. A few times each semester, the group sponsors a vegan bakesale at our local student food collective, which is essentially a place for all things locally produced, organic, and green, and one of my favorite places to buy groceries. Naturally, I always have to contribute something to the bakesale when I have time.

Being relatively new to vegan baking by the time the first bakesale rolled around, I decided to make something I thought would be simple: vegan brownies. Scouring the internet, however, seemed to produce only fat-filled, bland recipes. So I came up with my own… and I sure am glad I did.

They’re dense, fudgy, only moderately fatty, and flavor-packed; it’s hard to tell they’re free of eggs and dairy. Which satisfies my vegan baking goal: making things that taste so good that my non-vegan friends can’t even tell they’re animal-friendly. They got rave reviews at the bakesale, and I’ll certainly be making them again!

Bonus: apparently my neighbors could all smell the chocolately goodness for hours after the baking was done!

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Makes a 13×9″ pan.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 + 1/2 cup white sugar (make sure it’s vegan! Brands like C&H use bone char to process their sugars.)
  • 3/4c cocoa powder
  • 1 + 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3c applesauce (about  1 small snack-pack worth)
  • 6 tbs vegan margarine, melted
  • About 1 + 1/2c water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp coffee grounds
  • 1/3-1/2c vegan chocolate chips plus more for the top

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a 9×13″ pan.

2.  In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, and coffee.

3. In a 2-cup measure, melt the butter. Add the applesauce. Then, add enough water so that it fills up to the 2 cup mark. Add vanilla.

4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, then stir in desired amount of chocolate chips. Spread evenly in pan.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes in the oven, or until the top is clearly set. The toothpick test can also work, although you have to make sure you aren’t just getting melted chocolate chips out. If it’s batter, it’ll have a more crumbly appearance.

6. Remove from oven, and spread additional chocolate chips on top. I usually use about 1/4 – 1/2 cup, but it all depends on how much frosting you want. Once they’ve melted, spread them around to form a ganache frosting. Once it sets, it’ll add a wonderful texture and extra chocolate punch to the top, as well as lock in moisture.

7. Put in fridge to speed cooling/setting of frosting. Once completely cooled, cut into bars.

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Happy baking!

Michelle

Recipe: Miso Veggie Soup [Vegan]

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After a long week of eating huge meals at restaurants at least once (but often twice) a day, I decided I needed to do some serious “cleansing;” or at least control my calorie intake, and cut out the treats and fatty foods I’ve been eating all week. In my quest to come up with healthy but light dishes, I ended up making what may be the lowest calorie soup possible. But at the same time, it’s somehow filling. I had a lot of leftover miso paste from making a faux goat cheese dip I’ll be sharing with you guys later, so I decided I had to finally try making miso soup from scratch. However, being me, I had to throw in as many veggies as possible; plain miso soup just doesn’t count as a meal to me!

This soup is perfect for a diet/cleanse/however you’d like to refer to it. It’s clean, vegan, delicious, ridiculously easy to make, and has the proteins and veggies I’ve been trying to incorporate. Unless I find an even better soup, this one is probably going to be my go-to diet soup from now on! (Although my mushroom and tomato concoctions are a close second.)

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Ingredients

All of these are approximates; play around with the amounts according to your preferences! Also, any vegetables you like can be subbed for the carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Or, you can omit them for a classic miso soup.

  • 1/5 container firm tofu, sliced into small cubes
  • 2-3 tbs red miso paste, to taste (if you use yellow, you may need more)
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • Handful of kale or seaweed, ripped into pieces
  • 1-2 stalks of green onion, chopped
  • 5-7 baby carrots
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 3-4 mushrooms
  • Dash of sriracha sauce (if you like spice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions

1. Combine miso paste and water/broth in a pot over medium heat.

2. Chop your veggies and tofu as the soup heats, and add them to the pot as you go.

3. Simmer until veggies are tender, and season with sriracha and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Serve and enjoy!

Note: If you let it sit for long enough, the miso will cloud up in the center. This is normal for miso soup; just give it a stir and you’re good to go!

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Enjoy your light and delicious meal!

Michelle

Recipe: Vegan Caprese Mac n Cheese

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Sometimes, you just need comfort food. After a long day of shooting products for a client, I decided it was time I treated myself to one of my favorite splurges: rich, creamy mac n cheese. I had a bag of Daiya mozzarella I had to use up, so it seemed like the most natural choice of dishes. But instead of just slapping some cheese on pasta and calling it a day, I decided to put a spin on it like I did with my avocado mac n cheese; this time I went caprese style. One of my favorite Italian starters, caprese is a simple mix of tomato, mozzarella, and basil that is almost impossibly delicious considering how few ingredients are involved.

With a few cherry tomatoes, some basil leaves, and some red pepper flakes for that hint of spice I’m always craving, this gourmet vegan mac n cheese ended up being quite an amazing way to splurge. Also, since I already had my lights set up for the product photography, I decided to get some studio-lit shots of the final product!

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Serves 2; about 500 calories per serving

Ingredients

  • 4 oz of your favorite pasta (I used whole wheat fusilli)
  • Salt and water according to your pasta’s directions
  • 1 tbs vegan margarine
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk, preferably unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup water (plus more if you need to thin out your sauce)
  • 1 cup vegan mozzarella (I used Daiya’s shreds)
  • 2 large basil leaves, sliced or chopped
  • ~20 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • (Optional) Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • (Optional) Pinch of garlic powder

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Directions

1. Bring the pasta water to a boil, add salt as the package directs.

Prepare the sauce:

2. Melt the vegan margarine over medium heat, then add the flour. Stir until flour is puffed and beginning to brown.  Add in the milk and water, stirring until incorporated.

3. Mix in the cheese, and continue stirring until fully melted, and stir in spices if desired. Turn heat to low to keep it warm until you’re ready to serve. Stir in more water if it becomes too thick.

4. Cook the pasta, and prepare the tomatoes and basil.

5. Drain the pasta, place in a bowl, and pour the cheese sauce over it. Stir until well coated, garnish with the basil and tomatoes, and serve warm.

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And enjoy your vegan-yet-creamy meal!

Michelle