Vegan Buffalo Sweet Potatoes

Recipes

Things are getting crazy here in California amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I won’t get too much into it in this post (might do another one later), but what I will say is there are some silver linings mixed in with the chaos. One of those silver linings is having the time at home to prepare delicious and healthy meals. It’s so important right now to eat healthy and keep your immune system in tip-top shape. There are several documentaries and series out there that describe vegan diets as one of the best ways to guard against sickness and disease. It makes me happy that I’ve decided to make the switch, and I hope that I can inspire others to do the same with this blog.

This recipe (adapted from Running on Real Food) is delicious as all hell, super easy to make and can be made with mostly pantry items. If you don’t have avocado (thanks quarantine), you could use guacamole or leave it out all together. Another good green option is spinach or any type of salad mix, or you can leave that part out all together and it’s still so tasty. The ranch that I used is Follow Your Heart vegan ranch. I think it tastes better than regular ranch (and better for you), but I digress. If you’re in a rush, half the sweet potatoes before cooking and cook for 30 minutes instead of the 45-60 minutes. The last thing I want to mention is the HEAT. This recipe is spicy, at least to my standards. If you like more spice, you can sub the Frank’s wing sauce for a spicier version, if you want it less spicy choose a buffalo sauce that is more mild. Okay, enough chit-chat, let’s get to the recipe…

Vegan Buffalo Sweet Potatoes

2 sweet potatoes (or garnet yams)

1 15oz can garbanzo beans

1 bottle of Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce

Follow Your Heart Vegan ranch (or something similar)

1 avocado, halved and sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Poke holes all over the sweet potatoes with a fork and bake for 45-60 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when pierced.
  2. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and place in a small sauce pan over low heat. Add buffalo sauce until all beans are covered. Heat over low until warmed through, and smash some of the beans with the back of your spoon to give some variety in texture.
  3. Once the sweet potatoes are done, cut them in half and remove the skins (or you can skip this part if the skins don’t bother you). Lightly mash the sweet potatoes and top with the buffalo chickpeas, then the avocado slices then the ranch.
  4. Enjoy!

Vegan Teriyaki Tofu Bowls

Recipes

Tofu is not something we eat very often in our house, but when I do make it, I want it to be as flavorful and least tofu-like as possible. This teriyaki bowl recipe is a great vegan substitute for a typical chicken teriyaki bowl with vegetables and rice. If you prefer to not include tofu, you could also just increase your serving of vegetables since edamame and broccoli are decent sources of protein. Ordinarily, I would probably also make this with brown rice, but was in a rush so decided to go with white rice instead.

Tofu is best when as much liquid is squeezed out as possible and replaced with a marinade or sauce. Whatever sauce you use will soak into the tofu lending it that particular flavor. This teriyaki sauce recipe is adapted from Mayim Bialik’s cookbook Mayim’s Vegan Table. It is a good sauce for when you’re in a little bit of a hurry, since it puts out strong flavoring without too much marinating time needed. I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Teriyaki Tofu Bowls

White or brown rice, prepared according to package instructions

2 red bell peppers, chopped

2 small broccoli crowns, chopped

1 cup of edamame

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup mirin

2 Tbsp 100% natural maple syrup

1 package of extra firm tofu

1. Wrap tofu in paper towels and press to release fluids. While tofu is pressing create sauce by whisking together the soy sauce, mirin and maple syrup.

2. When fluid is sufficiently removed from tofu, cut into 1/4 inch slices down the short side of the block of tofu. Place slices into sauce, making sure every piece is covered in sauce as much as possible.

3. While tofu soaks, prepare your vegetables. Tofu should soak for a minimum of 10-15 minutes for best flavor. Once the rest of the ingredients are prepared, place the vegetables and a few tablespoons of water into a large skillet over medium heat. Place lid on pan and let vegetables steam, stirring occasionally.

4. Cook the tofu in a separate nonstick pan while vegetables cook. Place pieces of tofu into heated nonstick pan over medium heat. Cook 4-5 minutes per side. Repeat until all pieces are cooked. You can use remaining sauce to flavor vegetables if desired. Pour sauce over steaming vegetables.

5. Serve bowls with a scoop of rice, a large scoop of vegetables and 5-6 slices of tofu.

Quick & Easy Vegan Enchiladas

Recipes

I could probably eat Mexican-style food every day for a year and not grow tired of it. Even eating as a vegan without real cheese, Mexican food is hands down some of the tastiest and satisfying type of food out there. I love this recipe in particular because it’s packed with veggies, it’s quick and it’s easy to make. The most time consuming part is either the chopping or the rolling of the enchiladas themselves, but if you’ve got even a small amount of skill in the kitchen these tasks should take no time at all.

These enchiladas go great with some rice on the side (add some cilantro and lime to your rice for an extra delicious side) or eat them on their own – they are pretty filling! I like to make these with flour tortillas, but you could totally use corn if you prefer. I should also mention that I did eat these for leftovers but the avocado does turn dark after only a night in the fridge. It didn’t taste bad, but if you’re looking to use these for meal prep, maybe leave the avocado out until you’re ready to serve. I can’t wait to make these again!

Quick & Easy Vegan Enchiladas

7-10 tortillas (flour or corn is fine, I only had giant burrito tortillas on hand so I used those. Have enough to fill whatever pan you’re using)

1 avocado diced

1 large tomato diced

1/2 red onion, diced

8 oz corn (I used frozen because that’s what I had, but canned or fresh would work too)

1 8oz can green chiles

1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 28oz can green enchilada sauce

Your choice of vegan cheese for topping

Other topping ideas – olives, salsa, more avocado

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place all ingredients except tortillas, enchilada sauce and toppings in a large bowl and gently mix together.
  2. Grab a 9×13 baking pan and pour about 1 cup of sauce into the bottom of the pan.
  3. Place a tortilla in the pan and smother with the enchilada sauce you just poured.
  4. Fill tortilla with the vegetable mixture and roll up like a burrito (see gallery above for step by step images).
  5. Continue step 3 and 4 until you have filled the pan. I really like to squeeze them in there. If you run out of sauce along the way, just pour more in. This really isn’t an exact science, just make sure your tortillas are nice and saucy.
  6. Once your pan is full, top the enchiladas with more sauce, vegan cheese and any other desired topping.
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
  8. Enjoy!

Easy Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo

Recipes

I love pasta! Who doesn’t, right? Red sauce is fairly easy to replicate as a vegan dish. It’s easy because it’s made of mostly vegetables. Simply omit the meat in meat sauce and you have a vegan red sauce (at least, usually). Alfredo can be a bit more tricky. It’s creamy and thick and has loads of cheese and dairy in it. But it doesn’t have to! This recipe is the perfect example of how eating plant-based can be easy, oil and gluten free and still just as delicious as a traditional alfredo. The main ingredient is cauliflower, and I never would have guessed that blending up this sometimes misunderstood vegetable would be so tasty!

This recipe is incredibly easy. It takes a handful of ingredients and about 20 minutes or less to make depending on how you time it out. I used gluten free fettucine, but of course you can use whatever pasta you like. Pair this pasta dish with your favorite veggies – we did broccoli – and enjoy a creamy bowl filled with pasta entirely guilt free. I think next time I’ll throw in some Beyond Meat “chicken” strips, YUM!! Let’s show you the recipe…

Easy Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo

12 oz. gluten free fettucine, cooked and drained

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets (size for this isn’t super important, since you’ll be blending it up later on, just make sure the sizes will fit in your blender)

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or dairy-free alternative of your choice)

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Fill a large pot with water and cauliflower, cover and place over high heat until it comes to a boil.
  2. Once mixture is boiling, reduce heat to low or medium-low and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until cauliflower is softened. (You can use this time to cook your pasta if you like, or do like I did and wait for the cauliflower to be finished so you can use the same pot.)
  3. Drain cooked cauliflower and then place into your blender along with all other ingredients (except pasta) and mix on high until smooth.
  4. Taste mixture to see if you need more seasonings and for salt and pepper.
  5. At this point, you can add directly to your cooked pasta, or you can put your sauce back on the stove to stay warm.
  6. Once you’re ready to serve, mix the sauce and pasta well. Top with pepper and fresh herbs of your choice. Serve with a side of steamed broccoli.
  7. Enjoy!
roasted stuffed sweet potato

Vegan Oil-Free Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Recipes
roasted stuffed sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite ingredients. They are versatile, easy to cook and inexpensive, making them a great option for any meal. This particular meal is great because you can eat it any time of day depending on what ingredients you use. I used this recipe for lunch for the last couple of days and it is so filling and delicious! The other great part is that this recipe does not use any oil making it an especially healthy plant-based dish.

Like I said before, this recipe is incredibly versatile. You can sub out whatever ingredients and spices you like and use them to stuff your sweet potato. These particular ingredients were what I had on hand which made it super easy to make for a somewhat quick and healthy lunch. I’ve seen breakfast variations as well that include almond butter and bananas and maple syrup and definitely think I will have to try that next.

Vegan Oil-Free Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

2 medium to large sweet potatoes, washed

1/2 red onion, diced

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can corn, drained

1 cup quinoa, cooked

1 large tomato, diced

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

Juice of 1 lime

Salt & pepper

Toppings: guacamole, Fritos, cilantro, vegan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Poke sweet potatoes all over with a fork and roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until soft when stabbed with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, cook onion in a pan over medium-high heat until soft.
  3. Once cooked add beans, corn, spices, lime juice and quinoa and mix until well combined.
  4. Cook ingredients until warmed through.
  5. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and once cool enough, cut them in half.
  6. Place one half in a bowl and top with quinoa mixture.
  7. I topped mine with homemade guac, some fritos and some vegan cheddar cheese. Top with whatever you like or have available! Enjoy!

Vegan Sweet Potato and Portabello Fajitas

Recipes

Fajitas are easily in my list of top five easy dinners. They are quick, they are cheap and they are absolutely delectable. These particular fajitas are also great because the ingredients are so versatile. Don’t like mushrooms? Add more sweet potatoes. Not a sweet potato fan? Add more mushrooms! Or heck, go get some Beyond Meat chicken strip thingies and leave both out if you prefer, but I hope you won’t! Because the sweet potatoes and Portabello mushrooms are absolutely divine in this recipe. Especially when mixed with some fresh smashed guacamole. Mmm, mm, mmmmmm. Okay, honestly, everything is delish with guacamole – am I right?

When I made this recipe, I cooked the mushrooms separately from the rest of the veggies because hubs doesn’t like them, but you can totally cook all veggies in the same pan to save time. Another tip is to always wrap your sheet pans with foil before roasting veggies. This makes for super easy clean up at the end – you’ll thank me later. Another tip that’s helpful if you’re not super familiar with Portabellos (like me), is to scrape the gill looking portion of the portabello caps out before slicing and cooking. The gills area very dark brown and can turn whatever else is in the pan with them dark brown as well making it look less than appetizing. They are easy to scoop, just use a small spoon and carefully scrape the bottoms of the mushroom caps. You can then rinse if you’d like or go to straight to slicing. They are super delicious cooked up and in these fajitas! You won’t be sorry! (Also, sorry for the poor image quality – I took videos and forgot to take photos so these are crappy screenshots)

Vegan Sweet Potato & Portabello Fajitas

3 Portabello mushroom caps, scraped and sliced into about 1/2″ wide pieces

2 Sweet potatoes (or garnet yams), cut into wedges

1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow bell peppers, sliced

1 yellow onion, sliced

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

Salt and Pepper

Olive oil

Guacamole or salsa for topping

Tortillas

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place sweet potato wedges on a prepared sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and half the cumin plus salt and pepper. Once preheated, bake sweet potato wedges for about 25 minutes or until cooked to desired consistency.
  2. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, heat 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil in a pan and add veggies (or you can cook them separately for picky eaters).
  3. Season with cumin, garlic powder and salt and pepper.
  4. Once potatoes and veggies are cooked, you can add them all to the same pan for easy serving.
  5. Add a scoop of veggies and potatoes to a tortilla, top with guacamole or salsa if desired and enjoy!

Vegan Lasagna

Recipes

Lasagna is one of my favorite foods of all time. Who am I kidding, pretty much any type of pasta is my favorite food. Carbs, basically, just all the carbs. This lasagna is awesome because it’s completely vegan while still packed full of nutrients and yumminess. It combines a homemade ricotta, spinach and artichoke hearts with the classic red sauce that you can either make at home or buy premade. I did use gluten-free oven-ready lasagna noodles for this particular recipe which I didn’t care for – I didn’t care for the oven-ready part, the gluten-free part was fine. I would recommend using normal or gluten-free noodles you’ll have to boil first, but trust me it will be worth it.

This is also posted on my Instagram account (@melissaroserambles) under my Food highlights if you’d like to see this recipe in action!

Vegan Lasagna

Cooked lasagna noodles, at least 8

5 oz of fresh baby spinach, chopped

1 7.5 oz jar of artichoke hearts, chopped

1 8 oz bag of vegan mozzarella shreds

1 4 oz container of vegan parmesan

1 24 oz jar pasta or marinara sauce

1 batch of vegan homemade ricotta (recipe below)

Vegan Ricotta

Place all items in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F and grab a 13″ x 9″ glass baking pan.
  2. Mix vegan ricotta mixture with chopped spinach and artichoke hearts. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour a layer of sauce in the bottom of your pan and layer two noodles. After the noodle layer, add a ricotta mixture layer, a mozzarella and parmesan layer, and then repeat each layer until you run out of noodles and other mixtures.
  4. Top entire lasagna with remaining vegan cheeses and cover with foil.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes.
  6. Once finished baking, remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

Vegan Chickpea Noodle Soup

Ramble On

Soup is seriously one of my favorite foods! There are so many different kinds and variations that I could go crazy trying to make them all every night for dinner. This particular recipe I realize now probably isn’t so vegan since I used egg noodles – DUH, new vegan eater over here. BUT you could totally replace with vegan egg noodles if you have an issue with it. I’m not as weird about eggs as most people who eat vegan because I buy cage free organic and cruelty free eggs. I actually prefer eggs from backyard chickens and am even considering getting my own chickens in the spring so that will make it even less of an issue. ANYWAY – this soup is bomb no matter what noodles you use, heck you could even use rice! It’s super duper fricking easy and only requires 5 ingredients plus a TON of spices.

I fully suggest letting the broth simmer for a while before adding your noodles – the smell is DIVINE. It also makes for great leftovers. Isn’t leftover soup at work the best? It’s like being transported home for a little bit with all the yummy comforting warmth. Did I mention I love soup?

Easy Vegan Chickpea Noodle Soup

4 carrots, sliced

4 celery stalked, sliced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 15oz can chickpeas, drained

7 cups vegetable broth

1 cup water

2 small bay leaves

1 tsp thyme (or herb de Provence is super yummy too!)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cup egg noodles, vegan if desired (or any pasta)

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Add olive oil, onion, carrots and celery to a large pot over medium heat and cook until soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add spices, broth and water and bring to a boil on high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  3. 5-10 minutes before you’re ready to serve, add the noodles and chickpeas and remove the bay leaves. Let noodles simmer for 5-10 minutes or until they reach desired firmness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Enjoy!

Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo

Recipes

It’s finally fall and that means all the pumpkin flavors you can handle. This recipe may seem surprising, but having used pumpkin purée with pasta before I hoped it would turn out as delicious as it did. The pumpkin gives this pasta dish an undeniable creaminess that won’t have you thinking twice about it being dairy-free.

This recipes does use almond milk, but you could substitute that for any type of dairy substitute you like. I typically have almond milk on hand so I went with that out of convenience. Since this recipe only calls for 1/2 a cup of pumpkin purée, keep in mind that you can save the leftover purée for future recipes like vegan pumpkin bread or muffins.

I love combining pumpkin with garlic. It creates such a surprising flavor combination that will leave even pumpkin-haters in awe. Savory with a tid bit of sweet really makes this pasta dish pop, and I can’t wait to make it again this season. I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo

4-6 servings of fettuccine cooked and drained (I used gluten free fettuccine for this, but you can use whatever pasta you have on hand)

1/2 cup pumpkin purée (I used canned)

1/2 cup almond milk (or other milk substitute)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/8 tsp nutmeg

2-4 fresh sage leaves (2 for cooking, 2 for garnish if desired)

Salt and pepper to taste

Cornstarch to thicken if needed

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat.

2. Once heated add the garlic and 2 sage leaves. Cook until fragrant about 2 minutes.

3. Add pumpkin purée and stir to combine.

4. Slowly pour in almond milk and mix. Mix in spices.

5. Let simmer for about 5 minutes to thicken sauce. If sauce does not thicken add cornstarch, about 1 tsp at a time to desired consistency.

6. Once the sauce is finished, mix in the cooked pasta. Serve immediately.

Easy Vegetarian Sheet Pan Nachos

Recipes

Sometimes I get home from the gym knowing exactly what I want for dinner. This event is rare, but it does happen every so often. The night I made these nachos was one of those times. It was hot, I was tired and lazy and was craving something salty. I started to think about what I had at home to work with and the only thing I could think of was Trader Joe’s Beef-less Ground Beef. What could I make with crumbles that would be satisfying and easy? Immediately into my head popped NACHOS. I hadn’t made them at home in a while and that made me wonder why. They can be incredibly filling, easy to make and ready in less than 10 minutes. And so, I headed to the grocery store to buy a few inexpensive ingredients that I knew would combine into a giant plate of nachos that would satisfy my cravings.

One of the best ways to keep a dinner easy is to make the clean up easy. Meals that only require one pan to create are the perfect solution. This nacho recipe only uses one sheet pan, and you can cover it in foil to make clean up even easier. What makes this recipe even better is that you can use any combination of ingredients that you like. My recipe is simply a guideline. I enjoy refried beans with the crumbles since the beans help the crumbles stick to a chip. However, you could totally use whole beans (or both!) if you prefer. I also added corn for a sweet crunchy element and tomatoes with chiles for a spicy kick. You could also make this recipe vegan by using a vegan cheese option. Make sure you purchase one that has a nice melting consistency as that is the best part of eating nachos.

Vegetarian Sheet Pan Nachos

1 package of meatless crumbles – any brand you desire. If using something that comes frozen, make sure you thaw before cooking in the oven

1 can refried black beans

1 can corn, drained

1 can Rotel, drained

2 cups Mexican style cheese blend

1 bag tortilla chips

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F
  2. Layer items on foiled sheet pan in this order – chips, beans, crumbles, corn, rotel, cheese.
  3. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted

Seriously, it’s that easy! Enjoy!