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 Black Beans and Greens Meal Prep

Recipes

Sunday is meal prep day! And today I made delicious protein and fiber-packed bowls that I can’t wait to eat throughout the week. This recipe is also super simple to make, inexpensive, and extra filling. The ingredients are also available pretty much year round making this the perfect meal prep for any season.

Black beans and rice are a protein-packed combination. Add the broccoli, zucchini and mushrooms to that and you’re adding even more fiber as well as a calcium boost. I love heating this dish in the winter time or eating it cold in the summer months – both ways are delicious! My favorite part is definitely the dollop of hummus added at the end. Simply mix the entire bowl together to create a delicious comfort food feeling meal. Let’s show you how to make it.

Vegan Black Beans and Greens Meal Prep

2 zucchinis, sliced

3 small crowns of broccoli, chopped

1 box of baby Bella mushrooms, sliced

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup of brown rice (cook to package directions)

Garlic powder (if desired)

8 Tbsp Hummus

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

  1. Cook 1 cup of brown rice according to package directions. My bag says that 1 cup of dry rice makes 5 3/4 cup servings. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. While rice is cooking, prepare a baking sheet (I like to use foil for easy clean up), place all vegetables and beans on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic powder and salt and pepper. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through.
  3. Once everything is cooked, place even portions into 4 food containers (or more if you want smaller portions).
  4. Top each filled container with 2 Tbsp of hummus.
  5. Place lid on container for eating throughout the current week. 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!

Easy Sugar-Free Applesauce

Recipes

I love apples and I love quick and easy recipes so this sugar-free apple sauce is one of my favorite things to make after apple-picking. Lucky for me, my mom has an apple tree so I have almost unlimited access to apples all autumn long. This allows me to play around with recipes to my hearts content. This recipe is by far one of the easiest and probably healthiest dessert recipes around – at least I eat it for dessert. There is no sugar added, just cinnamon, because the apples are sweet enough. You can make this on the stove or in a crockpot, but I really do prefer the stove method because it is faster and makes the house smell so yummy. Happy Fall Ya’ll!!

Easy Sugar-Free Applesauce

4 medium sized apples, peeled and cut into chunks

A few Tbsp of water

1/4 tsp cinnamon, or more to taste

  1. Add your apple chunks to a medium sauce pan and add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan but not cover the apples.
  2. Place on the stove over medium-low heat and let simmer until the apples are soft
  3. Using the back of your spoon or a potato masher, squish those apple chunks to your desired consistency. If you like super smooth apple sauce you could always use an immersion blender here to really whip it up.
  4. Add cinnamon and mix completely.
  5. Pair with a scoop of your favorite non-dairy vanilla ice cream or enjoy by itself!

Vegan Biscuits and Gravy

Recipes

Do you ever wake up in the morning knowing exactly what you want for breakfast? And not just knowing, but absolutely craving one particular thing? That was me this weekend. I lay in bed drooling over the idea of a big plate of biscuits and gravy. I scoured my phone for vegan breakfast joints to no avail. I couldn’t even find a place that offered a vegetarian version. I was crushed. But then, I realized that I actually had the exact ingredients I needed to get my butt out of bed and make my own. Seriously, though, Sacramento, you need a vegan breakfast place, or at least a vegetarian one, or maybe even just a place with more than just one veggie option for us plant-eating peoples. Anyway, I jumped out of bed and got to the kitchen, hubs got the coffee going and I got ready to make some biscuits.

Now you may think of making biscuits on a Saturday morning as a chore, but I say nay! Especially not with the super easy and delicious vegan biscuit recipe from one of my favorite cooking sites – Minimalist Baker. Their Best Damn Vegan Biscuit recipe is super easy to follow, quick to make and perfect for a Saturday morning. They paired deliciously with the rest of this dish and were even amazing the next day with some vegan butter and strawberry jam. Since I got this biscuit recipe from their site, I won’t repost it here. Simply visit the link above to make your biscuits before heading into my recipe for vegan sausage and gravy.

Not all vegan sausage is created equal – at least in my mind. For this recipe, I recommend something that crumbles up nicely like a ground sausage typically would. I used the Gimme Lean Sausage from Lightlife and love how it turned out. This sausage is also a great option for breakfast because not only can you crumble it, but if you want to use the rest for later you can cut it into patties too! Anywho, you’ll only use about half of the 14oz pack for this recipe, but obviously if you like more or less sausage than me you can adjust that how you’d like. I also used almond milk for this recipe, but I imagine you could use whichever dairy-free substitute you prefer. Let’s just go ahead and get into it, all this typing is making me hungry!

Vegan Biscuits and Gravy

**Make biscuits using the Best Damn Vegan Biscuit recipe here.**

1 package of Lightlife Gimme Lean veggie sausage

4 heaping Tbsp flour

1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk

Oil of choice for cooking sausage

  1. Cook the sausage according to the package directions using oil of choice.
  2. Once sausage is cooked, dust over the top with the flour and stir to combine.
  3. Add the almond milk slowly, while stirring to the sausage-flour mixture. The milk will not thicken all at once, so simmer for a while and continue to stir frequently until you reach your desired consistency. If it becomes too thick, add more milk and if too thin add more flour.
  4. Pour gravy sausage mixture over your homemade biscuits and enjoy!

Vegan Caramel Corn

Recipes

Caramel corn is a necessity in our house around the holidays. Every year my husband’s mom makes loads of it and gives us each a giant bag at Christmas time. This year, I thought it would be fun to make some a little early for a Halloween treat exchange at my work, and I thought it’d be even more fun to try and make it vegan. Although, I’m not really sure what my MIL’s recipe is, maybe hers is vegan too, but I digress. This recipe is super easy to make, and even easier if you can list an extra pair of hands (thanks, honey!). You see, caramel corn is a delicate process. Caramel can burn quite quickly if you’re not careful, so having someone else helping in the kitchen can make the whole process a little less stressful.

The first batch that I made of this I used regular white sugar. Now, the first batch didn’t turn out bad so if that’s all you have on hand it’ll totally work. Just keep in mind that the white sugar will make it a bit more like kettle corn than caramel corn. On my second batch, I decided to go with brown sugar instead and this was where I hit the sweet spot. The brown sugar caramelized perfectly and became even more delectable after baking it in the oven for a bit. It came out perfectly crunch with just the right amount of sweet and chewy. Nobody wants to be digging caramel out of their teeth for hours. This recipe would make a great Christmas gift for family and friends or stuff it into little baggies for kid’s school functions or holiday parties. Now I won’t be making it for that purpose since my MIL makes it every year, but best believe as soon as I run out, I’ll be heading into the kitchen to make some more!

Vegan Caramel Corn

Approx. 10 cups of plain popped popcorn (for me, this was right around 2 batches in the air popper)

2 heaping Tbsp of vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)

1/2 tsp table salt

2 Tbsp plain unsweetened almond milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)

1/4 cup organic 100% maple syrup

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp baking soda

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F and prepare two baking sheets with either parchment paper or silicone baking mats (I used one of each and both came out the same).
  2. Add all ingredients except baking soda to a pot over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Stirring constantly, add the baking soda and reduce heat to low. Stir for about a minute or until you see the mixture change to a dark caramel-y color.
  4. Dump your popcorn into paper bags and evenly pour your caramel mixture into the popcorn.
  5. Shake the popcorn vigorously until well coated (this is where the extra set of hands comes in!!)
  6. Spread the coated popcorn evenly out onto your baking sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the popcorn reaches a nice golden brown color.
  7. Remove from the oven and lay out on a either a new piece of parchment paper, a clean baking sheet or I used a couple of clean cutting boards. This cooling process will allow the popcorn to become crispy and delectable.
  8. Store in large ziploc bags or sealed containers until you’re ready for some seriously delicious snacking!

Vegan Baked Peaches

Recipes

Today’s post is taking me back to colder days at the middle of September. Weather has been weird here in northern California, and we’re actually back to days in the high 80s late into October. I’m not loving that summer doesn’t seem to want to end. It makes me miss warm and cozy recipes like these easy baked vegan peaches. These are seriously so simple, I think the most difficult part was cutting the peaches in half.

These use a vegan butter substitute and some basic sugars. If you’re a super hardcore vegan you could also sub for coconut sugar or whatever you prefer. I also used yellow peaches, which in my experience with baking peaches, work best for this type of recipe. The white peaches are too tough and don’t soften correctly in the oven. Without further ado, let’s throw back into cooler temps and yummy desserts.

Easy Vegan Baked Peaches

2 large ripe yellow peaches, cut in halves and pitted

2 Tbsp vegan butter

4 Tbsp brown sugar

Cinnamon for sprinkling, if desired

  1. Place peach halves in a baking dish and preheat the oven to 375°F
  2. Add 1/2 Tbsp of vegan butter to the center of each peach, followed by 1 Tbsp of brown sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  3. Place in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the peaches are soft.
  4. Top with your favorite dairy free ice cream and enjoy the lovely smells and the warm feelings from these incredibly easy and delicious peaches!

Vegan Tomato Soup

Recipes

Soup is easily one of my favorite categories of foods. Tomato, potato, squash, chowders you name it, I love it. This is partly why I become so excited for colder weather, even though I consider myself a summertime kinda gal. Soups are comforting and filling, but can also be surprisingly simple and easy to make. This vegan tomato soup is no exception.

In my journey to try and recreate all my favorite recipes as vegan versions, I knew I had to try and duplicate my favorite tomato soup recipe. It’s so satisfying with a little bit of a spicy kick and pairs great with a vegan grilled cheese sandwich. What makes this recipe even better is it’s simplicity. There’s only one onion and some garlic to chop up, and eventually everything gets blended into soup consistency. You can use either a blender or I like to use my immersion blender, just be sure to be soup-er careful with your hot soup. If it flings out of that pot whilst you blend, you’re going to have some not so fun burns on your hands (and possibly the rest of your body). The vegan grilled cheese I mentioned before is made with some sourdough bread and Daiya’s Plant-Based Cheddar Style slices. I found that these melt super nicely on the stove without too much effort, and they have a great cheesey flavor that goes great with this soup. I hope you enjoy!

Vegan Tomato Soup

1/2 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 28oz cans whole tomatoes

Dash Tabasco sauce

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dried basil leaves

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened, plain

  1. Place onion, garlic, bay leaf, Tabasco sauce and olive oil in the bottom of a large pot and cook on medium heat until onions are translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes, brown sugar, basil and almond milk. Use the back of your spoon to crush the tomatoes and bring just to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes stirring frequently.
  3. After 10 minutes, remove the bay leaf and blend until smooth using an immersion blender. Be extra careful with this step. I usually leave the blender submerged fully in the mixture to avoid splatter.
  4. Once blended, add the vegetable broth and heat until warmed through.
  5. Serve with a vegan grilled cheese sandwich.

Vegan Avocado Pudding

Recipes

Let me start this post by saying how impressed I am with using avocados for pudding. Don’t get me wrong, this recipe isn’t going to taste like a pudding pack, in fact it’s more like a mousse than a pudding, but that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. It’s an easy and vegan alternative to chocolate pudding and healthier too! With that said, let’s just get into the recipe.

Vegan Avocado Chocolate Pudding

2 ripe avocados

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup 100% maple syrup (or other sweetener)

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup of almond milk (or preferred dairy-free substitute)

Place all items in a food processor and blend until creamy. Chill before serving.

That’s it! It’s so easy and delicious, let me know if you try it out!

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.