Review: Vegan Beyond Beef Crumbles

Review: Vegan Beyond Beef Crumbles
This week I tried Beyond Beef Crumbles. I’ve had the Beyond brand Beast Burger, and it is amazing, so I wanted to check out their other products. Beyond Meat products are vegan, gluten free, and soy free. They bulk up the product with pea protein.

Review: Vegan Beyond Beef Crumbles
I bought the Feisty flavor. The stove top cooking instructions are simple: Add a little oil to a pan, and heat until warm. I could smell the seasonings so I thought maybe I wouldn’t have to add anything to the crumbles – especially since the name is Feisty, but after tasting it I realized that was not the case. I added salt, pepper, garlic, and chili powder (besides already having sauteed some onions before adding the veggie meat). Oh, I probably also added a little pinch of nutritional yeast since I add it to practically everything!

Review: Vegan Beyond Beef Crumbles
I made a quick layer dip with refried beans & Frank’s Red Hot Sauce on the bottom, then guacamole, Better Than Sour Cream combined with Follow Your Heart Bleu Cheese dressing, salsa, and finally the Beyond Beef Crumbles.

The texture of the crumbles was not as meaty as the Beast Burger, and they definitely have a more…vegetarian taste. Not bad, just not what I expected after the Beast Burger. The individual bits are also way bigger than, say, Boca brand crumbles. It made them kind of awkward to eat with chips. It’s also disappointing they’re already seasoned but still need to be seasoned! Still, if you’re avoiding soy and gluten, this is probably your best option. I would buy it for my gf friends.

What’s your favorite allergy-friendly vegan meat?

Cleansing Vegetable Soup

Vegan Cleansing Vegetable Soup Recipe
This is the other dish I brought to the Lenten potluck earlier this week. I looked through a bunch of detox soup recipes online, then used the ideas to throw together this gorgeous green vegetable soup. It’s packed with veggies, easy to make, and this recipe makes a large pot so you could eat it for days…I would have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I were more disciplined.

Cleansing Vegetable Soup
2 pounds dried split peas
2 heads broccoli
1 pound carrots
1 pound celery
1 bunch green onion
1/4 C peeled & chopped turmeric (or more to taste)
2 bunches kale
6 C vegetable broth (homemade or high quality store bought)
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
optional: 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Cook split peas according to instructions, allowing them to get very tender and soft (even a little mushy!).
Meanwhile, chop all the vegetables except kale, and add to large pot with turmeric and vegetable broth – include the leafy celery and carrot tops, they add a great flavor and are very nutritious. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat, and simmer until veggies are tender and falling apart, adding salt and pepper to taste (and nutritional yeast, if using). Tear kale from stems and add to veggies. Simmer until tender.
Let the vegetables and split peas cool slightly, then blend in batches – I did a few ladles-full of vegetables along with a big scoop of split peas in each batch. You can blend it all until completely smooth, or leave some of the veggies in chunks.

Vegan Cleansing Vegetable Soup Recipe
At home, I serve the soup with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top and finished with Mediterranean black lava salt (I love finding fancy salts at Home Goods). The split peas bulk it up and make it pretty filling on its own, but it would also be wonderful over rice or potatoes. I bought a container of rice with chickpeas from the monastery, it had bits of onion and dill in it, and it was delicious with the soup mixed in.

This soup is oil free and perfect for a strict fasting day…unless you accidentally grab a vegetable broth with safflower oil in it, which is a totally unnecessary ingredient and why you should make your own broth. But it is better to eat the soup than let it go to waste 🙂

Vegan Potato Nachos with Tahini Sauce

Vegan Potato Nachos with Tahini Sauce
I love these vegan nachos because they’re beautifully colorful and very simple to throw together. Sometimes when I buy potatoes, I bake a bunch of them all at once and throw them in the fridge to use as needed. For these nachos, you can use whatever kind of potato you want, big or small (sweet potatoes might be a little odd, but you could work with them!). I used purple potatoes, and the results are stunning 🙂

Vegan Potato Nachos
baked potatoes, sliced
tahini nacho cheez sauce
favorite toppings

Preheat oven to 425.
Place potatoes on a small baking tray in a single layer. Drizzle with about half the tahini sauce, and sprinkle on your favorite toppings. Drizzle remaining tahini sauce over the toppings. Bake at 425 until tahini sauce has thickened and is lightly browned (around 10 – 15 minutes).
Alternatively, you can make the nachos on a microwave safe plate and nuke for a minute or two, until the sauce has thickened.

Serves 1 to 2

These are great with a side of bean dip and guacamole, and you can make it a meal for 4 by adding a big ol’ bowl of Spanish rice.

These nachos are oil free and perfect for a strict fasting day.

Big Qrunch Plate

Lately it seems like I’m hungry ALL the time. I feel like a big bear bulking up for hibernation! I usually have a supply of Qrunch Burgers in the freezer and try to find different ways to use them, other than just sticking them in a bun. They’re good “filler” because of the quinoa, and because of the great variety of flavors they come in.

Vegan Qrunch Burger Plate

The Qrunch Plate


As many of you know, I’m not a huge fan of using recipes, but lately I’ve posted quite a few that have actual measurements. Well, not today. The Big Qrunch Plate is something you can throw together with what you have on hand – assuming you at least have the Qrunch Burgers 🙂 But here’s a guide you might use:

Big Qrunch Plate
2 Qrunch Burgers
sauteed and/or fresh veggies
dollop of vegan sour cream
seasonings to taste

For mine, I sauteed onions, garlic, bell pepper, and tomatoes, then added fresh avocado. I bought some less-than-stellar vegan sour cream from Trader Joe’s and seasoned it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast, and dill, and it tastes much better. It went great with the veggies and Spicy Buffalo Qrunch Burgers, and was just the right touch for the Chef Ernesto breaded green beans I got from Dollar Tree – that’s what you see bordering the veggies & burger. The meal is gluten free if you leave out the breaded stuff (or make your own with gf breadcrumbs).

I finally felt full after this meal! What’s your favorite thing to eat during the winter months?

10 Minute 2 Ingredient Semi Homemade Pudding

I don’t know how I didn’t figure this out before, but I could’ve been eating gloriously cheap and delicious vegan pudding all these years! And it couldn’t be simpler. I wouldn’t call this a “from scratch” recipe, more like semi-homemade, but I’m okay with that.

This morning I rolled out of bed and realized I’d forgotten to make something for breakfast (I usually eat at work) and I didn’t have much time to spare. By the time I finished getting myself ready, it was 7:52 and I needed to leave the house at 8:10.

10 Minute 2 Ingredient Homemade Vegan Pudding
I grabbed these two ingredients: Pumpkin Spice coconut milk & cornstarch. That’s it. You can really use any flavor you want, or use plain and flavor it yourself. I used a couple ad-ins, but they’re optional.

10 Minute 2 Ingredient Homemade Vegan Pudding
The pudding is wonderful warm, and when it cools it gets pretty solid and gelatinous. Might even work for a pie filling.

10 Minute Pudding
1 C flavored coconut milk
1 Tbsp cornstarch

Add cornstarch to pan over medium high and use a whisk to spread it around. Immediately, but SLOWLY, begin pouring in the coconut milk while whisking to prevent lumps from forming. Keep whisking as you bring the milk to a boil. Let is boil for just a minute or so, then remove from heat.
Serve warm and soupy, or cold and thick.

If you want to increase the recipe, it’s just 1 Tbsp cornstarch for every cup of milk. You don’t have to use coconut milk, but I like the fat 🙂 I also added a bit of coconut milk yogurt to mine while it was cooling, and today I added a bit of maple syrup.

I started cooking around 7:54, and by the time I took this picture at 8:09 I had already cleaned my mess and had the pudding chilling in the fridge. Doesn’t seem to hurt a thing if you increase the heat and bring it to a boil faster on the high setting, just make sure you whisk the entire time.

It’s vegan, gluten free, oil free, cheap, fast, and perfect for a strict fasting day!

Rise! Grand Rapids

I had a very special treat last night (and this morning). A long while back I went to the first ever vegan pop-up bakery hosted by Vegan Grand Rapids. Since I follow them on facebook, I knew ahead of time there would be vegan donuts from Rise! Grand Rapids here in Michigan, and that’s what I was looking forward to the most. The event started Sunday at 11am, but I didn’t get there until 12:30 because I waited til after church. Well, after just 1.5 hours, all the donuts were sold out! In fact, nearly everything was sold out, but I think the donuts were first to go, selling out in something like 45 minutes.

Well, there was another pop-up bakery event last Saturday. All the vendors brought more stuff this time knowing how popular it would be, but guess what? The donuts sold out AGAIN! I was disappointed, but not too badly, because….

Gluten Free Vegan Donuts from Rise! Grand Rapids in Michigan
I’d already placed an order for two dozen donuts for a dinner party just a few days later. Since it was an autumnal party, I went with Maple Glazed Pumpkin (left) and Apple Cider with cinnamon and sugar (right).

Here at Rise everything is made from scratch with true and fresh ingredients. We love representing the conscious side of pastry and pride ourselves on creative spin-offs to the classics. We believe that food is at the heart of community, so come as you are. Have a seat at the table.
-from the Rise Grand Rapids facebook page

Gluten Free Vegan Donuts from Rise! Grand Rapids in Michigan
We had a ton of food, so I was too full to eat two whole donuts after dinner…even though I really, really wanted to. I couldn’t choose between the flavors, so I did what any reasonable person would do. Half of each.

Now, I’m not a gluten free person – I love gluten! I think there were only two gf people at the party, and one singular vegan. What if the donuts tasted vegan, or had a gluten free texture? You know, like what if they are weird and gross I think is some people’s fear. Not my friends, though. They’re used to eating all the interesting things I bring around. So, together we ate 19.5 donuts.

Gluten Free Vegan Donuts from Rise! Grand Rapids in Michigan
Here’s what we decided:

-No weird texture, we wouldn’t have known they were gluten free
-No weird “vegan” taste. Just GOOD.
-Really good.
-Especially impressed with texture of the Apple Cider donut. It was just a little crunchy and slightly browned on the outside, and perfectly soft and light on the inside. Everyone agreed the crunch was a plus, it was perfectly done.

Now, this morning they were day-old donuts. Were they stale? Not one bit! The crunchiness of the Apple Cider donut was gone, but it was replaced by a wonderful slightly-burnt caramel taste, probably caused by some of that sugar coating melting into the browned parts. I seldom drink coffee, but this was the perfect breakfast.

Lots of people were interested in ordering their own donuts, and I hope you’ll be interested, too! Rise also does cakes (including special occasion cakes) and cupcakes. And not only do they have delicious sweets, their customer service is wonderful. Great communication.
To see some of the lovely donuts and cakes that have come out of this brilliant little home-based bakery, visit the Rise Grand Rapids facebook page. Should you decide to place an order (DO IT), contact information is provided in the About section.

Donuts for Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!! Where’s your favorite place to get vegan donuts?

Like Donuts? You might also like:
Donut Sandwich
Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Qrunch Donut
Red Rabbit Bakery in Austin, TX

Cheezy Mac Breakfast Skillet

Well friends, earlier this week I shared with you my review of Daiya Cheezy Mac, a vegan & gluten free boxed mac n cheese. As I mentioned, it’s supposed to be three servings per box, but I can’t stop myself from eating the ENTIRE box at once! Well, with just a few extra minutes of cooking I fattened up my cheezy mac and was able to really and truly break it down into three very filling servings. So, while you’re preparing your Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac according to instructions, check this out…

Vegan Mac n Cheese Breakfast Skillet
I sauteed onions and fresh garlic in olive oil, then added and browned Tofurky breakfast links, and threw in a little spinach.

Vegan Mac n Cheese Breakfast Skillet
That’s it! Add it to your cheezy mac.

Vegan Mac n Cheese Breakfast Skillet
Adding the sausages made it very filling without adding too many calories. In fact I entered this meal on My Fitness Pal, and with the oil, veggies & sausages it came to a mere 418 calories. May not be the healthiest thing, but for a special treat (or if you just plan to exercise it off), no big deal.

Cheezy Mac Vegan Breakfast Skillet
1 Box Daiya Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac, prepared according to instructions
1 Tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice)
1/4 C chopped onion*
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped*
6 Tofurky Apple Maple Breakfast Sausages, chopped
1 C frozen spinach*
Optional, black pepper

*Or more to taste.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until tender. Add chopped sausages and saute until lightly browned. Add spinach and cook until heated through (if using fresh, cook until wilted). You may wish to add black pepper, but salt is not recommended since the sauce is nice and salty already.
Combine with prepared Cheezy Mac and serve hot.

By the way, this Smoked Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe from 2 Broke Vegans reminded me of the classic Mac n Cheese n Hot Dogs thing and inspired this dish. Check it out!

Week of Greek: White Cabbage Salad (Lahanosalata)

2015-7-14 White Cabbage Salad Lahanosalata
For our next course, I have chosen another very simple dish – light, clean, and the most basic version of the White Cabbage Salad recipe I could find. You may garnish the salad with shaved carrot just for a little pop of color. Cabbage is low in calories and packed with Vitamin C. And like our tahini soup in the first course, it is super inexpensive!

White Cabbage Salad
1 medium white cabbage
salt
juice of two lemons
olive oil

Quarter the head of cabbage, cutting around and discarding the core, then slice each quarter thinly and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt (perhaps 2 teaspoons) and turn to disperse evenly. Let the cabbage weep for approximately 15 minutes – don’t worry, it won’t make a sound! After 15 minutes, drain liquid from the bowl.

Add to the cabbage the juice of two lemons. Drizzle with olive oil to taste – I recommend beginning with 2 Tbsp and slowly adding from there, to taste. Season with additional salt to your liking.

This should make approximately 6 good servings.

Even though I’m an olive oil freak, I personally enjoyed this with minimal olive oil. It actually reminded me of Syrian salad, salata. I was afraid the leftovers would be completely wilted, but the cabbage still had a crunch to it the next day. Maybe with your leftovers, you could get all fancy like Marie Catrib’s and use them to top a vegan chili dog!

Oh! And be sure to Like & follow my facebook page for links to Athanasia’s Greek Week specials at 2 Broke Vegans. Greek vegan recipes from an actual Greek vegan in Greece! And all her recipes are gluten free!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND THIS CABBAGE SALAD IS GLUTEN FREE, GRAIN FREE, RAW, PALEO, LENTEN, VEGAN. Man, this recipe has it all.

What’s your favorite Greek word?

P.S. Yesterday for the first course of our meal, we had Tahini Soup. Be sure to check it out!

Week of Greek: Tahini Soup (Tahinosoupa)

If you’ve been around here a while you know I adore tahini, so it’s no surprise I have worked it into the first course of our week-long Greek meal! Tahini Soup is a traditional Lenten recipe – fast, cheap, good for ya, no frills, and SO easy to whip up a huge batch for the whole family, or to share with neighbors and friends.

2015-7-13 Tahini Soup Tahinosoupa
There are many variations if you search online, but I chose to go with the great Tselementes on this one. In this very old cookbook, he writes that peanut butter may be used since it is so difficult to find tahini in stores. I’m glad that’s not the case anymore! In my local Middle Eastern market there must be at least half a dozen varieties of tahini to choose from.

Another fun thing about these old cookbooks I used, they measure things out in teacups!

2015-7-13 Tahini Soup Tahinosoupa2
Any small pasta will do for this recipe, you could even break up spaghetti or angel hair pasta, and some recipes use rice. Just keep it simple.

2015-7-13 Tahini Soup Tahinosoupa3
It looks very Lenten, doesn’t it? But don’t let the plain looks deceive you – this soup has a surprisingly wonderful flavor thanks to the nuttiness of the tahini. It was *almost* cheese-like.

2015-7-13 Tahini Soup Tahinosoupa4
Mumra and I did add a bit of this beautiful, chunky pink salt and a touch of black pepper, but only because we are food snobs and wanted to fancy it up. Tahinosoupa is filling, nutritious (thanks to iron-rich tahini, which also provides a little calcium), and budget-friendly.

This gave me an idea. What if we ate Tahini Soup for dinner every day for one week, how much money would we save? We could take those few dollars and donate them to the IOCC, and the Jaharis Family Foundation will match our donation to help the people of Greece! To read more about what the IOCC is doing in Greece, CLICK HERE.

Tahini Soup
4 1/2 C water + more for sauce
salt to taste
2 C small pasta (I used occhio di pernice)
2 tsp tahini per serving

Boil water salted to taste. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until done, according to instructions. DO NOT DRAIN.
In each serving bowl, mix 2 tsp tahini with just enough additional water to reach a mayo-type consistency. Spoon pasta and its broth into each bowl, and stir to combine with tahini sauce.

Makes several large servings, or TONS of 1/2 C servings!

If you want the soup to be less ascetic, you may wish to add:
Pepper
Garlic
Nutritional yeast
Sliced green onion
A bit of turmeric to make it beautiful
Bulk it up with beans (another dirt cheap ingredient!)

Feel free to use gluten free pasta. Be sure to enjoy!!!

And check out our 2nd course: White Cabbage Salad (Lahanosalata)

Chickpea Salad Sandwich with Chive Blossoms

I cannot often enough extol the virtues of JustMayo. Although the original plain flavor tastes great, and is very versatile, garlic mayo is my current favorite.


And if you have garlic mayo from Hampton Creek (makers of JustMayo), you can make this wonderful salad.


1 C cooked chickpeas, drained
1/2 peas
2 – 3 Tbsp garlic JustMayo
salt & pepper to taste
a sprinkling of chive blossoms
4 slices of bread, lightly toasted
baby romaine

Mix mayo with chickpeas, stir in peas being careful not to crush them. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently fold in chive blossoms. You can eat the salad as-is, or make a sandwich with lightly toasted bread and baby romaine, or your favorite sandwich greens.


Eat it and love it.