Buffalo Chicken-Free Salad

Posted by on Aug 17, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Buffalo Chicken-Free Salad

Sometimes I have the hardest time coming up with what to say about my recipes. The truth is that I get inspired to make things in the most mundane ways. Today I was driving around doing errands and thinking about what to make for lunch. I wanted something spicy, and then it hit me a buffalo “chicken” salad featuring the ingredients that normally accompany wings: celery, carrots, cucumber and ranch dressing! I stopped at the supermarket to load up on the ingredients and came home and put it together. 

It turned out better than I dared hope! The super spiciness of the “chicken” pieces were offset beautifully by the cool veggies and ranch dressing and the whole thing was really, really tasty. It takes a bit of time to put it together, but it’s so worth it!

To make the ranch dressing you’ll need some basic cashew cream, but that’s really easy to make, so don’t let that put you off! You could also just use a store-bought ranch dressing. 

Buffalo Chicken-Free Salad
Serves 2
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ranch Dressing
  1. 1/3 cup basic cashew cream
  2. 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  3. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  4. 1/2 tsp onion powder
  5. 1/2 tbsp dill, chopped
  6. 1/2 tbsp chives, chopped
  7. Salt & pepper, to taste
Buffalo Sauce
  1. ½ cup sriracha (or other hot sauce)
  2. 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  3. ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  4. 1 tsp onion powder
  5. 1 tsp garlic powder
  6. 1 tsp smoked paprika
  7. Freshly crushed black pepper
  8. 1 tbsp vegan margarine
Salad
  1. 1 bunch romaine
  2. 1-2 stalks of celery, sliced
  3. 1 medium cucumber, chopped
  4. 1 medium carrot, chopped into matchsticks (I used a white carrot)
  5. 10 Beyond Meat chicken-free strips
Ranch Dressing
  1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together with a fork until well combined.
Buffalo Sauce
  1. Mix together the hot sauce, coconut palm sugar, apple cider vinegar and spices in a small bowl.
  2. On medium heat, melt margarine in a saucepan.
  3. Once the margarine has melted, add the hot sauce mixture.
  4. Bring to a boil, and then reduce and simmer for about 5 minutes to let the flavors combine.
Salad
  1. Heat a pan on medium heat.
  2. Cut the chicken-free strips into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Dry-saute them in the pan until lightly browned.
  4. Add 1/2 of the buffalo sauce and turn off the heat.
  5. Combine romaine, carrot, cucumber and celery in a medium salad bowl.
  6. Add 2-3 tbsps of the ranch dressing, enough to coat the salad ingredients and toss with tongs until the ingredients are well-combined.
  7. Top the salad with the buffalo "chicken" bits and enjoy.
Notes
  1. If you don't have Beyond Meat chicken-free strips, you could use butler soy curls, seitan or other vegan chicken alternative.
Vegan Sweet and Simple http://vegansweetandsimple.com/
 And doesn’t it look yum?

Buffalo Chicken-Free Salad

Buffalo Chicken-Free Salad

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Vegan Sweet and Simple Turns 1! And giveaway!

Posted by on Aug 16, 2014 in Everything Else | 5 comments

Oh how time flies! I can’t believe that I have been blogging for one whole year. And what a year it has been!

My first ever post was a super simple, but tasty recipe for gingerbread bites using almond pulp leftover from making almond milk. Since then I’ve shared recipes for everything from green smoothies to scrumptious salads to sumptuous desserts and reviews from a few of the great places I’ve been lucky to visit.

And I’ve learned a huge amount in the process. I used to be a pretty basic and not-so-good cook. Over the past year I have learned to how different combinations of herbs and spices can create amazing flavor profiles and I’ve learned how to relax, be adventurous and just have fun in the kitchen. I’ve explored new frontiers, like how to create delicious raw meals and how to combine gluten-free flours to make yummy gluten-free baked goods. And I’ve progressed from taking some frankly awful photos of my creations to ones that actually make my food look pretty good (though that’s still a work in progress).  

This blog was never meant to be more than a place for me to explore vegan food and cooking and share sweet and simple recipes! It’s become so much more than that: it’s a place that has allowed me to learn, be creative, and grow. And for that I’m deeply grateful.

So to celebrate this one-year anniversary, I thought I’d do my first ever giveaway!  There are two books and blogs that I’ve turned to again and again over the past year and I want to share them with you. 

The first is Vegan For Her by Ginny Messina and JL Fields. This book is an absolute must-read for any vegan woman or any woman thinking of becoming vegan. I’ve been vegan for 14 years now and I learned a huge amount reading this book, from how to make sure my diet is well-balanced, to which supplements I should be taking, to how my body and nutritional needs are likely to change over my life course.  And it has really great recipes from JL, who taught me the concept of umami and how to be more mindful when I eat! 

Vegan for Her

Vegan for Her

The second is the blog, and now book, Choosing Raw, by Gena Hamshaw. I love Gena’s creative and practical approach to  raw vegan food. While I am not likely to follow a completely raw vegan diet, I have been making a conscious effort to eat more and more raw food, and Gena’s advice about how to do this makes it far easier. Her recipes are absolutely delicious and her blog and book are just beautiful. I could only aspire to be like her! 

Choosing Raw

Choosing Raw

One lucky reader will win Vegan for Her and another lucky reader will win Choosing Raw. Entering is super easy.  All you need to do is follow me on twitter, tweet about this giveaway, like Vegan Sweet and Simple on Facebook, or comment on this blog post through the links below. Entries will close at midnight on August 31st, and the winners will be announced on Monday, September 1st. To enter, you must live in the United States. Good luck! 

And thanks so much for coming on this journey with me! 

 

Vegan Sweet and Simple Turns 1!

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The Seed Experience 2014!

Posted by on Aug 9, 2014 in Everything Else | 0 comments

Today was a really great day. Why? Because it was the first day of this year’s Seed Experience in New York City, a celebration of all things vegan!  With great speakers, vegan causes, vegan products and of course lots of vegan food and drink, this truly is a must-attend event. There was so much to see and do and taste, it’s impossible to comprehensively review. So instead, I’m going to highlight my absolute favorite products and the things that made it home with me. 

Best Vegan Ice Cream: DF Mavens

Best ice cream ever!

Best ice cream ever!

There’s really no competition; no other vegan ice cream today came close. Today I tried the key lime creme and salted caramel pecan. They were both spectacular. DF Mavens ice creams are the creamiest of the creamy. The key lime creme was sweet and tart with cookie dough pieces! Swoon! The salted caramel pecan, oh my! I could have eaten the entire tub. I can’t wait until DF Mavens opens their storefront in the East Village this fall! 

Best Vegan Chocolate: Nicobella

Yum!

Pure chocolate heaven!

I think the earth may have shaken when I tasted the Nicobella truffles. They certainly rocked my world! Creamy, smooth, rich and oh-so-decadent, these truffles are to live for. I loved the creative flavors, like ginger green tea and lime basil. And they are oh-so-pretty. I was originally going to buy just box of assorted truffles along with the peanut butter squares. But then when I thought about having to share them with my partner I decided I had better buy him his own.

Best Chips: Beanfields’ Bean and Rice Chips

Get in my belly!

Get in my belly!

These! Beanfields’ bean and rice chips were seriously good and definitely the best chips at the show. The intense cheesy, spicy flavor of the nacho chips won me over, but the ranch and barbecue were also awesome. 

Best Vegan, Gluten-free Cake: The Love Kitchen and Flourish

Margarita Mini Cupcake

The Love Kitchen: Margarita Mini Cupcake

Carrot Cake

Flourish: Carrot Cake

Okay, this is a tie, because I really could not decide which was better. They were both amazing.

Everything I have tried from the Love Kitchen is phenomenal, but cakes really are Kris Manzur’s specialty.  This mini cupcake was moist and citrusy, the frosting sweet, creamy and fluffy! Yum, yum and yum! 

I shared the carrot cake from Flourish Baking Company with my partner this evening and it was love at first bite, for both of us.  The cake was intensely flavorful, loaded with carrots, cinnamon and raisins, and incredibly moist. And if you’ve had bad gluten-free cakes, you know how important moisture is! The frosting in the center had melted a little by the time I got it home (it was hot out today!), but it was still delicious.  

Best New Drink: Maple Water

Who knew this was a thing?

Who knew this was a thing?

There were no shortage of new drinks on offer at The Seed, but this Happy Tree Maple Water was tops! It’s the pure maple sap that flows from maple trees in the spring, which, when reduced becomes maple syrup. It had a distinct maple flavor, but was light and refreshing and not too sweet.  And it’s low calorie and packed with anti-oxidants and b vitamins. This is something I’ll definitely buy.  

An interesting contender in this category was the Arty Artichoke Water. It was surprisingly good! But if I’m honest, it’s probably not something I’m going to seek out. 

Best new to NY product: Love Bean Superfood Fudge Spread

SE Love Bean

Chocolate! Fudge! Spread!

I don’t even know what I can say to convey the loveliness of this Love Bean chocolate fudge spread. It’s pure creamy, chocolate goodness in a jar! The essentially raw flavor came home with me – it is dark and intense, just as I love my chocolate. But the original coconut, which is a little more velvety with a distinct coconut flavor, was also really good. It comes from Austin, Texas, and is made in small batches by hand and I’m hoping it makes an appearance in NY stores soon! 

Best Tea: Chai Mookie

I love my Cocoa Mookie!

I love my Coco Mookie!

Okay, so this was the only tea being sold at the Seed Experience, but it deserves its own category because Chai Mookie tea is really, really good. I made a beeline for a cup of iced coco mookie as soon as I got to the venue! I love how spicy these blends are. And the coco mookie is really sublime.

Best vegan, glutenfree lunch item: Yeah Dawg Vegan Hot Dogs

Fully loaded!

Fully loaded!

What can I say about Yeah Dawg hot dogs that has not already been said? These gluten-free, vegan hot dogs are so flavorful on their own, but when loaded with pickles and other toppings, they are just over-the-top delicious! I had mine over the kale salad, because while the dogs are gluten-free, they don’t have gluten-free buns on offer at this time (they do offer corn tortillas though!). But I didn’t mind one bit, because the kale salad is oh-so-good and I think it actually made me appreciate the beauty of this hot dog even more! 

Other things that came home with me… 

And now, a few other things I loved that I couldn’t leave behind. 

Gluten-free bean pasta!

Gluten-free bean pasta!

I bought five packets of these Explore Asia bean pastas, but at 5 for $10 it was a pretty great deal. When I tasted the samples on offer, I knew I had to bring some home with me. Unlike other gluten-free pastas, the spaghetti and fettuccine strands don’t stick together and they have a lovely al dente bite.  Plus, they taste really really good. I’m also told that it’s hard to overcook them, which is another plus. Look out for some recipes featuring these in the next couple of months! 

I'm wearing this to the gym tomorrow!

I’m wearing this to the gym tomorrow!

I am totally inspired by the Plant Built Vegan Muscle Team! And even if I can’t be as strong as them, I at least want to try! I bought myself a plant built tank top to show my vegan pride while I’m doing strength training at the gym. 

Can't leave without it

Can’t leave without it

And I can never, ever leave Rescue Chocolate behind.  The Peanut Butter Pit Bull bar is one of my all-time favorite chocolates of any kind. And it supports a really good cause: all of the profits go to animal rescue organizations around the country. 

And last, but not least… 

The most entertaining event: Big Fat Vegan Radio

Fabulousness personified!

Fabulousness personified!

I loved every second of Honey LaBronx and Laura Yaz’s live performance of their podcast, Big Fat Vegan Radio! What could be more awesome than two big, comedic personalities lip-synching songs about veganism, sharing the latest and greatest vegan news, and answering any question thrown at them? Thanks to Honey LaBronx, I’ll never think of tofu in the same way again! They won a new fan in me today. 

And there was so much more… The Seed Experience was so much fun, I wish I was going back tomorrow! But alas, now I’ll be counting down the days until next year’s. 

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Raspberry Pineapple Green Smoothie

Posted by on Aug 5, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Raspberry Pineapple Green Smoothie

 

With these long hot summer days, I’m craving refreshing and energizing green smoothies to start the day.  This morning I’m sharing a simple, but delicious recipe.  With tart raspberries, sweet pineapple and energizing coconut water, it is a lovely morning, or anytime, treat! I added flax seeds for a good dose of omega-3s and fiber and spinach for the greens. 

 

Raspberry Pineapple Smoothie
Serves 1
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Total Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  2. 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  3. 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  4. 1 tbsp flax seeds
  5. 1 cup coconut water
  6. Stevia, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high until smooth.
Vegan Sweet and Simple http://vegansweetandsimple.com/
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Raw Pecan Pie! Oh my!

Posted by on Aug 3, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Raw Pecan Pie! Oh my!

Last weekend, my partner asked me to make him a pie. As you may have guessed by now, that is usually how most of my forays into dessert-making start! This time I decided to try my hand at a raw pecan pie.  

When I was thinking about the recipe I knew I wanted two things: a pie crust that resembled the traditional and a gooey, caramelly filling. It turned out better than I could have imagined. Plus, it has just five whole food ingredients! And it is ridiculously easy. 

Naked

Naked

Now, despite the fact that this is raw and made with ingredients that are good for you, this is not a low-calorie treat. This is decadent. And it is rich. So a little bit goes a very long way.

A little slice of heaven...

A little slice of heaven…

Raw Pecan Pie
Serves 2
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Total Time
4 hr
Total Time
4 hr
Crust
  1. 1/4 cup oat flour
  2. 1/4 cup almond meal
  3. 5 dates (about 1/4 cup)
  4. 1 tbsp water (if needed)
  5. 1/8 tsp salt
Filling
  1. 1/4 cup raw pecan pieces
  2. 1/2 tsp raw vanilla extract
  3. 10 dates (about 1/2 cup)
  4. 3/8 tsp salt
  5. 10 pecan halves
Crust
  1. Place oat flour, salt, dates, and almond flour in a food processor and process until dates are completely broken down. At this point, the mixture should be fairly dry and powdery.
  2. Add water a tsp at a time, until mixture is moist and holds together well when pressed between your fingertips.
  3. Line the bottom of a 4-inch pie tin with parchment paper or wax paper, and press the pie crust into it, so that you get a crust about 1/4 inch thick on the bottom and sides.
  4. Carefully remove the crust from the tin, peel the parchment paper off the bottom, and place it in a dehydrator at 110 degrees for 2 hours or until it feels dry to the touch.
  5. Turn it over and dehydrate for another hour.
  6. At that point, the crust should be ready for filling!
Filling
  1. Place 1/4 cup pecan pieces, vanilla extract, dates and salt in a food processor and process for 5-10 minutes until you get a thick paste.
  2. Pecans contain a lot of oil, so you may want to blot the paste a little with a paper towel to absorb some of the oil.
  3. Carefully press the filling into your pie crust.
  4. Top with raw pecan halves and serve.
Notes
  1. If you don't have a dehydrator for the crust, don't worry! Just place it in the fridge for a few hours to let it firm up a little. The crust won't be quite as dry and therefore won't resemble a baked crust as closely, but it will still be delicious!
Vegan Sweet and Simple http://vegansweetandsimple.com/
 I served my pie with ice cream. Because who doesn’t love ice cream and pie? Pure deliciousness! 

Raw pecan pie a la mode!

Raw pecan pie a la mode!

This is just a little pie and because it is so rich, I got four servings out of it. But if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, you could go ahead and split the pie between two! And if you want to make a bigger pie, just triple or quadruple the ingredients. 

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Wilted Kale Salad with Smoky Mesquite Vinaigrette

Posted by on Aug 2, 2014 in Everything Else, Recipes | 0 comments

Wilted Kale Salad with Smoky Mesquite Vinaigrette

One night last week I got home late from work and put some red rice on to cook. Then, when I thought about how long it would be before dinner would be on the table, changed course quickly.  But that meant I had red rice cooked and ready for the next night’s dinner! 

Red rice comes from Thailand, but is readily available in health food stores. It has a lovely nutty flavor and a nice chewiness to it. And because it is unhulled and a whole grain it is much higher in fiber than its white or brown counterparts. Plus it is packed with antioxidants! It was absolutely lovely in this salad!

There’s not much to say about this salad recipe, other than it is divine. My partner is not a huge salad fan, and he lapped this one up. The dressing is incredibly flavorful: smoky, sweet, tart, and spicy all at the same time. And the ingredients just complement each other perfectly. 

Wilted Kale Salad with Smoky Mesquite Vinaigrette
Serves 2
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Dressing
  1. 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
  2. 1 tsp maple syrup
  3. 1 tsp mesquite powder
  4. 1 tsp sriracha
  5. A few drops of liquid smoke
Salad
  1. 4 cups Red Russian Kale, chopped
  2. 2/3 cups cooked red rice, warm
  3. 4 oz smoked tofu, chopped into 1/2 inch squares (I love Soy Boy smoked tofu)
  4. 1/4 onion, very thinly sliced
  5. 1/2 red bell pepper, very thinly sliced
  6. 1/3 cup chickpeas
  7. 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  8. 1/2 avocado, diced
  9. Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Dressing
  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until well mixed.
Salad
  1. Dry sauté smoked tofu in a hot pan until warm and lightly browned.
  2. Add kale to a large bowl, along with the warm red rice and tofu and toss together. The heat from the rice and tofu will slightly wilt the kale.
  3. Add other ingredients, except black pepper, and dressing and toss a few times using tongs until the dressing coats the vegetables well.
  4. Serve and top with a little freshly ground black pepper.
Notes
  1. If you don't have red rice, use brown!
Vegan Sweet and Simple http://vegansweetandsimple.com/
Yum!

Yum!

 Yes, this is a salad I am going to be making again and again! 

 

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Key Lime Pie

Posted by on Jul 20, 2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

Key Lime Pie

A little while back my partner asked me to make him a key lime pie.

My first attempt was a bit of a disaster. It tasted good, but it was too creamy and dense, not the light custardy pie he was pining for.

But when I tried it a second time and modified the recipe by cutting back on the cashews, I managed to nail it. Well, according to him! I never actually had a real key lime pie, so I am not the expert here!

Key Lime Pie 2

Perfect for two! Some pie for me and some for you!

I used agar agar powder, almond milk and lime juice with a few cashews thrown in for the filling. This creates a filling that is creamy, but light and not dense. I didn’t have key limes, so I used regular lime juice. And I threw in a bit of spinach to give it a greenish tint. I tried making this at first with coconut palm sugar, but didn’t get the result I was hoping for, and so I used evaporated cane juice, which worked well. I topped it with a bit of coconut whipped cream, instead of the meringue topping such pies normally call for.  It was delicious! Tangy, sweet, light. Yumminess! 

A lovely slice of key lime pie!

A lovely slice of key lime pie!

Key Lime Pie For 2!
Serves 2
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Total Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr
Crust
  1. 1/4 cup steel-cut oats
  2. 1 tbsp cashews
  3. 5 dates
  4. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1/8 tsp salt
  6. 1 tsp lime juice
Filling
  1. 3/4 cup almond milk
  2. 2 tbsps lime juice
  3. 2 tbsps evaporated cane juice or other vegan sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp agar powder (powder, not flakes!)
  5. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1/8 tsp salt
  7. A few spinach leaves (more or less until you get the color you would like.
Coconut Cream
  1. 4 tbsps coconut cream
  2. 1 tbsp powdered sugar
  3. Tiny pinch of salt
Crust
  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until the oats and dates are processed enough to hold together. Be careful not to over process and turn the crust into a paste. You do want some texture!
  2. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 4-inch springform pan to form the crust.
Filling
  1. Place all ingredients and blend until fully smooth.
  2. If you have a high-speed blender, continue blending for 5 minutes until mixture begins to boil.
  3. If you do not have a high-speed blender, transfer the mixture to a saucepan and stir continuously on medium heat until the mixture begins to boil.
  4. Pour mixture into pan, on top of crust.
  5. Place in fridget for 2-3 hours, until firmly set.
Coconut Cream
  1. Place a can of coconut in the fridge overnight.
  2. Turn the can over, and open from the bottom.
  3. The coconut cream and water should have separated, leaving a nice thick cream on top.
  4. Carefully scoop out 4 tbsps of the cream, using a whisk, whip with powdered sugar and a tiny pinch of salt until combined.
  5. Spoon the cream into a piping bag, and, once the pie is set, pipe the cream on top in any way you choose to finish it. (You can see my piping skills need a lot of work!)
  6. Carefully release the springform and remove the pie.
  7. And voila! It is ready to eat.
Vegan Sweet and Simple http://vegansweetandsimple.com/
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