Vegan Peaches n' Cream Oatmeal

Easy and creamy, peach filled yumminess! And, it's vegan!

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh peaches (peeled and diced)
  • 2 cups rolled oats (I used Bob's Red Mill Organic Extra Thick Rolled Oats, which required 4 cups of water and a pinch of salt for cooking 4 servings)
  • 1/2 cup prepared cashew cream (Click this link for my EASY, 2 ingredient recipe)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (or your sweetener of choice)

How-to:

  1. Cook the oatmeal according to package directions for 4 servings. (My package said 2 cups oatmeal with 4 cups water, boil with a pinch of salt for 10 minutes or until creamy).
  2. When the oatmeal is finished cooking, remove from heat.
  3. Mix in the cashew cream, peaches and sugar. Stir well.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks:

  • Save some of the diced peaches and place on top of the oatmeal with a little extra cashew cream prior to serving.
  • Add a little maple syrup for a touch more sweetness.
  • You could use frozen peaches if you can't find fresh. Just thaw and dice approximately 10 slices.
  • Use the extra cashew cream in your coffee or over fresh fruit.
 Food and Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Food and Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Carolyn's Easy Cashew Cream

A vegan alternative to heavy cream--CASHEW CREAM! It's easy and yummy!

Yield: Approx. 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups cashews
  • 1 cup water

How-to:

  1. Blend cashews with 2 cups water in a high speed blender (like a Vitamix or Magic Bullet) until white, creamy and smooth. (About 3-4 minutes on a high speed setting).

Tips and Tricks:

  • Don't have a high speed blender? Use a regular blender, but soak the cashews in some water for a couple of hours prior to making.
  • I've used this cream as a "white pizza" base. After I blended it, I added 2 heads of roasted garlic, a pinch of salt, and then blended it some more. It tasted amazing on a pizza crust with spinach and vegan mozzarella!
  • Save the leftover cream and use it as a coffee creamer.
  • Add a touch of a sweetener and pour it over some fresh fruit like peaches. YUM!
 Photography and Food by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography and Food by Carolyn J. Braden

Super Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

My husband and I love pudding, but we can't handle all the dairy. So, I was super excited when I started to see chia seed pudding start to trend all over Pinterest.

Here's my adaptation of the recipe for Chia Pudding via Chocolate Covered Katie. I was just going to make her version, then I realized I was out of almond milk. I realized I had cashews and yogurt on hand, so I got creative.

Here's what I came up with. My version is vegan, but you could use regular milk and yogurt if you aren't vegan. I give you several choices on ingredients and amounts so you can tailor it to suit you. I love to play with my food to make it fit my taste, and I encourage you to do the same!

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternative but you could use regular plain yogurt if you aren't vegan)
  • 1 cup cashew milk (Or, use whatever milk you have on hand. Cashew milk tends to have a very creamy consistency, so that 's why I liked it for this recipe. Cashew milk how-to: Blend 1 cup cashews with 2 cups water in a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Magic Bullet until smooth. Don't have a high speed blender? Use a regular blender, but soak the cashews in some water for a couple of hours prior to making.)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (add a bit more for a more "peanutty" taste)
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar (Amount depends on how sweet you like your desserts. If you use regular sugar, I'd stick with 1 tablespoon, as it tends to be a bit sweeter than coconut sugar).
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips

How-to:

  1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl (or I use a glass mason jar) and mix very well.
  2. Allow to chill in the fridge for 1-3 hours. The longer you let it chill, the bigger the chia seeds will swell. Bigger chia seeds=smoother pudding.
  3. Eat and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks:

  • Chocolate Covered Katie had a great tip on her site. She said if you don't like the consistency of the pudding after it's chilled (it'll have a bit of a "bumpy" texture from the seeds), you can blend it in a blender (after the chilling process) to smooth it out. In my experience, you may need to add a tiny bit more milk to the pudding if you chose to do this.
  • Don't like peanut butter? Use another nut butter instead OR remove the nut butter completely. I added it only for flavor. Try adding some vanilla or almond extract instead of the nut butter. If you omit the nut butters, you could also omit the cocoa and add in fruit. See how many versions you can come up with!
  • If you make the cashew milk, you'll have some leftovers. It tastes great as a coffee creamer! I also used it as a cream base for a white pizza I made recently.)
  • I love my Vitamix! I bought a refurbished model and it's done wonderful things for me in my kitchen. It's worth the investment. If you click the link to the one on this page (see below) and purchase it, I'll receive a tiny bit of the proceeds from Amazon.
  • Consider making any purchases using the links I have posted on my website so I can keep the free content flowing!
  • I also love my Magic Bullet. I bought mine new and have used it for so many things, I've lost count!
  • Consider adding more chia seeds to your diet. They are easy to digest and full of nutrients. Check out this article about chia seeds and their benefits via Dr. Axe.
 Food and Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Food and Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

3 Ingredient Vegan Sour Cream

A vegan sour cream you can use on your quesadillas, tacos or as a base for a chip dip! It's EASY too!

Makes a little over 1/4 cup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegan mayo (I used Sir Kensington's brand)
  • 1/4 cup vegan plain yogurt (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk Unsweetened Yogurt Alternative)
  • Pinch of salt

How-to:

  1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  2. Enjoy!
 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Chocolate Peanut Butter Anytime Oats With a Protein Punch

One of my go-to creamy, dreamy and sweet breakfast or dessert treats! The recipe is super simple, ready in 20 minutes and delicious any time of the day.

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Gluten-Free Old Fashioned Quick Cooking Oats (I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate protein powder (I used Tera's Whey brand, Dark Chocolate flavor, use a plant-based protein powder to make this recipe vegan.)
  • 1/2 cup vegan yogurt (I used So Delicious Coconut Yogurt Alternative)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips (add more or less as you prefer)

How-to:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a glass jar or bowl.
  2. Let sit in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. (The amount of time you let them sit depends on how soft you want the oats).
  3. Eat and enjoy!

Notes: You can allow this recipe to sit overnight. Doing so will make it a thicker consistency. Eat as is if you like a thicker consistency or add a bit more milk to make it thinner.

 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Vegan "Franks n' Beans" Hot Dogs

My new favorite quickie meal that I can't get enough of: Vegan Franks n' Beans Hot Dogs! Ready in 30 minutes or less and it is simply scrumptious.

As always, have fun with this recipe! Add your own toppings and twists and see what you can come up with. That's how this came about for me. I wanted Franks n' Beans and my husband wanted hot dogs with "ketchup only". So, he got his hot dog with "ketchup only" and I got my Franks n' Beans AND a new recipe!

Not vegan? Create it with regular hot dogs, baked beans and a smoky shredded gouda. YUM!

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans baked beans (I used Amy's Vegetarian Baked Beans)
  • 1 package veggie hot dogs (I used Lightlife Smart Dogs)
  • 1 package hot dog buns (I used Ezekiel 4:9)
  • 1 package shredded vegan cheddar cheese (I used So Delicious brand)
  • olive oil cooking spray (or your favorite cooking spray)
  • 1 recipe of my Vegan Smoky Cheddar "Cheese" Sauce

How To:

  1. Make the Vegan Smoky Cheddar "Cheese" Sauce. Set aside.
  2. Heat the baked beans according to the can directions. I put mine in a saucepan and heated them on the stove top (on medium heat). I'm sure you could heat via a microwave too.
  3. While the baked beans are cooking, coat a grill pan with olive oil spray. Warm the pan on medium high heat for about 5-8 minutes. Place the hot dogs in a grill pan and cook for 10-15 minutes. (You could also grill your hot dogs on an outside grill or boil them if you prefer).
  4. When the beans are warm and hot dogs are cooked, assemble your meal. Place a hot dog inside a bun. Top with a couple of spoonfuls of baked beans, shredded cheddar cheese and drizzle with Vegan Smoky Cheddar "Cheese" Sauce.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Notes: I served mine with a side of Alexia's baked fries coated in Old Bay Seasoning.

 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Vegan Roasted and Stir-Fried Carrot Hoisin Bowls

An easy and fast lunch or dinner bowl! A delicious Asian cuisine inspired meal! My husband devoured it, so it's gotta be good!

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 25 (approx.) baby carrots
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 inch knob of fresh ginger
  • 2 limes
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil (divided)
  • 1/2 block of extra firm tofu (8 ounces)***
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce (I used a bottled hoisin sauce from Whole Foods)
  • 2 tablespoons Liquid Aminos (I use the brand Bragg, or you could use soy sauce)
  • salt and pepper (for seasoning only)
  • Optional toppings: avocado (I used 2), chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, sesame seeds

***I use Twin Oaks tofu (I found it at Whole Foods). I use Twin Oaks tofu because you don't have to drain or press it. I cut one of their 16 ounce blocks in half for this recipe. If you use tofu that has been soaking in water in the container, drain and press some more of the water out of it for a few minutes (using paper towels or a tofu press) prior to using.

How-to:

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the baby carrots in half, lengthwise.
  3. Slice the onion in half and then slice into thin pieces.
  4. Put the carrots and onions on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the mixture.
  5. Peel the ginger. An easy way to peel? Use a spoon! It easily slides the peel right off! Grate it on top of the carrot mixture.
  6. Cut a lime in half and squeeze both halves over the carrots mixture.
  7. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the mixture and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the carrots are soft. (I stirred the mixture at the 15 minute mark to ensure an even roast).
  8. While the carrot mixture is roasting, crumble the tofu into a mixing bowl with the shredded cabbage, hoisin sauce, liquid aminos (or soy sauce) and the juice of the other lime. Mix well.
  9.  Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Add the tofu mixture. Cook for 10-15 minutes (stirring often), or until the cabbage is soft.
  10. When the carrot mixture and the tofu mixtures are both done, it's serving time! Serving suggestion: Place some carrot mixture into a bowl. Top with some tofu mixture. Top with avocado (I used 2), chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, and sesame seeds!
  11. Enjoy!
 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Vegan Stuffed Shells That My Italian Grandmother Would Be Proud Of

I love Italian food! All the cheese and dairy that comes along with it, however, is not a friend of my husband. He still wants to indulge in pasta though, so now we have to be more creative. I created this Vegan Stuffed Shell recipe that even my Italian grandmother would be proud of. They taste super close to the real deal and the recipe is EASY!

***Note: I used a high speed blender (my Magic Bullet) to create the sauce and ricotta for this recipe. If you don't have one, be sure to soak all of the nuts in water or vegan milk for 30 minutes to one hour if using a food processor or blender.

Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:

Vegan Ricotta:

  • 1 cup almonds (whole)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegan parmesan cheese (I used Go Veggie and found it at Whole Foods)
  • 1 tablespoon prepared basil pesto (I used a jarred Whole Foods brand)

Garlic Basil Cream Sauce:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegan parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 5-6 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder (you could use cornstarch or tapioca starch instead as it's just used for thickening purposes)

Additional Ingredients:

  • 20 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1/4 cup marinara sauce

How-to:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil the pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and let cool a bit. Set aside.
  3. Make the vegan ricotta by putting the almonds, 1 cup almond milk, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt in a high speed blender.*** Process until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add in the pesto and 3 tablespoons vegan parmesan. Mix with a spoon and set aside.
  4. Make the Garlic Basil Cream Sauce by putting the cashews, 1 cup almond milk, 1 tablespoon vegan parmesan, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, apple cider vinegar, basil leaves, and arrowroot powder into a high speed blender. Blend until smooth.
  5. Grease an 11x7 inch baking dish (I used an olive oil spray). Evenly spread the marinara sauce in the bottom of the dish.
  6. Place the cooked pasta shells in the dish one at a time. I laid out 2 rows of 8 shells. (You'll have some shells leftover. I always cook a few extra in case any break while boiling).
  7. Fill each shell with about 1 tablespoon of vegan ricotta. If you have any leftover, keep adding more to the shells until you use it all.
  8. Drizzle about 1/2 of the Garlic Basil Cream Sauce over the shells.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Serve by pouring a little extra Garlic Basil Cream Sauce on top of them and adding some fresh cut basil on each portion. My husband took the leftover shells for lunch the next day and used the rest of the sauce then.
 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

 Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Easy Vegan BBQ Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Get your napkins ready, cause this is a deliciously, picnic-y, yummy meal or side dish!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cans Chickpeas (I used 15.5 oz. 365, Whole Foods brand)

  • 3 Tablespoons Barbecue Sauce (I used Annie's Organic Original brand)

  • 1/2 cup Vegan Mayo (I used Sir Kensington's Fabanaise)

  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1/2 Tablespoon Mustard (I used Dijon)

  • Bread (If serving as a sandwich. You could also serve it on crackers).

  • Optional sandwich toppings: My delicious Vegan Smoky Cheddar "Cheese" Sauce, spinach, avocado, tomato.

Directions:

  1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Place them in a mixing bowl. Use a fork, spatula, or a potato masher to smash them. It's okay if you leave some whole.

  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients (BBQ sauce, mayo, apple cider vinegar, mustard).

  3. Mix well.

  4. Serve on crackers (like Nut Thins) or on toasted bread.

See how I made mine into sandwiches with my Vegan Smoky Cheddar "Cheese" Sauce in the photos below.

Notes:

  • This recipe serves approximately 6-8 hungry peeps.
  • Cut the recipe in half for a smaller crowd.
  • I served mine on sandwiches with a side of Amy's Vegetarian Baked Beans.
 Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

 Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Easy Vegan Smoky Cheddar "Cheese" Sauce

I LOVE this easy sauce so much! Put it on sweet potatoes, make it as a base for potato salad, put it on sandwiches and more! It's the perfect meal topper for all your summer barbecues!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup Cashews
  • 1 Teaspoon Liquid Smoke (I found mine in the grocery store by the BBQ sauces)
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • This recipe makes about 8 oz.
  • If you don't have a high speed blender (like a Vitamix or a Magic Bullet, my favorites!), then soak the cashews in the almond milk for about 30 minutes before mixing in a regular blender.
  • You could also make this in a food processor, but may need to blend a little longer to make it smooth.

 

 Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

 Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Easy "Cheesy" Vegan Ramen Noodles for 1

The easiest, creamiest and dreamiest lunch or snack for those on the go!

Ingredients:

  • 1 square ramen noodles (I used Lotus Foods Rice Ramen)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter (I like Earth Balance)
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (depending on your tastes).

How to:

  1. Cook the square of ramen noodles according to package instructions. Drain and return to pot.
  2. While the noodles are still hot, add the rest of the ingredients to the pot of noodles. Stir, eat and enjoy!

Tips and tricks:

  • Double or triple the recipe if others are around because they will be jealous of all the goodness you create and will try to steal yours!
  • Not vegan and want to use dairy? Swap out the almond milk for regular milk, use regular butter, and use about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese (instead of the nutritional yeast).
  • I've created this recipe with macaroni noodles too when my "plain mac and cheese" niece came for a visit. She loved it!
 Food and Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Food and Photography by Carolyn J. Braden

Chocolate Hazelnut Microwave Mug Cake

A new spin on my chocolate peanut butter mug cake recipe : Chocolate Hazelnut Mug Cake! 
Want a single serve dessert fast and crave chocolate hazelnut flavor? (Think Nutella) This is your answer!  

Mix these ingredients all in a mug:

  • 3 tbsp flour (I used Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Flour)
  • 1 tbsp oat flour

(you could just use 4 total tbsp of flour in lieu of the 3+1 ratio of oat and regular, but I think the oat flour adds a bit more flavor) 

  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup chocolate almond milk (or use regular chocolate milk)
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or regular sugar)
  • 3 tbsp cashew butter
  • tiny pinch of salt

After mixing the ingredients well, drop 1 tbsp hazelnut spread in the center. Microwave for approximately 70 seconds.

Enjoy!

 

 Food and Photo by Carolyn J. Braden

Food and Photo by Carolyn J. Braden