Mini No-Bake Key Lime Pies (vegan/plant-based)

Yield: 8

These light and luscious bites are the perfect, pretty little refresher.

Made from only 7 ingredients and requiring no baking, they are ready when you are. And each cool and creamy treat is only about 220 decadent calories.

Even though key limes are not green, I feel like lime desserts should be, so I add a hint of Macha powder, which doesn’t alter the taste.

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I like Tofutti)

1/4 cup natural sugar

5 ounces coconut cream

Zest of 1large key lime or small-medium lime and juice of entire lime/key lime

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: 1/2 teaspoon Macha powder or enough to achieve desired color

1/4 cup non-dairy whipped topping + 1/2 cup for topping

Garnish: Vegan Graham Cracker crumbs or pieces + optional lime slices or zest

With an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. If cream cheese is cold, use a food processor. Beat in remaining ingredients, except whipped topping and garnishes, until completely combined. Fold in whipped topping. Divide among 8 very small cups–I like clear glass–not much bigger than a shot glass. Top each with about 1 tablespoon of remaining whipped topping. Refrigerate until serving time. (I store them in a lidded carton.) Garnish as desired and serve.

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Fresh Peach Jam–Try It with a Smoked Gouda, Mushroom & Onion Quesadilla (Vegan & plant-based)

This is less of a recipe and more of a recommended–somewhat unexpected–flavor combination, which would also be tasty with a grilled cheese sammie.

A gift from one of my student’s mom’s of fresh South Carolina peaches resulted in the need to do something with the last 2 very ripe ones.

I lead a fairly busy life and I am all about unfussy, but pretty, healthy, and inspiring food these days. So I simply pitted the peaches, popped them into them into my small food processor skin and all, and blended them into a thick, pulpy jam.

That’s it. They were so sweet, with a perfect texture, that they needed nothing else. I thought about putting the jam on pancakes, but I wasn’t in the mood for that much flour.

To make the quesadilla, I simply folded a large tortilla–I like the 50 calorie high fiber variety–into quartets around 1 slice of vegan smoked guda and leftover caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms. I browned it in a nonstick skillet, and topped it with the peach jam and a garnish of halced grape tomatoes and a slice of cucumber.

I served crispy green peas on the side and sprinkled a hint of sea salt over it all because we southerners know that salt makes fruit even sweeter and because it looks so pretty.

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A Pair of Sensational Summer Dips/Salsas/Salads: Black Bean & Peach + Sweet Corn (vegan/ plant-based)

If summer gives you peaches and corn…

Last night, Bob and I hosted an impromptu happy hour retirement party for a dear friend, Linda Francis, who finally took the plunge with a swandive out of our school system and into Virtual Virginia as a history teacher.

Our easy menu is as summary as it gets with Claudia Cksimano, a retired teacher friend, and her husband bringing the broccoli salad from my Blooming Platter cookbook. I contributed I a purchased baba ghannoush, served in a martini glass, along with a Black Bean and Peach Salsa and what we fondly refer to as David’s Corn Dip. He was a guest at the party but had to work during the day, so I did the honors and he approved.

On the side, I served sliced cucumber and orange bell pepper strips, as well as two healthy- ish types of chips: a nacho-flavored cauliflower triangular chip and a round Garden of Eaten chip made of chickpeas and such.

All of it was a huge hit and I am pleased to share the new recipes here.

Black Bean and Peach Salsa

Yield: 8 appetizer or 4 side salad servings

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

2 medium peaches, pitted and diced

1/2 mecium yellow or red onion, diced

1/4 cup favorite salsa, drained

1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Several hours before serving, combine all ingredients and refrigerate until serving time. Serve with cucumber slices or your favorite chips or crackers. This is also delicious served as a side salad.

David’s Sweet Corn Dip (cold or hot)

Yield: 8 appetizer or 4 side salad/side dish servings

3 cups fresh corn kernels, any variety, or 1-15.5 oz can yellow corn + 1-15.5 oz can white corn, drained

1/4 cup grated white vegan cheese, like mozzarella style

1/4 cup grated vegan cheddar cheese

1/4 cup favorite salsa, drained

1/4 cup vegan sour cream

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (I use Walton Farms no calorie)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until serving time. Serve with cucumber slices or your favorite chips or crackers. This is also delicious served as a side salad or hot side dish. For the latter, simply microwave until bubbly.

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Espresso Banana- Lavender Smoothie (vegan/plant-based)

Yield: 1 serving

So refreshing and summery: sweet, earthy, and a hint floral:

1 cup ice cubes

2 tablespoons granulated Stevia blend (1 to 1 sugar to Stevia ratio)

1 cup non-dairy milk

1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee

1 ripe banana

1 teaspoon culinary lavender + more for optional garnish

*Blend until smooth and enjoy with a sprinkle of more lavender if desired.

*We use the Magic Bullet.

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Mini No-Bake Banana Pudding Cheesecakes (vegan/plant-based)

Cool and creamy bite-sized perfection is only only a few minutes of hands-on time away:

8 ounces vegan cream cheese (I use Tofutti)

2 to 3 very ripe bananas + 8 slices or half-slices for garnish (you can brush slices with lemon juice to prevent oxidization)

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/3 cup non-dairy whipped topping + 1/3 cup more for topping

8 vegan vanilla wafers (I use Whole Foods brand)

With an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese, banana–except slices for topping– sugar, and extracts until very smooth. With mixer on low speed or by hand, fold in 1/3 cup whipped topping. Divide among 8 miniature serving cups or dishes. I like clear glass to show what is inside. And I use a pastry bag to keep it neat. Top with about 2 teaspoons each whipped topping, 1 vanilla wafer, and 1 slice or half slice banana. Refrigerate, covered, until serving time. I like to garnish with a lemony herb, which not only looks pretty, but also tastes delicious with these flavors.

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The Only Way to Fry: Cornstarch Slurry (vegan & plant-based)

Cornstarch Slurry:  It’s the Only Way to Fry!

For the occasional deep fat fried splurge, I vastly prefer slurry over breading or battering, though it is more similar to the latter:

1/4 cup each water and cornstarch + choice of seasoning coats a pound of tofu cubes (or cauliflower florets, etc.) with a little left over for thickening your sauce, here my favorite sweet and sour sauce with onion, bell pepper, and pineapple.

It lends the thinnest, crispiest coating for ultimate flavor and texture.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram  #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #plantbaseddeepfried

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Lettuce Pesto–Why Didn’t I Think of This Before? (Vegan & Plant-Based)

After a recent (vegan) Burger Night, we had all but 5 or 6 leaves of a head of red leaf lettuce left over. Yes, I could have made salads, but I am more of a slaw and mezze kind of gal.

I have made delicious kale pesto before and it suddenly occurred to me that lettuce is just another green and could be substituted. A stop by friends’ home and stroll through their bountiful garden left me with a small handful of mostly basil. I couldn’t wait to get home and whip it all into pesto for a TGIF mezze happy hour that evening with another dear friend.

It is so good, you may want to eat it as a little side dish!

Approximately 12 cups very loosely packed clean lettuce leaves, torn in half (I used all but a few, previously eaten, leaves of a head of red leaf lettuce)

1 very loosely packed cup basil leaves or mixed herbs or same amount lettuce leaves

3/4 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds or pine nuts (I can rarely find the pine nuts in our grocery

3 large cloves garlic, peeled and halved

1/4 cup olive oil

Juice of 1 medium lime or lemon (start with a half and taste)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional: 2 to 4 tablespoons vegan parmesan (I like Follow Your Heart, but didn’t use any in this recipe)

Place all ingredients in bowl of food processor and process until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

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Scrumptious Peach Poundcake with Peach Schnapps (vegan/plant-based)

When summer gives you peaches, make Peach Poundcake. All you need is a few minutes of hands-on time.

No fussy creaming or alternating ingredients.  Just combine all in a bowl and pop in the oven.

3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons vegan peach schnapps like Archers + more for brushing on (or substitute peach nectar)
4 tablespoons non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 very ripe pureed peaches (I use my Magic Bullet)
1 pureed banana (or substitute a third very ripe peach)
Accompaniments: non-dairy whipping cream, sliced or chopped ripe peaches, and/or non-dsury vanilla ice cream or peach sorbet

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Combine all ingredients, except accompaniments, in a large mixing bowl and whisk well to completely combine or use the low speed of an electric mixer, scraping sides of bowl often.  Spoon batter evenly into pan and gently smooth top. Bake approximately 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes, invert onto wire rack, brush with 3 or so tablespoons schnapps, and cool completely. Serve with desired accompaniments.

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Freedom Fusion Backyard BBQ Quesadillas–Assert Your Independence! (Vegan/Plant-Based)

Independence Day in the US is July 4. With leftover barbecue beans and slaw–standard menu items–but not wanting to enjoy them the same way we had on the holiday, I decided to make a quesadilla which I joking call Feedom Fusion, a blend of this American holiday fare with a favorite Mexican preparation.

There is no real recipe here. I just used the beans as the filling and the vinegar-based slaw on top. The beans were a jazzed up version of canned barbecue beans with ketchup, mustard, molasses, brown sugar, vinegar, and garlic and onion powders, baked at 350, uncovered, for an hour.

The slaw was similarly simple: vinegar, escabeche brine, garlic and onion powders, celery seed, sea salt and pepper, etc.

I found a 10″ tortilla in Kroger that is only 50 calories, which really appeals to me, though it may not matter to you. They are billed as high fiber and I cannot tell the difference between them and the 150 calorie version except they may be a little thinner, which is great by me.

I simply sprayed my skillet with nonstick spray, laid the tortilla in the skillet, spread the beans over half, folded it over, and cooked it for a couple of minutes on each side over medium heat. I then piled the slaw on top, drizzled it with no-calorie ranch dressing from Walton Farms that I had been sent to sample, and topped it with halved cherry tomatoes, pineapple chunks, and some jalapeño slices that were still floating in the escobeche brine, a homemade version gifted from Betsy Hardy, a dear friend.

That’s it: a flavor combo more explosive than Fourth of July fireworks.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #plantbasedquesadilla #veganquesadilla #plantbasedjuly4 #veganjuly4 #plantbasedmexican #veganmexican

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Stupidly Simple & Delish Grilled Eggplant Zataar with Tahini Slaw (vegan/plant-based)

Tonight’s dinner alfresco was inspired by what was in our fridge, and what I was craving, namely something cold and something grilled… summer is here with a vengeance in Eastern Virginia.

There is really not much of a recipe. I just grilled planks of eggplant on my indoor grill pan with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkled with a little sea salt and zataar.

For the slaw on top, I used a ratio of 1 to 1 to 2 tahini, brine, and olive oil. You could use any vinegar or vinegary-type brine, but I used some leftover escabeche brine.

I simply tossed the dressing with some slaw mix, mounded it on top of the eggplant, garnished with some sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes, and sprinkled with Everything Bagel spice blend.

Dinner is served!

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #plantbasedMediterranean #veganMediterranean #plantbasedeggplant #veganeggplant

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