Saag Not-chos (Plant-Based Indian-Spiced Spinach over Pita Triangles with Plum Chutney)

Friday nights are for healthy low-calorie but indulgent ahh-its-the-weekend noshing. Enjoy my latest TGIF treat any night of the week.

We fried our pita (30 seconds at 375 degrees) and drained it well, but you could use purchased pita chips or bake yours (10 minutes at 350).

1 small-medium yellow onion, diced

2 very large cloves garlic, minced

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon minced ginger

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon each ground cardamom, coriander, and cumin

10 ounces baby spinach leaves (cooks way down)

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (the drinkable kind in a carton, not the high calorie canned kind)

16 pita triangles, baked, fried, purchased

8 teaspoons chutney (I used plum)

Cover the bottom of a large skillet with water and bring to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and salt and saute until onion is soft and water is mostly evaporated. Stir in spices. Cover with spinach–spinach will quickly wilt–and saute, stirring, until spinach is still bright green, but very soft. Stir in coconut milk and cook, stirring, until flavors meld and milk is absorbed. Serve immediately dolloped on pita triangles. Top with a dab of chutney and a cashew half. Note: when we fried our pita, we found that the layers broke apart easily and that just one layer was plenty of crispy bread for each Not-cho, making these even more low calorie. But suit yourself, always.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #Indian #fusion #spinach #natchos #lowcalorieappetizer #lowcaloriedinner #saag

Rice Cakes (Asian–or any flavor you like!) Vegan/Plant-Based

If you find yourself with leftover rice, say from Chinese takeout as we did, these make a delicious appetizer or dinner. With the larger version there is a smaller ratio of crispy crust to creamy interior, but they are still delicious.

I was craving Asian flavors, but you could spice these up anyway you like: Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, or whatever suits your fancy. And speaking of fancy, they look spiffy enough for a party, but are so simple that you can whip them up for any occasion…or no occasion.

Rice Cakes

Yield 6-2″ cakes or 2-4″ cakes

1/2 cup rice

2 tablespoons minced green onion, green part only; reserve the white part, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons coconut milk

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon Japanese Seven Spice or the spice of your choice

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Sea salt to taste (if your spice mixture does not include salt)

2 tablespoons vegan butter ( I use accidentally vegan Country Crock as it is half the calories of vegan butter)

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except white part of green onion and butter. Mix well. mixture should hold together when squeezed. If not, add additional coconut milk or cornstarch, or both, as the moisture content of rice varies widely. In a large skillet over medium to medium-high, melt butter, add white part of green onion, and saute, stirring, for about a minute or until softened. Remove onions to a small cup or bowl, leaving as much butter as possible in skillet. Dollop rice mixture into skillet, whatever size you like, and press firmly with a small spatula to compact the mixture, shaping into discs. Cook for a couple of minutes or until golden brown on one side. Flip and repeat.

Serve with sauteed white parts of green onion scattered over the top or, for that matter, whatever topping you desire.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #ricecakes #veganappetizers #plantbasedappetizers

Best Chocolate Fudge…Ever + Bonus Lower-Calorie Version (vegan/ plant-based)

Inspired by Hannah Kaminsky with very few tweaks!

Best Chocolate Fudge…Ever

One of my friends to whom I gifted this fudge as a Happy New Years “happy” called it a “confection of perfection.” She webt on to say that “after one tiny taste, the whole body knows something wonderful is happening.”

I made this version with the only powdered sugar I happened to have on hand, which was Swerve with an unheard-of zero calories. It truly lives up to its Keto claim of tasting and behaving in virtually identical ways to the real stuff. I did find the aroma was a bit different from regular powdered sugar, but when combined with the assertively flavored ingredients in this fudge, I could barely detect the difference, though t might be ever so slightly more tangy than regular powdered sugar. The texture was also more like powdered soy milk, but it behaved like powdered sugar as I mixed it into the other ingredients.

Regardless of which sugar you make it with, this fudge is extremely versatile. Change the flavor by simply substituting a different extract, say peppermint, almond, maple, coffee, or whatever your heart desires. Then choose a complimentary topping.

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
6 ounces regular chocolate chips and 6 ounces dark or extra dark
2 tablespoons coconut oil or vegan butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar or Swerve powdered sugar substitute
1/2 teaspoon sea salt if not using salted vegan butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon flavoring of your choice, either additional vanilla or almond, maple, peppermint, rum, etc.
1 tablespoon liqueur of your choice (I used Bailey’s Almande for this)
Topping: 1/2 cup shaved coconut (I used plain and toasted); sliced almonds or other slivered, sliced or chopped nuts (I was out of sliced almonds or I would have used them to complement the Almande); crushed peppermint; dried fruit; sprinkles, etc.

Lightly oil an 8-inch square pan. Place a wide strip of parchment paper down the side, across the bottom, and up the other side, allowing the ends to extend above the rim of the pan, and oil again for ease of removal. Heat coconut milk in microwave or on top of stove. Add chocolate and whisk until completely melted. Return to heat or microwave for a few seconds if chocolate does not melt completely. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining ingredients until all ingredients are completely incorporated. Using a spoon, dollop the mixture into prepared pan and use fingers to pat out evenly. Press garnish gently into the surface. If cutting and serving right away, place, covered, in freezer for about 30 minutes. If not, cover and refrigerate until serving.

vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #veganfudge #veganchocolate #veganholiday

Mini Thai Pizzas on Sweet Potato “Crust’

I don’t know what to call this other than dinner. I wanted to make mini plant-based Thai pizzas on sweet potato “crusts,” but I know we can all agree that they look an awful lot like crostini.

So this is a method more than a recipe.

Whatever they where, they were delicious. On top of the roasted sweet potato slices (roast, then slice; actually, I microwaved!), I put a little steamed baby spinach, a drizzle of Bob’s homemade Thai Coconut Red Curry Sauce, a slice of cucumber fished out of our cucumber-onion salad (with apple cider vinegar and granulated stevia blend) from a previous evening, cherry tomato half, and some finely chopped roasted and salted peanuts.

Goodness, it was a satisfying mini-meal to end the week. TGIF!

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #veganappetizer #veganthai #plantbasedappetizer #plantbasedthai #sweetpotatocrust

Middle Eastern Cauliflower Pilaf (vegan/plant-based)

Rice, especially prepared as a pilaf, biryani, or risotto, is one of those foods that I love but do not trust myself around. At 200 calories for 1/2 cup of plain cooked rice, it just isn’t a good fit with my low calorie diet because at half a cup, I am just getting started!

Enter riced cauliflower. Anything rice can do, cauliflower can do better. Well, okay, maybe not better, but at least as good for hardly any calories.

We all have such different palates, but this dish strikes all the right notes in terms of flavor profile and balance for mine. I hope it does for yours!

Middle Eastern Cauliflower Pilaf (vegan/plant-based)

2 tablespoons vegan butter, divided
1/4 cup chopped roasted and salted pistachios
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
8 ounces diced white or yellow onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
20 ounces riced cauliflower
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup vegetable stock
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon tahini
Optional but recommended: 1 teaspoon tamarind or pomegranate syrup (found in Middle Eastern and international grocery stores)
1/2 cup chopped apricots or dates
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
Garnishes: additional roasted and salted nuts, including cashews, and more snipped parsley
Recommended accompaniment: cucumber salad

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter, add pistachios and almonds, and sautee, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until nuts become fragrant and begin to toast. Remove from skillet and set aside. Melt remaining tablespoon butter, add onion and garlic, an saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is softened. add all remaining ingredients except garnish and accompaniments, Sir well, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is cooked through and flavors are beautifully melted. Stir in toasted nuts. Serve with a few additional nuts and some fresh parsley sprinkled over the top. A cucumber and onion salad with a little salt, sugar, and vinegar is especially tasty and pretty on the side.

vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #veganmiddleeastern #veganpilaf #plantbasedmiddleeastern #plantbasedpilaf

Chocolate-Cranberry Bundt Cake (vegan/plant-based)

I baked two “fancy” cakes for holiday gifts, but nothing for us…until now! I wanted to develop a Chocolate-Cranberry Bundt Cake using fresh cranberries, but evidently they are seasonal in our area, and I didn’t want anyone to be limited to when they are able to make the cake. But I didn’t want that quick bread texture of dried cranberries in a batter. So I pumped them in heated liqueur. Perfection!

However, if you avoid alcohol, feel free to soak the dried cranberries in cranberry juice, add it to the batter, brush the cake with it, and use juice in place of the liqueur in the ganache too.

This is a simple, well-behaved cake that is beautiful to behold and delicious to devour.

Chocolate-Cranberry Bundt Cake

3 cups flour (I use white whole-wheat for everything) 1 cup natural sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 cup strong coffee. 2 to 4 tablespoons Creme de Cocoa or Cranberry Liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup dried cranberries covered in 1/2 cup Creme de Cocoa or Cranberry Liqueur and heated 1 minute in microwave
2 tablespoons Creme de Cocoa or Cranberry Liqueur for brushing cooled cake
Chocolate-Cranberry Ganache
Garnish: 1/4 cup each diced pistachios and dried cranberries

Spray 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick baking spray line Baker’s Joy or grease and flour the pan. In large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Make a well in center and add all liquid ingredients except macerated cranberries. Whisk together until completely combined. Stir in macerated cranberries. Transfer to prepared pan and gently smooth top. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or just until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake or cake will be dry. Cool 10 minutes, invert onto wire rack, and cool completely covered with a dish towel. Drizzle with Chocolate-Cranberry Ganache and sprinkle with chopped pistachios and dried cranberries.

Chocolate-Cranberry Ganache

1/2 cup non-dairy creamer
3 tablespoons Cranberry Liqueur
3 tablespoons natural sugar (use only if creamer is unsweetened)
1 tablespoon vegan butter
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips or chunks

Heat all ingredients except chips in microwave or in a small saucepan on top of stove. Remove from heat and whisk in chips or chunks until melted and smooth.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #veganchocolatecake #plantbasedchocolatecake #veganchocolatecranberrycake #plantbasedchocolatecranberrycake

High Flavor-Low Calorie Blooming Veggie Soup

I refuse to apologize for calorie counting–and you should refuse to apologize if you don’t–but I also refuse to sacrifice nutrition, flavor, texture, and color.

Enter my beautiful, outrageously satisfying, low calorie, low fat Blooming Veggie Soup. It makes a delicious bounty to last you all week.

Have fun playing around with different spices. When I add za’atar or sumac, I like to top it with diced dates, green olives, parsley, and everything bagel seasoning, as pictured.

Blooming Veggie Soup
Yield: 18 cups
(only around 55 calories per cup including optional ingredients but without toppings)

8 cups vegetable broth
2 teaspoons roasted garlic base (or 2 large cloves garlic)
14 ounces mirepoix (about 2 cups of equal parts diced onion, celery, and carrots)
2-14.5 ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes
16 ounces cauliflower hash or cauliflower pearls 16 ounces shredded cabbage
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Other spices in place of or in addition to the above, as desired (curry powder is delicious)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast. Optional, but recommended: 1-15 ounce can pureed pumpkin (Note: this will not turn the soup into “pumpkin soup;” rather it adds a velvety richness, beautiful color, and lots of nutrition. However, if you want more of a pumpkin soup, add 2 cans.)


12 ounces diced sweet potatoes or butternut squash
1 cup corn

Simmer all ingredients together in 7 quart Dutch oven for 20 to 30 minutes until all vegetables are tender and flavors are married. Serve topped as desired. (I sometimes like 2 tablespoons crispy fried onions at only 50 calories.)

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansoup #plantbasedsoup #vegetablesoup #lowcalorie #lowfat

Holiday Chex Mix (plant-based)

All the flavors of a holiday meal in a Check Mix!
This stuff should come with a warning label…or be regulated by the FDA.

I was inspired by stuffing, side dishes, casseroles, and even a sage and rosemary infused main dish. It took me two tries to get the proportions just right, but now it is ready for its big reveal.

For freelance clients-friends, I packaged it in ziplock bags inside cute holiday canisters adorned with mid-century modern campers that I found at Dollar Tree. They never let me down. Enjoy!

1 cup vegan butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce or Liquid Aminos
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons celery seed (not celery salt)
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
3 cups Wheat Chex
3 cups Cheerios
2 cups Bugles
1-6 ounce bag sweet potato chips (I like Terra brand)
2-3.3 ounce bags lightly salted green bean snack crisps (I purchased Harvest Crisp brand.)
1-5 to 6 ounce can potato sticks
2 cups canned crispy fried onions (French’s brand or a store brand)
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place butter, cut into small chunks, in a large roasting pan and let melt as oven preheats. Add next 5 ingredients and whisk to combine. Then stir remaining ingredients in order into the butter mixture. Roast for 1 hour, stirring gently every 15 minutes. Allow to cool and package as desired in airtight containers.

vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #chexmix #veganchexmix #holidaychexmix #plantbasedchexmix #madewithchex

Silken Blackeyed Pea and Vegetable Soup (vegan/plant-based)

Hopefully I am not too late posting this ultra-simple and silky soup recipe to bring you some New Year’s luck. At least, where I come from, enjoying black eyed peas on New Year’s Day is said to ensure a year of good luck.

I considered all manner of dents, hummus, casseroles, Taco fillings, enchilada filling, and more. But it all just seemed way too heavy.

My light recipe– which is really more of a method–starts with about 2 cups of vegetable soup, homemade or store bought. Mine was homemade and had a hint of curry, cumin, and smoked paprika. But blackeyed peas play nicely with virtually any flavor.

Then I cooked 10 ounces of fresh blackeyed peas in about four cups of water with a teaspoon of vegetable base and a teaspoon of roasted garlic base. Any kind of vegan vegetable stock would be fine. You can simmer on the stove for about 20 minutes or cook in the microwave, though I found that my microwave really wasn’t any faster.

I then added 4 ounces vegan cream cheese to the lead in there broth, he did again for about 10 minutes, and whisked until the creamwas melted and fully incorporated. Then I combined that mixture with the vegetable soup, heated through again, and served up the most delightfully creamy, yet light, cup of good luck.

Happy New Year!

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansoup #plantbasedsoup #newyears #veganblackeyedpeas #plantbasedblackeyedpeas

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