Zucchini & Squash Casserole & A Cookbook

I have been wanting to write a cookbook for years. I don’t care if I have a publisher, I will publish it myself if I have to. I just want to share my recipes in a fun and organized way.

After my Mom went vegan a couple of years ago, we talked about writing a cookbook together. This has mostly just been talk, because we are both so busy – but not for much longer.

I will be staying at home with my soon to be 2 year old within the next few months or so. So we are really starting to kick it in to gear and get this done.

This will be our first cookbook, so we won’t be popping recipes out left and right like Isa and Joni. But they will be well thought out and tested. Our main goal is to create recipes that anyone will like, vegan or not. Also we want to create recipes that make people feel like it is possible to be vegan and feel like they are not missing out on their old favorite omni foods.

We have several recipes ready for the book, and this is just one of my favs lately. Now that both of our gardens are producing delicious fruits and veggies, we are using up whatever we can for new recipes. This one is so good!

Sorry there won’t be a recipe, but I will occasionally be posting pics of our recipes so you can see what is to come in the new book!

ZUCCHINI & SQUASH CASSEROLE

zuccini and squash casserole… and yes, I know zucchini is technically a squash…

Vegan Alfredo

Alfredo

 

VEGAN ALFREDO

Serves 2

2 Cups Uncooked Pasta (if using long noodles, use enough for 2 servings)

1/2 Cup No-Chicken Broth (Better Than Bouillon brand is preferred)

1/2 Cup Tofutti Sour Cream (other brands will work, but Tofutti is preferred)

1-2 Cloves of Garlic (minced)

1 Tbsp. Vegan Butter (Earth Balance is preferred, I use the Soy Free kind)

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

A tiny TINY pinch less than 1/4 tsp. White Pepper

Dash of Black Pepper

3/4 C Daiya Mozzarella Shreds

DIRECTIONS

Bring water to a boil, add your pasta and cook for 10-11 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In the same pot, add your butter, oil, garlic, broth, sour cream, white and black peppers.  Whisk together thoroughly and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring continuously.

Add your mozzarella and whisk until completely melted. Daiya melts best at high heat.

Once your cheese is completely melted, add your noodles back into the pot and mix together until thoroughly heated.

Enjoy!

 

$$$
Approximately $2.15 per serving.

Easy Vegan Pesto

I tend to only make pesto in the summertime – otherwise there is no way I would be willing to spend the money on 2 cups of basil, know what I mean? This year I have 3 huge basil plants thriving in my garden. Each week I pick off a couple of cups of basil. Because I don’t want it to go bad I have to come up with something to use all of it. I’ve made vegan pesto lasagna and stuffed shells from The Accidental Vegan cookbook a few times, and they were both great, but I thought I’d try just a regular pesto. This is what I came up with, and it’s really good!

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EASY VEGAN PESTO

2 Cups Basil

2-3 Cloves of Garlic (chopped)

1/2 Cup Olive Oil (the best you can afford, it makes a big difference)

1/4 Cup Walnuts or Pine Nuts (I use Walnuts because they are cheaper, both are good though.)

3 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast

Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste.

DIRECTIONS

Combine everything but the oil, sea salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until it is fairly smooth. I don’t like mine completely puréed, but it’s up to you. Stir in your oil and add your spices.

Serve over cooked pasta, use as a spread for bread, use as a condiment for sandwiches. Get creative, it’s delicious!

Enjoy!

Mexican Quinoa Salad

I know I said a few posts back that I don’t make a lot of healthy things, and I love my comfort foods… but I may throw you off by throwing in a pretty healthy recipe every now and again – but it will definitely be a rare occasion.

I took this Mexican Quinoa Salad to an Easter get together a few weeks ago, and all of my husband’s omni family seemed to enjoy it just as much as anything else.

Here it goes…

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MEXICAN QUINOA SALAD

Serves 4

Salad

1 cup Dry Quinoa

1 Sweet Potato

1 can Black Beans (rinsed and drained)

1 Avocado

Dressing

1/4 cup Olive Oil

2-3 Tbsp. Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

1/4 tsp. Chili Powder

Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Salt (I use Pink Himilayan)

Black Pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Wash and peel your sweet potatoes. Cut into small cubes (1/2 in. x 1/2 in. or so). Spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil of your choice (I like olive oil). Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes. Toss them around a bit half way through the cooking time.

2. If you have never cooked quinoa before, it is similar to rice. You want to put double the amount of water than you have quinoa. This recipe calls for 1 cup quinoa, so you would use 2 cups water. Got it? So in a small pot bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add your quinoa, turn your heat to low, and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes. Watch closely to make sure the water doesn’t run out. If you check at 20 minutes and there is still water in the pot, gently stir, put the lid back on and watch for another couple minutes.

3. While your quinoa and sweet potatoes are cooking, mix your ingredients for the dressing, drain and rinse your black beans, and cut your avocado into small cubes.

4. One the quinoa and sweet potatoes are finished, add your black beans, avocado, dressing, sweet potatoes, and quinoa to a big mixing bowl. Gently mix everything together.

Serve warm.

Enjoy!


$$$

Approximately $.70 per serving.

Red Potato Salad with Leeks

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This is one of the easiest recipes to make, and it’s perfect for taking to omnivore type events. No one will every know it’s vegan – I PROMISE! I don’t have exact measurements for this recipe because I always just do it by taste. It’s really easy though, I’ll walk you through it.

RED POTATO SALAD WITH LEEKS

Serves 6 (ish)

10 – 12 Red Potatoes (or however many you want)

Vegenaise

Spicy Brown Mustard (regular will work, but I prefer spicy brown)

1 Leek (green onions work too, but leeks are so good!)

Celery (about 1-2 stalks)

Olive Oil

Salt (I prefer Pink Himalayan Salt)

Black Pepper

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

DIRECTIONS

1. Boil a big pot water. Wash your potatoes and throw ‘em in. Let cook until a knife slides easily through the center. Watch closely, they need to be perfect. Around 40 minutes.

2. Cut up your leek. If you don’t know how to prepare a leek, see this video. Saute them in a little oil for about 5 minutes to help bring out the flavors.

3. Slice your celery really thin, and add as much as you want. I like about 1/3-1/2 cup.

4. Mix a big scoop of Vegenaise with a few squirts of spicy brown mustard. Taste this mix until you like it.

5. Add in quite a bit of salt and pepper, then about a 1/4 tsp. of garlic powder and onion powder.

6. Keep tasting your Vegenaise mix until it tastes how you want it. If you don’t know what it is supposed to taste like, it should be a light yellowish color – kind of like an egg salad sandwich type flavor. (The flavors of the garlic powder and onion powder may come out more later.

7. Once your potatoes are done, drain, set aside (they will be super hot). Once cooled, cut up into chunks – however big or small you like.

8. Mix everything together in a big bowl, slowly add your mix and gently turn your potatoes into it. Don’t stir too quickly or they will get mushy. Keep adding your mix until it’s how you like it.

9. Cover and keep in the fridge for an hour or two before serving.

Sorry for the not-so-direct directions, but it really is better to just do it to taste.

TIPS

Don’t over cook your potatoes. If you do, you are better off starting over.

I use the original Vegenaise, but others would probably work fine too.

If you do green onions instead of leeks, then add about 1/4-1/3 cup. (or more or less depending on how many potatoes you chose to use.)

The longer it sits, the stronger the flavors some out.

You may need to add more salt once you add the potatoes, just keep tasting!


$$$

Approximately $1.60 per serving.

 

 

 

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

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I have been working on this recipe for a couple of years now. Spinach artichoke dip has always been a favorite of mine; when I was an omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan. It’s amazing!

This recipe is by no means healthy, besides the actual vegetables in it… but it’s worth the calories. You will learn that this is not a health food blog… as much as I would like to eat all those beautiful salads and such, I just love my comfort food.

Here it is.

Enjoy!

VEGAN SPINACH ARTICHOKE DIP

Serves 6 (at least!)

2 C Daiya Mozzarella Shreds (1 bag)

16 oz. Tofutti Sour Cream

8 oz. Tofutti Cream Cheese

1/2 C Earth Balance Buttery Spread

10 oz. Frozen Spinach (thawed, drained, squeezed)

14 oz. Can Artichoke Hearts (drained, rinsed, chopped, leave a little chunky)

4 oz. Can Diced Jalapenos (It is a little spicy, 1-2 oz. for less spice, or not at all)

2 Cloves Garlic (minced)

1/4 tsp. White Pepper

1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

DIRECTIONS

1. Melt sour cream, cream cheese, and butter in a medium sized pot on medium heat. Whisk together until combined.

2. Add your cheese. Daiya melts best at higher temperatures. Temporarily increase your heat while whisking until cheese is melted.

3. Lower heat to low-medium. Add in the rest of your ingredients. Whisk until combined.

4. Let cook on the stove, while stirring frequently, for at least 15 minutes. The longer the dip cooks/sits the better the flavor comes out.

5. Serve with chips, crackers, on sandwiches, in wraps, or however you please!

TIPS

I highly recommend you do not substitute brands ever on my blog. If I give a specific brand it is because that is what I used to make it. I make no guarantees otherwise.

The first time I made the dip I ate it right away and it didn’t have much flavor, but the next day it did. This last time I made it, I let it cook on the stove longer, and the flavors came out right away.

This dip is a little spicy! I love it that way. If you don’t like spicy, then you could do 1/2 the jalapenos, or none at all. It is still good without the jalapenos, but I still highly recommend them. It is definitely too spicy for the young kiddos with the jalapenos, unless they happen to like pretty spice stuff.


 

$$$

This dip is not cheap to make. But it makes a ton, and it’s worth it – you’ll see.

Approximately $2.92 per serving.

HINT: Tofutti will mail you coupons if you email them and ask. You can also get Daiya coupons through their FB sometimes.

(I’m all about saving money, you’ll learn more about that later…)