Tag Archives: cooking

Baked Vegan Macaroni Casserole


I made this macaroni casserole a couple of weeks ago to satisfy an urge for comfort food.  It hit the spot!  Although I will not claim that it is exactly like it’s non-vegan equivalents, it is pretty darn good all the same.  I served it with my Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup for the ultimate cozy Sunday afternoon meal.  Recipe below!

Baked Vegan Macaroni Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb cooked Macaroni noodles (I used whole wheat and it tasted fine in the casserole!)
  • ½ c raw cashews, processed into a powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium chopped potato
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • 1 c nutritional yeast
  • 1 c non dairy milk
  • Juice of half of a lemon
  • 3 T corn starch
  • 1 tbsp oil/earth balance
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t Dijon mustard
  • ½ t tumeric
  • ½ t onion powder
  • ¼ t black pepper
  • 1/8 t cayenne
  • dash of soy sauce
  • **Garnish:  Paprika, bread crumbs, ground almonds
  • **Optional:  Peas and halved cherry tomates

Instructions:

  1. Grease a large casserole pan and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook your macaroni noodles according to the package instructions and drain.  Put in casserole pan and set aside
  3. In a food processor, blend the raw cashews with the carrots, potato, and garlic, and process until well combined.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the macaroni, the garnish, and the optional ingredients) to the food processor and process again until a smooth “cheese” sauce forms.
  5. Pour the “cheese” sauce directly onto the macaroni noodles and toss to coat the noodles evenly.  If you want to add optional ingredients to your casserole, now is the time to do it!  I added a bag of frozen peas and some spare, halved cherry tomatoes for color and nutrition.
  6. Top with paprika (for a little kick), bread crumbs, and crushed almonds (for some crunch).
  7. Cook for 30 minutes.
  8. Serve!  This recipe makes enough to serve about 4-6 people, depending on how hungry everyone is.

-Dominique

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Quick and Easy Indian-Inspired Chili (Vegan) with Coconut Basmati Rice


Last night I had a bunch of produce that had just about outlived it’s fridge time so I decided to cook up an Indian-inspired chili to use it all up! The only part of this recipe that is time consuming is the veggie chopping, other than that you just throw everything in the pot and let it simmer away. It ended up being pretty spicy because I was a little heavy-handed with the crushed red pepper flakes (oops! I adjusted the recipe afterwards as to not kill anyone), so I paired it with some mellow coconut basmati rice.  It was really yummy and really filling!

Image

Spicy Indian-Inspired Chili

Yield: About 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½  each of garam masala, cumin, & turmeric
  • ½ t each of cayenne, nutmeg, ginger, & cardamom
  • 3 bell peppers, chopped (I did green, yellow, orange, because that’s what I had on hand)
  • 3 small or 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • ½ jar of marinara sauce
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 can of corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • olive oil

Instructions:

  1. In a medium sized pot, heat olive oil and garlic on medium heat.  Add the chopped onions along with all the spices and sauté until your kitchen smells like magic!
  2. Add in a little more olive oil (to cover the bottom of the pot) and toss in the chopped zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, corn, and beans.  Toss it around with a spoon so everything is combined.
  3. Add the marinara sauce and vegetable broth and mix.  Heat until the entire mixture boils, then turn down the heat to low.
  4. Simmer the chili on the stove for about twenty minutes (or more if you want, I just used this time to make the rice) to let the flavors meld.  FLAVA FLAVVVVE!!!
  5. EAT!

Notes:

  • If you like your chili to be spicier, add crushed red pepper flakes along with the other spices.  BE CAREFUL THOUGH! Once you put them in, you can’t take them out. (If you don’t heed this warning and your chili ends up being too spicy, salt it a bit and it will tone the spice down).
  • You can essentially use any vegetables or beans that you want in this recipe, or leave them out entirely.  I just used what I had on hand!  This is why chili is awesome.

Coconut Basmati Rice

Yield:  About 3 cups (6 servings, 1/2 cup each)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ c basamati rice, rinsed and drained until it doesn’t make the water cloudy (this took about 4 rinses for me)
  • 1 c coconut milk
  • 1 ½ c water
  • ½ t turmeric
  • pinch of salt
Instructions:
  1. Put everything in a rice cooker and mix so the turmeric and and coconut milk are well combined with the water.
  2. Turn the rice cooker on and let it do it’s rice cooker magic!
  3. EAT!
Notes:
  • If you don’t have a rice cooker (I actually don’t, but my lovely roommate Abbey let’s me use hers [and all her spices (THANKS ABBEY!)]) then you can easily do this on the stove following these basic cooking instructions.  Just use the same ingredients/water and coconut milk ratio above.
  • You can easily do this with another kind of white rice, I just had Basmati in my pantry.

Happy cooking 🙂

-Dominique

Apple Pie Oats


Here’s what I’ve been up to lately…

I’ve been a little stressed/anxious/on overdrive, and craving some comfort food.  For me that means mac and cheese and ice cream!  Not quite diet material.  Instead I compromised and whipped up something a little bit more nutritious but just as comforting…apple pie oats!  I love having breakfast for dinner.

Just some steal cut oats cooked in 2 parts soymilk 1 part water (for extra creaminess aka comfort) with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a diced apple.  It was delicious, filling, and comforting indeed.

And of course I didn’t forget about dessert, which was banana sandwiches (banana with peanut butter and chocolate chips).  How perfect!

-Dominique

Let’s Chat!

  • What is your go-to comfort food?

Chocolate Covered Katie’s Deep Dish Cookie Pie


Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Blog’s slogan is “Where Healthy Tastes Naughty” definitely held true with her Deep-Dish Cookie Pie recipe! I won’t go into too much recipe detail, because we didn’t deviate from Katie’s at all, and you can see it on her blog!

This recipe is vegan (except for the chocolate chips) and it’s key ingredients are applesauce, quick oats, garbanzo beans, and brown sugar.

Ingredient Line-Up

The Star of the Show...Garbanzo Beans!!

I’ll admit that I was EXTREMELY skeptical about trying this recipe, and I thought that maybe we should just make half of the recipe to make sure it tasted good, but Andy was excited about it and wanted us to make the whole thing. So we did! Only problem? We couldn’t find his food processor and his blender was broken. Our solution? Andy was our food processor! One of the many perks of having a restaurant cook with killer knife skills for a boyfriend! It just took a little longer, but we didn’t mind.

Boyfriend Doubling as a Food-Processor

Mixed Up and Ready to Bake!

35 minutes later it was out of the oven and ready to eat! And eat we did…

Deep Dish Cookie Pie!

It was SO decadent, dense, moist, chewy, and altogether wonderful! The beans and oats made it really filling.

I APPROVE!

We definitely enjoyed it…look how much we ate right out of the oven!

Embarrassing...

I’d definitely make it again, you can’t even taste the beans! Thanks for the great recipe, Katie!

-Dominique

Let’s Chat!

  1. Do you think you would ever try making this recipe?  Why or why not?
  2. What is your opinion on “healthifying” desserts?

Reasons Why I Loved Today!


Today was a great day in Dominique-land! Here’s why…

  1. I started today with some yoga.  Nothing like some stretching to get your blood flowing in the morning!
  2. My boss bought me lunch!

    Tex-Mex Salad

    We got Tex-Mex Salads (no olives please!) from El Mariachi, a Mexican restaurant a couple miles from work.  It’s loaded with chopped lettuce (duh), chicken, cilantro, cheese, avocados, and tomatoes.  SO FILLING, I always have to leave half the chicken behind.  Work went really slow today, so it was a good midday pick-me-up for both of us in the office.

  3. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, I ACTUALLY WON SOMETHING!!  One of the blogs I follow, Just Jac, ran a giveaway with her FitBloggin’ swag.  I entered, but never thought I would win!  Jaclyn said that she liked my comment so much that she had to pick two winners instead of one.  Here’s what I said:”It’s so hard to chose from all that swag, but I’d love any workout DVDs! Living as a poor college student means that when I’m at school I have to rely on home work outs instead of my beloved classes at the YMCA. A DVD would sure come in handy!  I’ve never won a giveaway before, but this is only the second I’ve ever entered! Hopefully I’ll have beginners luck!”I can’t wait to receive my DVD in the mail.  It’s like waiting for Christmas!  Thanks so much, Jaclyn!
  4. Today was Thursday, which is turning into Andy and I’s regularly scheduled date night (it’s his night off work)!  We had so much fun hanging around town and enjoying the warm but mild weather.  We went to Saxby’s for some iced coffee…

    Happy at Saxby's!

    …peeked at some books at the local bookstore, and went to one of my favorite casual Doylestown restaurants, Jules Pizza! Jules makes (delicious) thin crust pizzas, and uses mainly local, organic ingredients. They have your classic pizzas (plain, meatlovers, buffalo chicken, veggie) but also feature more unique toppings such as apples, brie cheese, butternut squash, pears, almonds, and edamame!

    Some of the Jules Line-Up

    My go-to Jules pizza is a bit boring, but it never gets old to me! I go with what I like to think of as the “adult” plain pizza, fresh mozzarella, basil and greens, organic tomato sauce, and tomatoes.  Everything always tastes so fresh.   YUMMY!

    My Favorite Jules Pizza

    Andy got the “adult” plain as well as a slice of the Buffalo Chicken, which is always his favorite. He let me have a couple bites of his, and it was delish! Usually the Buffalo Chicken pizzas I’ve tried are too greasy, but Jules’ still was loaded but light.

    Andy's Selections

    He’s such a good sport for putting up with all my photo-taking!

    THEN, we went grocery shopping and cooked up a special treat!

    More info about that will be in tomorrow’s post, for now all I’ll say is that it was surprisingly delicious!

  5. The heat FINALLY broke, so my room doesn’t feel so miserable (our upstairs air conditioning has been broken and I’ve been living/sleeping in an 85 degree room…yikes!).
-Dominique
Let’s Chat!

  1. What did YOU love about today?
  2. What are your favorite pizza toppings?  Are they classic or unique? 

Power-Up Breakfast #1: Fast Frittata!


Breakfast has ALWAYS been my favorite meal of the day.  I always say that if I had to choose one meal of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert) and eat it for every meal, every day, I would choose breakfast hands down.  There are just so many great breakfast foods and drinks to choose from!  I almost ALWAYS eat breakfast in the morning, unless I’m really running low on time.  I just feel like a zombie without it!  This summer I’ve realized that whatever I eat for breakfast sets the tone for the rest of my day food-wise.  If I make conscious decisions to wake up to foods that are good for me, I feel physically and mentally better all day long, and continue to make healthy choices for the rest of the day.  A healthy breakfast, however, does not by any means translate to a “light” breakfast.  In order for my breakfasts to keep me “powered-up” throughout the day, I need them to not only be healthy, but also be filling!

One of my go to morning breakfasts is what I call my “fast frittata”.  Described on wikipedia as an “Italy’s version of an open-faced omelet”, I find frittatas to be simple but delicious, and a great way to work lots of veggies into the first meal of the day.  They’re really simple to make (trust me, I’m awful at cooking, so if I can do it, anyone can!) but I’ll share how I usually do it!

First, I put a bit of olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat.  Then, I add a handful of baby spinach leaves.

While the magic’s happening in the pan there, I wash and prepare the rest of my veggies (this time halved cherry tomatoes and some onion, I usually put in a ton of mushrooms too but we didn’t have any).

Shove the spinach around in the pan a little until it shrinks and wilts a little like this:

The dump the rest of the veggies in the pan to heat up!

Mix 2 large eggs (or however many you like to have, or egg whites/egg replacers if you so choose) with some shredded cheese (today I chose cheddar) and some salt and pepper.  You can also add some milk if you want, but I choose not to.

TANGENT:  Funny story, my grandma makes the best scrambled eggs.  They’re so light and fluffy!  When I asked her why they were so good, she shared her secret ingredient with me:  heavy whipping cream!  LOL!  No wonder they were delicious!

Pour the egg mixture straight into the pan, on top of the veggies, and make sure it covers the entire bottom!

Then, flip the frittata.  This part always makes me super nervous, the key is to be sure that it is almost completely cooked through.  To achieve this without burning, keep the stove on a MEDIUM heat.  (I’m very impatient so I always turn the stove up to high! Oops!).  If you’re cool, you can flip it in the pan without a spatula!  I’m still working on that one 😉 .

When you’re sure it’s cooked all the way through, slide it off the pan and onto a plate.  Then, eat and enjoy!  Glass of orange juice encouraged, but optional.

Another part of my power-up breakfast?  Gummy vitamins!  Andy, Emma, everyone in my family, and I are addicted to these vitamins because they’re so fun to eat.  My mom even sent some to us in college!  She’s the best.

-Dominique

Let’s Chat!

  1. If you could eat one meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert) everyday for all three meals, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
  2. Do you eat breakfast in the morning?  Why or why not?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!