Are you looking for an easy appetizer? Well, who doesn’t love a good dip? Admittedly, it’s one of my guilty pleasures! And this recipe is the first to come to mind! I love all things dip, hummus, queso, cream cheese, and my vegan peppercorn ranch, but I especially love this Smoky Poblano Corn Dip! It’s delicious and gorgeous and will be a hit among your non-vegan friends and family.
I like to set it out and watch people gobble it up. They will often ask who made the corn dip and when they find out it was me, they are always amazed that it is 100% vegan!
I typically use poblano peppers for mine, but you can use anaheim or hatch peppers. And for reasons of sustainability, I also use Follow Your Heart sour cream because it contains no palm oil. I use R.W. Garcia chips because they are yummy, the family has a great story, their products are organic/non-GMO, and they are a sustainable climate pledge-friendly company.
As always, tag me and let me know how you like it!
A super yummy appetizer that will leave you wanting more! You can easily use frozen organic corn in place of corn cobs. I don’t recommend canned corn because it’s usually very high in sodium, it has a metallic taste, and it’s not fresh! Trust me on this one!
4 poblano, Anaheim, or hatch peppers
4 ears of corn, husks removed cut in half (about 2 cups)
5 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced on the bias (reserve 2 tablespoons)
On a prepared baking sheet, add the poblano peppers and roast for about 5 minutes, occasionally rotating until all sides are charred. Immediately place them in a medium bowl and cover them tightly with plastic wrap.
Warm a medium-size non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When ready, add corn. Toast the corn cobs for about 10 minutes (2 1/2 minutes per side), allowing half of the kernels to get charred. Allow them to cool enough to handle, then cut the kernels off the cob with a sharp knife, place them in a large mixing bowl. (In a separate small bowl, reserve 1 tablespoon of corn for garnish)
Preheat oven to 450°F degrees.
When the poblanos have cooled, remove the stems, skin, seeds, and veins. Then chop them into ¼ inch pieces—Reserve 2 tablespoons of peppers for garnish and mince. Add to the small bowl of corn garnish. Then add the remaining peppers to the large mixing bowl of corn.
To the corn pepper mixture, add scallions, garlic, lime juice, chili lime seasoning, paprika, hot sauce, sour cream, softened cream cheese, and salt and pepper, mix well.
Transfer the mixture to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or a 2-quart baking dish, and bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove when it is hot and bubbling around the edges of the pan.
Top with additional scallions, cilantro, corn poblano garnish, and a dash or two of smoked paprika. Serve with corn chips.
*I use “Follow Your Heart” because it contains no palm oil.
I love cold weather. I love snow. And I love hot cocoa. Since it’s cold and it snowed, the only thing missing was this recipe! There isn’t much to say other than you probably have all the ingredients on hand to make it! I like this brand of cocoa powder and this brand of oat milk.
You can double or triple the batch and easily warm up for more later! ENJOY!!! You can also add the whipped cream to a piping bag, swirl it over the cocoa and top with cinnamon, or cocoa powder! Also this whipped cream is light and fluffy and stays creamy for days in the fridge or months in the freezer as a vegan cool whip. Just take it out of the freezer and let it warm up for about 10 minutes before using.
When I first became a vegan, I couldn’t find a non-dairy whipped cream anywhere. Now you can buy it pretty much anywhere, but it costs a small fortune, and my last two cans quick working with half of the cream still in the can. While making the sugar whipped aquafaba for my cornbread recipe, it occurred to me that if I added cream of tartar, vanilla extract for sweetness, that I would have a vegan whipped cream!
If you’re looking for an easy whipped cream recipe for a yummy Thanksgiving pie, I’ve got you covered! Be sure to add this to your dish right before serving. The whipped cream will deflate after a few hours, but you can re-whip it again and again and it will come back to peaks in 2-3 minutes.
Looking for an easy and inexpensive whipped cream? If the answer is yes, this recipe is for you!
1 can garbanzo beans, drained, reserve liquid
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
Drain garbanzo beans and keep the liquid (aquafaba). Set beans aside for another use. Add aquafaba (I use all of what was in the can) to a mixing bowl (I used a stand mixer). Mix on high for 5 minutes, or until mixture begins to foam. Add cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Mix for a few minutes more until soft peaks begin to form, about 3-5 minutes. Taste for sweetness and adjust to preference. Do not overmix, or the whipped cream will fall and flatten out.
I adore Julie Piatt, aka Sri Mati. She is the author of “This Cheese is Nuts” and is also what you might call my spiritual mentor. She is a peace-loving hippie momma and a vegan. And she has created the best vegan version of goat cheese or chèvre that I’ve ever had. I make this recipe at least 2-3 days before I want to use it. I think the longer it has to sit and ferment, the better.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, don’t fret. You can use your oven on the lowest setting (mine is 150°) and bake for 1 hour. Because I make a lot of vegan cheeses I always keep acidophilus caps in the fridge. Also, I think it goes without saying that you do have to open the capsules before using, but I’ll say it anyway!
2 tsp refined coconut oil (make SURE it says “refined”)
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
2 Tbsp za’atar, or other herb combo such as thyme, oregano, marjoram
Add everything but the za’atar to blender. Blend on medium speed until smooth. Depending on your mixer this could take anywhere from 45 seconds to 3-4 minutes.
Transfer mixture to the center of cheese cloth. Gather the edges and tie off each end with string. Place in dehydrator and dehydrate at 90° for 24 hours. If you do not have a dehydrator you can achieve something similar in a low oven at 170° for one hour.
Once aging is complete remove cheese from the cloth including the rind, and add to stand mixer. Mix until light and fluffy.
Adjust seasonings to taste. She recommends adding the remaining 1/8 tsp, if too mild.
Turn cheese out onto clean workspace and divide in half. Roll 1/2 of the cheese inside wax paper until it forms a nice even log. Repeat with the other half.
After the logs have set roll in herb mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
I love cornbread! I loved my Grandma’s cornbread most of all. But her recipe contained eggs, buttermilk, and wheat flour. I tell ya, being gluten-free and vegan is no easy task! There are so many obstacles to overcome that you either feel like giving up or just settling for the substandard pre-made crap you can find in the grocery store. So with Grandma’s cornbread out of the question. I sat out on the arduous journey of creating my recipe. As many of you gluten-free folks may know, gluten-free can mean dry, chalky, and dense. And on the vegan side of things, no eggs and no buttermilk can mean your bread falls completely apart, or it merely refuses to rise! So, what is a girl to do? After making some delicious banana muffins and using aquafaba in my chocolate chip cookies, I decided to combine the two and make cornbread! The result was the BEST cornbread ever. Sorry, Grandma.
Anyway, this recipe pairs well with my Gumbo, Chili, Black-Eyed Peas with Collard Greens, and it hangs well just by itself! I love to add diced jalapeños to mine! Just be sure to let it cool for at least 5-10 minutes! I hope you enjoy it!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and lightly grease a standard 9-inch round cake pan or 8×8-inch baking dish and dust with gluten-free flour. Shake out excess and set aside. (I also think you could use an 9-inch cast iron skillet, but it wouldn’t come out as easily and will likely have to be served directly from the pan).
In a liquid measuring cup, measure out non-dairy milk and add vinegar or lemon juice. Set aside.
Add chickpea brine to a medium-mixing bowl and begin whipping until loose peaks form. Then add sugar in a little at a time and beat until the texture is glossy and white and semi-firm peaks form.
Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Then add non-dairy milk mixture and oil and whisk once more. Finally, add the whipped chickpea brine (with sugar) and gently whisk/fold in until a thick but pourable batter is formed.
The batter should be thick but pourable. Add more cornmeal or gluten-free flour if too wet or non-dairy milk if too thick.
Add batter to prepared cake pan and bake on a center rack for 25-35 minutes, or until the edges are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out completely clean.
Let cool completely in the pan – set on a wire rack to speed cooling process. To remove, run a dull knife around the edge of the cake pan to loosen, then slice and serve. Alternatively, place a plate on top and quickly invert. It will be upside down so flip onto another serving platter to get it right side up.
*Any good GF flour blend will work. Just make sure that it contains xanthin gum (used as a substitute for wheat gluten) as it is a binder for GF flour.
Sweet dreams are made of cheese! I think I’ve mentioned this a few times, but the most challenging part of being a vegan was giving up the cheese. I even went so far as to create and teach a vegan cheese class! I adore this vegan Queso Blanco! It is so yummy and so easy to make. I put it on everything from my enchiladas to making a delicious mac-n-cheese. Mostly, I stand around with a plate of warm tortilla chips and dip until my heart’s content! I hope you love it as much as I do!
The other great thing about this recipe is that it is cholesterol-free, yep 100% plant-based, and no oil! Serve this dip piping hot, and don’t be surprised when it disappears quickly! Easy to re-heat with just a tablespoon or two plant-based milk and microwave on medium heat for 30 seconds. Stir, and add 30 seconds as needed until warm!
This oil-free vegan queso is ready in less than 15 minutes! So yummy, you can add as much or as little heat as you want by skipping the jalapeños or doubling them up! Enjoy!
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight, if not using high powered blender
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup plant-based milk (I use Oatly oat milk)
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp tapioca starch (for a gooey consistency)
1–2 tsp salt
1 (4 oz) can pickled jalapeños with juice
1 can tomatoes with green chili’s, like Rotel
Dash turmeric for color, if desired
Warm a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp vegetable stock and onions. Sauté onions until done and translucent, about 7-8 minutes. Remove onions from pan, and add to blender. Add all remaining ingredients except the Rotel tomatoes, if using. Blend until very smooth. If using a Vitamix, about 45 seconds on high.
Transfer to a saucepan and put on the stove over medium-low heat. Heat until desired consistency, continually stirring so as not to burn the bottom.
Taste and add extra salt if desired. Pour vegan queso into a serving bowl and stir in the 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños and drained can of Rotel if using. Garnish and serve.
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge about 5 days. When reheating, add additional unsweetened plant-based milk, if desired, to thin to desired consistency.
You can use chicken broth instead of vegetable if you’re not vegan.
This is a super easy and delicious gravy mix. When I first began my search for an excellent vegan gravy recipe, I was sorely disappointed. I desperately wanted to find something that even closely resembled the gravy I grew up eating. However, that gravy was made from sausage grease and whole wheat flour! Oh, and did I mention that I also needed it to be gluten-free? So for a few years, I used various time-consuming methods to achieve a mediocre gravy. After years of experimenting, I give you this! Now I can make a delicious vegan gravy with all the flavor and consistency of the gravy from my past! Vegan Slingers, here I come!
For Thanksgiving one year, my aunt in New Orleans served a pumpkin soup from a wonderful little restaurant in Abita Springs, LA. I had never had pumpkin soup before and was excited to try it. Not only did I love it, but I immediately came home and tried to recreate it.
The sautéed onions are what make this soup shine. They lend a rich umami flavor and a subtle sweetness. The smoky cumin and spicy cayenne pepper balance out the sweetness and kick it up a notch! Deglazing the pan several times with vegetable stock also helps build the flavor. If you’re a die-hard and don’t want to use canned pumpkin, then you’ll want at least a 4-pound sugar pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and diced—roast at 400° for 25 minutes, or until fork-tender.
You can store leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or a freezer-safe container for two months. If you make the soup, be sure to leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it!
Before Kevin and I became vegan we loved consulting America’s Test Kitchen for recipes. Their recipes are full-proof and delicious—always the result of hours and hours of testing various methods and ingredients. ATK recipes are truly the best examples of culinary science! Each recipe has a “What Makes This Work” abstract that walks you through various ingredients and attempted methodologies before they give you their final version of perfection. That is very appealing to my “But, I need to know why” personality. So all of that aside…THIS. LASAGNA.
Now, I’ve made vegan lasagna before. Many times, in fact. But never, ever, like this. I had always used tofu ricotta, and while the flavor was good, the texture was lacking and it was always too dry. This recipe skips the tofu and uses cauliflower and cashews that are cooked and blended together. SO simple, and it gave my lasagna a moist creaminess that it had been missing! No joke, this is the BEST lasagna I’ve ever had. So, without further ado…I present this amazing adapted America’s Test Kitchen “Vegan for Everybody” recipe.
1 pound zucchini, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 pound white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
5 oz spinach, washed
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
For the Lasagna:
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
For the tomato sauce: Process tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of basil, oil, garlic, sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes in a food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 30 seconds. Transfer sauce to a bowl and set aside. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.)
For the filling: Bring 3 quarts of water to boil in a large saucepan. Add cauliflower florets, cashews, and 2 teaspoons salt and cook until cauliflower is very soft and falls apart easily when poked with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain cauliflower mixture in a colander and let cool slightly for about 5 minutes.
Process cauliflower mixture, 1 tablespoon oil, diced onion, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, and ¼ cup water in a blender until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 2 minutes (mixture will be slightly grainy). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer ¼ cup mixture to bowl and stir in remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and basil; set aside for topping. (Mixtures can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
For the vegetables: Warm a medium-size saute pan over medium-high heat. When heated add olive oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add zucchini and mushrooms. Saute for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and spinach cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until spinach is wilted and tender. Set aside. (Cooked vegetables can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.)
For the lasagne: Adjust the oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F—grease 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Spread 1 1/3 cups tomato sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Arrange 4 noodles on top. Spread half the cauliflower filling over noodles, followed by half of the vegetables. Spread 1 1/3 cups tomato sauce over vegetables. Repeat layering with 4 noodles, remaining cauliflower filling, and remaining vegetables. Arrange the remaining 4 noodles and layer with the remaining tomato sauce.
Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake until edges are bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes, rotating dish halfway through baking. Dollop lasagne evenly with 8 to 10 spoonfuls of reserved cauliflower topping, and let cool for 25 minutes. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon basil, and top with vegan parmesan and serve.
Feel free to substitute a jar of your favorite pasta sauce. Keep in mind, if you do, you will use a full jar plus 1/3 of another. I would also add fresh basil and red pepper flakes.
Just because you give up dairy doesn’t mean you have to give up cheese! Many things can make milk! You just need milk with higher fat content to make good rich cheese. Hence, cashews! I keep this cheese on hand all the time. I use it as a sauce for macaroni and cheese, and as a base for my famous black bean dip! But one of my favorite things to use it for is the base for a broccoli potato soup! Sometimes, I just shamelessly stand over the bowl and eat it until I’m about to burst. Loaded with protein and spices, this cheese sauce it my absolute favorite.
To heat or reheat microwave, covered, in 30-second bursts, whisking at each interval and thinning with water as needed. Or re-warm on the stovetop, whisking occasionally and thinning with water as needed.
Easy Chili Cashew Queso
1 ½ C. raw cashews
1 cup hot water
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
Pinch chili powder (optional)
1 chipotle in adobo with a little sauce
To make the Queso, add all ingredients to a high -speed blender and blend until smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides at least once.
Feel free to substitute salsa, roasted jalapenos, or your favorite hot sauce in place of the chipotle pepper. The sauce is also really delicious with no heat!