Sunday, August 13, 2017

BAKED VEGAN CRAB CAKES


Vegan Crab Cakes have been a popular item on the internet for a while. I remember when we first transitioned to a plant-based lifestyle just over 2 years ago. I found Hot for Food blog and saw a recipe for vegan crab cakes made from canned artichokes. It was pan fried and pretty good, but I haven't made them since. I don't find it necessary to fry things anymore and I can't eat fried foods so I come up with way to get that crunch without all the heavy greasiness, that would send me into a digestive pit of pain, and likely knock me out cold, sorry I got carried away. Anyway, I wanted a vegan crab cake with a little more "chew", baked and oil-free, and I could sneak some more nutrition into the kids, and hubby for that matter, ha. So, I looked around Pinterest and found a few made with chickpeas!! You know how I love Chickpeas they are a staple, and ALL my kids love them, so that should speak for its self. Side note if you haven't tried The Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, pick up a couple more cans of chickpeas and make them, you will not regret it!!

I tested a few of the recipes but they all fell a little short, so I decided to wing it, since I have a few different things on hand, I went with it. Oh my goodness they were SO good. The Best Vegan Crab Cake better then crab cakes with crab for that matter. This batch made 12. I was hoping to save a few to see how they held up in the fridge and freezer. They had ALL BEEN EATEN! My picky 16 year old ate 5, that's right 5!! We all wanted more. I made another batch the next day just to see if maybe it was a fluke... ALL GONE, AGAIN! Ethan grabbed 2 before I had the table set. He was not taking any chances, ha! Scarlet was climbing the counter asking "you make, you make, you make?" She wanted them before they were even baked. She sneaks into the kitchen and taste tests with me. I'm happy my family has embraced this lifestyle with me. Thanks guys your the best!
I know, I know get to the recipe Des, ok here's what you need:


Ingredients:
1 can Chickpeas
1 can quartered Artichoke hearts
1 large or 2 small celery stocks 
1 sheet Nori (optional) it does add a hint of the sea, it's not super over powering but if you don't like nori it's not a deal breaker.
2 teaspoons Garlic powder 
2 teaspoons Onion powder 
1 Tablespoon Old Bay (this is what makes the crab cake in my opinion, this is not optional)
1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley 
1 teaspoon Dried Dill
Add the next ingredient
1/4 cup finely dices Red onion
1/8 cup dices roasted Red pepper 
Zest and juice of 1 Lemon
1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard 
2 teaspoons Soy sauce (if I had Vegan Worcestershire sauce I would have used it)
Few dashes of Franks hot sauce (use your favorite hot sauce, and you guessed it, it's optional)
1 to 1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs (some are not vegan so check I use this brand) 
Black pepper to taste
Coating:
1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons Garlic powder
2 teaspoons Onion powder
2 teaspoons Old bay Seasonings
salt to taste (optional Old Bay does have salt)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a food processor add Chickpeas, Artichoke Hearts, and the Hearts Of Palm, celery, rip the nori into small pieces and toss it in to, and the spices. Pulse ingredients until a shredded "crab" type consistency. Then add it all to a bowl along with everything except the breadcrumbs I'd add the breadcrumbs a little at a time. Mix and adjust the seasoning to your taste. You may need to add more bread crumbs if your mixture is too wet. Form into patties this made 12 patties. If they aren';t holding together you can pop them into the fridge for about 10 mins. I didn't need to, but it's an option if they need it.  Then coat with breadcrumb coating mixture on all sides.


Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. (If you have an Air Fryer totally make them in it. I wish I had tossed one or 2 in just to see how it turned out.)
I know it's a lot to ask, but for your safety, and don't ask how I know, you should let me cool for about 5 minutes.


You can make a crab cake sandwich, top them on a salad, or just eat the dang thang standing over the stove while your family has no idea you are gobbling up the goodness, but you should share that why they can see how awesome you are at this whole making veggies taste like a delicious plate of goodness, haha! You can totally make a Vegan Remoulade to go on top, I didn't have any cashews on hand so I didn't. This one is topped with Just Ranch from Hampton Creek. Jason and Makayla both agreed it was a good as "sauce" for these.


Here's my plate, after I devoured the one secretly, maybe while standing over the stove, burning my mouth off... I squeezed fresh lemon on mine and it was perfect! MAKE THESE, Follow us on social media. If you ever make anything take a picture and tag us on Instagram and Facebook! We love connecting with you! MUCH MUCH LOVE~ Des!

Pinterest Definitely let's follow each other on Pinterest. I NEED to see your PINS and get inspired!!
YouTube channel Most of my recipes will have a video and What We Eat in a Day videos.
Facebook page Facebook hates me and blocks my website pretty regularly so... we have a love hate relationship right now, haha.
Instagram I always post a pictures on IG so if you follow me there you will see them 1st ;)



Here is the recipe video if you're interested in see how I make it. It's helpful to see the textures and the process! 













*Links are to my Amazon Affiliate link. If you click or buy anything I will receive a commission at NO additional cost to you. It does help our family and we appreciate you support in this way!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES




I've been tweaking this recipe for what feels like months... wait it has been, haha. I'm glad I waited, because tomorrow is actually National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, who knew?! What better time to share this AMAZING cookie, so you can be ready tomorrow! My online buddy Karen posted a cookie recipe that was similar, and that got my noggin rattling. I can't keep well enough alone, and wanted a lower fat version so I could enjoy them too. I don't eat high fat due to a horrible problem I once had (but DON'T anymore thanks to WFPBNO eating), that I never want again. I promise I'll give you the scoop on why I eat super low fat, SOON. If you haven't noticed I love making things with oats, SAUSAGE, CHEESE SAUCE, and PANCAKES. Seriously, they are this magical ingredient that I actually used to hate. Hate is a strong word, but I honestly loathed the texture, the lack of flavor, the gummy... goo. You'd never know that now. I have a "shout at the roof tops" kind of LOVE for oatmeal now. I still very rarely eat a bowl of oatmeal, but I use it daily. I also love Chickpeas for a number of reasons and both of these magical ingredients play a large roll in what makes these cookies healthy, without tasting healthy. My oldest hates beans, I still hide them in dishes to get her to eat them, shhhh, gosh don't tell her she will KILLLL me. She loves these and would be the 1st to tell me if they weren't GREAT.

Okay, I'll stop taking about how much I love Oatmeal and Chickpeas because National Chocolate Chip Cookie day is August 4th and I could probably talk about it well past and then we'd miss one of the best food days of the year!


Look at the cookie dough!
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups cooked rinsed and drained chickpeas (or a 15 oz. drain and rinsed can, unsalted/low sodium)
1/2 heaping cup Oat flour I make it by blending rolled oats in my blender (gluten free if needed)
2/3 cup Vegan Light Brown Sugar lightly packed (or coconut sugar)
3 Tablespoons Maple syrup or Agave for lower glycemic (this is mainly to replace oil)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Salt (if your chickpeas have a lot of sodium, I would leave it out)
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1 teaspoon Vinegar (I used white, but apple cider would work)
1/2 to 3/4 cup Vegan Chocolate Chips ) (I used 1/2 cup, but added a few to the top for photos, That blogger life yo, haha)


                                                            Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I used a Vitamix blender but a good food processor would work. Add the chickpeas, maple syrup and vanilla, blend until mostly smooth, you will need to use your tamper if using a Vitmix and scrap the sides a couple of time. Add the coconut sugar, oat flour, salt (if using), baking powder and vinegar. Blend until a smooth cookie batter appears before your eyes. Add the chocolate chips and pulse a couple of times just until incorporated. 
Before baking after spreading slightly





Drop a heaping Tablespoon of dough on the lined baking sheet I use this mini scoop. Spread slightly with the back of a wet spoon or wet fingers, these don't really spread while baking. Bake until the edges are dry to the touch, about 18 to 20 minutes, this will depend greatly on your oven. Try not to over bake these, they will get tough. I check them after 18 mins, most of the time they are done. Cool slightly before serving, or burn your mouth of with a lava chocolate chip like I did! Make'em Enjoy them without guilt! MUCH LOVE ~ Des!
After baking to golden brown perfection and right before burning myself
with that chocolate chip calling your name!








Please follow us on social media! I LOVE connecting with you all so much! You could have seen the kids learning these are made from beans, that was priceless! 
Here's where you can find us, we are The Plant Eaters on all of them, or you can click the links and you'll find us!
YouTube channel
Facebook page
Instagram
Pinterest 






Here's the recipe video so you can see the process, the consistency of the batter and the BEST part, what the KIDS thought when I told me these are made from Chickpeas!











*Links are to my Amazon Affiliate link. If you click or buy anything I will receive a commission at NO additional cost to you. It does help our family and we appreciate you support in this way!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

RICE AND BEAN TOSTADAS

Can I just say one thing? Why did I wait so long to make these! They were so easy and, I had everything I needed in my fridge and pantry, just sitting there whispering tostadas.... tostadas.... TOSTADAS! It was actually Jason's brilliant idea, he's a pretty smart guy, and has good ideas for new and exciting ways to eat our everyday favorite foods, that's one reason I keep him around ;p

You can feel good about eating these, they will not weigh you down like oily, greasy, fried tostadas. This was made in your kitchen, so you control the ingredients, and you and your family get to enjoy easy delicious food that fuels you instead of hurting you!
I kind of feel silly making a post about these since they are really easy, but I just had to share because that's what this blog is all about SIMPLE, FAST, DELICIOUS VEGAN FOOD! If it's not easy and tasty no one would want eat this way. It doesn't have to be complicated to meet our needs for healthy, family friendly, amazing food. You guys this is super simple, healthy, and so satisfying!

Here's what we used, but you know what I'm going to say... use what you have, and what you like.
I always have leftover rice and pinto beans in the fridge. I batch cook both because, those are our favorites. We mixed the rice, beans, salsa and seasonings to taste and popped it in the microwave to heat it up. I'll post a list of the seasonings we used here:
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Chili powder
Cumin powder
Creole spice blend (Tony Chachere's is what we use)

Now we start layering:
Baked Corn Tortillas or pre-made (I found these oil free Baked ones, they are gooood)
Mixed Salad or Romine or Iceberg or Spinach or None, whatever you like.
2 or 3 spoonfuls of the Rice and Bean mixture
Salsa (Pace Picante medium is our favorite)
Guacamole (I mix avocado with garlic and onion powder, lime juice and salsa, so easy and so delish)
DONE, EAT IT AND GO BACK FOR MORE!!! NO WAIT snap picture and tag me on social media so I can see your delicious creations and how you made them! Instagram: @theplanteaters  The Plant Eaters on Facebook
Much Love~ Des!

*Links are to my Amazon Affiliate link. If you click or buy anything I will receive a commission at NO additional cost to you. It does help our family and we appreciate you support in this way!

Friday, July 28, 2017

ASIAN STIR-FRY NOODLES WITH BAKED TOFU


Asian inspired dishes are one of my go-to's here. For a few reasons, other than the obvious, it's delicious! It's also easy to veganize, it's quick, and I usually have all I need on hand to throw something together that my family will enjoy and I can feel good about feeding it to them because it's healthy! Who doesn't was to slurp saucy noodles. I use The Sauce on so many things, so I make it and keep it in the fridge to put on rice, veggies, dip sushi, pot stickers, spring/summer rolls, the list goes on and on...

Baked Tofu tossed in The Sauce and Stir-fried Rice
Most of the time any stir-fry I make starts with water sautéing, a large onion, mushrooms, shredded carrots, towards the end of the sautéing I'll grate a few cloves of garlic and a "knob" of ginger into the pan after the other veggies are soft. I'll add some of The Sauce (recipe below) to really amp up the flavor of the veggies, letting it soak up some of the delicious sauce. Add some steamed broccoli then your noodle of choice. I used spaghetti, because I always have spaghetti, most people can find it and I'm a rebel, I think pasta is a fine alternative to asian noodles! But, these Ramen noodles would be amazing too!  You can use the veggies you like, any noodles you like, anything goes, just get in the kitchen a make it! Toss everything together and let The Sauce heat up and coat the noodles and veggies. I added some Baked Tofu, if you don't like tofu (I was you, make this tofu and you'll change your mind, I promise), or don't have any just leave it out. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and ENJOY!!

The Sauce:
1 Tablespoon Almond butter (You can add more, any nut or seed butter should work, it's optional so if you want a lower fat version leave it out)
1/4 cup Soy Sauce (Tamari, Liquid Amino's etc.)
1/4 cup Water
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1-2 teaspoons Garlic powder
1-2 teaspoons Onion powder
1-2 teaspoons Ginger powder
1-2 teaspoons Mushroom broth seasoning (again optional, but it's so good, look for it at an Asian market it will be cheaper)
1-2 teaspoons Korean Red pepper flake (use your favorite red pepper spice, sometimes we add one of these instead Sriracha, Sambal Oelek, Sweet Chili sauce, I promise add what you like it will be awesome)
2 drops of liquid smoke (I use Hickory)
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch, ONLY add this when you are are cooking it. DO NOT add this if you are just making it to top or dip things in, the Corn Starch won't taste good uncooked, haha.

Here's the recipe video. I recommend watching it to see the steps, Much Love Always ~ Des!

*Links are to my Amazon Affiliate link. If you click or buy anything I will receive a commission at NO additional cost to you. It does help our family and we appreciate you support in this way!

BAKED TOFU



This Baked Tofu is our favorite and I batch cook this pretty much weekly. Confession time, I HATED TOFU! I know some people that are transitioning to this lifestyle are saying, "MMM, yeah I'll never like tofu!", "I'll never eat tofu!", or "Uh, gross is that tofu?" I was you, not that long ago actually. I made the ever so popular Tofu Scramble, I hated it,  my family liked it well enough. Not enough to request it, so that wasn't something that was on the menu. Until, we went on a 13 hour road trip.
The salad at The Tomato Head

We stopped at this great restaurant with vegan options in Knoxville, TN. Called The Tomato Head. I got this great salad with marinated baked tofu, and I was a believer! I promise there is tons of tofu under all that.

I had to try to replicate it at home, and make a few minor adjustment to suit my needs. The mouth watering picture above made with what I've been calling "The Sauce" all over it, that stuff is good on everything!
Baked Tofu Sammie
Here's how I make it in huge batches for the week, if I'm lucky it lasts that long. I prefer the texture of previously frozen tofu. When I get home, I put it in the freezer. I always have some ready to go in the fridge that I've already frozen and thawed, waiting for me. Once it's thawed, I drain it and press out as much liquid with my hand as I can, if I have time I'll press it between a couple of pans with about 5 cans on it, but more often then not, I don't. Once I've hand squeezed the liquid out, I marinate it.



Marinade: (almost just like The Sauce with a few exceptions)
1/2 cup of Water
1/4 cup Soy Sauce low sodium, (Tamara, and liquid amino's etc. will work too)
2 teaspoons Maple syrup
2 teaspoons Garlic powder
2 teaspoons Onion powder
1 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon Mushroom broth seasoning (you know what I'm going to say, optional, but it's SO GOOD)
2-3 drops of liquid smoke (I used Hickory)
I drop a few pieces of tofu in, flip and add a few more, continue. I can marinate about 2 blocks of Extra firm/Super firm tofu.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and line the tofu squares evenly.
Bake on 400 for 15 minutes. I do this a little different depending on what I'm making and how soft or dry, I want it. The longer you bake the dryer it will be, which I like because it has a good bite to it. I like it a little softer and moist for other things. I also toss the tofu in The Sauce after baking like I did for the main picture of this post. It depends on your preference. Play around with it, I promise you will be a tofu lover and if you make this and still don't like it, I'll still love you, I guess ;)
Much Love my sweet friend ~ Des!

I recommend watching this video so you can see the process. This is the dryer version, but you'll see the steps.

*Links are to my Amazon Affiliate link. If you click or buy anything I will receive a commission at NO additional cost to you. It does help our family and we appreciate you support in this way!

Friday, July 21, 2017

SOUTHERN STYLE WHITE GRAVY



When I said we were breakfast people, I wasn't lying. But honestly, we have this for dinner more than we do for breakfast. You know Binner (breakfast for dinner). I'm sure you agree, pretty much the best thing in the world, is Binner! I've made a few versions of this gravy, and this is our favorite one. I say that every time, but I would not steer you wrong my friend. If you like Biscuits and Gravy look no further, you've come to the right place.

This gravy is so savory with hints of Sage, Rosemary and subtle Smokiness that mimic Country White Gravy that is used in so many Southern dishes. 

Thankfully, I didn't burn these biscuits, which I'm notorious for, Thanks MOM! I kept a hawks eye on these beauties and they turned out almost too pretty to eat...
Here's the link to the Vegan Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

Here's how this Gravy is made:
In a saucepan add following ingredients and enough water to cover.
1 lb. Bag frozen Cauliflower (Don't worry if you don't like Cauliflower you can't taste it)
1 small Onion roughly chopped
2 tablespoons Sunflower seeds (Cashews work too, *optional leave them out if your not eating seeds or nuts) 
1/2 teaspoon Rosemary
1/4 teaspoon Sage 
1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Onion powder
Bring to a boil and then simmer until the cauliflower and onions are soft and can be mashed with a fork or spoon.
Reserve the cooking liquid to thin the gravy as needed.
Add the drained mixture to your high speed blender along with
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of No Chicken bouillon (I used Better than Bouillon no chicken base http://amzn.to/2gPHkob)
3 drops of liquid smoke (YES exactly 3 no more no less, haha... You can always add more to your taste, but don't over do it, cause it can go wrong... real quick.)
2 teaspoons Mushroom Broth seasoning to taste this is salty so add a little at a time if you're salt sensitive (it is TOTALLY optional, but I use this in a lot of recipes and LOVE IT! Look at your local Asian market it's way cheaper!)
1/2 teaspoon each Rosemary, Sage, Garlic and Onion powder (This is to taste you will need to taste and adjust until it is to you preference. I start with 1/2 and work my way up. 
Blend until super smooth adding a little of the cooking liquid as needed.
Pepper (I use a lot because that is traditional for Southern White Gravy and it's GOOOD!)
Salt (optional, do not add salt until after you have adjusted the bullion and mushroom broth seasoning if you are using it).

Here's the recipe video, it's helpful to see the process so I highly recommend watching it. Plus you can see what the family thinks about it.

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do. If you do make it or another recipe please post a photo 
and tag me on Instagram @theplanteaters or follow us here on Facebook
Much Love ~ Des!

*any links to products are purchased and not sponsored, the link is my affiliate link and if you do click or buy it helps us with no additional cost to you.

VEGAN BUTTERMILK DROP BISCUITS


Buttermilk Biscuits are the perfect addition to almost any meal.
These are so easy a totally delicious.  It's takes me back to those Sunday mornings when my mom would make a huge breakfast spread because our family would come over almost every Sunday.  The smell of gravy simmer in the pan and biscuits baking, er burning, and my dad yelling from the living room "The biscuits are burning!" She passed that "wonderful" trait down to me, it's one I'm not too fond of, haha. My friend said to last night she thought biscuits were thing of the past. I'm so glad to say they are not!!! They are a thing of right now, that you can have on your table in no time flat!


Biscuits and Gravy

I'll admit this is our favorite way to have these golden beauties, smothered with this Amazing White Gravy or have them with breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea, the time to have these is really ANYTIME for any reason!




Here's what you need:

4 Cups of Flour (Unbleached All purpose or Whole Wheat Pastry are the only ones I've used and they both work great)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt (optional)
1 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1 cup Plant milk (I use Almond milk)
2 teaspoons Vinegar (I use white)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Make the plant buttermilk by adding the vinegar to your plant milk of choice, set aside
Place the flour, baking powder and salt (optional) in a large bowl wisk to combine. 
This is after the Applesauce has been "cut in" to the Flour

Add the applesauce, mix with a fork or a pastry cutter until the applesauce mostly combined and looks like the picture to the left. it's like "crumbles". 
Pour in the (Plant) buttermilk and stir just until the dough comes together. DO NOT OVER MIX. Your biscuit will be tough and bricks if you over mix.





Using a large table spoon drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto baking tray and bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. 







I have a couple left over biscuits, that I'm about to devour with blackberry jam.... Follow me on Instagram @theplanteaters and Facebook and we'll share our favorite ways to top these golden girls, haha.

Enjoy and MUCH LOVE ~ Des!

Here's the recipe video, it's helpful to see the process so I highly recommend watching it. Plus you can see what the family thinks about it.


*any links to products are purchased and not sponsored, the link is my affiliate link and if you do click or buy it helps us with no additional cost to you.