Tendergreens’ The Happy Vegan Recipe

Tendergreens The Happy Vegan

Fortunately for us, vegan restaurants have been popping up all over the place lately. When I am craving something packed with flavor and nutrients, Tendergreens‘ The Happy Vegan is one of my go-to’s. There aren’t too many vegan options on the menu, but in this case, quality wins over quantity. The cool part about this dish is it’s unique ingredients, it features three different types of grains, green hummus (!), dried cranberries, hazelnuts, and a big pile of leafy greens, oh…and garlic bread! What more could you ask for?

Popsugar partnered with Tendergreens to bring us The Happy Vegan recipe. Unfortunately, the recipe is for servings of 8-12. Now, unless you’re prepping for a dinner party or you have a Full House style family situation, 8-12 servings is waayyyy too much. Being the fast-moving Aries that I am, I failed to realize this until my fridge was packed with four huge bowls of this stuff that I can’t possibly finish so I am going to tweak their recipe into smaller serving sizes. The good thing is that most of the tweaks can be made in regards to how much of each grain that you use so it’s not too involved. The photos below for each of the salads are for larger servings than the ones detailed in the recipes. You can tweak the grain amounts for each recipe but the veggies, oils and nut amounts can stay the same.

Disclaimer aside, the recipe is pretty spot on. If you boxed up my version and asked someone to point out the dupe or the real thing, they would be hard pressed to tell the difference. I advise splitting this recipe into two days, meaning make the quinoa, farro, bulgur wheat, and green hummus the night before and store in the fridge. The next day, you will cook your beets and hazelnuts, chop your veggies, and make the green puree to go over the bulgur wheat. Your final mission will be to mix the veggies to their grains, toss together some ‘tender greens’ and toast your bread. This recipe can be an excellent meal prep and if you get bored of it, you can add in some tempeh bacon or roasted plantains, get creative!

Check out the recipe after the jump!

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Ways to Eat Your Greens Part 1

For many people, that picky child-eater still resides somewhere deep inside of us and for many Americans, pushing veggies to the side could be an Olympic sport. With a bit of practice and technique, you can master the art of cooking, creating and flavoring leafy greens.

Incorporating greens into my diet has been somewhat challenging at times. My go to is to just juice them or shove things into a blender and call it a day and I suspect that I am not alone in this. Did you know that there’s actually more than 300 different types of leafy greens? That’s A LOT of recipes to incorporate so I’m sharing with you my first installment of Different Ways to Eat Your Greens. I decided that this will be an on going series that I will do my best to update every month because we could all use more greens in our diets since they are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on this planet.

For the first installment of Ways to Eat Your Greens, we have Vegan Pesto which can be used in a variety of different ways, Green Hummus which can also be multi-purpose, Collard Wraps, a Greens + Matcha Smoothie, and a Greek inspired Cabbage and Rice recipe. Enjoy!

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Vegan Pizza 4 Ways

In my four years of being vegan, I’ve had my share of mediocre pizzas. I’ve been subjected to slimy, greasy ‘cheese,’ paper-thin crusts, and even pined a little bit for the days of stuffed crust pizza. To put it plainly, I’ve been generally underwhelmed. That’s not to say I haven’t had a few vegan pizzas that hit spot over the years. Hard Times Pizza in Echo Park has a slammin’ pizza menu. The kind of vegan pizza that looks like incognito, authentic New York style pizza.

Very, very tasty.

Whole Foods’ salad bar area has fresh vegan pizza but, unfortunately, Whole Foods is in deep with the canola oil industry. They put that (expletive) in EVERYTHING. Nothing is sacred :/

Naturally, I wanted to take a crack at it myself. I came up with recipes for vegan pizzas 4 ways. I made Supreme Pizza using Gardein’s Beefless Ground for the ‘meat’. You can definitely sub out the ‘meat’ crumbles for quinoa taco meat if you’d rather go soy-free. You can find the quinoa taco meat recipe in my Vegan Tacos 4 Ways post.

I also made a Green Goddess Pizza, a White Garlic Pizza (my favorite) and of course good ol’ Cheese Pizza. Before we get into the recipes, I have to say that Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Mozzarella Cheese recipe was a key part of this process. I altered her recipe a tiny bit but I was super pleased with the outcome. I also borrowed her Vegan Parmesan Cheese recipe so you can use that on a topping for your pizzas or pasta, salad, whatever you’d like. Click the ‘Read More’ button for the topping recipes and for vegan pizza 4 ways 🙂

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Vegan Air Fried Chicken

vegan air fried chicken

After three attempts, I finally cracked the code. I figured out how to make the best vegan air fried chicken ever, and it’s oil free.

Let’s start from the beginning…

I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz around air fryers, so I watched a few videos and perused a few blogs so that I could figure out my plan of attack. My first attempt was pitiful, a waste of cauliflower lol. My second attempt was a bit better, but I still wasn’t satisfied.

I got the idea to marinate the cauliflower beforehand (4 hours or overnight if possible) and I knew that this was going to be a game changer. I also separated the wet and the dry batter because, well…duh! I’m not sure what I was thinking when I combined the two, that was the super bland 1st attempt.

I bought my airfryer on Amazon. It’s generic, the instructions are in terrible English, and the box sat in my apartment just for two weeks just in case I hated it. Vegan fried chicken was my air fryer’s final exam and it passed with flying colors. It cost me $56 and you can purchase it here. Air fryers work by circulating air at extremely high temperatures in order to fry foods without using oil. Air frying uses 80% less fat than traditional frying and there’s less waste and easier cleanup.

The results were a-maze-ing! Marinating the cauliflower made the ‘meat’ so juicy and tender and it even pulled apart the way chicken tenders do. The aifryer perfectly crisped all sides of every piece. However, please, please, please make sure your shaking off-excess-batter skills are on point so you can avoid having random mushy pieces. Also, tongs! You will definitely want to use them for this recipe instead of getting thick, sticky batter all over your fingers. I will definitely be doing more airfryer recipes, so stay tuned!

Check out the final recipe below. I promise it will be the best you’ve ever tasted.

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Vegan Air Fried Chicken

Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

Wet Batter/Marinade

  • 2 medium sized mixing bowls
  • 4 cups almond milk
  • 4 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 2 tsp seasoned salt

Dry Batter

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (Panko if possible, I used Trader Joe's)
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tbsp seasoned salt

Creole Seasoning Mix

  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic salt

Instructions

  1. Wash and cut cauliflower into medium/large sized pieces. Combine wet batter/marinade ingredients into two separate medium-sized mixing bowls. 2 cups almond milk, 2 tbsp poultry seasoning, and 1 tsp seasoned salt in each bowl. Mix ingredients well,  saturate cauliflower, and then refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.

  2. Combine dry batter ingredients. Add in Creole Seasoning mix. Mix well. 

  3. Grease the entire inside of the airfryer basket and rack (if applicable) with coconut oil. 

  4. Take one bowl of the marinated cauliflower out of the fridge and removed cauliflower from bowl. Using tongs, take each piece of cauliflower submerge in marinade mix. Shake off excess liquid and then toss in the dry batter mix. Once cauliflower is completely covered, shake off the excess and then dip back into the liquid. Dip the cauliflower in the dry batter again and then once more into the wet batter. Place cauliflower in greased airfryer basket. Repeat for all pieces and the second bowl of cauliflower. 

  5. Do not overfill the airfryer. Do not stack caulifower on top of each other. This might cause the pieces to stick together, not sure. I placed about 4 pieces into the basket at a time. 

  6. Cook at 392 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn cauliflower. 

  7. After cooking all the pieces, you can toss them (stacked) back into the airfryer for 5 minutes if you need to reheat them or if they've been sitting out and you need to make them crispier. No need to turn them once cooked. They will keep in the fridge for 1-2 days. 

  8. Serve with honey mustard. Recipe below. 

vegan air fried chicken

vegan air fried chicken

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Vegan Honey Mustard

Course dip, Toppings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Veganaise
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Double ingredients for 2 servings, triple for 3, etc. 

vegan air fried chicken

Watch the airfryer in action here:

Recommeded:

Vegan Buffalo Chicken Wings

Cauliflower 5 Ways

 


Vegan Lunch Box – Back to School

 

Summer is packing its bags and getting ready for a vacay of its own. Fall is right around the corner and that means pumpkins and cobwebs line all the grocery stores and people are dusting off their Chelsea boots. But before we commit ourselves to all things spooky, one this has to happen first: going back to school. I’m sure most of you are aware, but in case you didn’t know: school lunches and childhood obesity are in a state of emergency. I wanted to showcase some kid-friendly back to school vegan lunch ideas that you can prepare instead of trusting your kid’s wellbeing to their school’s sketchy mystery meat.

Growing up in American public schools, I ate meat like most people. I ate the canned fruit covered in syrup, the cardboard crusted pizza, and the bland mashed potatoes on a flimsy styrofoam lunch tray like everyone else. Back then, I didn’t think it was anything other than normal, and sadly, I probably enjoyed some of the meals. Little did I know, that the styrofoam plate that my food was on probably had more nutritional value than the ‘food’ that was on it.

And therein lies one of the many cogs in the wheel of obesity and heart disease that rolls across the entire United States. Childhood obesity rates have remained at around 17 percent for the past decade. Approximately 14 percent of children (ages 2 to 5) enrolled in WIC were obese. Nearly one-third (31.3 percent) of children ages 10 to 17 are overweight or obese. And 13.9 percent of high school students are obese (source). These statistics are from 2016, everyone.

Approximately 22 million children under 5 years of age are overweight across the world. In the United States, the number of overweight children and adolescents has doubled in the last two to three decades, and similar doubling rates are being observed worldwide (source).

But you know what? I can show you better than tell you how bleak it is.

back to school vegan lunch ideasback to school vegan lunch ideasback to school vegan lunch ideas

I feel like we need to take a moment of silence for those atrocious facts and those photos. These were taken at various schools throughout the U.S. So depressing.

If you’re not afraid to learn the truth about how schools in the U.S. torture kids in the lunch room, I’ve linked some great studies and articles below.

I say all of this to say that I decided to put together some vegan lunch box ideas for everyone from ages 1 to 92. Whether you’re packing up your lunch for school or for work, these are all fairly simple recipes that can be mixed and matched however you see fit. It may seem pretty bleak right now, but if we just take a little time to look after ourselves and each other, we can turn this ship around before it completely capsizes. If you stir up a desire and a passion for health inside yourself and support that desire with a solid foundation of general nutritional knowledge, you can change the entire trajectory of your health, your kid’s health, and the health of your kids’ kids.

Check out my recipes after the jump!

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Vegan Smores Skewers

Raiding the fridge and the pantry for any and all processed snacks was a rite of passage for many American children, myself included. Bagel Bites, Fruit Roll-Ups, Pop Tarts, Dunkaroos, Tang (!) I could go on and on. Basically, the best part of going to school for 8 hours a day was the opportunity to come home and eat yourself into a processed sugar food coma and watch TV.  until your parents came home and it was time to eat dinner.

Fortunately, I lived an active childhood so I was able to counteract the negative effects of eating my share of processed snacks. Children in this day and age that are so inundated with processed food and a lack of physical activity and sunlight, aren’t so lucky. In America, the rates of childhood obesity and Type II Diabetes in children has skyrocketed. Nowadays, kids eat a sugary breakfast before going to school, eat God knows what during their government mandated lunches, graze on processed sugars and trans fats with a blue light from their phone replacing sunlight once they get home, and then they proceed to eat even more processed food for dinner.

Very. Very. Bleak.

The good news? It doesn’t have to be this way. With just a little bit of extra preparation on the parents’ part or even with some initiative taken by kids themselves, we can all craft way healthier after-school (or anytime) snack ideas. Check out my recipe below for vegan smores skewers that no one can mess up.

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5-Minute Vegan Banana Chia Pudding

One of my mom’s favorite dessert recipes to tackle, aside from the perfect cheesecake, was banana pudding. I remember going to the store and grabbing that big yellow box of ‘Nilla wafers, the bananas, the jello. Nothing beats the smell of bananas, vanilla wafers, and whipped cream combined. Before I went vegan, I was also a big fan of Marie Calender’s Banana Crean Pie. Back then, I didn’t care that Mrs. Calender’s pies were loaded with Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Shortening (trans fats) and Sorbitan Monostearate (synthetic wax), all I knew was that I liked the taste.

Nostalgia for my mom’s cooking, and a desire to make a healthier, more nutritious banana dessert inspired me to tackle a 5 minute vegan banana chia pudding recipe. No offense to Mrs. Calender, but please step away from her pies. Check out my recipe for 5 minute vegan banana chia pudding after the jump.

Enjoy!

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Vegan Tacos 5 Ways

Vegan tacos are the perfect way to add some variety into your meals if you are newly vegan It is also a great dish to use for weekly meal preps because you can pre-cook various fillings, toppings and sauces and simply store them away in the fridge for easy access through out the week.

Today, I am showing you how to make 5 different vegan taco recipes that are as delicious as they are simple. Battered cauliflower tacos, jackfruit tacos, quinoa as taco meat tacos, and finally, black bean and potato tacos are all listed below for your tastebuds’ pleasure. There’s also a video tutorial at the end of this post.

The best things about vegan tacos? The possibilities are so vast that I can assure you I will probably do a part two to this recipe so I can try out more combinations. You can make the various fillings simultaneously for the sake of variety. If you do that, these servings will last you 2-3 weeks but you can increase or decrease the servings as necessary.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions, try any of these out, or let me know if you have your own go-to vegan tacos recipe you’d like to share.

Let’s get started!

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DIY Non-Toxic Hand Sanitizer

DIY Hand Sanitizer.jpg

Is conventional hand sanitizer doing more harm than good? Learn how to DIY hand sanitizer for family and friends.

Have you ever accidentally tasted your fingers after applying hand sanitizer and almost lost all your tastebuds? Then this post is for you.

Damn you, ETHYL ALCOHOL!

I’m going to show you how to DIY hand sanitizer that is vegan, easy, and cruelty-free. But first, what’s wrong with conventional hand sanitizer?

Ethyl Alcohol is the main active ingredient in almost every conventional hand sanitizer on the market (even the ‘green’ ones), usually reaching percentages as high as 70%. There’s even more alcohol in the inactive ingredients in most conventional hand sanitizers in the form of Isopropyl alcohol.

There have been many studies on the effectiveness of hand sanitizer and some doctors suggest that over-sanitizing leads to antibiotic resistance. In a 2011 study by the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers found that health care employees who were most likely to use hand sanitizers over soap and water were nearly six times more at risk for outbreaks of Norovirus, which causes most cases of acute gastroenteritis.

Sad news for all you germaphobes out there.

Not only are conventional hand sanitizers potentially harmful, but they can leave your hands feeling extremely dry. I’m talking scrubbing the floors all day Cinderella-style dry. After all, the active and inactive ingredients in most hand sanitizers can double as industrial cleaners, no wonder they are so drying.

Here’s another reason to give up conventional hand sanitizers: they’re shady. Legally, companies are not required to disclose all of the ingredients used to make whatever fragrance is added to the product. What does this mean for you? It means that you could literally be rubbing an unknown toxic soup onto your hands, and then inadvertently into your mouth, onto your food, and onto your kids….

Yikes.

Are you put off by conventional hand sanitizer yet?

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