Vegan Game Day Snacks (Super Bowl)

vegan game day snacks

Vegan Game Day Snacks

For many vegans, going to Super Bowl parties means munching on french fries, dry crudités and downing copious amounts of alcohol to help you deal with all the corny vegan jokes.

After you scroll through these vegan game day snack recipes you’ll be able to sneak your own delicious vegan food onto the food table and….

FOOL. EVERYONE.

Seriously though…I highly doubt anyone will complain when they find out that the delicious macaroni, fried ‘chicken,’ ‘bacon,’ buffalo and lemon pepper wings, and the loaded cheese fries that they just ate were all vegan. If they do, tell them to send their complaints to me 😉.

Check out recipes for vegan mac & cheese topped with bacon, vegan air fried cauliflower, buffalo cauliflower wings, lemon pepper cauliflower wings, and loaded cheese fries after the jump.

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Jackfruit Tortilla Soup

jackfruit tortilla soup

It’s that weird time of the year in Los Angeles where you go to bed in full fall pajama regalia, grab a sweater on your way out of the door in the morning, but by lunch time, you are sweating bullets. The high may have been 100 degrees in Los Angeles today, but it’s still officially fall so I am working on my soup arsenal.

I’ve been testing out more recipes using jackfruit this year and I know I always say this, but this one is definitely the best so far. This jackfruit tortilla soup hits all of the marks of fall comfort food. If you haven’t cooked with jackfruit before, you can think of it as a shredded chicken replacement. Canned jackfruit comes in medium-sized wedges so you have to tear them apart and take out any hard pieces or seeds. What you’re left with is something eerily similar to shredded chicken. I usually marinate the jackfruit overnight to make sure it’s super flavorful.

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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 air fryer 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 air fryer 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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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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Cauliflower Wings 5 Ways

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When I went vegan, I assumed I’d never eat anything resembling a chicken wing ever again. When I learned that cooked cauliflower has a similar consistency to cooked chicken, I had to judge for myself. When I tasted the buffalo cauliflower wings from Sage Vegan Bistro in Echo Park, I was sold. Not only can you re-create delicious buffalo wings using cauliflower, you can also make ANY kind of chicken wing flavor using cauliflower. Check out my recipes for cauliflower wings 5 ways below.

Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Course Side Dish, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

Batter

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Buffalo Sauce

  • 3/4 cup Tabasco buffalo sauce (purchased at Sprouts)
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance butter

Ranch Dressing

  • 1 cup Veganaise (or any vegan mayonnaise)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dill
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley (preferably dried)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees

  2. Cover cauliflower in batter, shake off excess batter and place on a non-stick baking sheet or parchment paper

  3. You can turn over the wings and bake for another 20 minutes if desired. 

  4. In a sauce pan, combine the vegan butter and buffalo sauce and bring to a slight boil, remove from heat and set aside. 

  5. Once wings are cooked, toss wings in buffalo sauce, cook for an additional 6-8 minutes. 

  6. Remove from heat and let cool. 

  7. Mix ranch dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

  8. Serve

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Vegan Bacon (Tempeh) Ideas

So…are you surprised that vegan bacon even exists? Well, prepare to have your mind blown because you’re about to see 3 vegan bacon tempeh ideas that will impress vegans and meat-eaters alike. All of the recipes center around this first recipe for delicious tempeh bacon that you can use in so many different dishes. I used the tempeh bacon in bacon cheese fries, vegan mac and cheese, and a yummy butternut squash and kale dish. All recipes are after the jump.

Enjoy!

Vegan Bacon (Tempeh)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 package tempeh
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or Bragg's liquid aminos
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

Instructions

  1. Slice the tempeh into thin slices and let the pieces sit in the marinade for 10-15 minutes (overnight if you can). 

  2. Sautee tempeh in a pan with a light layer of olive oil. Cook until desired crispiness. Toss in any remaining marinade you have left over and let simmer. 

  3. Remove tempeh slices from heat and place on a paper towel. Can dice if desired or serve as is. 

Recipe Notes

For the tempeh, I used Lightlife's brand which can be found at many health food stores. 

If you want to make a jar of the marinade so you don't have to remix every time, increase the measurements 1:1 to each serving you'd like to store away. Example: for 4 servings, do 4x as much of each ingredient.

vegan bacon tempeh ideas

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Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Want to learn how to make delicious buffalo cauliflower wings? These buffalo cauliflower wings are easy, vegan and taste better than the real thing. The best part? They are completely meat-free!

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

Course Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

Batter

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Buffalo Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Tabasco Brand Buffalo Sauce *cut with non-dairy milk if mixture is too spicy
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance butter

Vegan Ranch Dressing

  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise (I used Veganaise)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dill

Instructions

  1. Cut and wash cauliflower. Cover cauliflower in batter, shake off excess batter and place on a non-stick baking sheet or parchment paper.

  2. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes.

  3. You can turn over the wings and bake for another 20 minutes if desired. 

  4. In a sauce pan, combine the vegan butter and buffalo sauce and bring to a slight boil, remove from heat and set aside. 

  5. Once wings are cooked, toss wings in buffalo sauce, bake for an additional 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

  6. Mix vegan ranch dressing ingredients together in a sealable container and serve.

I guarantee you that you will never want to eat regular chicken wings again after trying this recipe. The consistency is so similar to chicken that it’s scary. Why eat the legs of an innocent being and have to pick around bones and veins when you don’t have to? Try the difference!

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings recipe video:

If you’re looking for even more cauliflower wing recipes (lemon pepper, orange ‘chicken,’ jerk ‘chicken,’ and even cauliflower popcorn) check out this post.

Recommended:

Cauliflower Wings 5 Ways


Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake

Easy Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake

There’s no way you can make a moist, easy vegan chocolate birthday cake. Or is there? There’s also no way you can replace applesauce for eggs. Right?

After I tasted this cake (and the cupcakes from the leftover batter), I was made a believer. Veganism alone is full of unique substitutes for meat, eggs, and dairy, but vegan baking is on a whole ‘nother plane. If you can dream it, you can veganize it and this vegan chocolate birthday cake is delicious proof that the best tasting food is cruelty free.

Follow the instructions below to learn how to make an Easy Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake:

Easy Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake (gluten-free option included)

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup flour (do not use wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 cups maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (diy recipe below)

Chocolate Flavoring

  • 1 cup Earth Balance (vegan butter)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling water

Frosting

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (chilled)
  • 6 oz non-dairy Baker's chocolate
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (can use agave but may be a tad less sweet)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Cake

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Combine dry cake ingredients into a bowl. Stir. Add in wet cake ingredients and mix both together with a spoon.

  3. Place butter into a small sauce pan and warm on med-low heat. In a separate bowl (or teakettle), boil 1 cup water. Once the butter is melted, add in cocoa powder and stir the mixture to combine. Pour the boiling water into the mixture and mix everything together into a smooth chocolate mixture. Add this chocolate mixture into the mixing bowl with the other cake ingredients.

  4. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with coconut oil. Just use your hands. Pour cake mixture into the pan, leaving about a 1/2 inch of room at the top. Pour any leftover mixture into a muffin tin. Bake for 27 minutes. 

  5. Every oven is different, so insert a fork into the middle of the cake after 27 minutes to check and see if it is done. If the fork comes out clean, it is ready. Remove cake from oven and let cool for about 25 minutes

Frosting

  1. Remove chilled can of coconut milk from the fridge. Use a spoon to remove the hard top layer from the can. Save the water or discard since you only need the hard part. Be sure to leave all the water in the can, you don’t want it in your frosting.

  2. Place the coconut cream into a medium sized mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, stir until smooth. Add in maple syrup (or agave) and vanilla extract and mix. 

  3. Melt the Baker’s chocolate in a sauce pan on very low heat. YOU HAVE TO WATCH IT AT ALL TIMES. Or else it might burn/stick. Do not walk away from the chocolate. Place melted chocolate into the coconut cream mixture. Let chill for 20-30 minutes and frost the cake with a spatula.

Recipe Notes

Gluten-Free Option: To make your own gluten free flour, use: 1 cup brown rice flour, 3/4 tapioca starch, 1/2 cup sweet rice flour, 3/4 tsp guar gum ( I just used Trader Joe’s All-Purpose Baking Flour

DIY Applesauce: 2-3 apples yields about 2/3 cup applesauce. Just core and slice apples (no need to peel) and placed them in a high powered blender. 

*use any leftover batter to make cupcakes.

I soooo wish you could taste this through your screen. The cake was unbelievably moist and had the perfect mixture of chocolate and sweetness. Who would’ve thought that apple sauce (homemade) would make for such a great egg substitute? Can’t wait to test out the applesauce with different cake flavors. Let me know if you try this yourself!

For more cake porn, watch how to make this Easy Vegan Chocolate Birthday Cake:

If you’re feeling fancy check out my video on how to make a Vegan Momofuku Birthday Cake inspired by Milk Bar NYC below.

Recommended:

Milk Bar NYC’s Momofuku Birthday Cake made VEGAN!


Juice with Vitamix | 4 Easy Recipes

juice with vitamix

Can you really juice with Vitamix?

You sure can.

I hope you guys enjoy these 4 juicing favorites of mine. If you don’t have the time to prep lots of veggies throughout the week, juicing is a great way to compensate! Just takes about 1.5 hours for all four, that can be knocked out on a lazy Sunday for the upcoming week. I would not be juicing if I couldn’t juice with Vitamix, I love that machine and it makes it easy for a juicing-newbie like myself. I bought mine refurbished from their website and it works good as new 🙂

Check out their refurbished models here

I did 4 different recipes:

  • 1/2 beet, 1/2 cup grapes, kale, 4 carrots, 1 thumb ginger, 1 apple (not green), coconut water
  • 1/2 beet, 2 stalks celery, 1/2 cup grapes, lemon, lime, 1 thumb ginger, 1 apple (not green), coconut water
  • Carrots (6), 2 apples (not green), ginger, 1 orange, 1/2 pineapple, lemon, lime
  • 2 cucumbers, 1 cup spinach, 1 1/2 cup kale (not chopped), 1/2 pineapple, 1 thumb ginger. 2 apples, lemon, lime

The key is to add the toughest items first (at the bottom) you’ll also want to have about 3/4 liquid in the blender, whether that’s water or coconut water or a mixture of both is up to you. Blend on low for a few seconds and then crank up to the highest setting. Once everything is smooth strain until desired texture. I strain mine at least four times. Carrot juice will have a lot more excess pulp than the other recipes. I like to strain my juices until the consistency is silky smooth. This takes about 3-4 passes depending on the ingredients.

As far Vitamix waste vs. juicer waster, I will say that you can repurpose both. Since the Vitamix waste is liquid, then you can freeze the excess and save for a smoothie or smoothie bowl for later. The juicer waste, or pulp, can be used to make muffins, crackers, bread, and much more. As far as deciding which investment to make, it all depends on your preference and how much time you have to prep.

These recipes make approx 32 oz of juice post-straining and will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Learn how to juice with Vitamix here:

Recommended:

Healthy Summer Drink Recipes