Easy Baba Ganoush (oil free!)

Easy Baba Ganoush  (roasted eggplant dip!)

So we all know that vegans are famous for loving hummus but did you know that baba ganoush can be just as delicious? It can be virtually the same but you use roasted charred eggplant instead of chickpeas. This results in a lighter but smoky delicious dip that can be mildly addictive! 

You can eat it on pita chips, cut vegetables and even use it as a fabulous sandwich spread. I'm a dip fanatic, if you haven't heard, and there are few foods that don't get some dip or sauce slathered on them!

Easy Baba Ganoush  (roasted eggplant dip!)

Since the recipe calls for charring the eggplant you could always do this on the grill - which is super fun in the summer! Just keep turning them over the grates to get them charred and toasted. Then you can wrap them up and place them on a higher rack to let them cook until they are very soft (or transfer them to the oven to finish off!) Then you could eat this dip slathered on some plant-strong burgers for the best BBQ ever!

Easy Baba Ganoush  (roasted eggplant dip!)

Easy Baba Ganoush

  • 2 large eggplant

  • 3 Tablespoons sesame seeds

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 large garlic cloves

Preheat the broiler in your oven. Cover a baking sheet with foil (parchment paper should not be put under a broiler or it can catch on fire, trust me!) 

Prick your eggplants several times with a fork and place on the baking sheet. Put under the broil and char for 2-3 minutes, or until the skin starts to darken and blister. Use some long tongs to turn it so that each side gets charred. 

Leave them in the oven, turn off the broiler and turn it to bake at 375 degrees. Let it bake for 30 minutes, or until they are very tender. 

Take it out and let them cool until you can handle them comfortably. 

Scoop the eggplant flesh out of the skins and put into your blender (I used my high speed Blendtec and it made this the smoothest dip I've ever had!) Add in all of the remaining ingredients and blend until very smooth (my blender totally blended up the sesame seeds.) 

Add additional salt or lemon juice to taste if necessary. Garnish with some sesame seeds and parsley if desired.

Serve up with some vegetables, pita chips (bake some pita at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp!), or spread it on a sandwich... mmm!!! 

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Basil Balsamic Dressing

A few days ago I got a brand new Blendtec high speed blender and I've been enjoying it so so much! Smoothies, juices, almond butter and everything else I can think of has gone into that thing. Today I was inspired to make a dressing in it and I was not at all disappointed. And that's coming from someone that says that they are not into salads. I LOVE this salad! 

I used some of the Vegan Garlic Dill Havarti and I swear that just took this salad from "wow this was good!" to "HOLY MOLY I could eat this every day!!!" This salad just screams "SPRING IS FREAKING HERE, FINALLY!!!" and I really needed that to be screamed at me because I am fully ready for spring. Okay, tomorrow is the official first day of spring so just go get the stuff for this today and make it tomorrow. You will have spring fever in no time!! 

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Basil Balsamic Dressing

You don't have to have a high speed blender to make this dressing so don't get too worried. Just follow the directions for using juice instead. It will still taste fan-freaking-tastic (I actually wrote fan-freaking-tasty on accident but that's an even better description!) But you DO have to make the Vegan Dill Cheese because it is amazing on a salad! 

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Basil Balsamic Dressing

Spinach Salad with Strawberry Basil Balsamic Dressing

Dressing:

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 peeled orange (or 1/4 cup orange juice if you don't have a high speed blender)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 

Blend everything in a high speed blender (I used my new Blendtec! Loving it!) If you don't have one you can use the orange juice and use an immersion blender or a regular blender. It should keep in your refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Salad: 

  • Vegan Garlic Dill Havarti (recipe here!)
  • washed baby spinach (several cups per person)
  • 4-5 sliced strawberries for each salad
  • several slices of red onion
  • Strawberry Basil Balsamic Dressing (above)
  • sliced toasted almonds, if desired

Toss your spinach, sliced strawberries and red onion together. Use a small spoon and dollop some of the Vegan Garlic Dill Havarti all over your salad. Sprinkle with a few almonds and pour on a bit of dressing (as much as you like!) Enjoy! 

Print Friendly and PDF

Vegan Garlic Dill Havarti Dip

Vegan Garlic Dill Havarti Dip

To be perfectly real with you, I am a bit of a dip and sauce freak. I love them. I love creating new ones and eating them with everything I can get my hands on! Of course with every new sauce I claim it is my favorite. This one is now my current favorite but I also think it will stay in my top three favorite dips for the rest of forever. I don't know. It's just delicious. 

When I was pregnant all I wanted to eat was super salty french fries and havarti slices on bread rolls. I know, super healthy cravings, right? This dip reminds me of when I was eating that delicious comfort food when I was so huge and uncomfortable (some people love being pregnant but I am not one of those some people!) Of course I had to make it vegan and try to keep it on the lighter side so I can eat a ton of it. 

Vegan Garlic Dill Havarti Dip

If you're not a fan of dill (for shame!) you can use other herbs like fresh basil, oregano, thyme, Italian parsley or maybe even cilantro! Oh and this dip is even better the next day so try to keep it in the fridge overnight before eating all of it. You can eat it on crackers, bread, stir it into pasta, put little dollops of it in a salad, or get creative and find a new way to eat it (and then let me know!) 

I got the idea of using sauerkraut in a cheese dip from Kid Tested Firefighter Approved (it's a cashew cheese!) It sounds crazy, and well it is crazy, but it is crazy delicious!!! Just roll with it.  

Vegan Garlic Dill Havarti Dip

Vegan Garlic Dill Havarti Dip 

  • 1 (12 oz) package extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1/4 cup drained sauerkraut 
  • 2 Tablespoons miso paste (mellow or red)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Blend everything, except the dill, until very smooth (I used my new Blendtec and it worked GREAT!!!) Add in the dill and pulse until chopped. It tastes even better if you let it chill in the fridge overnight. 

Print Friendly and PDF

Vegan American Cheese and Rotel Dip

Vegan American Cheese and Rotel Dip

I am not even closed to ashamed to admit that I grew up loving and eating Velveeta! Totally full on loved it. It's a Tex-Mex staple and that's what we ate. No shame. And the best dip ever is made with just Velveeta and Ro*Tel. If you've never had it don't worry about it because you can make the vegan version now! Of course I had to remake it!!

I use tapioca starch to make it have that "stretchy" thick cheesy texture. You can find it online or in many grocery stores these days. You can use cornstarch or rice flour instead but it won't have the same texture - it will just be thicker. It will still taste awesome so don't worry too much! 

This is the perfect nacho dip for dunking chips, veggies or even pouring over a burrito. I've made several batches now and I think I can safely say it is my new favorite dip. 

Vegan American Cheese and Rotel Dip

Vegan American Cheese and Rotel Dip

  • 12oz  (about 1 cup) silken tofu (such as Mori-nu Soft Silken Tofu)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon miso paste (white, "mellow" or red work! Can't find it? Use soy sauce/tamari instead.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour. If you cannot find it you can use rice flour or cornstarch but it won't have the same texture so try to find tapioca starch sometime!)
  • 1 can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes and green chiles (or about 1.5 cups chunky salsa will work too) 

Blend everything except the can of Ro*Tel together until it's very smooth (I use my immersion blender for this!) Pour into a small pan and stir in the Ro*Tel (do not drain.) 

Heat the sauce over high heat until it comes to a boil. Make sure you stir constantly while making this sauce so it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom. Continue to stir while boiling until the sauce becomes thick. Remove from the heat, let it cool enough so that you don't burn your mouth and eat! 

Print Friendly and PDF

Vegan Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Creme Sauce

Vegan Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Creme Sauce

When I made the Chocolate Waffles I left a few people without waffle irons feeling pretty sad. I know, it wasn't totally fair so I'm making up for it with these chocolate pancakes with a super DELICIOUS Strawberry Creme Sauce! YUM!!! You could put this sauce on almost any dessert and it will be fabulous. 

Vegan Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Creme Sauce

We love having pancakes, waffles or biscuits and gravy on the weekends - do you make a different breakfast on the weekend too? I really love waking everyone up with a special meal in the morning when I get the chance - I know, totally sappy. It's just so fun even though the kitchen is a total wreck by the time I'm done!

Vegan Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Creme Sauce

Totally worth the wreck to have chocolate for breakfast though, isn't it?!  (And you don't have to talk about how they are whole grain, plant strong and of course vegan because everyone is going to have their mouths so stuffed they won't care!) 

Vegan Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Creme Sauce

Chocolate Pancakes with Strawberry Creme Sauce

(makes about 12 small pancakes) 

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour - I use this one (you can also use whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (This is my favorite and has a rich deep chocolate flavor. I usually see it at every grocery store in the baking isle.) 
  • 1 & 1/4 cup soy milk (or other non dairy milk substitute)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar or a 6 drops of liquid stevia 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Measure out the soy milk and add the lemon juice. Set aside. (It will curdle like buttermilk and adds really nice flavor to the pancakes.) 

In a large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. 

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Now add in the soy milk mixture and vanilla extract. Stir only until incorporated (you don't want to overmix batters.)

I made our pancakes using about 1/4 cup of batter. I could easily make four at a time this way. Make them whatever size you want but be sure to cook larger ones longer. 

Pour batter into the pan and make sure not to overcrowd if you are making more than one at a time so that you can get your spatula in to flip them.

Cook until the edges dry out slightly and you see bubbles formed in the batter (2-3 minutes for small pancakes.)

Flip and cook for an additional minute or two. Undercooking is actually delicious with these chocolate pancakes so go for slightly undercooked rather than overcooked. 

 

Strawberry Creme Sauce

Blend everything together (I used my immersion blender) and serve! It's best eaten on the day it is made but it should last in the fridge for another day or two if covered well. 

Print Friendly and PDF