Homemade Vegan Sour Cream

Homemade Vegan Sour Cream

When I went vegan, one of the foods I missed most was chilled sour cream, especially on top of soups, chilis, and baked potatoes. But over the years, I have found two worthy replacements: chilled/whipped avocado and this homemade cashew sour cream that I am about to share with you now. There are many variations of this recipe circulating the internet, but this is what I use.

Ingredients:
2 cups raw soaked/drained cashews*
1/2 – 1 cup water**
1.5 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
A pinch of sea salt

*You should soak the cashews in water for at least four hours prior to making this recipe, but I was pressed for time. I actually just put everything in the blender without pre-soaking the cashews, and it still came out great. I have a high-speed blender, so if you do not have a great blender, pre-soaking the cashews is non-negotiable.

**The amount of water you will need will depend on whether or not you soaked the nuts as well as the desired consistency you are trying to achieve. Start with 1/2 cup and work your way up from there.

Directions

1. Place the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until creamy.

2. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for at least a week.

You can use this as a topping on just about any savory dish. You can also mix this into pasta and potato salads. It’s incredibly delicious. Enjoy!

wp-1465831791681.jpg

Stuffed Baked Potatoes: A Satisfying Meal

Stuffed Baked Potatoes: A Satisfying Meal

For all of you busy people out there, preparing healthy, filling, and cost-effective meals can seem daunting. But I have found one of the most satiating and versatile foods to be a solution to weekly meal preparation woes: the potato. Potatoes are not only delicious, they are filling, and can be baked in advance. Cooked baked potatoes store well in an open bowl in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to eat, you can grab a pre-cooked potato, reheat it, and top it with whatever you like: mustard, ketchup, relish, avocado, sauteed onions and peppers, vegetables. If you are in a real pinch, you can simply go with mustard and a side of vegetables. Use what you have on hand. The possibilities are endless.

Here are three ideas for ways you can top your baked potatoes.

13266036_1105420079501135_2647732900020485255_n.jpg
Fiesta Stuffed Potato: Topped with salsa, lime juice, cilantro, kidney beans, and fresh mango
13147697_1101575783218898_387044385781409646_o
Buffalo Ranch Stuffed Potato: Topped with sauteed veggies in hot sauce and maple syrup glaze, cashew ranch dressing, veggie queso made from nutritional yeast, almond milk, corn starch, and garlic powder, and green onion (recipe inspired by The Happy Herbivore)
12694683_1037896252920185_5493696411271205757_o
Epic Veggie Stuffed Potato: Topped with pico de gallo, cherry tomatoes, chopped spinach, green pepper, basil, and chickpeas

Cheesey Macaroni with Chickpeas and Spinach

Cheesey Macaroni with Chickpeas and Spinach

This is a low fat recipe that is also vegan and gluten-free. It makes for a simple yet hearty dinner and can be packaged for lunch throughout the week as well.

Ingredients
2 cups dry brown rice macaroni
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
16 oz of organic baby spinach
1/4 cup plain unsweetened coconut yogurt. I use So Delicious brand*.
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
pepper and sea salt, to taste

*If you cannot find this yogurt, you can use a little unsweetened plain almond milk. To thicken (if needed), you can try adding a bit of corn starch.

Instructions
1. Cook the pasta in a medium-large saucepan following the package instructions. Drain (although not in excess) and return back to pot immediately in its slightly damp state.

2. On the lowest heat setting, add in all of the ingredients and stir together gently until everything is mixed and the spinach is lightly wilted.

This recipe yields 4 small servings for a side dish or two large servings for a meal.

Enjoy!

image

Spicy Mango Avocado Raw Tacos

Spicy Mango Avocado Raw Tacos

This is one of the most satisfying raw vegan dinners I have ever created. I think you will love it, if you like fresh meals with a kick.

Ingredients
8 romaine lettuce leaves
1 tomato sliced in strips
1 mango sliced in strips
1 avocado sliced in strips
1 tbsp Mazi habanero harvest hot sauce (or any hot sauce you choose)

Directions
1. Double layer the lettuce leaves to reinforce them. You are making four lettuce tacos with this recipe.

2. Fill the lettuce boats with the tomato, mango, and avocado. You can also add chopped lettuce or other greens to the filling. Then top with hot sauce (to your taste).

3. Pick it up and eat it like a taco. I give you permission to eat this whole recipe – or share. This is also easily doubled. If a whole avocado is too much for you, then use half, or as much as you desire.

Enjoy!

20140719-103206.jpg

Sprouted Tofu Grilled in Coconut Butter over Kale and Arugula

Sprouted Tofu Grilled in Coconut Butter over Kale and Arugula

This is a recipe for sprouted tofu prepared in coconut butter over kale and arugula topped with fresh ground white pepper, fleur de sel, and honey drizzle! It was delicious!

Ingredients:
3 oz. organic sprouted tofu, cut into thin squares
1-2 TBSP raw coconut butter
freshly ground white peppercorns, to taste
a sprinkle of fleur de sel (or sea salt to taste)
herbs of your choice; I used dried sweet basil
fresh kale and arugula
1-2 TBSP local raw honey (or sweetener of your choice)
1 TBSP balsamic vinaigrette (optional)

Directions

1. Heat a nonstick skillet on medium heat over the stovetop and melt the coconut butter.

2. Immediately place the tofu into the pan, turning often and pan searing until it becomes a light golden brown. You may have to lower the heat on your stovetop during this time.

3. Mix the kale and arugula in a large bowl. I used an abundance of greens, because it is healthy and filling. You can drizzle and toss the greens lightly in balsamic vinaigrette, if you like.

4. Place the cooked tofu over the greens and sprinkle with fleur de sel, pepper, and herbs.

5. Finally, drizzle the dish with honey and enjoy!

tofusalad

Citrus Apple Quinoa with Arugula and Raisins

Citrus Apple Quinoa with Arugula and Raisins

I had about three cups of leftover plain quinoa, so I whipped up this yummy, easy-to-make dish. You can serve this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner – it’s that versatile.

Ingredients
3 cups cooked quinoa
juice of 1 1/2 fresh oranges
zest of 1/2 an orange
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 red apple, diced
2 cups arugula, chopped
3 tbsp raisins
dash of cinnamon
2 tbsp crushed walnuts (optional)

Directions

1. Stir all ingredients together until everything is well combined.

2. Enjoy!

20131209-191017.jpg

Coconut Avocado Chickpea Cakes + Cilantro Lime Dressing

Coconut Avocado Chickpea Cakes + Cilantro Lime Dressing

Well, what can I say about these other than they were surprisingly delicious, and I really surprised myself with my presentation skills. This recipe is versatile; you can add or replace vegetables and ingredients and have fun with it. You can even make mini cakes and use these as appetizers for parties.

Ingredients
1 + 3/4 cup chickpeas (soaked, rinsed, and drained)
1/2 an avocado
1 heaping handful of fresh spinach
1/2 medium yellow onion
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp ground flax meal
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp shredded coconut
3 tbsp diced chives
sea salt + pepper to taste
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp soy-free veganaise
1/4 cup coconut flour
2-3 tbsp coconut oil (I used 1/2 coconut butter + 1/2 coconut oil to cook mine)

{Always use organic, local, fresh ingredients whenever possible.}

Directions
1. In a food processor, pulse the ingredients from the chickpeas to the water until pretty well combined. It can be a bit chunky.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the mixture with the remaining ingredients, except for the coconut oil.
3. This is where it gets fun. Use your hands to knead and blend the mixture until well combined.
4. Now you should have a mixture that is a clay-like consistency; one that you can form into a ball and then a patty.
5. I made my cakes by forming a ball a bit smaller than the size of a tennis ball, then pressing flat into a patty. Repeat.
6. Heat a nonstick pan on medium heat, add coconut oil and allow to melt into the pan. (Modification: You can try these baked as well.)
7. Pan-sear patties until golden brown on each side. I flipped mine twice on each side, so they would cook evenly.
8. Serve over a bed of fresh spinach with cilantro lime dressing (see recipe below).
9. Eat, savor, love!

Yields seven patties // about 3 servings

Dressing Ingredients
1/4 cup soy-free veganaise
1/8 cup fresh cilantro
juice of half a lime

Dressing Directions
1. In a food processor (I used a mini processor) blend ingredients until smooth.
2. Place a small dollop of dressing on each cake to serve.

blender bowl pancookingcakes Cakes