Vegan Garlic White Pizza Sauce

So, I have a story from my middle school days that involves white pizza (the salt and ice burn challenge makes an appearance), but I’ll refrain from writing that novelesque recipe intro. Anyways, I used to order white pizza at my local pizza & deli all the time growing up. I still haven’t found a vegan white pizza out in the wild, but who cares – now I make my own!

I know I titled this “pizza sauce” but this creamy white garlic sauce is delicious on pasta as well!

Now that I’ve repeated the word pizza so many times that it sounds like an alien language (the phenomenon is actually called semantic satiation), here’s the recipe:

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Prep Time: 5 minutes – Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked or boiled if you don’t have a high-powered blender)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil (optional)
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Instructions:

  1. Blend cashews, vegetable broth, garlic, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast together until very smooth to make the cashew cream.
  2. Melt butter over medium/medium low heat in a medium saucepan, sauté onion for a few minutes until soft and translucent, whisk in flour.
  3. Slowly whisk in the cashew cream. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until it’s thick and creamy. Stir in the parsley, basil, and black pepper. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Go forth and sauce!

Notes:

This recipe makes lots of sauce, so you might want to halve the recipe if you aren’t making multiple pizzas. The leftover sauce is amazing with pasta!

The featured pizza is topped with caramelized onions, artichoke hearts, vegan sausage from No Evil Foods, vegan parmesan, and fresh parsley.


Buffalo Chickpea Kale Caesar Wraps

Excuse how stereotypically vegan this next statement is: I am obsessed with kale. Now that that’s off my chest, I figure the title of this recipe is explanation enough. Buffalo. Chickpea. Kale. Caesar. Wraps!

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– Makes about 4 large wraps –

Ingredients:

For the buffalo chickpeas:

  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite vegan buffalo sauce

For the kale caesar salad:

  • 4 cups curly or tuscan/dinosaur kale, chopped
  • desired amount of vegan caesar dressing (recipe below)
  • vegan parmesan of your choice (optional)

For the vegan caesar dressing:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or in hot water for 15 minutes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or extra water)
  • the juice of 1 small lemon and its zest
  • 1 tablespoon vegan dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire
  • 1 heaping tablespoon non-pareil capers
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of parsley flakes for color (optional)
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Instructions:

  1. If making your own caesar dressing, add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Toss chickpeas with smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add them to your baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring once halfway through. When they are done roasting, toss with buffalo sauce.
  3. Assemble the wraps. Add kale tossed with caesar dressing and buffalo chickpeas to a whole wheat wrap. Top with vegan parmesan, extra buffalo sauce, fresh ground pepper, avocado slices, or whatever else you’d like. Fold and enjoy! Makes about 4 large wraps.

One-Pan Easy Mexican Quinoa

This Mexican quinoa is one of my favorite lazy (yet tasty and nutritious) meals! It comes together in about 30 minutes and uses ingredients you likely already have in your fridge and pantry – plus they’re pretty cheap! Hello, Rotel?

You could absolutely make a big batch of this quinoa at the beginning of the week and use it in salads, tacos, burritos, or eat it on its own – it’s an awesome prep-ahead dish! I’ve made variations of this dish over the years, but this is definitely my favorite way to do it.

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Serves: 6-8 – Prep Time: 10 minutes – Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or sauté in water for oil-free)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced (I used red but like yellow, too)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or vegan chicken broth)
  • 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (10 oz) can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies*
  • 2 cups frozen or canned corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • The juice of 1 lime

*(or try the Rotel HOT tomatoes with habaneros!)

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Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion and bell pepper in oil for 5 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté another minute, until very fragrant.
  3. Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth, black beans, Rotel tomatoes and chilies, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until quinoa is soft.
  4. Mix in the lime juice, taste, and add additional salt/pepper to taste.
  5. Serve and enjoy! I recommend topping with guacamole and salsa, or adding to salads, burritos, or tacos.

No Mayo Chickpea Salad (Vegan, Oil-free)

So, I’ve made countless chickpea salad recipes over the years. I always end up heavily modifying each one, so I decided to pull my favorite parts of my favorite recipes together to create one chickpea salad to rule them all.

This chickpea salad is packed with so much flavor, texture, and goodness. I hope ya like it!

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For the above pinwheels: I spread some dijon mustard on a spinach wrap, then the chickpea salad, and topped with lettuce. Tightly roll the wrap into a log and use a bread knife to cut 1/2 inch pinwheels. Stick them on a plate and enjoy as a meal or serve them as appetizers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon agave (alternatively, maple syrup or coconut sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1/4 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion (green onion would work here, also)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dill (I used dry)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (I’ve also used Old Bay here)
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sunflower seeds (optional)
  • the juice of half a large lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
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Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas with a fork or hand-masher until there are just a few whole chickpeas left.
  2. Mix all of the other ingredients in with the mashed chickpeas, taste, and adjust seasonings to your preference.
  3. Add the chickpea salad to a sandwich with lettuce and tomato, roll into pinwheels, add to wraps, have it with crackers, or just eat it out of the bowl!

Vegan Penne alla Vodka

Penne alla Vodka was one of the first recipes I ever made in my first apartment, around 5 years ago. Mind you, I wasn’t vegan at the time so I didn’t know about the wonders of cashew cream. But now I do and here we are.

This dish is simple, creamy, hearty, and delicious – what more could you want? So I’ll end the obligatory little recipe ramblings here.

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Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 50 minutes Serves about 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1/2 a large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1 (28 oz) can of petite diced tomatoes (or crushed, but I like the texture the petite diced give)
  • A generous pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Penne, cooked according to box instructions
  • Fresh parsley or basil for serving (optional)
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Instructions:

  1. Add the cashews to a blender along with the nutritional yeast and water, and blend until very smooth.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion in butter for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes until the onions are soft and slightly browned, and the mixture is very fragrant.
  3. Pour in the vodka and let cook for 5-10 minutes, until the alcohol has cooked off.
  4. Add the tomatoes, stir, and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes – you may need to lower the heat some.
  5. Stir in the cashew cream and cook for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is thick and creamy.
  6. Add a generous pinch of red pepper flakes, as well as salt and pepper to taste (I usually end up not needing any), and mix well.
  7. Serve over penne cooked according to box instructions, top with parsley or basil, and enjoy!

Savory Baked Tofu Crumbles

Well hey there! Long time no post! I just had to share these baked tofu crumbles that I’ve been using in everything lately.

You only need 5 ingredients here and they’re so easy to make. Say goodbye to expensive, laundry-list ingredient, store bought vegan meat crumbles and make these instead!

I love adding these crumbles to:

a big pile of nachos,

tacos and enchiladas,

my super savory meatless spaghetti sauce,

a hearty bowl of chili (I’m working on a vegan beer chili recipe at the moment – stay tuned!)

You name it!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 14 oz block extra firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 to 4 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, add the nutritional yeast, soy sauce, olive oil, and liquid smoke. Whisk together.
  3. Crumble the tofu into small pieces and stir it into the sauce.
  4. Spread the crumbles out on a parchment-lined baking sheet in an even layer and pop that tray in the oven.
  5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. (I usually will first stir it after about 20 minutes, and then every 5 to 10 minutes until it becomes nice and brown and crispy.)
  6. Go forth and use the baked crumbles however you desire!

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Fusilli

Oh man… Have I mentioned my love for sun-dried tomatoes before? Yes? Well I’m gonna say it again – that intense, sweet-tart flavor is everything!

Some lovely sun-dried tomatoes along with sautéed onions and garlic, white wine, baby spinach, and a cashew cream sauce make this vegan pasta dish so creamy and flavorful!

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The fusilli pasta really grabs as much of the sauce as possible – it’s awesome.

Cook up this dish and be amazed as your multiple cups of spinach are reduced to what seems like a tablespoon. We’ve all been there, am I right?

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Caution: be sure to cook enough for all parties present because your house will be smelling heavenly. Thank you onion, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes.

Anyways, let’s get to it:

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Prep time: 10 minutes – Cook time: 15 minutes – Serves: About 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or use the quick boil method*
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water (if using water, you may want to add a bit more salt)
  • 3/4 cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes in oil, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp of oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 of one medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 – 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine (I used a vegan pinot grigio)
  • 3 – 4 cups of baby spinach
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 16 oz fusilli pasta, cooked (you could also use bowties, penne, fettuccine, you name it)
  • vegan parmesan for topping (optional)
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Instructions:

  1. Begin boiling the water for the fusilli pasta and cook according to package directions.
  2. Make the cashew cream by blending cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, vegetable broth, and salt/pepper to taste until very smooth.
  3. Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan and sauté the onion with a pinch of salt. Cook until tender and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
  5. Then, toss in the sun-dried tomatoes and baby spinach, cook for about 2 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.
  6. Pour in the wine and simmer for a few more minutes until the wine has reduced by half.
  7. Stir in the cashew cream sauce until combined, taste and add salt and pepper as needed, then add in the pasta noodles and stir again to coat.
  8. Top with vegan parmesan if you’d like, serve, and enjoy!

*Quick-boiling cashews: If you’re not someone who plans out far enough ahead to soak cashews overnight, you can add the cashews to a small sauce pan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, remove from the heat immediately, cover with a lid, and let sit for 10 minutes to soften.