Buffalo Cauliflower & Ranch Coleslaw Pretzel Hoagies

Crispy buffalo cauliflower and creamy herb ranch dressing, all rested on a buttered and toasted pretzel bun. Put that on your plate! Okay, I’ve been watching too much Mrs. Maisel. But really, put this on your plate!

I deliberated over what to call this for way too long. Is it a roll? A po’ boy? A… sub? I almost settled on sandwich. But nay, it is no simple sandwich – it is a hoagie! (Still open to suggestions from any sandwich connoisseurs out there.)

Every time I make buffalo cauliflower, I feel like I’m left with SO much batter. I think this recipe makes the perfect amount of batter for a small or medium head of cauliflower.

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Serves: About 4 – Prep Time: 10 minutes – Cook Time: 45 minutes

For the Buffalo Cauliflower:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 3 cups), chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup plant milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (I like Frank’s RedHot)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter, melted

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Whisk together batter ingredients (all but cauliflower, hot sauce, and butter) in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Evenly coat each piece of cauliflower in the batter, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, being careful not to let the pieces touch.
  4. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, flipping halfway. If the batter is falling off, just bake them a bit longer before flipping.
  5. Whisk together melted butter and hot sauce. Pour mixture over the cauliflower and lightly toss to coat with tongs or a spatula.
  6. Bake for another 20 – 25 minutes, flipping again halfway, until crisp.
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For the Herb Ranch Dressing & Coleslaw:

Make this while your cauliflower is baking!

  • 1 cup vegan mayo
  • 3 tablespoons plant milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 16 oz coleslaw mix (one large bag)

Instructions:

  1. Mix ranch ingredients (all except for the coleslaw) together in an airtight container.
  2. Stir 1/2 cup of the ranch dressing into the coleslaw mix. Taste and add more dressing or salt/pepper if you’d like. I like having lots of this ranch leftover to drizzle on top of the sandwiches, or just to save for later.

Assemble the Hoagies:

Butter and toast your bread*, scoop in the ranch coleslaw, and top with buffalo cauliflower. Finish with sliced green onions, parsley, more ranch, more hot sauce, or whatever ya fancy. Enjoy!

*You don’t have to use pretzel buns, but Pretzilla makes vegan ones that come in a 4 pack. I’ve been able to find them at Whole Foods and Publix!


Caramelized Onion Gravy

I love serving this gravy over roasted garlic mashed potatoes or poutine (which – for those of you who may not know about this Canadian delicacy – is fries, gravy, and cheese curds). Obviously we ain’t cooking with any cheese curds here, but I’ve tried it with homemade vegan mozzarella as well as store-bought Violife feta and both are fantastic!

I’d absolutely bring this to a holiday get together or a potluck – you’d never know it’s vegan! Plus gravy boats are adorable and now you have an excuse to use one.

Taste this recipe as you go. You may not like it quite as salty as me, so you can always start with less soy sauce/vegan butter.

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Fun fact about poutine that I just found via cottagelife.com: “The traditional story is that poutine originated in the 1950s in Warwick, Quebec, at a restaurant called Le Lutin qui rit. Upon being asked to add cheese curds to a customer’s fries, owner Fernand Lachance responded, “Ça va faire une mauditepoutine,” or, “That’s going to make a dreadful mess.”

And what a delicious mess indeed!

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Prep time: 5 minutes – Cook time: 1 hour – Serves: about 6 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 small red or yellow onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or olive oil
  • 1 tsp organic sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • a few cracks of fresh ground pepper
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Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium-low heat, then add in the diced onion.
  2. Spread the onions in an even layer in the pan and let cook for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t stir too often or they won’t brown enough to caramelize! You may want to stir in a teaspoon of sugar after about 10 minutes to speed up the caramelization process. If they start to brown too quickly or are drying out, add a splash of water and turn the heat down a bit. If they aren’t caramelizing quickly enough, turn the heat up a bit.
  3. Add the flour to the now caramelized onions and stir to mix well. It should be a paste-like texture.
  4. Slowly whisk in the vegetable broth, pouring small amounts in at a time. Then whisk in the soy sauce as well.
  5. Raise the heat to medium and allow the mixture to come to a simmer.
  6. Stir often and reduce heat if necessary until you’ve reached a gravy consistency of your liking. It’s usually about 5-10 minutes for me.
  7. Crack in some fresh ground pepper, and voila! Serve over mashed potatoes, poutine, or any other gravy vessel.

Note: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. You can reheat the gravy in the microwave or pour in back into a sauce pot on the stove. It may need a splash of water depending on how much it’s thickened.


Baked Black Bean Burgers

No matter how many vegan meat alternatives come to market (like Beyond and Impossible), I’ll always love a good black bean burger. They pack so much flavor, and really spice up a plain ol’ burger in my humble opinion.

They’re great for any occasion, but I’m posting these on the 4th of July because Amurica, amiright? Make these for your guests and show off your thoughtfulness and the yumminess of vegan burgers, wahoo!

This recipe is loaded with spices and it makes me so happy. Making my own veggie burgers has been one of my recent favorite things to do. I love selecting and actually seeing all of the ingredients that go into the patties.

You can also make a large batch and freeze them! Way healthier, more delicious, and less expensive than spending $8 on a pack of 4 sad veggie patties in the freezer section.

Anyways, let’s get to it:

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Ooooh, ahhhh, a glimpse into the future.

But first, it’s patty making time:

Behind the scenes of this recipe on my very serious and very professional Instagram (which is @plants_in_my_pants btw).

Okay this is more like it. Above are the patties prior to baking, ready for their glamour shot.

And… here they are again, post baking.

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Burger contestant #1: The Classic American, sans red onion because the patty is already filled with them, ya know? You could definitely still add some fresh red onion for some color, crunch, and added onion-y-ness. In the realm of condiments, I just went with ketchup but usually am a fan of spicy mustard and some vegan mayo on my classic style burgers. This is about the patties, though, the patties.

Burger contestant #2: The Mexican Burger. Now we’re talking. I topped this one with cashew queso, pickled jalapeños, pico de gallo, and hot sauce. I’m not going to tell you what kind of hot sauce to use, because that is a personal choice not to be taken lightly. Some guac or avocado would have also been fabulous on this guy.

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So… which path will you choose? (I mean obviously you can top with whatever the heck you want but let me just humor myself, okay?)

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 24 minutes Makes 6 to 7 large patties

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of one small onion (red or yellow)
  • 1/2 of one red bell pepper
  • 2 (14oz) cans of black beans, or 1 20oz can (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup corn
  • flax egg (1 tablespoon flax meal + 2.5 tablespoons water, mixed in a small bowl and left to thicken for 5 minutes)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • a few cracks of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
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Instructions:

  • Sauté onion over medium heat for 3 minutes (either with a small bit of oil, or water for oil-free), add the bell pepper and cook for another 3 minutes or so until the onions are translucent and the peppers are tender but not mushy.
  • Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mash or use a food processor to mix. You want to still have some whole beans in there, so don’t go overboard with the mashing/mixing.
  • Form about 6 to 7 large patties, packing each one tightly.
  • Bake at 350F on a parchment lined baking sheet for 24 minutes, turning them halfway through.
  • Serve with your favorite burger toppings and enjoy! They’re also delicious crumbled in a taco salad.

Note:

To freeze these patties, place them on a baking sheet and stick them in the freezer for about 45 minutes. Then you can add them to a freezer bag or container and save for a later date. I like to add a small piece of parchment paper between each patty to prevent them from sticking together in the freezer. I’ve baked them thawed and from frozen, and both work just fine!


Roasted Chickpea and Broccoli Bowls

As I’m sure a handful of people close to me would tell you, this is basically my go-to meal. On the semi-rare occasion that I’m cooking only for myself, this recipe is such a staple!

Not only is it really tasty, it leaves my body feeling good afterwards.

Unlike when we go out to a restaurant and stuff ourselves, or have something really processed and oily on “Indulgence Sunday”

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This Roasted Chickpea and Broccoli Bowl is:

crunchy

savory

tangy

healthy

and delicious!

The variety of flavors and textures come together so nicely in this easy to make, quick to clean up meal. I make my own little hummus dressing for it, which is much healthier than using a super oily, store-bought one in my opinion!

Place the chickpeas and broccoli on your parchment-lined baking sheet, then season and toss. You could use a silicone baking mat in place of parchment paper, of course!

Make sure all of the chickpeas and pieces of broccoli are spread out some and touching the parchment paper. This will help them roast evenly and get crunchy.

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While the chickpeas and broccoli are in the oven, whip up this simple hummus dressing. It consists of: hummus (duh), lemon juice, water, black pepper, dijon mustard, and garlic powder. Bet you have all those things at home!

If not, you can use a dressing you already have or just skip it altogether. The chickpeas are already very flavorful, and I’d recommend squeezing some lemon juice on the broccoli when it’s done. Or sprinkle it with some lemon pepper seasoning before baking.

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When you’ve finished baking them, add the chickpeas and broccoli to a big bowl and throw in any other good stuff you have laying around. Then drizzle it with the hummus dressing and enjoy!

Sometimes I’ll add a few handfuls of baby spinach, hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax seeds, kalamata olives, or some cherry tomatoes like I did this day. I’ll make some roasted potatoes to throw in as well if I’m extra hungry or am serving it to more than just myself.

Bowls like this are a good way to get some additional nutrients, eat your colors, and use up whatever odds and ends you have sitting around in your kitchen.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas (15oz), drained and rinsed
  • A few handfuls of frozen broccoli florets
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • a dash of cayenne pepper
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

For the hummus dressing:

  • 1 tbsp hummus
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp dijon or stone ground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • a crack of fresh ground pepper
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Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Place chickpeas and frozen broccoli on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Add garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt to the chickpeas. Sprinkle the broccoli with salt. Toss everything to coat with spices. No need for oil!
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, making sure to toss halfway through the cook time.
  4. Eat a chickpea and examine your broccoli. Are they roasted and crunchy enough for your liking? If not, add them back to the oven for another 5 minutes.
  5. Assemble a nice little bowl with the chickpeas, broccoli, and whatever yummy odds and ends you’d like. I threw in some cherry tomatoes.
  6. Crack some pepper and drizzle the hummus dressing over top. Then enjoy!

Notes:

  • Sometimes I’ll add a few handfuls of baby spinach, hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax seeds, kalamata olives, or some cherry tomatoes like I did this day. I’ll make some roasted potatoes to throw in as well if I’m extra hungry or am serving it to more than just myself!

The Yummiest Black Bean Soup

Y’all… I love black bean soup. It’s so perfectly

creamy,

spicy,

and hearty.

My mother would make it fairly often growing up and I always loved ordering it out at restaurants, so it’s a dish that has been with me for a while! I’ve tried out so many different recipes over the years and I’ve finally found my own way of making it that I like best.

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Come to mama. See how pretty those red onions on top are?

Ready for the pot! Yes, that is my compost scrap bowl. Yes, I thought it was pretty.

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So colorful! Time to add in the beans, broth, and cumin. Then let that baby simmer!

This soup is so flavorful and filling, and I love having it whether it’s hot or cold out. Serving it over some rice (perhaps some cilantro lime) is also a good way to bulk this meal up and add some lovely texture.

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The soup after using my immersion blender.
I suppose I’m in my blue period or something.

And voila! Topping this soup with some fresh red onion is probably my favorite thing to do. I love the contrast in flavor of the raw onions and the cooked ones, and they add a really nice crunchy texture! You could also top with some fresh cilantro, which I would’ve done if I wasn’t out.

It stores well, too, and becomes even more flavorful overnight in the fridge! So this is the perfect recipe to make a lot of and eat throughout the week. Anyways, here’s the recipe:

Creamy, tangy goodness!
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Prep Time: 15 minutes – Cook Time: 40 minutes – Serves about 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
  • Half of 1 large red onion, diced (reserve a bit for topping later)
  • 1 bell pepper (any color would be good, but I like using red)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (any neutral flavored oil, like avocado would be fine)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 cans (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • The juice of 1 lime (about a tablespoon of red wine vinegar can be used in place of it)
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Instructions:

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy pot. Add onion, carrot, celery, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the bell pepper, cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the jalapeño and garlic, and sauté for about a minute, until fragrant.
  4. Pour in the black beans, vegetable broth, and cumin. Stir and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 25 minutes.
  6. Add in the lime juice and salt.
  7. Use an immersion blender, a hand masher, or transfer about 2 cups of the soup to a blender, then re-add to soup. You want it blended just enough to get that creamy texture, while still having some visible pieces of beans and veggies floating about.
  8. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your preferences. Serve on its own or over some rice, and top with reserved diced red onion. Some cilantro would also be great!
  9. Enjoy!

Notes:

If you like things a little spicier, add in 1/4 tsp (or more) of red pepper flakes when you add in the lime juice. (I do this!)

A cup of corn would also make a yummy, colorful addition to this soup!


Super Savory Meatless Spaghetti Sauce

This vegan spaghetti sauce is so hearty and filling. Red wine, tomato paste, and soy sauce (!) are the key to creating this flavorful sauce. You probably have most, if not all of the ingredients at home already!

No need to feel rushed when making this recipe – when I make it at home, sometimes it takes 30 minutes and sometimes it takes an hour! This is especially true when I forget to boil pasta water until after I’ve finished the sauce…

I’ve listed the minimum cook times, but letting this sauce simmer for a while makes it that much more flavorful!

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The vegan parmesan is by Follow Your Heart!
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Cook time: 20 minutes – Prep Time: 10 minutes – Serves about 4

Ingredients:

  • Half of 1 large yellow onion (or 1 small onion) finely diced
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 1 stalk of celery finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 15oz can of petite diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce (no salt added)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • A splash of red wine (I used pinot noir)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • Gardein meatless crumbles, or a similar product (I find that Gardein works best, however)
  • Spaghetti noodles
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Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Cook onion, carrot, and celery with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes until translucent.
  2. Add in garlic and optional red pepper flakes, and cook for another minute.
  3. Pour in the petite diced tomatoes (I like to swirl a little water in the empty can to get every last bit.) Add the tomato paste and a splash of red wine, as well. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Next, add tomato sauce, basil, oregano, meatless crumbles, and soy sauce. Simmer for 5 more minutes.
  5. Taste and add salt and pepper according to your own preference. (I usually just add a few cracks of pepper here because the soy sauce often makes it salty enough)
  6. Serve over spaghetti noodles and enjoy! I also topped mine with some Follow Your Heart vegan parmesan and fresh basil leaves.

Sun-dried Tomato & Basil Cannellini Beans

Do I need to say anything further than sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil? And it only has, assuming you already have salt and pepper, 5 ingredients? This savory side is a great vegan dish to bring to spring and summer get togethers, and would pair wonderfully with a veggie burger or a big salad. Or you could just eat it on its own, of course. Anyways, here ya go!

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Okay this smells amazing.
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Cannellini beans are so silky, nutty, and creamy. Yum.
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Cook Time: 15 minutes – Prep Time: 5 minutes – Serves about 4 as a side

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans
  • About 2 tablespoons of julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes in oil (you can chop them up a bit if you prefer smaller pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion, or about 1/3 of a large one.
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • A few cracks of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional but recommended)
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Instructions:

  1. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and add the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until they have softened.
  2. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Next, add the garlic and let that cook for another minute before adding the beans, salt, a few cracks of fresh pepper, optional red pepper flakes, and basil. Stir to combine and heat through for another minute or two.
  4. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Notes:

  • This dish is great both warm and cold, depending on what you’re in the mood for. You can totally make this in advance if you’re bringing it to a cook out or picnic, and serve it chilled! Just make sure to double or triple the recipe.

Buffalo Chickpea Tacos

I’m so excited for warm weather foods now that Spring has sprung! This recipe is full of flavor and texture, and can be customized to your own taste preferences. Personally, I love adding as many fresh toppings as physically possible. These are perfect for a warm night with a cold glass o’ beer (or water – you do you), and remind me of eating fish tacos in the Bahamas when I was younger. Minus the fish now, of course!

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Is there anything prettier than roasted chickpeas? Or do I just have an obsession?
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Makes about 6 tacos – Cook time: 25 minutes – Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Fajita sized tortillas (I like corn)
  • Hot Sauce (I prefer Frank’s RedHot)
  • Salt to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Olive Oil
  • Celery, chopped
  • Cabbage Mix or whatever lettuce you prefer
  • Vegan Ranch Dressing (Just brand is great)
  • Fresh Cilantro (skip it or use parsley if you’re a soap person)
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Lime Juice
  • Optional toppings: avocado, radish slices, green or red onion

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 400° F.
  • Place drained and rinsed chickpeas on a parchment lined baking sheet (or use a silicone mat if you have one). If they’re still really wet, dab the chickpeas with a towel to remove some of the excess water.
  • Toss to coat chickpeas with oil, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, making sure to give them a stir halfway through the cooking time.
  • Remove from oven and toss chickpeas with hot sauce (about 2 tablespoons), then put them back in the oven to bake for another 5 minutes. Leave them in for a few more minutes if you want the chickpeas to be a bit crunchier.
  • Take the chickpeas out of the oven and assemble your tacos with desired toppings. If you like things spicier, you can add some extra hot sauce on top. Grind a bit of pepper and squeeze some lime over the tacos at the end. Enjoy!

My favorite toppings are cabbage, avocado, celery, cilantro, and ranch 🙂

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