Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Easy Vegan Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing is great for salads and dipping vegetables. Store bought ranch dressing and dips are loaded with fats and preservatives and are definitely not vegan. Here’s a great recipe that’s super quick and easy to whip up!


vegan mayo (I use vegenaise)

italian spices

vegan milk (soy, almond, rice, etc)

salt and pepper, to taste


Start off with adding some mayo into a bowl (it will be the main base of the dressing). Add some milk, how much you use depends on how thick you want your ranch. If you want it like a dip, just add a little bit but if you want it for a dressing on salads add more. Use a fork to blend the mayo and milk. Add more milk or mayo to get desired consistency.  Then go crazy with spices. I use the Italian grinders you can find which have rosemary, oregano and basil. You can also use fresh herbs or whichever dry herbs you enjoy the most. The fresh herbs won’t keep as long so keep that in mind. Add salt and pepper to taste and you’re done!


This dip would also be a good dip for the fried okra recipe that I just posted!


Fried Okra

Okra is in season! I love okra and have been getting a lot in my csa boxes. This was the first recipe I made because it’s one of my favorites and definitely a classic!


okra, cut into 1 inch slices
corn meal
egg whites
salt and pepper
oil for frying

Put egg whites in one bowl and corn meal in another. Add salt and pepper to corn meal. Pour about 1 inch worth of oil in a pot (I actually used a saucepan) and put on high heat. Meanwhile put a handful of okra in egg whites and mix to coat. When the oil is hot enough transfer the okra to the cornmeal and then into the oil. Fry stirring occasionally to brown the entire okra. Once they are completely browned transfer to a plate covered with a napkin. Repeat the eggwhite, cornmeal and frying process until all your okra is cooked. Serve with ranch or in this case buttermilk dressing.

Grilled Veggie Fajitas

One of my all time favorite meals are vegetable fajitas. Fresh veggies coming together with soft homemade tortillas, salsa and guacamole is divine and the summer is one of the best times to indulge since the vegetables are fresh and plentiful.

I like to use a cast iron skillet to cook the vegetables. It keeps the marinade from putting out the fire! It also helps keep them from drying out.

Fresh tortillas are so much better than store bought. When I moved to Austin from San Antonio I realized that fresh made tortillas are very hard to find! My husband and I are tortilla snobs, so I had to start making my own. Store bought just isn’t the same as the fluffy and rich ones you can make at home!

Here’s the tried and true recipe I use. (not my own)

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk (regular or I use almond milk)

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil. Slowly add the warm milk.
Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed. Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes. After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.)
After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook. In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done. Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat. Can be reheated in a dry iron skillet, over your gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil. While you probably won’t have any leftovers, you can store in the fridge tightly wrapped in foil or plastic for a day or so.


Pair these with some fresh made guacamole and salsa and you’ll be set. I made some recently for my sister-in-law and her boyfriend (who’s an avid meat eater) and he said “I usually miss meat in meals, but this is so good I feel like I’m not missing anything!”

Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie

Strawberry and bananas are a favorite combination of mine and this smoothie was no different!

1 1/2 cup water
3/4 cup slice fresh strawberries
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup fresh spinach

Blend and enjoy!

Green Smoothie

I’ve been having a lot of green smoothies for breakfast. Here’s a simple one that’s really good.

1 c. raw spinach

1 1/2 c. water

1 frozen banana

Blend and enjoy!


Lower cal blueberry cheesecake (vegan)



1 container fresh blueberries

3 tbsp sugar (or agave nectar)

1 tbsp.lemon juice

2 tbsp. cornstartch


8 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (or regular cream cheese)

12 ounces light firm (or extra firm) silken tofu (it comes in the non-refrigerated box)

1/3 c. sugar (or agave nectar)

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 graham cracker crust (or you can make your own for less calories!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat up a saucepan to medium heat and add blueberries and sugar (I used the agave nectar). Once it’s heated up a bit start smashing the blueberries with a fork, then add the lemon juice and corn starch. Cook until it starts to bubble and remove from heat.

In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment add the cream cheese and sugar and mix until it becomes fluffy. Then add the rest of the ingredients (except the crust) and mix very well. You want it totally smooth.

Carefully pour the cheesecake mixture into the crust and smooth it out on top. Using a food processor blend the blueberry mixture until its smooth and pour it on top. Then to get the swirl effect, use a butter knife to cut into the cheesecake part making sure not to mess up the crust.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour and then cut the heat. Leave it in there another hour to cook (this way the top doesn’t crack as easily). After that refrigerate until it’s cool and enjoy!

I’ve made variations of this recipe many times and people love it! They do not realize it has tofu at all!! Depending on whether what type of cream cheese you use it’ll be around 200 – 220 calories for a slice (1/8 of pie). The main calories come from the crust (which is about 1100 on it’s own) so if you make your own lower calorie crust I bet it would be really low! Still much better than regular blueberry cheesecake which is about 350 calories per slice!

Stuffed Pepper

Sorry for the low quality picture, I was so hungry I just took a quick pic on my phone.


1 package Smart Grounds Original Crumbles

1/2 c. pico de gallo (mine was homemade. You could also use cut up onion,peppers and tomato)

1 1/2 cup cooked rice (wild rice is best, I used forbidden rice)

1/2 tsp olive oil

salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder to taste

4 or 5 bell or other large sweet peppers

Heat peppers in oven or over the stovetop to burn outside skin. Once they have cooled a bit pull of the skin part. This makes it easier to cut up and eat. Then add olive oil to medium/hot skillet then add the ground crumbles. Once it has slightly browned add the pico de gallo and cook for a couple minutes, making sure to turn down heat if necessary. Add cooked rice and seasonings. Go back to the peppers and cut the tops off and pull out the seed part. Make sure they’ve cooled enough so you don’t burn yourself. Then stuff the cooked crumble/rice mixture to the peppers, filling as much as possible but taking care in not ripping them apart. Heat up if needed and serve!

You could also just make the filling part and use it for soft tacos or on nachos. I made the whole batch but only stuffed 2 peppers so I have leftovers for lunch today 🙂

Estimated calories – 200 per pepper