You can make this smoky mozzarella and basil pesto grilled cheese sandwich and eat it straight away. It will be gooey and flavourful on the inside, crispy and buttery on the outside....but why stop there? You can take it to the next level by dipping it in a super simple spicy marinara. Ugh. It is heaven and I've had this for dinner three nights in a row because I'm obsessed. What else can I say, scroll down for the recipes. Make it, take a delicious bite, (a glass of red wine wouldn't go astray along side) then pat yourself on the back cause you just made an epic sandwich.
I think the type of bread you use here is VERY important. I randomly tried it with some generic sliced multigrain bread and didn't really enjoy it. A thinly sliced white sourdough is pretty perfect. I find if the bread is too thick the filling doesn't heat through as easily and also it just is a better ratio of bread to filling when the bread is on the thinner side.
Vegan Basil Pesto
Assemble the Sandwich
How to use Leftover Pesto & Mozza
Basil Pesto & Smoked Mozza Pizza
I spread some pesto on my par baked pizza crust. Topped with some mushrooms, red onion, black olives and smoked mozzarella then finished cooking on my pizza stone. I like to Eat this with lemony dressed arugula & cherry tomato salad. I also like to garnish my vegan pizza with nutritional yeast and a delicious drizzle of olive oil. I was dipping slices of basil pesto pizza in the marinara sauce. SO GOOD
Basil Pesto Pasta
(Saute onion, mushrooms, garlic, olives & smoked tofu in a pan then add almost cooked spaghetti noodles to it along with plenty of basil pesto, cherry tomatoes & a few splashes of reserved pasta water & S + P. Toss everything around as the pesto and tomatoes heat up and the pasta finishes cooking. Folding in fresh arugula at the last moment. Garnish with more nutritional yeast and garlicky lemony breadcrumbs (Thug Kitchen recipe) and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Dig in. Epic.
Patatas Bravas is a widely popular tapas item in Spain. It translates to "Fierce Potato". Crispy potatoes in a spicy tomato sauce and drizzled with garlicky mayo. I can say hands down it is one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. I took a bite and just took a moment to reflect. Wow. Food like this humbles and inspires me. The most simple ingredient combinations can create flavour magic. Do yourself a favour, make this, eat this...you need patatas bravas in your life, I promise.
You can either roast the potatoes or deep fry them. I have tried both ways, and OK for sure the deep fried are extra good, but if that doesn't work for you, roasting them gives you pretty great results too.
I find you don't need as much sauce as you might think. You want the tomato sauce to mix with the mayo with every bite you take. It honestly reminds me of rose sauce one would make for pasta. Really good.
A good trick is to cook the potatoes in salted boiling water first with baking soda. When you dump them into the strainer, shake the strainer around so the potatoes get "roughed up". This creates a surface area conducive to getting nice and crispy. Cool potatoes, then roast or fry to crispy spud perfection.
Difficulty : Easy
Serves : 4
Assemble your patatas bravas
Nacho Chips and guacamole are one of my favourite vegan snack staples. Easy & delicious. Vegan Nacho Night was next level with this cheezy dip and mango guacamole. The chipotle sweet potato dip is smokey, a bit sweet & dare I say healthy. I had leftovers and was just spooning it on crostini and topping it with guacamole. Amazing. I thinned the dip out with a bit of water so I could drizzle it for the photograph, and I ate it this way but next time I'll be more inclined to leave it on the thicker side for dipping.... served piping hot, along side a bowl of guacamole. And I'll invite friends. Because I ate all of the nachos. Like literally All. Of. Them. If that's not an endorsement I dunno what is. Along side a cold pint of your fav brew. Epic
* Really a good guacamole can handle a decent amount of lime and salt. I couldn't believe I was putting that much salt in but they needed it. It's a delicate balance. Not enough and it's bland, too much and well, it's s.a.l.t.y.
** Make this straight up avocado guacamole simply by subbing the mango for another avocado.
Chipotle Sweet Potato Queso
I have been loving guacamole piled high on sourdough that has been drizzled with olive oil and toasted in the oven, then topped with lots of the queso. I honestly love it even when it's not piping hot, as long as it's not fridge cold. So good. Perfect vegan appetizer or lunch.
Making sushi with brown rice and serving it with peanut sauce is a bit unconventional, but it's something I crave once in awhile and I really love making and eating it. It's healthy, filling and delicious. I am going to share a few notes below about the recipe, and then also a video showing how I roll up sushi if it's something you've never done before.
1 cup brown rice, cooked will make 3 rolls
Because I used brown rice, and not traditional sushi rice, the rice has to exist on the INSIDE of the nori (seaweed) sheet. This is because brown rice is not sticky like sushi rice so it would just fall apart if you tried to put it on the outside. You will need approximately 1/2 cup of cooked rice per sushi roll. Each roll is typically cut into 8 pieces. Which technically is a serving for one person but I've watched people eat 4 times that much so better to plan for extra. Typically sushi rice is seasoned with rice wine vinegar and sugar. I didn't do this to my brown rice because I'm serving it with a peanut sauce that has sweet and vinegar notes. I just cooked rice according to package directions but ust seasoned with salt, no added oil or vegan butter.
There are no rules here. Just cut up desired fillings into batons or match sticks. You don't need a lot. 1/2 a beet was enough for 3 rolls. 1 avocado easily did 3 and I had some leftover.
I used julienned beet, avocado, cucumber and greens in the one pictured, but more often I'll use carrot, avocado, cucumber and greens or sprouts. Some other suggestions:
* I think it's important for the overall eating experience to have a good amount of crunch factor in your fillings. Lots of carrot! You could also tempura one of the ingredients before adding it to your roll, that would be really delicious. Tempura sweet potato or tofu would be insanely good.
How to Roll Sushi
Below is what your set up should look like.
I make this peanut sauce ahead usually. It thickens in the fridge. If you need to adjust the consistency add more peanut butter to thicken or a splash of water to thin out. Then give it a taste and if you want to adjust acid or sugar add a bit more. This makes a lot more than you'd need for a bit of dipping sauce for the sushi, but it keeps in the fridge and is good to have on hand for a quick meal. It's great drizzled on Asian inspired noodle or rice bowls or as a dip for summer rolls.
Whisk together the following ingredients.
I've been wanting to make power balls with crispy rice cereal ever since my hair dresser and friend Erin sent me home with some she had made after my appointment one day. We were laughing pretty hard because she had rolled them in kosher salt and then "salty balls" were born. If you can't laugh at that, are you even really living?? They were really good BTW, and yes quite salty.
This recipe unintentionally reminds me of the peanut butter chocolate cherry balls my mother makes. Go figure! I think you could switch up the ingredients depending what you had in your pantry no problem. Different dried fruit, nut butters, seeds etc. I almost rolled them in toasted coconut after dipping them in chocolate but wasn't feeling it. It would be delicious though.
I wanted to add quinoa flour to these because I read that quinoa is a complete protein. Something to consider if you follow a plant based diet. I need to start paying more attention to this for sure.
Yield: 20 balls
Ingredients for power balls
3 cups crispy rice cereal. (I used natures path organic brown rice cereal)
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tbsp ground flax
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 c toasted sunflower seeds
1 to 1 1/4 cups crunchy natural peanut butter ( I started with 1 cup and ended up adding a bit more)
6 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil (Honestly, dunno why I added this, intuition maybe, I'll try leaving it out next time
2 tsp vanilla
couple pinches of kosher salt
250 g dark chocolate
2 tsp coconut oil
The chef I work with sent me home with a pound of boiled fingerling potatoes that we didn't end up using during service. Yay. I decided to turn it into a potato salad. I don't want this to be too much of a recipe. It's an idea for using up leftover potatoes and I can tell you what I put in it, because it's what I had in my fridge but the options are endless! Let's investigate.
My potato salad
If I have leftover potatoes and decide to make this dish again it will no doubt be a completely different adventure. So many possibilities. Some delicious thoughts:
Tex - Mex
Maple Dijon Vinny
1 cup Evoo
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup maple
generous tbsp dijon mustard
S + P
a few cloves of garlic
Blitz it all together with a hand blender or whisk together (mince the garlic if u do it this way, obvi).
This recipe is exactly what you'd hope for in a classic banana bread. Banana-y and super moist. You can add in nuts, dried fruit or chocolate chips if you'd like. My fav combo is walnut and dried cranberry. This recipe uses 100% whole wheat flour, and it's delicious. I use whole grains in baking when it works, and in this recipe it really does.
History of Banana Bread
I learned that there are two theories about how the introduction of banana bread happened in the 1930's. Wiki says it is probably a combination of both, and I would probably agree with that sentiment. Banana bread was potentially a byproduct of the great depression. Home makers not wanting to waste anything, would turn too ripe bananas into a quick bread. Seems logical to me. The other idea points towards the corporate world developing the concept of this bread to promote their products, as baking powder and baking soda became popularized around this time. Either way it's interesting to consider the origins of this ubiquitous staple loved by so many of us. I certainly can conjure up childhood memories of my mothers banana bread. I'd like to point out that this recipe really tastes just like I remember banana bread always tasting (it wasn't vegan). So that is a win in my books.
Banana Bread Recipe
1/3 cup solid coconut oil or earth balance buttery spread, room temp
3/4 cup organic cane or brown sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut yogurt or vegan sour cream
2/3 cup unsweetened soy milk
2 cups all purpose whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp flax meal + 2 tbsp water. (stir, let sit 10 minutes)
3/4 cup toasted walnut halves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
These are wicked good cookies...no exaggeration...I love them so much. Took 3 test batches to get them to taste like I imagined in my head. Sweet with toasty coconut, crunchy pepitas & bright lime flavour. Somehow these make me want a margarita. The recipe is for a small batch of cookies that will fit on one pan. I got 8 cookies but this obviously depends on how big you make them.
1/2 cup raw sugar (I blitzed it in a spice grinder)
1/4 cup solid coconut oil (room temp)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp almond milk
zest of 1 lime + 2 tbsp of lime juice
1 cup AP flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, toast in oven until lightly browned
6 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted in a pan, they will pop!
Hey! I'm Trisha