Today’s prompt is: It’s cold and rainy and there’s a snow drift outside your door! What are you going to make using the ingredients you have?
Nothing says Minnesota like a snow drift, unless perhaps it’s meat and potatoes. Growing up my grandma and mom would make saucy pork chops and served alongside potatoes it’s the quintessential hearty winter meal. Today I’ve reimagined it with tofu.
Pork Chops Tofu
- 1 block of tofu sliced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced (I used half of a large onion)
- 2 cups vegan cream of chicken soup
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Cook tofu on both sides seasoned generously with salt pepper
- Top with onions
- Combine remaining ingredients and pour over tofu
- Cook covered for 30 minutes
Earlier this month I veganized a childhood favorite with vegan tater tot hot dish and this next recipe honors the Minnesota hot dish as well – chicken broccoli hot dish. Obviously chicken is out and Beyond Meat is in. While the tater tot hot dish simply evokes the original this chicken broccoli hot dish is indistinguishable from the original. Even my mom who is skeptical of “vegan food” with the exception of the Sprinkles red velvet cupcake couldn’t tell the difference. Enjoy!
Vegan chicken broccoli hot dish
- 1 16 oz package of frozen chopped broccoli, cooked (or more, if desired)
- 1 package of Beyond Meat chicken cubed (or more if desired)
- 2.5 cups of vegan cream of chicken soup (recipe follows)
- 1/2 cup of vegan cheddar cheese (optional)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3/4 cup of Vegenaise mayo
- 1.5 tsp curry powder
- Lightly grease a casserole dish
- Place broccoli and chicken in the dish
- Combine soup, lemon juice, mayo and curry powder and pour over chicken
- Top with cheddar cheese and croutons
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly
Vegan cream of chicken soup – Obviously a prepared cream of chicken soup is out of the question so I had to make one from scratch. This actually worked really well, but I think I’m still playing around with ratios. Doing this again I would reduce the milk and “chicken” stock to make it a bit thicker, but it’s all a matter of taste. I was able to freeze several jars from this recipe to use for future casseroles.
- 5 tbsp of Earth Balance vegan butter
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 stalks of celery diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1.5 cups of non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
- 2 cups of vegetarian no-chicken broth
- 1 cup of non-dairy creamer (I used Wildwood soy creamer)
- 1 tsp of dried thyme
- 1 tsp of dried oregano
- 1 tsp of dried tarragon
- 1/4 tsp of all spice
- 2 bay leaves
- Generous amounts of salt and pepper
- Heat butter over medium heat
- Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots, peas and flour and cook for 10 minutes
- While veggies are cooking layer in the spices
- Add milk, no chicken broth, creamer and bay leaves
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes so flavors come together
Full disclosure: I’m an imperfect vegetarian with some vegan tendencies, but I am loving participating in VeganMoFo because it gives me the opportunity to work on my vegan muscles and get creative with some new meals.
My move to vegetarianism has been inspired by my health. I had high cholesterol in my early 20s, in part because it runs in my family and in part because I grew up on a typical American diet – pizza lunchables were like their own food group at my house. As I was making these discoveries, I shared what I was learning with my dad and although he will likely never become vegetarian his ability to change his diet in his 60s inspires me every day.
After we watched Forks Over Knives, my dad quit cow’s milk immediately and switched to almond milk. He cut way back on ice cream and now chooses the non-dairy stuff. He eats a completely vegan breakfast every work day and even orders the vegetarian entree at lunch instead of a burger. In doing all of this he has cut his own cholesterol immensely and has even stopped taking Lipitor. If my dad can make these changes I can continue to learn and do better.
Growing up in Minnesota the end of summer means one thing – tomatoes! My grandma used to slice them up and sprinkle sugar on top. Try this with a fresh, garden tomato and be amazed. This is the pasta salad recipe (with some vegan-friendly tweaks) that my mom brings out at all our summer BBQs and includes cherry tomatoes to celebrate this late summer food. I usually skip the tofu feta and pepperoni, but they make a nice addition too.
- 16 oz mini penne, cooked and drained
- 1 package of cherry tomatoes
- 2 jars marinated artichokes
- 1 chopped red onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 jar of kalamata olives
- Italian dressing – I like Good Seasons dressing mix packets, but your choice of Italian dressing will work well too
- Tofu feta (optional) – soak some small cubes of pressed tofu in the kalamata olive juice
- 1 package of vegan pepperoni (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.
I’m back from a brief VeganMoFo hiatus since we were traveling to Michigan for a wedding. No great vegan finds to report as our stay was very brief. While I was in Minnesota, I did manage to make vegan pancakes for my mom and husband, as well as mushroom stroganoff for my parents, which they happily ate up with no complaints. I used this recipe, but doubled the mushrooms since I couldn’t find Gardein beef at the MN Whole Foods. Alongside the stroganoff I served salad with my father-in-law’s salad dressing that is inspired by a restaurant he used to frequent in Santa Fe.
Ruben’s Salad Dressing
- 2 Cloves of garlic
- 1 Small yellow onion
- 3 Cups of oil (I used canola, my FIL uses corn)
- 3/4 Cups of soy sauce
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- Toasted sesame seeds
Blend all ingredients together, but add sesame seeds last. It’s so addictive and lasts for a while in the fridge. I haven’t tested the limits because we always eat it all within a couple of weeks.
Finally, while we were at the airport in Michigan, my sister surprised me by saying that she would go pescatarian/vegetarian for the month of October (we all start somewhere, right?). This is huge, as this girl has said multiple times that she would NEVER, EVER go vegetarian. So in the spirit of today’s post, I’m sending her the 30 Day Vegan Challenge and The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick Goudreau for inspiration.
To me nothing says retro quite like cocktail meatballs. Growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandparents (who just met my daughter for the first time today) and when they babysat I was almost always fed a balanced lunch of meatballs and Cheetos. I don’t know where to find vegan Cheetos, but these meatballs taste like the meatballs my grandpa made growing up. My husband and taste tester let me know that these would fool even the most die hard meat eater at a football tailgate and encouraged me to bring them to his fantasy football draft, but we had no leftovers this time around.
Combine together in a slow cooker – 1 package of vegan meatballs, 1 jar of grape jelly and one jar of Heinz chili sauce. Cook on low heat until sauce is blended together and meatballs are heated through.
Truth be told, a lot of my friends are already vegetarian or have vegetarian leanings, so today’s prompt scared me a bit because I wasn’t sure how I was going to make a new friend by Sept. 8. However, through the miracle of VeganMoFo, I’ve been finding all sorts of new bloggers and connections. I met the talented Michelle Lee of Boards&Knives through Twitter and am completely in love with her creative recipes and gorgeous photos. Her monster burger is out of this world.
Boards&Knives is about home-cooked recipes with no rules except two: it must be vegan and it must be delicious! Sometimes healthy and sometimes indulgent, the recipes on Boards&Knives strive to make vegan food look and taste accessible to everyone, with a mission of encouraging more people to try eating plant-based meals. Boards& Knives was created by Michelle Lee, a cookbook fanatic who currently resides in Austin, TX.
What’s more: today she has rounded up her picks for MoFo blogger buddies. Head over to her site and check it out.
My new vegan blogger friend