Popcorn Tofu Caesar Salad

I have made this popcorn tofu before, and it was soooo good. What a great idea to top a caesar salad with it! The dressing was pretty good, but I have had better. I did add some shredded Parmesan to the salad. This was just a really good combo.

rating: 9

Popcorn Tofu Caesar Salad
(http://veganfling.blogspot.com/)

serves 2-3

Ingredients:

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1 C broccoli, chopped
1 recipe Tofu Popcorn Chick’n (link in post)

optional: vegan bacon bits
Caesar Dressing:
2 Tbsp cashew butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp dijon mustard
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 C water
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Add all ingredients for dressing to a food processor and mix until well blended.

Chop the broccoli and steam until softened.
Place chopped lettuce, broccoli, and bacon bits into a bowl. Top with the dressing and toss to coat.
Top with the prepared tofu popcorn chick’n pieces and serve.

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Product Review: Gardein’s Mini Crispy Crabless Cakes

I spied these in Publix and quickly put them in my cart. I served them last night with fries and Gardein’s Fishless Filets, and husband and I loved them. I had planned on baking them on the same pan with the “fish”, but the package said a better way to prepare them is to fry them in a pan with some oil, so that’s what I did. These had a great texture and flavor. So good. And they are vegan!

rating: 9

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Product Review: Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Toona

I came across this at a vegan grocery store, and I bought a can (for $6!). It doesn’t look very appealing (it’s dark brown, very cat-food-like), and it’s packed in oil. I drained the oil and mixed the toona with some vegan mayo (Just Mayo). I didn’t have any pickles, or I would have chopped some up and added them. I toasted some bread and had a “tuna” sandwich! The verdict? It was good! It’s a little salty, but other than that, it was good! The can only made two sandwiches (one yesterday and one today), so if you have a large family, it could get pricey. I would buy this again, though. *I tried the Sea Salt flavor.

rating: 9

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Campanelle with Basil Pesto & Sauteed Tomatoes

This pasta was SUPER easy and was really good! This is a good recipe to have in your back pocket for when you need dinner on the table in a hurry. We all liked this one!

rating: 9

Campanelle with Basil Pesto & Sauteed Tomatoes
(http://www.ciaochowbambina.com/)

Ingredients:

1 qt. cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
4 cups packed fresh basil leaves
5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (place pine nuts in a frying pan and toast for 2-3 minutes until slightly browned and aromatic)
1 1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
1 lb. Campanelle pasta
1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella

Directions:

Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes:

Place 1 qt. of cherry tomatoes in a single layer in a saute pan.
Add the olive oil, salt and pepper to the tomatoes and mix until fully covered.
Saute for 5 – 7 minutes, tossing occasionally until the tomatoes crack open and lose their firmness.

Basil Pesto:
Combine the basil, garlic, and toasted pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
Add the olive oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to a serving bowl and mix in the Romano cheese.

Pasta:

Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 9 minutes.
Combine pasta, tomatoes, 1 cup of pesto and 1/2 lb. of mozzarella pieces in a large pasta dish and serve.

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Favorite Lemon Pepper Baked Tempeh Cubes

My friend Laura shared this recipe on her Facebook page, and the photo looked so good, I had to make it. I have my issues with tempeh. I love it when I order it in a restaurant, but when I make it, I hate it. I have to say that I didn’t love this, but that’s my issue, not the tempeh’s. :( Husband really liked this. I used this in my new obsession, a rice bowl! I made jasmine rice, pinto beans (with a little cumin and lime juice), sauteed kale (olive oil and salt/pepper), green onion, and avocado. WOW. This might be my new favorite dish.

rating: 7

Favorite Lemon Pepper Baked Tempeh Cubes
(http://www.thefullhelping.com/)

Ingredients:

¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons low sodium tamari
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons agave or maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon (heaping) black pepper, plus extra.
1 8-ounce block tempeh, cut into cubes (or strips)

Directions:

Whisk all of the ingredients except for the tempeh together in a small bowl. Place the tempeh cubes in an airtight storage container and pour the marinade over them. Cover and shake the container so that the tempeh is coated on all sides. Allow the tempeh to marinate for at least two hours in the fridge, or up to a day (I usually do it overnight).
Preheat your oven to 350F. Place the tempeh cubes on a parchment lined baking sheet and give them an extra turn of black pepper. Bake the tempeh for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges of the cubes are golden brown, flipping the cubes over halfway through baking. Serve.

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Cheddar “Bacon” Dip

I made this last week and used a vegetarian “bacon” substitute (normally I used Morningstar Farms fake bacon, but this time used a different brand). This was good! I could see making this for a party. It was super easy and was really very good!

rating: 9

Cheddar Bacon Dip
(http://www.plainchicken.com/)

Ingredients:

16 oz sour cream
1 packet Ranch dressing mix
3 oz precooked bacon pieces (in the bag not jar)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Mix together and refrigerate 24 hours. Serve with chips and/or veggies.

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Gnocchi With Pomodoro Sauce

Wow, was this good! My 9 year old requested a dish with gnocchi (currently his favorite pasta), so I found this one on Pinterest. It delivered! This was really good, super easy, and even better the next day. This one is a keeper! Note: I used mini gnocchi for this dish. :)

rating: 9

Gnocchi With Pomodoro Sauce
(http://www.foodiecrush.com/)

serves 4

Ingredients:

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
4 stems fresh Italian flat leaf parsley (I omitted)
4 stems fresh oregano (I omitted)
2 stems fresh rosemary
2 stems fresh basil, plus 2 more stems for garnish
½ yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
¼ cup heavy cream (optional)
1 16-ounce package potato gnocchi (I used mini gnocchi)
8 ounces cherry size mozzarella balls, cut in half
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Add ¼ cup olive oil to a 10-inch high sided sauté pan or a saucepan over medium heat. Add the parsley, oregano, rosemary and 2 stems of basil and cook for about 5 minutes or until the herbs become crisp. Remove the herbs and discard then add the onion and garlic to the oil, lowering the heat if needed so the onions cook gently and don’t brown. Cook until the onions are transparent, about 5-7 minutes, then crush the tomatoes with your hand and add to the pan with juice. Season with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thicken, stirring occasionally. Stir in the heavy cream and remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the gnocchi. Season generously with kosher salt and cook until the gnocchi float to the top of the boiling water. Drain and then place the gnocchi into the cooked sauce. Top with the halved mozzarella balls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese then drizzle the tops of the gnocchi with the remaining olive oil. Broil for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese melts and the tops become crispy. Garnish with additional basil leaves and serve immediately.

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