Saturday, July 5, 2014

Classic, Versatile, Vegan Pancakes

I often mention how much I love pancakes. I also love color of these: purple pancakes!

This may relate to the fact that I loved purple so much as a kid I had a pink and purple themed birthday party. I wouldn't know how to plan such an event: props, mom. These may have been a good breakfast to start such a magnificent purple birthday. 

And I admit...they don't turn out too purple after cooking..more that perfect golden brown. I'm also gonna admit that the purple is really just a side effect of the blueberries I mixed in..but the batter is still fun! No judgement....

Ok, here's how it goes: 

           Serves: 2-3 people
           Total time: 10-15 minutes

  • SO MANY BLUEBERRIES. Frozen get the purple color. Just add as much as you desire. 
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup flour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar (reacts with the above soda to make it extra fluffy!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup vanilla milk of some kind. I always prefer soy.
  • Oil or vegan butter for cooking/ topping

  • First, smash the nanner. You should know this by now. 
  • Mix together almost all of the remaining ingredients. Leave out the blueberries till the end. Because I said so, that's why.
  • Add blueberries. BANG:

I mean really, just look at the mesmerizing marbling of those berries! Mmm.

  • Add vegan butter or vegetable oil to a pan, heat to medium or medium-low heat. 
  • Scoop batter onto pan into desired size. 
  • You know how to cook pancakes! Do it! Wait to flip until you see a lot of bubbles. Trust yourself here. Try try try not to smoosh the cake down with your spatula. They turn out fluffier this way. 
  • Ok. Done. Congratulations on the hard work! Top with more butter and more blueberries and eat sooo many! No need to share. I understand. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sweet Potato & Chickpea Hash

Hi! All I ever really make for breakfast is pancakes and biscuits (biscuit recipe coming soon!), so I am attempting something different and unique! I've made hash browns before, but not like this. Sweet potatoes were my inspiration (although I actually used yams). I added chickpeas for protein as well as some other secret ingredients!
         Prep time: 60 minutes (15 minutes active prep)
         Cook time: 10 minutes

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes or yams
  • Brown sugar
  • 1 4 oz can of green chiles*
  • Green Tobasco sauce*
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 leaves of kale (chopped)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
*Trust me. The spicy-sweet combo is AMAZING

And here's what you'll do:

1. Bake sweet potatoes. I do mine at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes (until soft). If you want a more hash-browny dish, cook for half the time so the potatoes are harder. Refrigerate.

2. Roast about 1/3 of the can of chickpeas! I used this recipe for inspiration but turned the temperature down to 400 degrees to get softer peas and used only brown sugar for cooking (Just guess for the can't really go wrong here, just make sure each pea gets some sugar!). I also added more sugar after flipping the peas over after the first 15 minutes. Set aside until just before serving

3. Pour the rest of the chickpeas into a medium sized bowl and smash them! Make sure to leave some whole or partially whole beans because texture is key! Add green chiles and a few shakes of green Tobasco. Mix.

4. Shred baked taters. Add them to the chic pea mash.
5. Add the diced red pepper, kale, and plenty of brown sugar (to taste) to the mixture and mix well.

6. Add EVOO to a skillet (on medium-high heat) and glob some of your mash onto it. Cook however long it takes for them to turn brown (~10 minutes).

7. Serve with the chickpeas you roasted earlier, and enjoy! You and whoever you share this with will be amazed by how cool this taste! SUPER DELICIOUS.

I served these with some vegan breakfast sausage. They made a great pair!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Awesome Brussel Sprouts

Ok, ok. I know what you're thinking, but hear me out! The way these are done is fantastic. You won't be able to get enough! The secret is popping them into the oven at the end.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Fresh (not frozen) brussel sprouts
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Pistachios (optional) -- add in the middle of stove top cooking. 

And here's what you'll do:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the sprouts in half and remove the bases. Peel off outer layer or any layers that have gone bad. 
  3. On stovetop, toss sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper in an appropriately sized oven-safe pan (cast iron is best) on and cook on medium-low heat**. 
  4. Rotate the sprouts every few minutes until they have started to turn golden-brown- some will be darker than others, but make sure that most sprouts are a little golden. Add pistachios at some point after sprouts begin to brown (timing not crucial here). 
  5. Squeeze lemon over sprouts before putting them into the oven for 10 minutes**. 
  6. Enjoy them like candy! Seriously, SO GOOD.

**If you don't have an oven safe pan, you can still make this snack, just make sure to cook it only stove a little while longer (until they get crispy!). I still strongly reccomend oven time.

Thanks, Brennan, for teaching Eliot this great recipe!

Super Easy Zucchini-Pepper Pasta

It's college. You move around a lot, are not home very often, and are hungry very often. This is my go-to pasta! It's especially great when you are crunched for time but still want something better than ramen!

Cook time: ~15 minutes

Here's what you'll need for about 2 servings:

  • 2 cups of whole grain pasta (I used rotini)
  • 1 small or medium zucchini 
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • Oregano (to taste)
  • Basil (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Olive oil
  • Nutritional yeast flakes (optional topping) 
  • Any variety vegan cheese (optional topping)

Here's what you'll do:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Add salt and/or olive oil to water during cooking for taste (Make sure to use a large enough pot to allow for adding of veggies at the end).
  2. Meanwhile, add about a tablespoon of oil to a shallow pan, heat to medium. 
  3. Slice zucchini into half centimeter thick rounds.
  4. Slice bell pepper lengthwise into strips.
  5. Mince garlic.
  6. Add veggies, garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper to hot oil. Sauté until veggies get nice and singed.
  7. If your'e good at timing, everything will come out at the same time. Drain pasta and pour the veggies into the pot containing pasta. 
  8. Add vegan cheese and nutritional flakes now if you like (totally not necessary, but mixes it up if you make this a lot like me!). Mix. 
  9. Serve and enjoy. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lion Burgers

Happy 1 month of the Vegan Lion! I've sort of been saving this recipe for a special event and here it is! Enjoy!

Sometimes I find it hard to keep up with friends I used to live with now that we've all moved out of the dorms, but throwing little dinners keeps us in touch! This time I invited two close friends and decided to make them homemade burgers! It was pretty difficult, especially because I've only made burgers once before and they weren't all that tasty...but these...these are SO tasty. The cayenne pepper really gives it a good kick.

May I present a Vegan Lion original: black bean - lentil Lion Burgers!!

     Active prep time: 1-2 hours
     Passive prep time: 24 hours (for soaking the black beans)
     Cook time: 15 minutes
     Makes: 16-20 patties

  • 1 16oz bag of black beans (soaked/cooked according to directions) 
  • 8oz lentils (any color will do, I used green)
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 3-4 medium sized carrots, shredded (small amount finely chopped, instead of shredded OK)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 4oz can diced green chile peppers
  • ~1/2 medium yellow onion (I used partially fresh onions and partially pre-cooked I had left over from a vegan easter roast)
  • 6-7 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts (optional)
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 2 egg equivalents (I used flax eggs - click here to learn how to make one!)
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Whole wheat hamburger buns
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp tarragon
  • 3/8 tsp ginger 
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of dill
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 10-20 shakes of green Tobasco hot sauce 
Toppings I recommend: 
  • sliced cucumbers (I find these 10x better than pickles)
  • sliced tomato
  • kale
  • mushrooms sauteed in red wine or red wine vinegar (make enough for about 5 per burger)

1. Prepare black beans, lentils, and rice. Lentils should be soft, but still hold their shape. I cooked mine (green lentils) for about 40 minutes.

2. Shred carrots, mince garlic, chop onion and pepper. 


2. Combine chopped veggies and garlic in a LARGE bowl, add canned green chiles and mix! 

3. Meanwhile, drain the cooked black beans super well and put into a medium sized bowl. Then use potato masher to mash them (see below). You want to leave some whole and half beans intact for texture, but beware: fewer mashed beans = patties more likely to fall apart.

4. Combine lentils and rice and mix them into the vegetables. This will take some muscle, but keep going!

5. Prepare spices in small bowl. Add hemp hearts, then mix into the lentil-veggie bowl. Again, work through the pain to get it well integrated! Taste and make sure its as spicy as you like it!

6. Now, add the flour and the flax eggs (I used flax meal to make these and it still worked fine! Also, refrigeration is key!). Continue mixing VERY well.

7. Form patties. I made 18 but some were really big! Freeze all extras.

8. Heat olive oil on medium heat before adding burgers. Cook time will take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes depending on how hot the pan is and how big the burgers are! General tip: take your time between flips and flatten the patties with the spatula often to ensure they don't fall apart.

9. Prepare mushrooms while waiting on the burgers. I used the same pan! First heat olive oil, then add mushrooms and red wine vinegar. Saute for just a few minutes on medium heat. These are SO perfect with Lion Burgers. Highly recommended.

10. Make a dorky table arrangement for the guests....

11. Build your burger and enjoy!

I had so much fun making these burgers! They are definitely the best burgers I've ever made -- totally worth the effort. And the best part? This recipe makes so many you can have more than one dinner party to show of your cooking skills! 

Thanks for reading and happy cooking!