Vegan Enchilada Sauce

Vegan Enchilada Sauce PinThis Vegan Enchilada Sauce recipe is mildly spicy with delicious depth of flavor. It’s designed to go with our Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas, but it tastes great on lots of things!

Amelia makes us a large batch and we keep it in the fridge for up to a week. I like to heat up some leftover sweet potatoes and pour this sauce over them. You could also use this enchilada sauce on Vegan Nachos or as a dip for corn chips.

As with almost everything we make these days, this recipe is oil-free. There’s just no need for oil in most recipes except some desserts.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Vegan Sweet and Sour Seitan with Veggies

Vegan Sweet and Sour Seitan PinThis Vegan Sweet and Sour Seitan with Veggies recipe is sweet, savory and delicious! It’s also a little spicy, thanks to the hot pepper Amelia added.

This recipe was inspired by a recipe in Dr. Esselstyn’s book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. I read Dr. Esselstyn’s book after discovering I still had high cholesterol after more than 2 years of eating a Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) diet. And I found this out on the same day my mom had a stent put in her heart to fix a large blockage. You can read more about this bad day in my blog post, “Can Vegans Get Heart Disease?

Dr. Esselstyn’s book is full of delicious, low-fat and oil-free recipes. It’s also full of scientific evidence showing that a WFPB diet is the only diet proven to prevent and reverse heart disease.

We modified this Vegan Sweet and Sour Seitan with Veggies recipe a little bit by using both broccoli and cauliflower, as well as a hot pepper that we got at our favorite mercado here in Cuenca, Ecuador. We also used a fresh pineapple instead of canned, which meant we had less juice than you get from canned pineapple. We added a tablespoon of brown sugar to make up for the missing sweetness. Finally, we changed the order of things a bit to make it a little quicker and easier to prepare.

It’s hard to find cornstarch here in Ecuador, so we use the widely available yucca powder as the sauce thickening agent. You can also use agar powder, tapioca powder or arrowroot. Use whatever you can find.

Try different veggies, using whatever you have on hand, or veggies that need to be used before they go bad. Being creative brings new and exciting flavors to recipes so they stay interesting.

We got our no-oil seitan from Fratello Vegan here in Cuenca, Ecuador. In addition to delicious vegan food made to order with a great view of the Tomebamba river, they also sell seitan, vegan chorizo sausage, vegan desserts and other vegan foods that can be hard to find in grocery stores.

While the plant-based and vegan movements are growing rapidly here in Ecuador, the grocery stores are still a bit behind the times. They do have some vegan options, but the selection is limited and often out-of-stock. It’s nice that Fratello is helping us to fill in the gaps.

Vegan Sweet and Sour Seitan Amelia Allergic ReactionAfter we ate this delicious meal, Amelia found out her pineapple allergy is still alive and well. Normally, cooking pineapple seems to make it safe for her to eat, but about 30 minutes after dinner, she broke out in hives all over her body. They lasted about an hour and then went away, thankfully.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Cauliflower Chickpea Buddha Bowl

Cauliflower Chickpea Buddha Bowl PinThis Cauliflower Chickpea Buddha Bowl recipe was inspired by a trip to a plant-based restaurant in Cuenca, Ecuador. It’s one of our favorite restaurants in Cuenca and they have several Buddha Bowls on their menu.

The co-owner and chef, Paul, backpacked throughout South America and ended up in Montevideo, Uruguay where he got a job as a chef in a plant-based restaurant. He returned to Cuenca with one of his co-workers and they opened their own plant-based restaurant called Café Libre. It’s what I would call gourmet vegan food (except for a couple of items that contain eggs).

Not only is the food delicious, it’s also presented in a way that is sure to draw your phone from your pocket so you can take a picture and share it with your friends on Facebook. It’s that good!

This Cauliflower Chickpea Buddha Bowl recipe is my own creation, made with some of my favorite ingredients and spices. Amelia usually makes our new recipes, but she put me in charge of the Buddha bowls since I love them so much.

We had some cauliflower that needed to be used so that’s where I started. Paul has a chickpea Buddha Bowl on the Café Libre menu and we had a can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in the cupboard so that was ingredient number two.

We always have onions, garlic and chili peppers on hand so those were natural choices. I also like to add mushrooms for their chewy texture. Baby bellas are our favorite type and we usually have some of those in the fridge.

Swiss chard is a very nutritious dark leafy green, and recipes like this are a good way to add dark leafy greens to your diet. Kale, spinach or a combination would also be great. You could also skip the swiss chard and pair this with a dark leafy green Hearty Side Salad or a low calorie Spinach Salad.

Most of the time, we sauté with vegetable broth to reduce the calories (1 tablespoon has 120 calories) and also because oil isn’t a whole food. There is also a lot of evidence that oil may be as bad for our health as any other fatty food. Dr. Michael Greger thinks of “oil as the table sugar of the fat kingdom” and Mic the Vegan calls it the Vegan Killer.

From a calorie perspective alone, we think it’s worth avoiding oil if possible. And there’s absolutely no need to sauté with oil when steam frying with vegetable broth (or vegetable bouillon or water or wine) works just as well.

The remaining ingredients give the mixture its flavor and a lot of extra nutritional benefits. Lime is loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants. Apple cider vinegar has been shown to help with weight loss, turmeric has been shown to fight cancer and spices in general are loaded with antioxidants that have been shown to fight aging and all sorts of cancers.

I like a little sweetness to go with my spicy so I added some agave. Normally I would use maple syrup, but we didn’t have any (sniff sniff). You can skip this to reduce the calories and the liquid sugar. You can also skip the salt if that’s a concern (especially if you have high blood pressure or kidney disease), but it helps bring out the other flavors.

This is a great one-pot lunch recipe that you can make ahead of time and eat it cold or heat it up the next day. I made this a two serving recipe, but if you serve it over 3/4 cup of brown rice, you can get 4 servings out of it.

This Cauliflower Chickpea Buddha Bowl recipe is a nutrition powerhouse that’s loaded with healthy sources of protein, carbs and fat. It’ll keep you satisfied and powered until dinner. Enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad PinThis Cucumber Salad is a fresh and delicious summer favorite that tastes great year round. It’s very easy to make with lots of tasty leftovers. One serving only has 18 calories, so you could eat as much as you want!

My mom has made this recipe my entire life, but I never liked cucumbers until going plant-based. A lot of vegans and plant-based eaters talk about how much their tastes change over time as they eat more plant foods and less of the addictive, taste numbing sugar, salt and fat.

Cucumbers are one of those foods that I tried numerous times throughout my life, but never liked. In fact, you could say I had an aversion to them…they tasted AWFUL! But after about 6 months of eating a healthy plant-based diet, they finally started tasting like food, and now I really like them.

I encourage you to continue trying new and old things on your plant-based journey. As your tastes change, you just might start liking things you used to hate.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Vegan BBQ Sauce

Vegan BBQ Sauce PinThis Vegan BBQ Sauce is thick, sweet, spicy and a little sweat inducing. It reminds me of the BBQ sauce I grew up eating in Kansas City. I guess that makes it a Kansas City style BBQ sauce.

We made this specifically for our BBQ Jackfruit, but it’ll go well on any type of BBQ dish if you like KC-style BBQ. It even tastes great as a topping on Baked or Boiled Potatoes, or as a dipping sauce for your Vegan French Fries.

We like our BBQ sauce thick, but you can add a little extra water if you like yours thinner. If it’s too spicy for you, cut back on the black pepper a little.

We used our Vegan Ketchup recipe to minimize the calories, preservatives and potentially non-vegan ingredients.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas

These Vegan Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas are so deliciously amazing we can’t get enough of them! They’re sweet, spicy, savory and oh so flavorful!

If you’ve ever cooked your own enchiladas, especially without deep frying the tortillas in oil, you’ll be able to sympathize with us on how challenging it is to get them to look pretty. We had to cook this recipe 3 times to not only perfect the ingredients, but to get the pictures to come out well enough to post on our website.

But it was SOOOO worth it!

The trick was to steam the tortillas in a steamer pot for about 1o to 15 seconds before assembling them. Kind of like how they do it at Chipotle. That made the tortillas very soft and pliable. We also used Mi Rancho Organic Corn Tortillas with Guar Gum, which also helped hold them together through the steaming and assembly process.

We actually took these photos before we baked them, though. So yours might not look the same when they come out of the oven. You can see in the prep photo below what they look like in the casserole dish fresh from the oven.

These Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas pair well with a little shredded lettuce salad on the side, along with some Corn Tortilla Corn Chips  and some of my Grandpa’s Dipping Hot Sauce. We used grandpa’s hot sauce in our enchiladas, too. If you plan to do the same, be sure to make it ahead of time.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Potato and Cabbage Soup

Potato and Cabbage Soup PinThis delicious Potato and Cabbage Soup was created from spare veggies we had lying around our refrigerator. At only 126 calories for roughly 2 cups, this also makes a great weight-loss recipe.

One of Amelia’s pet peeves is the sheer volume of broccoli stalk that comes on a relatively small head of broccoli. For years, we’ve been throwing the stalks in the trash even though they account for almost 70% of the weight charged by the grocery store.

We’re really striving to be less wasteful, so we’ve been figuring out how to eat the parts of veggies we’ve been throwing away, like broccoli stalks and Beet Greens. That’s why Amelia invented this recipe…mainly to use the broccoli stalks we didn’t want to waste.

She cut the tough nubs off the stalk, chopped it up into small pieces and threw them in this tasty Potato and Cabbage Soup. Since broccoli stalks have the same nutritional content as broccoli florets, we’ve been throwing away most of the broccoli’s nutrition! But not anymore!

We also use our spare veggies to make Easy Vegetable Broth from Scraps. That recipe puts our veggie scraps to good use and saves us at least $20/month in store-bought veggie broth.

This recipe is very low calorie, but pretty filling. However, you should still pair it with a Hearty Side Salad, some Steamed Broccoli or a slice of Whole-Grain Bread.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.
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Vegan Lentil Loaf

Vegan Lentil Loaf PinThis Vegan Lentil Loaf is a veganized version of the ever popular meatloaf. The lentils, brown rice and oats make this a hearty and nutritious meal while the generous amount of seasonings give it tons of flavor.

My mom’s meatloaf has always been one of my favorite dishes so after going vegan, it was something I really missed. Thankfully, Amelia figured out how to make a veganized version of meatloaf that tastes a lot like mom’s. That’s one more thing that was easily replaced with a cruelty free, healthy and environmentally friendly alternative!

This recipe pairs well with Green Beans, a Side Salad or Steamed Broccoli for your green dish. To make the meal even more filling without adding a lot of extra calories, try our Easy Polenta recipe, a Vegan Baked Potato or Boiled Potatoes.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Grandpa’s Vegan Dipping Hot Sauce

Vegan Dipping Hot Sauce PinI was raised on Grandpa’s Vegan Dipping Hot Sauce recipe and loved it! Although he didn’t call it vegan, it didn’t contain any animal products…only delicious veggies straight from his garden.

Yes, this is my Grandpa Gene’s amazing jarred hot sauce recipe, modified to make it a more manageable batch size. He made this hot sauce using 5 quarts of homegrown tomatoes. That’s 160 ounces of tomatoes!

He loved giving them out to friends and family, and we loved eating them! This recipe only makes about 40 ounces and I’ve reduced everything to about 1/4 of the original except the salt and sugar, which I reduced to 1/8 of the original.

Original Vegan Dipping Hot Sauce RecipeHere’s his original recipe card in case you’re uber ambitious and want to make the full batch (click to enlarge). The original recipe calls for a lot of salt and sugar but I cut it in half and it still tastes great. Maybe that’s because our tastebuds have changed and are more sensitive since going vegan.

While most hot sauce recipes are meant to be consumed in small amounts, dripped on your food to add some spice, this recipe is different. You can still use it as a condiment, but it’s superb as a dipping hot sauce. It’s spicy, but not so much that you can eat it with your favorite corn chips. You can also make it spicier or more mild by varying the quantity of jalapeño peppers.

We prefer to make our own Corn Tortilla Corn Chips using organic, oil-free corn tortillas. This Vegan Dipping Hot Sauce also tastes great on Boiled Potatoes, Vegan Baked Potatoes, Tofu Scramble, Vegan Huevos Rancheros, or any other dish that could use a little extra flavor.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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Potato Cheese Sauce

This Potato Cheese Sauce tastes far better than the typical “cheese” like product found a mile from the refrigerated section in the grocery story. You know the stuff I’m talking about…in yellow boxes stacked on the store shelf…the only thing that’ll outlive Twinkies and cockroaches when the world ends.

Believe it or not, those “cheese” products are made with milk and whey (the leftover scraps from the cheese making process). How they can store it outside the refrigerator is a testament to the copious amounts of preservatives they contain. They also contain a lot of fat and cholesterol.

Lucky for you, this Potato Cheese Sauce recipe has an even better taste and it’s FAR more nutritious. There are no preservatives, cholesterol, fat or any of the other nasty ingredients found in the processed “cheese.” Add to that, this recipe contains only 39 calories for a quarter cup while the other stuff has 180 calories!

Enjoy this delicious Potato Cheese Sauce with your Mac & Cheese, Vegan Nachos, broccoli, cauliflower, fondue or any other time you need a cheese sauce.

If you make this recipe, please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And please share with your friends to help spread the word about healthy plant-based eating.

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