Cranberry Apple Salad with Pepitas and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
+ BEETxBEET GIVEAWAY!
I love the vegan clothing and awareness company BEETxBEET and that they stand up for our animal friends, but I love owner, activist and girl boss Jacky Wasserman even more. We've been friends for a few years now after meeting at a vegan Oktoberfest and interviewing her about her company back where she first started. She works her ass off saving animals and making rad clothing, which has expanded from a few humble t-shirts to hats, notebooks and sometimes even customized cup cozies! She's had some great new, clever shirts come out lately so we decided to team up and create a recipe based on each of her most popular styles - and pair them each with a giveaway of the t-shirt itself! We made some great meals we think you guys are going to love - and then got to eat them ALL. Haha, but only to make sure they tasted perfectly before we shared them. Promise. (Ahh, the life of a food blogger. It's rarely glamorous, but it is full of taste-tests!)
The first shirt we're repping is one of my personal faves, the 'In Plants We Trust' shirt. It is available in Men's + Women's styles, but I especially love this crop-top cut version. We paired it with a Cranberry Apple Salad with Pepitas + Apple Cider Vinaigrette because it is the perfect fall meal - and it's packed with plants! The tart apples and tangy dressing help balance out the sweet of the cranberries, and the pepitas make a great crunch at the end. This salad is packed with good-for-you ingredients and is a great starter before a meal or as a meal in itself.
You can get the recipe by scrolling down a bit. To enter the giveaway to WIN your very own 'In Plants We Trust' tee, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and fill out the widget. We'll let the widget randomly choose one winner and we'll email that person directly for size information + gender preference. GOOD LUCK!
INGREDIENTS Apple Cider Vinaigrette: 1/2 cup olive oil 1 clove garlic 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon each salt + pepper
4 cups mixed greens
2 green apples, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pepitas
DIRECTIONS In a blender combine online oil, garlic, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. If you don't have a blender or would prefer more of an oil + vinegar style dressing, simply mince garlic and whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl toss together the mixed greens, thinly sliced apples, cranberries + pepitas. Drizzle with dressing and serve!
NOTES Extra dressing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
'Tis the season of potato salad! Seriously, I've made more cole slaw and potato salads this month than I think I ever have...which is fine with me! We've had a lot of BBQ's, backyard parties, and things to celebrate this summer so we've been loving experimenting with different ingredients, and until last week, I had never thought to toss tahini in my the mix. I know - WHAT?! I LOVE pouring tahini on all things potato normally, and literally make a snack out of baked potatoes with tahini, lemon and dill on the regular. So how had I never poured any in my potato salad and served it up? Well, it was love at first taste. The addition of crunchy veggies and a little vegan mayo for creaminess makes it next-level good. I've been eating the leftovers all week! You AND your dinner guests will love it, too, I promise. So what're we waiting for?! Let's eat!
INGREDIENTS 2 lbs. red potatoes, chopped 1/2 red onion, chopped 3 ribs of celery, thinly sliced 4 green onions, thinly sliced 1 cup vegan mayo 1 cup tahini 2-4 tablespoons of lemon juice 3 tablespoons freshly chopped dill 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper
DIRECTIONS Place the potatoes in a large pot of water over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
While the potatoes are cooling, chop up the onions and celery and them set aside.
Whisk together the mayo, tahini, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Toss in the potatoes, chopped red + green onions and celery, and toss to combine.
Serve + enjoy immediately or keep it in the fridge up to a week!
NOTES Serve 6-8.
Leftovers may need to be tossed as the lemon juice and tahini will separate slightly overtime.
This simple salad was originally something I though might make it into my upcoming cookbook, Homestyle Vegan, but didn't make the cut. It's delicious and one of my favorite ways to get my greens in, but wasn't quite the caliber of comfort food I wanted in the book, so I'm serving it up here instead! I know what you’re thinking - so many GREENS! But I promise, this salad is a game changer. It’s incredibly simple to make but packs a ton of good-for-you ingredients and tastes incredible. We dress it in a light, tangy champagne vinaigrette that’ll leave you craving more.
INGREDIENTS Salad: 5 ounces (135 g) lacinato kale, rolled and thinly sliced 5 ounces (150 g) brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded 3/4 cup (50 g) green onions, thinly sliced 1/2 cup (70 g) pine nuts
Champagne Vinaigrette: 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil 1 small garlic clove 2 tablespoons (30 ml) champagne vinegar 1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 ml) lemon juice 3/4 teaspoon dijon mustard pinch each of salt + pepper DIRECTIONS Place prepared kale, brussels, green onions and pine nuts in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Prepare the dressing by blending olive oil, garlic, champagne vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a high-speed blender or food processor until creamy.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Enjoy immediately! NOTES Don’t have any champagne vinegar? Use whatever vinegar you have on hand, instead!
You can prepare the veggies and dressing separately ahead and dress as needed.
If you're into football you're probably getting ready for the big game next weekend! The Super Bowl, at least for my family, was always more about the food than the football. The focus was always on creating delicious, snack-able dishes to enjoy with our guests, but always included a TON of fried food. Ick.
Now that we're adults and can watch the game at our own place, we're more interested in making delicious dips and snacks that don't make us feel crummy or guilty about eating wayyyy too much. Because I inevitably will eat way too much. Luckily, we're gearing up some super delicious, healthier-for-you, gameday recipes to share with you all week...starting with our recipe for the BEST guacamole!
This guacamole is our absolute favorite. We''ve been making this version for a few years, and it's pretty similar to Chipotle's style, if you're familiar. There are a million different ways to make this green gold, but we like ours full of fresh lime juice, red onion and cilantro. We serve it up at every taco night, take it to parties, and munch it on gameday, too! It's going to become your NEW favorite guacamole. Let's get dippin'!
4 medium, ripe avocados
3 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 small jalapéno pepper, seeded and finely diced OR 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for spiciness)
Slice the avocados in half lengthwise, tossing the seed and scooping the green innards into a large mixing bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork or potato masher until it reaches your desired consistency; my recommendation is to keep it a little chunky.
Pour in the red onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and peppers, if using. Stir to combine. Serve immediately with chips or as an accompaniment to tacos or fajitas!
Serves about 4.
DON'T go squeezing (and ruining for everyone else) all the avocados at the store! If it has a little give and the stem doesn't just fall off, you're good. If it is overly softened or the stem falls off easily, revealing a dark or black area underneath, skip it.
The best way I've found to save leftover guac without it turning too brown is to cover it with plastic wrap, but push the plastic wrap against the guac in the bowl, so no air can stay trapped between the two. Alternately, you can try one of the million tricks found on the internet. Again though, the plastic wrap trick works pretty well. So does scraping off the brown layer and eating the perfectly good guac underneath.
Winter Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Persimmon, Pomegranate,
+ Cranberry Vinaigrette
It's getting all kinds of wintery up in here! Okay, so not like actually wintery because I live in Southern California where there is seemingly eternal sunshine - but winterish. Definitely more wintery in some places than others, but tomorrow it is officially December. Almost Christmas, and New Year's and 2016...but before that, we have a hard, long holiday season where the weather is cold and the sweets are always around and maybe you just can't possibly stomach another baked good. I get that. So here I am, offering friendship and a meal that'll pick your immune system off the floor and right the balance of good bacteria in your belly. It's packed full of fall + winter foods and drizzled with a tangy cranberry vinaigrette, which nicely rounds out the sweet and savory flavors. It's easy, it's delicious - let's EAT!
4 cups spinach mix OR mixed greens
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 medium sweet potato, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
2 persimmons, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch wedges
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sweet white onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon champagne OR apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup OR agave nectar
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash spinach and arrange on a serving plate or in a large bowl.
Slice sweet potato rounds, arrange onto a lined baking sheet and drizzle with the coconut oil. Add a sprinkle of salt + pepper, if you like. Roast them for 20-25 minutes, flipping about halfway through.
While the sweet potato roasts, prepare the persimmons, pomegranate arils, and pepitas and set aside.
When the sweet potato is finished, dress the greens with the sweet potato slices, persimmon wedges, pom arils, and pepitas.
To prepare the vinaigrette, simply combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender until dressing comes together. Adjust to your tastes as needed.
Toss the salad in the vinaigrette or drizzle it over the top, serve, and enjoy!
Serves 2-4, depending on portion size.
Another easily customized dish. Don't have sweet potatoes? Use squash! Don't have pumpkin seeds? Try sunflower seeds or dried cranberries. The must make here is really that tangy, fall-friendly vinaigrette - it tastes great!
You know what's better than gravy that's ready in just over 5 minutes? ALMOST NOTHING. Gravy is like my lifeblood - I could eat it slathered on just about any vegetable and I think it makes everything taste better. A good gravy, that is. I'm not much for store-bought packets, so whenever I want gravy I follow pretty much this exact recipe and whip up a batch to dump on everything. And since I've made it so many times, I've gotten pretty darn good at it. So good at it, I figured it was about time I shared it with you guys. And just in time for Thanksgiving! Kitchen time on Tofurkey Day is valuable, so who wants to waste it slaving over an hour long gravy recipe? NOT YOU! And sure as heck not me. So grab a pan, whip up a batch of this easy, flavorful gravy, and go smother some mashed potatoes in it. Or share it with our friends at the dinner table, if that's your jive turkey. Let's eat!
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1/4 cup flour (AP or WW)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon miso paste
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
In a small cast iron pan (or sauce pan, but we like the flavor and the way the butter browns a bit more in cast iron) melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the flour. The mixture will be chunky.
Stir and let brown for 1-2 minutes, then pour in vegetable broth, miso paste, onion powder and pepper. Whisk vigorously until completely combined. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling and thickening.
Turn the heat to low and simmer a few more minutes, until your desired gravy thickness is achieved. Serve immediately!
Makes about 2 cups.
If you don't have flour/ want to keep it GF, you can substitute cornstarch. Start with an equal amount and use more to thicken as needed.
Leftovers can be refrigerated up to a week in an airtight container.
Here in Southern California, the growing season starts earlier than most places. Thanks to our high temps and sunny days, our garden started growing back in March and hasn't stopped since. In other words, our parsley plant is bigger than most peoples large dog. We have SO MUCH parsely- we're overrun! And there's only so much garnishing you can do with parsley before you're sick of it. A better way to use up mass amounts of fresh, fragrant parsley? This simple Parsley Pesto recipe! It whips up quickly and taste great spread on everything! I'm loving pairing it with sweet cherry tomatoes on crackers and crusty bread and mixing it into pasta dishes like this Caprese Pasta Salad. I was hesitant when I started messing around with this stuff- what if I didn't like it as much as my traditional Hemp Seed Basil Pesto? What if it just didn't taste right? Well, SURPRISE! It tastes AMAZING! Adding the green onions and extra garlic give it a ton of flavor and take away from the bitterness of having too much parsley, and the nuts keep it smooth and mellow. It's green gold! And it saves well in the fridge for up to a week, so you can enjoy fresh, flavorful pesto all week long. Lets eat!
INGREDIENTS: 3 packed cups fresh parsley, stems removed
1 cup almonds or cashews
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
In a high speed blender (we used our Vitamix) or a food processor, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth, or until your desired texture- you can leave it chunkier if you like! [If you don't have a great blender to work with, try soaking your nuts in warm water for at least an hour before blending them, it'll help break them down much more easily.] Spread it on everything from bread and crackers to pizza dough and rice cakes. Saves well in an airtight container for about a week, or until pesto begins to brown. Enjoy!
We've been fans of Field Roast for a few years now and have always loved incorporating their flavorful grain-based sausages in jambalaya, soups, and on their own in a bun and slathered in mustard and onions. At Expo West this year, we FINALLY tried the long-awaited and AMAZING Chao cheeses in all three flavors - tomato cayenne, creamy original, and coconut herb. They're super realistic in flavor + texture to what I remember munching on a kid and they are the perfect filling for an ooey-gooey grilled cheese. Alex is big on finding the PERFECT veggie burger- and as far as texture and flavor goes, Field Roast's Hand-Formed is his first choice. Is it the most realistic looking burger to a meat patty we've seen yet- especially pre-cooked. You could convince any meat eater that whats in the plastic is a turkey burger for sure...if you trash the label, of course. The burger base is a blend of whole barley, carrots, garlic, onions, and celery- and of course, a secret blend of spices! They're high in protein and non-GMO, and are hand-made in small batches, by hand, in Seattle.
When we were sent a few extra samples after the Expo, we decided to create (what we're calling) a Fiesta Burger smothered in Firecracker Sauce, Roasted Poblano Peppers, and Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw...and its fucking delicious. So, let's just pretend we're celebrating Cinco de Mayo three weeks early, grab a margarita, and get cooking. Olé!
2 Field Roast Hand-Formed Burgers
2 slices of Field Roast Chao Tomato Cayenne Cheese
2 focaccia buns, sliced
1 large or 1 medium poblano peppers
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegan mayo
1-2 tablespoons hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
DIRECTIONS Roasted Peppers:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roast washed, halved, and seeded peppers on a lined baking sheet for 15-25 minutes, until skin gets bubbly and brown. Remove from oven, let cool, and peel off bubbly skin so you're left with just the meaty part of the pepper. Set aside.
Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw:
In a large mixing bowl toss together cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine mayo, hot sauce, and paprika. Stir well to combine.
Heat a teaspoon of oil over medium heat in a large cast-iron pan. Fry Field Roast patties until crisp and browning on one side. Flip burgers, toss on a slice of tomato cayenne cheese, and let burgers cook until equally crisp and browning on the bottom side.
While the burgers cook, slather bottom patties with about 2 tablespoons each of the Firecracker Sauce. Top with the cooked burger and melty cheese, then layer on the roasted poblano peppers, Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw, and sliced avocado. Spread a bit more Firecracker Sauce on the top bun, add it to the pile, and enjoy! Serves 2. Leftover slaw + firecracker sauce can be refrigerated for up to a week.
Strawberry Walnut Kale Salad with Creamy Champagne Vinaigrette
INGREDIENTS Champagne Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon each salt + pepper
4 cups kale, washed and gently massaged
1/2 cup thinly sliced strawberries
1/4 chopped walnuts
1/4 cup green onions
1/4 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
fresh lemon, garnish
In a blender combine online oil, garlic, champagne vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. If you don't have a blender or would prefer more of an oil + vinegar style dressing, simply mince garlic and whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
Remove leaves from stems by tearing the leaves downward. Toss kale stems in the compost (my dog loves to eat them, too!) and tear or rip kale leaves into bite-sized pieces. Wash in a colander, using to hands to gently squeeze and 'massage' the kale, so it becomes slightly less crunchy. Pat or shake off excess water, and toss kale into a large bowl. Add in chopped strawberries, walnuts, onions, and cucumber and gently toss to combine.
Serve with champagne vinaigrette and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Extra dressing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Enjoy!
With less than a week 'till Easter, the days are getting longer and the trees are sprouting buds. Spring has officially sprung! I've been enjoying running with my pup Maddie in the warm, balmy weather, and here in California, our garden strawberries are even starting to ripen. That's where this recipe inspiration came from- have to eat up the strawberries before the caterpillars do! This is our simple, garden-fresh version of a classic strawberry walnut salad. The tangy champagne vinaigrette is my favorite and blending it helps keep it creamy and light. This sweet salad balances perfectly on a bed of slightly bitter, crunchy kale- though we do massage it to make it a little less intimidating. Add some green onions and a squeeze of lemon and let's eat!
When we first started this blog, one of the first things we tried to recreate was a vegan version of In-n-Out's Double Double burger. It was a sad attempt- bad photography, ingredients that weren't quite right, and the flavor just wasn't there. But 4 years later, we vegans are blessed with some amazing advances in the way of faux meats and cheeses, and our photography has gotten quite a bit better. If you're not from around here, you may not realize the cultural significance of In-n-Out on Southern California, but it is considered the best of the best in the fast-food world and has longer drive-thru lines than I've ever seen anywhere else. A 'double double' means two patties & two slices of cheese, and animal style is when they slather it in their thousand island-style sauce and grilled onions. In fact, its the first meal I ever ate when I came to California!
As the base for this burger, we used the amazingly meaty new patty from Beyond Meat, the BEAST BURGER. Yup. The beast burger. Its totally beastly, and would totally fool even the most regular of beef burger eaters. And it was the perfect substitute in this burger. It kept the flavorful, umami taste of a normal In-n-Out burger, but doesn't leave you feel guilty after eating a double stack. We slathered it in homemade 'sauce' and topped it with fresh slices of tomato and lettuce. Craving a juicy burger? Let's do this!
1/2 cup vegan mayo
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons relish
2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
1 teasoon lemon juice
salt + pepper to taste
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 large white onion, diced
1/4 each salt + pepper
4-5 tablespoons cold water
In a small mixing bowl combine mayo, ketchup, relish, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine. Set aside.
Heat oil in a medium cast iron pan over medium heat. Add diced onion, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, adding 1 tablespoon of water each time onions begin to dry out. Repeat this process until onions are dark brown, soft, and caramelized. Keep warm on low heat or set aside.
In the same or another large frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Place two patties on the pan, and slather the top of each patty with 1 tablespoon mustard. Cook about 2 minutes on now side, until the patty is beginning to brown and crisp. Flip, add a slice of cheese to each patty, and fry patties in the mustard for another 2 minutes or so, until cheese is melted. While burgers cook, place buns bottom side down in a greased frying pan and heat about 1 minute on each side, until edges just begin to crisp.
Remove from heat, and top with spread, pickles, burgers, onions, tomato and lettuce. Then EAT!