Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sweet & Spicy Korean Lentils

Last night I had my first try when it came to spicing Korean Lentils.  I used green lentils in this which seems to take me forever to cook down.  I prefer red lentils - just for the record.  These were ok for a first attempt but I will be tweaking them.  The flavoring ended up being pretty tasty and it seemed to marinate them but I would like a little bit more standing sauce for these.  I can see them working in a Korean equivalent of a Sloppy Joe that way.

Ingredients to combine & cook down:
1 C Lentils
2 1/2 C Water
1/4 C Bragg's Aminos
2 T Minced Garlic
2 T Minced Onion
1 T Minced Ginger
1 t Sesame Oil
1 T White Sesame Seeds
3 T Brown Sugar
Red Pepper Flakes (to taste)

The default seems to be to throw a bit of them on top of the rice like I did in the first 2 photos.  In the last one, I couldn't help but stir the flavorful lentils in with the rice.

Again, I would also like to try them on a bun for a twist on a Sloppy Joe but I really think it needs a thick sauce.  Like a Korean BBQ Sauce or something.

Don't know unless you try, right?  What do you thinking of my Vegan Korean Lentils?

Monday, November 20, 2017

3 Vegan Dipping Sauces & Other Tidbits!

I finally bought some potatoes last week.  I know that doesn't sound extremely exciting or out of the ordinary but it's been a while since I last purchased fresh, whole potatoes.  The ones I bought were VERY juicy, too!  Next comes a confession.  Since then...I have made oven fries and wedges 3 days in a row!  What made these special are the vegan dipping sauces I paired with them!  This first one is a Vegan Garlic Tahini Aioli...

1 C Vegan Mayo
2 T Tahini
3 t Garlic, Minced
4 Drops (or more) Orangic Liquid Smoke
1 T (or more) Lemon Juice
Sea Salt (to taste)

Next up is Spicy Paprika Dip...

1 C Cashews
1/2 C Almond Milk
3 T Lemon Juice
2 T Grapeseed Oil
1 T Dried Onion, Minced
1 T (or more) Smoked Paprika
1/2 t (or more) Sea Salt
1 Squirt Sriracha

I enjoyed BOTH of these quite a bit.  I did notice the first one with the Tahini in it was even better the 2nd day after being refrigerated for a while.

Creamy Avocado Dip is the final one of the trio!

2 Avocadoes
2 t Garlic Tahini (or 2 t Garlic, 2 t Tahini)
2 T Lemon Juice
Splash of Grapeseed Oil (optional)
Sea Salt (optional and to taste)
Parsely (optional and to taste)

This one was pretty YUMMY, too!  Of course, I have been craving Avocadoes more than usual lately and was FINALLY able to find a decent price for them.  They were $4.98 for 5 of them.  Not great but still lower than I have seen in MONTHS!

In other news...

A shout out to some of my newest visitors to My Blissful Journey in both Bangladesh and Latvia.  Last night I also had someone stop by from Greece!  I LOVE seeing all of these wonderful neighbors from other countries stopping by!  I will now be doing some research on more vegan recipes from those countries and hope to try more of those foods (and recipes) out soon!  If you have any suggestions I would love to hear about them in comments!

A few things I have been trying to catch up on lately are...

The Walking Dead and the current season.  I'm only into episode 4, I think, but I hope to get caught up this week.

I'm also in the process of thumbing thru the following eBooks...

Get Up and Green: Nourishing Recipes for Abundant Energy & Glowing Skin by Elisa Museles of Kale & Chocolate, Live Vegan Vibrantly presents A Delicious, Healthy, & Nutritious Holiday, Forks Over Knives "A Forks Thanksgiving, and The Everyday Guide to...Mindful Eating from Trish M. Ward.

 What have you been up to?

Sunday, November 19, 2017

My New Favorite Vegan Cheese Sauce Recipe!

I know I have posts a LOT of vegan cheese sauces, dips, spreads, etc over the years and there are many I like for many different reasons.  I also seems like I do them a little different each time I use them or make them.

Today I threw together another vegan cheese sauce and absolutely LOVED it!  I don't know if there has been another attempt I have enjoyed this much in a long time - if ever!  Here are a few photos of the Mac & Cheese I covered it in!

All in a blender...

1 C + 1 Handful Cashews, Soaked
1 C Water
1 T Garlic Tahini
3 Handfuls of Nutritional Yeast
1 T Lemon Juice (more to taste)
2 Squirts Yellow Mustard
1/2 t Turmeric
1 T Dried Minced Onion
Black Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste)

I think the Garlic Tahini addition really took it to the next level and helped with the over all creaminess!

It also kept the same creamy consistency and didn't dry out like some of the other cashew sauces I have done tend to do.

I had some left over and used it to dip pretzels in!  I didn't have any corn chips in the house or I would have try it on them, too!

I know I will continue to try different combos but I have to say - for the foreseeable future - this is my new favorite vegan cheese sauce!

I can't wait to try it on a baked potato!  Another pair I can think of is on top of cooked broccoli!

I can't wait to try and make this again!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Flashback Spicy Peanut Sauce, Sweet Potato Mash with Vegan Cashew Cream Sauce, and Chia Chai Latte

Someone recently mentioned to me that they were looking for more peanut sauces to try so I went back thru my photos and recipes and came across this one.  It's a Spicy Peanut Sauce that just so happens to be vegan.

1/2 C Peanut Butter 
1/4 C Coconut Aminos
3 Cloves Garlic
1 T Sesame Oil
Juice of 2 Lemons 
1 T Sriracha (or other hot sauce)
1/2 t Cayenne

If needed: Water to thin & Sprinkle of Coconut Sugar to sweeten

This might look like a colorful slop but it was actually quite good. I need to make it again soon! It's a Sweet Potato and Spinach Mash with Vegan Cashew Cream Sauce.

(For The Mash)
About 1 Pound of Cubed Sweet Potato
About 4 C Spinach

(For The Sauce)
1 C Cashews
Up to 1 C Water
1 Clove Garlic
1 T Grapeseed Oil
Nutmeg & Black Himalayan Sea Salt To Taste

Cook Sweet Potatoes until soft.
Add Spinach and stir or gently mash leaving lumps.
Set Aside.
For the sauce add all those ingredients into a high speed blender until smooth.
Drizzle sauce over the Sweet Potato and Spinach Mash.
Serve warm.

It's been too long since I have attempted a Chia Pudding but the last time I did enjoy one I was pretty hot on a Chia Chai Latte for a while.

3 T Chia Seeds, dry
1 C Almond Milk
2 T Agave Nectar
Pinch Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Vanilla Extract

Soak Chia Seeds in Nut Milk, stir often.
Add spices, stir often.

Over the next few days I hope to share with you more Vegan Finds but also some things I will be attempting for Thanksgiving!  What will you be up to?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Veganized World Food Inspiration From Poland, Vietnam, and Pakistan!

I thought I would use this Friday Post to take a look back at some of the World Food posts I  have done that ended up being some of my favorite attempts at veganized versions of worldly favorites.  First up is Polish Creamed Mushrooms over Fettuccine.  You can use this as a pasta topping like I did here and/or you can use it like a soup or side.  I'm betting it would be lovely over mashed potatoes, too!  Are you from Poland?  Are you vegan?  If so let me know of some of your veganized favorites!  I would LOVE to try them!

Here is what I used for the Polish Creamed Mushrooms...

1/4 C Earth Balance
2 Cloves Garlic
10-ounces Mushrooms
1 C Soy Milk
1/4 C Tofutti Sour Cream
1 T Soy Flour (Bob's Red Mills)

This was reminiscent of what I remember Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup being but BETTER.

This was another blast from the past in term of a sauce I really enjoyed and being able to take a nice photo!  I'm currently in the process of re-working a photo space at my house.  I hope to have something like this back up and going soon.  The inspiration for this sauce came from Vietnam.  If you are from Vietnam and know of any vegan or easily veganized dishes I should look into please let me know!  I would love to try them!

The ingredients all went into a blender and it was super easy to make - as are most - if not all of the sauces I attempt here.  I remember this being a little thin the first time I tried it so I would suggest with less liquid when first starting to blend and then add more if you need it.

1/2 C Peanut Butter
1/4-1/2 C Water
2 T Bragg's Liquid Amino's
1 T Frank's Hot Sauce
1 T Wholesome Sweeteners Raw Brown Sugar
1 tea Minced Garlic

I remember a couple of years ago when I wanted to try a simple Pakistani dish and came up with this take on Aaloo Bhaji.  After I posted it a few people told me there are other countries that have their own version of this, too.  Such as Aloo Bhaji from India.  I'm interested in either.  So if you reside in a country that has this dish please let me know what it contains and which country you are from.  

I'm also looking for more dishes from Pakistan to that are naturally vegan or easily veganized.  So if you can help me out with ideas in comments I would greatly appreciate it.

As I have said a few times in the last week or two I want to branch out and attempt more world foods again.  I figured this time of year was a great time to do that.

Here is what I used in this attempt of Aaloo Bhaji.

2 C Potatoes - cooked
Small Handful of Wildtree Onion & Chive Blend (or you could use 2 small onions
1 t Black Mustard Seeds
1 t Red Chili Powder (and/or Cayenne)
1 T Earth Balance (I also used a splash of Garlic Grapeseed Oil)
1 t (or less) of Turmeric

All on the stove top until desired texture and darkness is reached. 

While I am writing up a post about world foods I would love to give a few shout outs to some visitors that stopped by the last couple of days!  Hello visitors from Czechia, Israel, and Finland - as well as those from Singapore, Turkey, and Lesotho.  Again if you are from any of these countries and are vegan I would LOVE to hear some of your favorite dishes!  And if you are from another country please feel free to let me know in comments, too!  The more the merrier!  I hope to do more shout outs and food inspiration posts like this in the near future!  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Mac & Chao and Thrown Together Wrap After The Fact

I just got back from Walmart and couldn't wait to jump into this!  YUP!  I found it LOCALLY at MY Walmart!  I thought I would have to wait at least 2 more years before seeing this in my area...if at all!  This is certainly a TREAT and not something I would buy every time I went to the store because it was still very pricey at over $5.  YIKES!  I have a few things to share with you on it.  First and foremost is that I noticed a hint of 'hot' when I first bit into it.  Not much but just enough to make me re-read the ingredients AGAIN.  To my surprise one of the last ingredients was HOT SAUCE!  It really was the icing on the cake here, folks!  It MADE the overall experience what it was!  The other thing I want to share is that it suggested 5 minutes in the microwave (that is if you didn't bake it in the oven) and to follow up the original 5 minutes with another 2 minutes.  I found out just how important that extra 2 minutes was!  After the first 5 minutes I thought...oh crap...this is going to suck...it was still all stuck together in a huge block and I didn't think it was going to melt properly.  So...I continued on with the additional 2 minutes and it made all the difference in the world for it melting into a magical half mac-and-cheese and half Alfredo type sauce!  WOWZA!  YUM!  I also have to add that this was my first pasta in about 6 weeks!  I'm pretty proud of myself but I couldn't resist this vegan temptation!

At the risk of sounding 'late for the party'...I have really been getting into cauliflower rice lately.  I know that Cauliflower Rice isn't anything new but I never got into it much when it first became trendy.  And really the only reasons that I am getting into it now is that there are naturally vegan frozen options that are already 'riced' that are much cheaper than a head of cauliflower (here in my area).

Yesterday I started writing about 'said rice' and then forgot to follow thru with the rest of the 'rice story'.  Furthermore, I didn't take a photo of this wrap that I did...VERY SORRY!  But...it was darn tasty so I figured it was still worth a mention.  I had 1 Sun Dried Tomato Wraps that I had to hurry up and use but I didn't really want to get to involved with cooking a meal.  So I decided to warm up some of the Cauliflower Rice that had some herbs already mixed in and put it in the wraps along with some melted Parmela Nut Cheese that I told you about yesterday.  I then topped it with a very little bit of Trader Joe's Vegan Mayo Spread (to finish off the jar) and a bit of Salsa.  Oddly, this combo was YUMMERS!

I was able to find another new-to-me vegan product at my local Walmart today that I thought I would save for another post.  Plus, I still have items from my Wegman's Adventure from last weekend.  So I do have LOTS to blog about in the coming weeks!  Oh yeah...and...I still have to figure out which dishes I might want to do for Thanksgiving Day over any my parents house!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Reads, Recent Kitchen Experiments, & Build-Your-Own-Wrap

WARNING!  This is going to be a lengthy post!  And most likely one to jump around a lot, too!

First I want to share with you a new-to-me-vegan-cheese that I found at Wegman's this past weekend on my mini haul!  It's from Parmela Creamery and it's an aged nut cheese that is on the sharper side and made with cashew milk.

I used these shreds in the recipe/meal idea below, too!  The verdict is still out on this one.  I liked it but I have had others that were more tasty.  It doesn't melt as good as some of the other ones I have worked with but it does have it's perks, too!  The aroma is much like an artisan aged cheese.  Tonight I tried it in a wrap (which I will get to a little bit later in this post) and I really enjoyed it in a wrap situation.  There were a couple of other flavors for sale but I wanted to try this one first.

The other night I was trying to throw together a bowl of sorts and it ended up turning in to something completely different.  Let me explain.  

THIS photo is of the bowl mixture which was pretty tasty in its own right but it made me left wanting.  I will go on to show you what I did with it shortly, but first, the ingredients for this include: 1 C Multi-color Couscous, About a pound of roasted veggies I found at Trader Joe's a while back that I heated up and put into a blender on pulse, and then I made a simple creamy sauce made of Cashews, Almond Milk, Sea Salt, Garlic, Onion Flakes, Dill, Nutritional Yeast, and a splash of Balsamic.  Everything was eye-balled so sorry I don't have the exact measurements.

So here is what I ended up doing with the mixture.  It was holding together pretty good on its own so I made them into little balls and pressed them down into a muffin pan.  As you can see I used the plant-based shreds on top of all of them.  On half of those I squirted some Sriracha on top.  Both were tasty.  I think I liked the ones with Sriracha on top better.  I then made another Vegan Ranch type sauce for dipping. 
Here's a close-up of the dressing/dip/sauce.  Because I was out of cashews I decided to use Sunflower Seeds for this one.  Below is that recipe...

1 C Sunflower Seeds
About 1 C Almond Milk
2 t Lemon Juice
2 Cloves Garlic
2 t Dill
1 t Smoked Paprika
1 t Black Sea Salt
2 t Dijon Mustard
2 t Onion Flakes

Here's a closer look of the little Couscous Bites I made.  I have to say for me just throwing something together I was pretty proud of these lil guys!  The roasted veggies in the frozen package I got at TJ's was made up of Eggplant, Red Peppers, Onions, and had a bit of Balsamic for flavor in them, too!
In other news...
I had to break down and buy my lunch the other day and didn't want to go too far from the office so I stopped in at Total Evolution.  I opted for the Build-Your-Own-Wrap.  I decided to go with Sprouts, Avocado, Shredded Carrots, Hummus, Tomatoes, and they make their own Vegan BBQ Marinated Chickpeas.  They also make their own Vegan Cilantro Ranch Dressing so I went with that, too!
I have a lot of things I will be thumbing thru over the next couple of days including the following...

Raw Healthy & Delicious Recipes from Norbu (Australia)
Maranda Pleasant's Mantra Yoga & Health
Raw Food Lifestyle - back issues from March/April & May/June 2014
Rawmazing Easy Raw Food by Susan Powers

I've also recently found a website for those with Dyslexia.  They have resources for children but they also have a section for adults so I decided to subscribe to their newsletter and got my first issue today.  I will continue to locate resources for adults and try and report back here.

What do you think about the experiments in the kitchen?  Or about the little Build-Your-Own I found in my small town?  Or about the currently reading list?  I will be featuring more mini hauls over the next week or so!  A few other things I'm wondering about are...what do you think about the changes to my site so far?  The FurKid Section/Tab?  The Into description and photo in the upper right hand corner of my nav bar?  And what do you think about the links section?  There are over 100 links there, now!  YAY!  I can't wait to visit and comment more frequently on both old and new friends sites!  Please let me know if I don't have your link listed and I will add it ASAP!  CHEERS!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Vegan Buffalo ArtiHearts & Plant Based Veggie Chips

I've teased a few of you about the mini haul I was able to get this passed weekend but I almost forgot about 2 items I got prior to that.  These Spicy Artichokes AKA Monterey Farms ArtiHearts Buffalo Flavor showed off the vegan "V" on the back of the package.  So I knew I had to try them at least once.  I found these at the Erie Giant Eagle a few weeks ago!  Tonight I put them in a Sun Dried Tomato Wrap and what I couldn't fit in the wrap I ate as-is and dipped in salsa.  Both were tasty but I will say due to their size they were a bit difficult to eat in the wrap.  I think they would be ideal for stand alone dipping or even thrown in a salad!

Next up are Brad's Veggie Chips CHEDDAR.  Again, they feature the "V" we tend to look for on the packaging.  They are also Raw, Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, USDA Organic, Non-GMO, etc.

These are NOT a new product but rather an updated, re-packaged product.

I'm almost finished with these and wanted to share them with you before I move on to other foods and snacks.  It's been a while since I had Brad's.  Mostly because when I do find them they are really pricey.  But the last time I went to the Whole Foods Market they were on sale for at least 2 bucks off so I was surely tempted.

Have you seen the flavored Artichoke Heart yet?  Have you tried them?  What did you think?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Daiya's Pumpkin Cheesecake, Around The World, & Letter Writing

I was FINALLY able to go grocery shopping this weekend!  YAY!  I was oh-so-happy to be able to shop at Wegman's and I can't wait to share my findings with you!  I'll start with this Limited Seasonal Daiya Pumpkin Spice Cheezecake!  

Yup!  I found it!  It was a delightful surprise to see it!  I know some of my buddies in larger cities and area might think I'm crazy but when I find things in my small(er) area I get excited!

I do, however, have a confession to make.  I ate half of this for dinner last night! Oops!  So...YEAH...I'm a fan!  It had 'just enough' pumpkin flavor and spice flavor, too!  It still tasted like a cheesecake but as you might know, it's VEGAN!  I would recommend this for those who enjoy pumpkin!

Another thing I would like to mention today is towards the bottom of my sidebar you will see I added a World Visitors graphic.  I have been searching for one of these for a while.  The others I didn't really care for but I'm totally digging this one so far.  I've always LOVED learning about different countries and cultures.  I think I mentioned it before, but when I was a teenager I used to have over 120 penpals from over 30 countries!  Which brings me to my next topic...

World Foods!  It's been a while since I have attempted to feature World Food Recipes that are vegan and I want to jump into that again!  I think these additions will inspire me to try new recipes and blog about them again.

And when it comes to letter writing, a while back Opal and I started writing to each other and I'm going to jump back into that again soon.  I have also been thinking about writing weekly letters to my niece Trinity, too!  I know she's only 5 months old but MAYBE my sister will read them to her and keep them for her.  I want her to know I think about her daily and show her how much I LOVE her.  I have been thinking of things that she and I can do when she gets old enough to understand.  I have a lot of ideas and I will surely share them with you once we are able to do them.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Creamy Creamed Mushroom Soup - Vegan!

Ingredients for this CREAMY Creamed Mushroom Soup are:
1 C Nut-Based Milk (I chose Almond)
1/4 C Vegan Margarine
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
About 1 Pound of Mixed Mushrooms, sliced (Fresh of Frozen)
1/4 C Vegan Sour Cream (store bought or home made)
1 T Soy Flour
Simple Directions Include:

On Medium Heat in a large pot add everything except for the mushrooms and stir until combined and thickened.  Add Mushrooms and reduce heat to simmer for about 10 to 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Simple Sunday Post!?  What do you think!?