September 29, 2011

Help a Sister (and Her Wardrobe) Out

Fall is fast approaching, which means we'll be trading tank tops for blazers, and muggy mornings for crisp, cool days. (Thank goodness.)

The one thing I'm desperate to add to my fall wardrobe this year? Riding boots. Slim, sleek riding boots. The only problem? I can't seem to find ANY that aren't made of leather. Even Target, my go-to for cute, animal-free shoes, is now making their boots in leather. What's a girl to do?

Sigh. Do you have a go-to place for non-leather shoes and boots?

September 28, 2011

Three Bean (Vegan) Enchiladas

It doesn't matter what season it is-here at The Preppy Vegan, it's always time for Mexican food! (Well, the cheap, veganized, American version of Mexican food, that is.) I'm still doing my best to save time during the week by cooking on Sundays, and the two dishes of enchiladas that I got from this recipe didn't disappoint. While my Enchiladas de Ensley are still up there as one of my favorite recipes of all time, I think I'll be adding this to my rotation of Mexican favorites. The best part (besides the taste and ease with which it's made) is that the entire recipe cost less than $10.

20  8-inch flour tortillas
1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained
1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained
1 15 oz can navy or Great Northern beans, drained
Half of a 14 oz can of regular or light coconut milk
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 8 oz. package mushrooms, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 10 oz cans red or green enchilada sauce
1 10 oz can sliced black olives

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large saucepan, saute onion, mushrooms, and green pepper until onions begin to soften.
3. In a large bowl, stir together beans, coconut milk, and cilantro. Add onion mix, stirring throughly.
4. For the filling, spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture into each tortilla. Arrange tortillas in two ungreased 2 qt. baking dishes.
5. In a small bowl, stir together tomato and enchilada sauce. Spoon over tortillas.
6. Bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with olives. Serves 8 to 10.

Cheer's, ya'll!

September 27, 2011

Zucchini Casserole

Now that my first year of teaching is in full swing, I've been surviving on the occasional hastily-made veggie wrap or can of lentil soup. Not only did I get tired of eating the same thing day after day, but I needed to sit down to a real meal. Seeing as how 12 hour workdays are the norm thus far, I don't have much time to cook during the week. What's a Southern working girl to do? Why, casseroles, of course! Unfortunately, most are chock full of meat, dairy, and calories. The original version of this recipe contains sausage, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup. (See the original recipe at Better Homes and Gardens here.) I've lightened it up while paring it down to its best ingredients: zucchini and stuffing. The coconut milk/tofu mixture may sound strange, but it imitates the texture of low-fat sour cream beautifully. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the mixture if you want more of a sour cream flavor.

4 medium zucchini, yellow squash, or mix of both
1/2 a white onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
1/3 c. nonhydrogenated, nondairy margerine (like Earth Balance), melted
4 cups meat and dairy free stuffing mix, like Stove Top Savory Herbs
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 of a 14 oz package of firm tofu
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme

Yum yum yum
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease a 3 qt baking dish, set aside.
2. Slice zucchini/squash in half and chop crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces. In medium/large saucepan. Heat olive oil. Add zucchini and onion, sauteing until onion begins to soften (1-2 minutes).
3. In a bowl, mix together dry stuffing mix and melted margerine, stirring to coat. Set aside.
4. In a food processor or blender, mix coconut milk and tofu until well blended.
5. Remove zucchini mix from heat. Add coconut milk mixture, salt, oregano, and thyme.
6. Spoon half of the stuffing mixture into the baking dish. Spread zucchini mixture over stuffing in dish. Spoon remaining stuffing mixture evenly over zucchini mixture.
7. Bake, covered, 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Cheers, ya'll!

September 7, 2011

Cookbook Recommendations from Readers

I got this awesome email from a reader awhile back after writing that I had a hard time finding filling and delicious vegan recipes when I was first starting out. It was so thoughtful I felt like I had to share with you lovely Preppy Vegan readers. Tell me: Have you tried these cookbooks? What are some other favorites? 

Backyard Produce linked to your blog today, so I went over and read it and wanted to say hello! I love food and I love cooking, and I happen to also be pretty much accidentally vegan. I read that you said you'd searched for recipes and only come up with some weird seaweed & wheatgrass type recipes.  Which is both awful and sad. I wanted to pass along recommendations for some of my favorite vegan cookbooks that are full of tasty food, and also written (most of them) with an eye toward normal people with modest budgets who like to eat really tasty food.  You may already know about these, but just in case, I wanted to pass them along!

Full on cookbooks:
Viva Vegan! by Hope Romero (Latin American cuisine - vegan style. It has the best recipe for making your own easy & crazy-delicious seitan that I've come across yet)

Native Foods by Tanya Petrovna (It's a cookbook from the mostly west coast resturant. The sauces and dressings are worth it all on their own, but it's also full of lots of great recipes that make non-vegetarians very happy too - like the Asian chicken salad that I bring to picnics and large gatherings)

Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Muskowitz (More health-conscious recipes, and less desserts, but all really tasty!)

Specialty Stuff:

Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Muskowitz (Kind of the best book ever. If you like brunch foods and miss getting to out for them like me. It has the most amazing vegan crepe recipe ever.)

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Muskowitz and Hope Romero (All vegan cupcakes and icing! 75 different cupcake recipes and like 20+ frostings! None of them are dry or skimp on the tasty or add weird unnecessary ingredients - just a whole lot of awesome that also happens to be vegan.)

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by the same duo as above (Similar to the cupcake book, but with cookies. Also awesome.)

Anyway - have fun in your cooking/blogging adventures. I'm sure I'll check back to see what you come up with!

Cheers, ya'll!

September 1, 2011

Fresh and Healthy: Garden Spaghetti

The August issue of Better Homes and Gardens was a veritable gold mine of delicious veggie recipes that needed only the slightest tweaking to become vegan.

Another perk? It features Michelle Obama, First Lady and founder of the "Let's Move!" campaign, aimed at preventing children from looking like I did in middle school. (Seriously though.)

So fresh. So perfect!

Not surprisingly, what are children supposed to eat when striving for health? More fruits and veggies. Aside from the occasional sprinkling of cheese or creamy spread, her recipes have barely an animal product in sight. Without some modifications, I've not only veganized them, but vastly improved them (in my humblest of opinions).

I served this Garden Spaghetti for friends at one of the first dinners we made our new house. My friend Travis (who claimed to have never had a vegetarian meal before in his life) exclaimed "Wow, this doesn't even taste bad!", which I take as two thumbs up. I can only hope that my BFF Michelle Obama would say the same.

The Preppy Vegan version. Hopefully First Lady-approved. 
Fresh Tomato Sauce
1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
3 cups grape tomatoes
1 cup chik peas
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 tsp agave nectar

1. In a saucepan, saute garlic and onion in olive oil until onion becomes tender.
2. Add tomatoes, chik peas, ginger, vinegar, and agave nectar, stirring well. Saute until tomato skins burst and tomatoes are soft.

Garden Spaghetti
8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
2 cups small broccoli florets
2 cups fresh, frozen, or canned corn kernels
2 cups chopped carrots
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp basil
2 Tbsp oregano
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 to 3 Tbsp olive oil
1 recipe Fresh Tomato Sauce, above

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Three minutes before cooking time is finished, add broccoli, carrots, and corn to the boiling water.
2. Remove pasta from heat and drain. Toss with tomatoes, basil, oregano, lemon juice, and olive oil.
3. Serve with Fresh Tomato sauce, lemon juice, and olive oil as needed. Serves 4-6.

Cheers, ya'll!


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