Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Vegan Mexican Casserole

Ooey gooey hot from the oven!

Here's an easy and delicious casserole to make!  It makes a lot of food and is pretty economical too!


- a bag of organic tortilla chips, crushed
-2 cans vegetarian refried beans (warmed in the microwave for easy spreading)
-1 can of chopped green chiles
- 1 small can of sliced black olives
-1 lb. ground meat substitute
-1 packet of taco seasoning
-1 container of vegan sour cream
-homemade salsa (see my Dragon breath salsa recipe!) or your favorite store bought salsa
-homemade guacamole
-1 package of shredded Daiya cheese (cheddar)


Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees.  In a 13x 9 inch dish, spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Place crushed tortilla chips in a layer on the bottom.  Mix in the taco seasoning with your cooked ground meat substitute according to package directions.  Spread vegetarian refried beans in a layer over the chips.  Spread the taco meat mixture over the beans.  Spread some green chile over the meat substitute.  Spread a layer of salsa over the chiles.  Dallop some vegan sour cream and guacamole in the next layer.  Sprinkle the sliced olives over the vegan sour cream and guacamole.  Last but not least, spread the Daiya cheese over the top.  Bake for 30 mins at 350F degrees.  After you remove it from the oven, let it cool for 10 minutes so the layers can set.  Serve with more salsa, guacamole and vegan sour cream on the side. 

This recipe does make a lot, as I warned, but you could easily freeze single serving portions for later!  I hope you enjoy this one!  I know I did!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vegan Sheppard's Pie

I am of Scottish decent.  I was raised by an Irish step-dad, so I am and always will be a "Meat and Potatoes" kind of woman!  Today while browsing through a recipe website with my boyfriend, David, trying to get some menu ideas for the upcoming week, we ran across a Sheppard's Pie recipe.  David didn't know what this was, but it looked yummy to him!  I explained what it was, glanced through the recipe (pretty standard one) and decided I HAD to make a Sheppard's Pie and I had to make it NOW.

Into the kitchen I went to find the ingredients I needed to make such a delicious concoction.  (I should probably also mention that I already had my own recipe for said pie ingrained in my DNA already lol)  Allow me to share the deliciousness with you!

You should place on a cookie sheet to catch the bubbling over goodies.


- 5-6 medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into 3rds (easier to boil)
- 1/2 small Onion
-1&1/2 cups of Vegetable Stock (I had some homemade I had in the freezer)
-1 Lb. Ground Meat Substitute
-1 can of Carrots (drained)
-1 can of Green Beans (reserve the liquid)
-2 tspn All-Purpose Flour
-1/2 small container of Vegan Ricotta Cheese
-2 tbspns Earth Balance vegan butter
-1/2 tspn Salt
-1/2 tspn Onion Salt
-1/2 tspn Garlic Salt


Boil the potatoes with a generous pinch of salt until they are tender and easily come away when poked with a knife or fork.  In a medium sauce pot, throw all of the meat substitute, Vegetable Stock, Carrots, Onion, Green Beans and Liquid in and set it on medium heat.  Stir occasionally.  Preheat the oven to 350F.  Drain the potatoes when they are done.  Mash them up.  Add the earth balance butter and vegan ricotta cheese, salt, garlic salt and onion salt.  Sprinkle the 2 tspns of flour into the sauce pot mixture and mix it really well. (We don't want globs of flour in this.)  In a 9x13in. pyrex dish (or something of similar size and depth) pour in the stock mixture.  Spoon the mashed potatoes over the top.  You can try to make it look pretty if you want.  I personally like the rustic look as shown in the picture above.  Place your baking dish on a cookie sheet because this dish likes to bubble over.  Bake for 30-35 mins until the top turns a golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 15 mins before serving.

This is a really hearty meal and very comforting!  I really hope that you enjoy it.  It's what I had for lunch and you better believe that I'm going to eat it for dinner too!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Homemade Vegan Pizza

I am a downright pizza FIEND! It is one of my favorite foods, hands down.  So, as much as I adore pizza, it just makes sense to know that I indeed know how to make it vegan... from scratch!

Vegan Mozzarella & Tomato Pizza

How to make the dough:


-3 Cups of All-purpose Flour
-1 1/2 - 2 Cups of warm (not hot) water
-2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
-1/2 teaspoon Salt
-2 teaspoons Sugar
-1/4 teaspoon Garlic Salt
-1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
-1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
-1 package of instant active yeast (about 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of yeast)


Pre-heat the oven to 425 F.  In a large bowl, put all the dry ingredients in a mix around.  Make a little funnel in the middle of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in 1 Cup of the warm water.  Pour the yeast into the water.  Mix it around with a spatula for now.  (We will get our hands in there soon enough!)  The dough should still be be crumbly at this point.  Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (set aside the other tablespoon for later).  Mix in the olive oil with the spatula or spoon.  Slowly add in a little more water until the dough is no longer crumbly and becomes a little more sticky.

Now its time to get your hands in there.  Make sure they're clean first.  lol  Start kneading the dough, roughly.  Work out some aggression here!  Smack it around, punch it, pinch it, squeeze it.  Do this for only 3 minutes.  Roll the dough into a little round ball. Spray some plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray.  Put the dough ball in the bowl and cover with the plastic wrap spray-side down.  Place the bowl near the stove so it can get some warmth from the oven.  Let dough rest for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the toppings.

Vegan Mozzarella and Tomato Pizza:

Prepare all of your toppings, making sure to slice very thinly, especially the tomatoes.

Get your dough ball and start gently stretching and pulling at it until it forms a round thin disc to your liking.  Using the pizza pan you plan to cook it on helps in stretching out the dough if you press the dough with your hands onto it and get the shape and size right.  I don't use rolling pins on my pizza dough, just my hands.

Spread a very thin layer of vegan pizza sauce or marinara onto the pizza to 1/2 inch from the edge.  Place veggies in a thin layer.  Place shredded Daiya mozzarella on top. Take the olive oil we set aside and brush the outer crust with it.  Put pizza in the oven and cook for 15-18 minutes.  Remove pizza from oven.  Allow it to cool for a few minutes!  That is important as we don't want the ingredients to slide off while we try to slice it.  5 minutes should be long enough to cool.  Slice pizza and serve.  Enjoy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Easy Peasy Vegan Pasta Salad

It's summer time and boy has it been a scorcher out there! Here is a refreshing, light and easy recipe I made up for pasta salad.

Renny's Easy Peasy Vegan Pasta Salad


-A Bag of assorted pasta (shells, wheels, swirlies... the more fun it is the better)
-A Bottle of you favorite Vegan Italian Dressing
-A Small can of Sliced Black Olives (Drained)
-Vegan Pepperoni or Salami (optional)
-1 Med. Tomato, chopped
-1 Med. Sweet Onion, chopped
-A handful of Sugar Peas (optional)
-1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
-1 teaspoon of Salt


Fill a large pot with water about 3/4 of the way to the top. Pour in the olive oil and salt and bring it just to a boil. Pour in the pasta, being careful not to splash yourself! Boil until the pasta is tender (about 5-7 mins. of rapid boiling). Cut the vegan pepperoni or salami into little strips. The best way to do this is use the pre-sliced, stack up several and slice them in strips.

Remove pasta from heat and drain. In a large bowl pour in pasta, tomatoes, onions, peas, and black olives. Pour the whole bottle of Italian Dressing over everything and mix it well. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour or two.

To be quite honest, it smells so good that I never can wait for it to chill before having some! It doesn't last long around my house.

Let me know if you try my recipe and what you think about it. How did you modify it and what worked for you or didn't.

Thanks for reading my blog! Until next time... Eat, Live, and Be Happy!