Category Archives: Dinner

buffalo tempeh nuggets

Buffalo Tempeh Nuggets

Just before I decided to go vegan about 7 years ago I was eating tons of hot wings. I just really liked them, I loved how they tasted, but at the same time I knew each chicken only had two wings and seeing huge piles of them on plates or in baskets just made me feel so sad…even though for a while I kept eating them despite this internal conflict. But eventually (after watching tons of documentaries on Netflix… first Food Inc. followed by Forks Over Knives, Earthlings, and anything else I could find about food and farm animals) I just couldn’t handle the guilt I felt over eating those tiny little wings. So, inspired my love of both animals and hot wings I started making these Buffalo Tempeh Nuggets. For 7 years I have made these for all kinds of people; meat lovers, tempeh haters, health nuts, and picky eaters. They all love them, but my recipe has always been time intensive and required dirtying a lot of dishes. But yesterday I made a marvelous discovery and figured out how to cut the prep time by quite a bit, create way less of a mess to clean up, and make them taste even better than they always have! This isn’t what I would consider a health food but it’s so much better for you than nuggets made out of chickens and such a delicious alternative for anyone who wants to make compassionate choices when it comes to food. They are hot and spicy, crispy, hearty, and filling. Dip them in some vegan ranch or bleu cheese dressing to satisfy a nostalgic craving (I just finally got to try the Ranch and Bleu Cheese dressings made by Daiya and was blown away by how thick, creamy, and accurate both of the flavors are).

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A Beginner’s Guide to Vegan Sushi + Best Ever 2 Ingredient Spicy Mayo

If you follow me on Instagram you know that sushi is one of my favorite things to eat and to make. I love the ritual involved in rinsing the rice. I love dreaming up endless combinations of flavors, textures, and colors. Arranging the sushi rolls delicately on the plates is always fun too. The beauty of this food is that it can be simple and straightforward or fantastically creative! Making sushi is fun and expressive, in a way that goes beyond just a means to fill your belly.

I’m going to walk you through the process of making sushi, step-by-step and give you the recipe for one of my favorite sushi accompaniments, Spicy Mayo! If this is your first time rolling sushi, be patient and forgiving with yourself, because it can take a little practice. But don’t worry, I’ve got all the info you need right here, you’ll be a pro in no time!

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Beer Battered Coconut Tofu

Some of my most vivid childhood memories involve family trips to Florida, where we would spend all day at the beach and the rest of the evening sitting on the screened in porches of seaside restaurants where my parents would enjoy a cold beer and we would all share tons of fried food. The flavor of this Beer Battered Coconut Tofu brings those memories right back. I’ve also got the recipe for a Horseradish Marmalade Sauce to dip these little nuggets in, but if you’d rather just buy a sauce instead of making one, go for a sweet chili sauce (probably any kind is good but my favorites are Grama’s Sweet Chili Sauce and Mae Ploy Chili Sauce).

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Garlicky Miso Glazed Noodles with Sesame Roasted Veggies

These noodles are probably my favorite noodles ever. They’re super quick and easy to make and soak up the sauce so well. For this recipe, you’ll need wide flat rice noodles. Probably the easiest to find in your local supermarket would be these by Taste of Thai, but my favorite ones are the Pad See Ew noodles from Nona Lim. These are fresh rice noodles that come in a bag in Th refrigerated section of the grocery store, usually near the tofu. They have the perfect consistency and take only 30 seconds in boiling water to cook.  The one’s from Taste of Thai are dried in a box, and take a little longer to cook, so read the directions on the package of noodles and allow yourself a little more time if using the dried, boxed kind. Definitely check out your local Asian market if there’s one around you though, you can probably to find some really good noodles there, and probably at a fraction of the price. Use any of your favorite veggies, it doesn’t have to be brussels sprouts and mushrooms, just use about 4 cups total of whatever veggies you want, cut into bite size pieces. Add some baked Gardein Mandarin Chicken (or equivalent) at the very end in addition to the veggies if you want to really bulk up the meal and make it super filling.

*Note:  If you want to make this gluten-free, just use tamari instead of soy sauce.

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Miso Glazed Mushroom Burgers with Miso Mayo

These are probably some of the messiest burgers I have ever made, like good messy, gloriously messy! I used Beast Burgers from the company Beyond Meat, which are huge, then I smothered them with mushrooms and onions, browned in a miso glaze for the ultimate in umami flavor. I made a few slight alterations from the burgers pictured to make it less messy; like omitting the avocado on top, which I now deem unnecessary, and melting the cheese right on top of the burger instead of on top of the mushrooms will help everything stay together. Another trick to keep your buns from falling apart: be sure to put lettuce or some kind of greens on the bottom bun so all the juices don’t soak through and disintegrate the bread. Enjoy! And be sure to grab lots of napkins!

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Massaman Curry Stew

I know I have mentioned Thai Palace before, the restaurant where I worked for years and developed my love affair with Thai food. Out of all the dishes they make, Massaman curry is my favorite. It is perfectly hearty and creamy and so warming without being too spicy. This stew is honestly the quintessential comfort food, and the flavors are spot on for fall with the sweet potato, ginger, and cinnamon. This recipe stays pretty true to the dish they cook at that restaurant, but I cook the rice directly into the curry instead of serving it on the side…which is great because it cuts the amount of dishwashing in half. I have included a link to where to buy the curry paste online if there are no Asian markets near you.

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Fresh Lemon and Garlic Cream Sauce

I spent the past weekend in San Francisco celebrating my boyfriend, Tyler’s 30th birthday. We ate tons of awesome food, for example, the vegan pizza at Pizza Orgasmica, and breakfast at Greens Restaurant, but my favorite meal (other than the double vegan cheeseburger and chili cheese fries at Amy’s Drive Thru on the way home) was the Wasabi Burger at The Plant Cafe, it was seriously delicious! I could make a whole post about just the food in SF but just follow me on Instagram if you want to see some pictures. We also got to taste some really fabulous cocktails at a little bar called The Interval, I don’t usually like going to bars but I LOVED this place! They had a little history of each drink written on the menu, every one of them obviously thought out and perfectly crafted, and art from Brain Eno. When we drove home I had to go straight to work at the restaurant, but when I got there I was greeted with a gift from some of my favorite customers! A jar of fresh, homegrown heirloom cherry tomatoes and sweet peppers from their garden! What a treat! So for Tyler’s actual birthday meal I roasted some of the cherry tomatoes in the oven for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees while I boiled the noodles and made this sauce in the blender. I tossed it all together and we had a quick, easy and delicious birthday dinner!  The sauce is super creamy with a nice bright flavor from all that lemon juice so it doesn’t feel too heavy. You can make it ahead of time and just heat it up with a little bit of water added if it’s too thick. Here’s the recipe.

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Baked Eggplant with Italian Style Salsa Fresca and Avocado

I’ve been living on the northern coast of California for the past year. I still feel like I haven’t made many friends around here. But thankfully I do have made a couple of really good ones. Maggi, who I have had the pleasure of really connecting with over these last months is one of them. And lucky for me she also grows delicious eggplants at her parents’ house! The ones you see here came straight from her garden and were oh-so-delicious and creamy!

Eggplant, tomato, and avocado are some of my absolute favorite summer foods, and they all work really well together in this dish! The eggplant is nice and crispy, the avocado is creamy and pesto and tomatoes are so fresh tasting. By the way, if you don’t feel like making pesto at home there’s nothing wrong with just buying some at the store. Anyways, hope you like it!

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Nam Sod

Nam sod is a spicy Thai salad dish that you can eat as cabbage or lettuce wraps, it’s also just really good on it’s own.  I used to work at this amazing Thai restaurant in Georgia called Thai Palace, owned and operated by one of the coolest, most selfless and purest men I have ever met, Jimmy.  He was once a monk in Thailand, and apparently from that, took with him into his life running a restaurant in Georgia the calmest, most gentle and gracious demeanor.  We waited tables together (something I have been doing for years with all types of people) and no matter how busy or overwhelmed the restaurant got and no matter what went wrong, Jimmy was always so grateful to be there and never got flustered or upset.  I have seen and heard people be really mean to him and he’s always been so kind in return.  He’s the real deal in the way that he embodies love, and has always been a role model to me in that way.

This is a dish I learned to make while working at Thai Palace, and the flavors remind me so much of that time in my life and my friendship with Jimmy and the rest of his family.  I learned lots from all of them, not the least of which was how to cook super yummy Thai dishes!  This one has some really strong flavors, so add the dressing in small increments, tasting as you go! Enjoy!

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