Vegan Beef Mushroom Stroganoff

This creamy, full-flavor stroganoff is now on my regular dinner rotations. I absolutely love this savory, hearty meal.

Vegan Beef Mushroom Stroganoff

You will need:

1 generous tablespoon Vegemite

1 generous tablespoon veggie bouillon

3 cups water

1 table spoon vegan Worcestershire’s sauce (I use 365 from Whole Foods)

1 tablespoon Soy sauce

1 table spoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika

1 tablespoon Thyme

1/4cup Flour

1/2 tub vegan Sour Cream (I used Tofutti brand)

2 cups apprx. Sliced Mushrooms

1/2 Onion, sliced longways

Optional: frozen Beyond Meatballs

Splash of Wine or alcohol of choice

1 stem of fresh Dill

1 bag of Fusilli Pasta

The process:

If you are opting for the frozen meatballs, begin thawing them with a little olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Mix water with Vegemite and broth and bring to a boil in sauce pan.

Add Worcestershire’s sauce, Dijon Mustard and Dry Seasonings. Stir well.

Add flour, stirring until thoroughly mixed.

Mix in sour cream until smooth.

Let simmer for 15 minutes.

Sauté onions and mushrooms without oil, flipping mushrooms until browned. Add alcohol of choice and let evaporate over heat (I used whiskey on hand, but you can use white wine).

Add broth mixture to pan with meatballs. Cook another 25 minutes.

Cook pasta as directed, then drain and add to broth and meatball mixture. Let cool.

Stir in mushroom and onion mixture. Sprinkle fresh dill on top before serving.

Oh my goodness was this ever tasty. I hope you enjoy this rich, creamy comfort food. ✨

The Best Vegan Spanikopita

Vegan Spanikopita I made for a morning staff meeting… big hit!

It’s 2022 so I felt it was time to update my Spanikopita recipe. I decided to give the fancy shapes a rest and just go back to basics… the results were incredibly tasty! There is no exact science to this. Feel free to modify quantities.

You will need:

500g of fresh spinach

150g Violife feta, crumbled

170g Follow Your Heart feta crumbles

(Your choice on type of Vegan feta cheese; I personally love the taste and texture of combining two particular kinds)

2 vegan eggs (I used Follow Your Heart)

115g vegan butter, melted

1 box frozen phyllo dough, thawed at room temperature

21g fresh chives, chopped

21g fresh dill, chopped

Optional: 1/2 lemon, squeezed

I used the largest tub of spinach they sell at Whole Foods and the full packets of fresh chives and dill. I provided ingredient measurements for guidance but truly I just eye balled everything. Don’t be afraid to just get in there!

The process:

I cooked down chopped fresh chives and dill with spinach in skillet.

Let the greens cool for a few minutes. Mix in your feta and vegan egg. Optional step: squeeze half a lemon over mixture.

Brush your melted butter on the pan.

Lay a Phyllo sheet along the bottom. Brush butter. Add another layer. Repeat layer, butter, layer for about 4 or 5 layers.

Add your filling mixture spreading evenly among dough.

Then top with a few more layers of dough and butter. I let these lay messily over the sides and tuck them under all of the layers when I’m done, giving it a nice crust.

Score all the way through, cutting pieces prior to cooking. Cutting after the dough is crusty can be difficult.

I was able to premake this the night before, covering tightly in my fridge overnight.

I popped it in oven this morning for 75 minutes at 375 degrees. 💚

Apparently I am to make this for every morning meeting henceforth. 😂 I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we do!

Everything Sourdough Discard Cheese Crackers

Compassion begins on your plate! 💚✨ Everything Sourdough Discard Crackers using Vegan Cheese

Everything Sourdough Discard Crackers

One of the best things about maintaining a sourdough starter at home is making a variety of flavorful food without using any animal products completely from scratch.

The Magic: ✨

190-200g Sourdough Discard

2 Tablespoons oil or butter

1/2 tablespoon flour

1/3 cup vegan cheese of choice

1/2 tablespoon dried chives

Sprinkled salt and everything seasoning to taste

Directions: ✨

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix discard with oil, flour, cheese, and chives.

Spread out evenly on parchment paper lined cookie sheet as thin as possible.

Sprinkle top with sea salt and everything seasoning till desired.

Place cookie sheet on center rack for 10 minutes.

Score as desired. (I make simple squares pressing down with a long edge of a dough scraper.)

Place back in oven and cook for 30 more minutes or until it has started to crisp.

Let cool… break apart squares, and serve! Enjoy!

Vegan Cheese Sticks

Being able to order an appetizer of cheese sticks is a staple in dairy-obsessed America, and is one of those hard things vegans feel they need to give up… well, no more!!

I have seriously perfected the vegan cheese stick using Miyoko’s Fresh Mozz cashew cheese product.

My best friend said these taste just like she remembers from TGIFridays. You ready for this goodness?

You Will Need:

Just Egg, Soy or Almond Milk unsweetened, Organic Flour, Italian Bread Crumbs, Garlic Powder, Miyoko’s Mozz.

My Process:

I cut and freeze the Miyoko’s cheese to make it firmer for about 10 minutes.

Then I dip it in a mixture of just egg and soy milk (1:2 ratio whipped together), then toss in a cup of organic flour mixed with a little garlic powder. Make sure it’s coated completely.

I put it in the freezer for a few minutes so the coating stays together better.

Then I dip it into the egg mixture one more time and roll it in Italian bread crumbs, completely covering the stick.

I fried these with a little olive oil. 🙌🏼

Get ready for your dreams to come true. 🥳🤩 Enjoy! Tell me how it turned out in the comments. ✨

Vegan Breakfast Quiche

This vegan dish has the perfect flaky crust and savory flavors you’d expect from a breakfast quiche.

Crust ingredients:

⁃ 1 vegan egg (2 tbs of Follow Your Heart powder with 1/2 cup ice water, whisked)

⁃ 2 1/2 tablespoons ice water

⁃ 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

⁃ 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

⁃ 10 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Miyoko’s Oat Milk Butter)

Filling:

– 1 Yellow Onion, chopped into cubes

– 3 VeganEggs (6 level Tbsp Follow Your Heart VeganEgg whisked with 1 1/2 cups ice cold water)

– 1 cup homemade cashew cheese (cashews blended with nutritional yeast, veggie bouillon, veggie broth, garlic, and hot water)

– 1 tbsp vegan butter

– pinch red pepper flakes

– 1 tsp pepper

– 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

– 1 cup of Hashbrowns (I used dehydrated shredded potatoes, salted to taste)

– 1 10 oz package fresh spinach

– Tbsp chopped fresh garlic

• Optional: vegan meat of your choice or vegan bac’n bits. (I personally used sautéed Chorizo bits from Nutcase Vegan Meats.) Top quiche with additional cheese if you like.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Whisk salt and flour

Add vegan egg

Add butter

Knead until dough consistency.

Roll out on floured cutting board until it is the size of your pie pan.

Work dough into pie pan, pinching the ends to form a crust around the edge.

Finish with fork impressions on edge.

Freeze for 25 minutes.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.

If crust bubbles up, pierce with fork.

Sautée onions until soft. Add hashbrowns with vegan butter until desired browning.

Pack the pan with spinach only allowing to remove excess water for one to two minutes tops.

Whisk vegan egg with additional water. Add garlic, onion, pepper, red pepper flakes, hashbrowns and spinach. Mix well.

Slightly stir in homemade vegan cheese and chorizo. I left clumps together and it turned out amazing.

Pour into crust.

Turn down oven to 325 degrees.

Cook for 55 minutes.

Voila! Enjoy!

For tips on making your own homemade cashew cheese, check out the full video on how it’s made.

Vegan Spanikopita

Compassion begins on your plate!! 💚🌱✨ Did you know most phyllo dough is vegan? I created a spinach feta mixture with 365 organic chopped spinach, garlic, onion, and Violife Foods Feta cheese and wrapped it up into little crispy triangles. 🤤🍃🌍💚 (Before I found Violife, I also used chèvre from Heidi Ho for that tangy, cheesy flavor you’d expect from a feta.) I am such a sucker for anything spinach and feta that I just had to veganize spanakopita that I missed so much! Give it a try😋!

You will need: (makes 12)

1 – 5 oz bag fresh organic spinach, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 – blocks of Violife Feta Cheese, crumbled

1- clove garlic, chopped

1/2 – white onion, chopped

6 – sheets of Fillo Dough (I prefer to buy the Fillo Factory Organic Dough 16 oz box)

1- Melted stick of vegan butter (I prefer Earth Balance)

Directions:

(Pro tip: Dough must sit at room temp and thaw for two hours for easily malleable dough for folding.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet and add chopped garlic and onion. Sauté until onions slightly brown then add chopped spinach, stirring until wilts. Strain mixture, draining any extra liquid and let cool.

Crumble blocks of feta in separate bowl. Once the spinach mixture is cooled, mix with crumbled feta.

Warm stick of butter in pan.

Roll out phyllo dough sheet on cookie sheet or cutting board. Cut down the middle. Brush melted butter on top. Place heaping spoonful of spinach feta mixture at bottom of one side of the halved sheet. Fold over the phyllo dough, flag-style rotating each fold to become a triangle. Brush top of filled triangle with butter again.

Repeat until spinach feta mixture is empty.

Place triangles evenly on cookie sheets and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the dough is flaky, and browning at edges.

Let triangles cool for 5 minutes, and enjoy!!

Is Pizza Hut Bought by the US Dairy Industry?

Can you hear the collective sigh of disappointment today? Despite an outpouring of positive press, Pizza Hut rescinded the announcement of vegan cheese finally coming to their United States locations this summer.

This, sadly, did not surprise me. I was more surprised to find out they were doing the right thing after all these years.

Why? There’s a trend! My brain sees connections, and apparently I am not alone.

Both Domino’s and Pizza Hut have a lot in common financially. They both opened vegan markets successfully in other countries, yet they do not bring these options to the US despite knowing it works.

This is puzzling, because they have undoubtedly lost customers refusing to evolve with consumer demand for dairy free options. Me included! Your girl was a regular at the Rochester Hills Pizza Hut in high school, and the delivery guy knew me well when I was a vegetarian ordering stuffed crust pizza (I now shudder to think of all the baby cows killed for the amount of cheese I consumed). Shifting to a dairy free, plant based diet meant buying vegan pizza elsewhere. And there are tons of yummy options at locally owned establishments.

If United States consumer groups are demanding vegan cheese, yet the restaurant does not cater to consumer demand, why would they make a decision to not carry vegan options from a financial standpoint? Wouldn’t the market research show that vegan cheese is not only the right thing to do for the animals, but actually, dare I say, profitable?

Unfortunately, it’s much bigger than that.

The dairy industry proudly boasts about their financial partnerships with both Pizza Hut and Domino’s. Both companies not only take money from the dairy industry, but they use the Dairy industry scientists and nutritionists to introduce more menu items to push larger amounts of milk.

According to Dairy.org on a February 2018 release, “Pizza Hut – a dairy checkoff partner- increased the amount of cheese on its pan pizzas by 25 percent, a move that will require an additional 150 million pounds of milk annually to meet the change.”

They go on to say that the “project was made possible thanks to dairy scientist Nitin Joshi, a Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) employee who works onsite at Pizza Hut’s headquarters in Plano, Texas.“

Read that again. Let it really sink in.

The Dairy Industry not only gives money to certain big chain restaurants, but they actually have employees on site developing more products that push 150 million gallons more of milk per year. Products are designed for the sole purpose of pushing an agenda for US Dairy Farmers, and that agenda is far from human health.

Following the money further, we look at Domino’s, and their financial partnership with the US dairy industry.

According to a 2018 press release from Dairy.org, because of their partnership, Domino’s “increased their cheese usage by over 1 BILLION milk equivalent pounds. That’s just shy of 20,000 tanker loads of milk that was off the market because of the Domino’s partnership.”

They aren’t selling billions more in pizzas. They are updating their menu items to use more cheese to push more milk. Once upon a time, you could order Domino’s Breadsticks and they didn’t come with melted cheese. Now, you can’t even get their breadsticks without melted cheese, and they are a completely different product.

They go on to say at Dairy.org, “in addition to menu development, Domino’s has also been a partner in sharing the story of dairy farmers through the Undeniably Dairy campaign.  Last summer, Domino’s put the Undeniably Dairy logo on their pizza boxes across the country – reaching 7 million homes a week.”

As a business school grad that studied marketing, let’s really look at what is being done here.

Not only are they working hand-in-hand with the dairy industry to develop menu items pushing higher percentages of cheese usage on products (which is keeping America sick, but that’s another discussion for another day), they are also using marketing through their materials they use to distribute their products to psychologically get you to feel some allegiance to the “Hardworking US Dairy Farmer”. They even have language on their box boasting pizza isn’t pizza without tons of cheese. “How can it be anything else?” says the Domino’s box regarding dairy cheese.

Now, as someone who has eaten actual Italian pizza in Naples, Italy, pizza traditionally highlighted tomatoes and sauce more than copious amounts of cheese. And it’s delicious. It’s the agenda behind the marketing to make you believe you need the cheese to have a good pizza, and they are going so far to push that you should feel good about it because you are keeping people employed. Cheese is super addictive in nature, as milk was meant to encourage baby cows to latch on to their mothers, so it’s easy to give in to this message for the average consumer.

Meanwhile, billions of animals are being slaughtered, and many consumers are opting for the nut milks versus the cows milk. So doesn’t voting with our dollars help?

The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) recently released a statement that traditional milk sales plummeted by $1.1 billion in 2018, so where is all of this dairy money coming from now that consumers are voting with their dollars?

The answer is the United States Government.

According to an ABC news article in August 2018, the USDA stepped in to buy 50 million in surplus milk to bail out the dairy industry. Where does all this milk go?

According to the article, “The USDA is buying the milk under a program that allows the government to buy surplus food or agricultural products and redirect them to food banks or school-nutrition programs.”

So even when we are voting with our dollars that we do not want to consume milk, they repurpose the surplus to encourage milk consumption by our children in schools.

Isn’t the government supposed to reflect what it’s citizens want?

Let’s not even get into the money circulating between the government and the dairy industry. I encourage you all to watch What The Health on Netflix or YouTube. The doc really lays out all of the financial connections between restaurants, the medical community, the dairy industry, and the government. The Thrive Movement documentary will take it a step further for you to show you who really pulls those strings. (Spoiler Alert: it’s not Trump.)

The day the US government decides to stop bailing out the dairy industry is the day the dairy industry will stop having the ability to lobby and push more dairy, even though demand of milk is technically down. That’s the only presumable reason there’s a resistance of adding vegan cheese at some quick food establishments — it won’t be until they realize their profits can be gained back by the consumers when they do finally lose that US Dairy money. And the day is coming. 😘

There is so much more than our dietary preferences at stake. In many ways, our preferences are being taught at an early age to support corrupt industries.

To keep someone in the dark means to keep someone from being informed. I hope posting this information sheds some light that leads to major changes. We totally have the power to manifest our higher desires, Peace and Prosperity on Earth, and while it seems overwhelming when looking at Earth’s dark parts, we can’t fix what we don’t know about. ✌🏼💚🌱✨

Links to Sources:

Dairy Industry and Domino’s Undeniably Strong Partnership

ABC News: US Government Buys 50 Million in Milk to Bail Out Dairy Farmers

PizzaHut Dairy Partership Leads to 25% More Cheese

Fast Company: Milk Sales Plummeted by 1.1 Billion Last Year

Documentaries Mentioned:

What the Health

The Thrive Movement

Excerpt Clip from Thrive Movement “Follow the Money”:

Eating Compassionately

Compassion Begins On Your Plate!

➡️What losing over a hundred pounds looks like on Instagram vs. ➡️what losing over a hundred pounds looks like in reality.

This is a major vulnerability post for me, friends. In honor of Earth day, I am posting to remind you that going vegan is not only the best thing you can do to save the planet, but also yourself. I rarely took pictures of me at my heaviest. It was one of the hardest times of my life. The picture of me sitting is when I already started losing a little weight a year into me working at Whole Foods Market when I was on a trip to Chicago opening a store. At my absolute heaviest, I was in an abusive marriage and so lost. It took me going vegan to get my groove back after it all. Seriously. I started feeling happier and more positive. I felt like I wanted to move my body more and my back pain was feeling relief. There were days at my heaviest I didn’t even want to move because my feet killed me and my back made me feel immobile. The lethargy went away going vegan. I started going to the gym, and eating a lot of chia for energy, and never felt better in my life.

After I lost weight, I wanted to show it off and look my best. What I didn’t post was the stretch marks, and the stomach pouch I still had, and the ups and downs along the way. You always see me post myself wearing high waisted leggings or jeans holding in my stomach, or a tank top that is loose in the tummy and flatters me just right. Reality is that I often take a million photos and try multiple poses before I post one. Never get caught up in appearances. The main thing to take away from me going vegan is that it literally improved my quality of life from a drastic standpoint.

My point is, veganism saved my life and my health. It doesn’t matter what you look like. It’s a better quality of life for everyone, from a personal level, to how animals are treated, to how many Earthly resources are saved for everyone by eating plant based. Compassion truly begins on your plate: for the animals, for the planet, and for your health. 💚🌱✨💗

Beer-Battered Chick’n Fried Tofu

Compassion begins on your plate! 💚🌱 I am sharing this delicious, indulgent chicken fried tofu recipe just in time for Super Bowl Sunday! This tofu has the texture of chicken and is full of flavor. Enjoy the flavors of a juicy chicken, beer battered and seasoned to perfection, while refraining from harming any living being. ✌🏼

Ingredients

Beer Batter:

2 cups flour

12 oz of lager beer (I used Stella Artois)

1 vegan egg (2 tbsp Follow Your Heart egg powder and 1/2 cup iced cold water, whisked)

2/3 tsp salt

1/2 tsp basil

1/3 tsp oregano

1 tsp celery salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp mustard seed

4 tsp paprika

3 tsp garlic salt

3 tsp white pepper

Seasoned Flour:

1 cup flour

1 cup traditional bread crumbs

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp white pepper

The “Chicken”:

Organic canola oil (enough for 4 inches of oil in large pan)

24oz traditional or medium tofu

1 cup vegan chicken broth

1 cup flour

Preparation

You will need to freeze your tofu twice to attain a chicken-like texture.

Place tofu package in freezer for 6 hrs (or overnight) and thaw for 4 hrs. Repeat.

Once your tofu is thawed, you will need to drain it of moisture using either a tofu press or two cutting boards. I personally do not own a press, so I press my tofu on a cutting board with paper towels and a big glass pan.

Once the tofu is drained, it should be easily broken apart to reveal chicken-like tofu pieces. Did your tofu fall into bits? No worries! We will prepare this like popcorn chicken.

Place drained tofu pieces into bowl.

Pour chicken-style vegan broth as a tofu marinade. Let soak for 5 mins.

Drain tofu of excess broth.

Dip each piece in plain flour and set aside.

Mix seasoned flour ingredients and set aside.

Mix beer batter ingredients and set aside.

Fill 4 inches of oil into the bottom of a wok or large pan.

Heat frying oil to 350 degrees.

Now, this next part gets a little messy. Commit to the fact they will turn out perfect and charge on through any flour messes along the way.

You are going to take your pieces of marinaded tofu and dip them in the beer batter, coating it completely.

Roll the outside of the tofu in the seasoned flour mixture making sure the outside is coated with breadcrumbs.

Once you’ve done all the bigger pieces of tofu, make sure to dip all the smaller ones as well. They will turn out like popcorn chicken.

Drop tofu into the oil in small batches, turning each side until darkened like fried chicken.

Once cooked evenly, set aside on paper towel or a rack, draining any excess oil from the finished pieces.

Let cool for at least 5 mins before eating.

Serve like a finger food with your favorite dipping sauces, like Organicville Vegan Ranch, or serve it atop some vegan waffles for a southern feel.

Enjoy!

Vegan No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

Compassion begins on your plate! These rich, no-bake peanut butter chocolate bars will satisfy even the most mouth watering sweet tooth while being vegan and gluten-free diet friendly.

You only need Four Ingredients:

Filling

  • 2 cups peanut butter (I prefer 365 brand, organic & unsweetened)
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Topping

  • 2 cups vegan chocolate chips (I prefer the Enjoy Life brand)
  • 1 cup peanut butter

Combine filling ingredients in large bowl, until it becomes difficult to stir.

Line a large pan with parchment paper.

Press peanut butter “dough” into large pan, ensuring it is evenly spread, and set aside.

Melt vegan chocolate chips in pan using the double boiler method. I personally boil water in a medium pan, and place a smaller pan over it to melt the ingredients. Stir in cup of peanut butter as chips begin to melt.

Pour melted chocolate mixture over peanut butter dough spread in pan. Make sure melted chocolate is spread evenly.

Cover and place in the freezer for 45 minutes.

Remove pan, and cut chocolate and peanut butter layers into bars. (Store in the refrigerator.) And enjoy! 💚🌱✨