White Chili

If you live in any of the Northern United States (or anywhere on the East coast this winter) you are most likely chili-ed out. There is nothing more satisfying than a steaming hot bowl of chili when the weather starts to get that cold bite to it.  And then February hits. What was once so satisfying becomes just another bowl of chili.  This recipe for White Chili gives you that same first-bowl-of-the-season-stick-to-your-ribs satisfaction with a refreshing twist.

Chili is a lot like barbecue sauce. Everyone has a secret ingredient and a different way to make it. I’ve added condensed tomato soup, coffee, peanut butter, and ketchup to my chili in search of the perfect secret ingredient. I’ve seen people use jars of salsa instead of canned tomatoes. Some people think that putting beans in chili is sacrilege. Those people will hate White Chili.

White Chili - Vegan Heartbeats

So what is White Chili? White Chili has chicken instead of beef, and white beans instead of kidney, black, and pinto beans. I have tried it a few different ways, and I like it best when it has no chili powder in it – just cumin. It’s garlicky, with a traditional soup base of onion, celery and carrot.  These three ingredients give you the comforting feeling of sitting on grandma’s couch with a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup watching a movie from the 50s featuring Frank Sinatra (Oh, that’s just me?).

White beans and veggies. A little cumin. A lot of garlic. And chicken. My absolute favorite vegan chicken is homemade. I use Miyoko Schinner’s Unchicken Breast recipe from My Homemade Vegan Pantry. It’s incredibly easy and fast compared to other seitan recipes I’ve tried. The recipe makes 12 “breasts” and freezes really well. Discovering this recipe has been a game changer for weeknight meals and saves mucho money! Miyoko’s recipe for vegan chicken breast makes three times the amount of vegan chicken for the same price as one bag of frozen vegan chicken strips. That being said, any vegan chicken recipe or store bought item will work well for White Chili. There are some great gluten free options available as well (Beyond Meat).

White Chili - Vegan Heartbeats

White Chili - Vegan Heartbeats

White Chili

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Give your chili routine a refreshing spin with this hearty White Chili recipe. This recipe can easily be made in a slow cooker or on the stove top. Slow cooker time is about 3 hours on high.

Nutrition highlights: 20 grams of protein per serving, low fat, high fiber, and high in iron. 309 calories per serving.

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots (about 1-2 full sized carrots)
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery (about 2-3 stalks)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, minced (deseeded)
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • dash of cayenne
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth, separated
  • 2 15-ounce cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 ounces vegan chicken strips (about half a bag or 2 “breasts”), cut into cubes
  1. Add one can of white beans to a blender or food processor. Add one cup of vegetable broth and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Add a small amount of oil to a medium stock pot. Heat over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and bell pepper. Stir to coat in oil and mix. Let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the garlic, jalapeño, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir to mix. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the spices and veggies start sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the blended white beans, additional cup of broth, and the second can of white beans. Increase heat to medium high, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer.
  5. Optional step: sauté the chicken strips so they are crispy on all sides.
  6. Add chicken strips to the chili. Stir and let simmer 10-15 minutes.

 

Roasted Veg & Arugula Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

I know you’re with me when I say that there a lot of are bad salads out there. I can’t count how many times a salad has been my only option for a meal, and it consisted of iceberg lettuce, shredded carrots (the kind that come in a bag, pre-shredded), and maybe, if I’m lucky, a little radicchio. Don’t get me started on the dressing.

Lately I’ve noticed a change – great salad options in grocery stores and restaurants. Tis the season, right? I hope it sticks.

Despite my little rant, I am a salad lover. I believe that salads can stand alone, and that’s my goal whenever I create new combinations.  A strong salad needs more than the classic garden salad can offer. It needs variation – in texture, flavor, and temperature.

Roasted Veg and Arugula Salad - Vegan Heartbeats

Roasted Veg and Arugula Salad - Vegan Heartbeats

Roasted Veg and Arugula Salad - Vegan Heartbeats

This Roasted Veg and Arugula Salad can definitely stand alone. It’s simple, but surprising. It’s a salad to make you question what “salad” means. It’s earthy. It’s nutty. It’s tart. It’s fresh. It’s crunchy. It’s creamy. It’s smokey. It’s sweet.

Oh, and it’s naturally gluten-free with no added oil in the dressing!

Roasted Veg and Arugula Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

  • Servings: 2 entree, 4 side
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 cups assorted vegetables, cut in 1-inch pieces – the combination I used was sweet potato, carrot, broccoli and brussels sprouts
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5-ounces of arugula (one bag from Whole Foods)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • Juice from one lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or grated (using a garlic press or zester)
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Toss the vegetables in the olive oil, salt and pepper. Depending on the vegetables you choose, you may want to roast them separately.  For example, using the combination listed above, I roasted the sweet potato and carrot together, and the broccoli and brussels sprouts together, then mixed it all together at the end.
  3. Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet in one even layer. Place in the oven. Check the vegetables every 10 minutes, tossing around. Time will vary for different vegetables (broccoli/brussels will take about 20-25 minutes, sweet potato/carrot will take closer to 35). We are looking for some caramelization or light char on the outsides and an al dente texture.
  4. While the vegetable are roasting, toast the sesame seeds. Place them in a dry pan (no oil!) over low-medium heat. Keep a constant eye on them – they go from raw to burnt in seconds. Stir and toss them in the pan to keep them moving. When you can start to smell them and they are slowly turning brown, turn off the heat and transfer them to a bowl or container. Let cool.
  5. Combine the lemon juice, tahini, garlic and salt in a small bowl. Use a whisk or fork to mix together. Add water, if needed to thin out the dressing – this is really a matter of personal preference.
  6. Assemble: Make a bed of arugula, top with the warm roasted vegetables, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Slow Cooker Rice

Slow cooker rice? I was skeptical too. There are a few tricks:

  • you need to use whole grain, brown rice – you know the kind that says it only takes 30 minutes on the bag, but in reality it takes an hour
  • this isn’t a set it and forget it for 8 hours type of slow cooker recipe, but a set it and forget it for 3 hours recipe

I know I will get some criticism for this, especially from those closet to me, but I really don’t like slow cookers. I like the idea of slow cookers, but when push comes to shove, they’re not versatile enough for daily use. They are the perfect tool for workday dinners, but I really only use them for soup or chili. And there is a limit to how many days of the week I can eat chili (that limit is 3). I’ve yet to experiment with pasta in the slow cooker – call me dubious, but I already think the result is an indistinguishable bowlful of mush.

Slow Cooker Rice - Vegan Heartbeats

Josh and I joined the Y and started going a couple of nights a week. We aren’t doing anything crazy, just trying to be a little more active. But with work, those gym days turn into long days away from home.  So, it’s gotten me thinking about expanding my slow cooker repertoire.

So far, this recipe for Slow Cooker Rice is my favorite slow cooker creation since opening my mind to the possibilities one can offer.

Here are a few notes about this recipe:

  • This recipe for Slow Cooker Rice is designed to be made specifically in a slow cooker. You aren’t going to get the same result by using a different cooking method. Check out this post for some basic tips for using a slow cooker, especially if you’re translating a traditional recipe for use in a slow cooker.
  • Apples in savory dishes is a #gamechanger. My mom has always put green apple in her stuffing, but I’ve just recently started adding it to other dishes. The tartness and sweetness offer such a pleasant contrast to some of the rich textures and flavors in a lot of savory dishes.

Slow Cooker Rice - Vegan Heartbeats

Slow Cooker Holiday Rice

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 butternut squash, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 apple*, diced
  • 2 cups whole grain, brown rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 3 3/4 cups veggie broth or water
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • *Optional*: 1/2 cup craisins
  1. Combine the squash, onion, apple, rice, salt, Italian seasoning, chili flakes, ground mustard, liquid smoke, and craisins (if using) in a slow cooker. Stir well to mix all the ingredients.
  2. Add the veggie broth and stir to combine.
  3. Set the slow cooker to high, and let cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. You’ll be able to tell that the rice is done when the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  4. Turn off heat or lower heat to warm, depending on when you are going to serve. Add the vinegar and olive oil, and stir.
  5. Sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs right before serving.

*Green apples are my preferred option, but any will work.

 

BABY FOOD SMOOTHIE | PURE SPOON

Hang in there. It’s really not as crazy as it sounds.

I was sent a few samples of Pure Spoon baby food, a cold-pressed baby food company that is really transparent about the ingredients it uses and values maximum nutrition for growing little bellies. This was a tough one for me, because although I stand behind the values of the company, I didn’t have a clue what I would do with baby food.

The obvious choice was to feed the samples (Avocado Apple Pear, Carrot Zucchini, and Butternut Squash Apple and Oat) to Rigby and let her pick her favorite.

Pure Spoon Baby Food

With a little thought, I realized that Pure Spoon baby food is perfect for smoothies. Think about it:

  • the ingredients are already prepped
  • we drink smoothies to be healthy, and Pure Spoon has maximum nutrients due to its High Pressure Pasteurization
  • Pure Spoon baby food comes in mixed flavors, so you can make more interesting and unique smoothies with less effort and ingredients
  • baby food is already blended, so less noisy blending and more delicious slurping

Baby Food Smoothie

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 8 ounces organic apple juice
  • 1 single-serving Pure Spoon baby food (my recommendation is Avocado, Apple & Pear)
  • Optional add-ons: handful of spinach, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  1. Put everything in the blender and blend, baby!

Apple Cupcakes with Maple Almond Frosting

You know how you fall in love with a certain kind of food and gorge on it. Like, it’s all you can think about for days and days and days, and basically, it’s all you eat for days and days and days. Then, all of a sudden, you want nothing to do with it?

Well, that’s sort of what happened to me and baking. When I started recording my recipes digitally 6 years ago (!) a majority of them were baked goods. I tried a little of everything, and failed a lot, but ultimately fell off the baking bandwagon. My cravings changed when I went back to school – instead of being able to eat my weight in cupcakes, I ate sleeves of Ritz crackers and bags of potato chips.

Apple Cupcakes with Maple Almond Frosting - Vegan Heartbeats

Now I’m back. I know this because I recently made 24 cupcakes, two different flavors, for a pot luck with less than 10 people. I went overboard. And I loved it. I missed being that friend that always has dessert to push on people – like when you go to your grandma’s house and somehow she always has cookies coming out of the oven. I want people to come over hungry and leave with a cavity.

This recipe was inspired by a new product that was sent to me. Maple Vanilla Almond Butter that’s made with no added sugars and infused with protein. So it’s the healthiest, most delicious nut butter out there. Naturally, I found a way to make it unhealthy, but more on that later…

D’s Naturals, a company that makes the No Cow protein bar, makes almond and peanut butter in four flavors. I have been using the Smores Peanut Butter as a spread for graham crackers. I feel like I am treating myself, but with no added sugar and extra protein, it’s a snack I can feel really good about.

When I first tasted the Maple Vanilla Almond Butter I knew I wanted to make it into frosting for my applesauce cake.  Miraculously, I had a jar of my mom’s homemade applesauce leftover from last fall. I seriously don’t know how it survived that long, because it is crazy good. The cupcake recipe is straightforward, just measure and mix, measure and mix. The trick to the making the frosting fluffy and irresistible is turning the mixer on high and just forgetting about it for a few minutes. In my experience, nut butter based frostings can be thick, too rich and almost more of a fudge than a buttercream consistency. By adding an extra teaspoon of milk and not rushing your mixer, you’ll get a super fluffy frosting that is mind blowingly delicious.

Apple Cupcakes with Maple Almond Frosting - Vegan Heartbeats

Apple Cupcakes with Maple Almond Frosting

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Apple Cupcakes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of canola oil
  • 1 cup, packed, brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 6 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups applesauce, preferably homemade
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line or grease a cupcake tin.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Mix the ground flax seeds and warm water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken.
  4. Combine the canola oil, sugar, extract and applesauce in a medium bowl. Add the flax/water mixture and mix well.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix with a whisk until there are no large lumps remaining.
  6. Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake liner, or until each liner is two-thirds full.
  7. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake is pulled out clean.

Maple Almond Frosting

  • 1/4 cup D’s Natural Vanilla Maple Almond Fluffbutter*
  • 1/4 cup earth balance, or other vegan margarine
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
  • drop of almond extract (optional)
  • 2-4 teaspoons almond milk
  • small pinch of salt
  1. Combine the almond butter, margarine, and shortening in an electric mixer and beat until combined.
  2. With the mixer on the lowest setting, add three cups of the powdered sugar about a half cup at a time.
  3. Add the extracts, if using, two teaspoons of almond milk and a pinch of salt.
  4. Once combined, turn the speed up to high and let mix for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Give the frosting a taste, and add a little milk if it’s too thick, and a little extra sugar if it has a pasty texture. Turn the speed back up and let mix for 2-3 minutes.

Assembly

  1. Allow cupcakes to cool in the cupcake tin for 10-15 minutes. Remove and let cool completely at room temperature.
  2. Use a piping bag and frosting tip, scoop (pictured) or a butter knife to add frosting to the cupcakes. Garnish with a slivered almond or sprinkle of cinnamon.

* Substitute plain almond butter and 1/2 a teaspoon of maple extract if unable to find D’s Natural Vanilla Maple Almond Fluffbutter.

Recap! Healthy Breakfasts Cooking Class & Printable Recipe Card

Are you feeling the rush of fall yet? You know I’ve been feeling it since the beginning of August, but I am catching vibes from pretty much everyone that fall is here this past week. I’m not even in school this year (I’m still a little sad about that) and I am feeling the time crunch and hustle bustle. I’m not exaggerating when I say I drank a half gallon of coffee every day this week.

I taught a Healthy Breakfasts Cooking Class with Maker Mountain Studios the other weekend, and the timing just felt perfect. We made Whole Wheat Muffins, two-ways with frozen fruit and dried fruit, and Coconut Chia Pudding with a topping bar, so attendees could customize their parfaits.  This was my first time teaching this class and I’m already brainstorming ideas for the coming months (skipping September because of the wedding).  Stay tuned to the Vegan Heartbeats Facebook and be sure to check out the Maker Mountain Studios Facebook for a full list of their events. They have Blacksmithing classes each month and felted wool classes where you make little woodland creatures, dryer balls and coffee cup sleeves, plus many more unique classes.

Coconut Chia Pudding has been my saving grace breakfast food. I make a big jar (32 ounces) at the beginning of the week and breakfast is taken care of. The biggest selling point (other than how amazingly treat-like it tastes) is how customizable it is. I can add different toppings, so even though I’m eating the same thing every day, I can trick myself into thinking it’s different. This is important, especially for me, because I can get bored of a food if I eat it too often. For breakfast, that means I end up skipping it altogether.  Some of my favorite combos are:

  • Diced peach with slivered almonds
  • Banana and melted peanut butter drizzled on top
  • Sprinkling with extra cinnamon and cocoa powder

Coconut Chia Pudding is hard to describe. It’s coconut-y, creamy, and thick. It’s sweet and cold. It’s the texture of tapioca pudding, but also very reminiscent of whipped cream.

I’d love to see your personal creations. Share pictures of any VHB recipes you try on Facebook and Instagram – tag me @veganheartbeats!

Click here to download a pdf recipe card for my Coconut Chia Pudding.

Cookbook Review: Frugal Vegan

What better time to cook through and review the Frugal Vegan cookbook than a little over a month before our wedding?

At first glance you might feel like something is missing. Frugal. How can you eat well on a budget? The authors, Katie and Kate of Well Vegan, did a great job of creating balanced recipes that check all of the right boxes. Affordable. Quick. Healthy. Filling. Oh, and delicious.

I tried a lot of recipes from Frugal Vegan, all of them delicious, but I decided to share something different with you all.  I normally don’t make or share “cheesy” vegan food.  I tend to save those recipes for awkward dinner parties when you have to bring a crowd-pleasing dish. I used to make things like Carrot Applesauce or Za’atar Chickpea Salad. Now, obviously I stand behind both of those recipes, but I’m just asking for trouble by bringing unpronounceable spiced chickpeas and baby food to parties. I learned my lesson quickly, if I didn’t want to stand out (which I never want to do – why did I buy bright yellow glasses?) I needed to make food that no one would ever know was vegan.

Gooey Mushroom Quesadillas

Photo from the Frugal Vegan Cookbook

 

Enter Frugal Vegan. Their recipe for ooey-gooey Mushroom Quesadillas blew my mind. The ooey-gooey is from TOFU! Not, like I was anticipating, a package of store-bought vegan cheese. This recipe is basically a homemade, fuss-free, vegan pepperjack cheese that is salty, melty, a little stretchy and just a touch spicy. They feature it as a quesadilla, but I used the leftover tofu filling for grilled cheese sandwiches, tossed in pasta (mac n cheese style), and on roasted potatoes.

Frugal Vegan Gooey Mushroom Quesadillas

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This recipe is from the recently released Frugal Vegan cookbook.

  • 8 oz extra-firm tofu, drained
  • ½ cup and 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp and 2 tsp tapioca flour
  • 1½ tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1½ tsp lemon juice
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 cups baby portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • Pico de gallo, for serving, optional
  • Guacamole, for serving, optional
  1. To make the cheese, first press the tofu with several layers of paper towel to remove as much water as possible. Then, break the tofu into a few small pieces and add them to the bowl of a food processor, followed by the water, tapioca flour, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder and salt. Blend until completely smooth.
  2. Spray a medium skillet with cooking spray. Sauté the mushrooms until softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Transfer the cheese mixture to a small saucepan and stir constantly over low heat. The cheese will begin to clump and eventually become gooey. Add the red pepper flakes and continue stirring for another minute or so. Add the sautéed mushrooms to the cheese mixture and stir to evenly combine. Remove from heat.
  3. Lay the tortillas flat and spread one half with a quarter of the cheese mixture. Fold the tortillas in half and press lightly to seal. Wipe the skillet you used to cook the mushrooms with a paper towel and re-coat with cooking spray. Return the skillet to medium heat and cook the quesadillas until lightly brown and crispy, about 2 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining three tortillas. Cut each quesadilla into four pieces and serve immediately with pico de gallo and guacamole, if desired.

Fall Lentil Salad with Apples & Beets

It’s too early. I know.

But.

I am so excited about fall. I always love fall, but this year it’s a bigger deal.  I am more aware of the changing season because this year, fall means it’s time for our WEDDING.

Maybe my subconscious is playing tricks on me, but the days are starting and ending with a brisk coolness to them. We had soup for dinner the other night, made in the crockpot! Maybe I am spinning out of control.

Fall Lentil Salad with Apples and Beets - Vegan Heartbeats

This recipe for Fall Lentil Salad with Apples & Beets is perfect for late August – when weather is still warm, but fall is unmistakable. This time of the year tends to be insanely busy, so this recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes and can be made in advance. With less than 10 ingredients, this salad is hearty and fresh. This side dish is guaranteed to impress guests when served topped with fresh herbs, but if you want to keep it all to yourself, it’s a perfect addition to a packed lunch.

Fall Lentil Salad with Apples and Beets - Vegan HeartbeatsFall Lentil Salad with Apples and Beets - Vegan HeartbeatsFall Lentil Salad with Apples and Beets - Vegan HeartbeatsFall Lentil Salad with Apples and Beets - Vegan Heartbeats

Fall Lentil Salad with Apples & Beets

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Serve cold, with an orange slice and topped with some fresh herbs, like parsley or mint.

  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 3 golden beets, peeled and cubed
  • 2 apples, cubed
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Combine the lentils and water (or broth) in a small saucepan. If cooking in water, add a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, until most water is absorbed and lentils are tender. Stir frequently.
  2. Add the cubed beets to a separate sauce pan and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until beets are fork tender. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  3. Combine the cubed apples, orange juice, oil, salt and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Add the cooked beets and lentils. Toss and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Miso Glazed Tofu

I have been OBSESSED with anything sesame-soy-miso-ginger this summer. They all come together in this Cold Soba Noodle Salad. The nutritionist in me thinks it’s because these flavors are satiating. Even though they are most often served cold, they tend to satisfy your appetite, due to the high salt content.  And it has been HOT in Columbus – salad suppers are a must.

This whole obsession started with my most recent purchase of miso. I use miso in a lot of recipes, just to add a little more depth. Miso is salty and sometimes sweet, tangy even, but it gets it’s fame from it’s umami characteristics.  I refuse to buy the little containers of nutritional yeast, so I only buy it when a store has it in bulk containers, leaving me without most of the time (vegan sacrilege, I know). Because of it’s umami, nuttiness and slight tang, miso is a really good substitute for nutritional yeast.

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Miso Glazed Tofu - Vegan

Since it’s a fermented product, miso lasts for a long time. For some reason when I bought this container of it, I promised myself to use it quickly. I do this sometimes, and I don’t know why, but really delicious recipes are born because of it.

Soba noodles are made out of buckwheat. You can find some gluten free brands, but most are cut with whole wheat flour. I think they are the easiest of the Asian noodle varieties to work with. I love rice noodles, but they always clump up on me. Soba noodles cook like Italian pasta, in boiling water. They take 4 minutes, and then I drain them and rush them with cold water. You can make them ahead of time and store them covered in cold water. Soba noodles are more delicate than Italian pasta, so they are great served cold in a salad on a hot summer day.

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Miso Glazed Tofu - Vegan

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Miso Glazed Tofu - Vegan

The rest of this recipe is two insanely easy sauces/dressings, some easy marinated tofu and fresh chopped veggies.

Cold Soba Noodle Salad with Miso Glazed Tofu

  • Servings: 4 sides, 2 entrees
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I know this looks like a lot…but it’s really not. The long prep time is mainly to marinate the tofu. Read through the recipe instructions first so you understand the flow, and it’ll all come together quickly!

Marinated Tofu

  • 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and patted dry
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Miso Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon yellow miso
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Sesame Ginger Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic

Cold Soba Salad

  • 1/3 package of soba noodles (they come already separated in thirds)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced (or, use your peeler to make ribbons, as pictured)
  • 2 radishes, halved and sliced thin
  • 2 cups fresh kale, chopped
  1. Marinate the tofu: Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, oil, red pepper flakes and liquid smoke in an oven safe dish. Slice the tofu into eight 1/4″ thick slices. Add the tofu to the marinade, so each piece is coated completely. Let marinate for 1 hour, flipping each slice halfway through.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the tofu for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  3. Heat a small pot of water with a big pinch of salt. When it boils, add the soba noodles. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and immediately rinse in cold water. If you are making them ahead of time, keep them submerged in cold water until ready to use.
  4. Make the Miso Glaze: Use a whisk to combine the water, miso, ginger and agave in small bowl. Heat a heavy skillet, like a cast iron pan. Brush each piece of tofu with the glaze. Place the tofu in the pan with the glazed side down. Add the glaze to the other side. Flip the tofu after about 3 minutes, reglaze the first side. After about 3 minutes the tofu should be done – each side should have a nice caramelized sear from the glaze.
  5. Combine the soba noodles, red pepper, carrot, radish and kale in a large bowl. Measure and combine the sesame, vinegar, water, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a blender*. Blend on high for about 1 minute and pour directly over the soba mixture. Use your hands or tongs to toss.
  6. Serve the salad cold and top with the glazed tofu.

*Blenders aren’t necessary, but they help to emulsify the dressing. If you skip the blender and opt for a good old fashioned whisk, you’ll want to grate your garlic so it’s super fine, or sub it out for 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder.

Breakfast Burritos with BFree Gluten Free Wraps

I was first introduced to gluten free bread products when I worked at an organic cafe in North Carolina.  I dreaded when tickets would come into the kitchen with gluten free in that red type that signifies a modification to a menu item. If you work in a kitchen, you know exactly what that means – the more red, the more dread.  The gluten free wraps we used back then would just crumble. If you were lucky, you could get it wrapped up and on a plate, but you know it crumbled the second the hungry customer put a finger on it.

Since I have no health conditions that lead me eat a gluten free diet, I have just stayed away from these products.  That is until BFree Foods delivered a HUGE box of gluten free breads, rolls, wraps, pitas and bagels to my doorstep.  Their products are gluten free, but also vegan, which is rare for gluten free breads, which typically contain eggs to replace the protein lost by omitting gluten. Some of the products, like the wraps featured in this recipe, are loaded with extra nutrients from chia seeds, quinoa and teff.

Unlike those first gluten free wraps, these are easy to handle and don’t crumble. The superfood wraps used in this breakfast burrito recipe have an earthy taste to them, likely from the teff and other grains used to put the “super” in superfood. Other BFree Foods products, like the bagels and rolls don’t have any of that earthy aftertaste – everything slices, toasts and holds foods just like a traditional pitas, bagels, wraps and sandwich breads.

This recipe is like a compilation of my time in North Carolina. After the organic cafe closed, I went to work for a different cafe and bakery called Mad Hatter’s Cafe and Bakeshop.  The cafe was a popular brunch spot, located across the street from Duke University. Our best seller was, you guessed it, a breakfast burrito.

This cafe holds a special place in my heart because that’s where Josh and I met. He likes to tell people we met in jail, but I’m a terribly awkward liar, so that story always falls flat. We’ve been away for 5 years now, and I would love to make a trip back there, someday, for the nostalgic rush it will give me.

Until then, I’ll stick with replicating the breakfast burrito. The recipe made three. You can squeeze it into four, since three is a rando quantity. I ate one, wrapped the other two in foil and popped them in the freezer. I don’t have a microwave, so I reheat them in the oven. It takes about 5-10 minutes and works really well!

Breakfast Burrito - Vegan/GFBreakfast Burrito - Vegan/GF

Breakfast Burrito - Vegan/GFBreakfast Burrito - Vegan/GFBreakfast Burrito - Vegan/GF

Gluten Free Breakfast Burrito

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

I used this recipe as an opportunity to explore Follow Your Heart’s new product, Vegan Egg. The consistency is exactly like a scrambled egg, but the taste is pretty bland.  I still add spices, like I would to a tofu scramble, so if you want to sub out the Vegan Egg for your favorite tofu scramble, be my guest.

Beans:

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2-4 tablespoons water

Vegan Egg:

  • 1 cup chopped veggies (onion, peppers, mushroom and garlic)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Vegan Eggs (follow package instructions for water/powder ratio)

Assembly:

  • 3-4 BFree Foods Gluten Free Wraps
  • Avocado, salsa, cilantro and scallions to garnish, optional
  1. Add the black beans, soy sauce, liquid smoke, cumin, crushed red pepper flake and paprika to a small sauce pan. Heat over medium-low heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to create a slightly saucy consistency with the spices. Let cook on low to heat through the beans while you prepare the Vegan Egg.
  2. Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the vegetables. Add a splash of water to prevent them from sticking. Avoid using oil, as the Vegan Egg doesn’t absorb it, so using oil just makes your whole dish slimy and oily (aka gross). If you feel like pieces are sticking to the pan, add a splash of water or even a tiny bit of vinegar or lemon juice and stir.
  3. After about 5 minutes, add the chili powder, curry powder, salt and pepper. Toss to combine and add your Vegan Egg mixture. Use a spatula to stir and cook as you would scrambled eggs. Continue to cook like this until the Vegan Egg has solidified, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Nuke your wraps in the microwave for 15 seconds, so they are warm and pliable. Add a big scoop of beans to the center and top with the Vegan Egg. Fold the left and right sides in, tuck in the bottom corners. Fold the bottom up and roll the rest, so you have a completely closed burrito. Repeat until all wraps are now filled breakfast burritos.
  5. Return the burritos to a pan to slightly toast the wrap. This step is optional, but adds a nice crunch and will help the wrap stand up to salsa.
  6. Top the burritos with salsa, avocado, cilantro and scallions (or whatever you fancy) and devour!