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Vegan Fourth of July Shopping List

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Fourth of July is around the corner. What are your plans? Let me guess. Eat (a good meal), have a few drinks, share a memorable time with friends and family, and most importantly, thank our independence heroes for making this day a reality, right? Our Vegan fourth of July recipes are a must try. You don’t have to get stuck with your grandma’s recipe book. It’s time to try something different.

You see, life is hard enough walking past smoke-filled environments. While everyone else thinks of beefy burgers and char-grilled ribs, let me share with you my easy to make vegan delicacies. The best part is that you don’t have to prepare them from scratch. That’s why we have our lovely friends at WholeFoods, Trader Joe’s, and Target, right? So what’s in store for 2019s Vegan Fourth of July?

TraderJoe’s Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels for $3.29

Chicken-less Mandarin Orange Morsels Image

Trader Joe’s

These morsels are very delicious. They are a blend of soy flakes and orange sauce. They actually taste like real chicken. After being off the shelves for almost a year, they are now back; repackaged and very tinkered.

When you buy them, defrost the sauce in hot water. Secondly, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the morsels for 9 minutes, turning them occasionally until they become golden and crispy. I serve mine with rice or noodles, the dipping sauce, and my favorite cheese combo or a green salad.

Sometimes when I’m in a hurry, I prefer to stir-fry them on a skillet using a tablespoon or two of olive oil.

Trader Joe’s Falafel Waffles for $2.99

falafel waffles image

Trader Joe’s

Falafel waffles are an excellent addition to a traditional Mediterranean breakfast with chickpeas and ground fava beans. I add a few spices to mine. A combination of cumin, coriander, garlic, and red onions go well with these waffles. You may also choose to cut the waffles into wedges and dredge them in plain yogurt. Whichever option you prefer, preparation time is always less than seven minutes.

Kruger’s Beyond Burger Plant Based Patties for $5.99

Beyond Meat Burgers Image

Kroger

These pea protein-based burgers are very similar to the classic American burger. However, these are healthier and tastier. They have a meaty texture. And by healthier I mean zero soy, GMOs, and gluten. They are available in packets of 20g.

An ideal way of preparing vegan burgers is by grilling the patties for 2-3 minutes each side. Then you grill your gluten-free burger bun (just to warm it up). Meanwhile, sauté a few slices of white onions in olive oil. Finally, build the burger. Add Daiya cheddar slices, lettuce, tomato, and your favorite sauce.

To melt your cheese, always place it on the hot patties as you assemble the burger. Within a few minutes, it will be oozing with tantalizing flavors.

Walmart’s Thai Kitchen Gluten-Free Brown Rice Noodles for $3.82

 Thai Kitchen Gluten-Free Brown Rice Noodles Image

Walmart

These are not your ordinary noodles. They are made from whole grain brown rice. I love the fact that they are easy to prepare. Just steam them for a few minutes and serve. These noodles are free from fat, cholesterol, gluten, eggs, and dairy, making them the perfect vegan option.

Walmart’s Tofurky Deli Slices Hickory Smoked for $2.88

Tofurky Deli Slices Hickory Smoked Image

Walmart

These Tofurky Deli meat slices are cholesterol free and ready to eat; straight from the packets. They contain wheat and soy, but they taste like real turkey. They are stoked with real hickory wood chips to give them a nutty smoky flavor.

To make a Tofurky sandwich, you need the Tofurky Deli Slices, chopped olives, chopped red Onions, vegan cream cheese, jalapeno peppers, and gluten-free tortillas. Mix the ingredients and wrap them with the tortillas.

You can also make bread sandwiches with the tofurky deli slices. I mix mine with tomato, red onion, lettuce slices, vegan cheese, and mayo, mustard, and Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon. Then sandwich between two slices of whole grain bread.

Whole Food Market’s Sukhi Potato Samosas

Sukhi Potato Samosas Image

Whole Food Market

These samosas make a delicious side dish or a snack. They are loaded with spiced potatoes and peas and additional peanuts. To prepare them, first remove the samosas from the packaging tray. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the samosas on a baking dish and bake them for 15 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Serve with cilantro chutney or your favorite dipping sauce.

Target’s Korean Barbeque Meatless Chicken for $3.99

Korean Barbeque Meatless Chicken Image

Target

This delicacy contains soy, sunflower, miso, and organic tamari sauce. It is packed in frozen bags accompanied with a separate sauce packet. Microwave the chicken strips for 2 minutes and then mix with the sauce.

Gardein’s Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites for $3.97

Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites Image

Walmart

These porkless bites come with an easy to follow the recipe at the back. Pan-fry the bits until you get a crispy outside (just like you would with real pork bites). The sauce compliments any pasta or vegetable dish that you would like to serve with.

Wegmans Don’t Be Chicken Meatless Chicken Style Breasts for $4.19

Don’t Be Chicken Meatless Chicken Style Breasts Image

Wegmans

These chicken breasts are made using soy and wheat. To prepare the breasts, bake them for 15 minutes, turning them midway. Alternatively, you can also grill them. Lightly coat the breasts with vegetable oil. Grill them for two minutes on each side while covered (to prevent them from over-drying). Afterward, grill them for a further three minutes, this time uncovered. You can and the chicken breasts to your favorite vegan pot pie. Alternatively, sandwich them with burger buns.

Amy’s Vegan Margherita Swirls for $5.79

Vegan Margherita Swirls Image

Amy’s

These quick snacks contain wheat flour, tomatoes, and basil. To prepare the swirls, unwrap them and bake for 12 minutes. The new surges should otherwise be kept frozen at all times.

Meal Delivery Services For Vegans

In case the vegan fourth of July finds you far from your favorite store, you could request for a delivery to your doorstep. Veestro delivers plant-based pre-cooked meals nationwide. Mamasezz delivers a la carte meals suitable for three servings. Foodflo delivers raw, alkaline and gluten-free vegan diets like side salads and raw snack bars. Other home delivery services are from Food Nerd, Fresh N Lean, 22 Days Nutrition and Nutrifit.

In Conclusion

Pick one or two vegan meals from above and create a memorable vegan fourth of July summer party. Whether it’s an appetizer, the main course, or even dessert, there are a lot of easy to make meal options to choose from. Better still, select one of the gourmet dishes from a vegan delivery service and enjoy this Independence Day. Happy vegan Fourth of July!


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Simple Vegan Christmas Appetizers Recipes: Impress Your Guests!

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vegan Christmas appetizers image

If you have ever been a victim of boring vegan snacks or flavorless dips, then its time to make a change this Christmas. Good cooking is like good music. They are all based on the foundation of proper technique. Vegan Christmas appetizers, tapas, finger foods, canapés, or whatever you might call them, prepare your pallet for the main feast.

It is a diverse category of foods; just like the occasions, we serve them for. And the beauty is that almost all types of food ingredients can be adapted as appetizers. This makes it hard to narrow down on specific foods especially for major Holidays like Christmas. In this article, I will share with you my all-time favorites, variations, and serving tips. Read on!

Baked Apples with Vegan Cheese

These are the simplest vegan Christmas appetizers to make. The best apples for this recipe are the green Granny Smith varieties, and the best cheese is the vegan cream cheese. You can also add fruits, nuts, and spices. I love the combination of star anise, cinnamon, and black peppercorns with dried apricots.

Baked Apples with Vegan Cheese Image

For this recipe, feel free to adjust the measurements according to the number of guests you will be serving.

Ingredients

  • 8 apples
  • 4 tablespoons vegan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon diced dried apricots
  • 1 tablespoon diced raisins
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon, star anise, and black pepper

In a bowl, mix the vegan cheese, the diced fruits, and spices well.

Remove the core of your apples and a little more flesh around it. This creates holes in the apples for stuffing.

Spoon the cheese mixture in the apples and bake them at 200 degrees Celsius for 20-30 minutes or until your apples are tender.

As a tip, add a little water in your baking tray to keep the apples from drying out while baking.

Remove from the oven, garnish with some whole spices.

Serve hot!

Stuffed baked apples with vegan cheese image

Variation

Instead of apricots, you can use chopped pecans or dried cranberries. These are rich in anti-oxidants and other nutritional benefits.

You can also use other firm apple varieties such as Empire or Cortland.

Finally, you can add maple syrup if you have a sweet tooth but remember to balance the sweetness with a pinch of salt. This also depends on the apple variety you use. If your apple is naturally sweet, you don’t need to add more sugar.

Vegan Cheese Balls

Vegan cheese balls appetizer

Cheese balls are a delicious choice of vegan Christmas appetizers. You can prepare them in advance and cook them when your guests arrive. For this recipe, we shall use our favorite vegan cheese recipe.

Once you have the cheese ready, you will need the following to make the vegan Christmas appetizers.

Ingredients

  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese
  • ½-teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1-teaspoon chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • ½-teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
  • 1-tablespoon corn flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and boil your potatoes (skin on) until tender. Peel off the skin and mash them with a fork. Add salt, pepper, and all the above ingredients and mix well. You can use any spices of your choice.

mashed potato image

Now scoop the potato mixture and using your hands, flatten them into small patties. Add some more vegan cheese. Fold the patties into small balls, and set aside. The idea is to have more cheese inside your balls. So once they are done, you take a bite, and the cheese at the center melts in your mouth.

Make some batter to coat them before cooking. This batter gives a crispy layer outside. And at this point, you can get more creative.

For my batter, I use:

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour

Mix well to form a light batter.

Dip your vegan cheese balls and swirl around to coat well.

Roll the coated ball in breadcrumbs and set aside.

Repeat with the rest of the potato balls and roll in different coatings such as pistachio, chocolate shavings, chopped nuts, and cranberries to make several colorful vegan Christmas appetizers.

Freeze these coated balls for at least 1 hour before cooking. This ensures your cheese is firm enough to withstand the heat when cooking.

To cook, you can deep fry them in hot oil, or pan fry with just a little vegetable oil, or bake them at 250 Celsius for 15 minutes. However, deep-frying produces the best results.

Serve hot with a sweet and sour chili dip or this delicious vegan sour cream.

Baked Avocado Fries

Avocado Fries Image

Avocado is a key ingredient if you are on a Ketogenic diet. They are rich in monosaturated fats, vitamins, and minerals. For these fries, you need to preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius (425 F).

Ingredients

  • 3 avocadoes – Slice them evenly (like French fries but not too thin)

For the flour mixture

  • 2 tablespoons of arrowroot flour, or cassava flour, or coconut flour (you can also use all-purpose wheat flour)
  • Spices – ½ teaspoon each
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Chili flakes
  • A pinch of salt and black pepper to taste

Mix all the dry ingredients and set aside.

For the wet mixture

  • 1½ tablespoon ground chia seeds (or you can use flax seeds)
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • 1 lime juiced

Mix well and set aside.

For the final coating

You can use breadcrumbs, coconut flakes, cornflakes, or any similar ingredient that can create a crunchy effect.

Bread Crumbs image

To assemble

Dredge the avocados in the flour mixture to coat well. Dip in the wet mixture and finally in the coconut flakes or breadcrumbs. Lay the slices on a lined baking tray and spray with olive oil (optional).

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

These avocado fries need a tangy dipping sauce. The vegan sour cream works well, but you can also use our vegan ranch.

Vegan Christmas Appetizers for the kids

vegan christmas snacks for kids image

For the kids, this vegan snacks recipe has several treats that you can easily serve as appetizers. These include the energy balls, Tofu fingers, and of course the cashew cheese balls.

Cashew Cheese balls image

Cashew cheese balls

You can also make deep fried vegan chicken nuggets from our easy vegan chicken recipe.

vegan chicken nuggets image

So now you don’t have an excuse to serve sloppy vegan appetizers. The options are endless. You only need to be creative and think outside the box. Happy holidays!


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Delicious Vegan Christmas Cookies Done in 2 Ways

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What makes vegan Christmas cookies delicious? The list of ingredients and the procedure followed. Cookies are a versatile delicacy, especially when serving many people. You only need to make one batch of cookie dough and get creative with the shapes and cookie decoration designs.

In this article, I will share with you easy recipes for the two most common Christmas cookies: Christmas sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies.

Let’s get started!

For both recipes, you need to pre-heat your oven at 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees F).

Christmas Sugar Cookies

vegan sugar cookies recipe image

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups vegan butter
  • 1-cup white sugar (this is the best option to achieve pale sugar cookies)
  • 3 tablespoons vegan cream cheese (my secret ingredient)
  • 3 cups of almond flour (or any gluten-free version you have. You can also use all-purpose flour)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds – pre-soaked for 4 hours (these act as an egg substitute)
  • ½-teaspoon baking powder
  • Spices
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½-teaspoon almond extract
  • A pinch of salt

Cream the sugar, butter, and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Use your fingers to know the right consistency. If you can still feel large sugar granules, continue whipping.

Add the wet ingredients and mix well.

Sift in your dry ingredients and combine to form flaky dough. Avoid over-mixing at this point.

Let the dough chill for 1 hour.

Roll the dough to 1/4″ thick. Cut out different shapes using a cookie cutter.

christmas cookies cutters image

Transfer the cutouts on to a lined baking tray. You can also lightly spray the baking tray with coconut oil.

Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on how crunchy you love your cookies.

Let them cool completely before decorating.

vegan sugar cookies image

Gingerbread Cookies

Vegan Gingerbread man image

Ingredients

  • ¼-cup coconut cream
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar (you can use 2 tablespoons of maple syrup)
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses (optional)
  • 1-teaspoon bicarbonate
  • Spices
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt

Mix all the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, mix the cream and sugar with all the wet ingredients. Combine with the dry ingredient and mix well to form soft dough. You can add a little almond milk if the dough is too dry.

Chill for 1 hour. Chilling makes the cookie dough firm hence easier to roll.

gingerbread dough image

Roll the dough to 1/4″ thick. Cut out different shapes using cookie cutters.

gingerbread cookies cutters image

Transfer the cutouts on to a lined baking tray. You can also lightly spray the baking tray with coconut oil.

Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on how crunchy you love your cookies.

Let them cool completely before decorating.

Gingerbread Cookies Image

For the Frosting

  • 1-cup coconut cream
  • ½ cup sifted sugar
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk (for a slightly firm-runny consistency)
  • Natural food coloring (Green and red for Christmas themed vegan cookies)

Whisk the ingredients together.

Chill the frosting until you’re ready to decorate.

vegan cookies decorating image

In Conclusion

These vegan Christmas cookies taste terrific, and they are all gluten-free and of course dairy-free. They make an excellent breakfast addition or an accompaniment for your 10 o’clock tea. My kids usually poke holes right before baking. And when the cookies are baked, they loop a string around them and hung them in the Christmas tree as decoration. As you enjoy the cookies, create memories for your family this festive season. Merry Christmas!

Christmas bauble cookies image


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5-Minute Vegan Eggnog Recipes: Tastes Better Than Traditional One

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Vegan Eggnog Image

Traditional Eggnog is high in fat because it is made with whole milk, heavy cream, and egg yolks. A significant amount of alcohol is also added. In this article, I will share with you how to make Vegan Eggnog without alcohol for the festive season. I will also include a few healthy additions and variations. This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups coconut milk – you can use any thick non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds – presoak them in a little water for 4 hours
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Banana
  • Spices – ½ teaspoon each
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
  • Ice cubes – you can also use frozen bananas instead of ice cubes.
  • A pinch of salt

Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend to a smooth consistency.

Serve immediately.

If you don’t plan on consuming the vegan eggnog immediately, blend everything in advance except the bananas. Once peeled, bananas start to oxidize. So right before serving, add the bananas and blend again.

Why Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds image

For this vegan eggnog recipe, I use soaked chia seeds because of their “eggy” like consistency. Eggnog is all about eggs and milk (with cream of course). Secondly, Chia seeds are the healthiest natural supplements we have. Research proves that chia seeds contain twice more calcium than milk, more omega 3 than fish, more antioxidants, and the list goes on. In fact, for those of us following the Ketogenic diet, chia seeds play a significant role in boosting your health.

If you manage to get chia seeds from a farmers market, they retail very cheap. But if you can’t, buy the commercially packed ones from online stores. You can use the seeds in any recipe but don’t cook them. Add them raw just before serving.

An Alternative Vegan Eggnog Recipe

If you have more people to serve, this recipe works better. You can prepare in advance and chill in the refrigerator. We will use homemade almond milk and homemade coconut cream. If you don’t have the time, just buy some from your favorite vegan store.

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 2-cups almond milk
  • 2-cups coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (whatever sweetener you like
  • Spices – ½ teaspoon each
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt

Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend to a smooth consistency.

Serving

To serve like a barista, grind some vegan cookies or biscuits. Coat the glass with biscuit crumble and pour in the vegan eggnog. Sprinkle some of that powder and attach a cookie on the glass. Throw in two cinnamon sticks per glass and a hint of the spices you used on the serving plate. This is very important, especially when serving strangers. The hints help them identify the drink with its ingredients.

Vegan Eggnog recipe Image

The Bottom Line

For the best vegan eggnog, make your almond milk fresh at home. It is more creamy and frothy compared to store bought milk. It is easy to extract milk from fresh almonds, but you need to be patient as the nuts soak in water. If this is not your forte, buy high-quality milk. A mark of good quality vegan products is in the list of ingredients. The shorter the list, the better the quality!

Use any vegan eggnog leftovers to make cinnamon rolls or eggnog French toast.


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