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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 2018s 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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A Low Calorie Vegan Lemon Cupcake Recipe

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vegan lemon cupcake image

Cupcakes are a favorite for many. However, most people think that a vegan lemon cupcake is high in calorie. This is not true. I will share with you a low-calorie vegan lemon cupcake recipe that you can indulge in without feeling guilty.

The Ingredients

  • ¾-cup non-dairy milk
  • 1-tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 flax egg (optional)
  • 2-cups oat flour
  • ½-cup rice flour
  • ¾-cup organic sugar (or use maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • ¼-cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or any vegetable oil you prefer)
  • Grated lemon rind
  • Thinly sliced lemons for garnishing

Note

You can use all-purpose wheat flour for this recipe, but I promised you a healthier version, right? Oats flour does not bind well on its own, so you have to mix with rice flour. If you can’t find rice flour in your local store, you can make yours at home. It’s easy. Just soak some rice grains overnight and grind them in your usual grinder (or even a coffee grinder) in the morning to a floury consistency.

Alternatively, if this is too much work for you, just mix the oats flour with all-purpose wheat flour in the same proportions. However, if you don’t have a problem with cupcakes falling apart, go ahead and use pure oats flour. Just remember to purchase the gluten-free version.

The flax egg helps to bind the flour further and creates a spongy effect. We use flax eggs to replace chicken eggs in our vegan recipes. You can make them at home or buy them from your local store.

Vegetable oil is our vegan replacement for butter. Several non-vegan cake recipes prefer vegetable oil too instead of butter. This is because oil makes them light and fluffy while butter tends to make cakes dense. So that’s a win-win for our vegan lemon cupcake recipe.

The Procedure

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixture, sift in all the dry ingredients and mix well. Now add all the wet ingredients and whip on medium speed for just a minute or two. Avoid over-whipping at this stage, or else your vegan lemon cupcake will be gooey.

Scope the mixture in lined cupcake pans and bake for 10-15 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Let them cool before your garnish with lemon slices and serve.

An Interesting Twist before Serving

Another twist to these vegan lemon cupcakes is adding lemon curd.

To make lemon curd, boil 1-cup lemon juice, 1 lemon rind, a pinch of salt and ¼-cup sugar in a heavy bottom pan. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of non-dairy milk. This is the thickening agent. Whisk until the mixture thickens.

If it’s too thin, you can add more cornstarch. If it’s too thick, add more milk. But remember the mixture thickens further once it cools.

Now add 2 tablespoons of vegan butter and stir to dissolve. Sieve the mixture into your storage jar and let it cool. You should have a stable cud consistency once it’s cooled and you can pipe it onto the vegan lemon cupcakes before serving.

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A Vegan Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Recipe on a Budget

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vegan pumpkin spice smoothie image

Pumpkin smoothies are delicious. We spice the traditional smoothie to make a refreshing vegan pumpkin spice smoothie. This is an easy to make recipe, and I will make use of locally available ingredients this season. Let’s get started!

The Ingredients

  • Pumpkin – The Orange Squash is perfect for this recipe
  • A banana – To act as the smoothie base
  • 1-cup non-dairy milk – I prefer almond milk although coconut milk and soymilk will do just fine
  • ½-cup ice cubes
  • 1-tablespoon maple syrup to sweeten

The spices:

  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Procedure

Pre-boil the pumpkin until tender and puree. We will use just 1 cup of this puree in our recipe.

Add the rest of the ingredients in the blender and puree until smooth.

Garnish with freshly ground cinnamon and enjoy your vegan pumpkin spice smoothie.

This recipe serves two. You can double or triple the ingredients quantities for additional servings.

For That Extra Oomph

I like to add chopped nuts for a crunchy texture. Walnuts and pecans go particularly well with pumpkin.

Feel free to experiment with different spices but don’t go overboard. Pumpkin is rather mild in taste, and too much spice will overpower the flavor. In addition, If you’re on a diet, you don’t have to use a sweetener especially with the sweeter pumpkin varieties like butternut. Ideally, maple syrup offsets the cinnamon and nutmeg spice to create a balanced flavor.

If you have trouble with the resulting pumpkin flavor, add a tablespoon of instant espresso powder. You might not distinguish the ingredients in your vegan pumpkin spice smoothie afterwards.

To garnish, add a scoop of whipped coconut cream. It looks just like the non-vegan whipped cream, and it tastes even better.

Finally, for extra probiotics, you can add plain dairy-free kefir.

The Nutritional Value

Pumpkin spice image

Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A and C, complex carbohydrates, calcium, iron, anti-oxidants, and dietary fiber. They don’t contain any fats or sodium which makes them a healthier option. To harness even more of this pumpkin goodness, dry the pumpkin seeds and roast them. Then grind the roasted seeds and add this powder to your smoothie. You can use the powder in other meals as well. Pumpkin seeds are higher in nutritional value than soybeans according to this research.

Bananas are rich in potassium, fiber, vitamin C and B6, phytonutrients, and various antioxidants. Like pumpkins, bananas don’t contain any trans fats or sodium.

The spices we used in this recipe have several benefits in the human body:

  • Allspice is ground pimento tree berries. The berries are harvested while still unripe and sundried before grinding. It is native to the Caribbean islands and, therefore, some people call it Jamaica pimento. Traditionally, allspice was used to ease indigestion, to relieve intestinal gas and abdominal pain. Allspice is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. Studies show that it also has cancer-fighting and antiviral properties.
  • Cinnamon is made from the bark of Cinnamomum tree. It is rich in antioxidants, which help our bodies to fight diseases.
  • Vanilla is also rich in antioxidants. However, be careful when buying commercially processed vanilla. If possible, buy the vanilla bean pods and use them in your recipes.
  • Nutmeg is a spice originating from Indonesia that is rich in essential volatile oils like safrole, myristicin, eugenol, and elemicin. These have anti-inflammatory properties hence ideal for treating joint pains.

The Bottom Line

I’m certain that you can now appreciate the nutritional value of our vegan pumpkin spice smoothie. Feel free to experiment with other ingredients but stick to the basics.

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Gooey and Delicious Vegan Brownies Recipe

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Vegan Brownies Image

The best brownie should be crisp outside and gooey in the center. The same rule applies to vegan brownies although some people find it hard due to the ingredients. In this recipe, I will show you how to achieve the same brownie quality using vegan ingredients.

The Ingredients

To prepare almond flour at home, blend some almonds but be careful not to over process otherwise they become an oily paste (almond butter).

Procedure

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a large bowl, sift in all the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the oil and water, and mix until smooth. Now add the walnuts, chia seeds, and chocolate chips.

Line a 9-inch baking tin with parchment paper (to prevent the vegan brownies from sticking). Gently spread your mixture evenly and bake for 15 minutes.

Transfer to a cooling rack and once cooled, slice even squares. Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint leaves.

Possible Variations to These Vegan Brownies

There are many ways of altering this vegan brownies recipe to suit your taste. The easiest is to add more ingredients.

Raspberry jam and peanut butter go well with these vegan brownies. The jams are best spread on the brownies just before baking, but you can also add them in the brownie mixture.

Alternatively, prepare a thick sauce using Maple syrup, coconut oil, and cocoa powder. Once the brownies are cooled, spread the sauce evenly and garnish with coconut shavings.

Another twist is to add a layer of fudge and mint just before the brownies are fully baked. To make vegan fudge, blend 2 cups of desiccated coconut, 1/2 cup any nut butter (like almond butter, cashew nuts butter, or peanut butter as long as it’s rich and creamy), 1/4 cup cocoa butter, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, and 3 pitted fresh dates. Season with a little salt if you like and you can add any flavor like vanilla, although if you will be using the fudge in other recipes, I wouldn’t recommend flavoring. After using, you can always freeze whatever remains for future use.

Chia Seeds, on the other hand, have gained massive attention recently, with researching finding numerous benefits in them. Chia plant, Salvia hispanica, belongs to the mint family and the seeds are available both locally and online. These seeds are rich in fiber, Protein, omega-3s fats, vitamin B3, B2, and B1, and minerals such as Calcium, zinc, Magnesium, potassium, Manganese, and Phosphorus.

Coconut sugar has a similar texture and flavor to brown sugar or molasses. Its unrefined sugar from coconuts and therefore has a milky-coconut taste.

In Conclusion

If you have a sweet tooth, sometimes it gets harder to resist little temptations. In as much as you still stick to your vegan vows, not all vegan delicacies are healthy. It’s wise to make your desserts and snacks at home and freeze the extras to enjoy over the week/month. This way you have control over all the ingredients. Try these vegan brownies today!

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