Fruity French Toast (vegan)

Hello friends! Hope you are all having a wonderful start to your weekend.

I don’t know about you, but life has been bananas lately!

Speaking of bananas… my friend Tully from her website VegansFirst.com has an amazing, three ingredient banana pancake recipe that you should definitely try! She also has lots of incredible dessert recipes that I’m excited to whip up in the near future. Head over to her site and check out her delicious recipe ideas!

This week, I have a tasty and easy to make vegan french toast recipe I’ve been eager to share with you all! It’s perfect for weekend mornings when you’re craving something sweet but filling. 

Fruity French Toast
Serves 3
Sweet with subtle hints of blueberries, coconut and cinnamon. Heartwarming and delicious!
Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 flax eggs (2 TBSP ground flax seed + 6 TBSP water)
  2. 1 TBSP chia seeds
  3. 1 TBSP hemp protein powder
  4. 1/2 cup non-dairy milk or creamer
  5. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  6. 5-6 slices of bread (gluten-free will work for this, too!)
For topping
  1. fresh strawberries
  2. frozen or fresh blueberries
  3. coconut shreds
  4. maple syrup
  5. Earth Balance butter
  6. hemp hearts
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Make two flax eggs in a small bowl. Set aside for a few minutes.
  2. Add chia seeds, hemp protein powder, cinnamon and non-dairy milk to a flat bottomed dish. Mix in flax eggs to non-dairy milk mixture and whisk until combined.
  3. Heat up a large frying pan on the stove. Put a spoonful of Earth Balance butter to coat the pan and set to a medium heat.
  4. Dip one or two slices of bread in the non-dairy milk mixture at a time until evenly coated and put immediately in the frying pan.
  5. Let it fry for 4-5 minutes, then flip and cook until golden brown.
  6. Continue this process until all slices of bread have been coated and fried.
  7. Top with Earth Balance butter and maple syrup!
  8. *Coconut shreds, blueberries, strawberries and hemp hearts are optional but add lots of deliciousness!*
Print
The Vegan Steven http://thevegansteven.com/

Dairy-free Mango Lassi

Happy Thursday, friends!

Last week, I was craving a smoothie (like I do almost every afternoon), and I was dreaming about the delicious mango lassi drinks I used to get when I went to my favorite Indian restaurant up in Rochester, MN.

Unfortunately, it contains cow’s milk, which I can’t drink anymore, but I’ve created a dairy-free version that (dare I say it?) tastes even better than the original!

This super simple, sweet treat needs only 5 ingredients and 5 minutes of your time!

Dairy-free Mango Lassi
Serves 3
All you need are five ingredients and five minutes to make this classic, sweet and satisfying Mango Lassi!
Ingredients
  1. 1 32 oz. container of coconut milk (I used Pacific brand original unsweetened)
  2. 1 1/2 cups frozen pineapple
  3. 1 1/2 cups frozen mango
  4. 1 orange (juice & zest)
  5. 1 tsp. cinnamon
Optional
  1. Fresh mint leaves (for lassi and garnish)
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Add coconut milk, frozen fruit, orange zest & juice, cinnamon & mint leaves into blender
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Pour into desired glass
  4. Enjoy with a reusable straw or spoon!
Print
The Vegan Steven http://thevegansteven.com/

Roasted Potatoes & Chickpeas

Wow.  Yesterday we lost a beloved man who shared delicious food in beautiful cities all over the world.  Anthony Bourdain made an palpable impact on people from all walks of life.  I appreciate and admire his sincerity, his honesty & humanity. 

While reading news articles about him today, I came across a few surprisingly thought-provoking quotes.  Bourdain said, “nothing [is] actually more political than food.” My first reaction was resistance. “What about music? Or peacefully protesting?”

The more I chewed on it (pun intended), the more it resonated with me.  Yes! Being vegan IS a political act! I had never viewed it in the way, but I had felt it.  I’ve felt defiant about consuming animal products just because that’s how we were raised and because it’s considered “normal”. I don’t agree with the industry, I feel better not consuming animal products, so I’m using my food choices and dollars as my vote. 

No, Bourdain was not vegan, and that’s okay.  His words, his life and gifts to this world will live on, and inspire passionate political change through food.

——

Okay, onto the reason you’re here — the recipe!

My partner, Matthew, made this AMAZING potato & chickpea combo for brunch last weekend and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.  It’s overflowing with warm, hearty flavors and packed with plant protein! Would highly recommend this recipe for a fun brunch or “brinner” on the weekend!

Roasted Potatoes & Chickpeas
Serves 2
Hearty, delicious & bursting with flavor! Matthew gets all the credit for this creation -- he's turning out to be quite the chef!
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large russet potato
  2. 2 large carrots
  3. 1 can chickpeas
  4. Water 1/4th cup
  5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 Tbsp
  6. Vegetable broth 1/2 cup
  7. Bragg's liquid aminos 2 Tbsp
  8. Balsamic vinegar 1 tsp
  9. Garlic powder 1 Tbsp
  10. Herbs de Provence 1 tsp
  11. Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
  12. Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Optional
  1. 5 fresh chives + chive flowers
  2. Tofutti sour cream
  3. Sriracha hot chili sauce
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Turn oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Place drained chickpeas on a baking tin with garlic salt and Balsamic vinegar
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy
  4. Set aside when done
  5. While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the potato...
  6. Put 1/4th cup of water at bottom of pan to help steam the potato
  7. Bake whole potato for 40 minutes or until fully cooked*
  8. Dice cooked potato into bit sized chunks
  9. Put 1 Tbsp of EVOO into a large skillet and turn to a medium low heat
  10. Place diced potatoes in skillet
  11. Add garlic powder and a pinch of salt
  12. Cook potatoes for 3-5 minutes on medium heat
  13. Add washed and chopped carrots to potatoes
  14. Also add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, herbs de provence, turmeric powder, and Bragg's liquid aminos
  15. Stir and place cover on skillet -- cook for 7-10 minutes on medium heat (stir occasionally)
  16. Take cover off and cook for another 5-7 minutes
  17. Add cooked chickpeas and stir
  18. Serve and garnish with Tofutti sour cream, Sriracha hot sauce or chive flowers!
Notes
  1. *Can bake it ahead of time to speed up the process!
Print
The Vegan Steven http://thevegansteven.com/

Homemade Vegan Pizza

Hey friends! Craving a vegan pizza but there’s no vegan pizzaria in sight? Look no further!

Making your own pizza at home can be fun and delicious.  We have been having pizza on the weekends for the past few weeks.  It’s such a treat and we really look forward to having it for dinner.  Being vegan in Iowa can be tough sometimes, but being about to make veganized versions of our favorite meals has been a game changer. 

What are your favorite toppings for pizza? Let me know in the comments below! Hope you all have a great Saturday! If you make a vegan pizza, tag me @thevegan.steven so I can see your glorious creation!

Homemade Vegan Pizza
Serves 2
Who says you can't have pizza just because you're living a vegan lifestyle!? With the help of some delicious cheese and meat alternatives, you can create a yummy pie that will impress vegans and non-vegans alike! Simple, satisfying & savory!
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. Pizza dough (we used a premade sourdough crust bought from our local Coop)
  2. One jar of pizza sauce (we used Field Day brand)
  3. One bag of vegan cheese (we used Daiya mozzarella)
  4. 2 vegan sausages (we used Field Roast brand)
  5. One red onion
  6. Half a red pepper
  7. Half a yellow pepper
  8. Handful of spinach
  9. Half a cup of sliced mushrooms (we used Crimini mushrooms)
  10. One clove of garlic
  11. 1/4th cup flour for rolling pizza dough
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Line a pizza pan with parchment paper
  3. Wash and slice onion, garlic, peppers and mushrooms
  4. Roll dough into a circle and place on pizza pan (add a bit of flour to keep it from sticking to surfaces)
  5. Add pizza sauce -- spread evenly
  6. Put sliced veggies on top
  7. Add sliced vegan sausages and vegan cheese
  8. Throw it in the oven for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted
  9. Let cool for 5 minutes and devour!
Print
The Vegan Steven http://thevegansteven.com/

Blueberry Rhubarb Crisp

The rhubarb is ripe and ready for the pickin’, which means our family is going to be eating a LOT of rhubarb crisp (no complaints here!)

As a disclaimer, you should know that the rhubarb leaves are POISONOUS and definitely NOT EDIBLE! Cut them off and throw them away.  Because they are poisonous they should not be discarded in the compost bin 🙁

Also, make sure you gently pull at the base of the stalk — don’t cut the rhubarb with a knife or scissors as this can scar the plant. I learned this the hard way, so hopefully you’ll learn from my mistakes!

Here is the simple, delicious recipe for the blueberry rhubarb crisp I made last week.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

12 stalks of rhubarb with leaves cut off

1 cup of frozen blueberries

1 cup of rolled oats

1/4 cup Earth balance butter

1 tsp of cinnamon

1/4 – 1/2 cup of sweetener (I used coconut sugar but you could use maple syrup or regular sugar)

1 Tbsp ground flax seed

1 Tbsp chia seeds

Directions:

1. Chop rhubarb into 1 inch segments and place in baking dish (I used a 5 x 7 inch dish).

 

2. Add blueberries and mix well.

3. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of sweetener of choice onto fruit and mix again until covered.

4. Make crumble by mixing oats, Earth balance butter, cinnamon, the rest of your sweetener, flax seed and chia seeds.  Mix well.

5. Apply crumble to the top of fruit, then cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes or until fruit is cooked and crumble is golden brown.

6. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve and enjoy!

*I wish I had an after picture of the rhubarb crisp but we ate it so fast I didn’t get a chance to snap a picture!*

 

It’s Rhubarb and Asparagus season!

In late April, we had numerous spring snow storms.  I’m talking 7 to 8 inches of cold, wet snow.  Luckily it melted pretty quickly, but it threw me for a loop.  Was it ever going to be spring? When do we plant our garden? Or start our seeds?  I’ve been feeling very behind and inadequate.  After all, we’ve never had our own backyard garden to this caliber. But it’s a dream I’ve always had, to live off the land, to grow our own food, to return to the earth.

Ruth, the woman who owned this house before us, planted everything from kale to raspberries, edible flowers to herbs I’ve never heard of.  It’s intimidating to say the least, but I’m eager to learn and develop my skills.  I have a lot to learn.

This weekend, my husband’s parents came up to help us clean up the garden (bless them!) and to our surprise, there were asparagus popping up! They did so much work prepping the garden and I can’t thank them enough.  It will be exciting to get our seedlings planted and watch them grow!

Did you know that it’s asparagus and rhubarb season?  I didn’t, but I’m excited to already have food to harvest and incorporate into our meals (thanks Ruth!) The other night, after a very long and difficult day with my daughter, I went into the garden to harvest the asparagus and rhubarb. It was therapeutic to be in the alternate universe of the garden.  It’s calming and awe-inspiring.  The Earth is abundant with beauty and nourishment, we just need to be awake enough to appreciate it.

 

 

Siri’s Simple Salsa

Hey friends! Happy Friday! I hope the weather is warmer where you live than it is here… we got 8 inches of snow a few days ago.  BUT the weather is looking glorious for this weekend (hallelujah!), and I’m been beyond ready for spring.

Yesterday I whipped up this easy salsa recipe so I thought I’d share! It’s super simple, delicious & tastes like sunshine! What could be better than that!?

Ingredients:

2 roma tomatoes

1/4 of a red onion

1-2 cloves garlic

fresh mango

fresh cilantro

one lime

garlic powder

salt & pepper

Directions:

1. Wash and chop tomatoes, onion, mango and cilantro.

2. Put in bowl.

3. Add lime juice, minced garlic and seasonings. Mix well.

4. Top with more cilantro and serve! Enjoy with chips, tacos, burritos or tofu scramble!

Vegan Sauerkraut Potato Bake!

Happy Sunday friends!

Today, I’m sharing with you an original recipe I got from my lovely mother-in-law, but with my own twist.  I was inspired to make this after she told me about how simple and delicious this recipe is, and how the potatoes take on all the flavors of the sauerkraut.  It’s a perfect recipe for St. Patrick’s Day (if you celebrate), and so easy to throw together after a long day of work.  Let me know if you try the recipe and what you think!

Ingredients:

6 red skin potatoes

1 1/2 – 2 cups of sauerkraut (I used Farmhouse Culture’s Garlic Dill pickle flavor)

1 1/2 – 2 cups meatless crumbles (I used Gardein brand)

2 slices vegan cheese (I used Follow Your Heart’s Gouda “cheese”)

2 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp turmeric powder

salt & pepper (to taste)

Directions:

*preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit*

1. Chop potatoes into quarters. Put at the bottom of a 4×6 inch baking pan.

2. Add garlic powder, turmeric powder, salt & pepper to potatoes and mix until coated.

3. Add sauerkraut and meatless crumbles and mix in with potatoes.

4. Add vegan cheese on top.

5. Cover with tin foil & bake for about 40 minutes or until potatoes are cooked all the way through.

6. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 10 minutes.

7. Dish up and enjoy!

Interview with Mo Speer!

March’s interview is with the awesome and talented Mo Speer! I spoke with her in January and am excited to share her vegan journey and evolution with you.  I hope it brings you some inspiration!

My name is Mo Speer. I have been OFFICIALLY vegan for a month [almost 3, now! :D]. While I tried to jump into the lifestyle in 2017, it just wasn’t my year (I was more vegetarian than anything). For the last month though, I have been committed to eating a completely vegan diet.
 

I decided to go vegetarian on a whim in November of 2016, without much rhyme or reason behind it (but I do admit to watching a few scary documentaries about heart disease and diabetes). When I woke up January 1st of this year and everyone was talking about their new year’s resolutions I realized I had never made one, so I thought, well, this is the time to try it. Going to Luther College I had a lot of run-ins with research projects on food sustainability and food security and how the United States can do a better job of both. I feel like this is my contribution to all the food issues going on in the world right now. The main reason, which is mostly selfish :), is being better to my body and putting things in it that are going to serve me well. Since I’ve started eating vegan I have found tastier and healthier recipes and started to learn more about what is actually in the things we are eating. Nothing like label checking in the grocery store to really make you realize how many chemicals there are in the foods we eat all the time.

My favorite vegan food… I would have to say is curry or stirfry.  I love a simple veggie stir-fry either paired with couscous, quinoa or brown rice. All topped off with peanuts of course!! I have made it in so many different ways (and eaten it at Koreana, YUM) that I never get sick of it. I can’t live without… brown rice probably. And mushrooms. Mushrooms have been my saving grace, some types of mushrooms have a consistency close to meat!

Being in the company of a vegan might annoy you, but remember that when you ask them if they want a (fill in food here) and say “no, I’m vegan” that is just like saying “no I am lactose intolerant” or “no I’m allergic to peanuts.” Just because we chose this diet for ourselves does not mean we think we are better than non-vegan eaters [Yes! Amen!]. We are simply explaining in the simplest way we can that we cannot eat what you are offering because of a life choice we have made. I try to find other ways to ask about foods at restaurants, like, “Does this contain dairy products?” so I don’t lead with, “I am vegan” and immediately get nasty glares.

If you are just starting out, and I am not saying it can’t be done, but I highly encourage just starting on a vegetarian diet. While quitting cold-turkey [pun intended? ;)] can be done, most people I have talked to found it immensely less traumatizing to ease into it. After a year of being vegetarian, I had already learned tricks and tips on avoiding meat. I made the transition step-by-step. First I cut out meat, then seafood, then milk and yogurt (which I never consumed much of anyway) then this year, I finally cut out cheese and eggs (RIP breakfast burritos — I FEEL YOU!). BUT there are so many ways to make so many of your favorite foods. I have found an even better vegan version of a breakfast burrito that contains hummus, scrambled tofu and vegetables and it’s AMAZING. [Going to try this ASAP!!!]

I haven’t really been to any exclusive vegan restaurants (yet) I’ll keep you updated. I do however have a favorite website that has the best vegan recipes https://minimalistbaker.com/

The BEST thing about being vegan is slowly learning recipes that are simple yet healthy and don’t make you want to break down crying in the grocery store. It wasn’t the easiest transition to make, and meals don’t come as easy, but I find that now when I’m eating, it’s with a purpose and not just to snack on the nearest bag of sour cream and onion lays. HOWEVER, let it be known that you can still find ways to binge eat your favorite foods (even if they’re in different forms), and because it’s likely that they’re made of vegetables, you won’t feel as terrible after!

[photographs by Mo Speer]

I’m writing for Raise Vegan!

Hello friends! Sorry I’ve been M.I.A. the last month.  The universe has brought me new opportunities which has become my main focus outside of motherhood and The Vegan Steven.  In a series of fortunate events, I’ve been invited to write for an amazing website and magazine (the #1 vegan pregnancy and parenting website in the world!) called Raise Vegan. Quite honestly, I feel so fortunate and grateful to have to opportunity to write for such a large audience and use my degree in English for the first time! It has taken up a lot of my time (as I will be writing two articles per week for the website and one article for the monthly magazine), but it’s truly a joy, and all I can do is say thank you to Janet Kearney from Raise Vegan for including me on her amazing team of writers!

I’m also still trying to figure out what content to include on The Vegan Steven.  While I love vegan food, I feel that veganism can encompass so much more than just recipes.  I am entertaining the idea of showing our food forest garden journey, vegan friendly hair care and beauty products and maybe even our minimizing journey.  Are those things that interest you, or would you rather see recipes and food ideas?

Thank you for your support, encouragement and for sharing your journey with me.  Nothing makes me happier!  If I can influence even one person to eat more fruits and veggies, I will feel fulfilled.  Sending you all love and light!

~Siri Steven