Category Archives: Lazy Vegan

Purple Yam Fries

Purple Yams

Purple yams: WTF?! They are actually very commonly used in Filipino desserts. We call it ube (pronounced ooh-beh, but if you say “oob” we’ll still know what you’re talking about) and we put this stuff in cake and ice cream and a bunch of other stuff! This post on Jun-blog sums up how it’s used in Filipino cuisine and it’s worth the read!

Anyway, I’m not here today to talk about dessert. I am here to talk about an easy and slightly savory way to enjoy this fantastic freak of nature! And it truly is fantastic: In addition to being boldly colored, purple yams have important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They’re also a great source of vitamin A and, on a smaller scale, potassium and calcium.

Purple Yam Fries

Ube (Purple Yam) Fries

1 purple yam
2-3 tsp safflower or canola oil
salt and any other spices you desire, to taste

1. Set your oven to 425 degrees.

2. Bake the yam, whole, for 45-60 minutes, until tender.

3. Let it cool.

You can eat the yams now if you want, just take off the skin (which should come off easily, or the yam should slide right out of it easily) and chow down! Or, you can move on to the next step to make the fries.

4. With skin removed, slice the potato into strips or whatever shape you desire. They might give off a weird odor: this is normal!

5. Gently coat the pieces in the oil and spices. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake again for another 15-25 minutes, until crispy. Check on them halfway through and flip over the pieces.

6. Serve hot!

I enjoyed these guys plain: the natural sweetness and starchiness of purple yams require no embellishment aside from a sprinkle of salt. If you’re into dipping stuff, I would recommend vegan mayo or vegan mayo with Sriracha for a nice kick.

This was the first time I really cooked and enjoyed purple yams as a non-dessert. They’re so much fun. I’d love to make purple mashed potatoes, purple potato chips, and of course, vegan ube desserts.

I love versatile foods!


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Easy Vegan Fudge from Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking

Fork and Beans by Cara Reed is easily one of the best vegan cooking blogs out there. Cara finally published her first book Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking in August and I was lucky enough to get my hands on it! Being the lazy vegan that I am, I gravitated toward her recipe for Easy Vegan Fudge. I mean, it’s got “easy” in the title and requires no actual baking!

I made these treats for a fall potluck hosted by What’s Cookin, Chicago and Bears in the Kitchen. If you’re in the Chicago area, check out these guys for upcoming food blogger events! Definitely check them out if you like food (and you know you do).

Vegan Fudge

Click here to see the recipe and much more vegan goodness on Fork and Beans


  • 2 c non-dairy chocolate chips – I used dark chocolate morsels (about 1 1/2 packages) by Enjoy Life
  • 1/2 c. coconut cream – see below for my notes on coconut cream!!
  • 1/2 c. non dairy milk – I used almond milk
  • Dash salt – um, I totally forgot to add salt and nothing imploded
  • 1 c. chopped nuts, optional (or more!) – I skipped the nuts for the batch above, but I love me some walnuts!
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. In heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt chips with coconut cream, non-dairy milk, and salt.  Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in nuts if desired and vanilla.  Spread evenly into wax paper lined small square pan — or stick them into cute little cupcake thingys like I did.  Place more chopped nuts on top if desired.
  3. Chill 2 hours or until firm.
  4. Turn fudge onto cutting board, peel off paper and cut into squares.  Store covered in fridge.

Here’s what you need to know about coconut cream: They’re not all made the same or equally. This recipe requires something that actually says “coconut cream” on the label. Cream of coconut won’t cut it! But it will result in a heavy chocolate pudding-like treat. Coconut cream from Trader Joe’s is what works!!

Chocolate: I really like products from Enjoy Life because they are exactly like real chocolate chips and are not only dairy-free but also soy-free. They aren’t messing around with their dark chocolate, either! So grab their “milk” chocolate chips if you like something sweeter.

Don’t forget to visit Fork and Beans and pick up Cara’s book if you like what you see!

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The Lazy Vegan: Sweet Sunday Breakfast

When I think about family meals, I find myself being truly grateful that my parents and siblings and I always ate at the table, together. My parents would cook, we would set the table, get our drinks, and then it would just be us and our meal. There was never any radio or TV or smart phone to distract us. Sunday mornings were especially nice: my parents would sometimes cook what I would now consider to be an extravagant breakfast consisting of eggs and sausages and pancakes, etc. Or, we would stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way home from church and have a junky breakfast together.

Fast forward to today. I woke up alone and wanting something comforting but healthy and easy for breakfast. This meal using items I always have in my kitchen met my criteria and was perfectly satisfying! It’s also a great meal for kids.


Lazy Sunday Morning Waffles w/ Peanut Butter and a ‘Nana

1 frozen Van’s waffle (I love these. There a several varieties, many are gluten-free, and I can find them in any of my usual grocery stores)
1 banana
1-2 tbsp of Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams (again… awesome product from a vegan company that I can find in any of my usual grocery stores)


Toast or bake the waffle according to the directions on the box.

Spread the peanut butter on the waffle.

Slice up a banana.

Put it all on a plate.



As easy as it was to make this, I found it to be so comforting. Today is one of those days when a meal can make or break my day. This definitely makes me feel more ready to face my day! –Melissa

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Lavish Lavash Pizza

I’ve always liked the idea of homemade pizza, but I’m intimidated by the dough-making process. I just won’t make dough from scratch, okay? You’re probably thinking, “what about pizza dough from the grocery store?” Call me strange, but there’s something about Boboli that I don’t find appealing.

I visited my friend Jen last weekend. Two things from my trip inspired me to make my own pizza at home using lavash. The first inspiration came from the pizzas Jen made using flatbread from Target. The flatbread made the perfect thin crust. The second was the lavash that was served with our hummus at Crave instead of the usual pita or pita chips. Lavash is light and tastes great when it’s soft and warm as well as when it’s baked to a crisp.

I will be eating homemade pizza all the freaking time now.

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I was excited to find locally made lavash at Fresh Farms in Niles. If you’re in the Chicago area, take the trip up to Fresh Farms. They have a huge selection and you’ll find a lot of vegan products there at a lower price than those other stores. One pack of lavash costs $1.79 and I can make about six pizzas with it.

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Now, I’m not a big fan of grocery shopping so I was about to settle for dairy cheese instead of stopping someplace else to pick up daiya (I know, I know, I’m a terrible vegan). But, Fresh Farms rescued me! I found shredded cheese made by Follow Your Heart. I like Follow Your Heart vegan cheese wedges, but this is the first time I’ve seen their shredded products.


I love daiya, but I think I might like Follow Your Heart better. Daiya seems to be seasoned. I always know when I’m eating daiya because there’s a certain taste to it that isn’t found in real cheese. I didn’t notice that in the Follow Your Heart. The texture was good and the cheese melted really well.

I got my lavash. I got my cheese. All I needed now was pizza sauce (you can use your favorite pasta sauce or tomato sauce) and toppings. Top your pizza however you would like. Today, I used roasted red peppers, marinated artichokes, crushed red pepper, and italian seasoning. I can’t wait to make others using fresh tomatoes or eggplant or basil or jalapenos from my Dad’s garden. Or… pineapple and vegan bacon! Or seasoned TVP! The possibilities are endless.


So, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees, top your pizza, and then bake it for five minutes or until the cheese melts. That’s it! So easy and quick and there’s really no way to screw it up. It’s the perfect Melissa recipe. I am gonna be so fat, you guys. –Melissa

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Buffalo Cauliflower!

It was a holiday weekend and something decadent and reminiscent of junk food was an order. Most people are BBQ and Buffalo wings. We had Buffalo cauliflower. You’ll need the following:
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 cup of flour (we used garbanzo bean flour)
4 tbsp onion powder
1 pinch paprika
1 pinch garlic salt
1 cup of almond milk (you can use soy if you’ve got a nut allergy)
1 1/2 cups of your favorite vegan Buffalo sauce
corn oil spray
For the batter, combine the flour, milk, garlic salt, paprika and onion powder and mix well. Coat all the cauliflower with batter and place it into a lightly oiled glass baking dish. Cover it with a baking sheet so the cauliflower won’t touch the cover.


Bake at 450F/230C for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, toss the cauliflower, spraying lightly with corn oil and bake for 5 more minutes. Now toss to coat it with Buffalo sauce and bake for 10 more minutes. Watch it closely in case it starts to blacken around the edges.


This is a much lower calorie alternative to Buffalo wings and it’s great with vegan sour cream (or the creamy cilantro lime sauce we make) and celery. If you get to try it, let me know what you think!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Sesame Citrus Salad Starring KALE!

This was an afternoon salad for me and Brent when we were both home and wanted a snack that was more significant than a pickle. Brent peeled 3 mandarin oranges and prepared some soy curls.


I tore up some red and green kale and washed it.


I tossed it together with sesame seeds and a tangy citrus dressing and threw in the orange slices and soy curls for an easy tasty treat.


It was much more filling than either of us had anticipated. I think just about any citrus dressing would do but we used a local specialty: tangerine vinaigrette.


The orange, green and purple were also visually stunning and I love when food nourishes your mind AND your body so I’m a fan. Let me know what your variation on this theme is.

This is Christie, signing off!

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Breakfast Wrap

This particular item more resembles dessert than breakfast but the nutritional profile doesn’t disappoint. All I did was take a flax gluten-free tortilla and topped it with the following

1 tbsp chocolate peanut butter (I used Peanut Butter and Co. but really any vegan nut butter will do)

2 tbsp dried blueberries (dried cranberries or raisins would work well too)

1/2  banana, sliced

1/4 apple, sliced

1/4 cup granola (I used Cascadian Farms)

I microwaved it for 20 seconds so it would soften and then ate it… It kept me full until lunch time. The crisp acidic apple and the soft sweet banana were perfectly balanced with the chewy blueberries and nutty chocolate crunch of the granola and peanut butter. Next time I might add some slivered almonds.

This is Christie, signing off!

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The Lazy Vegan: Tandoor Chef Vegetable Masala Burgers

Hi, Veganesers! This isn’t a Lazy Vegan post as much as it’s a “I’m so busy and haven’t had a chance to go to the grocery store let alone cook anything” post. At least it’s not a “I’m curled up on the floor, crying my eyes out for no reason and have no appetite” post.


I spotted these Vegetable Masala Burgers by Tandoor Chef at a local grocery store last week and decided to try them. I like veggie burgers, I like Indian food… this seemed like something different that would be perfect for those lazy days.

The ingredients include the following: potatoes, canola oil, carrots, green beans, water, bread crumbs, bell peppers, onions, corn, salt, green peppers, milled cane sugar, ginger, cellulose gum, spices, citric acid, tumeric, mustard seeds. They are not gluten-free. I didn’t have any buns (at least not burger buns) so I threw some rice on the plate along with a roasted eggplant.


The burger was good but far from great. The spices were very subtle so I added some Sriracha to give it a kick. I was happy to see that one patty was only 120 calories, but it only has 2 grams of protein so it’s not very substantial. I’m glad I gave these a try, but I don’t think I’ll be buying them again. They weren’t tasty enough in order for me to prefer them to more protein-packed burgers that I can make or buy.

‘Til next time! –Melissa

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The Lazy Vegan: Sweet and Sour Soy Curls


I was not a big fan of sweet and sour anything when I was growing up. Sure, I loved dipping egg rolls and chicken in sweet and sour sauce, but the actual “sweet and sour” dish from any Chinese restaurant was just blech. I do find myself craving it, though, and the last time I had sweet and sour chicken, it was excellent. The chicken was perfectly breaded and coated perfectly in a very light and tasty sauce. I was thinking about it today, which is why I made a quick version of it using soy curls. I was so lazy about it that it’s almost embarrassing.

I rehydrated and drained some soy curls and then heated them in a pan, seasoning them with garlic powder and Bragg Liquid Aminos. When they were heated through, I coated them with some sweet and sour sauce and then removed them from heat. After plating the soy curls, I drizzled some more sauce on them. You guys, this is very important: it’s all about the sauce! I bought some sweet and sour sauce from the store tonight (yeah, yeah, when I’m not lazy I’ll make my own sauce instead) and it was kind of super bland.

Even though this dish wasn’t exactly spectacular, it filled my craving, and it’s exciting to know that I can only improve on it. Next time, I think I will bake the soy curls instead. That was my original intention, but I was really hungry so I went down the path that would take less time. I’ll try to make the sauce or at least use a better brand next time.

Now, if only I had a fortune cookie… –Melissa

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Super Easy Rice and Veggie Soup

In lieu of being sick and not wanting to cook, nor eat anything complicated, Christie devised a method of making single-serving soup that is souper easy to make!

See what I did there?

What you need are :
Vegan Bouillon
Instant Rice
Frozen Veggies

Put the instant rice and frozen veggies in your bowl, add the bouillon and fill with water. Microwave for about two minutes, stir, and heat again for two minutes.

Watch as I fix it for my sick self.

It seems like a ‘no, duh’ recipe as I write it out, but really it’s a solid recipe to have in ones repertoire. For when you feel sick, or lazy, this soup can have you fed — gluten and cruelty free — in about five minutes.

Hope you all are having a happy and healthy new year!

Peace out, my vegans.

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