Category Archives: Lazy Vegan

The Other Lazy Vegans: TV Dinner 7

Apparently I’m dating myself by using the term “TV dinner” so I’ll just pretend it’s a play on the title of our blog. Whatever. We’re trying more Amy’s tonight because holidays are too cooking intensive for me to handle sometimes. This time it’s the brown rice and vegetables bowl.

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This one looked pretty good right out of the box.

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After microwaving it maintained a fairly attractive visage. The vegetable had a good texture: the broccoli was just on the brink of crossing from tender to mushy but I’ll forgive that fact given how little time I spent standing over the stove.

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The flavor wasn’t anything special but certainly wasn’t offensive. It benefited greatly from the addition of some soy sauce (Brent) and teryaki sauce (me).

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This is one I’d do again for the nutritional profile, ingredients and versatility of the flavors. It’s just too easy.

This is Christie, signing off!

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The Lazy Vegan: Amy’s Strikes Again, Another Giveaway Winner!

Yes, this is my second Lazy Vegan post in a row, but I choose not to feel too guilty about it because I know my time is spent doing other worthwhile things like getting ready for the holidays. Ho ho ho! Amy’s is a trusted brand among all of us at Turning Veganese. I stepped away from the frozen section (where I usually shop for Amy’s Kitchen products) and meandered to the canned section, where I found this lovely item:

chiliNow I know that making chili is really easy but I’m glad to know that there’s a vegan option out there for when I don’t have time or simply don’t want to make a giant pot of chili. Amy’s Organic Chili is a great vegan chili that consists of red beans and tofu (textured to look like ground meat). I tried the Medium spice level which wasn’t terribly spicy at all — it’s more tart/salty than spicy. The directions are simple. Maybe a little too simple: heat and serve. Um… how about a little guidance, Amy? I definitely didn’t want to have to wash a pot to I poured half the can into a microwave-safe bowl, heated it for 60 sec, mixed it around and then heated it for another 45 seconds. This seemed like a perfect amount of time. Warning: it will explode so make sure you cover the bowl before heating it.

The chili tasted good, but there’s a weird sweetness to it and I found that it improved exponentially after I added some raw onion and crushed red pepper. Cheese, such as shredded Daiya cheddar, would probably be a good addition as well. I found the beans to be a little mushy. It doesn’t compare to homemade chili, but I would definitely buy it again to keep in the cupboard when I’m looking for something comforting and easy on a cold winter night. I also think that this would work great on nachos or maybe even on fries or a vegan hot dog. At any rate, I am a big fan of Amy’s and have been so long before I turned veganese. I’m really happy to see more Amy’s products, including gluten- and dairy-free products, in my grocer’s freezer and canned food aisle.

On to the fun stuff!!! This week’s winner of a Bubble & Bee Lotion Stick is… Lle Schreiber! Woohoooo! Check out her blog, Living, Learning, Eating. There’s still one more chance to win a lotion stick as well as a chance to enter our TofuXpress giveaway. Get all the details here! –Melissa

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The other lazy vegans: TV Dinner 6

Brent and I were feeling lazy and Amy’s strikes again. This time we’re trying the black-eyed pea and vegetable bowl.

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I’m a big fan of black-eyed peas: they offer the texture and flavor of beans but without as much gas causing power. TMI? I think so. Let’s talk about food instead.

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This particular bowl looked pretty good right out of the box. I’m a little bummed (as usual) with the sheer amount of packaging but it’s pretty earth friendly with the dearth of it being printed cardboard which is recyclable in most communities.

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After microwaving we were greeted by something that’s rather attractive for previously frozen food. The broccoli and carrots were kind of mushy which was surprising given the color. The peas themselves were well seasoned (it was supposed to be a ginger sauce but I didn’t notice any ginger) but was definitely improved by the addition of our own condments: Brent chose sriracha and I used buffalo wing sauce.

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This is a good go-to for something with a decent nutritional profile, simple ingredients and versatile flavor.

This is Christie, signing off!

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Lazy Vegans: TV Dinner 4

So we’ve been throwing ourselves on these TV dinners with reckless abandon. Well, not literally throwing ourselves since they’re in the freezer.

This one is another Indian delight: vegetable korma. This is something I’m used to from a favorite Indian restaurant. This version was much lighter than the restaurant styles I’m used to and I am a fan. The korma was lightly spicy and flavorful. The vegetables had a good texture. The rice was fluffy and the peas were firm. The daal was savory and smooth.

I’d do it again… if I’m feeling lazy.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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An Apple a Day…

I realized today that I haven’t been eating much fruit lately. I forced down some oranges earlier in the week but have otherwise had no appetite for fruit… or really, any food. I wanted to be good today, so I snagged an apple from my sister’s kitchen and sliced it up into wedges.

To make things more fun and interesting (and inspired after rummaging through my nieces’ Halloween candy), I took a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter and softened it by heating it in the microwave for 10 seconds, stirring it, and then heating it for another 10 seconds. I took the melty peanut butter and drizzled it on the apple slices.

Voila! One of the easiest snacks ever!

Don’t forget to eat fruit, you guys. –Melissa

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Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween from Turning Veganese! Um, now here’s the part where I apologize because this isn’t really a Halloween-themed post, but a Lazy Vegan review of Amy’s Rice Crust Roasted Vegetable Pizza. I liked Amy’s products a lot in my pre-vegan days. Their stuff is just better than other frozen prepared foods in many ways.

This pizza is single serve and topped with shiitake mushrooms, sweet onions, and roasted red peppers. It has no cheese (dairy or otherwise) and is gluten-free. It’s easy to cook in the oven, but what I really loved is that they provided toaster oven directions as well. I love using my toaster oven!! Bonus: no cheese means no potential mess in your oven or oven rack. Sadly, it is not soy-free. It’s not a thousand calories and was the perfect portion for a dinner, though I did make a salad to accompany it.

At the first bite, I was kind of weirded out by the rice crust. I got over it quickly, though. The crust had a nice crunchy texture. The sauce was good and not slimey like on other frozen pizzas. The veggies were good; the sweet onion was the real star among them. I have to admit that the pizza was kind of bland. I sprinkled some garlic salt and red pepper flakes on it and topped with some fresh cilantro that I had in the fridge. It made a HUGE difference!

Here’s a photo of the salad I made. Doesn’t it look delicious? It was!

So, yeah… mine doesn’t exactly look like the version on the box. It might look a little burnt on the edge, but there was no burnt taste and it was just as edible as the rest of the slice. I am likely to buy this again, but I might watch to see when it’s on sale or I have a coupon. Amy’s has a lot of great products, but, unfortunately, you won’t find their vegan products in many (or any) stores outside of your neighborhood Whole Foods.

Now, I have to go back to resisting all the non-vegan Halloween candy I have! –Melissa

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Jazz Up Gardein Crispy Tenders

I have professed my love for Gardein products before, but what’s great about food and cooking is that we can always experiment and make tasty foods even tastier. I had some Gardein Crispy Tenders, which were going to feed my craving for something (seemingly) deep fried, but I was also craving Chinese food. Those cravings led to this:

All I did was bake the tenders according to the package instructions. Five minutes before cook time was over, I took the strips out of the oven and coated it with a sauce (recipe follows). Then, I covered the strips and let it bake for the last five minutes. I served it with white jasmine rice.

Plummy Sauce (perfect coating for 5 tenders)

3 tbsp plum sauce
1-2 tbsp chopped green onion
Sriracha or other hot sauce, to taste (optional)
sesame seeds

Mix all ingredients together. You can mix it up by adding some freshly minced garlic and ginger.

Easy and delicious! –Melissa

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Viana Organic Veggie Gyros

Gyros sandwiches are something that we typically had as a treat growing up. I’ve had birthdays where my dinner request was a gyros sandwich. If you haven’t figured it out yet, gyros is one of the things I really, really miss since turning veganese. Luckily, there is a packaged vegan version at the store for when I’m feeling lazy.

I was initially hesitant to try Viana Veggie Gyros.Some vegan substitutes can be a little heartbreaking. But I had a gyros craving so bad that I just needed to pick this up.

Here’s the good: it’s tasty, good texture, none of that grease, organic, and chock full of protein (it is a tofu/wheat product).

The bad: None.

The could-be-better: I’m used to gyros meat that is thinly sliced and these were more like ‘meat’ strips. In addition, the ‘meat’ was packaged in a way that made it a task to separate the pieces, and it many cases, I ended up breaking the pieces into much smaller chunks.

This didn’t fill my gyros craving 100%, but a lot of that was my fault. I didn’t have any pita or appropriate ingredients with which to make a vegan tzatziki  sauce, so I ate the ‘meat’ with brown rice, tomato, and onion. Since I’m used to a greasy, saucy gyros sandwich, the dish felt too dry.

I’m glad to know that this product is out there (you can buy it from Vegan Essentials) but I think I would be better off making my own vegan gyros. That will have to wait for a day when I’m not feeling like a lazy bum.

Have you tried Viana Veggie Gyros? Have you made your own? What was your experience? –Melissa

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The Lazy Vegan: Samosas!

I love frozen prepared Indian foods. Treats like samosas make a perfect snack or appetizer, and I’m usually very lucky to find products that are as close to a freshly prepared product as I can get. I found these particular samosas in a neighborhood grocery store, made by Bombay Bites.

It came with a pack of chutney, which I usually don’t see offered with other brands. The cooking instructions are limited to deep frying or microwaving, but I went rogue and heated them in a toaster oven (350 degrees for 10 minutes followed by 375 for 3-5 minutes). The chutney came in a small plastic packet which needed heating up in a microwave for just a few minutes. The chutney was also very comparable from what I would get if I bought it freshly prepared.

I like Bombay Bites because their samosas are actually samosa shaped. I have bought other frozen samosas that were phyllo-wrapped triangles which, even if they tasted great, weren’t the same. The filling is very tasty and perfectly spicy (hot without being too hot), and the chutney was a nice accompaniment.

For non-vegans, Bombay Bites has a wide variety of samosas including Jalapeno & Cheese and Pizza flavors. Very intriguing, however, I’m very content with the traditional version. –Melissa

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Sliders!

I swung by my sister’s house this evening and the vegan options were limited to baby carrots, so I swung by the local store for something quick to have for dinner. Now, I could have bought some fresh veggies to cook or make a salad, but instead, I went with Gardein Sliders from the frozen section.

As you can see from the box, it’s 150 calories per slider and 9g of protein. No cholesterol, y’all! I heated the sliders according to the instructions and they came out perfectly heated with no sogginess.

I was really hungry and lazy so I topped the burgers with some ketchup and mustard. I didn’t put too much on the actual patty because I don’t like condiments oozing out of my burger; I’ll usually dip my burgers into ketchup or mustard. The sliders definitely needed some spice. I checked out the other items in my sister’s fridge and found this awesome organic horseradish mustard that was not only vegan but the perfect addition to the sliders.

 

Gardein sliders get an A from me for being a delicious and quick and easy vegan treat. Plus, I look super sexy biting into them!

‘Til next time! –Melissa

 

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