Tag Archives: lazy vegan

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.

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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)

Directions:

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.

Eat.

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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.

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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.

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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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The Lazy Vegan: Sweet and Sour Soy Curls

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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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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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The Lazy Vegan: Tofurky Chorizo

I would say that this is a classic lazy vegan post but it does require some effort, like opening a package and slaving over a hot stove for 5 minutes. I wanted a tasty dinner with minimal effort, so I decided to finally try the Tofurky Chorizo Style product that has been sitting in my fridge. It was perfect because I already had tortillas and only had to stop at the store for some pepperjack Daiya.

 

The product definitely looks meaty and once you open the pack, you can smell all the scrumptious spices. “That smells SPICY!” said my niece as it cooked.

 

I heated up the ‘chorizo’ in a mini frying pan for 5 minutes.

I served them on tortillas with some Daiya pepperjeck and a side of tomatoes. The product smelled spicy and it is tasty, but it could use more embellishment. I plan to add some garlic and/or onion powder and to serve it with hot sauce or fresh salsa. But it is good as-is and met my needs this evening.

I love Tofurky products! –Melissa

 

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