Hoe Cakes (aka Cornmeal Pancakes)

Hoe cakes, also known as cornmeal pancakes, are basically a pancake that is typically made with a equal parts flour and cornmeal.  They get their name from way back in the day when they were cooked on hoe over a fire.  These little treats were George Washington’s breakfast of choice and he enjoyed them with honey.  I like mine with raw agave or maple syrup and vegan Earth Balance (note: the Whipped one tastes like butter and is much better than the Original).

Makes 3-4 small hoe cakes

Ingredients

1/4 cup almond milk

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup flour (I use half whole wheat and oat flour)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce

1 Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup

Canola oil

Method

Recommended: use a cast iron skillet and set on burner over medium heat to allow it to heat while you mix ingredients.

Measure your almond milk in a measuring cup and then add the lemon juice.  Give it a stir and set aside.

 Add cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt to a bowl and whisk or stir.  Add applesauce, agave, and almond milk mixture and stir.

For each cake add about 2 tablespoons of batter to lightly oiled, heated skillet. Spread out to form a small circle.  Let cook about 4 minutes (will depend on how hot your skillet is) or until the edges start to dry and crust.  Flip and cook about 3-4 more minutes.

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No-Bake Lemon Coconut Bars

I love lemon anything and I love coconut anything.  And I love the two together .  One of my all-time favorite desserts is the lemon coconut bundt cake in my Veganomicon cookbook but unfortunately I can’t eat cake everyday. Since I’ve been experimenting with making my own version of Lara Bars, I had to do one of my favorite flavor combinations.  Oh boy, it did not disappoint.  I feel way less guilty about devouring these little treats that are raw, vegan, whole food ingredients, with no sugar added.

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Makes about 20 1-2 inch squares

Ingredients

1 cup raw cashews

2 cups dried dates, pitted

3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Zest of one lemon

2 tsp lemon juice

Pinch of salt

Method

Note: If your dates aren’t very soft, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes or until softened.

Blend cashews in a food processor until it’s just beginning to turn from a powder to a nut butter.  This will take a few minutes so be patient.  Now add your dates and process until it all comes together.  This could also take a few minutes.  Scrape down the sides if needed.  Now add remaining ingredients pulse several times until all incorporated.

Remove and place on parchment paper.  Press into a square or rectangle and place another sheet of parchment on top.  Optional: use a cast iron skillet to flatten the top.  Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour, then cut into squares.  Store in the refrigerator.

Southwest Black Bean, Corn, and Rice Salad

So many great things about this dish – it’s an easy mix some stuff together kind of recipe, it’s vegan and healthy, it’s delicious, and it doesn’t really require cooking if you get the kind of rice you can just microwave.  Oh and it’s versatile too.  You can switch up the grains (I used a combination or brown rice and barley), add avocado if you like, use it as a side or a main dish, in tacos or burritos, whatever you want.  The recipe makes 2-3 side dish servings but it can easily be doubled for a 4-5 person dinner or for a party.

Serves 2-3 as a side dish

Ingredients

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp chipotle powder or cayenne (optional)

1 Tbsp canola oil

1/4 cup vegetable broth

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 cups cooked brown rice, barley or another grain

3/4 cup cooked black beans (about half a can drained)

3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Mix spices, oil, broth and vinegar in a large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until everything is combined and mixed with the dressing.  This is best if left to chill in the refridgerator 1-2 hours before serving.

Falafel Spiced Roasted Chickpea Tacos

I really love falafel.  So much in fact that at one point I created a baked falafel recipe in my early days of blogging.  I’ve been meaning to revisit this recipe to see how I could revamp it, but to have to bust out the food processor, form little patties, and all that, just hasn’t been something I’ve had time for.  So I had this brilliant idea to take all those spices and flavors and just coat the chickpeas in them, then roast them.  I do love roasted chickpeas. I substitute onion for onion powder, fresh garlic with garlic powder that way I wouldn’t have to worry about it burning in the oven and the flavors would be all combined.   It worked like a charm!  I got my falafely goodness without the work. Yep, I’ll pat myself on the back for this one.  It’s pretty freakin’ good.

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Makes 4 tacos

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp coriander

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp white pepper

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings:

Diced tomato

Diced onion

Diced dill pickle (yes this goes very well with falafel)

Lettuce

Tahini dressing (I love the one from Trader Joes that you can find by the hummus or try my recipe)

Taco size tortillas

Method

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Chickpeas to a bowl and add olive oil and lemon juice.  Give it a toss to coat.

In a small bowl, mix all the spices together.  This is important so that you have an even flavor throughout.  Add the spices to the chickpeas along with the fresh herbs and lastly the salt and pepper.  Toss to thoroughly coat.

Spread chickpeas on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 30-40 minutes (depending how crispy you want them).

Grilled Avocado Sandwich

Tomato soup has a new BFF and doesn’t have cheese.  Glorious avocado steals the show in the tasty grilled sandwich.  Yea, yea grilled cheese sandwiches are awesome but this isn’t trying to replace it.  It is its own kind of awesome and it also pairs exceptionally well with tomato soup.  Of course you could add other things to the sandwich but I like to keep it simple, just a little S+P, maybe a dash of garlic powder, and all that rich, buttery avocado. Pair with some of this yummy tomato soup and enjoy!

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Makes one sandwich

Ingredients

2 slices of bread

3-4 Tbsp mashed avocado (about 1/4 of an avocado)

Salt and pepper to taste

Dash of garlic powder (optional)

Earth Balance vegan butter spread, room temp

Method

Heat skillet over medium heat (I use a cast iron skillet). Mix your mashed avocado with salt, pepper and garlic powder if using.  Spread butter on a slice of bread, on the other side spread on your avocado.  Place the other slice on top and spread with butter.  Cook in skillet for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

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Serves 3-4

Ingredients

1 heaping cup of grape tomatoes

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

2 Tbsp live oil

1/2 large onion, diced

Pinch of salt

3 large garlic cloves

1 tsp dried thyme

1 28oz can whole plum tomatoes

2-3 cups vegetable broth

1 cup fresh basil leaves (or about a handful)

Salt and pepper to taste

Crushed red pepper for heat (optional)

Method

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss grapes tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add to parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.

While tomatoes are in the oven, add olive oil to saucepan and heat over medium-low.  Add onion and pinch of salt and cook 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic and thyme; cook 2 minutes.

Add whole can of tomatoes with juice, 2 cups of the broth and basil. Break up the tomatoes slightly with a wooden spoon.  Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes.

Let cool slightly and add to a blender along with roasted tomatoes.  Puree, add more broth if you like a thinner consistency.  Transfer back to pot and season with salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper to taste.

Zesty Italian Vegan Meatballs

No these don’t taste like regular meatballs, but these bad boys are pretty tasty.  I used some vegan Italian sausage that I had so it gives them a nice zesty flavor and then you don’t have to worry so much about adding a bunch of seasoning.  I had a Field Roast link that I cut up and threw in the food processor until it was crumbly.  Uptons Naturals also makes a great Italian sausage and there’s isn’t a link but instead more “ground” texture.  I highly recommend either of those.  Some other brands out there just don’t taste good.  If you don’t feel like cooking lentils, black beans will probably do.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)

1/2 small onion, diced (about 1/4-1/3 cup)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup crumbled Italian vegan sausage (chop or use food processor if needed)

3/4 cup cooked green or brown lentils

1 Tbsp soy sauce

3/4 cup bread crumbs

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 2 Tbsp water)

Salt and pepper to taste, if needed

Method

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a skillet and add onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat about 3 minutes.

Add onions, garlic, sausage, and lentils to a food processor.  Pulse several times until mixture starts to come together, drizzle in the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Pulse and once combined (not pureed) add to a mixing bowl.  Add bread crumbs and flax egg.  Mix to combine.

Roll mixture into tablespoon size balls and lay onto a parchment line baking sheet or dish.  Chill in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

Pan-fry

Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a cast iron or nonstick skillet.  Heat over medium high.  Lightly dust each meatball with flour and add to skillet.  Add to skillet (should be hot enough to sizzle) and cook about minutes or until golden brown (turning half way through).

Bake

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  With meatballs on a parchment line baking sheet, spray or brush with olive oil.  Bake 20-25 minutes.