Tahini meatball freezer casserole

September 21, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Posted in recipe, VeganMoFo | Leave a comment
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Previously published on No Sweat, York

If your life is like mine right now, you barely remember to eat dinner after getting home from work.

We go from unearthing fall and winter clothes during an Indian summer day to everything orange, yellow and red and Halloween costumes and decorations.

Then, in a blink of an eye, we are finagling road trips for Thanksgiving feasts and/or stocking the pantry for the big day.

Then, we will be bundling under large jackets, furiously shopping for holiday gifts, and grumbling about how cold it is and we can’t wait for summer.

Wait, what about dinner?

I’ve learned a new trick to help out my limited budget and schedule: freezer meals. I recently found two, new-to-me blogs: Budget Bytes and Vegan in the Freezer. These gave me a ton of inspiration for what I can do when I get a few hours, in order to free up the time between getting home and my head hitting the pillow. I can even get my significant other to cook it in the oven, so dinner is hot and ready as soon as I step in the door.

This recipe was actually inspired by a Food.com blogger Christine who make a creamy chickpea and tahini casserole. I substituted a few ingredients for what I had on hand: pasta, fresh tomatoes and Gardein meatballs (on sale at Target!), and eliminated a few spices I did not have.

This is such a versatile dish that you can create a variety of sauces and mix and match grains, protein and veggies. Let me know what inspiration you get from this recipe.
Tahini meatball freezer casserole
Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 Gardein meatless meatballs
  • 1 box of trio noodles or other small noodles
  • 5 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water

Directions

  1. Boil a large pot of water, and follow directions to cook pasta until al dente. Drain and cool.
  2. Heat up meatballs in a microwave-proof bowl until able to mush the balls. Break up until consistency of ground beef.
  3. Chop veggies.
  4. Mix tahini, water and spices until well mixed. Set aside.
  5. Spray 9×13 pan with olive oil.
  6. Dump all ingredients into pan, first placing some noodles in the pan, adding tomatoes and meatballs and then half of the tahini mixture. Add remaining noodles and sauce.
  7. Stir until all the noodles are coated.
  8. Let the pan completely cool, then place lid on and put it in the freezer.
  9. When ready to cook, place pan in the refrigerator for about 7 to 8 hours. An hour before cooking, take it out and place on the counter.
  10. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Take off lid and place foil over pan. Cook for about 45 to 50 minutes or until center is warm.

Throwback Thursday: vegan SpaghettiOs

September 5, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in recipe, Throwback Thursday, VeganMoFo | Leave a comment
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

About a month ago, I decided I wanted to make some comfort food for my Meatout Mondays blog post at No Sweat, York.

When I was a little girl, I LOVED SpaghettiOs. A big bowl of SpaghettiOs brings back memories of days spent with the Nana and Pop, where I watched Disney Channel (we didn’t have it at home) and play Chinese checkers.

Being vegan, I don’t get SpaghettiOs that often anymore, unless I figure out a way to make them myself. Well, I did! Jamieson even liked the recipe, saying the dish tasted authentic. I adapted this recipe by Nikki at Seeded at the Table.

Which of you vegans are hankering for SpaghettiOs? I know I am!

I thought this dish was super easy to make, about 30 minutes or so. Make it for dinner and take leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I know your coworkers will be jealous of your homemade and healthier dish than the canned version of youth.

Homemade vegan SpaghettiOs
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  •  8 ounces ditalini pasta (or other small pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup soy milk (or other nut milk)
  • 1 cup shredded Daiya vegan cheddar cheese

Recipe:

  1.  Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water, to al dente (about 10 minutes).
  2. Drain and place pasta back into large pot.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic powder and red pepper flakes and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in the tomato sauce, water, tomato paste, salt, pepper, sugar and vegan butter. Heat, while stirring, until the butter is melted.
  5. Slowly stir in the soy milk, then turn the heat to low. Simmer at low heat for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir the shredded vegan cheese into the soup until melted.
  7. Pour as much of the tomato sauce into the pasta as desired; stir to combine. You will have a little left over, which can be pour on individual servings if eater desires.

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Idaho vegan Idaho nachos

June 29, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 2 Comments
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

This recipe has been a long time coming. I made this dish MONTHS ago, maybe even before I moved to my new apartment.

Then, life got busy, I started Meatout Mondays, and then I never wrote this blog post.

Well, here it is. IDAHO NACHOS!

What are these exactly? Well, Idaho is known for its potatoes, as it grows one-third of the crop for the U.S. I am surprised that Idaho only grows one-third, as potato is the first word you think of when someone says Idaho.

So, the nachos are regular nachos, just with potatoes instead of tortilla chips. How creative, right?

And, because this is a vegan blog, I made the recipe I found on the Food Network site vegan!

Vegan Idaho Nachos

Ingredients:

  • Oil, for frying
  • 4 Idaho potatoes, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup sliced green peppers
  • 1/4 cup sliced onions
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese, Mexican variety 
  • Salsa, for garnish
  • vegan sour cream, for garnish

Recipe:

  1. In a pan, put a few inches of oil. Heat oil on the stove over medium for a few minutes.
  2. Place potato slices in the pan, and then fry until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.
  3. Prepare other ingredients.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Place potatoes in a layer in a dish, and then top with remaining ingredients except salsa and vegan sour cream. The cheese should be on the top.
  6. Place dish in oven, and let cook for 5 to 10 minutes, keeping an eye on the dish.
  7. Once the cheese is mostly melted, turn on the broil.
  8. Again, keep an eye on the dish, and only broil for a few moments until the top is brown.
  9. Take it out and let it cool for about 2 minutes. Top with salsa and sour cream.

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Texas vegan chile con queso

June 25, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 2 Comments
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

The heat might have us feeling like we are really residents of Texas rather than Pennsylvania.

I know, Texas probably has a dry heat, unlike our latest humidity bubble, but Texas is where I drew inspiration from to make chile con queso.

I chose Texas for my next culinary experiment for 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes because I have spicy food on the brain. After Cinco de Mayo and the Mission burritos, I realized I have grown to love spicy, Mexican food. This is funny to me, as I never experimented with these flavors before I went vegan and my struggles with IBS prevented my culinary explorations.

But now, bring on the spice!

Chile con queso is popular at Tex-Mex restaurants as an appetizer or side dish, served with tortilla chips. It is usually just spicy, melted cheese, but you can add black beans to the cheese and serve a bowl of guacamole on the side.

I found this super simple recipe by The Food Network and substituted vegan ingredients. I also went with canned chilies and jalapenos because I figured that was the safest bet for me, though fresh can be subbed instead. I also took a tip from the comments and sauteed the veggies before creating the cheese masterpiece.

Wanting to take it to another level of spicy, I used Daiya Jalapeno Garlic Havarti. This blows the dish away. And even though it seems like this dip would be bad for you, one serving is 80 calories.

Get ready for some fondue fun!

Continue Reading 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Texas vegan chile con queso…

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: North Carolina vegan hummingbird muffins

June 1, 2013 at 11:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 1 Comment
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(This post first appeared in the No Sweat, York, blog for the York Daily Record/Sunday News.)

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger. Left: pre-baked muffin; Right: baked muffin.

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger. Left: pre-baked muffin; Right: baked muffin.

When I picked the dishes for “50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes,” I didn’t realize at first that I chose so many cakes and baked goods.

Now, as I am re-assessing my diet, the dreaded sweet treats are at every turn. So, when my weekly Runner’s World nutrition email popped into my inbox, a new, healthy recipe fell into my lap. It fit perfectly within my “50 Dishes” parameters — Hummingbird Muffins.

Let’s take a step back: Hummingbird Cake was first submitted by Mrs. L.H. Wiggins of Greensboro, North Carolina in the February 1978 issue of “Southern Living.” It called for 2 cups of sugar in the cake, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups of “salad oil” and a cream cheese frosting that added even more butter and sugar. Even the updated “lightened” version isn’t so light. The pecans make it even more southern, as they are grown in the South.

So, why is it named “hummingbird”? There isn’t a definitive answer, butsome theories include the idea that eating the cake makes you hum with happiness; it is sugary rich, just like the nectar hummingbirds love to feast on; people love this cake so much they hover over it, just like hummingbirds do to their food; and/or the cake originated in Jamaica where the national bird is a breed of hummingbird.

Let’s get back to the food. A rich and sugary cake won’t fit in my diet, so the hummingbird muffins seemed promising. I will say that this original recipe also calls for way too much sugar, but I didn’t want to experiment too much on my first try. I think that less sugar can be added to the honey, and the brown sugar taken out of the crumble topping.

I also took out the eggs to veganize the dish, as the bananas and applesauce already in the recipe are usual substitutions for eggs in vegan baked goods. I think the eggs are added by Runner’s World for added protein, but are totally not needed. There are a few other things I veganized, using Nutiva hemp protein powder and Earth Balance; and I used Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour and old-fashioned oats.

This isn’t a “true” vegan muffin, as it contains more than a 1/3 of a cup of honey. There is the great honey debate, but I personally eat it if it is local (yeah, York Central Market!) and it helps my persistent seasonal allergies.

Continue Reading 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: North Carolina vegan hummingbird muffins…

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: California vegan Mission burritos

May 25, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 2 Comments
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

(This recipe was first featured for Meatout Mondays on the No Sweat, York, blog.)

I love burritos.

With Roburrito’sChipotle and Qdoba in the community, you can’t go wrong finding a burrito that is both vegan and hearty.

I eat Roburrito’s so often, some of the workers probably know me by name or by my order (“A vegan potato meal with ginger ale, please.”) I mix it up by going to different locations, so my addiction isn’t pronounced. (Though my favorite to-go is the East Market Street location, and my favorite sit-down place is the one in the New Eastern Market.)

Both places offer a style of burrito called a Mission burrito or San Francisco burrito — so named because it first became popular in the 1960s in the Mission district of San Francisco.

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

My square burrito. Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

The greatest part of this burrito? It is customizable. A few items are considered staples: a large, flour tortilla, rice, beans and salsa. There also can be a filling, such as a meat, fish, soy meat or potato, and then other add-ins such as sour cream, cheese, avocado or guacamole. Obviously, because I am vegan, there is no animal products or by-products. The burrito is still yummy and filling.

Traditionally it is wrapped in tinfoil and eaten right from there, peeling the layer back as you eat. However, since the homemade burritos are fresh, cut the foil and begin the feast! Plus, I seriously can’t fold a burrito correctly, so I just scarfed these up quickly.

A can of black beans and a cup of brown rice can probably make up to 5 Mission burritos.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of boil-in-a-bag brown rice
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 container of guacamole
  • 1 jar of salsa, mild
  • 1 package of Daiya cheese, cheddar or mozzarella
  • 1 package of large, burrito-style white tortillas

Recipe

  1. Cook the rice according to the package. It took me 10 minutes to boil the water, and 10 minutes to cook the rice.
  2. Drain and rinse black beans. Place them in a bowl and heat in the microwave for 15 seconds.
  3. Set up your station: Rice in one bowl, beans in another; guacamole, cheese and salsa opened and ready.
  4. Put one tortilla on a plate and place in the microwave for 15 seconds. It makes the tortilla softer and easier to work with. If you have a tortilla steamer, use that instead.
  5. Place close to 1/3 cup of rice in the middle of the tortilla. Place 1/4 cup of beans on top, then 1 heaping tablespoon of guacamole and salsa. Add about 1/8 cup of cheese.
  6. Roll: Fold one side over the center until the filling is two-thirds covered. Tuck in the left and right sides. Roll the covered filling toward the last open side until the burrito is completely covered and rolled.
  7. Enjoy! It might be a little messy, but worth it.

Check out these other 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes posts. 

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Delaware vegan crab puffs

May 18, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 1 Comment
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

(This recipe was first featured for Meatout Mondays on the No Sweat, York, blog.)

Delaware has a special place in my heart.

My family would vacation in Delaware (Bethany Beach!) often when I was growing up. We stayed in Ocean City, Md., quite a few times, but I remember the first time we stayed at Bethany Beach at a condo complex. It was pure bliss for me. I miss going down there, and I am hopefully planning a trip for this summer.

Delaware, like any coastal city, is known for its seafood. This is why I chose crab puffs for this state.

When I made this dish, it was for a Thirty-One party I had in January.

I didn’t have a lot of time to create these crab puffs, and if you wanted them to look more like hushpuppies, that wouldn’t fly. (Hushpuppies remind me of Long John Silver’s!) Then I stumbled upon this recipe by Pillsbury and rejoiced. Many of Pillsbury’s products are vegan friendly, which is helpful for making a last-minute pizza or finger food for a party.

These cute little puffs can be a great dish for dinner, paired with a fresh salad or sauteed veggies. It only dirtied two bowls and a cookie tray, and took about 30 minutes to make.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet or (1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls, plain variety)
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • A dash of hot sauce or chili powder
  • 1/2 cup of Vegenaise (vegan mayonaise alternative)
  • 1 fake egg (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kelp or other seaweed powder (optional)
  • 3/4 cup of shredded vegan cheddar cheese (Daiya brand used)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped plum/Roma tomato
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon vegan margarine (Earth Balance used)

Recipe:

  1. In a medium bowl, pour in drained chickpeas and mash until desired consistency.  Add garlic and hot sauce or chili powder and stir. (If you have kelp powder or another seaweed powder and want a more sea-like taste, add a generous teaspoon.)
  2. If using fake egg, follow directions on the container and make one egg. (I usedVegg, which gave the dish an eggy flavor. But it is not needed to keep the filling together.) Add Vegenaise to the bowl and mix.
  3. Pour egg/mayo mixture into chickpea mixture. Stir.
  4. Add chopped tomato, green onions and vegan cheddar cheese. Stir until incorporated. Set the bowl aside.
  5. Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix melted butter. Wipe your cookie pan with oil or use a vegan nonstick cooking spray.
  6. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough on sheet; press into 12×8-inch rectangle. If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough on sheet; press into 12×8-inch rectangle, firmly press perforations to seal.
  7. Cut into 2-inch squares. Brush with butter.
  8. Bake 4 to 6 minutes or until puffed. Take out and let cool for 1 minute.
  9. Spoon a generous tablespoon of chickpea mixture on each square.
  10. Bake 10 to 12 minutes longer or until golden brown and tops are set. Serve warm.

See other 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes recipes.

Three Things Thursday

May 16, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in Three Things Thursday | 6 Comments
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Vegan cupcakes from Ladybug Baking Co.

Vegan cupcakes from Ladybug Baking Co.

Thing No. 1 — I’m back! Yes, I know, I am a horrible blogging person. I abandoned all of you.

You see, I blog. A lot. You might not notice it, but if you went to Yorkblog.com (specifically Twenty & Change, Book Buzz, No Sweat, York, and Smart Magazine), you would see my blogs up there weekly, for most of them. I do a Meatout Mondays post, a Comic Book Wednesday post and a green living post on Thursdays. I try to write about living life in my 20s, but I am quite boring.

Which led me to abandon Wonder Vegan, because I am just boring. Sorry.

But now I am back, and I am going to try and make this blog useful. Will you still follow me?

Thing No. 2 — The monthly vegan meetup was this week. We met Tuesday at Ladybug Baking Company and Cafe on Beaver Street in York. Jessica, the owner, was kind enough to open her shop outside of normal business hours so we could meet and enjoy vegan, yummy food here in York. A big THANK YOU to Jessica for hosting us!

Next month we hope to do a potluck again, but we will see. Details are being finalized.

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Baby brother, baby sister and me

Thing No. 3 — My baby brother is graduating college on Saturday! I can’t believe he is 22 years old and stands a full 6 to 7 inches taller than me. And now, the baby bro is going to be a teacher! (At least if he can find a job soon. Boo, recession!)

The baby sister is finishing up her second year at college and looking for a summer job. It is the mad dash time of year, which is something I haven’t experienced in a few years.

I hope you will join me again and read my posts. I welcome suggestions!

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