Vegan (Cashew) Nacho Cheese or Queso Dip

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Want a healthy, vegan alternative to nacho cheese dip? This recipe is what you are looking for! Though not required, I like the cooked version better than the uncooked.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross bun

Hot cross buns are traditionally made and eaten on Good Friday. This recipe is from my mom. It is a big hit in our family.

Broccoslaw

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We have been eating a lot of broccoli in my house lately. It was a welcome addition to carrots, one of the few vegetables Spencer will eat without gagging (I was the same way when I was his age. Hopefully he will grow out of it eventually too). We usually buy fresh broccoli, and were …

Sushi

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The first time I made sushi was in about 2004 at my friend Danny’s apartment. To be honest, I am not sure that I had ever eaten before, or certainly not often. But that was a special time in my life when I was more adventurous than usual, so I decided to give it a …

40 spices hummus

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I’ve been making hummus off an on since 1998, with many techniques and recipes. For awhile I got lazy and started buying store bought – I became particularly fond of 40 spice hummus by Tribe, and then they stopped carrying it, which prompted me to start making my own again, and to try to replicate the recipe. I used to use canned chickpeas, but have decided that starting with dried chickpeas is worth the effort to produce really smooth hummus. Another trick is to add a little baking soda while cooking the chickpeas – that seems to make them break down and end up really smooth. This recipe only has about 25 spices if you count the individual spices in the garam masala, but it’s close enough in my book.

Spinach Artichoke Dip (semi-healthy)

Enjoying spinach artichoke dip with a tortilla chip

Spinach artichoke dip is very tasty, but not that healthy, with lots of sour cream and mayonnaise. This recipe is a healthier version. I originally based it off this recipe from the yummy life. I like it with even more spinach and artichokes than they use, but I add a bit of mayonnaise, to make it slightly creamier. This recipe makes a big batch, great for a party. I also recommend trying to find a large container of artichoke hearts. I can get a 4 lb. container at my local store for about $15.

Whole wheat vegan pizza

pizza

Pizza is a very common food in the United States, and it is difficult to avoid. Many people find it very tasty, but it is also seen as very practical, in that it can be ordered for delivery, is relatively inexpensive, and usually pleases most. As a vegan, I started experimenting with cheeseless pizza. This may seem like heresy to some — pizza without cheese — but I have learned that if it is made with certain parameters, it can be very tasty. For eating pizza out, it is crucial to have ample sauce and tasty toppings. A no topping, $5 pizza from Hungry Howies will not be good. But a $10 pizza with extra sauce and lots of tasty vegetable toppings from Papa John’s can be very tasty. But if you want truly good vegan pizza, you probably need to make it yourself. This recipe aims to be both tasty and healthy, and is actually not that difficult to make. I took the dough recipe from a recipe for calzone dough I found on the Vegan Chef (Sometimes I do put on some cheese. The top picture does have a little mozzarella and feta cheese on it; the extra pictures at the bottom do not).

Macaroni and “Cheese” with Spinach

macaroni and cheese with spinach

This is largely based off of a recipe from Very Vegetarian, but after a couple years of enjoying it, Clare helped me find the missing ingredient — spinach. The downside of mac and cheese is that it is low on the vegetables. I tried broccoli, green beans, and snap peas, but they weren’t that good. Spinach goes very well though. The “cheese” part is actually a nutritional yeast sauce, which doesn’t sound too tasty, but it is. Even my parents liked it!

Note that since I am no longer vegan, I usually use regular milk instead of soymilk, and I sometimes add a little real cheese after mixing the pasta and sauce. I have also found that running the spinach through the food processor is better, especially if you have picky children who don’t want big chunks of spinach. Sometimes I use fresh spinach instead of frozen if I have it, and it is better, though more expensive.

Szechuan eggplant and bok choy lo mein

Szechuan eggplant and bok choy lo mein

This is a spicy dish with some of my favorite vegetable – bok choy and eggplant. They taste great together, especially with a spicy black bean sauce. It might seem like a lot of bok choy, but it cooks down quite a bit.

Seitan Fajitas

Seitan fajitas

This is a quick, cheap, tasty, and healthy meal featuring ingredients I usually have on hand. You can use fresh seitan if you want, but the canned seitan is much cheaper. You can find it in many Asian groceries.