Vegan Food Hacks

Crispy Quinoa Crumbs

Crispy quinoa on green beans

Here’s a clever way to turn quinoa into tasty crispy crumbs. They pack more nutrition than breadcrumbs and are naturally gluten-free. Bake up a batch and you’ll see why we love to have them on hand. These are easy to make in just a few steps:

1  Cook quinoa as usual — combine 2 cups of water in 1 cup quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring it to a rapid simmer, lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. For more flavor you can add a vegan bouillon cube to the water or use vegetable broth instead. more→

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5 Simple Ways to Use Baked Tofu

Orange-Glazed Tofu and Broccoli

I’ve long considered marinated baked tofu a great product and have wondered why it has taken so long to make its way onto supermarket shelves. Finally, it’s getting there! As always, it’s easy to find at any natural foods store, usually shelved alongside the tofu tub varieties. If you’re unfamiliar with baked tofu, it’s a firmer, chewier, more flavored variety. It comes in cellophane-wrapped packages (usually 8 ounces), and is ready to eat as is or to combine with other ingredients in hot or cold dishes. Here are 5 simple ways to use baked tofu, a fantastic product that’s great to have on hand. more→

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Maya Kaimal Indian Simmer Sauces & More

Maya Kaimal Indian simmer sauces and naan chips

I can whip up decent Asian-style dishes, but I never got the hang of making authentic-flavored Indian dishes at home. It’s not all that difficult, as demonstrated by the brilliant Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen. The truth is that I’m just too lazy to deal with roasting and grinding and mixing and measuring all the myriad spices that add up to those amazing flavors.

For me, making a curry has always meant dumping curry powder into something or another, and If I’m feeling really ambitious, adding some ginger. And while that’s not terrible, doing so doesn’t give the dishes the deep, complex flavors of Indian cuisine. more→

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How to Make Anything Taste Like (Vegan) Bacon

How to make anything taste like vegan bacon

Here are a few great ways to turn plant-based ingredients into an animal-free alternative to bacon. That bacon-y smell and flavor that drives people crazy can be replicated by making a simple marinade with just a few ingredients. When you see how easy it is to make almost anything taste like (vegan) bacon, have fun and try this with other foods.

Even if these preparations aren’t exactly like bacon, and admittedly, they’re not, their flavors and aromas are addictive in their own right — sweet, salty, and smoky. Anything you cook like this will disappear quickly. more→

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9 Ways to Use Crunchy Granola

Granola on nondairy ice cream

Back in the day, “crunchy granola” was a mildly contemptuous reference to the hippie lifestyle or ultra-liberal views. Today, granola isn’t just for hippies, and you don’t even have to make it yourself. With so many kinds of granola available in bulk and in the natural foods cereal section, there are so many uses for granola other than as a form of sarcasm! Note that some granolas use honey, so if you’re strictly vegan and avoid this sweetener, read labels carefully. Here are 9 ways to use crunchy granola that you may never have considered. more→

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Fuss-Free Baked Polenta Fries

Easy Baked Polenta fries

There are lots of posts on food blogs and sites for baked polenta fries, in which a rather lengthy  process is detailed. First, the polenta is cooked from scratch (it’s kind of like a coarse cornmeal mush for those of you not familiar with it); then it’s spread into a dish in which it cools and firms up; then the fry shapes are cut from that. And because food blogs usually want to present recipes that involve more than one or two ingredients, seasonings are added to the mix, as well.

I, too, presented such a recipe. And much as I love polenta fries, I have to admit that I never made them that way again. It’s not that it’s difficult; it is tedious, and between the cooking of the polenta and letting it set, we’re easily talking about 2 to 3 hours before they even go into the oven. more→

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10 Easy Ideas to Make Brown Rice More Enticing

Black beans and rice

Many of us know that brown rice is better for you than white (see Top 10 Benefits of Brown Rice), but boy, the stuff can be boring. If you’re a fan of brown rice, you’ll love these easy ways to make this bland yet worthy grain more enticing. Best of all, none of these brown rice ideas require recipes to follow; just be inspired, and add your own tweaks and touches.

You might especially appreciate these ideas if you have leftover brown rice from Chinese takeout (yes, sometimes, even us vegan kitchen gods and goddesses succumb). But there’s nearly always way too much rice, because it’s really packed into those boxes. So there it is the next day, sitting all forlorn and drying out in its paper container in the fridge. Read on for great ways to put brown rice to use, whether you cook it yourself or it’s left over from takeout. more→

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Practically Effortless Tofu & Green Beans Teriyaki

Effortless Tofu and Green Beans Teriyaki recipe

Are you craving Asian flavors, but tired of takeout? This preparation of tofu teriyaki will make you feel like less of a slacker —  at least somewhat — as you make it very simply at home. The key to this practically effortless tofu & green beans teriyaki (we can hardly call it a “recipe”) is store-bought sauce. It’s not a huge deal to make homemade teriyaki marinade, but you’d have to buy all the individual ingredients, and if you’re not inclined to make this kind of thing often, they’ll languish in your fridge for the hereafter. more→

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