Hack This!

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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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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6 Ways to Use Amy’s Chili

easy vegan black bean tostadas

Here at Vegan Food Hacks, Amy’s chili is one of our favorite shortcuts for healthy, hack-worthy dishes. When you need dinner (or lunch, for that matter) in a flash, it can be a real lifesaver. While it’s not all that big of a deal to make a big pot of really good chili that you can enjoy for a good part of the week, there are times when you just don’t have enough brain cells or patience for even a basic dish like this.

A can of Amy’s chili doesn’t go a long way, but what it lacks in volume you can make up for in creativity. Look for it in natural foods stores and in the natural foods aisle in well-stocked supermarkets. Here are some of our favorite ways to use it: more→

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5 Great Ways to Use Hummus

5 great ways to use hummus

Not long ago, prepared hummus became one of the fastest-growing snack foods in America. This Middle Eastern classic is based on healthful chickpeas and tahini, so it’s a welcome alternative to the usual starchy and/or sugary junk foods people often gravitate to. And what a nice bonus it is that hummus, a Middle Eastern classic, is already vegan. And there are so many varieties and flavors now that the product often has its own bay in the supermarket produce section!

Of course, you can make your own hummus and experiment with your own creative combinations and flavorings. But here at Vegan Food Hacks we’re very lazy, and fully endorse the store-bought varieties. Here are 5 great ways to use hummus, aside from its most common one as a dip for fresh pita bread. more→

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Pizza Veggies

Pizza veggies

What do people like more about pizza, the crust or the sauce and cheese? There’s nothing wrong with a good, crusty crust. But when the craving for pizza hits, it’s usually the gooey cheese that’s the object of desire. Melty vegan cheese like Daiya mozzarella style shreds has been a game changer for vegans. Back in the day, I used to hear people say that they could never go vegan, because they couldn’t give up pizza. Now there’s no excuse! And that’s what makes these fun pizza veggies possible. more→

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