Hack This!

Vegan Poutine (Gravy-Covered Cheese Fries)

Vegan Poutine

Poutine is a Canadian fast-food specialty with roots in Quebec. Basically it’s French fries smothered in gravy and covered with cheese, or rather, cheese curds — whatever those are. This vegan poutine recipe swaps out a beefy gravy for a veg version, and nondairy cheddar shreds for the curds.

Admittedly, poutine (vegan or not) is kind of like enjoying movies that are so bad they’re good — liking something a bit weird as a guilty pleasure. If we could have gone full-on vegan hack with this recipe, we would have liked to use a readymade vegan gravy. We’re not sure one even exists, but no worries, vegan gravy is super-easy to make — and really, the only from-scratch item in this simple rendition. more→

Nearly Raw Mac and Cheese

Almost-raw "mac and cheese"

This nearly raw mac and cheese is pretty amazing, even though there’s no macaroni and no cheese in it! The noodles are a summer favorite, spiraled zucchini, and the sauce, based on carrots cashews, hemp seeds, and nutritional yeast is surprisingly cheesy. Though a high-speed blender is preferable for making the sauce, no worries if you just have a regular blender.

Spiralize the zucchini noodles yourself, or, if you don’t own a spiral slicer, you can get spiralized squash in the produce section of many supermarket these days, yay! This is recipe says “comfort food” like raw foods rarely do. more→

6 Ways to Use Pre-grated Carrots

Asian flavored quinoa wraps

Carrots are a fantastic vegetable to incorporate into your daily diet — filled with Vitamins A and C, they’re also a great source of fiber. Most kids and picky eaters don’t object to carrots even if veggies aren’t their thing. Whole carrots, baby carrots, grated carrots — they’re all good. Grated carrots can go into so many kinds of dishes or star in other, but if you’re not inclined to peel and grate whole carrots, take advantage of pre-grated carrots from the supermarket.

In our Vegan Food Hacks kitchen, we love them, and even when other kinds of carrots are in the fridge, as they usually are, there’s often a bag of them on hand to toss into all manner of dishes or as a foundation for simple salads. Here’s a sampling ways to use pre-grated carrots. more→

Vegan Chick’n Nuggets

Vegan chicken nuggets recipe

Lots of people come to VegKitchen searching for vegan chicken so we thought we’d accommodate with this easy and tasty recipe for nuggets. If there’s a growing desire to avoid eating the bird (the chicken industry is beyond cruel, and terrible for the planet), we’re all in. And tasty nuggets are as simple as can be to prepare. Kids will love these with ketchup (wouldn’t you rather give your kids breaded tofu than “pink slime”?); adults will relish them with salsa, BBQ sauce, or other hot stuff. Truth be told, they’re great plain, too.

It seems trivial to open an entire can of beans to use 2 tablespoons of the liquid, but that’s the secret to getting the breading to stick to the surface of the nuggets. My favorite for this is none other than chickpea liquid, aka aquafaba, but you can use the liquid from any other beans instead.
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5 Simple Salads, 5 Ingredients, 5 Minutes

Berry Spinach Salad

When summertime rolls around, salads can be at their simplest, since the produce has so much flavor. And seriously, who needs formal recipes? Just choose a handful of companionable ingredients, drizzle in a flavorful dressing, and enjoy. Here are 5 simple salads ideas that each use only 5 ingredients and shouldn’t take you longer than 5 minutes to make. For these salads, the fifth ingredient is whatever dressing you choose (based on our suggestions or what you have on hand).

All of these are on a bed of crispy seasonal greens, and you can choose something other than what’s suggested, because, once again, no rules apply! Use these simple salad ideas as a template to create your own; mix and match, use additional ingredients. No specific quantities needed; make salad for one or for several. more→

Apple-Pecan Tempeh Salad or Sandwich Spread

Apple-Pecan Tempeh Salad Sandwich Spread

 If you’re a new vegan (or an aspiring one) you might be missing the heartiness of chicken salad, tuna salad, shrimp salad, and the like. Don’t give in to temptation — try this delectable tempeh sandwich spread or salad. Spiked with apples, celery, and pecans, this has all that umami and none of the animal products. This just could be your lunch hour go-to!

Recipe reprinted with permission from  What’s for Lunch? Lunchtime Favorites from Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen. ©2016 Dianne Wenz. Purchase your copy of the e-book here. more→

Frozen Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Swirl

Frozen Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

When summer delivers ice cream weather, we turn to this brilliant three-ingredient recipe: chocolate banana ice cream — naturally vegan and low-fat. Just cut up the bananas, freeze and swirl with your favorite flavors. We have some real chocoholics under our roof, but you could use anything—frozen strawberries, blueberries or a little vanilla extract. Bonus — this is nut-free, soy-free, and gluten-free! Recipe from Frugal Vegan: Affordable, Easy & Delicious Vegan Cooking by Katie Koteen & Kate Kosbee, Page Street Publishing Co. © 2017, reprinted by permission. Photos by Allie Lehman. more→

Blueprint for a Healthy Bean Salad

Basic Bean Salad

It’s time to build a better bean salad! It’s a perfect dish for parties and picnics, as well as for providing extra protein for your everyday plant-based meals. To make a tasty and healthy bean salad, you don’t so much need a recipe but a blueprint, and that’s just what we’re going to give you here.

Traditionalist and adventurous eaters alike can benefit from the same study base, constructing unique legume dishes to suit every occasion. Select each ingredient with intention rather than just slapping together the standard formula, and you’ll never be disappointed by the result. Infuse real flavor into the mix each step of the way for a fantastic side dish your summer cookouts, barbecues, and road trips. That said, bean salads can be a staple year-round dish. more→

Sunflower Seed Butter

Sunflower Seeds for Sunflower Seed Butter

This is the easiest homemade sunflower butter recipe ever, and it’ll save you a ton of money if you’ve been buying your seed butters in jars. For some reason, sunflower butter is quite pricey, while sunflower seeds themselves are economical. Recipe from Sweet, Savory and Free: Insanely Delicious Plant-Based Recipe Without Any of the Top 8 Food Allergens by Debbie Adler © 2017, BenBella Books. Reprinted by permission. Use some of this sunflower butter in Chocolate Pudding Pie with Seed Crust, also by Debbie Adler.

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Beany Jackfruit Taquitos

Beany Jackfruit Taquitos

Taquitos (or flautas) are essentially rolled corn-tortilla tacos that are fried. While taquitos are traditionally filled with beef or chicken, these vegan jackfruit taquitos use a plant-based ingredient that gets stringy and meaty when cooked. The addition of beans to the jackfruit boosts protein content and satiety. Look for canned water-packed jackfruit in Asian markets or online. If you don’t have an air fryer, see the oven-baked option after the recipe. Recipe and photos from The Vegan Air Fryer: The Healthier Way to Enjoy Deep-Fried Flavors © 2017 by JL Fields. Published by Vegan Heritage Press, reprinted by permission.  more→

Rainbow Vegetable “Rice”

Rainbow vegetable "rice" in processor

Everyone’s raving about cauliflower “rice”, so why not give other veggies the rice treatment? Rainbow vegetable “rice” is a great way to cut carbs and use up vegetables that are languishing in the refrigerator.

There’s really very little involved to turn your vegetables into rice — just some judicious pulsing on and off in the food processor. Cauliflower can be part of the mix, of course, but here are a few other vegetables that work well: more→

Not-Nutella Nutty Cocoa Breakfast Spread

Nutella Alternative Breakfast Spread

This nutty cocoa breakfast spread is so delicious that no one will suspect it’s also good for them. It’s free of processed sugar and made with high-fiber, vitamin-packed beans and bananas (the riper, the better). I spread it on toast when I need a quick breakfast on the go. The key to a creamy spread is not to rush the pureeing in the food processor. Recipe and photos from The China Study Family Cookbook: 100 Recipes to Bring Your Family to the Plant-Based Table by Del Sroufe © 2017, BenBella Books, Reprinted by permission.

A note from VegKitchen: Think of this recipe as a healthy vegan Nutella alternative; who needs all that sugar, palm oil, and skimmed milk powder when you get even better flavor with beans and fresh and dried fruit? more→

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