Cooking Vegan Alfredo with Christine!

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Back in Orlando from the holidays, and while it was absolutely lovely visiting with my family, it is good to be back in my kitchen!

Today Christine and I decided to cook something that I had created in the past, but had no idea how to recreate…vegan alfredo sauce. After meandering around Publix for a good amount of time, gathering important information on spices and juicing (from random helpful people in Publix!) we settled on the following ingredients:

3 tbs flour
2 tbs butter (earth balance vegetable butter)
1 heaping tbs cream cheese (vegan veggie cream cheese!)
2 cups milk (plain almond milk)
handful of mozzarella cheese (veggie vegan cheese/0
garlic powder
seasoned salt
fresh ground pepper

First melt the butter, then add flour and milk and mix until a thick rue is formed. This may take some time, depends on the type of milk you use! DO NOT BURN THE FLOUR! Once the sauce has thickened, add cream cheese and mozzarella cheese. Stir again until melted and thickened (notice a trend?). Add garlic powder, seasoned salt, and fresh ground pepper. Season to taste. Make sure it is thoroughly warmed through and place over pasta.

Christine wanted to add mushrooms, and I of course readily agreed! She sauteed portobello mushrooms in butter, sprinkled olive oil on top and seasoned with garlic powder and seasoned salt, flipping the portobellos so that they are equally seasoned and browned. We chopped them up and added them to the pasta and sauce.

This was an amazing substitution for those who are lactose intolerant, vegetarian, vegan, or watching their cholesterol intake, as this meal has 0 cholesterol

Vegan Flat Bread Pizza

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I love pizza, and flat bread “personal-pan” pizzas are one of my specialties. Since I make this meal rather frequently, I had to check the archives to make sure I wasn’t re-posting a dish! This meal is not only a great way to pack in my favorite three vegetables, doubles as another way to clean out the fridge.

Ingredients:

Flatbread
Tomato Sauce (I had some jarred sauce left)
Spinach
4-5 Mushrooms sliced
Cherry Tomatoes (big surprise with those three)
2 cloves of Garlic
Roasted Red Peppers
‘Pizza Seasonings’
Olive oil
Garlic Powder
Red Pepper Flakes

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I first sliced the garlic thinly and placed it on the empty flatbread. I then covered the garlic and flatbread with tomato sauce, leaving a small area for the crust.

Garlic under the sauce! Garlic under the sauce!

Since I am a fanatic about mushrooms, I placed a few down, added fresh spinach, and placed more over the spinach. I then added sliced roasted red peppers, and sliced cherry tomatoes.

I happen to have a seasoning aptly named “pizza seasoning” which contains basil, oregano, garlic, and margorum. IF you do not have “pizza seasoning” at your disposal, these ingredients alone will work. I drizzled olive oil over the top of the pizza, added the seasoning, and then sprinkled garlic powder on the crust to make a garlic crust (learned this trick from my dad when he makes homemade pizza!). Finally, I scattered red pepper flakes over the top.

Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until thoroughly heated.

Asparagus pasta…minus asparagus, add mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach…surprise!

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This past week has been insane for both bloggers here, hence the lack of posts. Kristina has finished classes, but will be going home and adventuring over the new year. I am finishing up the calendar school year on the 21st (end of the world!) and then will be returning home to Tallahassee. I am going to try to post throughout the break, but they may be sporadic.

This meal came along when I realized that I had bought asparagus last week, but had not eaten them. Eek! I looked up recipes for asparagus and vegetable stuff, found a great recipe and then completely changed it. Kristina came over to observe/help, and upon looking at the asparagus made the conclusion that I had been dreading “those do not look good, at all”. Darn, I was hoping it was just me who realized that they were slightly yellow/brownish. So the following recipe is an altered version of one I found on Gluten Free Goddess‘s blog. Of course, in true Jenni fashion, I added mushrooms and spinach, leaving out the capers, jalapenos, and sadly the asparagus.
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Ingredients:

two handfuls of fresh spinach
3 crimini mushrooms diced
6 white mushrooms diced
almost a pint of cherry tomatoes whole
6 cloves of garlic chopped
1 leek sliced
handful of golden grapes
4 tsps balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1.5 tbs parsley dried
1 tbs basil
a few shakes of red pepper flakes
pepper to taste
1 box Pasta

Place the ingredients (minus the pasta) in a glass baking dish. Stir to ensure that everything is evenly coated. Place in the oven at 400 degrees.
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Cook pasta according to directions on box (generally open box, pour contents into boiling water, wait).

After about 20 minutes the vegetables should be good (and look like this!)
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Drain the pasta, place veggies on top and enjoy!

This meal is easy, tasty, and vegan!

Simple spicy chili

I must apologize for my lack of participation in mine and Jenni’s blog but it is the end of my fall semester at school and the stress is building. Thankfully I take my last final tomorrow.

To make sure that I still eat okay, as well as my roommate Dale and his girlfriend Natalie during our stressful studious week, I made Chili tonight for dinner. It took a quick run to the store for diced tomatoes, kidney beans, and ground beef.

For this recipe you will need:

2lbs ground beef or chicken or vegan crumbles if you wish

1 can pinto beans

1 can kidney beans

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 can diced tomatoes chili seasoned

1 8oz can of tomatoe sauce

1/4 of a cup of chili powder

cayenne to taste

salt&pepper to taste

1 green pepper

1 onion

4 cloves garlic

I tossed in a little bit of beef broth to make it slightly soupier, as well as basil, oregano, and fennel.

1) Brown the beef in a pan, about 8-10 minutes.

2) Once the beef is browned add it and the rest of the ingredients to a big pot and let stew for 1-2 hours.

(obviously chop the veggies.)

It came out fantastic and it allowed for myself, Dale and Natalie to have plenty plus we have leftovers for tomorrow.

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Black Bean Burgers with Portobello Buns

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Life post-thanksgiving is quite hectic. Kristina is focusing on exams, and I am trying to get my class through two more units before winter break! This next dish comes from my love of black bean burgers and my desire to try something new! From the lovely people at pinterest, and even better the author of Rabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth and her post on

I made four burgers with the following recipe (slight modification)

2 cups cooked black beans (i used 1/2 cooked formerally dried, and 1/2 canned)
1/4 cup finely ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 Tbsp freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp black pepper

Place the ingredients in a large blender, and mix thoroughly, adding water 1 tbs at a time until the consistency is moist but not watery…hopefully like a less firm dough. This is where I screwed up, I overestimated the amount of water needed and ended up with a runny mixture. To compensate for this, I added flour and more flax seed to the mixture, until it was pliable enough to create patties.

I was pleasantly surprised how quickly they cooked! Place the patties on a PAM sprayed skillet, cover, and cook for four minutes. Flip and cook for another four minutes.

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Once the patties are cooked, remove from heat, and prepare your burger! For this particular meal, I used two portobello mushrooms as buns. I totally missed the part in the directions where it said to grill them, and the portobellos were consumed raw (which is ok…but I will cook them next time!). I also added lettuce, tomato, avocado slices and jarred artichoke hearts. The combination was heavenly, although quite cumbersome to eat!