Vegan Southern Collard Greens

vegan collard greens

One of the things I love the most about Southern and Soul Food are the yummy collard greens. This is my go-to collard green recipe that has a little spice, and a hint of sweetness that tones down the heat level perfectly. It is super easy to make, and also very delicious! It pairs well as a side dish to almost anything!

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Easy Baked Mac and Cheese

easy baked mac and cheese

Hey y'all! I know it has been a while since I've last uploaded a recipe. If you follow me on Instagram, I posted about the passing of our beloved fur baby Brownie. A few weeks ago she got sick and we had to lay her to rest. I had no clue how hard it would be on my family, and mainly on me. We all cried, and it has take me a while to heal from her loss. I've had her since the 10th grade, and I've loved her for almost 20 long years!

The break was something I truly needed, because I had no clue how hard it would be! But now I'm back with one of my easy go-to Mac and Cheese recipes to share with you all! This recipe is super easy to make; it is bursting with flavor, and it has a nice crispy outer crust, while still moist and cheesy on the inside!

RECIPE VIDEO BELOW!

Vegan Macaroni Salad

vegan macaroni salad

So if you haven't already noticed by now, I have been posting a lot of vegan/vegetarian friendly recipes. It’s because recently my husband and I decided that we wanted to cut meat back out of our diet; mainly beef, chicken, and pork. I wouldn't say that we are 100% vegan, but more so like 85-90% of our diet is, we still eat dairy and seafood (particularly salmon and shrimp once a month). This has been something we have thought about for a long time since breaking our vegan diet 2 years ago, and in all honesty I am so happy we have made the change.

In just the short 2 months of changing our diets, I have noticed such an improvement in my health which I will talk about in another blog post. Since I no longer eat the above mentioned meats, I still have family and friends who do, so yes I will still have recipes for my meat-lover subscribers. Now although this recipe is vegan friendly, I'm sure my meat-lovers will love it just the same! This is my take on the classic macaroni salad, but not as wet as sold in stores, which is a turn off to me.

Vegan Macaroni Salad

PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES | COOK TIME: 10 MINUTES | YIELDS: 6 SERVINGS


INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups macaroni noodles (uncooked)
  • 1-1/2 poblano peppers
  • 2 Serrano peppers
  • 3/4 cup red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup red onions
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • 2 limes, juice
  • 1 cup vegenaise mayo (or regular mayo)
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp or to taste cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to broil.
how to roast peppers
  • Place 1 Poblano and the Serrano peppers on baking sheet and broil until the skin starts to blister and turn black. Be sure to turn the peppers to roast all side.
  • Once all sides are blistered and black, removed peppers and place in a Ziploc back. Seal close, and cover with a damp towel for 5 minutes. This will allow the peppers to sweat so that the skins will slide off.
  • Meanwhile,  cook you macaroni noodles as directed on the box.
  • While the noodles are cooking in a large mixing bowl add mayo, lime juice, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and sugar. Mix well.
  • Then return back to your roasted peppers and carefully peel the skins off, slice in halves, and remove all seed. You can use you knife to scrape out the seeds or you can rinse the seeds.
macaroni salad recipe
  • Chop roasted peppers and the other half of the raw Poblano pepper and add to mixing bowl with chopped red onions, red bell peppers, cilantro, and grated carrots.
  • Mix well until all combined, then refrigerate.
  • By this time the noodles should be done cooking. You want to make sure they are cooked all the way through. I boiled mine for 10 minutes.
  • Drain noodles, place back in pot and stir, do not rinse! Rinsing the noodles will remove the starch which is needed for the sauce to stick.
  • Stir pasta noodles for 5 minutes until pasta becomes sticky. This will help to cool the noodles off while activating the starch, thus making it sticky so the sauce can stick.
vegan macaroni salad
  • Once the noodles are completely cooled, and them to the mixing bowl with sauce and stir until sauce is evenly dispersed on the noodles.
  • Cover pasta tightly with saran wrap and refrigerate for 4 hour to  overnight for best result.
  • Before serving, to liven the pasta up, add 1 tbsp of mayo, a squeeze of a little lime juice, and some chopped fresh cilantro.
vegan macaroni salad

Southwest Corn Salad

Southwest Corn Salad

Lately I have been feeling pretty sluggish and not at my healthiest, so for the month of December, my husband and I will be doing a fast off all meat, and we will be sticking to a vegetarian diet. I think this is a great way to start the New Year fresh and rejuvenated, and not to mention, for 2016 we have decided to go back to our Pescatarian diet, for reasons I will explain in a later post.

Now it's no secret that I am a fan of Southwestern cuisine, so of course I had to come up with a recipe for Southwest Corn Salad to share! This is a delicious recipe that will have you full without feeling heavy, and it is also a perfect side dish, if you choose to pair it with something else like tilapia, salmon, or chicken... I think they pair well.

 

SOUTHWEST CORN SALAD

PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES | COOK TIME: 5 MINUTES | YIELDS: 6-8 SERVINGS


INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-1/2 cups fresh corn kernels 
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped plobano pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large pan on medium heat add 1/2 tbsp olive oil and corn kernels, then cook for 5 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool for 1 minute.
  • Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl combine chopped onions, bell peppers, plobano peppers, cilantro, and black beans.
hoe to make southwest corn salad
  • Add corn in to the mixing bowl along with cumin, red pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, lime juice, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar.
southwest corn salad recipe
  • Mix all ingredients together well, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. This will allow all the flavors to blend and marinate together.

You can enjoy this salad by itself, or as mentioned before as a side dish paired with fish or chicken. So as always, give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it!

Green Bean And Cactus Casserole

green bean and cactus casserole

This is my fun and yummy take on the classic Green Bean Casserole. If you know me, you know that I am a fan of cactus leaves, they are delicious and their taste is between green beans and okra. This unique combination of green beans and cactus takes your ordinary green bean casserole to the next level. So this Thanksgiving surprise your family with something new and out of your normal culinary comfort zone.

GREEN BEAN CACTUS CASSEROLE

PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES | COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES | YIELDS: 6-8 SERVINGS


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-1/2 lbs green beans
  • 1 lbs cactus leaves
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 14 white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2-1/2 cup flour
  • 1 can coconut milk equal to 1-1/2 cups
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/4 cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 6 tbsp panko bread crumbs
  • 4 tbs Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Chop off ends of green beans and cut into halves.
how to remove cactus needles
how to cut cactus
  • Using a knife remove cactus needles by sliding your knife across the needles going upwards towards the round end of the cactus. For the needles that do not lift off, take the tip of the knife and remove each needle.
  • Cut cactus leaves into quarters, and slice each quarter into medium size cactus strips.
how to make green bean casserole
  • Add green beans and cactus to a pot of boiling water and blanch for 5 minutes, then drain.
  • Meanwhile in a deep saucepan, add 1 tbsp butter, garlic, and mushrooms.
how to sweat out mushrooms
  • Cook mushrooms on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes until mushrooms start to sweat out moisture.
  • Drain mushrooms, reserving 1/4 cup of the mushroom juice. This will give the cream sauce that mushroom taste that you would get from using cream of mushroom soup.
green bean casserole recipe
  • Add drained green beans, cactus, garlic, and mushrooms to a casserole dish and sit aside. 
  • To make the roux sauce, on medium heat melt 2 tbsp butter, and whisk in the flour.
how to make a roux
  • Cook the flour and butter mix for 2 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Slowly add in coconut milk and reserved 1/4 cup mushroom juice.
  • Whisk together until smooth in consistency, and creamy.
how to make cream sauce
  • reduce heat to low and add in thyme, salt, cayenne, and nutmeg. 
green bean casserole recipe
  • Spoon out cream sauce and layer it evenly across green bean mix. Use the back of the spoon to make sure the sauce is evenly dispersed.
easy green bean casserole recipe
  • Next add a layer of panko bread crumbs, then fried french onion (see prior recipe post), and top with Parmesan Cheese.
easy green bean casserole recipe
  • Place casserole dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Once done, remove and let it rest for 15 minutes, this will allow for the casserole to firm.

I hope you have a great Thanksgiving, and be sure to give this easy recipe a try and let me know how you like!