OATMEAL BANANA BITES

Banana Oatmeal Bites // atiliay.com

Change up your usual morning grub with these super easy and yummy oatmeal banana bites!  They are perfect on the go too, for those of you who eat in the car like I do or to take on a hiking trip.  It’s a great way to use up super ripe bananas so that you don’t have to toss them and also any trail mix or chocolate chips that you only have a small handful left of.  Get creative and try different ingredients!  This is also a fun recipe to make with kids, family, or roomies in the morning because it doesn’t require too much thinking before your cup of coffee and it’s really hard to mess up!

Banana Oatmeal Bites // atiliay.com

Oatmeal Banana Bites

Makes about 12 – 15 cookies, 1″ rounds.

This is the base for the recipe:
-1 large or 2 medium bananas, very ripe (put them in a brown paper bag to help them get ripe)
– 1 cup rolled oats

Here are some suggestions for items to add in:
– ground cinnamon
– ground ginger
– chocolate chips
– peanut butter chips
– dried fruit
– nuts
– flax seed
– wheat germ (here’s why this is good for you)
– shredded coconut

(To mine I added ground cinnamon and ginger, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, wheat germ, and almond slivers.)

In a medium bowl, mash up your banana(s).

Add the oatmeal and mix well.

To the base add in any other items you’d like.  Mix well and make sure you don’t add too much where the cookies won’t hold.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (if using foil, lightly oil so nothing sticks).

Shape the cookies into bite sized rounds with a spoon or with your hands (because it’s more fun that way).  Place on the baking sheet. *I try to make sure that the bottom of each bite is mostly oatmeal and doesn’t have chocolate chips or other things that can easily burn before putting them on the baking sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350F.

Banana Oatmeal Bites // atiliay.com

Banana Oatmeal Bites // atiliay.com

COLD TOFU SALAD

Cold Tofu Salad // atiliay.com

This is one of my favorite dishes because it is so refreshing and easy to put together!  I remember eating this salad for the first time: it was back in middle school and I had gone over to my friend Kristen’s house after class and her mom had left this snack for us in the fridge.  I had noticed the tofu wasn’t cooked and I had never had it that way before.  I am glad I tried it because I love eating this!  So thank you Mrs. Ueda for making this for us and introducing this dish to me, and for Kristen for sharing their family recipe with me :)

Cold Tofu Salad

The amount below serves 4.

For the salad:
– 1 package of firm tofu, cubed
– 2 medium tomatoes, diced
– 1/4 of a brown onion, sliced paper-thin
–  a handful of cilantro leaves

For the dressing:
– 1/4 cup soy sauce
– 1/8 cup peanut or corn oil
– 1/8 cup sugar or agave nectar (you can start with half the amount then add more if you’d like)
–  1/4 TBS sesame oil

Layer the ingredients in a serving dish in order listed, starting with the tofu which will make the bottom layer.

Bottom Layer: Tofu

2nd Layer: Tomatoes

Layer 3: Paper thin onion slices

Top Layer: Cilantro

In a small bowl mix together all ingredients for the dressing.  Refrigerate both until cold. Pour dressing onto salad before serving.

Enjoy!

Cold Tofu Salad // atiliay.com

Cold Tofu Salad // atiliay.com

SPINACH + BEANS + OLIVE + TOMATO SALAD

Spinach Salad // atiliay.com

It doesn’t have to take a lot of work to put together a delicious and beautiful salad to start off your meal with!

This is a salad that my co-worker ordered for me one day when we got our lunch delivered.   When I make or order a salad, I rarely go for one where the base is spinach– I don’t know why, I think maybe because I prefer my spinach cooked.  But this dish seemed so simply yet filling that I decided to write down what was in it so I could remake it!  Feel free to change the type of greens or mix and match different beans and use a variety of olives.  Below is the recipe, I did not add any quantities- just use as much or as little as you like of each ingredient.

Hope you enjoy!

Spinach + Beans + Olive + Tomato Salad

Spinach Salad // atiliay.com

This recipe is based off the spinach salad from Julie’s Pizzeria

– Baby spinach, torn into bite sized pieces (I use the organic packs from Trader Joe’s)
– Mini heirloom tomatoes, sliced into quarters (you can use any type of tomato you have on hand, I like how colorful these guys are)
– Garbanzo beans, drained (I used the canned version, you can make them from scratch)
– Kidney beans, drained
– Black olives, drained and roughly chopped
– Pepperchinis (optional, leave out if you aren’t a fan of a little heat)
– Italian dressing or oil and vinegar

Toss everything together…that’s basically it!  Serve with dressing on the side or a light drizzle on top.

Spinach Salad // atiliay.com

BDAY BREAKFAST TOFU CHORIZO SCRAMBLE + VEGAN MOFO

I am really excited to be a part of Vegan Mofo this year and also that it is happening during my birthday month which is very appropriate because I love being and cooking vegan!

Vegan Mofo 2013

In case you don’t know what Vegan Mofo is, it stands for Vegan Month Of Food.  This year it starts on Sept. 1st!  VeganMogo was originally created on the Post Punk Kitchen, as an homage to NaNoWriMo.  The idea is to write as much as you can all month, about anything vegan food related.  The goal is to shoot for every weekday, or about 20 times in the month.  “As the world catches on that vegan food really is the best choice for animals (suck it, humane meat!), the planet (bite me, melting ice caps!) and people (piss off, heart disease!) let’s show them what vegan eating is all about.”

It seems to make sense that I signed up to be a part of it this year, because my first blog was based on the idea of cooking and baking through 365 vegan recipes in a year!  This month is looking pretty busy but I am shooting for the 20 times a month.  Anything vegan related works for a post so that helps– hopefully I can share some yummy vegan restaurants and products in addition to recipes!

My mom actually was in labor with me 29 Labor Days ago, and I feel so grateful for all the love and thoughtful gifts I have already received– one being a HUGE bag of vegan goodies from my good friends from The Lange Foundation, Megan, Julie, and Sara!  It really has been so awesome to be able to work with such a great group of people– I have never loved a job as much as I love days that I spend at Lange.  It’s the best combo of people friends and animal friends :)  I also have to throw in here that shopping at Whole Foods really stresses Megan out, so she went above and beyond to find me all kinds of vegan goodies there!  I love you guys!

My vegan loot

{My vegan loot via Instagram!}

I’ve been meaning to try Upton’s Naturals for awhile now, because the mustache man packaging always catches my eye.  Megan got me the Chorizo flavored seitan as well as a block of tofu so it got me thinking of doing a breakfast scramble!  This is really easy to make and a delicious way to start off the day!

Upton's Naturals Mustache Man

Happy Labor Day / Thanks Mom For Being in Labor on Labor Day / Happy Vegan Mofo Month!

PS:  Megan bought the Upton’s also because the mustache man caught her eye!

Vegan Breakfast Scramble

Vegan Tofu + Chorizo Seitan Scramble

The below recipe yields breakfast for 2 :)

– 1/2 block of extra firm tofu
– 1/2 a package of Upton’s Naturals Chorizo Seitan (the seitan is seasoned well and has a slight spice to it so I don’t add any additional seasonings to the dish)
– 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
– 1/2 small red onion, diced
– 2 cubes of Dorot’s crushed garlic
– 1 tsp nutritional yeast
– 1/2 tsp tumeric
– oil for cooking
– 4 pieces of hash brown, I use the frozen kind from Trader Joe’s (optional)
– 4 pieces of toast (optional)

The ingredients

LOVE Upton's Natural's packaging!!

{I love Upton’s packaging!}

Prepare the tofu by rinsing and draining it when you remove it from the package.  Slice the 1/2 block of tofu into about 1/2 inch thick slices.  Lay them on a piece of paper towel and press another paper towel on top to absorb any excess water.  The drier the tofu the more crumbly and scrambled egg like texture it will be.  (You can let the tofu sit like this while you prepare the veggies.)  When you are ready to use the tofu, break it up with a fork until it is in various bite sized pieces.

"Scrambled" Tofu

Pop the hash browns in the oven to bake at 375-400F until golden brown (about 15 minutes).

While the hash browns are cooking, in a frying pan, heat up some oil.  Add the garlic, onions, and bell peppers.  Cook until the onions are translucent.

Add the crumbled tofu, tumeric, and yeast.  Gently stir and mix until the tofu is evenly coated.

Add the seitan.  Gently mix again and cook until the seitan is heated through.

The scramble is now ready to serve!

Does it look like real scrambled eggs?

If you are using the bread and toast, this is how I assemble it (I let the scramble cool for a few minutes after it is finished cooking and toast the bread during that time):  I remove the crusts from the toast (and my dogs will help me make sure they don’t go to waste!).  Then I cut them in half lengthwise, then again horizontally (so you should have 4 pieces now).  I cut the hash browns in half to fit on the slices of bread.  The hash browns go on the toast and I top each with spoonfuls of the scramble.  Serve the extra scramble on the side.  Enjoy!

Time for breakfast!

ROASTED PEACH + VEGGIE + WATERCRESS SALAD

Roasted Peach + Veggies + Watercress Salad

Nothing says summer like a deliciously ripe, sweet, and juicy peach!  I have had my share of them this summer and it inspired me to try it in a salad.  I’ve always seen the combination of peaches paired with green beans and although it sounded weird to me, I thought I’d give it a go.  This recipe is a combination of several recipes I looked at, but the base of it came from Claire’s Smokey Roasted Peaches.  I added some green beans and toasted almond slices and served it over a bed of watercress.  The peppery bitterness from the watercress works well with the sweetness of the peaches / veggies and the almonds give it a little bit of crunch!  I also love all the beautiful colors and textures in this dish and it is a great way to start off a meal.  I will definitely be making this again throughout the summer– hope you like it!

The Ingredients

Prepping

Oven Roasted Peaches + Veggies

PS:  Do you have a favorite peach recipe you make when they are in season?  If you do, please share– I’d love to try it!

ROASTED PEACH + VEGGIE + WATERCRESS SALAD

Roasted Peach + Veggie + Watercress Salad

The below recipe yields 2 servings.

– 2 peach, sliced in half (pit and skin still intact)
– 1 medium orange, yellow, or red bell pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
– 1/2 a medium red onion, chopped into bite size pieces
– about 2 handfuls of green beans, ends cut off, cut in half
– about 1 small handful of watercress per person *I like the ratio of the proportions to be 2:1 fruit/veggie to watercress
- almonds, toasted and sliced (I used the packaged kind that was ready to go from Trader Joe’s)
– extra virgin olive oil for baking
– salt and pepper

Roast the peaches and veggies. Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet or 9″x13″ baking pan with parchment paper.  Place peaches on one half of the pan and bell peppers and onions on the other.  Drizzle everything with olive oil so there is enough to lightly coat the peaches and veggies.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper and toss each side with hands.  Flip the peaches over pit side down and line them up on its side of the pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes until the peaches are soft when touched.  Toss the veggies every 10-15 minutes.

Cook the green beans. While that is baking in the oven, fill the bottom of a frying pan with water.  Once it starts to boil add the green beans.  Let it cook in the water for about 10-15 minutes until they are bright green and crunchy but cooked through, taste test throughout!  Remove from the pan when done and into a large bowl.  Rinse with cold water until the beans are warm but not too hot to the touch, set aside.

Prep the roasted peaches. When the peaches and veggies are done roasting, remove the pan from the oven.  Using tongs or your fingers, you should be able to easily remove the skin of the peach by peeling it / rubbing it off.  If you’d like to remove the pit, flip the peach over and scoop out with a spoon.  (I left mine in just because I liked the look of it but for eating purposes it may be easier to serve pitless!)

Plate it. Place a thin layer of watercress on each plate.  Add a layer of green beans.  Top with the roasted veggies.  Arrange 2 halves of the peaches on the salad.  Sprinkle with the sliced almonds.  Enjoy!

FAUX TUNA PASTA SALAD

Faux Tuna Pasta Salad

The main ingredients

Easy to prepare cold dishes are my favorite during the hot summer days!  Although this one does involve a pot of boiling water for the pasta, you don’t need to slave all day in the kitchen to whip this satisfying recipe up.  The multicolored veggies and pasta make this dish a lovely add to any picnic and it is also very versatile– eat it as is,  on a bed of greens, or put it in a sandwich.  It is also a great source of zinc, folate, and protein, thanks to the chickpeas we use to make “tuna”.

This is a slightly modified version of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s recipe from her amazing cookbook, The Vegan Table They have very kindly given me permission to re-post this recipe.  I highly recommend this book– the recipes are interesting and the book is filled with colorful photos as well as tips for a great dinner party and delicious menu ideas.  I also love the way she discusses veganism for the people who have chosen this lifestyle and those who are a part of their lives.  You can learn more about Colleen and check out her other books and work over at Compassionate Cook.

Here is the recipe, try it out and let me know how you like it!

Faux Vegan Tuna Pasta Salad

Faux Tuna Pasta Salad

Reprinted with permission from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

You will need a food processor for this recipe.  (I love my Ninja blender set!)

Feel free to substitute out any of the ingredients or add more of what you like!

– 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed OR 3 cups of fresh beans soaked and cooked from scratch
– 1/2 – 1 cup of cooked multi colored shell pasta
– 1/2 cup eggless mayonnaise (I love Follow Your Heart’s Veganaise, it’s yummy and even better than the real thing because you don’t have to feel weird about eating raw eggs now!)
– 1/2 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
– 1/2 small yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
– 1 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
– 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
– 2 TBSP fresh or dried parsley, finely chopped
– 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
– 1 TBSP relish
– 1 – 2 TBSP of Herbs de Provence
– Salt and pepper to taste

Prep the chickpeas.  Grind chickpeas in a food processor or blender down to small flaky pieces.  (It only took me a few pulses to get it to this texture.)

Mix it up.  In a large bowl mix the chickpeas with the veggies, condiments, and seasonings.  Add the pasta.  Mix well so that the ingredients are evenly distributed.  Taste test, add more seasoning if desired.  Enjoy!