Meatless Monday: Vegan Vegetarian Asian Recipes

Image credit Rob Nguyen

September or October brings the Mid-Autumn Festival and a great opportunity to try your hand at vegan vegetarian Asian recipes. Whether you’re in the mood for garlic or basil, there’s an entree here to leave you satisfied. Looking for something on the light side? Go for the Spicy Rice Noodle Salad.

·        Meg at Beard & Bonnet swears by the Miso Bake for using whatever produce you have on hand. 
·        Julie at The Simple Veganista saves time on stir fries by using high protein or extra firm tofu.
·        Emma at My Darling Lemon Thyme uses knives and mandolins to cut fresh herbs.
·        Melissa and the hubs at My Whole Food Life are addicted to his stir fry recipe.

Steamed Vegetables w/Garlic Sauce (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Rhea Parsons/One Green Planet)
Summer Veggie Miso Bake (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Beard & Bonnet)
Mushroom, Pepper & Basil Stir Fry (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (The Simple Veganista)
Peanut Noodle Stir Fry (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (My Whole Food Life)
Spicy Rice Noodle Salad w/Pickled Vegetables (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (My Darling Lemon Thyme)

Cruise by our Recipe Index for more yummy Meatless Monday vegan vegetarian recipes. Tomorrow’s Gluten Free Tuesday post features gluten free vegan Asian recipe components, like Fish Sauce and Five Spice. Stay tuned to CafĂ© Belinda for more meatless Asian recipes all this week. Bon appetit!


Sugar Free Vegan Chocolate Candy Bar Recipes

Image credit JD Hancock
How about some sugar free vegan candy bar recipes for weekend fun? You can do it as a girls’ night, kid chef opportunity, a romantic project for two or just to treat your sweet little deserving self. Whatever your motivation, you’ll save money and enjoy a healthier product, free from refined sugar, preservatives and animal products. And there’s chocolate involved, so what’s not to love?

Raw Peppermint Patties (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Fork and Beans)
Dark Chocolate Candy Bars (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Sugar Free Mom)
Vegan Snickers Bars (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Minimalist Baker)
Peanut Butter Cups w/Chocolate (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (One Green Planet)
Raw Vegan Butterfinger Candy Bars (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (The Vegan 8)
Homemade Crispy Twix Bars (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Oh She Glows)

Craving more sugar free vegan chocolate recipes? Roll on over to my Recipe Index for extra bliss from the clean eating blogiverse.


Gluten Free Flour Recipes

Image credit Oxfordian
Let’s get started now, before school and holiday baking season, on mixing up some gluten free flour recipes. Gluten free baking is not limited to corn meal and expensive commercial gluten free flour mixes. You can easily make these DIY gluten free flour mixes at home, experiment a bit and run with what works for you.

Gluten Free Facts
  • ·        Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley or any of their crossbred varieties and derivatives. – The Gluten Free Agency
  • ·        Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.  Celiac.org

·        An estimated 1 in 133 Americans has celiac disease. – Celiac Central
·        97% of Americans estimated to have Celiac Disease are not diagnosed. – Statistic Brain
·        Certain food substances (most notably gluten and casein) are known to be problematic for the child with autism and should be avoided. – Generation Rescue
·        1 in 68 children were identified with autism spectrum disorder. – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
·        29% of Americans say they are trying to avoid gluten for health reasons. – New Hope 360
·        25 million Americans MUST have gluten free items per the prescription of their doctor.GG’s Original

Based on the above statistics, you are highly likely to come across gluten-sensitive and gluten-concerned people when serving your homemade recipes. Be it birthday cakes, cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, pancakes, waffles, muffins, challah, dinner rolls, garlic bread, pizza, pasta dinners, empanadas, pistolettes or pot pies, it makes sense to bake gluten free, so everyone can savor the love from your kitchen.

The primary issues seem to be: cup for cup versus weight by volume and percentages; the various flavors and behaviors of different flour types and getting as close as possible to commonly preferred appearances and textures of specific baked goods. The key seems to be, as with anything, to try the different recipes to find your best fit, stage your trials well in advance of major events, and once you find the winners, keep plenty of them on hand in proper storage conditions.

Gluten Free Blogger Tips:

NOTE: Not all gluten free flour recipes are dairy free. Most bloggers offer alternatives. Please read carefully and have substitutions ready.

Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Mix (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Gluten Free Girl)
All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Recipes (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Gluten Free on a Shoestring)
Gluten Free Flours: All Purpose, Self Rising & Cake (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Thank Heavens)
Erika’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix Recipe (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (A Little Insanity)
Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour Blend (GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Thyme of Taste)
Homemade Gluten Free All Purpose Flour (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Penniless Parenting)

Pop by my Recipe Index for more yummy gluten free baking recipes.


Meatless Monday: Vegan Lutein Recipes for Healthy Eyes

Image credit mamchenkov
August is Children's Eye Health and Safety Month and Children’s Vision and Learning Month. Two out of every three kids will go back to school without a proper eye exam, say the Centers for Disease Control. “Many learning difficulties can be attributed to vision problems that are not detected during typical school vision screenings,” warns the College of Optometrists in Vision Development.

In addition to prioritizing professional eye checkups, you’ll also want to make sure the kids in your life are getting lutein from the best source - food. Dr. Mary Rose Teodoro-Chang, a pediatric ophthalmologist, recommends lutein as a defense against damage from ultraviolet rays, blue light and free radicals. When you think about it, how many kids wear sunglasses during:
·        recess
·        physical education
·        fire drills
·        outdoor pool time
·        ballgames, and
·        yard time at home?
That’s a lot of sunlight exposure for young eyes, and sunglasses aren’t always practical. Vegan lutein recipes are an easy way to help protect your children’s vision both for school and for life.

Eye Vitamins
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), research has shown that lutein (LOO-teen) and zeaxanthin (zee-ah-ZAN-thin), vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial nutrients in preventive eye health.

Most Prenatal Vitamins Lack Lutein
In an interview on SuperKidsNutrition, Bridget Swinney, MS, RD suggests that both parents take children’s nutritional needs into account prior to conception, as well as during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Swinney states, “Lutein is rarely found in prenatal vitamins, therefore, a lutein-rich diet is important while pregnant and breastfeeding.

Lutein-Rich Foods
Eating for your eyes goes beyond carrots and leafy greens. A study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology found that corn was the best vegetable source for lutein, while orange pepper had the highest quantity of zeaxanthin. Kiwi, grapes, orange juice, spinach, zucchini and other varieties of squash also showed significant amounts of the two compounds. Ultimately, the team recommends a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables to make sure your family gets enough lutein.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Healthy Eyes
For my part, I looove carrots! My grandmother and mom taught me the old school line about eating carrots for healthy eyes. I literally had a 2-pound bag-a-day raw carrot noshing habit one summer, even dreamt I went out to check my rural mailbox and found it full of carrots. The next morning I looked in the mirror while washing up and my eyes looked fantastic, my nose wasn’t twitching, I hadn’t sprouted a cotton tail, but my undereye skin was YELLOW! Concealer and foundation were no help. Nor was my partner at the time - also a health nut - who found my predicament absolutely hilarious and got a belly-laughing, knee-slapping charge out of it the whole day long. Not to worry. Fewer carrots, plenty of water, a little walking, and some green juice shots did the trick in about 24 hours. Miraculously, my partner lived to see my clear skin the next day.

Lutein Fun Song
I’ve taken the liberty of slightly rewriting the immortal words of Hank Williams, Sr. to make things a bit more fun for the kids helping in the kitchen. Use those colorful fruits and veggies and kitchen utensils as microphones and instruments, then make up your own little dance to go with it.

“Heyyy, good lookin’!
Whaaatcha got cookin’?
Howsabout cookin’ lutein up with meee?”

So now, I present to you for your cooking and dining pleasure, vegan lutein recipes, in order of lutein and zeaxanthin content (almost), as stated by the study above: corn; orange pepper and squash; kiwi; grapes; orange juice; zucchini and spinach.

Raw Vegan Zesty Lime Corn Salad (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (The Blender Girl)
Spaghetti Squash with Chunky Veggie Sauce (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Jordan’s Onion)
Raw Blueberry and Kiwi Tart (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Blissful Basil)
Roasted Butternut Squash with Grapes (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Stacey Snacks)
Blood Orange Juice (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Reboot with Joe)
Zucchini Rolls with Sunflower Seeds Pate’, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Spinach (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Chris Anca/Raw Food Recipes)

Buzz on over to my vegan vegetarian cookbook and our Recipe Index for more kid-friendly vegan recipes.


Meatless Monday: Vegan Chicken Recipes & FREE COOKBOOK

Image credit Andrea Parrish Geyer
Have I got some vegan chicken recipes for you, chers amies! Go vegan and one of the first things you’ll likely miss is chicken in all its variety of form. Nuggets, wings, breast, fried, popcorn, we’re addicted to chicken. Well, I’m happy to say you can indulge that love affair without the loss of another fine feathered hen from this earth. Whether you want something to go with your waffles or kid-friendly finger food that also works in more sophisticated settings, you’ve got options. Take your pick from the selection of six vegan chicken recipes below to style your next sans meat soiree.

NOTE: Five of the recipes below are not gluten free and one is not sugar free. Only the Raw Vegan Chicken Nuggets are free of gluten and added sugar. Read the codes carefully and have your substitutions handy.

Chicken Stylee (sic) Seitan (DF, SF, K, V, VG) (Post Punk Kitchen)
(DF, GF, SF, K, RV, V, VG) (Side Saddle Kitchen)
Spicy Vegan Buffalo Chicken Wings (DF, SF, K, V, VG) (Beyond Meat)
Vegan Basil Chicken (DF, GF, K, V, VG) (PBS Food)
Vegan Chicken Parmesan (DF, SF, K, V, VG) (ABC News/GMA Recipes)
Vegan Fried Chicken (DF, SF, K, V, VG) (Hell Yeah It’s Vegan)
Vegan Popcorn Chicken (DF, SF, K, V, VG) (Je Suis Alimentageuse)

Bookmark our Recipe Index for more vegan recipes. We even have a special section filled with Chocolate recipes.

My vegetarian cookbook with vegan options, Confessions of a Red Hot Veggie Lover 2, is FREE today only.


Savory Vegan Tofu Recipes

Image credit Mike Linksvayer
From back-to-school lunch boxes to tailgating parties, we all need some go-to savory tofu recipes for fall menus. For a lunch boxes and easy weeknight dinners, or if you’re new to tofu and want a simple starter recipe, bake up some Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips. They come with a side of Sweet Potato Fries.

In the mood for Italian? Pan-Seared Tofu with Apples and Champagne Vinaigrette makes a nice Mediterranean salad. Serve Spinach Tofu Calzones for your main course. 

Spice up your family’s Asian nights with Orange Ginger Tofu Triangles and Tofu Pad Thai Noodles. Grill a few pans of Garlic Chili Tofu Burgers for exciting gridiron weekends. When you start the menu with savory tofu entrees, everybody’s a winner.

Tofu Nutrition Facts

According to the USDA and Self Magazine, ½ cup (4 oz. or 126g) of firm tofu contains 88 calories, half of them from fat. Not to worry. There are only 5g of total fat and a mere 1g of that is saturated fat.

With zero cholesterol, zero trans fats, low carbs, low sodium, high calcium and high protein, tofu is practically a sin-free food. The only people who need to be concerned about their tofu intake are menopausal women. Some are soy-sensitive, some are not. Those who can handle soy will benefit from its natural hormone balancing properties, primarily brain function.

Do you like tofu Asian, Italian or American style?

NOTE: The calzone and pad thai recipes are not sugar free. Have your substitutes handy.

Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Oh She Glows)
Garlic Chili Tofu Burger (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Chef in You)
Orange Ginger Tofu Triangles (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (All Recipes)
Pan-Seared Tofu w Apples & Champagne Vinaigrette (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG)(Herbivoracious)
Spinach Tofu Calzones (DF, GF, K, V, VG) (Savvy Vegetarian)
Tofu Pad Thai Noodles (DF, GF, K, V, VG) (Nitha’s Kitchen)

Dive into our Recipe Index for more vegan recipes.


Kosher Vegan Falafel Recipes

Image credit Rubyran

One of my favorite Mediterranean dishes is falafel, a savory blend of soaked beans, onions or garlic and seasonings like cumin, coriander and curry. Unfortunately, the nearest restaurant that serves falafel is over two hours away. Falafel being so popular the world over as an appetizer and fast food, I searched the blogosphere and found these yummy Kosher vegan falafel recipes to share with you. Falafel is typically fried, for texture and crunch, but is healthier when grilled or baked. You can make them in ball or patty form, serve them in pita bread or hamburger buns, alongside or as part of a salad. Baba ganoush (eggplant dip), pickles, chutney, tahini and hummus are usually offered as condiments.

According to the USDA, one 2.25-inch falafel patty has only 57 calories, which is 3% of the Recommended Daily Intake. 48% of this is fat, 38% carbs and 14% protein.

You can experiment and make falafel your own, by varying the beans, seasonings, cooking and serving methods and condiments. Think barbeque, Mexican, Italian or smothered Southern-style with okra, tomatoes and onions. Use your bread tube and cookie cutter collection on the falafel mixture before cooking. So go ahead, dig into the delicious world of Kosher vegan falafel recipes!

NOTE: Not all recipes below are gluten-free. Watch for GF in the codes and otherwise, have substitutions on hand.

Baked Falafel (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (The Little Honey Bee)
Best Easiest Homemade Falafels (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (Pure Ella)
Chickpea Falafel (DF, SF, K, V, VG) (Veg Recipes of India)
Falafels (DF, GF, SF, K, V, VG) (The Gluten Free Vegan)
Vegan Falafel (DF, SF, K, V, VG) (The Laidback Vegan)

Find more mouth-watering Kosher vegan recipes in our Recipe Index. How do you prefer your falafel?