Maple and Grapefruit Caramelized Carrots

Maple and Grapefruit Caramelized Carrots
Maple and Grapefruit Caramelized Carrots |

It’s carrot time! At the farmers market, you’ll find many varieties, many colors, all sorts of shapes, but most importantly, the freshest taste! When in season and fresh, carrots don’t need much to be fabulous. And since we have plenty of grapefruits around here right now, I figured that grapefruit juice would be the perfect balance to my maple syrup in this decadent glaze. Beware, you’ll seriously lick the glaze off your plate.

  • 2 tablespoons butter (I love Miyoko’s!)
  • 1 bunch market-fresh carrots
  • 1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh thyme sprigs

In a large cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, lower the heat to medium, season with sea salt and pepper, and let cook, tossing often, for approximately 6-7 minutes, depending on the size and shape of your carrots. The goal here is to soften the carrots.

Add the grapefruit juice and the maple syrup. Toss well so all the carrots are coated. Cook until the liquid turns into a glaze, about 15 minutes. Coat the carrots with the glaze using a spoon often while cooking. Remove to a serving platter, garnish with fresh thyme sprigs and a small pinch of sea salt, and serve immediately.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram. Bon appétit!

Mushrooms, Spinach, and Ginger Savory Oatmeal

Mushroom, Spinach, and Ginger Savory Oatmeal
Mushroom, Spinach, and Ginger Savory Oatmeal |

I started experimenting with savory versions of oatmeal, and to my astonishment, it’s SO GOOD! Oats lend themselves so nicely to pretty much any flavor, and their nutritional value can’t be beat. Try it with any type of toppings you’d like and let me know how you like your #savoryoatmeal!

  • 1 cup old fashion oats
  • 2 cups water, plus 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I used vegetable broth and omitted the salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 large shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup spinach leaves, sliced thin
  • 3-4 dried plums, diced (I used Fruit Bliss® plums because they’re simply the best)
  • Toasted sesame oil, for serving

Cook the oats in the water (or vegetable broth) until they get soft and chewy. While the oats are cooking, warm the olive oil in a skillet. Add the mushrooms and ginger and sauté for one minute. Add the tamari and red pepper flakes, and cook until the mushrooms are nice and brown, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the spinach, and mix well.

Transfer the oats to a bowl, top with the mushroom and spinach mixture and some plums, and top with a small drizzle of toasted sesame oil.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram. Bon appétit!

Hooray for Savory Oatmeal!

Hooray for Savory Oatmeal!

Black and Green Beans Zoodles

Black and Green Beans Zoodles
Black and Green Beans Zoodles |

It’s almost 5pm and you have no idea what dinner will be. Panic? No way. Make this. Easy, super quick, and modifiable, for your ultimate cooking pleasure. I couldn’t be more serious.

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup green beans, cut in 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1″ piece fresh ginger, smashed (optional)
  • 1″ piece fresh turmeric, smashed (optional)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 full cup of kale, in a chiffonade
  • 4 zucchini, spiralized
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Fresh herbs, olive oil, lemon juice (for my go-to vinaigrette, click here)

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, green beans, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and generous pinches of sea salt and pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are starting to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add the beans and kale, and heat through. Take off the heat. Place zoodles at the bottom of a shallow bowl and top with the beans mixture. Top with fresh herbs, olive oil, and lemon juice, or your favorite vinaigrette.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram. Bon appétit!

Basic Herbs Vinaigrette

Whenever you make a bowl, or a salad, or some roasted potatoes, you can use this fool-proof vinaigrette. You can add fresh garden herbs to it, some capers, even some hot pepper flakes or sriracha for an extra kick!

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh garden herbs (optional)
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram. Bon appétit!

Banza Rotini with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms

Banza Rotini with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms
Banza Rotini with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms |

As a vegan, there’s a comfort in knowing that just the pasta part of my meal already contains 25 grams of clean, plant-based protein. Banza is awesome that way, because their pastas are made from chickpeas, plain and simple. You eat pasta, you eat chickpeas! Whatever I add to this will simply boost my nutrient intake, so it’s a hefty good start!

Here, I used one of my favorite combination: mushrooms and leeks. The slowly cooked leeks become silky savory, and the coconut milk brings you a nice dose of healthy fats along with the creaminess that is so pleasant with mushrooms. I add some warming jerk spices, to complete the flavor profile, in a simple addition, but you could skip that step and still get something fabulous, all in one pot, with less than 10 ingredients!

  • 1 package Banza Rotini, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 leeks, cleaned well, sliced once lengthwise, and then thinly crosswise
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 7 oz shiitake mushrooms, trimmed, sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons jerk spice mix (optional)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecan halves (optional)
  • Sea salt and pepper

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, the thyme, generous pinches of sea salt and pepper, and cook slowly, stirring often, until the leeks are soft and tender, about 8-10 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and cook until they are tender, about 5 minutes more. Add the jerk spices and mix well. Add the coconut milk and heat through. Add the cooked pasta, mix well, and take off the heat. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Garnish with fresh parsley and toasted pecans.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram. Bon appétit!

This is all that's needed to get this creamy deliciousness! |
This is all that’s needed to get this creamy deliciousness! |

Potato Korma

Potato Korma
Potato Korma |

Kormas have always been one of the first things I would put on my plate when eating with the family. I liked the richness and tanginess brought forth by the always-homemade yogurt. My mother-in-law couldn’t believe it when we cooked her potato korma recipe, but added my coconut yogurt at the end. The result was so remarkable, she declared the vegan one to be the creamiest. Epic success!

  • 1/3 cup grape seed oil
  • 7 whole cloves
  • 5 cardamom pods, cracked open
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon garlic-ginger paste
  • 3 large Russet potatoes, cooked through*, peeled, and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cup coconut yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • Garnish: fresh cilantro

Heat oil in large straight-edge sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds and sauté until spices are fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add the turmeric and sauté, while stirring, 2 minutes more. Add the tomatoes, sea salt, and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté until the tomatoes are saucy, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked potatoes and chili powder, and mix well to ensure the potatoes are well coated with the sauce. Bring the heat to low, add the yogurt, and garam masala. Mix well, heat through gently, and remove from the heat. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with rice, lime wedges, naan, or chapati, and raita.

*I usually boil my potatoes whole until they are cooked through. You can check with a fork. I then let them cool off before peeling them with my hands. You can then cut them in cubes, ready for your recipe.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram. Bon appétit!


Lasagna alla Karina

Lasagna |

This lasagna recipe is easy and… sneaky! Sneaky, because you could easily fool meat eaters into thinking it’s a plain old meat lasagna. I’ve started playing with TVP (textured vegetable protein) recently, and oh the possibilities! My mind is bubbling! But first, lasagna! The trick to cut your time is to make your ricotta the day before or the morning of. Each step is easy and quick, though. I wrote the recipe according to each one, with the assembly as the last step.

For the tofu ricotta (inspired from the Whole Foods recipe)

  • 1/2 package extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 2 teaspoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white miso
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • Pinch black pepper

Put all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.

For the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cup TVP (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 24-oz jars of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons basil, chopped

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium  heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Deglaze your skillet with the white wine. Let it evaporate and then add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium again and add the TVP. Mix well until the broth is absorbed. Add the marinara sauce, heat through. Add the fresh basil, and done.

For the assembly

  • 1 lb. lasagna sheets, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 round Miyokos Mozzarella (or your favorite mozz)
  • Fresh basil
  • Nutritional yeast

Preheat your oven to 375°. Pour the olive oil at the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Spread it evenly with your hands on the bottom and side surfaces of the dish. Pour 1 cup of the sauce at the bottom and cover with 5 cooked lasagna sheets. Top with 1 cup of sauce. Spread about 1/3 of the ricotta and top with 5 cooked lasagna sheets. Repeat until you are done with the lasagna sheets, and finish with some sauce. Add the mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and broil for an extra 5 minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Garnish with some nutritional yeast and fresh basil. Bon appétit!