It’s summer, prime time for not wanting to eat in. With outside eating areas galore and all of the many delicious eateries in Philadelphia dishing up vegan options, everyone is going out to eat. Tomorrow, July 17th, the island of University City begins its yearly Dining Days promotion. For those not familiar with the concept, participating restaurants produce a set menu with a set price ($15-$25 depending on the resturant), similar to Philadelphia Restaurant Week. This year University City boosts awesome options for us vegans, with the except of dessert… Enjoy as many nights as you can without hurting your pockets.
4000 Spruce Street
Copa Cantina Salad
Black Bean Burger
– No cheese or mayo
3711 Market Street
Ginger String Beans
Cold Sesame Noodles
Dan Dan Noodles
Spicy Crispy Cucumbers
Garlic Sauce Style
3636 Samson Street
Okinawa Vegetable Stir Fry
As a vegan, everyone thinks you cannot eat super delicious foods. It is a common stereotype that I shoot down constantly. When invited to a party, everyone thinks you’ll bring hummus, or just vegetables, or maybe a fruit salad. Little does the typical omnivore know, vegans are capable of SO much more. They are even capable of the cream of the crop party dip. The one that is finished first. The one that is anticipated most. The great Buffalo Chicken Dip. Below you will find my adaptation of the dip… a recipe so good, even your non-vegan friends will enjoy.
Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip
Serves party of 8
1 package Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips – Lightly Seasoned
1 package (8 ounces) Vegan Cream Cheese (any variety works)
½ cup Hot Sauce (I use Texas Pete because of its lower, but still high, sodium content)
½ cup Ranch Dressing (see recipe below)
½ cup Daiya Shreds (either cheddar or pepper jack)
Vegan Ranch Dressing
Yields 1/2 cup
1/4 cup Vegan Mayo (I prefer Hampton Creek Just Mayo)
1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (I use Whole Foods 365 brand – carrageenan-free)
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients until smooth in medium baking dish.
Bake for 20 minutes or until everything is melty and hot.
Serve with your favorite vegetables, crackers or my personal favorite, a sliced multi-grain french baguette. Hell! You can serve this dip with anything, it could make cardboard taste good.
Chocolate chunks? Raw Almonds? Cookies? Who does not love all three? After using other people’s recipes till now, I have formulated my own. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
Vegan Chocolate Chunk Almond Cookies
Yields 40 Mini Cookies
4.5 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer (found in the baking isle at Whole Foods Market)
6 tablespoons Water
½ cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
½ cup Mashed Avocado
¾ cup Vegan Cane Sugar
¾ cup Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/8 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/8 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
½ teaspoon Sea Salt
1 cup Dark Chocolate Baking Chunks (I use Whole Foods 365 brand)
1 cup Raw Almonds (chopped)
Olive Oil cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk or blend, Ener-g Egg Replacer and water. Set aside.
Like many others, I often troll Pinterest for new recipes. In that search, I often stumble upon a delicious looking picture with no link to a recipe. ANNOYING RIGHT?! I saw a similar taco bowl, clicked it, no real recipe link. WHY?! I decided, these cannot be too hard to improvise, something I would have to do anyway since the originals appeared to have beef, and went for it. ( Below is the serving size for us PhillyVegans. As a side note, Vinny eats way more than me, I ate 5 while he ate 11, so the serving size may vary.)
Mini Taco Bowls
Serves 2; 16 mini bowls
4 Whole Wheat Tortilla Shells cut
16 ounce Refried Beans (I used Trader Joe’s Refried Beans – Fat-free Traditional Style)
1/2 package Beyond Meat Lightly Seasoned Strips shredded
2 slices Daiya Cheddar Slice cut into 1 inch strips
Toffuti Better than Sour Cream
Spinach or Lettuce chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut tortilla shells into small 3-inch circles. I used the top of a mason jar and knife for reference. A cup can also be used.
In small sauce pan cook Beyond Meat chicken strips.
Place tortilla circles in cupcake pans.
Add about a tablespoon of refried beans (no need to heat up) and a bit of shredded chicken. (Use personal preference)
Bake for 10 minutes.
Add Daiya cheese.
Bake for 5 additional minutes or until cheese melts.
With the cold weather creeping in on the east coast, the search for comfort food begins. We all know the best comfort is something simple and happens at home. In out attempt to not leave the apartment (and catch up on Walking Dead), we created a super easy, vegan version of those tasty potatoes from that popular Mexican fast food place, Taco Bell.
Skin and cut potatoes into quarter sized pieces, all as close to the same size as possible.
Spray 12 inch pan with cooking spray.
Add potatoes to pan with olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika and cook on medium heat, moving potatoes (shaking the pan, turning) every 10 minutes.
When potatoes have browned, add garlic and cook on low for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle cheese over potatoes. Side note: I called for a whole bag of cheese. I did not use a whole bag of cheese. This is a use your discretion step as some people like their stuff cheesier. I used enough to generously cover the entire pan of potatoes.
Add a small amount of water around perimeter of the man and quickly cover. The steam from the water hitting the pan allows the cheese to melt ever so perfectly.
In 1 minute, uncover the heavenly cheesed potatoes, remove from heat and serve with a dollop of sour cream and salsa (and chopped scallions).