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Uttapam – South Indian Pancakes

2020-05-31T00:02:31-04:00May 31st, 2020|Categories: Recipes|

My family really loves Indian food, especially from Southern India, where there are many tasty vegetarian dishes, such as the crispy dosa, and it’s thicker culinary cousin, the uttapam. Whereas dosa is like a crepe, thin and maybe crispy, the uttapam, or uthappam, resembles an American pancake, thick and smaller, but usually not sweet.

uttapam south Indian pancake on plate

Although it may look like naan bread with toppings, uttapam is quite different in ingredients. Uttapam is made from fermented flours and dal, or dried and split legumes, such as lentils, peas, and beans. It is generally filled with different toppings, like onion, chillies, tomatoes, and even coconut. Uttapam is served with flavorful chutneys.

Because I love South Indian dishes so much I already have a couple of recipes:  Vegan Paneer Tikka Masala and Chana Masala. I wanted to show how to make another of our favorite dishes, the uttapam. The secret is the batter, which takes time to make through fermentation, about 10 hours. You can start this the night before and prepare the next day. There are several batters for different kinds uttapam and dosas, and depending on how the batter is fried it can be thicker, like and uttapam, or thinner and crispy, like dosa.

You can add various toppings in the batter as it is frying. Things I like are onion, tomato, and carrots. Give this tasty Indian dish a try!

Vegan Uttapam

Tasty South Indian pancakes

  • 2 cups short grain rice
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 cup water
  1. Rinse rice thoroughly, then soak rice together with fenugreek seeds in a bowl of water for 4 hours.

  2. Rinse lentils separately and soak in another bowl for 4 hours as well.

  3. Separately, drain and rinse rice and lentils.

  4. Place rice and 1 cup of filtered water in blender and blend until very smooth.

  5. Do the same with lentils. Blend lentils with 1 cup filtered water in a blender until very smooth.

  6. Combine the rice and lentil batter into a large ceramic or glass bowl, add salt, mix well.

  7. Cover the batter and leave for 8-10 hours, or overnight, to allow fermentation.

  8. Prepare desired vegetables or toppings before cooking.

  9. Preheat a non-stick frying pan to medium heat and lightly grease with vegetable oil.

  10. Pour the batter into the pan to make a thick pancake, about 5-10mm.

  11. Immediately top with your favorite vegetables and toppings, […]

Plant-Based Cashew Yogurt

2020-05-25T14:46:07-04:00May 15th, 2020|Categories: Recipes|

Do you have yogurt lovers? This cashew yogurt recipe tastes like regular yogurt and is 100% vegan! It’s so good it will please even dairy lovers, and is easy to make. The hardest part of this recipe is waiting 12 hours for the fermentation to transform the cashew mixture into tasty yogurty goodness.

cashew yogurt raw cashews in bowl

To make this dairy-free yogurt you just need 4 ingredients: raw cashews, vegan probiotics (or a spoonful of vegan yogurt with live cultures), salt, and water. That’s it. Some supermarkets, such as Sprouts, sell vegan probiotics, as well as milk-free yogurt. If you don’t have such a supermarket you can order the probiotics online like the one I used in the video.

cashew yogurt mixture poured into bowl

Start the recipe by washing the cashew nuts then placing them into a blender. Add an equal amount of filtered water, then blend on high until the mixture is silky smooth. Pour into a bowl and add the probiotics and salt. Stir well to mix in the cultures. Let the mixture sit in a warmer part of the kitchen for 10-12 hours until the fermentation has time to get the job done.

Once fermentation is finished the cashew mixture will be slightly sour, like dairy yogurt. This means it’s ready. Add your favorite toppings, such as granola, berries, fruits, or oats, and serve. You can also chill before serving. This recipe is can also be used in place of other milk-based products, such as sour cream, and cream for cakes. I hope you enjoy this tasty plant-based yogurt!

cashew yogurt

Cashew Yogurt

Alyona
Tasty plant-based cashew yogurt recipe
Prep Time 10 mins
Rest Time 12 hrs
Course Dessert
Servings 8 people
Calories 88 kcal

Equipment

  • blender
  • glass bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 tbsp plant based yogurt or powder from 2 capsules of vegan probiotics
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions
 

  • Wash cashews in water and place in bowl.
  • Add water to cashew nuts.
  • Mix at high speed in a blender until very smooth.
  • Pour the mixture in a glass or ceramic bowl.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of plant-based yogurt or vegan probiotics. If powder is in capsules, remove from there before adding to bowl.
  • Add a pinch of salt.
  • Mix well, cover, and let it sit for 10-12 hours.
  • Serve with you favorite berries, fruits, nuts, or granola.
Keyword plant based dessert, plant-based, vegan, vegan yogurt, yogurt

3-Ingredient Watermelon Popsicles

2020-05-25T14:47:15-04:00May 13th, 2020|Categories: Recipes|

Almost everyone loves popsicles, and these watermelon popsicles with a touch of lime are not only tasty, but super-simple to make. Not only that, they are only 25 calories a pop and full of vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber.  I make this frozen treat from only three ingredients: watermelon, frozen strawberries, and lime juice.

watermelon popsicle in molds

To make these watermelon popsicles, I start with a fresh-cut watermelon and fill a measuring cup to 4 cups. I do the same with the frozen strawberries only with  2 cups (this will not quite be 4 and 2 cups). You can make larger or smaller portions, but keep the watermelon to strawberry ratio 2 to 1. Next, squeeze juice from two limes as well, and add everything to a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix. This blender is good because of the ice-crushing ability and the tamper, which use may use to safely push down ingredients. This is especially effective on frozen fruits.

After blending pour the fruit mixture into molds and freeze before serving.

watermelon popsicle on plate

Watermelon Popsicles

Alyona
Quick and nutritious popsicles with watermelon and lime
Prep Time 10 mins
Freeze time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Servings 6 people
Calories 25 kcal

Equipment

  • Popsicle molds
  • High-powered blender (preferably with tamper)

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups sliced watermelon
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 2 limes

Instructions
 

  • Place watermelon and frozen strawberries in blender
  • Squeeze lime juice from 2 limes into the blender
  • Blend ingredients using tamper to push down if necessary
  • Pour liquid into molds
  • Let freeze then serve
Keyword frozen, fruit, popsicle

Homemade Chocolate Bark with Nuts

2020-05-21T16:06:44-04:00May 11th, 2020|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , |

This perfect chocolate bark snack will please even the pickiest eater. It’s easy to make as well. Main ingredients are cocoa butter, cocoa powder and natural coconut sugar. The rest ingredients – toppings of  your choice.

The chocolate is made smooth, or tempered, but making a homemade double boiler. This is done by placing a dry glass bowl over a metal pot with about one inch of water. This provides a consistent heat and melts the chocolate very well. It tempers the chocolate, making it smooth and glossy.

Top this off with your favorite healthy toppings, such as roasted raw nuts, or goji berries, as in the picture. Enjoy this sweet recipe!

tempered chocolate bark

Tempered Chocolate Bark

Alyona
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 4

Equipment

  • thermometer
  • pot
  • glass bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 3.5 oz cocoa butter
  • 1 oz cocoa powder
  • 1.4 oz coconut sugar powdered in a grinder
  • 1 tbsp roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

Instructions
 

  • Heat dry glass bowl over a metal pot with an inch of water to create a double boiler.
  • Melt cocoa butter in a double boiler at very low heat.
  • Heat up bowl to 115°F (46°C). Monitor the cocoa butter temperature with a thermometer.
  • Remove from heat until temperature of the butter is a consistent 81°F (27°C).
  • Add cocoa powder and coconut sugar powder and stir well.
  • Place mixture into double boiler and bring chocolate temperature back to 88°F (31°C).
  • Stir the chocolate and pour it on a silicone mat.
  • Immediately top with your choice of topping, such as sesame and sunflower seeds.
  • Carefully place in refrigerator so that the chocolate stays level and remove when completely hardened.
Keyword chocolate, dark chocolate, sweets, vegan

Vegan Banana Nut Bread

2020-05-11T01:24:27-04:00May 11th, 2020|Categories: Recipes|Tags: , |

We love this easy banana bread recipe, with around 100 calories per serving and only 7 ingredients. What’s great is you probably already have the ingredients in the kitchen, so no need to do a supermarket run to make this recipe. This tasty dessert is very healthy, with no oil, eggs, white flour, and absolutely no sugar or other sweeteners.

Here’s the secret: If you use very ripe bananas, the bread will turn out sweet. Also, did you know that adding cinnamon to food can also make it taste sweeter? I hope you will enjoy this recipe!

vegan banana bread sliced

Vegan Banana Bread Recipe

Alyona
Easy banana bread recipe with pecans
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 106 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 medium bananas very ripe
  • 1 1/2 cup plant-based milk
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp whole pecans

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Grease loaf pan lightly with oil.
  • Mash the bananas in a large bowl and mix.
  • Add milk to the bananas.
  • Combine and mix all of the dry ingredients in a separate bowl: flour, cinnamon, soda, and ground flax seed.
  • Add all dry ingredients to the large bowl and mix the batter well.
  • Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove bread from pan and let it cool completely.
  • Serve warm.
Keyword banana bread, bread, dessert, plant-based

Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

2020-03-24T18:10:29-04:00March 24th, 2020|Categories: Recipes|

I wanted to share a recipe that is very popular where I am from in Ukraine – stuffed cabbage rolls. In the traditional recipe, they use meat, but I will make a delicious plant-based version of this recipe. This stuffed cabbage dish is very tasty and a great main cours for lunch or dinner.

Bon appetit!

Vegan Stuffed Cabbage

Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Alyona
Delicious vegan
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Russian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • large cooking pot
  • large saucepan
  • tongs

Ingredients
  

  • 1 head cabbage
  • salted water enough to cover cabbage head

Filling

  • 2/3 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup mung beans
  • 2 1/3 cups water
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 small carrot grated

Sauce

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium carrot sliced
  • 1 medium bell pepper sliced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp spices of your choice

Instructions
 

Prepare rice and mung beans

  • Cook 2/3 cups rice with 1 1/3 cups water(2 cups prepared)
  • Cook 1/2 cups mung beans with 1 cup water (1 1/2 cups prepared)

Cabbage

  • In a large pot pour enough water to cover head of cabbage and bring to boil, with some table salt.
  • Remove stalk from cabbage and place in boiling water.
  • Cook the cabbage for a few minutes. Don’t overcook.
  • When cabbage leaves start to cook use tongs to pull them off head and leave them to boil in pot until soft. When soft pull out of pot and place on the side.
  • Put all of the leaves on the plate to cool them down.
  • Carefully cut the hard part of the leaves with a knife.

Stuffed Cabbage

  • Mix the rice, mung beans, onion, carrots and spices, so that the mixture holds well together.
  • Put the filling on top of the cabbage leaf and gently wrap.
  • Place some pieces of cabbage or cabbage trimmings at the bottom of the pot, to keep the rolls from sticking to the pot.
  • Carefully lay down all the cabbage rolls, pouring gravy on each layer.
  • Stew cabbage rolls on the stove, a multi cooker or the oven until ready

Sauce

  • Put all of the ingredients in a saucepan, cook for about 10 min.
  • Pour sauce with vegetables to the pot on the top of stuffed cabbage
Keyword golubtsi, plant-based, stuffed cabbage, vegan
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4-Ingredient Gluten-Free Pancakes

2020-05-04T13:18:33-04:00March 11th, 2020|Categories: Recipes|

I love to make pancakes for breakfast, and I frequently make this super simple gluten-free pancake recipe. Most people have all the ingredients already in their cupboard, so no need for a special try to the market.

All you really need are bananas, oat flour, and baking soda. If you don’t have oat flour, you can easily make this by blending any kind of rolled oats in your Vitamix, or other blender. You can do this all in less than 40 minutes.

These gluten-free pancakes are vegan, plant based, and sugar free.

gluten free pancakes with strawberries

4-Ingredient Gluten-free, Vegan Pancakes

Alyona
Simple, gluten-free, vegan pancakes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast
Servings 4

Equipment

  • non-stick pan
  • blender

Ingredients
  

  • 2 bananas
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Instructions
 

  • Puree banana with a fork or in a blender
  • Add flour, baking soda, and water
  • Mix all the ingredients until they are well combined
  • Heat a non-stick pan to a medium heat
  • Pour the batter into the pan and cook for a few minutes
  • Flip and cook for another two minutes
  • Serve with your favorite toppings
Keyword breakfast, gluten-free, pancakes, vegan
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Tofu Hash Brown Scramble

2020-05-21T16:41:40-04:00January 27th, 2020|Categories: Recipes|

The other day I wanted to surprise my husband with a nice breakfast. Sometimes I make tofu scramble (as opposed to scrambled eggs), but this time I came up with idea to combine tofu scramble with hash browns. I call my recipe tofu hash brown scramble.

There are a couple of things that really bring out the flavor. I used black salt powder, which comes from India. This has a natural smell that is somewhat reminiscent of eggs. I also use nutritional yeast for a cheesy-like taste. You can get this from many grocery stores.

I am happy that my family loved this recipe and I hope you will too!

Tofu hash brown scramble

Tofu Hash Brown Scramble

Alyona
Healthy breakfast recipe is a mix of scrambled tofu and hash browns
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • non-stick pan

Ingredients
  

  • 8 oz firm tofu
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Indian black salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp avocado oil

Instructions
 

  • Mash tofu thoroughly with a fork.
  • Grate potato with a vegetable grinder
  • Cut the onion and bell pepper into strips
  • Heat the pan on a medium heat and add avocado oil
  • Put potatoes and onion into the pan and cook until golden brown
  • Add tofu, bell pepper and spices
  • Cook for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft
  • Serve immediately on a piece of bread or with tortilla or place in a bowl and garnish with fresh herbs and sliced avocado
Keyword breakfast
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Vegan Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

2020-01-08T00:57:32-04:00January 7th, 2020|Categories: Recipes|Tags: |

Who doesn’t love chocolate ice cream? And this plant-based vegan ice cream is actually good for you too! It’s an easy-to-make recipe that only requires a freezer, a blender, and three ingredients: bananas, cocoa powder, and a plant-based milk of your choice.

We prefer to blend with a Vitamix because it is high-powered to cut through ice, and it has a tamper, which is needed to push down the frozen ingredients into the blender. It can be done with any blender that can handle ice, but you would need to stop the machine to push down the ingredients several times.

This chocolate banana ice cream is a household favorite, and you’ll love it too. And with only 118 calories per serving (the size of a banana), you can feel good about it too!

(See here for coconut bowls similar to the ones pictured)

chocolate banana ice cream

Vegan Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Alyona
Delicious 3-ingredient non-dairy chocolate ice cream
Prep Time 2 hrs
Blend 5 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 5 people
Calories 118 kcal

Equipment

  • Vitamix or other high-power blender, preferably with tamper

Ingredients
  

  • 5 bananas
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp plant-based milk
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • Slice bananas and place in plastic container
  • Freeze for at least two hours

Blend

  • Add all ingredients in high-power blender
  • Add optional salt
  • Mix in blender on high speed and push down frozen pieces with tamper until smooth
  • Garnish with your choice of nuts and cocoa or carob nibs
  • Serve immediately
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Big Batch Vegan Chili

2020-05-11T21:27:32-04:00December 18th, 2019|Categories: Recipes|Tags: |

We LOVE fixing chili, and this vegan chili recipe is enough for a crowd (or to feed a family for several days). It’s easy to make, nutritious, and quite tasty. Each two-cup serving is only 330 calories but packs 16 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber. Plus, the best part is that this healthy meal is only $1.58 per person! We got it a bit cheaper with a special at Kroger with organic packs of 4 cans for $3.33, instead of $4. Buy large spices, such at cumin, to save money. And Costco has the best deal on maple syrup for $12.50 for a liter.

veggie chili ingredients

Protein, fiber, and calories in a pot of vegan chili

IngredientProteinFiberCalories
Sweet corn7 g7 g420
Beans147 g105 g2310
Tomatoes21 g21 g560
Celery0.3 g0.6 g6
Onion3.4 g5.2 g120
Garlic3.2 g1.6 g72
Peppers5.3 g5.5 g116
Spices14.5 g16.3 g285
Maple Syrup00312
Olive Oil00119
TOTAL202 g162 g4321
Per serving16 g12 g330

So you’re asking, how do we make this?veggie chili saute

We chop two large onions and press a lot of garlic (we love garlic) and sauté the onions and pressed garlic in a large stock pot (at least 8 quarts) in minimal olive oil, about a tablespoon.

Next we take 6 cans of beans of different varieties. I prefer black beans, dark red kidney beans, and pinto beans, but you can add chick peas, great northern beans, or any variety you like. You strain and rinse them to remove the excess starchy water that can cause bloating.

veggie chili beans

Next you add the beans and other canned items to the stock pot. You will need to add a little water as well, since the contents of the pot will be very thick. Next add the chopped fresh vegetables, spices, and maple syrup for a bit of sweetness if you like.

veggie chili celery

Let this simmer for 2 to 3 hours while all the flavor sinks in. Letting it cool and sit in the fridge to […]

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