Veganized Crunchwrap Supreme

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I really like Taco Bell. It’s our go-to anytime we get fast food because it’s so easy to customize and veganize (the Taco Bell app is a game-changer!). I also love making Taco Bell-style food at home. We’ve been making tacos a lot recently, and I’ve been reheating the soft tacos in a microwave for lunch. These reheated in the microwave are so good and taste like Taco Bell, and I really don’t know why I like it so much.

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There are a ton of other recipes out on the internet for vegan crunchwraps, but we’ve been on such a Taco Bell kick lately I wanted to share how we made them.

Ingredients:

  • A large burrito flour tortilla (we bought la banderita homestyle tortillas)
  • refried black beans (we get the Winco brand refried black beans with jalapeños)
  • corn tortilla chips (Julio’s tortilla chips are one of our favorites)
  • shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Boca veggie crumbles
  • Daiya American cheese slices
  • salsa (we really like Pace’s mild chunky salsa)
  • taco seasoning (or chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and cumin)
  • diced white onion
  • pico de gallo (diced tomatoes, cilantro, white onion, and cilantro)

For the bean mixture:

Heat the black beans in a pan over medium high heat and covered. While that is heating up, warm up the Boca ground crumbles in a separate pan with a little bit of oil, some diced white onion, and add the spices. Mix together the refried beans, ground crumbles, and salsa once the ground crumbles are browned and the onions are caramelized.

Next, assemble the crunchwrap. This is how I stacked mine:

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(Tortilla, black beans + veggie crumbles, lettuce, pico de gallo, a slice of Daiya’s American cheese, and finally some tortilla chips on top.

Try to fold it up in the center, and place it in a pan over medium heat with the open side down. It may not be pretty, but make sure the edges on the open side all come together in the middle. Mine was not looking too good at first, and I had to refold it, but it ended up holding together pretty nicely.

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I did not use any oil, just a non stick pan over medium-high heat, and I cooked both sides until each side was crispy and the side that was open stayed shut.

That’s how we made our homemade crunchwraps! It was pretty quick and easy to make, plus it was such a nice treat to have after a long day at work.

If you liked this, also check out my Veganized 5-Layer Burritos!

Where I’ve Been // what I ate today + a cheap pad thai inspired recipe and pumpkin spice cookies

I’ve been away for the past month, and a lot has changed. I needed a little break while adjusting to new things. I now have a new job where I can sit most of the day and have a regular sleep schedule and I’ve been feeling so much better mentally and physically.

I’m going to be posting regularly again, and to start it off here’s what I ate today.

Brunch:

We started out Labor Day with some vegan breakfast burritos and donut holes from one of our favorite breakfast places, OMG Donuts. Their burritos are really cheap, but they are so tasty and nice to pickup for a quick breakfast. We took these to the mall to eat (because it was way too hot to eat outside which was our original plan) and walked around the mall for a bit.

Dinner:

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I wanted pad thai for dinner, but I wanted something quick and easy to make and kinda healthy so this is what I came up with.

You will need:

  • noodles (rice noodles would probably be best, but we just used fettuccine noodles)
    • we made about half of the box
  • a block of extra firm tofu
  • spices for the tofu:
    • black pepper
    • paprika
    • onion powder
    • garlic powder
    • cumin
  • for the sauce:
    • 2 tbsp sesame oil
    • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce (we used low sodium soy sauce and added about 1 1/2 tbsp, but add more if you’d like it saltier)
    • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
    • a splash of lime juice
    • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • lots of veggies
    • we combined an asian stir fry and sugar snap pea stir fry mix from Winco. We used half a bag of each for this meal. These included: broccoli, carrots, onions, celery, red peppers, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and sugar snap peas.

First, I cubed the block of tofu and coated it with the spices. I put it in the air fryer and cooked it for about 20 minutes at 400ºF.

While the tofu cooked I boiled the pasta and defrosted the veggies in a pan. Then, I mixed together the sauce.

I moved the veggies to a separate bowl to add the sauce to the empty pan. Let the sauce heat up for a minute, then mix everything together (the sauce, veggies, noodles, and tofu) and let it fry in the pan for a minute or two, stirring it occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn.

This turned out so good. I’d also recommend adding peanuts on top if you have them to make this a little more like pad thai. Pad thai is one of my favorite comfort foods (honestly, anything with noodles is), and this was a cheap and easy way to satisfy the craving. Nothing beats actual pad thai, but this was really tasty.

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Dessert:

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Winco had some pumpkin spice cookie mix for pretty cheap, so we picked some up (even though it’s super hot out but it’s pretty much fall already, right? The Halloween Oreos are already out).

We used half of the cookie mix and mixed that with 1/2 of a flax egg, half of a stick of Earth Balance vegan butter, and 1/8 cup water (we just veganized the instructions on the back of the package). We also added dairy free dark chocolate chips and sprinkled the cookies with cinnamon, all spice, and brown sugar before we put them in the oven.

I really recommend picking this up and making these if you see it in store, they turned out SO moist and pumpkin-y.

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That’s what I ate today on this last day of a very lazy Labor Day weekend. We had a relaxing weekend filled with lots of yummy vegan food, video games, and movies. Hope everyone had a great weekend. ♡

a really simple pasta dish

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This is another simple low-spoon meal. It’s also an, “I needed to clean out the fridge but it turned out really good so I’ll make it again” meal. It’s a really easy recipe to make without much effort, but it is filling and extremely tasty.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup medium shell pasta (or any pasta you like)
  • olive oil
  • diced onions (I used some diced red onion we had leftover)
  • 1/2 can of baked beans (I really like the Cracked Pepper baked beans from Serious Bean Co we found at Winco)
  • 2 tbsp hummus (I had Sabra’s roasted pine nut hummus and it turned out really good, I’d recommend picking this up but any hummus will do)
  • Boca veggie crumbles (or any vegan protein you’d like to add, Gardein’s meatless meatballs are really good in this too)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup spinach (however much spinach you’d like to add)
I don’t usually use exact measurements for low spoon recipes because it’s more of a throw everything together with as few dishes as possible meal, so add however much or as little of the ingredients as you’d like. This is just how I make it. 

1. First, I boiled a cup of pasta. I only made one serving since it’s easier to drain. After I drained it I left it in the colander and left the empty pot on the stove over medium heat.

2. Next, I drizzled about 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in the pot. I added about 1/4 cup of red onions and cooked them until they were caramelized. Once they were I mixed in about 3/4 cup of the Boca veggie crumbles. I added just enough water so it wouldn’t stick, covered it, and let it cook for 5-7 minutes.

3. After the veggie meat cooked thoroughly I added half of the can of baked beans and covered the pot again to let the beans heat up.

4. While that was warming up I microwaved 1 cup of frozen spinach to defrost it. I’d also recommend adding it to the bean mixture to cook it, but someone doesn’t love spinach as much as I do and I made leftovers of the mixture for us to share. (• ◡•)

5. Then, in a separate cup, I mixed 2 tbsp of hummus and enough water to thin it out into a sauce.

6. I combined everything into a bowl (but only about 1/4 cup of the bean mixture, I saved the rest for leftovers), and this is what it looked like:

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This is a really savory meal that doesn’t take a lot of time to make. The sweetness of the baked beans mixes really well with the other ingredients and creates a flavorful pasta dish without much effort!

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Another Vegan Garbage Plate

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I wanted a garbage plate a few nights ago, so I made one. This is what I created.

This is definitely not an authentic garbage plate. I took the basics of a garbage plate and made it quick and easy (and vegan!). I’d recommend checking out Jenna Marbles’ video on how to make one even better: My Boyfriend Cooks My Favorite Meal.


macaroni salad

I loosely based the macaroni salad off of this recipe from Foodie Crush: How to Make Classic Macaroni Salad. I didn’t add eggs, red peppers, or pickles, and I used Apple Cider Vinegar instead of pickle juice. I also used Vegenaise to replace the mayo. I just threw everything together without measuring anything and it turned out pretty good.


potatoes

I chopped up a potato and threw it in the air fryer for about 15 minutes on 400º. After it was done baking I seasoned it with garlic salt and pepper.


meat sauce

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I took the easy route and just bought a few cans of Amy’s chili.

I mixed one can of the spicy chili and one can of medium together in a pot and added garlic powder and paprika. The meat sauce isn’t technically chili but it was close enough, plus I took the leftovers for lunch for a few days.

 


burger patty

I cooked a Dr. Praeger’s All American Sweet Heat Beet Veggie Burger and melted a slice of Daiya American Cheese on top (I accidentally bought two different veggie burgers. I meant to buy two boxes of the All American burgers, but I think I bought one Sweet Heat Beet on accident, that’s why it’s bright red in the picture. I threw the box away before I realized and could double check). The beet burgers weren’t the best for this, but they were still pretty tasty. Get Beyond Meat or the Impossible Burger if you want something more “authentic”.


This is how I put it all together: half the plate with the macaroni salad, the other half with the potatoes. Then I added the chili in between the two, added the burger on top, then topped it with ketchup and yellow mustard.

That’s how I made this super quick and easy vegan garbage plate. It wasn’t the most authentic, but it was really tasty. It’s a weird combo of flavors but it is so delicious.

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Easy Rice Noodles + Peanut Sauce

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Today was another low spoon day for me. I wanted something easy but hearty, so this is what I made for lunch. It turned out really delicious so I wanted to share!

This is what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup rice noodles
  • 1-2 cups frozen cauliflower
  • 1/4 block extra firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • a few drops of low sodium soy sauce (this is all I had on hand, but liquid aminos would work too)
  • black pepper
  • cumin
  • nutritional yeast
  • garlic powder (I used garlic salt because that was all we had but I’d recommend garlic powder)
  • cayenne pepper
  • crushed red pepper flakes

First, I cut the tofu into cubes and measured out 2 cups of frozen cauliflower. I coated the cauliflower and tofu in the spices (nutritional yeast, black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper) and popped them in the air fryer for about 15 minutes at about 360ºF, mixed them around so they would cook evenly, then put them in for another 10 minutes.

I cooked the rice noodles when the tofu and cauliflower were almost done, then made the sauce.

For the sauce I mixed together 1 tbsp of peanut butter, a few drops of soy sauce, and enough water to thin it out. We also had some red pepper flakes from Papa John’s so I added in a bit of that too.

That was all it took to make this super savory, peanut-y noodle dish!

Savory Pasta with Veggies // easy vegan recipe

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Here’s the perfect meal for a low spoon kind of day.

I’ve been bringing this meal to work for lunch for the past few days because it is so easy and only takes a few minutes to put together.

You will need:

  • 1 cup rice noodles
  • 2 cups sautéed cauliflower
  • 1 cup collard greens, or whatever frozen greens you want to add
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegan protein broth
  • black pepper
  • nutritional yeast
  • garlic powder

First, I steamed then sautéed the frozen cauliflower in a pan. I didn’t add any oil, just a bit of water so the veggies wouldn’t stick (but try not to burn the cauliflower and set off the smoke alarm like I did, hah). I defrosted the collard greens the laziest way by microwaving it for 1 minute in the microwave, then taking it out to mix it and add in some nutritional yeast and garlic powder, then heating it for another minute in the microwave. While the veggies are cooking boil the pasta. I make a lot of pasta at a time for easy leftovers.

After I drained the pasta I put it back in the pot and added the veggies, tomatoes, the protein broth, then the spices. I heated it over medium heat for a few minutes to warm up everything together.

The second meal pictured above is just with leftover penne instead of rice noodles and minus the cauliflower so it was much faster and easier to make.

And voilà! A really easy meal that’s really tasty. You can also serve it with more nutritional yeast on top or add some hot sauce, and use whatever veggies you like.

What I Ate Today // vegan staple meals

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Today was stormy and a super chill day at home. Perfect for being creative, playing video games, and cooking lots of tasty vegan food. These are the meals that have become staples in my diet since they’re so cheap and easy to make:

Breakfast: tofu scramble burrito

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I scrambled tofu and added lots of spinach for a quick breakfast burrito. For spices I used paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and garlic powder. I don’t do much to the tofu, I just take a block of extra firm tofu and “scramble” it in a pan over medium high heat. Once it’s mostly cooked and most of the water has evaporated I lower it to medium and add in the frozen spinach. The hot sauce I used was Taco Bell’s Diablo Sauce. Also, I added in some hummus (I use Sabra’s classic hummus) to make it “cheesy” and wrapped it up in a flour tortilla.


Lunch: rice noodles with veggies

  • One serving of brown rice noodles
  • 1 cup sautéed cauliflower
  • 1 cup of a frozen vegetable stir fry mix (broccoli, carrots, peppers, onions, and mushrooms)
  • 1/2 cup vegan protein broth
  • black pepper
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • and a few drops of low sodium soy sauce

This is a pretty simple recipe: steam then sautée the cauliflower in a pan, and when it’s mostly cooked add in the frozen vegetable stir fry. Boil the pasta, and once it’s drained and the vegetables are soft combine everything in the pot.

Here’s the protein broth and noodles I used:

I have been making some variant of this for the past week to bring to work for lunch. It’s a super quick meal, really hearty, and so tasty.


Today was cosy and rainy so we stayed home, worked on some projects, and played lots of video games. I’ve been playing Pokémon SoulSilver a lot lately, so I wanted to share my Pokémon team:

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Cyndaquil was my starter, and I traded for the Onix in-game. I love how the Pokémon follow you while you’re walking around the map! It’s also my favorite Pokémon game storywise and overall a good time.


Dinner: burrito bowl

I had a burrito bowl for dinner (and DJ made tacos, they looked really good so I wanted to share those too!). This was white rice, black refried beans, a Boca chik’n patty, and spinach with a homemade cashew cheese sauce. We made the cheese sauce by combining a bunch of random ingredients, including cashews, almond milk, yellow mustard, lime juice, salsa, red onion, nutritional yeast, paprika, turmeric, black pepper, garlic powder, and hot sauce. It doesn’t sound like it, but it made a really delicious and creamy cheese sauce.

That’s everything I ate this day! I’ve been trying to incorporate more whole foods into my diet and trying to eat healthier in general. Let me know what your staple meals are in the comments or on instagram: @healthy_ghost. ♡

Veganized 5-Layer Burritos

One of the last things I ate before I made the decision to follow a vegan lifestyle was a 5-layer burrito from Taco Bell (I was vegetarian at the time and ordered it without meat, so it was more like a 4-layer burrito?). It was also my favorite thing to order at Taco Bell.

The normal layers in a 5-layer burrito are:

  1. Seasoned beef
  2. Cheese
  3. Beans
  4. Nacho cheese sauce
  5. Reduced fat sour cream

Obviously that is not something that I’d order or could make “fresco style” (substitute dairy for pico de gallo), but I’ve been craving one recently. So, here is my decadent vegan version:

  1. Seasoned beef:
    • Instead of using the usual vegan ground beef replacements (my go-tos are Boca Veggie Crumbles or Beyond Meat Crumbles) I picked up some seitan from our local Sprouts. I warmed it up in a pan with some coconut cooking spray and it was really flavorful and savory. IMG_8028

  2.  Cheese:
    • I picked up Follow Your Heart’s vegan cheddar cheese from Sprouts too.IMG_8027

  3.  Beans:
    • Winco has some amazing refried black beans with jalapeno peppers and no lard. IMG_8026

  4. Nacho cheese sauce:
    • I made the cheese sauce out of 1 cup of cashews, enough soy milk so that it would blend and be creamy, 2-3 tbsps nutritional yeast, a splash of lime juice, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt, a little bit of yellow mustard, and a few drops of hot sauce (sounds weird, I know, but it turned out pretty “cheezy”). IMG_8024

  5. Reduced fat sour cream:
    • I found a lot of recipes for vegan sour cream on Pinterest and chose to try this one from Loving It Vegan: Vegan Sour Cream – Tangy and Rich. It turned out SO good. The consistency and flavor were spot on.  IMG_8025

Here’s the finished result! This was so amazing and satisfied the craving. I feel like I say this in every blog post, but you really can veganize everything:

what I eat in a day // hummus edition

In this what I eat in a day post I wanted to highlight one of my favorite vegan foods to eat and cook with, and that is hummus. For these recipes I used Sabra’s classic hummus (not sponsored, but if someone from Sabra sees this, hello!)

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Breakfast: Tofu scramble, spinach, white rice, and a cheesy hummus sauce.

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First, I made the white rice. My recommendation for cooking white rice perfectly is for every 1 cup of rice simmer it in 1 3/4 cups of water. I let it simmer for 18 minutes covered, then move it to a cool burner for another 5. Once the 5 minutes is over I’ll fluff it with a fork.

While the rice was simmering I scrambled some tofu over medium heat. For spices I used turmeric, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and nutritional yeast.

For the spinach I sautéed it with just paprika and more nutritional yeast.

Finally, the sauce. I used 2tbsp of hummus with 1tbsp nutritional yeast, paprika, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and a little bit of water to thin it out. I also topped mine with sriracha for a little extra spice.

(My serving was 1/2 cup white rice, 1/3 of a package of tofu, and 1 cup of spinach.)


Lunch: dumplings and some more white rice.

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We buy these pre-made dumplings from Winco. I air fry mine so I don’t have to use oil, then I add them to a pan I preheated on medium high heat, add 1/4 cup of water, and quickly cover them for 1-2 minutes.

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For this hummus sauce I used another 2tbsp of hummus, a few drops of soy sauce, a splash of sesame oil, and sriracha.


Dinner: lentils and pasta with a hummus sauce

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I threw this together one morning for lunch before work, and now I’ve been eating it almost every day this week. This is some jumbo elbow pasta with green lentils and spinach. I mixed it all in a bowl with hummus, lots of nutritional yeast, paprika, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. I store the pasta and the lentils separately, and whenever I want to make lunch or dinner I’ll measure out the portions and heat it up. This one is so easy, even when you’re in a hurry.

(This serving was 1 cup of pasta, 1/2 cup lentils, and 1 cup of spinach.)

Basically, I’ll just put hummus in whatever I’m eating.

The best vegan breakfast sandwich

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I made what I believe is the best breakfast sandwich yesterday morning, and I had to share it.

What you’ll need (for one serving):

  • 1/4 block of tofu (I cut mine in half, then cut those halves in half into skinnier patties)
  • Sourdough bread
  • Chao Creamy Original vegan cheese
  • Avocado (mashed)
  • Lightlife Deli Roast Turkey style slices (this is what we had and they’re really good, I also like the Tofurky deli slices)
  • Spices: black pepper, paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder

After I cut the tofu I lightly covered the sides with the spices. Then I cooked it in a pan on medium heat until it was cooked on the outside and still a little soft on the inside. I didn’t want to use oil, and my non-stick pan did it’s job pretty well but use oil if you need to prevent it from sticking. Once it was cooked I put a slice of the vegan cheese on top and covered it until it melted.

While that was melting I toasted the bread in the oven and mashed the avocado.

Finally, assemble it! This is what my finished sandwich looked like:

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I was going for a fast food style “egg” patty sandwich when I started making it, but it quickly turned into a decadent one! Plus it was also only 390 calories and so filling. What’s your favorite breakfast food? Let me know in the comments!

(We made some more the next day on english muffins.)