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Lime Bars (Vegan)

A sweet and tangy treat is a great way to celebrate the warmer weather. These bars are a summertime twist on a springtime favorite, the lemon bar. They’re tart with just the right balance of sweetness, and they’re perfect for enjoying while sitting in the sunshine. I hope you enjoy these delicious lime bars!

These lime bars are vegan, substituting eggs and butter for coconut milk and vegan butter. You can also use melted coconut oil or vegetable shortening in your crust recipe. If you’re gluten-free, substituting your flour for gluten-free all-purpose flour will work wonderfully in this recipe. I wouldn’t recommend using a different non-dairy milk in this recipe. Canned coconut milk has a high fat content compared to other non-dairy milks, which helps the filling set and gives it a silky texture.

 

Ingredients:

For the crust:
1 cup melted vegan butter
½ cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt

 

For the filling:
½ cup lime juice (about 4 limes)
2 T lime zest (roughly the zest from 2 limes)
1 ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk (one 13-14 oz can)
1 ½ cup sugar
6 T cornstarch
¼ tsp vanilla extract

 

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350°.

Grease the bottom and sides of your chosen pan. You can use an 8×8 square pan, a 10-inch springform pan, or a 10-inch cake pan for this recipe.

Melt your vegan butter. You can do this in a small microwave safe bowl or over the stovetop.

Add your flour, sugar, salt, and melted vegan butter. Mix them to combine. Your dough will be thick and moldable.

Press the dough into the bottom of your pan. Spread it out and pat it down to create an even layer in your pan.

Let your crust bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. When it’s done baking, set it aside until your filling is ready. Don’t turn off your oven, as you’ll need it in the final steps of this recipe.

While your crust is baking, you can begin making your lime filling.

In a large saucepan on medium heat, add your coconut milk, lime juice, lime zest, sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir it to combine.

Add your cornstarch and mix it well until it’s dissolved into your filling mixture.

Stir the filling constantly over medium heat with a whisk. This will keep the cornstarch from settling at the bottom of your pot and help it cook evenly. Continue this for 5 to 8 minutes, until the filling begins to thicken.

Your filling is ready when it becomes thick and gelatinous. It will be difficult to stir, and it will no longer simmer over the stove.

When your filling is done, pour it on top of your crust. Spread it out evenly and smooth out the top. You can also tap the pan on top of your counter to release any air bubbles trapped inside of the filling.

Bake your lime bars for 15 minutes at 350°.

When your lime bars have finished baking, allow them to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Once cooled, transfer your lime bars to the refrigerator to help them set. They will need to chill for at least 3 hours before serving or chilled overnight.

Cut them into squares or slices and enjoy!

 

Tabbouleh (Vegan)

Warmer weather calls for a refreshing salad and this tabbouleh fits the bill. It’s bursting with bright spring flavors and fresh herbs. This dish is wonderful as a side at your spring barbecues or picnics for everyone to enjoy.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup dry bulgur wheat
2 large Roma tomatoes
1 cucumber
½ large white onion
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 handful fresh mint
2 T olive oil
4 T lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

In a small pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.

In a bowl, wash your bulgur wheat and drain the water from it. You can use a sieve, cheesecloth, or a colander with very small holes.

In a large bowl, add your bulgur wheat and boiling water. Cover it and set it aside to soak up the water for 6 to 8 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed.

Squeeze the excess water from the bulgur with a cheesecloth cloth or with clean hands.

Put the bulgur wheat back in your bowl and set it in the refrigerator to cool.

Finely dice your cucumber, tomato, and onion. Set aside.

Finely chop your parsley and mint. Set aside.

Remove your cooled bulgur wheat from the refrigerator and add your chopped vegetables and herbs.

Add your salt and pepper. I recommend using 2 T of salt and 1 T of pepper, but you can customize it to your taste.

Add your olive oil and lemon juice. Stir until all the ingredients are well combined.

Serve your tabbouleh as a side or enjoy it on its one as a refreshing snack. Enjoy!

 

Hummingbird Cake (Vegan)

Ring in spring with a delicious homemade hummingbird cake. This cake is sweet and moist with fruity flavors that get everyone excited for the warmer weather coming our way. It’s perfect for sharing or entertaining at any picnic or backdoor patio. On top of that, it just happens to be vegan so everyone can enjoy a slice of this scrumptious cake.

 

This cake is vegan and doesn’t call for many special ingredients. If you’re gluten-free, you can substitute the flour for gluten-free all-purpose flour. Additionally, if you have an allergy to walnuts or coconuts, these ingredients are easy to leave out. Omitting the pineapple and banana from this recipe will drastically change it’s flavor, so I don’t recommend removing these ingredients. If you’d like to boost the sweetness and fruity flavor of this cake, you can use applesauce instead of oil. However, the oil adds a richness to the cake and helps it bake more evenly. This cake is very moist and if you use applesauce, you may need to give the cake an extra 10 to 20 minutes to bake depending on the depth of your pan. To keep it from burning on top, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the cake after the standard baking time.

 

When baking this cake, you can use several different kinds of pans. I used a loaf pan for this recipe, but a round cake pan will work wonders as well. The batter makes enough to fit into two 6 inch cake pans, one 8 inch cake pan or a standard loaf pan. I recommend using a pan that is shallow when baking this cake. This cake is very moist and it will not bake evenly in a deep pan.

 

For the cake:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
1 cup brown sugar (¾ Cup if your bananas are extremely ripe)
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 large bananas or 3 small bananas)
½ cup crushed pineapple or pineapple chunks
¼ cup pineapple juice
1 T vanilla extract
¼ cup neutral oil (or applesauce)
2 T apple cider vinegar

Optional:

⅓ Cup coarsely chopped pecans
⅓ Cup shredded coconut

 

For the frosting:

½ cup vegan cream cheese (vegan butter or vegetable shortening)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 T vanilla extract
2 T dairy-free milk

 

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 375° and prepare a large loaf pan or another dish by greasing it with oil, vegan butter or lining it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice. Mix them to combine.

Peel your bananas. Add them to a medium sized bowl and mash them until there are no lumps.

Add your sugar, pineapple juice, oil and vanilla into the medium bowl and mix until combined.

Add your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients.

Add your pecans and shredded coconut. Mix until combined. Be careful not to overmix and stop when the dough no longer has dry spots of flour visible.

Transfer the dough into your prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a fork inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Depending on the thickness of your pan, your cake may need longer. Shallower pans may only need 25 minutes while thicker pans may need up to 40 to 45 minutes.

When your cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for 1 to 2 hours before icing it.

While you wait for the cake to cool, you can make your frosting.

In a large bowl, add your vegan cream cheese. You can also use vegan butter or vegetable shortening in this recipe.

Add your vanilla extract and dairy-free milk to the bowl.

With a hand mixer, mix the ingredients until they are combined.

Add your powdered sugar in batches and mix using the hand mixer on medium speed. This will ensure that you don’t throw a cloud of powdered sugar back onto yourself while mixing.

After all the sugar is incorporated, mix the frosting on high speed until it becomes smooth and fluffy, which may take about 2 to 3 minutes.

Place your frosting on your cooled cake however you’d like. You can use a piping bag, a knife or a spoon to decorate it.

Enjoy!

 

Savory Oatmeal (Vegan)

Mix up your usual morning oatmeal with these cheesy, savory vegan oats! Plain oatmeal is a blank canvas, allowing you to build all kinds of flavors. I discovered this recipe a few years ago and it’s one of my favorites. Though savory oats may sound odd, they’re similar in flavor to cheesy grits and thicker in texture.

This recipe makes one serving. If you’re serving multiple people, feel free to multiply the recipe as needed. These oats can be boiled on the stovetop or cooked in the microwave, using rolled or quick oats. Using vegetable broth in this dish builds a more complex flavor, however water works just as well to make this dish a satisfying, savory breakfast.

 

Ingredients:

½ cup rolled oats or quick oats

1 T nutritional yeast

1 T soy sauce

⅔ cup vegetable broth or water

1 Tsp chives

 

Microwave Instructions:

Add oats and vegetable broth or water to a large bowl.

Microwave the oats for 1- 2 minutes. The oats are cooked when they have absorbed the water or broth and are thick in texture.

Remove the bowl from the microwave and add the nutritional yeast and soy sauce. Stir the oats until all ingredients are incorporated.

Top the oats with chives and enjoy!

 

Stovetop Instructions:

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the oats and reduce the stove to medium heat.

Cook the oats for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when the oats have absorbed most of the water or broth and are thick in texture.

Add the nutritional yeast and soy sauce. Stir the oats until all ingredients are incorporated.

Top with chives and enjoy!

 

Fall Quinoa Salad

This warm quinoa salad is perfect for fall. Roasted butternut squash gives this dish a great texture and flavor, along with savory spices and cinnamon. It’s great as a side for dinner, or as a cozy vegan dinner when served by itself.

This recipe calls for cinnamon, which may seem odd for a savory dish. It lends the quinoa mixture a subtle warm spice that pairs wonderfully with the butternut squash. You may omit the cinnamon if you’re skeptical, but it makes this dish really shine!

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups spinach
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon
2 T oil
2 Tsp cumin
2 Tsp paprika
2 Tsp salt (or to taste)
1 Tsp cinnamon (optional)

Preheat your oven to 425 and prepare a baking sheet line with parchment paper.

Mince your garlic cloves and set them aside.

Peel and cut your butternut squash into cubes. Toss them in your oil and place them onto the lined baking sheet, leaving some space between each piece. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and add your minced garlic to the baking sheet with the butternut squash. Roast the squash and garlic for 10 more minutes.

While your squash is roasting, bring 2 cups of water to boil in a medium sized pot. Add your quinoa and simmer it on medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the water is completely absorbed. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat when done.

Chop your spinach into medium-sized pieces and add them to a small saucepan to wilt the spinach, about 2 to 3 minutes.

When your butternut squash has finished roasting, add the butternut squash and spinach to the pot with the quinoa. Stir to combine.

Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the pot. Add your spices, salt and garlic to the pot. Stir the quinoa salad to combine all the ingredients. Enjoy!

Lentil Bolognese

This lentil bolognese is perfect for pasta night. With just a can of tomatoes and a few pantry staples, this protein-packed meal comes together in just 30 minutes. This dish plays on the classic flavors of your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce, with added protein and texture from hearty lentils. It pairs perfectly with your favorite pasta, or over a bed of rice. Try it topped with cheese, like mozzarella or parmesan.

This recipe makes about three servings. If you’re cooking for a large group or would like to make more to have leftovers, this recipe is incredibly easy to double using an extra can of tomatoes or a 28 ounce can. This recipe keeps well in your refrigerator for about a week and freezes well.

 

Ingredients:

14 oz can tomatoes (diced or crushed)
1 cup lentils
½  white onion
2 garlic cloves
1 T oregano (dried or fresh)
½ T basil (dried or fresh)
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt (or to taste)

 

Instructions:

Add 3 cups of water to a medium-sized pot and bring it to a rolling boil. Add your lentils and reduce to medium heat.

Set a timer for 15 minutes to allow your lentils to cook. When they are fully cooked and tender, drain them and set them aside.

While your lentils are cooking, dice your onions and garlic.

In a medium-sized saucepan, add your olive oil, diced onions and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat until they are fully tender and fragrant, stirring occasionally.

Add your tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and black pepper to the saucepan. Stir to incorporate the ingredients. Allow the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

Add your cooked lentils to the saucepan, stirring to incorporate.

Remove from heat, allowing the bolognese to cool for 1-2 minutes before serving.

Serve the bolognese over your pasta of choice, or over rice. Enjoy!

Salsa-Stuffed Bell Peppers (Vegan)

This recipe comes from our intern, Delaney. She loves creating affordable, plant-based meals for herself and is excited to share her creations for you to enjoy!

These stuffed peppers rely on tomato-based salsa to add a punch of flavor into this classic dish. Using your favorite salsa, you can make these peppers pack a spicy punch or a mild heat.

This dish uses lentils as a protein. Ground beef, or a vegan ground beef substitute, would also taste great as the protein in these peppers. For those using meat in this dish, add your cooked meat into the pan in place of lentils. I also use vegan mozzarella-style cheese to top these peppers, but regular cheese would work perfectly in this recipe.

 

Ingredients:

6 green bell peppers
2 cups cooked lentils
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups salsa
1 white onion
1 clove garlic
1 T salt (or as desired)
1 T black pepper (or as desired)
½ cup vegan mozzarella-style shredded cheese
4 T neutral oil

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Cut the tops off of your green peppers, removing the stem. Scoop out the seeds from the pepper and brush them with 3 T oil.

Dice your onion and mince your garlic.

On medium-high heat, add your onion into a pan. Drizzle with a T of oil and cook until tender.

Add your minced garlic or 2 T pre-minced garlic to the pan, allowing it to cook for 2 minutes and stir occasionally.

Add your salsa, salt and pepper to the pan, stirring until incorporated. Allow it to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add your lentils and rice to the pan, stirring until incorporated. Allow it to cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove it from the stove.

Spoon the mixture into the peppers, filling them until there is ½ an inch of space in the top of the pepper.

Place the peppers in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the peppers and top them with shredded mozzarella-style vegan cheese.

Place the peppers back in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the peppers from the oven and allow them to cool for 3-5 minutes. Enjoy!

Crispy Oven-Roasted Chickpeas (Vegan)

This recipe comes from our intern, Delaney Blomstrom. She loves creating affordable, plant-based meals for herself and is excited to share her creations for you to enjoy!

Do you have a can of chickpeas, but aren’t sure what to make with them? These oven-roasted chickpeas are perfect for anyone in a pantry rut. Using ingredients I had in my spice cabinet, I whipped up these three delicious flavors. I hope you enjoy these flavors, and that this inspires you to make your own flavor combinations using this recipe.

 

Cuban-Inspired Chickpeas:
1 T cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 T onion powder
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 can of chickpeas (drained)
2 tsp oil of your choice (optional)

 

Cheesy Vegan Chickpeas:
2 T Nutritional Yeast
1 T garlic powder
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 can chickpeas (drained)
2 tsp oil of your choice (optional)

 

Tangy Ranch Chickpeas:
1 T dill
1 T parsley
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 tsp oil of your choice (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 ℉
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat. Your chickpeas should not stick to the parchment paper, even if you don’t use oil for this recipe.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, add your drained chickpeas, all the seasonings and oil if desired. Stir the chickpeas until they are evenly coated in the seasonings and oil.  If the chickpeas still have moisture from their canning liquid, they will still crisp up in the oven. If they have had time to dry or if you’d like them to be very crispy, a little oil will be necessary to keep them from burning.
  4. Pour them onto the lined baking sheet, spreading them evenly across the sheet. 
  5. Roast for 40 to 55 minutes, turning the chickpeas over every 15 minutes to ensure an even roast on all sides.
  6. Remove chickpeas from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve as a snack, side, salad topping or with your favorite grains!

 

 

Creamy Mushroom Pasta (Vegan)

Makes 2 servings

This creamy mushroom pasta combines shiitake and white button mushrooms with a simple cream sauce to make one delicious dish. The Co-op carries a variety of fresh mushrooms and I was eager to create a recipe with them. Shiitake mushrooms have a smoky, earthy flavor, which pairs well with the mild flavor of the button mushrooms. I love cooking with mushrooms because they are versatile, hearty, and have a savory umami flavor. The cream sauce for this pasta is so simple to make and is made out of vegan butter, whole wheat flour, and soymilk. The silky sauce pairs perfectly with the savory mushrooms and tender pasta. If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy mushrooms, I recommend giving this recipe a try!

 

Ingredients:

2 ½ tbsp. vegan butter (I used Earth Balance Original)
12 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
4 oz. shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 ½ tbsp. whole wheat flour
2 cups unsweetened soymilk
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 oz. dried spaghetti
¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped

 

Directions:

  1. In a large pan, sauté sliced mushrooms in 1 tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat for 5 minutes until mushrooms become golden brown
  2. Season the mushrooms with dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and pepper. Transfer sautéed mushrooms to a bowl.
  3. To the same pan, melt 1½ tbsp. butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add in whole wheat flour
  4. Whisk the flour and butter mixture for one minute. Add in soymilk and turn heat to high. Continue to whisk the cream sauce. Once boiled, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Whisk occasionally.
  5. While the cream sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of water to boil. Once water is boiled, add in spaghetti. Cook spaghetti for 12 minutes until noodles are tender.
  6. Add the mushrooms to the cream sauce and mix. Next, add in the spaghetti and mix. Transfer the pasta to bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Enjoy!

 

 

By Tiffany Wu / Guest Blogger

Tiffany is a graduate of JMU, and majored in dietetics. Her family owned a Chinese restaurant when she was growing up, so her passion for food and cooking began at an early age. She especially likes creating delicious and healthy plant-based recipes.

 

 

 

Golden Beet and Lentil Curry

Beautifully colored and even better tasting vegetables are the star of this delightful soup. This is the perfect dish to cozy up to on a cold evening. It is full of flavor and will fill up your home with the warm and savory aroma. Serve it over rice, with bread, or all alone, either way you will not be disappointed.

Ingredients

  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 5 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 4 cups rainbow chard (chopped into 1 in. pieces)
  • 3 beets (approximately 1 cup, diced into ½ in. pieces)
  • 2 cups multi-colored carrots (approximately 7, diced into ½ in. pieces)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 ½ tsp green curry paste
  • 2 ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp harissa puree
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp sriracha
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint (cut in thin ribbons)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in a large stock pot.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, curry paste, salt, and pepper to the pot and sauté for 3 minutes until the onions are slightly translucent.
  3. Add the lentils, beets, and carrots to the pot and sauté for 3 minutes.
  4. To the pot, add the broth, coconut milk, harissa puree, salt, and pepper. Simmer on low heat for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Add the chard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sriracha. Cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Just before serving, top with fresh mint, season with salt and pepper then enjoy!

 

Guest Blogger: James Madison Dietetics
Emily Salvaggio