A note from Valeria: “Hey Vegi Fam! It’s been a really heavy past couple weeks here and I’ve been working on educating myself and taking action for the Black Lives Matter movement here locally in Atlanta. That being said I AM working on a blog with a ton of anti-racism resources and tips for those of you wanting to become better allies. It’s #comingsoon! But for now, enjoy Mackenzie’s Vegan Recipe Video Roundup #QuarantineEdition”
Quarantine led to a lot of at-home cooking and baking for me, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t eat the same boring thing every evening. I tried out as many new recipes as I could, trying to make something new each night. And I’m not vegan, so some of the recipes I tried out had chicken or pork in them. The majority, however, were vegetarian and could easily be made vegan.
So here’s a big old-fashioned recipe roundup! Be sure to comment and let us know if you get a chance to try any of these recipes out (or have any of your own favorites we didn’t mention here!). Warning: all of these are recipe videos because watching recipe videos is actual therapy.
Dates in a blanket:
I wasn’t stressing too much about appetizers during quarantine, but my husband’s birthday was in April and I wanted to have a special birthday dinner for him. I came across the Figs in a Blanket recipe and thought it was cute, but after reading the comments, decided to go with dates instead of figs, since the general consensus was the idea was solid but figs were kinda gross. Pillsbury crescent rolls are actually vegan (what a time to be alive!), so as long as you use vegan butter, this tasty treat can be used as a fun appetizer. Pro tip: toast leftovers in the toaster oven in the morning and have them with your coffee. You're welcome. :)
Tomato Basil Soup:
This soup <3 It’s already vegan so no alterations have to be made. I enjoyed it with a loaf of Cheddar Banana Pepper Bread (we’ll get to that later), because dipping bread in a bowl of delicious soup = one satisfied Mackenzie. It’s delicious and perfect if you’re looking for something easy and comforting.
Cream of Mushroom Soup:
This soup I enjoyed with my Garlic Rosemary Bread (hint hint: I really like bread). Because of what was available at my grocery store, I used only button mushrooms and subbed coconut milk for heavy cream. Use vegan butter to make this a delicious soup that’s easy to prepare.
Pulled Eggplant BBQ:
I was skeptical about this recipe. I love my pulled pork, and I’ve had BBQ jackfruit, which is tasty, but it ain’t no pork. I followed the instructions and the video is pretty helpful (though I’d definitely suggest either peeling your eggplant ahead of time or steaming it for like 20 minutes to get the skin to come off easier).
I was pretty impressed with how this tasted. The texture is spot on, cooking the eggplant low and slow is key. It wasn’t pork, but it was one of the best vegan copycats I’ve seen in a long time. Plus I felt good about sneaking some veggies into my meal. :) I ate this with leftover sweet potato salad and made a quick apple and spinach coleslaw to add some freshness to my new “pulled eggplant” creation.
Three Hour Pizza:
Oh pizza, how I love you. Everything about pizza is heavenly. I seriously can’t say how much I love pizza. Pizza is a delicious grab bag where you can essentially put any vegetable, sauce, or spice on it and it probably will still taste good. And this three-hour pizza is one of my most favorite pizza recipes. Joe Sasto is a chef I follow (one of my favorite Top Chef competitors), and although it’s time intensive, it’s 100% worth it. I make this pizza whenever anyone special is coming over, and my husband and I will even use it as a fun date-night activity. The best part about this pizza is that because the pizza dough is vegan, you can choose what you put on top. I’m a big fan of artichoke hearts and mozzarella, but if you’re vegan you might choose nutritional yeast and kale. The possibilities are only as limited as your fridge and your imagination.
Vegan Shepherd's Pie:
This pie was DELISH. Super filling and hearty, packed full of veggies, I will definitely be making this again (although, I might wait until winter). I used sweet potatoes for the mashed part on top and it still came out wonderfully, so feel free to really use whatever you have on-hand.
Hojicha Green Tea:
I made this as a part of a themed date night where my husband and I made Japanese food, drinks, and watched a few quick Japanese history videos and ended off with Kiki’s Delivery Service. I didn’t have the necessary Hojicha tea that the recipe calls for, which has a sweet and smokey flavor. However, after looking it up,I decided to still try making it with the green tea I had on hand. It’s not the same as the recipe, but it was still delicious.
Strawberry milk was another drink I made for my theme night (see above) after doing some research and finding out it was a popular Japanese drink. I subbed soy milk for regular milk when I made it. The milk is so tasty! It’s practically a dessert on its own, because it is pretty sweet. But overall I enjoyed it and would definitely make it as a dessert beverage again.
I’m a sucker for tequila-based cocktails. This one is super simple, and would pair well with anything from a southwest-style salad to tacos. We didn’t use fresh grapefruits (quarantine probs), but the grapefruit juice we had on-hand worked well. If you prefer frozen margs, dust off your blender and just toss your cocktail mixture in with a few ice cubes!
Peanut Butter Custard:
This stuff is so good it should be illegal. It theoretically should last a few days in the fridge, but it always seems to be gone in one sitting. I never melt the chocolate, and instead just throw a few chocolate chips on top. Quick, easy, and one of my favorites.
Banana Pepper Bread:
I didn’t have jalapeños on-hand, so I used the next-best thing: banana peppers! This recipe is perfect for pairing with the tomato soup listed above. It’s hearty and comforting, exactly what bread should be. I had no issues with the rise or density of the bread, and while I included cheddar in my bread, you certainly could remove it from yours and add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast to give it a nutty, umami, cheesy flavor.
Rosemary Sweet Potato Muffins:
These muffins were a great change of pace, since I usually make sweet pastries to be enjoyed with coffee. While this recipe isn’t vegan, you can substitute the buttermilk for soy milk and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Eggs can be tricky to substitute, especially in a savory recipe: aquafaba would probably be the substitute I’d aim for, since it would still contribute the necessary liquid to the batter. For every egg, you need three tablespoons of aquafaba, meaning you need a half-cup of aquafaba total for this recipe.
What recipes have you tried out in quarantine? Have you had to convert many standard recipes to vegan ones? Drop us a comment below to let us know what your plant-based journey in quarantine has looked like!