How To Tuesday – Vegan Bacon

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The other day we made a bunch of picnic foods and ate dinner out on our new deck. I wanted to make a pasta salad so I decided to try out a technique I had heard of for making vegan bacon. It’s super simple and really has a smoky crispy bacon flavor to it. We crumbled ours into a spinach bacon pasta salad (recipe at bottom) and it was amazing.

For the vegan bacon you need a handful of shitake mushrooms (have to be shitake) and chop them up. Line a cookie tray with a piece of parchment paper and spray the mushrooms with olive oil and throw on some sea salt. bake them at 350 for about 45 mins or until they are crunchy. Allow them to cool and toss them on salads or other dishes you would top with bacon.

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Vegan Spinach Bacon Pasta Salad
-1 (16oz) box of penne pasta
-1 Tablespoon Veganaise (vegan mayo)
-1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
-1 teaspoon smoked paprika
-2 cloves of chopped garlic
-2 cups of packed fresh spinach leaves chopped
-1/4 cup vegan bacon (shitake mushrooms from above)

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and return to pot.
2. In a bowl combine veganaise with crushed red pepper, paprika, and garlic.
3. Stir in pasta until well coated.
4. Add in chopped spinach and vegan bacon (shitake mushrooms from above) Mix and store in the refrigerator until completely cooled.

Sunday Links – Dinners

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Since dinner happens every single night, I thought I’d share a few more of our favorites!

As I said before we have breakfast for dinner maybe once a week (if not more). Breakfast burritos are a big hit. I made homemade soy chorizo earlier in the day, then just scrambled up some eggs, got out the salsa, avocado, etc. So good and each person gets a bit of control over what goes on their burrito.

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I recently made this Summer Squash Corn Chowder recipe, and replaced the bacon with bacos. I added some of the back’s during the cooking process and was pleasantly surprised that cooked “wet” bacos do not just dissolve like I had expected but turn into something really close to the texture of bacon, it was bizarre & amazing!

My youngest son hated this soup, but I thought it was awesome. I will be making it again, but just not for him.

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Lots of nights I will just make a big salad, some baked pasta (this night it was a baked ziti with breadcrumbs & parmesan) green beans, and french bread. Sort of a plain go-to meal, but it works in a pinch.

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And some night’s dinner is a complete hodgepodge. This night we had veggie cheeseburgers, cucumbers, bananas, and parmesan risotto.

Foodies

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Instagram is great for taking a quick food photo, here are some of the foods we’ve enjoyed over the last week or so.

I made Shutterbean’s Vegan Banana Walnut Waffles. So good, I will make these again for sure. But they made me realize we have a “belgian” waffle maker and so the waffles end up real big & perfect for sharing.

Lunch most days is a soup & sandwich. This day Tom had a vegan lentil & I had vegetable barley.

One night I went to Sean and Amanda’s for dinner and brought a baked ziti. Her oven worked really great for getting the cheese all brown. I usually have to switch my to broil near the end to get the bubbly browned cheese.

I tried out Quorn’s Vegan burgers, and I love them! Quorn is my favorite meat-substitute but I have always wished they offered vegan products so when I make things like soup I can use their fake chicken. I am hoping this means they will start offering more. This day I had leftover vegetable chowder inspired by Mrs.McPorkchop’s instagram feed. I just made a vegetable soup using veggies I had on hand, spices, and 1 cup of plain almond milk. Then an immersion blender to blend it all up.

More sandwiches…I like to toast the side that has cheese in the toaster over to get it all melty. I also have an obsession with Claussen mini dill pickles.

One night we made pizzas…veggie and then a vegan cheese/sausage pizza. We used the Mexican Chipotle Field Roast Sausage links and just broke it all up into chunks.

I made flannel cakes one morning when we had friends spending the night. They are kind of like a crumbly pancake. Pretty good but I probably wouldn’t make them again. But look at that cute packaging!

Lunch is some times leftovers, I kind of hate leftovers so I have been forcing myself to eat them up. Ever since we watched the film Dive! on Netflix, I have been much more conscience about not wasting any food. Trying to just buy the produce we will use in a few days so nothing goes to waste.

Amanda made these cookies and they were amazing, so much so that I asked her for the recipe so I could use up some leftover ricotta. Unfortunately I ran out of white sugar and substituted brown sugar, and only had about 8 ounces of ricotta…so they didn’t taste as good as Amanda’s. Even though the dough had lemon juice in it I added chocolate chips to the rest of the dough and made chocolate chip cookies that the kids actually liked.