Nashville Hot Cauliflower Wings

10-ingredient Nashville hot cauliflower wings with and optional 5-ingredient spicy dipping sauce. A fantastic appetizer that’s vegan, naturally gluten-free, and oil-free.

Batch of Nashville hot cauliflower wings on a white plate with a side of sliced pickles.

Why you’ll love them

To put it’s simply: who wouldn’t love them?!? When some thing this delicious also happens to be good for you, there’s no reason why you should pass on this spicy appetizer. And here’s why…

  • Simple- Cut up some cauliflower, whip up the batter, dip ’em, bake ’em. Doesn’t get much easier than that when in comes down to it.
  • Nutritious- I love combining seasonal produce with plant protein. And that’s exactly what you’ll get when you make this appetizer.
  • Kid-friendly- You might not have guessed it from the “hot” portion of this recipe but you can TOTOALLY leave out the cayenne pepper in the batter to turn this into a heat-free snack the kids will love.
  • Free from- This appetizer is perfect for anyone at the party: vegan, gluten-free, oil-free. Make it nut-free by replacing the almond milk with flaxseed, oat, or soy milk. It’s amazing like that.
Hands holding a split open Nashville hot cauliflower wing revealing a purple cauliflower floret with more cauliflower on a white plate in the background.

Nashville Hot Batter

Begin by cutting up your cauliflower into large florets. In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed meal and water. Let your flaxeggs sit for about 10 minutes to gel.

In another small bowl, combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Allow that to rest for 10 minutes for your vegan buttermilk. While those are resting…

In a large bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, salt, garlic, paprika, pepper, and cayenne. Once the flaxeggs and vegan buttermilk are ready, add them to the dry ingredients along with the secret ingredient- pickle juice! I know what you might be thinking. Pickle juice? But trust me, it adds a subtle brine-y flavor that you really can’t get any other way. So add it. For me.

The batter will be thick but that’s what you want because it’s a thick batter that will stick to the cauliflower. Gently dunk each cauliflower floret into the batter coating into all the nooks and crannies. Allow the excess batter to run off and place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Continue dipping the florets and drizzle any extra batter over the prepared cauliflower to ensure that everything is fully coated.

Bake the cauliflower wings in a 375*F oven for 20 minutes. They are done when the batter is firm and a light golden-brown color. Allow them to cool slightly before serving with the spicy dipping sauce.

Spicy Dipping Sauce

While the Nashville hot cauliflower wings are baking prepare the optional spicy dipping sauce. Note that this is NOT oil-free. Whisk together the desired amount of cayenne, brown sugar, paprika, and garlic powder. Add the spice mixture to melted vegan butter and mix thoroughly. Serve on the side or drizzle over the baking cauliflower wings.

Remember that just as the cauliflower wings, you can alter the spiciness of the sauce by adding as much or as little cayenne as you’d like. Be sure to let me know down in the comments just how spicy you make these bad boys. As always, enjoy friends!

Batch of Nashville hot cauliflower wings on a white plate with a side of sliced pickles.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Cauliflower- fiber, vitamin C, biotin, folate, sulforaphane to block cancer-causing chemicals

Flax- Omega-3 fats, soluble and insoluble fiber

Garlic- phytochemicals

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Nashville Hot Cauliflower Wings

10-ingredient vegan appetizer, Nashville hot cauliflower wings with and optional 5-ingredient spicy dipping sauce. Naturally gluten-free, and oil-free.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Oil-free, Vegan
Keyword: chickpea flour, easy, flax egg, heat, hot, quick, simple, spicy
Servings: 6 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 cup vegan buttermilk (1 cup almond milk & 1 tsp apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flaxseed meal and 5 tbsp water)
  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne more for a spicier batter
  • ¼ cup pickle juice

Nashville Hot Sauce

  • ¼ cup vegan butter
  • ¼-3 tsp cayenne to taste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

Instructions

Nashville Hot Cauliflower Wings

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed meal and water and allow to sit for 10 minutes until jelled.
  • In another small bow, combine the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Allow to sit for 10 minutes to form a "buttermilk".
  • In a large bowl combine the chickpea flour, salt, garlic powder, paprika, pepper, and cayenne. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the prepared flaxeggs, vegan buttermilk, and pickle juice to the dry ingredients. Whisk until smooth.
  • Gently dip the cauliflower florets into the batter turning several times to ensure even coating. Place on the prepared baking sheet and continue coating the cauliflower.
  • Bake the cauliflower wings for 20-25 minutes. They are finished once the batter has set and is a light golden-brown color. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Spicy Dipping Sauce

  • While the cauliflower wings are baking prepare the sauce.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder and desired amount of cayenne.
  • Add the melted vegan butter and whisk to combine. Drizzle over warm cauliflower wings or serve on the side for dipping.
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Cheezy Tuscan Sausage Dip

Creamy, spicy, and rich, this cheezy Tuscan sausage dip is everything a good appetizer should be. All you need are 9 ingredients and less than 30 minutes to prepare this party-worthy dish.

Cheezy Tuscan sausage dip being scooped up with a red tortilla chip.

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and that means, another excuse to make and eat tons of delicious food. Ok, I don’t really need another excuse to eat delicious food, I eat it all the time. But I digress…As usual, let’s start with how amazing this dish is.

Why you’ll love this appetizer

Here are just a few of the reasons why you should make this dip and why you and everyone you serve it to will love it.

  • Simple- All you need are 9 ingredients. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
  • Quick- This appetizer comes together in less than 30 minutes so it’s perfect for preparing right before the party begins. (But don’t worry, you can totally make it ahead of time and re-heat it right before serving.)
  • Creamy- You’ll never know that this dip is dairy-free. But it is!
  • Spicy- Using fire-roasted tomatoes and spicy sausage makes for a dip with a bit of a kick. Perfect for spicing up any party.
  • Hearty- This dip will definitely leave you satisfied and can even be turned into a main dish when served with pasta or over rice.

Cashew Cream & Vegan Mozzarella

Before we begin making the dip, let’s talk about the cashew cream and vegan mozzarella that you’ll need to prepare this addictive appetizer.

Cashew Cream

The perfect cashew to water ratio will give your dip a thick and creamy texture. And that’s what dips are all about right? To make the perfect cashew cream sauce for this recipe begin by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add 1 cup of whole cashews, cover and remove from the heat. Let the cashews soak for 1 hour then drain and rinse them with fresh water.

Using a high speed blender, add the soaked cashews and 1/2 a cup of water blending until smooth. Stop periodically to scrape down the sides. The longer your blend it the thicker and creamier the sauce will be.

Vegan Mozzarella

This is the BEST vegan mozzarella that I have ever made and it all thanks to this recipe. Give it a shot and I can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed. I works great on pizza, sauces, and dips. It melts and pulls just like the real thing.

Cheezy Tuscan sausage dip being scooped up with a red tortilla chip.

Tuscan Sausage Dip

Ok, now that your cashew cream is ready and you have the perfect vegan mozzarella, it’s time to assemble your cheesy Tuscan sausage dip. Begin by heating a teaspoon of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the sausages. Cook the sausage for about 3 minutes on each side. I turned mine 4 times so that I got a good char all around. Remove them from the pan and chop them into bite-sized pieces.

To the same pan and oil, add the diced onion cooking until it’s translucent and soft. This should take about 4-5 minutes. Next, add the mined garlic and Italian herbs. Cook for an additional 30 seconds, just until the garlic is fragrant but not burned. Stir in the cashew cream and the vegan mozzarella. Be sure to stir continuously to prevent a film from forming on the top. Keep stirring until the mixture is evenly incorporated and warmed through. Finally, add in the drained diced tomatoes and greens. Cook for a few minutes allowing the greens to wilt slightly. Then remove from the heat and stir in the chopped sausage.

Serve the cheesy Tuscan sausage dip with chips, fresh veggies, or even use as a sauce for your favorite pasta. This dip is the ultimate in versatility and I cannot wait to hear how your use it! Enjoy friends!

Cheezy Tuscan sausage dip being scooped up with a red tortilla chip.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Garlic- phytochemicals

Kale- vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, folate, phytochemicals

Olive oil- monounsaturated fats

Onion- antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, folate

Tomatoes- vitamin C, potassium, polyphenols

Spinach- fiber, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, folate, vitamin B, vitamin A, glycolipids (cancer cell growth suppressors)

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Cheezy Tuscan Sausage Dip

Creamy, spicy, and rich, this cheezy Tuscan sausage dip is everything a good appetizer should be. All you need are 9 ingredients and less than 30 minutes to prepare this party worthy dish.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dips and Sauces, Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: 10-ingredients, 30-minutes, cashew cream, creamy, easy, entertaining, holiday entertaining, hot, pasta, quick, sauce, simple, spicy, vegan mozzarella
Servings: 10 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1, 14oz package spicy Italian sausage*
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 batch cashew cream (1 cup soaked cashews blended with ½ cup water)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese**
  • 14oz can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 4 oz fresh greens such as kale or spinach roughly chopped

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and sear the sausages 2-3 minutes per side until heated through and slightly charred. Remove from the skillet and chop into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  • Heat the same oil over medium-high heat and add the diced onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes until soft and slightly browned.
  • Add the garlic and Italian seasoning cooking for an additional 30 seconds until fragrant but not burned.
  • Add the cashew cream and mozzarella cheese. Stir continuously to prevent a film from forming. Cook until incorporated and melty about 2-3 minutes.
  • Once the sauce is thick and melted add the drained tomatoes and chopped greens. Stir to combine and allow the greens to wilt.
  • Remove the dip from the heat and add in the chopped sausage. Stir to incorporate and warm the sausage.
  • Serve warm with your favorite chips or toss with pasta.

Notes

*I used this brand
**This is my favorite homemade vegan mozzarella cheese
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Jalapeño Lime Almond Dip

Grab some chips and make this 5 ingredient jalapeño lime almond dip. It’s slightly spicy, deliciously creamy, and insanely addicting. Perfect for the big game this weekend!

Jalapeño lime almond dip in a bowl surrounded by jalapeños, limes, and beet chips.

Why you’ll love it

Aside from the fact that this dip is DELICIOUS here are a few other reasons why you need to make this dip for the big game this weekend. Or, really, for any party you’re throwing.

  • Simple- Doesn’t get much easier than 5 ingredients and 1 food processor am I right?
  • Quick- This jalapeño lime almond dip is ready in about 15 minutes. You heard me, 15 minutes. What are you waiting for?
  • Spicy- Make this dip as spicy (or as not spicy) as you want. When you make dips at home you’re in control of the heat level. I prefer mine spicy, but to each his or her own.
  • Creamy- Another perk of making your dips at home is that they will never be dry. Always creamy and smooth. Perfection.
  • Fresh- store-bought dips are definitely convenient. But let’s face it, they were made a while ago and are loaded with preservatives to keep them fresh. Well, kinda fresh. There’s nothing like a freshly made dip. Trust me.
Jalapeño lime almond dip in a bowl surrounded by jalapeños, limes, and beet chips.

Jalapeños

Let’s take a second to talk about using jalapeños (or any spicy pepper). Just a few quick tips to prevent the capsaicin (spicy pepper oil) from burning your skin:

  • Wear thick rubber gloves when slicing and removing the spine and seeds from the flesh of the pepper.
  • Use gloved hands to pick up any stray seeds and spines.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or ears.
Jalapeño lime almond dip in a bowl surrounded by jalapeños, limes, and beet chips.

Dip

Once you’ve allowed the almonds to soak for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight), drain and rinse them with fresh water. Add the soaked almonds, jalapeños, lime juice, olive oil and salt to the bowl of a high-powered food processor. Process the dip until the almonds are smooth, stoping frequently to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add water 1/4 cup of a time to help the dip smooth out and come together. I usually add about 1/3-1/2 cup of water.

This dip is great when served at room temperature or it can be eaten right out of the refrigerator. Eat it with the usual: chips, vegetables, a spoon…Any way you enjoy it, just be sure to let me know what you think. Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Almonds- protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron

Limes- phytochemicals, antioxidants

Olive oil- monounsaturated oils

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Jalapeno Lime Almond Dip

Grab some chips and make this 5 ingredient jalapeño lime almond dip. It's slightly spicy, deliciously creamy, and insanely addicting. Perfect for the big game this weekend!
Prep Time15 mins
Soak Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, sugar-free, Vegan
Keyword: 10-minutes, 5-ingredient, easy, holiday entertaining, holiday recipes, quick, simple, spicy
Servings: 10 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • cups almonds, soaked 8 hours or overnight
  • ¼-½ cup water
  • 1 large jalepeno, sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch sea salt

Instructions

  • Add drained and rinsed almonds, ¼ cup water, sliced jalepeno, desired amount of jalepeno seeds and spines, lime juice, olive oil and sea salt to food processor.
  • Process until smooth and creamy adding more water ¼ cup at a time until desired consistancy is reached.
  • Taste and adjust as needed adding more jalepeno seeds and spines for spice, lime for acidity, olive oil for richness and sea salt for saltiness.
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Sage and Apricot Vegan Cheese Log

A simple, delicious sage and apricot vegan cheese log that requires only 8 ingredients. Similar in texture to goat cheese, this cashew-based cheese is soft, creamy and slightly salty just like the “real” thing.

Sage and apricot vegan cheese spread on a cracker with the whole cheese log on a wooden cutting board in the background.

Although this cashew-based vegan cheese takes a while to make, the steps are simple and the work is well-worth the effort. So let’s get started!

Why you’ll love it

Here is why you should put in the effort to make this insanely delicious sage and apricot vegan goat cheese log.

  • Simple- The steps to making this cheese, although a little time-consuming, are incredibly simple. If you can boil water and throw ingredients in a blender, you can make this vegan cheese.
  • Creamy- Take the time to blend the ingredients thoroughly and you’ll get a creamy and smooth cheese perfect for spreading over crackers, dipping vegetables, or eating right off a spoon.
  • Sweet- Leave it to the dried apricots to add a subtle hint of sweetness to this cheese log that just can’t be beat. No need for added sugars or sweeteners!
  • Wholesome- Unlike many vegan cheeses on the market, you know that when you make yours at home what’s going into it. No artificial binders, gums, preservatives, or sweeteners are found here.

Making the Cheese Base

Let’s begin the process by softening the cashews. Start by boiling a small pot of water. Once boiling, add the cashews, cover the pot, and remove from the heat. Allow the cashews to soak for at least 1 hour, until they are soft.

Once the cashews have finished soaking, simply drain, rinse, and re-drain them. Add the cashews, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, water, tahini, sea salt, and dried sage to a high powered blender. Blend the cashew cheese until it’s smooth stopping regularly to scrap down the sides.

Sage and apricot vegan cheese log on a wooden cutting board.

Prepping the Cheese Log

Place the cashew cheese mixture into the center of 4 to 5 layers of cheesecloth. Gently fold the cheesecloth around the mixture and form it into a log. Twist up the edges and tuck them under the cheese log. Place the cheese log in a colander and let it rest for 12-18 hours at room temperature.

Once the cheese log has rested, chop up 8-10 dried apricots into small chunks. Place the apricot pieces on parchment paper and spread out into a single layer. Gently transfer the cheese log from the cheesecloth to the parchment paper. Lightly press the chopped apricots into the cheese log and roll firmly. Twist the ends and tuck them under. Place the cheese log in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight).

Serve your sage and apricot vegan cheese log with crackers, vegetables, or eat it right off the platter with a knife. Try crumbling it into pasta or tossing it into a salad. Let me know how you’re going to serve it and, as always, enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Dried apricots- vitamin A, beta-carotine

Lemon- vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, calcium, potassium, limonene (anticancer properties), flavonoids

Sesame (tahini)- lignans (fight hormonally driven cancers, breast and prostate), phytosterols

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Sage and Apricot Vegan Cheese Log

A simple, delicious sage and apricot vegan cheese log that requires only 7 ingredients. Similar in texture to goat cheese, this cashew-based cheese is soft, creamy and slightly salty just like the "real" thing.
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time1 hr
Resting Time12 hrs
Total Time16 hrs
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: apricots, cashew cheese, dried apricots, entertaining, goat cheese, vegan cheese, vegan goat cheese
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 1 hour
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp dried sage
  • ¼ cup dreid apricots, chopped

Instructions

  • If you haven't already, get a medium pot of water boiling. Add the cashews and remove from the heat. Allow to soften in the hot water for 1 hour. Drain, rinse, and drain again.
  • Place the soaked cashews, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, water, tahini, and sea salt in a high speed blender. Blend the contents until completely smooth scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Line a strainer with 3 layers of cheesecloth and pour blender contents into the cheesecloth. Gently mold the goat cheese into a log twisting the ends shut and holding them in place with twisty ties. With the cheese log resting in the strainer, allow it to sit out at room temperature for 12 hours.
  • Once the resting time has finished, remove the cheese log from the strainer and place it, still wrapped, on a plate. Chill the log for at least 3 hours.
  • In a shallow dish, place chopped apricots. Roll the goat cheese log in the chopped apricots, gently pressing them into the log if necessary.
  • Store in the refrigerator or serve immediately with crackers.
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Balsamic Vegetables with Artichoke Hummus

These balsamic vegetables with artichoke hummus are a perfect combination of flavors and textures. Served atop sweet potato toasts, the roasted vegetables are topped with artichoke hummus and almond ricotta cheese. Each require fewer than 10 wholesome and easily accessible ingredients.

Roasted balsamic vegetables on sweet potato toast topped with artichoke hummus and almond ricotta cheese with a red onion in the background.

This has been one of my most-liked recipes on Instagram so I figured I would officially give this meal a home here on my blog. It’s such a fun, unique dish and can easily be transformed into other wonderful dishes as well. Use the hummus as a dip served with raw vegetables, chips, crackers and the like. The marinated and roasted vegetables make an excellent topping on a pizza. Add it to your favorite pasta or even use it as a side with your favorite vegan protein.

Artichoke Hummus

northern beans

This hummus is so creamy and flavorful. It has become one of my all-time favorites. The secret to its creaminess is the use of northern beans instead of garbanzo beans. They are just as mild in flavor as garbanzo beans, so they won’t overpower the artichokes. But they are much softer so they blend up really well in this hummus.

artichoke hearts

Marinated artichokes are used in this recipe because they have much more flavor than canned or fresh artichokes. We also use some of the olive oil from the marinated artichokes to help thin the hummus during the final stages of blending.

Artichoke hummus with roasted balsamic vegetables on sweet potato toast in the background.

Artichoke Hummus

Creamy thanks to northern beans and flavorful from marinated artichoke hearts. Whip this hummus up in less than 10 minutes using fewer than 10 ingredients.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Vegan
Keyword: artichoke, easy, hummus, marinated artichokes, northern beans, quick, simple, snack, tahini, vegan
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Erin

Equipment

  • Food Processor

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz, can northern beans, drained, rinsed
  • 8-10 marinated artichoke quarters plus more for pulsing in later
  • cup tahini
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4-5 leaves fresh basil
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 1-2 tbsp marinated artichoke oil

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a food processor blend drained and rinsed northern beans, 8-10 marinated artichoke quarters, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, basil, cumin, and paprika. Process until smooth.
  • With the blade running (but the lid securely on), drizzle in the olive oil 1 tbsp at a time. Continue adding olive oil until thick and creamy, but not runny and oily.
  • Add 2-4 marinated artichoke quarters and pulse until just chopped. Serve drizzled with more olive oil and paprika.

Roasted Vegetables

portobellos

To start, begin by marinating some washed, thickly sliced portobello mushrooms. Grab a large, shallow dish and pour in enough balsamic vinegar to thinly coat the bottom, about 1/4 of a cup. Additionally, season with truffle salt and black pepper to taste. Gently toss the mushrooms in the balsamic vinegar then allow them to marinate for 1o minutes. After the mushrooms have marinated, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and evenly place in the marinated mushrooms as well as any leftover balsamic vinegar. If needed, add more balsamic vinegar to keep the mushrooms from sticking. Allow mushrooms to cook for 2-3 minutes per side. There’s no need to stir them and when you do flip them do it gently so that they don’t break apart. Once cooked, place on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet.

Red Bell peppers and onions

To complete the roasted vegetables, add diced or julienned red bell peppers and thinly sliced red onions to the prepared baking sheet along with the portobello mushrooms. You may add additional balsamic vinegar, truffle salt, and/or black pepper to taste if desired. Bake the vegetables at 400*F for 30-4o minutes stirring once half way. The vegetables are done when they are crispy and the mushrooms are tender.

Sweet Potato Toasts

To complete this dish you’ll need to prepare the sweet potato toasts. Begin by thoroughly scrubbing the sweet potatoes. I prefer to leave the skin on for added nutrients and fiber but feel free to remove it per your preference. Then slice the sweet potatoes length-wise, into 1/4 inch thick “toasts”. You can either coat them with avocado oil, salt, and pepper or leave them plain. Roast the sweet potatoes at 400*F for 10 minutes on each side. Remove them when they’re soft but not burned.

Assembly

To assemble the dish, begin by placing your roasted vegetables on top of your sweet potato toasts and top with a generous helping of artichoke hummus and a crumble of almond ricotta. This brand is my new favorite. In my opinion, the more hummus and ricotta, the better.

I certainly hope that you enjoy this meal as much as I do. It’s quickly become one of my favorite lunch options. Please share with me in the comments just how much you like this meal as well as the hummus.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Artichokes- vitamin C, folate, fiber, magnesium, potassium, 7th highest food antioxidant-containing food (2004 USDA study)

Cumin- iron, essential oils

Bell peppers- vitamin C, beta carotene, B vitamins

Northern beans- rich in protein and fiber, potassium, folate, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, thaimine

Sweet potatoes- vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, potassium, fiber

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Roasted Vegetables

These balsamic vegetables with artichoke hummus are a perfect combination of flavors and textures. Served atop sweet potato toasts, the roasted vegetables are topped with artichoke hummus and almond ricotta cheese. Each requires fewer than 10 wholesome and easily accessible ingredients.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: almond ricotta, artichoke hummus, bell peppers, easy, hummus, mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, potatoes, red onions, ricotta cheese, roasted vegetables, simple, sweet potatoe toast, sweet potatoes, truffle salt, vegan, vegan ricotta, vegetables
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, washed, thickly sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • truffle salt, to taste sub regular salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, washed, sliced long-way
  • 2 red bell peppers, julienned
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a shallow baking dish or container, place balsamic vinegar, truffle salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine and place in sliced mushrooms. Toss gently to coat and allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Place red bell peppers and red onions on lined baking sheet. Toss with 1-2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and truffle salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Heat a large skillet over high heat. Place marinated mushrooms and liquid into pan and saute over medium-high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until mushrooms are browned.
  • Add sauteed mushrooms to peppers and onions. Bake for 15 minutes, gently toss, cook for addional 15 minutes until vegetables are roasted.
  • Keep oven at 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place sweet potato toasts on prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes per side.
  • To assemble, place sweet potato toast on a plate and top with roasted vegetables, artichoke hummus, and vegan cheese of choice*.

Notes

*This is my new favorite vegan almond ricotta cheese.  It crumbles perfectly just like a soft goat cheese.  
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Vegan Charcuterie Board

How To

With the holidays just around the corner, let’s put together a vegan charcuterie board! They are extremely versatile, customizable, and easy to prepare. I’ll show you how you can create the perfect charcuterie board for your next gathering.

Charcuterie board with fresh vegetables, fresh & dried fruits, chips, hummus, and vegan cheese.

So what the heck is a charcuterie board anyway? Well, it’s a large platter filled with finger foods of varying flavors, textures, and colors. It’s a feast for the eyes as well as the senses. Charcuterie boards make a fantastic appetizer for parties, holidays, and other large social gatherings. They are also a fantastic way to serve many different foods as an appetizer or light meal. Everyone is able to select what they would like and create their own spread. In this post, I’ll give you tips about how to put together the perfect charcuterie board.

What to include on your Charcuterie Board

The trick to having the perfect charcuterie board is creating layers. You want to have layers of flavors as well as textures. Think sweet, spicy, salty, savory. As well as creamy, crunchy, and smooth. Fruits, vegetables, spreads, dips, crackers, breads, nuts, meats, cheezes…all of these can fit into any number of those categories. So let’s brainstorm a bit to give you some ideas that might be a little out of the box.

Fruits

Select fruits that are in season. In the spring and summer think berries, peaches, nectarines, grapes. In the fall and winter months focus on figs, apples, persimmons, grapes, pomegranate arils. And don’t be afraid to add dried fruits. Sprinkle raisins over your board for a finishing touch. Or place dried apple rounds out since freshly sliced apples will brown too quickly.

Vegetables

Raw vegetables are definitely a must when making a charcuterie board. Think sweet bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, or cucumbers. If making a charcuterie board in the summer add grilled zucchini or summer squash. Even pickled or jarred vegetables will work. Think olives, asparagus, or artichokes.

Dips & Spreads

It’s easy to select fruits and vegetables when making a vegan charcuterie board. Obviously, those are vegan. But finding dips and spreads that are vegan can be a bit more challenging. If you don’t have access to a grocery store with a wide variety of vegan dips or spreads this may end up being the portion of the charcuterie board that you have to spend a little bit of time preparing. But don’t let that frighten you off. Most dips are very quick and easy to prepare. Allow me to give you some examples of both store-bought as well as homemade vegan dips and spreads.

Crackers

Choose crackers that have some personality. You should have some mild ones that will pair well with anything and some others that are for specific dips and cheeses. Think outside the box. I love the beet crackers and sweet potato crackers from Trader Joes. Off the Eaten Path has a fantastically salty and crunchy Veggie Crisp. There are also dried carrot, beet, and kale chips. All of which will add depth and interest to your charcuterie board.

Bread

Use your favorite artisan breads to enhance the texture of your board. Add breads with rosemary, hunks of garlic, or cranberries and walnuts to create even more flavor on your board. And don’t think you have to slice your bread either! Feel free to rip the loaves into large chunks to add texture and visual interest to your board.

Nuts

Including nuts in your charcuterie board will add visual interest and texture as well as flavor. Use raw, roasted, spiced, or candied nuts to further elevate the flavor profile of you board. Don’t underestimate the power that flavored and roasted seeds can have as well. I have three wonderful recipes for roasted squash seeds that would work perfectly in an autumnal charcuterie board.

Vegan Meats

A traditional charcuterie board will contain deli meats. Now, it is up to you to decide if you would like to include vegan meats in your own charcuterie board. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of vegan deli meat alternatives. I find them to be rubbery, extremely salty, and rather unappealing to look at. That however is just my opinion so please feel free to add whatever, if any, deli alternatives you find appetizing.

Vegan Cheezes

There are so many vegan cheeses available now! Check out your local grocery store or whip up your own nut-based cheeses at home. I love this feta recipe from Erin Ireland. It’s so simple and adds the saltiness to your board that definitely cannot be overlooked.

Extras

Now that you’ve determined what kinds of fruits, vegetables, dips, spreads, crackers, bread, nuts, “meats”, and cheezes you would like to include on your charcuterie board let’s take just a second to discuss the layout of the actual board. Some tips for creating a beautiful and inviting board are as follows:

  • Pick a board large enough to fit everything you want to include. But not a board that is so large that you will have lots of unfilled space. Empty space on the board will give it an unfinished, uninviting feel. You can, to some extent, fill empty space with herbs but you want to use fresh herbs sparingly as a garnish, not as a star feature.
  • Make sure that you provide utensils for spreading, cutting, spearing, and slicing the spreads, fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses. These can be fancy to add interest to the board. They can be your everyday serving utensils. Or you can use something as simple as toothpicks! There’s not need to go out and buy anything special.
Charcuterie board with fresh vegetables, fresh & dried fruits, walnuts, vegan deli meat, crackers, chips, hummus, and vegan cheese.

Charcuterie Board Steps

Once you have all the pieces of your charcuterie board puzzle figured out, it’s time to put them all together to create that visually appealing appetizer no one will be able to keep their hands off. Let’s go through the steps of laying out all your charcuterie board items.

  • Step 1: Gather your board, bowls, and food items. Place any dips or spreads into your selected bowls and place them on the board in the rough location that you would like them to be.
  • Step 2: Begin by placing your largest food items on the board first. Think large crackers, blocks of vegan cheese, fruits (such as this pomegranate half), and vegetables (the florets of broccoli). Ensure that the food is overlapping to prevent the board from showing through.
  • Step 3: Place medium food items around the larger ones. Think slices of vegan deli “meat”, smaller crackers, chips, and/or dried fruit.
  • Step 4: Place your smallest food items on the board last. If necessary, corral them onto the board by surrounding them with larger, sturdier foods and bowls to prevent them from rolling off the board. Think loose grapes, blueberries, or nuts.
  • Step 5: The final step is adding fresh herbs to your board. Top dips with parsley, dill or cilantro as appropriate. Stick sprigs of rosemary or sage out from under bowls. Don’t be afraid to re-arrange as you go. If something doesn’t look or feel right rearrange it or remove it from the board. Everything you intended on using might not fit and that’s ok. You can always have two charcuterie boards!

Bonus Tip

Make a dessert charcuterie board! Include your favorite cookies, cakes, chocolate hummus, fruits for dipping in chocolate, sugared nuts…let me know in the comments section what you include in your dessert charcuterie board.

I hope that you all have found this charcuterie board how-to informative and helpful. Know that any board you put together will be a hit with your party guest. I mean, who doesn’t love a bunch of fresh food sprawled out on a wooden board? Be sure to let me know in the comments if you make a charcuterie board.

Enjoy friends!

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Vegan Naan

If you’ve been searching for the perfect vegan naan, look no further than this recipe! All you need are 10 ingredients and a warm bowl of curry to complete your next vegan Indian-inspired dinner night.

Vegan naan wrapped in a blue towel on a rusted cookie sheet surrounded by basil and cherry tomatoes.

I’m going to be 100% honest with you right now: I’m afraid of yeast. Irrational fear? Perhaps. But it’s taken me YEARS to work up the courage to prepare breads that require yeast. I had a bad experience with cinnamon raisin dough and a bread maker back in my teens and I think I’m still trying to recover. Anyway, I digress…I still have difficulties with yeast dough at times. Thankfully, as with many other skills, practice makes perfect. And boy have I been practicing this fall!

The perfect vegan naan recipe has eluded me for almost a year. I struggled to find a recipe that didn’t require crazy flours which would leave the dough to stick to the pan and not rise properly. But I finally found the PERFECT naan recipe that I have veganized from the amazing Half Baked Harvest version. Let me take just a second to explain some important steps in this naan-making process.

Water & Yeast

Two things about working with yeast…First make sure that it hasn’t passed it’s expiration date. Expired yeast will prevent your bread from rising. Secondly, as with any recipe that requires yeast, you’re going to have to “activate” or “bloom” it with water and sugar. It’s very important to remember that your water should be about 110*F. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast and your bread will fail to rise.

Pan & Oil

Once your dough has risen and is pillowy soft and ready for cooking you need to make sure that you use the proper pan to fry it. You will definitely need a heavy cast iron skillet as well as a large lid. Once your pan is screaming hot add about a tsp of avocado oil to the pan. You might be tempted to use olive oil. DON’T! Avocado oil has a smoke point of 520*F, which is 50-150*F hotter than olive oil. What does that mean? It means that avocado oil will not begin to burn until it reaches a temperature of 520*F. In turn, you can heat this oil much, much hotter without setting off your smoke detectors. Trust me, use the avocado oil.

So now that I’ve concurred naan, I’ll have to try my hands at Challah bread (but that’s going to have to wait for now…).

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Almonds: protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron

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Vegan Naan

All you need are 10 ingredients and a warm bowl of curry to complete your next vegan Indian-inspired dinner night.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Rise Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Bread, Indian, Vegan
Keyword: Indian, naan, vegan
Servings: 8 naan
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¾ tsp active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup plant-based milk
  • 1 cup almond yogurt I prefer Kite Hill's plain, unsweetened almondmilk yogurt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4-8 tbsp melted butter depending on how buttery you want the naan

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm (but not hot) water, yeast, and maple syrup. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, until bubbly.
  • Add plant-based milk, almond yogurt, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a dough hook, mix until the flour is evenly incorporated. The dough will be sticky.
  • Lightly flour you workspace and gently knead the dough into a large ball. Return to bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel. Place the bowl in a warm place to rise for 1 hour* until the dough has doubled in size.
  • When ready to cook, cut dough evenly into 8 and form each into a small ball. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball into an oval/rectangle shape that's about ¼ inch thick.
  • Brush each side of the naan dough with melted vegan butter. Lightly brush a VERY HOT cast iron skillet with avocado oil** and place in one piece of naan dough cooking over medium-high heat. Immediately cover with a large lid cooking for 1-2 minutes as bubbles form. Flip and cook uncovered for 1-2 minutes more.
  • Keep cooked naan warm by placing in a clean kitchen towel while you work with the remaining dough.
  • Serve with more melted butter and a sprinkle of fresh herbs and a bowl of curry.

Notes

*I have found that the perfect place to let any yeast-y dough rise is in my oven with the oven light on.  
**Avocado oil has a higher smoke-point that most oils, meaning it will withstand the heat of the pan better than an olive oil will.  Plus it has a neutral flavor which won’t deter from the naan.

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest’s Herbed Garlic Butter Naan.

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5-Ingredient Bruschetta

A quick, easy, and crowd-pleasing appetizer this 5-ingredient bruschetta is sure to please the masses. Perfect to use up those end-of-summer tomatoes and fresh basil.

Toasted sourdough topped with bruschetta on a dark cookie sheet with a bowl of bruschetta in the background.

Labor Day weekend is upon us and that means it’s the unofficial end of summer. So if you’re throwing an end-of-summer bash this weekend then do yourself a favor and prepare this amazingly simple appetizer, snack, lunch-whatever you wanna call it. You’ll be in the kitchen for less than 10 minutes and back out enjoying the last bits of summer with family and friends. Most importantly, there’s no cooking required which means you won’t have to worry about unnecessarily heating up your house to enjoy this 5-ingredient bruschetta.

Ingredients

And all you need to make this bruschetta are 5 simple ingredients:

  • Roma tomatoes
  • White balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Fresh Basil
Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, a head of garlic, and a loaf of sourdough bread on a white marble countertop.

A tip for preparing this dish: make sure that you tear (not cut) the basil. Cutting basil bruises the leaves and turns it a deep green. Tearing the basil will ensure that its vibrant green remains intact. This dish is so simple and really only has two ingredients that are visible so you want to ensure that it’s as beautiful as possible. Therefore, you should tear the basil. Promise?

One of the best things about this bruschetta is its versatility. It can be served on toast (may I recommend sourdough?), crackers and even tortilla chips. The fresh tomatoes and basil would also work well as a salsa served on tacos, nachos or burrito bowl.

Toasted sourdough bread on a black cookie sheet next to a bowl of bruschetta and a sourdough loaf in the background.

So what do you guys think? Are you ready to kiss summer goodbye with this 5-ingredient bruschetta? Or are you counting down the days until pumpkin makes its way into everything? Let me know which season you prefer in the comments. And be sure to let me know if you make this bruschetta! I guarantee it will become an easy appetizer staple in your home.

Toasted sourdough topped with bruschetta on a black cookie sheet next to a bowl of bruschetta.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Basil: Phytochemicals; volatile oils (antibacterial properties)

Garlic: Phytochemicals

Olive oil: Monounsaturated fats

Tomatoes: Vitamin C; potassium; polyphenols

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5-Ingredient Bruschetta

A quick, easy, and crowd-pleasing appetizer this 5-ingredient bruschetta is sure to please the masses. Perfect to use up those end-of-summer tomatoes and fresh basil.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: 5-ingredient, appetizer, basil, easy, fresh, quick, tomatoes
Servings: 6 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 4 roma tomatoes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • fresh basil, torn to taste

Instructions

  • Dice tomatoes into bit-sized pieces.
  • To a medium-sized bowl add diced tomatoes, white wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and torn fresh basil.
  • Serve with toasted bread (I prefer sourdough), crackers, tortilla chips or as a topping to tacos.
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