Tag Archives: dinner

Soy Curl “Chicken” Salad

We’ll chalk this one up to my husband being a wiz in the kitchen. When there’s ‘nothing’ to eat, he somehow comes up with something pretty magical. This soy curl ‘chicken’ salad is right up there!


  • Prepared soy curls
    • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • pinch of salt
    • pinch of celery salt
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tbsp mayo (or veganaise)
  • 2 tbsp bbq sauce
  • 2 garlic rolls (or any buns)


  1. Cook soy curls in pan until lightly browned … Toss with seasoning.
  2. Add mayo, bbq sauce, almonds & celery to a medium mixing bowl and toss together.
  3. Fold in soy curls.
  4. Toast buns.
  5. Assemble sandwiches … serve with a pickle if you’re feeling saucy! :)
  6. Enjoy!


What Are Soy Curls?

Entering the world of vegetarianism/veganism can be a little daunting (there are so many foods that appear to be vegetarian/vegan, but aren’t, and it takes a lot of time to figure it all out). With that said, us veggies have it pretty easy these days. Even neighborhood groceries have started stocking their shelves with plenty of veggie friendly goodness.

Our favorite find since moving to Portland has been Soy Curls. People are constantly asking us about them, so we thought it’d be worth sharing.

Unlike most meat alternatives, Soy Curls aren’t made from the derived protein, they’re made from the whole soy bean. They’re a whole food … made from cooking & texturing the beans before drying. They are organic & preservative free. Win. Win. Win. Win.

When you buy them (we get them in the bulk bin section of our local food co-op), they’re dried up. They sort of look like chicken jerky. Then, you soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes until they’re rehydrated. Then, you can marinate/season/cook just like you’d prepare chicken or any other meat.

Here they are after being rehydrated. Looks like chicken.

We typically pan fry them with BBQ sauce, taco seasoning or just s&p. Today, we cooked them up with some onions. They turn out crispy & soooo good. It seriously tastes and feels JUST like chicken. I’m not lying, and yes, even though it’s been 4 years since I’ve eaten real meat, I still remember!

And for you assholes who ask, “Why would you be a vegetarian if you’re going to eat things that seem like meat?” … I didn’t stop eating meat because it tasted bad. So ssssuuucccckkkk it! I miss some of the tasty meals I grew up on, so this is a way to add a little more variety to our diets … all while not killing animals! :)

Thanks to Amy for introducing us … to Native Bowl (a food cart in Portland) for cooking up the first ones we ate … and to Butler Foods for making such a great product!

I should mention that they’re a bit hard to find, but the Butler Foods site has a Soy Curls locater … and I believe they ship them as well!

Buffalo ‘Chicken’ Pasta Bake

I love sharing vegan recipes here … and we really strive to eat vegan whenever we can. However,  some most days, we want a little more cheese in our lives. Last week, we made all of our meals at home. It was really nice to have that time in the kitchen, and know that we were treating our bodies a little better. We needed a little comfort food, so we decided to make this buffalo ‘chicken’ pasta bake for lunch. We say ‘chicken’ because what we treated as chicken is really something else amazing: soy curls (more on that in a post a little later this week).

You guys … this dish blew our minds. We ate it ALL in one sitting <- let’s act like I didn’t just share that detail. It was SO FREAKING GOOD!


  • 1 box of rigatoni pasta
  • 1 cups soy curls (soaked/drained)
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk (yes, I realize I use real cheese/butter, but also use copious amounts of almond milk when cooking)
  • 1/2 block of monterey jack cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 block of cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cups Franks hot sauce (plus a little more for the top)
  • 3 tbsp Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup green onions (diced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp ranch dressing


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  2. Soak soy curls in bowl for 10 minutes, then drain. Add to hot pan with olive oil & a few dashes of hot sauce. Continue cooking on medium heat until soy curls have developed a little color.
  3. Cook pasta in water until just al dente. Drain & set aside.
  4. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large sauce pan, then add flous and cook until flour is golden. Whisk in almond milk until smooth. Stir occasionally until mixture thickens, then add the most of the shredded cheese & hot sause. Stir together.
  5. Add soy curls to sauce.
  6. Add 1/2 of the pasta to an oven safe baking dish. Pour half of the sauce/coy curl mixture on top. Then repeat. Make sure pasta is coated with sauce.
  7. Top with remaining cheese & bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese on top is golden and bubbly.
  8. Remove from the oven and top with green onions, cilantro, hot sauce & ranch.
  9. Enjoy!

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Black Bean Burger w/ Salsa Blanca & Rice

Everyone stop what you’re doing … Grab a pencil, write this recipe down, then go to the store. This is probably the best thing I’ve ever made. Seriously … even better than the beef wellington I made before I went veg. We love Mexican food in this house … it’s so easy to modify recipes to make them vegetarian. It’s often very fresh, too. I first saw this recipe over on Hello Giggles. I modified it JUST a little bit to use a few ingredients we had at home.


  • 1 can black beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (I just typed evoo, then refused to be ‘that girl’)
  • 1 tomato (sliced)
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tbsp mayo (or veganaise)
  • 2 tbsp plain, greek yogurt
  • 1 chipotle pepper (in adobo)
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (we love Tobasco)
  • 2 limes
  • 1 cup prepared rice
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • salt & pepper

How to make (makes 2 servings):

  • Preheat oven to 350 (or, in my case, warm a saute pan. Our oven wasn’t working for some odd reason, so I had to cook them in a  pan)
  • Cook rice according to directions on package.
  • Put black beans in a bowl. Use a fork to mash beans … You don’t when them completely mashed, so maybe 3/4 mashed. Then, add breadcrumbs and 1/2 of the oil. Stir together, add more oil & bread crumbs if needed. Consistency should be thick enough to make patties.
  • Split mixture in two. Make two even patties. Put in oven for 20 minutes (or saute in pan for 7 minutes on each side, medium heat).
  • Once rice is done, stir in a little olive oil, juice from a lime, cilantro, and s&p. Stir together, remove from heat.
  • In small bowl, mix together avocado, juice from 1/2 of lime, and s&p.
  • In another small bow, mix together mayo, yogurt, juice from 1/2 a lime, chipotle pepper, and hot sauce (if you’re not into really spicy food, you should omit the hot sauce … you can always add more later if needed).
  • Once everything is done, you’re ready to assemble: black bean patty on the bottom, then place sliced tomato, 1/2 of the avocado mixture and 1/2 of the salsa blanca on top. Serve with cilantro lime rice.

BBQ Soyrizo Wraps

Talk about things I didn’t think would go well together: beans, bbq sauce, pickles, mayo, cabbage … I was wrong. This meal was super delicious! Though, I probably would have enjoyed it more if I let it cool down before devouring. 


  • 1 link soyrizo (or regular meat chorizo)
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 cup broccoli floretts
  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 1/4 cup (or less) of light mayo (or veganaise)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • s&p
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 large dill pickle

How to Make:

  • Shred cabbage. Combine with vinegar, mayo, s&p, and adobo sauce. Mix well, then refrigerate.
  • In large saute pan, cook onions until tender, then add broccoli. Once veggies are tender & slightly brown, add pinto beans. Cook until warmed through.
  • Add soyrizo, BBQ sauce and chili powder to pan. Toss. Warm through.
  • Assemble wraps with lots of BBQ filling, chipotle slaw and top with diced dill pickles.
Adapted from this recipe over at Hello Giggles

Brocolli Slaw Wraps

Oh goodness … This recipe is so great. My friend Erin invited us over for dinner a few weeks ago and graciously made a veggie friendly meal. These wraps (or something like them) were front & center. I made some today for lunch in about 3 minutes … They are super fast and so delicious.



  • 1 avocado
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • Handful of mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup of broccoli slaw (the stems from broccoli + radish + carrots)
  • 2 slices of provolone cheese
  • 2 tbsp. spicy peanut dressing (from Trader Joes)
  • 2 whole grain tortillas


Constructing these wraps is pretty self-explanitory. The dressing is so yummy, but try to go light.


Two observations from this lunch:


  • Two wraps were WAY too much to eat. Funny how eating healthier/lighter has really scaled back how much I can eat. I felt bad for throwing food out, but in the past, I’d have no problem eating both. Today would have been best with 1 wrap and some fresh fruit.
  • I could have done without the cheese. The avocado adds that creaminess, so the cheese was really unnecessary. It even made it a little too heavy.


Mexican Quinoa

I realized after I titled this post (and recipe) that I probably could have come up with a better name. It should probably be called, ‘Quick Quinoa w/ Peppers & Onions’ … Something like that. I don’t want people thinking that this is what I consider Mexican food. Oh well … moving on!

When I’m working at home, I have to remind myself most days to eat lunch. The last thing I want to do is give in to the fast food devil on my shoulder. The only way to can accomplish this is by having a few, simple go-to recipes. You can prepare this whole meal in less than 15 minutes (and only use 2 pans). It’s light, fresh, full of whole ingredients, and could easily be vegan (just take out the cheese).


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Shredded cheese (optional)
  • 1 avocado
  • 10 cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • Hot sauce to taste

How to Make:

  • Cook quinoa according to directions on package (typically a 1:2 quinoa/water ratio)
  • In pan, saute peppers & onions until soft and slightly brown
  • Add beans, cumin, salt & pepper. Stir, cook until beans are heated through.
  • Put quinoa in bowl, top with bean mixture, top with cheese.
  • Top with avocado, tomato and hot sauce.

Cheese & Spinach Lasagna Rolls

So many of our friends have expressed interest in implementing more vegetarian meals into their lives. Sure, they aren’t intending on become 100% vegetarian, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

Jimmy and I have a rule when it comes to our food: Keep it as fresh/whole as possible & don’t make it too weird. While we’re all for trying new food, we’re also pretty busy, which means we like our dinner to be quick.

Earlier this week, we had one of Jimmy’s family friends over for dinner. Not knowing if she could handle some of our ‘weird’ veggie food, I opted for one of my go-to dinners: Cheese & Spinach Lasagna Rolls. This meal is super great and EASY!Best when served with a fresh spinach salad & crusty bread.


  • 15 lasagna noodles
  • 1 jar of tomato sauce
  • 14 ounces of ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
How to Make:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Boil water & cook lasagna noodles according to the directions on the package.
  • In medium bowl, mix together, ricotta, egg, chopped spinach, herbs, s&p, parmesan cheese, and 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese.
  • Drain pasta & rinse.
  • Put a layer of sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
  • Use a spoon to place a dollop of mixture on each pasta noodle, then roll. Top with remaining sauce & cheese.
  • Cover with foil, bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, then cook for 5-10 more minutes or until cheese is golden brown.