Healthy Chinese "Chicken" Salad

Healthy Chinese Chicken Salad | Recipe Makeover | Vegan

Oh boy, I think I just created a new weekly staple. This Healthy Chinese "Chicken" Salad will not only leave you satisfied but it will have your taste buds jumping for joy! There are so many different flavors and textures; it's like a party in your mouth. Ok, yeah, that sounds a little weird, but I'm totally serious. There is a little peppery flavor, some hot spice, a little sweet, tons of different herbs, toasted oils and nuts and a touch of salt all combined with the fresh crunchy flavorful cabbage, carrots and greens. 

Chinese Chicken Salad | Vegan Recipe Makeover
Chinese "Chicken" Salad | Vegan Recipe Makeover | Detox Friendly!  #puremamas #purekitchen

This recipe not only tastes delicious but is easy to make - takes only 15-20 minutes max - and requires not cooking. I love Tofurkey's vegan oven roasted "chicken" that my local health food stores sells. The texture is like chicken but the flavor is better (of course), the ingredients are pretty clean and there's tons of protein. This healthy vegan Chinese "Chicken" Salad is filling and would be a great pot luck dish. 

Fresh & Tangy, this Chinese Chicken Salad will knock your socks off and have you coming back for seconds! It's a perfect New Year's Resolution Detox meal! enjoy this delicious Recipe.
Recipe Makeover: Chinese "Chicken" Salad Recipe now vegan! Enjoy! #puremamas #purekitchen

I have so many friends on a detox right now after the indulgent holiday! If that's the case for you as well, you need to make my healthy Chinese "Chicken" Salad recipe! It is guilt-free, high in fiber, high in protein and healthy fats but also abundant in antioxidant rich veggies. The dressing combines fresh ginger, lemon and garlic (great for cold prevention) with almond butter and toasted sesame oil. What are you waiting for - grab these ingredients while you're at the store and make this salad - you'll be so happy you listened to me! (wink)

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Healthy Chinese "Chicken" Salad
The Chinese Chicken Salad has a fresh new look and feel: no real chicken meat in this recipe; just tons of veggies and mock chicken protein. You'll love the tangy yet toasted flavor with the crunchy raw vegetables.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup, finely sliced or grated purple cabbage
  • 1 cup, finely sliced or grated green cabbage
  • 3, julienned carrots
  • 2 cups other greens of choice (i.e. romaine or arugula)
  • 2 thinly sliced and chopped radishes
  • 1/4 cup, chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup, chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup, shredded or chopped (I use Tofurkey Brand) "chicken"
  • 2, finely chopped green onion (scallions)
  • 3 Tbsp toasted almonds or peanuts
Instructions
Prep veggies by chopping, slicing and shredding. Add to a large salad bowl. Toss well. Add chicken and nuts, then toss again. Dress the salad when ready to serve. Toss well. Serve immediately.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3 dinner salads
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Chinese "Chicken" Salad Dressing
This dressing is so tangy, not too sweet, and a touch spicy! Makes a perfect dressing for any Asian style salad.
Ingredients
  • 3 cloves, minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp, grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 3 Tbsp tamari
  • 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp (or to taste) honey or agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes or tabasco
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice
Instructions
Place everything in a high speed blender or large measuring cup. Whisk until completely well combined or blend on medium until well combined. Dress the salad when ready to serve. Toss well. Serve immediately.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: dressing for 1 large salad

Simple Homemade Sour Cream

A perfect vegan sour cream is super creamy, and mild in flavor, not too salty or spicy. Most often at home I just blend up a store bought vegan sour cream (which are never very good if you ask me) with cashews, lemon and some nutritional yeast. That's been my go-to for quick easy vegan sour cream.  

But this time I wanted to create a sour cream at home that doesn't require any store bought brands (which often expensive, contain emulsifiers and other ingredients). 

sour cream | vegan homemade recipe | #purekitchen

This sour cream recipe is really easy to whip up any time you're making tacos, burritos or even lasagna. Yes, I said lasagna; you can use this to make a lasagna or pasta sauce more creamy and almost cheesy in flavor. So keep this recipe someplace handy or better yet make it a few times and just memorize the quantities. 

Once you quit dairy you won't even miss it with substitutes like this. Try my Basic Vegan Parmesan Cheese Recipe and my Homemade Macademia Nut Ricotta recipe as well. 

vegan sour cream | simple recipe | #plantbased #purekitchen

Yields approx 3 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 1⁄2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least an hour

  • 1⁄2 cup firm or soft tofu

  • 1 Tbsp vegan mayo

  • 1⁄3 cup fresh water

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (or less)

    DIRECTIONS

  1. Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight or for 8 hours if you have the time. Or 1-3 hours if you don’t have time.

  2. Drain water from soaked cashew bowl. Place in a high-speed blender with tofu. 

  3. Add the mayo, water, lemon, vinegar, and salt. Blend on high until super smooth. You might have to stop to scrape down the blender now and then or add a touch more water to get it going.

  4. Transfer mixture into a small, air-tight container and chill in the fridge. The cream will thicken up as it chills. The cream will keep in the fridge for about 1 week.

  5. Tips: You can also freeze it for up to 1 month. You can even it in silicone ice trays. Once solid, transfer the cups into a freezer-safe zip bag for easy grab and go portions. 

     

The Perfect Gluten-free Vegan Pie Crust

This vegan gluten-free pie crust is just perfect. It's basic, easy to make, no fuss and very versatile. Just 4 simple ingredients. 

perfect vegan gluten-free pie crust

You can make this vegan gluten-free pie crust in just minutes. No more stressing about homemade pies. I'm sure this day and age the Thanksgiving table consists of family with of all sorts of different food allergies. Am I right? Good news is that this recipe is free of gluten, dairy and eggs.

Stay tuned for a wonderful 2 Fall recipes using this crust: a vegan apple and pumpkin pie recipe coming to the blog soon. 

vegan gluten-free pie crust | #purekitchenblog #puremamas
perfect vegan gluten-free pie crust | #puremamas #purekitchen #piecrust
perfect vegan gluten-free pie crust

The Perfect Gluten-free Vegan Pie Crust Recipe

yields 1 pie crust

INGREDIENTS

perfect vegan gluten-free pie crust

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat an oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine gluten-free flour and sea salt in a food processor. Do a quick pulse to combine. 
  3. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  4. Add the cold milk, one tablespoon at a time, while blending until all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Using parchment paper place dough onto one sheet, flatten with your palms, then place another sheet on top. Roll out to the desired size using a rolling pin. Remove the top sheet and carefully invert into pie pan.
  6. To bake the pie crust alone, bake at 400°F for 15 - 20 minutes. If using a pie filling, bake according to pie recipe instructions.

notes: I liked having some crust dough left over to use on top. You can cut strips or make shapes like I did in the photos above. This recipe is adapted from Bob's Red Mills web site and I used their flour but my own vegan ingredients. 

My Vegan Pantry & Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

It's been quite some time since I put together a pantry basics blog post. Grocery store shelves have changed over the years - for the better - so I thought I would post an updated list of some items that I keep on hand at all times. 

plant-based pantry basics & must-haves

Having these items on hand will bring you a ton of healthy meal combinations. These are just basics to add flavor and boosts to your other fruits and veggies. Obviously you need more than what is here - like tons more produce - for a balanced diet. But I have done pantry basic posts in the past that include things like avocados, lemons, sea salt, frozen bananas, and protein powders. 

As most of you know I follow a plant-based diet. I'm also vegan. I do think of those two things as not completely synonymous. Vegans care about animal rights/cruelty and the planet/environment. Vegans live a lifestyle that supports their cause and the changes they would like to see in the world. But you can have unhealthy vegans just like you can have healthy meat eaters. Veganism for me isn't as much of a diet as say eating plant-based. A plant-based diet to me is super clean, low in bad fats, high in fiber and fresh foods; it focuses more on the plants not as much on the foods that "contain no animal products" (i.e. oreos for example are vegan believe it or not but they aren't part of a whole foods plant based diet) if that makes sense.

Of course cheat foods are fine. I eat vegan donuts from time to time. But animal products like high fat meat and dairy contribute to disease - point blank - they also contribute to the destruction of our environment (enter veganism).

There are so many stories of disease reversal (and people going off their meds completely) by switching to this type of plant-heavy eating. I know countless people that made the switch for heart reasons, cancer purposes and diabetes. So for me, it's an ethical lifestyle and also a heart healthy healing way to eat and live. 

When first making the transition it can be challenging to continually make delicious meals that fill you up and taste amazing. I have tried almost every vegan food and condiment and here is a list of what I currently love to have on hand. Hope this helps. 

1. The Lotus ramen noodles, for example, are so versatile and kids love them as well as adults. You can make ramen soup (great for cold winter days) or you can cook them in a pan for a hearty, garlicy chewy noodle dish. Add veggies to them or even tofu for a complete meal. Eat with a salad for an boost of minerals, antioxidants and fiber. 

2. The red leaf lettuce and kale you see create my favorite salad combo. I like to combine these two greens (one is dense and one is leafy and airy) and eat them at almost every meal. Add it to pasta, on toast, with your ramen noodles, eat it alone as a salad with added garbanzo beans, etc. They are both always in my fridge. 

3. Garbanzo beans are my go-to for added boosts of protein in salads or in pasta or eaten alone. Keep them on hand. I like to buy the cold ones - store them in the fridge - ready to grab and go. No can openers needed. Speaking of garbanzo beans, have you seen all the cereals now made from beans? And of course the pastas too! We love love the Love Grown brand. There are lots of different flavors

4. Almonds are on here because they should always be in the pantry. They last a long time. So stock up and keep them on hand. You can make your own almond milk on demand. My kids ran out of their favorite store-bought almond milk the other day and so I just whipped up some of my homemade stuff so they could eat their favorite cereal. No need to rush to the store when you're out of milk. You can also make almond flour or almond butter at home in a pinch. Trader Joes sells raw nuts for at great price. 

5. Spike seasoning is another favorite. It's so old school but still so current - the herbs combination makes any vegetable taste delicious. You don't even have to add salt because the flavors are so great. 

6. Keep vanilla extra or vanilla bean paste on hand. You don't have to sweeten your almond milk, your chia pudding or even muffins and cookies as much if you add vanilla bean. It's a calorie-free, sugar-free, fat-free flavor enhancer. 

7. I try to cook without oil as much as possible. Ideally I would like a low-fat diet, but when I bake my vegetables or cook my noodles and tofu, I just love a good healthy fat to do that. Miyokos plant-based butter has seriously changed my life. It's basically cultured coconut oil (so it's obviously not low in saturated) and tastes amazing. Trader Joes sells it. 

8. Speaking of fat, Ripple has also changed the half & half game. Their half & half is unbelievably good. I use it in all kids of recipes. Check out my roasted red pepper pasta sauce that I featured on Instagram, it's creamy because of the Miyokos butter and this half & half. You don't get a weird after taste from it nor is it sweet like many plant-based creamers/creams tend to be. Try it in your coffee as well; you'll thank me. Target sells it!!!

9. Gluten-free oats are really crucial to a plant-based diet. They make a perfect breakfast (heat them up with some plant-based milk, add some of that vegan butter, vanilla bean and a touch of sweeter and berries). Or have you ever made overnight oats? Or you can add some dates and coconut to make a raw granola/muesli  - eat it with bananas and almond milk or with the Kite Hill yogurt. My Raw Vegan ebook contains breakfast recipes using gluten-free oats. Kite Hill and Forager make great yogurt alternatives. Try the plain flavors, you'll be shocked at how great they are and you can use them in any recipe that calls for plain yogurt! I'm definitely obsessed because yogurt isn't one of the things I love to make everyday. 

10. Turmeric is a spice that I love to keep around so I can whip up golden lattes. It's also an immunity booster and anti-inflammatory. Use it on vegetables when baking or in slow cooker dishes like curries or Indian style dishes. 

11. Nutritional yeast is something I use almost everyday (maybe 4-5 times a week). It's a great source of b12 (fortified) and adds a cheesy and nutty flavor to my sauces. You can even add toasted cashews and nutritional yeast to a blender and make a parmesan cheese type of seasoning. Have you tried my simple raw vegan tomato sauce? It uses nutritional yeast. So does my Queso Cheese dip. 

12. Has anybody heard of Brami bean snacks? Lupine beans (which is what Brami is) are high in plant-based protein, low in fat and fiber. For every 100 calories you get 13.4 grams of protein. Can you believe it? That's more than lentils and soy beans. At first they seem slimy and maybe unappetizing, but trust me, they are actually extremely addicting. Great emergency snack to keep in the car (you don't have to refrigerate them until you open them). 

13. Chia seeds don't go bad either. Keep them on hand for your overnight oats recipe and or make a good chia pudding (my go-to recipe below). Chia pudding, when made right, is to-die-for! Not only that but it's really satisfying and healthy for you. Chia seed jam is a game changer as well, have you tried that recipe yet?

14. Last but not least I use veganaise, tamari and sriracha type chili seasonings all the time. I pan fry mushrooms, tofu and tempeh in tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) and I make great dipping sauces with it. Vegan mayo isn't just for sandwiches, you can add it to cold potato, garbanzo and tofu salads or make creamy ranch or caesar dressings. Put it in your grilled cheese or savory wraps. Just a squirt or small spoonful of sriracha chili sauce adds a wonderful heat and spice to any sauce. Too much also makes dishes super spicy - which some people love. If you don't love overly spicy food just add a small amount for flavor. 

15. Manna Bread - this is a game changer! You'll love this sprouted low temperature cooked bread. It is so healthy, tastes nothing like processed bread. It almost feels like its healing the body as you eat it. Try it for lunch or breakfast. I have a bunch of recipes in my raw vegan ebook using manna bread. Grains should be apart of everybody's healthy diet if you ask me and this bread offers the perfect most easily digestible form of grains. 

16. Beyond Meat Chicken Strips. I'm sure you've all heard about Beyond Meat. They are making major waves in the food industry. I'm super impressed and always keep a bag of the frozen grilled chicken (vegan of course) strips on hand. They heat up really quickly in a pan and go well with any dish that needs some extra protein. I put it on salads, with rice or even in pasta. You can find it at almost any market - including Vons - these days. Amazon has them as well and the price is right! 

Chia Seed Pudding | Delicious, simple & vegan | #puremamas #purekitchenblog
Chia Seed Pudding Recipe | Delicious & Simple | Vegan & Gluten-free | #puremamas #purekitchenblog

Delicious Vegan Chia Seed Pudding Recipe

INGREDIENTS

Chia seed pudding | delicious and vegan! #purekitchenblog #puremamas
  • 2 cups fresh almond milk 
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean or extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or coconut sugar

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine everything in a tupperware or airtight jar with a lid. 
  2. Store in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving. Preferably overnight. 
  3. Serve cold with fruit or other healthy toppings. 

Homemade Macadamia Nut Cheese {Ricotta Style}

Homemade fermented cheese? That sounds really labor intensive and super complicated, right? Well not exactly. Think of it as an art and the result is well worth the time spent making it. 

7J5A1437.jpg

You can use any nut you prefer. I personally love this recipe made with macadamia nuts. It's a perfect basic recipe that can be played around with. Try adding herbs or spices or garlic. You can use this homemade vegan cheese for pizza nights or in lasagna (like I did). You can stuff raviolis or use it in my baked butternut squash pasta recipe. with it or even eat it as a dip with crackers or veggies. Did you see my crumbled tempeh salad a few weeks ago? To die for! 

ricottacheeserecipe.jpg

As far as equipment goes - all you need is a high speed blender, a strainer and cheese cloth plus a little bit of patience and love

If you signed up for my newsletter in the past 3 months you would have gotten this recipe in your inbox. It went out early to those that signed up. 

If you did in fact make it, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it and all your variations. 

How to make Vegan Ricotta Cheese at home! #plantbasedcheese #purekitchenblog
Homemade Macadamia Nut Ricotta style Cheese. #plantbasednutrition #purekitchenblog

This Ricotta Style Vegan cheese is both fluffy and creamy at the same time. Rich in nutrients and flavor, it's a must try recipe. Adding the probiotics helps the cheese to ferment and also makes the cheese rich in good bacteria - like the other store-bought yogurt or cheese. 

I prefer this recipe to any of the cheeses I can buy on the shelves. No strange additives or binding agents or rennet (enzymes added to cheese) or casein. 

Herbed Macadamia Nut Ricotta Cheese #plantbasedcheese #purekitchenblog

Macadamia Nut Ricotta Cheese Recipe

yields approx 2 cups cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts (soaked overnight & drained)
  • 3/4 cup fresh water
  • 1 Tbsp (half a lemon) lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 capsules probiotic powder supplement

Directions

  1. In a high speed blender, blend just the nuts and the water.
  2. Blend until super creamy with no chunks. 
  3. Transfer mixture from blender to a strainer lined with cheese cloth over a bowl. (see photos)
  4. Add the probiotics, salt salt and lemon. Fold the mixture a few times to combine. 
  5. Place the bowl with strainer and nut mixture someplace in the house at room temperature away from kids and dust and open windows. The mixture will sort of ferment or culture during this time. 
  6. You will want it to sit for at least 8 hours or overnight. 
  7. Refrigerate mixture when it's done fermenting.  
  8. Use this cheese as you wish. 
How To Make Homemade Ricotta Style Vegan Cheese #plantbased #purekitchenblog

Don't forget to share your thoughts or question in the comments below. Feel free to share on Instagram if you do in fact make a recipe. Please hashtag #purekitchenblog or tag @purekitchenblog and follow me for so many recipes and photos that I don't share on my blog - for whatever reason.