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. 

     

Mushroom & Chickpea (vegan!) Korma

This mushroom and chickpea korma is a unique dish. Dairy and meat free but high in protein, fiber, healthy carbs and tons of flavor - this dish is a perfectly complete vegan meal. The creamy "curry" base is a mixture of spices and coconut cream with the addition of tomato paste.

Vegan Mushroom Korma | #vegan #purekitchen #puremamas
Vegan Korma | made with mushrooms & chickpeas #puremamas #purekitchenblog

Korma is a type of curry dish but doesn't taste like your typical yellow or red curry. The spice combination of garam masala, coriander and the cardamom make it really unique and flavorful but not too over the top, so kids enjoy it as well. Typically made with yogurt and meat, we are doing things differently around here, as usual. 

Unlike the majority of my recipes featured on my blog, I chose to try another food bloggers recipe and modify it as I saw fit. The original recipe comes from QuiteGoodFood.co.nz. Here photos are quite good as well. I adapted the recipe just a smidge and it turned out great!

What I love about this Chickpea Korma Indian dish:

  • it's got quite a bit of protein (13g per serving - add rice and there's more). 
  • it's extremely flavorful but also not too much - so kids love it as well. 
  • it's hearty, warm and fills you up. 
  • perfect for a Winter evening. 
  • the left-overs taste even better. 
  • you can sub mushrooms for small potatoes if you aren't a mushroom fan. 
Vegan Curry with Chickpeas Recipe #purekitchen #puremamas

If you don't follow me on instagram it's a good time to do so because I've decided to share some recipes on instagram ONLY! Meaning, you will find an entire recipe and photos on my social media account that aren't featured here on the blog or in my newsletter. For example, I recently posted this Creamy Roasted Red Bell Pepper Sauce Recipe exclusively for Instagram. 

Mushroom (vegan!) Korma | #puremamas #purekitchen

Now back to Korma, if you are new to Indian dishes, this is a good place to start. One thing I loved about creating another bloggers dish is that I learned something really valuable when it comes to curries: "A little secret to making more-authentic home-made curries, is to blitz your onion, garlic and ginger first (or grate if you don’t have a food processor). Your curry sauce will have a far better flavour and texture." - Amber of Quite Good Food

Cool, right? Yeah yeah, it's an extra and kind of annoying step, but it really is worth it! I love the way the curry smell fills up the kitchen when I'm making it as well. It always cheers up my tired grumpy kids after a long day of school and sports. 

Healthy Curry with Mushrooms & Chickpeas (vegan!) #puremamas
Vegan Korma with Mushrooms and Chickpeas! #puremamas

INGREDIENTS

Spices:

Chickpea and Mushroom Korma
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom

Korma base:

  • 1 large onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil 
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, whole if small, or chopped if larger
  • 1 can chickpeas (beans only, not the liquid)
  • 1 can coconut cream (just the thick white part, not the clear stuff)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp almond meal or flour (ground almonds)
  • 1 tsp salt

To serve:

  • Cooked rice
  • Cilantro
  • Toasted nuts

DIRECTIONS

  1. Measure out all of the dry spices into a bowl. Set aside. 

  2. Blitz onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor with 1/2 cup of water, until it is a thick, rough slurry. 

  3. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tbsp coconut oil. Once hot, put the onion mixture into the saucepan. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring often, or until the liquid has evaporated and the onion mixture is golden brown. Turn down the heat if it is browning too quickly. 

  4. Add the dry spices, stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant. 

  5. Add the mushrooms, turn the heat up a bit and cook for another 1-2 minutes to coat the mushrooms in the spice mixture. Season with 1 tsp salt. 

  6. Add coconut cream, chickpeas, tomato paste and the almond meal. Stir and then simmer for another 10 minutes. 

  7. Serve with cooked rice and garnish with your favorite toppings like toasted nuts and cilantro.

Enjoy! Have a wonderful first weekend of December. What are your plans? I'm going to our holiday parade here in town on Saturday and I'm really looking forward to it. 

Recipe heavily adapted from QuiteGoodFood

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.