Strawberry Tarts

Strawberries! What a wonderful berry indeed. Strawberries have certainly been a family favorite for years and years. We look forward to when local farmer’s markets start up and we’re able to buy some from our local growers. I took a quick trip to a local friend’s homestead to see how she’s getting her strawberries growing this year. She says that strawberries grow really great in containers but that they do just fine if you plant them in the ground.

 

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Seeing her amazingly beautiful strawberry plants encouraged me to consider adding strawberries to my planter garden next season! Off I went inspired to procure some strawberries that were ripe and ready to eat. I was lucky to find some great local Arkansas Strawberries from ‘Sue’s Garden.’ It was a tough job fighting the kids off of these to make them into anything other than a snack.

I was going through the cupboards as well and decided I wanted to use some ingredients I had on hand to try to make something sweet. I pulled out some tart tins that I had bought but hadn’t used yet and away I went into the kitchen to experiment like a mad scientist. Strawberry tarts aren’t unusual but I do have the added complications of being dairy and egg free. I was also using a flour called “Tigernut Flour” which is a gluten free alternative made from a starchy tuber. What had I gotten myself into?

Strawberry Tart Pinterest Image

In the end, my experiment was a success with a wonderful crumbly crust, sweet strawberries, and a tangy chocolate sauce. I also used some chocolate mint that I’ve been growing in a container on my back porch to garnish to send this dish into outer space!

StrawberryTartwithChocolate

If you try to recreate this yummy treat please be sure to tag me throughout social media @workhardeatkind so I can see!

Strawberry Tarts

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients:                                                                       StrawberryTartwithChocolate

Crust:

  • 2 Cups of Tigernut Flour
  • 1 Cup of Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Cold Vegan Butter
  • A Few Sprinkles of Water if Needed

Toppings:

  • Strawberry Jelly (Preferably something organic without high fructose corn syrup.)
  • Sliced Strawberries
  • Chocolate Chips
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Almond Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil
  • Chocolate Mint

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Mix two cups of tigernut flour and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add in pieces of very cold butter into the mix and stir until the mixture becomes crumbly.
  4. If needed add a few sprinkles of water to get it to combine into a thick batter.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for one hour.
  6. In the meantime, slice your strawberries and melt your chocolate chips with the almond milk and coconut oil. You can do this by using a microwave for 30 seconds, stirring, and then repeating until you have a thin, runny chocolate sauce.
  7. Put your chocolate sauce into a reusable condiment bottle for easier drizzling.
  8. When your crust batter has chilled and is more firm, simply spread it out into tart tins, preferably with the removable bottoms for easier removal. Push it up along the sides. The thinner the better.
  9. Place all of the tart tins on a baking sheet and place it in the oven for 18-20 minutes. You should check them at 10 minutes and poke the middle with the tines of a fork if they are starting to lift.
  10. Keep a close eye on them. The thinner the crust the less time. When it’s golden brown it’s done.
  11. Let them cool completely.
  12. Top each tart with a tablespoon or two of strawberry jelly or preserves.
  13. Layer the strawberry slices on top of the jelly.
  14. Drizzle with chocolate and garnish with chocolate mint.
  15. Enjoy!

You can now find the video for this recipe on YouTube by clicking here.

The Easiest Tofu Scramble (Basics)

Tofu Scramble Pinterest Image

** This post may contain affiliate/referral links. It is a way for this site to earn advertising fees by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services.**

Tofu scrambles are a hot ticket recipe for new vegans. You can see veggie laden scrambles and some people have even figured out how to do omelets. (I’m not there just yet y’all.) But, how does it taste? What do you put in a tofu scramble so it’s not bland? I’m going to tell you it’s really not as hard as it seems and my kids (one of which is allergic to eggs) enjoy this just as much as their regular chicken eggs but without the side effects.

Big Southern Vegan Breakfast Plate
Black salt is an inexpensive way to add an egg like flavor to your egg dishes. You can find the one that I bought at this link Black Salt 3.5 oz.. Trust me when I say, a tiny bit goes a very long way. You can also customize your tofu scramble by the types of tofu that you use.

For instance, if you like a softer, runnier type of scrambled egg then all you have to do is use a medium to firm tofu. You can also use a sauce to flavor rather than just adding seasoning. Me? I prefer a nice dry, fluffy egg. How do you obtain this firmer texture? Use an extra firm tofu! The options really are just as endless as using your conventional chicken egg. If you can dream it you can make it plant based.

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Our family favorite is to add some vegan cheese and some ketchup. One of my kiddos even loves a little touch of mustard on top. Do what you want! It’s your scramble. I’m just here to teach you the basics. But, be sure to come back and share with the whole class when you’re done. Tag me on social media @workhardeatkind and/or leave me a comment letting us know your favorite scramble.

The Easiest Tofu Scramble

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
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Ingredients:                                       20180130_100027

  • 1 Block of Tofu (Firmness depending on your preference.)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Pink Himalayan Salt, To Taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • A Pinch of Black Salt
  • A small amount of Oil for the Pan

Directions:

  1. Remove your tofu from the package and pat dry with a towel. You can lightly squeeze it to make sure that it doesn’t have excess water within the tofu.
  2. Add oil to a pan and bring it to medium to medium high heat. When the pan is hot you can add your tofu. Be careful! Any extra water can make it pop and sizzle.
  3. Start breaking the tofu apart with a spatula.
  4. Add your seasonings and mix well until well combined. You should see the tofu change color from the turmeric to a light yellow, egg like color.
  5. When the scramble is hot throughout it is ready to eat. This should only take 5 to 8 minutes.
  6. Enjoy in your favorite breakfast manner whether it’s topped with ketchup with vegan bacon on the side, or stuffed between two yummy pieces of bread.

Sesame Seed Free Hummus

Sesame Seed Free Hummus Pinterest Image

 

Were you a little confused by the title? Did you know that tahini, the key ingredient in hummus, is actually a sesame seed paste? Congratulations if you did! I know you guys are so smart and educated on food. Unfortunately for me, sesame seed is my highest plant based food allergy. On the other hand, I’ve learned how to modify several of my favorite recipes to be sesame seed free.

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There are many ways you can add flavor to hummus, but this is by far our favorite. I find it very interesting that even my kids love hummus. Any time I have kalamata olives in the fridge I’m trying to fight the kids off of them before I can make the hummus! Chickpeas are the main component when it comes to hummus and it just so happens to be a great source of plant based protein! Half a cup of chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) has 6 grams of protein!

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The best of all is that it takes relatively no time at all. You add most of your ingredients to a blender and then mince up some olives. Other options to pack this full of flavor could be sun dried tomatoes, garlic, or some roasted red pepper. Never let food restrictions slow you down from enjoying food. When that list of foods that you can’t eat turns into a pile of woe and despair, get in that kitchen! Experiment and find ways to enjoy food. After all, if you have followed me long enough… You know what’s coming up next…

julia child quote

I hope you enjoy this recipe! The recipe itself is gluten free so feel free to enjoy it with cucumbers, gluten free crackers, or if you’re not exclusively gluten free you can use pita chips. Be sure to tag me @workhardeatkind if you give it a try!

Sesame Seed Free Hummus

  • Servings: 2 to 3 Cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

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  • 2 Cans of Chickpeas
  • 2 Tablespoons Raw Sunflower Seed Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Strained Olive Brine (optional)
  • 5-6 ounces of Silken Tofu
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (Roasted is a great option!)
  • Salt to taste.

Add in’s:

  • Diced Kalamata Olives
  • Roasted Red Pepper
  • Roasted Garlic
  • Caramelized Onions

 

Directions:

  1. Add all of the ingredients into a sturdy food processor or blender. This mix is quite thick.
  2. Turn off the food processor scrape down the sides to make sure that everything is well incorporated.
  3. If the mixture is too thick add water a tablespoon at a time until the desired thickness.
  4. You can store this in the fridge for up until 7 days in the refrigerator.
  5. Enjoy!

 

Fried Tofu Pockets

Tofu. A word that strikes fear in even the most open minded consumer. I have sat down with many people asking me questions such as, “What in the world is tofu!?” The list goes on from there, but people are generally confused about how to cook, prepare, or eat tofu. Quite frankly, tofu is one of my favorite foods and I love to cook with it all of the time. My family, however, hasn’t always been as enthusiastic as me when it comes to tofu.

Fried Tofu Pocket Pinterest Image

I’ve thrown tofu in soups, in fried rice, and even breaded it to turn it into nuggets. My vegan quiche has silken and firm tofu in it to replicate that soft egg like texture. I’ve scrambled and even marinated it like feta cheese. My kids are okay with it. They’re not exclusively vegan, but thankfully they are generally great eaters when it comes to most vegetables. My husband on the other hand is practically a lacto-carnivore meaning his basic food groups are cheese and meat.

There have been many a snarled face, or a skipped meal from my husband due to his texture issues and his plain disdain for vegetables. I love him dearly regardless.

Tofu Pockets with Side Dishes

One night I just had a wild thought and decided to ask my husband to try the recipe I’m sharing today. What was the star of the dish? Tofu pockets! These handy little triangles are fried bean curd that have been marinated and packaged. You open each piece and stuff a bit of rice in it. Then, you top it with various seasonings and voila! Simple enough.

Seasoned and Fried Soybean Curd Package

I handed him one on a plate across the table and anxiously awaited. My heart was racing and I was hoping he wouldn’t run out the back door and spit it out off the side of the back porch. He slowly chewed and I was surprised when I saw him begin to swallow the food. I timidly asked him what he thought. Prolonging my torture he replied, “I might need to try one more. Just to be sure.”

Kids Plates with Tofu Pockets and Cucumber Kimchi

I prepare him with a few more pieces and send the plate across the table once more. I ask again if he likes it and to my surprise… He did! He said it was flavorful, the rice was a good texture, and he liked the hint of sweetness from the dipping sauce. The biggest compliment from my husband is when he asks if he can eat what’s left on the platter!

My husband ate tofu, and he liked it! Now, this dish has been solidified as a family favorite. Every time I visit Little Rock I have to pick some of these tofu pockets up from the local Asian grocery store. Last night, in fact, I pulled out the package from my refrigerator to the cheers of my children. It’s nice to be able to find a delicious meal that satisfies everyone in the house at the same time.

Even better, Korean side dishes can change up this meal every time. Whether you’re doing some braised potato, some cold cucumber soup, or some homemade fresh cucumber kimchi, you can change it up and make it unique each time. Don’t be afraid to try things a little out of the box, you might just find your next family favorite.

Fried Tofu Pockets

  • Servings: 5 to 6
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Kids Plates with Tofu Pockets and Cucumber KimchiIngredients:

Fried Tofu Pockets

  • White Short Grain Rice
  • Fried & Seasoned Soybean Curd (Seasonings are included in the package.)

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 Cup Tamari (Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos are also great.)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Liquid Sweetener like Bee Free Honee (Rice Syrup or Regular Honey works too.)
  • 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon of Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Diced Green Onion

Instructions:

  1. Cook your rice as instructed on the package. I typically find rice that can cook in about 20 minutes and use a 1 cup of rice to 1 1/2 cups of water.
  2. Add two packets of seasoning vinegar (we omit the lemon sauce) and set the rice aside and allow it to cool enough to be handled.
  3. While the rice is cooking you can prepare other side dishes and the dipping sauce.
  4. For the dipping sauce, simply add all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix.
  5. When you’re ready to prepare your fried tofu pockets, place about a tablespoon of rice in each pocket and place it on a platter.
  6. Enjoy a few pieces with a splash of dipping sauce, some seasoning mix with sesame seeds, dried carrot, and leek.
  7. Some great side dish recommendations are cold cucumber soup, green onion pancake, kimchi, braised potatoes, and many more.

Vegan “Chicken” Salad

Vegan Chicken Salad

** This post may contain affiliate/referral links. It is a way for this site to earn advertising fees by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services.**

If you live in The South you know “salad sandwiches” are a staple food. Whether it’s egg, chicken, or tuna salad sandwiches, it is an essential Southern dietary staple. It’s the perfect Spring & Summer food for picnics and always makes me nostalgic for those days with my family driving up the mountain to Wolf Pen.

A few weeks ago someone at work mentioned their famous chicken salad and I was thinking about how good that sounded. It’s about that time of the year! I occasionally eat chicken, but I was instantly inspired to try to “veganize” this. I asked her generally what she included and I think what I came up with was pretty darn inspiring.

I had also recently ordered some Butler’s Soy Curls on Amazon and I’ve been playing around with different ways to use them. They come packaged and dried. You need to soak the soy curls in water for about 10 minutes to rehydrate and then cook them. I’ve used it instead of tofu like in my Orange Sauce Tofu with Broccoli & Potatoes recipe. I’m having a blast finding all the ways I can utilize this product!

With this vegan “chicken” salad recipe you can change up the ingredients a bit. You can use all fresh herbs, or all dried. I loved how easy and fast this way. It was also great the next day! Give it a try and be sure to tag me on social media @workhardeatkind so I can see your wonderful creations! I’ll also leave a direct link to where you can find this product in the recipe.

Vegan Chicken Salad and Dave's Killer Bread

Vegan Chicken Salad

  • Servings: 2 - 3
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Vegan Chicken Salad and Dave's Killer Bread

Ingredients:

  • Butler Soy Curls, 8 oz. Bags (Pack of 3)
  • 1/4 Cup Vegan Mayonnaise
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon Celery Flakes
  • 1-2 Diced Green Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Dave’s Killer Bread

Directions:

  1. Add your soy curls into a bowl with enough water to cover it and allow it to soak for at least 10 minutes.
  2. When it is soaked and soft you can add it into a skillet with a little bit of olive oil spray to prevent sticking. Cook until it is warmed through and starting to brown on the edges.
  3. Put your soy curls in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients making sure to taste as you go.
  4. Put on your favorite sandwich bread (or croissant if you can find vegan ones) and enjoy!
  5. No… Seriously. That’s it. We’re done. Go eat!

 

Champignon Bourguignon (Mushroom Stew)

I found my love of cooking many years ago. It started off with my original blog “The Common Sense Cook” where I shared all of my recipes that I often made up. This lead to researching, reading, and watching many different recipes from many cuisines. The one that caught the most of my attention was Julia Child. Her fun personality and warbly voice combined with easy instructions for any home cook became an obsession.

Mushroom Bourguignon Pinterest Image

My husband bought me both volumes of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” for Christmas and I knew exactly what to make. I instantly turned to bouef bourguignon (beef stew). It was the first video I had watched when I found “The French Chef” on YouTube. I followed her instructions intimately, as I rarely do, and I was rewarded with probably the most delicious French beef stew that could be put into existence by us mere mortals.

But, nearly two years ago I contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and as a side effect became allergic to all mammal meats. So yes, you guessed it. No more Julia’s Bouef Bourguignon. It didn’t bother me at first and sparked my vegan journey so in a way I’m grateful for this experience. There’s been so many great lessons, however… Cravings do happen.

I found myself craving bouef bourguignon several months after going vegan and it kind of hurt. I was trying so hard to live this lifestyle at 100%. Why would my cravings betray me so? Thankfully, I’m never one to stay in that place for long and I went off to the interwebs determined to find an alternative.

There were several recipes that looked acceptable but I felt like it wouldn’t have been Julia’s Champignon Bourguignon (mushroom bourguignon). To my kitchen I went with the words of Julia looking back at me from cookbook holder. I could almost imagine Julia sitting at my island counter with a glass of wine in hand cheering me on.

Post Wine and Mushroom Bourguignon

It took some time and a few failed attempts… It took the courage of my convictions and the bravery to think outside of the box. In the end, I created something that gives me that first feeling of accomplishment that I felt so long ago. A stew from mushrooms, with a few alterations for my food allergies that actually warms not just my belly, but my soul as well.

I want to encourage you to keep trying new recipes and ingredients. Life can hand you some challenging recipes but it’s what you do with the ingredients that makes the difference. In the end, I believe just as Julia once said, “People who love to eat are the best people.” Keep eating and keep cooking.

Vegan Mushroom Bourguignon

Champignon Bourguignon

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Vegan Mushroom Bourguignon

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Large Carrots
  • 1 Medium or Half a Large Yellow Onion
  • 8 to 10 Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 2 Packages of Baby Portobello Mushrooms
  • One Shallot
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ Teaspoon of Dried Thyme
  • ½ Cup of Red Wine (Something you like to drink.)
  • 1 Cup of Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Tablespoon of Tomato Paste (Or Pumpkin Puree)
  • ½ Cup of Sliced Blanched Almonds
  • 1 to 2 Garlic Cloves
  • Pink Himalayan Salt to taste.
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vegan Butter
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast (Optional)
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons of Unsweetened Almond Milk

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your vegetables by peeling and dicing the carrots, onions, and potatoes. Mincing the shallot and garlic, cube the Yukon gold potatoes, and slice the mushrooms. Doing this will make this dish so much easier to make.
  2. Add olive oil to a skillet of choice.
  3. Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil.
  4. When your skillet is hot (but not smoking) add in your sliced mushrooms. Don’t overcrowd the pan or they won’t cook properly.
  5. After 2 to 3 minutes you can add the minced shallot to the mushrooms. Give it a good stir to incorporate.
  6. In 3 to 4 more minutes you’ll start seeing the mushrooms are browned and the shallot has become more translucent, carefully place them in a bowl to the side. Do not clean the pan.
  7. Once the salted water begins to boil, add the cubed Yukon gold potatoes. Let boil 10 to 15 minutes or until the potato can slide easily off the end of a knife. Drain and set aside.
  8. Add the diced yellow onion and carrot the mushroom pan and stir frequently. Add salt, pepper, and thyme.
  9. Add garlic and blanched sliced almonds to the pan and stir until the garlic is fragrant.
  10. Add half a cup of red wine to the pan and deglaze the bottom of the pan to get that treasure left behind by the mushrooms earlier.
  11. Pour in 1 cup of vegetable broth, and stir in either 1 tablespoon of tomato paste or pumpkin puree.
  12. Stir well, then use the spoon to make sure all of the mushrooms and other vegetables are all even in the pan and simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally, then smoothing to make sure it is even across the pan.
  13. When the potatoes are drained add them to a mixing bowl. Add a tablespoon of vegan butter, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast (optional). Blend with a hand mixer and add a little unsweetened almond milk until the creamy consistency you desire is reached.
  14. Add a spoonful of potatoes (okay, maybe a few) to a plate and spoon the mushroom stew over the top. You can add some toasted blanched sliced almonds on top for added texture.
  15. Voila! Bon appetit!