Tomato Basil Bread {Vegan}

This loaf of herby goodness is a warm, satisfying bite of home for me. It has a zesty and full bodied flavor and is melt-in-your-mouth delicious served toasted with vegan butter or cream cheese.

tomato basil bread

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a carb problem. Pasta, pizza, bread, more bread, sweet breads, muffins – you name it, I probably love it! I was looking back at my old blog site (https://hellobrownlow.blogspot.com/) and found that my love for food came straight outta Pinterest. My oldest blog name used to be “Amanda the pinterest baker”. Carbs AND sugar, double yum!

Since my first blog, I can see myself maturing (slightly) and making food that I really love. Food that makes my late-twenty year old self think, “this looks delicious and is worth my time to make” . I do less DIY craft projects and spend more time cooking and looking for ways to save money. More money saving ideas on are their way, but first BREAD!

My mom was never a bread maker, but she was the person that drove us to Panera Bread to pick up bagels, bread, and pastries. This tomato basil bread absolutely reminds me of a time when my brother and I would fight over the last slice of tomato basil bread my mom bought from Panera earlier in the week. We would throw down for the last slice of toasty, buttery goodness. I’m sure we would be more civil now that we are both in our twenties but that is yet to be determined.

Vegan tomato basil bread.png

This bread recipe is: vegan, zesty, easy, oh-so delicious, and sure to be a crowd pleaser. It can be made in a dutch oven (pictured) or in a traditional loaf pan.

Tomato Basil Bread {Vegan}

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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This bread recipe is: vegan, zesty, easy, oh-so delicious, and sure to be a crowd pleaser.


Ingredients

– 3.5-4 cups of bread flour
– 1 3/4 cups of basil spaghetti sauce (or other roasted vegetable sauce from a can)
– 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
– Cooking Spray

Directions


1. Heat spaghetti sauce in pan to 110-120 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. While sauce is heating, in a large bowl whisk together 3 cups of flour and the yeast.
3. Remove sauce from heat once it is up to temperature. Gently pour 3/4 of the sauce into the flour/yeast mixture. Mix until incorporated. Add the remaining half cup of flour in and let sit for 10 minutes to absorb the moisture from the sauce thoroughly.
4. Once the moisture is absorbed,if the dough is very wet add the additional flour a quarter cup at a time. Once it is to a slightly sticky but firm consistency, turn out on to a clean, lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.
5. Once kneaded, spray the inside of a large bowl lightly with cooking spray and put dough in. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let double in size (approximately 45 minutes to an hour)
6. After the bread is doubled in size, punch down. Transfer to your baking dish (dutch over or loaf pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover again and let rise for another 30 minutes. The dough is ready once you are able to touch it and not have it spring back.
7. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Test for doness at the 30 minute mark. If time is still needed, place back in over for another 10 minutes. The bread may start to color too darkly if using a loaf pan. If this occurs, cover with foil the remaining 10 minutes. Cover with lid if using dutch oven.
8. After baking, place on wire cooling rack. Let sit for 1 hr before slicing.
9. Stores in sealed container for up to one week (but who are you kidding? It won’t last that long.)
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Sweet Potato and Red Bean Kale Hash

Even though we have been vegan for two years now, we still get the question “So… what do you eat? There’s like, nothing out there for you. It’s all just fake versions of what I eat.” WRONG! There are so many amazing foods that vegans eat (it’s called vegetables!). Flavor and nutrition shine in vegan cooking and baking.

To prove that we do eat real, amazingly delicious food, I am committing to writing and posting one vegan recipe a week. It may be my vegetable stock that just costs pennies to make or baklava that melts in your mouth. Whatever it is, I promise it will be delicious and easy to make!

Sweet Potato and Red Bean Kale Hash

This is such a simple recipe that you can flavor however you like. I like the sweet and heat route for this dish that comes from the agave and chipotle powder. The spice works very well with the sweet potatoes that absorb it. Or you could use rosemary and thyme instead of chipotle powder and agave.

A cast iron skillet will work best for this recipe but it isn’t completely necessary. I have made it in a regular, large skillet and in cast iron. The cast iron, in my opinion, turned out better but it is completely up to you.

Warning: everything will have a very similar texture if each element isn’t cooked properly. By saying this I mean DON’T OVERCOOK YOUR POTATOES! You steam them first, but you really have to watch them to make sure they are just fork tender before you add them to the skillet. Same thing with the kale (unless you love super wilted kale). You add it in last and cook it down unless just wilted and still crunchy.

Sweet Potato and Red Bean Kale Hash

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: easy
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Proving that vegans eat more than just rabbit food, this dish features sweet agave and spicy chipotle flavors that add a punch to your regular sweet potato.


Ingredients

– 3 medium sized sweet potatoes, diced to 1 inch cubes
– 1 15 oz can red beans (or 1.5 cups cooked red beans)
– 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
– 3 large lacinto kale leaves, chopped and ribs removed
– 1 tsp ground chipotle powder
– 1/2 tsp sea salt
– 1 Tbsp agave or maple syrup
– Olive oil for cooking

Directions


1. Steam sweet potatoes until fork tender (about 15 minutes over water on stove top). While potatoes steam, cook onions over medium heat in cast iron skillet with olive oil as needed. Sauté until translucent and fragrant (about 3-5 minutes).
2. Add steamed sweet potatoes to the cooked onion in the skillet. Cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add oil as necessary to keep potatoes from sticking. Potatoes should start to brown on the sides.
3. Once the potatoes are slightly browned, add the red beans. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. While the beans are cooking, add the chipotle powder, agave, and salt. Stir to combine and evenly coat.
4. Add kale and cook until just wilted, about 3 minutes.
5. Serve immediately.
Vegan One Pot Mushroom Rice

Vegan One Pot Mushroom Rice

This easy mushroom recipe is quick and delicious. And it only takes one pot! Which you know is my favorite!

Our $25 grocery week went well. There was one night where we bought veggie burger patties and buns to take to a cook out but other than that we did great! It was challenging to get through a whole ten days without diverting from our original meal plan.  This very limited budget is something we will definitely attempt again in the future.

This recipe can be eaten as a side or as your main dish. For my husband and I, it fills us both up with a little less than a serving of food left over. We love to eat this with a salad and some crunchy toast (because my husband says everything is better with crunchy toast!).

Even though this is a rice recipe, you can sub out any type of grain that you like. We have had it with quinoa and it was equally (if not more) delicious! This is also a great recipe if you are trying to cut back on your oil and salt intake. We never use oil to cook down the onions and never add any additional salt other than what is in the soy sauce that we use.

If you haven’t used homemade vegetable stock before, now is a great time to try it out! It’s also a great recipe to try out some new spices you may not have in your cabinet. Check out my post on how to save money on spices here.

Vegan One Pot Mushroom Rice

 

Vegan One Pot Mushroom Rice

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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This creamy but hearty mushroom recipe will stick to your ribs and provide an amazing dose of protein to make you feel great.


Ingredients

– 1 Tbs vegetable stock
– 1 small onion diced
– 3 cloves garlic minced
– 1 lb baby bella mushrooms thinly sliced
– 3 medium size carrots chopped
– 1 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
– 1/2 tsp brown sugar
– 1/4 tsp dried mustard
– 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
– 1/2 tsp dried thyme
– 3/4 C brown rice*
– 1 1/2 C vegetable stock
– 2 Tbs unsalted vegan butter

Directions


1. In a medium size stock pot over medium high heat, add onion, garlic and first tablespoon of vegetable stock. Cook until aromatic – about 3 minutes. Stir frequently.
2. Add in mushrooms, carrots, soy sauce and spices. Cook until mushrooms are tender – about 6 minutes.  Stir frequently. If the food is sticking to the pot, add additional vegetable stock a tablespoon at a time.
3. Add brown rice and the remainder of the vegetable broth. Stir to combine. Bring pot to a boil. Once at boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover until rice is cooked through – about 45 minutes.
4. Once rice is cooked, remove lid and turn off heat. Stir in butter until incorporated. Let set for one minute.
5. Serve immediately.


*To make this a gluten free recipe, substitute rice for quinoa or other gluten free grain.
Easy Vegan Biscuits and Gravy

Easy Vegan Biscuits and Gravy

Mmm mmm mmm… biscuits and gravy. This is another recipe that I am not too sure when I learned to love it. It’s one of my husband’s favorite meals and is super easy to make.

There are two parts to this: first is the biscuits and second is the gravy. Both have to be great.  We add in extras like vegan crumbles – they are like ground breakfast sausage except better (mostly because it’s not meat) to make it even better. If we have it handy, we also give ourselves a good sprinkle of shredded vegan cheese as well.

These biscuits are super easy to make and with this recipe you can bake half immediately and freeze the other half. Which is great so the next time you need some biscuits you can pull them right out of the freezer! Just keep them in an airtight container or a zipper bag.

Easy Vegan Biscuits and Gravy

Easy Vegan Freezer Biscuits

  • Servings: 3-5 plus 3-5 servings to freeze
  • Difficulty: easy
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These easy biscuits are great to go with a meal or to be the star of biscuits and gravy.


Ingredients

– 4 c flour*
– 1 c cold vegan butter or margarine cubed
– 2 tbsp  baking powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 1/2 c dairy-free milk

Directions


1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In the bowl of your mixer, combine all dry ingredients.
3. Slowly drop in butter while the mixer is at a medium speed. Mix until flakey and crumbly.
4. Add in the milk and mix until a ball forms.
5. Take a ice cream scooper or a tablespoon and create 1 inch balls from your dough. Place the scoops of dough onto a non-stick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Using the bottom of a glass cup, press the balls of dough down until they are a 1/4 – 1/3 inch thick. You will need to flour the bottom of the glass.
6. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.


*To make this a gluten free recipe, substitute all flour with oat flour or almond meal.
To freeze – place the remaining biscuits on a cookie sheet and put in freezer for 1 hour. Transfer frozen biscuits into a zip top bag. When ready to bake, let the biscuits thaw for 30 minutes and bake according to recipe.

 

Easy Peppered Vegan Gravy

  • Servings: 3-5
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

– 1/4 c flour*
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tbsp ground pepper
– 1 3/4 c dairy-free milk
– optional – dried rosemary or sage
– option – Boca (meat alternative) crumbles

Directions


1. In a small pot, whisk together all dry ingredients.
2. Pour in the milk and whisk until combined.
3. Over medium-high heat, continue to whisk gravy until it thickens (about five minute)
4. Serve immediately over your delicious biscuits.


*To make this a gluten free recipe, substitute all flour with oat flour or almond meal.