#MeatlessMonday: Buffalo Chik’n Fries for One

MorningStar LogoCan we talk guilty pleasures? I love, love, love smothered fries. Top them with chili and vegan cheese, gravy and vegan cheese or in this case vegan buffalo chik’n and vegan cheese.

Seriously what is better than fries topped with ooey gooey goodness?

This weekend I decided to indulge in my guilty pleasure and made a single serving of buffalo chik’n fries. These are seriously so good and super spicy. I don’t know what it is about pregnancy but with Edith and with Baby #2 I just can’t get enough spice so not only did this fulfill a guilty pleasure of smothered fries but also my craving for spice.

Morning Star- Meatless Monday- Buffalo Chicken FriesIngredients:


  1. Cook the potato wedges based on recipe or package directions.
  2. Cook the MorningStar Chik’n based on the stove top directions and then dice up.
  3. Arrange the cooked potato wedges in a pile on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and turn the broiler on.
  4. Top the potato wedges with the chik’n and the scallion whites, the pour over the hot sauce and sprinkle with the cheese.
  5. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted <– keep an eye on this so you don’t burn them!
  6. Remove the wedges from the oven and sprinkle with the scallion greens. ENJOY!


Morning Star- Meatless Monday- Buffalo Fries

Okay and now I want to make another batch of these and eat them all up. Hmm….maybe a double portion next time (I blame baby #2).

Q: What is your guilty pleasure?

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s MorningStar via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s MorningStar.

Find your fresh take on eating well. Browse hundreds of meat-free recipes at MorningStarFarms.com.

*This product is vegetarian not vegan.

Meatless Monday: Cashew Tofu Stir Fry

Although I have been only been writing about our grocery budgeting we have also set up a budget for basically everything else in our lives which includes dining out. That being said we have been trying to get creative at home by re-creating some of our favorite restaurant and take-out meals while still staying in our grocery budget. Tonight was one of those successful nights of dining in while eating one of our Chinese take-out favorites- Cashew Tofu Stir Fry.

Meatless Monday- Cashew Tofu Stir FryCashew Tofu Stir Fry
Serves 4- inspired by this recipe

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 14oz firm tofu, pressed and dried, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1.5 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (divided) coconut oil
  • 4oz shiitake mushroom caps
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 8oz button mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced with whites and greens separated
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced


  • 1/3 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons garlic hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4-1 teaspoon chili flakes


Preheat oven to 350F. Place the cashews on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 7-10 minutes, until lightly toasted.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

Toss the tofu cubes with the cornstarch.

Heat the 1.5 tablespoons of coconut oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When the wok is hot add the tofu and cook until lightly browned; make sure to toss frequently. Remove from the wok with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of coconut oil to the wok and add the mushrooms and peppers. Cook for 4 minutes, tossing frequently and then add the garlic and the whites of the green onions. Cook until veggies are tender; about 6-8 minutes. If necessary add a small amount of water if the veggies look dry – start with 1 tablespoon.

Add the tofu and cashews to the veggies and gently toss to combine. Whisk the sauce once more and then pour the sauce over the stir fry. Give everything a bit toss and cook just until the sauce thickens; 2-3 minutes. Top with the greens of the green onion.

Meatless Monday Cashew Stir Fry TofuI served this up with some short grain brown rice and my husband and toddler devoured it. I have to thank my husband for being my taste tester during this whole process because unfortunately my cold is getting in the way of my ability to taste my food – please tell me this will pass! Anyways now I’m on to plan our next restaurant/take-out meal at home!

What is your favorite take-out meal?

Meatless Monday: Herbed Biscuits & White Bean Gravy

I woke up Sunday morning with a desire to have restaurant style breakfast but since we are on a semi-strict budget we are being very selective when it comes to dining out so breakfast was going to have to be homemade. I hadn’t planned on this meal (note to self make plans for a fun weekend breakfast next week) so I had to improvise with what we had on hand without making huge alterations to our menu for the week.

I thought maybe we could have waffles but we are all out of maple syrup or berries (to make a sauce) so not only were waffles out but pancakes and french toast too. We have oatmeal most mornings and that’s pretty boring so that never really made the list. I thought about making tofu scramble with the tofu I had on hand but that is for another recipe this week so that became off limits. Feeling a little frustrated I wasn’t sure what to make and then finally I thought maybe, just maybe, I could pull off some biscuits and gravy.

herbed biscuitsI grabbed my copy of Vegan Brunch and searched for a biscuit and gravy recipe. I found both however we were missing a number of the ingredients so instead I used them as a template to make my own version of these recipes.

Herbed Biscuits

Based on Herbed Whole Wheat Drop Biscuits from Vegan Brunch p.187
Makes 12 biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons COLD Earth Balance
1/2-1 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used 3/4 cup)

Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.

You will need a food processor fitted with the S-blade. To the food processor add the flour, baking powder, thyme, basil and salt; pulse 5 times to combine. Add the cold Earth Balance to the food processor and pulse 8-10 times until pebble sized pieces of dough form. With the food processor on low slowly pour the almond milk through the feed tube until a soft dough is formed.

Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup drop the biscuits onto the lined sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the biscuits are lightly browned.

My little helper drinking the leftover almond milk

My little helper drinking the leftover almond milk

White Bean Gravy

Based on Navy Bean Gravy from Vegan Brunch p.215
Makes approx 2 cups

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable broth
1.5 cups vegetable broth + 1/3 cup all purpose flour (whisked together)
1 15-oz can cannelini Beans; drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons tamari

In a medium sized sauce pan heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions in the oil for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for one minute. Add the thyme, black pepper and 1 tablespoon of vegetable broth.

Add the beans, vegetable broth-flour mixture and tamari to a blender and blend until smooth. Add to the onions and garlic and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes stirring often. Serve immediately! If your mixture begins to get too thick add water or vegetable broth to thin out to your liking.


To finish off my biscuits and gravy I sauteed up some mushrooms, peppers, onions and kale to add a some color and veggies to our breakfast. This breakfast cost me around $6 total and out we would easily spend $10-12 EACH on this same meal. I decided to freeze the extra gravy I had and hope to use it for another weekend breakfast this month.

What’s your favorite restaurant meal to make at home?

[Recipe] Nutty Date Balls & Snowmageddon PDX

We are experiencing a “huge” (for Portland) snowfall right now which has left us with snowed in. Coming from Vermont this isn’t much snow at all and it wouldn’t phase me there but here you don’t have plows out clearing and salting the roads and for some reason everyone forgets how to drive so driving anywhere isn’t high on my list of desired activities. Thursday it took Neil two hours to drive the six miles home from work due to the weather and the act that everyone was trying to head home at the same time.

Snowday with EdithSo due the weather conditions we haven’t made it to the market and are pretty much out of food and I haven’t made it out of the house to the gym. The upside? Neil worked from home yesterday, Edith is in love with the snow and while I didn’t make it to the gym we took a nice snowy walk to dinner last night. This weather has also made me have to get a little creative with what little food we have in the house and so Edith and I made these yummy date balls to snack on.

Nutty Date Balls
Makes 12-15 balls

Date Balls - IngredientsIngredients:

  • 2/3 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Place the almonds in the base of a food processor fitted with the s-blade. Process until crumbly.

Date Balls- AlmondsAdd the remaining ingredients and process until everything comes together.

Date Balls Helper Date Balls- MixtureScoop out with a small cookie scoop and roll into balls.
Date Balls- Finished ProductStore in the fridge and enjoy!

Date Balls - Taste Tester

Toddler approved! P.S. she ate three of these while I was rolling them into balls. I’d say she liked them.Date Balls- Edith approvedQ: What are your favorite snow day snacks?

Check out more snow day photos over on Naturally Family.

Meatless Monday: Pesto Chik’n Sandwiches

MorningStar LogoAs most of you know Meatless Monday is everyday at our house but even so I’m always looking to add some new dishes to our weekly menu. I’m always on the look for easy meatless ingredients to create quick and easy recipes like the one I am going to share below.

While most of the time we are beans, greens and grains kind of eaters over here we sometimes have one of those days where we really want great veggie patty. I’m not one to make a lot of my own so I usually have a stash in the freezer for lazy days. Yesterday was one of those days where we just wanted sandwiches so I whipped up some Pesto Chik’n Sandwiches using MorningStar Farms® Grillers® Chik’n Veggie Patties. These Chik’n patties only have 80 calories per serving, are a great source of protein and they are cholesterol free!

MorningStar Farms - Pesto Chik'n Sandwiches - Meatless MondayThe best part? Almost all the ingredients in to make my Pesto Chik’n Sandwich can come right from you pantry making this the perfect Meatless Monday dinner because really who wants to spend their Monday nights in the kitchen?

What you’ll need for 2 servings:

Add on’s you might enjoy:

  • sundried tomatoes
  • artichoke hearts
  • (vegan) cheese
  • baby spinach

MorningStar Farms- Open Pesto - Meatless MondayAssembly:

  • First I love to broil my roma tomatoes to really get the best flavor out of them. Simply turn the broiler on high and then I cut my tomatoes in half place them on a sheet pan drizzle with olive oil and dust with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and dried or fresh thyme. Place the tomatoes under the broiler for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned on top. Warning: be careful when you open your oven as these babies let off a lot of steam so make sure to keep your face away.
  • I also love to toast my bread up so I just stick it under the broiler as well for 3 or so minutes. Keep your eye on this one or you’ll end up with burnt toast!
  • For the Chik’n patties I simple cook them based on the skillet directions on the package.
  • Now the best part the Pesto Mayo. Pour both in a bowl, mix together and then slather on both sides of your bread. The place cut the chik’n patty in half and place on one side and the tomatoes on the other, put your sandwich together and serve!

MorningStar- Pesto Chik'n- Meatless MondayArugula Pesto

Running With Tongs- Arugula PestoIngredients:

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2.5 cups loosely packed baby arugula
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Place the walnuts, garlic and nutritional yeast in the base of a food processor fitted with the S blade. Process until a small crumble.
  • Add the lemon juice, arugula, salt and pepper to the food processor and process on low.
  • With the food processor on slowly pour in the olive oil through the feed tube. Process until smooth.

Tip: This makes a lot of pesto so place your leftover pesto in a food storage container and top with just a thin layer of olive oil to keep it from browning. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

For those nights when I am not in the mood to create my own new recipe I love being able to have access to tons of other meatless recipes that make my life easier.  Here are a few other Meatless Monday recipes you might enjoy:
Good Morning Breakfast casserole
Barley Vegetable soup
Moroccan Veggie Soup
Buffalo Chik Wrap
Mushroom Spinach and Artichoke lasagna
Spicy Mango Stir Fry

Find your fresh take on eating well. Browse hundreds of meat-free recipes at MorningStarFarms.com.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Kellogg’s MorningStar via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Kellogg’s MorningStar.

What’s your favorite Meatless Monday recipe? Do any of the recipes above sound good to you?

{Recipe:} Vegan Banana Muffins

There aren’t many foods that I have been really craving this pregnancy (with the exception of mint chip coconut ice cream – a flavour I usually hate) but I have been on a muffin kick and in the last week I have made two batches of muffins- one banana and the other blueberry-orange. I don’t know what it is but as soon as I started to feel a bit better I wanted to get into the kitchen to bake muffins. Side note this is a really fun activity with an 18 month old because they can help with pour, stirring and mixing.

So I really should have written down everything I did for the blueberry-orange as well because they were so good but instead I’ll share the recipe for my banana muffins instead which don’t get me wrong they were delicious as well.



  • 3 Small Bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup almond milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, mixed and set aside for 5-10 minutes
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F and line or grease a 12 cup muffin tin.
  2. In the base of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment mix together the banana, almond milk and apple cider vinegar mixture, coconut oil and vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. With the mixer on low slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix until just combined.
  5. Fill the muffin tins 3/4 of the way full and then place in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool in the muffin tin for 4-5 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely (or enjoy warm with earth balance).

bananamuffins_edith3  bananamuffins_1 bananamuffins_edith2

{Recipe} Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan Tart


When I was a child my grandmother would always bake pies for every holiday and family get together. She always had a bit of left over dough and would let my cousins and I roll out the scraps and spring with cinnamon and sugar, roll it up and bake it. This recipe is a reminder of those same flavors and a reminder of the wonderful times we had baking together.


• 1 uncooked pie crust rolled out to 1/8-1/4 inch think

• 1 cup chopped pecans

• 1/3 cup brown sugar

• 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

• 2 teaspoons cinnamon

• 1/2 teaspoons salt

• 2 tablespoons melted margarine or butter


Preheat oven for 425F. Toss the pecans, sugar, chocolate chips, cinnamon, and salt together. Stir in
the melted butter. Place the pie crust on the cookie sheet and pour the pecan mixture into the middle leaving at least an inch of dough around it. Fold the edges of the dough up and over the mixture, overlapping as you go along. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes on a wire rack before cutting.