Vegan Pizza Soup

Quick, Easy & Yummy!  3 Must Haves for My Kitchen.

Quick, Easy & Yummy! 3 Must Haves for My Kitchen.

I have changed the way I menu plan. For a few months now, I’ve dedicated days of the week to certain foods. On Wednesdays I make soups. I’ve tried lots of new soup recipes lately.

I pinned this recipe and knew it needed a few substitutions. Last Wednesday afternoon, I was going to follow the recipe, found it online and said aloud, “Oops! This is a CROCKPOT recipe!” It was 4 pm, y’all. Too late for the crockpot. I decided to use the original recipe as a very loose guide. I made lots of changes.

The end result? Delish. A recipe worth repeating. And my friend Lisa had it for lunch the next day and said it was a recipe she would make… woot woot!

I didn’t even use our favorite Daiya mozzarella shreds in the soup. I used nutritional yeast to give it a slightly cheesy taste. I did use the mozz shreds on the homemade croutons. Homemade as in the bread came from my bread machine…. YUM! Feel free to use store bought bread or even store bought croutons.

This recipe is SO easy! I also think it will freeze well, although I didn’t freeze it because we ate it all!

Here’s how I made Vegan Pizza Soup.

Vegan Pizza Soup
(adapted and inspired by this recipe)

Ingredients:

Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Homemade Pizza Sauce (I decrease the pepper. I use 1/4 tsp pepper for double batch of sauce)
  • 3 Cups Water
  • Chopped Green Olives (Quantity to your preference- I want an olive in every bite!)
  • 1/2 Green Bell Pepper, Diced (feel free to use an entire bell pepper if you want)
  • 1 Can/Jar of Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained, or 2 Cups of Cooked Kidney Beans (black beans would work, too)
  • 1/2 to 1 Cup of Cooked Pasta (I used penne)
  • Nutritional yeast

Homemade Croutons Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add all the soup ingredients except for the pasta and yeast to a big pot and bring to a boil. Reduce and let simmer for flavors to meld. I think I simmered for maybe 15 minutes.
  2. While the soup simmers, prepare the croutons. Preheat the oven to broil on high.
  3. Butter the bread, generously sprinkle the garlic powder on the bread and sprinkle with Daiya Mozzarella shreds.
  4. Broil until nicely browned. Keep an eye on it because it can go from brown to burned very quickly. 🙂 Take out of the oven and let cool just slightly. Slice the bread into crouton sized pieces.
  5. Back to the soup.  Add cooked pasta and a generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast to the soup pot. Stir and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the pasta is heated through.
  6. Ladle soup into a bowl and top with the homemade croutons.
Pizza Soup

Pizza Soup with Homemade Croutons

Vegan Pizza Soup with Homemade Croutons.  The perfect bite!

The perfect bite!

Here’s a random side note.  I linked to Randall Beans above in the ingredients list.  I have a nickel allergy and since nickel can be in cans, I have to avoid all canned foods.  For beans, I use dried beans and cook them myself.  It’s super budget friendly.  I recently found JARRED beans by Randall Beans and called and they are a dairy and egg free facility…WOOT WOOT!  Major score for me!  Anyway, I’m LOVING these jarred beans.  My life just got a little easier.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Do you have any soup recipes to share?

Pizza Nachos

Pizza Nachos!

Pizza Nachos!

This is a quick and easy lunch or dinner. I have made this with black beans that I cooked and Randall beans from a jar (remember, no canned foods in this house.) The recipe turns out the same- YUMMY!

I’ll admit- the beans once pureed don’t look pretty. I’ll leave it at that. However, the taste is perfect and the recipe is easy, so that trumps the way black beans look pureed any day.

I don’t even remember how and why I created this. I just wanted more easy recipes for beans. Cooking dried beans and freezing them is very budget friendly. And I’m always trying to cut back that giant green eyed monster called our grocery budget.

Anyway, one day I randomly thought, why not throw some pizza sauce in with some beans, heat them up and pulverize them? That might make some tasty nachos.

And by golly, it did.

Here’s what we like to call “Pizza Nachos.”

Pizza Nachos:

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe of homemade pizza sauce (I add a generous sprinkle of nutritional yeast to my pizza sauce now)
  • 1-2 cups of black beans (rinsed if from a can or jar, defrosted if cooked and frozen)
  • Tortilla Chips

Toppings:

  • Daiya Mozzarella Cheese Shreds
  • Sliced Green Olives
  • Chopped Tomatoes
  • Chopped Onions

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot add beans and 5-8 big spoonfuls of pizza sauce. If you use 1 cup of beans, use 5 spoonfuls. If you use a can or jar of beans, you need more pizza sauce. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  2. I pour the hot beans into a measuring cup and use my immersion blender to puree the beans. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a blender or food processor. Be careful please. The beans are hot!
  3. On a plate, spread out your tortilla chips. Top with black bean mixture and Daiya cheese if using.
  4. Microwave for 30-45 seconds, or until the Daiya starts to melt.
  5. Add desired toppings.

(We like to add sliced green olives, tomatoes & chopped onions. The Huzz tops his nachos with salsa. I add extra pizza sauce on top of my nachos. SG prefers no sauce. Whatevs!)

The makings of a great meal.

The makings of a great meal.

Ready for Toppings

Ready for Toppings

Our favorite toppings for Pizza Nachos.

Our favorite toppings for Pizza Nachos.

Even SG cleans her plate when we have this for dinner.

Even SG cleans her plate when we have this for dinner.

I hope you enjoy these pizza nachos!

Our Favorite Easy & Budget Friendly Meatless Meal

This super easy dinner has quickly become one of our favorite meatless meals. I won’t drag on about a cute little story— let’s get to the “meat” of it. 🙂

The easy dinner is rice, refried beans and roasted broccoli. Simple, homemade and oh so yummy!

Rice, beans & broccoli

Homemade refried beans, prepared in advance and frozen.

Rice made in the rice cooker.

Fresh, roasted garlic broccoli.

EASY!

I make my refried beans in advance and ALWAYS keep some in my fridge. When I use the last bag of frozen beans, I make another batch. It’s seriously the easiest recipe ever. Soak the beans, throw them in the crockpot with just a few spices, an onion and water, cook and blend. Easy peasy. Click here for Ally’s recipe on her blog. (I omit the cayenne.)

For this dinner, I use 2 cups of refried beans.

Homemade frozen refried beans.

Homemade frozen refried beans.

I also use my rice maker to cook our rice. Easy peasy. I love my rice cooker!!!  Click here to see the exact the rice cooker I have.

As soon as I start the rice, I start prepping the broccoli.

I was inspired by this recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen. I made a few small changes- I don’t measure the olive oil. I drizzle some olive oil until the broccoli looks just coated. And I usually use 4 cloves of garlic, rather than 6-8 cloves. I love that I don’t need to measure anything for the roasted broccoli! Just toss stuff in and roast. I also roast at 400 degrees or sometimes even 415 degrees for usually 15 minutes. Easy peasy.

This does not take long to prepare.

This does not take long to prepare.

Broccoli ready for the oven.

Broccoli ready for the oven.

Those dark spots are the best part!  The Huzz says this tastes restaurant worthy!

Those dark spots are the best part! The Huzz says this tastes restaurant worthy!

While the rice is cooking and the broccoli is roasting, I defrost and heat the frozen refried beans.

I serve the beans over the rice with the broccoli on the side.

Not only is this a delicious dish, but it’s very budget friendly.

Dried beans: affordable

Rice: affordable

Broccoli: affordable

Lately, I’ve been buying our broccoli from Aldi’s and it’s such a great deal.  The last pack of broccoli I bought from Aldi was $1.39.  The entire bag of bagged dried pinto beans was about a $1.  I think I maybe paid $1.30 for an entire bag of rice.  I used 2 cups of the cooked beans (I think the recipe for 1 pound of beans yields 6-7 cups of cooked refried beans) and rice.  Maybe 32 cents for the beans and a cup and a half of dried rice (maybe 40 cents tops?).  I’m guesstimating.  Wet finger in the air…  $2.11 for the entire meal!  Super budget friendly!  (I didn’t add the cost of garlic because I always have garlic lying around the pantry.)

Beans and rice.  Rice and beans, baby!  (That’s for all of our Financial Peace University friends!)

I hope you enjoy our favorite budget friendly meatless meal!

17 Affordable Dinner Ideas

Budget Friendly Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham.  I now omit the ham and it tastes just as good!  This recipe makes a lot!

Budget Friendly Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham. I now omit the ham and it tastes just as good! This recipe makes a lot!

Our grocery budget is a monster.  Do y’all food allergy parents know what I mean?  I mean, it’s CRAZY!  And ya know what makes it even crazier?  We don’t even eat extravagantly.  Our safe foods are just THAT expensive.

I sat down and tried to brainstorm the most budget friendly tried and true recipes I could think of.  We are in Financial Peace University again as table leaders and really have budgeting on the brain.  I really want to cut our grocery bill each month.

My recipes might start looking a lot like these from now on since I’m trying to trim the giant grocery bill.

(These prices are what I pay at the grocery store and I don’t price out every item in this list.  Some are just my best guesstimates.)

If you want to get ahead of the menu planning game and like freezer cooking, the recipes that have stars are freezer friendly.

Meatless

  • Pineapple Fried Rice (1-2 pineapple cups {$1}, 2-3 carrots & 1-2 zucchinis {$2.50}, omit ham- can get 2 dinners from this & possibly 1 lunch)
  • Veggie Pizza** (1/2 bag Daiya {$2.50}, 1/3 green pepper {33 cents}, 1/3 green onion, olives)
  • Refried Beans, Rice & “Cheese” Burritos**
  • Rice & Beans (and maybe fruit to round out the meal)
  • Bean & “Cheese” Quesadillas (use homemade refried beans or black beans)
  • Veggie Spaghetti (1 zucchini {$1} & 1 carrot, sauce {$2.50} & noodles {$1}- can get 1 dinner and 1 lunch from this recipe)

Chicken

Turkey

  • Picadillo (1/2 pack ground turkey {$1.50} & rice)
  • Picadillo Tater Tot Casserole (1/2 pack ground turkey {$1.50} & approximately 1/2 bag of tater tots {$1.50})
  • Spaghetti (1/2 pack ground turkey {$1.50},  sauce {$2.50} & noodles {$1}- can get 1 dinner and 1 lunch from this recipe)

The chicken tacos are probably the most expensive dinner on this list because of the type of chicken we like and because of the fresh toppings.  I can plan another dinner or two that also uses those fresh produce ingredients like nachos or soup and salad night.  That helps lower the cost of the grocery bill & helps fresh produce not to go to waste.  I can also stretch the budget by stocking up on the chicken when it goes on sale.

I also buy dried beans.  It’s easy to soak and cook the beans.  I think I get 6-8 cups from one bag of dried black beans (my memory is a little fuzzy on this number.)  The beans cost $1.18.  Much cheaper than canned!  I freeze my beans in one cup portions and pull them out as needed.  A quick defrost in the microwave and the beans are good to go!

Do you have some food allergy & budget friendly dinner ideas?  Please share in the comments below.

Thanks!

Sautee chopped carrots & zucchini in olive oil until tender.  Add spaghetti sauce & serve over noodles.

Sautee chopped carrots & zucchini in olive oil until tender. Add spaghetti sauce & serve over noodles.

Picadillo Tater Tot Casserole

Picadillo Tater Tot Casserole

20 Days of Dairy & Egg Free Dinners

Menu Plan

It was so relaxing for me to sit down and plan out this menu plan. A few years ago, I never would have made that statement!!!

After our stressful vacation, it feels good to sit down and get back into our safe and comfy routine.

By the way, isn’t this graphic amazing?  My brother is a very talented graphic design artist and is responsible for graphic designs on my blog.  Thanks brother!  I will use this menu plan graphic in all of my upcoming menus.  I’m so excited!!!

Here’s our menu plan for the last few days of December and the first half of January.  I’m always adding new recipes (thanks Pinterest!) and mixing in our old favorites.

Speaking of favorites, I’m currently obsessed with pineapple fried rice. You’ll see that twice on this menu served three times. I could eat it for dinner everyday! And it’s meatless to boot. At least my version is.

I digress.

This menu has a mix of chicken, pork, turkey and meatless meals (beans and veggies as the main protein source).

I hope this helps. Maybe one day I’ll have enough energy to even make a coordinating grocery list. But not anytime soon.  🙂

I share these menus to help other families like ours out there. Meal planning can be a challenge with a special diet.

Just for fun, here’s a pic of my set up for menu planning and getting this post typed up. I love Coke with my homemade Dragon’s Breath Popcorn. It’s the perfect snack for this menu planning blogger mommy!

How I menu plan

How I menu plan

1. BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (Make these awesome homemade dinner rolls, using vegan butter and non-dairy milk. Use dough setting on bread machine.  Follow directions for baking.  Once baked, cut rolls in half, add cooked chicken, top with safe bbq sauce) & Oven Roasted Carrots

2. Taco Pizza Rolls (use homemade pizza crust, use homemade taco seasoning from 100 Days of Real Food, ground turkey breast, & Daiya cheese)

3. Pineapple Fried Rice (omit ham, use only 1/2 cup pineapple & liquid aminos for soy sauce)

4. Lemony Chicken Stir Fry with Asparagus

5. Black Bean Chili & Cornbread

6. Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken, Baked Sweet Potatoes & Steam in a bag Broccoli

7. BBQ Chicken Pizza

8. Flex Meal

9. Vegan Crispy Cajun Chickpea Cakes, Homemade Dinner Rolls (See link from day one & make double batch for use in Day 10) & Sautéed Zucchini

10. Ranch Turkey Burgers made small enough to fit the Homemade Dinner Rolls from Day 9 (use 2 Tbs homemade ranch mix for ranch packet sub), French Fries & Fruit Salad

11. Tangy Slow Cooker Pork Roast, Roasted Carrots & Baked Potatoes (Bake enough potatoes for day 12, too)

12. Garlic Chicken, Baked Potatoes from Day 11 & Grilled Asparagus

13. Chicken Nachos (use leftover chicken from day 12 & Daiya cheese)

14. Pineapple Fried Rice (see day 3 for link)

15. Leftover Pineapple Fried Rice

16. Veggie Spaghetti

17. Ranch Pork Chops (make safe ranch dressing using link on day 10, dip chops on both sides in ranch, coat with panko bread crumbs & bake), Earth Balance Vegan “Cheddar” Flavor Mac and Cheese, & Steamed Spinach

18. Easy Chicken Tacos (use homemade taco seasoning using link from day 2)

19. Picadillo Tater Tot Casserole

20. Vegetable Soup & Bread & Vegan Butter

Here are a few photos of the foods in my menu plan.  Enjoy!

Homemade Dinner Rolls

Homemade Dinner Rolls

Ranch Turkey Burger

Ranch Turkey Burger

Sautee chopped carrots & zucchini in olive oil until tender.  Add spaghetti sauce & serve over noodles.

Sautee chopped carrots & zucchini in olive oil until tender. Add spaghetti sauce & serve over noodles.

Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham.  I now omit the ham and it tastes just as good!

Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham. I now omit the ham and it tastes just as good!

30 Days of Dairy & Egg Free Dinners

Sautee chopped carrots & zucchini in olive oil until tender.  Add spaghetti sauce & serve over noodles.

Sauté chopped carrots & zucchini in olive oil until tender. Add spaghetti sauce & serve over noodles.

Life has been happening lately.

I’ve been following my latest two menu plans, but haven’t had time to share them and link them up- until today!

So instead of a 15 or 16 day menu plan, I’ve combined them to make a 30 day menu plan!

My Thanksgiving post is still in the works, so I’ll have that up soon- I hope!

Randomness from last menu: I never tried the fish like I planned to last time. I chickened out. PLUS, I couldn’t find a tilapia that seemed to be safe. What brands do y’all use? Please and thank you!

This menu has chicken, turkey, pork and meatless meals. I’m starting to really enjoy our meatless meals. I’d love to eat more veggies and less meat. We shall see…

Here’s my latest only 30 day menu plan!!!

1. Taco Crescents & Steamed Broccoli

2. Sweet & Sour Chicken (sub flax eggs & liquid aminos), Rice & Steamed Broccoli

3. Honey Mustard Pork Chops & Baked Potatoes

4. Coconut Vegetable Curry Soup with Rice (I’ve linked to this several times & FINALLY made it. It is yummy! Even SG liked it!)

5. Mexican Stuffed Peppers (Sub ground turkey breast, use homemade taco seasoning, & make own tomato paste) & Cilantro Lime Rice

6. Crockpot BBQ Drumsticks, Baked Potatoes & Carrots

7. 0 Point Soup & Homemade Bread

8. Mojo Pork Tenderloin, Tater Tots & Zucchini

9. Arroz con Pollo & Puerto Rican Flavored Black Beans

10. Arroz con Pollo Leftovers

11. Chicken Tacos (Can make ahead & freeze. I did!)

12. Meatless Veggie Spaghetti

13. Chicken Curry (make homemade cream of chicken), Rice & Carrots

14. Mexican Pizza Bites (Sub ground turkey breast, use homemade taco seasoning, homemade refried beans & Daiya “cheese”)

15. Crockpot Lentil Soup

16. Chicken Salad Sandwiches & French Fries

17. Picadillo Tater Tot Casserole (I’ll share this new recipe soon!)

18. Maple Pumpkin White Bean Quesadilla

19. Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops, Baked Potatoes & Steamed Cauliflower (make of cream of chicken & use homemade ranch mix)

20. Turkey Nachos (season ground turkey like picadillo)

21. Garlic Chicken Drumsticks, French Fries & Broccoli

22. “Cheesy” Taco Crescents (use leftover chicken from day 21) & Leftover Broccoli

23. White Bean Lemon Potato Soup & Homemade Bread (use bread link from Day 7)

24. Leftover Soup or Arroz con Pollo Soup & Bread & Vegan Butter

25. Baked Ranch Pork Chops (make homemade ranch: see note at bottom of menu, coat chops in ranch, coat in safe panko bread crumbs), Baked Sweet Potatoes & Sautéed Zucchini

26. BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Tater Tots & Steamed Spinach

27. Thanksgiving!!!

28. Soymilk Ice Cream for Dinner!!!!

29. Coconut Vegetable Curry & Rice (see link for Day 4)

30. Lentil & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Here are the links to the subs & homemade mixes:

Homemade Ranch Dry Mix

Homemade Ranch Dressing
(For Dressing, use the above Ranch Dry Mix link and use Just Mayo or other vegan mayo & sub non-dairy milk. I use SO Delicious Original Coconut Coffee Creamer. It’s very neutral in taste and the ranch flavor shines through.)

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

Homemade Taco Mix

Also, you may be wondering why on Black Friday we are having safe ice cream for dinner. It is SG’s birthday and I told her she can have whatever she wants for dinner- even ice cream. So of course, that’s what she chose! I’m guessing the Huzz and I will gorge on Thanksgiving leftovers, anyway. You only turn 4 once- may as well live it up! 🙂

Looking Well to the Ways of My Household

image

 

I’m sitting here enjoying a nice cup of coffee (with Silk french vanilla soy coffee creamer!) and making a list of things I’d like to accomplish this week.  My list is a little ambitious, but I think I can accomplish most of it.  I thought I’d share it with you and share the links to all of these delicious recipes.

Did you notice most of my to do list revolves around food?  Safe food?  Because us food allergy parents must always be prepared!  Always.  We don’t have the luxury of last minute take out.  I wish I did!  Can a vegan restaurant please come to my town???  I promise we’ll eat there at least two times a week.  🙂

Here’s what I’m working on this week (and possibly next week!):

Chocolate chip cookies
https://blessedlittlefamily.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/delicious-homemade-chocolate-chip-cookies-dairy-free-and-egg-free/

Bagel Pizzas for the Freezer
(I now add Daiya mozzarella shreds to our pizzas.)
https://blessedlittlefamily.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/dairy-free-and-egg-free-lunch-ideas/

Homemade “Cheesy” Crackers
(I sub Daiya cheddar shreds for the cheese. I’m thinking about also adding a tablespoon or so of nutritional yeast this time to make them a bit cheesier tasting.)
http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/03/23/recipe-easy-cheesy-crackers/

Homemade Freezer Biscuits
(I’m making one of these recipes- I haven’t decided which yet.)
http://moneysavingmom.com/2013/02/homemade-freezer-biscuits-recipe.html
OR
http://www.favoritefreezerfoods.com/homemade-biscuits.html
Both recipes will need a substitution or two.

Cream of Chicken
I use plain coconut coffee creamer for the milk and safe margarine.
http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/12/crockpot-chicken-and-dumplings-soup.html

Homemade Tomato Soup
I think I’ll sub coconut coffee creamer for the milk.
http://onceamonthmeals.com/slow-cooker-tomato-soup/

This week I added to my list “find meatless meals.” We are not vegetarian or vegan but the Huzz and I have decided to have at least one meal a week meat free. I now need to find meatless meals! I know beans are a great source of protein, but because the Huzz has intestinal issues, he can’t really eat whole beans. Which is why we love these refried beans I made recently!

Do you have some meatless meals to share with us?

What’s on your to do list this week?

I’m trying to put the needs of my family first and long to be as the Proverbs 31 woman. I find so much encouragement from her.

“She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
Proverbs 31:27