Make a Mess in the Kitchen

Month: June 2019

5 Ingredient Vegan Caesar Salad

5 Ingredient Vegan Caesar Salad

Sometimes a hot summer day calls for a crisp, cool salad. Now, we’re not talking about any salad because this one is slightly indulgent. This combines crispy chickpeas, fresh kale and tomatoes, vegan parmesan and always creamy caesar dressing.

You can use the greens of your liking, but I suggest kale because of how well it absorbs the dressing when you let it refrigerate. Additionally, Biolife parmesan and Daiya caesar dressing (or homemade) pair the best together. The sharpness of the parmesan with the tangy, saltiness of the chickpeas and dressing really knock this salad out of the park.

This is such a great quick lunch option, meal prep, or a side dish for dinner. It comes together in under 15 minutes and requires little to no prep. I’ve even subbed bac’n bits (did you know they’re vegan and made from textured veggie protein??) for the chickpeas when under a time crunch.

It’s really only a matter of throwing some ingredients together and thoroughly massaging the kale to let it absorb the creamy dressing! What’s your favorite salad go-to? Which dressing do you always have to have on hand? Let me know in the comments!

5 Ingredient Caesar Salad

June 18, 2019
: 2
: 5 min
: 10 min
: 15 min
: Easy


  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup halved tomatoes
  • 1/2 grated non-dairy parmesan cheese
  • 1/2-1 cup non-dairy caesar dressing
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 400F
  • Step 2 Rinse and drain 1 can of chickpeas
  • Step 3 Toss chickpeas in salt, pepper, paprika and lemon juice
  • Step 4 Spread evenly onto baking sheet
  • Step 5 Cook for 10-15 minutes
  • Step 6 Combine ingredients and coat evenly in dressing
  • Step 7 *Recommend refrigerating for 10+ minutes to let kale absorb dressing
Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

There’s nothing quite like greasy, fried zucchini fries especially when you dip them in ranch. But, I always think everything is better with ranch. This recipe is gluten-free AND oil-free because it uses an air fryer and gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs. You could also bake them which also keeps them lighter.

The key is all in the mixture to coat the zucchini fries. You could always use your own homemade breadcrumbs, but I used a store bought GF-safe option. For the flour coating I chose almond flour to keep it GF and with knowing that almond flour tends to work well with liquids. The order is also essential: flour, milk, then bread crumbs.

This would also work well if you chopped the zucchini in coins for chips, but who doesn’t love fries? I did find that layering the breaded fries in the air fryer limits how crispy the first layer gets. I’d recommend doing rounds in the air fryer depending on how many you make.

Seasoning is also essential depending on what flavors you want to come through. My personal favorite is some nooch (nutritional yeast), salt, pepper, and herbs de provenance. I think that some garlic salt or everything bagel seasoning would be perfect as well. Don’t forget the dipping sauce! I’ve tried burger sauce, ranch dip, and caesar dressing which tasted wonderful with the cheesy-ness of the fries.

What’s your favorite fry dip? Let me know in the comments below and enjoy!

Air Fryer Zucchini Fries

June 14, 2019
: 3
: 10 min
: 10 min
: 20 min
: Easy

GF & oil-free


  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nooch
  • 1/2 tsp herbs de provence
  • Step 1 Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees (or oven)
  • Step 2 Slice zucchini into wedge/fry shapes
  • Step 3 Place flour in one bowl, milk in another, and bread crumbs in a third
  • Step 4 Dip zucchini into flour, then milk, and finally bread crumbs
  • Step 5 Repeat the process until all or coated
  • Step 6 Place into air fryer tray
  • Step 7 Cook for 10-12 mins until crispy

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches

You’ve probably seen jackfruit across social media by now. It’s become a popular choice for sandwiches as it replicates the texture of pulled pork very well. Similar to tofu, it also absorbs whatever flavoring you pair with it. While it does come from a large green melon-esque shaped fruit, when bought canned all you have to do is shred and flavor it over heat.

I paired it with homemade coleslaw (because mayo makes everything taste good, right?) and put it on an oven-baked bun. Personally, I was hoping my Target would have had pretzel rolls but they were sadly all out.

The coleslaw can be as simple or as mixed as you want. I went the easier route and tossed a bag of dry coleslaw mix with some vegan mayo, apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper. However, there are many other flavors you could pair with it such as lemon or mustard.

The best part is, of course, the bbq jackfruit. It’s tangy, sweet, and spicy all at once. My bbq sauce of choice was Annie’s Original Barbecue Sauce, but you can use whatever sauce you choose or make your own (mix ketchup with maple syrup, liquid smoke, and paprika). For this recipe, I took canned jackfruit and my favorite barbecue sauce then heated it over medium until the sauce bubbled and thickened and the jackfruit pulled apart even more.

Finally, you pile it all on the toasted bun and enjoy the best sandwich of summer. Seriously, this will knock your socks off and you’ll be thinking about it for the rest of the week!

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches

June 11, 2019
: 4
: 15 min
: 20 min
: 35 min
: Easy


  • Pulled Jackfruit:
  • 2 cans jackfruit in brine
  • 1 cup bbq sauce of choice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Coleslaw:
  • 1 bag coleslaw mix
  • 1/4 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Homemade BBQ Sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar(can sub with brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Step 1 Pulled Jackfruit:
  • Step 2 Drain and rinse the jackfruit
  • Step 3 Combine bbq sauce, jackfruit, and water in pan
  • Step 4 Stir well and cover leaving it to cook for 20 minutes on low medium and stirring occasionally as the sauce thickens
  • Step 5 Using two forks or a potato masher, mash and pull apart the jackfruit
  • Step 6 Coleslaw:
  • Step 7 Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mixing well and seasoning to taste
  • Step 8 Assemble sandwiches with toppings of choice and enjoy!
Vegan Lemon Meringue

Vegan Lemon Meringue

Summer makes me think of lemonade, fresh fruit, and in my opinion one of the best pies there is: Lemon Meringue. How do you veganize something that is full of dairy and eggs? There’s a secret ingredient which I’ve always been skeptical of until I tried it for myself. Aquafaba! It’s been making headlines and popping up in several recipes across the internet, but it really is a gamechanger and you do not taste it at all when using it in baking.

This recipe combines the light and airy texture of meringue with the ever-so-creamy thickness of lemon curd. I’ve also tried this with lime and it really hits the mark for key lime pie.

To get it just right you’re going to need a few key ingredients. Fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch (I’ve also seen bloggers use xantham gum and/or agar-agar), and thick coconut milk. You’ll need full-fat otherwise it won’t achieve the same thickness or creaminess and it won’t hold together when setting in the fridge.

For presentation, I did dollops of the meringue around the edge of the pie. However, for ultimate creaminess, I’d highly recommend spreading that wonderful meringue across the entire pie. You could even bake a few to save as cookies! the first bite is truly the best. You get the tartness from the lemon with the perfect amount of sweetness and the light and airy meringue really hits the spot!

Do you prefer lemon or lime pie? Meringue on pie or as cookies? Let me know in the comments below 👇Tag your creations with #messyvegan!

Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie

June 7, 2019
: 8 slices
: 5 min
: 20 min
: 25 min
: Easy


  • For the lemon curd: 1 can coconut milk (full-fat)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • Grated zest of one lemon
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the meringue: 1/3 cup aquafaba
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • Step 1 Make sure to prebake your pie crust! I used a store-bought vegan safe one, but you can follow whatever your favorite recipe is for the crust.
  • Step 2 Lemon curd: Combine milk and cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk together.
  • Step 3 Pour into a heated saucepan and continue whisking and cooking over medium heat until it starts to bubble, this will take about five minutes.
  • Step 4 Add syrup or sugar of choice, lemon zest and juice. Continue to cook, whisking until it thickens, about 3-5 mins.
  • Step 5 You’ll know when it’s done if it is no longer runny when you run a spoon through it!
  • Step 6 Transfer to a bowl and let cool in the fridge as you make the meringue.
  • Step 7 Meringue: In mixer bowl, combine aquafaba, sugar, and cream of tartar
  • Step 8 Set mixer speed to low and beat for 2 minutes.
  • Step 9 Turn speed up to medium and beat for 2 minutes.
  • Step 10 Set to highest speed and beat mixture until fluffy and peaks form, about 4 to 6 minutes. It will have a similar texture to marshmallow fluff.
  • Step 11 Spread lemon curd in an even layer in pie shell.
  • Step 12 Let set for up to 3 hours or until firm
  • Step 13 Top with meringue. With torch at full blast, holding it 2 to 3 inches from the surface, toast the top of the meringue until golden brown – or broil in the oven on the top shelf.
  • Step 14 Serve immediately!

The Ultimate Chocolate Pumpkin Oats

The Ultimate Chocolate Pumpkin Oats

Oatmeal is a versatile and nutritious option for breakfast. It’s one of my favorite go-to’s whether it’s cooked on the stove or thrown together for overnight oats. When you add cocoa powder to it? It’s even better because who doesn’t love chocolate? I came up with this recipe during the cold months of winter while I was in crunch time for school. It’s great fuel for those long mornings and is just as good in the warmer months.

In my opinion, chocolate makes everything better especially when you’re stressed. Adding pumpkin and spices makes it that much better. I highly recommend adding some peanut butter on top, but that’s just me. This oatmeal is oh so creamy and practically tastes like dessert which is a great way to start your morning.

The banana adds some natural sweetness while making it even creamier! I’d suggest keeping it to 1/4 or 1/2 as it is rather sweet to begin with. You could even omit it and add some maple syrup or coconut sugar. I have yet to test this as overnight oats but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work just as well and keep the pumpkin pie satisfaction.

My favorite toppings for this are peanut butter–as mentioned–cherries and some granola for crunch. It’s really the ultimate oatmeal! Post below your favorite oatmeal toppings and enjoy!

The Ultimate Chocolate Pumpkin Oats

June 4, 2019
: 2 min
: 10 min
: 12 min
: Easy


  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling)
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4-1/2 banana mashed
  • Step 1 Bring 1 cup of non-dairy milk to a boil in a saucepan
  • Step 2 Stir in the 1/2 cup of oats and let cook for 1 minute
  • Step 3 Add in pumpkin and banana and cook until soft
  • Step 4 Finally, stir in the cocoa powder and mix until combined
  • Step 5 Top with fresh berries and peanut butter

Chardonnay Bolognese

Chardonnay Bolognese

Who doesn’t love pasta? Even if it’s as simple as buttered pasta, it’s delicious, comforting, and soul-warming.  I always remember my mom making me the best-buttered pasta whenever I was sick as a kid.

But, since we’re all grown-ups here cooking with alcohol is always a great option. Especially when you can pour a glass for yourself while you’re cooking. When I did eat meat, I was never a fan of it anywhere near my pasta dish, let alone in meatball form. However, beefless crumbles and the Chardonnay really add something to this dish. It is exploding with flavor, so comforting on a cold day, and oh-so-satisfying! It should always be noted that everything can be adjusted to your liking in this recipe. You may want to use whole wheat pasta, add more garlic, sub a veggie, or omit the white wine.

I’ve added other veggies in this as well such as peppers and that seemed to work well, especially when they’ve been roasted in olive oil and sea salt. The Ninja Foodi really speeds everything up and you can have this done in as little as a half hour! I’ve struggled with cooking the pasta because sometimes the Foodi doesn’t like the lack of liquid in the sauce, but you can always cook the pasta separately and add it in once the sauce is done. Additionally, I highly recommend pairing this with a good chunk of a baguette toasted and topped with some EarthBalance and garlic salt. You’ll thank me later!

Be sure to share your creations with the hashtag #messyvegan and let me know your thoughts! Don’t forget the garlic bread!

Chardonnay Bolognese

June 1, 2019
: 4
: 10 min
: 30 min
: 40 min
: Easy


  • 1 jar of pasta sauce (I recommend basil tomato)
  • 1 12 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2-1 cup of vegetable stock (depending on your instant pot)
  • 1 package of vegan ground beef crumbles
  • 2 cups penne pasta
  • 2-3 tsp of finely diced garlic
  • 1/2 of a sweet onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 tbsp chardonnay or white wine of choice
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Step 1 Using Ninja Foodi: Set sauté to medium
  • Step 2 Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes
  • Step 3 Pour in the full jar of pasta sauce, vegetable stock, chardonnay, vinegar, and crushed tomatoes
  • Step 4 Add in package of beefless crumbles and cook till it is separated and no longer frozen
  • Step 5 Add in pasta
  • Step 6 Set instant pot to low
  • Step 7 Seal and cook for 3 mins
  • Step 8 Depending on pasta and instant pot used, it may need less or more time
  • Step 9 Add spinach and let it cook on the keep warm setting
  • Step 10 Enjoy!