Make a Mess in the Kitchen

Tag: entree

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
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!
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 saut√© 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!