Hot Cocoa Bombs

Vegan Hot Cocoa Bombs

 

Try these vegan hot cocoa bombs drizzled in plant-based white chocolate and filled with hot cocoa mix and mini marshmallows. Whether you’re plant-based or not, you can still enjoy all the goodies during the holidays. My favorite thing about hot cocoa bombs are how easy they are to make and store for later use. Who is ready to tackle the cocoa bombs?!

Yield: 5 hot cocoa bombs

Ingredients

12 oz. vegan semi-sweet chocolate

4 Tbsp. hot cocoa mix (recipe below)

4 Tbsp. plant-based mini marshmallows

3 Tbsp. vegan white chocolate

 

Hot cocoa mix

1 Tbsp. soy mylk powder

2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

 

Extra

8 oz. oat mylk, per glass, scolding hot

 

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine cocoa mix and set aside. 
  2. In saucepot, full 1/4 way with water and bring to simmer. In a glass bowl, add chocolate and set on pot. Melt chocolate, stirring frequently.
  3. Place one tablespoon melted chocolate in 10 mold cavities. Brush chocolate on sides in even layer. Set in refrigerator for 5 minutes. Take out of refrigerator and gently remove chocolate from molds. Fill 5 halves with one tablespoon hot cocoa mix and mini marshmallows. To seal, press the other chocolate half on a hot pan and stick it to the bottom portion.
  4. Melt chocolate the same as before or in a piping bag submerged in hot water. Place melted chocolate in a piping bag and cut a small hole st the tip. Drizzle on top of hot cocoa bombs and place in refrigerator to set.
  5. Place cocoa bomb in mug and pour hot oat mylk over to serve.

 

Chef’s tip: Store for up to 1 week in airtight container. Keep in a cool spot.

Fried Pickles

Fried Pickles - The Vegan Rhino

Fried Pickles - The Vegan Rhino

Serve these fried pickles as an appetizer or side dish at dinner and watch them disappear! Fried pickles have an awesome flavor combination that when fried, are simply divine. Although I don’t eat too much fried foods, these in my opinion are well worth it!

Fried Pickles - The Vegan Rhino

Yield: roughly 45 pickles, 1 cup sauce

Ingredients

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. organic all-purpose flour

1 tsp. Gustus Vitae Greek seasoning

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. Himalayan pink salt

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1/4 tsp. paprika

3/4 cup water

1 Tbsp. hot sauce

16 oz. dill pickles, sliced and drained

 

Southern-Style Comeback Sauce

3/4 cup plant-based mayonnaise

3 Tbsp. ketchup

1-3 Tbsp. hot sauce

1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard

3/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. black pepper

 

Directions

  1. In small bowl, stir together sauce ingredients and set aside. Drain pickles and save juice. Place pickles on a kitchen towel to dry.
  2. Preheat 2” inches oil in a pot over medium heat to 375 degrees F.
  3. In a rimmed dish, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. In small batches, add pickles to batter to coat and let excess drip off. Add pickles to oil one at a time.
  4. Fry pickles 1 1/2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towel.
  5. Serve with dipping sauce.

 

Chef’s tip: Make sure to dry the pickles before coating in the batter. This helps keep them crispy.

Limoncello

Lemoncello - The Vegan Rhino

Lemoncello - The Vegan Rhino

Limoncello is an Italian liquor made from the zest of lemons steeped in alcohol until the natural oils and aromatics release. The resulting liquid is combined with a simple syrup and bottled, resulting in a delicious drink to sip or drizzled over ice cream, either way you decide its delicious! This is one of those things you can enjoy year round, and makes for the perfect gourmet gift for any occasion.

Lemoncello - The Vegan Rhino

Yield roughly 2 bottles, 3 1/2 cups lemon juice

Ingredients

15 lemons, peeled

850 mL vodka

2 cups organic cane sugar or 3/4 cup monk fruit sugar

3 3/4 cups filtered water

 

 

Directions

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin of the lemons and trim away any pith remaining on the lemon peels.
  2. In a large pitcher with the lemon peels, pour the vodka over them and cover tightly. Steep the peels in the vodka for 8 days at room temperature.
  3. In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and water until it dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour the syrup into the vodka mixture, mix, and strain into bottles. Let sit at room temperature for 14 days before storing in refrigerator until cold.
  4. Serve chilled and enjoy.

 

Chef’s tip: Make sure you use 100 proof and higher.

Mushroom Marsala Spaghetti

Mushroom Marsala Spaghetti - The Vegan Rhino

Mushroom Marsala Spaghetti - The Vegan Rhino

This easy to make Mushroom Marsala Sauce is a great addition to elevate plain spaghetti into a restaurant-quality dish. You could serve these mushrooms over cauliflower steaks, mashed potatoes, or whatever you’d like! For someone who grew up not enjoying mushrooms, I have to be honest, this dish rocks with a savory flavor that keeps you wanting more.

Mushroom Marsala Spaghetti - The Vegan Rhino

Yields 4 servings, roughly 1 3/4 cup sauce

Ingredients

1 lb. spaghetti, or as much as you’d like

1 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp. avocado oil

1 cup shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced 

1 cup  baby Bella mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/4 cup shallot, minced

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1/4 tsp. Himalayan pink salt

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

3/4 cup Marsala wine

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 Tbsp. plant-based butter

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

 

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to boxed instructions and drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the mushrooms and shallots until tender and slightly brown. Add garlic and cook unfurl fragrant. Sprinkle with flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Slowly add the Marsala wine and cook until reduced by half. Stir in vegetable stock, butter, and heat until sauce thickens. Stir in cooked pasta and slowly add pasta water,  as needed.
  4. Garnish with parsley and serve.

 

Chef’s tip: Using pasta water helps thicken the sauce and helps stick to the noodles.

Classic Chinese Lo Mein

Chinese Noodle Dish - The Vegan Rhino

Chinese Noodle Dish - The Vegan Rhino

This classic lo mein noodle dish is tossed together with a homemade lo mein sauce and veggies, making it a simple and delicious weekday meal. Being able to recreate dishes that you would normally buy from a restaurant is much more satisfying when you do it yourself. Since this recipe takes literally no more than 10 to 15 minutes, you’ll be eating in no time!

Chinese Noodle Dish - The Vegan Rhino

Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

8 oz. plant-based lo mein noodles

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced 

1 medium white onion, thinly sliced

1 medium red bell pepper, julienned

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup green onions

1 cup bean sprouts

 

Lo Mein sauce

1/4 cup organic tamari sauce

1/2 tsp. rice wine vinegar

2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

2 tsp. organic raw brown agave

2 tsp. cornstarch + 2 Tbsp. water, mixed

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds, to garnish

Thinly diagonally sliced green onions, to garnish

 

Directions

  1. In a mason jar, combine sauce ingredients and shake until mixed. Set aside.
  2. Cook noodles according to package instructions and drain, set aside.
  3. In a skillet on medium heat, add oil and sauté garlic and onions for 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, carrots, green onion, and bean sprouts. Pour sauce around sides of pan and mix in noodles. Cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat.
  4. Serve warm garnished with sesame seeds and green onions.

 

Chef’s tip: This noodle dish can be served warm or cold! If serving cold, drizzle top with toasted sesame oil before serving.

Chickpea & Lentil Chili

Chickpea & Lentil Chili - The Vegan Rhino

Chickpea & Lentil Chili - The Vegan Rhino 

Big bowls of warm chili on cold days make for the best afternoons during the changing of the seasons. Instead of pairing chili with pasta or eating it with chips, I’ve roasted an entire spaghetti squash instead! A local farm I get my produce from had fresh spaghetti squash so I couldn’t pass it up. This dish is great for those trying to limit carbs or want something light on the stomach.

Chickpea & Lentil Chili - The Vegan Rhino

Yield 5

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound chickpeas, cooked

1 cup cooked lentils

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 cup tomato sauce

2 cups diced tomatoes

 

Seasoning

2 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

2 tsp. organic cane sugar, optional

1 1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

 

Directions

  1. In a pot on medium heat, add oil, onions, and sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and serve warm with cornbread, spaghetti, or your choice of sides.

 

Chef’s tip: The sugar helps to balance out the flavor and acidity of the tomatoes. 

Spooky Spider Peanut Butter Cookies

Spooky Spider Peanut Butter Cookies - The Vegan Rhino

Spooky Spider Peanut Butter Cookies - The Vegan Rhino 

These creepy crawlers are a fun treat to make for Halloween by using vegan peanut butter cups as the base and melted chocolate to create the legs. Peanut butter cookies have always been a go-to cookie since they are easy to make and delicious. With the added chocolate and extra peanut butter, you’ll surely enjoy making these (as much as you will eating them!). Thank you to my friends at UNREAL for gifting me these cups and keeping me stocked on the most unreal candy around.

Spooky Spider Peanut Butter Cookies - The Vegan Rhino

Yield 9

Ingredients

3 Tbsp. vegan butter, softened

3 Tbsp. organic cane sugar

2 Tbsp. light brown sugar, packed

1/8 tsp. Himalayan pink salt

3 Tbsp. peanut butter

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. oat mylk

1/2 cup flour + 2 tsp. organic all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda

9 UNREAL peanut butter cups, unwrapped

1/3 cup non-dairy semi-sweet or dark chocolate, melted

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Using a standmixer, combine softened butter, sugars, salt, peanut butter, and mix until light and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and oat mylk.
  3. Sift together flour with baking soda. Combine to wet ingredients and mix until dough forms. Shape dough into 9 balls and place in a lightly greased muffin pan.
  4. Bake for about 11 minutes and remove from oven. Allow cookies to cool for 3 minutes before placing UNREAL cups on each cookie. Cool in refrigerator completely.
  5. Place melted chocolate in a piping bag and cut a small hole. Make 54-60 legs in the shape of a 7 on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the sheet in to the refrigerator until chocolate sets. Save remaining chocolate for piping the legs on to the cookies.
  6. Remove cookies from refrigerator, apply 3 drops of chocolate on sides of cookies to stick 3 spider legs on. Refrigerate as you work to help chocolate keep legs in place.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

 

Chef’s tip: Make sure to work fast! When applying the legs to the cookies, make sure to get them stuck and into the fridge so they can cool quickly to set. It’s best to work in small batches of three and allowing the legs to re harden in fridge periodically.

Restaurant-Style Salsa

Restaurant-Style Salsa - The Vegan Rhino

Restaurant-Style Salsa - The Vegan Rhino

If you have not tried making your own salsa you will surely be impressed by how simple it is to make. This classic condiment for tacos and other classic Mexican-style food is one of my favorite things to make. The flavor of fresh salsa has no comparison to the store-bought versions or restaurant-style salsas we order. Why make this salsa recipe out of all the others? Because its healthy, easy to make, has a great chunky salsa texture and tastes delicious! Who is ready to get started?

Restaurant-Style Salsa - The Vegan Rhino

Yield 10 servings

Ingredients

28 ounces whole plum tomatoes, halved and seeded

1 small onion, halved

1 small jalapeño, seeded

2 large garlic cloves

3/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. organic cane sugar

1/4 tsp. Himalayan pink salt

1 small lime, juiced

3-5 sprigs cilantro

 

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients and pulse until chunky. Keep pulsing until desired consistency is achieved.
  2. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  3. Serve with chips.

 

Chef’s tip: Make sure you remove the seeds from the tomatoes to reduce the water content if you’d like.

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe - The Vegan Rhino

Cacio e Pepe - The Vegan Rhino 

Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper) is an Italian dish consisting of 4 ingredients that make it thick and creamy. The key is to perfectly cook the pasta and retain that liquid once done for the sauce. The starch from the pasta water is critical to making this pan sauce so make sure not to skimp on this step. If you do, you most likely will not get the proper consistency once it’s finished.

Cacio e Pepe - The Vegan Rhino

Yield 3

Ingredients

1 lb. box tonnarelli or bucatini pasta

5 Tbsp. vegan butter, cubed

1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 cup vegan parmesan cheese

1 cup reserved pasta water

 

Directions

  1. In a large pot, bring 3.5 quarts water to a boil and season well with salt (should be salty to taste). Cook the pasta until al dente, roughly 10 minutes. Reserve pasta water before draining.
  2. In a skillet on medium heat, melt the butter and add the pepper, stirring around until toasted, about 45 seconds. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cheese until melted and pour in the drained pasta, tossing to coat.
  3. Serve immedietly.

 

Chef’s tip: If the sauce seems dry, add more of the reserved pasta water to thin it out.

Yogurt Dill Sauce

Yogurt Dill Sauce - The Vegan Rhino

Yogurt Dill Sauce - The Vegan Rhino

This creamy non-dairy yogurt dill sauce perfectly pairs with couscous, rice, or quinoa and even on top of crispy breaded tofu or zucchini burgers. This sauce is extremely universal and can even be used on warm pita falafel sandwich. Another alternative for this is to thin it with a tad of water for a diary-free dressing. Whatever you chose, it’ll be great either way!

Yogurt Dill Sauce - The Vegan Rhino

Yield: 5 servings

Ingredients

1 cup plain non-dairy yogurt

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. fresh dill, minced add 2 Tbsp. more 

1 Tbsp. chives, minced

1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

 

Directions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the above ingredients and stir until everything is incorporated. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

 

Chef’s tip: You can turn this into a tzatziki sauce by adding cucumber.