Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    This super pretty pink Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein will brighten up your table while bringing you a zesty and nutty tasting cake that is very easy to make. The sponge is full of pistachio-orange flavour, while still feeling light enough to have it any day with a nice cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. What’s more: It comes with about 10g of protein per slice, meaning you get your nutrition from your dessert. The candied orange slices are optional, but highly recommended and once you made them, you’ll wonder why you ever bought them, it’s so simple.

     

    Why You Will Love This

    I mean look at it! Doesn’t it lift your mood simply because it’s there? It sure does for me. But if you need more reasons, here we go.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Easy to Make

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein is essentially a very simple sponge cake you can whip up in a few minutes. The only special equipment you’ll need is a food processor, do grind the pistachios, as they can be hard to find pre-ground.

    The icing comes together in seconds and the candied oranges take just a few minutes on the hob and some drying time.

    This cake is just as good as impressive centre piece for afternoon tea with guests, as it is to have just by yourself during the week, because of how easy it is to make and how well it keeps due to the pistachio-rich batter.

    Pretty Pink and Entirely Natural Icing

    Blood Oranges give you an incredibly pretty icing without any food colouring. Even though not all of them have the dark red shades on the skin, the juice tends to be a really intense red, which will colour the simply icing sugar mix just on its own. No colour needed.

    Protein

    If you read some of my dessert recipes, you probably noticed I include protein powder in most of them. This is because I made dessert essentially a main meal. Due to my busy fulltime job, I rarely have time to eat breakfast, so usually I meal prep lunch and something sweet for the evening on my weekends, to have it ready during the week.

    Now, would I eat “normal” desserts, which usually have very little nutrition, that would probably not be a good idea. But I try to incorporate fruits, nuts, protein, and nutritionally dense carbs in everything I make, meaning I fuel my body with them and there is no reason to feel bad about eating them.

    Dessert for Breakfast. Or Dinner?

    The above distribution of my meals (including this Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein) is very intentionally structured around what I feel like eating at the time of day I have the food.
    Usually, having “lunch” as my first meal, I feel like something savoury, ideally with lots of veggies, that will fuel me until dinner.

    While in the evening, after the stresses of the day, I almost always crave something sweet. Do I use the food to reward myself? Absolutely. But by doing this in an intentional way and including all the nutrition my body needs in it, I feel pretty great about it too.

    Pistachios for Lovely Contrast and Flavour

    This recipe was inspired by one from “Nistisima” by Georgina Hayden for a vegan walnut-orange cake, that is often eaten during fasting.
    I wanted protein in my cake and pretty green pistachios instead of walnuts, to provide a contrast to the bright colours and flavour of the blood oranges. Also slightly lower calories. So I adapted the recipe accordingly.

    The Ingredients

    I’m giving just a few of the ingredients here and why I used them. For the full list, please see the recipe.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Ingredients

    Blood Oranges

    Blood oranges are in season, so I wanted to make a dessert that really showcases their pretty colour and bright, intense flavour. I feel this Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein does just that. Both their juice and zest are used in the sponge, more juice to make the pink icing and they get candied to create an amazing and very snackable topping.

    They also contain lots of fibre and vitamin C together with and whole range of other nutrients, meaning they are really good for you. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/blood-orange-benefits

    If Blood Oranges are not in season, you can of course use normal oranges. They just won’t add the pink colour to the icing. Or use blood orange juice from the fridge in your supermarket. I’ve seen one brand having it relatively regularly.

    Pistachios

    While it was near impossible to get shelled pistachios in Ireland for a while, they are slowly becoming more common. I found mine at Holland & Barrett, but also saw some at Dunnes.
    Depending on where you live, you might want to check health food shops for them, as they seem to be easier to find there.

    Pistachios are rich in nutrients, one of the lowest calorie nuts and high in protein.

    That being said, Pistachios are not a “nut” in the biological sense, but rather in the same family called “drupes” together with cashews and almonds. Which also explains their affinity with most foods that almonds go so well with.

    If pistachios are very expensive where you live, you could replace either half or all of them with almonds and the cake would still be delicious. Just not as pretty light green.

    Protein

    I’m using as usual my favourite (neither sponsored nor affiliated) MyProtein Whey. In this case their Buttered Popcorn flavour.
    Vanilla flavour would work great too.

    You could use vegan or casein protein powder, which I read are especially great for baking, but I absolutely despise the flavour of all vegan powders I have tried, and found MyProtein Whey to work rather fantastic in any dessert. So swap at your own risk.

    Apart from the beneficial added protein, the powder replaces part of the plain flour and sugar, which brings the nutrition up and the calories down. Win/win.

    Whole Wheat Flour

    To up the nutty flavour of this cake, I swapped part of the more typically used plain flour for whole wheat flour. Fine to be specific. This is particularly nice for cakes, as it’s finer ground than the typically coarse whole wheat flour you’d use for bread, but still has all of the nutrition of the whole grain.

    Icing

    Blood Orange Icing_Ingredients

    All you need for the pink icing is icing sugar and blood orange juice. Extremely simple and very delicious. It also “seals” the cake, keeping in the moisture, so it will last for a few days on your counter.

    Candied Oranges

    Candied Blood Oranges_Ingredients

    I know, everything candied sounds so very complicated, doesn’t it?
    I can assure you, it’s not. Orange slices, sugar and water is all you need. It’s entirely made on the hob. A sugar thermometer is needed.

     

    Making this Cake Vegan

    To transform this cake into a vegan one, simply replace the 2 eggs with another 1/2 cup of light olive oil and use a vegan protein powder.

    The Process

    The Candied Blood Oranges

    Start by making the candied oranges if you chose to include them. This will make a few more than you need, which is perfect, as they are great for nibbling.

    Prepare a sheet pan with a wire rack by placing some baking parchment under the wire, for less mess to clean up later.

    First bring a pot with water to the boil and prepare a bowl of iced water. Once boiling, gently lower your orange slices into the water and simmer for 2 minutes, taking them out with a slotted spoon when done and plunging them into the ice bath. This will remove some of the bitterness from the peel.

    Candied Blood Oranges_Process

    Next add your cup of sugar and ½ cup of water to a medium saucepan. The little red flecks you see in the pot above are orange juice from the cut off ends I squeezed into it.

    Stir while bringing it to the boil, so the sugar can dissolve. Once it boils, stop stirring and just swirl the pot occasionally, to prevent sugar crystals from forming. If any form on the sides of the pot, use a wet brush to push them down.

    Let the syrup come to 225°F/110°C, then gently and in layers, lower all the orange slices into it.
    Continue to simmer the mix until it reaches about 230°F/115°C (Keep an eye on it. You don’t want it to turn into dark caramel accidentally) while carefully turning the orange slices once with thongs or a spatula. Once the target temperature is reached, your syrup should be fairly thick.

    Pick out the now candied orange slices one by one with a fork or thongs and place on the wire rack. Be sure to keep a bit of space between them, so they don’t stick together.
    Leave to cool for at least 1h.

    Candied Blood Oranges

    If you are not using them immediately, they can be stored in a lidded container in the fridge for up to a week. So you can prepare them ahead of time. Ideally keep them in single layers on baking parchment, to keeping them for becoming one huge sticky orange piece.

    The Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Start by greasing a springform and line the bottom with baking parchment. This is easiest if you lay the parchment over the loose bottom, then fasten the ring around it and cut off the overlap.

    Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C

    In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or with your stand mixer, whisk together sugar and oil. Note the sugar won’t entirely dissolve, as it might in butter. That’s fine. Just whisk for a few minutes until it’s mostly there. Add the eggs one by one and mix until light and foamy and the sugar has dissolved. In doubt rub some of the mix between your fingertips. If it’s still slightly grainy, mix a bit longer until it feels smooth.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Process

    Now you can add all the remaining wet ingredients and the protein powder. Continue whisking until really smooth and foamy. This will add lift to the sponge.

    In a separate bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients, keeping ¼ cup of chopped pistachios back for garnish later.

    Add the dry to the wet and gently fold in with a spoon or silicone spatula until no dry flour remains. Don’t overmix, or you will develop the gluten and your sponge will become tough.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Process

    Pour the batter into your prepared springform. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes, rotating once if your oven bakes unevenly, until it’s nicely browned and a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein_Process

    Leave the cake to cool in the form for about 10minutes, then take it out of the springform and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Don’t add the icing while still warm, or it will just soak into the cake. Which is still delicious, but not as pretty.

     

    The Blood Orange Icing

    Juice your last blood orange and add the icing sugar to a bowl or small jug. Start by adding 2-3 tbsp of the juice to the sugar and, using a small whisk, incorporating it until there is no liquid left. Judge the consistency. It should be thick, but still drizzleable (is that a word? If not, it should be!). Add more juice or sugar if it’s not quite right.

    Blood Orange Icing_Process

    Pour the icing over your cake, first one half, spread with a spatula or back of a large spoon, then add more where you feel it’s a bit thin. You could also do this in two layers, letting the first one dry completely before you add the second. Use a spatula to spread some of the icing that has run off onto the sides to complete the look.

    Blood Orange Icing_Process
    Let the icing dry completely before you decorate the cake.

     

    Decorate and Serve

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Just before serving your Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein, decorate it with the candied oranges and remaining chopped pistachios. Slice and enjoy with a lovely cup of hot tea or coffee. Earl Grey would be particularly fitting here.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Getting Ahead

     

    Both the sponge and candied oranges can be made the day before. The orange slices keep well in a lidded container in the fridge. Ideally each layer separated by baking parchment, to prevent them from sticking to each other.

    The cake will be fine for up to 5 days covered with kitchen foil or clingfilm. I used kitchen foil and domed it, so it wouldn’t touch the oranges and stick to them.

    The cake also freezes well. Even with the icing, though it will soak into the cake a bit when thawing and not be as pretty anymore. So ideally ice later. Or just enjoy the extra flavour that soaked into the cake.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    If you liked this recipe, you might also like:

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein 

    Lemon Poppy Sourdough Zucchini Bread with Protein 

    Banoffee Protein Mousse Pie

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein

    This super pretty pink Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein will brighten up your table while bringing you a zesty and nutty tasting cake that is very easy to make. The sponge is full of pistachio-orange flavour, while still feeling light enough to have it any day with a nice cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon. What’s more: It comes with about 10g of protein per slice, meaning you get your nutrition from your dessert. The candied orange slices are optional, but highly recommended and once you made them, you’ll wonder why you ever bought them, it’s so simple.
    Prep Time 40 minutes
    Cook Time 1 hour
    Cooling and drying time 2 hours
    Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
    Course Cake, Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Servings 12
    Calories 468 kcal

    Equipment

    • Food Processor, sugar thermometer, springform

    Ingredients
      

    Sponge:

    • ½ cup olive oil light
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 ¼ cups pistachios finely chop 1 cup, keep 1/4 for decorating, grind rest
    • 4 blood oranges zest 1 + juice until you have 1 cup.
    • ¾ cup plain flour
    • ½ cup +2 tbsp whole wheat flour fine
    • 2/3 cup protein powder I used MyProtein buttered popcorn flavour. Vanilla works too
    • ¾ cup brown sugar
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • ½ tsp kosher salt
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

    Icing:

    • 1 blood orange
    • 1.5 cups icing sugar

    Candied Blood Orange Slices:

    • 3 Blood Oranges cut into 0.2in slices
    • 1 cup sugar
    • ½ cup water

    Instructions
     

    Candied Blood Orange Slices:

    • Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare a bowl of iced water.
    • Blanch the orange slices in boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer them to the ice bath.
    • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, swirling the pan occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
    • Once the syrup reaches 225°F/110°C, gently add the orange slices in layers.
    • Simmer until the syrup thickens and reaches about 230°F/115°C, ensuring the orange slices are evenly coated.
    • Using tongs or a fork, transfer the candied orange slices to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Allow them to cool for at least 1 hour.

    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein:

    • Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Grease a springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
    • In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil and brown sugar until mostly dissolved. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until light and foamy.
    • Stir in the blood orange zest, juice, and protein powder until smooth and foamy.
    • In a separate bowl, combine the flours, ground pistachios (reserving 1/4 cup for garnish), baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
    • Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
    • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Blood Orange Icing:

    • In a bowl or small jug, combine the blood orange juice with icing sugar. Start with 2-3 tablespoons of juice and adjust to reach a thick but pourable consistency.
    • Drizzle the icing over the cooled cake, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
    • Allow the icing to set completely before decorating.

    Decorate and Serve:

    • Arrange the candied blood orange slices on top of the cake and sprinkle with the reserved chopped pistachios.
    • Slice and serve the cake with a nice cup of tea or coffee.

    Notes

    Getting Ahead
    Both the sponge and candied oranges can be made the day before. The orange slices keep well in a lidded container in the fridge. Ideally each layer separated by baking parchment, to prevent them from sticking to each other.
    The cake will be fine for up to 5 days covered with kitchen foil or clingfilm. I used kitchen foil and domed it, so it wouldn’t touch the oranges and stick to them.
    The cake also freezes well. Even with the icing, though it will soak into the cake a bit when thawing and not be as pretty anymore. So ideally ice later. Or just enjoy the extra flavour that soaked into the cake.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 468kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 12gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 238mgPotassium: 326mgFiber: 3gSugar: 48gVitamin A: 172IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 107mgIron: 2mg
    Nutrition Facts
    Blood Orange and Pistachio Cake with Protein
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    468
    % Daily Value*
    Fat
     
    21
    g
    32
    %
    Saturated Fat
     
    3
    g
    19
    %
    Trans Fat
     
    0.003
    g
    Polyunsaturated Fat
     
    4
    g
    Monounsaturated Fat
     
    12
    g
    Cholesterol
     
    37
    mg
    12
    %
    Sodium
     
    238
    mg
    10
    %
    Potassium
     
    326
    mg
    9
    %
    Carbohydrates
     
    63
    g
    21
    %
    Fiber
     
    3
    g
    13
    %
    Sugar
     
    48
    g
    53
    %
    Protein
     
    12
    g
    24
    %
    Vitamin A
     
    172
    IU
    3
    %
    Vitamin C
     
    6
    mg
    7
    %
    Calcium
     
    107
    mg
    11
    %
    Iron
     
    2
    mg
    11
    %
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Easy, For Guests, fruit, Protein, Vegetarian
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

     

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    This Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu answered all my cravings for the crunch of KFC chicken, the spiced marinade, and the urgent need for creamy, tangy, and punchy Caesar dressing on a fresh salad. Super satisfying, packed with protein from the tofu with a cashew based sauce, adding all the nutrition you could possibly want for dinner in one delicious plate.

     

    Why You Will Love This

     

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Did you ever feel you really wanted the crunch and flavour of KFC chicken, but in Tofu? Or anything other than meat really, but Tofu really offers itself due to the structure and tenderness you get, when you first press then marinate it. In this case in a marinade made from almond milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice and a spice mix from Joshua Weissman that is very similar to KFCs.
    This infuses the tofu with lovely tang and lots of flavour, getting it ready to be coated in crushed cornflakes. You can bake it in the oven or pan fry, but I found it bakes best in the air fryer, giving you perfectly crunchy and golden pieces, that are rather addictive when dipped into the Caesar Cashew dressing.

    The all-important Caesar Dressing made vegan

    While typical Caesar dressing is made with mayonnaise and anchovies, I’m using a base of cashews, which are blended into a super creamy dressing with capers, to give the salty, briny umami notes you’d usually get from anchovies and Worcester sauce. Nutritional yeast replaces the parmesan, making the dressing vegan.

    While you could of course use a vegan mayonnaise, I prefer the nutritional benefits of cashews, adding protein and minerals. Plus the more natural taste they give to any salad dressing. And I use them for many different ones like my Cashew Ranch Dressing.

    Thyme Lemon Garlic Croutons

    Another defining and rather addictive element of the Caesar salad are the croutons. They are also an ideal use for any stale bread you might have. I used homemade sourdough bread, but any reasonably good bread will do. A few days old is perfect, as it will crisp up in the oven or air fryer. I added fresh thyme from my garden, grated lemon zest from the lemon I used for the dressing, some garlic powder, salt, and olive oil, to give it a lovely herby and fresh flavour.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Crouton Ingredients

    Making them in the air fryer is fantastic, as you only need to shake them once and it’s hands off apart from that. They come out perfectly golden and crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.

    Mixed Salad

    While the classic Caesar Salad would be Romaine, I always like different veggies in my dinner, so I added shredded carrot, thinly sliced white cabbage, sweetcorn, red onions that are being quick pickled in some lemon juice.
    I’ve also added black grapes, but if you are not a fan of fruit in your salads, you could swap them for black olives, which would go really well with the vegan Caesar dressing.

    You could just leave out or swap around any of the veggies I added here. Cucumber and tomatoes would be nice too, radishes, different types of greens, kale in particular or even added asparagus.

     

    The Ingredients

     

    I’m just mentioning a few key ingredients here and why I’m using them. For the full list, please check the recipe card.

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Tofu Marinade

    For the Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu I’m using firm tofu. In Ireland I find the best one of those I tried is from “The Tofuu Co.” https://www.tesco.ie/groceries/en-IE/products/294476706
    You can use any brand, as long as it’s very firm, so it doesn’t fall apart when marinating and then breading.

    Since I wanted to get as close as I could to buttermilk fried chicken, similar to KFC, but without the chicken and huge amount of fat, I used almond milk mixed lemon juice and spices. Don’t be put off by the fairly long list. You will likely have them in your spice collection already, as they are very common.
    The Joshua Weissman recipe for the spice mix I adapted had celery powder in it, which I couldn’t find here, so I used celery salt. This made also up for the fact that Tofu is a bit more neutral than chicken on its own, so it can take more salt.
    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

    I left out the MSG though. Not last because I didn’t have any, but also due to its rather questionable reputation. Personally I admit I haven’t looked into it much, as I rarely eat out, let alone buy convenience food, so it wasn’t much of a topic for me to focus on.
    If you are a fan, feel free to include some. I think the marinade does a fantastic job as it is though.

    Seasoned Flour and Cornflakes are then used for “breading”. And because I’m not working with raw meat, the marinade does double duty instead of eggs, to attach the two dry coatings to the tofu.

    The Cashew Caesar Dressing

    Using cashews as base has become my favourite way to create super creamy, delicious, and nutritious salad dressings. I honestly wouldn’t go back to mayonnaise based, even without the calorie and nutrition consideration. I tried one recently again and simply didn’t like the greasy texture and taste anymore. The cashews are neutral enough to add any flavourings you like and with even a small highspeed blender like the Nutribullet you get an extremely smooth base.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Caesar Cashew dressing

    While the original Caesar dressing didn’t have anchovies, they have become a rather classic way to add umami and saltiness to this tangy sauce. Brined capers, even though I’m not a fan of them on their own (wouldn’t eat anchovies on their own either) have a very similar effect when blended and add a hint of their briny flavour, which goes really well with the tangy punch of mustard and lemon juice that give the dressing its characteristic taste.

    Often parmesan is used to add more saltiness and a cheesy background flavour. So you can use either grated parmesan or, like me, nutritional yeast for a very similar effect.

     

    The Process

     

    Salad

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Meal Prep

    Prepare your salad ingredients:
    Roughly chop the Romaine Lettuce, grate the carrots, finely shred the cabbage, drain and wash the sweetcorn, wash the grapes (or drain olives if you prefer salty to sweet) and keep all in separate containers.

    Peel and thinly slice the onions. In a small bowl mix with ¼ tsp salt and 2-3 tbsp lemon juice. Cover and leave to marinade until ready to use.

    All the veggies will keep well for 3-4 days, if you keep them separate.

    Cashew Caesar Dressing

    Drain the soaked cashews. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender. You can use a normal blender or food processor, but it won’t get as lovely smooth and creamy.
    Blend until creamy.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Caesar Cashew dressing
    Have a taste and add more salt, mustard, or lemon juice to balance the flavours to your liking.

    Croutons

    In a small bowl, mix your olive oil, chopped thyme (or any other hardy herb you might have on hand. Rosemary works very well too), garlic powder and salt.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Croutons

    Add your bread cubes to a larger bowl. Drizzle over your olive oil mix, turning the cubes over after half over it, so they are all coated evenly. Stir carefully to distribute the oil mix and let them sit for a few minutes so the oil can absorb.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Croutons

    Bake in your air fryer at 400°F/200°C for 4 minutes, toss and turn once, then bake for another 2 minutes. Transfer the croutons to a paper towel lined plate until ready to serve. Nibble a few, you know you want to.

    The Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Similar to chicken, that improves dramatically with brining, tofu needs a bit of help to come to its full potential. So this needs a bit of planning ahead. Start about 2h before you plan to fry the tofu or the day before.

    First remove your tofu from its package, drain the fluid and press it. You can either wrap it into a clean kitchen towel between 2 wooden boards and put something heavy on top. Or, if you want a much easier and less precarious solution, get a tofu press like this one and put it in the fridge for an hour or longer.

    Once your tofu has given up some of its liquid, it’s time to marinade it. Cut into about ½ in / 1cm thick slices and halve them diagonal. You could just leave them in one piece, but I think more corners mean more crunch and more crunch is always better.

    Mix your plant milk with a tbsp of lemon juice and let it stand while you get your spice mix together. Add the marinade spice mix to the now curdled milk and whisk well. In a container that is large enough to hold all tofu pieces in one layer or a freezer bag, add first your tofu then pour the tangy, spicy milk mix over it. Now let this marinade in the fridge for at least 1h, better even overnight.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

    Meanwhile, mix the flour with the spices and herbs for the dredge mix. This will season the tofu even more and give it that characteristic crust you’d get on fried chicken.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

    Now obviously we are not deep frying this, so the incredible crunchy crust that develops when the marinade-flour (and usually egg) mixture hits the hot fat, will come from crushed cornflakes.

    In a firmly closed freezer bag, crush your cornflakes either by hand or, carefully, so you don’t pop the bag and scatter the crumbs across your kitchen (never happened to me…ahem…) with a rolling pin or bottom of a cooking pot. You want relatively rough crumbs, not fine as panko. Check the picture for the texture we are aiming for.

    When you are ready to fry your tofu, set up a breading station with 3 rimmed containers or deep plates. Into one add your flour-spice dredge, the second will hold all the remaining marinade that wasn’t absorbed by the tofu, the third has the crushed cornflakes.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Breading

    Using one hand for dry and one for wet, to avoid the dreaded dough fingers, firmly press your tofu first into the flour, coating it very well, pushing it in, so it sticks. Then into the marinade, turning once until coated- Last into the cornflakes, again, pressing firmly, covering it with the crumbs and pushing down until every last bit is well coated.

    Spray both your air fryer basket and the tofu pieces with a bit of vegetable or avocado oil.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu_Tofu

    The crunchy tofu will take about 15 minutes in your air fryer at 400°F/200°C, turning it once very carefully after 10minutes, the fry for another 5 until golden and crunchy.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    I you are making them in the oven, this will take about 25-30minutes at 450°F/225°C, turning them after 15 minutes.

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    To Serve

    First drape a bed of romaine lettuce on a plate, followed by the carrots, cabbage, sweetcorn, onions and grapes or olives. Drizzle everything with a bit of the Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing. Top with croutons and crispy tofu and serve with more dressing on the side, to drizzle over or dip your tofu pieces into.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

     

    Meal Prep

     

    I prepared this Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu on my weekend, to have a fresh salad during my workdays. Keeping everything separate in containers, the tofu in a paper towel lined box, means you can assemble freshly, and everything remains crunchy.

    I re-heated the tofu pieces in the air fryer before serving, so they were just as crispy as freshly made.

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    If you liked this, you might also enjoy:

    Sweet Potato Grape Salad with Goats Cheese

    How about a fresh dessert?

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

     

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    This Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu answered all my cravings for the crunch of KFC chicken, the spiced marinade, and the urgent need for creamy, tangy, and punchy Caesar dressing on a fresh salad. Super satisfying, packed with protein from the tofu with a cashew based sauce, adding all the nutrition you could possibly want for dinner in one delicious plate.
    Prep Time 45 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Tofu Pressing and marinading 2 hours
    Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
    Course Dinner, Main Course, Salad
    Cuisine American, Fusion
    Servings 6
    Calories 553 kcal

    Equipment

    • High Speed Blender, oven or air fryer

    Ingredients
      

    Salad

    • 1 Romaine Lettuce
    • 1 can Sweetcorn
    • ¼ white cabbage thinly sliced
    • 2 carrots coarsely grated
    • 2 cups Grapes
    • 2 onions thinly sliced
    • 1 Lemon juice
    • ¼ tsp salt

    Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing

    • ½ cup raw cashews soaked for 30min in just boiled water
    • ½ cup water
    • ¼ cup lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
    • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 2 tsp capers
    • 2 cloves garlic

    Homemade Croutons

    • 4 slices sourdough bread cubed into bite sized pieces
    • 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped
    • ½ tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 3 tbsp olive oil

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu

    • 1 Block tofu pressed
    • 1 cup plant milk with lemon juice
    • 1.5 tsp Kosher salt
    • 1 tsp ground white pepper
    • 2 tsp smoked paprika
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1.5 cups crushed cornflakes

    11 Herbs and Spices Dredge

    • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1.5 tbsp Kosher salt
    • 2 tsp ground white pepper
    • 1 tsp ginger powder
    • 1 tsp celery powder or celery salt
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp dried oregano crushed
    • 1 tsp dried thyme crushed
    • 2 tsp mustard powder

    Instructions
     

    Salad:

    • Prepare all salad ingredients as mentioned. Marinate sliced onions in salt and lemon juice. Keep all ingredients separate.

    Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing:

    • Drain soaked cashews.
    • In a blender, combine soaked cashews, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Dijon mustard, capers, and garlic cloves.
    • Blend until creamy. Adjust salt, mustard, or lemon juice to taste.

    Homemade Croutons:

    • Preheat air fryer to 400°F/200°C.
    • In a small bowl, mix olive oil, chopped thyme, garlic powder, and kosher salt.
    • Toss cubed bread in the olive oil mixture until evenly coated.
    • Air fry for 4 minutes, toss, then fry for another 2 minutes until golden and crisp.
    • Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.

    Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu:

    • Press tofu to remove excess liquid.
    • Cut tofu into slices about ½ inch thick, then half diagonal.
    • Mix plant milk with lemon juice and let it curdle.
    • Combine the plant “buttermilk” with salt, white pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. Marinate tofu in this mixture for at least 1 hour in the fridge. Overnight is better.
    • Crush cornflakes into coarse crumbs.
    • Mix flour with spices for dredge.
    • Set up a breading station with flour-spice dredge, remaining marinade, and crushed cornflakes.
    • Coat tofu slices in flour mixture, then marinade, and last crushed cornflakes.
    • Spray air fryer basket and tofu slices with oil.
    • Air fry tofu at 400°F/200°C for 15 minutes, flipping once after 10 minutes.

    To Serve:

    • Arrange romaine lettuce on plates.
    • Top with grated carrots, sliced cabbage, sweetcorn, marinated onions, grapes (or olives), and croutons.
    • Drizzle with Vegan Cashew Caesar Dressing.
    • Add crispy air-fried tofu on top.
    • Serve additional dressing on the side for dipping or drizzling.
    • Enjoy your Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu!

    Notes

    Meal Prep
    I prepared this Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu on my weekend, to have a fresh salad during my workdays. Keeping everything separate in containers, the tofu in a paper towel lined box, means you can assemble freshly, and everything remains crunchy.
    I re-heated the tofu pieces in the air fryer before serving, so they were just as crispy as freshly made.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 553kcalCarbohydrates: 84gProtein: 20gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gSodium: 3778mgPotassium: 614mgFiber: 8gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 4893IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 226mgIron: 14mg
    Nutrition Facts
    Vegetarian Caesar Salad with Crunchy Air Fryer Tofu
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    553
    % Daily Value*
    Fat
     
    17
    g
    26
    %
    Saturated Fat
     
    3
    g
    19
    %
    Polyunsaturated Fat
     
    4
    g
    Monounsaturated Fat
     
    9
    g
    Sodium
     
    3778
    mg
    164
    %
    Potassium
     
    614
    mg
    18
    %
    Carbohydrates
     
    84
    g
    28
    %
    Fiber
     
    8
    g
    33
    %
    Sugar
     
    18
    g
    20
    %
    Protein
     
    20
    g
    40
    %
    Vitamin A
     
    4893
    IU
    98
    %
    Vitamin C
     
    31
    mg
    38
    %
    Calcium
     
    226
    mg
    23
    %
    Iron
     
    14
    mg
    78
    %
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Healthy, High Fibre, meal prep, Protein, vegetables, Vegetarian, versatile
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    All the flavour of a delicious and refreshing Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake on a coconut crust, but without the cheese. Instead 15g protein per slice, about one third less sugar and fat and easier to digest for those of us with lactose intolerance. Giving you the tropical island feeling in the middle of winter. This is what I call a dessert worth eating!

     

    It’s winter here in Ireland. And that means…well…we have weather. As all year round essentially. Just a lot wetter and a bit colder. My garden is one big mudslide, all green removed by huge dog paws racing happily around in the mud. Wookie, with his giant fluffy paws, absolutely loves splashing the mud by jumping up and down with his front. Or simply splashing the water from his bowl, causing a huge muddy mess.

    Until recently I just wiped his and Lilly’s paws dry when they came in, but the amount of mud in my living room (which goes out to the garden) has become plain unmanageable. So I started washing their paws with the shower head of my garden hose.

    Now you’d think they’d hate that, but Lilly grew up going to the beach every day and happily jumping into the little river flowing into the sea, swimming upstream, mouth open, to drink.
    She discovered very quickly that the shower head can be used in the same way and Wookie learns fast. He often sticks his whole head under the water, lapping it while he is getting dripping wet.

    Recently he found out, that me turning on the flat stream with more pressure means, he can simply open his mouth and get all the water he wants directly delivered into it. And now he constantly demands to be let out to drink, waiting until I get them in, to drink from the hose. I have created a monster!

    Where was I before digressing? Ah yes, wet, cold winter. And that means I need either a nice bowl of hot soup (Like my Vegan Tom Kha Soup https://forthepleasureofeating.com/vegan-tom-kha-soup/ ) or something sweet, tasting like summer. Which is how this Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein was created.

     

    Why You Will Love This

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    Being uhm…selectively lactose intolerant (is that a thing?) means I feel queasy after eating cheesecake made with cream cheese but can happily eat yoghurt. Now I’m not a scientist, but I suspect the yoghurt cultures help with the digestion. Oddly enough I can also eat other cheeses, but apparently the sheer amount of the fresh stuff in one slice is more than my tummy tolerates.
    On top of that it tends to be pretty high in fat and calories and I have yet to find a “light” one that I enjoy. Meaning, once more, I had to create my own.

    Lower fat and sugar, higher protein

    This recipe, while tasting utterly indulgent and like proper creamy cheesecake, has only about 310cal per slice (assuming 12 slices) just 18g fat and sugar, but about 10g protein. Compared to the about 550cal, 40g fat and sugar and only 6g protein of an average Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake.
    The tropical tasting coconut crust instead of the more typical crushed biscuits with butter doubles the amount of fibre and replaces the butter with the slightly healthier coconut oil.

    Easier to digest for people with lactose intolerance

    By using yoghurt and coconut milk instead of cream cheese for the filling, you can probably eat this even if you are lactose intolerant as me.

    Mango and White Chocolate for a taste of Summer

    Mangos are readily available in winter, but really taste like summer, don’t they? This cake (or rather pie I suppose) transports you right onto a tropical island with its flavours of mango, coconut, and lime, so you can forget the cold and grey outside for a while.
    Of course it’s equally enjoyable in summer, but that seems just so far away right now!

     

    The Ingredients

     

    I’m listing just a few key ingredients here and why I’m using them, to not bore you to death with the whole list.

    Crust

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Crust ingredients

    The crust was adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks “At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well “ by Amy Chaplin.

    I’m using shredded, toasted coconut and coconut oil together with maple syrup, to get a crunchy crust that compliments the White Chocolate Mango filling.

     

    White Chocolate Mango Filling

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Ingredients

    For the filling, try to get really ripe mango, as they will cook down into a coulis much easier. I had rather unripe mangoes, which was all I could find, and not the patience to let them ripen. Also, is it just me or are mangoes very much like Avocados, with their about 5 minutes of perfect ripeness?

    Anyway, if you, like me, can only find relatively hard mangoes, you can still puree them reasonably fine in a food processor, then cook, to soften as much as possible and throw into a blender. Ideally high speed like a Nutribullet. The result won’t be perfect, but still delicious.

    The creamy cheesecake-ness comes from 0% fat Greek yoghurt combined with a can of full fat coconut milk and protein powder. The whole mix will be fairly liquid, so we firm it up with gelatine.

    When I was making it the first time, I honestly thought it would just remain liquid and I had completely miscalculated. But it simply needs a few hours in the fridge, ideally overnight, so you aren’t getting impatient (like me) and checking every 20 minutes.

    For the protein powder, use one you really enjoy. I’ve tried several vegan ones in the past and absolutely could not stand the flavour, and after trying then multiple whey based ones, I landed on MyProtein and absolutely love it! For this recipe I used their Buttered Popcorn flavour, but any nice vanilla flavoured one will do fine.

    This is neither affiliated nor sponsored. Just what I enjoy in my food.
    The fact that the protein powder provides a lot of sweetness and the mango and white chocolate add to that means, I got away with adding just one tablespoon of honey.

    White chocolate wise, I used Lindt. A good alternative would be Green&Blacks or any reasonably good quality white chocolate.

    The Process

     

    The Mango Coulis

    Start by making the Mango Coulis. This can be done up to 2 days before making the cake, as it keeps well in the fridge.

    Simply peel the mango, cut it off the stone by slicing down on both sides of it, then cube the flesh.

    Add it to a cooking pot with the sugar and lime juice and cook until very soft and starting to fall apart, stirring occasionally. The time this takes depends on how ripe your mangoes were to begin with.

    Once the fruit is soft, either tip into a blender (if you are using a Nutribullet or similar closed blender, please let it cool first, or the heat from blending could lead to it exploding) and blend until smooth. You could also use an immersion hand blender for this.

    Pass through a sieve for smoother consistency.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Filling

    Leave to cool either in the fridge, if making the day before, or room temperature, if you plan to use it on the same day.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Filling

    Divide your Mango Coulis into 2 portions. Keep half in the fridge for topping the cake once firmed up later or the next day. It will thicken a bit, which is what we want.

     

    The Crust

    Now prepare the coconut crust. You can do this up to 2 days in advance as well. If you do, wrap it well into clingfilm, ideally still in the springform, until ready to use.

    Start by pre-heating your oven to 300°F/150°C.

    Spread the shredded coconut on a parchment lined baking tray and toast for about 4 minutes, stir and toast for another 2-3 minutes, until golden and fragrant.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process

    Take out of the oven and divide into 2 portions.

    Line a springform bottom with parchment paper and lightly grease the sides.

    Raise the oven temperature to 350°F/175°C.

    Add one portion of the toasted shredded coconut to a food processor together with the oats, salt and flour. Process until finely ground.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Crust
    Add remaining coconut, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup and pulse until combined. Don’t overprocess, to keep some structure to the mix.

    Tip into a bowl and mix with a spoon or your hands until it comes together. Add a little more oil or maple syrup if it feels too dry. You should be able to form clumps, but also crumble them apart easily.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Crust

    Transfer the mix into your prepared springform and push flat using your hands, all the way to the sides, but not up. It should form one even layer.
    Prick with a fork a few times all over.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process_Crust

    Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, turning around once, if your oven bakes unevenly, until golden brown and smelling delicious.

    Leave to cool, but still in the springform, while you prepare the filling.

    The Filling

    Gently melt your white chocolate either over a water bath or in the microwave. If using a microwave, set it to 600 watt and melt in 30 second bursts, stirring in between, until nearly melted, then stir a bit longer and see if it comes together. If not continue in 10 second bursts until you can stir it creamy.

    Tip: White chocolate melts much faster than dark, due to the high cocoa butter content. Unfortunately it also seizes up much faster, so proceed with care, to avoid it getting crumbly due to overheating. I’m afraid if it does, there is no coming back from it. You might still be able to use it, but it will likely impact the texture of your filling.
    White chocolate won’t get as liquid as dark either. It rather remains at the creamy stage and goes straight to crumbly after.

    In a large bowl (I used the Tupperware mixing bowl with a lid that has an opening in the middle here, to avoid splattering) and a hand mixer or in a blender blend together half the Mango Coulis, melted white chocolate, yoghurt, coconut milk, lime juice, honey, vanilla and protein powder.
    Have a taste and add more honey or lime juice if you think it needs it.

    In a small microwave proof bowl or cup mix your gelatine powder with 2 tbsp of water. Microwave for 10 seconds until liquid. Add to the rest of the filling and mix again until slightly foamy.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process

    Pour your filling onto the crust in the springform and transfer to the fridge carefully, to firm up. At this stage I would not cover it, as any clingfilm has the tendency to attach to the filling and leave marks we don’t want. Once it is firm to the touch you can cover the form with clingfilm.

    I usually leave my cake overnight, so I’m not entirely sure how many hours it will take to firm up exactly. It’s definitely more than one though. My estimation would be 3-4.

    Once your Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein is firm to the touch and set, spread the remaining Mango Coulis evenly over the top.
    Chill while you prepare your optional toppings.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein_Process

    Slice your last Mango and lime thinly. Whip your Oatly cream (chilled ideally, or it won’t be firm enough. Have a wild guess how I know…) and toast some coconut flakes if you like.

    Decorate your pie with the whipped cream, mango, lime, and coconut. I pulled the cream out into the mango coulis for a star-like pattern, using a toothpick.

    Then run a sharp knife briefly under hot water and dry. Slide around the insides of the springform, to loosen the pie. Remove the ring by opening the clasp and pulling it off carefully.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    You can now either leave the pie on the springform bottom or carefully slide onto a plate. The transfer can be a bit nerve wracking but should work out fine if you are gentle.

    Serve your Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein with a nice cup of tea or coffee and feel like you have gone on vacation on a tropical island, even on the coldest winter day.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    Storing

    This Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Though the crust might soften a bit. Personally I quite like it that way.

     

    If you liked this recipe, you might also enjoy:

    Protein Chocolate Mousse Pie

    Banoffee Protein Mousse Pie

    Protein Banoffee Pie Yoghurt

    Buttermilk Sourdough Waffles with Protein

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein

    All the flavour of a delicious and refreshing Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake on a coconut crust, but without the cheese. Instead 13g protein per slice, about one third less sugar and fat and easier to digest for those of us with lactose intolerance. Giving you the tropical island feeling in the middle of winter. This is what I call a dessert worth eating!
    Prep Time 40 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Cooling time 4 hours
    Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes
    Course Cake, Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine American
    Servings 12
    Calories 364 kcal

    Equipment

    • Food Processor, Blender or Immersion blender, springform

    Ingredients
      

    Crust

    • 1.5 cups shredded coconut toasted, divided
    • 1/3 cup oats
    • 1 cup wholegrain spelt flour
    • 3 tbsp coconut flour or more spelt
    • ¼ cup coconut oil
    • ¼ cup + 2tbsp maple syrup
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

    Mango Coulis

    • 2 mangos ripe, chopped
    • 1 tbsp lime juice
    • 1.5 tbsp sugar

    “Cream Cheese” filling

    • 2 cups 0% fat Greek yoghurt
    • 1 can coconut milk full fat
    • 1 tbsp lime juice
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3.5 oz/100g white chocolate melted
    • 2 scoops protein powder I used MyProtein “Buttered Popcorn”, but vanilla works well.
    • 2 tbsp 1 pack powdered gelatine

    To Garnish (Optional)

    • 1 Mango sliced
    • 1 lime sliced
    • 1 pack Oatly whipping cream
    • A few coconut flakes or shaved white chocolate

    Instructions
     

    Mango Coulis:

    • Peel and cube the mango flesh.
    • In a pot, combine mango cubes, sugar, and lime juice.
    • Cook until very soft and starting to fall apart, stirring occasionally.
    • Blend until smooth using a blender or immersion hand blender.
    • Pass through a sieve to get a smoother consistency
    • Allow cooling to room temperature or refrigerate if making in advance.

    Crust:

    • Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C.
    • Toast shredded coconut on a parchment-lined baking tray for 4-6 minutes until golden and fragrant.
    • Divide toasted coconut into two portions.
    • Raise your oven temperature to 350°F/175°C
    • In a food processor, combine one portion of toasted coconut with oats, salt, and flour. Process until finely ground.
    • Add remaining coconut, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Pulse until just combined.
    • Transfer mixture into a bowl and mix until it comes together, adding a little more maple syrup or coconut oil if it feels too dry.
    • Press mixture into the bottom of a parchment-lined springform pan to form an even layer.
    • Bake for 16-18 minutes until golden brown.
    • Allow to cool while preparing the filling.

    Filling:

    • Gently melt white chocolate using a double boiler or microwave on low in short bursts, stirring frequently.
    • In a large bowl or blender, mix half of the Mango Coulis, melted white chocolate, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, lime juice, honey, vanilla extract, and protein powder until smooth.
    • Taste and adjust sweetness or acidity if necessary.
    • In a small microwave-proof bowl, mix gelatin powder with 2 tbsp water and microwave for 10 seconds until liquid.
    • Add the gelatin mixture to the filling and mix until slightly foamy.
    • Pour the filling over the cooled crust in the springform pan.
    • Refrigerate until firm, preferably overnight.

    Assembly:

    • Spread the remaining Mango Coulis evenly over the top of the set cheesecake.
    • Optional: Whip the Oatly cream until soft peaks form.
    • Decorate the cheesecake with whipped cream, sliced mango, lime, and coconut flakes or shaved white chocolate.
    • Run a sharp knife briefly under hot water, dry, and then slide around the edges of the springform pan to loosen the cheesecake.
    • Carefully remove the springform ring.
    • Transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate if desired.
    • Slice and serve chilled.
    • Enjoy your Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein!

    Notes

    Storing
    This Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Though the crust might soften a bit. Personally I quite like it that way.
     

    Nutrition

    Calories: 364kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 13gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 85mgPotassium: 251mgFiber: 5gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 393IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 3mg
    Nutrition Facts
    Mango White Chocolate Cheesecake with Protein
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    364
    % Daily Value*
    Fat
     
    17
    g
    26
    %
    Saturated Fat
     
    14
    g
    88
    %
    Polyunsaturated Fat
     
    0.3
    g
    Monounsaturated Fat
     
    1
    g
    Cholesterol
     
    10
    mg
    3
    %
    Sodium
     
    85
    mg
    4
    %
    Potassium
     
    251
    mg
    7
    %
    Carbohydrates
     
    42
    g
    14
    %
    Fiber
     
    5
    g
    21
    %
    Sugar
     
    22
    g
    24
    %
    Protein
     
    13
    g
    26
    %
    Vitamin A
     
    393
    IU
    8
    %
    Vitamin C
     
    15
    mg
    18
    %
    Calcium
     
    40
    mg
    4
    %
    Iron
     
    3
    mg
    17
    %
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Easy, For Guests, fruit, Healthy, High Protein, Low Calorie
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

     

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein have everything you could possibly want in a muffin: Crunchy, nutty pistachios, a soft and fluffy inside, studded with sweet-tart dried apricots and a crunchy brown sugar sprinkled top. All that with 7g protein per muffin and just 280cal. So you can have a yummy snack with your coffee and feel good about it!

    Why You Want to Make Them

     

    Are you going nuts for Pistachios too?

    I’m honestly hooked recently. I got a big jar of pistachio butter from Bulk and it’s utterly delicious on pretty much everything. I spread it on some rice cakes, topped with blueberries as my evening sweet snack, stirred it in oatmeal with cherries, made Pistachio-Protein Crème Brulee and now these Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein.

    Of course Pistachios aren’t technically nuts, but rather the stone of a fruit, very similar to almonds, which explains their affinity for very similar foods almonds go with. I added some almond essence to these muffins, which underlines the Pistachio flavour rather perfectly.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    Speaking of Protein

    If you read a few of the sweet recipes on my blog, you probably noticed that I’m adding protein to many of them. Considering I’m not eating much meat and am not the biggest fan of legumes, so I don’t want to include them into every single meal. Yet, have an acute need to add more protein to my diet, to meet the target for muscle building and/or maintenance, which is at least around 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, I keep looking for ways to increase my intake, without drinking shakes. Why not shakes you ask? They simply bore me.

    I feel if I’m not eating or drinking something that is worth the calories, I’m wasting my time.
    Is it a weird way to see food? Maybe.
    But having lost 70lb taught me, that I’m working on an energy budget per day. Loving food and eating means, I want to spend it well. This does not include the same boring protein shake every day, but rather finding recipes to excite me and have me look forward to eating them.
    That’s where Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein come in: Something I really enjoy eating and am looking forward to, which also adds a nice portion of protein to my day.

    Easy to Make

    If you ever made muffins, you probably loved how easy they are. I know I do. The batter comes together in 10-15 minutes and that includes getting the ingredients out.
    Well…unless your store cupboards are way too full, like mine, and you have to rummage around in them to find stuff. I knew I had dried apricots somewhere! *Empties half her pantry before finding the bag*

    Lower calories than your average Muffin

    Eating an average muffin, according to Google, you are looking at 340-424 calories. That is a fairly big chunk out of your daily budget, if you are watching your weight like I do.
    Having gained a few pounds over Christmas (because I can’t be trusted around sweets), I’m currently trying to get rid of them again. But I really don’t want to go without a sweet treat per day! That would just leave me grumpy and missing something, which in turn means, once I lost the weight I’d go even more for sweets again. Not a good cycle.

    So my solution is, to develop recipes that are sweet, not compromising in flavour, yet lower in calories than the standard versions. This is one of them.
    Oh and I want them to have nutritional value too. High standards for sure.
    These Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein have only 280 calories per muffin, which is a nice bit of saving for one satisfying snack. Or even breakfast if you like.

     

    The Ingredients

    Looking at the typical Pistachio Muffin recipe, I noticed that most are using rather artificial pudding mix to accomplish taste and texture of them. I wanted natural taste though and not use some mix with barely any real pistachio in it.
    That means my muffins aren’t bright green, since they have no colouring either, but instead mostly natural and nutritious ingredients.
    Except the protein powder. Let’s be honest, it isn’t natural, but I feel the benefits outweigh that downside.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein_Ingredients

    Note, these are just some of the ingredients and why I use them, not all, as most are still those of a classic muffin.

    Let’s start with the obvious bit: Pistachio butter. I only replaced half of the butter with it, as nut butter has less fat than butter, which would have meant I needed to add more other fat back in, which wasn’t the idea.

    Keeping half and adding a mix of sour cream and 0% fat Greek yoghurt gave me the moisture content I lost, by swapping part of the butter into Pistachio butter.

    I also reduced both the flour and sugar by adding protein powder. Buttered Popcorn flavoured in this case, though you can easily use vanilla.
    I particularly love MyProtein (not sponsored or affiliated, though I wish it would be, I use it so much!), which adds lovely flavour and sweetness to my recipes, without any weird aftertaste.
    You can safely replace about ¼ of the flour in a recipe with it, without any negative impact. Use more, and the results might be drier than intended.

    I’m still using a mix of white and brown sugar, but less than usual, to keep the structure needed. The sugar mixed with the sweetener from the protein powder also means it still tastes just naturally sweet.

    While looking into the secrets of Pistachio muffins, I found the pudding powder not only adds flavour and sweetness, but also a bit of cornflour, which will thicken the pudding, but add a lovely softness to muffin batter. So I replaced some of the flour with cornflour to achieve the same effect.

    Nutrition and flavour wise, I prefer a mix of white flour for lightness and the typical muffin feel and whole wheat flour for some nutty flavour. If you can find it, use fine whole wheat flour, which is great for lighter pastry.

    For even more flavour, I’m using a bit of almond extract, which is in the same flavour family as pistachio, making it a natural choice. Unless you have natural pistachio extract, which would be a fantastic replacement. But I couldn’t find any in my local supermarkets and wasn’t keen on ordering just for this recipe. Though…it’s in my head now, I still might. Has anyone tried it? What were your thoughts?

    To reduce the sugar and up the fruit content, I swapped out 2 eggs for 2 bananas. You can choose to use just eggs for more protein but add a little more sugar.

    For the add-ins I’m using dried apricots, as they are not adding a lot of additional water, which I’d have to account for if I’d be using fresh ones. But, since I found some fresh apricots at Tesco, I decided to add half a fruit on top of each muffin, which gave them an amazing fruity-fresh kick I loved.
    They are purely optional though.

    Also some chopped pistachios for extra crunch and more pistachio flavour.

    Each muffin got a little sprinkling of demerara sugar on top, adding some sparkle, crunch, and sweetness, making the muffins extra special.

     

    The Process

    The one thing that makes all baking easier is, to have all the ingredients at room temperature. If you have fridge cold butter, it’s much harder to mix it with the sugar. Just melted however, will give you a greasy result.
    Similar for the eggs, which, when cold, can lead to a curdled result while mixing into the soft butter.
    So plan a little bit ahead by taking everything out of the fridge an hour or so before you plan to make your muffins.

    Preheat your oven to 425°F/220°C and line a muffin tin with muffin cases. Or grease it thoroughly if you prefer. Personally I find muffin cases much easier to remove and they leave less to clean, which is always a plus in my book.

    If you have 2 muffin tins, you’ll need both. Otherwise you might bake in 2 batches, as this recipe makes about 16 large muffins.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein_Process

    From there on it’s as easy as mixing the butter with the sugar until fluffy and white. Then, one by one, whisk the eggs and mashed bananas in until well incorporated.
    Add the protein powder with the remaining wet ingredients, to make sure you have no protein lumps in your Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein_Process

    Now mix your dry ingredients, keeping back about 1-2 tbsp of the chopped pistachios for sprinkling on top, and add most of them to your batter. But not all. Keep a few tablespoons of the flour mix back, to coat the chopped apricots in. This is to prevent them from sinking to the bottom.

    Gently fold your dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. A few lumps are fine. Don’t overmix, or your muffins will be tough from the gluten you developed.
    Then add the flour coated apricots and fold them in too.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein_Process

    Divide the batter between the muffin molds, filling them all the way, so you get nice and high tops. I use an ice cream scoop for this, to make it very easy. Two tablespoons work too.

    Sprinkle with the remaining chopped pistachios, lay a sliced fresh apricot half on top, if using, then sprinkle lightly with demerara sugar.

    Now you might have looked at the high oven temperature and thought it might be a typo. It’s not. The high initial temperature is what gives you the beautiful high muffin tops, but it will be lowered after 5-7 minutes of baking, to the classic 350°F/175°C, to bake for another 15-17 minutes, depending on your oven.
    Just don’t open the oven door, except once, around half of the baking time, to turn your muffin tin, should your oven bake unevenly.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    Your Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein are ready when the top is golden brown and toothpick comes out mostly clean, a few crumbs are ok.

    Let them cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then take them out onto a wire rack.

    Enjoy your fluffy, tangy, and crunchy Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein with a nice cup of coffee or tea. They are also really good for breakfast.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    Storing your Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    The muffins keep well in a tin or box for about 3 days.
    They also freeze very well. I usually place most in freezer proof containers or small freezer bags and just air fry them for about 7 minutes when I want one. They taste like fresh!

    If you liked this recipe, try my Sourdough Pumpkin Apple Muffins with Protein

    These delicious Sourdough Brownies with Protein

    Or a super easy Cherry Peach Clafoutis with Protein

     

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein

    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein have everything could possibly want in a muffin: Crunchy, nutty pistachios, a soft and fluffy inside, studded with sweet-tart dried apricots and a crunchy brown sugar sprinkled top. All that with 7g protein per muffin and just 280cal. So you can have a yummy snack with your coffee and feel good about it!
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 35 minutes
    Course Breakfast, Cake, Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine American
    Servings 16
    Calories 299 kcal

    Equipment

    • Muffin Tin

    Ingredients
      

    • ½ cup butter + 2 tbsp
    • ½ cup pistachio butter
    • 1/3 cup white sugar
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • ½ cup 0% fat Greek yoghurt
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 1 tbsp almond extract
    • ¾ cup protein powder
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 ripe bananas mashed
    • 1 cup white flour
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 4 tbsp cornflour
    • 4 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 cup dried apricots chopped roughly
    • ½ cup chopped pistachios 1-2 tbsp kept for sprinkling on top
    • 1 tbsp demerara sugar for sprinkling
    • 8 fresh apricots for topping optional but delicious

    Instructions
     

    • Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature for easier mixing. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Line a muffin tin with cases or grease it.
    • In a large bowl, cream together ½ cup + 2tbsp softened butter, pistachio butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy and white.
    • Whisk in the eggs and mashed bananas, one at a time, until well incorporated. Add sour cream, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Mix until smooth.
    • Combine the protein powder with the remaining wet ingredients to avoid lumps. Mix until well incorporated.
    • In a separate bowl, mix the white flour, whole wheat flour, cornflour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Reserve 1-2 tbsp of the flour mix to coat the chopped dried apricots and 1-2 tbsp chopped pistachios for topping the muffins.
    • Add most of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and gently fold until just combined.
    • Toss the chopped dried apricots in the reserved flour mixture to prevent sinking. Fold them into the batter.
    • Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cases, filling them to the top. Use an ice cream scoop or two tablespoons for ease. Sprinkle the remaining chopped pistachios on top. Optionally, place a fresh apricot half, cut in slices on each muffin and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes at 425°F/220°C, then reduce the temperature to 350°F/175°C and bake for an additional 15-17 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
    • Allow the muffins to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
    • Serve and enjoy your fluffy, tangy, and crunchy Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein with a cup of coffee or tea. They make a lovely breakfast treat too.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 299kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 10gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 467mgPotassium: 369mgFiber: 3gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 982IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 121mgIron: 2mg
    Nutrition Facts
    Pistachio Muffins with Apricots and Protein
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    299
    % Daily Value*
    Fat
     
    13
    g
    20
    %
    Saturated Fat
     
    6
    g
    38
    %
    Trans Fat
     
    0.2
    g
    Polyunsaturated Fat
     
    2
    g
    Monounsaturated Fat
     
    4
    g
    Cholesterol
     
    53
    mg
    18
    %
    Sodium
     
    467
    mg
    20
    %
    Potassium
     
    369
    mg
    11
    %
    Carbohydrates
     
    37
    g
    12
    %
    Fiber
     
    3
    g
    13
    %
    Sugar
     
    20
    g
    22
    %
    Protein
     
    10
    g
    20
    %
    Vitamin A
     
    982
    IU
    20
    %
    Vitamin C
     
    4
    mg
    5
    %
    Calcium
     
    121
    mg
    12
    %
    Iron
     
    2
    mg
    11
    %
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Easy, For Guests, Healthy, Protein, Vegetarian
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    Vegan Taco Casserole

    Vegan Taco Casserole

    It’s Veganuary, time for vegan comfort food, which is exactly the right time for Vegan Taco Casserole. All the flavour of an amazing Taco Casserole, none of the meat. Instead an alternative made from mushrooms to bring all the umami flavour, lentils and walnuts for protein and texture and a super creamy vegan queso topping you’ll want to pour over everything after making it the first time. Fantastic for meal prep for the whole week too, so you have less stress on workdays.

    The recipe makes a very large casserole with about 8-10 portions and freezes great. So you can make a large batch and freeze some for busy weeks. Or cook it for a crowd.

    Not sure about you, but I just could not resist the Christmas sweets, they are always my downfall. So, of course I gained a few pounds that I’d like to shed again. Recipes like this one, heavy on veggies, light on calories and super satisfying, help me to very easily get rid of the few extra pounds, without feeling I’m on a diet.

     

    Why You Want to Make This

     

    Vegan. Taco. Casserole.

    I mean, need I really say more? I do? Ok then:
    While I’m not a vegan as such, I do enjoy vegan food. Weird you think? Not after you try this Vegan Taco Casserole. I often find minced meat a bit odd texturally and am plain not a big fan of it. But making it vegan adds for me flavour and texture wise. The mushrooms together with lentils, walnuts and a few “secret” ingredients give you tons of very satisfying meatiness while sneakily adding all of their benefits to your favourite comfort food.

    Vegan Taco Casserole

    Essentially we have a layer of soft tortillas as a base, topped with a mix of the vegan mince meat mix together with beans, which of course belong into any Taco and also add more protein. Sweetcorn goes in too for me, as I love it in pretty much everything and it adds more veggie content. If you can’t stand it, just leave it out or add more beans. This mix is flavoured with your favourite Salsa and a few spices, then fried for even more flavour.

    Really Good for You

    All the deliciousness of it will give you 4 different legumes plus mushrooms in one go, which makes it incredibly good for you. The toppings of lettuce and cherry tomato add not just juiciness and crunch, but also to your daily veggie intake.

    Vegan Queso

    The fantastic Vegan Queso recipe is from “Rainbow Plant Life” and her incredible Crunchwrap Supreme video.
    I made it a little less spicy but add as much spice as you like. It’s utterly addictive and dare I say better than dairy queso? I honestly prefer the taste of the creamy blended cashews with all the spices and flavours to the texture of typical Queso any day.

    I have topped the casserole with vegan grated cheese too, but I think you could even leave it out and be more than satisfied.

    Optional but delicious Toppings

    For me, the toppings are the best thing about Tacos, so of course it’s the same for Vegan Taco Casserole.

    I top mine with homemade Guacamole https://forthepleasureofeating.com/easy-guacamole/, Vegan Greek Style Yoghurt mixed with some lime juice, zest and salt, making it similar to the crema you usually get with Tacos.

    For extra crunch I added some chopped romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, spring onions, and, of course, tortilla chips. Most of them are incidentally vegan, but some have dairy in the seasoning. So if you are strictly vegan, check the ingredient list to be sure.

    The Ingredients

    Most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry or fridge. Just a few fresh veggies and you have the Vegan Taco Casserole of your dreams ready.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Ingredients

    The Taco Mix

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Ingredients

    Mushrooms

    Mushrooms have a list of powerful health benefits according to studies. Decreasing the risk of cancer, lowering sodium intake and promoting lower cholesterol are just a few of them.
    To me, their amazing umami flavour is enough to add them. I hear some complaints from the backrow there about texture, to which I say: Fry them until browned and crispy and see how you feel about them like that.
    I quite enjoy the brown inexpensive button mushrooms I get at any supermarket here. But any will do. You can try a mix with Shiitake if you find it.

    Legumes

    Legumes, with again impressive health benefits containing B vitamins, folate and iron, and a great vegan source for protein, I’m adding them here for texture and flavour. Together with mushrooms and walnuts, they make a fantastic meat alternative. The colour doesn’t matter much. I just used the green ones I had in my store cupboard and cooked them according to packet instructions. You could use brown or black too, canned if you like. They will all be delicious.
    Add Kidney and Black beans to the filling gives even more protein and keeps you full until the next meal. For ease of preparation I’m using them from cans.

    Walnuts

    Walnuts add that slightly nubbly texture you usually find in ground meat to our Taco Casserole plus a range of health benefits and healthy fats.
    Anti-inflammatory benefits and improvement of cholesterol levels being just two of the impressive ones. You could use pecans instead if you prefer.

    Onion and garlic for flavour are the basics.
    But here are what makes this taste “meaty”: Miso paste. I used brown for its intense umami notes.
    Tomato puree and sundried tomatoes together with nutritional yeast and some coconut aminos give the mushroom-legume-walnut mix incredible depth of satisfying meat like flavour.

    Of course typical Taco spices like smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, chili, onion powder for extra punch and oregano.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Spices

     

    The Queso

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Ingredients

    For the Queso I’m using soaked cashews, some vegan Greek yoghurt for tang. A bit of salsa (use your favourite, the rest will go into the mushroom-legume mix), nutritional yeast for cheesiness, salt, smoked paprika, chili powder and a bit of cumin. To add that original queso tang and a bit of fiery chili background, some pickled red jalapenos (are they still Jalapenos when red? Please correct me if that’s wrong…I’m just a German living in Ireland.) and a bit of the pickling liquid.

    The Guacamole is of course made from avocados, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper and a hint of chilli powder. If you don’t feel like making your own, you can use shop bought here. But honestly, it’s made so quickly and tastes so much better, I don’t feel it’s worth saving the few minutes.

    Topping wise: fresh cherry tomatoes, spring onions, and crunchy romaine lettuce add that real taco feeling for me. They are optional though.
    And any tortilla chips you like, to use for dipping, crumbling over, eating on the side, however you enjoy your casserole.

     

    The Process

     

    While this looks like a lot of ingredients, the process is surprisingly simple.

    The Taco Mix

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Lentils

    First pre-cook your lentils according to package instructions if using dried as I did. They should have a tiny bit of bite left for that ground meat texture. I usually add some vegetable stock powder to my cooking water and maybe some herbs and garlic, to start flavouring them. Use whatever you have on hand. Bay leaf, thyme, rosemary or oregano all work well.

    Walnuts

    While your lentils are cooking, briefly toast your walnuts in a dry pan until fragrant. Set aside.

    Mushrooms

    Fry your finely chopped mushrooms in batches in a large pan with a bit of oil. Only stir occasionally, so they can brown beautifully for that lovely meaty flavour we are looking for. Season with salt and pepper and set aside too.

    Seasoning

    Gently fry onions and garlic until translucent in a bit more oil, then add all parts of the Mexican seasoning and toast until fragrant. Lastly the sundried tomatoes, tomato paste, miso paste, nutritional yeast and coconut aminos join the pan for a quick stir and heat through.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Process

    Now add the garlic-onion-spice mix together with fried mushrooms, walnuts and cooked, drained lentils to your food processor and pulse until it resembles minced meat. It should stick together mostly, but fall apart when you try to crumble it, much like meat would.
    Taste it. It should be delicious. Add more salt to taste.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Mix with beans and sweetcorn

    Tip the whole mix back into the pan and fry on medium-high heat until you have a bit of browning everywhere and it smells delicious. Tip in the drained and rinsed canned beans and sweetcorn, canned tomatoes, 1 1 ½ cups of your favourite salsa (the last ½ cup will be used for the queso), stir and heat through.
    Taste and add salt or any other spices you feel it might need. I don’t like mine very hot, but you might of course.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Casserole assembly

    Lightly grease your casserole form. Cut the tortillas into quarters and lay them across the bottom with a little overlap, so you have one layer.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Top with the mushroom-bean mix.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Queso

    To make your queso, add all the ingredients for it into a high speed blender like the Nutribullet and blend until super smooth and creamy. Taste and add more salt or chili if needed.

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Bake

    Top your Vegan Taco Casserole with the vegan queso, sprinkle over some grated vegan cheese (or dairy if you are not vegan). Cover the casserole with kitchen foil and bake at 375°F/190°C for 15min, remove the foil and bake for another 15min uncovered until it is hot throughout and the cheese has melted.#

    Vegan Taco Casserole_Process

    Toppings

    While the casserole is in the oven, prepare your toppings. Mash the Avocados with lime juice, minced garlic, salt, pepper and chili.

    Mix the remaining vegan yoghurt with some lime juice, zest and salt to taste.

    Chop romaine, spring onions and cherry tomatoes and put in separate containers. Tip tortilla chips into a bowl.

    Vegan Taco Casserole

    Serve

    To serve, add a piece of your Vegan Taco Casserole to the plate and let everyone pick their own favourite toppings. Enjoy the satisfied munching sounds.

    Vegan Taco Casserole

    Meal Prep

     

    You can make everything the day before, but I would add the queso on top just before baking, so it doesn’t soak into the taco filling layer, but remains as cream, cheesy layer on top.
    After baking, the Vegan Taco Casserole stays fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat either in the microwave until piping hot or in oven or air fryer.

    The casserole also freezes really well. I always keep a few pieces in the freezer for emergency taco cravings.

     

    Looking for more vegan recipes?

    Try my Vegan Tom Kha Soup for a warming Thai soup full of veggies.
    Or the Asian Bowl with crispy Cauliflower and Tofu, for a nutritious and delicous meal.

    Please Comment

    Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
    Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?
    What other recipes would you like to see?

    If you enjoyed this recipe, please share and comment. It helps me a lot.

    Vegan Taco Casserole

    Vegan Taco Casserole

    It’s Veganuary, time for vegan comfort food, which is exactly the right time for Vegan Taco Casserole. All the flavour of an amazing Taco Casserole, none of the meat. Instead an alternative made from mushrooms to bring all the umami flavour, lentils and walnuts for protein and texture and a super creamy vegan queso topping you’ll want to pour over everything after making it the first time. Fantastic for meal prep for the whole week too, so you have less stress on workdays.
    Prep Time 1 hour
    Cook Time 1 hour
    Total Time 2 hours
    Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course
    Cuisine American, Mexican
    Servings 8
    Calories 580 kcal

    Equipment

    • Food Processor, High speed blender like Nutribullet

    Ingredients
      

    Taco Mix:

    • 3 cloves garlic minced
    • 1 onion chopped
    • 2 cups lentils, cooked. About 1 cup dried. You can use cans instead.
    • 2 packs mushrooms finely chopped
    • ½ cup walnuts
    • 1 tbsp tomato puree
    • 5 sundried tomatoes
    • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
    • 1-2 tbsp brown miso paste use any colour, but brown has the most meat-like flavour
    • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
    • 1 can tomatoes
    • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
    • 1 can kidney beans drained and rinsed
    • 1 can sweetcorn drained and rinsed
    • 2 cups salsa use your favourite. Set ½ cup aside for the queso

    Seasoning:

    • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 2 tsp ground coriander
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 2 tsp oregano
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 3-4 corn or flour tortillas to cover the bottom of your casserole
    • 1 cup vegan shredded cheese of choice

    Queso:

    • 1 cup cashews soaked for 30min in hot water or overnight in cold
    • ½ cup vegan yoghurt I used Greek
    • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
    • 2 tbsp water
    • ½ cup salsa
    • ¼ -1/2 tsp chili powder I like ancho chili, but use whatever you have and enjoy
    • ½ tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1 tbsp pickled jalapenos
    • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeno brine
    • 1 tsp kosher salt

    Toppings (Optional):

    • Guacamole Ready made or, to make yourself:
    • 5 avocados mashed
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 3 limes juice
    • 1/2-1 tsp Chili powder
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 cup Vegan sour cream or Greek yoghurt
    • 1 Lime zested and juiced
    • 1 head Romaine lettuce chopped
    • 2 cups Cherry tomatoes halved
    • 3 tbsp Cilantro chopped
    • 1 bunch Spring onions chopped
    • 1 bag tortilla chips

    Instructions
     

    • Pre-cook lentils according to package instructions, leaving a bit of bite for texture.
    • Toast walnuts in a dry pan until fragrant. Set aside.
    • Fry mushrooms in batches until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
    • Sauté onions and garlic until translucent. Add Mexican seasoning, sundried tomatoes, tomato paste, miso paste, nutritional yeast, and coconut aminos. Stir and heat through.
    • Combine garlic-onion-spice mix, fried mushrooms, walnuts, and cooked lentils in a food processor. Pulse until minced meat-like texture.
    • Transfer mix back to the pan and fry until browned. Add drained beans, sweetcorn, tomatoes from the can and 1 ½ cups salsa. Stir and heat through.
    • Lightly grease a casserole dish. Place quartered tortillas on the bottom, slightly overlapping.
    • Top with mushroom-bean mix.
    • For queso, blend all queso ingredients until smooth. Adjust seasoning.
    • Top casserole with vegan queso, sprinkle vegan cheese. Cover with foil, bake at 375°F/190°C for 15min, then uncover and bake for an additional 15min.
    • While baking, prepare toppings: guacamole, lime yogurt, romaine, spring onions, cherry tomatoes, and tortilla chips.
    • Serve casserole pieces with desired toppings. Enjoy the flavorsome vegan taco casserole!

    Notes

    Total for the Dish (excluding optional toppings) assuming 8 portions:
    Calories: Approximately 580 kcal
    Protein: Around 22g
    Carbohydrates: Roughly 73g
    Fat: About 25g
    Fiber: Around 17g
    Sugar: Approximately 11g
    Please note that these values are approximate and may vary based on the specific brands and types of ingredients you use. The queso portion is a rough estimate, and the optional toppings are not included in the total dish values.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 580kcal
    Nutrition Facts
    Vegan Taco Casserole
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    580
    % Daily Value*
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword For Guests, Healthy, High Fibre, Low Calorie, meal prep, vegan, vegetables, Vegetarian
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!