Tag Archives: cheesy

Potatoes Au Gratin, VEGAN STYLE!!!

The holidays are upon us and there’s nothing better than something that’s easy, kid friendly (for your picky nephews), low fat (for your vain body-builder cousin), cholesterol free (for your crotchety aunt), easy (for your peace of mind) and cheap (because you already spent all your money on gifts). This recipe as written will serve 6-8 people as a side dish and doubles easily. It would be great for a departmental potluck.

You’ll need the following:

2 large white potatoes (sliced thin)

2 gigantic yams or sweet potatoes (sliced thin)

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Potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams are easy to find for around $1 per pound this time of year so I use them fairly often during the holidays. I cut mine with a big old knife. This is one of those times I wish I wasn’t averse to mandolines. The finger that I partially amputated using one always tingles whenever I think about working with one. If you’ve got a good food processor with a slicing blade, I’d recommend using that for safety’s sake, if you’re a fan of the mandoline, use that and be really really really really careful, otherwise use a knife and be really really really careful. I leave the skin on; you don’t have to.

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1 tbsp onion powder

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

a pinch of flake red pepper

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

12-16 ounces of silken tofu

1 cup of soy or almond milk

4 tbsp almond flour

vegan mozzarella and/or parmesan (optional)

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Take the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, flake red pepper, nutritional yeast, tofu and half a cup of milk and blend it all up.

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Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of almond flour on the bottom of a large baking dish and make a layer of white potatoes on it.

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Then slather that layer with some of your tofu mixture. Now repeat the process with the yams or sweet potatoes: layer them on top and then add the tofu cream. You should be able to get 5 or 6 layers of potatoes. I then put the remaining milk into the rest of the tofu sauce and mixed it well before pouring it over the top of the potatoes. I added a few slices of Teese mozzarella (any vegan cheese will do) and sprinkled it with the rest of the almond meal and sprinkled it liberally with walnut parmesan.

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Bake it for an hour and a half at 400F/200C

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You should get a beautiful layered look and a delicious addition to any holiday meal. Hopefully your guests will be too busy enjoying it to notice the orange and white stripes.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Spinach Artichoke Dip 2

I made a spinach artichoke dip a while ago that’s based on soy which is my favorite source of creaminess. In this particular recipe I’m using white beans for the people that I love who cannot eat soy. The nutritional profile is similar: iron, fiber, no cholesterol, low fat, rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and the flavor is just as awesome. We started with the following:

1 tin of white beans, drained OR 1 cup of white beans, soaked and [pressure] cooked

1 tin or jar of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 10 ounce package of frozen spinach

1 small onion, diced

6 cloves of garlic, minced (more if you love garlic as much as I do)

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tbsp vegan parmesan (optional)

1 cube of veggie bouillon (we used Rapunzel)

1 tsp of flaked red pepper

1 dash of cayenne

1/2 tsp of paprika

juice from 1/4 of a lemon

2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise

1/4 cup of Daiya (optional)

Okay, so that seems like a lot of ingredients. It was really simple to make. Preheat your oven to 350F/175C… this won’t take long.

I put all of the ingredients into a bowl while my expert moosher went to work mooshing everything into oblivion. If you’re interested in something that’s creamier, I’d recommend putting the white beans into your blender or food processer first and blending until smooth but I like a little texture and Brent’s muscles are a sight to see mooshing¬† those beans. We had to microwave it a few times to thaw the spinach.

Once it was all mixed I put everything into a loaf shaped baking tin and put it into my oven for 25 minutes. It came out smelling divine and tasting even better. I burned my mouth being so enthused about getting some of our creation into our mouths.

The Daiya and parmesan do make this richer but it wasn’t missing anything when we made it with one or the other or neither. It was still creamy, rich, delightful spinach artichoke dip, perfect for parties or snacking.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off.

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Apple Tempeh and Mozzarella Sammiches!

This was a really easy meal on a night when we were exhausted. The suggestion came from a friend (THANK YOU!) and it was definitely worth it.

We browned some smoky maple tempeh while some multi-grain bread topped with teese mozzarella. This is bread that a local lady makes for us, gluten-free and vegan. She’s an incredible baker and I hope all of you who aren’t expert bakers and a few who cartinly are(I’m looking at you) can find vegan [gluten-free] bread that doesn’t taste like it’s been frozen between 2 pieces of cardboard in a diesel truck for 2 years. Well, that’s my opinion of most store bought bread. On to noms!

We stacked the tempeh on the bread with some spinach and apple slices. I like royal gala apples. They’ve got a buttery mellow flavor that isn’t too acidic. We use them to juice too!I like my sammies open faced (above) but Brent is more traditional (below).

Mustard is important to me when I make this particular sandwich (but back in the day it was with turkey and soft cheese. Ew.). I think the spiciness brings out the flavors in the tempeh, spinach and apple. The mozzarella is just awesome and I want to take it on a date.

Don’t tell Brent he’s got competition from non-dairy cheese or the sammies will end up… oh… yeah, he’ll eat it all. Yay!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Vegan cheesy toast, scramble and bacon!

This is just a different assembly of some of our favorites which we casually call “the Heart Attack-Free, All-American Breakfast”. Side note: we’re really lucky to have located a bakery that will make custom gluten-free vegan bread for us. I find that most store bought varieties of gluten-free bread aren’t always vegan and even when they are, they taste like cardboard and sawdust. Below is Karin’s awesome multi-grain and -seed bread with Follow Your Heart mozzarella melted on top.

I sincerely hope that you don’t have to work too hard to find someone who can make awesome bread for you too! We toasted some vegan bread in our oven while scrambling some tofu and smoky maple bacon tempeh.

Above is our finished breakfast. It’s pretty kid friendly and I imagine that even a few non-vegans might be interested. The cheese, bread and tempeh were pre-made so we’ll just talk about the tofu.

Our standard tofu scramble is as follows:

1 carton of silken tofu

1 pinch of turmeric

1 pinch of paprika

1 tsp garlic salt

2 tsp onion powder

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

garlic salt and flake red pepper to taste.

a touch of black (sulfurous) salt is a great addition but isn’t necessary

Sometimes I add chopped tomato, as I did in this case. We just throw everything into a pan and mix until it’s hot and awesome (Brent is in the background working on the tempeh).¬†

Sauteed mushrooms or chopped basil also make a great addition to any tofu scramble. I see a lot of variations on this theme, so I encourage you to experiment: adding scallions, chopped tomato, sun dried tomato, minced onions or garlic, chopped bell peppers, or whatever blows your hair back. I also know a lot of people use Chinese style tofu. I prefer silken tofu… it reminds me of runny eggs. If you’re a tofu scramble pro, I’d love to hear what you do.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Wild Morel and Fiddlehead Risotto!

I love foraged foods. Mushrooms are one of those things that I can’t trust myself to do so I left this to the professionals and got some excellent results.

Be really careful if you decide to forage for yourself: poisonous mushrooms are everywhere and usually they don’t cause anything more serious than some heinous stomach upset but even that isn’t worth it. Morels have a very distinctive features: a hollow core, stem attached at the rim of the cap and a honeycombed cap surface.

Whether you forage yourself or not, clean your morels carefully. Because they’re hollow inside and intricate on the outside, it’s not uncommon for them to be gritty before washing and to harbor… surprises… inside. Slugs, spiders and other critters might be taking a nap, so be careful to cut each one open before cooking.

My next caveat about morels is that they need to be cooked thoroughly. They do contain compounds that can cause gastric upset if they’re not cooked well enough or you might have an unpleasant evening. That being said, some people are just sensitive to the compounds in morels, especially if they are trying them for the first time so consider using them sparingly and using conventional mushrooms for the bulk of the dish. I sauteed mine in some olive oil with a chopped onion, 4 minced cloves of garlic and after the morels started t reduce, I added a cup of frozen edamame, peas are a great alternative if you’ve got a soy allergy.

The risotto was prepared by putting a half cup of arborio rice into a saucepan along with a teaspoon of herbes de provence and a cup of white wine. I’m using chardonnay in this batch because I think the oak and vanilla flavors in the wine will bring out the earthy flavors in the morels.I added some whole Japanese hot red peppers to the broth I used to prepare the risotto. I combined a liter of water with a veggie bouillon cube and brought it to a boil. I added it one ladle at a time until I liked the texture. I fished the peppers out of the remaining broth and mixed in 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast and a tablespoon of Eat in the Raw vegan parmesan (omit this if you’re sensitive to nuts, it won’t affect the outcome of the dish significantly). This makes the risotto creamy and cheesy… like you’d expect comfort food to be… just without the fat and cholesterol.

When that was done, I stirred the veggies into the risotto including the fiddleheads, which I sauteed lightly along with the morels and the edamame.

This was delicious nutritious comfort food. Usually thost words don’t go together but when you’re vegan, they do.

Here is Brent… showing off his bowl. He’s also wearing a super-ultra-mega-awesome shirt with a unicorn, a rainbow, a castle and a waterfall on it. RECOGNIZE!

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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The other Lazy Vegans: Macaroni and “Cheese”… and PEAS!

This is a post about a product that I really love:Leahey Gardens Mac&Cheese. I love this product because it’s quick, easy and delicious.

They make gluten-free and regular and it’s the answer for your friend who “can’t live without” macaroni and cheese in a box. Brent and I have a twist on this recipe because even though it’s pretty good for you right out of the box, we like vegetables.

I add peas… about 1 and a half cups. I also add a generous dash of flake red pepper and Italian seasoning when preparing the cheese sauce. This recipe is also very good prepared with water, for the record. This means it’s great for travel anywhere with a microwave.

This is the finished product, ready to be enjoyed. It’s already rich in B vitamins thanks for nutritional yeast in the sauce and the peas add a whollop of protein. Enjoy!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Cheesy Bean Dip, Or, How I Learned to Make Nachos in a Bowl

Today is Superbowl Sunday here in the USA. While I am not a football fan, I am a fan of cheesy bean dip.

Growing up, Superbowl Sunday was a bit of a holiday for my family. It would consist of non-stop, all-day snacking, and the highlight of which was my Mom’s cheesy bean dip. It would consist of Velveeta, cream cheese, beans and salsa. Today, I am going to show you how to make this without risking the structural integrity of your cardiovascular system.

The Players :
Tortilla Chips (Duh)
Daiya (1 pack, or half of two packages)
Salsa (Pace’s Thick and Chunky is my jam)
Black Beans (One can, drained)
OPTIONAL :
Hot Sauce (Tapatio, take me away)
Olives
Peppers, diced
Anything Else You Would Put Into Nachos

First, put a layer of Daiya at the bottom of a microwavable container that is large enough to accommodate all of your ingredients. Drop your black beans on top of that layer and cover it with more Daiya. Pour some salsa on top of that layer (I used 12oz for this experiment), and smother it all in Daiya.

Pop all of this into your microwave and cook for 2 minutes. Stir. Repeat until all the Daiya has melted (Should take 6-8 minutes cooking). The end result is a creamy dip for your tortilla chips that has a lot of flavor without loads of cholesterol and saturated fat. For added spice, drop in some Tapatio (or your favorite hot sauce) to taste.

Since this takes all of 10-15 minutes to make, it’s great for parties in a pinch. Or, for our inner lazy bachelors/bachelorettes it can be drizzled on top of a plate of chips and you have simple nachos. For easier clean up, say ‘Screw it’ to the plate of chips and just dip your chips into the bowl.

Experiment and find what works best for you. This can be refrigerated and reheated, so if you don’t finish it all, it’s not a complete waste.

Enjoy your flavor explosion, gang!

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