Tag Archives: cheezy

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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Fajita Pizza

I’ll have to start in advance by thanking the ZenCat Bakery for the pizza crust but the rest was all about what we had in the refrigerator. There wasn’t any traditional pizza or pasta sauce but we did have some salsa so I knew what we had to do.

I started by sauteing a chopped onion with a diced jalapeño, chopped garlic and some flake red pepper. When the onion began to soften I added some soy curls that Brent prepared with some Brag’s amino acids and cayenne pepper.

I sauteed them until the extra liquid from the soy curls was absorbed. I seasoned it with a little additional onion powder, cumin, coriander, a touch of garlic salt and some garlic powder.

I topped the crust with some salsa and then my fajita mix and then some more salsa. We topped it with Daiya mozzarella (though pepper-jack might have been better) and then I baked it according to Zen Cat bakery’s instructions.

It’s good to have frozen pizza crusts around. It’s a great way for us to have whatever veggies in the fridge that need munching and it’s faster than making pasta. This pizza disappeared quickly and Brent’s face lit up at the possibility of doing it again. We will…

 

This is Brent and Christie, signing off.

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The Cheese Post 4.0

Here at Turning Veganese, Brent, Melissa and I can agree that cheese is the hardest habit to kick when transitioning from a carnist to vegan lifestyle. We’ve made 3 previous posts about cheeses we’ve tried and whether or not we liked them, were useful, thought the ingredients and nutritional profile were an improvement and if we thought they were a good value. We’ve managed to track down a few more vegan cheeses and wanted to share them with you.

Better than Ricotta by Tofutti was  stunningly similar to ricotta. The ingredients include soy but it’s free of nuts, dairy and gluten so it’s suitable for people with those sensitivities. It’s pretty high in calories, equal to that of regular cheeses so I’ll probably stick with home-made tofu ricotta which is also considerably cheaper compared to the $5.49 or about 30 cents per ounce.

Better than Sour Cream, also by Tofutti is another product that we liked the flavor but found the nutrition lacking and the ingredients highly processed. It also contains soy but is free of nuts and gluten making it suitable for some common food allergies but not others. Making you own at home is probably more budget friendly but this makes a great taco topping in a pinch. Making your own will be a better bet in terms of nutrition and price. It’s priced at $3.49 for 12 ounces.

We Can’t Say it’s Sour Cream by Wayfare Foods had a great calorie profile at 35 calories per ounce and is free from soy, gluten or nuts (except for coconut). The taste and texture were a little confusing. It tasted kind of like sour cream but more like Tofutti’s Better than Cream cheese. The texture was also more like cream cheese than sour cream, even after we mixed the top layer of liquid into the bulk of the product. It cost us $3.99 for 16 ounces making it a better value than Tofutti but I suspect that a lot of people wouldn’t be convinced by the flavor and texture to really enjoy it.

Free & Easy Cheese Sauce mix is more of a flavoring than a cheese substitute but can help make things that are supposed to be cheesy taste like something approaching white cheddar. The ingredients are pretty processed but mostly inoffensive and are suitable for someone with nut, soy or wheat allergies. The container says there are 12 servings in the can but I don’t think you need as much as they say to get the flavor they’re advertising. You can add this to sauces, nut or lentil pate, soy-curl “chicken” salad and anything else that you’d want to have a cheesy kick. With this product, a little goes a long way so it’s a pretty good deal at $6.95 for a 130 gram container.

Nacheez This particular cheese was low in calories (20 per ounce) and the ingredients were relatively unprocessed and inoffensive, though it does contain nuts. It’s a great source of B vitamins, iron and Vitamin C. The flavor is pretty good, though we had to add cayenne to make the ‘spicy’ version spicy enough for our taste. It microwaved well in its glass container turning into a molten pot of awesomesauce that’s great for dip at a party or pouring over your favorite taco recipe. It was a little pricey at $6.99 or 82 cents per ounce.

Mozzarisella is something I’ve been excited about because I’ve been seeing rave reviews. It comes packaged like Teese and has a softer texture. The ingredients are not particularly objectionable but the cheese has no particular nutritional value. When we actually got to tasting it, I found it had an oddly chemical flavor and Brent’s remark was that it was “like sucking on a garden hose”. We might have gotten a bad batch but I don’t think I’ll be buying it again. Even at a sale price of $7.95 ($2 less than retail) it wasn’t worth it for 7 ounces.

Parmela has a standout list of ingredients and a nutritional profile and flavor to match. I think the packaging is a great addition because it’ll look nice on your table at a fancy party when you’re serving pasta but I think it’s a little pricey at $3.99 or $1.60 per ounce. I’ll probably stick to Parma by Eat in the Raw. Parma also contains nuts so neither is suitable for those with nut allergies.

Vegan Queso by Food for Lovers does not contain nuts like Nacheez but does contain gluten so this is suitable for people with nut allergies but not for those who are sensitive to gluten. It’s very close in flavor, ingredients and nutrition to Nacheez and is similarly great for use as a dip or a topping for enchiladas or your favorite TexMex cuisine. A little cayenne and a microwave is all it needs! It’s sold at $5.99 or 50 cents per ounce which is a better deal as long as you’re not sensitive to gluten.

So we’ve shown you some more of the cheeses we’ve managed to get our hands on and  hope you’ll get to try and decide for yourself. Also let us know your favorites and if we haven’t tried them, we’ll give it a spin.

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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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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