Gluten Free and Vegan Elvis Panini Sandwich!

I have been trying to eat more healthfully lately. In fact, ever since I went gluten free I have found it hard to make up the ridiculously delicious recipes I was used to creating in the past. But today I dreamed up an idea for an amazing unhealthy sandwich that at first I was skeptical of being able to pull off to meet my needs. As I continued to think about it, I devised the methods that could make it healthier, and is the perfect combination of delicious, ridiculous, healthfulness, and satiety level!

This sandwich is a peanut butter and nanner sandwich, with baked vegan rice paper bacun, made with light tapioca gluten free bread, grilled in a panini maker. This definitely is not a very original idea, I’ve seen many a vegan version of this sandwich on blogs and in cookbooks, but this is my version!

It came out so well, that my panini maker has been given a new life outside of sitting in my basement!

Let me walk you through the steps, in picture form. It’s easy!

Bake the rice paper bacun. I did this recipe’s marinade, minus the ground coconut, soaked the rice paper strips in cold water, then in the marinade, and put them on a cookie sheet sprayed with coconut oil. Then I baked them in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes, checking and flipping every 5 minutes (some got done sooner than others, when that happened I took the ones that were done out and put it on a plate while the rest continued to cook)IMG_9197

Set aside.

Take two pieces of Ener-g gluten free light tapioca loaf bread and spray coconut oil on one side of both slices of bread. Put the coconut oil side down on a plate.

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Take out the peanut butter. This is a locally made, all natural, salt and sugar free peanut butter. It’s so good!

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Place one tablespoon of peanut butter on each slice of bread.

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Cut half a banana into slices. Place on one slice.

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Layer the rice paper bacun you made earlier on top of the bananas. Put the peanut butter slice down on top of the bacon to make the sandwich.

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Place the sandwich into a pre-heated panini grill on medium high for about 5 minutes, more or less depending on your device (check on it).

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Ready to go!

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Enjoy!

Vegan MoFo 2015 Day 3, Post #3. Quick and Easy recipe.

Hey everyone!

This quick and easy recipe also happens to follow yesterday’s theme, which is something I grew up with as a kid. The recipe is also in my zine. See yesterday’s post for details about that.

This recipe is simple and can be gluten free if you use gluten free english muffins (I like Ener-g, they remind me of brioches a little bit!) If you don’t like almost raw onions, however, I do not recommend you try this! But if you can tolerate them or like them, I definitely recommend you keep an open mind! It sounds a little weird, but it’s one of my favorite snacks/easy small lunches.

Onion and Green Pepper English Muffin Melts

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Just Mayo (Veganaise by Hampton Creek)
  • 1/2 cup daiya shredded mozzarella
  • English Muffin (gluten free or regular)

Directions:

  1. Toast English muffin.
  2. Prepare the spread by mixing together all other ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Spread the mix on each muffin half.
  4. Broil the English muffins until the cheese melts. About 2-5 minutes depending on the oven/toaster. Watch very carefully.
  5. Eat!

Have fun, kids! Happy MoFo! 🙂

My zine is finally done!

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You can buy it here on Etsy (but if you live in RI email me first at pleasinvegan@yahoo.com before doing so, because we may be able to arrange a pickup or something so you don’t have to pay/wait for shipping)!

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I was selling these for donations for Girls Rock RI at Ladies Rock Camp this weekend. Maybe you’ve seen my posts about it in the past, here, here, and here. You can also see this video of me during the camp, where I gave a speech about being food coordinator and some other fun stuff. I love this organization!

Here are some cool pics of it there!

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Also, this is so cool! It’s the shout out wall at camp…IMG_3616_2

Jackfruit Sloppy Joe Recipe, slop slop sloppy joes!

Before I get to the recipe I have a funny story to share.

First of all, I don’t think my mother would have ever made sloppy joe’s for my brother and I to eat if it weren’t for my dad’s apparent love for musical comedy CDs.

My dad is famous in our family for several things. For awhile, it was always needing the newest technology to play music or movies with. He had cd players in his cars pretty early on. The other thing he was famous, but still continues to this day, is the sick joy he gets out of torturing his family with the way he listens to music when we are in the car with him. He will make a point to have a bunch of music queued up, and will play the first 30 seconds of each song, until he finds the most annoying song he has, and then listens to that one in its entirety.

Anyways, some time during my childhood, there was the song that all I remember from it was the chorus of “Sloppy Joe, slop sloppy Joe, yeah.” Except, until now, I had somehow thought that this song was either a Meatloaf song or some other classic rock group’s song (as those are probably my Dad’s other favorite types of Musicians). I don’t even know why, it’s obvious that this song was not meant to be serious. After researching for more details of the “Sloppy Joe song slop sloppy joe” (yes that’s what I googled) it was on an Adam Sandler CD. Apparently I was only 9 at the time when this song came out, and I don’t remember any of the other songs on this album. Up until now I hadn’t even realized it was an Adam Sandler song, even though I know all of the lyrics to the Chanukkah songs by heart.

So, as I realized that there did not yet exist a vegan sloppy joe recipe that’s main ingredient was jackfruit, this song popped back into my head and I made it up. The jackfruit ends up complementing the other flavors very well, because jackfruit is a bit tangy, and with the seasonings and sauce almost makes it taste like there are pickles in the recipe. To me it tastes kind of like a fake cheeseburger with no burger or cheese.

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Jackfruit Sloppy Joe Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans jackfruit, drained and rinsed, chopped in a food processor
  • 1 1/2 cups Heinz Chili Sauce or ketchup
  • 1/4 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp turmeric (I’ve been reading all these articles lately about the benefits of turmeric lately, so I try to put it into my recipes as much as I can)
  • 1 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce or vegan steak sauce
  • Vegenaise as needed
  • Vegan Kaiser rolls sliced in half

Directions:

  1. Heat oil on medium heat in a large frying pan with cover.
  2. Add in the onions, allow to cook until translucent.
  3. Add in the pepper and garlic and cook until the pepper turns bright green and then softens.
  4. Stir in the jackfruit and allow to cook for a few minutes. Stir for a bit, place the cover on top for a minute or two, and then take off the cover and stir a bit more.
  5. When the jackfruit has heated, reduce the heat to low and add the chili sauce, sugar, seasonings, and worcestershire sauce and stir until combined.
  6. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  7. Spread Vegenaise onto the bun and put a generous amount of the sloppy joe mixture onto the bun.
  8. Try not to make too much of a mess of yourself while eating it.

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Vegan MoFo Day 23: Too Good Baked Goods Tuesdays: Soft Baked Pretzel with Date Caramel Dipping Sauce

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I love these pretzels so much. The date caramel sauce makes them even tastier. The best part is though, that once you make a batch of these, if you set aside four of them, you will be able to make the most amazing bread pudding casserole when I post the recipe for the next Sunday Brunch post. I can hardly contain myself.

If this recipe makes too many for you (it can make 14-20 pretzels) you can halve it or make the whole thing, bake them, and then freeze some of them to eat later.

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I’m starting to get sad that Vegan MoFo 2014 is almost over! I’ve met so many awesome people from different blogs and my blog has been doing really well. Boo 😦 But I’ll save my sorrows for now, since there is still a full week left! Gotta give thanks where it is due!

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Pretzel Ingredients:

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packages)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons baking soda
  • 4 -6 tablespoons Earth Balance(melted)
  • to taste coarse salt (optional)

Caramel sauce ingredients:

  • 8 medjool dates, with pits removed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup original flavor coconut creamer
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar

Directions for pretzels:

  1. Mix yeast with lukewarm water in large mixing bowl until the yeast is dissolved.
  2. Add to the yeast mixture the sugar and salt and stir until dissolved; add flours and stir with a spoon until combined or mix in a standing mixer with the dough hook attached.
  3. Knead dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. 
  4. Let rise in the bowl with a towel covering it for 30 minutes.
  5. Around the time the dough is about to be ready, prepare a baking soda water bath with 4 cups warm water and 4 tbsp baking soda in another bowl. Stir this mixture often until ready to use (once you form the dough into pretzel shapes they will be dipped into this and baked).
  6. When the dough has risen, break dough into 14 even sized small balls, and then roll each ball into a snake/coil shape. There is an art to this that I have discovered. First, you knead the ball of dough and roll it around in your hand to soften it. Then you start to roll into a coil between the palm of your hands, focusing on the ends. Then you stretch it out by pulling it to elongate it, and roll it out more with the palm of one hand on a flat surface.
  7. Shape into pretzels…it’s pretty easy to figure it out, but you lay the coil down horizontally and curl the two ends in the middle so that they overlap.
  8. Dip the pretzels into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet (you will need at least two).
  9. Cover the baking sheets with a towel and allow pretzels to rise again 30 minutes. This is a good time to preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  10. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  11. Upon taking out of the oven, immediately brush with melted earth balance.
  12. Sprinkle with salt if desired, immediately after applying the earth balance. Allow to cool completely before eating.

For the date caramel sauce:

  1. Place dates in a small bowl and cover with the water. Let sit at least one hour.
  2. Blend all ingredients in a blender until it is as smooth as you can get it.
  3. You can heat this up on a stovetop before serving if you want, but it isn’t actually all that necessary.

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This post was brought to you by Vegan MoFo 2014, and the letter ‘P’

Vegan MoFo 2014: Soup, Sandwich, Salad Saturdays: Easy Creamy Tomato Soup and Basil Grilled Daiya Cheese

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Growing up, as a kid I loved creamy tomato soup. I’d even put some mozzarella cheese shreds in the soup and let it melt and swirl it around. Thankfully, due to Daiya that part was easy. However, finding an easy to make vegan creamy tomato soup was more difficult. Luckily, I figured out something that tastes good, especially if you dip the Basil and Grilled Daiya Cheese sandwich in it too!

These are two very simple recipes to make, which I am happy about.

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Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz can organic tomato sauce
  • 1 cup unsweetened, original hemp milk
  • Italian Seasoning blend, to taste
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Daiya Mozzarella shreds (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, mix together the tomato sauce, hemp milk, and seasoning (you can also add salt and pepper if desired).
  2. On medium heat, begin to heat up this mixture.
  3. When starting to become hot, whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry in a little cup, and then whisk into the soup.
  4. Stir constantly until bubbling and thickened more. If the soup doesn’t really thicken you may need to add more cornstarch and water.
  5. Serve in a soup bowl and sprinkle some Daiya Mozzarella shreds into the soup for a melty, delicious extra kick, or dip the basil grilled Daiya cheese sandwich in it.

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Basil Grilled Daiya Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices bread of choice (I used sprouted rye)
  • 2 slices Daiya Provolone or Swiss
  • 6 leaves of fresh basil
  • Spray oil

Directions:

  1. I recommend lightly toasting the bread first, especially if you have a softer type of bread you are using.
  2. Spray each side of the bread with oil.
  3. Place the cheese slices on one slice of bread, followed by the basil leaves.
  4. Place the other slice of bread on top.
  5. Spray a bit more oil onto a frying pan.
  6. Heat on both sides of the sandwich on medium heat until the bread is crispy and brown and the cheese is melted.
  7. Dip in the soup or eat alone. Enjoy!

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Vegan peanut butter and fluff craving? No problem

I have been craving a peanut butter and fluff sandwich for awhile, and finally tonight was the tipping point. But, the store near me that carried a vegan fluff alternative stopped carrying it, and I never liked the taste and texture of that product anyhow. 

There’s a recipe in Betty Goes Vegan, but the description explained how difficult it was to get right, and I also didn’t have much time to make it, I wanted it right away.

So I created my own with a little idea. It took less than five minutes. I kind of whipped everything together without thinking about it, so the proportions may be off a bit in this recipe.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp vanilla almond milk

Directions:

  1. Stir all ingredients with a spoon in a bowl.
  2. If needed, add more powdered sugar or rice syrup to make a consistency to your liking. 

 

Vegan Bacon Flavored Kale Chip Recipe

I love anything faux bacon for some reason. I love the smoky and savory flavors with a hint of sweetness, I guess.

So last night I made my own recipe for another one of my favorite things; kale chips.

This recipe, though it works best in the dehydrator (I have never had success making kale chips in the oven, no matter how low I put the temperature, they always become burnt and have a strange overly cooked greens taste), is not truly a “raw” recipe, because it uses maple syrup, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika, and maybe a few other things that I’m not sure if they are raw or not. So if you care about being 100% raw, this recipe is probably not for you.

Otherwise, I definitely advise trying these if you are a fan of vegan bacon and kale chips!

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Vegan Bacon Flavored Kale Chip Recipe

Ingredients:

  • one bunch kale, or at least 6 cups chopped kale
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 cup raw cashews soaked in water (for at least two hours)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

  1. Prepare the kale by washing it and breaking it into chunks if not already chopped. Make sure there are no large stems in any of the pieces. Place in a large bowl.
  2. Place the cashews (after being soaked, drained, and rinsed) into a food processor and add the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Pulse until thoroughly combined and into a thick sauce like consistency.
  4. Pour over kale and coat the kale thoroughly with your hands.
  5. Place on the sheets of your dehydrator, at about 115 degrees Fahrenheit, overnight (about 10-12 hours, maybe more if still moist).
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

Savory Veganloaf Cupcakes

Okay, so I remember meatloaf cupcakes being a trend a few years ago or so, but I did not have a vegan food blog back then. Now that I do, this has been on my mental to-do recipe list for awhile, and I finally did it.

These are definitely to be filed under the kid-friendly category. It kind of made me feel like a kid again! For another vegan kid friendly recipe, see here.

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The cupcakes feature lots of healthy ingredients like carrots and onions, pinto beans, raisins, quinoa, and pinto beans, among other things. To top it off, there is a mashed potato “frosting” with nutritional yeast and garlic powder. I added some ketchup on top instead of a cherry, and vegan bac’uns as sprinkles.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

For the cupcake loaves:

  • Gimme lean ground beef style or other vegan ground faux meat of choice, 14 oz
  • 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain almond milk
  • 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (Annie’s Organics makes a good vegan version, check your labels because this often contains non vegan ingredients…or you can use a vegan steak sauce if that is easier to find)
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flaxmeal, 6 tbsp water whisked together and let to sit for about 5 minutes)
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 cup grated carrots

For the mashed potato “frosting”:

  • 6 medium white potatoes
  • 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk or other vegan milk of choice
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

For the cupcake loaves:

  1. Cook quinoa before preparing the cupcake loaves. When it’s cooked, let sit to cool while you prepare the rest.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. In a food processor, put the gimme lean faux beef, pinto beans, raisins, chopped onions, almond milk, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, oregano, and salt in pepper and pulse until as combined as possible. If your food processor is like mine, you’ll need a rubber spatula to push it around to get it mixed together well and scraped down the sides.
  4. Add the flax eggs to the mix and pulse until combined.
  5. Transfer this mixture into a large bowl.
  6. Add quinoa and carrots, fold in with a spoon or rubber spatula until dispersed throughout.
  7. Spray cupcake tray with oil and place about 1/2 cup of this loaf mixture into each cup.
  8. Heat in oven for about 15 minutes until lightly browned. While cooking, prepare the mashed potato “frosting.”

For the mashed potato “frosting”:

  1. Peel and chop the potatoes.
  2. I steamed the potatoes in a steamer pot, but you could also boil them. I just put water in the bottom pot and the potatoes in the basket, kept on high heat at first and eventually turned down to medium. It took about 20 minutes for them to be ready to be mashed. You know when a fork can easily go through them and they are soft.
  3. Pour the water out of the bottom of the steamer pot, and place the potatoes into it.
  4. Add Earth Balance, Almond milk, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder, and mash.

To assemble:

I wanted to pipe the mashed potatoes onto the cupcakes but I was too impatient to wait for the mashed potatoes to cool enough so I could stick it in a large ziploc bag, snip the corner, and make it look pretty with piping it like real cupcakes. So, I just scooped some on with a spoon, and put some ketchup on top, with a little bit of vegan bac’un sprinkled on top–those are definitely recommended if you can find them because they added a really great crunch factor to the dish. These are quite healthy, eat more than one! Probably best to eat with a fork, unfortunately, though…

Baked Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese Bun Sliders–I am sharing the recipe!

I have so much I want to say about what went into creating this recipe. I have broken them up into sections so that if you do not want to read a ton of text before you get to the recipe, but some of my ideas and advice may be of interest to you, you will be more apt to read the pertinent ones.

My Inspiration

First of all, this was an attempt to recreate and veganize this recipe that I was originally alerted to on Pinterest. I had been saving it for a long time, waiting for the right moment in time to do it, and I decided the other day to try.

Nutrition Information

I was recently doing poorly with my B-12 intake food-wise (I take a vegan B complex vitamin but typically also try to get enough from nutritional yeast added to my food as well. As vegans the food we eat does not naturally have this essential vitamin in it, so it is crucial that we take a supplement and/or eat fortified foods in order to be able to do the awesome work we vegans do for our health, animals, the environment, etc. Not doing so can cause many health issues, such as Anemia.) and my nutrient tracking showed me I needed to improve on that (I use sparkpeople.com to track my food and other health/wellness/goal related things). So I decided to make this, because I knew it’d have a lot of nutritional yeast in it, and it definitely does. It helps me meet that goal exceedingly well!

I also did not want to further bread with flour and breadcrumbs and then deep fry the mac and cheese buns for my recipe. If you want to, go ahead! But I feel this fits with more with what I wanted and that step is unnecessary. It is still sinfully delicious (albeit maybe a bit less crispy and might not stay together as well).

The calories (if that concerns you) can vary a lot. I definitely don’t recommend attempting to fry the mac and cheese buns if you are concerned about them. I used a calculator to determine and tweak the amount of servings and such, but it will vary a lot most likely for everyone depending on how big you choose to make the burgers, the mac and cheese buns, etc. The way I made it, though, It comes out to be approximately 465 calories.

Making it gluten free

It has the potential to be gluten free if you use certain substitutions. I think a whole grain gluten free elbow pasta would work fantastically, as I think it might lend itself to being a bit more thick and sticky which will be pretty helpful in the long run for getting the buns to stay together more. Use a gluten free flour instead of the whole wheat pastry flour that I used. I think the rest of the ingredients I used should be gluten free, but please make sure you check further with people more knowledgeable than I am about gluten free ingredients if making it for yourself or others who have sensitivities or allergies.

This recipe is really kid friendly (not just because of the taste!)

I had a lot of fun making this recipe, not just to create conceptually, but also to prepare. When I was setting up the mac and cheese buns, and making the burgers, I felt like a kid again. It is ooey and gooey in certain parts, you can use your hands a lot to touch slimy and fun textures, can make some funny noises, and get dirty. When I was a kid, these were all qualities that made me interested in helping my mom with cooking, as well as the characteristics of a task that made me want to do it (my earliest “culinary” experience involved me making “mud cookies,” putting them in my outdoors “oven” and then proceeding to convince my younger brother they were actually edible…) so you may really want to have your kids help at certain parts of the preparation! I would recommend having them help you especially while making the mac and cheese and laying it out in the pan, and also making the burger mix! Unless they’re much older, I would say that setting up the mac and cheese buns after they have set and need to be shaped into the buns will be much safer, and less frustrating and wasteful if an adult does that part. It takes a bit of finagling, craftiness, dexterity, and a lot of patience to do that part.

Some other helpful tips:

Do not make this at the last minute. You will need to make the macaroni and cheese at least the night before so it sits for awhile and sets really well in order for the buns to stay together. I probably let it sit in the fridge for more than 24 hours though.

Adjust the burger servings to the amount of buns you make. This may require making the burgers bigger or reducing the ingredients, or just plan to have lots of leftover burgers!

Making them into the buns requires a bit of patience and skill, don’t get frustrated, it will still taste just as delicious with falling apart buns or even just as a side to the burgers with some ketchup on it.

My non-vegan brother was a bit thrown off by the taste of the Mac ‘N Cheese. If this is something you want to make for someone who is not vegan, and is unfamiliar with vegan cheesy tastes, it may not go over so well. I thought it was delicious because I love vegan Mac ‘N Cheese, and I haven’t had real cheese in ages.

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The recipe!!!!

(Makes anywhere from 5-10 complete burgers, depending on how large you want to make the veggie burger piece, you will have leftovers. I made 18 veggie burgers for a small slider size and it worked really well. I recommend saving the leftovers, maybe even freezing them for later, and putting them in other types of buns, or doing this again! Or you could just half the recipe for the burgers…)

Ingredients:

For the Mac ‘N Cheese (it’s great as a stand-a-lone or typical baked Mac ‘N Cheese if you want to eat it by itself and not make it into the buns!)

  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or substitute gluten free flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast
  • 2 slices Daiya cheddar cheese (what I used) or 1/4 cup Daiya cheddar shreds
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 box elbow macaroni (you can substitute it with gluten free or whole wheat elbows if desired)

For the Burger sliders:

  • 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unflavored veggie-based protein powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke (if you can’t find a gluten free brand, maybe use extra smoked paprika and use gluten free tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos instead)
  • 1 tbsp ketchup or chili sauce (the kind that’s sort of like ketchup, I used it and think it tastes a bit better than ketchup)
  • 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or regular if not available…I buy my smoked paprika at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tsp salt-free italian herb blend
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Salt, to taste (optional…I try to cook with no added salt lately)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup whole wheat (or gluten free) bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (can omit if necessary)

Directions:

For the Mac ‘N Cheese buns:

  1. Prepare the elbow macaroni according to the directions on the package. Note: I would suggest you don’t drain it immediately, and let it sit a bit to get a bit stickier, but don’t wait horribly long. You can definitely start the cheese sauce while you are cooking the pasta, and then let it sit until you are almost done with the sauce.
  2. Prepare the cheese sauce by pouring the almond milk into a large sauce pan.
  3. Place the margarine  into the pan, and turn the heat to medium.
  4. Stir somewhat frequently until the margarine is melted, and the almond milk is hot but not fully boiling.
  5. Add in the flour, and stir with a whisk until smooth.
  6. Stir the nutritional yeast until combined.
  7. Add the cheese, stir until melted.
  8. Continue to stir if possible, and fold in the salt, onion powder, paprika, turmeric, and mustard.
  9. Pour the drained elbow macaroni into the sauce, mix until every bit of pasta is completely covered.
  10. Spray a large casserole dish or baking sheet (it needs to have sides, though…) with a small amount of oil.
  11. Place the mac and cheese on top. If you are working with kids (see my note about kid friendliness up top) I would say it would be really  fun to use your bare (clean) hands. But if you do not like making funny squishy noises and getting your hands really messy, then take a piece of plastic wrap that covers the pan completely, and squish down, making it as compact as you can.
  12. Place in the fridge to set, at least 6 hours, preferably overnight or longer.
  13. When set, preferably after you have cooked the burgers (see below for instructions), preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  14. There are several ways to make the bun shape. I used a drinking glass. But you could also use a biscuit cutter, or a ramekin, or whatever else you think may work like that.
  15. In my case with the drinking glass, I pressed the opening lip into the mac and cheese, wiggled it in a circular motion a bit, and pulled up. It might (and did for me) get stuck inside the glass (that is actually a good thing for the final product, I believe!) What I did to correct this is to take a knife and un-wedge the pasta circle by sliding the knife around the edge between the glass lip. Work slowly and carefully, and be ready to place it down onto another baking sheet sprayed with a small amount of oil before you get it unstuck.
  16. Repeat until you are out of Mac ‘N Cheese to make into buns. Or you can save some of it to eat on it’s own, along with the potential mangled reject mac buns which are very likely to end up existing.
  17. Place in the oven until crispy. This takes about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your buns and also your oven.

For the slider burgers:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil along with the chopped veggies until soft, somewhere around 5 minutes in a large frying pan. Let sit for a bit to cool before placing into a food processor. Do not discard the pan as it will be used for cooking the burgers.
  2. In the food processor, blend the beans along with the condiments, spices (except for mustard seeds), and protein powder until they are no longer resembling whole beans, and the other ingredients are uniformly mixed.
  3. Add in the veggies, blend until combined, but not to the point where they are complete mush.
  4. Take out the mixture and place in a large bowl.
  5. Add the bread crumbs and brown rice, and combine with a spoon or (better yet) use your hands to mix it really well.
  6. Add the mustard seeds and follow the same procedure as the last step, making sure they’re spread evenly throughout.
  7. Spray the frying pan with a lot of oil so it is heavily coated. Heat on medium.
  8. Place the burgers into the pan carefully, in batches if necessary.
  9. Heat each side about 3 minutes, or until completely cooked and lightly browned.

To assemble the whole burger:

  1. Take one Mac ‘N Cheese bun, place the smooth side up.
  2. Place the burger on that side.
  3. Add any desired condiments, it tastes delicious with just some chili sauce or ketchup on top, and some salad on the side.
  4. Carefully place the other bun on top,  smooth side down. You may want to use a toothpick in the middle to help it stick together.
  5. It’s going to be a bit difficult to eat the whole way through in tact, but definitely take a few bites out of the Mac ‘N Cheese Bun burger before it falls apart!
  6. Eat, enjoy, and have fun!