Foodie (Photo) Friday #6-Philly Cheese Jackfruit Steak, Jalapeno Poppers, and Garden Vegetable Bechamel Lasagna

Well, well, well. It’s another edition of Foodie (Photo) Friday! I’m having some technological difficulties so the photos will be larger than normal, because when I try to resize them within wordpress I am getting a blank screen.

I have some good ones to share with you this week! I also just started the process of making some cupcakes for my birthday weekend, but those aren’t photo-ready yet.

First off, is this amazing Philly Jackfruit Cheesesteak sandwich from the “V” word blog. Recipe here. Image

This recipe really had a “wow” factor. I’m now officially in love with jackfruit after seeing how versatile it is! I may have possibly had a cheesesteak once or twice as a non-vegan, but it never was much of my thing anyhow. But now that I am a vegan this was a fun thing to make, and it was delicious in it’s own unique way. The spices were spot on I thought, I would not even know what spices to use to recreate this dish were I the one creating the recipe. The onions are also perfect. I think I cooked it all for a bit less time than suggested because I do not like too strong of a blackened flavor, and perhaps my stove gets too hot, but the steps worked out great to get a really crisp yet chewy texture out of the onions and jackfruit. I will definitely be making this again when I have more cans of jackfruit. I only made two servings because I wanted to only use one of my two cans. Oh well…

ImageI definitely give this recipe:

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The Jalapeno Poppers were from the cookbook The 30 Minute Vegan.

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They were supposed to be a healthier version of the classic snackfood/appetizer. I am not sure how unhealthy typical poppers are nutritionally, but after calculating the calories and other information for these, I wasn’t all that impressed really with the numbers. But I wanted them so I ate them anyways. These are baked, not fried. They certainly fulfill any craving you may have for this sort of food. I had never worked with 10 jalapenos at a time though, and scooping out the seeds and veins with a serrated knife was not exactly easy. I kept breathing in some of the fumes and gagging/coughing/sneezing. So if you make these, remember to use caution with the peppers haha. The coolest part of these is the way you attach the bread crumbs to the outside of the pepper so it can stick when baked. You coat them in a mixture of tahini, soy sauce, and water. It works amazingly. However, for the cheese filling, I highly recommend you use at least 2 tbsp of vegan cream cheese to help the cheese and spice mixture meld together more easily inside the peppers. Otherwise the daiya falls out really easily. I didn’t add the red onion to the cheese mixture because it sounded weird, but oh well.

I rate this recipe:

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It was really good but had some flaws.

Finally, the Garden Vegetable Bechamel Lasagna. Oh.My.Gosh.

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This was delicious. I first made the tofu herb ricotta. I tasted it and could barely stop myself from eating it all before I even made the lasagna. I was really skeptical of the idea of including butternut squash in this. I usually hate butternut squash, but had never tried it roasted, so I did that. I tried a piece of just the squash when it was finished roasting, and I actually liked it! So that’s a plus for this recipe: discovering how I like butternut squash cooked!

There are also caramelized onions, garlicky spinach, daiya cheese, the bechamel sauce, and nutritional yeast, along with the lasagna noodles of course. This took me a long time to make. So many dishes were used. I would recommend this dish for when you really want to impress someone, and not as an everyday dish, because it’s so elaborately time consuming. It is totally worth every bite, however. I had trouble fitting all three layers that you were supposed to do into the dish, so I just made two layers which worked out fine. I wouldn’t have had enough stuff to make a third layer, and even then, it was towering over the dish.

This is so deserving of a 5 good banana rating.

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That’s all for today! Stay tuned next friday to see what I cooked up!

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Foodie (Photo) Friday!

Starting this week, every Friday I plan to post pictures of the food I’ve been making (with recipes and reviews, if possible) since the last Foodie (Photo) Friday entry. This first entry has a bit more than a week’s worth (and some things I made may be missing because they have been included in my other blog posts or I couldn’t get a good picture of it before I ate it all), but they’ll typically convey a week of food making. Some weeks will probably have way less food in them than others, if I eat a lot of leftovers or prepared vegan foods, so keep that in mind. Aside from writing this blog, I also go to college and do other stuff. heh.

 So without further ado, let’s get foodie:

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Cajun quinoa cakes with lemon dill sriracha remoulade

Cajun Quinoa Cakes with Lemon Dill Sriracha Remoulade

Recipe here

Review: Meh. These were very difficult to cook, because they didn’t mold together very well and I didn’t want to add more flour (my own fault though probably). The quinoa cakes themselves were pretty good, although keeping them in the oven like the recipe says to do dried them out considerably more after they were fried. So they became very crispy and…not moist which would have been tastier. The remoulade was gross, in my honest opinion. I do like sriracha, but I guess I’m not a “Sriracha Lover.” Also, have you seen how much sodium is in 1 tsp of sriracha? As someone who is trying to improve her blood pressure, this is not a good thing. My bottle of it has 2,500 mg in one TEASPOON! And this recipe called for 1/4 cup! So if I ever wanted to make this again I’d try and use less sriracha. It was way too spicy for me anyhow. I think maybe a tbsp would be better than a 1/4 cup!! But even then, I think I should personally avoid it. I just like to try people’s original recipes first before I tweak anything in it (unless I know they’re using way too much salt, pepper, oil, etc and the recipe will be okay without it)…

Anyways, I’m gonna rate this a 3 good banana, 2 bad rating, mostly because the quinoa cakes themselves were decent.

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Spinach Artichoke dip

Spinach and Artichoke dip

Recipe here

(my photo is the main picture there because there were not any pictures uploaded yet until I did! but I didn’t create the recipe)

I ended up adding a 1/4 cup daiya cheddar shreds to the recipe. It is quite good, and is pretty healthy. I’m not sure how to describe this recipe but there were no issues with the directions or ingredients and it is pretty standard tasty spinach artichoke dip. I wish I could find a recipe though with silken tofu that doesn’t have a strange after taste, but thems the breaks, I guess 😉

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Pretzel burger slider

Pretzel Burger Sliders

Recipe from Vegnews Magazine August 2013 Issue (No link, sorry!)

Okay, first of all the pretzel buns were difficult to make but I will not complain about that because I knew that would be the case…My only regret is that I didn’t follow the recipe carefully enough and probably left out two pretty crucial ingredients which is probably why they do not look exactly pretty. But they came out good enough to eat. The slider burgers are decent, but a little chewy because they have a cup of vital wheat gluten in them but don’t boil or precook them in any way before baking. They were also really moist. They taste good with the whole package, but probably not by themselves or in a different presentation. The smoked cheddar sauce recipe that was suggested to make in the recipe series was my favorite. The last time I made one of the other burger recipes in this section of the magazine the pepper jack cheese sauce was good as well, so I expected the cheddar to be good too, and it did not disappoint. I wish I could find a way to make it less lumpy, though.

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Baked Zucchini Fries with Bloomin’ Onion Dip

Baked Zucchini Fries with Bloomin’ Onion Dip

Recipe here (note: to veganize use 2 flaxmeal eggs or powdered egg replacer and water to an egg white thickness, vegan Parmesan, vegan margarine, vegenaise, agave or bee free honee)

My only complaint really (which is kind of a big one) is that these take forever to make. And they don’t translate very well with the flaxmeal eggs, if I make them again I may try using unsweetened almond milk instead and see if the panko coating sticks better. However, the caramelized onion “bloomin’ onion dip” is what makes this recipe worthwhile. It is amazingly yummy.

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Matzo Brei

Matzo Brei

Recipe here (by my absolute favorite cookbook author, Chloe Coscarelli)

I’ve never had an actual matzo brei before. I’m assuming it maybe is made with eggs and is sort of like an omelet? That’s the picture I get when eating this delicious vegan dish. I did make a few changes, I only used 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, and reduced the oil for the veggies in half because it also had 4 tbsp of margarine in it (to keep it fairly healthy). My only real complaint of any sort is that it might be even tastier if the matzo in it has a bit of a crunch left in it. I let it get completely soggy, and I don’t know if it’s supposed to be that way, but I bet it’d be yummy with a slight crunch! I ate this for breakfast and loved it, and my non-vegan brother did too! 🙂

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That’s all for this Friday’s (the 13th! good luck!) edition of Foodie (Photo) Friday! Let me know if you try any of the recipes I linked to and how you liked them/whether you agree with my reviews, etc! Bon appetit! (As my brother would add, “Don’t eat your feet!”)