Buffalo Soy Curls Recipe and a review of Daiya’s Blue Cheese dressing

Whew, this summer has been so busy! So much happening in my life right now.

Girls Rock camp starts on Monday and I am super excited to help feed people there.

Today I was in the grocery and came across Daiya’s new salad dressings. I was intrigued by the blue cheese one. I never really liked blue cheese, and I hated chunky versions of the dressing. I only liked it if it was smooth. But I decided to purchase it on a whim, and then suddenly had the great idea to make something buffalo style to accompany it.

I came up with a recipe for buffalo soy curls.

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The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Butler Soy Curls
  • Water to cover soy curls
  • 1/4 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bottle Frank’s Red Hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Soak soy curls in a bowl covered with water for 10 minutes.
  2. Turn oven to broil.
  3. Drain soy curls.
  4. Place flour, nutritional yeast, garlic and onion powders, and pepper in a ziplock bag.
  5. Toss soy curls into ziplock bag.
  6. Spray a wide-rim baking sheet sprayed with cooking oil.
  7. Dump out soy curls out of bag and spray the tops of the soy curls with oil.
  8. Place in the broiler for about  5 minutes (watch them carefully, every oven broils slightly different, you may require more or less time).
  9. Toss, flip, or stir soy curls around a bit. Place back in the broiler for 2 minutes.
  10. When the soy curls are starting to get crisp and slightly brown, take out of the broiler and pour the hot sauce on top.
  11. Broil for another minute, then take out of the oven.
  12. Serve with celery and vegan blue cheese.

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REVIEW OF THE DAIYA BLUE CHEESE DRESSING:

Despite my reservations, I was quite impressed. It’s been ages since I’ve had the real thing, but once I tasted it I had to re-check the ingredients to make sure Daiya hadn’t pulled a fast one on me. It’s very convincing and there’s no chunkiness. Woohoo! It’s perfect for taming buffalo stuff.

Hope your summer is going well too!

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Vegan Poutine Recipe

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Hi!

I am slowly making my way through the backlog of stuff I’ve been meaning to post! Soon you’ll also get to hear about a delicious raspberry cake batter smoothie I made and adventures in vegan Ethiopian cooking (a cookbook review).

Not too long ago I really wanted some comfort food, and I had been contemplating using the block of Daiya cheddar cheese I had in my fridge for poutine for awhile. So, I finally did it.

The gravy was spot on, but next time I will melt the cheese a little bit more on top of the fries in the oven so that when I pour the gravy on it all it will melt even better.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp Earth Balance or refined coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup gluten free or regular flour (I used brown rice flour)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups No Beef Broth (from the Happy Herbivore cookbook if you have it, or from here)
  • 1 cup vegan unchick’n broth, or vegetable broth–It’s fairly easy to find vegan unchick’n broth powder–several companies make it and I’ve even found variations of it in dollar type/discount stores near me! Just mix 1 tbsp broth powder with one cup water or veggie broth! Happy Herbivore also has a recipe for making your own broth powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 1/2 tbsp water
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • About half a package of your favorite frozen french fries, or homemade if you want to get fancy. I used Alexia brand Straight Cut Fries
  • 1/2-a whole block Daiya Cheddar, cut into 1 inch cubes

Directions:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to the temperature the fries are baked at.
  2. Make the no beef and unchick’n broths, allow to cool slightly
  3. Prepare fries according to package…in the meantime prepare the gravy.
  4. Melt the butter or coconut oil in a large saucepan. Add the flour and stir constantly until a roux is formed. This is when it turns into a golden brown color. It takes about 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the garlic and cook for about 30 more seconds.
  6. Stir in the broth with a whisk.
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. Whisk in the cornstarch and water, stir constantly and let simmer until thickened, about 3-5 minutes…it’s possible you might need slightly more or less cornstarch. I started with 2 tbsp water/cornstarch and then added the extra 1/2 tbsp later when it would not thicken to my liking.
  9. Keep gravy warm (this can be done by turning off the heat and covering, leaving on the stovetop that you cooked it on.
  10. In the last few minutes of cooking the fries, gather them up into the middle of the tray, and randomly drop the Daiya cheddar blocks on top. I’d say only do this for 5 minutes at maximum but do it however you like really.
  11. Take the fries and cheese out, place in a large bowl, and put as much gravy as you like, I probably put close to 4 cups on top. You will have extra gravy that you can use for more poutine or something equally delicious.
  12. Maintenant, nous mangeons! (That’s French for now, we eat!) 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! 🙂

Happy Vegan Month of Food (MoFo)! Post #1 My favorite Breakfasts!

Hi everyone! I’m very excited to be participating in Vegan MoFo 2015!

Though I’m in the last few weeks leading up to finishing my undergraduate degree and things are pretty intense over here, I’m going to try to post as much as I can. In case you are not aware, the prompts provided by MoFo this year are as follows:

THE LIST:

1 Rise and Shine! It’s MoFo time! Tell us about your breakfast.
2 Recreate a meal from your childhood.
3 Quick, easy and delicious.
4 Tell us about a weird food combo that you love.
5 Best sandwich ever.
6 Re-create a restaurant meal.
7 Make / eat some thing inspired by a book or film.
8 Reach out! Make a new vegan friend & tell us about it.
9 Most retro recipe.
10 Something blue.
11 Focus on a nutrient
12 Tell us about your favourite cookbook!
13 It’s kitchen tour time!
14 Share something vegan (and delicious, duh!) with a non-vegan.
15 OMG, Barack Obama is coming over because he knows you make awesome vegan food! What are you going to make?
16 What’s your favorite late summer food?
17 Make (or eat!) a traditional local dish.
18 Honor a human or non human animal who inspires your veganism.
19 Lunch on the go.
20 Veganize an old family recipe.
21 Autumn equinox eats.
22 Make a dish using all seasonal produce.
23 Fusion Challenge!
24 What [insert well known personwould eat if they were vegan.
25 Share your favorite cuisine.
26 It’s cold and rainy and there’s a snow drift outside your door! What are you going to make using the ingredients you have?
27 Favorite herb or spice?
28 Tacos VS Burritos. Where do you stand on this important issue?
29 What would you bring on a vegan road trip?
30 What three endless food supplies would you take if you were going to be stranded on an island? (Imagine your nutritional needs have been met, these are a bonus!)

This year I am planning a mix of educational posts about different ingredients, creating new recipes, sharing others’ recipes and products, making cute drawings and writing about food, etc.

If you want to know more about the Vegan Month of Food, click here. Also, check out my Instagram @Laurahasheart for some additional posts.

Anyhow! I want to highlight three breakfasts I’ve really been digging lately.

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The first is this this oatmeal with mango mousse and raspberries. This is surprising because I’ve always been grossed out by oatmeal. But, in this recipe, you cook off most of the liquid and it becomes chewy and not as mushy and gross-to-me texture-wise. The mousse is seriously amazing! The full recipe can be found in the Thrive Energy Cookbook by Brendan Brazier. Here is the link to the book on amazon. Note: I actually live in a state (RI) where making money off of referring people to Amazon is not allowed. I am just linking to Amazon because it’s the easiest source to link people to when showcasing books. (What book isn’t on Amazon, anyways?) I get no benefits from doing so.

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Next up, is a perfect Fall breakfast sandwich recipe, which you can find the recipe to here! It’s called the Jack-O-Pumpkin breakfast sandwich. I take a gluten free/vegan English muffin and toast it. While that is happening, I mix up the pumpkin butter and fry the vegan/gluten free sausage (Sol brand is my favorite right now), and make the easy pumpkin butter. When the muffins are toasted, I turn the toaster oven to broil and stick a slice of Daiya Cheddar on one slice of the muffin and put it in for a few minutes until it melts. When the sausage is cooked, I fry up a few mushroom slices. Then I assemble everything together with some fresh baby spinach. It requires a bit of dancing around the kitchen and being mindful of where things are in the cooking process at all times or else it could end in a slight disaster! For those less experienced, I recommend making the pumpkin butter in advance before you start it all!

IMG_4975Finally, I need to rave about FitQuick waffle mix, which can be bought at veganproteins.com! When I had to go gluten free, I was really sad at first because I didn’t know if I’d ever have a vegan waffle as good as I had before. When I decided I needed more protein in my breakfasts to fuel Crossfit, and I actually had some money to spend (being a broke college student sucks sometimes!) I had to try this. I decided to go with the vanilla flavor, but there are lots of other options, even a savory pizza one! They cook in my waffle iron so perfectly and are quite tasty! I love them pretty plain with a tablespoon of Olivio Coconut Spread (an amazing accidentally vegan product I found recently!) and a tablespoon of maple syrup. I pair it with a side of Sol vegan/gluten free sausage.

That’s it for today! Enjoy, and let me know some of your gluten free/vegan breakfast recipes! Also let me know if you try any of this food and let me know how you like it!

Vegan Mofo 2014: Pizza day! (Day 26) Walnut Meat Cheeseburger Pizza!

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I think this is one of the prettiest pizzas I’ve ever made. So many colors and it was amazingly tangy, cheesy, crunchy and meaty all in one bite! The crust is the same pretzel crust that I made on this pizza too, because I realized it’s my favorite pizza crust now whether it’s pretzel dough or not.

Oh man, I made this awhile ago and now I want it again. My mouth is watering thinking of it, but I am also feeling a bit lazy today, so that’s not going to happen.

😦

Ingredients:

One batch pretzel pizza crust dough (recipe here)

1 batch of the walnut meat (recipe here)

Sauce:

1/2 cup canned tomato sauce

  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp ume plum vinegar (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard

Other fixings:

  • 1 dill pickle, sliced into thin circles
  • 3/4 cup daiya cheddar cheese shreds
  • 1/2 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage

Directions:

  1. After making the batch of walnut meat, turn the oven up to 450 degrees F.
  2. Roll out the dough into a large circle and place on a pizza pan.
  3. Combine the sauce ingredients and spread across the crust.
  4. Sprinkle the walnut meat all over.
  5. Place pickle circles around the pizza.
  6. Sprinkle 1/2 cup daiya cheddar on top, then sprinkle the lettuce and cabbage, and top with another 1/4 cup of daiya.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes.

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Vegan MoFo 2014: Sunday Brunch: Bagel Casserole

During Girls Rock Camp this Summer, we had an influx of day old bagels being donated to us daily.It was awesome and fed a lot of hungry campers and volunteers. However, I ended up with most of the leftover, slightly stale bagels that we had cut in half for ease of serving. What was I to do with all these? Well, considering I was already thinking about recipes for Vegan MoFo (in the very early stages, however) I thought: VEGAN BAGEL BREAKFAST CASSEROLE!

And so, this beauty was born.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 large somewhat stale everything bagels, cut in half and then into chunks
  • Oil cooking spray
  • Vegan chive and garlic (or onion) cream cheese (I used Go Veggie vegan brand by Galaxy Foods, Daiya makes one too)-the whole container
  • 3 daiya cheddar slices, broken into bits
  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 1 cup unsweetened hemp milk
  • 1/4 tsp (or less) Indian Black Salt (the kind that smells like eggs)—this is somewhat optional to your preferences and availability of this ingredient
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Heaping 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt, to taste (I used none)

Directions:

  1. Spray a 13”x9” casserole dish with cooking oil spray
  2. Place bagel chunks into the dish, and spray the oil again over the bagels
  3. Take a butter knife and place chunks of the chive cream cheese around the bagel chunks
  4. Do the same with the pieces of Daiya cheddar slice bits (refer to picture)
  5. Drain and break up the tofu into a food processor, and add the hemp milk, blending until smooth
  6. Add the remaining ingredients into the processor and blend until combined
  7. Pour this mixture over the casserole you have assembled so far (picture)
  8. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator over night.
  9. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, place in the oven for 45 minutes, uncover, and heat for another 5 minutes.
  10. Voila! Dig in!

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Reference picture for step #4

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Reference step 7

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A photo of the finished product!

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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.

tomatosoup

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 MoFo Day 7: Sunday Brunch: Vegan Griddlecake Sandwich

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Well well well, it’s the first Sunday of Vegan MoFo 2014 and I AM SO EXCITED! to give you my first Sunday Brunch recipe, because brunch foods are my favorite foods of all time.

This one was inspired by a fast food company that shall not be named. I loved their similar, non vegan sandwiches in my pre-vegan days. It was a weakness of mine, really. I tried to get it as close as possible, but it did fall short a bit. I think that if you really want to make it extra delicious, you might try frying the griddlecakes in a bit more oil than I did. I didn’t want to because I don’t like eating a lot of oil.

This recipe includes my recipe for sausage patties from the first Meaty Meatless Monday of MoFo 2014, which can be found here. 

Here is the recipe for it all:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp evaporated cane juice (white organic vegan sugar)
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Pecan Black Eyed Pea Sausage recipe 
  • Daiya Cheddar Cheese Slices

Directions:

  1. Cook sausages according to recipe.
  2. Keep sausages in an aluminum foil pouch on a single layer so that they stay warm while you make the pancakes. You can maybe start the pancake batter while you cook the sausages if you’re a good multitasking cook.
  3. Heat a griddle over medium heat sprayed with cooking oil.
  4. Place flour, baking powder, and evaporated cane juice in a large mixing bowl and mix together with a spoon.
  5. Add almond milk, maple syrup, and vegetable oil and mix until smooth with the spoon.
  6. Place brown sugar into batter, and briefly mix but not fully combine.
  7. Turn the griddle to medium or low heat, depending on your stovetop’s intensity.
  8. Pour batter onto griddle (about 1/4 cup worth) and flip when bubbly or when the edges are starting to look firm.
  9. Fry on the other side until thoroughly cooked.
  10. To assemble the griddle sandwiches, place a slice of the Daiya cheese on to one pancake while still hot.
  11. Place the sausage on top, and then another pancake.
  12. If you want to eat leftovers or save for later and reheat, microwave the cold pancake, daiya cheese, and sausage sandwich in a microwave for about 30 seconds, or broil in a toaste oven until the cheese melts and the sandwich is thoroughly heated.

YUM!

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VEGANMOFO.COM

also, see randomofo.com for a fun way to see other blogs participating in this blogging event (if not already familiar with it)!

 

Peter Piper Picked a (vegan) Jalapeno Popper Pizza Recipe! with cornmeal cream cheese stuffed crust! a lot of alliteration here!

Well now…

With Vegan Pizza Day coming up at the end of the month (June 28 to be exact- rsvp to the facebook event!) I wanted to provide you with a kickass, blow your mind, original recipe for a unique vegan pizza for this occasion.

Today I tested out my idea. I was worried it would not go as planned, but it came out flawless.

Image It has a cornmeal crust made from this recipe, a cauliflower white sauce, sliced jalapenos, daiya cheddar, cream cheese stuffed crust, and a sprinkling of whole wheat breadcrumbs.

Here is the recipe. I have taken lots of pictures throughout the pizza making process to explain what I did a bit better.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cornmeal crust (recipe here)–I let it rise for a half an hour, but it was a hot day so I can’t be sure how long it’ll take you exactly. You will also want a bit of extra cornmeal and flour for when you roll out the crust

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup unflavored almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Sprinkle of white pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp miso (I used chickpea miso)
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

For the rest of the pizza:

  • 4 jalapeno peppers, chopped into slices
  • Daiya cheddar cheese shreds
  • 1 tub plain vegan cream cheese (I used Go Veggie! brand)
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Make the dough according to recipe.
  2. Let rise and make the sauce.

To make the sauce:

  1. Steam cauliflower until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Place cauliflower and all other ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Place into a saucepan, and on medium heat, whisk frequently until bubbling and thickened a bit.

To assemble and cook the pizza:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Roll out the dough into a large circle. You will want to use extra flour/cornmeal on the surface and on the rolling pin to prevent sticking.
  3. Mix/stir up the vegan cream cheese until thick with a knife if it is separated as mine was.
  4. Using a tablespoon, place little dollops of the cream cheese a short distance away from the edge of the crust (see pictures below for a good idea of what I mean here).
  5. Then fold over the edges of the crust around it, pinching to secure slightly.
  6. Place about 2/3 cup or whatever you need of the sauce. You may need the whole batch, or you may need less, depending on how big your crust is. I used 2/3 cup.
  7. Sprinkle Daiya cheddar shreds around the top, use as much or as little as you like. I used about 1/2 cup.
  8. Place sliced jalapeno slices on top of the cheese.
  9. Sprinkle two tablespoons of whole wheat breadcrumbs.
  10. Bake 12-15 minutes in oven.
  11. Eat! And enjoy, because it’s pretty amazing if I dare say myself.

 

ImageA detailed picture of how I stuffed and folded the crust.

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After being baked and half eaten, a detail of the stuffed crustImage

A picture of a scrumptious baked slice

So there you have it! Hopefully I will be able to dream up some other ridiculous and amazing vegan pizza recipes this month, but we shall see. I do not know how I can top this one! haha

 

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!