Vegan and Gluten Free Pizza Waffles!

This latest invention was so good! It kind of reminded me how I remember Domino’s Pizza’s Cheesy bread used to taste, in terms of its texture. I might need to try duplicating that flavor profile as well…

But here are the pizza waffles.

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And here is the recipe for them!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag Bob’s Red Mill pizza crust mix
  • 1 package yeast (included in the pizza crust mix bag)
  • 2 eggs worth of set egg replacer (I used Ener-g)
  • 1 tbsp salt-free Italian herb blend
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water plus 2 tbsp
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, preferably without citric acid in the ingredient list
  • 3 tbsp vegan white sugar
  • 1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Vegan cheese (I used a mix of Daiya mozzarella and Follow your heart cheddar)
  • Other toppings (such as onions, vegan pepperoni, sliced olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, etc)

Directions:

  1. Pour the gluten free pizza dough flour mix into a large bowl. Mix in the Italian herb blend.
  2. In another large bowl, mix together the yeast and warm water in a large bowl and set aside for five minutes until the yeast dissolves.
  3. Prepare the egg replacer, also let sit while the yeast is dissolving.
  4. Place the oil and egg replacer into the yeast and water and whisk.
  5. Pour the flour mixture into the yeast mixture and stir until well combined and a dough forms.
  6. Cover and let sit for twenty minutes to rise.
  7. Warm up your waffle oven and turn your oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. When the dough is ready, spray the waffle iron with oil and place some dough into the iron…pat down and don’t use too much dough, as I had trouble sometimes flipping over my iron. If that happens, it’s okay, you can still make them, just keep it upright and let it cook inside at a medium temperature for about 4-5 minutes before taking out.
  9. Place your waffles on a greased oven tray.
  10. Make the sauce by mixing together the crushed tomatoes, sugar, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper.
  11. Place some sauce on top of each waffle.
  12. Cove with cheese and desired toppings.
  13. Bake for 15 minutes.
  14. Enjoy the deliciousness!
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Gluten Free Shiitake “bacon” vegan quiche recipe

Gluten free Shiitake “Bacon” Vegan Quiche

Well, I am finally back with a new recipe. My previous few recipes received a lot of attention, and I felt a little frozen to try and top them! This may not top the rainbow cookies, but I am excited that I made it. This recipe is adapted from my jalapeño popper quiche I made awhile ago here.

This recipe is quite nutritious. 1/6 serving has about 15g of protein, 325g potassium. It also contains 19% zinc (which I have a hard time getting in my diet), 14% iron, 122% b-12, 20% calcium (depending on the vegan milk you use), and is also a good source of folate, B-6, Riboflavin and Thiamin because of the nutritional yeast.

The Shiitake bacon:

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I am now quite smitten! In fact, I think it is the closest us vegans have come to replicating the texture of actual bacon. I have adapted my recipe from Chloe Coscarelli…her recipe requires a pound of shiitake (which would cost me at least $10, probably more) and I can only seem to find 3.5 oz containers of sliced shiitake near me. It is so good though. And it is not even fried! I like it by itself, in her Carbonara recipe (http://chefchloe.com/entrees/pasta-carbonara-with-shiitake-bacon.html), and now in this quiche, which is the perfect place for it!

Ingredients:

  • 3.5-4 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place mushrooms in a ziplock bag. Add in the oil and salt and pepper.
  3. Seal bag and shake until mushrooms are coated.
  4. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Flip over.
  6. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  7. Voila! They should be simultaneously crispy and chewy (the smaller, thinner pieces will be more crispy, and the thicker bigger pieces chewier)
  8. Use for whatever reason or in the quiche recipe below.

 

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust

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I am back to eating gluten free after majorly slipping up during the holidays. I have been using this packaged pie crust dry blend for awhile, and I have adapted the rest of the ingredients and directions more to my liking. I do love this product and it makes gluten free pies much easier but the method for using it could use some improvement. In the past when I followed their directions, I often found myself working with a very crumbly crust that was almost impossible to roll out and use without it cracking or worse. I have been thinking of ways to make it better and more like an actual pastry pie crust, and this seems to have worked.

Ingredients:

  • A bag of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust Dry Mix
  • 12 tbsp Earth Balance Sticks (1.5 sticks total)
  • 8 tbsp coconut oil
  • 6 tbsp water

Directions:

  1. Pour the dry mix into a food processor.
  2. Cut up the Earth Balance into small pieces and place into the food processor. Do not process yet!
  3. Place the coconut oil into the processor by each tablespoon at a time.
  4. Process until a smooth somewhat cohesive mixture is formed.
  5. Take out and place in a large bowl.
  6. Sprinkle the water over it.
  7. Use your hands to combine everything together and make it moldable.
  8. Separate in half. If making the quiche, keep one half out and wrap the other in a disk shape in plastic wrap and keep in the freezer, defrosting before ready to use for another quiche or pie of some type later. If making a double crust pie instead, place the disk in the fridge for 30 minutes before using.

BEHOLD! THE QUICHE!!

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Ingredients:

  • ½ recipe Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pie Crust as prepared above
  • 1 lb firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp Ener-g Egg Replacer (do not add water to it!)
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup plain almond milk or another favorite vegan milk substitute
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp Indian Black Salt (optional, it makes it have an eggier flavor. When searching for this, please note it is actually a pink color and not black) If you can’t find it, place ¼ tsp of your favorite salt instead
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ Daiya cheddar shreds
  • 1 3.5 oz batch of shiitake bacon as provided above

Directions:

  1. Spread half the prepared pie crust into a deep dish pie pan with your fingers. Try your best to make it even across the pan and up the sides.
  2. Let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Place pie crust with several fork stabs to the bottom in the oven for 10 minutes.
  5. Prepare the filling by placing the tofu, egg replacer, nutritional yeast, and plain vegan milk in a food processor. Blend together until smooth.
  6. Add the onion powder, turmeric, and black salt, and process until combined, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula a few times to really incorporate everything.
  7. Scoop out into a large bowl and fold in the Daiya cheese and shiitake bacon until they are evenly dispersed throughout.
  8. Spread into the prepared pan with the pie crust in it.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Take out of the oven and allow to cool for a bit (10-15 minutes…although it is easier to cut when you wait longer) before digging in! Enjoy!

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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!

 

 

 

 

Post Halloween Recipe by me: Vegan Ranch Seasoned Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Hope you all had a very vegan Happy Halloween! Sorry I am slightly late in posting this recipe I created. I hope you haven’t had the chance to roast the pumpkin seeds you were drying out from carving your jack-o-lantern yet so you can try these!

Vegan Ranch Seasoned Roasted Pumpkin SeedsImage(I ate some of these before I took the picture, oops)

Recipe:

Ingredients:

About 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, rinsed and set to dry overnight

  • 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4, 1/2 tsp salt, separated

Directions:

  1. It may seem counter-intuitive to dry the seeds out and then boil them the next day, but supposedly it helps to make them easier to digest. So, take your dried pumpkin seeds, place in a pot of water with 1/2 tsp salt, and put on a high heat stove until they begin to boil.
  2. When boiling, turn the heat down so the water and seeds are simmering.
  3. Boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  5. Strain water from pumpkin seeds.
  6. Dry with a paper towel (I just dabbed them a bit in the strainer).
  7. Place seeds in a plastic Ziploc bag and put the oil and spices in the bag.
  8. Shake until coated.
  9. Place on a baking sheet (you may want to spray the baking sheet with oil to prevent further sticking but it may not be necessary really, but I did.)
  10. Place into oven. Cook for 10 minutes then check them. According to this blog I referenced, check them frequently and make sure they’re not browning on the inside by snapping them in half. I checked them 3 minutes after the initial 10 minutes (since my oven is wonky) and had to keep going for a while, checking every 2-3 minutes. I think this is a good idea, ovens vary and such…Unfortunately I lost track of the total time it took.
  11. When they are crunchy and not browned on the inside, they are done.
  12. Let cool a bit, and then eat!

Enjoy! Let me know if you try them what you think! I found them to taste sort of like a peppery ranch flavor. I may play around with the seasoning in the future to get a better ranch flavor…

Salad of the week: Thanksgiving Salad!

Okay, so I have to admit I have been making so many pumpkin things lately I’m starting to get a bit pumpkin’d out.

Today for my Salad of the week I made a salad that reminds me of those thanksgiving sandwiches. The ones with like, leftover Tofurky, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, and whatever. It doesn’t have stuffing in it unfortunately. But it still tastes super good with breaded vegan chickun patties (I used a cut up Boca patty).

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I made my own creamy poultry seasoning dressing as well. It sounds weird but it tastes pretty good all together!

Here’s what I did:

To make the dressing: 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lite silken tofu (the kind that is refrigerated in a pack like regular tofu, not the small vacuumed pack Nori Nu kind
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Juice of one small lemon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp vegan poultry spice/seasoning blend (or make your own…there should be tons of them if you google it)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp seasoned salt

Directions:

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and pulse until fully combined. You can adjust seasoning to your liking as you go or afterwards as needed.

To make the salad:

Ingredients:

  • Lettuce (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tbsp jelly cranberry sauce (the kind I found at my local grocery store IS vegan…but here is a recipe from a vegan blog if you cannot find that near you, or prefer to make it from scratch)
  • Vegan chicken or turkey cut into pieces (You can use whatever! Would be good with leftover Tofurky roast, or Tofurky slices, but I used Boca fake chicken breaded patties to give it a breaded kind of flavor reminiscent of stuffing)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup pecans
  • As much dressing (above) as desired.
  • Roasted butternut squash chunks (Optional)

Directions:

It’s kind of obvious! Make a salad with these ingredients! I found that this was one of those salads that taste extra good when you really mix up the ingredients well instead of leaving them separate. Sometimes I want to put my salad dressing on before I finish putting all the ingredients together, but I always refrain because then everything gets too soggy.

I haven’t tried it with the butternut squash yet but I think it will be amazing and am going to roast it now and put it in tomorrow! Yum!

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!

Salad of the Week! Burrito Explosion Salad!

It’s a good thing I was craving burritos when I planned this salad. I think this is my favorite salad creation so far!

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Since I usually cook a fair amount of food each week, and have a salad every day, I’m somewhat lazy when it comes to making the ingredients of this salad. Most of them were store bought or really easy.  If you want to, I’d recommend making a mango salsa and maybe the tortilla crisps on your own. I was able to find both these pre-made and vegan very easily, so I didn’t see the point, but that’s just me.

First, you need to make the dressing. I used the recipe for The Healthy Librarian’s Creamy Chipotle Dressing in this list of oil-free or low oil dressings online. I did add a ton more extra nutritional yeast to the recipe (I think like 3-4 more tablespoons?) and ended up adding a tbsp of water because that thickens it up a lot.

Then, you make the salad.

I use:

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2 cups lettuce

1/2 cup black beans

1/4 an avocado, chopped

4 tbsp crunchy tortilla strips

5 tbsp mango salsa

and 4 tbsp of the dressing

According to my calculations this salad is 348 calories with the ingredients I use, so that’s the perfect healthy lunch for me! It seems like a really luxurious and fattening salad, but really isn’t, as most of the fat is the healthy kind!

See you tomorrow for the recap of all my cooking adventures in Food Porn Friday!

Italian Chickpea Salad, tomato, and Daiya Provolone panini

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I was craving a chickpea salad sandwich but most of the recipes out there are all very similar–usually to make it taste sort of like a tuna sandwich–and I wanted something slightly different. So I had some vegan daiya provolone slices and tomatoes, and thought making an Italian flavored chickpea salad would be good. I decided to put it all in my panini press with some bread (duh). It came out really good, my only regret is that I didn’t put a slice of the provolone on both inside pieces of bread, because it would have helped the sandwich stick together better.

I made the chickpea salad in the food processor, and pulsed it to the point where it was the texture of a paté or thick hummus. I think it might be good if you process the sun dried tomatoes with the olive oil and spices and then add the chickpeas and roughly combine, especially if you want to eat it in a cold sandwich instead of a panini. Otherwise, just put everything in at once until combined.

Recipe:

For the Italian Chickpea Salad:

(Makes about four 1/4 cup servings, or one cup total when fully processed in the food processor)

Ingredients:

1-15 oz can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained of water

5 sun dried tomato halves (I used ones without oil)

2 1/2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1 tbsp nutritional yeast (my favorite is Red Star brand)

2 tsp salt free Italian seasoning herb mix

1/2 tbsp dried minced onion

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper, ground

Instructions:

  1. If you want a smooth, thick, pasty salad, throw all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined and/or desired texture is met.
  2. Otherwise, process sun dried tomatoes, oil and other dry ingredients except chickpeas until fully combined.
  3. Add in chickpeas and pulse until roughly chopped.

For the panini:

2 slices vegan bread of choice (Italian or ciabatta would be nice–I just used the only bread I had- Trader Joe’s Texas Toast)

2 Daiya Provolone slices (I found them at my local grocery-Stop and Shop, in the organic refrigerated section! I believe Whole Foods sells them, other grocery stores may be more difficult to find…I believe someone near me requested a lot of vegan stuff at my grocery store and they were a huge success so they are stocking a lot of awesome things now!)

2 tomato slices, fairly thin

Italian Chickpea Salad, recipe above

Instructions:

  1. It sort of depends on what kind of panini press/maker you have. (Mine does not require any additional spray or oil so that’s why I don’t mention it, but if yours does, please follow the directions and be safe.)  Heat whatever you have until ready.
  2. In the meantime, prepare the fixings.
  3. Place a slice of the cheese on each piece of bread.
  4. Spread the Chickpea Salad on one side.
  5. Place tomato slices on the same side as the Chickpea Salad.
  6. Place the other slice on top, cheese facing down, and press in the panini until golden brown.
  7. Mangia!

Here are links to the companies whose products I used in this recipe and a little review:

Daiya Vegan Cheese

4bananas

I’d give the daiya Provolone slices a 4 good banana, 1 bad rating.

It melts perfectly as do all their cheese slices, but the flavor isn’t exactly spot on.

Red Star Nutritional Yeast 

5bananas

I give their nutritional yeast a 5 good banana rating! It’s the best tasting Nutritional Yeast (also known as “Nooch”)  I’ve tried, and I can be quite picky with it.

See you later in the week for a cool new post about health with some awesome illustrations, and another cooking post! Until then…