Vegan Eats Burrito: Chipotle’s New Tofu Sofritas

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Will mainstream vegan options inspire or simply capitalize? Only time will tell, and I’m remaining optimistic. Continue reading

My Queso Bowl is Better Than Your Queso Bowl.

Probably.

Queso bowl with long grain brown rice, cherry bomb spiced black beans, steamed greens, avocado, crumbled tortilla chips, cornmeal-chili baked tofu cubes & vegan queso. If I permitted that c-herb in my life, it'd be on top.

Even fast food chains have bowls these days, so don’t you dare expect another break down on how to bowl it up.  I do happen to live in a bowl mecca (toot, toot on Portland’s horn), frequent both Cafe Yumm and The Whole Bowl for lunch – wishing Native Bowl was within reach – and crazily, it’s been two whole weeks since I’ve had bowl construction in my life. Blame fracturing my foot or something, and thank my friends for providing sustenance.

Now, I dig bowl meals because they offer variety, they’re saucy, they become a saucy mess, and as work lunches, can offer this assembly all over again, whether packed with sauce on the side or constructed level by level. The bowl below is my journey back to this land of bowl making, and includes several components – with one very special guest.

Cornmeal & Chili Baked Tofu

Special Guest Star: Food for Lovers Vegan Queso!

I definitely recommend Food for Lovers Vegan Queso and want to see this in more restaurants & stores – it’s so creamy and well-spiced! I’ve made the recipe in the past, and I was pleasantly surprised at how the jarred version was even better! Two words are in my future: Hello, nachos!

Note: Queso was purchased with my own money from Food Fight! Grocery. Word.

Jalapeno and Herb Roasted Tempeh and Broccoli

This meal brought about the usage of positive profanity. For starters, it was Mexican inspired and didn’t include cilantro.

Jalapeno and Herb Roasted Tempeh and Broccoli. Served with red quinoa, black beans, carrots and fresh tomatoes.

Jalapeno and Herb Roasted Tempeh

Jalapeno and Herb Roasted Tempeh and Broccoli

Adapted from Jalapeño Roast Chicken with Baby Broccoli

Book: Marcela Valladolid’s “Fresh Mexico,” Clarkson Potter, 2009

Makes 4 servings

Frankly, I was googling “jalapeño” and “broccoli” for utilization.

The end result were these hearty, entrée-sized pieces of tempeh immersed in a savoury broth, flavored with the warm spice of jalapeños,  and brightened with fresh basil. Broccoli florets are added to this gathering of green ingredients towards the end of roasting.

Ingredients for Paste:

  • 1 small shallot
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (or handful of fresh)
  • handful fresh basil
  • 1 jalapeno – stemmed and de-seeded
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • pinch nutritional yeast

Ingredients for Broth:

  • 1 cup ‘chicken style’ broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Additional Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces tempeh, sliced into large triangles (halved if 8 ounce squares, for example)
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 1 bunch of broccoli, divided. Slice the stalks thinly.

Serving suggestions:

  • fresh, sliced tomatoes
  • fresh torn basil or oregano
  • steamed grains, such as quinoa
  • savoury black beans
  • serve in a burrito or over pasta

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Add all liquids into 9×13 glass casserole dish. Carefully stir the pureed mixture into the large glass baking dish.
  3. Immerse the tempeh triangles into the liquid. Immediately flip over.
  4. Add the sliced jalapeno and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Increase the heat to 400F. Remove the dish from the oven.
  6. Use a spatula to flip the tempeh pieces over. Add a spoonful of the baking liquid on top of each.
  7. Bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven. Add the broccoli and drizzle with additional baking liquid. If you are low on liquid, add a few tablespoons of additional broth.
  9. Roast an additional 15 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and serve as desired.

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The Teese Challenge: Dang Quesadilla with Nacho Sauce

Oh, it’s way past hip to quote from Napoleon Dynamite?

It’s not even far gone enough to be hip again?

Well, let’s continue enjoying vegan quesadillas, forget that reference, and commence talking about  how much we love Tina Marjorino as Mac.

This is my first entry into the grand Teese Challenge.  It had to be a soft, simple one because I’ve recently been attacked by new allergies and the worst sore throat of my life.  My ultimate goal is for individual chick’n style seitan parm sticks with teese mozzarella - modeled after this post on my old site.

Whole Wheat Quesdilla with Teese Nacho Sauce, Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Spread, and Avocado.

nacho teese quesdadilla

I was pretty fascinated by the  mildly spiced, calmly orange, Nacho Sauce. It was my first time using it. It comes out of its tube like squishy cheese curds and did that crazy teese-liquid-melt-congealing into the quesadilla.  That is so cool! I know that may sound gross, but I’m a fan.  Dang.

The Black Bean spread is based on this hummus recipe from Cooking Light.  I swapped a whole roasted red pepper, dash of hot smoked paprika, and a couple tablespoons of water for the mere tablespoon for tahini, because I could.  I bought the paprika from the new Spice & Tea Exchange location in downtown Portland – I’m mesmerized by this type of shopping on my lunch hour!

Teese ranks high with my favorite vegan cheeses.  I was stoked to participate (and receive complimentary teese!) for this project! Can I make Nacho Libre nachos next?