Spicy Thai Basil Noodles with Soft Tofu, Peanuts & Garlic Scapes

local garlic scapes have arrived.

It’s time for my warm weather motto: I may hate the heat, but I heart farmers markets. I also heart venturing into other neighborhoods and secretly pretending that I live in them. The day will come that I move out of my dear Division St. apartment. That day could bring me further-out southeast into a neighborhood I have strong feelings for – Lents. I’m a frequent visitor to the farmers market, particularly come late July, because the hot pepper prices are unreal. I took my first trip of the season to the market opener on Sunday, and while I was ‘out there’, I stopped by J.C. Rice Noodle for a couple pounds of their fresh namesake, fresh tofu, and continued onto Fubonn for randomness. Once home, I quickly threw together something of a Pad Kee Mow with saucey, soft tofu and roasted peanuts taking the place of the scrambled eggs.

There is nothing quite like the combination of fresh rice noodles you pull apart with your hands, salty soy sauce, hot chiles and fresh yet sweet Thai basil. What a freaking thrill to semi-confidently create things like this (without the worries of fishy sauces) at home. WHAT A FREAKING THRILL.

holy.basil.

Spicy Thai Basil Noodles with Soft Tofu and Peanuts

Serves 3-4

Note: This sauce is based on my own taste buds of the moment. If you like things sweeter/saltier/spicier, do it. I’ll be listing the bolded ingredients in rounds, as I started mixing and cooking like so…

Round 1 of Ingredients:

  • 1/2 package soft, water packed tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian stir fry/mushroom sauce, like this 
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian fish sauce, like this
  • 1 small handful roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili garlic paste, like so
  • dash of black sesame oil
  • pinch turmeric
  • pinch black salt
  • fresh lime juice, to taste

Mash together the tofu and above ingredients with a fork in a medium or large bowl. Leave some chunks of tofu. Set aside.

Round 2 

  • 1.5 cups chopped vegetables: I went with swiss chard, daikon, carrots, asparagus and zucchini
  • 1-2 cups of vegan protein of choice: tempeh cubes, tofu strips, seitan, or tofu sheet knots
  • Cooking oil of choice

Tofu Sheet Knots: because sometimes you need to buy things out of the freezer at Fubonn with your eyes closed

If using a frozen protein, make sure to defrost. Pan fry your protein in 1/2 tablespoon oil on medium heat for 5 minutes, turning over to reach a golden brown. Remove from oil and set aside.

Heat the same pan and add more oil if needed (I didn’t). Add your vegetables and stir fry for an additional 5 minutes over medium heat. Add a tiny splash of vegetable broth or white wine if vegetables begin to stick. You want to keep your vegetables vibrant – do not over cook. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan you keep on using, sauté the following:

  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 garlic scapes, chopped (whatever, use the top!)
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1-3 minced Thai chiles – stick to 1 if you’re unsure and grab the Sriracha later!
  • 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil

Tightly sealed Thai chiles, clearly not from the farmers market

Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the tofu mixture and bring to a boil.

It'll look like this mess.

Once boiling, lower heat and cook until some sauce is absorbed, about 2-4 minutes. Quickly add cooked noodles (Note: if using fresh noodles, rinse or immerse in cool water first) for 2-4 servings, vegetables, vegan protein, and a handful of fresh Thai holy basil.
Serve quickly, garnished with fresh bean sprouts, more Thai basil, roasted peanuts & lime wedges.

If you're awesome, you'll garnish it with a curled scape.

behold, the casual Lents International Farmers Market

Anatomy of a Grocery Trip, from Fubonn: Thai holy basil,ginger,bean sprouts,limes,Thai chilis,Tacoma soft tofu,coconut milk,young coconut juice,lychee juice,mango nectar,Ota soy nectar,fried seitan,frozen tofu knots,tamari,vermicelli noodles,coconut cookies,roasted seaweed snacks,roasted green tea,vegetarian mushroom stir fry sauce

Rhubarb & Rangpur Lime Syrup: Because Spring Said So

Click on this image for tickets.

First things first, I’m back from my B.C. adventures, so prepare for a month of Canadian love, including lots of beer, hockey (whoa), Chinese food, wonderful hippie markets, and fingers crossed, a guest post from my travelling partner and real-life-Canadian-bestie. Not to jinx myself, but expect those posts in a week or so, as I’m off to Seattle this weekend for a scintillating event – The Great Seattle Vegan Chili Cook-Off! It’s a fundraiser for their eventual Vegan Iron Chef competition, which opens the door to something that makes me kinda pee my pants – NorthWest Vegan Iron Chef Regionals!!!!! The Portland folks will be reppin’ a table at the Cook-Off, so keep an eye out.

For now, I’m spending the day counting down the minutes until I can visit the Shemanski Park Farmers Market on my lunch hour – my first visit of the season. I like to pretend it’s there for me, being mere blocks away from my office and all. At some point, my coworkers became used to me returning with armfuls of colorful produce and squash sticking out of my purse.  I have a farmar habit, it’s cool. It’s seasonal. It’s purposeful.

The weekend before I left, I was all about the tart, fascinating stalk that is rhubarb, as well as thrillingly bizarre local citrus finds, and made the following syrup. It’s made an appearance in tonic so far, and is counting the minutes itself (it’s that talented) until it can impress at a cocktail hour.

Rhubarb & Rangpur Lime Syrup, Pre-Strained

Rhubarb & Rangpur Lime Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb (no need to peel; think 2 medium sized stalks)
  • 5-6 rangpur limes, halved (leave skins on)
  • 1 lime, quartered (likewise)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • pinch salt
Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Lower the heat to a simmer, and cook covered for 25 minutes, removing the lid to stir occasionally. Your mixture will look like the glorious pink soup pictured above. Remove from heat for a few minutes, and strain. Repeat straining if necessary. Carefully bottle and enjoy as desired with your cocktails & mocktails. And hey, consider slicing a strip of fresh rhubarb as garnish. It’ll be classy.

Strained & Bottled Rhubarb & Rangpur Lime Syrup

Portobello Pizza & The Vegan Pizza Day Countdown

In preparation for Vegan Pizza Day on Saturday (fellow vegans, I behoove you – can we please declare a vegan danish say next?), I found myself once again contemplating the cute Pizza Cups from Slice and channeling my inner little old Italian lady relatives. Somehow, this led to the veganization of Portobello Mushroom Crust Pizzas from the same site, while remembering I had just received some Teese from a friend to play with.

The following portobello pizzas differ from Tonecapo’s pictorial on Slice because a) there’s vegan mozzarella involved, b) the gills are scraped, and c) a mixture of pureed mushroom stem, spinach, garlic and black olives is used in place of the sausage crumbles.

Of course, please forgive that I should iron my tablecloth or whatever grown ups do in the following photo pictorial. The recipe follows.

Step 1) The De-Gilling

Step 2) The Saucing

Step 3) The Stuffing

Step 4)

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s our special guest, Teese!

The Topping

Step 5) The Finale

The Recipe:

Portobello Mushroom Pizzas with Spinach & Black Olive Filling

These mini “pizzas” are ridiculously week-night friendly, and any leftovers are just waiting to top pasta or fill a sandwich.

Serves: 1-2, double and use larger caps for bigger portions

Ingredients:

  • 2 Portobello mushroom caps, stems removed and set aside, and gills carefully scraped out with a spoon
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce (use more if needed)
  • 1/4 cup of shredded vegan mozzarella cheese
  • handful of baby spinach
  • 1 clove of garlic – see below
  • good pinch of salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 black olives
  • olive oil, preferably in spray/misting form
  • optional: dried oregano and crushed red pepper

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 450F and lightly grease a baking pan large enough to fit the caps.
  2. Spoon the sauce even onto the caps.
  3. Finely mince or pulse together the removed mushroom stems, baby spinach, garlic and black olives in a food processor.
  4. Saute, stirring frequent, in a lightly oiled pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, being careful not to burn. Remove from heat.
  5. Spread half of the spinach mixture onto each cap.
  6. Top each cap with half of the shredded vegan cheese, sprinkled with desired dried herbs, lightly spray with oil, and bake for 18-20 minutes. Broil for an additional 1-2 minutes, if desired.
  7. Remove from the oven, and serve.

The local garlic love:

Do you have any plans for this Vegan Pizza Day? I’m considering breakfast at Sizzle Pie, myself. If you’re in the Portland area, there’s always local vegetable topped slice sat Hot Lips, cornmeal crust at Dove Vivi, wood-fired pizza from carts Pyro Pizza and Wy’yeast ( gah! why have I not been yet?!?), Hopworks, Portobello (Daiya and cashew sauce), Rudy’s (recently added Daiya), Eat Pizza, Oasis (now has soy cheese!), and more.

Cauliflower Cashew Goat Cheese

This spread was part of the menu for the first Heartichoke French-inspired dinner last weekend. It’s adapted from Bryanna Clark Grogan’s recipe for vegan “goat cheese” from this post on Notes from a Vegan Feast Kitchen. The original intention was for just that, a goat cheese style concoction with the incorporation of cauliflower, and nuts for creaminess.  It’s no surprise that internet perusal brought led to Bryanna’s site, she’s an awesomely from-scratch type of author. It really bugs me when I search for recipes and they’re all made with existing products. I’m not saying I won’t consider or appreciate them, but I wanted to make something from scratch. As inspired by Jenn Shagrin’s recipe for vegan goat cheese, I also added vermouth. I’m more of an extra dry martini gal, but I feel classy owning a bottle, and the wine and miso really deepen the flavor.

Garnished with fresh basil

Cauliflower Cashew ‘Goat Cheese’, recipe adapted from Bryanna’s “Goat Cheese” Spread

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of boiled and strained cauliflower (cook for 25-35 minutes, or until so tender that it’s pierce-able with a fork)
  • 3/4 cup soaked, raw cashews (preferably soaked overnight)
  • 2 tablespoons of mild miso, such as white
  • 1.5 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of vermouth
  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions: Puree in your food processor. Add a tablespoon of water if needed, to reach a smooth consistency. Garnish with fresh, chopped basil and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with sliced baguette.

________________________________

Fun note - I enjoy mentioning this concoction to my sister, because she’s a fancy cheese lover and is incredibly horrified by the mixture of vegan+cauliflower+cheese.

P.S. Gosh, look at how easy it is to credit my inspirations, despite adapting multiple aspects of this recipe! Something it would be respectfully nice to see more of on the internet <3

Tops

I’ll just come out with the horrifying news. My camera is broken. A new one won’t be in my budget until next month. Maybe. Then there’s the whole new-camera-decision-making anxiety. My life’s been a series of smartphone pics and mental memories. It’s been frustrating, but therapeutic, as well. I spent two days cooking for a party of 40+ guests over the long weekend, helped out with a Heartichoke trial run, and somehow, I haven’t thrown up over not having photos.

To fill the void, and remind me of my younger, picture-taking shenanigans, here’s a look back at some my favorite creations* of 2010:

Khao Soi Yellow Curry Noodles with Tofu

This dish quickly entered my regular repertoire, and is currently on hiatus (until I buy more vermicelli).

Jalapeno and Herb Roasted Tempeh and Broccoli

I made this during the great jalapeño overload in my life that was late summer 2010. It was fabulous as a stand alone entrée, in addition to being tasty leftovers over grain bowls or pasta.

Jalapeno and Herb Roasted Tempeh

Cashew Basil Cream & Roasted Garlic Stuffed Morels

They’re dainty little elf hats and wicked gourmet. Enough said.

stuffed morels

The next two are from my not so long ago LOST-obsessed days:

Mr. Paik’s Favorite Grilled Seitan Bulgogi

I was so happy with how this turned out! I mean, it impressed Mr. Paik like his daughter never could.

grilled bulgogi seitan

Dharma Veggie Burger with Namaste Sauce

The surprisingly satisfying vegetarian option in the Dharma mess hall.

White Russian & Chocolate Cream Dude Pie

No recipe for this one. Simply abide.

Strawberry Swirl Chocolate Cream Pie

Another cream pie, this one was pretty much pureed tofu, chocolate, soaked cashes, my hand-picked strawberries and a little sweetener:

pie

Tempeh Benedict with Butternut Hollandaise

The Vegan Brunch classic, with a little love from American Vegan Kitchen’s diner tempeh patties, and some roasted butternut squash, since I was putting roasted squash in everything this fall.

Pumpkin Syrup

I made a lot of syrups this past year. They’re pretty, they’re flavorful, and can easily highlight the seasons.

Apple Potato Sage Seitan Roast

After I went to the annual Portland Apple Fest this October, I had a few (dozen) apple projects up my sleeve. One was this roast form of the VWAM Apple Sage seitan sausages from the old PPK forums.

Stuffed Courgette Rolls

This was my first ever Gordon Ramsay recipe veganization, for a wedding potluck over the summer. They’re classy, pushed me into upgrading to a better vegetable peeler, and I got to pretend I was on the set of Hell’s Kitchen.

Dave’s Killer Breaded Seitan

Straight up awesome! Seitan cutlets, go hang out with the best breadcrumbs around. Now, bake. Now, meet kale and BBQ sauce. Lastly, get on the plate.

Grilled Seitan with Pistou

Pistou

Girl, you were a little fancier this past year!

*Creations meaning a dish that was altered from an existing recipe (with due credit given, of course) or somewhat original.

Holiday Projects: DIY Kahlua

Hello! I revamped this recipe for an even better version of homemade coffee liqueur last year. Check it out here!

Homemade Coffee Liqueur on Get Sconed!

 

Somehow, I found a way to grumble a wee bit while making this. Office holiday gift exchange pressure!!! The rest of my mood was all smirky, caffeinated anticipation, with the buzz of Victrola beans from my Seattle adventure, clear grain alcohol, rich vanilla paste and a little fresh clementine zest, for good measure.  I had sampled my friend Millie the mixtress’ homemade kahlua at a holiday cocktail party a couple of weeks ago, and it was totally a I have-to-make-this moment.

The internet seemed abundant with two varieties of recipes. One involved patient infusing (which is fine, because please), and the other was a matter of warming & mixing. Millie’s successful concoction followed the second route, and so did I, using the recipe posted last year on the Cupcake Project as a basis.

Serving suggestions:

 

A New Tradition in the Life: Marsala, Sun-dried Tomato & Mozzarella Stuffed Mushrooms

The Story:

Stuffed mushrooms were one of the first dishes I learned to pull off and share with guests as a vegan. Italian background, Italian food, check. I can still remember my mom pulverizering the filling in the food processor, and that flavor, which was nothing like the other foods I ate (admittedly, it was full of parmesan and likely, crab, and I was such a picky eater). My late mother actually developed a severe, yet comical,  allergic reaction to mushrooms at some point, yet still kept making these due to popular demand. Nowadays, I usually make them for potlucks, and there’s nearly always wine (because mushrooms should nearly always be drunk), nuts, and breadcrumbs involved. Very recently, my mushrooms-have-the-consistency-of-eyeballs paranoia returned, as it is does now and then, so there I was, with creminis, yet, not wanting to slice them. Stuffed mushrooms are the least of my squishy mushroom fears, and there I went. You could easily sub red wine, or add roasted garlic, steamed greens, vegan crab, etc.  Stuffed mushrooms = versatile.

The Recipe:

Marsala, Sun-dried Tomato & Mozzarella Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 20-25 cremini mushrooms, stems separated, and gills scraped (optional)
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella (I used Chicago Soy Dairy Teese)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of chopped sun-dried tomatoes (re-hydrated or oil packed)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used Dave Killer’s Good Seed)
    • Note: I used 3/4 cup initially, and had too much filling leftover, hence the cut. Not the end of the world if you run a little short or extra!
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch hot paprika
  • pinch nutritional  yeast
  • additional olive oil for spritzing
  • additional wine

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and lightly grease a casserole dish large enough to fit the mushrooms, such as an 8×8 or 8×4.
  2. Thoroughly mince the mushroom stems, either with a knife or in a food processor.
  3. Sauté the garlic and mushroom steams over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the wine, stir for 1 minute, and simmer for an additional 5, or  until most of the liquid evaporates.
  4. Add the herbs (excluding the salt & pepper!) and stir for 1 more minute. Remove from heat.
  5. Mix the breadcrumbs, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, pepper and nutritional well in a bowl. Carefully mix in the sautéed mushrooms mixture and vegan mozzarella shreds, and incorporate well.
  6. Using a 1/2 tablespoon, fill each mushroom cap with the mixture, packing tightly. Place the caps into your lightly greased baking pan, spray with olive oil and a couple good dashes of additional wine, and cook for 20 minutes. If you have extra mushroom caps, just save them to slice into a tofu scramble or something.
  7. Increase the heat to 425F, and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, as needed. Check for browning.
  8. Remove from oven, briefly yet cool, pour some more wine, and serve.

The Photos:

Filling:

Mixed:

Pre-baked:

Roasted:

The End.

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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Khao Soi Yellow Curry Noodles with Tofu

Khao Soi Yellow Curry Noodles with Tofu and assorted vegetables

Adapted from the Thai-Burmese style recipe on Veggie Belly and various others, based on my available ingredients and whim. Inspired by the notion of cauliflower + curry, a field trip in deep SE Portland to the Lents International Farmers Market for produce, great pour over-style Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from Nectar Coffee Co., and onward adventures to Fubonn. I’ve had curry noodles on the brain since dining at In the Bowl in Seattle this past Spring.

Khao Soi Yellow Curry Noodles with Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup sliced yellow squash (I did half circles)
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/4 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 1/2 cup shredded swiss chard (including stalk)
  • 1 diced jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon yellow curry paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Indian curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vegetarian fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk or light coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 oz dried vermicelli rice noodles (use more or less depending on how soupy you want the finished product)
  • 1-1.5 cups of sliced fried or fresh tofu
  • handful of torn fresh basil leaves

Garnish:

  • Chopped basil or cilantro (look, I’m only typing it because it’s traditional in this dish)
  • Lime wedges
  • Sriracha

Instructions:

  1. Sauté the garlic in oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the curry powder and paste.
  3. Add all of the vegetables, and cook for 7-10 minutes. Stir frequently; lower the heat if anything starts to burn.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk, sauces, brown sugar, tofu and water. Mix in and bring to a boil.
  5. Lower the  heat, stir in the noodles, incorporate with tongs, cover with a lid and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes on low.
    • Alternately: Use pre-cooked rice or wheat noodles and add in at this point. Don’t cover the pot if you do this.
  6. Add torn basil or cilantro leaves, incorporate and serve.
  7. Garnish individual portions and add soy sauce, lime and/or hot sauce as desired.

Just pretend that’s cilantro on top…

Vegetables:

From the Lents Farmers Market:

Utilized Sauces, etc:

The small Fubonn haul, which most certainly includes a smoked vegan ham tube. Plans forthcoming. Isn’t Ota’s new package adorable?

Some more from Lents:

I picked up beets and jalapeño peppers at the farm below (currently infusing cayenne and jalapeno tequila at home).

This is my patience. Bell peppers, please!

-

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Adventures with Daiya: Macaroni & Cheese

Vegan or not, who can deny this mac and cheese looks realistic?

I spy melting!

mac

Somewhere out there, a vegan couple is considering giving their newborn the middle name “Daiya”. Somewhere in Portland, I’ve come to accept and appreciate Daiya more than ever before.

The latest test? Adventuring into Macaroni & Cheese territory.

Vegan-traditionally, I prefer my noodles coated with a homemade nutritional yeast sauce started with a roux.  I’ve been on a roller coaster ride of Daiya experiences this past year, and I’ve been holding out for a real winner. With that, these Shells & Cheese with Daiya are now in the lead.

This vegan version is based on an adaptation from Serious Eats of Martha Stewart’s Macaroni and Cheese from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The Original Classics.

Macaroni and Cheese with Daiya 101

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 4 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
  • ½ cup flour (I used chickpea)
  • 1 clove grated or minced garlic
  • 1 heaping teaspoon coarse salt
  • generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8th teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups of Cheddar Daiya (1 package)
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 pound of pasta, such as shells, cooked al dente.
  • ¼-1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons additional vegan cheese (homemade or packaged), or tahini
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon miso

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9×13 casserole dish.
  2. Melt the margarine over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Add the garlic and stir frequently, cooking an additional 1-2 minutes. Quickly whisk in the flour.
  3. Stir in the milk and cook until thickened, 8-10 minutes. Whisk frequently.
  4. Remove the sauce pan from heat and stir in the spices, salt, pepper, Daiya, nutritional yeast, and any additional ingredients.
  5. Carefully pour the cooked macaroni into the cheese sauce. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  6. Even more carefully, pour the mixture into the casserole dish. Cover with breadcrumbs, as desired.
  7. Bake until golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.
  8. Optional: broil an additional 3-5 minutes for a crispier top layer.
  9. Let cool just a bit, and serve. And eat.

Consider: Adding chopped green vegetables to the last few minutes of pasta cooking, and consequently, into your mac.

Serves: A lot! I would recommend halving the recipe if you’re feeding 1-2 and don’t want leftovers for days.

Saucin’ and whiskin’

sauce

The melt: Daiya’s super duper melt remains revolutionary and the most impressive (and therefore, grossest?) on the market. I like to picture of a team of Susie-esque mad vegan scientists hard at work in Canada furthering their developments, and occasionally taking a snack break with Tings.

The taste: As my friend Maeve has so elegantly stated, it’s like Velveeta went vegan. Say what you will.

The verdict: I wouldn’t make this again. Using shredded Daiya felt like cheating, and I just don’t love the taste. Appreciate, sure. Like enough, maybe. However, it was fun adventure, and my mind was boggled at how the Daiya melted and stretched and sauced!

Shells and Cheese with Daiya 101

mac