April 20, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
I have improved this recipe! If you want to see it (trust me, you do), click here!
Vegan cheese is famous for sucking horribly. I wholeheartedly agree with the stereotype vegan cheese has unfortunately made for itself. Known for its texture of rubber and taste of plastic, vegan cheese doesn’t deserve to be called cheese at all. “BUT IT MELTS NOW!” Awesome. You know what else melts? Wax. Which is what vegan cheese tastes like.
In my opinion, the only acceptable vegan cheese is vegan cream cheese. Spot-on texture and accurate taste.
What’s worse is that vegan cheese is being used to make awful renditions of vegan macaroni and cheese. 99% of what you see on Pinterest labeled at Vegan Macaroni and Cheese is pure crap. Trust me, I’ve tried. I’m sorry, but nutritional yeast cannot perform vegan miracles.
I was in a dark vegan macaroni and cheese place. That is, until I finally found what I was looking for. No Daiya. No nutritional yeast. It was a vegan miracle. It was made by Alisa in Alaska. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.
I’ve been making the recipe above for about six months, but the more I ate it, the more I realized that something was missing. It just wasn’t cheesy enough. Maybe it was a little too lemony. Whatever it was, I just needed to tweak it a bit.
It was then that I realized that I bet I could achieve the cheesiness I craved through vegan cream cheese. At that moment, the clouds separated and the sun shone through. I finally achieved the greatness I had chased for over a year.
Here is my rendition of vegan mac and cheese. It’s the best homemade vegan macaroni and cheese out there, guaranteed.
The Best Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 2-4 servings
- 1 8oz box of elbow noodles (I use gluten-free quinoa noodles)
- 1 cup sweet potatoes, chopped (russet potatoes are yummy, too!)
- 1/3 cup onion, chopped
- 1/4 carrots, chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 cayenne pepper
- 1/3 tub vegan cream cheese
- 1/2 cup broccoli, chopped (optional)
- gluten free bread crumbs (optional)
STEP 1: Cut up the sweet potatoes, carrots, and onion. Don’t peel your sweet potatoes; keep those nutrients in! Place these items in a pot with the 1 cup of water. Bring items to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
STEP 2: Boil the macaroni noodles. When finished, strain and rinse with cold water.
STEP 3: Mill/process the cashews, garlic cloves, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
STEP 4: When your pot of veggies is done, pour the contents into a food processor (including the water). Grind until pureed. Add the cashew mixture and vegan cheese and continue to puree until fully incorporated.
STEP 5: Get out your favorite macaroni dish, line with cooking oil, and add the noodles, “cheese”, and broccoli. Mix contents with a spoon.
I’ve heard that breadcrumbs on macaroni and cheese is a southern thing. If so, it’s the best southern tradition I know. Sprinkle on your bread crumbs before sending your dish into the oven at 350° for 30 minutes.
Thirty minutes later…
Mmmm, finally. Edible vegan macaroni and cheese.
April 19, 2014 By This Vegan Girl
I’ll admit that throughout my life, I’ve never loved stuffed peppers. It was never made for me as a child. In fact, peppers in general haven’t been a member of my craving palate.
That is, until recently. A friend of mine made stuffed peppers for me, and I liked it. No, I really liked it! Why were my previous attempts to enjoy stuffed peppers so sour? It was a food epiphany.
It was your traditional stuffed pepper, complete with a grain stuffing and tomato sauce on top. But after my friend told me she made Soy Sauce stuffed peppers once, it got my mind reeling of all the possibilities a stuffed pepper could become. I bet there could be a stuffed pepper for every type of cuisine, I thought. I got right to work.
The Mexican Stuffed Pepper was my first creation, and it was love at first bite. I even got my nose-in-the-air anti-stuffed-pepper boyfriend to jump on board with it. We paired it with Fiesta Potatoes, which will be featured soon.
Mexican Stuffed Peppers
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour total
Yield: 4-5 stuffed peppers (the pictures feature 2 stuffed peppers, but I’ve done the kindness of doubling the recipe for you)
- 4-5 red peppers, cored and seeded
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 1 can of organic vegan refried beans (I use Amy’s)
- 1 can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup of grape tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup of onions, chopped
- 1 can of salsa
- 1 avocado, chopped, as garnish (optional)
STEP 1: Prepare the quinoa by boiling 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa. Once at a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Do you do anything interesting with your quinoa? I always buy one package of white and one package of red to mix together. The red quinoa is more firm than the white, which provides a bit of variety in the texture when mixed together. Not to mention that the colors look awesome when mixed.
STEP 2: Core and seed the peppers by making a round incision at the top of the pepper and taking out the innards.
After that, boil the peppers in a big pot for 5 minutes.
When ready, remove and allow to cool.
STEP 3: While the quinoa absorbs and the red peppers dance in the boiling water, prepare the beans, tomatoes, and onion.
STEP 5: When the quinoa is ready, scoop out about 4 hearty tablespoons of refried beans in the quinoa. This will give the stuffing a thick texture, while providing a lovely contrast of moisture and saltiness.
While you’re at it, add the vegetables and black beans and stir.
STEP 6: Stuff those babies and stuff ’em good.
STEP 7: Place peppers on a tray and pour salsa on top. Place in the oven at 350° for 30 minutes.
STEP 8: Garnish with avocados, slice in half, and dig in!