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Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

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Things have been terribly uninteresting, food-wise, here in Aussie. For the past few weeks, I have been totally and completely uninspired. For breakfast, I have grapefruit and toast. For lunch, I have veggies and store bought hummus. Sometimes I go wild and have peanut butter and celery. Hold me back!

As a result, new and interesting foods have been scarce. I’ve tried one or two new recipes but they have all fallen short. I think I’ve temporarily lost my kitchen mojo!

This could very well have to do with a hacking cough and lingering feeling of ‘blah’ that I haven’t been able to shake for about a week or so. I’ve been downing green tea and honey like it’s going out of style. And I’ve been craving soup except it’s hot out! Maybe I just need to feed my soup craving and all will return to normal.

Despite the boring food phase I’m facing, I do have this recipe that I promised you a bajillion years ago (or 3 weeks) that I just haven’t gotten around to posting. It uses the Cheeze sauce recipe that I made for Halloween. I made another batch and have been using it for Mac and Cheeze, which is at least somewhat of a comfort food. Even if it isn’t the piping hot soup I crave.

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Veggie Loaded Mac and Cheeze
serves 2

-3 TBSP olive oil

– 3 cloves of garlic

-half an onion

-half a bunch of curly leaf kale

-1/2 c. of tomatoes (I used small cherry tomatoes)

-1 1/2 – 2 c. of pasta of your choice (I used gluten-free buckwheat spirals)

-about 1/2 c. of Cheeze sauce, or more to taste

Heat oil over medium -low heat in a medium sized skillet. Add the onions and the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stir and cover, cooking until the tomatoes are soft and mushy. This should be about 5 minutes. My goal here was to create a really flavorful oil base to cook the kale in. Once the tomatoes are soft, add the kale and toss so it’s covered in the oil. Cover for 5 minutes until the kale and bright green and cooked down. Give it another good toss. Reduce the heat to low.

While the kale is covered and cooking, put your pasta on. Cook according to instructions. Once cooked and drained, add it your kale mixture. Toss everything together. Add your Cheeze sauce and stir/toss to coat. Add more if desire. Keep heat to medium low and heat your mixture until the sauce is hot. Serve right away.

Half recipes if you are making for one person. Leftovers to do not heat up well.

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I’ve made this a few times and more often then not, I serve it in a big bowl and eat it curled up on the couch reading. It’s such a good comfort food meal. You will never pass this off as real mac and cheese to your non-vegan friends but it’s a great, veggie packed recipe that hits that craving when you want the blue box.

I do have a Travel Tuesday for you tomorrow and, hopefully, a Friday Favorite that I’ve been sitting on forever! We’ll see how I come along with the recipes. Fingers cross I create something not sucky soon!

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True story: I like the idea of going out to eat but I very rarely do it because I can  never make up my mind where to go. Melinda was crashing at my apartment a few weekends ago and we decided we were just too lazy to make dinner and I had no food in the house. So we decided to get take out. 45 minutes later, surrounded by take out menus and coupons, we hadn’t committed to anything yet. We couldn’t decide what we were in the mood for. We couldn’t decide whether we wanted delivery or to go get it. We couldn’t decide on anything.

Basically, we just wanted someone to deliver us the best food ever without us having to decide on the food and, we wanted it to be free.

We were sort of pathetic.

This is what happens to me at least once a weekend, though, when I’m too wiped out to make dinner. I always think, “Pizza can be delivered to me in no time!” and then I see all the other options that are out there and nothing gets ordered.

But not this weekend! This weekend, I’m ready! I have this delicious autumn pizza waiting for me in my fridge. Win for me!

Autumn Apple Sage Pizza
inspired by How Sweet Eats

Dough:

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (the original recipe called for 1 c. whole wheat flour and 3/4 c. of all-purpose but I was out of whole wheat)
1 tablespoon honey (see my comments on honey and veganism here)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of your electric mixer with an attached dough hook, combine warm water, yeast, honey and oil and mix with a spoon. Let sit for 10-15 minutes until foamy, then add in flour and salt. Mix on low speed until just combined, then turn to medium speed to knead the dough for 5-6 minutes. If it seems to sticky, add a bit more flour 1 tablespoon at a time.

Brush a separate bowl with olive oil, add dough, turning once, then set in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2-2 hours. Cover with a towel.

While your dough is rising, you can start your pesto sauce…

Sage Pesto:
adapted from the book Skinny Bitch in the Kitch  by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
(makes approx. 1 cup)

1/4 cup whole almonds
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for storing
1 cup fresh sage leaves
1/2 cups fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

*The original recipe called for 1/4 c. vegan cream cheese but I couldn’t find any. Feel free to include it but it wasn’t necessary

Pulse the ingredients in a food processor in the order given. Scrape down the sides as necessary and continue pulsing to achieve a uniform consistency.

If desired, place sage pesto in a container and top off with olive oil to store.

Pizza Toppings:

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 TBS olive oil

1 large apple, very thinly sliced

1 small yellow onion, sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

3/4 c. vegan mozzarella cheese (I used Daiya)

3/4 cup vegan cheddar cheese ( I used Daiya)

Vegan Bacon (optional)

Preheat your oven 375 degrees. Spray your pizza pan lightly with cooking spray. I prefer round pizzas to square but all I had available was a square cookie sheet. (I’m sure a pizza stone would work great for this too but I’m not fancy enough for one of those!)

15 minutes for dough is ready, slice onions. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, then add onions with a sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until carmelized. In the last minute, add garlic and cook for 60 seconds, then set aside off heat.

When your dough is ready, remove from the bowl and place on your greased pizza pan. Stretch out evenly in pan. Top with sage pesto ( I used about half of what I made). Sprinkle with nutmeg. Add mozzarella cheese. Slice apples (a mandolin slicer would be perfect for this…but I’m not fancy enough for one of those, either) and layer on top of pesto and cheese, then add your onion/garlic mixture. Cover with cheddar cheese. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes. If you are using vegan bacon, cook in the microwave for about a minute, slice and add to pizza 5 minutes before its finished. I did this with my first round and I didn’t think the vegan bacon added much to the recipe.

But what would a pizza be without chip??

BBQ Kale Chip
from Healthful Pursuits

1 head kale

1/3 cup cashews

2-3 tbsp water

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp smoked paprika + more for sprinkling

2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp herbamare

dash of cayenne

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and take out a cookie sheet. No oiling/greasing needed.
  2. Drop all ingredients but kale in a blender and process until smooth. (I used a food processor because I had it out from the pesto. It didn’t really work well and my BBQ has cashew bits in it. It was still good though)
  3. Wash kale and remove stem – I  just rip it from the stem. Place kale in a large bowl and cover with 1/4 cup of the paprika mixture. Stir to coat before laying out on prepared cookie sheet.
  4. Sprinkle kale with extra smoked paprika and bake for 14-17 minutes (I cooked mine for 14 but it definitely could have used more time)

This was my first go-around with kale. I’ve always avoided it because the ruffles kind of creep me out. I’m not a ruffles girl. Pyramid studs- yes. Ruffles- not so much. I was pleased with the results, though! The BBQ sauce definitely had a kick to it but it had really good flavor! Unfortunately, my kale didn’t get chip-like . The edges got kind of crispy but overall, the kale was still soft. It still had great flavor, though.  I’ll cook it for a bit longer next time.

I’m a huge fan of this meal. Then again, I’m a huge fan of pizza and BBQ so I could I not be?? The pizza was light and the apples and nutmeg adds such a great fall feeling. The BBQ sauce on the kale chips was delicious. It created a great new way to eat greens!

PS. Save that extra BBQ sauce. I have a yummy way to use that leftovers that I’ll post on Weds

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