VGF Cheez Its!

Okay. This is crazy. I couldn’t stop eating them. Make them today. Really.

Cheez Its!

Recipe:

Vegan and Gluten Free Cheez Its!

Procedure:

Just follow the darned instructions. Well written and informative. You won’t be sorry.

Shopping List:

  • 3/4 c. Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
  • 1/2 tsp xantham gum
  • 1 c. Daiya vegan “cheese”
  • 3 Tbs Earth Balance butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tb ice water

My Story:

If you have Xantham gum on hand, you almost have no excuse not to make these.

I owed a couple of friends for a huge favor. Last time I visited them, we were at the store and one (a gluten free vegan) told me that she sorely missed Cheez Its while we were browsing the Follow My Heart market. When I got home I started looking up recipes and rN across this one. It looked a little too simple but I figured I’d try it. Oh my. I didn’t know what I was in for.

IMG_7472 Cheez Its!

When they came out of the oven, I tried one. Bad choice. I was utilizing all of my self control the rest of the time I took them off the backing sheet. I tried to tell myself that I’d just have five. Err- ten. Well, just all the broken ones. Should I break some more? No no no.
I was shipping these to my friends and I knew that the only way it would happen was if I packed that box IMMEDIATELY. And sealed it. Address and all. I would have taken it to the post office then and there but it wasn’t open at nine pm.

Make these. I know I will. Find your xantham gum at a health food store if you don’t already have some (it’s not as expensive as I expected) and grab some Daiya cheese at the store on your way home after work. You’ll probably want to make a double batch.

You’ll thank me later.

I’m finally writing and publishing this days later because I didn’t want to ruin the surprise and my mouth is watering at the thought of these. Tomorrow. I’ll make fifty batches.

Maybe they’re not the most healthy.

But we’re Cheez Its originally?

Splurge sometime.

Health!
-Peter

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Garlic Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes!

Quick dinner on a weeknight?

The Recipe:

The Vegan Garlic Pasta recipe from MinimalistBaker.com

Procedure:

Follow the instructions. I didn’t change much (apart from slightly adjusting some proportions according to what I could find and what I had on hand. I used three tablespoons of chopped leeks instead of the shallots. It was nice!)

Shopping List:

  • 3 cups grape tomatoes
  • 10 ounces whole wheat pasta
  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 8 large cloves garlic
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 3-4 Tbsp unbleached all purpose flour (or another thickener of choice)
  • 2.5 cups unsweetened plain Almond Breeze

My Story:

I looked this up a couple of weeks ago and was excited to make it. So I did!

Tomatoes!

Those of you who know me are aware of my general aversion to tomatoes. I like sauces and them being a part of things, but a fresh tomato is not my favorite ingredient, so I wanted to try something new.

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This turned out well! I definitely processed the sauce in a blender to get it smooth and creamy- that was a good choice. Impressively garlic-y and smooth.IMG_7351

Shells were a good choice because they picked up the sauce well. It wasn’t quite as good reheated (I had it the next day as well), but in a frying pan it was pretty tasty still. Garlic Pasta!IMG_7373

I vote- give this recipe a shot! I’ve always loved MinimalistBaker- they explain well, have great photos and great recipes, and are super helpful!

Have you tried this recipe? Do you know another recipe similar or changes to this one you like? Let me know in the comments below!

Health!

-Peter

Parsnip Fries!

Baked Parsnip Fries.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 Parsnip.

Salt, pepper, olive oil.

Procedure:

Peel.

Slice.

Bake.

Simple, huh? That’s really all it is.

A little more for those of you who would like it:

Preheat your oven to 375°. Peel the exterior off of your parsnip fries. Slice them into 1/4″ strips and toss with a teaspoon or so of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Lay out on a baking sheet (on parchment paper if you like) and bake for around fifteen minutes. Flip them half way if you want them to bake a little more evenly.

Then eat!

You could add spices like paprika, garlic powder, onion power and more if you want!


My Story:

I had a parsnip sitting on my table. I bought it earlier this week. I didn’t know what I’d do with it, but I figured I’d use it.

Its time was running out. I had to find a use. Frantically I tore across the internet in search of favorable uses for an aging parsnip. I ran across a recipe similar to this on LoveandLemons.com and adapted it to fit my needs.

Before:

PARSNIP FRIES!

After:IMG_7335

I loved these. Not fried but baked, not potatoes but parsnips, not traditional but unique. A new (to me) twist on an old favorite. These could be a little stringy in some cases but that could have been the length of time my parsnip waited and waited. Crispy on the exterior, soft on the interior.

I don’t have a lot to say. Make them. Particularly if you’re looking for a quick snack packed with flavor and (I assume) nutrients. Make them tonight!

Do you have a go to snack? Perhaps it’s parsnip fries? Perhaps it will soon be? Let me know in the comments below! And I’m still open for requests- last time there were an overwhelming number of suggestions, but I’ll open this path again.

Hey, I hope you are doing well and staying healthy.

-Peter

Lah-Zan-Ya.

You, my friends, are in for a treat. Taste this!

Recipes:

Ricotta Cheese

Tomato Sauce (My favorite, I make it all the time.)

Parmesan Cheese

Lasagna Construction

Additional/Alternate Ingredients:

Vegan Cheeses (I used Follow Your Heart Mozzarella and Daiya Cheddar)

Veggie Ground (I used Trader Joes brand but I’ve also had great success with Helen’s Kitchen brand)

Procedure:

If you don’t already do this, I suggest starting out chopping and prepping everything so cooking goes smoothly. There are a lot of ingredients and recipes in this one, so be on top of your game. I’d give this a moderate difficulty just because you’re juggling so many things at once.

Press your tofu. I love this little guy: Tofu Xpress. Not very expensive and has saved me a lot of time and mess! (Thanks for the recommendation Tanya!)

Get started on your sauce and heat your veggie ground. While the tomatoes are cooking, throw together your Vegan Parmesan- it’s quick and you don’t even have to clean out your processor because you’re about to use it again!

When you finish the sauce, mix in the warmed veggie ground and set aside.

Mix up your Ricotta with your hands if you’re feeling adventurous (right McKenna?) but the back of a spoon is fine too. Just less fun. Throw a handful of each of your cheeses into this mix as well and you’re ready to assemble!

I suggest using a cast iron skillet for this- I tossed mine in the oven at 350° for about ten minutes after it was done to give it that crispiness on the top. Now the layering process is exciting. Try to get it to all fit in the skillet and not above (I was not successful) because you’re going to put a lid on it. (You read the whole recipe first, right? Whoops…)

I found that it took longer to cook than I expected, maybe half an hour. Then I threw it in the oven for a few minutes and FEASTED.

I think I ate about half of it. If you don’t want to eat more than a small piece, I suggest not tasting it.

Shopping List:

  • 1 (14-ounce) block extra firm tofu
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon tahini
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon mellow white miso
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I forgot this, it was fine!)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large sweet onion or 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 large tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 3 cups diced)
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (about 6)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 12 -ounce package frozen chopped butternut or winter squash, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (I forgot this too, it was fine!)
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • Vegan Cheeses- two handfuls

My Story:

Here’s the history of this recipe.

Today I was at the store, remembering that I had leftover squash from that pizza I made a week ago, and I needed to use it soon. A quick google search later, I had a recipe. Or, an amalgam of recipes. Anyway, grabbed a few things and headed home!

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I met a friend at my house as she needed a place to watch a live stream of our friend playing Roller Derby that night, so I cooked around her and a laptop in the kitchen. It was warm and nice to have company. Also- Go Smalls!

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Everything went swimmingly until I snagged on the lid. My skillet lid that is supposed to fit anything between 8 and 12 inches does—If your cast iron skillet handle doesn’t extend upward. It sat at an angle and wouldn’t close to keep the heat in.IMG_7263

Eventually I turned over an air insulated cookie sheet that I received for Christmas (thanks Dad!) and put the warm tea kettle on top of it to keep it down. Definitely not the most elegant solution but it certainly worked.

I also threw my camera on the ground during this process, trying to take a quick picture. But that’s another story, nevermind. Anyway. Your father cried and… Have you all seen Into the Woods yet? No? Then moving on.

I quite enjoyed this meal, it gave me three more meals, and I’ll make it again. I think you should try it.Lah-Zan-Ya!

Have you made a lasagna like this? Have you made this one? If yes to either of these, comment below and tell me about it? Did you make other substitutions? Did you hate it? I want to know!

Also, if you have a recipe you’re not sure about and want someone else to make it first, I’m taking requests. Let me know and I’ll try to make it happen!

Be Healthy,

-Peter

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Raspberry Lemon Overnight Waffles

Recipe:

Basic Waffle Recipe

Additional ingredients:
Zest from one lemon (1-2 tablespoons)
One standard container of Raspberries
Two cups non dairy milk
Half cup vegan butter
Two vegan eggs (I used two flax eggs- calls for two tablespoons ground flax and six tablespoons water. You can also use Ener-g Egg Replacer, which I’ll be trying next time. I’ll report back.)

Procedure:
Swap milk for almond milk (or another non dairy)
Swap butter for melted Vegan butter (I used Earth Balance’s stick vegan butter- less measuring!)

Prepare waffles according to plan. When you hit the step where you mix in the flour, mix in half the raspberries and all of the lemon zest. Try to mash those raspberries in to get the flavor to consume the batter.

My house is a chilly place in the winter, so I put the bowl in my oven with the light on overnight to let it rise.

In the morning, mix in the rest of the ingredients and toss it in your waffle maker!

Note: to make the flax eggs gel properly, mix the flax and water together and let it sit in the fridge for fifteen minutes. I always let it sit while I’m in the shower so I don’t have to wait!

Feast.

LINE

My story:

I purchased a waffle maker last year and tried out several different variations of waffles. There was a pretty tasty blueberry cornmeal one online, a basic one, but then I found this. The rising overnight on this one gives it a light crispy outside (who doesn’t love that little crunch?) and a soft, somewhat chewy inside. Kind of heavenly. So thanks to TheKitchn for the recipe.

I’ve tried a few different flavors of this (fresh peanut butter with maple syrup, Maya? Surprisingly good!) and this might be the one that was most exciting and a little bit different from what I’m used to.

I like to start these at ten or eleven pm when I realize “oh shoot. I don’t have anything quick for breakfast.” It really doesn’t take long to throw this together and then have freshly made, tasty waffles in the morning.

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Like I mentioned in the recipe, I’ve been making these with flax eggs. I think it’s important to have fairly freshly ground flax to get it to gel correctly , so I use a little coffee grinder in the morning to grind up a couple of spoonfuls.

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My sibling finally got me to try Ener-g in a couple of other things (thanks Valerie!) so this will be tried too. I’ve never had a problem with the flax, but who knows! Maybe it could be even better!

That’s it from the world of breakfast in VeganRevue land today. I need to find some more recipes, though, this is one of my top go to’s.

Do you have any exciting vegan breakfast recipes you want to share? Let me know in he comments below and you just may be featured on the blog!

Stay well,

-Peter

Cashew Butter Jar Cake!

Peanut Butter Cup? Meet Cashew Butter Jar Cake, your older brother.

Recipe:

Chocolate Cake Recipe

Additional Ingredients:

3/4 cup raw cashew (or cashew pieces)

2-3 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon non-dairy milk (I used almond)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Handful semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard brand.)

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Gather several jars (I used 6 jars plus two baking ramekins). You’re looking for something with a wide mouth to make it easier to eat. Pickle jars are great (be sure to remove the pickles), pint sized mason jars will work just fine too (remove the pint sized masons).

Prepare the cake batter according to the directions, but not proceeding to put the cake in pans.

Pour cake batter into medium sized bowl and rinse/dry stand mixing bowl and paddle attachment. We’re about to use them again. Don’t have a stand mixer? Just replace the words “stand mixing bowl” with “large bowl” and “paddle attachment” with “incredibly strong arms armed with a wooden spoon.” Don’t worry, you can do it. I believe in you.

Pour cashews into a food processor and process until you have a creamy cashew butter. Transfer cashew butter into your stand mixer and add the non-dairy milk and vanilla extract. Mix to combine and then, with the paddle attachment turning, slowly add one cup of powdered sugar. Continue to add more sugar until you get a pliable (but not sticky to the touch) ball. Divide this ball into eight sections (one for each jar), and roll into smaller balls.

Begin spooning cake batter into your jars. I filled each with about an inch of batter, but you may do more or less depending on the size of your jars. Drop one Cashew Butter Ball into each jar and use the remaining cake batter to cover it. Don’t fill past 3/4 of the jar or it’ll overflow.

Place on a rimmed baking sheet with half an inch of water (I put the jars on first and filled water around them) and carefully put into the oven. Set your timer for 20 minutes. It will likely take longer, but depending on the size of the jar, you will want to be on top of it. Be careful with the boiling water surrounding the jars.

When the timer rings, check each cake with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. If so, place about half the chocolate chips needed to cover the top in the jar and return to the oven for one minute.

When they’re all done, spread the chocolate around the top and let cool.

Then break in through the chocolate and devour.


My story:

At some point last year I had made some cookies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar that had a lovely peanut butter center. (These would be the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pillows for all of you following along at home. For anyone not following along, I suggest you go out and buy this book right now. For your convenience: here is a link. You’ll thank me later.)

ANYWAY, I was making these cookies when I really wanted chocolate cake. And I had a thought. Peanut butter cups are tasty. Chocolate cake is tasty. I should make chocolate cake peanut butter cups! I could have gone the standard cupcake style route, but I had been saving all of these jars of varying sizes and this seemed like the perfect use! I could seal them up after they had cooled and pass ’em around without worrying about getting cake everywhere! And thus the idea was born.

The first time I made them, it was definitely with peanut butter. When I went to make them this time, a happy accident occurred. While running late on the way home, I stopped by the store to grab some peanuts. Tossed them in my car, and arrived home. It suddenly occurred to me that I hadn’t checked the vegan-ness, so I looked. Gelatin. I know. Fortunately I had recently bought a pile of raw cashews. This would do!

It all went according to plan from there.

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Be aware this chocolate cake is pretty rich. Tasty, definitely, but rich. Prepare yourself with a glass of almond milk. And try not to eat them all yourself. I know I had to get them out of the house quickly and I still ate… Several.

Stay tuned: I’m thinking about a contest related to the first responders to a post. I don’t know if it’ll come to fruition, but I just may be sending out some treats.

Be healthy!

-Peter

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I wanted a quick and tasty vegetable tonight: Perfect!

Recipe:

Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Added Ingredients:

Nutritional Yeast

Mozzarella Cheeze

Procedure:

Prepare this just like the recipe says, omitting the Parmesan and (oh shoot, I just realized that I forgot this) the balsamic vinegar. I’m sure that would be great, but I didn’t add it.

Add 1-2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast when mixing all together before baking.

Before your final turn of the sprouts, when you think they look just about done, sprinkle a little bit of Mozzarella cheeze, maybe one tablespoon, onto the top to let it melt and mix in. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

Stir and enjoy!


My Story:

I was headed home late tonight after a meeting and wanted to pick up something healthy to toss together for dinner. I wandered around the grocery produce section until Brussels Sprouts caught my eye. When I was younger I was never too excited about them; maybe that was because people always talked about them being gross, but I never really remember even tasting them! (I also never knew there was an ‘s’ at the end of Brussels, but the idea that it probably originated in Brussels clarifies that question for me!)

Flash forward to a few months ago when I saw them on sale and decided “what the heck!” They were quite tasty! I’ve had them a few different ways now, but I think I like this one the best. The nooch gives it a nutty flavor that complements the sprouts well and the cheeze… well, if you’ve been following my blog recently you know that I’m adding cheeze to many dishes. (And yes, I’m using the ‘z’ in that word to differentiate between dairy cheese and vegan cheeze.) Believe me, though, if you don’t go overboard on the cheeze, it’ll be quite tasty.

IMG_7075Brussels Sprouts!

Now, the recipe says it will serve three to four people. In my opinion, it serves one. My bowl is clean, completely. I’ll definitely be making this recipe again. It’s a fairly light, warm, and delectable dish that will always make me clean my plate.

Anybody like Brussels sprouts? If you don’t (and somehow found this page by mistake), I say try it anyway and let me know! Have another favorite way to cook ’em up? let me know in the comments and your recipe just might be featured down the line!

Be on the lookout for a dessert, a breakfast, and a vegan staple coming up in the next few days.

As always, thanks for reading!

-Peter