Carbs & Rec: Salad & Other Disgusting Things

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Carbs & Rec - Double Bacon Cheeseburger Salad (0002)

SALAD. If there’s a food more universally reviled in Pawnee, I’d be hard-pressed to name it. (Dog laxative waffles, maybe?) From the manliest of meat-eaters to even those government employees who ought to know better, the cast of Parks & Rec never misses a moment to hate on leafy green meals.

First, we have the usual suspect: Ron Swanson, who refuses to eat the food that his food eats.

Chris: Ron, do you like some salad?
Ron: (giggling) Since I am a rabbit, no I do not.
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(More below the fold…)

Carbs & Rec: ALL the Bacon & Eggs I Have!

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Update: Ron & I won a MoFie!

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Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Wait, wait. I’m worried what you just heard was, “Give me a lot of bacon and eggs.” What I said was, “Give me all the bacon and eggs you have.” Do you understand?
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Ron Swanson is a simple man. He likes pretty, dark-haired women and breakfast food, and frequents strip clubs strictly for the all-you-can-eat buffets. When in doubt, serve him bacon and eggs. Preferably all the bacon and eggs in the house.

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So when Shane and I were brainstorming how to do this quote justice, we came up with two ideas: a) Photoshop a weird collage of all the bacon and eggs I’ve ever made, with a disembodied Swanson head superimposed on top (Shane) or b) actually cook up an oversized platter of bacon and eggs (me).

I was torn, so I did the next best thing: them both!

Exhibit A: The Vegan Bacon & Eggs Poster.

all the bacon and eggs collage (with quote)

(More below the fold…)

Carbs & Rec: You had me at “Meat Tornado.”

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

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Carbs & Rec - The Meat Tornado (0015)

“You had me at Meat Tornado.” If there’s a single quote that’s come to define Ron Swanson, food-wise (and what else is there really?), it would have to be this. Second maybe to “Give me ALL the bacon and eggs you have.” Let’s just say the message boards are going nuts.

Just look at all the Meat Tornado merch and fan art available online!

(More below the fold…)

Carbs & Rec: Epic Breakfast Bowl

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

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When it comes to Ron Swanson, there’s only one way to do breakfast: epically. Preferably with ALL THE BACON AND EGGS you have. (Don’t worry, WE ARE SO DOING THIS! Just not today.)

Waffle Wednesdays may be dedicated to Leslie Knope and her BFF J.J. (don’t cry, Ann; waffles may own Leslie’s stomach, but you will always have her ovaries!), but Sundays are all about Ron and his undying love of meaty, cheesy, eggy breakfast foods. Just don’t call it brunch, else he might pop you one in your smart, fancy, foreign mouth.

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In this vein, this morning I present to you the Hearty Breakfast Bowl from Home-Cooked Vegan Comfort Food – with a few extras, that is. What’s in the ginormous cast iron skillet (Ron Swanson speak for “bowl), you ask?

Carbs & Rec - Epic Breakfast Bowl (0015)

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Carbs & Rec: Cold Puppies

Monday, September 1st, 2014

“Zerts are what I call desserts. Tray-trays are entrées. I call sandwiches ‘sammies,’ ‘sandoozles,’ or ‘Adam Sandlers.’ Air conditioners are ‘cool blasterz.’ I call cakes ‘big ol’ cookies.’ I call noodles ‘long-ass rice.’ Fried chicken is ‘fry-fry chicky-chick.’ Chicken parm is ‘chicky-chicky-parm-parm.’ Chicken cacciatore? ‘Chicky-cach.’ I call eggs ‘pre-birds,’ or ‘future birds.’ Root beer is ‘super water.’ Tortillas are ‘bean blankets.’ And I call forks ‘food rakes.’” – Episode 3.10, “Soulmates”
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Old-ass grapes. Bear Drool. Brit Bagels.* If you can stuff it in your face, odds are that Tom Haverford has a Tom Haverfood-ism for it. In fact, Tom’s fly food wordplay is such a hit with fans that it’s spawned a website (tomhaverfoods.com), a tumblr (tomhaverfoods.tumblr.com), and a twitter account (@TomHaverfoods), all of which proved instrumental to me meeting my 30-post quota for the month. Chances are, if it’s not a breakfast food, then it’s probably a Tom Haverfood.

To kick of VeganMoFo 2014 – and the week! – I come bearing Chili Dogs. Or Cold Puppies, as Tom would say.

Carbs & Rec - Cold Puppies (0002)

The chili recipe is an old one from Vegan Dad, which I’ve been meaning to try for forever. You guys, I don’t think I’ve ever had a chili dog before! Sad but true, and as of today, rectified. So the chili is a pretty delicious mix of chocolate, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cumin, and vegan Worcestershire sauce, for a smoky and savory flavor. I also like that it uses TVP instead of beans, because the latter upsets my tummy. (Stomach: Calorie Cannibalizer.)

(More below the fold…)

Mayim’s Pancakes

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

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Over the weekend I finally had a chance to break open Mayim’s Vegan Table and give the pancakes a spin. (I know, Saturday was a lifetime ago. My queue overfloweth!) It’s not my favorite pancake recipe in the world – that’s a toss-up between Isa’s Perfect Pancakes and the Lavender Pancakes from Alicia Simpson’s Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food – but these pillows of carbs are tasty enough. They manage to be both fluffy and cakey at the same time, which is a feat in itself.

Served with crushed toasted pecans, maple syrup, and pan-fried Smart Bacon (it didn’t have a mom!) by Lightlife.

Z is for Ziti All’amatriciana

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Z if for Ziti All'amatriciana [Betty Goes Vegan] (0005)

You guys! Can you believe that VeganMoFo ’13 is nearly over? We did it!

To celebrate, I give you this big, steaming plate of Z-is-for-Ziti Ziti All’amatriciana. Only I used penne in place of ziti, on account of we have just about every type of pasta in the pantry save for ziti. That and I’m a big old cheater. Surely you can forgive me, this being the last letter of the alphabet and all?

So this recipe, like many of the others I blogged this month, is from Betty Goes Vegan. The sauce is a mix of diced tomatoes, mashed tofu, and some other goodies. I also threw in some tomato powder and tomato flakes to help add extra flavor to the tofu, but I bet tomato paste would work just as well. (I just didn’t feel like breaking open a whole new can.)

I’m a little fussy when it comes to tofu (in fact, for the letter T I briefly toyed with the idea of writing a Fussy Vegan’s Guide to Hiding Tofu in Your Favorite Dishes, but scrapped it in favor of Tuscan Bread Soup; but, seeing as it’s a question I’m asked with some frequency, I might just write that article anyway) and prefer my tomato sauce without it. Even so, it turned out tasty enough and I licked my plate clean.

The recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of ziti, which even now seems so small as to be a typo. I multipled it by eight and cooked four cups (dried) of penne, figuring that I could set the extra aside if I made too much. I didn’t need to – the sauce coated the pasta just fine. I think three cups might be the sweet spot though. Or maybe I just don’t know my pasta All’amatriciana – is it a dish that’s supposed to be awash in sauce?

Served with a few hearty slices of Easy Olive Oil Garlic Toast, also from Betty Goes Vegan. If enjoying bread with pasta is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

 
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V is for Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

V is for Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie [Betty Goes Vegan] (0008)

WOW. Like I’ve seriously been sitting here at my keyboard for five minutes, trying to think of something, anything, to say about this Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie from Betty Goes Vegan, and this is all I can come up with. Just, wow.

I mean, talk about yer vegan comfort foods. This is basically just a giant plate of junk food. And I mean that in the best way possible!

The “crust” is a blend of vegan ground beef (Lightlife, in my case), bread crumbs, A1 steak sauce (A rather common ingredient in Betty Goes Vegan! I bought a bottle just for this cookbook!), red onions, and some other goodies.

V is for Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie [Betty Goes Vegan] (0001)

Press it into a pie plate, bake until golden brown (the directions say five minutes, but I easily tripled that), and then add the potato “filling.”

V is for Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie [Betty Goes Vegan] (0002)

Baked potatoes, mashed into creamy goodness (skins and all!), and seasoned with garlic, nutritional yeast, and veggie broth, then mixed with bacon bits and cheddar cheese.

V is for Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie [Betty Goes Vegan] (0006)

Top with more cheddar, bake until gooey, and dinner is served!

Garnish with tomatoes, pickles, french friend onions, or legit onion rings. (That last is my idea. I tried it with the leftovers and it was hnnng!)

V is for Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Potato Pie [Betty Goes Vegan] (0021)

Totally worth the twenty dishes it generated. Okay, I’m exaggerating. We’ll call it a baker’s dozen.

And now for the obligatory Dean Winchester gif. BECAUSE PIE!

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Updated to add: Vegan MoFo central is giving away a copy of Betty Goes Vegan to five lucky readers as we speak! Talk about serendipity. Go enter here.

 
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Bacon and Tot Tofu Scramble

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

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I was craving something unhealthy – but not too unhealthy- for dinner, and this is what I came up with. Tater tots practically scream “junk food” (ditto: pan-fried bacon, vegan or not), but the tofu save this dish from nutritional purgatory.

Normally I’d add some veggies into the mix – corn, carrots, maybe some peppers or tomatoes – but this was right before a shopping trip and my stores were running low. Feel free to add in a cup or two of your favorites between steps 3 and 4. Mushrooms and black olive would go great with this flavor combo, I think.

 

Bacon and Tot Tofu Scramble

Ingredients

3-4 cups frozen tater tots
6 to 8 strips of Lightlife Smart Bacon (or tempeh bacon, if you prefer)
1 pound firm tofu, lightly pressed
1-3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon chives
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Cook the tater tots according to the instructions on the package. When they’re cooking, get going on the tofu scramble.

2. In a large frying pan or skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil on medium heat. Add the bacon strips and cook evenly on each side (or according to the skillet directions on the package). When done, place the strips on a plate lined with paper towels; set aside. Leave as much of the oil – “bacon grease” – in the pan as possible.

3. Lightly press the brick of tofu to drain the excess moisture. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat (add an extra tablespoon if necessary). Add the diced onion and cook for about five minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another five minutes.

4. As the veggies are cooking, place the tofu in a large bowl and mash it with a fork until it becomes crumbly.

5. Pour the tofu into the skillet and mix it in with the onion and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the nutritional yeast, soy sauce, cumin, turmeric, parsley/chives, and the salt. Mix well. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until much of the moisture from the tofu has evaporated and the scrambled tofu is to your liking. Add the tater tots and mix well. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle it on top of the tofu/tot mixture. Serve warm with ketchup, sriracha, gravy, or cheesy sauce!

Vegan Junk Food Mashup: Tater Tot Casserole & Sausage Gravy

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

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How do you improve upon perfection? Slather it in (vegan) sausage gravy!

Last week I made a batch of Sausage Gravy to use as a dipping sauce for french fries; an extra dash of flour here and a little extra soy milk there and, next thing you know, I’d nearly doubled the recipe! And so I ended up with leftovers. A big old bowl of ’em!

Rather than enjoy them on even more fries, I decided to “recycle” the gravy into a Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole (both recipes via Vegan Junk Food): a layer of tofu-slash-“eggs,” followed by Sausage Gravy, frozen mixed veggies, and tater tots. (So much for no more fries!) Recall that the casserole calls for a layer of fried Lightlife Gimmie Lean Sausage, and the gravy seems a natural fit.

I was worried how the extra moist ingredients and added volume might affect the finished product – particularly the “egg” layer – but all in all, it was a delicious success! The tofu didn’t come out as firm as it did the first time around, but it was still yummy and edible, and also firmed up a bit as it cooled. More similar in consistency to lightly cooked scrambled eggs instead of a well-cooked omelet, if that makes any sense. (Does it? I haven’t had chicken’s eggs in what feels like forever!)

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Bedazzle your omni friends with this dish! They’ll never know it’s tofu!

Vegan Junk Food Cookbook Review: Riots, not diets!

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Vegan Junk Food by Lane Gold (2011)

 

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review from the publisher.)

Lane Gold’s Vegan Junk Food is my new favorite cookbook. (The previous title holder? Wheeler del Torro’s The Vegan Scoop – which should tell you a little sumthin’ sumthin’! Namely, that I like my vegan food filled with empty calories.) At my request, I was lucky enough to receive a review copy – along with two copies to give away – from the publisher, Adams Media. With a name like “Vegan Junk Food,” I figured it couldn’t disappoint.

Whether you like your junk food sweet or savory, chocolaty or cheesy, Lane (can I call you Lane?) has got you covered. The 225 recipes in this collection are divided into ten categories: breakfast foods; deli favorites (i.e., sandwiches, wraps, burgers, and sliders); comfort-meets-takeout foods (entrees); crusts and carbs (pizzas and breads); festive grub (party foods!); dips, hummus, and sauces (including sundae toppings!); savory treats; cakes; candies and cookies; and grab ‘n’ go sweets (brownies and bars). As you can see, the recipes are roughly divided between meal-type items (entrees, main courses) and snacks/desserts.

The husband and I tried out about twenty recipes before I sat down to write this review; and, while I don’t usually review cookbooks, this is easily the largest number of recipes I’ve sampled for a cookbook review, like, ever. (I just couldn’t stop myself; everything looks so good!) Possibly it’s the most recipes I’ve made from a single cookbook, period. Though I own a ridiculous number of them, I don’t use cookbooks with much frequency; more often I cook from memory or pull recipes off the internet. But Vegan Junk Food? Most definitely joining my repertoire!

The book’s obvious strength, of course, is the food: oodles and oodles of junk food! Pizza. Pasta. Tacos. Pot pies. Casseroles. Cupcakes, pies, and brownies. Empty calories as far as the eye can see! Wait, that’s not entirely fair: some of these foods aren’t all that bad for you. Ironically, many of the recipes in Vegan Junk Food are actually healthier than my own versions. The Mac and Cheese Bake, for example, uses a vegan Velveeta-like cheese sauce made of potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, nutritional yeast, and soy milk. Even factoring in the additional vegan cheese shreds in this dish, it’s still way better for you than my own mac & cheese recipe, which is basically just pasta and processed vegan cheeses (namely, Daiya and Follow Your Heart). Don’t let the book’s title fool you: while these foods may look and taste like junk food, they’re not all super-trashy.

With options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, Vegan Junk Food is versatile. Mix and match the recipes for something new – or experiment to make them your own. For example, I used leftovers from some of the recipes to create new banana ice cream dishes!

While some of the recipes call for pricey vegan meats and cheeses, Gold doesn’t rely on these products exclusively. (Unlike the PPP blog, Vegan Junk Food doesn’t read like a Lightlife ad!) In fact, she offers diy recipes for many of these vegan staples so you can make ’em your own bad self, oftentimes at a fraction of the price! See, e.g., gravy (page 61); ricotta (pg. 120); sour cream (pg. 120); cheese sauce (pg. 121) basil pesto (pg. 124); and ranch dressing (pg. 126), to name just a few!

My complaints are few and relatively minor. Some recipes reference other recipes – to return to the Mac and Cheese Bake, the Cheese Sauce is its own recipe, located in a different section of the book – but don’t include a page number alongside the recipe title, thus forcing the reader to consult the index in order to find it. A minor annoyance, compounded by the index’s lack of user friendliness. (I find it counter-intuitive and difficult to use.) An estimated cook time and rating for difficulty on each dish would have been nice too, but I suppose both are easy enough to gauge by reading through the instructions.

I also ran into issues with two of the recipes – the Almond Joy Bar Cake and the Red Pepper, Caramelized Onion, and Hash Brown Quiche – which I’ll explain below. Still, out of twenty recipes, two small glitches? Not so bad! Especially when you consider my lackluster track record with baked goods. Brownies, why you no like me?

What follows is a run-down of all the dishes I’ve tried thus far. I’ve only tackled about half the items on my to-do list, so I’m far from done with this cookbook! I’ll post additional pictures as I take them, so keep an eye out for those.

 

  • Pesto Chicken Pizza with Creamy Garlic Sauce (page 85)

    2012-02-18 - Chik'n Pesto & French Fry Pizzas - 0009

    This was the first recipe we tried out, and quite possibly it’s also my favorite! The pureed white beans, seasoned with vegetable broth, nooch, and garlic, makes for a savory and filling pizza sauce, and the Basil Pesto is simple yet delicious. Enjoy this pizza with a fork and bib, though – it’s a messy one!

    (More below the fold…)

  • French Fry Pizza!

    Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

    It HAD TO HAPPEN, people! I’m just amazed that it didn’t happen sooner.

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    And yes, it’s every bit as tasty and cheesy and carbalicious as it looks!

    Anyway, you can check out the recipe here. It’s pretty simple, really: basically just red sauce, vegan cheddar cheese, and french fries on your favorite pizza crust. I experimented with some different prep methods on the french fries – frozen vs. half-baked vs. deep-fried – and am happy to report that they’re all winners.

    In other news, I’m giving away five coupons good for free Lightlife products over on fuck yeah vegan pizza. You have until Sunday morning to enter, and need not have a tumblr account, so get to it! Free stuff!

    The Vegan Pizza Day That Was!

    Monday, January 23rd, 2012

    Okay, so maybe Vegan Pizza Day has moved to June 28th. But the party’s still on at fuck yeah vegan pizza!

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    Come celebrate the Vegan Pizza Day That Was with us, ALL WEEK LONG! Americans & Canadians, share your vegan pizza photos with us for a chance to win one of three awesome prize packages featuring buttons, tees, totes – & more free product coupons than you can wag your tongue at! – from Tofurky, Daiya, Lightlife, Gardein, Nasoya, Tofutti, Field Roast, Bob’s Red Mill, Upton’s Naturals, & more! I may or may not have burned a few mix tapes especially for the occasion!

    We also have a special Early Vegan Pizza Day giveaway for those in the mainland UK. Share your vegan pizza photos for a chance to win a prize package of vegan meats and cheeses from Redwood Foods! There are enough goodies here to keep you happily snacking for a month or more. (Or a week, if you’re anything like me. omnomnom!)

    veganmofo 2011 - vegan pizza takes over the world

    A cheesy, saucy, sexy time will be had by all! Vegan Pizza Day, so nice we’re celebrating it twice.

    Vegan Bacon & Cheddar Potato Soup

    Monday, November 7th, 2011

    2011-11-03 - Bacon & Cheddar Potato Soup - 0004

    Vegan Bacon & Cheddar Potato Soup, y u no photogenetic?
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    Ever since I first saw the adorably silly “proposal” commercial for Progresso’s Loaded Potato Soup With Bacon

    (You know which ad I’m talking about, yes? “What is that?” “That’s a big chunk of potato!” I would embed it, but it doesn’t yet seem to be available on the you tubes. Boo! Hiss! Boo!),

    I’ve been craving bacon potato soup like a mofo. Which is funny, ’cause I’ve never had it before – not even in my pre-vegan days. (So many of those processed soups contain milk, to which I’m allergic. Good times!) Anyway, I decided to modify the Creamy Potato -n- Corn “Spowder” recipe I so love, making it creamier and soupier (if that makes any sense), while also adding some vegan bacon …and cheddar cheese!

    I know, I know, Progresso’s version doesn’t have cheddar cheese, and this makes the dish so much more unhealthy, but I just couldn’t help myself! Plus I had a brick of cheddar Follow Your Heart that was set to expire, and surely this is a sufficient reason for adding cheese to yet another dish that doesn’t require it? Yes? No? Maybe?

    As you can probably imagine, this is one delicious dish! Kind of like liquefied cheddar mashed potatoes, with extra chunks of potatoes and greasy fried bacon for supercalifragilisticexpialidocious goodness. Next time I’ll try the loaded bacon potato soup, minus the cheddar. Hopefully I’ll even one-up Progresso, though that’ll be a hard one to judge since I’ll never taste the competition. (Or does vegan always win? Yeah, that sounds about right!)

    Bottoms up!

     
    Vegan Bacon & Cheddar Potato Soup

    Ingredients

    1 medium onion, chopped
    4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    6 medium white potatoes, divided
    2 cups plain soy milk + extra to taste
    2 cups water + extra to taste
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    4 tablespoons margarine
    5 ounces vegan cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 package cheddar Follow Your Heart)
    5 ounces vegan bacon (1 package Lightlife Smart Bacon)

    Directions

    1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Set three aside for later. Cut the other three into quarters. Fill a medium saucepan three quarters full with water; bring to a boil on the stovetop. Toss in the quartered potatoes and cook on medium high for about fifteen minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and, in two batches, process them in a blender or food processor: blend one half of the potatoes, along with one cup of soy milk and one cup of water, until the “batter” is smooth and creamy. Repeat with the second half of the potatoes. Transfer back to the saucepan (or a large mixing bowl) and set aside.

    2. While the potatoes are boiling, slice the bacon into small, bite-sized strips. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-hot; once hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the bacon. Cook on medium for approximately ten minutes, or until the strips are brown and crispy, like so:

    2011-11-03 - Smart Bacon - 0005

    Stir frequently to keep them from burning! When done cooking, set aside.

    3. Peel the onion and dice it into small bits. In a large soup pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat; once hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Cook on medium for ten minutes or so, until the onions turn golden brown. Add the potato “batter” and continue to cook on medium.

    5. Dice the remaining potatoes into small, bite-sized pieces and set aside.

    6. Once the soup has heated up and started to bubble, add the margarine, spices and shredded cheese. Stir constantly so that the cheddar cheese and potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add extra water as needed.

    7. Once the cheese has melted, sample the soup; add any extra seasonings to taste. Toss in the rest of the potatoes and the bacon – grease and all! – and continue to cook on medium for about ten minutes, or until the potatoes are tender (to your liking). Serve hot!

    Optional: for crispier bacon, you can add it to the soup closer to the end of the cook time – or use some or all of it as a topping!

    (More below the fold…)

    Vegan Mac & Cheese Pizza! With two kinds of vegan cheese! And a side of macaroni and cheese for dipping!

    Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

    2011-06-04 - Mac & Cheese Pizza No. 2 - 0017

    So regular readers, Facebook friends, passing acquaintances, the cashier at my local Green Acres, et al. are already all-to-familiar with my mac & cheese pizza recipes, mostly because I talk about them ALL THE TIME. As in, EVERY CHANCE I GET. (I love macaroni and cheese, yo. YOU DO NOT WANT TO COME BETWEEN ME AND A POT OF MAC & CHEESE! Throw in a pizza pie and it’s on like Donkey Kong!) And veganmofo is no exception! Why should it be? More people to share my soon-to-be infamous Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese Pizza with!

    I’ve actually made three different versions of this pie, including one with twice-baked macaroni and cheese, and a similar dish using Daiya Pepperjack cheese in place of the traditional cheddar. But version #2 is far and away my favorite: because the mac & cheese – made with both Daiya and Follow Your Heart cheeses, for double the cheesy goodness! – is added to the pizza pie after it’s baked, it retains its oozy, gooey, melty, liquid cheesy deliciousness. And if I love anything, it’s a hot, soupy bowl of vegan macaroni and cheese on a chill fall evening. Like hot chocolate, BUT WITH CHEESE! Pizza in a cup, drink up!

    Okay, done now. Promise. I JUST LOVE MAC & CHEESE SO MUCH!

    This recipe – along with dozens more – was originally published on the Perfect Pizza Press blog. If things go as planned, we’ll be able to give away some shiny pizza presses for veganmofo vi! But alas, those were my plans last year, so we’ll have to see how things play out. WHO KNEW THAT IT WOULD TAKE SO LONG TO GET A PRODUCT SAMPLE!?! Six to twelve months, pfffft.

     
    Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese Pizza, No. 2

    Ingredients

    For the dough:

    1 cup warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)
    1 tablespoon sugar
    2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    For the mac & cheese:

    1/2 cup Follow Your Heart cheddar cheese, shredded
    1/2 cup Daiya cheddar cheese, shredded
    1 cup uncooked macaroni (Mini shells are my personal fave!)
    2 tablespoons margarine
    6 oz plain soy milk

    FYI: this is 1/4 of my recipe for Creamy Mac & Cheese with Daiya and Follow Your Heart vegan cheeses; double or quadruple this recipe you’d like some extra mac & cheese to serve with that mac & cheese pizza – or if you’d just like the mac & cheese, please! For a healthier pizza, sub in a mac & cheese recipe that uses a nutritional yeast sauce.

    For the pizza:

    Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan
    Two to four tablespoons of margarine with which to coat the dough
    1/2 to one cup of vegan cheddar cheese for the pizza (We used Daiya – it melts better than cheddar FYH, at least in the oven. Stovetop, they’re roughly equal.)
    Eight to twelve strips of of vegan bacon, diced into small bits (Optional; we used Lightlife Smart Bacon.)

    2011-06-04 - Mac & Cheese Pizza No. 2 - 0007

    Directions

    Prepare the dough!

    1. Stir the water, sugar and yeast together until dissolved. Add the olive oil and salt, as well as any extra spices or seasonings. Stir in the flour until blended. Form the dough into a small ball and let rest in large bowl, covered loosely with a towel, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

    Assemble the cheesy pizza!

    2. Once you’re ready to make the pizza, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    3. As the oven is heating, spread a dusting of cornmeal onto your pizza stone (or lightly coat your pizza pan with cooking spray). Using fingers dipped in olive oil (optional), pat the dough onto the stone, spreading it out evenly.

    4. Next, lightly spread some margarine onto the uncooked dough, taking care not to press down too hard as you do so. It helps if the margarine is near room temp when you try this! You want even but sparse coverage; too little margarine means that the pizza will be a little on the dry side, while too much will compromise the integrity of the crust. We used between two and four tablespoons to coat the entire pizza.

    5. Spread the diced bacon onto the pizza, followed by the cheddar Daiya cheese.

    6. Bake at 425 degrees, for between 15 and 20 minutes for a single pizza, or 30 minutes for two pizzas.

    Make the cheese sauce!

    7. Once the pizza’s in the oven, it’s time to make the macaroni and cheese! Begin with the cheese sauce. In a small saucepan, bring the soy milk to a boil.

    8. Reduce the heat to medium and mix in the margarine, stirring until melted.

    9. Add the cheese shreds, stirring gently until they combine with the liquid to form a creamy cheese sauce.

    Optional: season to taste with salt, pepper, onion or garlic.

    10. Reduce the heat to low, stirring every few minutes.

    Make the pasta!

    11. In a skillet or sauce pan, cook the pasta according to the directions provided on the package. Stop when about 90% done and drain, leaving a little hot water with the pasta. (This will mostly cook down as you continue to heat the pasta.)

    Combine the two to make mac and cheese!

    12. Mix the cheese sauce into the pasta, stirring well. On medium low heat, let the pasta continue to cook until it’s the desired consistency. Stir constantly during this last step so that none of the pasta or cheese sticks to the pan.

    Mac & Cheese Pizza, holla!

    13. Once the pizza’s done cooking – and hopefully you’ve timed this so that the pizza and pasta finish cooking at roughly the same time! – remove it from the oven and top with a drizzle of mac & cheese. Let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy warm, perhaps with a side of extra macaroni and cheese?

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    Hey, it’s not too hard to double or even quadruple the recipe, giving you two glorious vegan junk food meals in one!

    Vegan MoFo 2011 logo banner

    Cheesy Vegan Potato Casserole

    Saturday, April 9th, 2011

    This dish is a mashup of two of my favorite cheesy potato recipes, namely: Snarky Vegan’s Tater Tot Casserole with Daiya (which also inspired in me two different pizza pies, holla!) and my very own Cheesy Baked Potatoes. I had a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes that needed to be used up, but was craving a tater tot casserole, and voilà!: The Cheesy Vegan Potato Casserole was born.

    Now to figure out how best to put this masterpiece on a pizza! (That’s the only way to improve upon a masterpiece, dontchaknow. EVERYTHING’S BETTER WITH PIZZA!)

    Cheesy Vegan Potato Casserole

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    Ingredients

    salt
    water
    olive oil

    1/2 onion (or an entire onion, if you prefer)
    7 medium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes (or the spudly equivalent)
    4 cups mixed vegetables (we used a frozen mix of corn, carrots, green beans and Lima beans)
    3 cups Daiya cheddar cheese (or the vegan cheese of your choice; for a healthier dish, sub in a nutritional yeast “cheeze” sauce)
    1 package (12 slices) Lightlife Smart Bacon

    3 tablespoons margarine
    2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
    2 cups soy milk

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    veganmofo iv leftovers: frozen feasts, hot chocolate, criFSMas fun & assorted mofo miscellany

    Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

    I had hoped to feature reviews of Sistah Vegan, Eaarth and Diet for a Hot Planet in the final days of VeganMoFo IV, but…no such luck! Between holiday decorating, dog pampering and workworkwork, I didn’t quite accomplish all of my mofo goals. That’s okay, though; there’s always tomorrow, yes?

    Until then, I have plenty of “leftovers” to share. Cue: all the mofo miscellany that passed under the radar…until now!

  • Frozen Thanksgiving Feasts

    Yes, the husband and I really did have frozen Tofurky pizza and apple pie for Thanksgiving! Neither of us was in the mood to cook, so this plan worked out nicely. Instead of spending the day toiling in the kitchen, I slept in, did some yoga, hung out with the dogs and read a few chapters of The Vegan Revolution… with Zombies. At night, we caught up on The Walking Dead (awesomeness!) and finished off the last three episodes of Battlestar Galactica (waaaay better than Lost‘s final, convoluted season!).

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    A Tofurky Cheese Pizza with extra toppings, namely Lightlife Smart Pepperoni, black olives and sundried tomatoes. One pizza is roughly the size of my dinner plate.
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    I’ve seen a number of vegan bloggers review the newish frozen Tofurky pizzas this month, with mixed results. Personally, I like ’em; so far I’ve tried both the plain cheese and sausage varieties, and I’d nom on either of them again. The crust, though definitely on the thin side, crisps up nicely when baked. Eaten on its own, I found the sausage to be a little spicy for my tastes, but this is tempered by the crust, sauce and cheese. And of course you can’t go wrong with Daiya!

    On the downside, these pizzas are definitely pricey. I’m trapped under a dog at the moment and thus unable to dig up the necessary receipts, but I think they cost upwards of $7 each at Whole Foods. According to the packaging, each pizza is supposed to serve two people, but, um, not so much. The husband and I can easily polish off a pizza apiece, with plenty of room left for dessert.

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    For dessert: apple pie topped with a copious amount of vanilla So Delicious ice cream.
    Quoth the husband: “You gonna have some pie with that ice cream?”
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    (Apple pie with vanilla So delicious, can I get a hells yes!)

    At best, they make for a nice luxury purchase – but unless it’s a special occasion, I’ll stick to my homemade pita pizzas, thankyouverymuch.

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  • Decadent Delight Muffins for a One-eyed Wiener Dog (Also: A Cheesy Tater Tot Casserole for His Humans)

    Sunday, November 14th, 2010

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    A freshly baked (quarter-) batch of Molly’s Decadent Delight Muffins sits on a small plate, behind which lurks two identical, plush reddish-brown wiener dogs. Only, the dog on the right is missing one eye (his right one, even!), along with the tip of his nose. One of the first three adopted dog-kids – Ralphie, Peedee or O-Ren – chewed them off years ago. Do we have a psychic in the pack, perchance?
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    Friday night, I made a batch of Decadent Delight Muffins (recipe via Molly @ It’s a Vegan Dog’s Life – the meeter of at least 75% of my dog treat recipe needs!) for the dog-kids. I wanted to pamper them a little bit, since we had an especially rough week. But first treats, then kvetching!

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    Perched on the back of the couch, Rennie stares into the kitchen, entranced by the unbaked muffins sitting on the countertop.
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    Packed with flax seeds, shredded carrots, natural peanut butter and freshly made (somewhat fortuitously, as I just so happened to be brewing the final batch of the season) applesauce, these muffins are both healthy and delicious. (And vegan!) I much prefer baking my own dog treats over buying commercial brands because I know exactly what goes into each batch. Plus, they’re really very easy to make and store well in the freezer, if need be. (With five dogs, treats are eaten up pretty quickly round these parts!) Of course, the dogs also enjoy licking the spoons and bowls. And what better way to a dog’s heart than through her stomach? Five paws up!

    Okay, so enough of the muffins. Let’s move on to the one-eyed wiener dog, shall we?

    To Ralphie

    Ralphie mosaic!
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    Ralphie.

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    Baked Potatoes, Canadian Pizza Styley! (Now with bonus garden rotini nom.)

    Monday, November 8th, 2010

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    These taters are so loaded, you’ll have to keep them locked away from the kids. Safety first!

    This recipe serves two, but you can easily halve the ingredients to make a single serving.

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    VeganMoFo, Day 14: Five Fave Faux Meats

    Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

    Some veg*ns aren’t very fond of faux meats because they taste too much like the “real” thing; clearly, I’m not one of those veg*ns! Perhaps it’s because none of the faux meats I’ve tried come close enough to dismembered animal corpses to actually fool me. The products listed below, for example, are really yummy and have a taste similar to that of meat – but they also all kind of have their own thing going on, too. There aren’t any chunks of fat, or gristle, or hint of muscle texture. “Meat lite,” I guess you could call it.

    As a heavy meat eater in my omni days (in high school I was known to down a package of lunch meat per day) – and a very un-creative cook, to boot – I welcome faux meat products as an essential part of my veg*n journey. Would I still be veg if not for Boca Burgers? Mostly likely. It’d be a helluva uphill trek, though.

    I certainly don’t fault anyone who chooses to abstain from fake meats, though. With test tube meat becoming less of a sci-fi fantasy and more of a reality, I find myself sympathizing with the anti-faux meat crowd. While my husband, also a veg*n, is eager for test-tube meat to hit the market, I don’t think I could stomach it. Even if it’s completely free of animal products, I can’t see myself voluntarily eating anything that’s made to resemble animal flesh in taste and texture. It’s just too close for comfort.

    Anyhoo, here are my top five fave faux meats, in no particular order. Given that beans make me bloat up (tmi, sorry!), I probably eat more of this stuff than I should, for protein’s sake…and yet, my diet is still a gagillion times healthier than it was in my meat-eating days, when I’m sure my LDL levels were through the roof!

    1. Boca Burgers

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    Mmmm, Boca Burgers! Boca and I go way back – it’s one of the first fake meats I tried upon going vegetarian. After all these years, it’s still my favorite “hamburger”/”ground beef” substitute. You can fry it up to a crisp, or pop it in the microwave or toaster oven for a healthier meal. Sam’s Club sells 16-count boxes of the giant burgers; unlike the smaller boxes (of smaller burgers), the “Big Burgers” actually fill a bun. So it makes for a very satisfying alternative to a Big Mac, especially when topped with veg*n condiments and loads of veggies.

    For a yummy pasta dish, fry up some Boca, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes and garlic in olive oil and use it to top off a plate of angel hair pasta.

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    It’s also great in salad!

    Just make sure you buy the Original Vegan flavor; not all of Boca’s products are 100% vegan.

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