Saturday, March 29, 2008

Creamiest Vegan Mac n' Cheez EVER

Now, I stole this from Lindy Loo of Yeah, That "Vegan" Shit who stole it from RosemaryAmey, and I'm stealing the whole thing so I ain't gotta type nuttin' out.

Lindy Loo personally warned me about how amazing and addicting this recipe. First you start with a little sneaking sauce out of the pan, then you progress to eating it before it's even baked. Soon, you're eating it just to feel normal and you're stealing money out of your mom's purse to go buy more elbow macaroni.

Now, I like nutritional yeast sauces, but even the claims of the best weren't that good (like Veganomicon's for example. AWFUL), so I took her words wth a grain of salt. I usually stuck with actual vegan cheez to make my Mac fixes. And MaMa Ronin always made it in a crock pot. I never ate baked macaroni! Especially not with, good Lord, CRUNCHY bits on top!

I did not heed Lindy Loo's words, and now I keep shoveling it my mouth despite my stomach not being able to hold any more of it. YOU WILL BE A BELIEVER!

Vegan macaroni and cheese

You will need to have three pots bubbling away on the top of the stove
First pot: Pasta

2 cups uncooked macaroni

1. Bring water to a boil.
2. Add pasta.
3. Cook until done.
4. Drain.

Second pot: White sauce

1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups vegan soydrink

1. Combine margarine, flour, and salt over low heat.
2. When it bubbles, gradually add the soydrink.
3. Cook and stir until it is thick and begins to bubble.
4. Remove from heat and add the "cheese" from the third pot.

Third pot: "Cheese"

1/4 cup "good tasting" nutritional yeast
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1. Mix nutritional yeast, cornstarch, flour, and salt in a small saucepan.
2. Add water, oil, and mustard.
3. Cook and stir until it thickens and bubbles.
4. Add it to the white sauce from the second pot.

**Note from VR: I like to add a little paprika or hot sauce here, just to give it something extra**

Putting it together

cracker crumbs or bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Mix cooked pasta with "cheese" sauce.
3. Pour into a greased casserole dish.
4. Top with cracker crumbs or bread crumbs.
5. Bake for 30 minutes.

Note: The leftovers start to thicken up, but at this point in the addiction, it won't matter to you. You'll be scooping it out of the fridge cold in a fit of midnight cheez sweat.

You may notice some green bits in there. I was so hopped up on sauce that I had to mix elbows and tri-color fusilli (corkscrews) just to get my full fix.

Personal macaroni baked dishes:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Traditional Lasagna with Béchamel Sauce

I've been making and eating this so much in the past weeks no wonder I couldn't update!


Our European brothers and sisters make lasagna a little differently than we do in North America. They use a white (Béchamel) sauce, where as we just tend to pile on mountains of cheese (which I have made before if you rather make that lasagna.)

You will need:
12 pieces of lasagna
Tomato sauce
Béchamel Sauce
Any veggies or fake meat crumbles (opt)

-recipes following them-

OVEN: 350F (180C)

1. Cook lasagna according to box.
(that no-bake lasagna is a waste of money)

2.Combine and simmer tomato sauce
(Or use 2 jars of purchased marinara sauce & skip to #3)

1 reg size can of diced or stewed tomatoes (about 14 oz)
1 reg size can of tomato sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic
pinch of nutmeg

-Put everything in a pot, bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer until ready to be used. (This will cook down some excess liquid and make it more flavorful) If, after cooking, it's too chunky for your tastes, use a potato masher.

3. Make Béchamel Sauce

4 Tbsp margarine
1/3 C flour
2 1/4 C non-dairy milk
1/4 C nutritional yeast (opt)
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt to taste
pinch of nutmeg

-On low heat melt the margarine. Take off heat.
-Slowly sift flour in while stirring.
-Add the non-dairy milk a little at a time while stirring.
-Bring to a boil while stirring slowly. It will thicken.
-Take off heat. Add nutritional yeast, salt and nutmeg.

NOTE: If you are using soymilk, it will taste a little sweet. Do not worry! Once baked, you won't notice it at all.
Traditionally, this is where you would add in some crumbled cheese. Feel free to add in vegan cheeze, or even crumbled tofu for texture, but it honestly doesn't need it.

4. If using veggies, lightly sauté any "hard" veggies like squash, peppers, or eggplant. "Soft" veggies like mushrooms and spinach can be used raw. Also sauté any veggie meats you wish to use.

5. Grease a lasagna or casserole dish (10" x 12") with margarine. Place a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom.

6.Layer the bottom with 4 pieces of lasagna. Cover with a layer of tomato sauce and then the béchamel sauce. Add layer of veggies and faux-meat.

7. Repeat step six.

8. Lay your final 4 lasagna pieces on top. Cover with tomato sauce then béchamel sauce.

9. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

10. Let cool for 10 minutes (this lets the lasagna set-up so you don't have scalding hot sauce oozing everywhere).


I enjoy mine plain, with no extra frills. I did crumble half a block of firm tofu for the first one to texture, but like I said it's not necessary.
The picture above I made was for an extended family get together. I didn't say anything and no one knew none-the-wiser. It was deliciously fantastic!
Except for soymilk, it is a traditional recipe, so your relatives won't get as scared as if it were made from tofu!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Haggis & Mashed Root Vegetables

When I went to Scotland, I fell in love with veggie haggis. I've had canned veggie haggis since, and it's just not the same. So this satisfies those cravings! And any recipe that encourages whiskey is ok with me!

*Veggie haggis is spicy, and this is no exception. If you're not a spicy fan, cut the cayenne in half.
*If you skip making the mashed root, you will only need ONE med/large turnip/rutabaga (4oz worth).
*I used reg olive oil in place of all the others
*Please read through the recipe first. Any extras will be in italics or parentheses

Haggis and mashed root vegetables
From Vegan: Over 90 Mouthwatering Recipes for All Occasions

Prep: 15 min/ Cook: 1 hour/ Serves: 4


1 lb (500g) rutabaga (swede), turnip (peeled) or squash, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped fresh root ginger

2 oz (50g) coconut oil
1 1/4 C (4oz/125g) porridge oats (non quick-cooking oatmeal)
1 onion, chopped
4 mushrooms, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
7 oz (200g) cooked kidney beans, chopped (about 3/4 of a can)
1/2 C (2oz/50g) shelled walnuts, chopped (or walnut meal)
2 Tbsp rapeseed oil
3 tsp yeast extract (like Marmite)
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chopped parsley
1 tsp chopped thyme
1 tsp chopped sage
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp lime juice (= 1/2 fresh lime)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp whisky or balsamic vinegar

1 1/4 lb (625g) potatoes, quartered
1 1/4oz (30g) vegan margarine
1 Tbsp soya cream
1/2 tsp chopped rosemary
salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C/ gas mark 4). Place 12 oz (375g) of the swede (rutabaga) in a large saucepan of water, add the fresh root ginger, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Put the potatoes for the mash in another large saucepan of cold water, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, until soft.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1oz (25g) of the coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan and gently toast the oats for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until golden brown (mine took about 5). Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

3. Heat the remaining coconut oil, then gently fry the remaining swede with the onion, mushrooms and carrot for about 10 minutes until the swede starts to soften. Add the kidney beans and stir until hot. Transfer the fried vegetables to the bowl of oats, then add all the remaining haggis ingredients. (The mix smells great!)

*At this point, I would pulse it a few times in a food processor, just to give it a finer texture*

Turnip, onion, mushrooms, carrot, kidney beans

4. Divide the mixture between four 3 1/4 inch (8 cm) oven-proof ramekins, cover with foil and place in a deep roasting tin half-filled with boiling water. Bake for 30 minutes.

I just used one dish (sitting in the boiling water)

5. Reheat the boiled swede, then drain and mash with half the margarine and salt and pepper. Reheat the boiled potatoes, then rain and mash with the soya cream, the remaining margarine and the rosemary.

6. Remove the ramekins fromt he oven, run a sharp knife around the edge of each one, then turn out on to warmed plates. Add 2 spoonfuls of each mash to the plates and serve this vegan version of the traditional Scottish sheep's sausage with a tot of whisky.

Makes an excellent baked potato topping!!

While chopping veggies I came across a Siamese Mushroom!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ghanaian One Pot Curry

or stew. I will already tell you this "recipe" is a gem; quick, healthy, and you would have to try real hard to screw up.

I came across this while researching a couple from BBC America's Last Restaurant Standing (it broadcasted last year as The Restaurant on regular BBC) who cook Ghanaian food.

I stumbled upon a volunteer's site about traditional Ghana culture and food.

And there was the Universal Method for cooking one-pot stews and curries.
It gives very easy instructions and some example recipes.

I have done this twice in the past week, using up veggies and adding different liquids. Mine turned out more Indian, as I used Indian spices and curry paste for the base. (And MaMa Ronin proclaims it's better than our yummy Indian restaurant's!)

The picture above is made with onions, garlic, spices, veg bratwurst, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, & peas.

The picture at the end is made with onions, garlic, spices, veg bratwurst, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, mushrooms & peas.

You will need:
A big pot
Any veggies you have!
Spices (such as garlic, cumin, paprika, etc) or something like curry paste
Fake meat or tofu (opt)
Liquid (opt) (like water, broth, coconut milk, etc)

Start chopping your onion while the oil is heating. While that sautees, start chopping the next batch to go in, while that sautees, start with the next batch, etc. No time is wasted, it's great.

-I started with a little oil on low/med heat, chopped onion and garlic, spices (I used a couple of spoonfuls of curry paste). Sautee.

-Add the "meat category" & sautee. I used chopped Tofurky's Bratwurst.

-I add chopped potatoes now too to soak up some of those lovely spices. I also add chunks of tomatoes so they can start to simmer and stew. (Now would be the time to add the rest of your "Class B" food like beans, carrots, broccoli, eggplant, etc.). Sautee just a minute or two for the spices to start to coat and absorb.

(Shown: 1 onion, 2 med potatoes, 2 tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, 1 brat)

-Add your liquid now if you choose. Try to add just enough to cover the potatoes. From here on out the pictures are with coconut milk. In the picture at the top I used water to finish as a stew. Or add a little and have the potatoes steam to have more of a dry curry.

-Simmer about 10 minutes (more or less depending on your chunks) or until potatoes are done.

-At the end of the cooking time add the veggies in "Class B" that cook quickly, such as frozen peas and mushrooms. I would stir in spinach right before serving.

Isn't that color amazing!?

It takes around 20 minutes from start to finish. That's just about the same time it takes to cook some rice to go along with it! I used Basmati rice cooked with saffron threads.

Full of veggies and flavor, you can't go wrong!