Vegan Mac and Cheez

Food and Drink
Baked Vegan Mac and Cheez

I posted the pic, as seen here, on Instagram, and one friend asked me for the recipe, and another friend had it at my house and was surprised that there was no dairy cheese involved, so here’s my approximation. I’ve become that person that makes cashew cheez by “feel” instead of by recipe, and I think it tastes best when you do it to your own specifications.

Set oven to 350°F and gather your tools and ingredients.

Tools recommended: immersion blender, plastic cup for blending cheez with the immersion blender, ceramic/glass serving/baking dish.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb elbow noodles Sauce
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  •  1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp Miyoko Cultured Butter (vegan)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Quick soak the cashews. Bring about 2 cups of water to a boil, and simmer the cashews for 30 minutes, drain the water and set aside.
  2. Make the pasta according to recipe, making sure it’s al dente. Drain the water and put in a baking dish.
  3. Put the cashews in a immersion blender-friendly cup that holds around 2 cups, or put cashews in a blender. Add enough vegetable stock to just cover the cashews and keep handy in case you need to add more. Add the nutritional yeast, and start blending. Watching how the consistency changes while blending, add just enough vegetable stock for it to be a good cheese sauce consistency. Blend until smooth.
  4. Taste the mixture and add salt, pepper, and/or nutritional yeast to bump up the flavor. For a spicy kick, consider adding a tablespoon of smashed chilis in adobo.
  5. In a little dish melt the vegan butter and add the panko, salt and pepper to taste, stir together until well incorporated and set aside.
  6. Gently fold the cheez mixture in with the cooked pasta, then sprinkle evenly with the panko mix.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the topping has a nice toasted brown look.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! This is an approximation of what I make, so let me know if you make it, how it turns out!

Vegan Cardamom Vanilla Ice Cream (Ice Cream Experiment #2)

Food and Drink

vegan cardamom ice creamI found this cardamom ice cream recipe yesterday, longing to use some cardamom in something sweet and delicious. Since my family is lactose intolerant, I usually search for vegan dessert recipes. It was easy to adapt this one, though completely experimental. I used my KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer and the Ice Cream Maker Attachment. Having the ice cream maker attachment in my freezer means that instead of buying ice cream, I can make my own. Also, the effort to reward is HUGE, and keeps me from having a steady supply of superfluous calories at hand. Speaking of calories, I may use less sugar next time, and cut the sugar down to 1/4 or 1/3 cup.

Vegan Cardamom Vanilla Ice Cream

1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk (full fat)
1.5 oz almond milk
8 cardamom pods, crushed
1 vanilla bean pod, slit open
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp kosher salt

In a saucepan, combine the crushed cardamom pods and slit vanilla bean with the milks, and heat until boiling, stirring occasionally, and then let sit off of the heat for 20 minutes.

Strain the pods and the vanilla bean from the milk. Scrape the vanilla specks out of the vanilla bean and into the milk, and add the sugar, kosher salt, and ground cardamom. Let cool for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.

Use the instructions for your ice cream maker for the rest.

Enjoy, and let me know if you try it!

Next Experiment: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (made with Coconut Milk, and Vegan!)

Food and Drink

We’re fans of Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss Mint Galactica. Since I have a KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer, White and got the Ice Cream Maker Attachment. I cobbled together a couple of recipes to create a lactose-free, vegan, (and made with ingredients in my cabinet).

It’s simple. You just need to make sure your ice cream maker is ready to go according to the instructions it came with. For mine, I needed to make sure my bowl was frozen for at least 15 hours. You’ll be relying on the instructions for your ice cream maker for everything but the combination of ingredients.

icecreamMint Chocolate Chip Coconut Ice Cream

1 (13.5 oz) can Coconut milk (full fat)
1.5 oz Almond milk
1 tsp Peppermint flavoring
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips (mini-chips preferrable, or chop up chips into smaller bits)

Combine all the ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Use the instructions for your ice cream maker to guide when you add the chips.

Simple! Delicious! Enjoy!

Vegan Raisin Scone

Food and Drink

This morning, my son was not about to let me sleep in, so I made scones! I used coconut milk where you would normally use whipping cream, and flax seed and water for the egg. It turned out to be a light, soft scone, and definitely not as sweet as what you’d find in a Starbucks. You will need one 15 oz can of regular coconut milk to skim the cream.

Vegan Raisin Scones

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or other vegan margarine, cut into pieces
2 Tbsp flax meal
6 Tbsp water
3/4 cup coconut milk (do not shake the can, scoop out the creamy coconut part, when you’ve got all that, top off to 3/4 cup with the remaining liquid)
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit, roughly chopped
Sugar for sprinkling
Almond Milk (or other milk replacer)

In a small bowl, mix cool water with the flax meal and set aside.

Use two medium bowls to for the wet and dry ingredients. In one bowl, mix the 2 Tbsp sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and flour. Cut the margarine into the dry ingredients until it’s coarse and crumbly. In the other bowl, mix the flax meal mixture with the coconut milk and raisins. Use a fork to mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, until they are just moist.

Lightly flower a flat surface, and kneed the dough until it is mostly smooth, about 10-12 strokes. Pat down into an 8 inch round, and then cut into 8 wedges.

Put the cut wedges at least one inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with almond milk, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake to 350°F for 16-18 minutes, or until golden brown. When out of the oven, remove from the sheet so they don’t stick, and serve warm.

Vegan Banana and Cacao Nib Bread

Food and Drink

Here’s another vegan recipe! I’ve used flax seed meal and water for the egg replacer. Cacao nibs can be hard to find for some people. I got mine from Theo Chocolate. You can find cacao nibs at small specialty stores, some Whole Foods Markets, and other natural food stores. You can omit the nibs, or use something else, like walnuts, to add some texture.

Vegan Banana and Cacao Nib Bread
Makes 16 servings
5 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Values per serving

1 1/2 cups bananas, pureed or smashed
3 Tbsp ground flax seed meal
6 Tbsp water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cups sugar
1 cacao nibs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp table salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease the sides and bottom of a regular loaf pan.

An hour ahead of time, in a small dish, mix the flax meal with cold water, and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Make a well in the center for the wet ingredients. Combine the flax meal and water mixture with the pureed banana, sugar and oil with the dry mixture. Stir together until all of the mixture is moistened and still a little lumpy. Gently stir in the cacao nibs. Put in the baking pan.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a skewer or toothpick in the center comes out clean. Let the loaves cool and rest .

Vegan Chocolate Pudding Pie

Food and Drink

I’ve had to be dairy-free while attempting to breast-feed my son, as that he’s allergic to milk. This means that I have to kill my sugar cravings with dairy-free foods. I figure, might as well go vegan, since I have vegan friends and like the challenge.

This recipe can be made with a home-made graham cracker crust, or canned vegan whipped topping. I did what was easiest for me to grab at my local grocery store. The assembly is the easy part. The secret is the chocolate “pudding.”

Vegan Chocolate Pudding Pie
6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus Values per serving
Makes 8 servings

1 vegan 9″ graham cracker pie crust
1 pound soft silken tofu (usually, one cold-pack package of tofu)
1 cup vegan semisweet chocolate chips (usually 1/2 a package)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Nutritional Yeast
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
5 ounces Soyatoo Vegan Whipping Cream

Set the graham cracker crust aside, ready for the filling.

Cut the silken tofu into about 4-6 pieces, and throw in a food processor. Put the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes. You can also melt the chips in a double boiler. Mix up the chips to make sure that it creates a smooth, melted chocolate mess. Pour in with the tofu. Add the sugar, vanilla, salt and nutritional yeast. Yes, salt and nutritional yeast. This is the secret to its deliciousness. Pulse the food processor, initially, then let it go until the contents are evenly mixed and very smooth. Make sure to stop and scrape the sides with a spatula.

Pour the pudding mixture into the pie crust and smooth in evenly.

Take the soy whipping cream and whip with a hand mixer until it’s light and fluffy. Here you can get creative. You can either pour it/spoon it on top of the chocolate pudding, or you can do what I did (sorry, no pretty pics!), which is use a plastic bag with a 1/4 in hole cut in the corner, fill it with the whipped cream, and pipe it in a circle from the outside to the inside. This is where a can of aerosol whipped topping would come in handy.

Throw in the refrigerator for an hour or so, and serve!

Please let me know if you try this recipe, and if you do, what the results were like!

Chewy Vegan Banana Nut Muffins

Food and Drink

I am not a vegan, however, I have this fascination with vegan baking. Mostly, it’s a fascination with substitution, and seeing what I can get away with to make something tasty, yet also nearly healthy. My primary goal is to make yummy treats that are lower in refined sugars, higher in fiber and lower in fat than their conventional cousins. Right now, I’m just playing with making my own recipes. Below is a recipe I recently made. The muffins turned out beautiful, though they are on the dense and chewy side. The nuts should help with the chewiness, by offering some texture difference. They also increase the protein, which I often need to balance out any carbs. Please let me know if you try this recipe, and how it works for you!

Chewy Vegan Banana Nut Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 bananas, pureed
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preparation

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Oil and flour three mini muffin pans or line with paper liners. Whisk flour and wheat germ, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and baking soda in medium bowl. Whisk almond milk and vanilla in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and banana puree in large bowl to blend. Beat well after each addition until mixture is evenly mixed, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions alternately with almond milk mixture in 2 additions. Mix just until blended. Mix in nuts. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups by generous tablespoonfuls.

Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 23-25 minutes. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pans and cool on rack.