Tag Archives: Daiya

BBQ Mozzarella Black Bean Burger and Oven-Fried Potato Chips

27 Jun

Vegan junk food lives.

Vegan junk food lives.

As is the case with many recipes, this one was born out of a need to clean my refrigerator. I had some barbecue sauce leftover after making a dish of tofubacue, and an almost-empty bag of Daiya mozzarella shreds that didn’t get used up when I last made Alfredo sauce. What was I to do? Squeeze them into a burger, of course.

The result is a sweet, tangy burger (no cow required) that pairs nicely with a toasted bun or bread and a topping of  baby spinach or kale. Added plant-based bonus: black beans are a low-sodium, low-fat source of protein, and they contain bunches of essential minerals, including iron. Get wise to some more rad black bean benefits here.

Plus you can also make a bunch of these and freeze them (uncooked) for postponed munching (like say perhaps at a July 4 shindig, my fellow Americans).

BBQ Mozzarella Black Bean Burger
Serves 3

Ingredients

  • 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup vegan mozzarella cheese shreds (I use Daiya), plus a wee bit  more for sprinkling
  • Rolled oats, or breadcrumbs, as needed (probably 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup)
  • 1/4 small to medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 4 drops Liquid Smoke
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • A dash of cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 4 tsps dried cilantro (or 1/4 cup fresh, minced)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Vegan BBQ Mozzarella Black Bean Burger Patty

An uncooked patty awaits its fate.

Ready? Set? Patty!

  1. Combine your liquid smoke, herbs, spices, cheese shreds, onions and black beans in a large mixing bowl, and smush the lot together until they’re combined, but the beans aren’t completely broken down.
  2. Add breadcrumbs to the mixture until it’s firm enough (and not too sticky) to shape into three patties.

To cook these little guys, you have two options. You can either go low-oil and bake them, or add a little bit more oil to the equation and fry them. Either way, your last step is to sprinkle a bit more cheese on top for the last couple minutes of cooking. I find they get much crisper when you fry them, but they taste great no matter the method.

Bake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the patties on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper (foil will  aid crispiness more so than paper).
  3. Spray the patties lightly with cooking spray (I use olive oil), and bake for 7 to 10 minutes on each side (be sure to spray them again when you flip), until they’re slightly crunchy on the inside and warmed through.

Fry

  1. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add the patties to the pan and fry them over medium-high heat until their bottoms are browned and crispy (should take about five minutes).
  3. Flip the patties and cook them for another three to five minutes until they’re crunchy on either side and warmed through.

And what good is a burger without a side of chips or fries? If you muttered “worthless” to your computer monitor, you’d be correct.

Not-Yet-Oven-Fried Potato Chips

Not-Yet-Oven-Fried Potato Chips

Oven-Fried Potato Chips
Serves 1-2

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 medium sized potatos
  • Oil spray
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

How to Chip

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Using a mandolin, food processor, or your own skilled hand, slice your potato into thin chips (pick a thickness you like. I prefer mine to be about 1/16 of a inch thick. Note that skinnier chips will cook faster, so keep an eye on them).
  3. Place the chips on a baking sheet, spray them lightly with oil, and bake for about 10 minutes on each side, turning half-way through (yes, this part is a beyotch). Keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not burning.
  4. Transfer the cooked chips to a paper-towel covered plate to cool off for a moment or two before you start chomping away.

Bon appetit!

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Mama mia! Vegan spaghetti pie

25 Jan

Spaghetti pie

A pie made out of spaghetti. And it’s vegan. Now you’ve seen it all.

Me and my mama.

Me and the mama.

If you could translate a hug into food, it would probably become spaghetti pie. It’s warm, comforting, familiar, simple and, like the very best embraces, noodley. (Note: I may have abnormal hug preferences).

The story of spaghetti pie begins with my mother, who I am like in most every way. We both love classic films and jet-fuel-strength black coffee. We both become apoplectic in crowded situations. And we also both have a tendency to burst into made-up-on-the-spot lyrics when frustrated. In short, we are both a little odd (and okay with it).

Little Lloyd Dobbler

This is Little Lloyd Dobbler. To be fair, you’d spoil him too.

My mama does not, however, share my love of cooking.

She’s good at it, no doubt, but would just rather focus her energies in other areas, such as spoiling her dog rotten.

So when I was growing up and she did spend time in the kitchen, what resulted was usually a treat. One of my very favorite dishes was spaghetti pie, probably because it’s also a bit of an oddball. Noodles in a dessert dish? Wah?

At my mom’s genius suggestion, I devised a vegan version of this comfort food champion for all of us plant-eaters, replacing cottage cheese with crumbled tofu, swapping in vegan butter for the cow kind, and calling for egg and meat substitutes.

For the meaty part you could use chopped mushrooms, seitan, or vegan beef crumbles.

I chose to use a combination of baby bella mushrooms and diced up Tofurky Italian sausage, which I am kind of obsessed with.

Serves 6

Ingredients

Ingredients

Your ingredients stand at the ready.

  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter (Earth Balance is uh-may-zing)
  • 2 flax eggs (Dissolve 2 Tbsps ground flax seed in 1/2 cup super hot water, then set in fridge for 15 minutes to thicken)
  • 1 cup drained and pressed tofu, squished through your fingers until it resembles cottage cheese
  • 1 pound vegan beef substitute (I used finely diced Tofurky Italian sausage)
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (I am a member of the Daiya cult)
  • A couple shakes of Italian seasoning, if you so desire

Build a Pie

Noodle crust and tofu "cheese" base.

This here is your noodle crust and tofu “cheese” base.

  1. Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions and drain.
  2. Mix your butter into the still-hot spaghetti until it’s all melted.
  3. Stir in the flax eggs until the noodles are coated.
  4. Place the mixture in a buttered 10-inch pie pan/tin, and form it into a crust-like shape.
  5. Spread the crumbled tofu over the bottom of your spaghetti crust.
  6. Cook up your meat replacement of choice in a skillet, along with the onions, mushrooms and peppers, over medium heat until the meat replacer is browned and the veggies are soft.
  7. Add the spaghetti sauce and heat the mixture through.
  8. Pour the skillet mixture into the pie pan, and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle the pie with the mozzarella cheese and some Italian seasoning, if you wish, and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melty and browning and calling your name.

That’s it! Let it cool for about 10 minutes before digging into your very own noodly hug.

Bon appetit!

Cheesy quinoa and awesome stuffed peppers

15 Jan

Cheesy quinoa and black bean stuffed peppers

Colorful and also freaking yummy cheesy quinoa and black bean stuffed peppers.

Because I like you guys, I’ll be honest. I’ve made quinoa stuffed peppers before, and they’ve rated a solid “meh” on the flavor scale. But these little guys? On top of being super easy to make, they’re cheesy, they’ve got a little kick, and they will put a smile on your face. And if (for some unforeseeable reason) they fail to accomplish that last bit, try this.

When I first made these, I had a few cups of the extremely filling filling leftover. What was I to do?

Well, piggy enterprising as I am, I figured the filling would make a good dip, and grabbed a handful of tortilla chips to get my appetizer on, fooling myself into thinking I could eat just a few bites and save the rest.

Ha.

Of course, I ended up scarfing down all of it, and wasn’t even hungry for the peppers when they emerged from the oven. No worries, they fed me for the next week, aaaaand I found my new favorite dip recipe, in addition to my new favorite stuffed pepper recipe. And hopefully yours.

That same night, I also ended up spilling an entire glass of wine and a can of black beans on the floor and nearly severing a toe when I lost my grip on my veggie-dicing knife…but that’s another (cautionary) tale of trying to cook whilst clumsy.

Anyway, I believe the credit for how fabulously scrumptious these peppers are goes to the addition of Daiya mozzarella cheese in the stuffing. And maybe the cayenne pepper should get a little nod. But you be the final judge.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (or you could use rice. But then you don’t get to say “keeen-wah”!)
  • 2 cups + 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese (I heart Daiya)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 ounces frozen spinach
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots (I threw a few handfuls of baby carrots in a food processor)
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

Make it so!

  1. Cut your peppers in half, and pull out the seeds and ribbing (the light-colored stuff).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a  saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft.
  3. Add the mushrooms, cumin and garlic, and sauté the mix for another 2 minutes.
  4. Break up your frozen spinach as well as you can (I achieve this by slamming the bag against my kitchen counter like a psychopath), and toss that in the pot.
  5. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid is evaporated.
  6. Add in your black beans, quinoa, carrots, and about 2 cups vegetable broth (enough to cover the whole mixture).
  7. Cover the pot and bring your mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes.
  8. My favorite step: Stir in the vegan cheese.
  9. Add in your salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
  10. Stick your face as close to the mixture as is safe and take a giant whiff. Yummmmm.
  11. Preheat your oven to 350.
  12. Spoon a heaping helping of filling into each pepper half, and carefully place them in a casserole or baking dish.
  13. Pour about a half cup vegetable broth into the dish, then cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
  14. Sprinkle each pepper with more cheese, if you like, and then bake uncovered for about 15 minutes more, or until the tops are browned.
  15. Nomnomnom.

In addition to the fact that they taste like joy, another lovely character trait of these peppers is that they keep really well. If you plan to scarf them down in the next few days, just pop them in a fridge-suitable storage container and, when it comes time to nosh, wrap them in tin foil and bake them in the oven at 350 for 20ish minutes.

Or, if you want to make a bunch for a rainy day, place each pepper in individual freezer bags (make sure you get as much air out as possible) and they’ll keep in your ice box for months. Just defrost in the fridge before cooking, and give it the same tin foil and baking treatment.

Bon appetit!

Pizza pie in your eye

28 Dec

No animals required for this yum-o-rama.

No animals required for this yum-o-rama.

Oh my lawd, I loves me a pizza. Don’t let the other kids tell you you can’t eat pizza anymore if you don’t consume animal bits. Untrue. Observe…

The story behind my above prize pizza pie begins with a happy accident and my own inability to play by the rules…

The pie crust dough is super savory thanks to my fabulous co-worker, Eneris, screwing up a quiche she made for my birthday. The crust called for a tub of regular Tofutti cream cheese, but she grabbed the herbs and chive version on accident — and a star was born.

And now on to my inability to follow instructions.

I recently got on a calzone kick. The only problem is I can’t quite stop myself from piling on the ingredients, and then my calzones explode and, while they are tasty, they don’t look very pretty.

Calzone explosion

Did you know calzone is Italian for “a tasty mess?” True story.

So, one day I said to myself, “Self, screw this calzone business. Tonight we create a pizza pie.”

I hopped on Google for a recommended baking temperature and time and this caught my eye: a Tebow family recipe for all my football- and meat-loving friends.

Then I gots to the cooking…

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour (I used one cup whole grain whole wheat and a half cup pastry flour to make the crust flakier)
  • A stick of vegan butter (Earth Balance buttery spread is the stuff of dreams)
  • An 8-ounce tub of vegan cream cheese (I prefer Tofutti Garlic and Herb)
  • A half cup each (or however much you’d like) of diced: mushrooms, green peppers, red onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • A 6 oz. can of pizza sauce (I like Muir Glen organic basil and garlic)
  • A link of Tofurky italian sausage, cut into bite-size bits
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme (strip the leaves off the stick and discard it)
  • Italian seasoning (to taste)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

To make your freaking yumtastic dough, follow this recipe. But instead of regular cream cheese, grab yourself some chive and herb or garlic and herb.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 and grease a standard 9-inch pie plate/tin.
  2. Flatten your yumtastic dough with a floured rolling pin (or wine bottle, if you don’t have a rolling pin handy) and place it in the pie pan.
  3. Warm 2 Tbsps of olive oil in a medium skillet, then throw in your sausage to warm it up.
  4. Add the pizza sauce to the skillet, stir in your veggies, thyme, italian seasoning and garlic and then let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove skillet from heat, and fold in the spinach and basil.
  6. Pour contents of skillet into your pie pan.
  7. Top with vegan cheese, and a touch more Italian seasoning, if you so desire.
  8. Pop the pie in the oven for 40 minutes, until the cheese is melty and the crust starts to brown.
  9. Let the pie cool for about 15 minutes, so it’s easier to cut.
  10. Enjoy!!

I hope you love this pizza as much as my roommate and I do, which is to say we ate the whole thing in less than a day.

Have fun playing with the toppings, and by all means let me know how your experimenting goes.

www.2busybrunettes.com/

two brunette sisters busy with crafting, cooking, teaching, reading and living

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