Ladies and Gentleman. I am proud to present to you a recipe. A vegan recipe. The holy grail of comfort food: Mac Un-Cheeze.
In all its vegan, gooey, cheesy glory!
Your mouth is probably watering after viewing that photo, so I’ll save you the written oozy goodness about this recipe and cut right to the chase. I just want to say that this recipe is ENTIRELY original, not an improvisation on another recipe, but one that Melissa came up with all her own. I’m insanely proud of her!
Melissa’s Mac Un-Cheeze (Serves 6-8)
4 tablespoons vegan butter (Earth Balance)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups non-dairy milk of your choice (we used plain soy milk)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup Daiya vegan cheddar shreds
1/2 cup Daiya vegan mozzarella shreds
salt and pepper to taste
More Daiya shreds for topping
Panko bread crumbs
16 oz package pasta of your choice (we used whole wheat shells)
Pre-heat oven to 425F
Cook and drain pasta, set aside.
Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan on low heat. Add the flour, quickly whisk together with the butter. Add soy milk, turn heat up to medium. Add nutritional yeast, whisk together.
Add the Daiya vegan shreds, stir. Cook on low/medium until the shreds melt and forms a somewhat thick sauce, but not too thick. Watch the heat so it doesn’t burn or boil.
Once the sauce is ready (forming a melted and thickened sauce), remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Mix the pasta and sauce together in a 9×9 baking dish and add some more shreds as you go along. Use a generous amount of cheddar shreds on top, as well as a generous amount of panko bread crumbs. No real measurements on this part, depends on how much melty and crunchy goodness you like! Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top.
Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bread crumbs are golden. Let cool and enjoy!
Tonight the Mac Un-Cheeze was served with some yummy crispy tofu cutlets and collard greens. Talk about comfort food to the extreme! Perfect for the sub-zero temperatures we have been experiencing here in Jersey City!
On Christmas eve, my mom was saying how much she would like a coffee cake for Christmas morning, along with our traditional Strata (which we also successfully veganized this year! Future post!). Thanks to Pinterest, I was able to find an easy peasey recipe within minutes. I chose this one because it looked similar to one of my all-time faves when I was little – Entenmann’s Crumb Coffee Cake. This recipe comes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan Brunch (totally getting that book ASAP! You should, too!). In the two more “complicated” baking attempts I’ve made recently (I say “complicated” because the other recipe just consisted of mixing a can of pumpkin and Duncan Hines yellow cake mix to make easy pumpkin muffins), both recipes came from her! I made some of my own little “tweaks” on this recipe, but overall, man, is it good. Just like when I was little.
Vegan Coffee Cake Recipe Courtesy of Vegan Brunch
1 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup canola oil, plus up to 2 tbs more, if needed
3/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Pre-heat oven to 375°F and lightly grease an 8 in. round springform pan or 8 in. square pan. In a small bowl, add milk for the cake and the vinegar; set aside to curdle
For the topping, mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small mixing bowl. Drizzle in canola oil by the tablespoon, using your fingers to swish around the mixture until crumbs form. Alternate drizzling and mixing until all the oil is used and large crumbs have formed.
For the cake, mix together the milk mixture, sugar, canola oil and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until smooth.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Evenly sprinkle on the topping and pat it down lightly.
Bake for 35 to 40 min. or until a knife inserted through the center comes out clean.
Let cool for at least an hour (or as long as you can stand) before slicing and serving.
JCV addition – Scoop a 1/2 cup of vegan powdered sugar into a sifter, and sprinkle (GENEROUSLY if you’re like me and loved that Entenmann’s cake) on top.
I have made this recipe AGAIN since Christmas (twice in the same week, WHAT?!) except I made them in cupcake form to bring into the office. Adjust the baking time to 20 minutes, but check them once 15 mins rolls around… my oven is kind of wonky so someone who might have a better oven might have the cupcakes cook faster. Now, if only I had actually remembered to bring the cupcakes in to work! I ended up leaving them in their bag on the kitchen counter, only realizing it when I was about to get on the train into Manhattan. Doh. More for Melissa & I! And it’s official: I love to bake!
The holiday season is upon us and I would like to take this opportunity to encourage compassionate choices for your holiday meals. It’s easier than ever to find recipes for delicious compassionate culinary creations! Here at Jersey City Vegan, I strive to help bridge the gap for those who want to make a change but just need an extra nudge. I hope to make the holiday gap a little easier by sharing The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary Thanksliving Recipe Book that I created for the WFAS Thanksliving benefit. Within the booklet you will find enough recipes to create a complete and compassionate Thanksgiving meal. Everything from appetizers to main dishes, family favorites veganized and perhaps something new to you, the recipes will feed a party of six but can easily be doubled.
In our household, it is no secret that I am a fiend for Asian food, any style. Whether it be Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Indian… anything Asian (so long it is vegan!) is welcome into my belly. This recipe comes by request of my friend Kat (Hi Kat!), who is soon to be married and has been looking for some yummy meat-less recipes. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige. Here is Melissa’s recipe for an easy Thai curry!
Melissa’s Easy Thai Curry
2 cups coconut milk
3 tablespoons red curry paste
one package extra firm tofu
Feel free to use any veggie of your choosing! My sister had just given me a whole basket of green beans, fresh from her garden. We also had the cauliflower from our bi-weekly trip to the farmers market. And mushrooms are FULL of health benefits – they are fat burning powerhouses!
Here’s another great recipe to help you transition into a more (or completely!) plant-based diet.
I absolutely love a delicious sandwich… it might be one of my favorite comfort foods. Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to give it up, either. Thanks to many wonderful meat-less brands, the possibilities are endless. Melissa created this delicious, cruelty-free version of one of my favorite sammiches, a Philly Cheesesteak. This version is almost like a loaded grilled cheese. This also could easily be served on a nice whole wheat roll. Here’s the recipe!
Slice onion, pepper, mushrooms and kale. Heat a skillet on medium. Using vegan butter or olive oil, cook veggies thoroughly , set aside on a plate.
Take Tofurky slices, cut them into large strips and separate them. Add slices to a hot pan to brown them slightly for a few minutes, set aside.
Using a non-stick skillet sprayed with olive oil (or use a small amount of vegan butter) on medium heat, place bread in pan. Top bread with cheese shreds or slices, then add Tofurky slices on top of that. Add the cooked veggies last, placing the other slice of bread on top. You can press down on the sandwich with a spatula a bit, and cover it to let the cheese melt a little.
Carefully flip the sandwich so that both sides are nicely toasted, slice in half, and serve.
Totally yum! Tofurky used to make Philly steak style slices, but I don’t think they make them any more. The roast beef slices work just as well. This sandwich is perfect with some tomato soup or a delicious salad, or since it’s now the season for it, a crispy corn on the cob!
Do you have a recipe that you would like us to Vegan-ize? Put your suggestion in the comments section and we’ll be happy to make it a reality!
This week’s Vegan-ize It recipe features the delicious breakfast food: omelettes! This recipe is a modified version of the original one that Melissa found on FatFree Vegan Kitchen. Recipes on this website are fantastic and I highly recommend it.
Vegan Omelettes (serves two)
1 package Mori-Nu extra firm silken tofu
2 tablespoons soymilk
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons tahini
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
salt and pepper to taste
freshly chopped scallions and dill, to finish
sliced Daiya jack wedges
cooked vegan sausage
Blend together all “egg” ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Use a non-stick skillet or well seasoned cast iron, spray or lightly coat with olive oil. Heat on medium-high until hot.
Pour half the “egg” batter into the pan, form into a circle about 8 inches in diameter. The batter won’t run into shape like a pancake does, so use a spoon or spatula to make it a circle.
Reduce head to medium-low.
Cover and cook for a few minutes. You can check the edges with a spatula to see if it has set. Once it looks like it is starting to cook through, the top won’t look “wet” and you are ready to add your toppings.
Carefully loosen the bottom of the omelette with a spatula before flipping one half over, cook for another two or three minutes. Top with fresh herbs, hot sauce, or whatever you like to use to finish your omelette!
And there you have it! Hope you enjoy… I know we totally did! Have you made a vegan-ized omelette? Do you have any tips? Please share them in the comment section.
Even though I’m such a Daiya cheese devotee, we had heard that Galaxy Nutritional Food’s came out with new Vegan shreds and I was willing to give them a try. Boy, was I glad I did!!! They seriously were the best melt I’ve seen yet. Absolutely perfect for nachos. We haven’t tried it with pizza yet, but will hopefully do so soon.
I feel kind of silly giving a recipe and directions for nachos (similarly to how I felt about my Grilled Cheese recipe!) but I am going to do so for the sake of continuity. Here you go!
Place tortilla chips on a plate. Sprinkle the Mexican style vegan shreds on top. Place in microwave and cook in 30 second intervals (depending on your microwave) and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
Dollop a generous portion of Melissa’s Quickie Guacamole along with some salsa, vegan sour cream and refried beans.
Stuff it in your face!!!
*Melissa’s Quickie Guacamole
One ripe avocado
Salt, to taste
Lime, to taste
Scoop out avocado into a bowl. Salt and lime to taste.
Smoosh with a fork and serve.
Now you dish — what are your favorite vegan nacho toppings? I think some Soy-rizo would be awesome, and recently had some vegan nachos with some crazy awesome Mexican-seasoned seitan.
Did you know that today is National Grilled Cheese Day?! Well it is! And guess what? Vegans can celebrate!!!
There are so many great cheese substitutes available nowadays. Follow Your Heart produces several varieties of cheese wedges and cream cheeses. I love their cheddar for use in cheese and crackers or grilled cheese. But my absolute fave lately is Daiya – they produce cheese shreds and their new wedges which I have not been able to find yet! However, their cheddar shreds are PERFECT for making some vegan grilled cheese.
I know pretty much everyone knows how to make grilled cheese, but I’m going to include a recipe anyway. After all, its further proof that being vegan does not mean you miss out on some of the best comfort food! Best part about vegan grilled cheese? NO Cholesterol or Trans Fat!
Vegan Grilled Cheese (serves two)
Your favorite vegan bread
Daiya cheddar shreds
Sliced tomato, if desired
Earth Balance butter
Warm a pan or skillet over medium heat. Melt a tablespoon of butter in the pan.
Butter one side of four slices of bread. Place two bread slices, butter side down in pan and portion out some Daiya cheddar on to each slice.
If desired, warm some tomato slices in the skillet. (I prefer no tomato, but Melissa loves it!)
Take the other two slices of bread, and place them butter side up on top of the cheese, like a sandwich.
Cover pan with a lid to help the cheese melt, for a minute or two. Be careful not to burn the bread.
Flip sandwiches to let the other side crisp.
Remove from pan and serve!
We had our grilled cheese with a nice kale salad tonight, but sometimes we’ll have it with tomato soup. It’s the perfect comfort food! Do you have a favorite vegan comfort food?
Before I went vegan, I used to go crazy for a perfectly pan-seared sea scallop. Anytime I went out to a restaurant and scallops were on the menu, I need not look any further. My parents always had scallops for me when I would go visit. I was the scallop girl! I “Excuse-itarian’ed” (Colleen Patrick-Goudreau coined this term and I love it!) my way around consuming scallops for quite a while — “They don’t have a face!” was my perfect reasoning. When I connected the dots about the problems with industrial fishing and factory fish farms, I preferred that those little tender fleshy morsels stayed in their cute little shells in the sea and not in my belly. If you haven’t learned about the downside to the seafood industry, you can get a little snapshot about it here, here, and here.
My ever-creative amateur chef (and partner of 6 years) Melissa came up with a brilliant solution to satisfy my scallop cravings — make them out of tofu! After all, it is the seasonings, sauces and marinades that have us so attached to eating flesh anyway. We aren’t like tigers and lions who eat flesh raw, no problemo. Here is her brilliant recipe… my mouth waters just thinking about it!
1 block extra firm tofu
2-4 tablespoons vegan butter (I recommend Earth Balance)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
salt & pepper, to taste
Small cookie cutter or juice glass with a small diameter
Press the tofu. See Tofu Isn’t Scary for more detailed instructions on pressing tofu.
Cut thickness of tofu in half.
Use cookie cutter or juice glass to cut circles out of tofu. Season tofu scallops with the Old Bay and salt and pepper.
Heat pan with 1 tbsp (approx.) of olive oil on medium/high heat.
Place tofu scallops in pan, allowing them to get golden brown on each side. Remove from pan and set tofu scallops aside.
Turn heat to low and melt 2-4 tbsp of vegan butter in the pan. Use more butter if you are making more scallops.
Squeeze half the lemon into the pan with the melted butter, stir to incorporate. Add dill. Stir and turn heat off.
Plate tofu scallops and drizzle/spoon lemon dill sauce over scallops. Serve with your favorite veggies and sides. Pictured with a mix of quinoa and kale.
I hope you enjoy this recipe — its one of my favorites! Do you have a favorite vegan-ized recipe?
Its Monday. The weekend just ended and I’m already counting down the days until next weekend! No better way to do that than dream about one of my favorite weekend meals:
BRUNCH! First thing that comes to mind for most people are eggs, right? First thing that comes to a vegan’s mind is the delicious dish we all know as Tofu Scramble. For as many incarnations of an omlette that might exist, the possibilities are also endless for Tofu Scramble. Except with the vegan version, you don’t need to worry about all the saturated fat and cholesterol! Or, the cruelty of the egg/dairy industry. It really is a win/win. Here is my favorite recipe…
Melissa’s Best Tofu Scramble in the World
Two links of Tofurky Breakfast Sausage, sliced -OR-
1/3 tube Gimme Lean sausage, crumbled
1 c. sliced Baby Bella mushrooms
One block of extra firm tofu (DON’T press!)
Approx. 2 c. chopped kale
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 c. Daiya cheddar cheese
Few shakes of dried dill or oregano, to taste
salt & pepper to taste
fresh chopped parsley to garnish
Hot sauce/ketchup to serve
Slice the Tofurky Breakfast Sausage and saute in a pan with the mushrooms over medium high heat with a little bit of olive oil or vegan butter until browned.
We like Tofurky and Gimme Lean sausage but feel free to use your favorite.
In a bowl or a large cutting board, use a fork to crumble the tofu. Feel free to leave larger chunks of tofu and have the texture be uneven – we are mimicking scrambled eggs.
Add tofu to saute pan with sausage and mushrooms. Add turmeric and nutritional yeast and toss in pan to incorporate.
Add greens. Cover and let steam for a minute or two.
Sprinkle Daiya cheese evenly on top of the scramble. Cover briefly to melt the cheese. Reduce heat to low/medium.
Top with the fresh parsley and salt/pepper to taste. Serve with hot sauce or ketchup.
And because no weekend brunch is complete without a little indulgence, here is a bonus smoothie recipe.
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 c. your choice of non-dairy milk (in this instance, vanilla soy)
1 c. frozen wild blueberries
2 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
2 tbsp chia seeds
Filtered water, as needed
Put blueberries, milk and flaxseed meal in blender and blend until incorporated, adding some filtered water if needed to thin out a little bit.
Add chia seeds and blend for another 30 seconds or until incorporated.
Beautiful blueberry color -- Full of antioxidants!
This recipe was inspired by a post by Dr. Greger on nutritionfacts.org, one of my favorite vegan nutrition resources.
Antioxidants + Omega 3's = Nutritious and Delicious!