So next up, let’s use up some of that Teese Mozzarella. I’m also trying to use down some things that have been hanging out in the freezer. In this case, some Gimme Lean Sausage. So I made up a red pasta sauce which started off by frying up onion, garlic and the sausage in a saucepan, then I added a big can of crushed tomatoes, and seasoned with basil, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. I pretty much never buy jarred pasta sauce because it’s so easy to make your own and you’re just going to doctor it anyway.
To use the Teese, I made some garlic bread. It was soaked through with garlicky Earth Balance and deliciously bad for us.
At least I used whole wheat pasta. Because that will make up for all the other sins here. Like no veggies. The other half of this Teese tube went into a lasagna, but I didn’t take pictures. It included more Gimme Lean, some Twin Oaks Italian Tofu, the layer of Teese and then Daiya on top. Oh, and both regular and whole wheat lasagna noodles. Can you tell I was using stuff up?
With all the Daiya hype over the last couple of years, poor Teese has kind of been pushed to the side a bit. Now that Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe is closed and Sevananda doesn’t carry it, I don’t think you can even get it in town. But recently I filled in a survey they tweeted about and was chosen to receive Teese as a thank you: the Creamy Cheddar Vegan Sauce, Mozzarella and Cheddar.
The first thing I did was make Mac & Cheeze for a potluck. Boil up pasta, toss with a tube of Teese Cheddar Cheese Sauce, sprinkle top with bread crumbs, vegan parmesan and a little paprika, and bake until less crispy than pictured here. Normally I might mix something else in there like broccoli, but this is lazy mac & cheeze so no veggies, just straight up.
Here it is hanging out with kale salad, spinach salad, tots and I think that’s a chik patty on that bun. It was a tad dry so I either overcooked it or should have used 12oz. of pasta rather than the full pound.
Just a tad though. Still made awesome leftovers, here with a beer brat and kale salad.
After making a pot of chili, I flipped back a few pages of The Happy Herbivore to the Baked Shells and Cheese recipe. One of the variation was to add a can of chili and make it a chili mac. So I just added a cup and a half or so of the chili to it. I’ve always been a fan of nutritional yeast cheezy sauces, but I don’t think I’ve ever made one that uses silken tofu in it. It made the sauce really creamy. Very nice. Apparently it’s like glue on plates though. My dishwasher wouldn’t get it off. I had to hand wash some of those dishes. The top is sprinkled with bread crumbs and a little Daiya.
Meanwhile, there was still chili leftover. It went on to become lunches and top grilled hot dogs. I really stretched that one out!
When you do your grocery shopping once a week, you learn to have some meals with ingredients that will make it to the end of the week, or even beyond if need be. Things happen and you can’t always cook everything when you want. This Fettuccine Alfredo from The Happy Herbivore works well as that dish. And broccoli is one of my go to sturdy vegetables. Other great back-ups are frozen peas and frozen greens.
This turned out creamy and a little tangy from the nutritional yeast. It even made an abundance of sauce so there was a little extra to drag my broccoli through. Oh, and this fits in great with a lazy vegan lifestyle. I also used that Good Karma Flax Milk again with good results. Sprinkled on top is the Vegan Parmesan from Yellow Rose Recipes. I like it better than Parma.
Not every meal is planned. Sometimes you look around your kitchen and see what you can do with what you’ve got. This was one of those meals. Pasta, black beans, Daiya, tomatoes, tomato paste, bell pepper, onion, a jalapeño … sounds like a chili mac! And indeed it was.
Chili powder, garlic, cumin, cayenne, maybe some oregano … sorry, this is definitely no recipe.
If you find yourself afraid to stray from recipes, just keep cooking things. Once you’ve cooked enough things you will eventually be able to collect ingredients and make a meal out of them without outside help.
Do you remember your first vegetarian cookbook? One of my first ones if not the first one for me was Paulette Mitchell’s The 15-Minute Gourmet: Vegetarian. I was a student at San Francisco State University at the time and picked it up at the bookstore there. It ended up being my go to book when I first became vegetarian. My copy is covered in stains from use. While not vegan, it has a few recipes that I still use that are vegan. It’s perfect for people that aren’t that in to cooking, need quick-cooking meals and don’t want to run around town looking for special ingredients.
The Pasta with Chinese Tahini Sauce is one of those fall back meals for me. The ingredients keep well so you can push off cooking it another week if need be without anything spoiling. And it is done in the time it takes for the pasta to cook. It went well with leftover cabbage crunch from the potluck and gomashio sprinkled on top.
The year I went vegetarian, 1996, I received Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone as a Christmas gift from one of my co-workers. And I’ve been using it regularly ever since. Again, not a vegan cookbook but there is plenty in here for vegans. I come back to this recipe just about every summer when corn and tomatoes are at their peak. I’ve used corn pasta in the past, but this time I used whole wheat spaghetti. The recipe calls for a little cheese which I just ignored although I did sprinkle some fake parmesan on top.
Oh, and there at the top, corn muffins with that coconut Earth Balance. Need more delivery systems for that spread.
It’s helpful to have a few meals you like that you can easily make out of non-perishable items that are easy to keep on hand and easy to make. This one is a great example. Whole wheat spaghetti, alfredo sauce, frozen turnip greens with diced turnips, and vegan parmesan on top.
Did we all survive another office holiday party season? For vegans, this usually sucks. If you’re lucky, you’ll get spaghetti with marinara or some sad steamed vegetables. Even at nice restaurants where you’d think the chef would have a little more pride. Just because we’re vegan doesn’t mean we lack taste buds.
My company doesn’t give a crap about the vegans that work here (no, I’m not the only one), so I don’t even bother going to work food events. Kevin’s company usually makes a pretty good effort. This year was really nice. The party was at The Mansion in Buckhead. Our entree was ravioli but the pasta part was celery root. The innards were tasty mushrooms. It came with various root veggies scattered around. Of course, I can’t remember what the sauce was, but it was good. See people, it’s not that freakin’ difficult!
Dinner in a flash seems to be a recurring theme around here. If it’s not so flashy that I’m having someone else cook it, it’s often something that takes little fiddling. Bonus if it’s something that I can keep around for a quick meal without worrying about it going bad.
Enter the easy vegan cheese sauce mix. Your Vegan Mom posted the recipe a while back and ever since I first whipped it up I try to keep some around. I always keep frozen peas and pasta of some sort in the house. And I always have soy milk. So half a cup of the mix, plus one cup of milk equals sauce. If you’re feeling fancy, add soy curls, tofu, chopped up seitan log, whatever. Here instead of the peas, we had spinach on the side and I tossed in some tofu leftovers I had. Really you can just dump whatever you like in it. I only wish I had a vitamix to get the mix more powdery. I think the sauce would come out smoother.