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Vegan cheese grits

Despite growing up in the South, I never ate grits growing up. It was mostly a texture thing. I didn’t like anything mushy like that. Mashed potatoes don’t count.

Once I started making vegan cheese grits I felt stupid for not making them before. They’re so easy, cheap and delicious! So here’s my basic recipe. I use Daiya in these because the flavor is stronger than most of the other vegan cheeses.

Vegan Cheese Grits

Ingredients

5 1/3 cups water or unsweetened non-dairy milk
1 1/3 cups white corn grits
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup Daiya mozzarella or cheddar shreds

white corn grits

Bring the water or non-dairy milk to boil. Slowly stir in grits then add salt and pepper. Cook on medium until it starts to thicken. Stir in Daiya. Continue to cook a minute or two more until it’s the thickness you want. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 6 servings.

cooking vegan cheese grits

These particular vegan cheese grits ended up with sausage gravy on top. Perfect for a Breakfast for Dinner situation.

vegan cheese grits and gravy

The best vegan Parmesan

“Being vegan is so expensive!”

We’ve all heard that one, right? And it’s easy to see how people might think that. If you look on the store shelves at straight vegan substitutes, the price differential can be alarming.

Let’s look at Parmesan cheese. Many of us probably grew up with the familiar green shaker container of Parmesan that came out every time you had something in an Italian red sauce for dinner. This stuff is pretty cheap due to subsidies, factory farming etc.

conventional parmesan cheese

Now, if you just grab a straight vegan substitute off the shelf, it’ll be about three times the price of the conventional version. Ouch.

vegan parmesan parma

Yellow Rose Recipes by Joanna VaughtBut guess what? You can make your own vegan Parmesan! If you search online, you’ll find a number of recipes, but Joanna Vaught‘s from Yellow Rose Recipes is my absolute favorite. Unlike some of the other vegan Parmesan recipes, Joanna’s includes walnuts which give you Omega-3 fatty acids.

Speaking of Joanna and Yellow Rose Recipes, keep an eye on her website. If you weren’t lucky enough to get a copy of Yellow Rose Recipes before it went out of print, she’ll be posting all the recipes on her site! The Butternut Squash Lasagna will impress the most skeptical omnivores. Make extra spice mixture in her Cajun Spiced Tofu recipe to keep on hand so you can bust that tofu out even faster. And make “chicken” and waffles with her Crispy Beer-Battered Seitan. Oh man.

Joanna kindly gave me permission to post her Vegan Parmesan recipe here for Vegan Mofo. I always have a shaker in my fridge and have been known to use it on Mexican food.

To save even more money on ingredients, shop in the bulk bins. If you can find broken cashew pieces, those are often cheaper than whole ones.

Vegan Parmesan

vegan parmesan

by Joanna Vaught published in Yellow Rose Recipes

Makes 2 cups, or exactly 1 used 5 oz. nutritional yeast jar full (reduce, reuse, recycle!)

vegan parmesan in shaker jarIngredients

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup brown rice flour (I’ve substituted other flours like whole wheat when I’ve been out. Still works great.)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 TBS garlic powder
2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until fine crumbs. Will last up to a month in an airtight container in your fridge.

 

White Bean and Kale Stuffed Delicata Squash

It is my habit to sit down, decide what I’m going to cook in a week, make up a list and shop from that. But sometimes I impulse buy veggies. Recently it was some nice looking organic delicata squash. Delicate have a lovely sweet taste, cook pretty quickly and don’t require peeling.

My usual go to dish for delicata squash is Tanya’s Asian Creation from How It All Vegan. Delicious, but I wanted to try something different. After consulting The Googles, I thought I’d try a stuffed squash dish, this White Bean and Kale Stuffed Delicata Squash. It’s sort of an Autumn dish, but it called to me since I have a sage plant growing outside. One of the only culinary plants that stands up to my neglect. Shout out to the rosemary bush too! The only ingredient in this recipe that isn’t already vegan  is the parmesan, which I just replaced with a vegan version.

The squash turned out to be really tasty. They’re also pretty healthy with your orange and green veggies, a nice protein and minimal oil. These would also be worth a bookmark for holiday meals. They’d make a nice main dish that could travel already stuffed and be baked off at the final destination.

We had them with a side of the leftover Artichoke Potato Gratin that seemed never-ending (but we did finally finish off, yay!)

Cornbread-Stuffed Poblanos

Last weekend we headed up the road to Cosmo’s Vegan Shoppe to pick up some of those new Teese Mozzarella Sticks and other random bits.

There might have also been a baked good bonus for local folks, Peanut Butter Rocky Road Poundcake that Leigh baked from Hearty Vegan Meals For Monster Appetites. Which were delicious, by the way. Back to that cookbook though. Kevin picked it up and started flipping through it. Next thing I knew it was in the bag coming home with us. Yay!

As I was looking through trying to figure out what I wanted to cook from this book while making my shopping list, I may have gained 10 lbs. Banana Split Waffles? Maple Bacon Doughnuts? Crispy Mac & Cheese Balls? You get the idea. So one of the recipes I picked out was the Cornbread-Stuffed Poblanos. Okay, so they use mayo or sour cream for the moisture instead of soy milk. Still, they weren’t deep-fried so it seemed like a good place to start.

And they were really good. Using salsa in the batter made them extra tasty. And the pepper roasted up a bit while they baked. Even so, I think next time I make them I’ll back off the sour cream, the option I used, and just substitute soy milk to make them more of an everyday kind of dish.

The sides are Jicama Salad I had leftover from a potluck and we split a Gutenfleischer’s vegan steak that I heated up on the George Foreman.

Need some pomegranate ideas

A week or so ago I got an email from POM Wonderful offering to send me some of their products. Yay! Hey, it only took me 8 years of blogging to get offered some free stuff. And since they have stopped testing on animals, I agreed to receive whatever it is they wanted to send me. It turned out to be a case of 12 cute little bottles of pomegranate juice.

Okay, so what do I do with these? I drank one, of course. Duh. I already have pomegranate molasses for some Persian recipes I make from time to time. I need some ideas to save me from using the rest to make POMtinis. No one wants that. Googling around I did get a couple of ideas: Pomegranate and Maple Glazed Beets and Persephone Cupcakes. If you have any other ideas that use just the juice, not the seeds, drop ‘em in the comments. Vegan, of course.

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