Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Ridiculously Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese (Pressure Cooker)

Ridiculously Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese
(Pressure Cooker)
The ultimate of ultimates in comfort food has got to be Mac & Cheese! Everyone young and old, vegan or non-vegan LOVE Mac & Cheese and are always looking for a taste of this traditional dish. I have made it a few different ways and there's really no wrong way to enjoy Mac & Cheese. I've found that my only problem can be time.

I don't always have the time to stand over a stove, so I find that my pressure cooker really comes in hand when I'm super busy. If you don't have a pressure cooker, please consider it. Even if you aren't a super busy mom like me, you will find that it makes things super easy and fast. I love to make beans, seitan, rice, etc. in it and save myself tons of extra time I would rather use for more fun things. I found that this recipe is not only easy, but its super and yes RIDICULOUSLY Rich & Creamy texture that Mac & Cheese is supposed to have. I also give you info if you like to add a crunchy topping to just make the whole dish come together and keep you coming back for more. This is my sons all time favorites! I hopefully it will be yours as well. Enjoy!

Ridiculously Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese
(Pressure Cooker)


Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1lb. Ziti or Elbow Macaroni
2 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
3 cups water
1 cup vegan milk (unsweetened)
1 Tablespoon dried ground Mustard
1 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce (Hot Sauce)
1/2 teaspoon Salt + more to taste as needed
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste (optional)
12 oz. Can Nature's Charm Evaporated Coconut Milk
2 1/2 cups (12 oz.) Vegan Cheddar Cheese, grated (I like Daiya Hard Blocks)
1/2 cup vegan mozzerella, grated or pre-shredded (I used Daiya Shreds)
5-6 slices Field Roast Chao Cheese (original creamy)

1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast (optional), add more if you like

Directions

Combine water, vegan milk, pasta, dry mustard, Tabasco, vegan butter, vegan cheeses, and salt & pepper in the pressure cooker, and stir. Lock the lid and set for 4 minutes on manual mode (high pressure). Do a quick release after cook time is done, and remove lid. The noodles will have absorbed the liquid and the cheese melts perfectly.

*It maybe a little liquidy if you use ziti noodles like it did. All I do is put the glass lid on it (under stay warm/rest mode) and let the rest of it absorb and set up. After 20 mins it's perfect and super creamy.*




Optional Topping: If you prefer toasted breadcrumbs on top (my husband & I are big fans), just pour vegan mac and cheese in an oven safe casserole dish, top with bread crumbs, and toast in the oven using broiler. Or toast breadcrumbs separately on their own and top your bowls of pasta individually.

Note: Now the actual cooking time is closer to 20 minutes, because it takes some time for the machine to come to pressure and then it cooks. I still feel like it’s easier and more convenient than boiling water on the stove, especially on those busy nights with the family. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook your noodles on the stove first and then follow the rest of the instructions for the rest after. It will work out great either way! Enjoy!

-Amy


 
  

Friday, April 14, 2017

Jackfruit "Tuna" (3 Ways)

 
Jackfruit "Tuna"
(3 Way)
I grew up like most kids and ate tuna for lunch weekly. It was a favorite of mine and when I went vegan 12 years ago, there weren't many substitutes or recipes for tuna. Today we have substitutes and many options to try to replicate Tuna these days. I have found that Jackfruit, yes the magical Jackfruit and it's majestic ways makes a great substitute. I know, Jackfruit is EVERYWHERE these days. You see it in everything from pulled "Pork" to mock "crab" cakes. It's so versatile and handy to have on hand. I'll show you a NEW and exciting way to use it not only for 1 Sandwich but for 2, plus a 3 way to use it at he end. Are you excited yet?? 
When we are looking for a quick and easy lunch we usually go for sandwiches (Oh how exciting), should I go on? Yeah I know it's quick and easy but can't it also be super delish too?? Sure it can! It's great to eat your lunch and not feel bored while eating it. This recipe shows that you can have your lunch (or dinner) be scrumptious as well as quick, delish, and fun. The combo of the classic flavors but vegan, no Tuna was harmed in the making of it here. You can make this recipe for a larger group by double or tripling (even half it for smaller recipe) OR make it ahead for the work week. Just whip up and store in the fridge and nibble as needed, it only gets better daily. You can't go wrong when enjoying this for your next meal. Throw it together and let me know...I'll wait, I know you'll love it. Enjoy! 

Jackfruit "Tuna" (3 ways)
Ingredients
Tuna Salad
1 can of jackfruit (packed in water or brine, not syrup), shredded, rinsed, and drained
1 teaspoon kelp granules (optional)
2 Tablespoons Celery with leaves, minced 
1 Tablespoon green onions, minced (1 stalk usually) 
2 Tablespoons Just Mayo (or your favorite vegan mayo, vegan yogurt or sour cream will work also) 
2 Tablespoons Hampton Creek Awesomesauce
1 teaspoon Capers, chopped + 1 teaspoon caper liquid
2 tablespoons chopped dill pickles or dill pickled relish + 1 Tablespoon pickle liquid 
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
    Tuna Melt Sandwich Options
  • Vegan Cheese (I used Chao, but use your favorite)
  • Greens
  • Tomato
  • Sprouts 
  • Extra Pickles 
  • Potato chips (it's so good!) 

HELPFUL TIP

Now you may ask, how do I find Jackfruit?? I get his question a lot and many are perplexed on how to get their eager vegan hands on this magical ingredient. I find that the easiest way to find it is ordering it. Now you can find it in some grocery stores now. You can find it at local health food stores or my favorite, Asian Markets. I know I've said it so many times, Asian Markets are a vegans Disneyland. They have sooooo many items we can have. Lots of vegan substitutes and the best part, SO MUCH CHEAPER. I could walk the aisle for hours searching for treasures. But I'll stop now before I get too exited and get carried away. So back to ordering, if you don't have the other options listed, orderkng is your next best bet. Amazon, Vegan Essentials, Rabbit Food Store, and Many more online stores have Jackfruit ready Order and enjoy at a moments notice. There are plenty of options so you don't fee left out of the Vegan mix! 

 
Directions 
For Tuna Salad
Use a fork to pull apart the jackfruit into shreds (until it has a tuna-like consistency).
In a bowl, add the rest of the salad ingredients and mix together. Once the jackfruit is pulled and drained, add it to the salad mixture and mix until fully coated. Taste and add extra  seasoning, if needed. 
 
*If you are going to enjoy this as just a "Tuna" salad, you can stop here, add to bread with optional toppings. You can also eat it with vegan crackers or in a wrap.*
For Melt
Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat and lightly spray with oil of your choice or vegan butter. Place the sandwiches in the pan, cheese side down. Let cook until cheese begins to melt. Lightly spray the tops of the sandwiches with the olive oil. Flip the sandwiches and cook on the other side. Flip again if needed. The sandwiches are done when the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Remove from the pan and serve immediately. Pairs so well with a side of chips, pickles, and perfect with your favorite cold beverage. Enjoy!
3rd Way: Tuna or "Crab" Cakes
*Now this mixture could also be made 3 ways, this mixture of dredged and coated with breadcrumbs or Panko, could be turned into vegan "crab" cakes.*
 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Vegan "Lucky Charm" Rice Krispie Treats

Vegan "Lucky Charm" Rice Krispie Treats

If you're like me, you grew up enjoying the sugarier things in life, e.g. Lucky Charms, Captain Crunch, Trix...you see where I'm going here. Now some of these cereals are still conveniently vegan but not all of our childhood favorites are. Well one of those cereals that my husband enjoyed the most was Lucky Charms, I'm sure many of you feel the same way. There isn't a real substitute out there for us...get on that major brands ASAP! Now I wasn't the biggest fan (don't hate me) but what I did love, Rice Krispie Treats. I can remember my mom packing them in my lunch almost daily if I was REALLY lucky! The down side to most of those cereals now that I'm an adult, the dyes. I realized all those dyes weren't the best for me and I really don't want to feed them to my kids. I know, I know folks, adulthood...sigh. Who wants to go back to the days of not caring and Saturday morning cartoons? Me too! 

This recipe combines the two things that each my husband and myself loved about the treats of our childhood. What helped was finding amazing products to make that happen. With simply searching and some helpful links, they can be yours as well! Who's ready for some sugar?! You'll never miss those yucky dyes! Who would miss dyes anyway...WEIRD! So pull up a bowl, grab your spatulas, and let's get ready to take a trip to the past. Make sure you grab those leg warmers and scrunchies...Sorry if you're a guy in this scenario, you can come too. 

*I want to note that these are amazing for holidays, especially Easter or any spring and summer event. They're so colorful, bright, and happy. Perfect in little squares or cut out with cute cookie cutters to go with your holiday themes. They're not just for the kids, adults will love them too.* 

Enjoy!

Vegan "Lucky Charm" Rice Krispie Treats

Ingredients

  • 6 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
Optional Add-InNatural Vegan Spinkles and/or Mini Vegan Chocolate Chips 

Directions

Grease a 9×13-inch pan and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted. 

*I used a double boiler technique but you can dump it into a pot and melt the regular way, it's also faster.*

 

Reduce the heat to low (or off the heat) and stir in the cereals and Dried Vegan Marshmallows pieces (optional add ins as well, if using).

A Mix Of All The Cereals Prepped Ahead


Turn the mixture into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray.

Allow to set at room temperature until firm, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Cut into squares (or use cut outs for fun festive shapes!) and serve. Store leftovers at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

The Dried Vegan Marshmallows are also great mixed into your cereal the regular way!

Enjoy!


-Amy