FOOD

Munchie Monday: April Recipe Test

This month my coworkers picked two recipes for me from a random cookbook I own. This month they picked one savory main dish and a dessert. The main dish was the mac n cheese dish from The Vegan Bible. The recipe requires the following ingredients:

  • Elbow noodles
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped red bell pepper
  • Chopped celery
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Flour
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Dairy free milk
  • Mustard
  • Hot pepper sauce
  • Paprika

Overall, the recipe was super easy to make, probably the easiest vegan mac n cheese I have ever made without processed ingredients. Basically you mix the seasonings with the diary free milk in a saucepan until in thickens into a cheese sauce. You add the cheese sauce to the cooked elbow noodles and mix in the chopped veggies. It tasted really good and creamy but I definitely think I would double the cheese sauce to noodles because I like it saucy. I will say that while it made enough to last a whole week by the end of the week it was not as appetizing. I really did not want to eat it at the end of the week.

The dessert recipe was a chocolate chip banana bread from the Gluten Free Vegan Baking cookbook. It requires the following ingredients:

  • Vegan butter
  • Gluten free flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Brown sugar
  • Vegan chocolate chips
  • Chopped almonds
  • Ripe bananas
  • Almond milk
  • Canola oil
  • Almond extract

Like most dessert recipes you combine the dry ingredients and then the wet then pour into the pan to cook. It was easy to make but difficult to cook through fully. The outside of the bread was finished cooking fairly quickly while the middle was not. I had to put it back in the oven several times because the middle wasn’t cooked. Even when I thought it was fully cooked when I went to cut it into slices for my coworkers the middle was not done and the rest was falling apart. It ended up being a hot mess, however, it did taste good. If I ever made it again I might try adding a flax egg or something to keep it together more. Overall, it was a good week and I definitely think I could play around more with the mac n cheese to fit my tastes better.

Comment below what cookbooks you love to use?

FOOD

Munchie Monday: Vegan Chopped

Hello and Happy Monday! This past week I set up the Vegan Chopped Challenge and had two of my friends each pull two random ingredients. The four ingredients they chose were mushrooms, peas, artichoke hearts, and peanut butter. The obvious choice was to make an Asian style rice dish with a peanut sauce but I thought that would be cheating since I have made that recipe several times before. I asked a few of my co-workers what they thought and they mostly recommended Asian style dishes as they would be the easiest. However, I took the next week to mull over what to do when I got curious about something. Many vegan cheese sauces use a base of cashew but people often swap out the cashews for other nuts. My question is could you make a vegan cheese sauce with a base of peanut butter? I decided to find out by creating a vegan cheesy vegetable rice dish.

The most complicated part of this “recipe” is making the cheese sauce and that is mostly blending things together. I purchased the ingredients for the recipe and another meal for the week which was very affordable. I believe I spent a total of $28 dollars for everything which means the rice dish would be even less than that. I purchased two russet potatoes, a bag of white onions, a bag of baby carrots, all natural smooth peanut butter, vegetable stock, brown rice, a can of artichoke hearts, frozen peas, and a carton of mushrooms. Below are the main ingredients I based the recipe off of.

I used the potatoes, carrots, onions, and peanut butter as the base of the sauce and simply played with the spices I put in. I used about half the potatoes, carrots, and onions with a fourth a cup of peanut butter. I added garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, nutritional yeast, liquid smoke, salt, and pepper. At first, the peanut butter was overpowering the rest of the ingredients so I added more nutritional yeast, salt, and a little white miso paste. Eventually, it started to taste more like a cheese sauce but with a much stronger nutty undertaste than usual. I added it to some partially cooked rice with the peas and chopped artichoke hearts and mushrooms. I baked it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes to finish cooking all of it and then topped it with the leftover cheese.

I ate it for the first time reheated in the microwave and it was good. I enjoyed it and think it would work in a pinch if you don’t have cashews but I still think I prefer cashews as they have less of an impact on the final taste. Most people either use potatoes and carrots as a base or soaked cashews, not both but I like to combine them to add protein and healthy fats to the recipe. I think the taste of the recipe was not a problem and would work again but I always forget that vegan cheese sauce does not reheat like normal cheese. It is more of a dry consistency especially if you reheat it. If there was a way to reheat it with more of a realistic cheese consistency I think I would love it. Below is a picture of a serving I took for lunch and reheated.

Let me know what you would have made with mushrooms, peas, artichoke hearts, and peanut butter!

FOOD

Munchie Mondays!

Happy Monday! I want to announce a new series I am creating for Life in Progress called Munchie Mondays! This series will consist of posts all about food. One format of posts I will be doing is going to be called Vegan Chopped Challenge and will be something akin to the vegan version of the Food Network show Chopped. The Vegan Chopped Challenges will consist of one of my friends randomly drawing a few ingredients out of jars and I will have to create a recipe using all of the ingredients drawn. The other format would be trying randomly chosen recipes in the vegan cookbooks I own and reviewing them. Out of respect to the authors of the cookbooks, I will not be posting the actual recipes, mainly just my overall experience. These challenges are intended to help me be more creative in the kitchen and to try new things. Feel free to follow along or recommend a recipe you want me to try in the comment section!