Cheezy Mac Breakfast Skillet

Well friends, earlier this week I shared with you my review of Daiya Cheezy Mac, a vegan & gluten free boxed mac n cheese. As I mentioned, it’s supposed to be three servings per box, but I can’t stop myself from eating the ENTIRE box at once! Well, with just a few extra minutes of cooking I fattened up my cheezy mac and was able to really and truly break it down into three very filling servings. So, while you’re preparing your Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac according to instructions, check this out…

Vegan Mac n Cheese Breakfast Skillet
I sauteed onions and fresh garlic in olive oil, then added and browned Tofurky breakfast links, and threw in a little spinach.

Vegan Mac n Cheese Breakfast Skillet
That’s it! Add it to your cheezy mac.

Vegan Mac n Cheese Breakfast Skillet
Adding the sausages made it very filling without adding too many calories. In fact I entered this meal on My Fitness Pal, and with the oil, veggies & sausages it came to a mere 418 calories. May not be the healthiest thing, but for a special treat (or if you just plan to exercise it off), no big deal.

Cheezy Mac Vegan Breakfast Skillet
1 Box Daiya Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac, prepared according to instructions
1 Tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice)
1/4 C chopped onion*
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped*
6 Tofurky Apple Maple Breakfast Sausages, chopped
1 C frozen spinach*
Optional, black pepper

*Or more to taste.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic until tender. Add chopped sausages and saute until lightly browned. Add spinach and cook until heated through (if using fresh, cook until wilted). You may wish to add black pepper, but salt is not recommended since the sauce is nice and salty already.
Combine with prepared Cheezy Mac and serve hot.

By the way, this Smoked Vegan Mac and Cheese Recipe from 2 Broke Vegans reminded me of the classic Mac n Cheese n Hot Dogs thing and inspired this dish. Check it out!

A Vegan 4th of July

These aren’t real recipes, just ideas for you since everyone loves a holiday-themed post. Even though I don’t have a bunch of red, white, and/or blue foods for you, just junky food that’s fun to eat when you can use a holiday as an excuse.

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Swiss Chard. I sauteed onions and a couple chopped cloves of fresh garlic in Magic Vegan Bacon Grease along with the chopped stalk of the chard. Once the garlic and onions are soft, add the greens – all torn up – and cook over medium low heat until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and Crescent Dough are both egg and dairy free! Use either one to wrap your favorite vegan ‘dog or sausage to make Pigs in a Blanket. I used Field Roast brand Apple Maple breakfast sausage and it is So. Good.

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Tried out these Garden Veggie Nuggets from MorningStar Farms for the first time. They have a meaty texture, but then there are whole peas and corn kernels inside. It’s strange but good.

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I also did a baked version of Fried Green Tomatoes. I need to perfect this recipe as far as getting them nice and crispy and browned, I think I just really needed to use my fried pickle recipe as a guide but I was too lazy. So I’m stealing those instructions now and adding them here, but this is still a test recipe:

Faux-Fried Green Tomatoes
3 medium-size green tomatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
1/2 C flour, divided
1/2 C cornmeal
1/2 C plain unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt
several dashes pepper
garlic to taste

Preheat oven to 375 with baking sheet inside.

In a shallow bowl combine cornmeal with half the flour, and the salt, pepper, and garlic. Put remaining flour in a separate shallow bowl, and in a third shallow bowl combine almond milk and vinegar. Dredge tomato slices first in the flour, then dip in milk mix, then coat in cornmeal mix. Pile them nicely on a plate.

When you’ve finished coating the tomatoes and the oven is heated to the correct temperature, carefully remove the baking sheet and spray the baking surface with cooking oil. Arrange tomatoes in a single layer on the pan (you may have to do two batches). Then spray the top side of the tomatoes with oil.

Bake tomatoes at 375 for 8 – 10 minutes, spraying with a bit more oil if you notice they’re drying out. Then flip and bake an additional 5 minutes.

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I baked the pigs in a blanket at 375 for about 10 – 12 minutes.

I made the sauce for the mac n cheese by melting down 1/2 C Daiya shreds in about 1/2 – 2/3 C plain unsweetened almond milk and added a little salt and pepper. And I ate everything a day early just so I could share this with you in case you need inspiration for tomorrow!

What are you eating for the holiday weekend??

WINNER SELECTED!!!

coupons
We have a winner! This morning at 9am EST, Tete randomly selected a name from all the wonderful contest entries. Congratulations to yoursister who will be receiving:

Two coupons each good for one free box of Qrunch Foods products
Two coupons each good for up to $5.99 off Daiya Cheese products
Two coupons each good for $1 off Qrunch Foods products

All thanks to her winning theme which read, “My plans for summer include eating a protein packed Qrunch burger before giving birth.”

Best wishes to you for an easy birth-giving! And thank you to everyone that entered, you’ll have another chance to win in August.

Grilled Cheez n Beans

This afternoon we will take a brief departure from Greenlite Meals so I can get these pictures out of my phone ๐Ÿ™‚

Whenever my brother comes home, he buys a bunch of random food and then doesn’t eat half of it. I think we still have pickled watermelon rind from last summer tucked away in the back of the fridge. I dunno what else he left behind, but Sunday I found a package of steamed beans. I dunno what possessed me to put them in a sandwich, but it worked.

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I also tried Daiya Chive & Onion Cream Cheese-style Spread for the first time. The texture is slightly different than dairy cream cheese, not sure what it is…but I loved the flavor. I have a feeling you’ll see this repurposed in a couple recipes here, but first I wanted to use it as it’s meant to be, just a plain old spread.

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Sandwich stuff. The beans were bland, so I added a little Tabasco sauce and salt.

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Spread the inside of two slices of bread with the cream cheese, and the outside with margarine.

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Place the first piece of bread margarine side down on a skillet over medium low heat, spoon the beans over the cream cheese side. You can put as much as you want, but remember it might get a little messy to eat. Top with Daiya shreds,

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then the second piece of bread cream cheese side down. Cook each side until golden brown.

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I don’t really recommend cutting the sandwich in half, I just thought it would look nice for the picture ๐Ÿ™‚ It wasn’t as messy to eat as I imagined, though – I think all the melty cheese and cream cheese held it together. The flavor was sort of like a bean burger with extra onions and sour cream, but without all the work.

I am also imagining replacing the beans with tortilla chips sprinkled with Frank’s Redhot Sauce. You can put just about anything in a sandwich. I love sandwiches. What’s your favorite?

Frito Tacos with Daiya Cheddar Sauce

Friday I stopped at Harvest Health on my way home from work and bought all kinds of fun stuff! Including a couple different kinds of Daiya cheese since I hadn’t had any since Cheesefare Week. Some of you may remember the amazing Frito Burrito I got from the Vegan Yacht in Austin last summer. Well, I had a little snack size bag of Fritos and I HAD to make Frito tacos. And guess what? They’re vegan & gluten free!

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First we need cheddar sauce, something you can whip up in minutes melting 1/2 C Daiya shreds in 1/4 – 1/2 C of heated plain unsweetened almond milk (and perhaps a little salt and pepper).

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I also cooked up canned jackfruit in Magic Vegan Bacon Grease and seasoned it like you would taco meat, and mixed canned refried beans with Frank’s Redhot Sauce and Just Mayo. Heat a couple soft corn tortillas.

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I used two shells for one taco. The outer shell just has refried beans and cheddar sauce spread on one side. I spread refried beans on the inner shell, sprinkled it with fresh onion, added the jackfruit and a bunch more cheddar sauce…

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And the feature attraction: FRITOS. Fold it over. You have Fritos Tacos, and you are very lucky.
Now don’t worry if you forgot to buy taco shells. I have a plan for you, too.

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After cooking the jackfruit, mix it right into the cheddar sauce. Put it in a bowl, add refried beans, onions, and Fritos. Eat it. That’s it!

The Fritos add a great texture, similar to using a regular old hard taco shell but with the added bonus of way more salt. They’re also thicker than a taco shell, and bit airier. And soft tacos are way easier to eat! And putting it in a bowl = easiest.

For the Cheddar Sauce
1/4 – 1/2 C plain unsweetened almond milk
1/2 C Daiya Cheddar Shreds
optional: salt & pepper to taste

Heat 1/4 C almond milk in a small saucepan until it is hot, but NOT boiling. Add Daiya shreds and stir until melted, add a little more milk as necessary to make a sauce with Cheez Whiz-like consistency. If desired, add salt and pepper to taste.

For the Jackfruit Filling
1 20oz can young/green jackfruit, in brine
1 Tbsp Magic Vegan Bacon Grease (or plain coconut oil, but you’ll miss out on the smoky flavor and soy bacony bits!)
To taste:
salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin,
or whatever other spices you like for taco meat

Drain jackfruit, squeeze out brine, and shred as you would pulled pork. Heat Magic Vegan Bacon Grease (or plain coconut oil) over medium heat. Add jackfruit to pan, stir to coat in oil. Season to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another five minutes or so to give spices a chance to cook in.

For the Beans
1/2 C prepared refried beans
1 Tbsp Just Mayo
Frank’s Redhot Sauce, to taste

Heat beans. Stir in mayo and hot sauce.

Other Fillings
Fritos

Optional:
Finely chopped onion, chives, bell pepper, tomato
Shredded lettuce

Assemble in soft taco shells (corn tortillas to keep them gluten free) prepared according to package, or skip the tortillas and simply layer in individual serving bowls. Serves 2 to 3.

We Have a Winner!


As promised, this past Friday I randomly selected a name from the entrants in the Daiya Cheese & Qrunch Foods coupon giveaway. Congratulations, Shamassy! Your coupons are in the mail. In case you missed it, her entry read:

“We love the Daiya mozarella on homemade pizzas โ€“ using the โ€œArtisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Dayโ€ recipe. Soooo delicious!”

And as far as pizzas go, the Spicy Italian Qrunch burgers make a wonderful substitute for Italian sausage, flavorwise – in fact, the excellent idea of crumbling a Qrunch burger or two over a Primavera Pizza was suggested by Amanda. Some of these great recipe ideas may end up featured here in the future ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you all for participating! I hope we can do this again soon.

Pizza Week 2015, Day 6: Daiya Fire-Roasted Vegetable Frozen Pizza

Saturday I decided to be lazy and try a frozen pizza. So….

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I grabbed this little guy from Daiya.

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Vegan AND gluten free, it’s not cheap, but neither is vegan pizza in general (unless it’s homemade, of course).

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Here’s what it looks like frozen.

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And here you can compare the final baked product to the picture on the box. Haha, when do frozen foods ever look as good in real life as they do on the box??
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But you can see there are plenty of veggies,

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I think it would need twice as much cheese to melt properly like on a real pizza, but then I suppose they’d have to raise the price. It still tastes good, it just doesn’t get very melty. I think maybe next time I’d drizzle olive oil on it like I do with homemade pizzas, I think it would help the cheez melt.

Have you tried any store bought vegan pizzas?

Pizza Week 2015, Day 5: Moar Eggplant Pizza & Cheezy Bean Dip

I had a few slices of Daiya cheese left last night – a couple Swiss and one Provolone. But…

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I just wanted an eggplant pizza again. I think it’s probably my favorite. This time I loaded it up with lots of fresh garlic. Then for the cheesy factor…

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I threw together a bean dip (try This One, or you can make it any way you want), turned the heat down to low, placed the Daiya slices on top, and covered the pan. Just let it sit there over low heat until the cheese gets nice and melty.

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Then swirl it around and eat it with your favorite tortilla chips.

Now I’m totally out of cheez but I have two more Pizza Week dinners to go! Tonight I’m trying a frozen pizza, but I might splurge a little and try Chao tomorrow….

Pizza Week 2015, Day 4: Injera Pizza with Berbere

Pizza Week is such a happy time! A party last night, and an Ethiopian-inspired pizza tonight. The only thing that could make this week better…

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Getting a free lunch from Gursha earlier this week! The guy really loaded up the boxes, and as usual…

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there was a TON of leftover injera. And I love finding new ways to use leftover injera.

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I also like finding new ways to use the takeout box – Wilson kept me company while I was alone in the office. Anyway.
Preheat your oven to 425.

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I really can’t give you any measurements ’cause it depends on how much injera you have leftover. That’s why we call this intuitive cooking, if you didn’t notice at the top of the blog there. Anyway (again), chop up the injera. Meanwhile,

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we’re gonna need some margarine, and some Daiya mozzarella shreds. It’s pretty similar to how we start out making injera porridge.

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Melt it down – you may need to stir it up a little.

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Add the chopped injera,

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stir to coat. Stir and stir and stir. It might clump a little, just keep stirring!

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Season to taste with berbere, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, maybe a little salt and nutritional yeast.

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STIR. By this time the bread will be starting to soften and shrink. Add water a little at a time and KEEP STIRRING.

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The injera will start to break down and become smooth – it doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth, stop adding water when it starts to smooth out. How many more times will I say smooth??

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Turn the injera mixture out onto a pizza pan covered with parchment paper. You might be safe just greasing the pan, but I was afraid the melted cheese might stick.

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Press it out with your fingers. In my family it’s really cool if you can touch burning hot food with your bare hands, so that’s what I did. You can let it cool a little if ya want to, though.

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Bake the crust at 425 until it gets crispy around the edges.

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Meanwhile, saute onions in margarine and season with berbere and a little salt.

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The other night I wasted some of this Daiya provolone on that crock pot pizza, so I had to redeem myself tonight!

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There’s no sauce on this pizza, just add a layer of Daiya provolone to start.

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Top with baby spinach and the sauteed onions,

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more Daiya shreds (and I tore up the last piece of the provolone and threw that on, too),

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and tomoato. Then drizzle with a little olive oil. I also sprinkled a little berbere on top.
Bake at 425 until the cheese is nice and melty and beginning to brown.

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The edges of the crust will also brown up nicely and get extra crispy. It really only gets that way around the edges, but the inner part of the crust does firm up.

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The Daiya slices melt faster than the shreds,

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but I think they also help the shreds melt – I noticed when I bake the shreds with a liquid (like drizzled oil, hot sauce, and in this case the melty slices) they melt better.

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And I like combining the two because the shreds add the stretchy, chewiness the slices are lacking. They have two distinct flavors that are great together.

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BUT THAT CRUST, THO. The injera with the spices, cheese, veggies………

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Yes. Yes, I love this pizza. I love the onions and spinach. The big chunks of tomatoes with the sourness of injera crust remind me of the tomato salad at Little Africa. I know it’s pretty fattening, but we’re basically in the middle of Fat Week (can you believe some people only have Fat Tuesday??). I can usually put away a whole vegan pizza easy, but the injera crust is very filling. I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
Oh, and I started eating the pizza with a fork and knife because I could tell the inner crust was way softer than the edges, but I actually was able to pick the slices up like regular ol’ pizza.

I think this probably my favorite use so far for leftover injera. What’s yours?

OH, I almost forgot – traditional injera is made with 100% teff flour and is gluten free! Sometimes it’s Americanized with other flours to kill the unique sour taste, so watch out for that.

Pizza Week 2015, Day 2: A Disaster

I thought I’d have fun experimenting, but, as the old saying goes, if ain’t broke don’t fix it. And pizza ain’t broke. So why oh why did I have to play around with it?

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I thought it would be really cool to make pizza in a crock pot. Seemed kind of neat – you just stick the ingredients in, cover it, and forget it for two or three hours. And then you have pizza!

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What a miracle. You mean I only have to wait two or three hours for crock pot pizza instead of waiting 12 minutes for pizza to bake in the oven?! And, um, you mean the pizza will stick to the liberally-greased crock pot even though that never happens with the pizza pan?
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And I’ll have to pry it out with a spatula and destroy the pizza in the process? Yeah. Yeah, this sounds like fun. Now I understand why most of the crock pot pizza recipes I found were just casseroles with pasta for the base. There was one with canned biscuits for crust. And one lone recipe that used an actual pizza dough similar to mine, and she swore it turned out great, and she didn’t mention parchment paper or anything,

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or the fact the crust fluffs up like bread on the inside, and sort of has the texture of a dense cake. I ate fluffy pizza. But the worst part was the kalamata olives, and I don’t get this, but…I had one out of the jar and it was fine. But after they cooked in the crock pot, they sort of tasted like they’d been soaking in booze. They even burned on the way down. WHAT IS THAT?

I ate one piece because I had to in order to complete the experiment. At least the sauce was yummy and it went well with the Daiya Provolone I used. At first I thought I’d wait to post this until I perfected the recipe, but after thinking about it and being unable to come up with any good reason to wait hours for pizza instead of minutes, I think this is it for crock pot pizza and me.