Life Hack: Vegan Nacho Cheez

Vegan Nacho Cheez Sauce | Orthodox and Vegan
Have I told you how much I LOVE tahini sauce?! It is simple to make, includes few ingredients, and is quite versatile. The variation I use for vegan nachos is my favorite. I pay about $7 for a 32oz jar of tahini, enough to make approximately 25 large plates of nachos! It doesn’t really taste like cheese*, but it does taste pretty wonderful.

*UPDATE* So a friend of mine made his own little variation based on my recipe and had some friends totally believing they were eating a very non-vegan cheese sauce! SO THERE.

Lenten Tahini Nacho Sauce
And the rest of the ingredients for the nachos are just as simple: finely chopped veggies – I prefer bell pepper, onion, and tomato, and sometimes fresh garlic. Black beans and corn would also be great. Simply drizzle the tahini sauce over the chips, add toppings…

Vegan Tahini Nacho Sauce
and bake!

Vegan Tahini Nacho Sauce
The sauce thickens and keeps the toppings from falling off.

Lenten Recipes: Vegan Tahini Nacho Sauce
When the sauce begins to brown you know it’s done.

Lenten Recipes: Vegan Tahini Nacho Sauce | Orthodox and Vegan
Tahini Nacho Cheez Sauce
2 heaping Tbsp tahini
Lemon juice, salt and garlic to taste.
Add water until desired consistency is reached.

Additional seasonings recommended for nachos:
Frank’s Redhot Sauce
black pepper
cumin
smoked paprika
chili powder
turmeric for color

Now, you can use this sauce as a dip (or eat it with a spoon, I won’t judge!), but for vegan nachos:

Preheat oven to 400.
In a small bowl, stir together tahini, water, and lemon juice. Season to taste with spices and hot sauce, adding turmeric for color if desired. Finely chop toppings of choice.
On a baking tray or large oven proof plate, arrange tortilla chips in a single layer. Drizzle with tahini sauce. Sprinkle with toppings.

Bake 10 – 15 minutes, until tahini sauce thickens and begins to brown.

Oh, and this sauce is also perfect for chili cheez fries! What’s your favorite way to spice up tahini sauce???

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??

Donut Sandwich

Can we talk about donuts again? Because I haven’t been able to bring myself to eat the last day’s worth of Greenlite meals yet – I’ll try to do that Friday. So instead I want to remind you about the contest I posted yesterday (click on the orange!!), and…I want to talk about donut sandwiches.

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The apricot jelly really would’ve tasted better with a ham flavor, but it is what it is.

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I just cut one of those beautiful fried yeast-risen donuts right in half, smeared a little jelly on each side, added a few deli slices, and then a cheese sauce I made by melting down some Daiya shreds in almond milk. A touch of pepper is nice.

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See, the ham-style would be better because then you get the salty and sweet combination. The turkey-style was a little flat. But since it was all wrapped up in a donut, it still made me happy 😀

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Just be sure to let the cheese cool a little before you put the second half of the donut on top ‘cuz it’ll slide right off.

What would you put in your donut?????

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.

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….

Vegan Super Bowl Recipes!

It’s that time of year again, and Super Bowl XLIX is just a couple days away. If you or a loved one are a vegan in need of snacks for a Super Bowl party (even if it’s a party of one, we’ve all been there), you are in the right place. I present you with:

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Fried Pickles with Ranch – Baked & Veganized!

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Buffalo Tofu, also great with the tahini ranch from the fried pickles recipe!

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Favorite Crust & Sauce Recipes
Eggplant Pizza, Spinach Pizza
Mexican Pizza
Neapolitan Pizza

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Cheezy Nachos

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Vegan Nachos with Tahini Cheez Sauce
(Or you can cheat and use Daiya Shreds)

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Popcorn with Buttery Frank’s Redhot Sauce

Junk Food Thursday: Herr's Hot Sauce Chips

Tryin’ a new thing: On the Oh, She Cooks! facebook page, Thursdays are #TBT Recipe day. Here on the blog, I think I’ll share a nice junk food snack. Cuz see, every Wednesday I come home from work and find a little snack, usually a bag of chips, waiting for me. My dad buys them from the vending machine. Thursday I bring the thing to work to have with my lunch.

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So yesterday I came home and found this bag of Herr’s Hot Sauce flavored potato chips, “seasoned with the authentic pepper zing of Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce, and packed with the real-potato flavor of a Herr’s Ripple Chip.” Yum.

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The chips really have a nice bite and a great flavor. Texas Pete’s sauce tastes kind of similar to Frank’s RedHot sauce, with aged cayenne red peppers, vinegar, salt, and garlic. It kind of felt like my tongue was being pricked with needles, but in a good way 😀

This little 1oz bag contains:
140 calories
8g fat (2.5 saturated)
400mg sodium
16g total carbs (1g dietary fiber)
2g protein
10% vitamin C
2% iron

Meaty Grilled Cheese n Crackers

So, I mentioned earlier I got my hands on a box of Earth Balance cheddar flavor squares. Of course they’re great right out of the box, but what else can you do with them? I filled a grilled (Daiya) cheese sandwich with them!

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A few slices of Tofurky Roast Beef-style deli slices, a handful of crackers, and a handful of shredded Daiya cheddar. Processed food at its finest.

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The crackers give the sandwich a little extra saltiness, and a nice crunch.

Oh yeah, funny story about this bread. As I was about to put it away I noticed the ingredient list on the bag. I said to the BFF, “Look how many ingredients are in this bread! There must be at least 27 ingredients, it’s ridiculous!!!” (27 is the number I like to use to describe an excessive amount) We then complained about store bought bread and talked about how we know we should be baking our own bread at home for this very reason (well, plus freshly-baked bread is just wonderful). Then I turned the bag over. It was 24 grain bread. I didn’t know there that many grains. It was good bread.

Vegan Philly Cheesesteak Qrunch Donut

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Whoa, that name is a mouthful! But so is the sandwich. About a month ago Qrunch Foods posted a picture of the Philly Cheesecake Donut on their facebook page and asked their followers if any of us would be willing to eat it. I said I definitely would, if I could make a vegan version. And then…I flew off to Portland where vegan donuts are plentiful. I arrived equipped with a coupon for one free box of Qrunch burgers and got down to business.

Here’s the original sandwich:

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It’s a greasy, goopy, sugary mess. And I would totally eat it if it were vegan. So.

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We’re not counting calories today. I grabbed the Qrunch Burgers from Fred Meyer, Daiya Cheddar and Roast Beef-style Tofurky Deli Slices from Food Fight!, and a box of donuts from Sweetpea Baking Co. I only needed one donut for my recipe, the others were just…samples.

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Start by slicing up three or four of the deli slices into long strips and sauteing them in oil with onions, cooking slowing and turning regularly until the onions soften. Meanwhile, pop a couple Spicy Italian Qrunch Burgers in the toaster. Then,

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Heat a little plain, unsweetened almond milk in a pan and, once it’s hot, add Daiya cheddar.

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Stir, stir, stir. Add black pepper to taste, and stir some more.
Remove the Qrunch Burgers from the toaster after one round. They probably won’t be done, that’s okay. Chop them up,

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and add them to the pan with the onions and Tofurky. I added just a little salt to the mix, too.

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Now we need a super cute vegan donut with sprinkles (okay, cute and sprinkles are optional). Slice it lengthwise.

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Pile the bottom half of the donut with your fillings. You may have some leftover, but try to stuff in as much as possible (just like in the original!).

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Cover it with the cheese sauce,

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and place the second donut half on top.

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Have a fork and knife handy. And a napkin, and a beer. The flavor combination may seem ridiculous, but salty & sweet, sweet & spicy, meaty & cheesy all go together really well and all of them combined into one glorious sandwich is pretty amazing.

What is your favorite odd sandwich combination?

Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Stuffed Pretzels w/ Cookie & Cocoa Swirl Speculoos

In my post about my first ever visit to Trader Joe’s, I promised to show you how to combine two snacks for the best treat EVER. I am serious. It’s very simple, and simply delicious…delicious vegan junk food.

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Most of you are probably already familiar with the traditional smooth cookie butter and crunchy cookie butter, but did you know there’s a cocoa swirl version? Now cookies and chocolate already sounds great, but…

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when you add Trader Joe’s most famous snack, the peanut butter filled pretzel…

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Whoa. Pretzel, peanut butter, cookie, chocolate. Amazing.
Now, you can buy Handi-Snacks Oreo Cookie Sticks ‘n Creme, and you can buy DunkARoos. I think Trader Joe’s should consider selling a similar snack pack with peanut butter stuffed pretzels and speculoos dip. Until then, buy a bag of the pretzels and a jar of speculoos and try not to eat it all in one sitting. Good luck!

Trader Joe's treat