Tag Archives: cheese

Mexican Polenta Pie

6 Jun

Recently at dinner one of my friends remarked that he wishes Boston had an all vegan Mexican restaurant. I thought to myself, “Well that would be wildly popular, no doubt!” Then I thought about what kind of items besides the standard burrito and taco would be on the menu. Then I remembered that Daiya Foods had just released this behemoth of a vegan cheese — pepperjack — and that I had picked some up after having been shocked out of my boots at its appearance at my local natural foods store, in my current town of Middle Of Nowhere, NH. And so, with Daiya pepperjack shreds in hand, a pie dish, and some beans — I got to work. And this delicious, belly filling, comfort food creation is what came of it.

This is a great dish to take to your next potluck or party, or just to make for your next Mexican inspired home cooked dinner. My one word of advice is to go easy on the hot peppers (or omit them) if you can’t take the heat. I originally made this with one full cherry pepper. I don’t recommend it unless you like really, really spicy food. Either way, this dish is delicious and you are bound to impress!

*If you can’t find the Daiya pepperjack near you yet, try the cheddar shreds. Those would work well too. And if you can’t find Daiya near you or in your country, try ordering some online, asking your store to carry it, or when all else fails, use another vegan cheese you like or omit the cheese altogether.

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“Beef” and Barley Stuffed Peppers

27 Apr


I have a confession to make: I’ve never had a stuffed pepper before. Ever. I know, I know, it’s practically crazy, but it’s very, very true. That being said, I took matters into my own hands two weeks ago and figured out the basics. First you take a pepper, then you stuff it, then you bake it, then you eat it. Simple enough. I think the hardest part was figuring out what I wanted to stuff it with. Rice was too conventional and polenta was too mushy. Barley seemed like the right choice. And heck, why not through in some soy crumbles and Daiya for the “beefy/cheesy” effect?

This was delicious. In fact, it was probably my favorite of my own recipes so far, besides my lasagna. I basically love anything you can cook in an oven, obviously. My only regret was that I only made two; one for me, one for mom. These peppers were really big though, even for organic ones. The good thing is that there was plenty of beef and barley stuffing left over so, I ate some of that. If you’re serving more than two people, you will have enough stuffing for about 4 large peppers.

Trust me, you’re going to want to make this. Continue reading

Sweet Potato Baked Mac and Cheese: Three ways!

14 Mar

It’s been a rough week. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but this much needed week long vacation just couldn’t come soon enough. I recently had a death in the family and after days of funeral/wake attendances and seeing my family mourn, I just needed some serious comfort food. Baked macaroni and cheese is my most favorite food in this category. Growing up, I was a big fan of the blue Kraft box and had no clue one could bake mac and cheese. Now I know better than to eat that junk and make a healthier, just as tasty (or tastier – depending on how you look at it) version. Of course, there’s no animal based cheese in this meal, but you will easily be fooled and won’t even mind that it’s not there! And perhaps, you won’t get that bogged down, tired feeling one gets after eating dairy. If you do, well, kick back and get comfy and rejoice in knowing that your comfort is not at anyone else’s expense. Continue reading

Breakfast Polenta with Field Roast Mexican Chipotle Sausage and Daiya Cheddar

29 Jan

For all you hungry Mexican food aficionados who enjoy a hearty, (a bit spicy) and savory breakfast or brunch, but have grown tired of the omnipotent tofu scramble, I give you this: The power of polenta – for breakfast!

Call me a fat kid, I don’t care, but when I couldn’t decide between oatmeal and muffins, I made oatmeal cakes, and when I couldn’t decide to only eat oatmeal cakes for breakfast – I made this too. And thank the vegan kitchen gods I did! I couldn’t stop eating it. In fact, I made enough for two (so I could save some for later), but I ate the whole thing! Oh boy.

This was inspired by my recent trip to NYC where I had brunch at a little restaurant in the lower east side called, Caravan of Dreams. I got the french toast. My best friend got the polenta. When our food came out, it was obvious I would be secretly seething with jealousy no matter how good my french toast was.

Need I say more? Oh yes, on thing more: enjoy!

“Meat” and Spinach Lasagna with Daiya Vegan Cheese

8 Jan

When I was younger, I used to tell myself (and everyone who asked) that if I was on death’s door and could have one last meal, it would be, without question, my mom’s meat lasagna. Growing up, there was nothing she produced out of her kitchen that I loved more, and trust me, there were many things to chose from. When I first had a traditional Italian lasagna, I was baffled. What’s this ricotta cheese? My mom doesn’t use that. Where’s the meat?! And more importantly, why isn’t this being served with a side of white rice?

That’s how my mom’s was different. It had meat, no ricotta, and a lot of Dominican flavor (heavy on the oregano, know what I’m sayin’?). And…we ate everything with rice. When I went vegan, about a year ago, I thought it was all over. I thought for sure I’d be having oatmeal before dying. And not too soon after, I forgot all about mom’s lasagna. While I was in Portland, OR this summer, I made the mistake of having lasagna at a restaurant. It was good. But it wasn’t what I was used to, and flavor-wise, it just didn’t bring me back home, or anywhere for that matter. That’s when I knew that I had to tackle mom’s lasagna when I got home and make it vegan. 

So this is it, my basic lasagna recipe – mom’s lasagna, veganized. I decided I like the traditional “ricotta” cheese idea a lot, and my mom’s version had a lot of mozzarella cheese so, this is my way of making up for that in a much kinder, healthier way. The ricotta recipe is from the 
Fat Free Vegan Kitchen blog. All credit goes to the lovely Susan V. for creating it! My version has less spinach since there is a layer of fresh spinach in the lasagna already. Don’t tell anyone the ricotta is made of tofu and they won’t even know. 

This recipe is very easy to make and very filling. But if you’re feeling ambitious, serve it with a side of white rice.
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