Veganized Family Recipe -or- Beyond Beef Mac – Day 20

When I was growing up, my dad was a student and then a pastor.  With 5 kids in the family, that meant mom had to work and dinner was often a little later than any of us would have liked.  When I was around 10 she started to teach me how to cook.  I liked it right off the bat.  Each weekend I’d learn a dish as  she cooked it.  Then, over time, I knew how to make enough basic meals that I could work into the weeknight rotations and have dinner on the table when she got home.

I don’t remember her ever teaching me this particular dish and I’m hoping I served a vegetable with it (probably green beans), but it was one of my favorites.  We called it beef mac, but you might know it better as beefaroni or chili mac.  Basically,  our version was just a combo of boxed mac and cheese with our sloppy joes.

It’s one of those comfort food dishes that I still want and my sister still asks for every now and again.  I’ve never gotten it “quite right” until the new Daiya Deluxe Style Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac came along.  It’s creamy and cheddary and quite a lot like I remember the famous blue box mac n cheese.  Daiya does have a “taste” in all their products that makes you know it’s Daiya.  It’s in here, so if that taste isn’t something you’re fond of, you may not want to eat it straight like this, but I don’t think you’d notice it mixed with the other things in the Beyond Beef Mac.  I like Daiya’s taste, so this was a hands down winner for me.  It reminds me a lot of the cheddar wedge before they changed the recipe, which was my favorite Daiya ever. By the way, the alfredo is good too, but I like this a little better.

 

Daiya's Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac
Daiya’s Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac

 

Using the Cheezy Mac, combined with one of my favorite products, the Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles, I was able to recreate this old favorite, even to my sister’s satisfaction.

 

beyond Beef Mac
Beyond Beef Mac made with Beyond Meat Crumbles and Daiya Cheddar Cheezy Mac

 

 

Dawn’s Beyond Beef Mac

1. Make a box of Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac according to the package directions.
2. While the macaroni is cooking, brown a bag of Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles in a separate pan with a little olive oil (or canola, or sunflower, or whatever you like)

3. When the Cheezy Mac and the Beefy crumbles are cooked completely, mix the crumbles into the Cheezy Mac (still in the pan you cooked the mac in)

4. Add the following and stir:

  • 1/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • Several drops liquid smoke
  • 2 Tbsp dried, minced onions
  • 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic

Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve and enjoy.  It’s good at room temperature later too.  Or cold from the refrigerator.

 

Just a few notes: My tastes on the onions and mustard change a bit from day to day.  So start with that and add however much seems right to you.  You can substitute 1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire in place of the aminos and liquid smoke.

 

Thanks for letting me share this little part of my family with you!

 

 

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Day 15 – Barack’s Veganism

I realize that this is the second post in a row about vegan cheezes. I can’t help it. They’re so delicious and I want to give credit where credit is due.
I am grateful that Barack has decided to conduct random visits to vegan households to try vegan food. It’s only a matter of time until he’s vegan. Barack’s imaginary visit to my house would include a Miyoko’s Kitchen vegan cheeze spread.
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Miyoko’s Kitchen Artisan Vegan Cultured Nut Products include something for everyone. They have soft, cream based, spreadable cheezes (my personal favorites), and they also have harder, more traditional cheese-like products. I’m not very creative in the kitchen so I usually enjoy my Miyoko on crackers. although one time we did try a mac and cheeze recipe from their helpful blog.
The Classic Double Cream Chive is my number one favorite. I can (and have) eaten almost half the wheel on crackers in one sitting. Second place is a tie. That award goes to the Double Cream Sundried Tomato Garlic and the Fresh Loire Valley in a Fig Leaf. I like these on their own, too, but have found them even more enjoyable spread in a quesadilla or as a dollop on top of a tofu scramble.
I don’t want to downplay the other flavors. I just favor the creamy ones because I don’t like heavier, smokier flavored foods in general. Others that I know rave about them. To each his or her own!
The bottom line is that these cheezes rock. They’re a little pricey, and you do have to pay for refrigerated shipping, but it’s a treat that’s well worth it once in a while. They’re also organic, which in my opinion adds more value to them. Hopefully they will be available locally in stores very soon!
Happy Vegan MoFo’ing, Barack!

 

Day 14 – Sharing vegan cream cheese with a non-vegan

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Whenever my mom comes to visit, I make sure that she tries all of my favorite new vegan products. The hands-down winner of her most recent visit was Kite Hill Chive Cream Cheese Style Spread. She wanted to take some home with her, but you know how difficult the airlines make things. 
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This proves that vegans and non-vegans can agree – this stuff is amazing! It’s exactly what I remember cream cheese tasting like – creamy, salty and a little sweet. The chives in this one are an added bonus. Mom thought it was even better than regular cream cheese. 
 
We enjoyed the cream cheese on bagels, but I’ve also used it on breakfast burritos, on top of a tofu scramble, on top of pancakes or breakfast quiche. It’s good on crackers, too. Here are a couple of pics showing it spread on some homemade vegan, gluten free bread. Along with my soy latte (made with awesome Larry’s Beans El Salvador Dali coffee), it made quite a delightful breakfast!
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Pizza Paisanos! Day 2

Ciao paisanos! Welcome to day 2 of Vegan MoFo 2015! Today’s theme is recreate a meal from your childhood. I’m half Italian and growing up my mom made pizza from scratch weekly and I loved it! I usually got my own small pizza with my favorite toppings or at least a half of a larger pizza. Which included hot peppers and hot sauce or red pepper flakes to amp up the spice level.

When I went vegan, I used to carry on the tradition of my Mom’s dough and add vegan cheese. Now that I’m also gluten free, I’ve lost the tradition. I have made my own dough, but it usually takes quite a bit of work and many different kinds of flour. Having a young baby, I don’t have that much time on my hands. When I see a vegan gluten free crust, I buy it.

Schar Vegan Gf pizza crustsI recently found crusts by Schar at a grocery store at the beach. I bought it to take home and try it out. We didn’t have a lot of our favorite toppings in the fridge, so we went with items from our garden and CSA. The pizza ended up having Daiya cheddar (I know, that isn’t conventional- but that is what we had), Chao cheddar, basil and tomatoes from our garden, and bell peppers from our CSA.

Vegan GF pizzaAs you can see from the picture, we piled the toppings high. The crust had a very nice flavor and texture. It was crunchy where we needed it to be and soft under the toppings. The package contained two small shells giving us a pizza for dinner and one for leftovers. I have not seen these shells in my area, but if I do I am sure to snag us more boxes and have many pizza nights!

Happy MoFo’ing!