I’m about to unleash a dragon.
A rich, creamy dragon.
Ok, that actually does not sound appealing whatsoever
But this recipe is delicious and YOU WILL LIKE IT.
I first tried an interpretation of this recipe a few years ago. I am sorry to say that I’ve never been to the OB People’s Food Co-Op in San Diego, but I definitely plan on visiting at some point because this recipe is so ridiculously original and deceiving. Cashew cheese is not necessarily a new vegan phenomenon, but this one makes for a perfect bowl of virtually guilt-free mac ‘n cheese. The addition of red bell pepper is surprisingly crucial—it doesn’t just add color, but also another dimension of flavor.
And aside from it being much healthier than regular mac ‘n cheese, another incentive is that it’s a cinch to make! You literally just throw 99% of the ingredients in the blender, cook the macaroni, and then mix it all together. You may or may not require a bowl—it all depends on your dignity (I have none).
People’s Vegan Mac & Cashew Cheese
[barely adapted from People’s Organic Food Market]
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups of raw unsalted cashews
- 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- 3/4 tsp turmeric
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1. Puree all sauce ingredients in blender (this means everything but the pasta).
[Note: After making this a few times, I’ve figured out that it’s best to combine the sauce ingredients in a separate bowl, mix them well, and then add the mixture by thirds to the blender, allowing it to have some room. Adding the whole thing gets messy, and your blender won’t like it.]
2. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
3. Mix everything together. You can choose to bake the mac and cheese for 20 minutes on 350, but I usually like it the way it is.
4. You’re done!
Ladies and gents, the vegan mac recipe is up!
My friend and I were both complaining a couple days ago about how butternut squash is no longer in season, now that spring is here. That beautiful, rusted orange squash is probably nature’s best answer to a creamy, delicious soup. Probably.
But carrots don’t really get the credit they deserve. I mean, natural orange foods all provide significant amounts of vitamin A through beta-carotene, which has been proven to aid in improved vision, skin health, glowing skin, lessened cancer and heart disease risk, and much more. And no, unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you can eat as much mac ‘n cheese as you’d like.
This recipe is for a beautiful, hearty soup that can be served as a small side or as a main dish (a healthy portion is really filling). Roasting the carrots gives them that slight caramelized flavor, and the addition of ginger adds another dimension of spice and depth to the mix.
Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup
[recipe adapted from Food52]
- 6 to 8 large carrots
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt to taste
- a sprig (or a few heavy dashes) of thyme (I use ground)
- 4-6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 1/2-inch long piece of ginger, peeled
- 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- black pepper to taste
1. Peel and chop carrots into roughly 1/2-inch rounds.
2. On a baking sheet lined with oil or parchment paper, toss the carrots with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and sprinkle generously with salt.
3. Broil carrots until they brown and soften (roughly 20 minutes)—you’ll notice that some of them may caramelize, which is *AWESOME*. Be sure to turn them over with a spatula about every 5 minutes so none of them burn.
4. Bring your veggie or chicken stock to a boil, add the ginger and thyme, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
5. Chop the onion and place in a medium stock pot with the remaining olive oil. Saute the onion over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and beginning to brown.
6. Add the minced garlic and carrots to the onions.
7. Add 4 cups of however much stock you have (ginger and thyme included—our diversion from the old recipe) to the pot with the onions and carrots. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until carrots are soft enough to puree.
8. Use a blender to puree the mixture until smooth (we did it in 2 batches as to not overload the blender). If your soup seems too thick, add more stock or water.
9. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
New recipe up at The Slug Kitchen!
SOBAAAAA #yum (Taken with Instagram at Yo Yo’s)
Summer Squash Risotto with Fresh Garlic & Petite Peas from the talented Vegenista! Good lord, this looks all right, outta sight! I love risotto; it’s the greatest because it’s so easy to fuck up but even if you overcook it, the result is just kind of a makeshift juk, and it’s still delicious. Also, it’s cheap-ish and you can put pretty much anything you want in it and it’ll probably be tasty as hell. Let’s eat it all! All of it!
In my recipes, I talk about caramelizing onions a lot! I always do it, because I like the depth of flavor it adds to food. I remember when I first started hanging out in the kitchen,* learning how to cook, I was like, “Hey, what’s the difference between caramelizing onions and burning them?” No one could give me an answer I liked. I think it’s the difference between browning them to release the sugars and blackening them because the heat was too high. Does that work for you?
I’m also a visual person, so we’ll do this step by step. Pictures included!
2 Tbsp. oil (I’m using olive, but vegetable is more than fine!)
2 red onions
For most recipes, you will probably only need one onion, but for the sake of this demonstration, I’ll be using two. Let’s say, one tablespoon of oil to one onion? I think that sounds good. Caramelizing onions can take up to an hour, so plan accordingly!
Another great thing about caramelizing onions is that you can keep them in the fridge to use later, though I’d say store them no more than five days. Then, when you want to use them for a recipe, heat and go.
Let’s get this onion party started! Heat oil on medium high heat. You will know it’s ready when you flick some cold water into the pan and it sizzles. Add your chopped onion and turn heat down to medium.
Chopped red onions in heated olive oil. Let the caramelizing begin!
Now is the part where you don’t have to do much, but stay close to your onions so you can keep an eye on them. You don’t have to constantly turn them with a spatula, maybe about every 7 to 10 minutes.
My onions took about 50 minutes to caramelize. I turned the heat down low; not only was I in the middle of watching Big Love, but my porcelain pan gets very hot in the middle and I didn’t want my onions to burn. I scooted them to the sides, where less heat was concentrated.
The finished product.
The point at which your onions are done is kind of up to you. I stop cooking mine when they are nicely brown, through and through. You will reach this point anywhere between 20 and 60 minutes. Taste them during your cooking process to see if they’ve achieved a level of caramelization to your liking!
Another little thing I did, which is totally optional, was deglaze my pan with white wine. When I felt my onions were done, I added a healthy splash of wine into the pan, and let it cook into the onions for a minute or two before turning the heat off. This lifts all the caramelized bits off of your pan and back into the onions. Yum! If wine isn’t your thing, you can do this with vegetable stock.
I want to give a shout-out to Chef Fox at Source, because he has given me tons of tips on how to caramelize onions. Thanks, boss!
*Did you know I’ve worked at The Chicago Diner, Cafe Gratitude, and now Source? Well, now you do!
Dude, the wine idea is bomb! I’m definitely gonna try this next time I make me some caramelized onions.
Another one from my sis. “Because I’m lazy.” You don’t need to tell me that, sister! I shared a room with you for 18 years!
I put black olives on my black olives.
Gonna make this
Kale Chips are an easy healthy snack to have before dinner, perhaps with a holiday cocktail!? All the crunchy satisfaction, and a little less guilt. They burn quickly, though, so watch them like a hawk. Four of five minutes in a hot oven does it, just until they get a little brown around the edges. Enjoy!
Yesterday’s informal poll promts today’s recipe. You’re welcome, internet. What’s that? Aww. I love you too.
It’s Wedsday night—what’s for dinner? Something quick and tasty, cause you are probably tired from work or school, or whatever it is you do on hump-day (I had the day off and I’m soo tired from lounging and watching Mad Men). Don’t worry, I got you covered. Vegan chili cheese dogs—yes please and…
Oh my sweet chili cheese Christ.