Cheese”burger” Mac & Cheese
When I first went vegetarian, I thought I could just make up a box of something and just leave out the meat – then I started reading labels and realized how so not healthy that option was. With that I started experimenting to see what “out of the box” options I could come up with that would have the same great taste but healthier (i.e. less sodium). It took a bit of time until I could figure out the right method, but now I have down to a science! Even better, this dish can be adapted for vegans and all cooks up in one pot. The one pot paste took a bit of time to get used to but the trick is to add less water than you think as seriously much easier to add more water later than to eat a soggy mess (trust me).
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 vidalia onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp Italian seasonings
1 cup seitan crumbles
1/2 lb elbow pasta
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheese
- Preheat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 10 minutes, then add the Italian seasonings and cook for an additional 5 minutes - stirring to prevent sticking/burning.
- Add the seitan along with the pasta and water and bring to a boil.
- Cook for 10 minutes, then turn heat to low add the tomatoes and the shredded cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese melts. Add a bit of milk if too dry, give a final stir and keep on low heat for a final 5 minutes.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Vegan Option: sub the cheddar cheese with Daiya meltables
by AmandaE at dancingveggies.com
For an added crunch, add some fresh spinach at the very end – or some kale! To add an extra punch, I used tomato pasta which also gave the dish a fantastic shade of red. I’m a huge fan of flavored pastas, especially ones that I don’t have to make myself, even if I know they aren’t as healthy as they might advertise to be. All the flavors of a cheeseburger, minus the meat!
Cheesy Brassica Soup
My kitchen now has LIGHT! Since buying my house many moons ago I had been dealing with a rather dark interior galley style kitchen that was lit by one 4×4 recessed light. This recessed light was not one of those nice “let there be light” versions, but rather the kind frequently found over the shower in middle school locker rooms across the nation. So not only did I suffer from no light, I also had to deal with everything being tinged a sickly yellow shade. Not anymore!!! Now my kitchen has three (3!!) gorgeous modern normal recessed lights and I can finally see what I’m doing in the kitchen at all hours of the day. There are a few more things left on the kitchen to-do list, but having these new lights is enough to satisfy me for now. For some reason it seems that doing one project seems to push me towards other projects, many of which are on the don’t really need but man would it be nice list.
This soup was one of the first things I made in my “new” kitchen, and with that I was finally able to appreciate how white cauliflower really is. I also wanted to cook something a little different than normal, using some new-to-me herbs and another attempt at a cauliflower soup. I number of years ago I tried recreating a delicious Curried Cauliflower soup and failed dramatically, killing my old blender and a nice white sweater in the process. Since soupgate, I had avoided using cauliflower in anything but basic stir frys for fear of recreating the crime scene that featured cauliflower soup on the walls…ceiling…and dogs. My new kitchen gave me the strength to get over my issues, knowing that with my new lights I would be able to see if the blender lid wasn’t fully sealed. This time, I would be eating the soup instead of wearing it!
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp thyme
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cayanne pepper (optional)
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 leek, diced
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups cauliflower florets
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- Heat the butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the spices, stir, and cook for 2minutes constantly stirring before adding the garlic and leek. Cook for 5-7 minutes, the leek should be starting to turn translucent.
- Add the broccoli and cauliflower, cook for 7-10 minutes stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Allow some browning on the broccoli/cauliflower before adding the vegetable stock. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil before covering and turning heat to low. Allow to simmer for 30minutes.
- Use blender to puree mixture, then add the milk and more vegetable stock if you prefer a thinner soup. Slowly start adding the cheese, stirring frequently to insure the cheese melts into the soup instead of sticking to bottom of the dutch oven.
- Cover and simmer for a final 10minutes. Serve!
by AmandaE at dancingveggies.com
Perfection! I served this with some left over English Muffin bread to make sure none of the soup escaped by hanging on to the side of the bowl. In the end I did decide to use my immersion blender instead of my pretty pink blender, just didn’t feel like tempting fate. If you decide to add salt or pepper, make sure to wait until after adding the cheddar cheese to avoid a salty mess.