Potato and Carrot Cheese Sauce

Hi guys! It’s been a while. My apologies. 

Today I have a recipe for you that I am OBSESSED with. 

  
I’ve always been picky about cheese, but I LOVE macaroni and cheese. Seriously. In my pre vegan days I used to scarf the macaroni from KFC. Now that I’m vegan, it’s been difficult to find a macaroni that meets my high picky standards. I’m not a fan at all of Daiya, Earth Balance box macaroni tastes too sweet for me, and I’m not the kind of vegan who can just put some vegan butter and nooch on noodles and be satisfied. Then I joined this group on facebook called “What Fat Vegans Eat”, and came across a recipe for cheese sauce made with potatoes and carrots. So I made it as queso dip for Memorial Day, and really liked it. But I only like queso dip… I LOVE macaroni. So I took the recipe, made a bunch of changes and VOILA! I finally found vegan Mac that I’m happy with. 

  
You can use this to make queso dip, macaroni, cheese sauce for enchiladas or nachos, etc. It’s versatile. If you’re making it as queso, I recommend adding a tablespoon of cayenne pepper. Chipotle chili peppers in adobo would also be a good addition for if you’re making it as queso dip. Ah, possibilities. 

Ingredients:

2 cups skinned potatoes, diced 

1 cup skinned carrots, diced 

1 cup unsweetened plain dairy-free milk

1/8 cup oil (grapeseed, olive, coconut, avocado)

2 tsp. salt

4 Tablespoons lemon juice 

3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes (buy it here)

2 teaspoons onion powder 

2 teaspoons garlic powder 

A pinch of ground cumin

Instructions:

Gather all ingredients. Skin and dice the potatoes and carrots. Boil the potatoes and carrots until soft. Then add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. If it seems too dry, add a splash more non-dairy milk until you get the right consistency. Serve with chips or pour over pasta. Enjoy!

Tip: if reheating, add a few tablespoons of non-dairy milk to it to get it smooth. Makes all the difference!

  

Bang Bang Cauliflower

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This week I’ve been experimenting with cauliflower, AKA Broccolis albino cousin. I’d heard of people making a vegan version of Bang Bang Shrimp with it, and had to see if it loved up to the name. I grew up a stones throw from bonefish grill. My brother used to work there. I can’t remember the first time I had Bang Bang Shrimp, but I remember the last time. A friend/coworker and I used to go almost every Wednesday after work. We’d grab some bang bang, complain about the crazy people who yelled at us on the phone, and talk about our favorite moments of the day. All while enjoying an ingenious dish that will never really be 100% duplicated vegan-style. Now we are both vegan, and Bang Bang cauliflower is as close to the real deal as we get. And it is darn good! So, in her honor, here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

Fried Cauliflower:
4 tablespoons arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 flax “eggs” (2 TBS flax meal, 6 TBS water)
1/2 head cauliflower

Coconut oil, for frying

Sauce:
1/4 cup vegan mayo or cashew cream
1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons diced green onion

Directions:
Cut cauliflower into bite sized florets.

Set up your dipping system. One bowl with the flax egg, one bowl with the starch, then the last bowl containing the Panko mixed with the rest of the dry ingredients.

Roll each piece in corn starch, then shake off the excess. Dip each piece in the flax egg. Then in the Panko mixture. Make sure all the pieces are evenly coated with each mixture.

Fry two pieces at a time in a small pot of coconut oil on medium heat.

Mix all sauce ingredients together. You can either toss the cauliflower in the sauce immediately before serving or leave it on the side. Either way it’s darn good! Enjoy!

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Thai red curry with vermicelli noodkes

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This year for my birthday my good friend Kiwa gave me thai red curry pastes. I had been looking all over for a fish-free red curry paste with no luck, so I was very thankful to get these from her. I love Thai curry. It has so many complex flavors and spices, and I think of it as comfort food. Especially when you add vermicelli noodles, which add the perfect texture to this soup. You should be able to find vermicelli noodles and red curry paste at your local store in the ethnic section, or at a specialty Asian foods market.

Ingredients:
4 cups veggie broth
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced in half
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon agave nectar, honey or brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 ounces vermicelli noodles
1 tablespoon turmeric powder (optional)
1/2 cup drained, pressed, cubed tofu (optional)

Optional toppings: cilantro, lemon zest, sliced jalapeƱo, green onions, bean sprouts

Instructions:
Add all ingredients (except the noodles) to a large soup pot. Bring to medium high heat and let simmer for about fifteen minutes. Add the vermicelli noodles and heat through. They will take about five minutes to cook through.

Serve as soon as the noodles are done. Top with whatever suits your fancy. I like cilantro and green onion on mine. Enjoy!

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