Thursday, February 22, 2018

Vegan Green Chili White Bean Cheese Sauce

After such a disastrous Tuesday I spent some time in the kitchen yesterday since I had the day off. I have been wanting to make a cheese sauce using white beans as the base ever since I saw a video on No Egg Craig's channel. I seriously adore his channel, he is such a positive down to earth guy and his family is the same and it's just feel good stuff you know?  He and his girlfriend made a mac and cheese an the used cannelini beans as the base. I was intrigued and wanted to put my own spin on the idea and it turned out pretty great! It's a great way to get some extra protein and fiber in! I used small white beans for this recipe because I bought dried beans and that's all I could find. I also used some green chilis and green dragon sauce to make it a little zippy. Natural Grocers has been having a sale on Daiya cheese so I had gotten a block of jalapeno Havarti last week so I also added some at the end. But honestly the bean cheese sauce was creamy and cheese-y so it isn't really necessary.

                                                          White Bean Cheese Sauce

  • 2 C. Cooked or 1 Can White/ Navy/ Cannelini Beans
  • 1/4 Tsp. Turmeric
  • 1/4 Tsp. to 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. Pepper
  • 5 T. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 1/2 T. Tahini
  • 1 Tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 1 T. Lemon Juice
  • 1 4 Oz. Can fire Roasted Green Chilis
  • 1 T. Green Dragon Sauce
  • 1 to 1 1/4 C. Water
Blend everything but the green chilis in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. If you want this to be thicker like a dip or queso just add less water. After it's blended stir in the green chilis. If you want it totally smooth you could blend the chilis with everything else.

So I served my cheese sauce with some gluten free penne. I used about 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water along with the bean sauce, and about half a block of daiya jalapeno Havarti which I shredded. I stirred it all together on low heat for about two minutes, turned off the heat, put a lid on my pot and let it sit for about five minutes. The daiya melted and it was a beautiful creamy dish.
The picture does not do it justice. But it is so delicious and just another way to get that creamy, cheese like sauce without having to use nuts! If you don't add vegan cheese this dish is totally oil free and low fat. But since it is so healthy I really don't feel bad about adding the cheese. I did end up adding a bit more salt to the final dish, and of course I topped it with more green dragon sauce.
Joan was napping in a ray of light yesterday. My gorgeous little sunbeam. She definitely cheers me up!!


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Mini Haul and Some Chatter

I have today and tomorrow off so I went to Trader Joe's yesterday before work. I'd rather be annoyed on a day that I work than stain a day off. I find it very difficult to go grocery shopping now that I work at a grocery store. My tolerance is below zero. It would be easier if I could go early in the morning which is what I used to do, but working until midnight kind of ruins that for me. I had a little bit of a stomach ache, was tired and Trader Joe's was pretty busy for a Tuesday afternoon so I really didn't get much because I spaced on what I needed and I just wanted to get out.
I also had a mishap as I was leaving Trader Joe's. I had stopped in Natural Grocers for a big booch before Trader Joe's, and when I was leaving Trader Joe's, the bag that contained my booch slipped off my shoulder and fell straight down and the bottle shattered. A seven dollar klutz move. My budget won't allow me to buy another so there you go. This is the second time that has happened to me actually. Super frustrating. The rest of my day pretty much was one big dropped booch to be honest.
This was my dinner. My day was so bad I didn't even have the energy to heat something up! They were going to toss this hummus at work because it expired today so I gladly took it off their hands. I have stopped buying packaged hummus in my attempt to live a less waste lifestyle, but this was going to get tossed which is extremely wasteful. And at least I reuse the container. Anyway, these gluten free crackers are AMAZING! They are very light and crispy like a saltine. Gluten free crackers are usually much harder and dense so these were a very pleasant surprise! This company also makes my favorite gluten free bread. Now I need to make some tomato or chickpea noodle soup to go with these crackers!
I saw Peeps flavored Oreos at work the other day and was wondering if I should try them. People on Instagram said yes, one even said it would be rude not to! So last night my coworker bought me a package! So sweet! As you can see they have a peep on them! They don't have red dye #40, but they do have blue and I think yellow dye and the typical scary ingredient list! I would say they taste mostly like a regular oreo with a faint hint of peep.
Although yesterday was kind of an unhealthy day food wise and emotionally, this smoothie got some nutrients in. It had cherries, strawberries, banana, half an avocado, peanut butter, and maca powder. I have definitely noticed an increase in my energy since I've started adding maca powder to my smoothies. Trader Joe's has the best price I've seen at $4.99 a bag. And a bag lasts well over a month, maybe even two months.
Hello, Kanye here. Mom had to go clean up the half pound of split peas that I knocked on the floor while running through the pantry shelves like a complete maniac. I'm going to just stay over here, maybe hide under the packing paper for awhile!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Spicy Hoisin Glazed Cauliflower Bites

I had a head of cauliflower in my fridge that I was going to use for an experimental cauliflower mac and cheese. But I had a craving for some cauliflower bites so that's what I made! I made a batter with gluten free flour and water, baked for thirty minutes and then douse them in this spicy hoisin sauce. They turned out AMAZING! I wrote down the recipe if you can call it that for the sauce. It was really more of chucking some things together but it totally worked!

                                                            Spicy Hoisin Glaze
  • 4 T. Hoisin Sauce
  • 3 T. Tamari/ Soy sauce/ Liquid or Coconut Aminos
  • 2 T. Soyaki Sauce
  • 1 Tsp. Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp. Sriracha
  • 1/4 to 1/2 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
I dipped my "wings" in the sauce and baked them for an additional twenty minutes. It's sweet and salty and a little spicy and just really, really tasty. Even though I definitely love cauliflower Alfredo, this is still my favorite way to eat cauliflower!
I caught Kanye in cuddle bug heaven yesterday! She is definitely happiest when she has someone to cuddle with, and Etta is always happy to be the one!
My coworker who became vegan and was having some issues with anemia seems to have figured it out and is doing much better. He's been eating lentils and other foods higher in iron and seems to be happy and thriving. He said his family is even starting to eat a little healthier so it seems to be contagious! I'm proud of him for seeking out food that has what he needs instead of giving up and blaming veganism for everything which is what I see so many do. I know he appreciated all of your feedback and took everything to heart! Woot Woot!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

More Baking Aventures

I made gluten free vegan chocolate chip cookies and they were a success! I used oat flour and gluten free flour from Trader Joe's. It was easy to work with and the cookies looked like cookies and tasted delicious! I took them to work because the recipe made quite a lot of cookies and I needed help eating them. They were a huge hit and went very quickly. People seemed to love them, and just like with the oatmeal cookies I heard people express shock that they were tasty.
When I was packing them up for work I noticed one had baked into a heart! It would have been perfect for Valentine's day!
Less than an hour after I set them out there was only one cookie left! I felt a little vulnerable putting them out, like what if no one eats them. Of course that was a silly fear because first of all they tasted delicious and also free food is usually a pretty big hit!
We had some leftover flowers from Valentine's day that were marked down to a dollar so I treated myself to this bouquet. I'm such a big spender! Ha. I'll have to see if these last as long as my previous clearance flowers!
My after work dinner. Brown rice pasta with marinara and nooch. This is my favorite jarred marinara. It has a great flavor and no bitterness or too much sweetness. It actually tastes fresh and homemade.
Roxy loves the table with the thing too. As a matter of fact Afro is laying on the floor looking up at Roxy like "please leave" I think Afro needs to find a new napping spot, Roxy is pretty comfy!
If anyone wants the recipe for the cookies let me know. I did write the recipe so that I can make them again!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Miyoko's Smoked VeganMozz

This Miyoko's Smoked VeganMozz deserves it's own post! One of my last meals in Seattle was a pizza with the regular mozz ball. I remember that it tasted amazing both cold and on the pizza. It was creamy and fatty and mild just like I remember mozzarella. So the other day when I saw this smoked version at Natural Grocers I just had to try it. I already had my pizza crust mix and a craving!
I wanted to shred this for my pizza and I also wanted to see how it would hold up to a box grater. It is a softer cheese an I've had other softer cheeses kind of melt into the box grater and just make a huge mess. As you can see it shreds beautifully. It did not make a huge mess and it made beautiful shreds. And the shreds didn't clump together. When it was time to add it to my pizza the shreds separated perfectly.
The cheese has a deep smoky flavor. I used to love smoke mozzarella in my pregan days and this took me back. This would be a great cheese for sandwiches. It also would be a great addition to a cheese platter.
This is my pizza. This beauty is on a gluten free crust with homemade pizza sauce, smoked mozz, spinach, mushrooms, red and green onion, garlic, green olives and nooch. The cheese is under all the veggies! The cheese melted and gave that fatty creaminess you want and the smoky flavor really came through and complimented the veggies really well. I really loved it, and although it is a very rare treat when I can splurge I will buy this again.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Another Vegan Haul

Big booch little booch gluten free pizza crust mix power c pack, daiya havarti jalapeno Miyokos smoked mozz dandelion green tea Epsom salts
So yesterday was grocery day. I went to Natural Grocers and Trader Joe's. My preferred shops! I went to Natural Grocers only for the big booch and Epsom salts but they had Bob's Red Mill gluten free pizza crust mix on sale which led to my impulse Miyoko's splurge. I've never seen the smoked mozz until now and I always loved smoky cheeses. The white mouse was not included in this haul!
Frozen strawberries and cherries, blood oranges,Jasmine rice,tofu,inner peas,brown rice pasta,spinach,mushrooms,gluten free flour,chocolate chips,red lentils,green dragon sauce,seaweed snacks,olives,lemons,onion,coconut milk,bananas, cauliflower,soyaki sauce and starfruit fizzy water
This is my Trader Joe's haul. I have been eyeing the gluten free flour for months, and I never get it because honestly gluten free flour is expensive an I am no expert at baking, gluten full or free so it seems like it could be an expensive mistake. But I had success with gluten free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, so I'm going to try making them again with part gluten free part oat flour. I obviously spent more than thirty dollars for this haul. I needed pantry staples like rice and red lentils and I also needed some condiments. I still spent under fifty dollars at Trader Joe's an that's a lot of stuff! Again, the kitty toys to the left and right and the tail were not included!
I'll be talking about the Miyoko's cheese tomorrow. I made a pizza and I was very happy with the results! The one thing I can say is yes the Miyokos cheese is pricey, and a once in a great while(at least for me) treat, but it really is worth it. Delicious!
I was gifted this table and this tapestry/rug I don't know what it is recently. I like the table, not the thing so I threw the thing on the table So I could pack it up to donate. Well, Afro has now decided that the table is her new favorite nap spot! I guess I'm keeping the thing!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Catching Up On Some Stuff

I'm still fighting off the last of this cold so smoothies have been a huge part of my diet over the last week. And my back pain still pops up here and there so I've been adding frozen cherries to my smoothies.
Some of my smoothies are greener than others! This winter has been very mild here in SLC so gulping down smoothies hasn't been an issue like in winter past.
I also made a big batch of lentil and gluten free orzo soup to have for breakfast/lunch. I seasoned the soup with Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, and fennel seed. Even though my sense of smell and taste aren't 100% yet, I know this is delicious because I've made at least two million versions of lentil soup! Lentils are like that old fuzzy sweater that you can never part with.
Last night I finally heated up some gardein black bean burgers, I love them so much. I like meatier veggie burgers sometimes, but I find the longer I'm vegan the more I like veggie heavy burgers. Like I have no desire to try the beyond or impossible burger. Anyway the gardein black bean burgers are a little meaty, but heavy on the corn and beans, and they're one of gardein's only gluten free options. I had them with tots and sriracha Just Mayo. My eyes were bigger than my stomach and I couldn't eat all the tots.
I wanted to give a little update on my goal of less waste. The biggest thing I've been able to cut back on is paper towels. I bought those reusable kitchen cloths from Trader Joe's and I use those for cleaning, wiping spills etc. and it's made a huge difference. I'm actually embarrassed to see how many paper towels I used to use. I'm nowhere near zero waste, but I'm working on it and the reusable cloths are just such a little step that is making a huge difference.
Happy Valentine's day from these little love muffins. I'm so happy I got this picture of them. Etta is notorious for moving as soon as I try to get a picture!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Come Back Taste

I made more gluten free brownies yesterday. I've had a difficult weekend emotionally speaking and I guess I wanted to eat some feelings. The only problem is that they aren't really worth the calories since I can't taste anything. I did have a few anyway, my heart knew they were brownies! I'll take the rest to work since my co-workers seem to love vegan treats!
I think I've mentioned that in my pregan days I loved horseradish cheddar cheese. I used to buy it in the fancy cheese section of Safeway in Seattle, Ballard to be more exact. Anyway I have some horseradish in my fridge and I had some cashews soaking so I decided to make horseradish mac and cheese. I was going to write down a recipe, but I realized recipes are probably best when you can actually taste! But I just made a cashew cheese sauce and added some horseradish. I also made some BBQ soy curls on the side.
Someone on the gram commented that it looked good, but also looked like BBQ chicken! I couldn't tell if they were trolling or not. To make the soy curls I just soaked them in warm water for ten minutes, then put them in a baking dish with BBQ sauce. I covered the dish in foil and baked at a low temp, maybe 325 for like 45 minutes. I often hear low and slow when it comes to meats and BBQ and all that so I figured that was a good route to take. Now taste wise I might be a little fuzzy, but texture wise these were amazing! Chewy but not tough they were perfect. I feel like these would make any meat eater happy. I'm pretty sure this was a delicious meal, and when I can taste again I will remake and share the recipe!
Here is a very close up of my gorgeous Etta! This was a day last week where I was sick in bed all day. All my girls cuddled and I got a chance to get a picture. Doesn't she look so soothing?

Sunday, February 11, 2018

More Sick Eats and Cats!

Although it doesn't look green, this smoothie had spinach and avocado, blueberries, strawberries, banana, and maca powder. I'm trying to get in all the nutrients. I'm feeling better, but I'm still not back to normal. I still can't smell or taste anything so eating has been a real challenge.
Last night after work I really wanted a gardein black bean burger, then realized I should save those for when I can actually taste! So I had a handful of frozen fries that were dying in the freezer, some tots and Dr. Praeger's California burgers. As you can see on the burger on the right I had crumbling issues when it needed flipping. I dipped it all in some sriracha Just Mayo. I'm sure it all was delicious!
Last night at work they had a bunch of blankets and robes in a clearance cart for five dollars. Leftover stuff from Christmas I think. I needed a cozy blanket for my couch, I liked the deep blue color and five bucks!
It's always the little things that matter, and make everyone the happiest! This blanket will never again be this color. It will forever have a coating of cat hair no matter how many times I wash it, and I love it!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Hippeas Vegan White Cheddar Puffs

I thought since I'm sick and not eating much I would take this time to do a review of the Hippeas snack puffs I tried recently.
These puffs are vegan, gluten free, Kosher, Non GMO, with no funky preservatives. They also don't use palm oil which I am trying very hard to avoid. They are made with chickpea flower and rice flour and seasonings and such. In total I count fifteen ingredients and that includes seasonings!
They have a much denser texture than say a Cheeto puff.They don't have that airiness, these have a bite.I don't see nutritional yeast in the ingredients so it doesn't have the usual cheese-y flavor that a lot of vegan cheese snacks do. Yet they do have a cheese-y tang, and a great crunch. These would be great for dipping in hummus!! Keep it all in the chickpea family!
 I feel like the earth Balance puffs kind of slap you in the face with flavor, these give you a gentle hug. One serving has 130 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein,
I really enjoyed these puffs. Natural Grocers also ha a BBQ an sriracha flavor so I hope to try those flavors as well.
I would say the only downside to these snacks is the price. They are a little under four dollars for a bag, and the bag is only 4 oz. If you have a big family or are having a gathering one bag wouldn't go very far. So for me these are definitely a rare treat, but I will say they are definitely worth the splurge.
Thank you for all the kind words wishing me well. I hope to better soon. This thing is really holing on for dear life and uuuggghhh. But the kind comments cheer me up tremendously.