Grilled Mac & Cheez

Last week I posted my quintessential Cheeziest Mac & Cheez recipe. This week I want to share another way you can use this mac & cheese to create delicious comfort food. One of my favorite meals as a kid was grilled cheese. That’s still a go to comfort food for me, and for Nick. We adapted the classic grilled cheese to be filled with this ooey-gooey vegan mac. I’ve been experimenting with sour dough, and created a recipe for sourdough rye. It was a bit of a fail, but still delicious. I hope to perfect it in the coming months. For now grab your favorite loaf from the supermarket, or use a favorite bread recipe of your own. Pair it with your favorite soup, or make this quick tomato bisque to go with it.

The tomato bisque I made with this might not be the most traditional. I’ve chosen to share it, because it is delicious and easy to make. I used up ingredients I already had in my pantry. This would be a great go to if you’re stuck at home with a cold and just want some tomato soup, but feel like you’d keel over if you had to go to the grocery store.


Grilled Mac & Cheez

  • Servings: 1-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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For the mac & cheez find our recipe here https://themoreyoudough.com/2021/01/26/cheeziest-mac-cheez/ .

Mac & Grilled Cheez Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of hearty sourdough bread (can be store bought or homemade)
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup of the Cheeziest Mac & Cheez

Quick Tomato Bisque Ingredients

  • 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 16 oz can of full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • dry herbs to taste

Directions

  1. Make the Cheeziest Mac & Cheez according to the recipe directions.
  2. Cut two thick slices of bread. Butter one side of each slice.
  3. Add about 1/4 cup of mac & cheez sandwiched in between the slices of bread. The butter sides should both be facing out, and away from the mac & cheez. Feel free to add other fillings like vegan bacon, or mustard.
  4. If you’d like to make the quick tomato bisque, or a store bought soup prepare them now.
  5. To prepare the bisque simmer garlic, tomato paste, and tomato sauce in a small pot with an Italian spice blend of dried basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and thyme to taste.
  6. Add in the coconut milk. You can add the whole thing, or just as much as you’d like. I added most of the can, because I like a really creamy tomato soup.
  7. Allow your soup to simmer on low while you finish the grilled mac & cheez.
  8. Heat a large pan on the stove. Add a little additional butter to the pan, and then carefully place the sandwich in.
  9. Grill bread evenly on both sides. Use caution when flipping to make sure the macaroni doesn’t fall out. I held the sandwich in place with one hand while flipping it very slowly with the spatula to keep the mac from sliding out.
  10. Remove the sandwich and tomato bisque from heat and serve. Slice sandwiches in half for easy consumption.

Cheeziest Mac & Cheez

I’m going to keep this weeks post short and simple, because it’s a short and simple recipe. We’ll use this as a foundation for a number of greasy, American style comfort food recipes in the future. While I have an arsenal of healthy vegetable based mac and cheese recipes this one is my go too quintessential cheezy mac and cheez. It’s just like every ooey gooey bowl of mac you had slathered in things that were barely cheese like Velveeta. It’s great for eating on it’s own straight out of the pan, baking in the oven with bread crumbs, topping your favorite burger with, and so much more. Add some broccoli for the illusion of a healthy dinner. The best part is it takes so little time to make which means it’s great to whip up as a main dish or a quick side with a more elaborate meal.


Cheeziest Mac & Cheez

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 8 oz dry elbow macaroni (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 3/4 cup oat or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegan shredded cheddar style cheese

Directions

  1. Boil the pasta according to its packaging directions, and then drain the macaroni. Rinse with cold water to halt the cooking process and set it aside.
  2. In a separate sauce pan create a roux by first adding the butter and allowing it to melt. Once the butter has melted, and becomes slightly darker in color add in the flour while consistently whisking. Make sure you have your oat milk measured out and ready to go before you start this step.
  3. Once the flour and butter have been integrated add the oat milk while continuing to whisk.
  4. Add miso paste, dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to the milk. Whisk thoroughly to incorporate the dijon and dissolve the miso.
  5. Allow the mixture to simmer for a bit while periodically whisking. It should start to thicken up. Once it reaches a consistency of about a heavy whipping cream start slowly adding the cheese. Whisk continually while doing so to keep the cheese from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Continue adding the cheese until it is all integrated into the sauce. Allow the sauce to simmer until it thickens to the desired consistency of a macaroni and cheese sauce. Whisk periodically while doing so. I recommend tasting the sauce while it thickens to see if you’d like to add any additional seasoning to taste.
  7. Once the sauce has reached a good gooey, cheese sauce consistency add the macaroni into the sauce stirring them with a spoon to thoroughly coat them.
  8. Cook until the macaroni and cheese is hot, and then serve.

Green Curry In A Hurry

Slow Cooker Recipe

It’s taken me a while to get the hang of creating my own slow cooker recipes. Sometimes it’s hard to judge just how much liquid you’ll need to put in. Especially if the recipe includes dry beans and lentils. I think I’ve finally gotten a pretty good feel for it, and was pleased enough with this quick curry recipe to share. In the winter nothing beats hearty soups, and warm curries as a comfort food. As a quintessential quick and easy recipe we’ll be making very little from scratch here. It’s perfect to throw together on a busy day for a busy tomorrow.

While you can make your own curry paste we kept it quick and easy by using store bought. We used Thai Kitchen green curry paste, but you can use whatever you can find at your local supermarket. Just be sure to check the label as some curry pastes contain anchovies or fish sauce. For additional flavor you can toast the curry paste with onions and garlic in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker, but it’s not necessary if you don’t have the time.


Green Curry In a Hurry

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Add an additional 1/2 cup to 1 cup of broth for a soupier curry.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp green curry paste
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 13.6 oz full fat coconut milk (one standard can)
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple (optional)
  • 1 cup dry green lentils
  • 1 medium purple sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3-4 limes

Directions

  1. In a frying pan toast up the yellow onion, garlic, and curry paste in some oil. This will impart some additional flavor. If you don’t have time for this, or don’t want to do it just skip this step.
  2. Add the curry paste, yellow onion, green onion, garlic, vegetable broth, crushed pineapple, and coconut milk to the crock pot. Stir well.
  3. Rinse your dried lentils, and closely inspect them for any pebbles before adding them to the crock.
  4. Dice the green bell pepper, and cut the potato into even sized cubes. You can remove the skin from the potato if you’d prefer, but I like to keep it on for some additional texture and nutrients. Add the pepper and potato to the crock.
  5. Juice two limes into the curry mixture, and give all of the ingredients a good stir.
  6. Rest the crock in the fridge overnight, so the lentils have time to soak.
  7. Cook on low power for eight hours, or high for four. Serve on rice, or noodles.
  8. Garnish with additional green onions, and a lime wedge.

Chickpea Gyros

This is one of the first recipes I ever made when I went vegan, so I’m particularly excited to share it. This one is a really easy one, but it still packs a ton of flavor. All you need to do is prep some veggies and a spice blend, and bake some chickpeas. Unless you’re using dry chickpeas, in which case you’ll have an extra step of cooking them. I usually use canned for this recipe, because it conserves time if I didn’t have the foresight to soak and cook dry beans before hand.

As far as ingredients go we keep everything in this recipe very simple. We used Oatly yogurt for the tzatziki, but you can use any kind of non-dairy yogurt you can find. Just make sure it’s not flavored. Make sure you find a seedless cucumber for the sauce. The only other things you need are a fresh tomato, red onion, dill, lemon juice, pitas, and lettuce. We forgot to get lettuce at the supermarket this week (Oops!), because we’re human and forget things especially during the busy holiday season, but it’s a nice addition. I also recommend using fresh dill, but we substituted it with dry, because we also forgot that (Oops).


Chickpea Gyros

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Gyro Ingredients

  • 32 oz canned garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 a red onion sliced
  • 1 small tomato, or 1/2 large tomato, diced
  • 1 large seedless cucumber
  • 1 1/2 cups of vegan yogurt, we used Oatly
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, or 1 tbsp dry
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Chickpea Spice Blend Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Start by creating the tzatziki sauce. Grate the cucumber finely in a food processor. If you do not have a food processor you can do this by hand. Squeeze excess moisture out into the garbage can or sink by wrapping a coffee filter or a cheese cloth around the shredded cucumber, and squeezing tightly. Add the shredded cucumber to a small mixing bowl.
  2. Add vegan yogurt, dill, lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, minced garlic, and sea salt to the bowl with the cucumber. Stir thoroughly, cover, and refrigerate while you prep the other ingredients. This should give it time to develop flavor.
  3. Prep all the other produce, and set it in separate bowls. Slice down the onion, dice the tomato, chop the lettuce if you remembered to buy it.
  4. Open your cans of chickpeas, and rinse off the beans. Place them in a large mixing bowl. I like to rub them with a towel to get the flaky outer skins off of them, but this step is optional. The excess skins tend to fall off and burn in the oven.
  5. Drizzle 2 tbsps olive oil over the chickpeas, and toss or stir to coat evenly.
  6. Combine all other spice blend ingredients in a small, separate bowl. Stir together.
  7. Top the chick peas with the spice blend, and mix them until they are well coated.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  9. Spread the chickpeas out on a large, parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.
  10. When the chickpeas are baked, warm pita on a low power setting in the microwave to make them more flexible. I like to lay my pitas on aluminum foil or parchment paper after they’re warmed, so I can wrap them to prevent the ingredients from falling out the back end.
  11. Assemble the gyros by adding a smear of tzatziki, chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and then a hearty serving of tzatziki on top. Enjoy.

Vegan “Scallops” And Risotto

I’ve written before about how much I loved shellfish before I went vegan, and how that was one of the only food groups I found difficult to give up. Previously, I’ve shared a recipe for vegan “scallops” with white wine cream sauce. The recipe featured “scallops” made from king oyster mushrooms with a decadent pasta bathed in white wine cream sauce. I really enjoy using oyster mushrooms in this application. When marinated well they provided a close approximation to both the taste and the texture of scallops. I created this new recipe with fine dining in mind. Nothing says fine dining quite like scallops. To keep the upscale feel I prepared it with a creamy herb risotto, pomegranate gastrique, and a garnish of fresh micro-greens.

I feel like there’s a misconception that “fancy” food is difficult to make, but it’s really minimalist and quite simple. Consider this one for your next date night in, or dinner party. This recipe doesn’t take too long to put together, and will impress even your carnivorous friends. The most time consuming part of it is stirring the risotto while the broth cooks out. Don’t skip out on making a gastrique for this dish. If you’ve never made a gastrique it may seem tricky, but it only takes a few minutes to throw together. The gastrique adds a light touch of citrus and pomegranate that adds some freshness to the scallops.


Vegan Scallops and Risotto

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Scallop Ingredients

  • 5-6 large king trumpet or king oyster mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, or water mixed with vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1/4 cup vegan white wine
  • 1 tbsp olive or caper juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • additional white wine to deglaze the pan
  • 2 tbsp earth balance or other vegan butter

Risotto Ingredients

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup blend of chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage
  • 1/2 a yellow onion
  • 2 shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 cube not chick’n bouillon
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup vegan white wine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp follow your heart grated vegan parmesan
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Gastrique and Garnish Ingredients

  • 1 cup of fresh micro-greens
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • seeds from one pomegranate
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • juice from 2 oranges
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan white wine
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Cut down king oyster mushrooms into large scallop sized chunks excluding the caps. Score the “scallops” if you’d like (this helps add flavor), and set them aside.
  2. Dice the caps, and set them aside. You can cook these down and add them to the risotto for a nice textural element.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Add the Oyster mushrooms to the marinade, and place into the fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Dice the onion, and mince the shallots and garlic for the risotto. In a large pan, or sauce pan, simmer the shallots, onion, and garlic in the olive oil. Add the diced mushroom cap, so that it can cook down.
  5. Add the arborio rice to the pan, and let it toast for about two minutes.
  6. Add the 1/2 cup of white wine, and let it cook down while stirring periodically.
  7. Add a cube of not chick’n bouillon to four cups of water. Microwave on high, and whisk to dissolve.
  8. Add the broth to the risotto one cup at a time. Allow it to cook down in between adding each cup.
  9. The risotto should be almost completely done cooking when you add the final cup of broth. When you add the final cup allow it to cook down half way, and then add in your fresh herbs, nutritional yeast, and vegan parmesan. If you can’t find vegan parmesan sub two additional tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
  10. While your risotto is cooking start the gastrique. Aim to start it about halfway through the cook time on the risotto to allow everything to finish around the same time.
  11. To make the gastrique cook minced shallot in butter in a small sauce pot until it becomes translucent.
  12. Add pomegranate seeds, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, wine, and vinegar. Whisk periodically.
  13. Allow gastrique to cook down to about half the volume it originally was. Remove from heat, and strain. The sauce should thicken up as it cools, but if it still seems thin you can cheat a bit by putting it back on the stove, and adding a teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with a teaspoon of water to get it to thicken up.
  14. Once the gastrique and the risotto are fully cooked you’ll want to make the scallops. They only take about five minutes to cook, so just cover the other dishes to allow them to stay warm. In a separate pan heat some butter. I saved some herbs, shallot, and garlic to season the scallops with, and if you’d like to do this too add them in now.
  15. Once the pan is hot enough, you should hear it sizzle when you put the scallops down, add all of your scallops to the pan on one of the flat sides. You can add drip some of the marinade on top of them as they cook for added flavor.
  16. Keep a close eye on the scallops as they cook. Once they have a nice sear on the bottom immediately flip them. Once a nice sear is starting to develop on the final side deglaze the pan with a bit of white wine, and lemon juice. Top them with some sea salt and pepper, and then remove from heat.
  17. Plate your scallops, risotto, and gastrique up nicely with a side salad of undressed micro-greens. For our dishes we brushed on the gastrique, loaded the risotto into a small bowl to shape it, and placed it on the plate. We arranged the scallops neatly around the risotto, and garnished with citrus slices and micro-greens. Enjoy.

General Tso’s Cauliflower

I love to cook for myself, but some days there’s no better feeling than getting takeout when I’m feeling lazy. One of my favorite takeout places in the area is Thai Gourmet. If you live in Pittsburgh, go there, they’re great. They’ll make pretty much everything on their menu vegan if you ask, and everything I’ve had there is delicious. I know General Tso’s is not Thai, but they serve General Tso Tofu. I get it often, because it’s delicious and nostalgic for me. I really wanted to recreate something close to that to make at home, but also incorporate more veggies, so I made General Tso’s Cauliflower. My own recipe for the dish wasn’t quite as good as Thai Gourmet’s (they’re hard to beat), but it was still pretty great.

We made this with white rice, and vegetable gyoza from Trader Joe’s. The veggie gyoza are a great TJ’s find from the frozen section. I’ve been buying these regularly since I first went vegan three years ago. Dumplings have always been a favorite food of mine. You can’t go wrong with well seasoned food wrapped in dough. No matter what culture the dumpling originates from I’m into it, but a good Gyoza dipped in a mix of tamari and spices is the pinnacle of dumplingage. These Gyoza do not disappoint. They’re filled with fresh tasting veggies, and incredibly easy to prepare.

The rice we used is just steamed Jasmine rice, but feel free to use brown rice or other grains. If you’re looking to incorporate even more veggies into this dish you can steam some broccoli to serve as a side. This General Tso’s Cauliflower is a healthier solution to tackling your takeout cravings this week. When they come back a few days later you can get some takeout from Thai Gourmet, or your own local favorite if you’re not from Pittsburgh.


General Tso's Cauliflower

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • one head of cauliflower
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup of white rice, or grain of your choice (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 3/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tamari
  • 1/2 cup dried chilis, crushed
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp water

Directions

  1. Clean and dry the cauliflower head. Break it down into bite sized florets.
  2. Set up two bowls for dredging your cauliflower. In the first bowl mix together equal parts flour and oat milk. In the second bowl add plain panko bread crumbs.
  3. Dredge each floret in the flour mixture, coat it completely in panko, and then place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Once all of the florets are dredged you can spray them with a little bit of canola oil if you’d like to help them crisp up in the oven.
  4. Bake the breaded florets in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
  5. While the cauliflower is baking put together your sauce. Toast up the crushed chili peppers, ginger, garlic, and some of the green onions in a pan with some sesame oil. You can add more or less chili flakes than directed to adjust the dish to your spice preferences.
  6. Once the mixture of garlic, ginger, green onion, and chili flakes becomes aromatic and slightly toasted add in the tamari, vinegar, and maple syrup. Whisk periodically.
  7. In a small bowl combine water and cornstarch. Mix in to a slurry. Once your sauce comes to a light simmer, add in the cornstarch slurry while whisking vigorously.
  8. Your sauce should thicken up withing ten to twenty minutes. Dip a spoon into it to check. If the sauce coats the spoon, instead of just dripping off, your sauce has probably reached the consistency you’re looking for.
  9. Prepare rice according to package directions, and any other sides as desired.
  10. Once the florets are done baking remove them from the oven, and place the in a large mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle the sauce over them while stirring with a spatula to evenly coat them.
  11. Serve with desired sides, and top with green onions as garnish.