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.

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.

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.

Butternut Squash Curry

It’s been a truly dreary, rainy week here in Pittsburgh, and I’ve found myself craving hearty, filling food. I made this recipe combining two of the most craveable fall favorites; curry, and squash. Although this curry is far from a one pot meal, it is relatively easy to make. All you need is some curry paste, coconut milk, fresh produce, and an empty stomach. It is unbelievably filling. I don’t know how I ate as much as I did, or whether I should feel impressed with myself or ashamed. That being said, this curry makes a lot of servings that you can set aside and freeze for the next time you’re craving it on a rainy day.

While you can make your own curry paste we used a store bought one for this recipe. Just be sure to check the label. Some curry pastes contain fish sauce, so it’s worth a quick once over. You can top your curry with anything you want, but I happened across these adorable little beech mushrooms at the food co-op and knew that I had to use them. They honestly ended up being one of my favorite parts of the curry. Trust me, that’s saying a lot, because I loved every part of the curry. The beech mushrooms just ended up being little salty flavor bombs, almost akin to bacon. It cut through the sweet, spicy, and fatty flavors of the curry giving it an additional dimension that was just perfect. I highly recommend using the beech mushrooms, or any kind of small mushrooms that you can find to marinate as directed in the recipe.

We served our curry bowls with noodles as a base, but it’s also good with rice. Though I’m sure it’s far from traditional you could try it with other grains like farro, or quinoa if you wanted. Even serving it alone without any grains should be fine. It’s super dense and starchy with both the squash and the Japanese sweet potato.


Butternut Squash Curry

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegan red curry paste
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree
  • 17 oz coconut milk (two standard sized cans)
  • 1 Japanese sweet potato
  • 8 oz KaMe Ramen Noodles (you can sub any vegan noodles, or rice)
  • 2 jalapeños, cut into rings
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon grass, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp green onion/scallion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 3 limes
  • 4oz beech mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 6 tbsp sesame oil

Directions

  1. Clean and prepare all produce items. Peel and cube sweet potatoes, cut jalapeños into rings, grate ginger, mince garlic, finely chop lemon grass and scallions, and cut tofu into pieces. We cut them into large triangles for aesthetic, but you can cut them however you’d like. If you have a whole butternut squash you’ll need to peel it, cut it down, de-seed it, and boil it for about 30 minutes before adding it to a food processor to puree it. It sounds like a lot of work, but you get a lot of additional squash to freeze and use for other recipes. If you don’t want to do all of that you can purchase squash puree.
  2. In a large stock pot add a few tablespoons of sesame oil. Once the oil is hot add garlic, lemongrass, ginger, scallions, and some of the jalapeño rings. Set aside a few rings for garnish.
  3. Add 2 tbsp of the curry paste to the pot to toast it, and then add in the butternut squash puree. Stir the two until they are well integrated.
  4. Add the juice of one lime, followed by the coconut milk.
  5. Put the sweet potato cubes in the pot, so they have plenty of time to cook until they are fork tender. Bring curry to a simmer for at least an hour. Stir often.
  6. In a small mixing bowl add beech mushrooms, the juice of one lime, maple syrup, tamari, liquid smoke, and a pinch of white pepper. Stir to combine. Cook down in a separate pan with some sesame oil. Make sure they are cooked thoroughly, and then set aside. Beech mushrooms can be very bitter if they are not cooked completely.
  7. In a separate pan fry up tofu in sesame oil until it is a nice golden brown on both sides. Set aside.
  8. Bring water to a boil in a separate pot, and cook noodles, or rice, according to package instructions. If you are cooking noodles be sure to run them under cold water after they become al dente, so that they don’t over cook. In this recipe we use the noodles or rice as a bed for the curry. The curry should be hot enough after more than an hour of simmering to heat them back up.
  9. While you’re waiting for your curry to finish simmering cut down the limes into wedges for garnish, and to squeeze directly on top of the curry bowl.
  10. After about 90 minutes of simmering check your potatoes to see if they are fork tender. They should be very soft at this point. If they are done remove the curry from heat, and serve.
  11. To serve add noodles or rice to a bowl, top with curry followed by tofu, beech mushrooms, jalapeños, and some green onion. Add a squirt of lime juice to the bowl for added flavor.

Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes were one of the dishes my Mom made quite frequently when I was a kid. Frankly, at the time I thought they were over rated, and did not appreciate them. As a busy adult my feelings have changed. Sloppy Joes not only give me a nostalgic look back on my childhood, but they’re quick and easy. Especially when they’re made in a slow cooker. All you have to do is throw the ingredients together the night before, and remember to turn it on in the morning. This recipe is loosely based off of the Sloppy Joes my mom would make. She says she never used a recipe to make them, so I’ve just gone off of my memory of what she did and the overall taste. This recipe features coca cola and ketchup, so if you’re looking for a healthy Sloppy Joe recipe you’ve come to the wrong place today. The key difference between this and my mom’s Sloppy Joe “recipe” is that we used lentils in ours, and not ground beef.

The key to making a good Sloppy Joe not only lies in a delicious sauce, but also in the type of buns you use. If you choose a bun that is too structurally sound, like a pretzel bun for example, it likely won’t work well for your Sloppy Joe eating experience. If the bun is too strong every bite you take just pushes the Sloppy Joe filling out. You want good, cheap, white bread buns for this. The bun should really soak up the Sloppy Joe sauce a bit, and tear off nicely with every bite. Just make sure you check the ingredients, and make sure the buns don’t contain whey or other dairy products. For some reason a lot of store bought breads contain dairy. I’ve found that pretty much every Pepperidge Farm bread product, and a lot of other name brand breads, contain whey. A good rule of thumb is to always thoroughly read the ingredient list on any product that is not already marked as certified Vegan.

Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups No Beef Bullion or other vegetable broth
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 12oz original Coca Cola
  • 1/2 cup Heinz Ketchup
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • additional seasonings to taste

Directions

  1. Sift through lentils to make sure there are no pebbles/gravel, and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Dice the onion. You can sautee it up in some vegan butter if you want for a stronger flavor, but it’s not necessary.
  3. Assemble all the ingredients in the crock pot, and refrigerate overnight. This will give the lentils the chance to soak up some of the liquid, and ensures that they’ll become tender after cooking.
  4. Give the ingredients a good stir, and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours.
  5. Serve the Sloppy Joes on soft buns. Add any desired condiments. I really enjoy topping mine with pickles.