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.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

Fresh fall produce is my favorite of all seasonal food. It’s hearty and comforting, and we’re all about comfort food here at The More You Dough. While I’ve spent plenty of time already this fall tinkering in the kitchen creating some great pumpkin recipes today is all about pumpkin’s underrated cousin, the butternut squash. Butternut squash has a delicate, sweet squash flavor similar to pumpkin, but is much easier to break down if you’re making from scratch cooking.

There’s something really special and meditative about from scratch cooking that I really appreciate. I like knowing that I hand crafted just about every component of the meal. You won’t find me milling my own flour in the kitchen, or anything like that, but I do cook from scratch quite often. I like using fresh produce as much as I can while it’s in season as opposed to something that comes out of a can I can buy any time of the year. You can too for this recipe, but you’re by no means obligated to. I bought a whole butternut squash, butchered it, boiled it, cooled it, and pureed it. This sounds intensive, but it really doesn’t take all that long. It also makes plenty of puree to save for later in other great fall recipes like our butternut squash pizza that we’ll be sharing a recipe for soon. If that sounds like a bit too much work for you try checking your supermarket for butternut squash puree. Most stores seem to carry it in the baby food aisle.

When I think of hearty dishes it doesn’t get much heartier than gnocchi. Gnocchi is one of the best pastas to make from scratch if you’re just starting to learn, because it’s super easy to make. All you have to do is knead some dough, roll it out, chop it up, and boil it for a few minutes. You can serve your gnocchi as just pillowy little chunks of dough, or add the classic grooves to the dough. Adding the grooves can be a little tricky at first, but I recommend it. They trap a lot of great flavor from the sauce. To see how to make them check out the video below.

We pan seared our gnocchi with some Field Roast vegan sausage to give it an extra flavor, and textural element. Searing it is my preferred method of preparation, but it’s not absolutely necessary as the gnocchi are perfectly ready to eat once you boil them. This gnocchi goes great paired with the white wine cream sauce we included in the recipe. You can use whatever sauce you’d like for the pasta. A lighter colored sauce seems to lend better to this dish as it allows the flavor of the squash to shine instead of competing with it like a red sauce would.


Butternut Squash Gnocchi

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Gnocchi Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • one pinch all spice
  • one pinch nutmeg
  • one pinch black pepper

White Wine Cream Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 1/4 cup vegan white wine
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

Gnocchi Directions

  1. Break down the butternut squash. Start by peeling it, cut off the ends, slice it in half, and scoop out the seeds. Cut it into chunks that are similar in size so they cook evenly.
  2. Boil the butternut squash for 25 minutes or until it is fork tender. Prepare an ice bath in a large mixing bowl, and place cooked squash in this to cool and halt the cooking process. Drain when cooled.
  3. Place cooled squash in the food processor, and blend into a puree. If you purchased squash puree you can skip steps 1-3.
  4. Measure out one cup of the squash puree and place it in a large mixing bowl. Package up the rest of your squash puree to use for future recipes. I put mine in the freezer.
  5. Add in the all spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Stir together to thoroughly incorporate the ingredients.
  6. Slowly start adding the flour chopping it in with a spoon. Depending on the moisture content of the squash puree you may use a little less or a little more than 2 1/2 cups of flour. Stir until it forms a shaggy dough.
  7. Continue to slowly add flour, and knead with your hands until the dough stops feeling gummy and sticky. It should bounce back nicely if you poke it.
  8. Separate the dough into manageable pieces, I separated mine into fourths, and roll them out into long tubes on a floured surface. I like to think this step is pretty similar to making play-doh snakes as a kid. Your snakes should be about 1″-1 1/2″ in diameter. It can be difficult at first, but try to keep them as consistent as possible.
  9. Using a sharp knife, cut the tubes of dough into small pieces. They should look like little tiny gnocchi pillows that are about 1″-1 1/2″ wide.
  10. You can stop here, or you can add grooves into your gnocchi. I prefer the grooves, because they hold more of the sauce on the pasta. To do this, find a fork and turn it tines down on a plate. Make sure the fork, work surface, and gnocchi are all well floured. Press the end of a gnocchi down against the base of the tines with your thumb, and flick it down the length of the tines. This can be pretty tricky at first, but you’ll get the hang of it after a few (or if your me a few dozen) gnocchi. I made a short video showing the technique in this post.
  11. Boil your gnocchi for 2-4 minutes. Make sure the pot is really at a rolling boil when you put the gnocchi in. They’ll bring the water temperature down a lot, so you want to ensure that they still cook quickly and evenly throughout. You can boil half of them at a time to avoid a drastic temperature change. They should float when they’re done. If they’re floating before your timer goes off remove them.
  12. Immediately place the boiled gnocchi in an ice bath, or under cold running water to halt the cooking process. I use an ice bath to do this. The quicker the better. Nobody wants mushy pasta especially when you spent so much time preparing it.
  13. While you can eat gnocchi without searing them, I always choose to pan fry them. It imparts a great flavor on them, and allows you to cook up your favorite vegetables in the same pan. I recommend broccoli, or brussels sprouts. We cooked ours up with some field roast vegan sausage, because we didn’t have a lot of veggies in the fridge at the time. Keep some white wine on hand to deglaze the pan while you sear them. If you don’t deglaze they’ll get stuck to the pan and tear. They only take about five minutes to fry up, so wait until your sauce starts reducing to put them on.

White Wine Cream Sauce Directions

  1. Measure out all of the ingredients before hand. You have to work quickly to keep the roux from burning and the cream from separating, so you want to be able to instantaneously add whatever you need.
  2. In a sauce pot on low heat add the 1/4 cup vegan butter.
  3. Add in the minced shallot and garlic, and the red chili flakes once the butter melts down.
  4. Allow the butter to darken in color, and quickly whisk in the flour.
  5. Keep whisking and quickly add the oat milk, followed by the white whine and splash of lemon juice.
  6. Add all other seasonings.
  7. Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce down. Whisk frequently to prevent burning.
  8. Sauce should be a creamy texture that flows freely, but is thick enough to stick to your pasta. Remove from heat when finished.
  9. You can add some of the sauce to the gnocchi while they’re finishing cooking to impart more flavor. This is optional.
  10. Serve on a plate or in a bowl, and finish with fresh herbs if you’d like.

Vegan “Scallops” With White Wine Cream Sauce

For our first official recipe post we figured we should do something special.  These vegan scallops with white wine and garlic pasta are a little bit more “upscale” than a lot of the recipes we’ll be blogging about.  However, they are incredibly delicious and decadent.

Nick and I celebrated our second anniversary a few months ago, and it has become our tradition to make a special anniversary dinner that neither of us has tried before.  This was our first time making vegan “scallops”, and I think it turned out pretty great.  They were pretty dead on in flavor to actual scallops, and the white wine and garlic cream sauce  played really well with the saltiness.

Before I went vegan shellfish were one of my favorite things to eat.  This recipe really delivered in its ability to mimic that unique shellfish flavor, so this makes a great dish for a dinner party with non-vegan friends and family.

There are a few things to consider when it comes to choosing ingredients for any recipe, especially if you have dietary restrictions. Choosing to eat vegan usually entails making the most ethical choices in regards to your ingredients. You may already know that a lot of wines and beers aren’t vegan as they often use animal products during the clarification process. We chose to use Bonterra Chardonnay. Bonterra’s white wines are vegan, however, their reds are not. If you need help finding alcohol for cooking, or drinking, that is vegan http://www.barnivore.com/ is a great tool.

We used king trumpet mushrooms for this recipe, simply because we couldn’t find king oyster mushrooms at our local food co-op where we normally shop for produce.  King Oyster mushrooms are just a larger version of King Trumpet, so if you would prefer having bigger scallops you might want to search for the King Oyster instead.  Just be aware that this substitution may slightly alter the cooking time of the scallops, but the flavor should remain the same.

Vegan Scallops with White Wine Cream Sauce

Scallops

  • 7-10 large king trumpet mushrooms
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 Not Chick’n Bouillon
  • 1 tbsp White Miso Paste
  • ½ Cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp Tamari
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Caper juice
  • Splash of green olive juice (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance Butter

Pasta and White Wine Cream Sauce

  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 shallot
  • 4+ large cloves of garlic (to taste)
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ earth balance butter
  • 1 ¾ cup oat milk or other non-dairy milk
  • ¼ dry white wine
  • 1 package of spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Begin by marinating the “scallops”. Wash the mushrooms and cut them into scallop sized pieces. You’ll want them to be about 1-1 ¼ in thickness. If you’d like, you can dice up the caps to add them to the sauce later. Set the caps aside.
  2. Combine the brine marinade in a mixing bowl. Add in the Not Chick’n Bullion and White Miso. Pour the warm water over top. Make sure the water is warm enough to dissolve the bullion with a little bit of stirring. Whisk the ingredients together until there are no clumps. Add the vegan white wine. Add the tamari, olive oil, caper juice, and a splash of green olive juice. The green olive juice is optional, and you might want to give your brine a taste before adding it to ensure that it doesn’t become overly salty. You’ll want it to be pretty salty, so that the scallops pick up all of that flavor, but you should still be able to taste the other notes of the wine and miso.
  3. Score your scallops if you desire. Throw the scallops in with the brine, and refrigerate for at least an hour. This is a good opportunity to prep all of the other ingredients while you wait.
  4. Start prepping the other ingredients needed for the sauce. Mince shallot and garlic, and set aside in a bowl. Cut down the parsley into thin ribbons. Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze the juice into a bowl. You can squeeze it directly above your saucepan if you wish, but squeezing them into a bowl is a great way to make sure seeds don’t end up in the sauce. Separately measure out the non-dairy milk, and white wine.
  5. Once you’ve finished prepping and the mushrooms have brined for long enough you’re ready to start making the sauce, and pasta. Start a pan of water to boil on the stove.
  6. While you’re waiting for the pot to come to a boil, start putting together the sauce. You’ll want to simmer it for a while, so that it can build a robust flavor. Start by making a roux in the pan. Add your vegan butter. Once it’s melted down add your flour, slowly stirring to combine. It’s important that you measured out the oat milk, and white wine, so you can add them quickly to prevent the roux from sticking to the pan and burning. Make sure there are no lumps left in the roux and then add the non-dairy milk, followed by the white wine. Now is when you’ll add in the minced shallot and garlic, lemon juice, parsley, and mushroom caps (if you’ve chosen to use them). Add a dash of salt, and a whole lot of pepper. Taste it as you go. You can always add more as you go, but you can’t take it away.
  7. Once the water has come to a boil add the spaghetti in. Set a timer for a few minutes shy of the time provided by the cooking instructions on the box. This should end up being about 6-8 minutes depending on the pasta. You’ll want the pasta to be just shy of al dente when you strain it, because you’ll be adding the pasta into the cream sauce to simmer for another minute or two.
  8. At this point the cream sauce should have started to thicken up. In a separate pan start searing the scallops, so they finish up at the same time as the pasta. Heat the pan, and add the earth balance butter. Melt the butter down, and gently add the “scallops” to the pan. Season them well with salt and pepper. Make sure you do this on the other side when you turn them over. They’ll cook for about four minutes on each side, and will start to get a nice sear when it’s about time to flip them. If they start sticking to the pan at any point you can deglaze them with a bit of the brine, or a little of your white wine. Set your scallops aside on a plate when they’re finished.
  9. Strain the pasta when it’s done boiling, and add it into the cream sauce. Use tongs to turn it over in the sauce, and make sure it’s thoroughly coated. Now would be a good time to add a few of those capers from the caper juice you used earlier if you’d like a little extra pop of flavor throughout. Cook for a minute or two until pasta is al dente.
  10. To plate your pasta hit it with a little bit of lemon juice, some additional salt and pepper, and parsley. Gently set the scallops on top, or off to the side.