Friday, September 30, 2011

October Menu Plan

Deep breath. The month of October will be entirely VEGAN for VeganMoFo. If you're a long-time follower, you'll remember I did a couple of weeks of strictly vegan a few months ago. Now I'll be doing an entire month. But, at least I've had time to plan it this time! Last time it was a last-minute thing due to doctor's orders. So, this month I'll be trying not only to focus on delicious fall flavors, but to do that without eggs, milk or cheese. Eep! I'm excited about the challenge and about joining VeganMoFo for the first time. You can also find the recipes I chose to vegan-convert on my Pinterest board: Potential Fall Veggie Converter Recipes. Be sure to follow me on Pinterest to get a sneak peek into what I may be converting later this Fall! And don't forget to check out Meatless (Vegan) Mondays.


Saturday Date Oct. 1 /·Day 274
Masaman Curry and Crockpot Masaman Curry, veggie-converted

Sunday Date Oct. 2/·Day 275
Sausage Balls, veggie-converted

Monday Date Oct. 3/·Day 276
Bleu Cheese Biscuits @ OAMM

Tuesday Date Oct. 4 /·Day 277
Beef Broccoli Lo Mein, veggie-converted

Wednesday Date Oct. 5 /·Day 278
Chicken Bok Choy, veggie-converted

Thursday Date Oct. 6 /·Day 279
Ground Beef Green Bean Skillet, veggie-converted

Friday Date Oct. 7/·Day 280
Brown Sugar Chicken, veggie-converted

Saturday Date Oct. 8 /·Day 281
Minestrone Soup, veggie-converted

Sunday Date Oct. 9 /·Day 282
Slow Cooker Jambalaya, veggie-converted

Monday Date Oct. 10 /·Day 283
Vegetable Chowder @ OAMM

Tuesday Date Oct. 11 /·Day 284
Fajita Burgers, veggie-converted

Wednesday Date Oct. 12/·Day 285
Chicken and Broccoli, veggie-converted

Thursday Date Oct. 13/·Day Day 286
Leftovers and Pantry·Frankenstein Creation.·

Friday Date Oct. 14/·Day 287
Arroz Con Pollo, veggie-converted

Saturday Date Oct. 15/·Day 288
Steamed Pork Buns, veggie-converted

Sunday Date Oct. 16 /·Day 289
Green Bean Carbonara, veggie-converted

Monday Date Oct. 17/·Day 290
Secret Recipe Club

Tuesday Date Oct. 18/·Day 291
Butternut Poblano Soup @ OAMM

Wednesday Date Oct. 19 /·Day 292
Slow Cooker Lamb Curry, veggie-converted

Thursday Date Oct. 20/·Day 293
Leftovers and Pantry·Frankenstein Creation.·

Friday Date Oct. 21/·Day 294
Bacon Cheeseburger Soup, veggie-converted

Saturday Date Oct. 22/·Day 295
Slow Cooker Beef Stew, veggie-converted

Sunday Date Oct. 23/·Day 296
Wasabi Pork Fajitas, veggie-converted

Monday Date Oct. 24 /·Day 297
"Chicken" Pot Pie @ OAMM

Tuesday Date Oct. 25/·Day 298
Southwestern Rice Salad, veggie-converted

Wednesday Date Oct. 26 /·Day 299
Roasted Red Pepper Penne, veggie-converted

Thursday Date Oct. 27/·Day 300
Leftovers and Pantry Frankenstein Creation

Friday Date Oct. 28/·Day 301
Taco Soup, veggie-converted

Saturday Date Oct. 29/·Day 302
Curry Puffs, veggie-converted

Sunday Date Oct. 30/·Day 303
Smoked Tofu and Stars Soup from The Vegan Slow Cooker

Monday Date Oct. 31/·Day 304
Cranberry-Orange Scones @ OAMM

This post is shared with Menu Plan Monday.

CrockPot Cheesecake with Cookie Crust

Day 273.

Vegan MoFo (Vegan Month of Food) 2011 starts tomorrow. I'll be participating for the first time this year. So, as a last hoorah with eggs and cheese for a while, I decided to make Crock-pot Cheesecake with a chocolate chip cookie crust. I'm a huge fan of Stephanie's recipe for crock-pot cheesecake. I've made it plain and with variations of lemon, key lime, pumpkin and blueberry. But I've always used either animal crackers or graham crackers as the crust. Today, I had some leftover (don't look at me like that, I overbaked the first batch...otherwise there's no such thing as leftover cookies) cream cheese chocolate chip cookies. They made a fantastic crust for this perfect and simple cheesecake.

CrockPot Cheesecake with Cookie Crust
Adapted from CrockPot Cheesecake.
Ingredients
Crust:
  • 1 cup chocolate chip cookie crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
Filling:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature or softened 
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla (I tripled this, so feel free to knock it back down if you're not as big of a fan)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
Directions
Find a heat-resistant dish that will fit in the crock-pot you plan to use. I used a 7 x 4 baking dish in my 6-quart crock-pot this time. But, in the past, I've often used a glass loaf pan in the 6-quart. And even once did a half recipe in a small mixing bowl in my 4-quart. That was more of a scoopable half-sphere cheesecake. :)

I food-processed my cookies into chunky crumbs, but you can also place them in a freezer bag and beat them with a rolling pin. When you're done abusing your cookies, be sure to eat any delicious crumbs over the 1 cup line. Mix the remaining cup with butter and press into the bottom of your baking dish. In a bowl or KitchenAid mixer, cream your remaining ingredients together until smooth. Pour the creamed mixture on top of your cookie crust.

Pour 1/2 to 1 cup of water into the bottom of your crock (you are creating a water bath). Place your dish into the water-filled crock, making sure to not allow water inside the cheesecake. Cover and bake on high for 2-3 hours, checking ever hour (mine usually take about 1 hour, 45 minutes to 2 hours). Your cheesecake is done when the sides begin to pull away from the pan and the center is set or nearly set (not gooey). Turn off the slow cooker and let the cheesecake cool in the crock for about an hour. After that, refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving.

The Results
Delicious as always. I think the key lime version (swap the vanilla for 1/4 to 1/2 cup key lime juice and use the original graham crust) is still my favorite, but this is super delicious, too.

This post shared at Fat Camp Friday, Crafty Friday, Friday Favorites, Potluck FridayFrugal Fridays, Foodie Friday, Fresh Food Friday and I'm Lovin' It.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Twice-Baked Chicken Club Potato {Vegetarian}

Day 272.


Today is a true leftover creation extravaganza. Not only did I get to use some leftover baked potatoes from the Idaho Sunrise, but I also used the "chicken" and pesto mayo from the Pesto Chicken BLT. It seems a little different for a twice-baked potato, but not too far off the charts. I usually do cheese, sour cream "bacon" and chives in mine. This recipe basically replaces the chives with pesto and adds "chicken."
 

Twice Baked Chicken Club Potato
Ingredients
  • 3 baked potatoes
  • 4 ounces seitan, chopped and seasoned with grill seasoning
  • 2 slices "bacon," fried and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 3 tablespoons mayo
  • 1 cup cheese, shredded
  • olive oil, to taste
  • sour cream topping, if desired

Directions
Preheat oven to 400. Halve and scoop centers out of potatoes, placing centers in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients to bowl (except sour cream) and mix thoroughly. Add the mixture back to the potato boats. Bake for 25-35 minutes.

The Results
Yum. This turned out really great. My husband, who did not care for the pesto mayo on the sandwiches, refused to try this one. So I'm not sure how a meat-eater would feel about it. But the kids and I both liked these.

This post is shared with Simple Lives Thursday, Tip Day Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday,Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, Things I Love Thursday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, and Ultimate Recipe Swap.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spaghetti Fritters {Vegetarian}

Day 271.

I am completely in love with all pasta and this seems like the perfect way to eat pasta on-the-go. It reminds me a lot of Frugal Gourmet's Spaghetti Frittata, but in smaller portions. The addition of the anchovy paste is an interesting one. Though I've never tried the "real" stuff, it's one of those flavors that can give a dish that special briny kick. A great vegan substitute is miso paste. You could also use kelp granules if you have those on-hand, but I think the briny flavor is emulated better by the miso paste. I love that you can make these different sizes for different uses and kids versus adults. I made about 16 by scooping up about a forkful per fritter.

Spaghetti Fritters
Adapted from Spaghetti Fritters.
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. dried spaghetti, broken in half
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste OR1 teaspoon kelp granules
  • 1 tablespoons crushed red chile flakes
  • salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • serve with marinara or pesto sauce, if desired 
Directions
Boil spaghetti about 10 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. In another bowl, mix all ingredients (except olive oil), whisking. Fold in pasta. Heat olive oil for frying in a skillet. Place desired amount of pasta and "batter" in pan, about 1/4-inch thick and fry until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and repeat.

To make 16 small fritters, fry about a twisted forkful 2-3 minutes per side. Allow to dry on a paper towel lined plate.

To serve on-the-go, place fritters in a small paper bag for snacking.

The Results
Holy cow. Fantastic. I love that you can take these in a bag as a snack or dip them in sauce at the table. The kids (and the husband) thought these were awesome. I loved them, too. They're so quick, easy and delicious. This is a definite repeat.

This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, What's on the Menu Wednesday, Let's Do Brunch, Works for me Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Recipe Link Party, Foodie Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday and Bake with Bizzy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Taco Corn Fritters {Vegetarian}

Day 270.
Mmm...Mexican. A whole Mexican meal in a fritter sounds like a winner to me. Angela's creation sounds absolutely delicious and filled with goodness.

Taco Corn Fritters
Adapted from Taco Corn Fritters.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Lentil and Rice Ground Beef Substitute
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs (or egg substitute)
  • 3/4 cup milk or soy milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups corn,
  • oil for frying
  • Optional toppings: serve with sour cream and/or salsa
Directions
Mix "beef," onion, red pepper flakes and taco seasoning mix. Add enough olive oil to allow the spices to stick to the beef.

In another bowl, mix remaining ingredients, except cheese and corn. Fold "beef," corn and cheese into cornmeal mixture. Heat oil in a skillet or pan. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter and either make a patty by hand, or squish into a patty in the pan. Fry about 5 minutes per side until cooked through.

The Results
These are seriously incredible. The kids asked for more "muffins" after gobbling down their first serving. I guess they taste a little like fried corn muffins. They remind me of Black Bean Green Salsa Corn Muffins but with way more filling goodness. Absolutely delicious. Meat-eating husband thought they were fantastic, too.

This post is shared at·Tuesdays at the Table, Tuesday Night Supper ClubSlightly Indulgent TuesdayTasty Tuesday, Delectable TuesdayTempt My Tummy TuesdayDelicious DishesReal Food Wednesday, Recipe of the Week, Hearth and Soul,Tutorial Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meatless/Vegan Monday Link-up #35: Stuffed Acorn Squash

Day 269.

I'm over at OAMM again today with a great holiday centerpiece recipe, Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash.

The Results
This is so beautiful and delicious. I love the bright orange squash, filled with delicious protein goodness. And, bonus, it's all Whole Foods. The kids thought it was really cool, too. You could serve each person one squash half as a main dish or serve it like a stuffing side dish for everyone. Yum.


Meatless/Vegan Monday Link-up
To participate this week here on Veggie Converter, you will be able to comment or link your Meatless Monday meals while I post my Meatless Monday challenge to myself, Vegan Mondays.If you're a vegetarian or vegan blogger and would like to be featured for Vegan Mondays, link up, or contact veggieconverter@gmail.com

Today's Meatless/Vegan Monday meal is Allotment2Kitchen's:·Yellow Curry Cabbage with Mushrooms and Edamame. I'm a sucker for curry. And mixing edamame to give this curry a yummy extra crunch is creative and sounds delicious.


Now for the link-up rules: post your link to a meatless (vegan or vegetarian, or even an attempted meatless) recipe that you've posted on your blog.
Next week, a reader recipe that was linked up this week will be highlighted on Meatless (Vegan) Mondays. Each week you link up or comment, gives you an opportunity to be featured the following week. Please join the Meatless (Vegan) Monday link-up. What Vegan or Meatless Monday Meal is your family having today?
Veggie Converter 365
This post is shared at·Mouthwatering Mondays, My Meatless Mondays, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, On the Menu Monday, Cravings, Just Another Meatless MondayHomemaker MondayMeatless MondaysMingle Monday, MMMmonday, Mangia Monday,Make a Food-e Friend, Recipe Sharing Monday, Made By You Mondays and Monday Mania.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Idaho Sunrise {Vegetarian}

Day 268.
Veggie Converter 365This recipe is just so cool: Baked potatoes filled with eggs, bacon and cheese. It's like an All-Star breakfast in a bowl...an edible potato bowl. Very neat. I'm simply going to swap out the bacon for veggie bacon to make these baked potato treats. I bake my potatoes with a bit of olive oil and House seasoning rubbed into the skins. I think that gives a delicious little zing to the skin. I also did potato halves instead of whole potatoes with their lids cut off. But that was mainly because I can't properly read directions before I start cooking. :) It worked out well though, so I'm sticking to it.

Idaho Sunrise
Adapted from Idaho Sunrise (Baked Eggs and Bacon in Potato Bowls).
Ingredients
  • 1 large baked potato (russett or sweet)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 strips veggie bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheese
  • 1 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Preheat oven to 350. If unbaked, poke holes in your potatoes with a fork and run with olive oil and House seasoning. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour. Leave your oven on 350 and prepare bowls.

Lay the baked potato on its side, cut in half.  With a spoon, hollow out the middle of the potato to make a “bowl.” Reserve potato centers for another use.

Place 1/2 tablespoon of butter in the middle of each bowl.  Gently break an egg into each bowl, careful not to break the yolk.  Top with bacon, cheese, parsley, and then season with salt and pepper.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until the egg whites are set.  Serve immediately.

The Results
Wow, tasty. Mine didn't turn out quite as "sunrisey" as the original since the bacon and cheese sort of covered up the sunrise, but it still tasted great. I left my husband's yolk intact, but for my own, I scrambled it a bit so I could stand to eat it. I have a weird issue with eating unbroken yolks. Grosses me out. Anyway, I thought they turned out like a breakfast potato, egg and bacon skillet. My husband said they tasted like hashbrowns mixed with eggs and bacon. I made 4 potato halves (double recipe). The adults had 2 halves each. For the kids (one of whom has a strong aversion to eggs), I used the centers of the potatoes that we reserved from the bowl cut, mixed those with cheese and bacon (and scrambled egg for 1 kid) and served them in a toddler bowl. They thought that was pretty yummy. So this is a definitely family winner.

What are you having for Sunday Brunch, Breakfast or Lunch?

This post is shared at Penny Worthy Project, Cookbook Sundays,Creative Bloggers and· Savory Sunday.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Apple Chickpea Quesadillas {Vegetarian}

Day 267. 

I've always been nervous, but intrigued by the Apple-Chicken flavor combination. I'm finally biting the bullet and giving it a shot. Quesadillas are a pretty sure-fire meal in our house, so it seemed a good option with which to test the Apple-Chicken combo. I replaced the chicken with chickpeas. I received Gypsy peppers in my CSA box, so I used those instead of buying a bell pepper. I think either would work fine.

Apple Chickpea Quesadillas
Ingredients
  • 2 medium apples, diced 
  • 1 cup chickpeas or other chicken substitute, cooked
  • 4 ounces Mexican cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell or gypsy pepper, diced
  • salt, to taste
  • 8-10 tortillas
Directions
Saute onion and pepper in oil for a couple of minutes until soft. Add apples, chickpeas and salt. Stir to combine. Lay half of tortillas onto greased grill or griddle. Top with half of cheese. Divide apple-chickpea filling among tortillas. Top with remaining cheese and remaining tortillas. Grill for about 3-5 minutes per side.

The Results
Unfortunately, I don't think the apple-chicken flavor combination translates to the veggie version. Perhaps if I'd used seitan or something more "chickeny" than chickpeas. But this was pretty much a disaster in my mind. The kids picked at theirs and ended up eating at least one each, but with nowhere near the gusto they usually put forth eating quesadillas. My husband and I just thought they were kind of weird. But, it's the first huge failure in a while and I think it would be better with mock chicken. That said, I think I'm just not a fan of apples and "meat" together. With real meat, it might be different.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pesto Chicken BLT {Vegetarian}

Day 266.


I love veggie BLTs and have always liked attempting veggie club sandwiches. But, I've never been a big fan of veggie cold cuts. So this pesto-mayo chicken BLT club seems like the perfect solution. I am a huge fan of the site this recipe comes from, Closet Cooking. He always has simple, yet delicious recipes. This is no different. And, it can easily be converted to vegan by using vegan mayo and cheese.

Pesto Chicken BLT
Adapted from Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich.
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces seitan strips
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning (I used McCormick's Cowboy Rub)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (vegannaise, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 8 leaves lettuce
  • 8 slices tomato
  • 8 slices veggie bacon, cooked
  • 4 slices mozzarella (vegan, if desired)
  • 4 sandwich buns, sliced in half
Directions
Mix seitan and seasoning. Grill or pan fry with a bit of olive oil for 3-5 minutes. Mix mayo and pesto. Spread pesto mayo on one side of the bun. Assemble remaining ingredients on sandwich.

The Results
I loved the flavor of the pesto mayo. Unfortunately, my husband did not like the mayo at all. Oddly, he liked the chicken just fine. The kids pretty much ate the chicken and tomatoes instead of the entire sandwich. So, while I think it's delicious, not a big hit as something the whole family can eat just yet. This will have to be a mommy-only lunch selection in the future.

This post shared at Fat Camp Friday, Crafty Friday, Friday Favorites, Potluck FridayFrugal Fridays, Foodie Friday, Fresh Food Friday and I'm Lovin' It.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sour Cream Coffee Cake {Vegetarian}

Day 265.

Normally I use a leftover dish, but we didn't have much to go on there this week. What I did have was an extra container of sour cream I needed to use quickly. So I made coffee cake. Yummy, delicious Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Adapted from Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Pecan Filling
Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 11 1/2 ounces sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces sour cream
Directions
Position rack in center of oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter two loaf pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat the butter in a stand mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar slowly, beating until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, blending each one completely before adding the next. Add the vanilla.

On low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the sour cream, adding the flour in four parts and the sour cream in three, beginning and ending with the flour and scraping the bowl as needed.

Pour into pans. Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown, the sides are beginning to pull away from the pan, and a wooden skewer inserted in to the center of the cake comes out clean, 70-75 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for at least an hour before removing from pan.

Can be frozen up to 3 months.

The Results
Yum. I love this cake. It can be changed dramatically with various toppings. I chose to top my first one with some peach compote. But the best thing about not mixing the toppings in or baking them on is variety. I'm planning on trying a blueberry-lemon topping for the next one. And, everyone can have the toppings of their choice. Delicious and versatile.

This post is shared with Simple Lives Thursday, Tip Day Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday,Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, Things I Love Thursday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, and Ultimate Recipe Swap.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Creamy Tortilla Soup with Chickpeas and Corn {Vegetarian}

Day 264. 

I am a huge fan of all things Mexican, and tortilla soup is one that I've always enjoyed. But, alas, it almost always has some sort of chicken or other meat when you try to order it out. I've made a taco soup with ground beef substitute, but hadn't yet tried a chicken version. This creamy version just looks fantastic to me. All I needed to change was a swap of the chicken to chickpeas and the chicken stock for veggie stock. I also increased the garlic a tad and used chiles I could find (they didn't have Aji Amarillos at my market).

Creamy Tortilla Soup with Chickpeas and Corn
Ingredients 
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 yellow chiles (I used Hungarian wax chiles), seeded & stemmed
  • 4 corn tortillas, ripped into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes with chilies (I subbed 2 cups leftover Roasted Corn Salsa for this and the corn)
  • 4 cups Easy Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese, shredded
garnish options:
  • sour cream
  • corn tortillas, cut into strips and fried
  • lime wedges
  • cheese
Directions
Heat olive oil in a medium Dutch oven (or deep, heavy pot) over medium heat; sauté onions and garlic for about 3 minutes, or until softened and just beginning to color. Add tortillas, chiles, and spices and sauté for another few minutes, stirring constantly. Pour in tomatoes with their juices and the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let bubble gently for 5-10 minutes.

Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.  Purée in batches in a blender until smooth.  If desired, strain back into dutch oven. Add chickpeas and corn and bring back to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in sour cream and cheese. Season to taste with salt.

The Results

The creeping heat description that Heather gives is so accurate. It's one of those that you initially don't truly realize is going to be spicy. Then it subtly creeps up on you. I absolutely loved the flavor and the bites of chickpeas in the creamy soup. I thought it might be a little on the spicy side for the kids, but they enjoyed it as a dip for their fried tortilla strips.

The only downside to this soup, for me, is the flavors ended up reminding me a lot of curry, which isn't exactly what I want in my tortilla soup. I think, if i were to make it again, I'd replace the turmeric and cumin with taco seasoning mix. This time, I just mixed in a bit of tomato salsa in my bowl.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pistachio-Cranberry Chicken {Vegan}

Day 263.

I'm over at OAMM today enjoying this week's Vegan Pistachio-Cranberry Chicken

The Results 
I really, really love the cranberry sauce topping on this one. And the breading on the chicken is awesome. The kids absolutely loved it all around. As usual, the Gardein "chicken" is a little too chickeny for my tastes on its own, but the meat-lovers adore it. I think the sauce would be excellent on some seitan or Quorn chicken tenders for those of us not as fond of that realistic chicken flavor.

This post is shared at·Tuesdays at the Table, Tuesday Night Supper ClubSlightly Indulgent TuesdayTasty Tuesday, Delectable TuesdayTempt My Tummy TuesdayDelicious DishesReal Food Wednesday, Recipe of the Week, Hearth and Soul,Tutorial Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meatless Monday Link-up Week #34

Meatless/Vegan Monday Link-up
To participate this week here on Veggie Converter, you will be able to comment or link your Meatless Monday meals. You can also follow Meatless/Vegan Mondays on Pinterest.

Today's Meatless/Vegan Monday meal is April at 21st Century Housewife's:·Autumnal Roast Vegetables. Have I mentioned how I love Fall? I miss Fall while it's away and then the pumpkins and delicious veggies call to me and bring Fall back. This dish is a great versatile roasted vegetable blend to be served over pasta, rice or as fajita filling. Yum.
Now for the link-up rules: post your link to a meatless (vegan or vegetarian, or even an attempted meatless) recipe that you've posted on your blog.

Next week, a reader recipe that was linked up this week will be highlighted on Meatless (Vegan) Mondays. Each week you link up or comment, gives you an opportunity to be featured the following week. Please join the Meatless (Vegan) Monday link-up. What Vegan or Meatless Monday Meal is your family having today?


Veggie Converter 365

Red Velvet Cupcakes: Secret Recipe Club

Day 262.

It's  Secret Recipe Club reveal day again! This month I got a delicious challenge, a baking blog. Those of you who follow regularly know that I occasionally bake...but am not a big baker of sweets. Usually I do muffins or breads rather than cupcakes or cakes. So, when I first received my assignment for Betcha Can't Eat Just One as my Secret Recipe buddy, I thought about going the easy route (for me) and recreating her bread or pizza crust. That is, until I saw Red Velvet Cupcakes. My husband and I are huge fans of red velvet cake. We almost always share one on our birthdays (they're a day apart). But that's usually the kind that comes out of a box. So, my arm appropriately and happily twisted, I decided to make these delicious-looking cupcakes.

Be sure to also check out the Meatless Monday Link-up today.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
  • 3 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temp.
  • 6 tablespoons red food colouring (I used natural vegetable-based coloring)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I subbed milk with lemon juice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins (for 24 muffins) with paper liners. Cream the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy (or about 5 minutes)  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl often
.
In another bowl, combine the food coloring, cocoa and vanilla.  Add it to the batter and mix well.

Stir the salt into the buttermilk and add it to the batter alternating with the flour.  Beat after each addition until all of the ingredients are incorporated and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula.
In a small bowl, mix the apple cider vinegar with the baking soda and mix it into the batter until combined.
Scoop batter into lined muffin cups about 1/2 full.

Bake for roughly 20 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

Let cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add the vanilla followed by the powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) and beat until light and fluffy.

Pipe onto cupcakes using a large star tip (or, if you're not a regular baker, like me, cut the corner off of a zippered bag and squeeze onto the cupcake top).

The Results
Drool. These are delicious. I'm pretty proud of how they turned out, especially since I'm not prone to baking sweets. The cake itself is incredibly light and fluffy and the frosting is just delicious. They aren't nearly as pretty as Katie's Oh Canada Cupcakes, but the tasty is the important part, right?

This post is shared at·Mouthwatering Mondays, My Meatless Mondays, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, On the Menu Monday, Cravings, Just Another Meatless MondayHomemaker MondayMeatless MondaysMingle Monday, MMMmonday, Mangia Monday,Make a Food-e Friend, Recipe Sharing Monday, Made By You Mondays and Monday Mania.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sausage and Broccoli Egg Muffins {Vegetarian}

 Day 261.
Veggie Converter 365Bug is a huge fan of broccoli ad sausage. Not so much of eggs. I know how she feels. I like eggs IN other things, but just straight eggs I'm not a big fan of either.

But, with all this other goodness mixed in, I thought there might be a chance she and I would like them. And I KNOW my husband will like them. He loves eggs and sausage.

Broccoli Italian Sausage Egg Muffins
Adapted from  Broccoli Italian Sausage Egg Muffins.
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces seitan, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • House seasoning, to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese as needed
Directions
Preheat oven to 375 F. If your seitan is not pre-cooked, pan fry it in a bit of oil. Remove from heat and stir in broccoli.

Whisk together eggs, milk, oil and baking powder. Season to taste. Lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with oil. Spoon out the sausage and broccoli mixture evenly into each cup.

Ladle the egg mixture over sausage and broccoli. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes. 


The Results
Bug gobbled these up. So did my husband and Goose. I even thought they were pretty good. But, for my perfect version, I'd tone down the eggs a bit and add a bit of biscuit mix for a bready egg muffin.

What are you having for Sunday Brunch, Breakfast or Lunch?

This post is shared at Penny Worthy Project, Cookbook Sundays,Creative Bloggers and· Savory Sunday.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Chicken Bites {Vegetarian}

Day 260.

I don't normally try too many bacon-wrapped recipes, because they're hard to do with homemade "bacon"...but this one sounded so delicious I went out and bought a box of Morningstar Farms "bacon" for the recipe.I love cream cheese and jalapenos together and I added a bit of taco seasoning to the mix to spice it up a bit. I had to construct mine a bit differently than the original since the "chicken" isn't in large flat sections. So, I made more of a roll-up than a wrapped piece of chicken by laying the bacon flat, layering on the cream cheese blend and then topping with the chicken pieces. After that, I rolled the bacon up and skewered it before grilling. I think it worked out much better than trying to stuff the chicken and wrap it with bacon.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Chicken Bites
Adapted from Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Chicken Bites.
Ingredients
  • 8 strips veggie bacon
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning mix
  • 4 ounces seitan strips
Directions
Thaw and separate veggie bacon. Meanwhile, mix cream cheese, jalapeno and taco seasoning in a small bowl. Spread cream cheese mix over bacon strips. Layer seitan on top of strips. Roll bacon into a roll-up and run two water-soaked wooden skewers through the center. Repeat with remaining bacon strips, placing four rolls on each set of skewers. Grill about 5 minutes per side or until "bacon" is crispy.

The Results
These were fantastic. If you want it as a full meal, be sure to double the batch, using a full box of "bacon" and 8 ounces of seitan. As is, this is the perfect tasty appetizer. I loved the flavored cream cheese and bacon. Delicious.

This post is shared with What's for Lunch Wednesday , Gallery of Favorites, Simply Delish and Muffin Tin Monday.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Indian Butter Chicken {Vegetarian}

Day 259.

I adore Indian food. And Butter Chicken is one of those classic Indian restaurant favorites that I regularly try to emulate at home. I haven't perfected the delicious sauce yet, but I keep trying. This is another attempt, this time based on a recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor.

Indian Butter Chicken
Adapted from Indian Butter Chicken.
Ingredients

  • 4 cups "chicken" substitute (I used Quorn chicken tender cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon mild Indian chili powder or paprika
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the marinade:
    • 1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
    • 1 teaspoon mild Indian chili powder or paprika
    • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
    • 2 tablespoons ginger paste
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground garam masala
    • 2 tablespoons mustard oil or vegetable oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • For the sauce:
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 3 cardamom pods
    • 4 cloves
    • 6 peppercorns
    • 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
    • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
    • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
    • 5 small green chilies, chopped, or to taste
    • 2 cups tomato puree
    • 1 tablespoon mild Indian chili powder or paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground garam masala
    • 2 tablespoons mild honey
    • 1 cup cream
    • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • chopped fresh cilantro (coriander), for garnish

Directions
Combine first four ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix ingredients for the marinade. Combine chicken and marinade, stirring to coat. Let marinate in the refrigerator overnight. 

Broil chicken for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until edges are blackened.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the cardamom, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and ginger pastes and chopped green chillies, and cook, stirring, for one minute more. Add tomato puree, chili powder, garam masala powder, salt to taste and one cup of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until slightly thickened. Add honey and cream. Simmer 10 minutes more or until sauce has thickened again. Adjust seasoning, adding more salt to taste and cayenne pepper for additional heat. Remove whole spices. Add cooked "chicken" pieces and simmer just to heat through (If you're serving later, store sauce and chicken separately instead).  Serve hot, sprinkled with chopped cilantro and served with flatbread or rice.

The Results
This is definitely the best version of this yet. I absolutely LOVE the marinated "chicken" all by itself. It doesn't even need the sauce. But the sauce is great, too. The kids liked the chicken, but the sauce was a little strong for them. The husband liked it all as much as I did.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Frozen Fruit Cups {Vegan}

Day 258.

I'm over at OAMM today with  Toddler Teething Frozen Fruit Cups, which I finally broke down and made at home for our teething toddlers after spending far too much money buying all-natural fruit freezer pops at the store. The inspiration for this recipe is two-fold. Kelly's yogurt tubes would be the perfect technique to make freezer pops at home. But my kids are too young to really eat the pops directly from the tube. So, we crush their pops up in a bowl anyway. Then I saw this pin on Pinterest about freezing muffin tins full of soup. The poster plunks a couple of muffin cups into a mug or bowl, reheats and eats. It's the perfect way to create individual toddler-size servings, too! So, my first experiment with muffin-sized freezer servings are these delicious frozen fruit slushes.


The Results
Be sure to make extra servings for Mommy and Daddy. These are fantastic. And, it's a great way to use up fruit that's on its last leg. I used last week's peaches from my CSA box, an apple and a leftover can of pineapple. Delicious.

This post is shared with Simple Lives Thursday, Tip Day Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday,Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, Things I Love Thursday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, and Ultimate Recipe Swap.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Zucchini Burgers {Vegetarian}

Day 257.

I love making burgers with different ingredients and this one has absolutely no "burger" type meat in it. It's an old recipe that originally used zucchini and tuna to form a burger patty. I swapped in chickpeas for the tuna and decided to add marinara sauce to the toppings to kick up the flavor.

Zucchini Burgers
Adapted from Zucchini Burgers.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat bread cubes 
  • 1/2 cup corn, grilled (optional)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 1 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon House seasoning (or salt and pepper)
  • Flour for dusting.
  • Cheese and marinara sauce, if desired
Directions
Send chickpeas and zucchini through shredder of food processor. Mix with bread cubes, corn, egg, onion, lemon juice and House seasoning. Form into patties.

Turn patties onto a floured plate, dusting all sides. Grill in a bit of olive oil, about 3 minutes per side. Serve topped with cheese and marinara sauce, if desired.

The Results
Wow. These are fantastic. What a simple, refreshing burger. And the marinara sauce really brings it all together. I absolutely love the crispiness and flavor of this patty and I'll have to experiment with eggplant in the future. It reminds me a lot of an eggplant parmesan, except crispy through the entire patty instead of just on the outside. Yum.

This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, What's on the Menu Wednesday, Let's Do Brunch, Works for me Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Recipe Link Party, Foodie Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday and No Whine Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thai Chickpea Pizza {Vegan}

Day 256.

We <3 Thai food in our house and it seems one of the more popular fast food Thai items lately is Thai Chicken...something. Thai chicken sandwiches, pizza, bruschetta...you name it. Closet Cooking has a lot of great homemade Thai recipes and I knew I had to make this one when I saw it. Thai Chicken Pizza. I made it pretty close to the original: simply replacing the chicken with chickpeas and the carrots with bell peppers (mainly because I just didn't have carrots, but I also prefer the more flavorful bell peppers to carrots on pizza). I also left off the Mozzarella cheese just because I didn't think it needed cheese to be delicious.

Thai Chickpea Pizza
Adapted from Thai Chicken Pizza.
Ingredients  
  • 1 pizza dough (I use Betty Crocker's) 
  • 1/2 cup Thai peanut sauce, plus more for dipping, if desired
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
Directions
Preheat oven to 425. Spread the peanut sauce over the pizza dough. Sprinkle the chickpeas, carrot, bean sprouts green onions and peanuts onto the pizza. Bake at 425 until golden brown on top, about10-12 minutes. 

The Results
Wow. This was surprisingly delicious. I've always been a fan of peanut sauce. And, of course, have wanted to give Thai Chicken Pizza a try even though it sounds a little weird, but haven't since, well, it has chicken on it! The chickpeas work great here. I reduced the amount of sriracha (chile sauce) a bit in the peanut sauce so the kids would still like it. I thought I'd end up adding some back to the adult slices, but it didn't need it.


This post is shared at·Tuesdays at the Table, Tuesday Night Supper ClubSlightly Indulgent TuesdayTasty Tuesday, Delectable TuesdayTempt My Tummy TuesdayDelicious DishesReal Food Wednesday, Recipe of the Week, Hearth and Soul, Tasty Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday.

Thai Peanut Sauce {Vegan}

Thai Peanut Sauce
Adapted from Peanut Sauce.
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry paste
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup Easy Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth
  • 3 tablespoons "fish" sauce:
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1/3 chopped sun-dried tomato
    • dash of kelp granules
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts (roasted and crushed)
Directions
Heat oil. Add curry paste and saute. Add all other ingredients and simmer to thicken, about 2-3 minutes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Spooky Apple Pizza {Vegetarian} and Meatless/Vegan Monday Link-up

Day 255.

I'm over at OAMM again today with a Halloween treat, Spooky Apple Pizza. Can you tell I'm totally into Fall already? This is an excellent use for all those delicious apples, with or without the spooky spiderweb topping. And yes, it has cheddar cheese. It's a Southern thing I didn't entirely understand when we first moved here. The key to it working, in my opinion, is a small amount of cheese compared to the amount of apples AND a really good, sharp cheddar. The apples pair so well with that sharp cheddar it's shocking.

The Results
Wow. Delicious. It's a little on the sugary side for an everyday breakfast, but the apple and pecan mixture is excellent. The creamy cheese and sour cream really completes the range of flavor. I think you could definitely take this a more savory route by halving the amount of brown sugar and MAYBE even increasing the cheddar a bit. Love this and the kids thought it was hilarious.

Meatless/Vegan Monday Link-up
To participate this week here on Veggie Converter, you will be able to comment or link your Meatless Monday meals while I post my Meatless Monday challenge to myself, Vegan Mondays.If you're a vegetarian or vegan blogger and would like to be featured for Vegan Mondays, link up, or contact veggieconverter@gmail.com

Today's Meatless/Vegan Monday meal is Veggie Grettie's: Mushroom Rosemary Dinner Pancakes. She had me at dinner pancakes. There were a lot of great submissions this week, so it was a tough choice. But this is such a creative blend of flavors. You should also check out Breakfast Polenta Cakes and Bruschetta with a Twist.

Now for the link-up rules: post your link to a meatless (vegan or vegetarian, or even an attempted meatless) recipe that you've posted on your blog. Next week, a reader recipe that was linked up this week will be highlighted on Meatless (Vegan) Mondays. Each week you link up or comment, gives you an opportunity to be featured the following week. Please join the Meatless (Vegan) Monday link-up. What Vegan or Meatless Monday Meal is your family having today?





Veggie Converter 365
This post is shared at·Mouthwatering Mondays, My Meatless Mondays, On the Menu Monday, Cravings, Just Another Meatless MondayHomemaker MondayMeatless MondaysMingle Monday, MMMmonday, Mangia Monday,Make a Food-e Friend, Recipe Sharing Monday, Made By You Mondays and Monday Mania.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bell Pepper Egg Rings {Vegetarian}

Day 254.
Googly eyes in the pan
Veggie Converter 365Eggs inside bell pepper rings? How cool! I thought this recipe was really neat. And such a simple way to keep fried egg in a small space (kind of like those fancy metal egg rings, but cheaper and tastier). We made a pepper's worth (5 egg rings) for our breakfast-for-dinner night. The kids were busy gobbling up leftover quesadillas and didn't notice these in their finished state. They did, however, love the googly eyes in the pan.

Bell Pepper Egg Rings
Adapted from One-Eyed Martha.
Ingredients
  • 1 large bell pepper any color, seeded, and sliced into 1/2 inch rings
  • 5 eggs
  • Mexican cheese, shredded
  • balsamic glaze
  • House seasoning
  • olive oil
Directions
Spread a little olive oil in a cast iron skillet or non stick pan over medium high heat. Add bell pepper and cook on each side for 30 seconds. Crack one egg into the center of each bell pepper ring. Season with House seasoning. Cook for 3 minutes until white of egg is mostly cooked, and flip gently and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Top egg with cheese and a little drizzle of balsamic glaze.

The Results
I'm not a huge fan of fried eggs, but I really wanted to try this cool recipe. My husband is a huge fan of fried eggs. So, while I got to try it, he finished the rest off. Lol. The bite I had was pretty tasty. The balsamic was a surprisingly delicious touch. Very cool recipe and a great, quick breakfast.
What are you having for Sunday Brunch, Breakfast or Lunch?

This post is shared at Penny Worthy Project, My Meatless Monday, Cookbook Sundays,Creative Bloggers and· Savory Sunday.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chickpea Zucchini Quesadillas {Vegetarian}

Day 253.

Quesadillas are my go-to food for the kids. They love tortillas with an abandon I've never before experienced. In fact, one of their favorite snacks is "tilla roll-ups" (which to you and I is just a peanut butter coated tortilla rolled up into a tube). For whatever reason, Bug (our 2+) has gotten a little pickier in her old age. If she SEES the zucchini she says "don't like it"...but if it's inside something or breaded, she adores it. I have no idea why. She loves broccoli and other green things. So, let's surround that zucchini with tillas, eh? I replaced the chicken with chickpeas and kicked up it up a bit with some taco seasoning.

Chickpea Zucchini Quesadillas
Adapted from Chicken and Zucchini Quesadillas.
Ingredients
  • olive oil 
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 ears of corn, grilled and then sliced off the cob (about 1/2 cup per ear) 
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced small 
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning mix
  • 1-2 cups Mexican cheese, shredded
  • 12 flour tortillas
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • splash of lemon juice
  • dash of House seasoning
Directions
Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a skillet and warm over medium heat. Saute the onion. Add the zucchini pieces and continue cooking until it is almost tender, but still crisp. Add the corn and chickpeas and warm in the pan for a couple minutes. Remove from heat.

Place a tortilla on a griddle over medium heat. Layer cheese, then the vegetables and then more cheese onto the tortilla. Top with another tortilla and let it cook for about 2 minutes. Press down on the top tortilla with a spatula and then carefully flip the quesadilla. Cook for 2 more minutes, until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crisped and slightly browned.

Mash avocado and mix with sour cream, lemon juice and House seasoning.. Serve with wedged quesadillas.

The Results
These were incredible. The kids (and the adults) went crazy for them. The dip is something I whipped up primarily because I had avocado that was about to go bad. And I'm in love with it now. Delicious. The chickpeas and zucchini go together really well and, of course, with all that cheese you can't go wrong.

This post is shared with What's for Lunch Wednesday , Gallery of Favorites, Simply Delish and Muffin Tin Monday.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bell Pepper Chicken Alfredo {Vegetarian}

Day 252.

One of the biggest changes I like to make in veggie-converting a meal is enhancing the vegetables in some way. For me, this meant increasing not only the amount of bell peppers in this dish, but also the flavor. Instead of a simple stir fry (which is probably pretty tasty, too), I fire roasted my peppers with garlic, olive oil and House seasoning. This method is super simple and can be done ahead of time (and even packed with oil for future use. The "chicken" takes a back seat to the peppers now in this dish, and I think we'll love the flavor.

Bell Pepper Chicken Alfredo
Adapted from Colorful Chicken Alfredo.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups "chicken" substitute (chickpeas, seitan or other "chicken"),  cooked and cubed 
  • 2 cups Easy Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth 
  • 1 tablespoon House seasoning 
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 pound small pasta (macaroni, penne, farfalle)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided 
  • 1 cup half and half 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • salt and pepper 
  • 4-5 bell peppers, mixed colors, sliced
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
Directions 
Preheat oven to 400. Toss sliced bell peppers with olive oil, a bit of  House seasoning and 2 cloves garlic, minced. Roast for 15-20 minutes. Stirring halfway through. Cook pasta. Meanwhile, place "chicken," broth, House seasoning and nutritional yeast in pan and heat through.

In a small saucepan, heat the the butter over medium heat until the butter is melted. half and half, and remaining garlic. Stir to combine, then slowly whisk in the Parmesan cheese. Let simmer, whisking occasionally.

Chiffonade the basil, drain and plate the noodles, then toss with the "chicken," bell peppers and sweet alfredo sauce. Top with basil.

The Results
This was simple and tasty. I really liked the dominance of the bell peppers in the dish. I went a little overboard on the amount of pasta (I think it was more like 3/4 of a pound) so the alfredo was a little thing. But the combination of flavors was delicious and I'm glad I increased the amount and fire roasted my peppers. Perfect.

This post shared at Fat Camp Friday, Crafty Friday, Friday Favorites, Potluck FridayFrugal Fridays, Foodie Friday, Fresh Food Friday and I'm Lovin' It.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fried Mac and Cheese {Vegetarian}

Day 251.

Hooray for leftovers day! Apparently I've been on a pasta kick. I have a lot of it in the fridge. So, when my husband asked if we could try fried macaroni and cheese with the leftovers of our Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese, I relented. Well, I relented with the caveat that he do the frying! You know how I hate frying. But, I have to admit when I realized how little "batter" was really needed that this could be delicious.

Fried Macaroni and Cheese 
Ingredients
  • About 1/2 pound leftover macaroni (we used  Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese) refrigerated overnight
  • Flour
  • egg, beaten
  • breadcrumbs
  • oil for frying
  • bleu cheese or ranch dressing for serving
Directions
Heat deep fryer oil or 2-3 inches of oil in a deep frying pan. Cut cold macaroni into cubes.  

Dredge cubes through flour, then egg and finally breadcrumbs. Deep fry for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Serve with bleu cheese or ranch dressing.
 
The Results
Wow. This was surprisingly simple and tasty. I was pleasantly surprised about how light this seemed. I expected it to have that heavy, greasy, fried food taste. The kids, not so surprisingly, also loved it.

This post is shared with Simple Lives Thursday, Tip Day Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday,Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, Things I Love Thursday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, and Ultimate Recipe Swap.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese {Vegetarian}

Day 250.

PhotobucketI am participating in the Crazy Cooking Challenge today, which has 70+ bloggers cooking up various Macaroni and Cheese recipes for the day. I chose a Macaroni and Cheese recipe from Taste and Tell Blog. It was the perfect macaroni for this challenge. Exciting and different, but not too much stuff in the mac and cheese. I'm a big fan of "normal" mac and cheese, too, but I wanted to challenge myself with something at least a little different for this cooking challenge. I debated about a butternut squash macaroni and cheese, similar to my Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese, but I REALLY wanted to use real cheese this time. I've been on a bit of a buffalo chicken kick lately, so this recipe was a perfect fit.

Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted from Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese.
Ingredients
  • 8 tablespoons butter, unsalted 
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups "chicken," finely chopped (seitan, chickpeas or other chicken susbstitute)
  • 1 tablespoon House seasoning 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 3/4 cup hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons flour 
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs 
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 and butter a 9 x13 baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the "chicken" and garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard with a wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half, then add the remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, then whisk in the sour cream until smooth.
Spread half of the macaroni in the prepared baking dish, then top with the chicken mixture and the remaining macaroni. Pour the cheese sauce evenly on top.

Put the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the breadcrumbs, blue cheese and parsley. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

The Results
Oh my goodness. Seriously? This is fantastic. I think this is my new "normal" macaroni and cheese recipe, too. I'll just leave out the "chicken," hot sauce, onions and bleu cheese. I snuck a few "taste tests" of the cheese sauce be pouring it on the macaroni and it was simply fantastic. I ended up making two smaller dishes of macaroni (about the equivalent of two 8 x 8s) and reduced the amount of hot saucy chicken in the kids' portion. They adored the mac and cheese with about half the amount of saucy chicken. My husband and I gobbled up our saucier version. We loved it. This is definitely going in our favorites list.


This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, What's on the Menu Wednesday, Let's Do Brunch, Works for me Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Recipe Link Party, Foodie Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday and No Whine Wednesday.