Fried Mac and Cheese

This is my final game-day-themed recipe of the week! These fried mac and cheese “nuggets” will be a hit at any super bowl gathering, so make sure you fry up a whole bunch of them. I try to eat everything fried in moderation, but if there’s any place to have something like this, it’s a super bowl party.

These mac and cheese bites can be eaten alone, but are even better with one of the many dips I’ve posted this month. I’ve personally tried them with the avocado lime, avocado buffalo, queso, and classic buffalo, all of which were fantastic. I had a few taste testers helping me out who were big fans of these fried mac and cheese bites, and we ran out of them before I could think of anything else to try them with. I have a feeling they’d go well with ketchup, mustard, or barbeque sauce too. Any other combinations you can think of, please share!

I prefer to use the cashew version of the mac and cheese sauce, but you can also use the non-dairy milk version.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CASHEW CHEESE SAUCE

1 cup cashews soaked for 1 hour

3/4 cup water

1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp each of garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, pepper, mustard

pinch of cayenne

6 tbsp nutritional yeast

OTHER INGREDIENTS

12 oz gluten free pasta (I use Jovial fusilli, smaller pasta is easier to work with)

6 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer powder + 1 cup water

2 cups gluten free panko breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp sea salt

pinch of black pepper

1 tsp Italian seasoning blend

1/2 cup potato starch

Lots of olive oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Cook the pasta according to directions on the package. Once the pasta is ready, drain and rinse in the sink.
  2. Make the cashew cheese sauce in a blender.
  3. Pour the pasta back into the pot and stir in the cashew cheese sauce to make sure all the noodles are coated.
  4. Pour the pasta into a freezer-safe dish (I used a 9×9 brownie pan) and cover. Freeze for 1 hour, or until solid.
  5. When the pasta is solid, assemble the egg wash and breadcrumbs.
  6. For the egg wash, whisk together the Ener-G powder and water in a small bowl (if you run out of egg wash while cooking, just make another batch with the same proportions).
  7. In a separate shallow dish, mix together the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and potato starch.
  8. Heat up a frying pan with olive oil for a few minutes on medium heat on the stove.
  9. Use a large spoon to take a piece of mac and cheese (several noodles stuck together) and dip it in the egg wash, and coat it completely. Then dip it in the breadcrumbs, and coat it completely. Place the breadcrumb-coated mac and cheese in the frying pan. You can fry 6-7 “bites” at a time.
  10. Fry them on each side for 7 minutes or until golden brown, then remove and place them on a paper-towel lined plate to drain away the excess oil.
  11. Serve warm.
Adapted from Olives for Dinner

Avocado Lime Dip & Avocado Buffalo Dip

I’m on cashew cream kick at the moment. It’s the perfect base for this avocado dip, because it adds a creamy texture without overpowering the flavor.

These two avocado dips are cashew-based and have only 6 simple ingredients. The avocado lime dip is a cool, creamy dip that is a little bit sweet. The avocado buffalo dip is a healthier version of my Classic Buffalo Dip–swap out the cream cheese for avocado!

These two are very different but both pair well with fries, tofu nuggets, vegetable, tortilla chips, salads, sandwiches, you name it. I love this dip because it is so easy to make a big batch and then use it throughout the week to make my regular meals more exciting. I’ll definitely be bringing both of these to my game day party too!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup cashews, soaked for one hour

1.5 cups water

2 avocados, halved and pitted

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 clove garlic

For lime dip, use juice from one lime (2 tbsp lime juice). For buffalo dip, do not use lime juice, instead use 2 tbsp Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Sauce

INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Blend the cashews with 1/2 cup water until smooth.
  2. Scoop out the insides of the avocados and add to the blender. Add the rest of the water, the lime juice (or buffalo sauce), sea salt, and garlic. Blend again until everything is combined and the dip is creamy.
NOTES
  1. Yields about 2.5 cups of dip.

Classic Buffalo Dip

We’ve got one week to go until the big game, and I’m gearing up with lots of superbowl-themed snacks. Buffalo wing sauce is the classic football food, and this buffalo dip is no exception. It’s a vegan twist on the popular “Buffalo Chicken Dip”, which is typically made with lots of cheese, dairy, and chicken.

As if I’d let that stop me from enjoying my buffalo sauce. Who needs the chicken or the cheese? I’ve got your dairy-free and meatless buffalo sauce dip recipe right here.

You can dip french fries, tofu nuggets, carrot sticks, really anything you want into this stuff. You can put it on sandwiches or salads too for an added kick. It is super addictive and delicious, and great to share even with your non-vegan friends too. As long as they’re OK with cashews and soy, everyone at your party will love this buffalo dip (that is, if you don’t eat it all by yourself first).

My recipes this week will be superbowl themed (read: involving more fried things and buffalo sauce), so look out for some more delicious snacks for your game day party!

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1/2 cup Frank’s Redhot Buffalo Sauce
  2. 8 oz vegan cream cheese
  3. 1 cup cashews, soaked for 1 hour in water
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. 1/4 teaspoon each of dried parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, dried chives, salt, dried dill, mustard powder
  6. 1 tsp lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add the cashews, water, dried parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, dried chives, salt, dried dill, mustard powder, and lemon juice to a blender and process for 30 seconds. This will make a “cashew cream ranch”.
  2. Pour the cashew cream ranch, buffalo sauce, and cream cheese into a bowl and whisk together until completely combined.
  3. Pour this mixture into a small casserole dish and bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
  4. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Queso Dip

I’m all about the snacking on game day. I may only watch for the commercials, but give me lots of junk food and some queso dip, and I’ll watch football anytime.

I love to eat it on nachos piled with avocado, beans, and tomatoes, and sometimes even on my veggie burgers. This delicious, cheesy dip is perfect for game day parties or just general snacking!queso 723x968

Ingredients:

1 cup cashew version of my vegan cheeze sauce

1 cup salsa

Directions

Mix cheese sauce and salsa together. Heat it in a saucepan on the stovetop or microwave for 15-30 seconds.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip II

I’m a bit of a spinach artichoke dip addict, and I’m always looking for ways to improve or simplify my recipes. While I love my original spinach & artichoke dip recipe, I found an even easier way to make my comfort food favorite: with cashew cream! This recipe is creamy, delicious, and so quick. It takes only 10 minutes to prep, 20 minutes to bake, and five seconds to eat the whole thing.

Ingredients:

10 oz frozen chopped or leaf spinach

can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

pinch of cayenne pepper

1 cup cashew cream: 1 cup cashews, 1/2 cup water, pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place the frozen spinach in a microwave safe dish and defrost according to instructions on the package, usually about 6-8 minutes. Prep the other ingredients while the spinach is defrosting.

Drain and rinse the artichoke hearts, then cut into small pieces using a sharp knife. Put the chopped artichoke hearts into a medium-sized casserole dish, and add the vegan mayo, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and sea salt.

Place the cashews, water, and a pinch of sea salt into a blender and process for 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour the cashew cream into the casserole dish.

Once the spinach is defrosted, drain out the extra liquid and add the spinach to the casserole dish. Stir everything together until completely incorporated.

Bake the dip for 20 minutes at 350, then remove and serve warm with tortilla or lentil chips.

Mango Guacamole

You don’t need to be a vegan to love guacamole, and you definitely don’t need to be a vegan to love mango! This colorful, tropical guac is a little bit sweet and a little bit savory, and is a great dip or spread on sandwiches. Plus, the mango packed with tons of Vitamin C to help you fight off those winter colds!

Ingredients:

3 avocados, halved and pitted

1.5 tbsp lime juice

1/2 tomato, diced

1/4 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dried cilantro

1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cubed

optional: add a pinch of chipotle powder for an added kick and smoky flavor!

Directions:

Scoop out the insides of the avocados and place into a bowl. Pour in the lime juice and mash the avocados with a fork until smooth. Add the onion, garlic, cilantro, and optional chipotle powder and stir to incorporate. Add the diced tomato and cubes of mango, and fold into the guacamole. Serve with tortilla or lentil chips.

Bacon Wrapped Dates

Well, it’s really faux bacon, but you get the point. These bacon-wrapped dates are sweet, savory, and really simple to make! You can serve them at your next party or eat them all by yourself while watching Netflix. I won’t judge.

Ingredients: 

1 package of pitted medjool dates

Almond herb cheese or your preferred vegan cheese (it should have a creamy consistency close to goat cheese)

1 package of tempeh bacon–my favorite is LightLife bacon, but this also contains gluten*

Olive oil or cooking spray

Directions:

Soak the almonds in a bowl of water for 1 hour, then make the almond cheese. You can make it with or without the herbs and garlic, depending on your preference. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate for ten minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450F.

If your dates are pitted, it’s time for the cheese. If your dates still contain the pits, slice them open lengthwise and take out the pits to make a hollow on the inside.

Spoon about 1-2 teaspoons of the almond cheese into each date, so that it fills the hollow left by the pit. It’s ok if some spills over the side, it’ll still be delicious!

Wrap each date in a slice of “bacon” and stick a toothpick in the center to hold everything together.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and coat with olive oil or cooking spray. Place the finished bacon wrapped dates with the toothpicks onto the foil, then brush or spray the tops with olive oil or cooking spray. Place them in the oven for 5 minutes at 450F, then turn them over so the other side can cook and bake for another 5 minutes. Serve warm.

*If you don’t eat gluten or soy, these cheese-stuffed dates are still amazing without the bacon! Just warm them up in the oven for a few minutes and enjoy 🙂