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

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.

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 🙂

Crunchy Rice Noodle Salad

Happy New Year! For my first official post of 2015, I decided to make something a little healthier than all those sugar cookies from last month. Of course I had to put something “fried” in it, but hey, it’s got some healthy veggies in there too. The puffed rice noodles give it a great crunch and make the whole dish look super fancy. This recipe comes with two options for dressings, because they were both so good that I couldn’t decide which one to use!

Salad Ingredients:

Rice stick noodles (I used Maifun brand)

Grape seed oil

1 package of your preferred lettuce mix

Shredded carrots

1 clementine or mandarin orange, peeled and separated

Slivered almonds

Sea salt

Directions:

Toss the lettuce, shredded carrots, orange slices, and slivered almonds in a large bowl.

Heat grapeseed or olive oil in a frying pan on the stove. Take one rice stick and place the end in the oil to test if it is hot enough. If it puffs up after a few seconds, the oil is ready.

Take a handful of rice sticks and place them in the oil. They should puff up and “grow” in a few seconds. Using tongs, flip them onto the other side so they can cook completely.

Take them out of the oil and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain the oil. Season with a bit of sea salt to taste, and place on top of the salad.

Thai Peanut-Style Dressing:

1.5 tbsp almond or peanut butter

4 tsp lime juice

4 tsp gluten free tamari

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp dried cilantro

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp honey

Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. If the dressing is too “peanutty”, try adding some more tamari or ginger.

Cashew Cilantro Dressing (soy free):

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup cashews

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp dried cilantro

1 clove garlic

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp sea salt

Blend all ingredients for 10 seconds in a blender, then pour into a bowl and serve.

Simple Vegan Latkes

Happy Hanukkah! The miracle of Hanukkah is all about the oil that burned for eight days when it was supposed to only last for one, and how it saved the temple in Jerusalem. We celebrate by frying everything and anything in oil and lighting the menorah for eight nights. So if you want some real latkes for Hanukkah, don’t be stingy with the oil. That’s the whole point!latkes 1

Ingredients:

4 russet potatoes

1 white or sweet onion

1/4 cup potato starch

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Grapeseed or canola oil for frying

Directions:

1) Wash and peel the potatoes and onion. Use a grater or food processor to grate the potatoes, then place them in a colander over a bowl or paper towel to drain the liquid out. You can also press the grated potato between two layers of paper towels to remove more liquid, which helps the latkes bind together. Once drained, place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl.

2) Peel and dice/grate the onion and place in the mixing bowl with the potatoes.

3) Add the baking powder, potato starch, salt, and pepper and mix well.

4) Pour one inch of oil into a frying pan and place on high heat for a minute or two. Once the oil starts to bubble, use a medium-sized ice cream scoop to place balls of the grated potato mixture into the oil, about 3-4 at a time.

5) Let the potatoes fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown, and be careful not to burn them. Flip them using a spatula since they are delicate and will break apart with too much pressure. When they are done, remove them from the oil and drain on a plate covered with a paper towel.

6) Serve them hot with lots and lots of applesauce!

Disco Fries

If you enjoyed my Cider and Rum Punch or had any other holiday cocktails, you’re going to need a serious hangover food. I was at a diner last week with a friend who ordered these fries and I immediately started craving them, but of course there was no vegan option that I could order. So I went home and made my own. These fries are so easy to make, and minimal effort is an important quality in a hangover food. This dish was inspired by a recipe from the wonderful Clinton Kelly of The Chew.

Ingredients

For gravy:
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
1/2 cup white rice flour

Other:
3-4 slices Field Roast Chao cheese, or your preferred vegan cheese
1 package frozen French fries

Directions

Prepare the French fries according to instructions on the package. When the fries are done, tear up the cheese and place pieces on top of the fries. Place back in the oven for five minutes to melt the cheese, then remove from the oven and transfer to a plate.

Make or measure out two cups of vegetable stock. I microwave a bouillon cube in two cups of water until it dissolves, but you can also use pre-made vegetable stock from a carton. Once the stock is measured out, set aside.

Melt the earth butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the white rice flour and whisk to combine into a roux, which should look like a rough paste:

IMG_0345Add the vegetable stock to the roux a half a cup at a time, each time whisking to combine. When all of the stock is added, whisk for one minute on the heat until the gravy thickens. Remove from heat.

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Spoon the gravy over the cheese and fries, and serve warm. Save the rest of the gravy to eat with roasted vegetables or “chicken” nuggets!

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