Vegan Smokey Mac and Greens

Vegan Smokey Mac and Greens

Now I know that if you're a fan of this page you probably assume that all recipes are vegan (YOU WOULD BE CORRECT!) but then think "well why the heck does she put "vegan" into every recipe title?" Well it helps with search engine stuff. So there, now you know! I'm sure I could figure out a different way but I like having that info right there. 

Anyhow on to the food! I don't really know what to say about it. It's super creamy silky smokey and greeny? It's comfort food all grown up. It's ... it is what it is. It's my new favorite cheesy sauce. It's my jam. 

Oh yeah one thing - the liquid smoke. Some people get all freaked out about it and if you buy some brands you should be. The one I get (this one!) is just what it should be LIQUID SMOKE. They make it by condensing smoke vapor. No crazy weird stuff in it. It's essential to the flavor or this though I suppose if you don't want smokey cheesy then you could leave it out. Of course if you don't want smokey stuff then why did you click on the recipe? Muahahah! 

Vegan Smokey Mac and Greens

1 large (fist sized) potato, peeled and cubed
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped (not sweet! If you use a sweet onion it will be gross. Trust me.)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (not in the shells!)
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1.5 cup unsweetened soy milk (or almond or whatever you drink)
5 oz baby kale (or 1 bunch of regular kale with the stems removed and the leaves finely chopped)
16 oz elbow noodles

Let's start out by making the sauce. Put the potato, carrot, onion and sunflower seeds in a large pot and add enough water to submerge everything. Bring to a boil and then turn it down to medium and let simmer until everything is tender, about 15 minutes. When done, drain the water out.
Place the potatoes, carrots, onion, sunflower seeds, garlic, lemon juice, salt liquid smoke, black pepper AND soy milk into your blender and blend until nice and super smooth. Taste and add additional salt or pepper or liquid smoke to taste. 
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for your noodles. Cook them until al dente (according to the packages directions.) Right when they are finished add the kale to the pot and stir it. Immediately drain and then add back to the pot.  Pour the sauce over it all and stir to combine. It may seem super saucey at first but it kind of gets sucked into the noodles as it cools so you want all that sauce. 
At this point you could pour into a casserole dish, covered with breadcrumbs and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the crumbs are browned and everything is bubbly. 
OR you can just eat it. Because you're hungry already and no one wants to wait to eat. 
It makes "8" servings. More like 4.75 

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Cookbook Review: Salad Samurai

The BKT Salad

The BKT Salad

How do you feel about salads? Drooling yet??? 

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Orange Poppyseed Dressing 

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Orange Poppyseed Dressing 

So if you've been following along on Facebook  you may have noticed that I've been posting a lot of pictures from cookbooks I've been cooking. I decided that it is about time that I get out my books and USE THEM, am I right? So my plan is to give you a review on what I'm cooking from so you can get out your copy (or buy a copy!) and cook along with me! 

Tempeh BBQ & Dilly Slaw Salad 

Tempeh BBQ & Dilly Slaw Salad 

First up is Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romero. The first thing that I want to tell you is that I AM NOT A SALAD PERSON. Well, scratch that. I WAS not a salad person. In fact I didn't even crack open this book for a long time because it seemed like a painful thing to me at the time to eat salads. Now that I know how to make a GOOD salad I'm all about salads. I never thought it was possible to love salads this much. I crave SALAD. If you already love salads then what are you waiting for?! If you don't know how you feel about them yet then get your book out and get cracking! (IF you think you aren't a salad person then prepare to be amazed at how hearty a salad can be!!!) 

Reubenesque Salad 

Reubenesque Salad 

Here's some things you may want to know about the book: 

How are the pictures?
Awesome. Beautiful and they make you super hungry. 
How easy are the recipes?
If you take a bit of time to do some extra prep on the weekend before work then you can have awesome salads all week with very little effort. It's really not bad!
Does it have a lot of hard to find ingredients?
Not really at all! While some call for tempeh, miso or other products like that you can always use substitutes.
Can this easily fit into my dietary guidelines (gluten free/oil free/sugar free/etc?)
Many recipes are gluten free by nature and with what is on the market you can find gluten free substitutes for most things. Oil free is a tiny bit trickier but you just need to find suitable substitutes for the oil in salad dressings. One sub I like to use is 1/2 teaspoon guar gum (you can buy it online or by all of that gluten free baking stuff) in a salad dressing plus some water, juice or broth to make up the difference. It thickens up nicely.
How did your kids like it?
Ahh so kids and salads are weird. At least my kids. My 8 month old doesn't have teeth to chew greens or anything so he gets ingredients smashed up. Whatever. My almost 5 year old doesn't really like to eat a salad but she always requests them. The trick i've found is to put the individual components in her food trays (these are what we use!) and let her make her own salad. She tends to eat more. Oh or putting it all in a wrap works too. 
How did the Mr. like it?
He loved the salads! AND they are hearty enough that he didn't complain about eating one for dinner after a hard day of work. 
Would you make any of the recipes more than once?
Uh heck yeah and I already have. I'm kind of obsessed with this book and these recipes. I make at least 3 a week right now and that's a ton with how many other things I'm trying to cook in the meantime. 
What are your favorite recipes from the book?
The BKT is my absolute favorite right now but I'm also obsessed with the Reubenesque. The Mr. loved the BBQ Tempeh with Dilly Slaw.  

Have any other questions you'd like me to answer about the cookbooks?! Comment and let me know! 

Tempeh Taco Salad

Tempeh Taco Salad

Okay and just one more... how I turned my salad into a wrap! 

Reubenesque Salad turned into a wrap!

Reubenesque Salad turned into a wrap!


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Vegan Orange Creamsicles

Vegan Orange Creamsicles

It's hot. Like mega hot. It's over 100 and that's hot for the Pacific Northwest soooooo we're rolling up our sleeves and making popsicles. OKAY OKAY you got me, if you follow me on Instagram then you probably saw that I was also dumb enough to bake when its this hot outside. So smart. By the way - instagram will show you my posts 100% of the time. Facebook? I'm lucky if I get 10%. Yeah you've heard it a million times. I'm working on getting a newsletter going again because that is just ridiculous. 

Anyhow yeah popsicles. I made some orange creamsicles that don't have frozen canned orange juice goo and I even got fancy with a vanilla bean. You don't need vanilla beans but I figured what the heck. 

Also I tried these with xylitol and it works amazingly well! It also works great with agave so you have options. 

Vegan Orange Creamsicles

1 pkg silken tofu (like mori-nu)
4 peeled oranges cut into slices or whatever
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 cup xylitol or agave 

Blend up with your super duper blender (obviously I used my buddy Blendtec!) and then pour into popsicle molds (this is mine). Put in sticks (so I started using plastic butter knives and it's SO MUCH BETTER THAN WOOD STICKS!!!!!!!!!!) and freeze until solid. Enjoy!

 

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Pressure Cooked Mexican Brown Rice

Pressure Cooked Mexican Brown Rice

Woah wow it's been a long time since I have posted a recipe. I need to remedy that. Anyway whatever no big deal. I made some awesome rice. You should make some too. It's healthy, delicious, easy and very versatile. It goes in bowls, burritos, enchiladas, and whatever else you like. I cooked it in one of my favorite home appliances : my Instant Pot! It's no lie that it's about the handiest thing I have. Seriously I have never heard of anyone buying one and not loving it. 

Pressure Cooked Mexican Brown Rice

2 & 1/2 cup short grain brown rice
1 Tablespoon whole cumin seeds
14oz can chopped tomatoes
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2-1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth 
1 & 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 can corn (drained) - optional 
1/4 cup chopped cilantro



Turn your pressure cooker on to saute and cook the onions, cumin seed and jalapeno until the onions are translucent. Add everything else except the corn and cilantro then stir well. Put on the lid and cook at high pressure (that's the regular pressure rather than low) for 25 minutes with natural release for 10 (then manual release if necessary after that.) Stir in the corn and cilantro at the end. 

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Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Vegan Carrot Cake Oatmeal

I'm having lots of fun making different oatmeals for my daughter's breakfasts! She said that this one is good and that her favorite part is the raisins. I thought it was yummy too! This makes 2 servings for a young child or one adult sized serving. 

Vegan Carrot Cake Oatmeal

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almond or soy milk
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon raisins
1 carrot, finely shredded
1/2 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix everything together and microwave for 3 minutes. You can cook it on the stovetop but it will take longer. I usually just throw it in the freezer for a couple of minutes to cool it down or stir in an ice cup. 

- 6 WW points - 

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