Perfected Vegan Mac n Cheese

Perfected Vegan Mac n Cheese

I call myself an “On again, Off again Vegan”.  I know.  It’s silly.  Usually you either are, or you’re not.  For the last month I have been strictly plant-based Monday morning through Friday evening (little to no processed foods included, per the true plant based definition) and then the weekend, anything goes.  I have found that even on the weekends though I am limiting animal products, sugar, and processed foods because I currently don’t have a strong taste or desire for those things!

5 years ago when I first tried a vegan lifestyle, I experimented with some vegan mac and cheese recipes.  A lot of the ones out there were super complicated and required you to do things like soak nuts, or puree sweet potatoes.  First, ew.  Second, no thanks.  Or, on the other hand, they would use highly processed, vegan cheeses.  After five years, I finally have done enough learning and tweaking to say that I have created a vegan mac and cheese recipe truly worth trying.  Please, please do.  The ingredient list looks long but I promise you, it is so simple, and if you are already vegan you probably have most or all of these ingredients any ways.

Here it is!

Perfected Vegan Mac n Cheese

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

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1 lb pasta

3 tablespoon vegan butter (I like Earths balance – the red one)

3 tablespoon flour

2 ¼ cup vegan milk (I prefer SoDelicious unsweetened coconut milk)

2/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon white miso

2 tablespoon tahini

2 tablespoon white wine

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon each of turmeric, paprika, and nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

Optional:

Frozen peas and corn

Directions

Boil pasta according to directions.

In a separate pot, melt butter over medium heat until melted.

Add flour and whisk, creating a roux.

While continuing to whisk slowly add milk.  Let heat for a couple minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients whisking between each one.

Allow sauce to heat to simmering and then reduce heat and allow to thicken a little while pasta continues to cook.  Make sure to whisk every so often, and don’t expect it to get very thick (you don’t want it to anyway).

When pasta is done, drain, and gently stir into the sauce.  Add heated, frozen-veggies if desired.

Voila!  Creamy, cheesy flavored, comfort food: the best vegan mac and cheese you could ever have.

 

 

Quiche Rhiannon

Quiche Rhiannon

This quiche recipe is pretty tasty!  One of the things I love about it is that in its simplicity, yet very good flavour and texture, it is easy to do all sorts of variations for fillings.

Last night, we made one in our personal favourite way: with swiss chard, and summer squash (and it’s the ONLY way I will eat swiss chard!).  We also added a leek this time, as I wasn’t sure what else I might be using the leek for.  One time I brought this version to our monthly Sunday Morning Zeal Meal, a monthly sharing of a huge meal and relationship with one another at our church.  That particular morning, I threw a couple sliced mushrooms in the pan with the onion and OMG the compliments that morning were endless.  Quiche can be so fun, and creative! Goodbye, Lorraine.  Hello, Rhiannon!

This make one large quiche, so I would not go over the suggestions, and if your eggs are on the large side or you’re planning to add a lot of filling I would cut down to four or five eggs.

Quiche Rhiannon

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 90 minutes

IMG_3611.JPGIngredients

Single pie crust, either store bought or homemade is fine. If you want a simple homemade recipe, comment below!

1 tablespoon of butter

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves minced garlic

6 medium eggs

¾ cup of half and half (or milk product of your choice)

1 cup of shredded cheese of your choice

½ teaspoon each: salt, ground mustard

a scant ¼ teaspoon each: paprika, nutmeg, black pepper

Variations: I would add ½ cup to 1 cup per ingredient depending on how many I am adding

Diced ham, crumbled/cooked bacon, peppers, mushrooms, feta cheese etc

Directions

Preheat oven to 375

Place pie crust into an ungreased pie plate.

Sauté the onion in the butter over medium heat for 9 minutes, lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over the onion as cooking, and add the garlic in the last minute or two. Allow to cool.

Whisk together the eggs, and cream.

Add the onion, cheese, seasonings, and any other add-ins.

Pour the mixture into your pie crust.

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes until set. (this may vary slightly depending on what add-ins you have, ie. The more veggies the longer it may need to cook)

Allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

This can be eaten warm, cold, or room temperature.  Voila! The beauty of quiche.

Serve with orange slices, a fresh garden salad, or bacon and potatoes.

Here is my swiss chard variation

Added Ingredients:

One small each: zucchini and summer squash, peeled and diced.

One bunch of swiss chard, stems separated from leaves.  Stems diced, leaves torn.

4 to 5 minced garlic cloves

¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Follow all previous directions but adding these:

After 5 minutes of the onion sautéing, add the chard stems and the squash.  Sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the chard leaves and sauté for 3 to 4 more minutes, until the leaves are soft and darkened.

When adding ingredients to the egg mixture, include the extra garlic, and the parmesan cheese.

Proceed as previously directed.

 

 

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Warm and Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole

Warm and Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole

This casserole reminds me of my days working at the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester and Milford NH.  If you’re ever there, check them out.  Their whole basis was comfort food, and this recipe is no different.  This casserole is the ultimate comfort food, and my kiddos even love it.

I tend to make my own cream of [fill in the blank] soups, but feel free to use canned.  If you are interested in my cream soup recipes please comment below and I would be happy to share those also! They are pretty simple and perfect, in my opinion.

Also, if you want to save time and energy, go ahead and use frozen carrots instead of fresh ones.  Just throw them in with the frozen peas at the end.

Warm and Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole

Yield: one 9 x 13 baking dish

Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

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2 tablespoons butter

3 to 4 carrots diced small

¼ to ½ onion diced small

2 cloves garlic minced

8 ounces egg noodles, boiled according to directions

2 cups cooked and shredded chicken

10 oz cream of chicken soup

10 oz cream of mushroom soup

1 cup of half and half

1 cup frozen peas and/or corn

1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper

¼ teaspoon of thyme

½ teaspoon parsley

Directions

Preheat oven to 350

Sauté the carrots and onion in the butter until soft, adding the garlic in the last minute or two. Allow to cool for a couple minutes.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir gently, but well.

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Put the mixture into the baking dish, spreading to cover the bottom of the whole dish and cover with foil.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Voila! Warm up, from the inside out.

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Fresh Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

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I love lemon and berry flavors together! So, I think these are pretty yummy, and could even pass for a light dessert, especially if you made a simple glaze of powdered sugar and lemon juice for the tops.

Fresh Lemon-Blueberry Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins, or one 9-inch bread loaf

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 45 to 70 minutes

fullsizeoutput_34d3Ingredients

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

2 ½ cups flour

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

2/3 cup milk

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup or so fresh blueberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350

Combine the butter, sugar, egg and zest and mix on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients except the blueberries and mix another minute or two.

Stir in the berries.

Pour the batter into a prepared muffin tin, or bread pan.

For muffins, bake about 32-35 minutes.

For bread, bake 50-60 minutes.

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If you try my recipe I would love to read a comment by you!

Extra love and respect if you include a picture.

Recipe Alert!

Hey there!

So, I definitely want to incorporate recipes in this blog for your enjoyment and use.  As a mom of three, and someone that thrives on whole and homemade foods, I have never felt that having go-to, delicious and nutritious recipes at my fingertips to be more important.

I love Pinterest.  Props to whoever created it because it has played a crucial part in my life.  Although I have found plenty of great recipes on Pinterest I have also lost my patience many times.  The links that don’t work properly, the ones that connect to deleted websites; the recipes that you have to sift through hundreds and hundreds of words and pictures just to get to the real ingredients and directions, and the recipes that turn out to be just plain awful.

I promise, my recipes, and the format I will present them to you in, are none of those things.  They are simple.  They are pliable.  They are tasty.

When I opened this gift on Christmas morning, I was ecstatic.

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Click the photo to shop this product!

I have been wanting something like this for a while.  Now I can keep my tried, tweaked, original, and true recipes somewhere always handy.

Once a week I plan to post one of these recipes.

I dare you to try them.  My somewhat snobbish taste for quality, good tasting, fresh food combined with being raised on my mum’s home cooking, plus working in every imaginable restaurant position at some point in my life has lead me to be a decent chef.

You won’t regret trying my recipes.

Be on the look out!