Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is one of my ultimate comfort foods and I am always up for trying out different vegan versions 🙂 I love that this recipe uses 20 ounces of squash for the sauce so you “sneak” in the veggies and help make it a creamier sauce without needing extra vegan cheese. (although we didn’t really skimp on that:))  Check out Cheesy Baked Penne with Cauliflower (one of my fave versions ever!) and Quick, Easy & Healthy Vegan Mac & Cheeze (I also used winter squash in this one).

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch
Serves 8

• 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
• About 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
• 1 pound whole-wheat or brown rice elbow macaroni
• 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen pureed winter squash
• 2 cups soy, rice milk or almond milk
• 8 ounces vegan Cheddar cheese, shredded
• 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) vegan cream cheese
• 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered mustard
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Oil a 2-quart casserole dish; set aside.
  2. In a 4- to 6-quart stockpot over high heat, combine 3 quarts of water with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the salt. Bring the water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook according to the package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the squash and milk, stirring and breaking up the squash with a spoon until the squash is defrosted. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Cheddar, cream cheese, mustard, cayenne, and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of salt.
  4. When the pasta is done, drain it, then return the pasta to the pot. Stir the cheese sauce into the macaroni. Transfer the entire mixture to the prepared baking pan.
  5. Sprinkle with more cheese and salt and pepper and then bake for 20 minutes.

Bring on the troops!

Vegan Pizza with homemade dough

Who doesn’t appreciate a good slice, especially here in NYC where pizza is so very important and such a point of contention – even for vegans! Our favorite place to order from is Viva Herbal Pizzeria where we can get spelt or gluten-free crusts with daiya and even vegan sausage as toppings (our personal fave combo!) Pala Pizza also has great vegan options and that brick-fired pizza taste, yum!

Sometimes it is easy to buy dough and tomato sauce quickly whip up a pie at home, but if you are interested in making your own dough, here is a great recipe! My mom made the dough and I added the homemade sauce (thanks mom!!).  It was really very very good!

Check out here for some of my other fun pizza nights 🙂 Flatbread Pizza with hummus, green olives, cherry tomatoes and za’atar (this is a raw one and Well Worth the effort!), Raw Eggplant Pizzas and the quick at home whipped up kind with purchased dough.

Vegan Pizza with Homemade Dough & Daiya Cheese

Pizza Dough Recipe

  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast (1 packet of dry yeast)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  1. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees (if using a pizza stone – place in the oven to get hot and heat for an hour)
  2. Mix together the warm water, sugar and yeast. Put aside to get foamy. If it does not foam then the yeast is not good – redo this step.
  3. In a separate bowl mix all of the other ingredients. Add in the yeast mixture and mix well until dough forms a ball. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough – Use the palm of your hand and keep pressing in and folding it over and repeating for about 5 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into 4 – one pound balls. Place these dough balls into containers and cover the container with anything that will keep the air out. Set the dough to rise in a warm spot for at least 45 minutes. (you can freeze any unused dough after rising*)
  5. Prepare your topping. Stretch out the dough and aim for it to be even thickness all around. Top your pizza and place in the oven. Bake for 8 minutes. Let it rest. Add any herbs to your pizza afterwards.

*If using frozen dough – allow dough to defrost in fridge 12 hours

  • Either use a jar of Marinara Sauce or make your own

Basic Sauce Recipe

  • 28 ounce pureed tomatoes
  • sugar to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 3-6 finely grated fresh peeled garlic cloves

Mix all the ingredients together.

Topping Suggestions:

  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Fresh or Roasted Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Corn
  • Peppers
  • Olives
  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Grilled/Fried/Baked Eggplant
  • Grilled Zucchini
  • Roasted Red Pepper
  • Capers
  • Saute Spinach
  • Pesto Sauce
  • Artichokes
  • Soy Pepperoni or Soy Sausage or Tofu/tempeh
  • Daiya Vegan Cheese or other vegan cheese
  • Herbs

Unbaked Pizza

Slow-cooked Open Enchiladas

Such a super fast and satisfying meal. I made this as a dinner but we realized what an amazing salsa/dip this would make! So yummy with tortilla chips! When I make this again, I will forget about adding the tortillas in since we could just eat this with the chips anyway.

Before the Daiya

after Daiya, ready to eat!

Slow-cooked Open Enchiladas

  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 16-ounce bottle chunky salsa
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 1/4-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6-10 6″ corn tortillas
  • daiya or any other vegan cheese
  1. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, salsa, tomato paste, beans, corn, green chiles, cumin, and garlic powder. Mix well. Spread about 1 cup of this mixture into the slow cooker liner; spread evenly. Top with 2-3 tortillas, cutting to fit as necessary. Spread on 1/3 of the remaining tomato mixture. Repeat these layers 2 more times, ending with the rest of the tomato mixture; spread evenly over the top.
  2. Cover and cook on the low heat setting about 5 hours.
  3. Add vegan cheese on top and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, till melted. Serve hot.

Vegan 7 Layer Dip

I like to go to and host parties — and around this time its all about Football!!

GO J-E-T-S!!!!!!!!

I always want something yummy that everyone will like but of course want to keep it vegan. This was actually beyond deelish and people were bumping their hands to get in there for more 🙂

Hosting a Championships or Super Bowl Football party? Or just attending one and need a fabulous dish to bring….try this one out and let me know what you think. I am sure you and everyone else will be super delighted!!!

with cheese layer, after baking

before cheese layer and baking

Vegan 7 Layer Dip

1 (16-ounce) can vegan refried beans
3 large avocados
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 (8-ounce) containers vegan sour cream
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 cup diced mild green chiles, drained
1 can sliced black olives
5 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar daiya or other vegan cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread a layer of refried beans in the bottom of an 8 inch by 8 inch quart glass baking dish.
  3. Spoon avocados into a bowl and mash with the lime juice. Spread on top of the refried beans.
  4. Stir together the sour cream and taco seasoning, and spread over the avocado.
  5. Sprinkle the chiles over the sour cream, and top with a layer of black olives.
  6. Add the tomatoes, and sprinkle with the cheese.
  7. Heat the dip for 15-30 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is a bit melted.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Quick, Easy & Healthy Vegan Mac & Cheeze

This was so super fast and I whipped it up with ingredients I had in the house. Love that! I bet this would be great for kids and those peeps who are not into their veggies. The squash is just folded right into the cheeze sauce, perfecto!

Quick, Easy & Healthy Vegan Mac & Cheeze

1 lb. whole wheat/quinoa or rice rotini
1 cup soymilk
12 oz package frozen or canned butternut squash
2 cups Cheddar Daiya
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
pepper to taste

  1. Prepare pasta according to package and Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In a medium saucepan, simmer soymilk with butternut squash until combined
  3. Remove from heat and mix with Cheddar Daiya, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp dry mustard and pepper to taste
  4. Pour drained pasta into a baking dish and stir in cheeze mixture
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 min
  6. ENJOY

Polenta with Black Beans, Pan-Fried Tofu & Roasted Coconut Tomato Sauce

This was surprisingly easy to make and deelish! Michael and I both loved it so much!! I would say double this recipe as it will go FAST 🙂 This dish is hearty with great flavor. This is definitely a great dish for people transitioning to a vegan diet, meat-eaters you want to impress with how deelish vegan food can be, and of course Vegans will love this too!! So yum!!!

I added my go-to pan-fried tofu to this dish. As far as I know, it is the best way to make tofu that is super tasty! The crust is perfect!! You can always change up the spices to suit any meal 🙂

Before the Sauce

Polenta with Black Beans, Pan-Fried Tofu & Roasted Coconut Tomato Sauce
Adapted from a recipe on http://www.thekitchn.com/

Polenta with Black Beans and Roasted Coconut Tomato Sauce
1 can black beans (15 ounces)
1 can diced tomatoes in juice (28 ounces)
6 large stalks swiss chard or kale
3 large or 6 small garlic cloves, diced
1 package pre-cooked polenta (18 ounces)
1/2 cup light coconut milk
2 tbs. jamaican jerk seasoning
3 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1 lb extra firm tofu
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
dash of salt
dash of cayenne
sprinkling of Daiya/Italian – Mozzarella Blend

  1. Preheat oven to 500F. Empty entire can of tomatoes in a ceramic or glass baking dish, add coconut milk, and place in the oven. Bake 35 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a saucepan. Add 1-2 cloves diced garlic, 1 tbs. jerk seasoning and cook 2 minutes. Add entire can of black beans and set heat to low, stirring occasionally.
  3. Separate swiss chard stems from leaves. Dice stems very fine and add to a saute pan with 1 tbs. of oil and 2-3 cloves diced garlic. Heat through on medium 2-3 minutes, then add chopped leaves, apple cider vinegar, and 1/3 cup water. Cover with a lid and set heat to low.
  4. Check on the tomato sauce. Stir in fresh thyme and continue to roast.
  5. Drain, blot and press Tofu to release liquid. Slice into 1/2″ cubes.
  6. Heat vegetable oil on medium-high heat in a non-stick pan and add tofu, sprinkling with salt and cayenne. Let tofu sizzle for 6 minutes without stirring until a crust forms. Turn tofu over and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and train.
  7. In the same pan heat 1 tbs. olive oil on medium heat. Slice polenta in 1/2″ thick slices. Sprinkle one side with remaining 1 tbs. jerk seasoning. Fry polenta, about 3 minutes per side until light brown and crispy.
  8. To serve: spoon about 1/3 cup of beans on a place, 1/3 cup of tofu. Top with a heaping spoonful of greens and a slice of polenta. Top with about 1/4 cup tomato-coconut sauce and a sprinkling of daiya cheese and enjoy!

VEGAN CHIK’N CASSEROLE

The word casserole is so funny to me, it brings me right to the 1950’s in my mind with horrible thoughts of tuna casserole dishes. But I can assure you this is a deelish, compassionate one dish wonder! YUM!! I always LOVE Bryanna’s recipes! Her Bechamel sauce is divine!! Super versatile and super deeeeelish! Great to have a vegan recipe for this 🙂

VEGAN CHIK’N CASSEROLE
Adapted from Bryanna’s Vegan “Chicken” Divan Casserole
Serves 6-9

  • 2 lbs. broccoli, cut into small pieces and steamed crisp-tender
  • 2 cups grated vegan “cheddar” (preferably Daiya cheese)
  • 3-4 cups strips of any vegan “chicken” substitute (I used Morningstar Farms Meal Starters Chik’n Strips)
  • 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups vegan white sauce or Bechamel sauce(Bryanna’s Recipe is below)
  • 1 cup Tofu Sour Creme
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Saute the “chicken” sub in a large pan with the Earth balance and chopped garlic.
  3. Spread the steamed broccoli in the bottom of 9 x 13″ baking pan. Cover that with the “chicken” sub. Sprinkle with salt and grind pepper over that to taste. Spread 1 cup of the vegan “cheese” over the top (save the other half for the top of the finished casserole).
  4. Mix the bechamel sauce with the sour creme and lemon juice, stirring well. Drizzle this evenly over the casserole and smooth it out. Sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs and then spread, sprinkle or dot with the remaining “cheese”.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes and serve hot.

BRYANNA’S DAIRY-FREE BESCIAMELLA (BECHAMEL OR WHITE SAUCE)
makes 2 cups

  • 2 Tablespoons dairy-free margarine or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 to 3 Tablespoons unbleached flour (depending on thickness desired)

Blended Mixture:

  • 1 cup soy, almond, or rice milk
  • 1/2 cup extra-firm SILKEN tofu or regular medium-firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 “chicken-style” vegetarian broth cube (or enough for 1 cup of liquid), crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • a large pinch EACH of freshly-grated nutmeg and white pepper
  1. Place all of the Blended Mixture ingredients, EXCEPT the nutmeg and pepper, in the blender and blend until VERY smooth.  Set aside.
  2. Melt the margarine in a medium, heavy saucepan and whisk in the flour.  Whisk it over medium-high heat for a few minutes, but remove from heat before it starts to change color (you want a white “roux”).  Scrape this into the Blended Mixture and blend for a few seconds, then pour the mixture back into the pot.  Stir over medium-high heat until it thickens and boils; turn down and simmer on low for a few minutes.  Whisk in the nutmeg and pepper.

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