Friday, November 24, 2017

Macaroni and Cheeze with Buffalo Chickpeas


We weren't joking when we said we wanted to try all of the mac and cheeze recipes out there!

This one's a little more dressed up than your regular mac, but doesn't take all that much more time to prepare. Bonus!


These buffalo chickpeas are possibly the greatest we've ever eaten. You could definitely add them to soups, salads, or have them as a snack. They have the perfect balance of smoky and sweet.

This is one delicious dish and also satisfying, I might add. You'll be adding this to your mac and cheeze repertoire, too.




Macaroni and Cheeze with Buffalo Chickpeas
Adapted from Vegan Bowl Attack by Jackie Sobon

Ingredients

Roasted Chickpeas
1 can of cooked chickpeas, drain and rinse (our can was 28 oz.)
1/4 cup buffalo sauce + 2 tbsp (we used Frank's Red Hot with a tbsp of vegan butter melted) 

Cheeze Sauce
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in warm water for 30 mins
1 cup water
1/2 - 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp tumeric

1 package of macaroni pasta or whatever shape floats your boat
1 tbsp vegan butter 
splash or two unsweetened original almond milk, if necessary

For serving
Ranch dressing, we were lazy and didn't make our own so we used the Daiya Ranch which was perfect for this
Some sort of greens or celery

Instructions

Roasted Chickpeas
Preheat oven to 375F. Toss together chickpeas and Frank's until coated. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Roast for 10-12 minutes then roll around to make sure all sides are crispy and bake for another 12 minutes or so. Put into a bowl and toss with some more Frank's. Set aside.

Macaroni and cheeze
Cook your pasta according to the instructions on the package, then strain.
Place the noodles back in the pot, coat with 1 tbsp of vegan butter and set aside while you make the cheeze sauce.

Drain the cashews and place in a high power blender with the rest of the cheeze sauce ingredients. Blend until completely smooth. Add to a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until slightly simmering. Stir frequently to avoid clumping. After 3-5 mins the sauce should be thickened. 

Pour the cheeze sauce over the pasta and put the pot over low heat. Add a splash or two of almond milk if it's too thick.

Serving
When you're ready to serve, toss the romaine (and optional celery) in with the mac 'n' cheese then plate immediately. Place roughly a 1/4 C. of chickpeas on top, then drizzle with a little extra buffalo sauce and a generous drizzling of the ranch sauce.
Enjoy!


Friday, November 17, 2017

Vegan Eats in Ottawa

Back in the summer, we went with our mom to Ottawa for a little family reunion type thingy to celebrate the 70th birthday of our Nannie's (read: grandmother's) sister. It was pretty emotional for us because our Nannie passed away last year and she has 7 sisters who all share a slight resemblance to her, but we got through it and had a nice time with everyone. While we were there, we had the opportunity to check out the vegan scene in Ottawa, and let me tell you, we were impressed.


The first place we checked out was Pure Kitchen. This isn't exclusively vegan, they have vegetarian options as well but they do right by the vegans! We all enjoyed our food and it wasn't just because we were starved after our five hour drive. 



Caitlin had the buffalo cauliflower wrap and the cauliflower was so flavourful and crispy. They put all of the other buffalo cauliflower wraps we've had to shame.


This is the Royale with Cheese and OMG it was amazing. I don't think I've had a better burger! A walnut-mushroom patty with russian dressing and cashew cheese. Decadent? Yes. Worth it? ABSOLUTELY. I also had a kale cesar salad on the side so I clearly was in it to win it.


Next stop was some vegan ice cream! This ice cream is from Moo Shu Ice Cream & Kitchen and it's made from beans. Pretty wild, huh? I really enjoyed the chocolate but not the 




We stopped into a local grocery chain - Farmboy - because we love grocery stores. They had this line of vegan cakes, so we couldn't pass up the chance to taste some baked goods. There were other flavours but we thought this was the most different. It was kind of disappointing. Pretty dry and also really sweet.


Oh, Little Jo Berry's I wish you were closer!!! I follow on Instagram and it's absolute torture. They have such unique treats that are absolutely delicious. 



Treats, treats, so many treats! And they also have savoury options, too, like sandwiches and handpies.


This was the best scone we've ever had! Chocolate and coconut never tasted so good. It was crumbly yet buttery, exactly what I look for in a scone. I dropped this on the ground but that couldn't stop me from gobbling it up!


That little cookie sandwich was minty and buttery and chocolatey. The coffee cake on top was pretty good but I've had better. I think it was gluten-free, so that explains a lot.

Seriously, give Little Jo Berry's a follow on Instagram and if you're close by - GO THERE NOW. lol. 


Okay, this one is outside of Ottawa but still close enough that you should try to visit if you're in Ottawa. I also wish this place, Grow Your Roots, was closer. All of these sandwiches were scrumptious! 



Thursday, November 9, 2017

More Vegan Mac and Cheeze!


Getting real up-close and personal with this mac and cheeze. 

Warm, cheezy, creamy and well-coated, that's what I look for in a mac and cheeze. And that's exactly what this one has going for it! There are so many variations on mac and cheeze and we plan to try them all.


This recipe uses cauliflower as the main ingredient and it is the perfect base for a cheeze sauce. Cauliflower is one of my all-time favourite vegetables. It's so versatile! When you roast it you barely have to do anything at all to bring out its sweet, nutty flavour. But in something like this, the cauliflower takes on whatever flavour you add to it while providing tons of nutrition.


This is our favourite vegan cheeze sauce - it's an awesome standby when we're having those mac and cheeze cravings, which creep up more than we'd like to admit. We hope you'll love this one too!

Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheeze

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups of cauliflower, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened original almond milk
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp salt
3-4 tbsp white vinegar
8 oz macaroni, cooked

Directions
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium and add onion once the oil is hot. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Add cauliflower, broth and milk to the pot. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook the cauliflower until softened and you can pierce it with a fork easily, about 15-20 mins. Remove from heat and let cool.

Pour the cauliflower mixture and remaining ingredients into a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and stir to coat.

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Vegan Eats and Options in Salem, Massachusetts (including THE BEST VEGAN PIZZA EVER!)

Back in August, the Kitchen Grrrls went to Salem, Massachusetts and had a super awesome amazing fun spooky time. We also ate some AMAZING food while in Salem so this post should assure you that there are plenty of vegan options to be had (some mediocre and some AWESOME) in The Witch City. We also recommend taking the Hocus Pocus Tour with Susan and Rich which is definitely the best tour of Salem, MA.

Are you ready for some Salem, MA vegan food pics?! Let's dig in...

Best Vegan Restaurants Salem Massachusetts Flying Saucer Pizza Vegan

First up, this glorious monstrosity is the all vegan BEAST BOY pizza from Flying Saucer Pizza Company at 118 Washington St, Salem, MA 01970, USA. Caitlin (me) hasn't stopped dreaming about this pizza since devouring half of that bad boy in August. Seriously, she dreams of it every night and day and just cried because it looks like it's no longer on the menu though there still are some other vegan options. It's the best pizza she's ever had in her vegan life and maybe life in general. Please, please, please check it out while in Salem. You won't regret it because the cheeze is Teeze and it's really gooey and yummy. And artichokes. Who doesn't love artichokes on pizza!?

Best Vegan Restaurants Salem Massachusetts Flying Saucer Pizza Vegan

Look how big!!!!!!!!! And look at the cool galaxy table!

Best Vegan Restaurants Salem Massachusetts Flying Saucer Pizza Company

Onto something less exciting and delicious....

Best Vegan Restaurants Salem Massachusetts Howling Wolf Taqueria

And now for the mediocre. This was the Veganized Tofu Burrito from Howling Wolf Taqueria at 76 Lafayette St, Salem, MA 01970, USA. You just have to ask that the Tofu Burrito be made vegan but it's not that great. Their salsas are yummy but this burrito was completely bland. Too much rice and really nothing else in there except some under ripe avocado chopped up and maybe like 2 pieces of pepper. Definitely not good but hey, it's better than nothing right?! I demand better for my vegan options especially at a Mexican joint but I struck out with this one. We didn't even take a picture of the other vegan option which was the Vegetable Enchiladas (made vegan, you have to ask) because it was kind of bad. It wasn't a true enchilada and the sauce tasted kind of bad. Very disappointing. 

Best Vegan Restaurants Salem Massachusetts Howling Wolf Taqueria

But, we can't end on a bad note so let's look at this delicious homemade Strawberry Ice Cream from Life Alive at 281 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970, USA. THIS WAS THE BEST ICE CREAM I HAVE EVER HAD. HANDS DOWN. VEGAN OR NOT. So good and then the walnut oat crumble on top just about brought me to tears. This was a seasonal special so I don't know if it's available now but dear god, if you see the ice cream on the menu order it. Hubba hubba. Life Alive is a vegetarian and vegan spot and I think it's the only fully vegetarian place in Salem. The vibe was so 1990s vegan I was digging it. Very earthy, very granola, very cool. It was totally tubular and a new experience for us.

Best Vegan Restaurants Salem Massachusetts Life Alive Ice Cream

Riley had a smoothie called Lust Alive which was deeelish. Get it because it has strawberries and ginger and coconut ice cream. So good! It tasted like apple pie but with strawberries, says Riley.

Best Vegan Restaurants Salem Massachusetts Life Alive Ice Cream Smoothie

And now you can live vicariously through our trip through these pictures. Caitlin really loved it in Salem and wants to go back but she's bummed that Beast Boy might not be on the Flying Saucer Pizza Company menu anymore. SALEM 4EVER.

Salem The House of Seven Gables

The House of Seven Gables in Salem, MA

Salem Mass Salem Witch Museum

Salem Witch Museum in Salem, MA

Essex Street Salem Shops

A hilarious store sign on Essex St. in Salem, MA

Old Burying Point Cemetery Tombstone

Literally the oldest thing I have ever laid eyes on in Old Burying Point Cemetery in Salem, MA

Salem Massachusetts Ropes Mansion Sundial Garden Quote

The quote on the Ropes Mansion Garden Sundial in Salem, MA on Essex St.

Hammond Castle Oceanview Arches

The freaky and weird Hammond Castle in Glouster, MA with a gorgeous view of the ocean from the arches.

Max Dennison's House Salem Ocean Ave

MAX DENNISON'S HOUSE FROM HOCUS POCUS on Ocean Ave. in Salem, MA

Old Burial Hill Marblehead Salem Massachusets

Another super old and cool headstone at Old Burial Hill in Marblehead, MA

Salem Massachusets Street Art Graffiti

Ain't No Place for Hate in My Town or State street art in Salem, MA on Essex St.

Check out Salem, MA if you can... it's so much more than "The Witch City." Be sure to take that Salem Hocus Pocus Tour with Susan and Rich, it was AWESOME!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Fudgy Brownies with Walnuts

Fudgy Brownies with Walnuts

We're starting this month off right (it's close enough to the start ;) ) with some fudgy, chocolaty brownies. We're prepping those sweet teeth for the Halloween treats to come. These would also be great to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, too.

The weather here has been so unseasonably warm I still can't wrap my head around it that it's already October 7th, and Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. I've been in a strange headspace at school and I don't know if the weather has to do with it or what. I've already been in school for five weeks but I still feel like I'm just getting into the swing of things as if it's only the first week in.

A little back story is that I've already been in school and have gone back to pursue something I think I'm really passionate about but I'm not 100% sure, so it's scary and I hope I'm not wasting my time. I've never liked school and to be doing a second undergrad is something I cannot believe I'm doing. I'm so fortunate that I have the ability to do so but I sometimes feel extremely panicked like I've made the wrong choice. But I guess education is never wrong, right? 

Fudgy Brownies with Walnuts

I don't know the answer and when I'm feeling shaken, I like to eat good food. And good desserts, more specifically. This is a good dessert.

I feel like these are the most classic brownies. I feel like anytime brownies have walnut pieces in them, they're classic. I don't know why exactly, but that's how I feel and maybe you feel the same?

Whether they're classic to you or not, you should definitely make these brownies - you won't regret it!

Fudgy Brownies with Walnuts

Fudgy Brownies with Walnuts

Ingredients
3 tbsp water 
2 tbsp ground flax
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
7 tbsp cocoa powder
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chips or chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1 tsp instant coffee powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 tbsp vegan butter, like Earth Balance
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions

Combine water and flax in a small bowl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper or grease the pan really well.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and baking soda.

In another bowl add cocoa powder, chocolate, instant coffee and salt. Pour in the boiling water and mix into a paste - make sure all the chocolate is melted. Combine the sugar, butter, vanilla and flax mixture; mix well with an electric mixer and then toss in the walnut.

Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture, but don't use the electric mixer, mix by hand. Be careful not to over mix, the dough will be quite thick.

Transfer to the baking dish and press it in with your hands or a spatula to smooth out the top.

Bake for 25 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to sit for an hour. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Roasted Chilli Lime Tofu and Kale with Udon Noodles {Vegan}


This is a simple yet flavourful soup that is so satisfying and you will be craving it all the time. 


I love udon noodles, they're so hearty. The tofu in this soup packs a punch without a lot of effort while the kale provides those important nutrients (whatever they are, lol). This is the perfect weeknight dish that will leave you feeling great.

Chili Lime Tofu and Kale with Udon Noodles

adapted from Dancing Through Sunday

For the broth
4 cups water
3 tbsp vegetable stock paste
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

For the roasted tofu
1 package firm tofu, cubed and patted dry
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp red pepper chilli flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tbsp olive oil

For the soup, generally
kale, destemmed and chopped small (or larger if you’re into that)
pre-cooked udon noodles
lime to garnish

Directions
Preheat oven to 375. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

 Mix olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, dried chilli, garlic powder in a bowl, add tofu, coat and let sit for 10 minutes, mixing it around to make sure all the tofu pieces are coated. Put tofu in oven on making sheet and pour the chilli lime mix on top (it will get nice and roasted). Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for another 10 minutes.

Steam the kale.

Boil the water. Once boiling, add the stock paste, ginger, garlic and soy sauce into water. Then add udon noodles and boil until they begin to separate.

Once tofu is crispy, remove from oven.

Get out your bowls, add the noodles and greens then pour the broth over the noodles. Top with tofu and top with extra chilli and lime.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Tofu and Veggie Stir-Fry with Udon Noodles

Tofu and Veggie Stir-Fry with Udon Noodles

Tofu and Veggie Stir-Fry with Udon Noodles
adapted from The Chalkboard

Ingredients
for the vegetables:
two 7 oz packages of pre-cooked udon
1 tbsp sesame oil 
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 onion, cut in half and then thinly sliced
1/4 tsp sea salt
6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks 
1/2 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup corn, frozen or fresh 
2 scallions, thinly sliced

for the tofu:
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 package of tofu, cubed

for the sauce:
3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
3 tbsp veggie broth
2 tbsp mirin
2 tsp sriracha 

Directions
Heat oil over medium-low heat in a non-stick skillet. Once hot, add the garlic, ginger, and onion. Sprinkle in salt to sweat the onions. Stir everything around until the onion is translucent - 1 minute.

Add mushrooms until soft. Add carrots, stir, and cook for 3 minutes. Toss in the cabbage and mix well. Pour the sauce over the veggies and stir to coat. Remove from heat.

Add another skillet to the element and 1 tsp of oil. Throw in the tofu and toss around until it has some colour. If you prefer, you can skip this step. 

Rinse the udon noodles, so that they separate and then add the noodles and the tofu to the veg. Pour the sauce over everything. Put the skillet back on the medium-low and toss until everything is warmed through and the sauce is evenly distributed. Garnish with scallions.

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