Vegan Puerto Rican Pink Beans & Yellow Rice with Homemade Sofrito (Habichuelas Rosadas Y Arroz con Gandules) for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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So I bought those pink beans above for pennies.  I Googled for idea & these Puerto Rican bean recipes kept popping up.  They all called for Sazon & Sofrito – both, allegedly, readily available in the Hispanic section of the grocery store.  I live in Hollywood – with a huge Hispanic population so – it ain’t hard to find ingredients for recipes of the Mexican or Central/South American variety.   Yet, my local Ralph’s had no Sofrito.  Lots of Sazon (which you can make at home – as it is just a bunch of spices) but no Sofrito.

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So – I bought all the Sazon varieties & decided to make the Sofrito.  It is just a sort of salsa with green bell peppers as the base rather than tomatoes.  The problem is – I made 4 cups of the stuff before I realized most recipes only call for a tablespoon or two.  I didn’t want to waste all the fresh produce goodness – so – I dumped a full two cups of the shit into my beans.  As a result, these are less than authentic but they still taste great – so – I give less than no fucks.  So there!  Lol!

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The rice calls for pigeon peas (above) – which are really a variety of bean.  They were in the Hispanic aisle and, it seems, critical if you want your yellow rice to be authentic.

Like most of my slow cooker recipes, this can be made stove top in a fraction of the time but where is the fun in that?

So – let us begin with the sofrito recipe.

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Homemade Sofrito

makes 4 cups (but you can freeze it in an ice cube tray or other small containers for future use)

INGREDIENTS

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

15 sweet peppers

1 sweet or red onion

3 heads (not cloves – HEADS) of garlic – peeled

2 tomatoes

1 bunch cilantro

1 TBS salt

Directions

Puree in a blender or food processor.  Set aside.

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Vegan Puerto Rican Pink Beans (Habichuelas Rosadas)

feeds – like – 6 to 8 with rice

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. dry pink beans

1-3 cups of sofrito (recipe above) – you can add it in increments & taste as you go but I went with three whole cups

4 cups water

2 packets Sazon (I used the Con Culantro Y Achiote but I don’t think it matters much which you use)

Garnish – cilantro, hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

Stick it all in a slow cooker & leave it on high for 5 hours.  Serve with rice (recipe below) & garnish as you like.

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Puerto Rican Yellow Rice with Pigeon Peas (Arroz con Gandules)

Serves as many as the amount you make – but I started with 2 cups dry rice

INGREDIENTS

2 cups rice (I used brown Texmati)

Water as per instructions on your rice (make 1/4 cup less – so the rice doesn’t get mushy)

1 packet Sazon (I used Con Azafran (saffron) but any kind will do)

1 TBS sofrito (recipe above)

1 (15 oz) pigeon peas

1 TBS olive oil (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Cook the rice as directed on the package with with the rest of the ingredients added to the uncooked rice.

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Rustic Pizza with Vegan Sausage, Broccolette (Broccolini), Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms, Farmers Cheese, Goat Cheese and Micro Arugula

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Pizza.  Everyone loves pizza.   So many ways to top them – and I have posted dozens.  Look HERE & scroll down for a recap.

This one I am posting today was quite a show stopper.  I used broccolette – which Wikipedia describes as “a cruciferous vegetable derived from a cross between broccoli and the Chinese kale called gai lan. Also known by the trade names broccolini and aspiration, broccolette has a milder, sweeter taste than broccoli and features thin, tender stalks that can be cooked whole without peeling.”

It looks like that there – next to my shaved Brussels sprouts.

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You could use regular broccoli – if you prefer.

I used Farmers Cheese because I had never seen it before & I was curious.  Look at it there.  Doesn’t it look delicious?

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Here is what Wikipedia said about this cheese: “In the United States, farmer cheese (also farmer’s cheese or farmers’ cheese) is pressed cottage cheese, an unripened cheese made by adding rennet and bacterial starter to coagulate and acidify milk. Farmer cheese may be made from the milk of cows, sheep or goats, with each giving its own texture and flavor.”

In fact, it is sorta like a denser cottage cheese & very mild in flavor.

I also used herbed goat cheese & one of these vegetarian sausages.

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I also used that micro arugula because I LOVE arugula, that micro shit is pretty & it has a really powerful flavor.  Regular arugula would be fine – just not as pretty to look at.

So – like with most of my pizzas – I only list ingredients here – because topping quantities are up to you.  I like thin crust – you might like thick.  I like light amounts of sauce & cheese – you might prefer to go deep dish.  So – I will just leave it up to you.

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Rustic Pizza with Vegan Sausage, Broccolette (Broccolini), Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms, Farmers Cheese, Goat Cheese and Micro Arugula

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I always make THIS)

Vegan sausage

Broccolini – chopped small

Brussels sprouts – shaved

Mushrooms – sliced

Tomato sauce (I used a really chunky homemade one I had left over – but you use your favorite one)

Goat cheese (or vegan alternative)

Farmers cheese (or vegan alternative)

olive oil

garlic – minced

S&P

Semolina flour (for rolling the dough) – VERY optional

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450-500 degrees.

In a large saute pan, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil & saute the sausage, broccolette, Brussels sprouts & mushrooms until soft.  Add the garlic & saute another minute. Add some S&P.

Roll out the dough in some semolina or other flour.  Semolina will give the crust the speckled look you see here & really seems to add some crunch.  Regular flour is fine, though.  Put the dough on a greased cooking sheet or on a cooking sheet topped with parchment paper.  Top with sauce, add the sausage & veggies.  Crumble some of the cheeses on top.

BE SURE YOUR OVEN HAS REACHED FULL TEMPERATURE.  Cook for about 13 minutes – but time depends on your oven & the density of your pizza & your own preferences.  When it looks golden & the cheese are browned & soft – it should be done.

Top with arugula & eat that bad boy.  Alone.  Rejoice!

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpea Burrito with Pickled Onions and Mint Cilantro Chutney

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Did you perhaps make my Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpeas for the Slow Cooker – seen above?  Do you have boat loads left over – like I do?  Why not try this Indian take on a burrito?    The Mint & Cilantro chutney is genuinely spicy & insanely delicious & takes this curry to new heights.   The pickled onions add a little snap & they are SO EASY to make.  You could add paneer or feta or cotija or some cheese to this – if you eat cheese – but it really doesn’t need it.

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The recipe for that mint & cilantro chutney above is HERE.

The recipe for the pickled red onions above is HERE.

The recipe for the Butter Chicken & Chickpeas above is HERE.

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpea Burrito with Pickled Onions and Mint Cilantro Chutney

INGREDIENTS

Mint & cilantro chutney is HERE

Pickled red onions are HERE

Butter Chicken & Chickpeas is HERE

Cooked rice

Large tortillas

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DIRECTIONS

Warm the curry.  Assemble the burrito.  Grill on a dry grill pan until it looks good to you.  Dip it in extra chutney & shove it into your motherfuckin’ pie hole.  Mmmmmmm!

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Pickled Red Onions

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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These go very well on sandwiches.

Pickled Red Onions

INGREDIENTS

2 large red onions – sliced thin

1 cup rice vinegar (any light colored vinegar works – even using just one kind works)

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 TBS sugar

2 tsp salt

1 garlic clove cut in half

1 TBS black peppercorns

1 small dried red chili

DIRECTIONS

Bring the vinegar & spices to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Add onions to the hot vinegar.  Allow to cool.  Store in a jar in the fridge.

Spicy Cilantro and Mint Chutney

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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I have posted a recipe for this chutney before but I like this version better.  Simple ingredients & a blender.  Easy & I could eat it with a spoon.  It goes great with Indian foods & as a naan dip.

Cilantro & Mint Chutney

INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1 1/2 cups cilantro

1 jalapeno (I used a huge one & left the seeds in & this came out quite spicy!)

1 TBS fresh ginger

1 small onion

2 garlic cloves

2 TBS lime juice (this helps the chutney stay vibrant green)

pinch of salt (I used black salt but any salt will do)

DIRECTIONS

Puree in a blender using JUST ENOUGH water to get it to mix.  Be careful not to add too much of the chutney will be too thin.  I used maybe 1/4 cup water.

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpeas for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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I have really become obsessed with my slow cooker.  Slow cookers – as I have many.  The one that I can set to cook for 5 hours & then just keep the food warm is the best because I can set it & go to work & come back 10 hours later to a house that smells delicious & a warm meal waiting for me.  If you don’t have a low cooker – I really encourage you to get one.  Easy doesn’t get easier than a recipe like this one.  Just throw everything in & set the timer for 5 hours & that is it.

I used Beyond Meat vegan chicken because it is, hands down, the best fake chicken on the market.  But you could use real chicken or just use chickpeas.  Your call.

I used two kinds of saffron:

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That Golchin liquid stuff is affordable (under $10) and is GENIUS.  If your store doesn’t carry it – buy it on Amazon or something.

The saffron threads are delicate & lovely but very costly.  They were part of a gourmet gift box I was given for my birthday – and not usually on my shopping list.  Either or both of these work – but I suggest trying to use one – because saffron is such a specific & lovely flavor & adds gorgeous color – but it isn’t really critical for this dish to be a success.  So – if you don’t have it, don’t like it, can’t find it – blow it off.

I used dry chickpeas because I am delighted by how cheap they are & I like that they have been processed less & have no added sodium.  But – if you want to use canned ones – go ahead!  This could be made stove-top easily with canned beans – just don’t add the 4 cups of water.

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpeas for the Slow Cooker

Feeds a LOTTA folks – maybe 8-10 with rice

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry chickpeas (or 4 cans – but if you use canned chickpeas – eliminate the water here)

3 cups water (4 cups if you are gonna leave it for 10 hours – like I did)

9 ox vegan chicken

2 jalapenos (red or green) – seeded & diced

1 onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – chopped

2 TBS ginger – minced

8 oz tomato sauce (I used a homemade arrabbiata)

6 oz tomato paste

14 oz can lite coconut milk

1/2 tsp crushed saffron threads (optional)

3 TBS saffron liquid (optional)

1 TBS garam masala

1 TBS curry powder

1 tsp chili powder

1 TBS turmeric

2 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper

garnish – cilantro, scallions, yogurt (vegan or otherwise), cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

Put everything into a slow cooker & set on high for 5 hours.

If you are using canned chickpeas – do not add water.  As you see above – this recipe has lots of gravy (the upper picture is before it cooked & the other is how it looked 10 hours later).  If you want  it thicker – whisk some cornstarch (2-3 TBS) into a little water & stir it in.  It should thicken up.  If it is too thick – add water.

Serve over rice & garnish at will.

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5-Minute Garlic, Salt & Pepper Sugar Snap Peas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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The name of this recipe says it all.  Fast, easy & yummy!

5-Minute Garlic, Salt & Pepper Sugar Snap Peas

Serves 2 as a side

INGREDIENTS

10 oz fresh sugar snap peas (the ones in the bag in the produce section already have the string removed.  If you can find these – learn how to remove the string HERE)

Olive oil –  1or 2 TBS

Salt – to taste – I used maybe a scant teaspoon

Pepper – to taste – I used a heaping tablespoon but I am a NUT for pepper

Garlic to taste – I used about 6 cloves & chopped them sorta chunky

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a pan over med-high heat.  Add the sugar snap peas.  Stir & heat for 2-4 minutes – or until they are nearly done to your liking.  Add the S&P & the garlic & saute another minute or so – just until the garlic browns a bit.  Be careful not to burn the garlic because it will taste bitter.

Season with more S&P – if you think it needs it & serve!

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Thai-Style Vegan Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce and Cucumber Salad

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This can be made with faux chicken or real chicken, or beef strips or seafood (like shrimp of chunks of a meaty fish) but it is really good this vegan way.  I always use Beyond Meat (seen above) because it is the best I have found.  The chicken even shreds like real chicken.  It is pretty versatile stuff, too, and can be used in warm dishes or in cold ones – like chicken salad – as I did in my Cool Vegan Cashew & Cranberry Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado (below)

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or my Vegan Horseradish Chicken Salad with Pecans and Jalapeno Potato Salad in Baked Wonton Cups (below)

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or my Vegan Chicken Salad Wraps (below).

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Anyway – today, I made little satay skewers.  Skewers are not really necessary.  You can just cook the strips up on a grill pan or in a frying pan.  This satay goes really well over rice – drizzled with the sauce – for a more substantial meal.  The cucumber salad is the easiest thing EVER & really puts this recipe over the top – so I strongly encourage you to try it.

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Thai-Style Vegan Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce & Cucumber Salad

Serves 2 as an appetizer – or as a main course over rice

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken (or whatever you are making satay from)

olive oil

for the satay marinade

2 garlic cloves – chopped fine

2 Thai bird chilis (or 2 serrano peppers, or 1 jalapeño pepper) – seeded & minced

Juice of 1 lime

2 medium shallots – minced

1 TBS soy sauce or tamari (or fish sauce – if you are not vegan)

1/4 cup cilantro – chopped (optional)

1 tsp curry powder (optional)

1 tsp turmeric (optional)

 

for the cucumber salad

1/4 cup cucumber – thinly sliced

1/4 cup shallots – thinly sliced

2 Thai bird chilis (or 2 serrano peppers, or 1 jalapeño pepper) – seeded & minced

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

 

for the peanut sauce

3/4 cup lite coconut milk

4 TBS peanut butter (smooth or chunky)

1 TBS chili paste or sriracha

1 TBS sugar

1 tsp soy sauce or tamari (or fish sauce – if you are not vegan)

Juice of 1 lime

1 tsp white vinegar

1/4 cup cilantro – chopped (optional)

 

GARNISH IDEAS – cooked rice, lettuce leaves, cilantro, lime wedges, chopped peanuts

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DIRECTIONS

for the satay marinade

Mix the marinade ingredients & marinate the chicken in the fridge for an hour or so – or more.  Mine sat overnight in the fridge.  I just use the bag the chicken came in to marinate it.

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for the cucumber salad

Mix the water, vinegar & sugar & whisk until the sugar dissolves.  Add the chili peppers, cucumber & shallots.  Stir & store in the fridge until you need it.

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for the peanut sauce

Whisk or shake all the ingredients together.  Taste & add more peanut butter – if you fancy – or more chili paste.  Your call.

for the skewers

Skewer the chicken – if you have a grill pan.  It might be tough to use skewers in a frying pan.  I only stuck the skewers in an inch or so & cut them short with scissors.

Put 1-2 TBS olive oil in a frying pan or spray your grill pan with cooking spray.  Heat on high until the chicken begins to brown (turning a few times) and when the chicken is heated through (or your real meat is cooked) – serve it – either over rice or as an appetizer –  garnished with the peanut sauce & cucumber salad & any other garnish you choose.  Devour!

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Spicy Vegan Pakistani Chicken & White Bean Stew — for the Slow Cooker or Stove Top

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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This is as easy as putting everything into a slow cooker & leaving for 5 hours.  The only prep I engaged in was soaking the beans overnight but that is not really necessary.  I think even dry beans would be tender after 5 hours.  Or – you could use canned beans & be absolutely sure they will be tender when you are ready to eat.

I love, love, LOVE lemongrass & I used tons in this – both fresh stalks & a pre-made paste in a tube – and I tasted none of it in this finished product so – if you can’t find lemongrass of any kind – just blow it off.  I used a tube of lemongrass paste (made by Gourmet Garden & found in the produce section.  They also make parsley & garlic etc in tubes) and 2 stalks of fresh lemongrass – though they were – admittedly – on their last legs.  But, again, lemongrass was not a noticeable flavor in the finished product.  Despite the lack of lemongrass flavors – this stew was hearty & delicious!

I used Beyond Meat vegan chicken because it is my favorite – but you can use any meat (faux or not) that you prefer.

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Spicy Vegan Pakistani Chicken & White Bean Stew — for the Slow Cooker or Stove Top

Serves 6 easily with rice

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken

2 cups white beans (dry or canned for slow cooker – but use canned for stove top)

3 cups water or stock

1 10 oz can Rotel or roasted tomatoes

1 13 oz can lite coconut milk

2 potatoes – cubed

1 onion – diced

6 oz frozen okra (optional)

12 oz frozen lima beans

2 stalks of lemongrass – smashed a bit with a roller &  chopped into large hunks (so you can easily avoid eating it) – (optional)

5 TBS lemongrass paste – (optional)

Juice of half a lemon

3 garlic cloves – chopped

1/4 cup chili paste or sriracha (or to taste)

1 TBS turmeric

1 TBS ground coriander

1 TBS chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Corn starch

Garnish – cooked rice, cilantro, diced red or green jalapenos

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DIRECTIONS

Slow cooker – Put everything (except the cilantro) into a slow cooker & cook on high for 5-6 hours.  If it is too thin  – whisk 2 TBS corn starch into some water & stir it in.  If it gets too thick – add water or stock.  Stir in the cilantro.

Stove top – Same as above but you probably won’t need any water because you are using canned beans.  Heat it to boil & simmer until the potatoes are cooked – maybe 30 minutes – depending on how big your potato cubes are.  If it gets too thick – thin with some water.   If it is too thin  – whisk 2 TBS corn starch into some water & stir it in. When the vegetables are tender & it is heated through – stir in the cilantro.

Serve with rice & garnishes of your desire.

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Southwestern Salad with Spicy Chipotle Avocado Ranch Dressing (Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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Nothing complicated about this one.  Just mix up the ingredients that appeal to you & shake up the dressing.  This is as pretty as it is flavorful.  This goes really well with my 4-Ingredient Easy Enchilada Mac & Cheese!  In fact, I served both of these plus my Beef & Veggie Shepherd’s Pie Empanadas to my guests on Easter Sunday.  At any rate – just choose which of the fresh ingredients you like & combine them in whatever ratio pleases you & toss in some dressing.  Easy-peasy!

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Spicy Chipotle Avocado Ranch Dressing

Makes a lot

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup mayonnaise (or vegan alternative – I used Vegenaise)

1/2 cup sour cream (or vegan alternative)

1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

1/2 large avocado

1 small tomato – diced

2 scallions – chopped

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – minced

2 tsp lime juice

1/4 tsp white or black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp dry dill

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DIRECTIONS

Blend this shit up in a blender or food processor.  Taste & add salt or other seasonings if you care to.  Chill – and that means both you & the dressing.

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Southwestern Salad

The quantity of each of the suggested ingredients is up to you – depending on how many you are feeding and which ingredients you like more.

INGREDIENTS & DIRECTIONS

Just chop & toss some of these items:

Romaine lettuce

Cherry tomatoes

Black beans

Garbanzo beans

Radishes

Corn (fresh off the cob or not)

Avocado

Bell peppers of all colors

Garnish: Tortilla strips, grated cheese, chopped cilantro

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Baked Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK – I made those Shepherd’s Pie Empanadas for Easter but I had a shit ton of the mashed potato filling left over.  So – I made these potato cakes.

You can use the recipe from the empanadas for the mash mixture or make up your own.  I have a food mold – so I used it but you can make these by hand, the way you would make a hamburger patty.  You can pan fry these but I chose to bake them.  I added grated cheese – mainly to make them prettier.  I added bread crumbs but I don’t think I would in the future as they just add calories & not much else.  I did not mix anything extra in but you could add cheese to the potatoes themselves or additional cooked vegetables or, if you are a meat eater – add some chopped ham or bacon.

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Baked Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

INGREDIENTS

Mashed potatoes – either from my Shepherd’s Pie Empanadas or your own recipe – just make them thick.

Breadcrumbs – optional

Grated cheese – optional (I used Parmesan & a mixed Mexican blend)

Additional vegetables, cheeses or meats – optional

Garnish – sour cream, chives

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350.

Add whatever you want to add to your mashed potatoes.

Assemble your cakes by hand or with a food ring.  Press some breadcrumbs in – if you are using them.  Place on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Top with cheese.

Bake 15-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted to your liking – or just until they are heated through.

That’s it!  Yummy leftover mashed potato cakes!

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Vegan Beef and Vegetable (Shepherd’s Pie) Empanadas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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These are easy.  Buy pre-made, raw pie crust dough like those above. (UPDATE- Oh, dear!  I just saw there is LARD in that dough.  So – if you are vegan or vegetarian – buy a dough that fits your diet – or make it.   Yikes!)  Make your favorite mashed potatoes  – just make them drier than usual.  Mix in some veggies & vegan ground beef. Assemble empanadas.  Wash with olive oil or vegan butter and bake for 12 minutes or until they are the color you like.

I used grated Brussels sprouts & some cooked broccoli but corn or peas or anything you want could be used instead.  I used Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles but you could use real meat or no meat at all.  Your call.

The ratio of ingredients is very flexible.  I neglected to measure what I used but I will give you a rough guide.  A lot depends on the size of the potatoes & how thin your dough is, etc.  This is a very forgiving recipe & these guys are really yummy!

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Beef and Vegetable (Shepherd’s Pie) Empanadas – Vegan, Vegetarian or Not

This made about 2 dozen empanadas (quantity depends on the size you make them)

INGREDIENTS

3 boxes pie crust

9 oz vegan beef

6-8 medium potatoes (you might end up with extra mashed potatoes but I will post a recipe to use them – so never fear)

Vegetables of your choice (I used about 10 grated Brussels sprouts & one large head of steamed broccoli chopped small)

Olive oil

Grated vegan cheese of your choice – (optional)

1-4 garlic cloves – minced (optional)

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

Milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

Vegan butter

S&P

Vegan butter or olive oil

Parchment paper

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DIRECTIONS

Got a favorite mashed potato recipe?  Make that but keep it on the dry side.  Or –

Peel the potatoes & cut them up.  Boil until soft & drain.

Mash with just enough milk & butter that they come together like VERY thick mashed potatoes – small lumps are fine.  If these are too wet – you will have soggy empanadas and nobody wants soggy fucking empanadas.  Add the onion & garlic powders & some S&P.  Blend well.

If you are using a hard vegetable – like raw carrots or Brussels sprouts – saute them in a bit of olive oil until tender & add them & the beef to the potatoes.  If using frozen of canned veggies – just drain them & mix them into the potatoes and add the beef.

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Heat the over to 350 degrees.

I made two sizes of empanadas (you can see the two sizes below).  I used that black glass to cut these guys that were about 4″ across but the empanadas ended up very small, mostly pastry & I would have ended up with 4000 of them & arthritic hands – so – I used a bowl to cut bigger rounds & the empanadas had a better ratio of filling to pastry.  This is something you need to play around with yourself – and is why I cannot possibly give you any accurate guess at how many empanadas you will end up with.

Roll the dough out on some flour.  Cut the rounds with a bowl or glass, top with a dollop of filling & a small amount of grated cheese (if you are using cheese) & fold over.  Wet the edge to help seal the edge and pinch the edges together.  Place on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper.  When you are ready to bake them, brush the empanadas with olive oil or melted vegan butter.

Bake about 12 minutes or until they are a nice golden color.

Devour!

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4-Ingredient Easy Vegan Enchilada Mac and Cheese (Slow Cooker or Baked)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I made this using 8 ingredients but 4 of them are actually optional – so I will list them that way below.

This is the easiest thing ever – if you make it with a slow cooker.  My only issue was that I left it in my slow cooker for too long & it dried out a bit but adding more milk and some vegetable stock thinned it back out.

This recipe is for a fuckton of mac & cheese.  I made it for Easter dinner & I had 12 people over & everybody left with mac & cheese.  So – cut it in half if you are not feeding a large party.

I like to mix up the noodles I use – and I used these here – but any pasta will do.

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Easy Vegan Enchilada Mac and Cheese (Slow Cooker or Baked)

Serves a shitload

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs pasta – cooked al dente

32 oz grated vegan cheeses (I used 1/2 pepper jack & 1/2 Chao Cayenne but cheddar or American would be good, too)

32 oz red enchilada sauce ( actually used 48 oz because of the length of time my pasta sat in the cooker)

2 cups milk (I used unsweetened almond milk) – plus more – in the event your mac & cheese gets too dry

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OPTIONAL ingredients: (I used all of them)

6 garlic cloves – minced 

8 oz vegan cream cheese 

1 cup vegan sour cream 

12 oz can vegan evaporated milk

Garnish – avocado, diced tomato, cilantro, sour cream, hot sauce, jalapeno peppers

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DIRECTIONS

Slow cooker:

Put everything in there & heat on high (stirring occasionally) for 2-3 hours or until everything is melted & well-combined.  If it gets too thick – add more milk.

Baked:

Heat the oven to 350.   Make the pasta & then combine it in a large bowl with the other ingredients.  Transfer into casserole dish(es) – treated with cooking spray.  Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the cheese is melted & bubbling at the sides.

Garnish at will.

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