Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Thyme & Balsamic Glaze

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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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I belong to a produce delivery service called Farm Fresh to You.  I get a box of custom-selected veggies every two weeks & the standout items so far have been their carrots!  Whew knew?  SO sweet and the texture is wonderful – unlike the almost bitter & very hard store-bought carrots I have been experiencing recently.  These carrots are DELICIOUS & it is nearly impossible to bite into one & not eat the whole thing.  Good news, though!  You CAN eat the whole thing.  Eat the whole bunch.  They are just carrots, for fuck’s sake.  Go friggin’ crazy!

Anyway – my last box had this little bunch of rainbow carrots it it.

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They get even prettier when you peel them.  The color combination looked so autumnal – roasting them with some earthy thyme & sweet balsamic glaze just seemed like the way to go – so I did just that!  Takes about 20 minutes or so – depending on the size of your carrots.  Easy & delicious!

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Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Thyme & Balsamic Glaze

Serves 2 as a side


1 small bunch of rainbow or other carrots

1 tsp olive oil


Fresh thyme

1/2 cup or more of Balsamic vinegar

Parchment paper (optional)

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Heat the oven to 425.

Peel the carrots & cut any thick ones in half.  Leave thin ones whole.  Toss with olive oil and S&P until they are evenly coated.  Put on a roasting pan (topped with parchment paper – if you have it).   Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves – maybe a tablespoon or two.  Roast 10 minutes.

Meanwhile – basically boil the balsamic until it thickens.  It thickens quickly & reduces very fast so be careful not to burn it.  If it gets too thick – just add more balsamic.  The thickness of the glaze is up to you.

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When it is thick even – drop a few thyme leaves into it.

After 10 minutes, flip the carrots & then drizzles most of the balsamic glaze onto them – reserving a little (or make more for later).  Roast another ten minutes (more or less – depending on how well you want the carrots cooked).    Drizzle with remaining balsamic glaze, maybe sprinkle more fresh thyme leaves on them & serve.

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Beyond Meat Beastly Avocado Cheeseburger (Vegan) – “The Beast”

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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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First of all – every month Beyond Meat posts coupons HERE so be sure to download a few.

Secondly, those sliders above are my Beyond Meat Vegan Beastly Nacho Cheese Sliders that I posted yesterday.  For a review of the product (which really applies to both the sliders & burgers) – read that post.

Today, I experimented with the full-sized burgers.  I made this bad boy this morning & could not resist eating it – despite the fact that it was 8am.  SO DELICIOUS.


I used the center Chao cheese seen above which did not really melt – as you can see in the photos – despite trying to increase the heat by putting a pan over the burger while it cooked.

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I zapped a slice in the microwave for 30 seconds which destroyed it.  I zapped the cheeseburger 20 seconds and achieved little.  I stopped trying because I hate microwaves (I think they make your food toxic) and this cheese tastes REALLY good so melting was not 100% necessary.

I added avocado, tomato, Bubbie’s dill relish, red onion, lettuce, Dijon & ketchup, pickles and some sport peppers.  You can add anything you prefer – but these burgers are amazing and each patty only has 260 calories.  The Chao cheese has 60.  Healthy & vegan, kids!!!  Have a cruelty-free 4th of July!!!

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Beyond Meat Vegan Beastly Nacho Cheese Sliders

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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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This is not really a recipe.  It is more of an endorsement of this product.  I have long been a fan of Beyond Meat & use it in all kinds of ways but this was my first experience with their veggie burgers.   First things first – you can get Beyond Meat coupons HERE and there is a store locator on the site, too, so you can see where you can buy this stuff near you.

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So – as you can see – they LOOK pretty beefy (which is half the challenge) and their texture is chewier & meatier than say, a Gardenburger.  They chew a bit closer to how a McDonald’s burger chews and, let’s be honest, McDonald’s burgers probably are not real meat either.  And even when your burger is a bona fide beef burger – did you know that any burger patty you eat might contain meat from up to 100 different cows – from several different countries?  GROSS!

These Beast burgers taste delicious – though no real meat eater will be fooled.  I actually find it frustrating that meat-eaters expect there to be no way to detect the difference between real & fake meats.  Though Beyond Meat chicken comes as close as anything I have ever experienced in the department of trickery (in that, if cooked right, some folks might believe it really is chicken) – but the point of these products, from my perspective, is to offer a viable, healthier & cruelty-free replacement/substitute to unsustainable & cruel real meat products.  Diet Coke doesn’t fool anyone that it is real Coke but people have adjusted – in the interest of saving calories.   Consider fake meats the same way – that they are a reasonable substitute for real meat that is full of fat & hormones & pain & unbelievable agony.  These Beyond Meat products look convincing & have none of that aftertaste that some earlier fake meats had.  These burgers are the best faux burgers I have ever had & Beyond Meat faux meats take on sauces & other accoutrements like champs & the more you season them with things like my vegan nacho cheese sauce or Asian flavors, etc, the more convincing they get.

HERE are a bunch of vegan chicken dishes I have posted in the past.

HERE are a bunch of vegan ground beef recipes.

 Here – I melted my 2-ingredient, 5-minute vegan nacho cheese sauce in a pan & poured it over the cooked burgers.

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I then added red onion, tomato, arugula, pickles, mustard & ketchup.  The result was a trio of sloppy, delicious “beef” sliders that everybody could enjoy.  Top yours with your favorites but be sure to try the Beast in either version – slider of full-sized.  Again – go to the site for a store locator and coupons are HERE.  These guys will make you proud at the 4th of July BBQ’s you attend!  I recommend them without reservation.


Blue Apron Vegetarian Dinners – Night Two – Szechuan Tofu & Long Beans

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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 had a far more successful experience with this recipe than I did with my Blue Apron Vegetarian Dinners – Night One – Spring Pea Gnocchi – seen above.

If you read that post about the gnocchi, you will learn that I had a compulsive eating situation with the brie & the bread they delivered.  Turns out – that bread was sent in error.  I got four loaves of shitty sub bread rather than the 4 slices of bread I needed to make the grilled brie sandwiches that were 1 of the 3 meals in the package – so – I might not be making the grilled brie.  Because 1) they did not send me the right bread and 2) I ate all the brie is a wine-fueled frenzy…as is outlined in the gnocchi post.  But – I do love me some brie – so – keep tuned.

The gnocchi dinner was labor intensive and underwhelming for the effort (my friend, Jack, who gifted me this week of meals confirmed that the gnocchi was the hardest & least effective of the Blue Apron meals he has tried).  This one – easier to make & to clean up after & tasted super yummy!  I pressed my tofu (wrapped in a kitchen towel with a heavy pot on it in the sink) to get the excess water out & it kinda mushed it so that it did not cut into pretty cubes but it tasted great.  700 calories per serving is pretty shocking, however, so I threw most of the peanuts away & used less oil than they suggested and ate less than half the rice in my serving.  So – without further adieu, let me present Blue Apron Vegetarian Dinners – Night Two – Szechuan Tofu & Long Beans.

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Blue Apron Vegetarian Dinners – Night Two – Szechuan Tofu & Long Beans

I am not going to list ingredients & directions because they are in the images below.  Enjoy!

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Blue Apron Vegetarian Dinners – Night One – Spring Pea Gnocchi


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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First of all- CONGRATULATIONS to the LGBT community!  The Supreme Court upheld gay marriage so – now – we can finally just say MARRIAGE, for everyone.  That Jesus meme, above, really reduces the objections to gay marriage for the farcical horseshit that they are.  So – bravo to the LGBT community for a win over bigotry!

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Now – on to this gnocchi.  My good friend, Jackie O, VERY GENEROUSLY gifted me three meals from Blue Apron.  Thanks, Jackie O!   You gifted me a food adventure!  AND – at least three blog posts that require no thought or inventiveness from me.  Whew!

They have a meat or vegetarian option so, obviously, I chose the vegetarian.  Here is what showed up at my door yesterday:

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Organized!  Pretty!  Exciting!!

I decided to make the Spring Pea Gnocchi.  There were lots of fresh ingredients portioned perfectly to make this dish for two.  They gnocchi were fluffy & soft & I wanted to eat them at their freshest – hence my selecting that recipe first.  I had never heard of or seen garlic scapes – which are, basically, scallions that taste like garlic.  I assembled & prepared the produce as instructed.

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I boiled the gnocchi & drained it & made the sauce.  My first issue was the suggestion of two tablespoons of olive oil to saute the scallions & scapes.  That seemed high to me so I used only 1 TBS.  When it came time to add the grated Parmesan – the portion they provided also seemed high – and I am a gal trying to drop a few LBs – so I cut that cheese in half, too.  I did not, however, think to cut the water by half so the sauce was pretty thin & I could never get the Parmesan to fully melt & incorporate…maybe my fault for tweaking the ingredients/directions.

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Another direction I ignored was the suggestion to use a non-stick skillet to brown the gnocchi.  I like my chrome-looking pan more & it photographs well – so I used that, instead.  Mistake.  Before the veggies could soften – I was burning the fuck out of the gnocchi & at risk of mashing them into a mashed potato thing.

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So – I transferred it all to a non-stick pan & completed the cooking process.  I plated a single serving (because each recipe is for two) and did my best to photograph it on my stove top.  I was starving & taking photos was the last thing I wanted to do but – if you wanna blog you gotta photograph.  It is a curse.

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It tasted pretty good – I will admit – but it has a pretty high calorie count at 560 per serving and, I must say, the cooking process was no simpler than any other recipe I might make – except that the portions are pre-measured.   It took about an hour before I was eating & then a good twenty minutes of clean-up, afterward – and that burned pan is still soaking.

So – is it easy – easier than just making your own recipes?  Only if measuring things makes you want to shoot yourself in the face. I guess you get to skip the shopping for things – which is nice – and you have no leftover portions of stuff to leave until they rot in your fridge.  But – on the down side – the vegetarian version offers no options or opportunity to customize the selections – so your menu is set & inflexible.  Plus – vegetarian meals often cost less that the $10 per person you pay for each meal on this plan.  HERE is the menu I will be getting next week – Black Bean & Red Quinoa Enchiladas, Fried Green Tomato Burgers & Mozzarella & Barley Stuffed Zucchini.  I am pretty sure I could make all those things at home for less than $20 a meal.   Another issue for me is that I live alone.  Which means I eat each meal 2x – meaning my dinners are booked 6 nights a week.  As a blogger – a food blogger – that shit ain’t gonna cut it.

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So – while it might work for you – Blue Apron is not a fit for me.   I mean – my other menu items THIS week are a Grilled Brie Sandwich & Szechuan Tofu & Long Beans.  One – I am not a huge tofu fan – despite the success of my awesome Vegan Tofu Chilaquiles with 5-Minute Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce – seen below.

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And two – I would never eat so many heavy meals in a week & I pretty much never eat bread – which brings me to the nail in Blue Apron’s coffin: they delivered 4 – count’em FOUR – loaves of bread.  Airy, chewy & totally unyummy bread.  The kind that has absolutely no crispiness or flavor.  Look at it.

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It is exactly as lame as it looks.  Not even worthy of being made into garlic bread.  Yet, after I cleaned up from the gnocchi – it was like 9:30p – shockingly late for me to be doing my post-dinner settling in – and my brain began quietly flashing the word BRIE in my head.  Brie….brie.  SHUT UP – I told my brain.  Brie.  Brie.  STOP IT.  BRIE.  BRIE.  Fuck off!  BRIEBRIEBRIEBRIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    Then- I realized.  The brie was not calling from my head.  It was calling from INSIDE THE HOUSE!  There was brie – IN MY FRIDGE!  Brie for the Goddamn Grilled Brie Sandwiches I was supposed to eat two times in the next few days.


That cunting brie in the fridge was calling.  BRIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!  Coaxing.  Taunting.  Demanding to be acknowledged.  To be heard.  To be EATEN!

And I am weak.  I would never be foolish enough to stock my house with things like bread & cheese – especially after my admitted obsession with tortilla cheese pizzas.  I never buy junk food because red wine, a weak will & junk food under the same roof are a calamity waiting to happen.  I know.  I have seen the carnage.  Carnage like the roof of my mouth seared by Family-Size Bag Dorito-induced chemical burns or hanging in shreds from an orgy of reduced-fat chips & shitty powdered onion dip (made with yogurt to save calories).  Yes – of course – the champagne involved typically dulls my sense of shame in the immediate aftermath of these blood baths but my scale is always there in the morning to bear witness to my gluttony & chide me for my shallowness of character.

So – yeah.  Fuck it.  Fuck you.  I got up & got that brie out of the fridge and without even the decency to let it warm to room temperature – I placed it on the table & sat down in front of it.  I tried to rip off a chunk of the uncrustiest bread ever but it moved in my hands like a Stretch Armstrong – rubbery & flexible.  But it was no match for me.  I had low-end, hard & cold brie in front of me & I was going to eat it.  Just SOME of it – settle the fuck down.  I dug a nail into a loaf to create a perforation in the defiant bread & ripped like a strongman tearing a phone book in two.  The bread was no mach for my brie-frenzy.  It gave in – and tore – jagged & ugly – revealing just how much of the loaf was just a honeycomb of air & thready dough – but with the resiliency of a particularly stubborn cobweb.  My mouth was already hanging open in anticipation – and my fatty Memphis was table-side to catch any errant orts that might fall his way.  The brie – like a jaded hooker on the job too long – was too cheap to even pretend to want to spread & the bread was too flaccid to gain any leverage to use against the brie – so I just placed a hard slice atop the porous carbs and crammed them into my pie hole.  There may have been unsavory sounds, groans or slurps, as I ingested the stuff – I can’t rightly say – but I can say the bread & cheese combo was underwhelming to the extreme – as if it had come from 7-11.  Even the plastic container I was eating the cheese from (because who had time to bust out a plate?) – screamed 7-11.  It was just awful.   Absolutely just the worst sort of emotionally-unsatisfying, empty calories.

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So, as you likely could predict, I ate the rest of it.  All of it.  Well – almost all of it.  Out of decency & for appearances  – I left that little bit there – which actually looks bigger than it was.  I say was – because I promptly ate it – in one tiny bite – early this AM.  But know that it was no larger than one from a standard pair of dice.

So, yeah, Blue Apron.  You can suck it.  I worked all evening to prepare a calorie-dense gnocchi, I still have a charred pan still soaking in my sink and I am cramping up at work from a belly-full of what was meant to be two more meals.  What did I eat last night?  2000 calories?

So – I will go home tonight & make the Szechuan Tofu & Long Beans – and I might report on them in the near future.  Also – I canceled too late – so I will get the menu for next week, too, and likely share the results but – the bottom line is that Blue Apron it not safe for a single old lady with no willpower & who is happy eating tortilla pizzas & curling up with a bottle of red every night.  It is just NOT SAFE!  You have been warned.

Strawberry & Spinach Salad with Fresh Corn, Chicken, Brown Rice & Gorgonzola (Vegan or Vegetarian) with White Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette

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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 made an eggplant curry the other day & it came out sorta bitter & yucky and, despite trying to sakvage it, I failed.  But, I had already made some brown rice to go with it & it needed a home.

I get deliveries from Farm Fresh to You and this week’s box had three ears of corn in it.  I typically avoid corn because the vast majority of it is GMO – but this corn came from a local farm – so I deemed it safe.

I recently bought myself some ORGANIC strawberries & spinach – and I stress organic because of information like this (from HERE):

The following “Dirty Dozen Plus” had the highest pesticide load, making them the most important to buy organic versions – or to grow them organically yourself:

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Nectarines (imported)
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Snap peas (imported)
  • Potatoes

Plus these which may contain organophosphate insecticides, which EWG characterizes as “highly toxic” and of special concern:

  • Hot peppers
  • Blueberries (domestic)


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Armed with these things, some leftover gorgonzola crumbles & some Beyond Meat chicken strips – I made this salad.   Then I shoved a bunch of it into a mason jar & brought it to work for lunch!  PS – any “hair” you might think you see in the salad is just corn silk.  Whew!

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I made the dressing from those two ingredients, Dijon & some S&P.  If you cannot find white balsamic – white wine vinegar will do.

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White Balsamic & Dijon Vinaigrette

3 TBS white balsamic vinegar

2 TBS olive oil

2 TBS Dijon



Shake that shit up in a jar.

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Strawberry & Spinach Salad with Fresh Corn, Chicken, Brown Rice & Gorgonzola (Vegan or Vegetarian) 

Serves 2 as a main course

INGREDIENTS (flexible according to your tastes)

1/2 lb raw, organic spinach – chopped

1 cup organic strawberries – sliced

9 oz vegan chicken – thawed

1 ear fresh corn – kernels cut off

2 cups cooked brown rice

Gorgonzola crumbles (or vegan alternative or other cheese of choice like feta or goat) – optional

Cilantro – chopped – optional

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Treat a pan with cooking spray or oil & sear the chicken strips.  Set aside.

Then basically, just toss everything together & then toss with the dressing.

Easy & gorgeous.

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Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad

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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 – this is another fast & easy one.  If feta & watermelon seem like an odd mix – just think of the popularity of salting watermelon.  It might seem, initially, like an odd combo but it works really well.  It it refreshing & clean & and the water density of the watermelon makes it surprisingly satisfying.

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Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad

serves 2


2 cups diced watermelon

1/4-1/2 (or more) diced feta cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 red onion sliced paper thin

1-3 tsp olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lime

S&P to taste

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Mix & serve.

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Grilled & Baked Eggplant Pizza Towers with Fresh Mozzarella & Basil Chiffonade – A CONTEST! – and Downtown Los Angeles!

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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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Uh-oh!  Wouldya look at that!  The AMAZING make-up company, Too Faced, has selected my book to give away in the summer essentials giveaway!  All you gotta do is go on Instagram, follow me at @christineelisemccarthy and then navigate to @TooFaced on Instagram, find this image on their wall & follow the rules to enter.  DO NOT enter on MY Instagram page.  Only entries on the Too Faced page will be considered.  A signed copy of my book, a bikini & Too Faced’s ENTIRE summer line!  CRAZY!  And the contest ends tomorrow (June 23, 2015), winner announced June 24, 2015 – so enter NOW!  And remember – go follow me on Instagram, then go follow Too Faced there & enter through their page.  Good luck!

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So – I had jury duty today.  That is the hallway at the court.  Everyone dreads jury duty but I work freelance & literally cannot afford to miss a day of work – let alone a week.  So – I had to miss work today to go down & asked to be rescheduled – which just means that, if I am working in December – I lose at least another day’s pay.  Such a fucked system.  But, anyway – they let me out at noon so I decided to make the best of being downtown & met my friend Rose for lunch at Grand Central Market.  Here is what that LA wonder looks like:

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Pizza was SUPER thin & delightful but it was so friggin’ hot out – neither Rose nor I could eat more than half of the tiny 8″ pizzas.  So – I have some for later!  🙂

Across the street to the west from Grand Central Market is another LA landmark – Angel’s Flight.  It is not currently in service, however.

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Even more interesting – across the street to the east is the Bradbury Building – most famous as a location in Bladerunner.  Look how incredibly gorgeous it is!

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And there you have it!  My downtown Los Angeles adventure today & a chance to win lots of make-up & a bikini & a signed copy of my book!

The recipe next.  It isn’t really a recipe.  It is an idea & I have been talking about it a lot lately & eating it even more frequently.  These eggplant pizza towers.  Not really pizza but born of my wanting a tortilla pizza but without tortillas.

I slice up & eat an entire small eggplant alone but quantities of everything really depends on how many you are feeding, how hungry they are & then personal taste as to the sauce-cheese ratio.  So – an informal recipe will follow.  Also – these would be nice served on top of pasta tossed with a red sauce.  I cannot recommend Rao’s highly enough.

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Grilled & Baked Eggplant Pizza Towers with Fresh Mozzarella & Basil Chiffonade 


About 1 eggplant per person – sliced about 1/4-1/2 inch thick & lightly salted

Fresh mozzarella – enough to put a few slices on top of each slice of eggplant

Red sauce of your choice

Fresh basil

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Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

I grilled the slices on my stove top grill first to char them a bit.  Just to get some grill marks on them & cook out some moisture.  I did it on the grill dry & it took about 5-7 minutes – flipping the slices occasionally.  You can do this on your burners on the stove or in a grill pan or on a real grill – with or without oiling the slices.

OR – you can opt to bake the slices naked for 15-20 minutes to get them less thick & mushy.

Whatever you do – cook out some moisture & try to grill a little flavor onto the slices.

Top with sauce & cheese – quantities up to you.

Bake at 350 on a cooking sheet topped with parchment paper (THE BEST – nothing sticks) or treated with cooking spray or olive oil.  Assemble each eggplant slice with sauce & cheese & cook them in a single layer – stacking them into towers when you put them on the plate.

Meanwhile – to make the basil chiffonade – simply stack several leaves of basil, roll them into a tube & slice the tube up.  Voila!

It should take 10-15 minutes for the cheese to melt & begin to turn golden but all ovens are different so eyeball it & take them out when they look good to you.

Stack your little eggplant pizzas & garnish with basil.  Yum!

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Vegan Tofu Chilaquiles with 5-Minute Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

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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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BathingandthesinglegirlCover vromans back

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Yesterday, my friends Alyse & Rose & I had brunch with Sarah Silverman.  At Off Vine in Hollywood.   There (above) are my very delicious Eggs Sardou (Eggs Benedict but with artichoke hearts rather than Canadian bacon).

And there (below) – across the room in black silhouette – with her back to the window – is Sarah Silverman.  Yeah.  We didn’t have brunch with Sarah Silverman, really.  We had brunch near Sarah Silverman.  And that sad & empty champagne glass in the foreground is mine.   I really got $17 worth of their bottomless champagne – trust me.  I was on a one-woman mission to drink all the fucking champagne they had.  I have to tell you – the wait staff there was 100% on board with my plan and really did keep the bubbly flowing & hardly ever looked at me with judgement.  In fact, I think one waiter was trying to break me by topping my glass off at regular intervals.  And – break me he did.  I had to put my hand over my glass – in defeat – when, as we composed ourselves for departure – he offered me yet more champagne.  Despite my defeat by champagne waiter guy – it was a delightful morning!  And PS – if you  like REAL bottomless glasses of champagne – Off Vine is for you.  So many places sell you a bottomless glass but rarely offer refills.  Off Vine did not pull that shit and neither, I might add, did Cha Cha Cha when I ordered their bottomless mimosa.  So – note to self.

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So –  after eating that very eggy, dairy-heavy brunch yesterday – I decided, today, to make up for it by coming up with a vegan brunch option.  And – because I failed at my quest drink all the champagne at Off Vine – I continued my champagne consumption today.  That was the punishment I decided fit my crime.  More champagne & something with tofu.  See?  I can be pretty hard on myself.

I have never been a fan of tofu & tend never to order it – unless it has been masked by a deep frying & some fatty dips options – or something like that.  The slimy texture is one of the few food textures I like to avoid.  When I first gave up meat – in the late eighties – I experimented with tofu in things like puddings & cheesecake or other ways that obscured completely that it was tofu as the main ingredient.   None of those experiments netted a recipe worth repeating.  The only exception is a Moosewood Shepherd’s Pie recipe.  This recipe worked for me because the tofu is frozen, thawed, squeezed dry & crumbled.  The resulting texture is chewy & the tofu looks like grated sponges.  When cooked as they outline – it really resembles a low-grade ground beef.  I’ve made that recipe dozens of times.  But that is really the extent of my use of tofu for twenty years.  In my three years posting this blog – I have never posted a tofu recipe.

Until today.  I’ve never ordered a tofu scramble – partly because I have yet to give up eggs completely & partly because it just doesn’t sound appetizing.  Not in the least.  It seems like it will be bland & watery & just not tempting at all.  Well, let me tell you – these tofu chilaquiles were AWESOME!  Spicy & flavorful.  The corn chips added texture & the nacho cheese sauce added spice & bound it a bit.  The texture was almost exactly the same as an egg white scramble.  This dish was fast & easy & I could not scarf it down quickly enough.  I recommend it very strongly!

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I fried my own corn chips (from cut up corn tortillas) in some olive oil – stove top.  The result was an uneven color because I could not bring myself to use enough oil to submerge the pieces.  I posted a baked version last year in my Purist’s Homemade Guacamole & Baked Corn Tortilla Chips blog & the chips were far prettier (see below).


Pretty doesn’t matter, though.  Not in this scramble.  So – fry some up or bake some or use bagged chips.  Your call.

I just cannot recommend this any more highly and, remember, I am a tofu-hater.  So – don’t be scared!

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Vegan Tofu Chilaquiles with 5-Minute Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

serves 2


1 cup Vegan nacho cheese sauce

4-5 corn tortillas (or two fists full of ready-made corn chips)

Oil for frying (I used olive oil)

1/2 white onion – diced

1 (14 oz) block of extra firm tofu

1/4 cup of your favorite salsa

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder


Garnish: avocado, cilantro, scallions, fresh fruit, extra nacho cheese sauce

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Drain the tofu, wrap it in a kitchen towel, put it in the sink & set something heavy on top of it – like a cast iron pan or a brick.  Anything heavy that will help press out the excess moisture.  Let it sit like this for 15 minutes.

Fry (see above) or bake your corn chips – if you are making them.  Drain on a paper towel.

In about 1 TBS olive oil, heat the onions with the spices.  After it begins to soften, crumble the tofu & add it to the pan with the salsa & nacho cheese.  Heat on high & stir until the moisture cooks off & everything is heated through.  Toss the chips in & stir to combine & warm the chips.

Serve with the garnish of your desire.  Eat & feel guiltless!  Swill champagne & FTW!

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5-Minute 2-Ingredient Vegan Nacho Cheese Dip (for Vegan Mac & Cheese?)


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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Two ingredients.  Yes, just two.  5 minutes.  Honestly.  Here are the two ingredients:

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I found that amazing vegan cheese at my local Gelson’s.  It is genuinely spicy & is the best vegan cheese I have found (though I prefer the center one, above, and have yet to find the black pepper one.)

Anyway – All you do is heat the Rotel & add the cheese & heat & stir until it melts.  I used 8 slices of cheese to the entire 10 oz can of Rotel.   Use less Rotel if you want the dip more cheese than tomatoes.  This shit is delicious!!!  Pour some on a veggie burger or a hot dog or french fries!

Stir in some cooked pasta & you have Vegan Mac & Cheese!  Possibilities are endless!

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1 (10 oz) can of Rotel or other diced tomatoes with chilies

8 or more slices of Field Roast vegan Tomato Cayenne cheese

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Do not drain the Rotel.  Heat the entire can (less if you want cheesier dip) in a pan.  Break the cheese up & add that.  Heat & stir until it melts.


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Vegan Chicken, Lemon & Thyme Pasta with Grilled Zucchini & Maitake Mushrooms

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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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vromans back


Get your Beyond Meat coupons HERE.

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Look at those cool wine corks!!

OK – I have a bit of a confession to make.  I cook all the time & make fancy recipes & get delivery of fresh produce from Farm Fresh to You and I spend a fortune on groceries – but when I get home from work – all I EVER want to eat is a tortilla pizza.  So incredibly lame.  Made stove-top so the tortilla invariably blackens before the cheese is fully melted.  I give absolutely zero fucks.  I just make two or three of these charred fuckers & shove them into my face, swilling wine & watching Luther.  Don’t believe me?  Here is my dinner for each night last week:

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When Farm Fresh to You delivered an eggplant to me – I took a rare break from the tortillas & made an eggplant pizza tower.  That is grilled eggplant with Rao’s Arrabbiata sauce (best jarred sauce on the market) on it & fresh mozzarella – baked at about 350 until the cheese melts (10-15 minutes) & topped with fresh basil.  I recommend those eggplant towers with unbridled enthusiasm.  I bought 5 eggplants today & I intend to eat those every night this week.

But my fresh produce box also held a few zucchinis.  One night, I sliced them up, dredged them in Italian dressing & grilled them.  I then promptly stored them in the fridge & made a tortilla pizza.  Then – something awesome happened.  I had the idea to top a tortilla pizza with chopped, grilled zucchini & fresh thyme & it was a revelation!

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I have eaten thyme hundreds of times but that tortilla pizza with the subtle flavors of the zucchini & the fresh mozzarella really set the thyme off nicely & I fell a little in love with thyme.

Armed with additional grilled zucchini, fresh thyme & this crazy maitake mushroom (also in my Farm Fresh to You box) – I decided to make a pasta dish – and my Vegan Chicken, Lemon & Thyme Pasta with Grilled Zucchini & Maitake Mushrooms was born.  No single flavor is crucial here so – if you hate mushrooms or zucchini or whatever – leave it out.  It is more about the lemon & thyme.  Light & clean & vegan – this is an easy & delicious dish.

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Vegan Chicken, Lemon & Thyme Pasta with Grilled Zucchini & Maitake Mushrooms

Serves 2


1/2 lb pasta

9 oz Beyond Meat chicken – cubed or left whole

Olive oil

1 cup chopped mushrooms – any variety will do – except maybe portobello as they turn dark & might be overpowering & not as pretty

1 zucchini – sliced, dipped in an oil-based dressing & grilled – or simply chopped raw

4 garlic cloves – chopped

Zest of one lemon (save wedges for garnish)

1-2 TBS Fresh thyme (more or less – to taste) – removed from stems


Garnish – more thyme, pepper, lemon wedges

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Cook the pasta as directed.

Meanwhile – grill the zucchini – if you are doing that step.  If not, just cut the zucchini up.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the mushrooms & zucchini & vegan chicken.  Saute until the veggies soften.  Add the lemon zest, garlic & thyme & stir to combine – for about a minute.  Season with salt & pepper.

Drain the pasta & add it to the chicken & veggies & stir to combine.

Serve with more thyme, fresh cracked pepper & the lemon wedges.

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Vegan Blackberry Jam-Sriracha BBQ Pulled Chicken & Jackfruit Tacos

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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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vromans back


Download that coupon HERE.

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So – a while back, I made that Pulled Vegan Chicken & Jackfruit with Blackberry Jam-Sriracha BBQ Sauce you see above.  The recipe made a lot of the stuff, so I posted a pasta & a pizza recipe using the leftovers – seen below.

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This is simply another idea for a way to reinvent the leftovers.  The recipe for the pulled chicken & jackfruit is HERE.  Then – you just make tacos the way you normally would – or load the taco the way you would load a pulled chicken sandwich – with pickles or coleslaw.  But – look at that vegan chicken & jackfruit!  Pretty convincing visually & it does not disappoint in the flavor department, either.  I promise.  Even the texture seems authentic.

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Vegan Blackberry Jam-Sriracha BBQ Pulled Chicken & Jackfruit Tacos


Pulled chicken & jackfruit

corn tortillas




lime wedges

and anything else you wanna put on these guys

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Make the pulled chicken & jackfruit.

I warm my corn tortillas on the burners of my stove – then I just pile filling into them.


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Thai Bird’s Eye Chili Oil

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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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vromans back

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This is very easy & makes a spicy oil you can cook Asian & other spicy foods in – or just leave it on the counter looking pretty.

Thai Bird’s Eye Chili Oil


A large quantity of Thai Bird’s Eye Chilies (enough to tightly pack whatever jar you use)

Olive oil

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Pick over the chilies & throw away any that are spotted or spoiled in any way.  Throw away twigs & leaves.  Shove them into a jar & fill with oil.  I then poked a knife into the center to split the ones I could not see & allow some heat to leak out.  Close the jar & let it sit for several days.

UPDATE – After about a week or two – I drained the oil into a clean bottle & threw the chilies away.  The oil is infused & spicy – but those peppers were fading.

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Vegan “Fish Tempura” Sushi Rolls

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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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vromans back


When I went to Dallas last month to MC an event for the Humane League there – everyone kept talking about how awesome these vegan fish sticks are.  So – I bought some as soon as I got home.  My first effort with them was these vegan fish tacos.

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They were delicious!   The fish sticks are triangle-shaped and almost as large as the palm of my hand – and they have 90 calories each.  I am a huge fan.

So – yesterday – I got it in my head that I wanted sushi.  My first thought was to make tempura chicken with Beyond Meat chicken & tempura batter but I discovered that I had no tempura batter & then I decided I didn’t want to fry anything, anyway.  Then these guys jumped into my mind!  So – while these are not fish & not in tempura batter – they are breaded & they made an excellent substitute.

I buy my nori at Bangluch Market because it costs about $1.25 for a package where Gelson’s charges almost $5 – so I recommend looking in ethnic stores for ethnic supplies.  I bought the fresh ginger & wasabi at Gelson’s.

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Sushi Rice

2 cups sushi rice

2 cups water

2 TBS sugar

2 TBS rice vinegar

1 TBS salt

Put the rice & water in a pan.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low & cover.  Cook for 25 minutes.

Let the rice cool & then mix in the other ingredients.

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Vegan “Fish Tempura” Sushi Rolls


Gardein fishless fillets (or other brand) – cooked according to package instructions

Carrots – cut into sticks

Daikon – cut into sticks

Cucumber – cut into sticks (I forgot to use mine)

Avocado – sliced

Nori sheets

Sesame seeds – white & black

Wasabi, ginger & soy sauce for dipping.

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Get all your ingredients ready.  Press some rice onto the nori – leaving about an inch on one end uncovered.  Layer the ingredients & roll tightly.  Wet the naked end of the nori with water on your fingertips.  roll until the seam side is down & rub the roll back & forth on the counter a few times to better seal the seam.  Cut with a sharp wet knife.

Serve with ginger & wasabi & soy sauce & a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

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Vegan BBQ Pulled Chicken & Jackfruit Pizza

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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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vromans back

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So – I made a boatload of Vegan Pulled Chicken with Jackfruit in a Sriracha and Blackberry Jam BBQ Sauce for the Slow Cooker – seen above.   I had to use it in ways other than just on bread.  So – I made Pasta with Pulled Vegan Chicken & Jackfruit with Blackberry Jam-Sriracha BBQ Sauce – seen below.

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And then I made a pizza.  I used the No-Rise Thin & Crispy Pizza Dough recipe from How Sweet It Is – but any dough will do.  I used my go-to jarred sauce – Rao’s Arrabbiata.

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And – I used real cheese but, if you are vegan, use vegan cheese.  I used corn, which I typically avoid because corn is so heavily GMO – but this was frozen organic corn from Trader Joe’s – so I rolled the dice.  I used red pepper strips – primarily because I had a red bell that needed using.   While I make my dough from regular, organic flour – rolling it out in semolina flour adds a bit of a crunch & gives the crust the golden flecks that make the crust look professional.  I won’t list quantities here because pizza is a very personal thing.  Some like lotsa cheese – some less.  Same with sauce & other toppings.  But – my best advice is to be sure your oven is fully at 500 degrees before putting the pizza in there.  This makes for the crispiest crust.

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Vegan or Vegetarian BBQ Pulled chicken & Jackfruit Pizza


Pizza dough


BBQ pulled chicken


Sliced red bell peppers

Grated vegan cheese

Garnish – scallions, cilantro

Semolina flour for rolling the dough (optional)

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Heat the oven to 500 degrees.

Roll the dough out on flour or semolina.

Put the dough on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper (the best thing ever) or treated with olive oil or cooking spray.

Top with sauce & other toppings.

Bake for 10-15 minutes – depending on your oven and/or how you like your pizza.

Garnish, slice & devour!

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Pasta with Pulled Vegan Chicken & Jackfruit with Blackberry Jam-Sriracha BBQ Sauce

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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, last week, I made Vegan Pulled Chicken with Jackfruit in a Sriracha and Blackberry Jam BBQ Sauce for the Slow Cooker – seen above.  It was delicious but I made a fuckton of it & needed to find more creative ways to use it.  Here is the first of three ways I used the leftover pulled BBQ chicken – on pasta!  The only real recipe here is the actual pulled chicken & jackfruit.  Beyond that – it is your favorite pasta & favorite pasta sauce.  I used these curly noodles & Rao’s Arrabbiata – THE BEST sauce in a jar ever.

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Pasta with Vegan Pulled Chicken & Jackfruit with Blackberry Jam-Sriracha BBQ Sauce


Vegan Pulled Chicken with Jackfruit in a Sriracha and Blackberry Jam BBQ Sauce for the Slow Cooker

Cooked Pasta

Pasta sauce

Garnish – micro arugula, basil, red bell peppers diced

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Make the pasta.  Warm the sauce & warm the BBQ.

Distribute onto plates.


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