DDD #27 – Vegan Pumpkin, Peanut Butter & Rolled Oats Dog Treats

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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

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Reposting this recipe because it now has a video to accompany it.  Click the photo below to watch.

These are easy.  The only thing is that the dough can be really sticky.  I only used as much flour as I need to make the dough manageable without using so much it lost all tackiness.  I didn’t want flour to overwhelm the other ingredients.

These were not initially as popular as the ones I made HERE

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that used egg & chicken hot dogs – but they all got devoured eventually. These ones in this recipe have a rougher, more rustic appearance than the smoother & more professional looking ones using egg – mainly because of the rolled oats.  Either way – dogs eat these things up & you can feel good about what you are feeding them.

Here are the three babies I cook these for:

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Vegan Pumpkin, Peanut Butter & Rolled Oats Dog Treats

INGREDIENTS

1 cup rice flour

2 cups rolled oats

1 heaping cup peanut butter

2 cups canned pure pumpkin

1/4 – 1/2 cup water

2 cups flour

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DIRECTIONS

Blend the ingredients until you have a dough that is workable – adding water or flour as needed.  Roll it out to a desired thickness – I go about 1/3 – 1/2 inch thick & cut it up into treats.  You can cut with a knife or cookie cutter.  Bake them on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes on each side.

Cool & serve to lucky doggies!  If you don’t – your dogs might look at you like THIS!

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DDD #26 – Spicy Vegan Sriracha Miso Cole Slaw

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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

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I am reposting this 2015 recipe because I now have a www.VideoVegan.com video to accompany it!  Click the image below to watch & please subscribe to my channel.

This is super easy – especially if you buy some of that pre-chopped slaw mix.  And why not?  Why buy two heads of cabbage & spend time chopping & then not use all the cabbage & have two half heads in the fridge – laying a guilt trip on you until they turn brown enough to warrant tossing them?   Who needs that shit?  Cabbage likes to pop all over the place, too, like cauliflower.  So – do yourself a favor and buy a bag of cole slaw mix.  Or not – your call.

This can be served as a side or as a burger topping or, as I did last night, put on top of tacos.  Creamy, yummy & cruelty-free.

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Spicy Vegan Sriracha Miso Cole Slaw

Makes about 3 cups

INGREDIENTS

8 oz (3 cups) of chopped cabbage (I used a bagged slaw mix) & carrot shreds

1/8-1/2 cup sriracha – start small & add in increments until you reach your spice level

1/3 cup vegan mayo – (increase if you like wetter slaw)

2 TBS white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)

2 TBS miso paste

1/2 tsp sesame oil

2 TBS agave nectar

1/4 tsp salt

2 TBS chia seeds (optional but very good for you)

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DIRECTIONS

I literally put everything in a tupperware container & just shook the bejesus out of it.  You can just stir it all up in a bowl.  Increase mayo or sriracha or salt to taste.

Chill & serve!

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DDD Ep. #25 – Vegan Hearts of Palm Crab Salad

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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 just 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 am reposting this recipe from May 3, 2016 because I now have an episode of my cooking show (www.VideoVegan.com) to accompany it.  Click the image below to watch!  And please – subscribe to my channel.

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While I was very pleased with my Vegan Jackfruit Tuna Salad (seen just above in the avocado) – I know that jackfruit is an exotic ingredient & not easily found by many people.  So – I endeavored to make a vegan seafood dish with something more readily available – hearts of palm – and had great success!  Nothing in this recipe is hard to find.  If you are not vegan & eat real mayonnaise – this Japanese mayo used for sushi might be nice in this – as it adds a sweetness.

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I only mention that stuff because I plan on making California rolls with this crab salad & the Kewpie would make them more authentic.  Still – I did not use Kewpie.  I used Just Mayo.

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I also used Old Bay seasoning – which is vegan.   One of the best things about this recipe is the low calorie count of the hearts of palm.  Check it out:

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So – hears of palm, vegan mayo, Old Bay & few other ingredients & voila!  Comes together as fast as a real tuna salad would.  I used a food processor but this is not entirely necessary.  In fact – I might just finely chop the hearts of palm next time – because crab salad is textured & chunky.  Still – I am going  for a California roll with this (which I will post soon) so the finer chop seemed like a good idea.  Either way – I think you will be very happy with this salad!

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Vegan Hearts of Palm Crab Salad

Serves 2 on a salad or in avocado halves or in sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

2 (14 oz) cans hearts of palm – drained

1/4 onion – minced

3 celery stalks – minced

2 tsp Old Bay seasoning

1/2 cup vegan mayo

1 small tomato – seeded & chopped finely

1/4 cup grated carrots – chopped even more

2 tsp prepared horseradish (optional)

4-5 springs of fresh dill – fronds chopped

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

You can either finely chop everything to suit your taste & combine them or – do as I did – and pulse MOST OF (not all) the onion & celery & tomato then add ONE can of hearts of palm – and pulse.  Add mayo & horseradish & Old Bay & pulse.  Add the second can of hearts of palm & pulse until it is mostly chopped & then simply stir in some larger chunks of celery, tomato & chopped carrots for color & texture.  Stir in the dill.  Taste for S&P.

If your resulting salad is too wet – (mine was very wet) – simply wrap it in a clean kitchen towel & twist out all the excess moisture.

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Once the excess liquid is out – you can decide whether or not to add more mayo  or additional spices.  Serve as you will with maybe some extra fresh dill as garnish.

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DDD Ep. #1 – Vegan Firecracker Chicken

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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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OK, people!  This dish is INSANELY easy & outrageously good!  Better than take-out!  Wow your friends!  Make your neighbors jealous.  Oh – and buy my book!

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Reposting this recipe because I have a video from my new Youtube cooking show to accompany it. Please – subscribe to my channel on Youtube. Www.VideoVegan.com.

 

 

FULL DISCLOSURE – this is an update on my original April 26, 2014 post.  That version involves browning the chicken & baking it but THIS version can be done stove top in about 5 minutes.  Ready?

OK- that said – back to this outrageous revelation!  You can use real chicken or shrimp, if you want, but I hope you will try it with this stuff – Beyond Meat.  Go to their site to find out which retailers near you might carry it.

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Also – this could be made using any pre-made buffalo sauce bought from the supermarket.   But I had extra buffalo sauce from my Vegan Buffalo Falafel Sliders with Smashed Avocado so I used that.

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Homemade Buffalo Sauce

(This makes more than the 1/3 cup required for the Firecracker Chicken)

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup cayenne based hot sauce

¼ cup water

1 tablespoon vinegar

DIRECTIONS

In a small saucepan, heat the oil over a medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until the flour starts to look golden and smell sorta toasted. It can bubble but do not boil it.  This should take about 4 minutes.  Add half the hot sauce and stir until it is all mixed. The flour should thicken it a bit. Add the rest of the hot sauce, water, and vinegar and stir until it is all mixed up. Set aside.

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Can I repeat how easy & insanely yummy this is!  And do not expect it to taste like buffalo sauce.  It doesn’t.  At all.  Which is bizarre.  So – if buffalo sauce ain’t your thing – still try this.  And know – the more sugar you add – the less you taste any buffalo sauce element.

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FIVE MINUTE Spicy & Easy Vegan (or Not!) Firecracker Chicken

Feeds one well

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken – cut into cubes

1/3 cup Buffalo sauce (store bought or homemade – recipe above) – I used Frank’s

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 TBS apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1 TBS water

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)

Scallions – chopped for garnish

Cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

Cut the chicken into cubes.

For the Firecracker sauce, heat the Buffalo sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, crushed red pepper & water until the sugar dissolves.  Add cut up chicken & simmer until it is warmed through & the sauce is thick.

Serve that shit over your rice with some scallions.  Resist the urge to pour it all over your naked body & roll around in ecstasy.   That shit is hot and WILL burn you – and it really is too delicious to waste on your sordid sex life.

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DDD Ep. #22 – 10-Ingredient Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Mac & Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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 just 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 am reposting this recipe because there is now a DDD video to accompany it.  Please click through & subscribe to my channel.

Honest to God – this might be the most fucking delicious vegan meal I have ever made!  Seriously!  And to think it only came together because I had a fridge full of random leftovers & ingredients that I needed to be done with.  I had a package of Tofutti American cheese, several slices of their mozzarella cheese (both of which I totally shit-talked in my vegan cheese review) & some leftover pasta.  Oh – and two Chinese eggplants.

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I actually had this selection of vegan cheeses – seen above.  I opted to use the individual slices first because 1) they were getting old and 2) I thought this dish would make better use of (read: mask) their less than fabulous flavor.  Ultimately – I did use some of the other two cheeses, as well.  The result is AMAZING!  You can use whatever vegan cheeses you prefer but you are going to need about a pound of various cheeses – before all is said & done.

I used Chinese eggplant & I recommend them because they are less bitter & carry less moisture than regular eggplant.

I used nutritional yeast but a vegan Parmesan would also work.  Or use neither.

This takes a few steps but all are simple & the result is a decadent feast that nobody would ever guess was vegan – at least with this particular combination of cheeses.  I find some vegan cheeses taste more fake than others – so – the brands you use will matter – but I am certain lots of other brands would be just as yummy – especially the Field Roast Chao cheeses – my favorite of the vegan cheeses I have tried.

Whatever you do – get it together to make this – at least once.  It really is killer!

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10-Ingredient Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Mac & Cheese

Feeds 4-6 depending on appetites

INGREDIENTS

4+ cups or so of cooked pasta

2 Chinese eggplant (or other variety) – sliced 1/2″ thick

1 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or vegan Parmesan)

1 TBS dry parsley

8 oz (or 12 individual slices) vegan American or cheddar cheese (or a mix) – PLUS SOME  EXTRA – just in case

4 oz (or 6 individual slices) vegan mozzarella – PLUS SOME  EXTRA – just in case

(Extra grated vegan cheese to top the casserole – one that melts would be prettiest)

2 – 3 cups unsweetened vegan milk

1 1/2 – 2 cups pasta sauce (I used Rao’s Arrabbiata)

Basil or parsley (or both) – chopped for garnish

Olive oil

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Mix the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast & dry parsley in a bowl.  Put about 1/2 cup milk in another bowl.  Heat some olive oil in a frying pan.  Dunk the eggplant rounds in the milk & then through the breadcrumbs and drop into the hot oil.  They should brown pretty quickly.  Flip & brown the other side.  Put on a cooking sheet & into the oven while you repeat the process until all the eggplant is cooked.  You will likely need to wipe out the burnt breadcrumbs & add more oil with each batch.

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In a stock pot, melt the American and/or cheddar cheese.   Add vegan milk in small increments until it becomes creamy.   Stir in the pasta.  At this point – I decided it needed more cheese so I added two slices of this cheese (below) and a bit more milk & cooked it until it looked wet & yummy & creamy.   I am not giving exact directions as to the cheese-milk-pasta ratio because different cheeses might have more or less moisture – and everyone has a different idea of how wet mac & cheese should be.    I would suggest going a little wet – as the pasta & eggplant will absorb it & you won’t have a dry dish.

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Look at that up there!!!!  Doesn’t that look just ridiculous?!  It was all I could do not to just start shoving it in my face.  But I used considerable will power & continued with the recipe.

So – when you get your pasta-cheese-milk ratio to where it looks creamy but still a bit wet (so it won’t dry out in cooking) – take it off the flame.

Grease a casserole pan & layer half the eggplant on the bottom.

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Add another layer of eggplant with the rest of the slices & top with pasta sauce.

In the same pan you melted the cheese in – melt the mozzarella & pour it over your casserole & pop the pan into the oven.

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At this point – I took my dogs for a walk – COMPLETELY forgetting I had this in the oven.  I think it needed 30-45 minutes in the 375 oven – but it got way more than that.  Don’t burn yours.  I kinda did.   Look – not so pretty.

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So – in an effort to make it pretty again – I grated some of that cheese above onto it & popped it back into the oven for about ten minutes.  As you can see – it did little to make it prettier (that cheese did not want to melt) – but when I scooped it onto plates – it looked & SMELLED amazing!

So – maybe do not burn yours & it will be prettier but nobody needs to see it before it hits the plate, anyway.

So – scoop some onto plates & garnish with parsley and/or basil.  I swear – this will fool people out of suspecting it is vegan.  So yummy & comforting!

Waste no time & devour it!

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DDD Ep. #21 – Vegan Spicy Thai Red Curry & Coconut Cauliflower Rice

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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 just 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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Reposting this now here because there is a video to accompany it.   Please consider following me on my channel there.

I have posted several variations of cauliflower rice over the years – most of which can be found HERE.  This one is likely the richest of the lot due to the added lite coconut milk.  Still – if you consider that it isn’t really rice but, rather just grated cauliflower, that added decadence of the coconut milk & curry paste are not that bad.

Cauliflower rice is easiest if you have a food processor with a grating blade.  If not – you can grate the cauliflower with a box grater or other grater – but raw cauliflower tends to pop all over the place & can get rather messy.

I’m not sure if some of my earlier cauliflower rice recipes had the added step of steaming the cauliflower & squeezing out the water – but – that is a step not necessary for cauliflower rice.  I think that step only matters if you are going to make cauliflower pizza dough or cauliflower tortillas – as seen below.

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This dish is quick & easy & very tasty.  And good for you!

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Vegan Spicy Thai Red Curry & Coconut Cauliflower Rice

Serves 4 or more as a side

INGREDIENTS

1 large head cauliflower – grated in with a food processor or a manual grater

Coconut or other cooking oil

1 red bell pepper – diced

1 onion diced

1-3 jalapenos – minced (use more or less according to your taste for heat)

1-6 cloves of garlic – chopped (use more or less according to your taste for garlic)

1 cup lite coconut milk

1 TBS red curry paste

1 TBS Bragg’s liquid amino acids (or soy sauce or tamari)

1 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Garnish – cilantro, lime wedges

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DIRECTIONS

In a very large saute pan, heat about 1 TBS oil & add the cauliflower.  Saute on high for 5-7 minutes or until it just begins to brown.  Transfer to a bowl  & set aside.

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In the same pan, add about another TBS of oil & saute the red bell pepper, onion & jalapeno until they get soft – maybe 5 minutes.  Add the garlic & stir for a minute & then add the curry paste & coconut milk & amino acid (or soy sauce) & agave.  Incorporate & then add the cauliflower rice.  Stir in some cilantro & combine.  Garnish with additional cilantro & lime wedges & serve.

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DDD Ep. #20 – Vegan Chicken Satay with Peanut Coconut Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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 just 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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Reposting this recipe because I have a video to accompany it.  Please – subscribe to my channel on Youtube.  Www.VideoVegan.com.

This is another super-duper easy one.  The recipe for the Spicy Thai Red Curry & Coconut Cauliflower Rice (seen just above) is HERE.

I used a 12oz package of Beyond Meat chicken strips – because they are the best on the market.  If you cannot find them – use the brand available to you – preferably not breaded.

This recipe is really just for a marinade (not totally necessary) & for the peanut & coconut sauce.  You can whisk each together in bowls & heat the chicken in any pan on the stove.  So easy & REALLY delicious!

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Vegan Chicken Satay with Peanut & Coconut Sauce

Depends on the amount of “chicken” you use & appetites – but 1 or 2

INGREDIENTS

for the chicken satay

Beyond Meat chicken strips (or other vegan chicken) – in the quantity you require

Cooking oil or cooking spray

for the marinade (an optional step – you can skip the marinade if you want to but it does ratchet up the flavors)

2 garlic cloves – minced

2 shallots – minced

1-2 serrano or jalapeno peppers – minced (seed them for less heat)

2 TBS Bragg’s liquid amino acids (or soy sauce or tamari)

1 TBS agave nectar (or sugar)

juice of one lime

for the peanut-coconut sauce

1 cup lite coconut milk

1/4 cup peanut butter (more – if you want a thicker sauce)

1/4 cup cilantro – chopped

1-3 serrano or jalapeno peppers – diced (seed them for less heat)

2 shallots – minced

2 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)

2 TBS Bragg’s liquid amino acids (or soy sauce or tamari)

juice of one lime

GARNISH – lime wedges & cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

for the marinade

Whisk ingredients together & put the chicken in it.  Marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes – or overnight.  I did this in a Ziplock bag.

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for the peanut-coconut sauce

Whisk everything together.  Adjust the peanut butter to coconut ratio to suit your tastes.  I put mine in an old pickle jar so I could give it a good shake before using it.

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for the chicken satay

Heat some oil or cooking spray & dump the chicken & marinade into a pan.  Heat through.

Plate the chicken & drizzle with a light bit of the peanut-coconut sauce (reserve some because there is a lot of sauce).

Serve with rice & garnish with extra sauce, cilantro & lime wedges.

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DDD Ep. #19 – Vegan Spicy Chicken Enchilada Soup with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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

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Reposting this recipe because I have a video to accompany it. Please – subscribe to my channel on Youtube. Www.VideoVegan.com.

This is yet another SUPER easy one – even if you make the enchilada sauce yourself – and can be made in a slow cooker or stove top.  The benefit of the slow cooker is that the flavors get to meld better but – if you are in a hurry or don’t own a slow cooker – this can be done on the stove.

I made the red enchilada sauce myself & I recommend it very highly because 1) it was easy 2) less processed food it better for you & 3) self-satisfaction.  So – I really recommend you try to make it – though jarred or canned enchilada sauce will do.

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I included a picture of taco seasoning in that image above but I was so pleased with my homemade enchilada sauce – I could not bring myself to add this MSG chemical powder to my soup – so ignore it.  As I was cooking the soup I added an additional can of black beans – not shown there.

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Also – I thawed & shredded the Beyond Meat chicken.  Look how convincing it looks (above)!

This makes a lot of soup but – it is so hearty & delicious – I ate almost half of it myself, last night – without any garnish of any kind.  Just naked outta the pot.  But – why not?  There is no added fat in this (except a little olive oil in the enchilada sauce) – just proteins & produce & spices – so feel free to eat it like you are competing in a grudge match with Takeru Kobayashi.  I did – and I feel no shame.  Zero fucks were given.

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Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Makes just over 2 cups

INGREDIENTS

2 TBS olive oil

2 TBS flour

6 oz. tomato paste

4 TBS chili powder (NOT cayenne pepper)

1 TBS dry parsley

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp dry oregano

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cumin

2 cups vegetable stock

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil over high heat & whisk in the flour.  When it thickens, add the stock in increments, letting it thicken each time before adding more.  When the stock is incorporated, add the spices & tomato paste & whisk to combine.  Cook until it has the thickness of tomato sauce.  Add water if it gets too thick.  Set aside.

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Vegan Spicy Chicken Enchilada Soup with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce – for the Slow Cooker or Stove Top

Serves 4 as a main course – more as an appetizer

INGREDIENTS

2 cups red enchilada sauce (recipe above RECOMMENDED or store bought)

9-12 oz vegan chicken (I always use Beyond Meat – which comes in 9 and 12 ounce packages)

1 (14 oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes

2 (15 oz) cans black beans ( I used 1 can of black beans & 1 can of mixed beans) – not drained

10 oz corn (I used organic frozen)

1 (7 oz) can green chilies (I used mild)

2 cups vegetable stock

2 garlic cloves (minced)

1 red (or other) onion – diced

1 bell pepper – seeded & chopped

1-2 jalapenos – seeds & diced (optional – omit if you do not like spice)

2 TBS chia seeds (1000% optional but they are good for you & I had some so…)

GARNISH OPTIONS: vegan sour cream, avocado, cilantro, chopped tomato, lime wedges, hot sauce, grated vegan cheese or tortilla strips (Recipe: Heat your oven to 350.  Spread the thinly sliced corn tortilla strips in a single layer on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking oil.  Bake the strips 10-15 minutes until they are crispy.  Try not to overcook them (they should not be browned).  Remove from oven & set aside. OR – buy some.)

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DIRECTIONS

Make the enchilada sauce – if you are doing that.

Dump everything in either a slow cooker & leave it on high for about 5 hours OR stick it all in a large stock pot & heat until the veggies soften & the soup thickens a bit (30-60 minutes).  In either case – if it gets too thick – add some water.  If it is too thin – cook it down a bit more.  See?  Crazy fucking easy!

Now – serve it up & garnish as you desire!

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DDD Ep. #24 – Vegan Saag with Tofu Paneer

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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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This is a really easy dish but this recipe makes a boatload so you might want to consider cutting it in half – or doublinf the tofu paneer recipe because that shit is yummy!

Click the image below for the video & please subscribe to my channel.

Vegan Saag with Tofu Paneer

INGREDIENTS

for the tofu paneer

1 block extra firm tofu

4 TBS nutritional yeast or vegan Parmesan

3 TBS olive oil

2 tsp salt

for the saag

2 lbs fresh spinach

3 TBS olive oil

2 TBS cumin seeds

1 small onion – chopped

6 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS ginger

2 jalapenos – diced (optional)

1-2 TBS turmeric (start with one & add more if you think it needs it)

1-2 TBS garam masala (start with one & add more if you think it needs it)

1-2 TBS ground coriander (start with one & add more if you think it needs it)

1 TBS ground fenugreek (optional)

5 tomatoes – diced

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt

1 cup of either vegan heavy cream or sour cream or cream cheese or a combination

DIRECTIONS

Whisk the nutritional yeast, oil & salt in a bowl.

Slice the tofu in half & place between paper towels.  Rest something heavy on it to press out some moisture.

Cube the tofu & toss it in the mixture.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Set aside.

Puree 1 lb of spinach with some water in a blender or food processor.  Just use enough water to facilitate the pureeing.  This is optional.  You could opt to just chop half the spinach – or all of it.

Heat 3 TBS olive oil in as pan & add 1-2 TBS cumin seeds (use less for a less heavily spiced dish).   When they start popping & get fragrant, add the onion & saute until soft.

Add the garlic & ginger & jalapenos.  Saute a few minutes & then add the spices.  Add some water to create a thin paste.  Heat through & add the tomatoes.  Add the sugar & salt & combine.  Once the tomatoes are warmed & soft – start adding the fresh spinach until it all cooks down.  Ad the pureed or chopped spinach & stir to combine.  Stir in the vegan dairy you chose to use.  Heat through.  Taste & adjust seasonings.

Serve with the baked tofu paneer on top and some rice or naan.

DDD Ep. #18 – Vegan Spicy Szechuan Green Beans with Minced Pork

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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

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Reposting this recipe because I have a video to accompany it. Please – subscribe to my channel on Youtube. Www.VideoVegan.com.  Click the photo below to watch the video.

So – I came across several kinds of canned seitan (seen above) at my favorite Thai market – Bangluck.  I used the first can (on the left) in my Easy Vegan Thai Minced Pork with Holy (& Sweet) Basil – Pad Ga Prao Muu – in Lettuce Cups (below) & it was a huge success.

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Today – I wanted to use one of them for my Green Beans & Minced Pork.  I looked at the calorie count of each of the two remaining cans and was surprised to see a huge calorie disparity despite the fact that the ingredients list is identical.

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So – since the “roast duck” had fewer calories – I used that one.  Despite the image on the can – it looked exactly like the fried gluten one did.  I have not opened the third can yet but I suspect it is just more of the same but – somehow – with more than twice the calories – so – I likely  will feed it to my dogs & just use the others in the future.  I man – see below?  First image below is the fried pork & the second is the duck.

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Same thing.  Canned seitan in water.  So – for this dish, you could use canned & drained seitan or your favorite brand of seitan  – or even a faux beef like Beyond Meat’s Beefless Crumbles (or other brand of ground beef).  The flavors in this dish are very strong & will take over the dish.  You could even use Beyond Meat’s chickenless strips.  No matter.

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I served this with my newest rice discover – Thai Rice Berry (black jasmine) rice.

I saw this new rice at my favorite Thai grocery store – Bangluck.   $10 for 5 pounds – so I could not resist.  I looked it up online & found THIS:

Riceberry  Rice is the new variety of rice that has been bred in Thailand. The rice is deep purple in colour; this rich dark colour is typical of plants that yield high nutrition. Rice berry rice is cross pollination of three hardy and loved rice strains; they are:

  • Thai Hom Mali Race – also known as fragrant jasmine rice, the highest quality and most sort after rice in the world, after cooking it retains its structure but takes on a soft fluffy consistency.
  • Hom Nin Rice – has well known and documented antioxidant properties, but this grain can become a little chewy if it isn’t cooked through.
  • Khao Dawk Mali 105 – a hardy seed which will grow in a broad range of agricultural environments.

The cross-pollination of these three rice plants has resulted in Riceberry Rice, a new and exciting rice variety. Riceberry takes on the best attributes of each of the grains that were used in its inception. The light fluffy texture and flavour from Thai jasmine rice, high in minerals and antioxidants from Hom Nin rice and hardy and high yield characteristics of Khao Dawk Mali 105.

Riceberry Rice Nutrition Profile

Riceberry rice is rich in many antioxidant that help our immune system stay healthy. It contains significant levels of:

  • Beta-carotene
  • Gama Oryzanol
  • Vitamin E
  • Folic Acid
  • Tannin
  • Zinc
  • Fiber
  • Bran Oil

These antioxidants, vitamins and minerals give riceberry rice a nutrition profile that is relatively unique. The dark purple colour it matures signifies it high nutrition content and gives it a unique appearance when served.

The rice is also extremely high in fiber and bran oil, this natural aids digestion and helps keep the stomach free from disease.

Thai Rice Glycemic Index

Riceberry rice has been graded as low-medium in the glycemic index. The abundant fiber and bran oil which it contains helps to reduce the risks of diabetes by hindering the absorption of sugars into the blood through the stomach. It also helps the pancreas function better.

– See more at: http://www.thenaturalhealthmarket.co.uk/riceberry-organic#sthash.388tjdGM.dpuf

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This green bean dish is very easy.  I used fresh green beans & loads of spices.  You could use frozen green beans but I think canned ones will just become mush.

Vegan Spicy Szechuan Green Beans with Minced Pork

serves 2 with rice

INGREDIENTS

10+ oz seitan (or other faux meat)

1 lb green beans – trimmed & cut in half

1 TBS olive oil

2-3 TBS cornstarch

1-6 cloves garlic – minced (I used 6)

2 TBS brown sugar

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 tsp to 2 TBS crushed red pepper (according to your taste for heat)

2-3 TBS liquid amino acids (or low sodium soy sauce or tamari)

1-6 dry red chilies (VERY spicy & VERY optional) – cut in half (I used 6)

GARNISH – cooked rice, sesame seeds

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the rice.

Mince the faux meat & toss with the cornstarch.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan & add the rest of the ingredients – EXCEPT THE GARLIC.

Stir to combine.  If using fresh green beans – add about 1/4 cup water, bring to a boil & cover for 3-5 minutes or until the green beans are cooked to your taste.  Frozen beans won’t need this step but you can still add water if your sauce cooks off too much or the meat sticks to the pan too much.

When it all seems warmed through & the sauce is thick – toss in the garlic & stir for one minute.  Serve with rice.

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DDD Ep. #17 – Vegan Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork Ribs

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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

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Reposting this recipe because I have a video to accompany it. Please – subscribe to my channel on Youtube. Www.VideoVegan.com.  Click the image below to watch.

One of my all-time favorite foods, since childhood, is BBQ ribs – especially of the Chinese variety.  Sticky, sweet & chewy – just delicious.  I lived above a Chinese take-out while I was in high school & smelled this shit cooking every day & never tired of it.  Even as the grease filled the air & I could feel my skin breaking out – I still craved these all the time – even if I only let myself have them on special occasions – mainly because I perceived them as extremely fattening and bad for you.

Then I gave up meat in the eighties & all ribs of all varieties fell forever from my diet.

Still – I craved that BBQ sauce & would have my mother send me the Ah-So Sauce (below)  – a brand not available in Los Angeles – and I would stir it into rice or dip vegetables in it.  It was not nearly as satisfying as ribs but I learned to live with it.

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Chinese BBQ pork is called Char Siu.  Lee Kum Kee brand is widely available & certainly available online.  I saw this jar on a shelf & a great idea popped into my mind.  Why not make BBQ pork using Beyond Meat vegan chicken?  Why not, indeed!  Their chicken strips have a texture that can be experienced as chicken OR pork – as pork & chicken really do have a very similar quality.   And – I also decided to make the Char Siu sauce from scratch.  The ingredients are not terribly exotic & can certainly be purchased online – if your local ethnic or regular grocery stores don’t have them all.  The result was visually vibrant & the flavor is dead on.  I recommend this dish very highly!  You could also chop these “ribs” up & make a pork fried rice that would feel even the most deenerate carnivore.

I marinated the chicken overnight (in the bag) but that is totally unnecessary.  You can whip these up in ten minutes & feel all take-out Chinese-y & get your late night, OMG-I-drank-too-much experience right in the comfort of your own kitchen.

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Vegan Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Pork Ribs

Serves 2 as an appetizer – double the marinade recipe if you like lots of BBQ sauce on your ribs

INGREDIENTS

9-12 oz vegan chicken (or seitan strips)

1/2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice

2 TBS agave nectar

2 TBS Shao Xing Chinese rice wine

1 TBS hoisin sauce

1 TBS Thai chili sauce

1 TBS dark soy sauce

2 tsp vegan oyster or mushroom-flavored sauce

2 tsp molasses

1 TBS minced garlic

1 TBS sesame oil

1 tsp red food coloring (critical for the fiery red color)

GARNISH (optional) – sliced scallions or green garlic

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DIRECTIONS

Blend all the ingredients together & then add the chicken.  Marinate for a few minutes – or overnight.  I did this right in the Beyond Meat packaging.

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When you are ready to cook them – heat a pan treated with cooking spray.  Add the MARINADE first & heat until it bubbles.  Add the chicken & cook, on high, turning often.  The idea is to let them get a bit blackened.  The sauce will thicken very quickly – which is why I suggesting doubling the marinade recipe if you like lots of sticky BBQ sauce.  You could even heat part of the marinade in a separate pan & pour it over your finished ribs.

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DDD Ep. #2 – Last Word Cocktail & St. Patrick’s Day

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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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Click the image below to watch the video recipe.

Reposting this recipe because I have a video to accompany it – and I hope you find it funny.  Please – subscribe to my channel on Youtube. Www.VideoVegan.com.

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Or – as served at the Capital Bar & Grill in Little Rock.

Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

This is one powerful drink!  The first sip makes you think it of Robitussin & you won’t think you can drink it.  The second sip will win you over & you will realize the trouble you have just gotten yourself into.  Consider yourself warned!

PRINT THIS RECIPE

THE LAST WORD – A Prohibition Era Cocktail

Yield: 1 Drink

Ingredients:

Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain & serve!

DDD Ep. #16 – Spicy Vegan Chinese Green Pepper Beef

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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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Reposting this recipe because I have a video to accompany it. Please – subscribe to my channel on Youtube. Www.VideoVegan.com.  Click the image below to watch.

 

Another easy gem made from Trader Joe’s Beef-less Strips.  Of course – real beef could be used.  Green pepper beef is my bad-ass boyfriend Miles’ favorite Chinese dish so I expect I will post an actual meat version of this some time down the line.

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Easy as can be & rather delicious.  Mine was a bit on the salty side so be sure to use the low sodium soy sauce.  I added dark soy sauce but if you cannot find this – omit it.  I used a vegetarian oyster sauce.  As with the dark soy – if you cannot find it – omit it.

I bought white rice from a local Thai joynt – hence the take-out container.

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Spicy Vegan Chinese Green Pepper Beef

Serves two pretty easily

INGREDIENTS

8 oz Trader Joe’s Beef-less Strips (or other vegan meat) – or real beef

1/2 onion – sliced thin

1 1/2 bell peppers – colors of your choice – sliced thin

olive oil

cornstarch

1 cup water

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 TBS dark soy sauce (optional)

1 tsp black pepper

1 TBS crushed red pepper (or to taste)

1 TBS ginger – minced

6 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS brown sugar

1 TBS rice wine vinegar

1 TBS vegetarian oyster sauce (optional)

Cooked rice of your choice

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DIRECTIONS

Toss the meat in a few TBS of cornstarch to coat it.

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Heat a TBS or 2 of olive oil in a saute pan over high heat.  Sear the meat & the crushed red pepper until it browns a bit on all sides.  Set it aside in a bowl.

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Add another TBS of olive oil to the pan & cook the onions & peppers over medium heat until soft.  Put them in the bowl with the meat.

Add another TBS of olive oil to the pan & add the garlic & ginger.  After one minute add the soy sauces, water, black pepper, brown sugar, rice vinegar & oyster sauce.  Bring to a boil & let it thicken just a bit.  Add the meat & peppers & stir to blend.  Cook it down until the sauce is as thick as you want it & serve over rice.  YUM!

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DDD Ep. #15 – Vegan Big Mac Pizza with Copycat Special Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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 just 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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DDD Ep. #15 is up! It is my Vegan Big Mac Pizza! Plus, some pop art & pop culture references for you! And the boobs in this episode are not mine.

Click the link for the video (or watch it here) & please subscribe!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvKWQ4FPKQg&feature=youtu.be

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Ever since I was a child – I have been obsessed – addicted even – to McDonald’s.  McDonald’s – specifically.  No other fast food tempted me in the least.  Not Burger King or Taco Bell or any of the other burger chains.  Sure – I would sometimes eat a Fatburger – which inevitably – made me agonizingly ill and an occasional burger from the Tommy’s on Beverly at Rampart – mainly because that Tommy’s was so old school & cool.  But if there had been a McDonald’s next door – I probably would have gone there.  I have always been to insanely addicted to Big Macs that as a kid – I could eat 2.  And McDonald’s fries are the best on Earth.

Then I gave up meat, in the late eighties.  Fuck.  That meant Filet-O-Fish sandwiches for me – which I put up with for a while until I was struck my supreme inspiration.  I bought a Big Mac AND a Filet-O-Fish.  I took the patties out of the Big Mac & fed them to the dogs & put the fish patty in there, instead.  I dipped fries in the tartar sauce on the Filet-O-Fish bun & shoved that fishy Big Mac into my pie hole like I hadn’t eaten for days.  I began doing this regularly.  So many times – I would go spinning & then go the the McD’s drive-thru – still actively sweating from class & get this combo & pull over to a random curb & make my custom sandwich – like a junky cooking dope.  I even included this process in my novel – Bathing & the Single Girl.  Here is the excerpt:

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I decided to make a trip to McDonald’s to take the edge off my panic and maybe finally end my waning hangover. There is nothing like McD’s. It is the only fast food chain I patronize. I’ve been a fish-eating vegetarian for over twenty years but McDonald’s remains my own personal crack. I have to pretend I do not know that there is beef tallow in the French fries and block out the fact that McD’s are a great supporter of the factory farming that spurred my vegetarianism to begin with, but when I am hung over, McDonald’s is my best friend.
I ordered a #1 Big Mac value meal with fries, a diet Coke (gotta save calories somewhere) and a Filet-O-Fish. Once out of the drive thru, I pulled over on a side street like a drug addict jonesing for a fix. I took several big gulps of the best fucking diet Coke I had ever tasted while throwing furtive glances around to make sure I was not being watched. I opened the fish sandwich and scooped all that tartar sauce up on the top bun. This would serve as a bowl and dip for the fries. I grabbed the golden goodness of the square fish stick looking back at me and threw the bottom bun of the fish sandwich in the bag. I took the top off of the Big Mac and threw it in the bag. I removed the burgers and put them aside for my dogs. I placed the fish patty on the middle bun piece and flipped it over onto the bottom bun and its remaining ingredients. Special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions and a filet of fish on what was once a sesame seed bun. I rammed it into my mouth and nearly fainted with pleasure. Every cell in my body reacted negatively to the toxicity and I felt zits popping out on my face as I chewed. I didn’t give a fuck. I dipped a handful of fries in the fatty tartar sauce and forced them into my mouth before I swallowed my first bite of sandwich. I was disgusting. I felt the shame of a tweeker turning her first trick for drugs. My eyes flashed a scan of the horizon searching for the PETA police. My pants felt a size tighter. I finished that food in less than two minutes, literally drinking the last bit of fries from the cardboard container. It was glorious.
Slouched in the car, high from whatever it is in McDonald’s food that made Morgan Spurlock’s liver begin to shut down in Supersize Me, the plan to dine with The Albino seemed like it might actually be a fun adventure.

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So – maybe now you understand the extent of my problem.  That problem got even worse when I gave up eating fish, too, a couple of years ago.  Now – there is no excuse to go into a McDonald’s – because the fries really do have beef tallow in them – so there is literally nothing in there for me to eat – especially as I am inching my way to veganism.

Still – my Big Mac addiction festers without relief.   The smell of McDonald’s still makes my hands want to turn into those drive-thrus – but I can’t.  I won’t.  I shan’t!  And – yeah – I guess I could make a faux Big Mac with a veggie burger (Beyond Meat makes GREAT ones) – but the shitty bun is part of the charm & the special sauce isn’t just Thousand Island – no matter what detractors try to tell you.  It is more magical than that.  My fake Big Mac would be off just enough to leave me feeling cheated.

And then it came to me!  Big Mac PIZZA!  That way – the differences would be more forgivable – because it wasn’t a lame Big Mac – it was a glorious Big Mac pizza!!!!!  And so – I did it.  I did it last night.  After taking two heated spinning classes in 14 hours – I undid all that good – all that blood, sweat & those tears.  Undid it and gave zero fucks.  This fucking pizza is the best Goddamn thing on Earth.  It will be difficult not to eat these every night this week – after all – I have like an infinity of my copycat special sauce.  I can’t wash that gold down the drain – when my gullet is right here craving it – wanting to drink it – inhale it.  So – sure – I have a birthday coming up & it might be nice to NOT be at my absolute FATTEST on that day – but shit happens.  Sometimes things are out of your hands.  Sometimes life presents tough choices.  But – enough about that.  Let me present – my Big Mac pizza!

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Vegan Big Mac Pizza with Copycat McDonald’s Special Sauce

INGREDIENTS

for the special sauce

3/4 cup vegan mayo

2 TBS sweet relish

2 TBS yellow mustard

2 TBS French dressing

1 tsp (or more) each: onion powder, garlic powder, paprika

Water

for the Big Mac Pizza

Pizza dough (I used this HERE)

Vegan ground beef (I used Beyond Meat beefy crumbles)

Shredded lettuce

Vegan cheese (I used some Parmela Creamery sharp cheddar, Chao original & some of my own homemade mozzarella)

Sandwich pickle slices

Onion – diced

Sesame seeds

Jalapeno – sliced (not in a real Big Mac but fuck it)

Semolina flour (optional) for rolling out the dough

Parchment paper (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

for the special sauce

Whisk the ingredients together & add a bit of water to thin it.  Taste it & adjust at will.  I added 2 more tsp of onion powder to mine.

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for the Big Mac Pizza

Heat the oven to 450-500 degrees.

Roll out the dough (I do this in semolina flour because I find it adds to the crispiness of the crust – but regular flour is fine).  Put the dough on a greased cooking sheet (I just use parchment paper – and I recommend it highly).

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Top with cheeses & ground beef.  Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until your crust is done.  I added grated mozzarella at this point & cooked it another minute but only because the pizza looked a bit barren.  You can just dump the meat & cheese on there – cheese under & over the beef.

Once the crust is done – top with the remaining toppings & get your fucking eat on!

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DDD Ep. #14 – Cool Vegan Cashew & Cranberry Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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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Hey, everybody! DDD #14 is up!

My Cool Vegan Cashew & Cranberry Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado!

And I offer my rebuttal to the slut shaming I experienced Wednesday for referencing my #BOOBS. Apparently, the word #boob is tasteless & inappropriate & I am a vulgar hussy. My thoughts on this & more. Plus a blooper!

Enjoy!! Click the link for the video & please subscribe. Happy Cinco de Vegan Mayo!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4JNPkWrwS0&feature=youtu.be

 

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OK – I am not sure what the weather is like where you are but here in LA – it is hot as a muthafuckah!   It is pushing 100 degrees!  Just brutal.  I don’t have AC & cooking is just impossible in this weather.  So – I whipped up these cool & vegan bad boys!  They are kind of like a taco-wrap hybrid.  I used these little flour tortillas – right from their home in the cool of my fridge.  I am not positive they are vegan – so if you are vegan – use a tortilla you know suits your diet.

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And I used that Beyond Meat vegan chicken.  The coupon above is good until the end of May 2014 – so print a few out & go get some of this awesome stuff!  If you let it sit on the counter a few minutes – it will defrost enough so that you can cube it up & by the time this all comes together – the chicken is thawed completely but still CHILLED!  Perfect!

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Cool Vegan Cashew & Cranberry Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado

Feeds two very well

INGREDIENTS

1 9 oz package of faux chicken – thawed

1 avocado – peeled & seeded & cubed

Fresh lime juice

1/3 cup vegan mayo

1/4 cup (or more) cashews

2 celery stalks – diced

1/2 small cucumber – diced

2 mini sweet peppers (or half a bell pepper) – seeded & diced

1/4 cup purple cabbage – chopped

1/4 cup cilantro – chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries (or raisins or other dried fruit)

1/2 tsp cumin

Pinch of salt

Pepper to taste

Flour tortillas or other wrap (even lettuce)

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DIRECTIONS

Prep the avocado & squeeze lime juice all over it.

Now – just mix everything up in a big bowl.  Season to taste.  Eat with lettuce cups or as wraps or as little flour tortilla tacos.

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DDD Ep. #13 – Healthy and Cheesy Vegan Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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OK – kiddies! DDD #13 is UP!

Like boobs? Like mac & cheese? Who doesn’t? I am really proud of this episode (and my cans – it seems) as it makes the best of a disaster & really showcases (boobs) how mac & cheese can be delightfully vegan (boobs). But – if (boobs) mac & cheese is not your bag – my rack is very prominently on display here & really tries hard to distract viewers from the recipe in progress so – feel free to just focus on that. Watch my blunders, my fun bags or learn a great recipe – I don’t care. Just watch! I even have a post-credits blooper! Oh – and I think I say “fuck” about 20x in this. So – enjoy!!! Please share & please SUBSCRIBE!! Did I mention boobs? BOOBS!

Click the link for my Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower recipe & please subscribe!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFiPBGYVT0s

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BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

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So – I wanted to make a healthier mac & cheese – less cheese (even less vegan cheese) and less pasta.  I looked in the fridge & my pantry & found these potential ingredients.

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As it turned out – I used all but the vegan cream cheese & the Daiya cheddar shreds.    So – the only actual cheese (vegan cheese) in this recipe is the Field Roast Chao Tomato-Cayenne slices.  If you can’t find these or do not like them (I think the 3 Chao cheeses are the best grocery store vegan cheeses on the market so far) – then use Daiya or any other kind of vegan cheese – or even real cheese (if you are not vegan).

This is a very easy dish to make – though it does have a few steps.  The only special tool you need is a blender (or a food processor).  No need to soak cashews overnight.  And – most importantly – it is VERY convincing!  None of the over-powering flavor of nutritional yeast yet all the wet, creaminess of real mac & cheese.  I swear – non-vegans will not identify this as vegan.  It has the additional benefit of using two full heads of cauliflower – but they blend in and become virtually undetectable – so your veggie hating kiddies will likely eat this with little argument (though you might want to reduce the spiciness for tender palates).

My primary excitement about this recipe is the green enchilada roux.  Traditional roux is made with butter, flour & milk.  I definitely wanted to use the green enchilada sauce but I did not want the dish to be swimming in liquid – as I feared it might be if I made a roux with milk and also added the enchilada sauce.  Happy news!  The enchilada sauce blended & thickened with the butter & flour as easily as milk would have but added SO much more flavor.

Again – while there are a few steps (mainly, boiling & draining to heads of cauliflower & the pasta) – none are difficult & the resulting dish is supremely gratifying!   I hope you try it!

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Healthy and Cheesy Vegan Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

Serves at least 6

INGREDIENTS

2 heads cauliflower (I used one white & one yellow)

for the roux

4 TBS vegan butter

4 TBS flour

16 oz green enchilada sauce

7 oz vegan cheddar (sliced up or grated)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (SUPER optional – I just had a little left over that I wanted to use up)

for the mac & cheese

1-2 jalapenos – one seeded & diced and one seeded & sliced (optional – depending on your taste for spice)

1 4oz can diced green chilies (I used hot but you could use mild)

2 ears corn – kernels cut from the cob (or about one 14 oz can of corn or 1 cup frozen corn)

1 lb pasta (shape of your choice)

1-2 cups breadcrumbs (I used panko)

Cooking spray

GARNISH: cilantro, avocado, diced tomato, hot sauces, additional fresh jalapeno or canned chilies

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Treat a 9×13 casserole pan with cooking spray.

Cook the pasta according to directions (maybe 1 minute less than suggested) – drain & set aside.

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If you are using 2 different colors of cauliflower – you might want to cut each into florets & then boil & drain them each separately.  Or not.  It doesn’t matter much but the yellow cauliflower purees & looks like a cheesier sauce than white cauliflower will.  Still – some cheddar cheeses are white – so – don’t sweat it, whatever you decide.  If you are just using 2 heads of the same color – boil until just tender (5-7 minutes) – drain & set aside.

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If you used one head of yellow cauliflower – put it (with about 1 cup of hot water) into a blender & puree until very smooth.  Only add just as much water as you need to accomplish this – which could be more or less than a cup of water – depending on the size of the head you used.

If you used to heads of the same color – just puree one head worth as described above.  Set aside.

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Melt the butter in a sauce pan & whisk in the flour.  It should thicken & brown a bit very quickly – maybe a minute.  Add the enchilada sauce incrementally – letting it thicken before adding more – until it is all incorporated & rater thick.

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Add the cheese & stir until it melts.

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Add the pureed cauliflower & nutritional yeast (if using), salt & pepper to taste, and then one diced jalapeno, canned chilies & the corn.

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Combine & adjust S&P – if necessary.

Put the sauce in a large bowl & then add the pasta and the remaining cauliflower florets.  Combine.

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Pour the mac & cheese into the casserole dish & top with breadcrumbs & maybe some sliced jalapeno.  Spray with cooking spray – as this helps the breadcrumbs brown (because vegan cheese does not have the animal fat of real cheese – which is what browns in traditional mac & cheese).

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Bake at 400 for about 30-45 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are browned a bit & the cheese sauce is bubbly.

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Let rest for about ten minutes & then serve.  Garnish with avocado, cilantro, diced tomatoes and/or anything else you like.

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