Chef’d & Beyond Meat Smash-Up – Part 1 – Vegan Beast Burger & Cucumber Dill 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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There has been a huge rise in food services that send either already-prepared meals to your home for you to heat up and, more interestingly, ones that send pre-measured fresh ingredients & recipes & you make the food at home.  I tried Blue Apron – which is the latter service – and was not totally impressed.  One issue was the lack of selection for vegetarians (and nothing for vegans) & the fact that there was no option for a single person.  Their subscription plan meant I would get 3 meals – for two – each week – which meant six of my seven dinners were decided for me each week – with me eating the same thing twice – three times in a row.  Also – if you happened to LOVE a dish – you could not order it again soon – but had to wait – indefinitely – hoping it would eventually reappear in the cycle.

Chef’d has solved those problems.  No subscription – meaning order what you want & when you want it.  Get the same thing every day for two weeks – or just get one thing – different things – a few times a month.  Here is how they work:

Choose from Famous Recipes

Browse through hundreds of recipes from your favorite chefs, and cook them in the comfort of your own home!

From Our Kitchen to Yours

Fresh pre-portioned Ingredients delivered to your door. Reorder what you like, when you like. No subscriptions!

Cook, Love, Live

Enrich your life by creating memorable delicious experiences of love through our hand-cultivated recipes.

And look at the various tastes & lifestyles they accommodate

Shop Meals




HERE is the list of the famous chefs contributing recipes.  And HERE are the vegan & vegetarian meals currently offered (kind of amazing looking).  I was given the opportunity to try the service & jumped at the chance.  I am a long-time fan of Beyond Meat & the pairing of these two companies is exciting to me.  I got the Beast Burger & Tacos & will post about the burger here – and the tacos in another post HERE.
Here is what showed up (for the burgers):
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The box included everything I needed to make 4 Beast Burgers & the Cucumber Dill Salad.  I take childlike delight in tiny condiment bottles – to the degree that I didn’t want to open these & used some existing condiments I had.  So goofy.
Anyway – everything is outlined very clearly & the ingredients are pre-measured so – no measuring & no extra ingredients to leave around, unused, forever.
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The Cucumber Dill Salad came together in five minutes & was tangy & crisp & light.
And – no surprise – the Beast Burger was huge & meaty & delicious!  I have had many Beyond Meat burgers in the past but – it was nice to have all the things I needed right there – including just 4 buns for the 4 burgers.  My freezer is jammed with freezer-burned buns that I stuck in there after buying a whole bag but only wanting one burger.
Assembled – the burger really is a beast & just as messy as any burger ad you see on TV – in the best possible way.   I feel like this is a great choice for a family of four on a night when there is minimal time to get dinner together – OR – to bring to a meat-eaters BBQ.  With this meal plan – you can walk into a BBQ with everything you need to provide 4 vegans/vegetarians with something as tempting as anything else likely to be served there – no fuss & no waste.
Be sure to check out their TACO dinner (seen below) HERE.
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VEGAN10.2 Label

Brie Pizza Two Ways ~ With Mushrooms, Thyme & Pistachios or with Honey, Apple & Red Onion

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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


These were inventions born of items on hand.  I was uncertain about the use of brie & how rich the resulting pizza might be.  Not a huge fan of honey, I was also concerned that the flavor of the honey pizza would grow old quickly and may be better suited to an appetizer than a dinner recipe.  So – I made a single pizza two ways.  The result was pretty delightful.  The brie was not overpowering – even though I used a cheap brie.  The real secret, I think, to success with the apple-brie pizza is ultra thin slices of both apple & the red onion – as in – papery thin.  With the mushroom pizza – searing the mushrooms & garlic into a nearly caramelized submission before using them on the pizza.  I am not going to give any real measurements in these recipes as the ratio of ingredients is really a matter of taste.  Both of these pizzas were delicious & both would work wonderfully as appetizers.


Pizza with Brie, Mushrooms, Thyme & Pistachios


Pizza dough

Brie – chilled & sliced into thin squares

Mushrooms & garlic – sauteed in olive oil & salt until browned

Fresh thyme – chopped

pistachio nuts


Pizza with Brie, Honey, Apple & Red Onion


Pizza Dough

Brie – chilled & sliced into thin squares

crushed red pepper


green apple (or other tart apple) – sliced very thin

red onion – sliced very thin


Roll out the dough.

For the mushroom pizza – simply layer brie then thyme then mushrooms & pistachios.  Bake in an oven pre-heated to 450 for about 10 minutes or until done.  When done – top with fresh arugula leaves.



For the honey-apple pizza – spread a thin layer of honey, sprinkle crushed red pepper & then layer apple & red onions.  Bake in an oven pre-heated to 450 for about 10 minutes or until done.


ImageBrie, pizza, thymImage