DDD #41 – Vegan Vietnamese Fresh Salad Rolls with Homemade Peanut Dipping 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 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.

Click the image below to watch the video.

Vegan Vietnamese Fresh Salad Rolls

Ingredients:

FILLING OPTIONS:

  • 1 package vermicelli rice noodles, prepared according to package directions
  • Tofu or other protein
  • Basil – fresh (Thai sweet or hot basil is nice, too, if you can find it)
  • Mint – fresh
  • Cilantro – fresh
  • Butter lettuce, washed and separated into leaves – ribs removed
  • Carrots, peeled & cut into very thin matchsticks
  • Cucumber, peeled and cut into very thin strips
  • Avocado
  • Purple cabbage
  • Bell pepper strips
  • Asparagus
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Sprouts
  • Micro greens
 Be sure you have the type of wrappers pictured below (or another brand) and not egg roll or wonton wrappers.  Those are an entirely different breed & need cooking.

Directions:

Prepare the noodles & vegetables in advance – being sure they are washed & dried.  Have a large bowl of warm water ready for dipping the spring roll wrappers.
  • 1  Dip a sheet of spring roll wrapper into water very quickly, no longer than a second or two (or they will get too soggy) and lay flat on a work surface.
  • 2  On one edge, lay a small handful of noodles, some basil & mint leaves, some pressed tofu, some cucumber & carrot strips, purple cabbage, avocado & some micro greens (or whatever fillings you are using) – being careful not to overstuff the wrapper.
  • 3  Roll up burrito style, tucking in the sides, then continue to roll up-but not too tightly or the spring roll wrapper will tear.
You will, no doubt, need a few attempts to get one right. Be patient – it gets easier.  Be prepared to throw a bunch away or to settle for some funky shaped rolls!  They should be served fairly quickly after preparing them. Too much time in the fridge after assembly will dry them out. These can be filled with nearly anything so feel free to get creative!

You can BUY a spicy peanut sauce in a jar or can at most Asian markets or online (for example – http://www.lynmarket.com/proddetail.asp?prod=011152198903).  They are usually quite good, but, if you are feeling motivated –

Peanut Sauce Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter – smooth or chunky
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 TBS low sodium soy sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • cilantro, crushed nuts or a swirl of sriracha for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine
  2. Garnish with a squeeze of sriracha or nuts or cilantro

Of not in the mood to make sauce – many options are available at the store.

DDD #30 – Spicy Vegan Chicken Fried Cauliflower with Smashed Baked Potatoes and White Gravy & Delta Dipping 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 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 an updated version of my original post for these dished from July 30, 2013.  Originally, this was posted as vegetarian recipes.  I updated them to be vegan & there is a video on my channel to accompany it.  Click the image below to watch & see how easy this stuff is to make.


From July 30, 2013:

In my hunt for other recipes meant to provide a cauliflower version of fried chicken, I ran into THIS post about Popeye’s Fried Chicken.  Here is a picture from that site:

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I have never eaten at Popeye’s or any other fried chicken joint (except KFC & Dinah’s here in Glendale) and I haven’t tasted ANY fried chicken in over 25 years – but my boyfriend Miles eats it all the time.  In fact, he eats it weekly now that the famous Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken opened a few blocks away from him in downtown Little Rock.  Miles is always sending me (at my request) pictures of the food he eats & I find myself looking at fried chicken so much – I have developed an undeniable craving for it.  And – that blogger that spoke of an incredible meal at Popeye’s didn’t help.  And that Delta sauce?  I liked the sound of it & a few clicks here & there revealed that Popeye’s discontinued it.  In fact, there seems to be quite a bit of hand-wringing going on about the now-unavailable Delta Sauce and that piqued my curiosity.  Fortunately, the blogger who loved the Delta sauce posted a copycat recipe for it & I could not resist.  So – I made it & I include that recipe here.  It is like a spicy Thousand Island dressing & it is INCREDIBLE on my – wait for it – Southern Fried Cauliflower!

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Doesn’t that look just like a fried chicken plate?  I was so Goddamn happy with myself yesterday – you have no idea.  If you make any of my zillions of cauliflower recipes – I have to say – it should be THIS one!  So easy & so delicious!  And if, like me, you don’t eat meat but the reasons for that do not include any distaste for meat products – this might really satisfy any existing fried chicken craving you might be in denial about.

That plate above includes the recipe for Vegan Buffalo Mac & Pepper Jack Cheese  – served traditionally or as cupcakes!

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It also includes some smashed baked potatoes & a vegan white gravy.

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This is quite a decadent meal & the perfect fix on those days when the hole in your heart is bigger than your ass & you just don’t give a fuck.  You wanna eat & you wanna eat something bad.  This is as Paula Deen as I am likely to get but even with this dish – the fried chicken is really cauliflower & there is no bacon (or other meat) fat in any of it (excepting egg & milk) & the potatoes were made with a minimum of butter & WATER – because I’d run out of milk.  So – seriously – AT LEAST try the southern fried cauliflower & Delta dipping sauce.  I am certain you will enjoy!

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Spicy Southern Fried Cauliflower and Delta Dipping Sauce with Smashed Baked Potatoes and White Gravy and Buffalo Mac & Cheese (All Vegan)

(This feeds about two (very well) so increase the recipes if you are feeding more.  The mac & cheese recipe feeds at least 4.)

INGREDIENTS

For the Southern Fried Cauliflower

(depending on the size of your cauliflower – you may need more or less of the other ingredients – so maybe have extra on hand)

1 head cauliflower

2 eggs worth of egg replacer (optional)

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup Frank’s Hot Sauce

2 cups flour

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp each of S&P

1 tsp chipotle chili powder (or smoked or regular paprika)

1 tsp garlic powder

Lots of vegetable oil for frying

1 gallon zip lock baggy (not necessary but it makes life easier)

For the Delta dipping sauce

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

1 tsp lemon juice

1/8 cup vegetable oil

1/8 cup sambal oelek (or other chili sauce)

1/8 cup ketchup

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

2-3 dashes hot pepper sauce (Tabasco or another brand)

1 garlic clove – minced

For the smashed baked potatoes

2 large potatoes

olive oil

2 TBS vegan butter

S&P

For the white gravy

2 TBS vegan butter

1 large shallot – minced

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk

1 vegetable bouillon cube

1/2 tsp dry sage

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

For the Vegan Buffalo Mac & Cheese (or Mac & Cheese Cupcakes)

See HERE

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DIRECTIONS

For the Delta dipping sauce

Whisk the ingredients together & chill.

For the Smashed Baked Potatoes

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Rub olive oil on the potatoes & sprinkle with salt.  Bake them – DIRECTLY on the oven rack – for about 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven & allow to cool a bit.  Peel the potatoes (I left bits of skin & browned spots for some color) & mash them up with the butter & some salt & pepper and as much milk or water (I used water as I was out of milk) as you need to get to a texture you like.  I used an old school hand masher & left them chunky & on the drier side.  I smashed them a bit more at the end with an immersion blender.  You do it however you like.

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For the white gravy

Heat the butter in a sauce pan & add the bouillon cube & the shallots.  Cook a minute or two until the shallots soften & the bouillon cube is dissolved.  Add the flour, sage & salt and pepper & stir constantly for about 2 minutes.  It should be quite dry.  Add the milk 1/2 cup at a time & allow it to thicken.  Continue until all the milk is incorporated and heat until the gravy is at your desired thickness.  Add milk if it is too thick.

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For the Southern Fried Cauliflower

In a bowl – whisk together the egg replacer, water & hot sauce.  I think you can omit the egg replacer with no real effect on the recipe.

In a zip lock bag or in a deep bowl – blend the flour with the rest of the dry ingredients.

Cut the cauliflower into the largest “drummettes” possible so they resemble chicken thighs & a few wings.  I sprayed my cauliflower with water so the flour mix would stick.

Put the cauliflower in the flour mix & toss to coat.  Dunk into the egg mix until covered & then back into the flour.  Coat again with the flour.

I do not have a thermometer to measure oil temp but I think 350 is the correct temperature for frying.  I just let it get hot, put one drummette in there & once that started bubbling pretty rapidly – I added a few more pieces

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Turn a few times & fry until they are a golden brown all over.  Drain on a paper towel.  Repeat until all the cauliflower is cooked.  Now – just divvy up the goodness & fill up that whole in your heart with some old school home cooking!

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DDD #28 – Vegan Chicken Shawarma Tacos with Garlic Paste (Toum) & Tzatziki 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 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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My original post for shawarma (May 30, 2014) only presented the recipe as a traditional pita sandwich.  But – today on my Youtube channel (www.VideoVegan.com) – I offered the idea of making tacos.  They are a revelation!  I recommend them very highly!  Click the image below to watch the video & please subscribe to my channel.

OK!  There are not a lot of foods I really miss since I gave up meat 25 years ago but gyros & shawarma are two things definitely on the “miss list.”

I used Beyond Meat vegan chicken & I recommend it very highly – though you can use another brand.  At any rate – whatever you use – the longer you marinate if for the better – overnight being optimal.

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I made the garlic paste (or a version of it) that they serve at Zankou chicken, here in LA.  It is a bright, white paste that has a bit of a gritty texture & seems to be just mashed garlic.  I was HORRIFIED to discover – it does have a lot of garlic but it has even more OIL!  It is basically an aioli.  Or a mayonnaise.  Damn.  So – it is not a guiltless pleasure but you don’t need tons before you run the risk of setting things ablaze just by breathing your garlic shit storm on them – so do not sweat the calories too much.

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Mmmm!  Tzatziki!

There are a lot of ingredients in the chicken marinade but only the cardamom is remotely exotic & you probably already have most of them in your cabinets – so do not be intimidated.  If you do not have or cannot find ground cardamom – never fear!  Substitutes: equal parts ground nutmeg and cinnamon OR equal parts ground cloves and cinnamon OR nutmeg OR cinnamon

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Garlic Paste (Toum)

This makes quite a bit but it should keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 small potato (I used a Yukon Gold) – boiled until soft & cooled

1 full cup garlic cloves (peel fresh ones & do not use the pre-peeled cloves as they have been frozen & are not as flavorful)

1 tsp salt

2 tsp lemon juice

1 1/2 cups grapeseed oil (or sunflower oil)

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DIRECTIONS

In your food processor, pulse the garlic, potato, lemon juice & salt until they are pureed.  You might need to scrape the sides of the bowl down a few times.  Then, VERY SLOWLY drizzle the oil in as the pureed is being spun about.  Do this in a very slow & steady stream.  Lots of recipes suggested it should take ten minutes.  I got it done in under five but if you add the oil too fast – it will not emulsify properly.  Check it as you go & if it begins to separate – stop adding oil & keep processing it until it comes together again.

That’s it!  You MIGHT want to experiment with an increased quantity of potato & a lesser quantity of oil.   I think I will the next time.

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Tzatziki 

Makes about 1.5 cups

INGREDIENTS

6 oz vegan yogurt

1 TBS lemon juice

1 garlic clove – minced

1/4 – 1/3  cucumber – peeled & diced

pinch of salt

1 tsp or more fresh dill – chopped

DIRECTIONS

Mix that shit up!  Add water if you think it is too thick – but not a lot.

Done!

Tahini Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup tahini

1/4 cup water

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

DIRECTIONS

Whisk it together.  Use thick or water down to drizzle on your shawarma.

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Vegan Chicken Shawarma (for Pita or Tacos)

Serves 2 or 3

INGREDIENTS

Flour tortillas (for tacos) or pita bread or wraps or naan

9 oz vegan chicken

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 TBS smoked paprika (or regular)

1 TBS ground cumin

1 TBS ground cardamom (or substitute from the note above)

1 TBS chili powder

1 TBS ground coriander

1 tsp pepper

Olive oil

juice & zest of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup yogurt (optional) – but adding the yogurt makes a far more mellow marinade so I recommend using it unless you love heavily spiced food

Garnish ideas: sliced red onion, sliced tomato, shredded lettuce, parsley, cucumber slices, radish slices

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DIRECTIONS

Mix the spices in a large glass container with the vinegar, lemon juice & zest, 2 TBS olive oil & yogurt (if using).   This is pretty thick stuff.  Feel free to thin it with water if you like.  Add the chicken & marinate it for at least an hour or overnight.  Try not to use a plastic container as it could get stained or left stinky from the spices.

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When you are ready to eat – heat a little olive oil in a pan & heat the chicken.  Allow the marinade to come away as you likely won’t want as much in the actual sandwich.  When it is warm, assemble the tacos or wraps.  Slather some garlic paste on the bread or tortillas & layer the ingredients on top.  Add some tzatziki or tahini sauce or hummus & chow the fuck down!

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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. #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. #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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