This vegan roasted jalapeño cheese is one of my go-to recipes. It packs in a ton of flavor and is so simple to make. It melts and stretches, and makes the best quesadillas. Before going vegan, I would regularly eat quesadillas for lunch or dinner, and would always make those with pepper jack cheese. When I cut cheese out of my life I thought I would never enjoy a quesadilla again. I mean of course I tried all the commercial brands, and while I’m fine with them in certain applications, I did not enjoy them in quesadillas, where the flavor and texture of the cheese is upfront. And then of course the cultured nut cheeses came onto the market, but they weren’t the right fit for quesadillas either! Delicious, certainly, but they weren’t trying to emulate gooey, melty cheeses….
I’ve been on a bit of an eggplant kick lately. It’s just such a great vegetable (ok, actually it’s a fruit, like all good things in life), that’s perfect in so many applications. It can be used in stir fries, in salads, in tacos. It makes dips, sandwich fillings, casseroles, and even [plant-based] bacon. You find it in a lot of cuisines: Turkish, Japanese, Indian, Thai, French, Chinese, American, Italian, and more! In this recipe I suppose I’m combining a few cuisines by putting Indian curried eggplant on top of Italian pizza alongside Thai birds eye chiles (which are happily substituted for Mexican serrano peppers or jalapeños). There’s a culinary adventure in each bite, and damn it’s good. …
When I hear the term “Mexican pizza” I can’t help but think of that version I’d order at Taco Bell — Mexican pizza, add beans and hold the meat. It’s probably been almost 20 years since I’ve ordered that, and it’s nothing like the recipe I’m sharing here today. Here there are no crunchy flat tortillas sandwiching any filling. Instead, the toppings are piled high over a perfectly doughy pizza….
Fried bacon mac and cheese (vegan, obviously), is the food of my dreams. Creamy, cheesy macaroni is pan fried with your favorite meat-free bacon. See, it’s the food of your dreams too! If you haven’t already been lusting after having some fried bacon mac and cheese in your life it’s probably because you’ve never heard of Upton’s Breakroom in Chicago. It’s owned and run by the same people who own Upton’s Naturals, and has tasty tacos, sandwiches, soft serve, and, of course, fried bacon mac. We didn’t go there often when we lived in Chicago, because it was on the other end of town and more of a lunch spot, but when in the area I’d go out of the way to get some of their vegan bacon mac….
It’s a good thing that biscuits are supposed to be consumed on the day that you bake them, and ideally while they’re still warm out of the oven. It gives you an excuse to shovel the entire batch into your mouth within hours. I think the photographing these biscuits while they were still hot has been the hardest thing I’ve had to wait for to date. And I make and photograph a lot of pizzas. Like seriously, a lot. It was all I could do to keep myself from stealing bites between shots. And if I’m being 100% honest with you, my dog Selkie felt the same way, helping herself to the remaining few biscuits from our most recent batch when Omar and I stepped out of the house for a couple hours. Oops, guess we should have put them out of her reach….
I think of jalapeño poppers and I think of greasy, deep fried bar food. It’s the sort of thing they regularly serve with ranch dressing, as if they needed more flavor or the extra calories! Well, as much as I love fried foods (and I do), I actually like these 1000x better! Plus they are certainly healthier when filled with a nut-based cheese and baked.
I love combination of mild and creamy almond cheese paired with the spicy, ultra-flavorful, roasted jalapeños. The two-step breading helps hold on the crispy panko bread crumbs to the otherwise slippery pepper skin. And the breading is lightly spiced, adding a little depth without overpowering that jalapeño flavor. These are so good! And a lot of fun to make! So go get a handful or two or three or ten of jalapeños and get on it! :)…
This almond cheese is my go-to for an almost-instant, creamy, versatile spreadable cheese. It blends up in no time, has only 5 ingredients (+ water), and is great for immediate gratification! I spread it on toast, fill homemade ravioli with it, dollop it on pizza, and stuff jalapeños with it (recipe here)!
Monday was a very exciting day over here, as it marked 1 year of marriage. And to celebrate our anniversary, I made a mini-feast for dinner inspired by the food at our wedding. We got married last summer at the Sofitel in downtown Chicago, and the menu had a French Mediterranean theme, was 100% vegan, and 100% amazing. Honestly, we had so many people compliment the food! We especially heard a lot about how much people loved the soup served with the first course: corn velouté. It was dish I had never heard of before our menu tasting, but enjoyed it so much I knew I had to recreate it!
Velouté is apparently not usually a soup, but one of the five mother sauces of France. Traditionally it is made with as broth and roux based gravy then blended into a emulsion with unmelted butter. However, corn velouté appears to be a slightly different beast, with the corn itself supplying the body to the sauce. It is delicately flavored, so the pure sweet corn flavor shines through, and pureed in a blender before being poured through a fine mesh strainer to separate out any solids for the smoothest, richest texture….
This is comfort food at it’s best: spaghetti tossed in a creamy sun dried tomato sauce with chickpea-based meatballs on top. So delicious my husband recommend that we ‘test’ the recipe again ASAP. Can’t say I blame him for wanting more. There’s something so satisfying about twirling freshly cooked spaghetti around your fork and shoveling those slippery noodles into your mouth. And when those noodles are tossed in a ultra creamy, luscious sauce it’s 100% better.
The creamy sauce is packed with the richest flavors. Sweet sun dried tomatoes are incorporated two ways, blended into the nondairy milk to make a tomatoey cream and minced morsels are tossed at the end for extra bursts of that intense sun dried tomato flavor. Tomato paste adds some incredible depth of flavor and body to the sauce, as well as giving it a pink hue. Miso gives a slightly cheesy, umami-rich funk to the cream. And a hearty splash of wine is my favorite well-known secret of adding a lot of aged flavor to a creamy sauce. Thickened with an olive oil-based roux and topped with some chiffonade basil, this sauce is perfect on spaghetti….
Rhubarb is a favorite springtime plant of mine. The gorgeous red-hued stalks have such a mouthwatering lemony-tart flavor. In my experience, starting in early spring you can find them at the farmers markets, and by late spring they’re popping up in well stocked grocery stores. I typically bake pie with them, as I did a couple weeks ago with fresh rhubarb and early season strawberries from my local farmers market. But when I picked up another handful soon after finishing that pie I wanted to try something different. And so, this almond rhubarb bundt cake was born….