Friday, August 14, 2009

Wow. Vegan MacNCheese & Vegan Bolognese!

I am on week 3 of my vegan experiment. It's flying by and actually becoming a habit now. I really like the way I feel too. Also, I think it's definitely helping my training and overall performance. Hooray!! I don't know how long I plan to do it, or if I even plan to stop. I'm just kind of going with it. Anyway, I'm getting more and more favorite vegan foods and learning to recreate my old standbys in a healthier, happy way.

The other day I found
Teese, a soy cheese made right here in Chicago. It's nommy for sure. I used their cheddar sauce, mixed with a cup of soy milk, half a container f vegan cream cheese, added some
diced poblano peppers and let it simmer. Then, I poured it over some (cooked, obviously) whole wheat elbow macaroni. It was awesome! I made a whole pound, so we had leftovers for days!

Tonight though I made an AWESOME vegan bolognese sauce that I was so stoked about. Bolognese is a traditional meat sauce, and it's freaking delicious. It's also fattening as hell and not at all healthy. I took a lot of care in preparing it and watched it like a hawk for a whole hour and a half, tasting and tweaking as I went. If you're going to make it, I suggest the same.

Here's (roughly) how I made it. If I list measurements, that's what I used. If I don't, it's to taste. Capisce? Good, here it is:
  • Virgin Olive oil
  • Medium Yellow Onion - diced
  • (Med carrot if you want, I omit - diced)
  • (Med Celery Rib if you want it, I omit - diced)
  • 4 pieces veggie bacon, cut into small pieces
Put some olive oil in a large saucepan, heat until shiny, then add the above ingredients. Cook until the onions are nearly translucent. Once cooked, put them in a glass bowl on the side.
  • 1 package Upton Naturals Italian Sausage style seitan (I can't say enough about this brand, it is amazing. They also make freaking awesome tamales. You need to eat them. So good.)
  • 1/2 package of defrosted Boca crumbles (if you cook them frozen they have too much water)
  • 2 large garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup white whine (chardonnay works)
  • 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes (28 ounces)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • basil (I use a combo of fresh & dried)
  • thyme (dried)
  • oregano (fresh & dried)
  • kosher salt (or sea salt)
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup of Silk Soy creamer (original flavor)
  • Parma! Vegan Parmesean
  • Box of pasta, cooked (I use spaghetti, semolina not whole wheat)
Add the rest of the olive oil to the saucepan and heat until shiny. Add the Upton sausage and the Boca crumbles and cook for about 5 - 10 minutes. Return the onions, etc in the glass bowl to the saucepan. Add the garlic and continue cooking over high heat for about a minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes (and their juice), the vegetable stock stock, and the bay leaf, thyme, basil, & oregano. Add salt & pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat for 1 hour. If it looks too watery, boil it down with the cover off until it's less liquidy. You want a thicker sauce. When it looks good to you, discard the bay leaf. Stir in the soy cream and cook for a few more minutes.

Start the pasta during the last 15 mins of cooking, keep the sauce warm until the pasta is cooked & drained. Put the sauce over the noodles, add the vegan parm, and enjoy!

If you make it, please do let me know what you think!

For dessert, I made Cherrybrook Kitchen's Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla frosting. NOMNOMNOM!! I bought the mix & frosting at Whole Foods. I will SO totally be buying them again (and again and again).

1 comment:

PunkRockRunner said...

Thank you for posting recipes (what a GREAT idea). I'm going to try to make the Mac & Cheese on Sunday afternoon.

I'm curious as to what prompted you to make this change in your life?

I think the change is awesome (BTW) and I am glad to hear you're feeling great!

All the best,