Vegan Chili Cheese Dip you say? Ohh I do. This is the last recipe I’ll be posting using chili, I promise. (at least for now)
I usually make this using canned chili, but well I had the chili on hand so for New Year’s Eve this was what we had. It is so “real” tasting you will be surprised. We actually made a vegan chili cheese dip and a “normal” chili cheese dip and took them to a Super Bowl party last year thinking I could eat the vegan one and others could enjoy the “normal” one. Well people ended up eating both and not being able to tell the difference. I was rather shocked, but pleased.
This recipe is from my husband and is a family favorite. I had to adapt it for me, but really how hard is adapting when I’m just substituting the vegan versions of all the ingredients.
Hope you eat well and fool those around you.
Vegan Chili Cheese Dip
1 8oz container vegan cream cheese
2 cups chili or one 15oz can
1/2 – 1 cup vegan cheddar or nacho cheese
Spread vegan cream cheese in the bottom of a 9′ round or square baking pan.
Spread chili over the cream cheese and top with as much vegan cheddar as you like.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted.
Serve hot with chips.
According to my husband they must be Frito scoops, no other chips will do.
And last night for dinner I used up the rest of the chili. This is one of those recipes that you can’t believe it is vegan because it is so cheesy, melty, tastes like you should be eating it at a Superbowl party. Actually the last part is true, if you must go to a Superbowl party you should bring this. Don’t share with the non-vegans, you don’t want them to know our secrets.
This version I used up leftover chili and homemade re-fried beans. You can also use cans of both which also tastes pretty darn good. I also had some vegan cheese left over from making vegan chili cheese dip for New Year’s eve, but you could go without if that isn’t your thing. It won’t be as good, but still worth it.
I usually make this in the oven, but last night I used my slow cooker while we were out climbing. I used exactly the same recipe and cooked it for 2 1/2 hours on high. It turned out really well.
One warning, it is very easy for two people to sit down and eat this whole recipe, so I recommend taking very small portions so you can go back for seconds and thirds without actually eating that much. Also reminding yourself you want it for lunch tomorrow can help. Just be careful.
I’m not sure what to call this Chili Cheese Bean Casserole is the descriptive name. It could also be Mexican lasagna, tortilla bake, layers of happy. I don’t know. If you have a name let me know.
Hmm, more ways to use chili? Oh yes my friend, so many ways. I often get asked what my go to meal is, well it’s whatever is leftover reused. I’m sure everyone does this, you make the food and later in the week you have leftovers. Leftovers are wonderful, especially when they don’t taste like leftovers. Chili is wonderful for this, it works in lots of yummy comfort food type meals.
So this would be my week. First make chili for dinner, mm, yummy. Eat that with some bread, salad, whatever. Good stuff. The next day for lunch or dinner you have two options depending on your time. Mac and Cheese with Chili, or Chili Salad.
Chili Salad I often made and took to work with me, but it is also hearty enough to eat for dinner at home if you need something quick.
Vegan Chili Salad
Leftover Chili or refried beans (depending on how much you eat 1/4 -3/4 cup)
Salad greens (However big a salad you want to eat)
plain vegan yogurt (about 1 tbl per 1/4 chili)
salsa (about half as much as the amount of chili you are using)
Hot sauce (if you like it spicy)
Squeeze of lime juice
dash of cumin
Mix everything except the greens and chili in a bowl.
Top with the greens.
Add chili and stir.
Note: If I’m at home I heat the chili a little before I put it on the salad, if I’m not I eat it cold which is also super tasty.
It’s winter which is always the time for comfort food. And right now after the holidays is it a time for quick comfort food that makes you feel warm all the way to your soul. Mac and cheese is one of those. This is pretty quick, you boil the water for the noodles, then once they go in you can start making the sauce. So not counting water boiling time, this takes about 8 minutes. Not bad for a feel-good happy gooey lunch or dinner.
I also love to serve this with chili for a super happy healthy gooey comforting meal. Ohh yeah. Did I mention this vegan mac and cheese will fill the void that was once filled with cheese? Ohh it will.
Vegan Mac and Cheese
8 ounces pasta
2 tbl vegan butter
3 tbl non dairy milk
3 tbl flour
1 cup of noodle water (from cooking pasta)
1/2 tsp of mushroom or vegetable broth powder (optional if you don’t have it on hand)
3 tbl nutritional yeast
3 tsp tahini
3 tbl vegan cream cheese
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp lemon juice (you could also use apple cider vinegar if you have to)
1/4 tsp salt
Grated vegan cheese (optional) (I only use it when I have leftover that needs to be used up)
Cook pasta, saving the water.
In a separate pot melt the butter over med/low heat.
Add milk, then quickly whisk in the flour until it is incorporated into the butter making a paste.
while whisking slowly add noodle water. Whisk until smooth.
Add broth powder, nutritional yeast, tahini, cream cheese, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and cheese if using, stir together.
Heat until everything is warmed through.
Added pasta and stir to combine.
Note: The sauce should be thick, but you can add more noodle water or milk if it is too thick for your taste.
Today we are going to talk about toffee, vegan toffee to be specific. It is actually amazingly easy to make vegan toffee, nothing special required. Just replace the butter with vegan “butter”, I like Earth Balance, and make sure your chocolate chips are vegan.
If you don’t just want to eat this for some reason, or want to dress up your ice cream feel free to crumble it a bit and dump it over the top. Or sprinkle it on your waffles, or dip a banana in the pieces that fell off in the pan while when you cut it. A very versatile cookie.
I have to confess I did not actually make vegan toffee this year. I’m sorry to disappoint you. I did get vegan toffee in my cookie box from my mom. I immediately hid it in the back of the fridge so my husband wouldn’t find it. While he was at work today I took it out and took pictures of it. Just because I didn’t make it doesn’t mean you should have to suffer a holiday season without vegan toffee. Don’t worry, my mom doesn’t mind.
I keep my toffee in the fridge and it lasts a pretty long time if you hide it well enough.
1 C Pecans, chopped
½ C Earth Balance
¾ C Brown sugar
½ C Vegan chocolate chips
Grease your pan with butter.
Spread pecans in pan.
In a saucepan
heat the sugar and butter to boiling, stirring constantly.
Boil and stir for 7 minutes.
Immediately spread mixture evenly over nuts in pan.
Sprinkle chocolate chips over hot mixture, cover baking pan with a cookie sheet or foil right away and let the captured heat soften the chocolate chips.
Remove cover and spread the softened chips over the toffee like frosting.
While still warm, cut the toffee into 1 ½ in. squares.
Note: this makes a 9×9 pan of toffee, it can easily be doubled for a 9×13 pan if you have to share with anyone, or mail it to your daughter.
Well is is almost Christmas so I though I should go ahead and make some vegan Christmas cookies. These are one of my favorites, probable because of the memories that go along with them. My mom would always make these around the holidays and we would have tea and cookies. I pretty much have to have a cup of tea while eating these as my mother has shown me the importance of dipping ones ginger snap into the tea. Really nothing says winter like a ginger snap dipped in tea.
This recipe has come down from my great grandmother and the only thing that has changed is using flax seed instead of eggs. The texture and flavor are just the same as I remember.
My mom still makes these every year and as the weather gets colder I eagerly await my box of cookies that always comes. The very first winter I became vegan she figure out how to make these vegan for me so I could still eat my cookies. Yes, my mom still sends me cookies. Because she is awesome and I love cookies.
This year I had to have a cookie before she sent them so I made a batch of my own to hold me over.
Vegan Ginger Snaps
¾ C sugar
½ C vegetable shortening
2 TBL flaxseed ground, + 3 TBL water
4 Tbl Molasses
2 C flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. salt
Cream sugar and shortening, add flaxseed mixture and molasses.
In another bowl, combine flour, soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt.
Gradually add to wet mixture and mix well.
In your hands, roll dough into walnut sized balls, dip into sugar and place sugar-side up onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 350° F. for 7-10 minutes, just until the tops “crack”. They will still be soft and will harden as they cool. If you like crisper cookies, bake longer, remembering they all harden more as they cool.
To continue with a tribute to Mexican food we have a recipe for homemade tortillas. The flavor, texture, and smell of freshly made tortillas is so amazing. I just want to eat them by themselves for all that yummy corny, freshly baked bread smell. They are warm and soft, have real flavor, and are ohh so satisfying compared to packaged brands.
I only recently started making tortillas, and I confess I still buy them as well. I like these better, but sometimes you just need quick. I started making tortillas because where I’m living now any tortilla you buy has a list of ingredients as long as my arm. As you can see by this recipe a tortilla only needs 3 ingredients.
I’m including lots of pictures of the different steps in case you are not familiar with rolling things out. This is an easy recipe, just be patient and you will enjoy fresh tortillas for the rest of you life.
2 cups Masa flour or masa harina
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup water
Mix all ingredients in a bowl for about 2 minutes until a soft dough forms.
Divide dough into 16 equal balls by rolling dough into a log and cutting it.
Cover balls with a damp cloth while working.
If you have a tortilla press use it to make tortillas.
If not, place each ball between two pieces of wax paper.
Press out dough with your hand a little to start to form a circle.
Finish by rolling dough with a rolling pin until as thin as a tortilla.
Keep rolled tortillas covered with a damp cloth until you have them all rolled out.
Heat an ungreased griddle or frying pan on medium/high heat.
Cook tortillas one at a a time until they start to turn golden brown, about 50 seconds. Flip and cook second side about the same amount of time.
Cover cooked tortillas with a damp cloth until serving time.
As I said in my last post I was just in Mexico, so my theme is Mexican food. I started really getting into Mexican food while living in San Diego. I had no idea refried beans could be so good. There was one place I would go and get a burrito with rice, beans and guacamole. That’s it. Well, then I would dump hot sauce over everything. The place is Taco Fiesta in Ocean Beach if anyone is out that way.
Since moving I have been working on making my beans and hot sauce taste like theirs. These beans are pretty close, but my hot sauce is still not worth posting. Soon I hope.
Homemade vegan refired beans are the best thing in the world if you ask me, the flavor and texture is so different from what you can get in a can, and so much better. You also have a lot more control over the texture. I like mine a bit chunky, but not thick. When you are mashing them up you can stop whenever you get to your perfect bean texture.
Homemade Vegan Refried Beans
I make these in my pressure cooker, so the measurements are for that. You could also soak the beans overnight and cook them on the stove. Stove top the beans will take about 2 hours to cook. I have a 3 in 1 pressure cooker that cooks at 12 psi, the cooking time might be a little shorter if you have a 15 psi cooker.
If you are watching your fat intake you can omit the shortening and just mash the beans in their own juice.
11/2 cups dry pinto beans
5 cups water
1 onion, cut into eighths
4 small whole cloves garlic
1 TBL vegetable broth powder
2 bay leaves
2 TBL vegetable shortening
salt to taste
Put pinto beans, water, onion, garlic, broth powder and bay leaves in pressure cooker.
Cook on high for 33 minutes.
When beans are done melt shortening in a large skillet.
Remove the bay leaves and spoon beans into pan and mash with a potato masher.
Add bean juice a little at a time until beans reach desired consistency. The beans thicken a lot as they cool, so add a little more than you think you want.
Sorry it has been so long since I have posted. I was in Mexico diligently eating as much as possible to get new ideas for recipes. I do it for you. I haven’t been cooking much since I got back, but one thing I always have to eat is breakfast. This is one of my favorites.
I love breakfast, and I love salty things for breakfast. As a vegan sometimes that is hard to do, I decided I needed something to replace the egg sandwiches that where I large part of my morning for many years, so along came the vegan breakfast sandwich. This has now been my go to breakfast for a number of years. It is super fast once you have made it a few times, and keeps me full until lunch. What more can you ask for in a breakfast. Ohh, it tastes awesome!
My husband loves this on bread, I like bagels. This recipe is for one sandwich.
Vegan Breakfast Sandwich
Bagel or 2 pieces of bread, Toasted
Tofu (2 slices about a 1/4″ thick)
Olive Oil, enough to cover bottom of pan
2 TBL vegan cream cheese
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/8 tsp salt or less to taste
dash of garlic powder
dash of cayenne
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
Heat a little oil in the bottom of a small skillet over medium/high heat.
Add tofu and cook for about 2 minutes until one side is golden brown.
While it is cooking mix the cream cheese and nutritional yeast together.
Start toasting your bread.
When tofu is golden, flip it over and cook for about 30 seconds.
Add salt, garlic, cayenne and vinegar to tofu.
Cook until the vinegar has evaporated.
remove from heat.
Spread cream cheese/nutritional yeast mixture on toast, add tofu and enjoy!! —Also super good with avocado and tomato added.
It’s snowing. My first real snow in years! My husband and I just moved from California to Maine, so I will be expecting a lot of snow this winter, and I’m actually pretty excited for it. I’m one of the weird people in the world who likes winter, mostly because it is a wonderful excuse to stay inside and cook hot yummy food, like hot chocolate.
This hot chocolate I’m about to tell you about is not for the faint of heart, ohh no. This is for true chocolate lovers only. I don’t mean those who like the powdered stuff mixed with a little water. If you are really into that, this probably won’t be your cup of chocolate.
I created this recipe after tasting the most amazing hot chocolate I have ever had at Eclipse Chocolat in San Diego California. If you are ever there please go and try the Salted Caramel Lavender Hot Chocolate. It blows my mind. If you have it made with soy mike it is so thick you can eat it with a spoon, and that is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, back to this vegan hot chocolate recipe. It is also very chocolaty, but you can drink it. You can also add some espresso and make a pretty freaking awesome mocha, as I have done to go along with my cooking pies for thanksgiving. I love the snow!
Vegan Hot Chocolate
1 1/2 cup soy, almond or coconut (the kind in the box, not the can) milk
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
2 tbl cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
Heat milk over very low heat on the stove until almost simmering.
While milk is heating put chocolate chips, cocoa powder and vanilla in a blender.