Friday, January 30, 2015

French Toast Casserole

For my new recipe this week, I figured I would try making a French toast casserole.

I used the French toast recipe from Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food to make the French toast coating. 

I then layered the coated bread in a baking dish (lightly oiled with canola oil) and added some raisins in between just for fun. 

Out of the oven

I baked it for 20 min at 400°F, taking it out midway to add a bit more of the coating on top.

Cut up, with blueberry syrup added

Overall, I wasn't as impressed with it as I hoped I would be; however, this version did have some redeeming qualities, such as using less oil, wasting less of the coating (I usually end up with too much left over), and requiring less attention.

The leftovers were better, plus I sprinkled a bit of leftover pretzel salt on them, which helped.

Sleepy Buttons and Leela from earlier this week. 

Peace. :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Carrot and Raisin Muffins

Today I made the carrot and raisin muffins from Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food.

My changes were to use 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (instead of ½ all-purpose and ½ whole wheat; I was out of whole wheat), only ¾ cup grated carrot (I got tired of grating, haha, plus this way the carrots were equal to the raisins), and I left out the optional pecans or walnuts. 

Everything mixed together easily, and I actually thought I might have leftover muffin batter, but it ended up fitting just perfectly in the baking cups (so I guess it was good that I didn't use as much grated carrot as I was supposed to).

I then baked them for the recommended 20 minutes, and let them cool before trying one. 

Aside from some chunks of the muffin sticking to the baking cup, it was perfect.

Very tasty, nice and soft, not dry at all, definitely something I will make again.

Here's Leela in the sunshine and Buttons on her favorite napping perch.

Peace. :)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Earth Balance Vegan White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

Last night I tried the second Earth Balance mac & cheese. 

Served with oven-roasted broccoli with a bit of Old Bay spice mix.

I had high hopes for this one (I'd heard most people say this was their favorite), but I didn't care for it too much. 

It wasn't bad; it just wasn't all that great. 

(To be fair, I don't think I was much of a white cheddar fan before going vegan, so that could have something to do with it.) 

All in all, the cheddar mac & cheese gets my vote as the better of the two. 

Tonight I had the leftover white cheddar mac & cheese; adding salt & pepper improved it.

Served with oven-roasted broccoli with garlic salt.

Here's Leela, sensing that Buttons is at the bottom of the stairs.

And here's Buttons, blurry as she begins her race up the stairs.

Peace. :)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Chicken Seitan and Spicy Fries

I tried my new recipe of the week on Wednesday and it turned out alright. This was only my second time making seitan, so it went better than the first time but I still need to experiment a bit more. 

For the chicken seitan, I used the Chicken Stylee Seitan recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen and halved it, left out the bay leaf from the broth because I didn't have one, and also cooked it in the oven instead of on the stovetop. For the spicy fries, I used the recipe for “easy oven-baked fries” from Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food, except I didn't have any Old Bay Seasoning, so I made some myself from the spices I had available. (My Old Bay spice mix included salt, dry mustard, paprika, black pepper, ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and crushed red pepper flakes.)

Overall, the chicken seitan was good, though the edges were a bit soft/weird texture so I just cut those parts off. But other than that, it wasn't texture-wise much different from tofurky, so I liked that. The fries were also good, but they were so extremely spicy to me, and I didn't even include all the spices I was supposed to, like mace! I still have a good amount of my Old Bay spice mix left over, so I'll just use a bit less in the future. 

Here's Leela in the sun... 

And Buttons trying to sniff out more food... 

Peace. :)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Mac & Cheese

Sorry I've been away from my blog for so long! For my first post of the new year, I figured I would go over my cooking and blogging goals and also write about Earth Balance's mac & cheese, which I finally tried last night! 

Last year, one of my goals was to cook more new recipes and do one blog post a week, but that didn't quite work out. So this year I am combining them; ideally, I will cook one new recipe a week, and that will be the topic of my weekly blog post.

To start it off, I made the Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Mac & Cheese for dinner last night. It was fun and simple to make, nostalgic and all that good stuff. (After ramen, boxed mac & cheese was probably one of the first things I learned to cook growing up.) Earth Balance's mac & cheese is prepared in the same way. Boil the mac, drain, and return to the pot; stir in plant milk (I used soy milk), vegan butter (I used Earth Balance), and the cheese flavor powder; mix and serve.

Served with carrot "fries" (carrots, canola oil, salt; bake for 10 min, flip, bake for another 10 min).

Now, no, it doesn't taste exactly like what I remember the mac & cheese of my childhood tasting like (Zach agreed, mentioning it had a slight aftertaste, something I've seen other bloggers point out in their reviews). But it's a nice comfort food, easy to prepare, and a quick dinner. I had ordered mine from Vegan Essentials, only to find out later that's it's being sold at the Giant grocery store near me. It's not something I'm going to buy regularly, but it was fun to have, so I'll probably just buy it when it's on sale. (I also bought the white cheddar version, and the vegan cheddar squares, so once I try those, I'll post about them, too!) 

P.S. Leela and Buttons say hello, from inside the cat tent.

Peace. :)