Monday, April 8, 2013

Another Vegan Butternut Squash Mac n' "Cheese"

Back in January, I raved about a new and quick mac n' "cheese". It was vegan, gluten-free, and basically pleasing to every possible diet except paleo (but - hey, make it with spaghetti squash in lieu of pasta and you're golden!). Before that, I raved about a different kind of mac n' "cheese" using roasted butternut squash.Whoever came up with this whole squash-sauce idea should be given an award.


For those of you who have to be - or choose to be - free of dairy, it is so welcome and thanked to have a creamy pasta replacement for that wonderful comfort food that is mac n' cheese.

For some reason, I have a tendency to want to try new recipes, rather than sticking to the sure-fire go-to's, so I tackled yet another approach to the squash mac n' cheese. Again, the nut-free (substituting almond with coconut milk), gluten-free, vegan, soy-free person can put their hands up in the air to say their praises to these recipe-creators. Amazing.

I will say - though - that my personal taste prefers more salty/tangy flavours, so if I had to create my perfect squash mac n' cheese, I'd likely combine the roasted squash and bread crumbs from the second recipe listed above, with the tahini/apple cider vinegar flavouring of the first mentioned recipe to get that tang.

The one great thing about this recipe, though, was how absolutely creamy the almond milk made this!

I got the recipe from Running with Tongs and copied it almost to a tee, with a few changes:

- Cook Brown rice fusilli

Blend together:
- 15 oz can of organic pureed butternut squash
- 2/3 cup of vegetable broth
- 1 cup of Silk Almond unsweetened milk
- 1 tbsp of curry powder
- 1/2 tsp of salt (I ended up adding lots more after this was done)
- 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp of olive oil

- Add sauce and handfuls of baby kale (I love that they sell this at the Super Store now!!) to the pasta.

If you're in a rush, throw it in the microwave and be done with it. I put mine in a casserole dish and topped it with nutritional yeast in lieu of panko and baked for about 15 minutes at 350 to let the flavours come together.

I topped mine with a TON of hot sauce and more salt. You might not need it, but I personally needed that little bit of bite!

The next time I do this, I'm totally taking what I liked from each of these recipes and making my own super-duper-uber-squash-mac-n-cheese. One of my favourite things about the first recipe and this one is the ability to use organic pureed canned squash, because really - - how often do you have enough time to roast a squash in the oven?

Enjoy! Pin It

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Chilli (With a Bacon-y Secret Ingredient!)

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I officially have a favorite chilli recipe - and I made it all on my own. This. Was. Amazing. A perfect Sunday meal.

As I'm sure is evident, I love making chilli. It's the absolute easiest way to cram a ton of healthy ingredients into one dish that will last the week - and hopefully taste good. It doesn't get much better than that. Yes, it's a little bit of work up front, but then no work throughout the week!

I typically use the slow cooker, but used my handy red Kitchenaid dutch oven this time around to cut down on time. With our love of the Smokey Bacon Chilli from a few months back (originating from PaleOMG), I took a few of my fave elements from that recipe and went to work on something of my own.

Sweet Potato and White Bean Chilli (with PORK!)
From Allie's Changing Kitchen

6 slices of bacon, diced (Maple Leaf, less sodium - sugar-free)
1 package of ground pork

1/2 large onion, diced
1 large sweet potato, diced
1 1/2 cups of kale, sliced small
1 1/2 cups of corn (frozen or canned, but I had canned)

1 cup of broth
1 can of Hunts Original Pasta Sauce
1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp of chili powder
2 tsp of paprika
1/2 tsp of garlic salt
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper

1. Fry the bacon. Set aside.
2. Cook the ground pork.
3. In a dutch oven or pot, cook the sweet potato and onion for about 7 minutes.
4. Add in all of the spices, the cooked pork, bacon, beans, broth and and tomato sauce. Turn heat down to simmer for an hour - at least. 
5. About 15 minutes before you're ready to eat, throw in the kale and corn.

I think I've used diced tomatoes in every chilli I've ever made and have never used straight up tomato sauce. This - I believe - may be what made the difference. It was full of flavour. A hearty, warm dish for a Sunday evening. And with the secret, special ingredient of BACON, it's a two thumbs up from the hubs!  Pin It

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Because Everyone Craves Poutine Once in Awhile

You read correctly. I'm about to rock your world with a tasty poutine recipe that will satisfy the soy, dairy and gluten intolerant, the vegetarians, the vegans - and the people who simply get a little creeped out by turning a Chicken-embellished package of powder into a "rich" sauce.

Two years ago I would have said I had to give up poutine for good. Today, I thank my lucky stars that Halifax continues to become more awesome with their selection of "speciality" foods and that food bloggers continue to be creative, making it possible for me to welcome this salty delight into my life as frequently as I wish.

One disclaimer I'd have is: yes, this is a "healthier" version of a poutine, but you must accompany it with a salad, or a shot of V8 or grapes for dessert...something. It's clearly lacking in the nutrient department, but that's clearly not the point of a poutine, is it?

Vegan Homemade Poutine


Taking this recipe here, I followed along and tried a few things until I got it just right. I basically followed it as is, but have written out my exact measurements and ingredients.

In a saucepan, combine:

1 1/2 cups of water
1 vegetable bouillon cubes (I'm now using GoBio - ingredients are way better than most)
1 tbsp of vegan margarine
1 heaping tbsp of nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp of onion powder
1/4 tsp of garlic powder
A few dashes of coconut aminos (this is the soy replacement I finally found at Planet Organic!! wheeeeee!)

Once the butter and bouillon have dissolved, slowly add in:

1/4 cup ...and a few sprinkles more... of brown rice flour (any will do if you're not gluten intolerant or celiac)

Whisk away while bringing to a boil. Reduce heat and you're done. How easy?

Poutine Assembly

We use the shoestring McCain's french fries - use whatever you'd like. Add on some Daiya Mozzarella (any Daiya would do, but I find the mozza to be the best for this and nachos). Top it (or soak it - whichever is your style) in gravy.

You have your masterpiece!

Pin It