Vegan Cheese Sauce (Mac n' Cheese)
So, we were vegan for 2 1/2 years. We loved this recipe so much, that not only did we use it for Mac n' Cheese, but for casseroles (tonight it's a tuna casserole), Eggplant Parmesan, etc. It's gotten to the point we won't eat regular mac n' cheese because honestly, this PACKS the flavor and is so much healthier!
Tonight was one of those nights where we found ourselves debating dinner while starving! As we started dinner preparations, the hubs looked around and decided to prepare a snack - using a stale baguette and other readily available ingredients. And, voila! An amazing appetizer was born! You're going to love this, trust me! Personally, I love pizza, but I always feel like I need to make a healthier choice - this satisfies every craving while limiting the amount of cheese and eliminating the need to make a whole pizza!
Ingredients (amounts are dependent upon the size of your baguette & amount of slices used)
If your home is anything like mine, there's a love (the flavor) - hate (the calories and fat from the cream & cheese, as well as the time consuming process of making it, including standing over the stove endless stirring) with risotto. You'll LOVE this recipe then! Instread of arborio rice, it uses Farro (ancient grain known for its health benefits), homemade stock added mostly in one step which cooks without any supervisions, and just a dash of cheese :-). For my vegan friends, read on below for a quick replacement suggestion, though be advised I haven't made that way yet. This recipe uses a technique I learned from ATK - by quickly pulsing the farro a few times in a blender of food processor, the farro will crack and release some starch which will provide the creamy consistency without needing to add excessive cheese or cream. Any conversation of this being unhealthy has disappeared. Serve as a side or as an entree - we've never had any leftovers even though this could serve 4-6 (and usually it's just 2 of us!).
As they say in my home country, Buen Provecho!
Note: For my vegan friends - I would replace the parmesan with ~1/3 cup of Nutritional Yeast (or up to 1/2 cup). I'd love to know how you think it tastes!
This is a must make recipe for a weekend lunch or quick weeknight dinner - filling, zesty and tasty, but incredibly healthy - especially after the overindulgence of the holiday! This recipe is one I've made minor tweaks to over time after I originally found it in the NYT... below is my own version. And, use some of that leftover bread to make Pan con Tomate, an incredibly simple, delightful tapa you might have enjoyed wandering the streets of any town in Spain (in this instance, I'm still mourning their exit from the World Cup, but that's a topic for another day). Anyhow... this recipe works because of a simple, filling salad topped with a salad made creamy with a slight bit of briny feta cheese. Play around with it and make your own!
Salad (as a starting point, adjust + make your own!):
As they say in my home country, Bueno Provecho!
Note: If you'd like to make vegan, you can do so by skipping the Feta, but I'd recommend replacing with nutritional yeast and a tablespoon of the caper brine.
Arepas are a staple of Venezuelan homes, and are different from those made in Colombia or other latin countries. They're eaten for breakfast (frequently with ham and cheese), dinner (with heavier fillings which include many proteins), and especially after clubbing (it's a 99% no hangover guarantee).
Naturally gluten free, Nutritious (the flour is enriched with nutrients) and cheap to make, I haven't found a Venezuelan that doesn't eat them multiple times a week! Frankly, they're what have kept the current crisis in Venezuela from decimating the population. To make them, you'll need Venezuelan Corn Flour (check out the link for the image or to buy) which is available in most latin sections of large retailers.
Herb & Radish Salad with Walnuts
This recipe comes courtesy of the NYT and is a STELLAR addition to any meal! It definitely carries the flavors of the Middle East and is a fresh, wonderful idea for idea, especially for the hot summer days! To make vegan, remove the feta cheese.
And as they say in Venezuela, Bueno Provecho!
Peruvian Herby Marinade
I've frequently used this marinade which I originally discovered in the NYT, and slowly made modifications over time to. I've used this with tofu, chicken, pork and even fish! I would definitely recommend letting your protein sit in this at least 8 hours (in the case of tofu, overnight) so it can truly absorb these wonderfully complex flavors.
Whisk together all ingredients. Coat proteins in the marinade, cover and refrigerate.
Overnight, Herby No-Knead Bread
I always was terrified to make bread because it's so complicated and SO darn sensitive! I finally got the nerve to inch my way into it after seeing the rave reviews on a similar recipe, and I've never looked back. I've made adjustments over the years, and below is my take - this is a staple when we have friends visiting, or when we're craving a nice sandwich (check this one out)! Also, in case you're nervous - my Instagram page has a how-to video you can follow step by step!
Serve and Enjoy! And as they say in Venezuela, Bueno Provecho!