Vegan Loaded Nachos

Hi Friends! I’ve been on a bit of a blogging hiatus as my year has been busy so far, but I have some new recipes to share. Before we get to the recipe, I wanted to say that I have happily been volunteering quite a bit at a local no-kill animal shelter. If you have the time, consider finding a no-kill shelter near you where you can volunteer. It’s been really rewarding interacting with the animals and giving them a chance to get outside and play while they wait to be adopted. The hardest part is not taking them all home with you! This guy in particular was nearly impossible not to take home, but I can’t really have a dog right now. Luckily he got adopted by a nice family. So many of the pups are just so loving and sweet!

Kincaid

On to the recipe…I guess this isn’t as much of a recipe as a recreation of vegan nachos that I used to get at Rutherford Pancake House in Rutherford, NJ. When I lived in North Jersey this was my favorite brunch spot and we almost always got the nachos. Now that I live too far away, I make my own vegan nachos at home. These are perfect for sharing at a party or enjoying while binge watching Netflix. And when football season comes around again, you won’t have to feel left out at football parties! These are really dangerously yummy. If you have a favorite vegan nacho topping, let me know in the comments! I would love to get some new ideas to try.

As messy as nachos are, it's hard to make them look pretty when you pile on the chili, guacamole, vegan sour cream and more, but they are so yummy it doesn't matter! They will disappear quickly!

As messy as nachos are, it’s hard to make them look pretty when you pile on the chili, guacamole, vegan sour cream and more, but they are so yummy it doesn’t matter! They will disappear quickly!

Ingredients:

Tortilla chips
Daiya vegan cheese
1 can of vegan chili (I used Amy’s brand)
Guacamole
Salsa
Tofutti Vegan Sour Cream
Lettuce

Other Optional Toppings:

Corn
Tomatoes
Jalapeños
Refried Beans
Black Beans or Kidney Beans
Sautéed or Grilled Pepper and Onions
Veggie Bacon
Chopped Cilantro
Scallions
Lime Juice
Black Olives

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Fill a glass baking dish 2/3 full with tortilla chips. Sprinkle on a little Daiya cheese. Add the can of vegan chili on top. If you have leftover homemade chili, this is a great way to use it up.
  • Bake the nachos in the oven for about 15 minutes so the chili is hot and the cheese is melted.
  • Remove the nachos from the oven and top with guacamole, salsa, vegan sour cream, lettuce and any other toppings you like.
  • Dig in and enjoy!
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Fresh Pesto and Veggie Calzones

Growing up, my mom made really yummy calzones. They’re not what you’d typically think of as calzones you can get at a pizza shop which would typically be filled with meat, cheese, and tomato sauce. She made them with fresh veggies and pesto. These calzones aren’t going to win any beauty contests, but they are so delicious it doesn’t matter!

The original recipe isn’t vegan, so I decided to try veganizing it since I was missing these old favorites. The result was pretty close to the original and just as yummy. I’m glad to have this recipe back in rotation!

Ingredients:

1 cup vegan pesto
1 medium yellow onion
1 bell pepper – any color
2 small yellow squash and/or zucchini
1 large stalk of broccoli
1/2 cup Daiya Pepperjack shredded cheese
3 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer Powder + 2 Tbsp warm water
2 Tbsp soy milk
salt
black pepper
olive oil
cornmeal
Pizza Dough

Directions:

  • If you’re making your own pizza dough, you’ll want to start it ahead of time so it has time to rise. I decided to use 2 Trader Joe’s pizza doughs because I didn’t have time to make my own dough over the weekend. Homemade dough is always yummiest however! You might want to make two batches of dough depending on how big the batch is. Make the same amount of dough as you would for 2 pizzas.
  • Make up a batch of The Post Punk Kitchen’s Vegan Pesto. The batch I made ended up yielding about 1 cup of pesto, which was the right amount for the calzone recipe. You can also use your own favorite pesto recipe.
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Chop the onion and pepper. Saute them in a little oil.
  • Chop the yellow squash, zucchini, and broccoli into small pieces (about 1/2 inch or so).
  • In a small bowl, whisk up the egg replacer powder and warm water. If you don’t have egg replacer on hand, I don’t think it’s a critical part of this recipe. It helps bind the filling together a little, but so does the flour, so if you can’t find Ener-G, don’t worry about it.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the pesto, onion, pepper, yellow squash or zucchini, broccoli, Daiya, flour, olive oil, egg replacer, and soy milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Prepare a couple baking pans by drizzling a little olive oil on the pan and sprinkling a light coating of cornmeal on top of the olive oil.
  • Pull off a piece of pizza dough – about 1/3 of a cup, but it doesn’t have to be precise. Stretch it out into a circle like you would a pizza crust.
  • Add some filling to the center of the dough, being careful not to overfill it. Fold the dough in half over the filling and seal down the edges with your fingers. Poke a few little holes in the top of the calzone to vent steam. You can brush a little soy milk on top of the calzone if you like, but it’s optional.
  • Continue making calzones until you’ve used up all of your dough or all of your filling.
  • Bake the calzones for 30-35 minutes until the filling in bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Let them cool for a few minutes and enjoy!

Vegan Cheese and Broccoli Baked Potatoes

I haven’t made baked potatoes in ages. It seems like most of the usual toppings are dairy or meat based, but there are a lot of vegan options as well. Broccoli and cheddar is a classic flavor combo for baked potato toppings. This is a really yummy and simple vegan version of that classic. Besides baking the potatoes for an hour, this recipe does not take long to make and requires very little prep time.

Vegan Baked Potato

Ingredients:
2 baking potatoes
2 cups of broccoli florets
1/2 cup soy milk
1 cup Daiya Pepperjack Style Shreds
pinch of salt
pinch of garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast
pinch of cornstarch (optional)
Vegan Litelife Smart Bacon

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°. Wash and scrub the potatoes. Poke holes in the potatoes with a fork, so the steam is released as it bakes. You can wrap the potato in aluminum foil, or place it directly in the oven. The potatoes will need to cook for about an hour. You can check them with a fork and pull them out when the middle feels soft enough.
  • While the potato is baking, rinse and chop the broccoli into bite sized florets. Steam them for a couple minutes until just tender.
  • In a sauce pot, combine the soy milk and Daiya cheese over medium heat. Stir until the Daiya melts and combines with the soy milk.
  • Add the salt, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast to the soy milk and Daiya mixture. If you’d like the sauce to be thicker, add a pinch of cornstarch and mix well. Add the broccoli to the sauce and stir.
  • Pan fry the vegan bacon in a little olive oil until the strips are a little crispy.
  • Cut the potatoes almost in half lengthwise, leaving the two halves still attached. Pour the broccoli cheese sauce over the potatoes. Crumble the vegan bacon strips and sprinkle on top.

Happy New Year! – Vegan Cheesy Bread

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a good 2012, and if not, I hope 2013 treats you better! Last year, my New Years Resolution was to learn how to make bread. I’m happy to say I feel like I’ve accomplished that goal. Sure, there will always be more to learn about breadmaking, but I’m feeling more confident about my ability to make a decent basic loaf of bread.

This year, I think my New Year resolution will be to try new ingredients that I’ve never used before. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and use ingredients you are comfortable with, but I’m hoping to branch out and learn to cook new things. But before we move on to 2013, here’s a send off to 2012’s resolution. This isn’t an entirely new recipe, but one that I repurposed to recreate a yummy flatbread pizza.

American Flatbread has a new vegan pizza which I got at Whole Foods. I’ve been told it resembles Papa Johns Cheese Bread pretty closely, though I’ve never had it myself. I wanted to try creating a similar version at home that would be cheaper since their frozen pizzas are small and a little pricey. It turns out the vegan naan recipe I posted a while back makes really yummy vegan cheesy bread! It’s perfect for a New Year party, and you still have time to get the dough started! Happy New Year everyone!

Ingredients:

naan dough (see recipe for ingredients and directions)
Daiya vegan cheese
garlic powder
salt
dried basil
dried oregano

Directions:

  • Follow the recipe for making naan dough. It’s a very easy recipe, but it takes 1 1/2 hours to rise and you also have to roll it out, so factor in that time. When you get to the step where you are rolling the dough into balls, create a baseball to softball sized ball rather than a golf ball sized ball.
  • Once the dough is finished the second rise, roll it out fairly thin (about 1/4 inch thick or slightly thicker is good). Heat your skillet over medium high and drizzle in a little olive oil. Cook the naan on one side for 2-3 minutes until bubbles brown, then flip the naan to cook the other size.
  • As the other side cooks, sprinkle garlic powder, salt, dried basil, and dried oregano on top of the naan. Then sprinkle on Daiya cheese. Lower your heat slightly so the naan doesn’t burn. Cover the skillet with a lid so the Daiya melts. Once the daiya is melted, transfer it to a plate or cutting board and slice. This makes a perfect side to a nice bowl of homemade soup!

Also, here are a few of my bread making adventures from the past year, in case you missed them or want to look back.

Braided Italian Sesame Bread
Rye Bread
Rosemary Dill Bread
Soft Pretzel Rolls
Naan
Cinnamon Buns – (Okay these aren’t technically bread, but they are made from a yeast dough that rises…close enough! They are seriously yummy!)

Agave Citrus Roasted Vegetable Quesadillas

I’ve been on a roasted veggie kick recently. I’m not sure why, but I can’t seem to get enough! I used to make Honey Lime Roasted Veggie Quesadillas with pepperjack cheese before I became vegan. I’ve adapted that recipe by replacing the honey with agave, the pepperjack with Daiya, and regular sour cream with Tofutti Vegan Sour Cream. The vegan version is just as tasty! Feel free to add in your favorite veggies and toppings.

Ingredients:
1 red pepper
1 yellow onion
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 shallot
3 garlic cloves
1 cup of frozen corn
5 limes
1 Meyer lemon
3 tablespoons agave
tortillas
Daiya Pepperjack cheese
Tofutti vegan sour cream
fresh salsa

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°.
  • Chop the red pepper, onion, zucchini, and yellow squash into small chunks. Thinly slice the shallots and garlic cloves. Place all the chopped veggies and the frozen corn in a roasting pan with sides.
  • Juice the limes and lemon. Add agave and stir with a whisk. Pour the agave juice mixture over the veggies and toss so they are well coated.
  • Roast the veggies for about 30-40 minutes.
  • Once the veggies are done roasting, place a tortilla on a skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle an even layer of Daiya pepperjack cheese on the tortilla. Don’t use too much cheese. Let the Daiya melt on the tortilla, and then place the tortilla on a plate.
  • Toast a second tortilla without cheese. It helps if the tortillas get a little crispy on the skillet because it will make the quesadilla easier to eat (and tastier!).
  • Place a layer of veggies on the first tortilla on top of the Daiya. Sandwich the second toasted tortilla on top.
  • Cut the quesadilla into quarters and top with vegan sour cream and fresh salsa.