Sloppy Joannas

Still working off of my store of ingredients, Friday I poked around to see what I could make for dinner. I was going to make cheesesteaks again, but when I defrosted my chunk of seitan it didn’t smell quite right. When in doubt, throw it out. So what else to do with these sub rolls? Sloppy Joannas from Yellow Rose Recipes popped in my brain. I’d never made them but sure enough I had all the ingredients. Well, I didn’t have tomato sauce but I had tomato paste. Dilute with some water and tada! tomato sauce. Just for fun I tossed on some cheddar Daiya.

These were pretty good. They didn’t totally rock my world. I probably need to adjust the seasoning to my taste. They’re probably spot on for sloppy joes and I just didn’t eat those very often. Actually, I haven’t had since I was a kid. Kevin thought the Daiya tasted kind of weird with the sandwich innards. I didn’t think it was that off.

Also, the frozen french green beans from Trader Joe’s rule. They are going to become a freezer staple for me.

Mac & Cheese

Apparently I can’t stop with the Daiya. I swear they aren’t paying me. Or even sending me free cheese. I’m not opposed to that though. 😀

How is it that there are so many styles of vegan mac & cheese that are so freakin’ good? You have ones based on nutritional yeast, cashews, whatever magic Soul Vegetarian puts in theirs, etc. So I had to see how Daiya would do. And the answer is, quite well thank you very much. Because I’m lazy, I used this recipe. I still had some lunch meat log so I chopped that up in place of the veggie ham. I also made a half batch so I wouldn’t be eating nothing but mac & cheese for two weeks, not that there’s anything wrong with that. When making it, I went with the lower amount of soy milk and I think I would like it saucier so next time I’ll try the higher amount at least. The taste was spot on though. I say this as someone that hasn’t eaten cheese in years, but I have been through a ton of vegan mac & cheeses and this one seems to hit closest to the blue box kind. I’d love to get the opinion of an omni or vegetarian on Daiya.

Seriously, how 70s does this plate look?

Spicy Black Bean Chili

A slow cooker is one of those fairly inexpensive kitchen appliances that can make life so much easier. If you’re the busy sort that doesn’t want to resort to pre-packaged foods, you want one. If you endure hot summers and don’t want to turn on your stove or oven, you want one. If you like cooking up batches of dried beans, you want one.

Here’s how easy it is. I decided I was going to make the Spicy Black Bean Chili from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson. So one evening I put the beans on to soak. Next morning, I tossed them in the slow cooker, covered them with water, added a piece of kombu (I always do this with beans. It’s supposed to make them, uh, more butt friendly.) While I was at work, they cooked up perfectly. That evening, I did the minimal prep work, filled the cooker crock with the ingredients, and tossed it in the fridge overnight. Next morning, it came out of the fridge, cooked on low all day, and then became dinner that night. Helpful hint: putting it in the fridge is a good way to buy you another hour or so if you’re going to be gone longer than the maximum cook time.

I like this recipe but it is fairly mildly flavored. I usually just start tossing some extra stuff in there. It’s different every time. This time I think I just used cumin and cayenne. Sometimes I use chipotle powder or even a bit of chipotle in adobo.  What makes this even better is melting some Daiya vegan cheese on top and sprinkling on chunks of avocado.

Now, if you want to get really crazy, you can make the polenta fries from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton. Thanks to the 50% polenta tubes we found a few weeks back. Instead of cutting them in planks as the recipe calls for, I cut them in cubes. Also, instead of rosemary I seasoned them with a little chili powder. Oh, and I don’t bother peeling the polenta tube. That seems…unnecessary. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, you’ll know if you see the recipe. Now that I’ve actually made polenta, I need to just make and use my own. Okay, so it isn’t corn bread, but it’s similar, right? This had to work…and it did! Tell me you don’t want to eat this:

More Daiya adventures

Because we know people (hey!) we got to sample Daiya in yummy pizza form and also got some of each flavor of shreds to take home. I did a couple of bullshit things with them last week because I’d already done the weekly shopping. But this week I could plan for it.

What’s an easy thing to do with melty vegan cheese? Quesadillas! Kevin fried up the chorizo with onions, I made a quick salsa and corn & pepper salad. Sometimes the best food comes from improvisation.

stretchy daiya
stretchy daiya

What else do you do with yummy vegan cheese? Lasagna! This is the spinach lasagna from Yellow Rose Recipes. I made a half batch so we wouldn’t be swimming in it. Worked really well and the leftovers reheated nicely in the oven.

Okay, so I know you’re intrigued. So where can you get this magical Daiya cheesy stuff? Oh look! Cosmo’s has it in stock. Seriously, get on that. Heck, Teese is on sale this weekend, so get some of each.

This post brought to you by the letter Manhattan. I blame it on all typos and general weirdness. My tongue is kinda numb.