Posts Tagged Teese

Weeknight Meals, Nacho Teese & Laptop Lunches

Here are a few more from the “what gets in my belly the fastest” files.

On a trip to Rainbow Grocery, which is kind of like specialty vegan product heaven, I picked up a package of frozen Nate’s Classic Flavor Meatless Meatballs.  I had seen them on a few other blogs and they seemed to be spoken of positively, so I figured I’d give ’em a try.  Here they are perched atop wheat fettuccine and covered in Whole Foods marinara.

I like the meatless balls a lot.  The taste and texture are great, and they cook up in mere minutes.  However, at 90 calories per three I won’t be getting through the bag any time soon.

I also wanted a veggie side dish, and did not want to go to the grocery store, so I cooked the only vegetable I had – celery.  Now, I love me some raw celery, and it’s nice cooked with onions and peppers as the beginning of a dish, but who eats just cooked celery?

I do.  And it’s actually good.  And it uses up that celery in your fridge.  I know it’s there.  I have the remains of a stalk in my fridge right now.  Honestly, I made this a few weeks ago so I don’t remember exactly how I cooked it, but Google braised celery and you’ll find many ways.

One weeknight I found myself with some leftover takeout white rice, and that usually means clean-out-the-fridge-fried-rice.  I only had a bit of rice though and didn’t want to take the time to make more, so I said to myself “Quinoa cooks fast, I wonder if fried quinoa is good?”.

The answer is that fried quinoa is amazing.  And I didn’t feel like I had to add tofu or edamame like normal, since quinoa has so much protein on it’s own.  This version included sweet potato, carrot, cabbage and broccoli and it was quite nice, if I do say so myself.

On the aforementioned trip to Rainbow Grocery, I also snagged a tube of Nacho Teese.  Teese!  You may recall from my past experiments with Teese that I think it’s amazing, so I couldn’t wait to try the new flavor.  I wasn’t so judicious this time since it’s much easier to come by here than it was in Florida.

I knew that I wanted to make enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce, but since I’ve been trying to vary my grains, I thought about what I might use instead of tortillas.  I decided that swiss chard might just be a good enchilada wrapper, and I’m calling these Chard Enchiladas.  Because that’s what they are.

One of them was nice enough to open up in the oven and show us the filling, which was pinto beans, nacho teese, onions and chopped chard stem.

I didn’t precook the chard, which I probably should have because it was still a bit tough.  Overall though, this turned out pretty well.

What else do you make with nacho teese?  Duh, nachos.

Blue sesame corn chips, refried beans mixed with leftover enchilada sauce, salsa, teese, a quick guacamole, and these really good mild jalapeno slices that I found at Target.  The jalapenos made all the difference.

Closeup of the melty deliciousness:

This was so ridiculously filling, and so ridiculously good.

I haven’t made a whole lot of lunches lately because of all the holidays, but here are the few I’ve managed to take.

12-16 chard enchiladas, brown rice with corn & tomatoes,
avocado, candy cane jo jo’s

12-17 double fried quinoa (because it was that good),
edamame, persimmon & prunes

12-22 blue corn sesame chips, nacho dip (refried beans,
salsa, teese & jalapenos), carrots, clementine

12-23 toasted leftovers sandwich (tofurkey, spinach,
red onion, cream cheese, cranberry sauce), carrots
& celery, goddess dressing, dried apricot bar

Whew.  I feel better having caught up a bit.  Soon I’ll write posts about my New Year’s eats, sushi with a very special ingredient and my first CSA box, and hopefully find some time to catch up on reading other blogs too!

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Eggplant Parmesan

For dinner tonight I knew I needed to use up the last of my Teese and the eggplant in the fridge before they went bad, and since I was hoping to try my hand at eggplant parmesan it worked out swimmingly.  A quick trip to the grocery store yielded the rest of the supplies.

groceries

Having never made eggplant parm before, I studied up on the internet.  Unfortunately, I really wasn’t in the mood for the traditional accompaniment of pasta marinara since I had spaghetti for dinner last night, a couple bites cold after packing my lunch this morning, and then again for lunch.  I REALLY didn’t want any more pasta or marinara.  I wanted to beef up the protein in this meal and wasn’t completely against a red sauce, so it became roasted red pepper-lentil-basil sauce.  I still wanted a grain and strongly considered polenta, but I didn’t think it would hold up to the eggplant and the sauce, so I decided on bread.  I like to make my own bread as often as possible, but the scope of this meal was spiralling larger by the second, so I bought the one brand name loaf that I really like.  No HFCS, sweetened with raisin juice!

I normally buy roasted red peppers in the jar, and was feeling lazy and leaning toward it today, but I came across these instructions for roasting a pepper at VeganYumYum so I went for it.  I don’t know how much longer I’ll have a gas range, gotta take advantage of it!

roasted pepper

Yeah, my stovetop is filthy.  Deal with it.  Here’s the molted pepper.

roasted pepper

At the same time, I had already sliced and salted the eggplant to draw out some moisture, and I was cooking the lentils and snapping off the ends of my green beans.

I’m not very good at breading things, so I was worried about breading the eggplant.  I took some tips from here, although theirs still look better.  I think my breadcrumbs weren’t quite fine enough (ground them from a stale half loaf of bread I knew I was keeping in the fridge with a purpose, not just because I’m lazy…), and my eggplant was baked instead or fried.  Anywho, I set up the breading station – I rinsed the eggplant slices, made a cornstarch slurry and microwaved it a couple 15 second bursts, and seasoned the breadcrumbs with nutritional yeast, oregano, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper.  Then into the oven at 350 they went for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.

eggplant

Meanwhile I made the sauce by pureeing the roasted red pepper, an undrained can of diced tomatoes and some of the cooked lentils.  I added this back to the pan with the rest of the lentils, added olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and simmered to cook down the liquid a bit.  With a minute or two left I added this pretty chiffonade of basil, just to wilt it.

basil

When the eggplant were cooked, I topped each slice with some of the sauce, almond parmesan and sliced Teese.  Back into the oven at 400 for a couple minutes, then broiled for a couple minutes to melt the Teese.  I toasted my bread, plated everything, and took about 10 pictures.  Hungry and very ready to eat, I realized I had forgotten to add the basil garnish I had set aside for just that purpose.  I’m glad I took the time to take a few more pictures, because having that focal point made all the difference in the world for the aesthetics of the picture.  I didn’t keep any ungarnished photos, you’ll just have to take my word for it.

eggplant parmesan

In the end, this was a worthy use for the last of the Teese log.  The eggplant spent so much time in the oven that it was a tad overdone, but I’d rather have a squishy eggplant than one that’s not cooked through.  While the sauce tasted really nice, it was quite hardy and overbalanced the eggplant a little.  Next time I make this I’ll just not have spaghetti the three meals immediately preceding.

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Three-Cheese Spinach, Mushroom & Sausage Lasagna

As another use for my ever-shrinking log of Teese, last night I made lasagna.  I layered homemade chunky marinara (with celery and green pepper), uncooked whole wheat lasagna noodles, tofu ricotta from the Unstuffed Shells recipe in Vegan Vittles, frozen thawed spinach, baby bella mushrooms, leftover VWAV tempeh sausage crumbles from last week, almond parmesan and shredded Teese.

Here’s one of the inside layers, I thought it was pretty.

lasagna

Just out of the oven.

lasagna

lasagna

I also made Cauliflower Leek Puree.  I discovered leeks last week and now I want to put them in everything.  For the puree, I boiled a chopped head of cauliflower and the green parts of the leek, sliced, for 15 minutes.  I drained it, whizzed it in the food processor with a dash of rice milk, a couple Tbs Earth Balance, salt, white pepper and a dash of nutmeg.  It was really nice, and easy to make for sure.

Here’s the pan after I ate two pieces for dinner, gave two pieces to bf, and packed a piece for lunch today.

lasagna

After I finally ate dinner last night just after 9PM, I remembered why I rarely make lasagna.  Firstly, it takes so long to make!  Sure, if I used jarred sauce instead of homemade I could shaved off 45 minutes, and also I’m so OCD about equal distribution of ingredients that it took me over a half hour just to assemble.  Then an hour to bake and cool.  Okay, so it takes ME so long to make.  A normal person could probably accomplish it in half the time.

My other problem is that it’s so dang delicious that I want to eat it all up, quick.  I already had another piece after lunch today!

Problems aside, this is the best vegan lasagna I have ever made, so hopefully when I have it in me to make it again in about a year it will be just as good.

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Teese Quesadilla & Laptop Lunches

I made a quick trip to the grocery store yesterday to buy supplies for two meals.

groceries

I was expecting great things from the XTREME tortillas, but alas, they’re just normal tortillas.  All the other whole wheat tortillas had a list of like 40 ingredients, so maybe the lack of xtremeness ingredients-wise makes them xtreme.

Said ingredients and some stuff from the fridge went into quesadillas – fajita-style mushrooms, onions and peppers, cilantro, and Teese.  I thinned out some leftover black bean dip to make soup, and plated with lettuce, salsa, sour supreme and a couple cucumber slices.  I wanted to make guacamole too, but none of the avocados at the store were ripe.

quesadillas

These were goo-ood, best vegan quesadillas I’ve ever made, probably because they’re the first ones where the cheese actually melted.  If I changed anything for next time I’d put more fillings in since these were a little thin.  I went light on the fillings on purpose – I always overstuff burritos and the innards spill out and make a huge mess.

Here are some laptop lunchboxes I’ve brought to work in the past month.  Lunch is by far the best part of my day, due to these lunches and zooming through the Harry Potter books.

4-11-08 lunch

4-11 leftover rice noodles & veggies from Vietnamese place, split pea soup,
carrot raisin salad, squash pickles, dried pineapple

4-14- lunch

4-14 the fridge was pretty bare these days.  rotini pasta w/ cheesy sauce, kale
chips, carrot raisin salad, dill pickle, sliced veggie dog, dried mango, prunes

4-24 lunch

4-24 rotini pasta w/ cheese sauce, peas & carrots, braised red cabbage,
sugar snap peas& carrot sticks w/ hummus, dried mango, almonds,
dried pineapple, prunes

4-25 lunch

4-25 YRR tamale pie (from the freezer), braised red cabbage, pickled
mushrooms & gherkins, vanilla soy yogurt w/ flax, carrot sticks,
dried apricots, orange slice candy

4-29 lunch

4-29 toasted millet bread, fig bar, lentils tartare, steamed dandelion greens
under alfalfa sprouts, grape tomatoes, mustard dressing, grapes

4-30 lunch

4-30 seared brussels sprouts, tempeh salad, avocado, wheat crackers, brownie

5-1 lunch

5-1 sandwich (millet toast, lentils tartare, alfalfa sprouts), celery sticks,
mustard dressing, brownie, steamed dandelion greens,
grape tomatoes, grapes

5-2 lunch

5-2 tempeh salad, celery & carrot sticks, red bell pepper, avocado,
grape tomatoes, woodstock dressing, wheat crackers,
fig bar, grapes

5-5 lunch

5-5 lentils tartare, alfalfa sprouts, red & green bell pepper, tempeh salad,
mexican slaw, wheat crackers, maya gold lava cupcake

5-6 lunch

5-6 double veggie & edamame fried rice, red & green bell peppers,
pepitas & raisins, dried apple, fig bar

5-8 lunch

5-8 orzo w/ red bell pepper, swiss chard, lemon butter sauce, almond parmesan & toasted pine nuts, pb, celery sticks, grilled patty pan squash, cucumber, carrot sticks, blueberries, fig bar

5-13 lunch

5-13 southern-style dolmades, tahini sauce, goddess pasta salad, avocado, strawberries

5-14 lunch

5-14 two pieces deluxe pizza, carrot sticks, bell pepper, strawberries

5-15 lunch

5-15 wheat bread, pizza sauce, seitanroni & Teese slices, dried mango, broccoli florets, ranch, fig bar

5-19 lunch

5-19 grilled asparagus, marinated grilled portobello, couscous w/ artichokes,
roasted tomatoes, olives & cilantro, rosemary bread, lettuce, cucumber,
baby carrots wherever I could fit them, ranch, kiwi, fig bar

5-20 lunch

5-20 veggie & Teese quesadilla, black bean soup, salsa, lettuce,
sugar snap peas, baby carrots, ranch, dried apricots & pineapple

I really must post these more often so it’s not such a production.  I’m doing well with variety though, there are only two I didn’t post that were basically identical to one of these.

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Deluxe Teese Pizza

I plan on making at least two different pizzas with my Teese, and for the first one I decided to go all out and make a “deluxe” pizza like I used to enjoy as a kid.  This is going to be a short post, as the pizza basically took all evening to make and I am pooped!

I started with the seitan pepperoni from Vegan Vittles.  I’ve made FatFree Vegan’s Veggeroni before, and they both came out really well.  If I had to choose I might choose the one I made tonight, probably only because I just ate it and it was delicious.  Jake the cat liked it too.

seitan-roni

I had leftover VWAV pizza sauce in the fridge, and I also made VWAV pizza crust and tempeh sausage crumbles.  On top of that went Bacos, mushrooms, onions and green peppers.  Then finely grated Teese.

deluxe pizza

It may not look like much, but oh man was it delicious.  It tasted junky just like a deluxe pizza you’d get from a chain, but not greasy or disgusting.  My tummy is happy.

deluxe pizza

Stay tuned for more uses for Teese, as well as birthday foods.

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My First Teese – English Muffin Pizzas

Ever since I ordered a log of Teese a couple weeks ago, I’ve been dreaming of the different ways I can use it.  My first choice is pizza, but for whatever reason I didn’t feel like making an entire pizza.  I was considering the options yesterday, and I remembered that my mom used to make us English muffin pizzas sometimes on Sunday afternoons.  I’ve been wanting to try my hand at homemade English muffins for some time, and a search yielded this recipe from The Urban Vegan.  Her pictures look awesome and the recipe seemed sturdy, so last night when I got home I mixed up the starter and let it sit overnight.  I cooked ’em up this afternoon, and check out the nooks and crannies!

english muffins

The recipe made 16, and it’s infinitely cheaper than store-bought muffins, which normally aren’t vegan anyway.  I put most of them in the freezer and can’t wait to eat them toasted with earth balance and jam.

I made the pizza sauce from VWAV, which is a nice, easy recipe, and shredded up a bit of the Teese.  Probably by now everyone has seen the “does it melt?” before and after pictures all over the internet, but just in case you haven’t witnessed the amazingness, here it is.

english muffin pizzasenglish muffin pizzas

I have also successfully answered the question “Does parchment paper turn black under the broiler?”.

Yeah, so maybe my Teese melted a bit too much.  Or maybe I put too much on.  Either way, I call this a total success and Teese has my endorsement.

I enjoyed my pizzas with broccoli dipped in homemade ranch.  This is such a kiddy meal.  Although as I child I would have never eaten raw broccoli trees.

english muffin pizzas

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