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Simple Mac & Cheese

For the past week my wife has been asking me to put together a mac and cheese casserole and it was about time that I get around to it. I always mean to write down the recipe and never do; until this one. It came out awesome and my wife AND kids went back for seconds.

This is a simple recipe, you don’t need to go crazy and pre-soak or have any more skill than I, and that’s limited. So here’s what you got to do.

Preheat over to 350º

Get some water boiling for the squash, add squash and bring back to a boil, turn down to a simmer once it’s rolling.

Pan cook the tempeh bacon then dice up. Set aside.

Once its soft, spoon it out of the water and add to a blender.

Put macaroni in the water you just boiled and cook as per the package.

Add all the ingredients below minus the tempeh and 1 cup of the cheddar shreds, you are going to use that later.

Blend well

Once it’s nice and creamy, put in the pot that you have the pasta (which should have been drained by now).

Add the tempeh bacon and mix well.

Pour into a 9×12 casserole dish and top with the other cup of cheddar shreds and sprinkle some paprika on top.

Bake for 30 minutes and serve.

1 package macaroni
1 package tempeh bacon
2 cups butternut squash
1/2 raw cashews
3/4 cup of unflavored soy milk
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 cups cheddar shreds
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper

Miso Tempeh Chili w/ Rice

I’ve had this crazy craving for something with miso lately so I started checking out recipes. I found one at (http://dishingouthealth.com/miso-tempeh-chili-vegan) that sounded amazing so I wanted to try it.

I took some liberties with the recipe and manipulated it to my taste, you can check the link to see what I did differently. The major thing I did was add more miso, again, I had a huge craving for it and when I was tasting it as it was cooking I felt like it needed more.

Anyway… on to the recipe.


1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 package of tempeh (8oz package)
4 tbsp miso paste
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 cups veggie broth
2 cans cannelloni beans
1 can pinto beans
1/2 cup quick cook rice (I used Trader Joes Quick Brown Basmati)

Heat up the oil and add the onion and the garlic.

Once they start to brown up a bit add the tempeh and cook for a bit until you get a bit of color on it. If it starts to dry up add a tsp of coconut oil or two.

Add your spices and miso, mix a bit then adds the broth.

Mix well.

After draining and rinsing the beans add them and the rice.

Bring to boil.

Once it’s boiling turn down to a small simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

I loved this and it satisfied exactly what I was looking for!!

Mason Jar Creation: Freekeh Coconut Curry

I was getting really bored of my lunches so I decided to try something new. While perusing the aisles at the grocery store I saw a bag of a grain called Freekeh. I’ve seen it a bunch of times but, being unfamiliar with it, I always passed. It just so happened to be on sale, and being the cheap miser that I am, I bought it. I saw another package next to it, some coconut curry sauce. I didn’t buy it (penny pincher) and decided I had everything I needed at home to make it.

Again, having never prepared freekeh, I wasn’t sure if it was even the right for a curry. I assumed since rice was a grain and freekeh was a grain than it should be good, right? It was, and here’s how I prepared it with a list of what you need first. Do not be daunted by making your own curry sauce, this was my first time too and it came out fantastic. Just cook, you can do it.

Curry Sauce Ingredients
1 can coconut milk (13.5oz)
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp Braggs liquid aminos
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper

Other Ingredients
1 package Freekeh 8oz (I used some from this brand http://www.freekeh-foods.com/)
1 package Lightlife Tempeh
1 package frozen petit peas

The freekeh is gonna take a bit to cook, so start that first and prepare per the instructions on the package. Depending on how you prepare you tempeh, you can either pan fry now and set aside, or cube it and cook it in the sauce after. I refer to get a little color on the outside so I cubed it and pan-fried in some coconut oil first and then put it in a bowl.

I was scared my first time doing the curry sauce too, but don’t be. It is super easy.

Add your butter to a pan and melt. Add your minced garlic and let it cook a bit, you want it to brown up. Once you’ve gotten it to where you like it add the coconut milk. Once it’s completely in liquid form you can start adding your spices and the liquid aminos. You do not have to use the crushed red pepper, I wanted a little heat so I did. Once your spices are in, whisk until they are mixed and let it come to a bit of a boil, you don’t want it cranking though. Once it gets to that point add the peas and tempeh. The peas will bring the temp back down so once it’s near boiling again bring it down to a simmer for about 15 minutes, that way the tempeh can absorb some of the flavor, and you will be done.

Now portion sizes, let’s get into that real quick. I work four 10-hour shifts, so when I make my mason jars I only make four. This recipe, broken down into four, is dense. The calories are at 525 and because of the coconut milk, the saturated fat is higher than most like it. I am in the beginning phase of trying to add some weight, so this work for me. You can probably add a 5th jar and bring that amount down quite a bit, that’s up to you though. Regardless, this meal is packed with fiber from the freekeh so that is a huge bonus. The sodium and sugar are way down. The carbs are just right. The protein is 23g per serving!

Wait, what? I thought vegans had issues with protein….

When I jarred everything up I put the freekeh on bottom of the jar and the curry on top.

That’s it folks, how easy was that?

Mason Jar Creation: Crispy Baked Buffalo Tofu with riced Broccoli, Cauliflower and Basmati Rice

I tried to make Buffalo Tofu Nuggets a while ago, and while it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t as good as these turned out. I think baking them, rather than pan frying them, made all the difference in the world. I also changed up a couple other things so forget all about that previous recipe, this is new and improved. Plus, it’s baked so they use a bit less oil than being fried in a pan; less oil is always better!

Tofu Ingredients
1 container of Nasoya Sprouted Tofu
2 tbsp corn starch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Buffalo Sauce
1/4 cup Franks Red Hot
1/4 Earth Balance Butter

Rice & Veggies
2 cups of riced broccoli and cauliflower
1 cup Trader Joes Quick-Cook Organic Brown Basmati Rice
2 cups water

Preheat over to 425° (yes it’s hot, but it’ll crispen up the tofu quicker)

The great thing about the tofu I bought (and why I linked it for you) is you don’t have to put weights on it to get the water out, it’s already pressed and ready to go. Dice it up into whatever size you prefer, I like mine smaller than bite size. Add the corn starch, pepper and salt to a large plastic bag and shake to evenly coat the tofu. Spray a sheet pan with some oil, place the tofu down on it and make sure there is a single layer or it won’t get crispy and dry out like we want it. Spray just a bit more on top of the tofu so you can move them around later. Place in over for 20-25 minutes or until it’s to your level of crispness.

Add the 2 cups of water and 1 cup of rice to a pan and get boiling. Once it starts to boil turn it down to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes.

Get another pan hot and add a tiny bit of oil. Once it’s hot enough add the riced broccoli and cauliflower. Stir every couple minutes to keep from sticking, should be done in 10-15 minutes. I liked to keep it somewhat crunchy and not mushy.

Take the butter and soften in the microwave or a small pan. Once it’s melted add the Franks and you have a super simple buffalo sauce. When your tofu is done just toss the tofu in this sauce.

I know I still used a bit of spray oil, but by not frying it I went from 2 tbps or more of oil to barely a 1/4 teaspoon of the spray stuff.

You can layer all the cooked ingredients in a mason jar like I have or serve as is. I take mine for lunches at work so the jars work for me. Any questions?



Simple Brown Gravy

I made a Shepherds Pie for dinner a couple nights ago and wanted to come up with some sort of sauce or gravy to add to it and punch up the flavor. Years back I used to make a decent beef gravy, but haven’t tried to veganize it since going vegan; until now. This is a super easy recipe and I will go through it step by step. There are no photos, I wasn’t thinking of it at the time. Maybe if I make it again soon I will append this post.


2 Cups Veggie Broth
2 tbsp of A1 Steak Sauce
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 black pepper
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp corn starch

Start by boiling the veggie broth.

While you wait for that to come to a boil whisk together the water and corn starch in a separate dish then set aside.

Once the broth is boiling add the steak sauce, onion powder and garlic powder. Mix well.

Add the water mixture and whisk quickly as it will start to tighten up quite a bit. Take off the heat when you’ve reached the consistency you are looking for. Add salt and pepper, feel free to add more depending on how salty you want it. I find a tsp of each is fine though, especially with shepherd’s pie as there is a bit of salt in the mashed potatoes already.

There you have it!

Seitan Ground Sausage

My kids just wanted plain old pasta and sauce for dinner tonight. That sounded super boring and I had just worked out for 1 1/2 and needed more than that. I didn’t have anything to put in it so I figured I’d try to make my own grounds; with more of an Italian sausage flavor. It was a process, but the end result was tasty as heck. It’s also given me the confidence to make my own grounds in the future.

The recipe is amazingly easy, it’s just a time consuming process. It’s why I started the first part while I was working out. Here is what you will need and how to put it all together.

1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp fennel seed (crushed)
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup water

Get a pot going with 4 cups of water and 2 cups of veg broth.

In one bowl mix all of the dry ingredients well then add the water. You will have a goopy mess and it will seem more wet than it should be; it’s not. You need to knead it for a bit to give it some elasticity. Once you’ve gotten there roll it out lengthwise and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Roll it a bit lengthwise so it kind of looks like sausage, this is just to help it cook quicker than in chunk form.

Once your water is boiling drop the pieces in, cover it and lower to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour making sure to check now and again that the liquid level hasn’t gone down too much.

When the hour is up, remove from the water and let drain onto some paper towels for a bout ten minutes. Grab your Ninja, food processor or whatever you use to pulse blend with. Put all the seitan in and pulse three to four times until you get the size crumble that you prefer.

One last step, I promise. Dump all the grounds into a frying pan and brown them up a bit.

That’s it. Well, you can add to your sauce now and what you use depends on your level of involvement there. I added this batch of crumbles to Trader Joe’s Marinara sauce and it was slamming! Enjoy!

Mason Jar Creations: Curried Chickpeas w/ quinoa and lentils

Like many of the “regular” post series I start here, they fizzle quick. I’m going to try my best to revamp this one because I post a pic of them each week on Instagram, so why make the effort there and not share here? Here we go and here’s hoping for consistency!

I changed up my normal formula with this weeks set of jars. Normally I like to add at least one green to the recipe. This week I intend to bring a salad each day to eat with my lunch. So, I figured I could get away with skipping it and adding something with more protein. I’m wrapping up the second week of a new workout routine and could use some help with muscle recovery.

I curried some chickpeas (1 can) in a spice mixture that I came up with that is similar to garam masala spice mix; but more heavy on the cumin and curry powder. I sauteed it in a bit of soy-milk as well. I prepared some tri-color quinoa (1 dry cup to 2 cups of water) and finally, I cooked up a bit of green lentils (1 dry cup to 1 1/4 cups water with 1 cup of veg broth).

Once it all cooled down I jarred it up, put lids on em and they are waiting to be eaten.

I can’t wait to go to work!