This post is all about magic. First, real (or as close to real as possible) magic. And second, the magic of this glorious vegan cauliflower mac ‘n’ cheeze from my new favorite cookbook, Tess Masters’ The Perfect Blend, topped with my new favorite creation: grain-free hemp cauliflower breadcrumbs. But before we eat…
Last night I went to The Magic Castle for the first time. The Castle is a turn of the century Hollywood mansion devoted to the magical arts, a bastion of wonder—a sentiment hard to come by these days. It’s invite-only, so it’s not a place one can simply drop by. One must be accompanied by a member, or have a golden ticket of sorts, to gain access. There’s a wildly strict dress code (they keep ties on hand for men who’ve shirked their tie-wearing duties) and a distinctly old boys club vibe, the likes of which I haven’t felt so keenly since my Yale days. But I’m doing that thing where I say yes to as many invitations as I can stomach right now, in the effort to transcend my naturally Dickinsonian homebodied self, and so I said yes.
1/3 Cup Earth Balance Margarine ¼ Cup All Purpose Flour 2 ½ Tbs Low Sodium Tamari or Soy Sauce 1 Tbs Lemon Juice, fresh 1 Tbs Tahini 1 Tbs Tomato Paste (not sauce!) 1 ¼ Cup Soy Milk 1 Pinch Salt Black Pepper, to taste
Begin by heating a sauce pan and adding the earth balance. Once melted, add flour and whisk vigorously until a smooth paste forms, called a roux. Be careful not to add flour to a pan that is very hot, or your roux will be lumpy and you’ll need to start over. If you mix in the flour as soon as the margarine is melted, that would be best.
To this paste, add tamari, lemon, tahini, and tomato paste and whisk until well incorporated. The mixture should still be paste-like. Then slowly pour in the soymilk, whisking constantly, until it is completely incorporated. Mix well. Cook the mixture until it thickens, whisking often. This should take approximately 5 minutes, but it’s flexible. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I like this the most baked. Cook 3 cups of dry, small pasta (like elbows or shells or rotini) and toss with the finished cheesy sauce. Add steamed broccoli (pictured) for a real treat. Top with fresh breadcrumbs and bake at 400º for 25 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.
(Recipe has been altered from the original with its photo via veganyumyum.com)
Mac N’ Cheez (#bestcatnameever) is a 7-week-old kitten whose hind legs are temporarily paralyzed. So, the good folks at Massapequa Pet Vet built him a “wheelchair” out of K’nex. While they work on his treatment, he gets to scoot around the office on his rad new rig.
Vegan food we’ve made from scratch over the past few months. From left to right: Beer battered fried chickn homemade seitan, TVP popcorn chickn, Pizza with homemade cheeze and crust, Mac n cheeze with homemade cheddar sauce, Beer battered feesh, Chickn strips with homemade seitan, Cannolis, deep fried doughnuts.
So, I made this bad boy last night on @CookReel ‘s Snap Chat contest for Master Chef. Congratulations to the winner @momfitnessdiary who has been crowned Master Chef! Woo hoo! It was so much fun to participate in a cooking contest with some wonderful foodies/chefs. It was an honor actually. Be sure to also check out @livshealthylife & @lafujimama for some yummy plant-based inspo. And thank you @CookReel for the opportunity to share one of the recipes from my ebook L’herbe Muse: Simple Everyday Plant Based Recipes. (Link in bio) Peace.
Here’s a photo recap of the last pop-up dinner I hosted. I went with a Soul Food theme this time around. Every one was really impressed with how substantial jackfruit can be.
I do these dinners once every couple of months for my closest friends. They are all omnivores, so they are often the litmus test for my food. If I can win over even the most stubborn omnivores, especially those semi-obsessed with bacon and meats, I’ve got it made.
Everything was made from scratch, including the bread. However I did not have time to make my own pickles. Pickling food is on the horizon though. I’d love to have pickled jalapenos and carrots in my fridge at all times.