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Tag Archives: cheese

Big Mac Pizza

21 Feb

Well hello again. Have you missed me?

This has been quite the hiatus. I bet you’re wondering where I was. Well, I was here; still in the Midwest. In case you missed it on my Instagram, last year in October I had a second baby and since that time I’ve been pretty busy.

But I still think about little old Avocados and Ales all the time. Especially when Buzzfeed links to my page. Or Mary’s Test Kitchen makes an amazing video featuring my aquafaba cheese. Seriously, go check the video out, Mary has a way of making everything look easy.

I bet you’re wondering if I would come back with a recipe. It was hard to choose; I’ve been cooking throughout my hiatus but a lot of it is the same old standards. However, I’m constantly looking for something fun to veganize. My friend  MeShell inspired this Big Mac pizza and I’ve made it multiple times since.

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Vegan Pizza Rolls

4 Mar Vegan Pizza Rolls

I am a 90’s kid and there’s no reason for me to deny it. I spent many an afternoon in front of a TV watching cartoons with a box of Totino’s pizza rolls. I’m sure most other 90’s kids remember watching shows like Hey Arnold and Rugrats after school, although maybe the pizza rolls were a particular remnant of my own childhood.

Vegan Pizza Rolls

I always have fun recreating foods like this and pizza rolls have been on my to-do list for years. I very specifically remember the thin and crispy, oily crust, so I knew a pizza crust wasn’t going to work here. I made a basic pasta dough, but used a bit of vital wheat gluten to firm it up. Alternatively, you could just use bread flour, but it’s not something I usually have on hand.

I didn’t get any pictures of the rolling and filling process, but it’s the same as making ravioli. YouTube is a great help for beginners if you’ve never made ravioli before, but it’s pretty simple. Dough, filling, and dough, and just seal around the edges.

I fried these, but they could possibly be baked on a parchment lined pan. The crispy crust effect won’t be the same so as long as you’re not eating them daily, I recommend a shallow fry. This recipe makes about 12, but you can easily double it and keep the rest refrigerated after cooking until you’re ready to eat them.

 

Be sure to check out the Vegan Meringue Group on Facebook for more aquafaba recipes and a thorough FAQ.

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Ravioli with Cashew Spinach Ricotta

24 Feb Ravioli with Cashew Spinach Ricotta

I don’t think I’ve ever been one to shy away from my love of carbs (except for during a brief Atkins diet period in the early 2000s.) There is just something wonderful about fresh homemade pasta. I will pretty much eat any pasta, but homemade pasta is something otherworldly. I discovered this recipe for homemade pasta from Vegan Dad years ago and I’ve used it pretty consistently since then. One of my favorite recipes for ravioli is filled with butternut squash, but it’s not really squash season anymore.

Ravioli with Cashew Spinach Ricotta

We love this cashew spinach ricotta in my vegan lasagna recipe, so I knew it would be a hit here.  I added a touch of miso paste this time around, but it’s totally optional so if you don’t have any, don’t fret. You may need to adjust the salt level without the miso, so be sure to taste the cashew ricotta for quality control purposes. Or, you know, general hunger purposes. This recipe made about 30 ravioli for me, but if you plan to make square ravioli with an overlapping pasta layer, be sure to double the dough recipe.

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Baked Vegan Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust

13 Dec

Cheesecake.

Rich, creamy, luscious, thick cheesecake. On top of a salty pretzel crust and drizzled with blueberry sauce.

Baked Vegan Cheesecake

Another one of those recipes that I have never even attempted before going vegan, yet worked out perfectly. I’ve been intrigued with New York style cheesecake for a while now, but most recipes call for a massive amount of eggs to set the texture. Before now, I would have never been able to replicate them. But yet again, VeganEgg to the rescue! Since VeganEgg sets at higher heats, it works perfectly in this custard-style application.

Baked Vegan Cheesecake

This recipe is so ridiculously easy that I’m considering making another cheesecake tomorrow. Two cheesecakes is not a problem, right? Not in this household.

 

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Potato Cheese

13 Nov Potato Cheese

A recipe for cheese, made with potatoes. You may have seen my previous post on the infamous potato-carrot cheese. I’ve also used agar to make that same recipe into slices. Well, it was an obvious jump to try to make a mozzarella version. This version does use kappa carrageenan as a binder, but you can easily omit it if you want a melt. I haven’t tested it with agar powder, but I’m sure it would work if you activated the agar in water before pouring the rest of the mixture in.

Potato Cheese-Vegan | Avocados and Ales

Without further ado…

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Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

4 Nov Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

Once upon a time, a long time ago (read: before I had a baby) Gardein sent me a few coupons so I could review their products. Well, those coupons came and went, and I never posted a review.  At the time, I intended to do a review of the new Fish Filets, but they’re old news now. With the new Crabless Cakes and Sweet and Sour Porkless Bites, they have plenty of new offerings that there aren’t hundreds of reviews on already. (Or maybe there are, I haven’t read them!)

But, the fishless filets hold a special place in my heart and my freezer.  I grew up eating fish filets on Fridays during Lent and I loved seafood before I discovered how awful the seafood industry really is.Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

One thing I really appreciate about Gardein is that they don’t cut corners when it comes to “short on time” options. We all know that’s code for “too dang busy chasing a toddler to cook.” I usually bake these if I get a chance to, but there’s been many a day where nap time happens and I use the microwave method. True story-you can microwave them for 2 minutes and get away with eating it floppy.

Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

 

I obviously had to showcase my new cheddar cheese recipe and the classic veganized McDonald’s filet-o-fish was an imperative. Have I told you guys we have a view of McDonald’s from our living room window? It’s pretty classy and definitely adds to our real estate value.

Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

The filets themselves are extremely reminiscent to their omnivore counterpart. There’s a vaguely fish-y flavor to them that isn’t strong as nori, but definitely makes you think “I’m eating fish.” I’ve had a few “tofu fish” sandwiches and there’s just some things that aren’t perfectly replicated with nori and deep frying. I believe it’s the algal oil that contributes to the fish-flavor, but they probably have some other awesome secrets to the taste. The breading and texture are spot on, they even “flake” apart while you’re biting into them (assuming you don’t swallow them whole.)

I made a simple tartar sauce for the sandwich with vegan mayo (I like Just Mayo, but you can also make your own), pickle relish, dill, parsley, and a splash of vinegar.

 

Review: Gardein Fishless Filets

 

If I had a rating system, I’d give these a 9/10. The only reason they aren’t a 10/10 is due to the lack of a family-size package. We can easily polish off a bag of these in one meal and I’d love to have a package that lasts two meals instead of just one.

Aquafaba Cheddar

3 Nov Aquafaba Cheddar

“But how do you live without cheese!”

If you’re vegan (or lactose intolerant) you’ve probably heard that at least once, or a thousand times. Thankfully, there’s been some really amazing vegan chefs who have made our cheeseless existence quite tolerable. Miyoko Schinner, Jay Astafa, Somer McGowan, and Skye Michael Conroy, have all taught me some valuable tips on vegan-cheese making. I actually took the inspiration from this from Richa Hingle at Vegan Richa.  Her vegan cheddar cheese ball came across my feed around Halloween and I knew the flavors would be perfect for an adaptation of my mozzerella aquafaba cheese. The original recipe that I drew inspiration from for the cashew mozzarella was developed by Jay Astafa. You can watch the YouTube video here. I noticed he uses soy lecithin as an emulsifier, which aquafaba has been shown to do in recipes like Nina’s butter and Peanut Butter and Vegan’s mayo. This inspired me to make the cashew mozzarella using aquafaba as the emulsifier.
Aquafaba Cheddar

Vegan cheese doesn’t create casein protein strands like dairy cheeses do, which is why we use tapioca starch to create that stretchy texture. Some places may have it labeled at tapioca flour, but they should be interchangeable. I find mine at an international market for a cheaper price. I use vegan lactic acid powder to create that dairy-like tang in this recipe. It’s definitely worth the purchase, but if you cannot buy it, substitute a tablespoon of lemon juice instead. Since cheddar has a significant tang to it, I include apple cider vinegar as well as miso paste. Nutritional yeast also adds to the cheesy flavor. Refined coconut oil helps with firmness upon refrigeration and improves the mouthfeel and melt.

Most vegan cheeses use either agar or kappa carrageenan as a binder to be sliceable and shreddable. I choose to use kappa carrageenan, as I prefer the melt and mouthfeel it imparts. I am well aware that many people choose not to consume it and I completely respect that; this recipe may be possible with agar powder, but I have not tested it. If you do test it, please contact me with your results!

Aquafaba Cheddar

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out these other vegan cheese recipes:
Cheddar Cheese Ball
Another Cheddar Cheese Ball
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Cultured Cheddar

The Vegan Meringue group on is a great place for more aquafaba recipes as well.

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Vegan Calzones

2 Oct

We’ve been watching a lot of Parks and Recreation lately and there’s a lot of talk about calzones. Personally, I was never a huge fan of calzones. I think this picture sums it up.

I may have changed my mind after last night. These were delicious and VERY filling. Try drinking a brown ale with these-since it’s autumn, I’d suggest Sierra Nevada’s Tumbler.

Vegan Calzones

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Eggplant Stacks

6 Sep

Our local farmers market runs on Wednesdays and Saturdays and I like to take my daughter with and pick out a few vegetables for meals during the week. Last week we found this pretty purple and white striped eggplants.
Eggplant Stacks

Tonight I wanted to combine the remaining eggplant and my favorite cheese recipe, from here.
It’s not quite eggplant parmesan, but you could easily fry these during the saute step! I served them with fettucine, but angel hair or capellini would be equally as beautiful here.
Eggplant Stacks

Our garden is still producing massive amounts of cherry tomatoes, so they’re making another appearance here. Substitute regular tomatoes if you don’t have cherry tomatoes.
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Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

24 Aug

If you don’t know, I’m pretty excited about this. Every vegan I’ve ever met in real life has said the hardest thing to give up was cheese and every non vegan has told me that they would never be able to give up cheese. Fortunately, due to amazing chefs like Miyoko Schinner, Jay Astafa, Somer McGowan, and Skye Michael Conroy, we are able to enjoy cheese-like products, without the cruelty. I’ve made several forays into the world of vegan cheese and learned a lot of different techniques from many different recipes. The particular recipe that I drew inspiration from for this is the cashew mozzarella developed by Jay Astafa. You can watch the YouTube video here. I noticed he uses soy lecithin as an emulsifier, which aquafaba has been shown to do in recipes like Nina’s butter and Peanut Butter and Vegan’s mayo. This inspired me to make this cashew mozzarella using aquafaba as the emulsifier. It also makes this recipe soy free, conveniently, for those who are intolerant.

Vegan cheese doesn’t create casein protein strands like dairy cheeses do, which is why we use tapioca starch to create that stretchy texture. Some places may have it labeled at tapioca flour, but they should be interchangeable. I find mine at an international market for a cheaper price. You can also add a bit of xantham gum to increase the stretchiness. If you don’t have any, feel free to omit it, the cheese will still be delicious! I use vegan lactic acid powder to create that dairy-like tang in this recipe. It’s definitely worth the purchase, but if you cannot buy it, substitute a tablespoon of lemon juice instead. Nutritional yeast also adds to this cheesy flavor. Refined coconut oil helps with firmness upon refrigeration and improves the mouthfeel and melt. Cashews can possibly be subbed for raw sunflower seeds for those with allergies.

Most vegan cheeses use either agar or kappa carrageenan as a binder to be sliceable and shreddable. I choose to use kappa carrageenan, as I prefer the melt and mouthfeel it imparts. I am well aware that many people choose not to consume it and I completely respect that; this recipe may be possible with agar powder, but I have not tested it. If you do test it, please contact me with your results!

Edited to add: Several people have tried with equal amounts of agar and have had a hard time getting it to set. I would suggest doubling the amount of agar powder (use 1 tablespoon and 1 tsp). Xanthan gum will not replace the carrageenan, it’s not a firm binder like carrageenan is, just a thickener.

Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese | Avocados and Ales
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If you like this recipe, be sure to check out these other vegan cheese recipes:
Meltable Soy-based Mozzarella
Soy/Cashew Buffalo Mozzarella
Smoked Coconut Gouda
Almond Milk Pepperjack
Vegan Mozzarella
Moxarella

The Vegan Meringue group on Facebook is a great place for more aquafaba recipes as well.

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Mozzarella Aquafaba Cheese

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