Vegan Cheesy Sauce

I based this sauce on this recipe  from Simple Vegan Blog for vegan cheese.  However the recipe calls for 2 cups of potato. This is a bit starchy for me so I used only one large potato and added about a cup of cauliflower.  This is the first time I’ve made this sauce so the different amounts of vegetable can still be played with, though this batch was pretty good. It doesn’t taste “exactly like cheese”. But it is pretty cheesy and a really tasty sauce or dip.

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INGREDIENTS
Base
1 potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped.
3 medium/large carrots (about a cup), peeled and roughly chopped.
1 cup cauliflower florets (I used frozen
Enough water to boil vegetables.
Flavour:
3 Tbsp – ½ cup olive oil
¼ – ½ cup water
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
½ cup nutritional yeast
½ tsp garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of paprika

INSTRUCTIONS
Boil the carrots, potato and cauliflower until soft.
Add other ingredients.
Blend (I used a stick blender) until smooth.
I kept the water until I already blended it a bit and added only ¼ cup until I had a nice thick sauce.
You can add more olive oil if you want a richer sauce. 

 

 

©lowercase_v 2017

 

 

 

Review: Kitchen Craft Thermometer

KITCHEN CRAFT Home Made Cooking Thermometer, bought online 2 years ago, from an online kitchen and cooking supplies store.  At the time it cost R99 (± US $7.50 at current rates).
It is currently still sold on the site and has mix reviews, with an average of 4 stars. (Maybe I just got a dud?)

I  have only attempted to use it 2 -3 times. On all those occasions I had also uses the ball test for syrups, (Drip the boiling syrup into a bowl of cold water. The consistency of ball the syrup forms tells you whether the syrup has reached the desired state), just to be safe.

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On the plus side,  design wise, the thermometer has both Celsius and Fahrenheit markings. There is a reference on the back for at which temperature certain items should be boiled/ fried/ cooked.  According to the site, this is a mercury-free thermometer.

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The clip which is supposed to secure the thermometer to pots completely loose and just slips off the thermometer. I could probably just toss it in the garbage.

I tried testing the temperature gauge by placing the thermometer into boiling water (water boils at 100 ° C), but the not-mercury failed to rise to 100°.  Perhaps it only works with more viscous liquids, but I couldn’t see why I shouldn’t work in water.

The one or two times when I boiled syrups, the not-mercury level took ages to register… and when making something that merely has to reach a certain temperature and then has to be removed from heat, this could be a problem.

This thing now just sits in my pantry. The only reason I haven’t thrown it out, is because I’m not sure its safe for the environment to throw it in the trash.

Am I missing something about glass thermometers? Should I try a different brand or a different type of cooking/ candy thermometer?

Thumbs down.


©lowercase v 2017

Who’s Alfredo a Vegan Sauce

I veganized a traditional Alfredo recipe and came up with this. I used Fry’s (South African vegan mock meats) polony instead of ham. Fry’s featured my recipe on their website and in one of their e-book recipe collections.

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Ingredients:

  • oil for frying. (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1 onion, chopped (optional)
  • 1-2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 250g mushrooms
  • ¼ FRY’S POLONY/ SLICING SAUSAGE, diced, small bits
  • 250ml Soy/ Non-Dairy  Cream
  • ½ tsp Paprika (or to taste)
  • a pinch on Nutmeg (optional)
  • ½ cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • pepper

* You can use a mock bacon like Quorn Breakfast Rashers (vegetarian, but not vegan) if you choose. I don’t add salt whilst cooking this, because the polony is pretty salty.

Instructions:
Fry the onions until soft. Add and fry the garlic, being careful not to burn the garlic or it will be bitter.
Add the mushrooms and fry until the mushrooms go brown.
Add the Fry’s polony and stir for a few seconds
Add the cream bit by bit and allow to cook for a minute or so.
Add the paprika and nutmeg and cook until the cream thickens.
Add the pepper and parsley and leave for about a minute.
Serve with pasta and sprinkle with vegan parmesan.

 

 © lowercase v   2014

Almond Cranberry Cereal Bars.

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I made some cereal bars, combining two or three different recipes I found online.

At the moment the right combination is still a work in progress.

I’ve made two batches. Both were a bit crumbly. The second even more so because I used less maple syrup. I guess I’ll eat it with a spoon.

The first batch was delicious, though very sweet, and had rolled oats as its cereal base. I polished off the batch in a very short time. For the second batch I used rolled oats, puffed brown rice and quinoa.

I will post the recipe when I get it right.

 

©lowercase v  2017

 

Review: Denny Mushroom Burgers

Pack of 4  Vegan Mushroom Burger Patties.   Frozen foods section, with the vegetarian products. 

  • Vegan
  • GMO Free
  • Soy Free

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The original burger patty is well flavoured and when cooked properly has a good texture.  I made a sandwich using the original burger (made in a contact grill)  and whole wheat toast.   It was delicious.   I also tried a burger, cut into pieces, in a stir fry. I might have under cooked it a little, it was okay.

For the crumbed burgers I used proper sesame seed white bread burger buns.  I used mayonnaise as a spread on the buns instead of margarine and added some lettuce, tomato slices and little bit of sweet chili sauce
I cooked the patty in a contact grill (toasted sandwich maker) . On the first burger the mushroom patty was a mushy and probably under cooked, though it looked done on the outside. I couldn’t event taste that it was crumbed.  The burger as a whole was pretty tasty though.  For the second burger ‘n microwaved the patty for a minute, before grilling it in the sandwich maker. This time I could taste that it is crumbed and the texture was somewhat better.

Between the two, I prefer the original. It’s also the healthier option of the two.

To be honest I’d rather just fry a large brown mushroom and bypass the additives. Though these burgers are convenient, tasty and a nice product to keep in your freezer.  I would eat them again. Meat-eaters also seem to like these burgers.

Just follow the cooking instructions.

Original  

Crumbed 

 

 

©lowercase_v 2017 

Review: Quorn Breakfast Rashers

Quorn’s vegetarian bacon.  Price  R36 ( about US $ 2.69)  for a 150g box.
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My aunt once told me that my younger cousin was learning to make vegetarian products in Food Technology at school. (They live in the UK and my cousins were born and raise there). She asked if I’ve heard about Quorn (that’s what they were basically making). At the time I haven’t heard of it. I thought she meant quinoa. I have since seen Quorn products in the freezer section of supermarkets. The main ingredient in their products is Mycoprotein  (a protein made from fungi). So far I haven’t tried many of their products, since many of them contain dairy (slight allergy) and I’ve had to avoid eating fungi for a long time.

I saw this macon (mock bacon) product on my last shopping trip and I figured I’d give it ago. I haven’t had real bacon in about a decade and I’ve been looking for a vegan or vegetarian bacon to try.


The slices are frozen together, so you need to partially defrost them to remove a slice.  It fries quickly, though I haven’t tried grilling it yet.
I definitely has a bacon flavour. The smell reminded my of bacon flavored crackers.
The texture is close enough I guess. it reminded me of polony (Bolagna sausage, slicing sausage, lunch meat).  Though, it probably depends on how you cook it.


It tastes pretty good, but I can’t say if “real bacon”  eaters would like it.
Being a processed food, this isn’t something I would consume on a regular basis, but occasionally if I crave bacon,  I would definitely eat it again.

©lowercase_v 2017