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{ about this recipe }

Are you ready for some comfort food? This is the creamy cheddar cheese version of my recipe that features parmesean cheese and garlic as the featured taste. And, yes, it’s 100% vegan – yet another recipe that dispels the myth that vegan food cannot be absolutely, satisfyingly delicious without sacrificing the spectrum of sensations we so treasure in our food experiences – taste, texture, depth of flavor, richness, delicacy, heat, spice, sweet, savory …

Like many meals,  I initially made this one based on “What’s in the fridge/pantry that we can use so we don’t have to go out to the store?”  Well, this time I noticed that the expiration date on the sausage was drawing near so, given that parameter to start with,  my attention was drawn to doing something with pasta, cheese and fresh spinach.

And, of course, it had to be easy and quick to prepare.

BRUNCH OPTION >>> substitute cooked diced Yukon Gold potatoes for the pasta

{ stuff you’ll need }

12 oz or one medium package of elbow or penne noodles, cooked, drained,rinsed and lightly coated with olive oil so it does not stick … I used Tinkyada’s Organic Brown Rice Pasta (what I had on hand); it’s wheat/gluten-free and cooks up al dente unlike most wheat-free and rice pasta brands

1 pkg Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages, roughly crumbled

¾ pkg Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds

½ cup Wildwood Soy Milk Creamer

½ cup Soy Dream Organic Enriched Milk

2 tbsp Wildwood Aioli

4 handfuls of fresh organically grown spinach leaves, thinly sliced while bunched

powdered smoked paprika to taste

powdered cayenne pepper to taste

Celtic sea salt and ground pepper to taste

{ how to make it }

… while the pasta is cooking saute the roughly crumbled sausages in a fry pan (preferably cast iron skillet) in a bit of canola oil, turning to brown evenly, being sure to scrape up any bits that are sticking to the bottom of the pan – the sausage browns up quickly so pay close attention to them it …  set aside when finished

… in a saucepan, heat on medium high flame the creamer/milk mixture making sure you do not bring it to a boil … instead, when the creamer/milk is very hot start adding the cheese to it, stirring constantly to incorporate the cheese into the creamer/milk

… when the cheese is melted stir in the cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper … set aside

… once the pasta is drained, rinsed and lightly oiled move it to a medium size bowl and fold in the uncooked sliced spinach leaves, being careful not to harm the noodles

… blend the Aioli into the cheese sauce, then pour the sauce into the noodles, stirring and continuing to be careful of harming the noodles, but being sure to mix thoroughly so the cheese is coating all the noodles

… spoon the noodle mixture into a medium size casserole, similar in capacity to an 8x8x3 baking pan

… sprinkle the sausage mixture on top, distributing it evenly and being sure that all the crunchy bits make it on as well

… bake at 350° for about half an hour

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DAIYA Cheddar Cheese grilled between split Wholly Wholesome Mini (or regular size if you prefer) Pocket Bread makes a very satisfyingly tasty cheddary, melty, creamy smooth grilled cheese sandwich.

vegan-grilled-cheese

And if you think the above vegan classic grilled cheese looks scrumptious (check out the melted cheese factor, a 10 on a 1-10 scale – and the flavor is classic intense cheddar!), here’s another delicious version of the grilled cheese sandwich using DAIYA’s Italian cheese blend!

  • Split two (yes, you’re going to want the other one once you inhale the first one) Wholly Wholesome Mini Pocket Breads (your taste choice, classic white or whole wheat) and place a slice of heirloom tomato (ideally heirloom tomato, because with heirloom tomatoes we are talking perfect texture and tomato flavor, tomato flavor that once you taste them immediately justifies the outrageous price you paid for them), preferably the same diameter as the pocket bread, on the open face of each sandwich.
  • Make a generous pile of DAIYA Shredded Italian Style Vegan Cheese on top of each tomato slice. With your fingertips spread the cheese evenly to the sandwich edges. Top with optional fresh oraganic Basil leaves.
  • Put the sandwich tops on and place next to each other without touching in a hot preheated large fry pan sprayed with coconut oil or other high heat oil with the flame reduced to medium heat
  • Place a grill press on top of the sandwiches. The press nicely covers both sandwiches evenly.  Depending on your pan and heat level the side being grilled will develop a golden crunchy texture in a few minutes. Remove the grill press, turn the sandwiches over, replace the grill press and repeat the grilling process for the other side. By now the cheese will have melted and you can serve and enjoy. As usual I like to eat it with one of my favorite condiments, cold and crunchy bread and butter pickles.

Oops, I ate it before I realized that I should have taken a picture of it to post. Next time. It does make a nice presentation and would be a nice luncheon item to serve guests.

 

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Want to read about why it’s so great to go Vegan?

The China Study
by T. Colin Campbell, PhD

Dominion~The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy
by Matthew Scully

The Emotional Lives of Animals
by Marc Bekoff

The Inner World of Farm Animals
by Amy Hatkoff

When Elephants Weep
by Jeffrey M. Masson

The Outtermost House
by Henry Beston

Mind of the Raven
by Bernd Heinrich

Tarka the Otter
by Henry Williamson

The Face on Your Plate
by Jeffrey M. Masson

 

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Thomas Jefferson 1788

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Ronald Reagan

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Veganize it!