Vegan MoFo: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Creamy and cheesy soups often top the list of the most unhealthy foods you can order at a restaurant. A few florets of broccoli won’t undo the damage caused by a bowl full of butter, cream, cheese, and salt. Fortunately, it’s really easy to recreate the texture and taste of restaurant-style broccoli cheddar soup without the cruelty and cholesterol (you still need to watch the salt!)

This recipe comes together easily in 15 minutes.

Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe:

2 tbsp Earth Balance
1 small onion, diced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup mori-nu extra firm silken tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 bunch baby broccoli, chopped
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
cayenne, to taste
nutmeg, to taste
2 cups cheddar style Daiya

Melt Earth Balance in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, cook until brown.

Combine cooked onions, broth, nutritional yeast, and tofu in a blender. Process until smooth.

Transfer liquid to saucepan, add broccoli and seasonings. Simmer over medium heat until broccoli is tender. Add Daiya, stirring until melted.

The soup will seem too thin at first, but will thicken up after a few minutes of cooling.

Gluten-Free Vegan Mac & Cheese For One

This is a great recipe for those nights when you get home late and want to eat right away. While the pasta is cooking, throw together a salad and bake some tofu and you’ll be eating a satisfying dinner in 20 minutes!

Gluten-Free Vegan Mac & Cheese Recipe
70 g (2/3 cup) medium-sized brown rice pasta shells
1 tbsp Earth Balance
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup cheddar style Daiya
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/8 tsp red pepper flake
black pepper, to taste
almond meal, for garnish (optional)

Boil pasta in salted water until thoroughly cooked

Drain cooked pasta, reserving 1-2 tbsp of the pasta water

Add remaining ingredients (except almond meal, if using), stirring until Daiya is completely melted

Serve and sprinkle almond meal, if desired

Funky Feta

I recently discovered that the April 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times featured a recipe for vegan feta cheese.  Some patience is required to make this cheese because it will not be ready to eat until two days after the beginning of the process. I’ve made two batches of the cheese, so far.  I modified the recipe for the second batch, and I think it improved the taste a bit.  My first modification was to omit the garlic.  I LOVE garlic, but I didn’t care for it in this cheese.  Second, I left the soaked almonds out on the counter for a couple days to develop a little bit of “funk”.  Probably, not the safest thing to do, but I didn’t get sick.

I was elated to find this recipe because it has allowed me to recreate many of the Turkish dishes I enjoyed as a child.  A great way to use the feta is in a grilled cheese sandwich.  Take a couple slices of good crusty bread and spread some Earth Balance on them, put some crumbled feta between the slices, and brown in a skillet.