Nothing can get too cheesy today. Let’s dedicate today’s recipes to the cheese lovers, the ones who like to add cheese to nearly everything. Well, as far as it’s possible.
First, let me tell you that I’ve never been a cheese lover, neither as a vegan or non-vegan. In my pre-vegan days I only liked mozzarella, goat cheese, manchego, some cheese sauces and dips, and molten cheese on pizzas and in pasta sauce. Anything else made me want to gag. So, when I became vegan, and there were no cheese substitutes on the market yet, I didn’t really care at the time 😉 There was nothing to miss for me.
However, when Daiya and other brands introduced their vegan mozzarella, pepper jack and cheddar, I couldn’t resist trying the mozzarella. Pepper jack and cheddar didn’t really get me excited, although I did try them, but I still wasn’t crazy about the flavor, vegan or non-vegan. I loved using the vegan mozzarella though. I added it to pizzas, pastas, enchiladas, and lasagnas, and I made quesadillas with them.
So, these are the most common ways of adding cheese. Today, I’m going to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner, using Heartbest Vegicheez Three Cheeses (manchego, mozzarella, and cheddar). It melts deliciously. I will also recommend other vegan cheeses I have tried and which taste just as good and are also perfect for the below recipes.
This was easy, quick, and tasty. Perfect to make when you don’t have much time. Prepping took me less than five minutes and cooking time was around 8-9 minutes.
Cheesy Black Beans
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of water
- ¼ red onion
- 1/3 cup of finely chopped broccoli
- 1 teaspoon of curry powder
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 package of pre-cooked black beans
- 1/3 cup of Heartbest Vegicheez
- Pour olive oil into a frying pan and heat, add curry powder and pepper at once
- Make sure the broccoli is finely chopped. When the pieces are smaller, less cooking time is needed.
- When oil is heated, add broccoli pieces to pan. Fry on low to medium heat for three minutes
- Add water
- Cook for one minute
- Add chopped onion and cook for two minutes
- Add black beans and cook on low heat for two more minutes
- Add the vegan cheese, mix it in, and let it melt
When the cheese has melted, your beans are ready.
Beans provide healthy protein; Heartbest Vegicheez is non-GMO; broccoli brings vitamins A, C, E,K, and B, and also folic acid, not to mention magnesium, iron, potassium, protein, and fiber to the table, and onions are high in vitamin C, contain a flavonoid (a form of an antioxidant), and they are also a good source of fiber, protein, calcium, iron, and folic acid.
I didn’t use salt, because the beans package already included salt
Heartbest Vegicheese is not available on Amazon yet (I got it at Costco in Mexico), but other cheeses that can be used for this meal are: Daiya Mozzarella, Go Veggie Rice Lactose free Shreds Cheese Alternative Mozzarella Style,and Tofutti Soy Cheese Slices Mozzarella
How about making this quick and easy too? Sometimes you don’t have time to prepare an elaborate lunch, right? Or sometimes you come home, tired and famished, and you just want to eat right away. No time or energy to start cooking. I get it. I often come home like that 😉 My work day ends at 2:45 and I arrive home around 3:40. That’s lunch time for me, so I am usually quite hungry by the time I get to my house.
Mexican sinchronizadas are the perfect answer for that. And don’t worry, the recipe is a lot easier than pronouncing the word sinchronizadas 😉 Basically it’s a quesadilla with (vegan) ham, mystery solved.
- Tortillas (the amount depends on how hungry you are – I usually use 6 to make 3 sinchronizadas)
- Go Veggie Mexican Style Dairy Free Shreds or Heartbest Vegicheez
- Lightlife Vegan Turkey Ham
- A comal
- Heat the tortillas on the comal, make sure they don’t start “bubbling”.
- Flip them over to heat both sides
- Place one slice of vegan turkey ham on one tortilla
- Top with vegan cheese
- Lay another tortilla on top of ham and cheese
- Heat until the cheese melts
- Don’t forget to flip the sinchronizada over to make sure that both sides are heated
And that’s it, you can repeat the process as often as you like, make a batch of 4 or 5 sinchronizadas. They’re so easy to make, so if you’re still hungry, preparing and heating an extra one just takes two minutes.
Cheesy Basil – Ham Pasta
Shall we take a little more time for this one? Just a little bit, not too much, because I know that in the evening you can be quite exhausted and not in the mood for cooking. Well, this meal won’t take up all evening, and it’s deliciously cheesy.
- water (to boil pasta)
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- a pinch of salt
- 2 cloves of garlic
- a handful of fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
- 2/8 cups of white wine (Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay)
- 3 slices of Lightlife vegan turkey ham
- Heartbest Vegicheese or Daiya Mozzarella
- Bring water to a boil and add salt
- When water is boiling, put in the pasta and cook for 8 minutes or as instructed on pasta package
- In the meantime, pour olive oil into a small pot, add a pinch of salt, and heat
- Chop the garlic and add it to the pot as soon as the oil has heated
- Cook for four minutes on low medium heat or until garlic has glazed a little
- Chop up basil and add to the pan
- add 1/8 cup of wine and stir
- Add nutritional yeast and mix it in
- Lower heat to low and cook for two minutes. Do not boil
- Add another 1/8 cup of wine and stir
- Cook for three minutes. Do not boil
- Add vegan ham
- Add vegan cheese al gusto. Don’t overdo it, because you don’t want the sauce to get too sticky.
- When vegicheez (or one of the other recommended cheeses) has melted, turn of the stove
- When pasta is ready, drain and serve on a plate
- Pour sauce over pasta
Enjoy! It’s a hearty, flavored, and delicious pasta dish.
Notes: since the wine doesn’t cook that long, combined with the cheeses the taste may come out very hearty. If you don’t want such a strong flavor, you can add a few tablespoons of water while you’re cooking the sauce, it waters down the flavor.
This recipe is for one person. If you’re cooking for two people, double or triple the ingredients. Just don’t go overboard with the garlic 😉 and instead of doubling the amount of wine, I would add more water, but that depends on your taste. If you’re cooking for a larger group of people, just use larger amounts of each ingredient and balance the amounts of wine and water.
So, whenever you have a large assortment of vegan cheeses (like I happen to have right now 😉 ) there’s plenty you can do with it. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below.