Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Taco Salad Mexican Stromboli with Cheddar Teese

I was the lucky recipient of some free Teese vegan cheese from Chicago Soy Dairy and I promised them I would make something interesting with it. This turned out to be more challenging than I imagined because after years of being vegan, I realize that the only time I pull out vegan cheese is when I am making a pizza. Vegan cheese in my hands means pizza on the brain.

First I tried to veganize a family recipe for Chicken Green Chili Tortilla Casserole. I should have known this one was doomed to fail when my mom told me the ingredients incuded Chicken, Velveeta, and a can of mushroom soup (I know, call me a food snob). Anyway, you can see it here. I'm not going to bother with the recipe for that as it didn't turn out so good. It was not the fault of the teese, it was just too much mush.

Then I had a bright idea to make a Mexican Stromboli. I already had the ingredients in the house because I had planned to make a taco casserole. This turned out surprisingly great. Here is a pic and the recipe follows:

Taco Salad Mexican Stromboli

Taco Salad Mexican Stromboli with Cheddar Teese
Serves 4

Pizza dough *

1 T Canola Oil
1 small bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 jalepeno, minced
1 clove garlic, minced

1 T Canola Oil
1 pkg Boca Crumbles
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 cup water

~1 cup pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tube Cheddar Teese (about a cup grated)
1/2 T soy milk
1 eggs worth of any egg replacer**

Topping Ingredients:
lettuce, sliced
avocado or guacamole
vegan sour cream

If you are making your own pizza dough, make it according to directions and set it aside. Once the dough is ready to go, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven for a long time (30 min+ while you are making the fillings). The pizza stone is optional but ensures more even heating and a better crust on the bottom. Get out a small baking sheet or pizza pan and cover it with foil. Grease the foil with a little oil.

In a non-stick skillet, heat a tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and jalepeno. Cook, stirring occasionally, till softened and slightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Move the mixture to a bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat a tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat. If you pan is already really hot, you might want to let it cool down a little. Add the boca crumbles and stir frequently for about 7 minutes. If it starts to stick too much, add some of the water. Then, add the taco seasoning and the rest of the water. Cook for a few more minutes until most of the water has evaporated. Set aside.

Roll out the pizza dough to a 14"x10" rectangle. Spread about 1/2 of the boca mixture on it. Make sure you leave an inch all around with no fillings on the edges of the dough. Then, grate the Teese over the boca mixture. Sprinkle about 1/2 the vegetable mixture over that. Then add the beans. You will have boca filling and veggies leftover. Sorry about that. Use the leftover fillings to make a nice taco salad for lunch the next day.

Brush one long edge with egg replacer. Then starting with the other long edge, roll the dough up. Pinch and seal the ends as you roll. When you finish the seam will be on the bottom. Carefully move the roll to the baking sheet. Brush with soy milk to make it shiny and brown when done. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

Cut into about 4 pieces and top with vegan sour cream, salsa, guacamole or avocado, lettuce, and cilantro.

* I used 1/2 a pizza dough recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance but replaced 1 cup of flour with Whole Wheat flour.
** I used Bob's Red Mill, but a ground flax seed water mixture will probably work fine too. It's for sealing the edge.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 Natural Flavors are vegan

I emailed to find out if the Buttered Cinnamon Raisin Toast tea at contains dairy and got a response that all of their "natural flavors" are vegan. He is checking into whether the imitation bacon bits used in some of their teas are vegan. I will update if I hear more on that.

Can you tell me if flavors like Buttered Cinnamon Raisin Toast contain any dairy (the natural flavors is unclear)? Also, are there any animal products in your imitation bacon bits?
Thanks, Kristin


Thanks for your interest in our products. All of our natural flavors (including—believe it or not—the bacon flavor, are 100% vegan and certified Kosher). I know I was stunned by this at first myself (How can you have natural butter and bacon flavors that are vegan?) but the manufacturer explained to me that these are natural bacon-like and butter-like flavors, so I guess that’s that.

So, you have nothing to fear from the flavors themselves. As far as the bacon bits go, I should be able to answer your question, but unfortunately, I cannot. We grabbed some imitation bacon bits from the grocery store to give the blend a little color, and I don’t have the jars any more. I don’t THINK there were any animal products in them, but I couldn’t tell you with absolute certainty. Next time we re-blend it, I will pay closer attention.

Let me know if you have any other questions,