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Tex Mex Breakfast Casserole

Looking for a hearty breakfast that will keep you full all morning? Something that will fuel your for a nice long hike, or perhaps just something you can make ahead of time and throw in the oven for guests? Well, how about some Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole!?

Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole | www.thatwasvegan.com

There’s so much in there… Tofu scramble, kale, potatoes, tomatoes, corn tortillas, and Daiya cheese.

Layer upon layer of vegan goodness:

Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole | www.thatwasvegan.com

I made this a couple weeks ago and we had it for breakfast before hiking Stanley Canyon. If you live along the front range you’ve probably heard of this hike… It starts on the US Air Force Academy and it is guaranteed to kick your butt. It reminded me a lot of Mt. Bierstadt because it was so steep and rocky, but it was (thankfully) much shorter.

And because I eat plant strong breakfasts like THIS casserole, I was ready. See?

Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole | www.thatwasvegan.com

Yes, I’m a total goofball. But you guys already knew that!

Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole | www.thatwasvegan.com

Okay, casserole. I started with a batch of tofu scramble and just went from there.  You can make it as spicy as you like, add in whatever veggies are calling your name, and it’s all good. Sweet potatoes and black beans would be amazing in there as well!

Tell us: Do you like big hearty breakfasts, or are you more likely to stick with a smoothie, or maybe some oatmeal?


Tex-Mex Breakfast Casserole
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 batch tofu scramble (with kale!) (Also I skipped the sausage in this, but that's up to you!)
  2. 1 medium/large russet potato
  3. Oil for cooking potatoes (if desired, you could also use water)
  4. 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
  5. 2 tomatoes, chopped
  6. 10 corn tortillas
  7. 2 cups Daiya shreds (I mixed mozzarella and cheddar)
  8. Non stick spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray casserole dish lightly with no-stick spray
  2. Wash and chop the potato, and cook in a pan over medium heat with just a bit of oil till tender on the inside and crisp on the outside, then stir into the tofu scramble.
  3. In your casserole dish, layer in this order: 2 tablespoons enchilada sauce, tortillas (3, torn in half for best coverage), half the tofu mixture, 1/3 of the tomatoes, 1/3 of the cheese.
  4. THEN: 1/2 the remaining enchilada sauce, 3 tortillas, the rest of the tofu mix, 1/2 the remaining tomatoes, another 1/3 of the cheese. Finally, top with the last 3 tortillas, the rest of the sauce, tomatoes and cheese.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, with a minute or so at the end under the broiler to melt the cheese in necessary. Enjoy!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 5 comments }

Mile High Vegan Eats: Seasons 52 Fresh Grill

I was invited to dine at the brand new Seasons 52 Fresh Grill in Lone Tree last week, and it turns out that I am The. Luckiest. Girl. In. The. World. It was amazing you guys!

I barely even know where to begin.

Mile High Vegan Eats: Seasons 52 | www.thatwasvegan.com

If you frequent Park Meadows then you’ve seen the building… brand new, prairie-style (think Frank Lloyd Wright), and very fancy on the inside. It’s where Champs used to be, although they tore down that building and started from scratch. We went on a Friday night and the place was packed, yet the acoustics are such that you can whisper to the person sitting next to you, and they can hear you perfectly. Try doing that in a crowded bar anywhere else and see what happens! (Nothing happens, because they didn’t hear you…). The finishes are all high end, it’s beautiful and romantic, and absolutely perfect for a special night out!

If you’re not familiar with Seasons 52, they’re all about offering seasonal, sophisticated dishes with an eye toward health. They change their menu four times a year, and each dish has 475 calories or less. They also offer multiple special menus: Vegan, Vegetarian, Sodium-Friendly, Gluten-Sensitive, Garlic-Sensitive, and Lactose/Dairy Sensitive. This makes me very happy. It’s so nice to sit down with the vegan menu and see all my options laid out before me, rather than having to grill the server about how dishes are prepared. And speaking of the servers, the service was amazing. They had only been open for about three weeks when we went it, but it was running so smoothly you’d have thought they had all worked there together for years!

And now, the food…

We started with a couple of the New Old Fashioned: Breaker Craft Bourbon, Apple Bitters, and just a hint of cherry. And rock candy. Seriously. It’s for stirring the drink, so you can sweeten it up a little. Or you can let it soak in the bourbon for a few minutes then crunch away at it, like I did. One of the best drinks I’ve ever had.

Mile High Vegan Eats: Seasons 52 | www.thatwasvegan.com

Pre-dinner drinks were accompanied by Artichoke Flatbread topped with leaf spinach, balsamic onions, and roasted peppers:

Mile High Vegan Eats: Seasons 52 | www.thatwasvegan.com

Then I had the Butternut Squash Soup, topped with shiitake mushroom chips (tasted like bacon!) and chives. This was the best dish of the night. Of the week, actually. It was sweetened with apple and it blew my mind. I might have licked the bowl.

Mile High Vegan Eats: Seasons 52 | www.thatwasvegan.com

For my main course I had the Cedar Plank Roasted Tofu with broccolini, baby carrots, and roasted crushed potatoes. I was a bit skeptical, thinking this was just a silly knock-off of the salmon version, but I was wrong. The tofu was seasoned perfectly and I really could taste a hint of cedar in there!

Mile High Vegan Eats: Seasons 52 | www.thatwasvegan.com

My lucky date chose the Vegetarian Tasting plate, which included quinoa-citrus salad, a soft taco, veggies, and some of the cedar-roasted tofu, but with a tropical salsa on top. This is the taco… Have you ever seen anything as precious as that little taco holder?

Mile High Vegan Eats: Seasons 52 | www.thatwasvegan.com

Everything was seasonal, fresh, and wonderfully prepared. It was a very special meal and we felt like honored guests. The only part of the meal that was less than perfect was dessert. The only vegan item they had on the menu was Fresh Blueberries. They were great, but we saw the dessert tray the rest of the restaurant got to choose from (aka: not vegan), and we were very jealous. I think they could easily have taken those blueberries and added some sweet cashew cream and maybe a graham cracker crust? That would’ve made my night! So, if anyone from Seasons 52′s corporate office is reading this, please consider adding more vegan dessert options!

 

Want more Denver-area restaurant reviews? Check out my Mile High Vegan Eats page!

 *I was provided free product to review, but the opinions are 100% mine!

{ 4 comments }

So So SO Delicious!

So So SO Delicious! | www.thatwasvegan.com

This post is ridiculously overdue. Like, if it were a library book, I’d owe at least $20 bucks.

My friends over at So Delicious sent me some of their new almond-based products a few months ago to try. You did know they’re doing almond now, didn’t you? Well they are, which means they now offer products made with coconut, almond and soy… a little something for everyone!

Now, I personally tend to go for the coconut based milks, creamers and ice cream because I love the coconut flavor, but I know a lot of people prefer the almond because the taste is milder. Most almond milk products also have fewer calories, if you’re into counting those.

I tried the creamer first. I’m not a huge coffee drinker, but I ordered one just so I could add the French Vanilla to it, and it was delicious! Flavorful and smooth, I’d definitely buy that flavor if I was planning to serve coffee at home. I shared with Original with a friend at work who is a big coffee drinker (but who eats dairy), and she gave it two thumbs up! She actually preferred that it didn’t have a strong coconut or soy taste to it.

And then there was the yogurt…

So So SO Delicious! | www.thatwasvegan.com

I’m not a huge fan of yogurt and I hardly ever buy it. I shared most of these at work, but I did keep the strawberry for myself. I ended up bringing it with me to brunch at a local restaurant one Sunday. They have a huge bowl of granola and fresh fruit on their menu that I thought would be excellent with some vegan yogurt… and I was right! I was also mad at myself for giving away all the other yogurts ;)  The Strawberry was thick and creamy and really delicious!

{ 6 comments }

Grilled Avocado Tacos

Grilled Avocado Tacos | www.thatwasvegan.com

It’s been said that I can make a taco out of anything. And it’s probably true. In this case I grilled an avocado and an ear of corn, chopped up a handful of cherry tomatoes, and Boom.  Tacos.

Grilled Avocado Tacos | www.thatwasvegan.com

These tacos are the perfect way to hold on to the tail end of summer. They’re quick and light enough for a nice weekend lunch, and filling enough for dinner. And ridiculously simple. As in, ‘not even an actual recipe to follow’ simple.

Shuck one ear of corn down to the last couple of layers, and let soak in cold water for a few minutes, then grill over medium for about 20 minutes. You could also boil or cook however you would normally! While it’s cooking, chop up 2 big tomatoes or a whole mess of smaller ones and set them aside.

Then, slice a ripe avocado in half, remove the pit, brush with a bit of lemon juice and olive oil, then grill for 2-3 minutes over medium heat…

Grilled Avocado Tacos | www.thatwasvegan.com

(Recognize that cutting board?)

As soon as you have nice grill marks, chop that beauty up and add to your taco shells along with the corn and tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy! One ear of corn and one avocado will make about 4 tacos.

Grilled Avocado Tacos | www.thatwasvegan.com

{ 5 comments }

Vegan BBQ Bacon Cheeseburgers

Vegan BBQ Bacon Cheeseburgers. With rich, decadent onion rings on top. No, you’re not dreaming.
Vegan BBQ Bacon Cheeseburgers | www.thatwasvegan.com

They taste like a dream come true, no doubt, but they’re as real as can be, promise! 

I actually made these like months ago. Maybe even last year. I took pictures and even shared one on Instagram, but then the memory card got misplaced. I considered re-making them a million times, but as I’ve lamented before, food bloggers just don’t have a lot of time to re-visit favorite old recipes.

Speaking of which, I have sucked lately at blogging. Like, big-time. My apologies. I know it’s annoying to hear someone talk about how busy they are, but it just seems like I’ve been pulled in about 47 different directions everyday.

Plus, this:

Vegan BBQ Bacon Cheeseburgers | www.thatwasvegan.com

How am I supposed to cook, let along blog about it, when that little cocker princess is laying around all cute as hell, just demanding to be loved on!?

Still. I’m gonna try to be better. Which is why I’m sharing these burgers with you today!

Vegan BBQ Bacon Cheeseburgers | www.thatwasvegan.com

I started with a variation of my yummy spicy chickpea burgers as the base, then added a slice of Daiya cheddar, gobs of BBQ sauce, Lightlife Smart Bacon, and Alexia onion rings.  Oh yeah, there was also some Vegenaise schmeared on there because why not? They’re decadent, yes. And I’m not gonna lie, there are some calories hidden in there, but this burger is worth a few extra seconds minutes whatever on the elliptical!

I should also ‘fess up that it’s also pretty messy to eat, so maybe not a good dish to make if you find BBQ sauce smeared on your face, hands, clothes embarrassing. And if you do, just eat it alone ;)

Vegan BBQ Bacon Cheeseburgers | www.thatwasvegan.com


 

Vegan BBQ Bacon Cheeseburgers
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 sweet onion
  2. 1/2 red bell pepper
  3. 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
  4. 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  5. 1 teaspoon each cumin and oregano
  6. 1/4 teaspoon each chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder
  7. 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  8. 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  9. 4 slices Daiya sliced cheddar
  10. 4 buns of choice
  11. 8 onion rings
  12. 8 slices vegan bacon
  13. Additional BBQ sauce for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray baking sheet or foil with non-stick spray.
  2. Stir the chia seeds in 3 tablespoons of water, set aside.
  3. Chop the onion and bell pepper into big chunks, and give them a couple pulses in the food processor. Add the beans and pulse a bit more, until everything is mixed and in small bits (but not so long that it turns to liquid!)
  4. Transfer to mixing bowl, straining out any extra liquid. Stir in chia mixture, spices, sauce and panko crumbs.
  5. Form into 4 patties and bake for 15 minutes. Spray and flip, then bake another 10 minutes. Add cheese and put under broiler for 30+ seconds until melted. Build your burgers and enjoy!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 6 comments }

My Colorado Cutting Board

Would it surprise you to learn that I have a cutting board the shape of Colorado?
My Colorado Cutting Board | www.thatwasvegan.com

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking… “Everyone has a cutting board the shape of Colorado because Colorado IS A RECTANGLE!” Ok, so would it surprise you to know that you’re wrong!? We are not a perfect rectangle. There is actually a smallish indent along the Southwestern edge of the state. So, now you know.

Annnd now you’re also wondering why I’m giving you a geography lesson, right? It’s because the kind folks at Epicurean sent me one of their State Shape Cutting Boards to try out.  Fun, right? Who doesn’t want a cutting board the shape of their state? They’d also make good gifts, I think.

I’ve had mine for a couple months now, and haven’t had any problems with it. I chop and dice on it, and it’s still in great shape. I run it through the dishwasher, same story. Good as new. I’ve spilled wine on it, and it didn’t stain. I even dropped it on the floor once and it didn’t crack or splinter, so it’s all good in my book! It’s easier to clean than the wooden boards I have, yet nicer and much sturdier than my plastic ones from IKEA.

According to their website, these cutting boards are:

  • Made of natural slate
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Eco friendly: Made using materials that leave a low carbon footprint)
  • Knife friendly: Will not dull knives by allowing surface to slightly score, protecting knife edge
  • Heat resistant: To 350 degrees F/ 176 degrees C, and can be used as a trivet without leaving a blemish, and
  • Are made in the USA!

So if you’re in the market for a new cutting board, check out these fun state shaped fellas.

 

{ 2 comments }

Lemon Butter Quinoa

Lemon Butter Quinoa | www.thatwasvegan.com

This Lemon Butter Quinoa is like some magical combination of rich, buttery corn on the cob and healthy quinoa and veggies. It’s magic, I tell ya!

I made this a few weeks ago as a side dish, and loved it so much I made another batch the next day for work lunches. Tons of protein and vitamins in there, and then the sweet combination of butter and lemon… it’ll be your new favorite too!

In addition to the corn, I just used scallions and mini peppers. Love those mini peppers! They’re always $2.50 for a big ol’ bag of them around here, and I love a good deal!

Lemon Butter Quinoa | www.thatwasvegan.com

And yes, it’s kind of a summer dish but you could continue to make it throughout the winter using frozen corn and bell peppers. It would still be delicious and healthy! I’m certainly planning to. I just love when simple dishes turn out to taste so fabulous, don’t you?

Lemon Butter Quinoa | www.thatwasvegan.com

 

Lemon Butter Quinoa | www.thatwasvegan.com


 

Lemon Butter Quinoa with Grilled Corn
Serves 4
A delicious side dish bursting with fresh flavors!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 ears corn
  2. 1 cup quinoa (any color)
  3. 1 small lemon
  4. 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  5. sea salt
  6. 1/2 bunch scallions
  7. 5 mini peppers
Instructions
  1. Shuck and rinse corn, then cook. You can boil but I recommend grilling them over medium for about 20 minutes, flipping once.
  2. Rinse the quinoa then place in a pot. In a measuring cup, add the juice and zest of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons vegan butter, then fill with water up to the 2 cup mark. Pour into the pot with the quinoa and add a pinch of salt, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid is gone.
  3. Slice the scallions and set aside. THINLY slice the peppers and add to the pot for the last 5 minutes or so.
  4. Slice the corn off the cob and stir in. Taste and add S&P as needed. Top with the scallions before serving.
Notes
  1. If you're grilling the corn, shuck it down until there's just a few layers of leaves left, then soak them in water for 10 minutes before grilling.
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
{ 4 comments }

My NH Visit

Longtime readers know I grew up in NH, and I try to get back a couple times each year to visit. Well, only once so far this year, but it was a great trip!!  My mama and step-dad and grandma picked me up at the airport and whisked me away to my favorite Mexican restaurant EVER, Hermanos Cocina Mexicana in Concord. They have delicious seitan made by Cafe Indigo (which, sadly, is not a cafe anymore but still sells their goods wholesale and online), as well as Daiya cheese and vegan sour cream (not sure what brand or if they make their own).  I had a spicy seitan chimichanga with rice and beans!

My NH Visit | www.thatwasvegan.com

The next day Mama and I headed back to Concord for acupuncture (Five Seasons- Julie is flipping amazing, if you live in that area and are interested!) and lunch at the Co-op, where they have so many vegan options it’ll make your head spin. Even more than I’ve seen at the big Whole Foods here in Denver! We had vegan chili off the hot bar, and some cupcakes. I swear, we each only had one and took the rest home!

My NH Visit | www.thatwasvegan.com

That night I cooked dinner for everyone at home.

My NH Visit | www.thatwasvegan.com

I made my Sweet Potato & Tomato Soup, and Bacon Cheeseburger Quesadillas. That’s right, step-dad and grandma ate vegan cheese and vegan bacon and vegan crumbles, and loved it! Here’s Grandma:

My NH Visit | www.thatwasvegan.com

Pretty sure that was the strangest food she’s eaten in her 85 years ;)

There was a TON of relaxing. I love a mug of hot tea in the morning, rocking in my mom’s screened in porch, enjoying the view:

My NH Visit | www.thatwasvegan.com

And of course afternoon cocktails on the dock with Grandma:

My NH Visit | www.thatwasvegan.com

Ain’t she adorable!? I hope I’m as healthy, spry, and funny as she is when I’m her age!

On Sunday my mom and I went for a hike. We actually climbed a mountain!

My NH Visit | www.thatwasvegan.com

My NH Visit | www.thatwasvegan.com

On Monday we headed over to Portsmouth to visit and spend my last night. We had lunch at The Friendly Toast (which I’m totally going to do a separate post on cuz it was FANTASTIC!). Here’s our crew, drinking and eating. From right to left, there’s me, my mom, my brother Bob, my cousin Gail and her husband Pat, and my Aunt Sandy:

My NH Visit | www.thatwasvegan.com

It was a great trip, but I already miss my mom. Can’t wait to go back!

{ 6 comments }

Earth Balance Boxed Mac ‘n Cheese

First off, let me just say: This is not a sponsored post. I didn’t receive any free product, or even a pat on the back. I’m sharing this because I think IT’S SO FREAKING GOOD and I want to make sure you all know about it!

Earth Balance Boxed Mac 'n Cheese | www.thatwasvegan.com

I’ve only tried the cheddar so far (pictured), and loved it. I’ve actually had it twice, but still really want to try the white cheddar kind. It’s so nice to be able to keep a box of this in the pantry for a quick meal. You prepare it exactly as you used to with that non-vegan stuff in the blue box. You cook the pasta then mix milk and butter in with the packet of powdered cheese. Easy! And while they are pricier than the non-vegan kinds, they’re still reasonable: $3.99 at my local Whole Foods. Totally worth it. It’s creamy and the flavor tastes exactly like the stuff I used to make after school.

Earth Balance Boxed Mac 'n Cheese | www.thatwasvegan.com

And on that note, I’m leaving you guys for a few days. I’m going to Grand Junction for work, then I’m off to NH to visit my Mama… But I’ll be back next week!

{ 13 comments }

Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshakes | www.thatwasvegan.com

I mentioned these last week when I shared my Spicy Kale Salad, and here they are! Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshakes, also known as Cheeseshakes! (All the credit for that cool nickname goes to Emily, of course)

I don’t live as close to my girls as I used to, so I need to bust out this sort of recipe on occasion, to entice them to drive all the way to my house :)

Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshakes | www.thatwasvegan.com

The idea for this milkshake was inspired by a recent visit to the Diaya food truck…

Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshakes | www.thatwasvegan.com

See that tray he’s holding? That, my friends, is heaven on earth! They had samples of pizza, quesadillas, and grilled cheese sandwiches. All were amazing.

I had heard the truck was going to be nearby via twitter, so Cynthia, Denise and I headed over. ALL the way over. It was on the other side of downtown Denver. And it was hot and humid out.

Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshakes | www.thatwasvegan.com

Cynthia is a lifelong vegetarian (Mom, if you’re reading this, I feel like you kinda dropped the ball! Just kidding! Sorta!) and Denise has been vegetarian for a while, and is mostly vegan. I still find it shocking that I just happen to work with these fabulous women who happen to eat so similarly to me. It’s a growing movement, people. We’re everywhere!

Anyway, we got to the truck and were distressed to learn that they weren’t actually selling food (I had planned to eat like 4 entire quesadillas myself), they were just handing out samples. But when we shared our sad, sad story (walked in the hot sun, dying for some vegan cheese, etc…) Ryan and Kevin totally hooked us up. They made us our own tray of samples that we didn’t have to share with anyone AND made us each our own grilled cheese sandwich with their new jalapeno block cheese. It was phenomenal. The three of us basically rolled ourselves back to the office.

One of the goodies we got from the truck was a booklet of Daiya recipes, one of which was a no-bake cheesecake. I had never made my own vegan cheesecake, but it sounded delicious. But it was so hot out, I started thinking of other ways to get that cream-cheesey-goodness inside of me, which led to the milkshake idea.

Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshakes | www.thatwasvegan.com

I actually skipped the whole part about MAKING the cheesecake, and instead just included some Daiya cream cheese in the blender along with So Delicious coconut ice cream (actual coconut ice cream, not just ice cream made with coconut milk), coconut milk, and fresh strawberries. I think Daiya’s new cream cheese (even the plain) tastes pretty sweet, so it totally did the trick. Try it!


Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshakes
Serves 4
Can't decide between ice cream or cheesecake for dessert? Now you don't have to!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 8-10 fresh strawberries
  2. 1 pint So Delicious Coconut ice cream
  3. 5 Tablespoons Daiya plain cream cheese
  4. 1 cup So Delicious coconut milk (I used unsweetened, but any would work)
Instructions
  1. Clean and chop the strawberries, being sure to more finely chop 2-3, to set aside for sprinkling on top.
  2. Add everything to the blender and blend until you reach that nice, thick consistency. You know what I'm talking about! Pour into glasses and sprinkle with strawberries. Serve immediately!
Notes
  1. Makes 4 milkshakes... or 2 SUPER big milk shakes!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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