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Hello and happy Thursday! I’m on a very special mission this weekend, and hope to have really good news for you in my next post. I’ll give you a hint… it involves 4 paws and a whole mess of love. Follow me on twitter or insta for updates! 

For now, it’s another update of all the amazingness I eat when I’m not making something for the blog! (Stolen shamelessly from Bianca, btw)

First up, a falafel wrap and fries from a little Syrian joint 2 blocks from my office called Shish Kabob Grill. The owners make the falafel fresh in house from their own recipe, and it’s the best I’ve ever had. That’s a creamy hummus sauce on top, totes vegan!

www.thatwasvegan.com

This next one is going to seem a bit random, but I have to share it because of how vegan-friendly Amtrak is: I took the train recently to Glenwood Springs for a work conference, and ate this vegan burger on the way. It’s literally called “The Vegan Burger” on their menu, so no need to ask annoying questions. They also have a different vegan option in their dining car for lunch and dinner each day. It was a black bean patty, not bad at all (although they did cook it in a microwave and there were no vegetable toppings available), but it was better than what I expected. And, of course, there’s always the bar car :) 

www.thatwasvegan.com

These “vegan popsters” were both adorable and delicious! I grabbed one at Pig Train, a coffee shop inside Denver’s Union Station. They had strawberry and blueberry… I went with strawberry of course. Similar to a pop tart (which I believe are vegan if unfrosted?), but softer and moister, and bigger. Which is better!

www.thatwasvegan.com

I like to keep frozen burger or chik’n patties in the freezer for quick and easy meals, like this one. This was one of those $1 finds from the Dollar Tree, score!

www.thatwasvegan.com

You know I love a good date night at home with just me and Sally, and on this particular one “we” had nachos and beer. That is to say, I had nachos and beer and she had a kong stuffed with peanut butter and plenty of fresh, clean water haha. My nachos were literally smothered in melted Daiya cheddar with pinto beans, taco flavored seitan crumbles, onions, bell peppers, salsa, and avocado!

www.thatwasvegan.com

I freaking love Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs. Especially with a side of deep fries sweet tater tots. The veggie dog was “Chicago style” with mustard, red onions, tomatoes, pickles, strangely colored relish, and celery salt. Delicious!

www.thatwasvegan.com

Another quick n’ easy meal: tater tots from my freezer with a huge portion of sauteed kale, and one of my spicy chickpea burgers. I can’t remember what brand of cheese that was… I grabbed it at Natural Grocers because it was on sale, but it wasn’t very good, honestly. 

www.thatwasvegan.com

I busted out the waffle maker for the first time in my new place, and made beer waffles! The recipe isn’t quite perfected, but almost… it’ll be great in a number of savory recipes I’m thinking of. 

www.thatwasvegan.com

Last but DEFINITELY not least: Crazy @ss Totchos. You know those days when everything goes wrong and you just want to drown your sorrows in fats and oils and grease and starch? Well I had one of those days, so I went home and baked off some tots, then smothered them in melted Daiya, green chile, and ketchup. It was divine. Exactly what I needed to life my spirits! 

www.thatwasvegan.com

Okay, that’s all I have for ya. Don’t forget to check back for updates on my top secret mission ❤︎!

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Hummus Pasta Salad

Hummus Pasta Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

It’s cold and rainy here, but I’m pretending it’s summer. Dishes with fresh veggies, burgers, and pasta salads are all on the menu at my house!

Also? Getting outside as much as possible. Even when it’s so cold I can see my own breath… 

Hummus Pasta Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

Hummus Pasta Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

These are from a trail in Boulder on Sunday morning. It was a great hike, and had there not been all those clouds hovering around us, there would’ve been a beautiful view. And I really could see my own breath!

Can’t claim this pasta salad is on the same level as a perfect hike, but it IS delicious! Pasta… hummus… what else do you need? The hummus makes it all so creamy, but still healthier than vegan mayo. Plus depending on what kind of hummus you use, it changes up the flavor. I went with the garlicky-est hummus I could, but I feel like a roasted red pepper would be great too. 

Also, sorry for the crummy picture. I got new lights and I’m still figuring them out! 


Hummus Pasta Salad
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 8oz your favorite pasta (I used a whole wheat rotini)
  2. 1.5 cups hummus (I recommend a garlicky one!)
  3. 3+ tablespoons nondairy milk, as needed
  4. 1 cup grape tomatoes
  5. 1/2 cucumber
  6. 1/2 sweet onion
  7. S&P to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta to package instructions. Drain and return to hot pan.
  2. Slice the grape tomatoes in half. Slice and quarter the cucumber. Dice the onion.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together in the still-warm pan, adding as much nondairy milk as you need to get it a little creamy. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve at room temp or chilled.
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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Grilled Carrots with a Sriracha Cream Sauce | www.thatwasvegan.com

I feel like I’ve fallen into this bloggery rut of disappearing for weeks at a time, popping up and apologizing and promising to do better, and then… disappearing again. 

This time though! Really! I mean it! 

As a peace offering I come bearing a recipe for delicious Grilled Carrots with a Sriracha Cream Sauce. If you haven’t tried grilling carrots yet, you’re missing out. The trick is to not overcook them- you want them to still have some bite, but with that delicious smokey almost-burnt-but-not-quite flavor. 

Grilled Carrots with a Sriracha Cream Sauce | www.thatwasvegan.com

These would make an excellent side dish for any upcoming cookout action!

Grilled Carrots with a Sriracha Cream Sauce | www.thatwasvegan.com


 

Grilled Carrots with a Sriracha Cream Sauce
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Ingredients
  1. 12oz Mori Nu silken lite firm tofu, drained
  2. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  3. 1.5 tablepsoons apple cider vinegar
  4. 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened almond or soy milk
  5. 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  8. 1.5 - 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  9. 12 carrots, fairly equal in size
  10. Olive oil
  11. Salt & pepper for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except carrots and oil in the food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.
  2. Wash, trim, and slice the carrots lengthwise in half or in thirds (depending on their size). Put them in to a zippy bag with 1 tablespoon water, with about 1" of the top left unsealed. Microwave on high for 1.5-2 minutes, or until they're pretty flexible.
  3. Drizzle the carrots with a little bit of olive oil and grill on medium/high for 2-3 minutes. Brush with a bit more oil, flip, and grill for another 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with S&P and drizzle with the sriracha sauce. Serve warm.
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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Food Adventures in DC

I went to DC for work last week, and aside from being productive and informative professionally, it was also very successful in terms of food. That is to say, I ate my damn face off!

It started off slowly on Tuesday when my flight was delayed for 3 hours, which is the best excuse I’ve ever heard to drink my breakfast! I cozied up at the bar with my ipad and the time just flew by. I was reading In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume… This is the first adult fiction I’ve read of hers, and I really enjoyed it. Although I will admit, reading about plane crashes is probably not a great idea right before boarding a plane!

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It was definitely not a smooth travel day, and I was disappointed to have missed my afternoon of sightseeing, so by the time I checked into my hotel I was ready for some happy hour happiness. The Public House was literally across the street, so that’s where I went.  Half off appetizers and $3 draft beers sounded pretty great to me, so I ordered their house lager and hummus plate. You know how sometimes hummus plates are a little skimpy on the hummus and the pita, and you end up with a bunch of veggies at the end and nothing to dip them in? Not here! That was two enormous scoops of hummus, and almost more pita than I could eat! It was fantastic. I finished my book and chatted with the guys sitting next to me, then headed back to my room to work for a bit. 

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Wednesday morning’s breakfast was A.) a little sad, and B.) destined to be repeated every morning for the rest of the week: Coffee and pretzels. It hit the spot though… and allowed me to save my per diem to spend on later, more exciting meals haha!

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I was at the Census Bureau all week, and they have their own enormous cafeteria inside the building, and that’s where I had lunch each day. There were different stations set up- you could get pizza, or burgers and fries (they had a veggie burger, but I never asked if it was vegan), sandwiches, soup, etc.  On Wednesday I hit the salad bar and made a spinach and veggie salad with chickpeas, and this cauliflower/corn/red bean salad with a vinegar dressing on it. It was tasty. I also grabbed a few chunks of Thai sweet chili tofu off the Asian bar.

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Long before we broke for the day, I knew I was headed to happy hour at Thai Pavilion because their menu looked good and very vegan friendly! I ended up enjoying three glasses of pinot grigio along with some edamame. By then I was reading In The Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill (his son!). It’s a short story, very good! 

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Eventually I caved and ordered some vegan Pad Thai as well… the leftovers made a tasty breakfast the next morning! The big chunks were fried tofu, and then little red pieces were also tofu, they seemed styled to look like that strange bright red pork that I remember from Asian restaurants of my youth, I think?

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Thursday’s lunch was similar to the day before- I hit the salad bar again. This time I also grabbed some curried chickpeas and then a spicy broccoli salad from the Asian bar.

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After finishing up work, I set out on another delicious adventure. I started at Elevation Burger which I had read about online and was dying to try. Their vegan burger was supposed to be delicious, and I was not disappointed! It was flavorful and full of veggies you could actually see- it kind of reminded me of the $1 dollar store burger I shared a while back, which I realize sounds strange. Anyway, because I knew I had a long night of liquid calories ahead of me, I went with a side salad instead of fries:

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I walked around for a bit- after a really rainy day, the sun had finally come out!

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I decided to pop into The Walrus Oyster and Ale House for a drink. I was meeting my friend Shawna (we’ve been friends for 25 years, which really boggles my mind!) a little later, and I didn’t want to go back to the hotel, and of course I had my ipad with me, so I figured I would read for a while. Sparkling rosé, mmmm!

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And in case you’re interested, I was reading Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison. Tales of her years living at the Playboy mansion, it was pretty interesting!

Finally it was time to meet Shawna so I walked a few blocks over to Granite City Food & Brewery. I wasn’t hungry, but did enjoy two glasses of wine along with lots of catching up! We hadn’t seen each in other in 4 years, so there was so much to talk about, and the time just flew by. I wish we had asked the bartender to take a picture of us.

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Friday found me with a couple hours to kill at Reagan National Airport, so I headed to Ben’s Chili Bowl, where I ended up with this vegan beast:

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That’s a vegan burger with ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato and pickles, and chili fries in the background. I was so impressed that such a meatcentric restaurant had so many vegan options, and they were all really good! It was expensive though- the fries, burger and soda set me back almost $25 which seems pretty pricey to me.

It was a fun week full of great food, but I was very happy to get home to Sally and my own bed!

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Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad

Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

I actually really like kale, and salads in general – not that you could tell from my Recipes page… it’s woefully short on salads. But it’s true! I’ve actually been eating 2 cups of steamed kale (or sometimes steamed broccoli, just to change it up) every morning for first breakfast, and I haven’t minded a bit. The only problem with steamed kale is my compulsion to cover it in garlic salt, which results in stinky breath and having to refill my water bottle a billion times while I’m trying to work. 

Enter massaged kale… no reason to steam it because it’s already nice and soft and relaxed. You know, from the massage you gave it. This one with Avocado & Carrots is wonderful… My Easy Spicy Kale Salad would also be a good bet (and has broccoli in it!) but I’m not really down for spicy first thing in the morning. 

Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

Actually the real issue is how much I’ve been craving that Cara Cara Orange Vanilla White Balsamic Vinegar that I used in last week’s Basmati Rice with Spring Vegetables! My bottle came from this place, but there are quite a few websites that sell it. And if you live in or near a decent sized city you probably have your own EVOO/Vinegar shop! Anyway, that’s how I came to create this delicious Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad!

Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

There’s only a tiny bit of oil in this recipe, just enough to help soften the leaves. All the flavor comes from the sweet n’ citrusy balsamic, along with just a teeny tiny bit of salt and garlic powder. It’s light and flavorful, and very easy to make. 

Funny story: I had popped into my local Sprouts the other day to grab a lemon (for a cocktail, not a recipe) and bumped right into a display of Cara Cara oranges! What where the chances, considering I had never even heard of them before receiving that bottle of vinegar for Christmas?

Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com

Beautiful AND delicious, very sweet and bright tasting. Less tart than the oranges I’m used to. I would definitely buy them again. 

Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad | www.thatwasvegan.com


 

Orange-Vanilla Massaged Kale Salad
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bunch kale, washed, torn, and dried
  2. 1 teaspoon EVOO
  3. 1.5 tablespoons Cara Cara Orange Vanilla white balsamic vinegar
  4. A couple pinches of salt
  5. A little shake of garlic powder
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and massage with your hands until all the leaves are covered. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  2. Taste, add more salt as needed, then serve chilled or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. If you used a really large bunch of kale, you may want to add an extra drizzle of the vinegar!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

You guys, I had the most amazing foster dog ever. Her name is Kay (she also answers to KK, Katie, Kahkay!, K-Diddy, Kapooh, and Don’t Chew on Those Shoes!) and I love her so much. She’s two years old, and was dumped at a shelter up in Weld county with a broken hip that had never been treated, and had healed poorly. She was quickly transferred to the Dumb Friends League here in Denver where they tried a surgical solution (removing the head of the femur bone, basically), and she was sent home with me to convalesce. Unfortunately the surgery didn’t work, and they had to amputate her leg on Friday, but that’s okay. If you’ve ever met a tripod dog, you know they get around just fine, especially when the missing leg is in the back, the way it now is for Kay. I haven’t seen her since Friday when I dropped her off for the surgery, and I miss her SO MUCH.

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

Honestly, I was thisclose to adopting her, until I realized there was a (slightly) better home for her.. With my ex-husband! He has a great big house and a huge yard and Kay will be able to run around more (she has a TON of energy). Plus when he travels she can come to my house, like his other dog already does – and my Sally will still get to see her when she stays with him while I’m out of town. Perfect solution, right? I still miss her terribly and wonder if I should’ve adopted her myself, but part of me knows this was the best outcome.

On a much lighter note, my girl Denise and I ventured up to Boulder on Friday to eat at Jill’s vegan lunch buffet! They offer a buffet for lunch every day during the week, but on Friday’s it’s ALL VEGAN! This was actually my second time partaking, but the first time was like 2 years ago, so it hardly counts.

The menu is a little different each week, but this time they had 8 or so different types of pizza (some on gluten-free crust made from chickpeas), and an array of Indian food. The basmati rice cakes with pistachios and cranberries were freaking amazing!

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

 

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

Actually, everything was amazing. There was also a salad bar set up, but I didn’t get a shot of it.

Here’s my first plate…. I started with a green salad, and a really yummy Israeli couscous salad that had cranberries and sliced almonds in it. You can see Denise’s plate in the background. She was bad and DID NOT start with salad, haha!

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

My second plate was a bit more in the spirit of things, I had 2 pieces of pizza, some potatoes, one of those basmati rice cakes, this little samosa cup stuffed with spiced veggies, and a bit of bread with fresh hummus on it. 

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

Then my third plate (this is where I’d start to be embarassed to tell you guys I ate this much, if I had any sense): More pizza, more couscous, another basmati cake, a bit of mano chutney, and more bread… this time with pesto!

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

Then there was this amazing roasted tomato soup. No idea what was in it, but it was INSANE!

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

Clearly I loved it… Denise had to kick me under the table repeatedly to stop me from licking the bowl clean…

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

Finally, it was time for dessert! The mango lime cheesecake was a little disappointing- the cheesecake itself seemed like maybe it was just silken tofu with a tiny bit of sugar added? The chocolate mousse with salted caramel though? OMFG was that good. There’s a good quarter inch of the salted caramel just sitting on top of the mousse. I wanted to drink it. Bathe in it. LIVE in it. It was so good. The fresh veggies and chocolate was delicious too. They have a chocolate fountain so you can make your own, pretty fun!

Foster Dog ❤︎ and Jill's Vegan Lunch Buffet | www.thatwasvegan.com

It was a seriously delicious and indulgent lunch, but honestly I’m a little glad that it’s all the way up in Boulder. If it was in Denver I’d be tempted to eat there way more often, and that would be bad for my pants. I absolutely recommend it for all of you though, at least once! 

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Citrus-Sweet Basmati Rice with Spring Vegetables | www.thatwasvegan.com

We had a snowstorm last week. The weather forecasters were calling for 1-3 inches… and we got about 2 feet. Two. Feet. Of. Snow.  I’m not complaining, because I’m always grateful to live in Denver – I love the sunshine and the mountains and the wildlife and alllll the nature. Enormous spring snowstorms are a part of life here, and that’s fine. My point is simply that waking up to that nonsense really made me feel ready for warm weather. 

You know what I’m talking about… cocktails on the patio, dinner on the grill, a good book in the shade. Whatever your ideal warm day looks like. THAT’S what I was craving, and this dish hit the spot. It may have been snowing outside, but in my kitchen it was sunny and 80, with a light breeze.

Citrus-Sweet Basmati Rice with Spring Vegetables | www.thatwasvegan.com

I had a package of organic white basmati rice from The Real Co., a great new company that just debuted the first US certifiable 100% single origin products (they also sell Himalayan pink rock salt and organic raw can sugar). They partner with farmers and growers around the world who aren’t able to distribute their products on their own, allowing us to enjoy what is usually impossible to experience: unique, tasty, freshly farmer/mined products at affordable prices. 
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The part I find most exciting about The Real Co’s business model, though, is that every grain of salt, sugar, and rice can be traced to it’s source, which is then shared on the product packaging. Each food item is harvested from one single place, single farm, or single family. Scroll back up… my rice came from Al-Farid Co-op Gujrat Punjab. Every single grain. How neat is that? 

And I have to say, although I’m not always the best at making rice, this batch came out perfectly! I just followed the instructions on the package, and it actually worked. Miracles are real!

It was also the perfect opportunity to crack open the bottle of Cara Cara Orange-Vanilla Barrel Aged White Balsamic Vinegar my awesome SIL sent me for Christmas! (She also sent me Butter Flavored Olive Oil which is vegan and soooo good!).

Citrusy and sweet, with that balsamic tang, it’s now my favorite thing in the pantry. You best believe you’ll be seeing plenty more recipes using it this spring! This time, though, I paired it with the delicious basmati rice and some lightly steamed veggies. I really wanted the veggies to be toothsome and fresh tasting, not overcooked. 

Citrus-Sweet Basmati Rice with Spring Vegetables | www.thatwasvegan.com

Asparagus, carrots, sweet peppers, and parsley. Rice. Vinegar and a bit of olive oil. Garlic. That’s it! And this recipe is the perfect chance for you to get in that kitchen and flex your culinary muscles… it’s what JL likes to call Intuitive Cooking. Add the veggies you enjoy the most. Add as much garlic as you think is delicious. 

Citrus-Sweet Basmati Rice with Spring Vegetables | www.thatwasvegan.com


Citrus-Sweet Basmati Rice with Spring Vegetables
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup The Real Co. basmati rice, cooked per package instructions
  2. 3 tablespoons EVOO
  3. 1/4 cup Cara Cara Orange Vanilla white balsamic vinegar
  4. 3 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus more for topping
  5. 1/2 teaspoon (or more to taste) garlic powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1.5 - 2 cups your favorite veggies, chopped and lightly steamed
  8. S&P to taste
Instructions
  1. While the rice is cooking, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and parsley. When the rice is done, stir in the veggies and the marinade. Taste and add more salt or garlic as needed, then top with a bit of black pepper and additional parsley.
  2. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. This serves about 4 as a side, 2-3 if you're eating it as a main dish like I did!
  2. This is definitely an "intuitive cooking" recipe... add the veggies YOU love, and as much salt and garlic as makes you happy!
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
I was provided free product, but the opinions are 100% mine!

{ 2 comments }

UR5

Like many great restaurant finds, this one was purely by accident. Too much traffic, low blood sugar, and a detour which took us past DU… and led us straight to Spanky’s Urban Roadhouse!

Spanky’s is a fun, casual pub that has a sort of mid-century feel to it. You can sit at the bar, in cozy booths, or even outside on the patio, weather permitting. It’s one of those places that works just as well for a family lunch, a boozy brunch, or watching the game with some rowdy friends.

Mile High Vegan Eats | www.thatwasvegan.com

Even more important than the decor? The food! Plenty of vegan options here, especially if you’re not too shy to chat up your bartender or server and find out what’s what

As always I recommend you start with an adult beverage…

Mile High Vegan Eats | www.thatwasvegan.com

The Asian Brussels Sprouts are vegan friendly if you order them sans goat cheese…

Mile High Vegan Eats: Spanky's Urban Roadhouse

And it appears the Shishito Peppers are as well, depending on your stance on honey… I personally haven’t tried them- I don’t think they were on the menu when I was last there. 

They have a Seasonal Quinoa Salad that is amazing- lightly dressed with tons of veggies! Also pictured below was something called The Unburger, which was veggies and hummus, but doesn’t appear to be on their menu anymore. You could try asking for it though- I know I will the next time I’m there!

Mile High Vegan Eats | www.thatwasvegan.com

You can also sub a Grilled Portobello for any burger you’d like… Which is what I did here, along with some Sweet Potato Fries

Mile High Vegan Eats | www.thatwasvegan.com

They also have Chips and Guac, Edamame, and Southwestern Hummus that are all vegan friendly as well. Not too mention a great beer list!

Mile High Vegan Eats | www.thatwasvegan.com

Spanky’s is just another example of all the great vegan options in Denver. 100% Vegan restaurants are great, but in the real world (or, at least, MY real world) that’s not always where you end up eating, so it’s good to know there are spots like this out there, where everyone in your group (vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, picky man-child) can find something to make them happy! 

You can see checkout their menu here. Spanky’s is located at 1800 E. Evans Ave in Denver- go see for yourself! 

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

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Cheesy Layered Mexican Bake

Cheesy Layered Mexican Bake | www.thatwasvegan.com

You guys! This recipe is the perfect combination of my undying devotion to Mexican food and my love of a good casserole that I can eat all week. It’s delicious, a little bit spicy, has tons of veggies (including butternut squash hidden in the enchilada sauce… take that you picky eaters!), and it wont take up a ton of your time preparing. 

Oh, and leftovers. Glorious, glorious, leftovers. 

Let me expound a bit on the whole squash in the sauce thing. I was browsing recipes in those Taste of Home magazines in the grocery store checkout line (you know the ones!), and there was one that suggested adding cream of mushroom soup to enchilada sauce. Now, a.) that canned soup is disgusting and no one should eat it, ever… but b.) creamy enchilada sauce sounded intriguing! So I racked my little brain for ideas on what I could use (short of making my own soup from scratch), and decided on my old pal b’nut. You can roast one yourself, or you can buy it frozen and already pureed (Birds Eye has a pretty good one in the freezer section), either way works. 

Cheesy Layered Mexican Bake | www.thatwasvegan.com

What else is in there? My ahhhmazing homemade seitan, crumbled and pan fried with cumin and chili powder, Daiya cheese, vegetarian refried beans, tomatoes and green chiles, black olives, and jalapenos. All the best Mexican flavors, in my opinion.


 

Cheesy Layered Mexican Bake
Serves 6
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. A little oil, for crisping the crumbles, if desired
  2. 2 loaves seitan, 'crumbled' in the food processor (or 2-ish cups of your favorite vegan crumble)
  3. 1/ red onion, diced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 teaspoon cumin
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste), couple shakes of black pepper
  7. 10 oz can of tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  8. 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
  9. 12 oz pureed squash
  10. 15 oz can vegetarian refried beans
  11. 2 oz can sliced black olives
  12. 1 jalapeno, diced
  13. About 1/2 bag Daiya cheddar shreds
  14. 9-12 corn tortillas
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Heat small amount of oil or water in a frying pan over medium/high heat, add the onion, garlic, and seitan crumbles. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring a couple times. Remove from heat, and stir in the tomatoes/chilies, cumin, salt and pepper, and about half of the the diced jalapeno.
  3. In a small/medium pan, combine the enchilada sauce and squash over low heat, stirring until combined and warmed. Now it's time to layer this baby!
  4. In a 2qt baking dish, start with a thin layer of sauce, then 3-4 tortillas (however many you need to get good coverage), half the refried beans, 1/3 of the seitan/tomato mixture, 1/3 of the cheese, and then another layer of sauce.
  5. Repeat: 3-4 tortillas, the rest of the beans, 1/3 of the seitan mixture, 1/3 cheese, and more sauce.
  6. The final layer: Tortillas, the rest of the seitan mixture, the rest of the cheese, the remaining jalapenos and the black olives, along with some more of the sauce. Cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is all melty.
Notes
  1. If you're trying to save calories you can water saute the onions/garlic/seitan, it just means the seitan wont have any crispness to it.
That Was Vegan? http://www.thatwasvegan.com/
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What I Eat When I’m Not Blogging Part 5

These posts are kinda fun! I (unabashedly) stole the idea from by pal Bianca because I love seeing what other people eat… and I assume you want to see what I eat because I’m very interesting and important!

This was the PB&J Waffle from City O’ City, the all vegetarian (and mostly vegan) restaurant near my office. I hardly ever have breakfast there (although I definitely grab their tofu breakfast burrito to go!), but I did join my friends Chels and Eric there the other morning for some delicious nibbles and snarky banter! Anyway, what you see here is a flavorful waffle drizzled with peanut butter anglaise and jam, topped with bananas and potato chips. It was fantastic!

What I Eat When I'm Not Blogging Part 5 | www.thatwasvegan.com

Oooh, then there was the night my mama and I went to Seasons 52 for happy hour. I’ve written about the vegan menu at Seasons 52 before, but I have to tell you their bar is just gorgeous! And their drink list? So good! On the right was my Mango Jalapeno Crush (gin, mango, lemonade, jalapeno, cilantro, and cucumber), and my mom had the Hawaiian Pineapple Cosmopolitan (pineapple vodka and Patron).

What I Eat When I'm Not Blogging Part 5 | www.thatwasvegan.com

I try to eat healthy at work, and this is one of the salads I like to bring… It’s just lettuce and variety of fresh veggies (bell peppers, cukes, onions, tomato) topped with my very own Agave-Sriracha baked tofu. I used salsa for my dressing because healthy!

What I Eat When I'm Not Blogging Part 5 | www.thatwasvegan.com

These next two are from last month’s All You Can Eat Vegan Pizza Buffet- which I know sounds too good to be true, but I swear it’s a real thing! And it happens every month, and it’s only $10! My friends Chris and Patrick put it on at their family restaurant (Bonnie Brae Tavern) and the pizza is so delicious that I can’t even.

What I Eat When I'm Not Blogging Part 5 | www.thatwasvegan.com

What I Eat When I'm Not Blogging Part 5 | www.thatwasvegan.com

And this delicious meal… Oh no, wait, that’s just Sally! She may look like a burrito, but she’s definitely not food. Cute though, right? 

http://www.bonniebraetavern.com/

I found this Jamaican Style Vegetable Empanada at the Dollar Tree Store (while picking up some of my fave $1 veggie burgers!). It’s accidentally vegan and really quite flavorful. Plus it only took 2 minutes to cook, and was only $1. 

What I Eat When I'm Not Blogging Part 5 | www.thatwasvegan.com

My mom and I were shopping when she was here, and stopped at Whole Foods for a quick Second Breakfast from their prepared food bar… I ended up with some steamed broccoli, “cowboy hashbrowns” topped with veggie green chile, and I can’t remember what the green cakes were. Something with chickpeas and a really green veggie (obvs). I love how so many things on their food bars are marked vegan, don’t you!?

What I Eat When I'm Not Blogging Part 5 | www.thatwasvegan.com

Up next, from Native Foods… the Native Oklahoma Classic: Basically a bacon cheeseburger, except with shaved seitan in place of a burger. And, of course, vegan. 

What I Eat When I'm Not Blogging Part 5 | www.thatwasvegan.com

And… their Avocado Kale Cheese Dip! It’s guac and their own cashew cheese and kale. My only thing is it would’ve been better warm, instead of cold. 

What I Eat When I'm Not Blogging Part 5 | www.thatwasvegan.com

And finally – and I apologize for the terrible picture BUT I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to brag about a great vegan find at a steakhouse – I was in Glenwood Springs for work a couple weeks back and all my cohorts wanted to go to Juicy Lucy’s, a local steakhouse, for dinner. And look what I got- a really flavorful vegetable kabob AND onion rings! 

What I Eat When I'm Not Blogging Part 5 | www.thatwasvegan.com

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