still drooling from dinner

And so the smoked paprika obsession continues….

I mean how could it not??  And it’s so pretty with it’s deep red color.  Very festive, don’t you think?  Something about the smoky flavor is just so comforting.  I keep thinking of new ways to use it.  Last night I loaded it onto kale when making kale chips.  Awesome.  It’s been topped on a salad with pepitas, carrots, mixed greens, walnut oil, and balsamic.  Awesome. 

And here we have my latest use.  This also uses nutritional yeast, which a lot of you said that you’re scared to use, or don’t know how to use. Well here is one way to put it to good use.  Over the summer, Angela posted a recipe for vegan parmesan cheese that she found from VegFamily.

It’s a mixture of toasted sesame seeds + nutritional yeast + salt.  You whirl it in the food processor and it turns into a very similar taste + texture to the parmesan cheese you find in those shaky cans.  However, much more nutritious. 

Well this is a spin on the original, and I must say, it is even better!

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Smoked Vegan Parmesan “Cheeze”

  • 1/2c toasted sesame seeds
  • 3T nutritional yeast
  • 1/2t fine grain sea salt
  • 3/4t smoked paprika
  • 1/2t garlic powder
  • fresh ground black pepper [about 10 grinds]
  1. In a small pan over med-low heat, toast sesame seeds until golden brown.  Watch closely, stirring often, as they will burn quickly!
  2. Pour sesame seeds and all other ingredients into a food processor, blender, or coffee grinder.  [I used my mini processor for this]
  3. Whirl this away until powdery.  You shouldn’t see many whole seeds.

Today I ate this caked onto fresh cut carrots.  Other ideas?

  • kale chips
  • cooked veggies, I’m thinking broccoli in particular
  • salads for sure
  • popcorn!!
  • homemade crackers
  • buttered toast
  • eggs
  • veggie sandwiches

The list goes on.  And on.

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I ate the whole pile…oh yes I did.  It’s filled with healthy fats, protein + b12!

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I stored it in my favorite glass jar.  How cute is this squatty, bulbous Crofter’s jam jar??  I love it.  Definitely a fun gift if you’re putting together a foodie holiday basket for a friend!!

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Definitely needs to go on popcorn.  ASAP.

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As if my taste buds weren’t dancing enough, it got even better with dinner.  So much so that I’m still drooling from this meal. 

Tempeh is back.  We had a short hiatus because I overdid it a tad, but I’m loving it once again.  This might take the win for my favorite way to use tempeh….ever!

A little back story.  Chris + I used to frequent a restaurant called Vine Street in Denver.  It’s a brewery that operates out of 3 restaurants in Boulder + Denver [they all have different names].  We used to go there about 2-3 times a month.  They have a rockin’ menu that is extremely vegetarian + vegan friendly.  Not to mention a great selection of bears and everything is cheap!  Chris has been hooked on their tempeh reuben for the longest time.  I never ordered it myself, but would always steal a delicious bite or two.  They actually beer bake the tempeh with the brewery beer and it is amazing.  I haven’t been able to replicate their tempeh, but tonight’s recipe is just as delicious. 

Since living in Ft. Collins, we haven’t gotten to Vine Street much at all.  When visiting Mama Pea a few weeks ago, she made a vegan tempeh reuben, for one of the meals I was photographing.  It was outstanding and reminded me that I need to give this a go at home myself!  Look for her vegan version in the Peas & Thank You cookbook this August.  I mmm’d my way through the whole thing! :)

I was never a reuben person though.  I think it was the sauerkraut.  Never been a fan…until the tempeh version.

I assure you, this beats out the original.

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I played with the light box for the next 4 photos.  I’m liking them in a different way from daylight photos.  They don’t feel as light + clean, but they give a little edge to the photos.  And I like it.

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Tempeh Reuben [serves 2]

tempeh marinade

  • 8oz package plain or 5 grain tempeh [West Soy is my favorite brand]
  • 4 slices rye bread [or whole wheat]
  • 3T tamari
  • 1/4c red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1/4c water
  • 1t caraway seeds
  • 1t thyme
  • 1t onion powder
  • 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
  • fresh ground black pepper [about 15 cranks]
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  1. Cut 1/8” slices of tempeh with a sharp knife.
  2. Steam for ~5min to help absorb flavors when marinating. *This is optional but works really well, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to marinade the tempeh.
  3. Whisk together ingredients in a 9x9 baking dish.
  4. Place tempeh strips in pan and flip once, so they are coated.
  5. Place in the fridge for at least 30min.
  6. Flip again and marinade for at least another 30min.
  7. Grease a large pan and set to med-high.
  8. Once hot, in a single layer, add the tempeh strips + half of the marindade. 
  9. Cook for about 5min until lightly browned and flip.
  10. Cook another 3-5min until browned.
  11. Turn off heat and add to toasted bread.
  12. Top with thousand island, cheese, + sauerkraut.

quickie thousand island dressing [adapted from here]

  • 4T safflower oil mayo
  • 3T sweet pickled relish, drained
  • 2T ketchup
  • 1/4t onion powder
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  1. Whisk together.

I’m not a mayo lover at all, but this was super tasty!

Cut. Consume. Drool on your own food.

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This was completely out of control.  I had a thin layer of cheddar, which should have been swiss, and I forgot to pick up rye bread.  I can’t even imagine how delicious it will be with those 2 additions.  I did add caraway seeds to the marinade so it would have that nice rye bread flavor though!

Totally messy, packed with flavor, and amazing textures.  Loved the contrast of the crunchy toasted bread, soft tempeh, and crunchy sauerkraut. 

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Are you curious about the fries?  You should be!! 

Smoked Paprika Fries [serves 2]

  • 3 medium yukon gold potatoes
  • 1T olive oil
  • salt + pepper
  • garlic powder
  • parsley
  • smoked paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 400*
  2. Slice taters into fry size.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
  4. Spread taters on the sheet and coat with oil.
  5. Sprinkle on salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley and paprika.  Load up on that paprika!!
  6. Toss to coat and put in the oven for about 35-40min, until golden brown.
  7. Stir 1-2 times while cooking, and taste towards the end to see if you need to add more seasoning.

Crunchy, puffy, smoky baked healthy fries!!

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As soon as I get back from Cleveland, this is going to be repeated.  Unless of course my mom + dad want to give it a go.  We’ll see. ;)

<3 Ashley

Have you voted for Angela yet??  She made it to the last round of Project Food Blog, and I couldn’t be happier for her!