vegansaurus!

08/04/2011

Vegan nacho cheese: a love story, I mean taste-off  »

I was on a mission. A mission to gorge out elegantly eat every new vegan cheese on the market. For you! My most unselfish venture ever! To let you know, as the vegan consumer, where to spend your hard-earned dollars!
In the ring:
Food for Lovers Vegan Queso

vs.
Nacheez (mild and spicy versions)


Here’s what I have to say. If you are looking for a fight, go watch Rocky. Or The Fighter — it’s totally streaming on Netflix right now—‘cause I only have great things to say about both products.

Here’s how the taste-off went down. Sarah M. Smart came over with a bag of chips. I had the cheese. We ate.

Food for Lovers

  • Spicy. I have a high tolerance, and didn’t notice until the roomie tried some and cried out “Whoo! That has some kick to it!”)
  • Made in small batches by Crystal and Chris Tate in Austin, Texas.
  • Every time I eat it, I think I belong in Austin. (SXSW!)
  • Would bring it to a Superbowl party. Or somewhere there are sports. I don’t know. It has that taste to it. The only bros I know watch Star Wars, so I’d bring it to a screening of that. Non vegan guys would scarf this down. And not know it’s vegan.
  • Has gluten. Sorry, celiac sufferers.
  • Has nutritional yeast in it. I’m a vegan who dislikes nutritional yeast. NOT ANYMORE! I love this product! Cheesy, spicy, plus the tomatoes and peppers within taste fresh.
  • No need to heat up. Can be eaten at room temperature.

Nacheez

  • Comes in spicy and mild flavors! Spicy is good for me, mild is good for a dish like, mac ‘n’ cheese. Or my mom, pepper is too spicy for her.
  • Doesn’t have gluten.
  • Made by Isla Hess in Sacramento, Calif.
  • Every time I eat it, I feel like maybe Sacramento isn’t a such a bad place after all. Maybe as a vegan, I could have a life out there.
  • With this product, I imagine my girlfriends coming over, talking about things we do, putting on avocado face masks and making chili cheese tofu dogs without FEELING GUILTY! Cause Nacheez has so few calories with mucho taste! Bikini body, here I come. (Not. I just drank a six pack)
  • OK, I love road trips. I miss gas station nachos. Nacheez brings me back.
  • Has to be reheated. Not room-temperature friendly. But you own a pot and have a stove top, right?

All in all, both are worth your hard earned dollars. Food for Lovers is definitely a queso in the most delicious form ever, whereas Nacheez fills the void of the nacho cheese you’ve been missing.

Nacheez mac ‘n’ cheese:

What happens when Sarah M. Smart and I drink Trader Joe’s-brand Corona and wine:

Thank you so much Isla Hess, and Crystal and Chris Tate for providing your delicious and amazing products free of charge!

Both vegan nacho cheeses are available at Rainbow and Vegan Essentials.

02/22/2011

Guest review: Homeroom in Oakland!  »

After hiding inside for hours, the boyf and I decided that we couldn’t think of anything more appropriate for a gray and shitty day like today than a hot bowl of mac ‘n cheese. So we used it as an excuse to try out the brand spankin’ new Homeroom mac ‘n cheese restaurant in North Oakland.

We first noticed a line down the block. While debating whether we should try it out after the opening weekend crowd, an adorable old lady came out and told us to go in and make sure to try the vegan plate. “It’s actually delicious!” Actually nothing lady, now I’m getting into that damn restaurant come hell or high gutter water. We perused the menu in the forty minutes we waited for a table and noticed that Homeroom offers a wine and micro-brew suggested pairing for every type of mac n’ cheese, which I think is awesome (In case you were wondering, Rasputin Imperial Stout is evidently best for vegan mac.)

We finally got a table and everyone at our table ordered the homemade root beer, which ended up tasting way more like cream soda, or maybe a melted Coca-Cola Icee. After waiting quite some time for our server and then even more time for our food, we were getting a little cranky. A few 127 Hours jokes later, the food showed up and we barely let the bowls of steaming mac n’cheese touch the table before we started digging in like a rusty pocket knife into a femur.

Boyf and I both got the one vegan option, while our dining companions opted for the Trailer Mac (hot dogs, mac, and chips, eww) and the Egg and Bacon Mac (super-eww). Ours definitely looked the best, with thick nooch-based sauce (heavy on the salt and dijon) topped with chopped walnuts in lieu of bread crumbs. I had no complaints about the food. It was creamy, salty and nutty, just like a vegan mac should be and the portion size was more than enough for me. However, the entire experience really went downhill when we got our check. For four root beers and four plates of mac, the total ended up almost $60 after tip. This seemed pretty steep for a food that I can make with both my eyes closed and one hand firmly gripped around a bottle of Jameson. Homeroom does offer a frequent dining card, but you have to eat 10 bowls of mac before you’ve earned a free one.

This probably means that I’m going to treat this Homeroom like I’ve treated all my other homerooms” I’m glad I showed up for the first day, but I probably won’t be back very often.

Courtney Flynn lives in Oakland and spends way too much time inventing vegan recipes, reading science fiction and crocheting hats for her dog Blender. She sometimes remembers to update her blog where she likes to write about food, restaurants and products that don’t suck.

01/22/2010

Best macaroni and cheese in the whole world ever  »

I’m about to change your life.

Or maybe you already know this recipe by heart, BUT GO WITH IT. Got it straight from the best punk venue in the world: Che Cafe in San Diego. They photocopied it for me when I was down and out. Little did I know it would be the ultimate crowd pleaser for years to come, and without a doubt the best fucking macaroni and cheese in the world.

Ingredients
4 cups macaroni noodles
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup flour
3 1/2 cups water
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
pinch turmeric
1 cup nutritional yeast

Instructions
First, boil water and cook the macaroni
Second, put those 3 1/2 cups water on to boil.
Third, in a fat (phat) pot, make a roux: mix the Earth Balance and flour on medium heat and whisk that shit ‘till it bubbles.
Now whisk in all the boiling water. For real?! Yeah, for real. It’ll thicken as you mix it up, and while it does, toss in your soy sauce, garlic powder, salt, and turmeric. Whisk it!

Now mix the nutritional yeast and YOU’RE DONE. Well actually, the original recipe included 1/4 cup oil at this point, but it’s not necessary. Just follow your heart, ya know?
Pour half of this thick, gooey sauce in a casserole dish, add those noodles you cooked (and strained!), and top with the rest of the sauce. Sprinkle with paprika and bake at 350 for 10 minutes-ish.

This is the first day of the rest of your life.

08/31/2009

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