In which I make vegan Doritos and a Smoothie of Amazingness (ooh)

Given that there was nothing left in my vegetable crisper but kale and purple cabbage, I thought today might be a good day to actually leave my apartment and go to the grocery store. I trudged through the obnoxious Chicago cold (which isn’t even all that cold by Chicago standards) and packed my shopping basket full of veggies and vegan goodies, then trekked back with my shoulders weighed down by All the Things.

I’ve been wanting to try a vegan Dorito recipe for a while, and today I finally managed to get some corn tortillas and give it a try. Here’s the recipe, for those who are interested: Healthy, Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Doritos

If you can’t be bothered to click (and let’s face it, this blog is a pretty awesome place, so I understand why you wouldn’t want to leave), you essentially stack up some corn tortillas and cut them, pizza-like, into Dorito-ish triangles. Next, you whip up a spice mix that involves nutritional yeast, chili powder, paprika, turmeric, and salt (and garlic powder and onion powder, though I omitted those and the chips still tasted amazing) and either mix them with oil or just coat the tortillas with oil and sprinkle on the seasoning. I did the latter, first spraying on olive oil and then, when the olive oil canister gave up the olivey ghost, using regular liquid olive oil and spreading it on the chips with a paper towel.

After that, you bake your seasoned tortilla bits at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for three or four minutes on each side, and bam, delicious chips.

I decided to take mine an additional step and make nachos out of them, so I added a bunch of random vegetables – tomatoes, green peppers, the aforementioned purple cabbage, and black olives. I also took the last of the seasoning and put it in the food processor with firm tofu and some vegan mayo, and that served as the basis of a “cheese” of sorts to spread over the chips.

Now, the chips themselves didn’t end up all that crispy – they came out a bit chewy, actually – so I probably either didn’t bake them for long enough or didn’t flip them well enough. Whatever the case, I can at least confirm that the seasoning absolutely does taste like the probably-actual-crack they put on real Doritos. It made for seriously delicious chips, very flavorful and naughty-tasting without actually being naughty, which of course is what we strive for in all things food-related.


For dessert, rather than making yet another mug cake (I may need an intervention on that front, actually), I took advantage of having fresh fruit and veg in the house and made a Chocolate Banana Avocado smoothie, which essentially contains all the things I just listed (half a banana, half an avocado, cocoa powder) + soy milk and a healthy squeeze of agave nectar for sweetness. I found a lovely little can of “Coconut Whipping Cream” at the grocery store, so I followed the directions (refrigerate the can overnight, then scoop out the coconut cream and mix with a hand mixer for three minutes) and glopped a ton of the stuff into my smoothie.

And yeah, that was pretty much amazing. I highly recommend the coconut whipped cream + anything chocolatey and sweet, because…yeah. Deeelicious.

Reviewing the things I ate today, I feel like I ate some extremely delicious stuff, but nothing was really unhealthy at all. A light spritz of olive oil on the chips, a little salt in the Dorito seasoning, and a small amount of sugar in the coconut whipped cream. I had lots of veggies and fruit, and even the corn tortillas were baked, not fried, so I’m feeling pretty good about my culinary creations overall.

Of course, I’m also very full and wanting to take a nap with the cats, but that’s just part of my life these days, it would seem.



VEGAN VLOG 18: Sadness in the Japanese Food Court and a review of the Beyond Burger

In which I venture to the Japanese supermarket and experience Great Sadness, then discover a wealth of vegan items closer to home + try the Beyond Burger. Also, miso ramen and vegan tonkatsu! Kind of.

Vegan Vlog 16: How to make blurry vegan popcorn (one-handed!)

Testing out my Japanese camera again, I show you the ins and outs of making blurry, under-popped popcorn with a liberal application of vegan seasonings, none of which are expired. Hooray!

Pizza pizza.

There’s a staff meeting at work tomorrow, and that means pizza (because when you’re an exhausted, hungry teacher who’s been changing dirty diapers all day and now has to stay at work even longer for a staff meeting, you need some damn pizza). So, naturally, I had to make some pizza of my own to bring along, because sitting in a room full of people who are eating pizza and not eating pizza is just far, far too tragic. Thus! Homemade vegan pizza.

This is a tandoori naan base (dairy-free) with pizza sauce, a slightly adjusted version of Cheap Lazy Vegan’s tofu cheese recipe (I add vegan mayo to the mix , because deliciousness), and a variety of vegetables (tomatoes, red bell peppers, baby spinach, black olives, and roasted eggplant). I baked the whole thing in the toaster oven for ten or fifteen minutes, and bam, delicious vegan pizza.

Of course, due to my recently deceased food processor, I was left with no choice but to try to make the tofu cheese in the blender, and that was not ideal. I had to add a splash of almond milk so there would be enough liquid for the mixture to blend, and that altered the taste of the “cheese” a bit, sadly. Probably won’t matter when it’s covered with tomato sauce and veggies, but my stab at pizza perfection has, alas, fallen short. Still, not a bad attempt overall, and this may perhaps give me further motivation to get a new food processor. Someday. Eventually.

Anyway, YAY, pizza!

Vegan Vlog 8: Vegan Tacos

I wasn’t planning on making a video this evening, but my dinner experiment was unexpectedly delicious and thus required documentation. Hence, another vlog! In this edition, I experiment with vegan tacos and slowly start to get the hang of making a video from this angle. Err…sort of. :P

Books, books, books!

Because I apparently don’t have enough to do with all my other projects, I also recently started work on a vegan cookbook, this one designed to highlight (a) how very bad I am at vegan cooking and (b) how you can potentially avoid my mistakes. The idea hit me while I was in the shower, as many (sometimes questionable) ideas do, and I’ve been having a stupid amount of fun with it ever since. Thus far, the cookbook includes Sad and Soggy Sushi, Breaded Cauliflower of Awesomeness, and even a small cat interlude wherein Benny and Darla disclose their culinary favorites (Benny: cat food; Darla: shredded paper).

In other book-related news, the Amazon Kindle Store has finally decided to stop waging war against my ambitions, because the print version of Talking About Fungus has been approved and is up for sale! Hurrah~!

Now, if you’re going to read one of my novels, I highly recommend the second, Following Grandpa Jess, for its greater maturity, less embarrassing sex scenes, and just general better writing, but TAF definitely still holds a fond place in my heart. It’s a good young person’s book, in any case, which I am just not anymore, so…yeah. Keep that in mind, I suppose. :P

Click here to check it out on Amazon.

As a reminder, you can still buy the ebook of Talking About Fungus here for $0.99.

Annnnd now I’d better go get ready for work before I lose the opportunity to shower. Until next time, friends~~~!