Soy Curl Mac & Cheese

Full disclosure, I didn’t really like this dish but my husband enjoyed it — he did say that the Fettuccine Alfredo I created was much better though.  Recreating a cheesy sauce is just not as successful without the cashews.  I hesitated even sharing this recipe but some of you may love it and it was quick and easy.  It was very creamy and tasted a lot like homemade mac and cheese but I didn’t like the soy curls so next time I’ll try making it without.  Soy curls are a textured vegetable protein often used in place of chicken but they were not appetizing to me.

This recipe comes from the book, “Vegan Pressure Cooking” by JL Fields so you know it’s a quick meal!

Start by re-hydrating the soy curls by placing them in a large bowl and covering with 2-3 cups of water for ten minutes.  Drain the excess liquid and set aside.

Using the saute feature of the pressure cooker, heat two tablespoons of vegan butter and saute one chopped onion with two minced cloves of garlic for about three minutes.  Stir in the re-hydrated and drained soy curls along with two tablespoons of vegan chicken-flavored seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper.  Saute for another five minutes.  Add one cup of spelt elbow pasta (I used quinoa shells) and two to three cups of water (I used veggie broth/water combo), enough to cover the pasta and soy curls.  Next stir in two tablespoons of nutritional yeast.

Cover and bring to pressure — cook at low pressure for five minutes and use a quick release.  Remove the lid and add 1/4 cup of shredded vegan cheese (I used Daiya and I also added vegan parm).  Let sit for five minutes to allow to set for firmer consistency.  When ready top with chives and fresh ground pepper.

This recipe is supposed to yield two servings but we had more than enough left over for another meal.  We served it with a salad and Hazelnut Cranberry Roast en Croute with warm mushroom gravy (see 1/1/15 post for roast).

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Curried Mung Bean Soup

We are loving our pressure cooker — best Christmas gift, thanks dad!  My husband got the flu so I was on the hunt for some curative soups.  This one caught my attention while I was flipping through a Christmas gift from him — JL Field’s new cookbook Vegan Pressure Cooking: Beans, Grains, and One-Pot Meals in Minutes.

I’ve never used mung beans before but wondered when I saw them next to the lentils I normally grab on trips to the market.  The mung bean is highly nutritious with protein, fiber, potassium, iron, and magnesium.  It is a hardy bean and this recipe is packed with other healing ingredients such as sweet potato, onion, garlic, carrots, collard greens, and our favorite turmeric.

One of the reasons I think I noticed this recipe so quickly was that I had seen it before!  I receive a weekly email from and they were featuring this same recipe from JL’s new book a few weeks ago.  Considering that it was brought to my attention twice, I knew this was the soup that would help my husband recover.  To find the recipe use the link below — one note, I had to add additional time in the pressure cooker, the eight minutes suggested left the beans a bit crunchy, adding an additional five made them perfect for us.

It’s funny how I still long for warm soups during the winter, even with the windows open and 75 degrees outside in sunny Florida.  Our bodies are conditioned to certain foods — I guess that’s why we crave pumpkin flavored everything in October!  Maybe it’s also tied to that longing I mentioned in my last post, to head north to be closer to family.  I made a commitment to Effortlessness this year (see 1/1/15 post) — I’m finding it difficult to BE that word while making this decision…

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