Grits Casserole

When I was in Georgia, I visited the Savannah farmers market, where I bought a bag of grits. Quintessential southern cuisine, I thought. I’d had grits as a kid when I was on a family a road trip through the South. I enjoyed the grits this time too (hubby added salt and margarine, I had mine with agave and a dollop of peanut butter).

grits

The real treat, however, was the recipe for grits casserole that I found on the back of the package. It called for sausage, eggs and two kinds of cheese. I knew I could veganize it. I did, and it was delicious!

The company, Carolina Plantation Rice, carries a lot of great kitchen staples like cornmeal, grits, rice flour and, well, rice. I plan to order some soon. Bonus: They’re a green-certified, renewable-energy company!

My ingredients

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked grits
Half a brick of firm tofu (instead of eggs)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp kala namak (black salt)
2 Field Roast vegan sausages
1/2 cup Daiya vegan Swiss, grated
1 cup Daiya vegan cheddar, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

First I added the cooked grits to a 9″ casserole dish. Then I browned the sausage, broke it up, and added it to the grits.

Field Roast and grits

Next, I drained and crumbled the tofu into a pan and heated it up, while mixing in the turmeric (for flavor and color) and kala namak (for eggy flavor). These last two ingredients weren’t in the original recipe, but it’s what I did to veganize it. Be careful not to overcook the tofu. In theory, it (and the sausage) doesn’t need to be cooked. Field Roast is pre-cooked and tofu is fine in any state. Plus, the whole shebang gets baked anyway.

tofu scramble

Finally, add the Swiss and cheddar, stir, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

grits casserole - before

My husband and I loved this dish! I’m definitely going to make it again soon. It’s almost quiche-like. Next time, I’ll add onion, broccoli and red pepper. And more cheese!

Grits casserole - out of the oven

Have you veganized any recipes lately?

Nasoya giveaway

Who wants to win a couple of jars of Nasoya? One lucky person will get to try the same products I used to make my mock tuna salad and my banana muffins (not the same jars though–you’ll get a new set!).

Nasoya

All US residents are eligible. All you have to do is leave a comment below, leave a comment on the Sunshine and Slaughter Facebook page, or tweet me @jeaniebellini. Or, raise your odds and do all three!

I’ll keep this giveaway open until June 30th, when I’ll pick a name at random. I’ll put the winner in contact with the generous folks at Nasoya and they’ll send two jars your way. There are tons of recipes on their site, from potato salad to chocolate cake–or you can spread it on a sandwich!

July 1st update!

I used an online random name generator and the winner is:

winner of Nasoya draw: uglicoyote

Congratulations uglicoyote–I’ll email you for next steps!

Vegan banana muffins

When I received my jars of Nasoya for the recipe challenge, I thought I’d be trying the products in a savory way (the mock tuna salad). I had no idea I could use a mayo substitute in a dessert.

I found a banana muffin recipe on the Nasoya site and it called for Nayonaise. Perfect! Like Nayo Whipped, it’s a healthy, vegan product and a great source of B12 and omega 3s. How would it fare in muffins?

muffins in tin

Well, awesome! It was a simple recipe that called for ingredients that even me, a very occasional baker, already had in my cupboard.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Nasoya Nayonaise Original Spread
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (2 or 3 medium)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups flour (2/3 C whole-wheat, 1 1/3 C all-purpose)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla, chopped peacans or walnuts

Preparation Method:

In medium large bowl beat bananas. Beat in sugar and Nayonaise (add the vanilla and or nuts if using). Stir in flour, soda and salt just until moistened. Fill muffin cups and bake them in the oven at 350° F for 20 – 25 minutes.

I added chopped walnuts. And since I can’t follow a recipe to save my live, I tweaked things slightly. If cooking is an art, baking is a science. And it’s best not to mess with scientific formulas! All I had was whole wheat flour, so I used only that and no all-purpose flour.

I also know that ripe bananas are best for baking (and more nutritious!) so I made sure I had a very spotty bunch.

The muffins turned out perfectly!banana muffins

I ate two warm, right out of the oven, and so did my husband. We saved the rest for work snacks. The muffins were moist and delicious and tasted great warm and room temperature. They didn’t dry out, even on day three. We ate them rather quickly so there was no day four.

The Nayonaise essentially replaced any eggs or butter that one might use in a recipe like this. So you can have a cruelty-free, healthy snack that’s easy to make.

Mock tuna salad

I was lucky to meet a couple of people from Nasoya when I was at the vegan bloggers conference in May. I was given a friendly challenge of making a couple of recipes using their products. Challenge accepted!

Two jars arrived in the mail a few days after I said I’d try my hand at some cooking: Nayonaise and Nayo Whipped. They’re both healthy, vegan alternatives to mayo and are a great source of B12 and omega 3s.

Nasoya

For this first challenge, I tried a recipe from their site called Tu-Na Salad. I have to say, it’s was quick and easy to make. Like five minutes quick. That’s my kind of prep time!

True to my rebellious nature, I altered the recipe a bit. But only because I have fresh chives growing in my garden. So I used those instead of the green onion the original recipe called for.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. Nayo Whipped
  • 1 (19 ounce) can of chickpeas, drained
  • Fresh dill
  • Celery, chopped
  • Green onion, chopped (chives, in my case)
  • Sea salt, to taste

Preparation:

Use a food processor or potato masher to break up the chickpeas until they are crumbled. Do NOT over process.

I mashed the chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans) until the mixture was flaky. Just enough to break up each pea, not so much that it created a purée. I toasted some hearty bread (Dave’s Killer Bread–my fav!), spread some Nayo on it for good measure, and piled on the tu-na.

mashing chick peas

Wow! Was it ever delicious! The Nayo Whipped is tangy and lemony and added a great flavor to the topping. I’m going to use this recipe regularly from now on. I haven’t had actual tuna in a lo-ong time, but I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t fool someone in a blind taste test. It does, however, hold its own as a great tuna substitute. True test: hubby. He loved it too–and had seconds!

tu-na sandwiches

Next time I’ll stuff this blend in a pita or roll it in a wrap and add tomatoes and lettuce. Mmm.

This recipe makes enough for four sandwiches. Let me know if you try it. And come back soon for a little Nasoya giveaway I’m planning!