Monday, July 12, 2010

Grilled Veggie Nachos, Non-dairy Ice Cream Sandwiches and Homemade Beer!

June gloom in July?  What?  So when I go to bed at night the sky is clear and full of stars and when I wake up....cloudy and damp.  Oh well at least it burns off and it's good for the grapevines, you know need to have my wine! Ha ha ha! 

 Speaking of wine.  Since I live in an area that is full of vineyards and wineries I have been in the process of finding wines that are vegan.  I've come to find out so far that just because the bottle doesn't say it's vegan doesn't mean it isn't.  I'm also finding out those that use sustainable practices.  So far there are a couple of wines that I really liked that I found out aren't vegan. Bummer!  Oh well, that just means I get to try out new ones!    

 Recently one of my girlfriends was facebooking about how she had made nacho's and she didn't feel guilty about it one bit. It got me thinking that I have never made nachos, ever!  So how can I make a guilt-free version that actually has some nutrition in it?  Idea!  First I found a great non-dairy cheese sauce recipe on-line, baked my own chips and added grilled veggies.  There's just something yummy about homemade tortilla chips and they aren't loaded with salt.  I prefer more of a cheddar flavor so I threw in a handful of Daiya cheddar to the sauce and stirred until melted.  Dave wanted some Soyrizo so I heated some up, but just a small amount.  The boys loved it!  The next day I used up the leftovers and made Keaton and his friend Nacho's for lunch, his friend raved about the sauce!  I would definitely make this as an appetizer for company or when Keaton has a sleepover for his friends.
    This recipe goes out to you Y!

Grilled Veggie Nachos   
serves 4 as main dish

more as appetizer
Corn tortilla chips(recipe below)
Nacho Cheezy Sauce(recipe below)
Grilled veggies(recipe below), diced
*Pinto beans(I use homemade but you can use canned) 
scallions, sliced
tomato, diced
cilantro, chopped
avocado, chopped
Soyrizo, optional

To plate.  First lay some corn tortillas on a plate. Next pour some cheezy sauce on top and add the rest of the ingredients on top of that.  Continue with another layer of chips and repeat. 

*Cooking up homemade beans is actually really easy, saves you money and doesn't contain any bpa in them that have leached from the cans.  If you look on the directions on a package of beans it gives you two ways to soak beans, either over night or a quick soak. (I usually do the quick soak).  The total cooking time of the beans really depends on the type of beans.  I find pinto usually takes a good 2 hrs, garbanzo only takes 1hour at the most.  You can also freeze any beans that you aren't using right away.     

Nacho Cheezy Sauce:
makes about 2 cups

2 cups water
¼ cup raw cashews
One 4 oz. jar pimentos, drained
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
*1 ½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cumin, heaping
*1/4 daiya cheddar cheese, grated(optional)if you want more of a cheddar flavor

Combine all ingredients in a blender/processor and blend until completely smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium saucepan and whisk constantly over medium heat until thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes.
* If you add the Daiya you may want to cut down a bit on the salt.

Baked Corn Tortillas
Corn tortillas12-18(as  many as you want)
canola spray

Heat oven to 375.
Lay aluminum foil on your top oven rack.  Spray each tortilla on both sides with oil or brush oil if you don't have a spray.  (You can also cut each tortilla into triangles before baking or just break apart when finished baking).  Lay tortillas on aluminum foil, six at a time if using whole.  You will want to flip half way through baking about 5-6 min. on each side. Bake until slightly brown and crispy. 
Note* you can turn up the heat to 400 and they will bake quicker but you really have to watch them because they will burn easy.

Grilled Veggies
2 med. Zucchini, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 anaheim peppers, whole

Heat bbq or indoor grill.  Coat the veggies with olive oil.  Grill until done.  The anaheim peppers are grilled until the skin is charred then put in plastic bag so the skin comes right off or you can scrape off the skin with a knife, then seed and dice up.  Cut up zucchini and red bell pepper and set aside.

Chocolate Mocha Fudge Ice Cream Sandwiches. When I saw the chocolate-dipped Ice cream sandwiches by Chloe in Veg News I new I had to make some for us. Now as you can see these aren't chocolate chip and that's because Keaton picked out the Mocha Fudge so I adjusted the cookie accordingly.  The fun part about Ice Cream sandwiches is that you can make any cookie and fill them with any type of non-dairy ice cream you want.  Next time I'm going with Coconut Bliss for my filler.
 Below is the recipe with my adjustments.

Chocolate Ice-Cream Sandwiches
original recipe by Chloe
adjusted by JoLynn

What you need:

2 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon Ener-G egg replacer
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup non-hydrogenated margarine(Earth Balance)
1/2 cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla
3-4  oz. bar of dark chocolate, chopped
1 pint Mocha Fudge(So Delicious)

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line cookie sheet with parchment.

2.In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, egg replacer, salt. In mixer, beat margarine, sugar, brown sugar, water, and vanilla until fluffy. Stir in flour mixture ½ cup at a time, then add chocolate chunks.

3.Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough at a time and flatten with the palm of your hand. Repeat with remaining dough, and space on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 15minutes.  These will really flatten.

4.Let the pint of ice cream soften in the refrigerator for about 15 to 30 minutes while the cookies cool.

5.Between 2 cookies, sandwich 1 scoop of ice cream and freeze. Repeat with all remaining cookies.

Isn't this beer lovely?  We finally got to try some homemade beer by a father of one of Keaton's friends.  I was told by the mother, when I called to thank her for this amazing tasting IPA, that
this was the first time in 20 years that her husband didn't use a recipe.  Dave and I were pretty impressed by the flavor of this Indian Pale Ale.  He needs to keep on doing what he's doing because this stuff rocks!!!
Look at the beautiful head of this!   We are saving our last bottle to share together, although I have to tell you, yesterday evening, a warm summer evening,  I was so tempted to open it up and drink it myself before Dave got home.  Bad, bad thoughts. lol!  It just tastes so freakin good.  It still sits in the back of the refrigerator, taunting me everytime I open the door.  Diana, if you are reading this, you can tell Warn that we are more than happy to try more anytime! Hee hee!


  1. This is an awesome post! Everything looks awesome! Homemade beer? You go girl! Teach me please!

  2. you've got so much awesome going on in this post, JoLynn - i love it all! the home-brewed beers looks lovely. that was too nice of Keaton's friend's father to hook you all up, and hooray for finding local vegan wines. there are a few around us that i really love. w00t! i always get weird looks when the subject of "is that wine vegan?" comes up - few people know that wines can have animal products in them too. sadface. hooooooray for cheezy nachos - i'm gonna try out your cheezy sauce! i love me some pimento goodness, and i can't believe you've never made nachos before. i'd glad they were the yummiest! the chocolate mocha fudge ice cream sammies had me at hello! mmmmmmmmmmm! it's damp and dreary here too - i hope we both have nice weather soon. fingers crossed!

  3. Okay, I have a question for you. The nachos look and sound so yummy, but ever since I tried a boxed vegan macaroni and cheez (which was disgusting), I've been scared to try any other vegan "cheese". How does the sauce really taste compared to real cheese? Is the daiya cheddar something you would recommend for other things too? Does it really taste cheddar-y? Okay, I think you get my drift here. Essentially, I need a vegan to help me get over my fear of vegan cheese.

  4. Those nachos! That beer! Heavenly!!

  5. Carissa- I wish I could take credit for the homemade beer. Dave has been wanting to try his hand at making some over the years so maybe this will help push him. hee hee.

    Sarah- I'll have to send you an e-mail with my reply but homemade mac n' cheese is the way to go, not the kind in the box. Also Daiya is the best tasting vegan cheese so far! It melts and the cheddar actually has that cheddar flavor. Other than trying the Daiya recently I don't use any vegan cheeses.

    Jessy- I know can you believe I've never made nachos? Crazy!

  6. Oh, wow, those ice cream sandwiches are nothing short of heavenly. Does it get any better than mocha fudge, frozen and squished between two cookies? I think not.

  7. Some nachos and an ice cream sandwich would make my day right now!

  8. Your gourmet nachos sound fantastic! I love the idea of taking something that's usually seen as junk food and making a fancy, healthier version :)

    I'm cooling off just thinking of the chocolate ice cream sandwiches!!! Yum!!!

  9. Lovely! Just lovely my friend. Beer, nachos and ice cream could turn any summer day into a little slice of perfectness.

  10. thank you for posting this recipe! I've never made nachos before as well but I am dying to! I wonder if your cheezy sauce can also be used to pour over mac for mac n cheese..still trying to find a good recipe for that

  11. Those nachos look amazing! And knowing how healthy and homemade the ingredients are makes them even better. And ice cream sandwiches -- what a perfect treat!

  12. that beer does look yummy!
    i've never thought about making my own tortilla chips, but i think i'm going to today - i've been craving them and we are out. thanks for the inspiration!

  13. Girl, those nachos look second to none!


  14. The nachos look awesome! Love how you made them healthier, great job! :-)