Spicy and Cheesy

Where did the weekend go? Things just seem like a blur with Christmas next week! I’m excited and looking forward to all the fun and festivities and a few days off work, but a little scatterbrained checking off my lists and getting ready. So this post will be an interesting mesh of random.

Miko is still not excited about the cold weather. He squats over the kitchen tile floor while waiting for breakfast in the morning so less of him has to touch the cold.


Our other two dogs hardly seemed bothered by the weather at all.

We’re getting more into the Christmas spirit throwing spare Christmas lights around the house, even on wall art.


I like it, think I’ll keep those lights there year round.

I’ve also been working with my new stash of NuNaturals Stevia and really like the Cherry Vanilla Stevia in smoothies.


It takes me back to fun memories of cherry soda in my junior high days, but without all the sugar and other not fun stuff in in soda.

One thing nice about working in IT is it’s pretty low key when it comes to office parties and potlucks, IT people just aren’t that cheery and organized I guess. But this year someone decided we needed to start a holiday potluck tradition for some reason. And the sign up sheet is pretty ugly so far, nothing vegan or even veggie loaded. Beans, BBQ, chicken, mac ‘n cheese, pies… it’s reading like a summer BBQ menu. I’m torn, I’d like to go and represent veganism with a solid dish, but it will probably be the only thing I’ll actually want to eat. On the other hand it will look bad if I don’t go.

I’ve been combing through a lot of vegan recipes trying to decide on healthy or vegan version of a comfort food classic that might appeal more. When I saw this recipe for Mac ‘N Squash on One Green Planet, I had to give it a test run this weekend to see if it’s potluck worthy. And it’s been awhile since we’ve had a vegan version of macaroni and cheese. :-) The simple ingredient list also attracted me, I grabbed organic canned pumpkin from Trader Joe’s and simple elbow macaroni for the recipe.


The recipe is a winner for being simple with low-cost ingredients. And great for kids since it uses a pumpkin mixture in place of the cheese for sneaking in more vegetables.


While it didn’t taste exactly like the traditional stuff, it was very good with a creamy and cheesy flavor from the pumpkin. And it’s a great recipe to make larger batches of to freeze for simple meals.

Hubby has been absolutely obsessed with hot sauces and anything spicy lately. He has an entire shelf dedicated to his hot sauce collection in the fridge that includes three different types of sriracha.


And he grabbed these at Whole Foods recently so he can chop them up and add them to Amy’s Organics Spicy Vegan Chili.


I’m not that daring! But I will play with sriracha sauce from time to time and created a simple sriracha hemp sauce for dipping steamed veggies and tofu in.


The color and texture is a lot like a creamy spicy wing sauce with a nice amount of tangy heat.


I picked up a jar of Spicy Nacheez during Saturday’s meetup and decided to use it as a dip too for comparison.


My dinner plate looked more like a party plate, but I had fun trying and comparing the two sauces which were both great.


The hemp sauce is more like a spicy wing sauce and great with the veggies while the Nacheez has more of a gelatinous texture and really good with the tofu and broccoli.

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  1. says

    I haven’t tried the Cherry Vanilla yet but did re-organize my cabinets this weekend and hope to blog about that adventure today or tomorrow :) Miko’s so cute. Paco won’t even go outside! I have some new products I will be testing and blogging about soon! That’s so cool your hubby has a Hot Sauce Section! Awesome! I see Frank’s Hot Sauce there! The Buffalo Girl in my is PROUD of you guys!!!! Frank’s is a staple in Buffalo! :)

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