Wednesday 6 October 2010

Nachos, Scramble and Cheeze

On the weekend we went to the city to see the Tim Burton exhibition at ACMI. The prodigious output of drawings was impressive albeit overwhelming. They all bore the hallmark's of Burton's inimitable kooky spooky style. I especially loved seeing some of his film memorabilia.

It was great to see the angora cardigan from Ed Wood, the Cat Woman outfit from Batman and the hands from Edward Scissorhands. E told me that the screen clips are not necessary any more (thanks to Youtube) but it was great to watch them while comparing characters to Burton's sketches. I also appreciated the crayons and paper at the end of the exhibition. Perfect for small children! A fascinating exhibition, though it would have been nice to go when it was quieter!

Afterwards we went to the ACMI Cafe where I had nachos for lunch. It has been some time since I last ordered nachos when eating out. I got tired of ordering them and finding that they just weighed me down with too many corn chips. These ones were good, though still a bit heavy. Perhaps I needed to return to the original concept after a vegan trial went awry the previous week.

I am very fond of corn chips covered in melty cheese. But I keep finding tempting vegan cheezes in the blogosphere. The one that really caught my eye recently was Dreena's “Vegveeta” Cheese Sauce that Ricki used in her Layered Mexican Casserole. I then found myself with the right ingredients and the sauce was made.

I have tried a few vegan cheeze sauces with mixed results. Fortunately I have never tasted velveeta cheese so at least I didn't have that comparison for Dreena's vegveeta cheeze sauce. It was an impressive tasting sauce if a wee bit heavy on cashews after I added cashew butter when my food processor wasn't doing so well grinding up the raw cashews. However the flavour was creamy, mellow and full of good flavour if a little lacking in salt.

I had thought I could try it on some nachos because I wanted it to be quicker than Ricki's casserole but I think I should have followed her example. The nachos were quite tasty but stodgy and had none of the gooey melting cheese strings of regular nachos like the platter ACMI serves.

Fortunately I had cheeze sauce leftover the following night and it made the best ever tofu scramble. I mixed some cheese sauce in with tofu, a bit of tamari and lots of vegies over a high heat. I am not sure what I did but it was so tasty with crispy bits. Served with rice and my leftover lentil and tomato salsa, it was an excellent meal.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: All About Apples: history, culture and soup
This time two years ago:
Milestones and Rissoles

Vegveeta Cheeze Sauce
Adapted from Viva Le Vegan
  • ½ cup raw cashews (or 125g cashew butter - I used both)
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 cup milk (I used cow’s but for vegan cheeze use almond, soy or rice milk)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ tsp yellow mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric (for color)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Dreena says to just blend everything in a food processor. Even with pre-soaking and blending the raw cashews in milk, the nuts did not grind finely enough until I added some cashew butter. In future I might use cashew butter instead of raw cashews - at least until I own a more powerful food processor. Highly recommended in a tofu scramble.

On the Stereo:
The Captain: Kasey Chambers


  1. Johanna - Your scramble looks delish. Can you post the recipe??? Mine never turn out very tasty. They are always too watery and nothing in there ever crisps up for me!


  2. I've always wanted to visit this exhibition! It has always been a dream to raid his movie sets! :P

  3. I like cheese sauce. Perhaps it would have been better if you' d put it in bowl and dip the nachos individualy. I may try this.

  4. Both the nachos and the scramble look great to me! I really enjoyed that sauce, especially in the nacho casserole. But I think I'd LOVE it in a tofu scramble--I am always looking for new ways with tofu and this sounds like a brilliant one.

  5. A review of the Tim Burton exhibition (when it was in New York) was one of my earliest blog posts!! I'm so glad people in Australia can see it here now, as I loved wandering through and seeing all the sketches and puppets. (I have The Nightmare Before Christmas sheet music and dvd... so I'm a fan!)

    It was ridiculously busy at MOMA too, though. In fact, I gave up on seeing some things when I was there, because the crowds were so thick!

  6. The food at ACMI Cafe looks good. I have not tried it yet. I did go to the Tim Burton exhibiton - wasn't it amazing! I can't believe how tiny the Catwoman costume was. I loved the Alice costumes (though I am yet to see the movie) and the room with the weird lights that turned your skin grey and teeth green.

  7. i saw this exhibit when it was in NYC and really loved it. It was amazing to me that no one had recommended him for psychotherapy with all of those childhood drawings. If a kid drew those today, they'd immediately be referred. Which i think is kind of ridiculous!

  8. Cor, doesn't time fly - just looked at your last year post (an idea I may nick next year) history of apples! I remember reading that one quite clearly. Time does fly!

    Have a good weekend.

  9. thanks Madge - sorry I don't have an exact recipe - I wondered if using the cheeze sauce helped to keep the tofu dry - I do press my tofu before I scramble it, and doing it over high heat helped.

    Thanks Lorraine - I think you would be so at home in the exhibition (meant in a nice way) - apparently the next stop for the show is toronto - just in case you are dropping by there

    Thanks Katerina - I did think that the cheeze sauce would work better as a dip. I tried it as it was ok but not as good as I hoped.

    Thanks Ricki - would love to hear how you go if you try a scramble with this cheeze sauce - maybe will try your casserole with it some time

    thanks Hannah - how exciting to see the exhibition at MoMA - tried to go there while I was in New York years ago and it was closed - just read your review and it is great - and we were glad to get there earlyish because the crowds had doubled by the time we left

    Thanks Cakelaw - we have been to ACMI cafe a few times because it is convenient and the food seems nice but not brilliant. I haven't seen Alice in Wonderland either but it is definitely on my to see list - Sylvia loved the statue of the cat!

    Thanks Joanne - I know what you mean about the drawings - but what is amazing (and impressive) is that it is not something he grew out of but he is still faithful to his vision

    Thanks Mangocheeks - I thought the same thing when I saw it was a year since the apple post - would love to be reminded of your wonderful archive on your blog

  10. I never get tired of nachos! Mmm. Using the cheeze sauce in a tofu scramble sounds really good. I've only tried making a cheeze sauce once and I'm still undecided about it.

  11. What a cool exhibit, I think I would really enjoy that! Way to go on your first vegan cheese sauce, don't give up on it yet :) Thanks for the link to mine, it's one I think you'd really enjoy as a dip (the salsa or tomatoes really help the sauce). I almost always go for nachos first when I have a fresh batch of cheese sauce, but then leftovers are often drizzled over burritos and one of my all time favorites, mix it over noodles with a can of spiced chili beans for an easy chili mac!! So so good. Will have to try it over a tofu scramble next time, great idea!


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