Tag Archives: cheese

Vegetarian Sausage Balls


Sausage Balls

Spicy sausage balls | Photo by HFLP

Oh, the venerable sausage ball.  The friendliest finger food I’ve ever known.

These little guys are simple, and if I do say so myself, delicious.  I could have come up with a more elegant name for them, but it wouldn’t be true to the nature of the food.

A little bit of sausage, a little cheese, a little spice in a small, warm ball of dough – really, what could be better?

They are perfect for pot lucks, parties and hanging-out-watching-the-game…

These have been made for years with regular sausage, but they adapt well to vegetarian sausage.  For the latest batch, we added some dice jalapenos, and it added the perfect zip to complement the sausage (and vegetarian sausage isn’t real spicy, so it’s a good addition).

They are incredibly easy to make, the only un-fun part (and it’s really the only part) is mixing all the ingredients, which I usually convince someone else to do for me.  You can only do it by hand and there’s something unagreeable about sausage squishing through my fingers, vegetarian or otherwise.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb vegetarian sausage (use the ground Gimme Lean brand, trust me)
  • 3 cups Bisquick
  • 2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese (I usually go cheddar, but other kinds work well)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced jalapenos (optional, but recommended)
  • Less than 1/8 cup milk (really just a literal “splash”)

Here’s what to do:

Step 1) Mix the ingredients, by hand, in a large mixing bowl.  When you can’t seem to get all the Bisquick absorbed, just keep going.  If you still can’t, add another splash of milk (a little goes a long way).

Mixing sausage balls

Ali mixing for me | Photo by HFLP

Step 2) Form into mounds roughly the size of ping pong balls on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Baking sausage balls

Cram 'em on the cookie sheet | Photo by HFLP

Step 3) Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes

Sausage balls right out of the oven

Fresh from the oven | Photo by HFLP

Enjoy ’em.  Thanks for reading!


Cheesy Basil Pizza


Cheesy Basil Pizza

Cheesy Basil Pizza | Photo by Healthyandlazy

Pizza is, has always been and will always be my favorite weekend food.  Homemade.  Delivery.  Doesn’t matter.

I came across this post on Hungry Birdie, and the two pizzas looked so delicious, I couldn’t decide which one to make.

I went with the “Cheesy Basil Pizza” because I happened to have all the ingredients handy, but I’m definitely making the other one soon as well.

The pizza was super easy (like my spinach and artichoke pizza), perfectly rich and extremely flavorful.

It was a late night pizza (aren’t they always?) and in my cave of an apartment, that makes for some dark pictures that don’t do the pizza justice.  I strongly recommend checking out Hungry Birdie’s post, where the pics put mine to shame.

The color, though, is true, and isn’t a byproduct of my late night, cheesy flash photography.  This pizza has an awesome, basil-y green color that you don’t see too often.

Here’s the recipe, borrowed appreciatively from HB – click here to see the original.

“Cheesy” basil pizza
Makes one large pizza

1/2 this homemade dough recipe
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
2 cups vegan mozzarella (I used Daiya)
1 cup fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1 plum tomato, sliced
olive oil, for drizzling
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In food processor, combine both types of cheese, basil, garlic, salt and pepper until well blended. Lightly drizzle dough with olive oil, evenly spread cheese and basil mixture, leaving one inch border. Top with tomato slices and bake for about 15 minutes (I broiled it for an additional minute to ensure bubbly yumminess). Wow all your vegan and non-vegan friends alike with these phenomenal pizzas- do try.

Pizza Slices

Green pizza is better than other colors | Photo by Healthyandlazy

I made a few changes, but none of them fundamentally changed the pizza.  I used my own dough, regular dairy cheeses and one extra clove of garlic (if the scientists ever decide that garlic is bad for you, I’m doomed).

And, although I’ve never said it before on here, thanks for those of you who have subscribed and leave comments.  It makes me feel all warm and gooey inside.


(Sloppy) Mexican Lasagna


Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna | Photo by HealthyandLazy

As the old joke goes, all Mexican food has the same four ingredients, there’s just a dozen names for it – taco, burrito, enchilada, quesadilla – and today, I’d like to add another candidate to the field.  Mexican Lasagna.

It really isn’t much different from other Mexican foods (and for the record, when I say “Mexican food,” I mean the type of food they serve in Mexican restaurants in the US, not in Mexico – and I’ve been told there’s a difference).  However, lasagna is much easier to serve – you don’t have to assemble 20 tacos in the kitchen, or lay out every bowl and serving utensil in your armory for a make-it-yourself buffet line.

All you need is one big pan and a casserole dish, and you’ll have a nice, hot dinner for four.

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Super Easy Eggplant Parm


Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan | Photo by HealthyandLazy

This is the kind of dish that you can impress your classy friends with.  Eggplant has an air of sophistication to it, I think.

Eggplant parmesan is always a crowd pleaser, and since it uses many of the same ingredients as traditional chicken parmesan, they can be made at the same time to accomodate mixed company.

I’ve pared this recipe down to six essential ingredients, all of which you probably already have in the kitchen, with the exception of the eggplant.  It can, though, be spruced up in a number of ways.  The sauce is a big deal with eggplant parm, and I sometimes like to add spinach to my sauce of choice.  Ricotta cheese also makes a great addition, but it isn’t necessary by any means for an enjoyable meal.

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Easy Cheesy Jalapenos


Baked Stuff Jalapenos

Baked Stuffed Jalapenos | Photo by HealthyandLazy

Jalapeno peppers are nature’s firecrackers.

They’re delicious diced, chopped, baked, fried and, best of all, stuffed! Our recipe today is an easy, cheesy concoction that’s perfect as an appetizer or snack. I saw the recipe over at Tried and Tested, and thought they looked worth a shot – and boy was I right.

The finished product has just the right amount of fire. It won’t blow up your tongue, but it will make you reach for a cool drink – and that’s exactly how you want them.

Jalapeno’s have between 2,500-8,000 heat units on the Scoville scale (that’s right, we’re dropping some science on this blog). The Scoville scale is a measure of capsaicin, the chemical that creates spiciness in a pepper. In tangible terms, the scale runs from bell peppers (roughly 0) at the low end to military grade pepper spray (around 5,000,000) at the top. I bring this up only to remind you that, while jalapenos can be an intimidating food for some, they are actually pretty darn mild.

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Spinach and Artichoke Pizza


Spinach, artichoke, cream cheese pizza

Pizza night? Count me in.

Who doesn’t love a good spinach and artichoke dip?  I, for one, am a sucker for a warm bowl of gooey, cheesy dip.  Unfortunately, eating a bowl of dip for dinner in the company of others will elicit funny looks and muffled chuckles.

So, we’ve compromised.  Today’s creation is a spinach and artichoke pizza.  It’s a little nontraditional – no red sauce, no mozzarella cheese, and of course, no meat.  But it is delicious, and it’s a good way to incorporate a lot of delicious vegetables into a single meal.

You will need some pizza dough – and there are a lot of options.  Pillsbury makes a pop and bake crust, which is super easy.  There’s also the add-water-and-mix doughs.  And there’s always homemade pizza dough.  Choose whatever suites your style (and your time frame). Continue reading


Rainy Day Grilled Cheese


Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Those sandwiches can’t wait to be dipped.

I love rain.  The sound of it slapping against the roof, the thunder booming in the distance – it’s relaxing, and it makes me want to eat.  Grilled cheese and tomato soup is, as far as I’m concerned, a staple of the American diet.  Growing up, it was one of my favorite rainy day lunches (along with peanut butter sandwiches and spaghettiOs – another post, another day).  So, it’s become something of a comfort food for me.

A few years ago, I stumbled on a recipe for “Grilled Cheese Dippers and Spicy Tomato Soup.” It’s a refreshing change – and it makes me feel a little more adult.  It’s messy, especially if you dip the sandwich in the soup – and that’s the whole point – but it’s okay to be messy on a rainy day. Continue reading


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