Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Hummus & Avocado

GrilledSandwichesAll right. I have two confessions. First, these aren’t technically grilled, nor do they have avocado on them. *GASP* I know, I’m sorry. But let me explain. So, it’s very early spring here in Colorado and the outdoor grill, much like my legs, are still winterized. But, I do have the spray tan of grills . . .
20140414_175759 Now, about that avocado. I’ve had 4 avocados sitting in a paper bag on my counter for about 5 days and they are still rock solid. I made the mistake of trying to cut into one and it was like stabbing a butternut squash. And if that wasn’t enough, I tried a second avocado and ended up with the same results. In fact, I couldn’t even get the halves apart! I was all ready to place the beautiful slices of avocado next to the fresh basil . . .

noAvocadoIn spite of these culinary catastrophes, I assure you, the “grilling” process worked beautifully, and the avocado would be a grand addition to these sandwiches.

INGREDIENTS:

Marinade

1/2 C balsamic vinegar
1/2 C red wine
1/4 C olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

The rest

2 small zucchini, sliced length-wise
1 red bell pepper, cut into wide strips
1 eggplant, sliced length-wise, then again length-wise
1/2 large onion, cut into wide strips
1 avocado (preferably real and not imaginary), sliced
1 C fresh basil leaves
1/2 C hummus, homemade (easy) or store bought (even easier)
6 French rolls, or other sandwich bread

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the marinade ingredients in a large zip bag. Add the veggies and let them marinate in the frige for about an hour. Turn the bag over halfway through. Spray the grill pan with a small amount of cooking spray and heat pan over medium heat. Using tongs, place the veggies in the pan. I recommend putting as many slices of bell pepper on as you can because they’ll take the longest to cook. I also suggest flattening them out a little so that you can turn them over to cook both sides. The zucchini and eggplant will take about 3-4 minutes per side.
20140414_181655I continued cooking all of the zucchini and eggplant, transferring the cooked slices to a large sheet of foil and sealing it up while everything else cooked. Everything stayed nice and hot. I then added the onions while the peppers continued to cook.
20140414_182013Once the vegetables are cooked, start assembling your sandwiches! (You can toast the bread first, if you’d like). Spread on some hummus, add the veggies, basil and of course, a few beautiful slices of avocado. Enjoy!

 

Pine Nut & Cashew Ravioli with Fresh Mushrooms, Tomatoes & Basil

PineNutCashewRavioli2I’m finally back with a new recipe! As much as I love them, I don’t use pine nuts often because they’re rather pricey, but I picked some up on sale. They add such a decadent flavor to dishes and this is no exception. Combined with cashews, they make an ideal stuffing for ravioli. The fresh veggies on top complete the meal.

INGREDIENTS

Dough

1-1/2 C semolina flour
1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C warm unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbs olive oil

Filling

1/2 C pine nuts
1 C roasted, unsalted cashews
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 C fresh spinach

Topping

2 Tbs Earth Balance
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 C cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 C fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbs red wine
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

You can soak the nuts for several hours to overnight, or to speed things up, in a medium bowl, pour boiling water over the nuts and let sit for 2 hours. Sometimes, I only soak them for an hour or so; I don’t mind if the filling isn’t perfectly smooth, so it’s up to you. To prepare the dough, whisk together the two flours and the salt. Whisk in the warm almond milk and oil. Sometimes it’s easier to use your hands to combine everything; use what works. Transfer the dough to a very lightly floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth. Cover in plastic wrap and set aside. To make the filling, drain the nuts and add them to a food processor. Process them for about 30 seconds to get them a bit pureed. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree 1-2 minutes until smooth. Set aside.
20140411_173050As you probably recall, I like to use my pasta maker and a ravioli plate to make raviolis, and I have to say, the process gets easier and quicker each time. I recommend at least getting a ravioli plate—you can find one for under $20 on Amazon.
20140411_175640I ended up with 44 raviolis . . .
20140411_183459I then let them sit for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, I prepared the topping. In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes and basil; season with salt and pepper. In a medium skillet, heat the Earth Balance and add the garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Cook for two minutes, then add the wine and cook another 2-3 minutes, or until the mushrooms soften. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes and basil.
20140411_185555Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the ravioli (about a dozen at a time) for 3-5 minutes. They will float to the top and puff up a little when they’re ready. I usually serve them as they finish cooking so they stay hot. If you want to cook them all first, I suggest transferring them to a large, oiled baking sheet. Otherwise, they’ll stick together. Serve with a scoop or two of the fresh topping and enjoy!
20140411_191407

Meatless Mushroom Ragu

20130731_175032

Hello! I didn’t forget about all of you; I’ve had a very busy month of traveling. I spent a couple of weeks traveling around Northern California on a little book tour—you can read about it HERE if you’d like. I now get to spend 8 days in New York City this month with my dear friends Kerrie and Nicole! I’ve thrilled to be going on this trip, especially since I’ve never been to the Big Apple. I’m hoping I get a chance to check out some of Alicia Silverstone’s favorite NYC vegan eateries while I’m there. Any recommendations of your own?

In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying not living out of a suitcase for a few days and I finally got back in the kitchen. I recently picked up The Vegan Slow Cooker Cookbook and decided try the meatless ragu. I made a few changes to the recipe, however. You may not think to haul out the slow cooker during the summer, (let alone for vegan food), but it beats using the oven to heat up the house and we’re not regular grill users, so the crock pot is a great idea. The only trouble is that the smell of everything cooking might make you hungry all day. Most of the recipes in the cookbook include instructions for what to prepare the night before and what to prepare the next day—a real time-saver. There wasn’t much to do the night before, so I threw it all together in about 15 minutes around noon.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 C onion, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Field Roast sausages, Italian Seasonings flavor, crumbled
1 28-oz can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, undrained
2 C mushrooms, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
3 Tbs port wine
Chopped fresh basil
Optional ingredients: diced zucchini and/or bell pepper
1 lb Rigatoni pasta

DIRECTIONS:

In a large skillet, cook the onion in the olive oil, until the onions are tender, a bout 3-4 minutes.

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Transfer the onions to the slow cooker. Next, add the Field Roast to the skillet and over medium heat, saute until browned, 3-4 minutes as well.

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Transfer the Field Roast, tomatoes, mushrooms, salt and pepper, vinegar, and wine in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

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Serve over cooked pasta and top with fresh basil. Enjoy!

20130731_175020

 

Artichoke and Lemon Linguine

While at the farmer’s market last weekend, I picked up some Artichoke Lemon pasta. You can order it at Pappardelle’s Pasta.

I threw together a dish with a light, creamy roux and some vegetables and it came out delicious—and fast too. Dinner was ready in less than 30 minutes. Keep in mind, you’ll have three different pots/pans going at the same time, but don’t be alarmed, it’s easy to make, especially if you have all of your ingredients chopped, sliced, and ready to go before hand.

INGREDIENTS:

8-oz Artichoke Lemon linguine

1-1/2 C fresh basil, chopped

4-5 large mushrooms, sliced

14-oz can artichoke hearts, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 Tbs olive oil (preferably buttered-flavored)

2 Tbs Earth Balance

2 Tbs flour

1/2 C almond milk

Dash of salt, pepper, and nutmeg

1 Tbs lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the artichokes and cook for 8 minutes, stirring often. Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 5-7 minutes. I have found that this pasta tends to cook faster than commercial brands, so keep an eye on it. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook another 5 minutes.

While this is happening, get your roux going. Melt the Earth Balance in a small saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute. Slowly pour in the almond milk and whisk it until smooth. It will thicken up pretty quickly.

Add the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and blend well. For the veggie mixture, once the mushrooms are tender, reduce the heat to low and stir in the basil.

Combine the sauce and the veggies with the pasta and blend everything together.

 Enjoy!

Spinach Soup with Basil and Dill

This is a delicious and very flavorful soup from Color Me Vegan. I’m not typically a big fan of dill, but it tastes great combined with the basil and spinach. It’s also very simple to make. Even during the summer, I think this soup would be ideal to make because of the abundance of fresh herbs.

INGREDIENTS:

3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

2 medium onions, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

6 C vegetable stock (I used 4 and added 2 cup of water)

1 tsp salt

1-1/2 lbs fresh spinach, chopped

1/2 C fresh dill

8 fresh basil leaves, minced

1/2 C nondairy milk

1-3 Tbs agave

Juice from one lemon

Pepper

Tofutti sour cream, optional

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, combine the onions, potatoes, garlic, broth, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

In a food processor or blender, puree the soup with the spinach, dill, and basil. I had to do this in two batches. Blend until smooth. Return it to the soup pot and add the milk, agave, and 1/2 the lemon (add more if needed).

Warm the soup up, but don’t bring it to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a dollop of sour cream on top! Enjoy!

 

 

Fruit Salad with Herbs and Coconut

I usually don’t get excited over fruit salads, but this one has some of my favorite fruits and tossed with a tangy dressing that says anything but boring!

INGREDIENTS:

Dressing:

1/8 C lemon juice

1/8 C espresso-flavored balsamic vinegar

1/8 C sunflower oil

A few dashes of nutmeg

3 Tbs fresh basil, chopped

3 Tbs fresh mint, chopped

The rest:

2 C jicama, bite-sized cubed

16-oz container of strawberries, diced

1-1/2 C blueberries

4 kiwis, peeled and diced

2 mangoes, peeled and diced

1 C walnuts, chopped and toasted

1 C coconut

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the dressing ingredients and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the fruit. Pour the dressing over the fruit and stir well to combine. Stir in the coconut and walnuts. It’s that easy! Enjoy!

Warm Pasta Salad

I tend to make cold pasta salads in the spring and summer and I think I’ve been craving them, but I went with making it warm—just seemed like the thing to do. It came out delicious and I’m anxious to try the chilled leftovers!

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb bow-tie pasta

2 C fresh spinach, chopped

1 C parsley, chopped

1/2 C fresh basil, chopped

3 green onions, sliced

1 bell pepper (any variety), diced

2 tomatoes, chopped

Optional: vegan Parmesan

Dressing:

3 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp truffle oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

1/3 C Tofutti sour cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain. Return to the pan and add the spinach, basil, parsley, green onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients; add to the pasta mixture and coat well and enjoy!

Mushroom and Spinach Pizza with Truffle Oil

I’ve found my new favorite pizza—and this is it. Truffle oil is ideal for pizzas and this one will leave you wishing you made more!

INGREDIENTS:

Any basic pizza dough recipe. I used a pre-packaged mix.

2 C mushrooms, sliced

1-1/2 C fresh spinach, torn or chopped

1 C fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped

3/4 C Daiya mozzarella cheese

Truffle oil, to taste (I recommend about a tablespoon)

Earth Balance margarine

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425. Combine the mushrooms, spinach, basil, and truffle oil in a medium bowl; set aside. Using about a teaspoon of Earth Balance, I greased a round pizza pan. Press dough onto the pan. Stick several times with a fork.

Bake the crust for 5 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Sprinkle a thin layer of cheese on top of the crust. Next, add all of the spinach/mushrooms mixture. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edge of the crust browns. Slice and enjoy!

Portobellos with Tomatoes and Truffle Cheeze Sauce

We got some beautiful portobellos and tomatoes from Green Buffalo Food Co. and this came together so fast. The truffle cheeze sauce is amazing! I could have eaten it with a spoon—it is rich, creamy and perfect for veggies, pasta, or by the spoonful!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 Tbs olive oil

2 Portobello mushrooms, stem and gills removed

2-4 large basil leaves (I used spinach, but I think I’d prefer basil for more flavor)

4 tomato slices

Sauce:

1/3 C almond milk

1/2 C Daiya mozzarella

1/8 tsp (or less) white truffle oil

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Place portobellos, face down, in the pan and lightly saute for about 2 minutes. Turn over and saute the other side. Add the basil leaves and 2 tomato slices per mushroom. Reduce heat to low and cover.

To prepare the sauce, bring the almond milk just to a boil, reduce heat to medium and whisk in the cheeze and truffle oil. Whisk until smooth—it’ll only take a couple of minutes.

Serve the portobellos with sauce drizzled on top and enjoy!

Bowties with Homemade Lemony-Basil Pesto

I love pesto–just not how oily the jarred variety can be. I wanted to create my own version with my favorite ingredients and with less oil. This pesto has a fresh, earthy taste that is nothing like the jarred stuff! If you want a little more oil, I suggest swirling the pasta in some olive oil before mixing in the pesto. This recipe makes about 1-1/2 cups and a little goes a long way, so a great way to store it, is freezing it in ice cube trays and using only one cube at a time. This would also be great for cold pasta salads.

INGREDIENTS:

2-1/2 C fresh basil leaves

1/2 C parsley

1 C pine nuts

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1/8-1/4 C lemon juice (depending on how lemony you want it)

1/3 C olive oil

3 Tbs vegan Parmesan

DIRECTIONS:

In a food processor, combine the basil, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil and puree for about a minute. Add the pine nuts and process for another 30-45 seconds, then add the Parmesan cheese and process again to blend well. I sauteed some mushrooms and mixed in about a tablespoon of pesto with single servings of the pasta/mushroom mixture. Delicious!

Spinach and Tofu Calzones

Now that’s a calzone!

I’ve noticed I’ve been making a lot of pasta/Italian dishes like the Stuffed Shells and Lasagna–no reason, really–perhaps the rainy weather is prompting cravings for comfort food…whatever the reason, I’m not complaining.

The spinach part of the recipe makes quite a hog of a calzone, so if you’re not into that, I recommend either halving the spinach/tofu mixture or doubling the dough recipe to make more calzone that can be stored in the fridge or freezer…or make smaller calzones–8 instead of 4. As the recipe stands, you could easily split one between two people.  Add your favorite pizza toppings if you wish…I added mushrooms, olives (black, green or both), vegan mozzarella. Try Smart Deli ham with pineapple…you name it. I also warmed up 1/2 a jar of marinara sauce to pour on top–a must!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C cooked, chopped spinach, squeezed dry

4 oz soft silken tofu, drained

Salt and pepper

1 Tbs olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1-16oz pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed and crumbled (I use 14 oz since that’s all I had)

1 Tbs minced fresh basil leaves

1 tsp dried oregano

Optional: your favorite calzone/pizza toppings like mushrooms, olives, vegan ham, pineapple…

Optional: 1/2-1 C vegan mozzarella

Optional: 1/2 a jar of marinara sauce (Muir Glen Organics only has 4 grams of sugar–much less than my previous favorite–Newman’s Own)

1 recipe Traditional Pizza Dough (below):

1-1/2 tsp active dry yeast

3/4 C warm water

2-1/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

Pinch of sugar or natural sweetener

1 Tbs olive oil, plus more for spreading

DIRECTIONS:

To make dough: Place yeast in a small bowl. Add 1/4 C of the water and stir to dissolve. Set aside for 5-10 minutes. To make the dough in the food processor (like I did), combine the flour, salt, and sugar, pulsing to blend. With the machine running, add the yeast mixture through the feeding tube, along with the olive oil and as much of the remaining 1/2 water (I needed another 1/3 C in addition to the 1/2 C) as necessary to make the dough hold together. To make the dough by hand, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture, olive oil, and remaining 1/2 C water until well combined. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large oiled bowl. Spread a small amount of oil on top of the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Use immediately or store for up to 8 hours in the refrigerator or for 3-4 weeks in the freezer. Make sure it is tightly wrapped in plastic.

(I decided to store it in the fridge for about 45 minutes and it continued to rise…)

Anyway…

To make calzone: Preheat oven to 375. In a blender or food processor, combine the spinach, silken tofu, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth and set aside.

(I recommend having the rest of the ingredients ready to go before proceeding).  Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the firm tofu, basil, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring , until any liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the spinach mixture. Taste and adjust the seasonings, the set side to cool.

Punch the dough down and divide it in half (to make 4 calzones, divide into fourths). On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece into a 1/4″ thick circle. Divide the filling equally between the dough circles, leaving a 1″ border around the edge. (This is where I smooshed in fresh mushroom pieces, olives and a bit of vegan mozzarella).

Fold the empty half of the dough over the filling and press down along the edge with your fingers, then seal with a fork.

Place on a lightly oiled pizza pan or baking sheet. Bake until the crust is golden, about 30 minutes. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

If using, heat marinara over the stove and pour a ladle-full over the calzone. Top with a pinch or two of vegan mozzarella and enjoy!

Recipe source: Vegan Planet

Vegetable Lasagna

This lasagna is delicious, simple and healthy! I used the same tofu mixture recipe as the Stuffed Shells and it was perfect for this meal. I used the no-boil lasagna noodles since they’re such a time saver–just make sure that every inch gets covered with sauce, otherwise, any bare spots won’t cook and will be crunchy.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbs olive oil

12 no-boil lasagna noodles

2-1/2 C zucchini, sliced thin

2-1/2 C portobello mushrooms, sliced

2/3 C onion, chopped

1 14-oz pgk. extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed

1 jar marinara sauce, divided into thirds (I like Newman’s Own)

1/4-1/3 C nutritional yeast

1 C fresh basil, chopped

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 Tbs lemon juice

8-oz vegan mozzarella, shredded

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375.

To make tofu mixture: Add tofu, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice to a food processor and process well until the mixture resembles ricotta cheese. Stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onions, zucchini and mushrooms in the olive oil for about 5-8 minutes, just enough to soften them.

In a 15″ baking pan, line the bottom with 4 of the lasagna noodles. Top with half of the tofu mixture, half of vegetables, sprinkle with a layer of cheese and then 1/3 of the sauce.

Top with another 4 noodles, the other half of the tofu mixture and other half of veggies. Add another thin layer of cheese and 1/3 of the sauce. Top with remaining 4 noodles, rest of sauce and rest of cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!

Stuffed Shells

Ricotta what?! Who needs ricotta? These stuffed shells are outstanding and the tofu mixture can easily be used for lasagna. If you don’t have fresh basil, use 1-1/2 tablespoons of the dried variety. In the past, I’ve also added about 6 large spinach leaves after processing everything else. Great way to get some added calcium and veggies. Also, if you don’t have any French or Italian bread, make garlic toast easily with leftover hamburger or hot dog buns. I had some whole wheat hamburger buns in the freezer, so I thawed them briefly in the microwave, spread them with some Earth Balance and sprinkled them with garlic salt. Pop them in the oven under a high broiler while the shells cool after baking.

INGREDIENTS:

1 12-oz pgk. jumbo pasta shells

1 14-oz pgk. extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed

1 jar marinara sauce (I like Newman’s Own)

1/4-1/3 C nutritional yeast

1 C fresh basil, chopped

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 Tbs lemon juice

1-1/2 C vegan mozzarella, shredded and divided

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. Add tofu, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and lemon juice to a food processor and process well until the mixture resembles ricotta cheese. Stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.

Cook shells according to package instructions, but subtract a couple of minutes–you want the shells very al dente so that they do not split. Pour a layer of sauce on the bottom of a 15″ baking dish. Stuff each shell (about 43 of them) with 2-3 tsp of tofu mixture and place in pan. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and enjoy!

Garlic-toasted hamburger buns

Hummus and Kalamata Olive Pizza

Being a vegan, you can say good-bye to pizza. Well…traditional pizza, that is. But…vegans say hello to healthier pizza. I had a similar pizza while in Estes Park, CO when we got away for Spring Break, so here is my version. The Kalamata olives are wonderful on this pizza and the Husband kept sneaking them while I was making this meal, so if they look sparse, it’s his fault! Also, I strongly recommend using chopped fresh spinach–if using large leaves and  you take a bite, it could be like pulling a tablecloth out from underneath a set of china and having it go horribly wrong. Chop it up.

INGREDIENTS:

2 C flour

1 C whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt

2-1/2 tsp yeast

2 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp dried rosemary

1-1/2 C hummus

1 C chopped fresh basil

3 C chopped fresh spinach

3/4 C chopped walnuts, toasted

1-6oz jar Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half

2 roma tomatoes, diced

Balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

Dough:

Preheat oven to 400.  In a large bowl, combine flours, yeast, salt and rosemary. Add 1-1/4 C of hot tap water and olive oil. Mix well and shape into a ball. Knead for 5 mins, then let rise in a warm place for 15 mins. Roll out the dough on a floured surface.

Grease a large baking sheet and place dough in it. (I did slice off a small section to make a separate pizza for the 5th Grader, so the one you see on the large pan below is minus that…this makes a good-sized pizza, so making smaller ones would work well). Stick dough several times with a fork and bake for 4 mins.On baked crust, spread hummus first, then layer spinach, basil, olives and tomatoes.

Bake again for 8 mins. Before slicing, add toasted walnuts.

After serving, but before devouring, drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Enjoy!

Seitan Meatballs

One bite and these “meat”balls were an instant favorite that I’ll be making often. They’re actually quite easy to make and prep time was only about 10 mins at the most. The recipe is from Vegetarian Times and includes a sauce recipe, which I didn’t have time for, so I just used jarred sauce. Already looking forward to the leftovers for lunch tomorrow…

INGREDIENTS:

1-16-oz pkg. seitan (I used 2-8oz pkgs of Westsoy’s beef-style seitan–in the red box)

1/2 C pecans

1/2 C whole wheat breadcrumbs (used regular–couldn’t find whole wheat)

1/4 C chopped fresh parsley

1/4 C chopped fresh basil

1/8 tsp dried oregano

3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs)

3 Tbs olive oil, divided

1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp egg replacer powder

16-oz pasta

1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray (I used foil and sprayed that–baked-on cooking spray is a pain to scrub off of  baking sheets)! Crumble seitan in food processor . Add pecans; pulse to blend.

Transfer to a bowl. Stir in breadcrumbs, herbs, garlic, 1 Tbs olive oil, and soy sauce. Whisk egg replacer with 1/4 C water until frothy; fold into seitan mixture.

Shape mixture into 18 (I got 20) balls. Place on prepared baking sheet, and brush with remaining 2 Tbs oil.

Bake 20 mins, turning once, or until crusty and lightly browned. I didn’t bother turning them and they turned out great.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and divide among serving bowls. Top with sauce and meatballs. Enjoy!

UPDATE: These made GREAT meatball sandwiches!

Hot Rice with Cold Lemon, Basil and Tomato

This is a fast and easy side dish that is very flavorful. For variety, I sometimes omit the basil and add grated ginger root instead. This also makes a light, refreshing lunch or snack. I really like the Arborio rice (risotto rice)–it’s a great change from regular white rice.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C Arborio rice
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
3 pinches of fine sea salt
2 pinches ground black pepper
1/2 C (or as much as you want) tomato, diced
2 Tbs chopped fresh basil

DIRECTIONS:

Place the unrinsed rice in a saucepan with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes or until mostly tender but still a little firm in the center of the grain. Drain off any excess water and transfer rice to a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice (grated ginger if using), salt and pepper. Mix well and addd the tomatoes and sprinkle basil (if using) on top. Toss to combine and serve. Makes about 4 servings. Enjoy!

Recipe source: The Kind Diet