Bowties with Veggies and Roasted Garlic Ricotta

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I’m so happy there are some leftovers! The original recipe uses real ricotta, but not only did I make use my go-to ricotta recipe, I also added/omitted some ingredients. Ricotta cheese has so much fat it’s ridiculous (10 g/fat, 6 g/saturated fat) so even if you do eat dairy, I urge you to try my tofu-version that contains 5 grams of fat, and only 1 gram of saturated fat. Plus, you’ll also benefit from the protein and the no cholesterol! Also, if you think roasting garlic is a pain, it’s really not. It’s so easy to do and takes only 30 minutes, in which time, you can prepare all of your ingredients. Ideally, if you can roast the garlic and make the ricotta the day before, it will be even more flavorful by the time you make this dish. I think you’ll find this is a great main meal or side dish that will please even picky eaters.

INGREDIENTS:

 Tofu-Ricotta:

14-oz pkg extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 tsp basil
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 C nutritional yeast
2 Tbs lemon juice
Optional: 1/2 C Daiya Mozzarella shreds

The rest:

1 lb bow-tie pasta (any variety would be fine)
6 cloves of garlic (or more if you want)
Olive oil
1-1/2 C cherry tomatoes, halved
4-6 C fresh spinach, chopped
2 C mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 C reserved pasta-cooking water

Ricotta Pasta

DIRECTIONS:

To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 425. Cut off the tips of each garlic clove and place on a piece of foil; drizzle with olive oil. Wrap up loosely in the foil, place on a small baking sheet, and roast for about 30 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

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Meanwhile, however, prepare your other ingredients. To make the “ricotta,” combine all of the ingredients in a food processor, but don’t blend it yet until the garlic is done. You’ll want to add the garlic cloves and blend everything together, along with the 1/4 C of the reserved pasta-cooking water. So until the garlic is ready, at least throw together the ingredients to get started. Cook the pasta according to package instructions while you saute the mushrooms in a small pan with a teaspoon of olive oil. Chop your spinach, slice those tomatoes, and finish off the ricotta by adding the newly roasted garlic and water. (For the garlic cloves, gently squeeze an end and the skins should come right off, then discard).

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Drain the pasta and rinse with hot water to remove as much starch as possible. Return the pot to the stove and over medium-low heat, add the spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms; saute with a smidgen of water until wilted and heated through.

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Add the pasta and ricotta and combine everything thoroughly, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!

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Meatless Mushroom Ragu

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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!

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Alfredo Ravioli (and a beautiful white morning)

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First, I had to snap a few pictures this morning of the snow because by tomorrow, most of it will be gone. This is a photog’s dream and the time I love snow—so beautiful.

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So anyway, as you probably know, I go through phases when I discover certain meals. For example, when I discovered stuffed peppers, I made about 10 different versions . . . same with frittatas and tofu scrambles. Now I’m on to my latest obsession: Ravioli. At least I have the process down to a science so preparation goes a lot smoother. I was hankering for some of this Alfredo sauce, but I was also craving ravioli. Typically, I don’t like to pair ravioli with a heavy sauce, but to hell with rules; this was too good not to try. I changed up the dough a little because I didn’t have enough semolina flour and it worked out nicely. These are stuffed with tofu ricotta and fresh spinach—a fabulous combo. For a more in-depth description on using a ravioli plate, check out this version.

INGREDIENTS:

Dough:

1 C semolina flour

2 C whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp salt

1 C almond milk, warm

2 Tbs olive oil

Filling:

14-oz pkg. extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and crumbled

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 Tbs lemon juice

1/3 C nutritional yeast

1/3 C Daiya mozzarella (optional)

2 C chopped spinach

Sauce:

1 C raw cashews

2 Tbs pine nuts

1-1/2 C water

4 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp garlic, minced

1/16 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 C nutritional yeast

1 to 2 C mushrooms, sliced

DIRECTIONS:

Start with making the dough. In a large bowl, combine the flours and salt. Create a well in the middle and slowly pour in the almond milk and oil. Using a spoon, or your hands, combine well. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for at least 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, cover with plastic, and set aside.

Next, throw together the ricotta. Combine all of the ingredients, except the spinach and cheese, in a food processor and blend well. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the spinach and cheese. Set aside.

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Next, roll out the dough. I used my pasta maker, but you may certainly use a rolling pin. Lay one long sheet over the ravioli mold and fill each pocket with just over a teaspoon of filling.

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Lay another thin sheet of dough over the top, press down and use a rolling pin to seal the edges. Again, refer to this post on how to use a ravioli plate. Place the raviolis on a baking sheet and repeat the process until you have used up all of the filling. I had just a small amount of dough left, but not much. I had 75 raviolis when it was all said and done. Cover and set aside.

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Time to make the sauce. Using a blender, grind the cashews and pine nuts to a fine powder. Add the nutritional yeast, water, lemon juice, garlic, nutmeg, and salt. Blend until completely smooth—about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium saucepan and whisk over medium heat until it begins to boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes; stir in the black pepper. I sauteed the mushrooms first, then stirred them into the sauce.

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Keeping the sauce warm on very low heat, bring a large pot of water to a boil. I cooked about 12-15 raviolis at a time for about 4-5 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, place them in a strainer. Serve immediately, or lay them out on a large pan, otherwise, they’ll stick to each other. You can drizzle a little olive oil on them as well, to keep them separated. Ladle on some sauce and enjoy!

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Roman Pasta Soup with Potatoes

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This is definitely a carb-lover’s soup! You certainly don’t have to use pasta and potatoes, but I think they work really well together in this soup. I used to make this soup a lot about ten or twelve years ago, but sort of forgot about it, especially since it used real bacon, but like most meat dishes, this one is easy to veganize. It’s incredibly easy to make and versatile, too. I think some chopped kale or mushrooms would be great additions.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 veggie bacon slices, diced

1 large onion, chopped

1/3 C fresh parsley, chopped

8-9 C vegetable broth

3 medium russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced

2 C pasta shells, uncooked

Black pepper, to taste

Daiya mozzarella

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions and veggie bacon and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and cook another 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and broth and cook over medium heat about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are slightly tender. Add the pasta and cook 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through. Season with black pepper and serve with Daiya cheese on top. Enjoy!

Pasta & Kale with Lemony Cashew Cream

This makes a great summer dish! If you don’t have any kale on hand (why wouldn’t you?!) you could use any leafy green such as chard or spinach. I also think sliced mushrooms, sauteed asparagus, or zucchini would also work well in this. The sauce isn’t overly rich and has just a hint of lemon, plus it’s a breeze to make.

INGREDIENTS:

4 C pasta

2-3 C kale, chopped

Cashew Cream:

2 C raw cashews

water

The rest:

2 tsp yellow miso

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 Tbs lemon juice

Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Soak the cashews in water for a few hours, preferably overnight. Drain and rinse the cashews, then place them in the blender. Add 2-1/2 cups of water and blend until smooth. The results will resemble heavy cream. This makes about 4 cups. You’ll only need 1-1/2 cups for this recipe, so I store the rest in a mason jar in the fridge. It will also keep in the freezer for a couple of months.

While the pasta is cooking, whisk together 1-1/2 cups of the cream sauce, miso, lemon juice, and black pepper in a small sauce pan. The sauce will already be thick, so it’s just a matter of heating it through.

Just when you’re about to drain the pasta, add the chopped kale to the pot and let it cook 1 minute, then drain.

Serve the pasta with the cashew cream drizzled on top. If you’d like, season with a bit of salt. Enjoy!

Creamy Mushroom Fettuccine

“To err is human.” I found myself quoting Alexander Pope as I made this dish from Big Vegan. Apparently, I wasn’t very good about reading the ingredient list, or directions when I decided on making this dish this week. I didn’t realize that it calls for dried mushrooms. Didn’t pick those up. It called for fresh parsley. Didn’t get that. It called for a cast iron pan. Still haven’t bought one. But that’s OK! I improvised and this turned out to be an amazing dish, mostly because I did not screw up the sauce. It’s a fantastic sauce that I will be making again and again. It’s full of flavor and isn’t too thick or too thin, and is so easy to make. The Husband called it a vegan stroganoff. The recipe also calls for seitan, but I’m not a fan, so I left it out. Below is my ad libbed version that I promise won’t disappoint! In fact, I got nixed out of the leftovers, but thankfully, there was some sauce left so I made some rice and had a satisfying lunch.

INGREDIENTS:

3 Tbs rice flour

1 Tbs olive oil

2 C shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-1/2 C almond milk

1/4 C white cooking wine

1 Tbs tomato paste

1 Tbs nutritional yeast

1 Tbs white miso

1 pinch nutmeg

1 pinch cayenne

1 pinch turmeric

6 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp salt

8 oz portobello caps (3 of them), thinly sliced

16 oz dried fettuccine

1/4 C toasted walnuts, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet. Add the shiitakes, green onion, portobellos, and cook until browned. Sprinkle with the flour and stir to combine.

Whisk together the almond milk, wine, miso, tomato paste, yeast flakes, nutmeg, cayenne, and turmeric. Reduce the heat on the mushrooms to low and slowly add the sauce, little by little, stirring as you go to keep it from burning. Season with the salt. It won’t be a real thick sauce; you just want it heated through.

Drain the pasta and serve it with a ladle or two of sauce on top along with the toasted walnuts. You can also mix the sauce with the pasta, but I like to usually keep them separate. Enjoy!

Pasta with Kale

I was on my own for dinner the other night, so after staring blankly at the cupboards, then the fridge, I decided to combine some of my favorite ingredients for dinner: tri-color pasta, kale, mushrooms, and miso. For some added crunch (and protein) you could throw in some pine nuts or chopped cashews.

INGREDIENTS:

8-10 oz tri-color rotini

1 bunch kale, chopped

5-6 mushrooms, sliced

2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

1 Tbs yellow miso

1 tsp garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS:

Cook the pasta until al dente and drain. Meanwhile, steam the kale and mushrooms 3-5 minutes—just until they’re tender. Usually, once the kale turns bright green, it’s ready. Using the same pot you cooked the pasta in, melt the margarine and garlic. Stir in the miso and blend it in. Add the kale and pasta and combine well. Enjoy!

Mushroom and Snow Pea Soup

This soup is perfect if you want a comforting meal in no time. I used lots of my favorite ingredients and like most soups, it will taste even better the next day.

INGREDIENTS:

6 C vegetable broth

1 Tbs olive oil

6 green onion, sliced

3 C Shiitake and white mushrooms (or cremini), sliced

2 C snow peas, cut into pieces (and ends snipped)

1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated

3 tsp garlic, minced

2 Tbs yellow miso

6-oz Angel hair pasta

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the oil and garlic. Add the green onion, mushrooms, and snow peas. Cook until the veggies are tender.

Add the ginger and miso, and combine well. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil.

Add the pasta and cook another 3-5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Linguine in a Lemon Cream Sauce

This recipe is from Vegetarian Times and the only changes I made were using vegan cream cheese and adding a couple dashes of nutmeg to the sauce. It came together quickly and served with a salad, it made an ideal meal.

INGREDIENTS:

8-oz dry linguine

1/2 C Tofutti cream cheese

2 Tbs olive oil

1 lemon, juiced and 1 Tbs zest

1/2 C parsley, chopped

A couple dashes of nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

Cook linguine according to package instructions. In a small saucepan, warm the cream cheese, oil, and 2 Tbs lemon juice (I just juiced the whole thing), over low heat. Add the nutmeg, if using. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta; return it to the pot. Stir in the reserved cooking water into the cream cheese mixture. At first, I thought it was too much water and watered it down too much, but surprisingly, it turned out to be the perfect consistency. If you’re not sure, just add a little at a time and decide how thick you want it.

Stir the sauce into the pasta and add the lemon zest, and parsley; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Enjoy!

Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

This recipe is from Vegetarian Times Quick & Healthy 30-Minute  Meals that I picked up at the grocery store. The recipe is actually entitled: Fusilli Bucati Lunghi with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, but that’s a long title, plus, you can use any pasta you’d like.

It’s full of some really outstanding meals and I like that they’re done in about 30 minutes (ideally). The Sixth Grader loves to cook so I’ve been having him help me in the kitchen as much as possible. For those of you with middle-grade kids, this recipe is a good one to let them do—that is, if you trust them with a sharp knife. :) When the onions made him cry, he didn’t let it detour him—a sure sign of a dedicated chef! There’s some chopping of vegetables involved, plus some simmer time for the sauce, so this recipe definitely took longer than the 30 minutes the magazine claims. 45 minutes was more like it. Regardless, it was still easy and very delicious; something we’d make again. The kid got to partake in the full culinary experience, by not only cooking dinner, but cleaning up when he dropped the leftover sauce container and creating a quite a mess. Ah well, all part of being a master chef.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbs garlic-flavored olive oil (I just use regular olive oil and added 2 tsp of minced garlic)

1 C jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed, drained, and chopped

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (you’re going to puree this later—we just chopped it)

1 large carrot, finely chopped (Save yourself some time—especially when letting the kids help—and use the food processor)!

8-oz dry fusilli bucati lunghi (or any other pasta you’d like)

DIRECTIONS:

Look at him go . . . chop chop!

We’d still be in the kitchen if he had to finely chop the carrot by hand. I know it’s an extra thing to clean, but use the food processor.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil (add garlic, if using). Add the peppers, onion, and carrot; saute 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of water, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Remove the sauce from heat. The recipe says to use a hand blender to puree the sauce until smooth. Not having this handy appliance, I used the food processor. Season with salt and pepper, if you’d like.

Drain pasta and add to saucepan with sauce. Toss well and 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!

Mexican Fettuccini

I’ve had some sun-dried tomato pasta in the pantry for a while, so I decided it was high time to do something with it, but any type of pasta will do for this meal. After taking his first bite, The Husband remarked, “Now that’s a smorgasbord of flavors!” It was definitely flavorful and it seemed to gather steam with every bite!

INGREDIENTS:

8-oz sun-dried tomato fettuccini

1/2 C walnuts, chopped

1/2 C salsa

2 C spinach, chopped

1/2 C black olives, sliced

2 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes

2 Tbs water

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 green onions, sliced

Tofutti sour cream

Cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta according to package instructions. In the meantime, in a medium sauce pan, toast the walnuts for about 3 minutes. Add the salsa, spinach, black olives, olive oil, nutritional yeast flakes, water, salt, and pepper. Combine well and let simmer on a low heat until spinach has cooked down and everything is heated through.

Top individual servings of pasta with the sauce, a dollop of Tofutti sour cream, cilantro and green onions. Enjoy!

Pasta with Almond Parmesan

This has always been one of my favorite go-to lunches or quick dinners. I tend to have the almond Parmesan, from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, in the fridge because it’s delish and so easy to make. It’s packed with B vitamins (nutritional yeast) and protein (almonds). I also use low-carb, whole-wheat pasta when possible and the beauty of this, is that you can make as little, or as much as you want.

INGREDIENTS:

Cooked pasta, any variety

Mushrooms, sliced and lightly sauteed

Tomato, diced

Earth Balance margarine

Parmezano Sprinkles:

1/2 C blanched almonds

2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes

1-2 tsp light miso

Heaping 1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

To make the Parmezano Sprinkles: place the almonds in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes, then drain them; rinse with cold water. When pinched between your fingers, the skins will slide right off. Dry off with a paper towel and place the almonds in a food processor; grind to a fine powder. Add remaining ingredients and pulse several times to incorporate everything. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator; will keep for a month or so and can be frozen.

Cook pasta according to instructions on package. In the meantime, saute the mushrooms a little. Once pasta is cooked and drained, add a little Earth Balance to the pot and coat the pasta. Stir in the mushrooms and tomatoes; let the tomatoes heat through a minute or two. Serve with Parmezano sprinkles on top! Enjoy!

Pesto and Green Olive Pasta Salad

It’s so nice to be back home after two weeks; particularly, back in the kitchen. I escaped the snow to California, now I’m back in it and to add insult to injuries, we’re to have a high of 12 degrees today. Minus 18 is predicted tonight. Yippee. I hate winter. I made this salad for a fund-raising event because it was quick and easy, but now I’m thinking it was really my way of sticking it to Old Man Winter. Who says who can’t have a summery pasta salad during the ugly winter months? Certainly not me. I love to make pasta salads so that they last a few days in fridge, providing a quick snack or lunch when I don’t have a lot of time. I used a 10-oz bag of Garden Time organic, colored/veggie bowtie pasta and another 4-oz of regular bowties. Oh, and did I mention that it’s snowing right now? This means you’ll probably be seeing lots of baked recipes and soup recipes from me in the coming days . . .

INGREDIENTS:

14 oz bowtie pasta

1-1/2 C pesto, jarred or homemade (If using jarred, check the label–they often contain Parmesan and other milk ingredients)

8 green onions, slices (both white and green parts)

2 C halved or quartered cherry tomatoes

1-14oz can green olives, sliced

1/2 to 3/4 C Daiya mozzarella

Salt and pepper, to taste

For some crunch, add some pine nuts or toasted walnuts or almonds

DIRECTIONS:

If not using jarred, make pesto. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, combine green onions, tomatoes, and olives.

Stir in the cold pasta, pesto, salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese and enjoy!

Angel Hair Pasta with Mushrooms and Ricotta

This is so light and flavorful that The Husband is already looking forward to the leftovers. The original recipe is from the latest issue of Sunset Magazine, but I made lots of changes. So really, I guess that means I was inspired by the recipe . . .

INGREDIENTS:

6 oz angel hair pasta

8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt, to taste

1/2 C vegan ricotta (recipe below)

1/4 C toasted croutons, crushed (I made my own—see below)

1/3 C flat-leaf parsley leaves

4 Tbs olive oil, divided

Ricotta:

14 oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed

1/3 C nutritional yeast

1/2 C to 1 C fresh basil leaves

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbs lemon juice

Croutons:

2-3 slices French bread, toasted, then chopped and crushed

DIRECTIONS:

To make ricotta: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend well. You’ll only need about 1/3 to 1/2 C, so either refrigerate the rest for a few days for another meal, or freeze it.

Cook pasta according to package instructions; reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, then drain. Heat 2 Tbs of the olive oil and add the mushrooms; cook until browned. Add the leeks and garlic and cook about 1-2 minutes. Season with salt. Toss the pasta with the mushroom mixture, reserved pasta sauce and remaining 2Tbs of olive oil.

Top with little dollops of the ricotta and some parsley. Enjoy!

 

 

Porcini Mushroom Pasta with a Cream Cheese Sauce

Vegan MoFo, Day 29

I can’t believe I went this far into Vegn MoFo and missed yesterday! It was a busy day of Christmas shopping then an evening of margaritas and a taco bar at the neighbor’s. We made tacos with Boca crumbles, Tofutti sour cream, Daiya cheese, vegetarian refries . . .it was great! So tonight, I went with something easy and quick. The recipe came with the Pappardelle’s pasta, but I made some alterations.

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz porcini mushroom fettucini

2 C mushrooms, sliced

1/2 C green onions, sliced or 1 large leek or 1/c C yellow onion (I used green onions since I had a ton left over from last night’s taco bar)

3 oz Tofutti sour cream

3 Tbs Earth Balance

1/3 C almond milk

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbs minced onion or 2 Tbs fresh chives, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta according to instructions. In a medium saucepan heat Earth Balance and garlic. Add mushrooms and saute 5 minutes; add green onions. Saute another 3-4 minutes. Stir in cream cheese and mix until thoroughly melted and combined.

Add almond milk and combine well. Season with minced onion, salt, and pepper.

Ladle over individual servings of pasta and enjoy!

Chipotle-Lime Pasta with a Cream Sauce and Avocado

Vegan MoFo, Day 21

I picked up some Pappardelle’s Whole Wheat Chipotle Lime pasta and since it has a bit of kick, I figured a cream sauce would be ideal to go with it. I also had an avocado on-the-verge of being tossed, so it all came together beautifully!

INGREDIENTS:

8-oz Chipotle Lime pasta

2 tsp garlic, minced

2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

2 Tbs flour

1 C almond milk

2 Tbs Vegan Parmesan cheese

1 tsp lime juice, plus a little more for thinning, if needed

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

2 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)

1/3 C fresh cilantro, chopped

5-6 mushrooms, diced

1 avocado, diced

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta 10-12 minutes, or until al dente. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat margarine and garlic. Whisk in the flour. Once the flour is thoroughly combined, whisk in the almond milk, then the sour cream and Parmesan. Stir in the lime juice, mushrooms, cilantro, and green onions. Add more lime juice, if needed.

Ladle the sauce over single servings of pasta and top with the diced avocado. Enjoy!

 

 

Spinach Fettuccine with Creamy Pesto Sauce

This is such an easy meal to whip up when you have very little time. I typically keep prepared pesto in the freezer for such times and of course, I still I have the huge block of cashew cheese that is conveniently stored in the freezer as well. Done in less than 25 minutes!

INGREDIENTS:

12-14 oz spinach fettuccine, cooked

1-1/2 Tbs cornstarch

2/3 C non dairy milk (not rice milk–too thin)

1/3 + 1 tsp vegetable broth

1/3 C prepared basil pesto

2 Tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cashew cheese, shredded (Optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan. Whisk in cornstarch, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in milk and broth. Add pesto and whisk thoroughly. Return to low to medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. I added the 1 teaspoon of broth here to thin out the sauce just a little. Ladle sauce over individual bowls of pasta and top with cashew cheese. Enjoy!

Pasta with “Meat” Sauce

It really doesn’t get much easier than this, especially when you’re short on time to make dinner. It was my night to host writer’s group, so I needed something quick to whip up. I used Boca Crumbles, but Field Roast makes an Italian “sausage” that I think would work nicely as well.

INGREDIENTS:

14-16oz pasta, cooked

1 jar spaghetti or marinara sauce

1 bag Boca Meatless Crumbles (use as much as you want–depending on how “meaty” you want it)

Vegan mozzarella, shredded

Optional: 6-8 mushrooms, sliced

DIRECTIONS:

I added the frozen  Boca Crumbles directing into the pan with the sauce, warming them together. I also added some sliced mushrooms and simmered everything for about 10-15 minutes. Top pasta with the sauce and cheese and you’re done! This is a great combination of carbohydrates and protein and perfect for the night before a hike or activity when you need some extra umph. Even for my morning run, I tend to go further, longer. Never a bad thing. Enjoy!

Baked Mac and Cheese

I made this recipe before and it was alright—I knew it had potential, so I made it again, but this time, I made a few changes and I really love how it turned out. The original recipe was just a little too dry for my taste but I’ll post that recipe with what changes I made. Overall, it’s a great basic recipe for vegan mac and cheese so it was easy to tweak.

INGREDIENTS:

5 C water, divided (I used more water…had to use more pasta)

3/4 C nutritional yeast

1/4 C pine nuts

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbs fresh parsley

1 tsp pepper

1 Tbs soy sauce (I used 2 Tbs almond milk instead)

1 C uncooked pasta (This seemed way to little for the 4 servings it says it makes–I used 4 cups and didn’t even need to make more sauce)

3 Tbs olive oil

1/4 C flour

3/4 C breadcrumbs (I used about 1/8 of a cup)

I added 1/2 C Tofutti sour cream, 1/2 C shredded vegan cheddar cheese,  and 1/2 tsp of turmeric.

(This is great vegan comfort food–especially considering we got snowed on again–it’s mid-May)!


DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. In a large pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil (you’ll need more if using more pasta). While water is boiling, in a blender (or food processor) combine nutritional yeast, pine nuts, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, parsley, pepper, and turmeric until blended. Add remaining 1 cup of water and soy sauce (or almond milk) and blend. Add pasta to boiling water. In a large pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add flour and stir constantly to remove lumps. Pour in blended mixture and stir until a desired consistency is reached. (This actually happens pretty quick, so you could easily do this step after the pasta is already cooked). Remove from heat. (This is where I stirred in the sour cream and cheddar cheese). Strain pasta and pour into pan of cheesy sauce and stir to combine. Transfer to a oven-safe dish, top with breadcrumbs and bake 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe source: VegNews

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!

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!

Pasta with Asparagus and Lemon Sauce

Chances are, you already have the ingredients for this light and easy meal. You can also add your favorite other veggies like broccoli, tomatoes or mushrooms.

INGREDIENTS:

1-2 Tbs olive oil

2 tsp minced garlic

1/2 C chopped fresh parsley

3/4 C coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/2 C white wine

1/2 C lemon juice

1/4 C soy milk

1 to 1-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 2″ pieces

8-oz spaghetti

DIRECTIONS:

Steam the asparagus–about 15 mins. Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet and add the garlic, parsley and red pepper and cook for 3-4 mins. Add the steamed asparagus and saute for another 3 mins . Add the white wine and lemon juice–simmer until about 1/2 of the juices are cooked off. Stir in the soy milk and cook for 1 min. Stir in basil and cook a few minutes more.

Toss with the pasta and if desired, top with vegan Parmesan cheese and enjoy!