Category Archives: Italian

Holy Cream Sauce! (Vegan Fettuccini Alfredo)

This is SO easy and SO tasty, so creamy and shockingly vegan! Really a 10 minute meal. Boom. And SO SO YUMMMYYYYYY! I really cannot believe this is dairy free, and I know exactly what I put in there! I was whipping this up tonight for an Italian themed potluck at work tomorrow. I couldn’t help but also prep my favorite vegan ravioli, bought in bulk from Rainbow Grocery. I just tossed those in olive oil (after cooking) and threw in some fresh veggies. But back to the fettuccini alfredo: I had been seeing recipes for this on the vegan-cookingsphere for some time, and finally compiled the best ideas I saw (and the most accessible to my pantry), and experimented. I was not disappointed. We will see how it goes over tomorrow with my omnivore colleagues, but for now, I am very happy and full 😀

You need:

10-12 oz dry fettuccini noodles (check for egg/dairy before buying!)

1 cup raw cashews

1.25 cup hot water (more if needed to blend)

1.5 TBS nutritional yeast

1 TBS tahini

1 TBS Better Than Boullion

1 TBS crushed garlic

2-3 cups steamed cauliflower

Combine all ingredients (except noodles!) in high speed blender while boiling pasta till al dente. Pour cream sauce over noodles, tossing well. Sprinkle with black pepper to serve. I also added in some veggies for texture and nutrients 🙂

That is all, enjoy!!

Haven’t Posted in Months!

And am only recently getting back into cooking. I hope to get this blog back up and running soon! The main reason for my absence is that we got married! And I was working full time while planning our Lake Tahoe soirée, so recipes were the last thing on my mind. It has been a whirlwind year, my sister got married this summer too, and only recently have we been back in the kitchen. Also of note, my carnivore of a husband went vegan about a month ago, and so it has been fun eating mostly the same foods! Tonight we made spaghetti and "meat"balls, plus he had some staggeringly authentic tasting "Beyond Burgers". If you love burgers and think you could never give those up, get yourself on over to Safeway. But if you live near us, good luck because my man is singlehandedly keeping the company in business, and there might not be any left in stock! These 100% vegan burgers are in the refrigerated meat section, and are startlingly meaty in both texture and taste. Utterly convincing.

So instead of my own recipe tonight, I'll post a link to the Beyond Burger and to the vegan meatball recipe I pulled from Pinterest and enjoyed tonight! Bon appetit!

http://beyondmeat.com/products/view/beyond-burger

http://www.hummusapien.com/vegan-meatball-subs/

Whole Wheat Vegan Spinach Lasagna

I had a go to spinach lasagna I made for years using ricotta. It took me awhile of vegan cooking to realize you can use tofu as a substitute for many dairy products. It may not sound appealing, but don’t knock it until you try it! This tastes nothing like tofu and everything like a hearty and filling lasagna! Fresh herbs like basil, oregano, and garlic take it to the next level, though I only used fresh basil this time around. I love this recipe because it keeps really well so that you can pack tasty lunches for the rest of your week 🙂

You need:

-1 box no boil whole wheat pasta

-8 oz tomato sauce

– 1/2 tsp garlic powder

– 1 tsp dried oregano

– 4 Tbs nutritional yeast

-Handful fresh basil

-Tofu, firm, 8 oz drained

-4 oz frozen, thawed, drained spinach

-1/2 tsp nutmeg

-1/2 tsp black pepper

-1 large zucchini 

-optional vegan cheese (my favorite is the chao original, but I only had 1 slice left!)

First put your tofu in a bowl and crumble it into small pieces. Then add pepper, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and cooked drained spinach to make your “ricotta” layer. 

Then pour some tomato sauce into the bottom of your baking dish and place a single layer of no-boil noodles on top. Then spread about half of your tofu spinach layer. Next place another layer of noodles, then more tomato sauce, fresh basil, dried oregano, and crushed red pepper. Next thinly slice your zucchini lengthwise to make a layer of zucchini noodles to lay flat across your lasagna noodles. Then add another layer of wheat noodles. Spread the rest of your tofu/spinach layer on, and then top with your final layer of noodles. Pour sauce liberally along with more dried herbs, nutritional yeast, and optional vegan cheese for melting. 

Bake at 350F for 40 minutes (adding cheese in lay 5 min), and enjoy!!!

Pasta al Garbanzo ;)

I’ve seen a lot of vegan recipes out there for alfredo sauce, and while that is not exactly what I would call this recipe, the creamy-not tomato based sauce in this recipe is pretty close. Plus you get the added protein of garbanzos. The fresh tomatoes and fresh basil really complement this perfectly as well 🙂

You need:

Whole wheat angel hair pasta, lightly cooked

About 8 Campari tomatoes quartered

4 cloves garlic, chopped

6 oz mushrooms, sliced

1 can chickpeas (15oz)

Oregano, 1tbs

Basil, handful fresh, chopped 

Black pepper to taste

Almond milk, 1/3 cup

Steamed kale (to serve on the side)
Blend garbanzos, almond milk, pepper and oregano until creamy.
Sauté garlic and mushrooms in water over moderate heat until just softened. Then add sauce and mix until until well heated, and turn off heat. Lately toss in tomatoes, basil, and pasta. Then serve and enjoy!

Tasty Vegan Pizza

I have dabbled with vegan eating and plant based living for some years now, and find myself again moving in this direction. On a plant based diet, I find myself substituting meats and dairy for whole grains instead, and am loving the carbs and the bread I can easily incorporate! I have realized that with enough flavor and seasoning, and a delicious fresh crust, I like pizza so much better without cheese! It becomes a meal that nourishes, rather than making me sleepy and heavy. I taste the seasonings, fresh baked crust, and vegetable flavors when not blanketed in cheese. Feel free to use any kind of tomato/marinara sauce of your choice, but using plain tomato paste and adding your own seasonings is a way to avoid added salt. It has taken me time to realize carbs at not my enemy and that they (especially from whole grains) are a much better substitute for meat/dairy/fats. I know there are MANY opinions out there, but this is what I am finding energizes me and helps me meet my health goals:)

You simply need:

-1 whole wheat pizza crust (I will have to try one from scratch soon, but Whole Foods and Trader Joes have nice crusts in the refrigerated section ready to roll out and bake)

-1 small can tomato paste

-Oregano (fresh or dried, liberally applied)

-Basil (same as oregano)

-Garlic, about 3 cloves minced or to taste

-Onions, 1/2 large onion chopped

-Crushed red pepper, to taste

-Mushrooms (about 4oz, sliced)

-Kale (one large stalk, washed and shredded)

Optional: vegan cheese or nutritional yeast, additional veggies of choice
Bake at 375F for approximately 15 minutes, depending on your oven and how crispy you like your pizza. Just keep an eye on it, then enjoy!

This keeps well and the slices make a great packable lunch to take to school or work!


High Protein Pizza

I’ll admit, I prefer the doughy goodness of regular pizza crust any day, but you simply cannot argue with these macros! And my guy ate half the pizza in one sitting, so that is one taste teste approval! You don’t taste the turkey in this, and it holds together really well, no falling apart crust here! One little slice packs a whopping 15g of protein for a mere 100 calories. If you are trying to watch your calories or simply build muscle, this is the pizza for you!! Would you believe that all that bubbly cheese is nothing but low fat cottage cheese? It bakes up well, not just a cold side dish with fruit!
Crust:

1 lb extra lean ground turkey

1/4 tsp each onion/garlic powder

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

1/2 tsp each oregano and basil
Mix well and press onto parchement paper in pizza shape of choice

Bake 375×15 min. Remove from oven and blot off extra moisture that accumulates in cooking.
Top with :

2/3 cup marinara sauce

1 large minced garlic clove

1/2 cup fresh spinach

1 small zuccini sliced, steamed, patted dry

1/2 can sliced black olives

1/2 can quartered artichoke hearts

About 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
Bake at 375 x 12 min then broil on high for 2-3 min.
Parchement paper burned a little on broil, but the pizza was perfect!
2 filling pieces are only 202 cal, 4.5 fat, 3.5 fiber, 9 carb, 31 protein!
Enjoy!
   
 
  
   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 

Noodle and Gluten Free Veggie Lasagna 

You know how you can order a pizza half and half when you just want veggies but your friends want all-the-meats? Well, you can make lasagna like that too! Enter the half vegan, half low fat turkey, all grain and noodle free veggie lasagna!  I have to say, while I was expecting the vegan one to pale next to melty cheese, (and let’s be real, visually this might be true) in all reality, the flavors of the vegan side were much tastier!! Feel free to make one side or both to your own tastes! The ingredients below apply to the half/half style, but you can adjust it accordingly if you only want one of the sides for your whole lasagna 🙂

You need:

1 medium eggplant, sliced longwise into thin strips

2 zucchini sliced likewise

3/4 Jar organic marinara (I used Newman’s own basil tomato sauce)

About 8 oz firm tofu

About 8oz lean ground turkey

About 3 large mushrooms sliced thinly

About 2 cups frozen spinach, thawed

About 1 cup low fat cottage cheese

About 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella

About 3 TBS goat cheese

4 TBS nutritional yeast

Plenty of:

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Black pepper

Crushed red pepper

Oregano

Basil

And a little nutmeg
Layer some eggplant and zucchini in the bottom of a greased (and foil lined if you prefer) large casserole dish.  Take your ground turkey and half of your marinara sauce and combine in a bowl, along with your onion/garlic powder, oregano, basil, and crushed red pepper. Then spread 1/2 of this mixture over the chosen “meat” half of your lasagna.  Next spread your cottage cheese over the top of this half of the lasagna. Sprinkle with black pepper and nutmeg.

Then place tofu, spinach, 3tbs nutritional yeast, and some of all the spices mentioned (including the nutmeg) in a high speed blender until you have a creamy green purée. Spread this on the vegan half of the lasagna. Next place thinly sliced mushrooms single layer on top of the creamy greenness, and sprinkle with black pepper and nutmeg.

Then, lay down the second half of your thinly sliced zucchini and eggplant.  On the meat side, go ahead and spread the remaining turkey mixture, then sprinkle shredded and crumbled cheeses on top. On the vegan side, spread a generous layer of marinara sauce, then sprinkle the top with the remaining nutritional yeast.

Cover with foil and place in oven preheated to 450F and bake for about 50minutes. Take off foil for the last 5 minutes and then broil about 2 minutes if desired. Let cool slightly, slice and enjoy!  So delicious and worth the extra efforts to please all types of eaters 🙂 Just make sure to serve full vegans the slice farthest away from the meat side! ENJOY 🙂