Vegan Pasta Con Broccoli

There are only a few meals that truly delight my heart and my palate more than a good pasta. This vegan version of the famous recipe is no exception.   It’s almost hard to believe that there is no cheese, no butter, no cream, and no oil!  The cavatelli pasta is light and creamy and is a perfect medium for this mouthwatering sauce. It’s creamy, delicious, and heart-healthy.  And best of all it can be ready in under 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

 

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Serves 4

  • 8 ounces uncooked cavatelli pasta
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup small chopped broccoli
  • 23  cup thinly  sliced fresh Cremini mushrooms
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups white Béchemel sauce

Cook pasta until nearly done, about 8-10 minutes.

While pasta is cooking, heat large 12-inch rimmed skillet over medium heat, add mushrooms, season with oregano. Dry sauté mushrooms, stirring frequently.  If mushrooms begin to stick, add 2 Tbsp of water/veggie stock and deglaze pan.  Cook until caramelized, season with salt and pepper.   Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add tomato paste, nutritional yeast, garlic, and Béchemel sauce. Stir to combine; cook for 3-5 minutes to warm through, add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.

When pasta is nearly done, add broccoli to the pasta water, reduce to medium heat and cook covered, for 2 minutes. Reserve 1-cup pasta water, set aside and drain the remaining water (Do not rinse pasta).  Return pasta and broccoli to the pot.  Add Béchemel sauce and warm through.

**If the sauce is too thick, add reserved pasta water one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Remove from the heat; add vegan Parmesan (optional) and serve.

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Hearty Veggie Lasagna—Test Kitchen Style!

Hearty Veggie Lasagna—Test Kitchen Style!

Before Kevin and I became vegan we loved consulting America’s Test Kitchen for recipes.    Their recipes are full-proof and delicious—always the result of hours and hours of testing various methods and ingredients.  ATK recipes are truly the best examples of culinary science!   Each recipe has a “What Makes This Work” abstract that walks you through various ingredients and attempted methodologies before they give you their final version of perfection.   That is very appealing to my “But, I need to know why” personality.  So all of that aside…THIS. LASAGNA.

Now, I’ve made vegan lasagna before.  Many times, in fact.  But never, ever, like this.  I had always used tofu ricotta, and while the flavor was good, the texture was lacking and it was always too dry.  This recipe skips the tofu and uses cauliflower and cashews that are cooked and blended together.  SO simple, and it gave my lasagna a moist creaminess that it had been missing!  No joke, this is the BEST lasagna I’ve ever had.  I didn’t have any eggplant (we used the last of it for an amazing Baba Ganoush) so I used broccoli (about 12 0z) instead.  It was perfect.  I added the broccoli during the last 15 minutes of roasting the veggies, and it was scrumptious!   So, without further ado…I present this amazing America’s Test Kitchen “Vegan for Everybody” recipe.

You’re welcome.

  • For the Tomato Sauce:
    • 1(28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
    • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
    • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspoon organic sugar
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

    For the Filling:

    • 8 ounces cauliflower florets, cut into ½-inch pieces (21/4 cups)
    • 11/2 cups raw cashews, chopped
    • Salt and peppers
    • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil

    For the Vegetables:

    • 1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
    • 1 pound white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
    • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • salt
    • 1 pound zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces

    For the Lasagna:

    • 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
    • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
INSTRUCTIONS
    1. For the tomato sauce: Process tomatoes, basil, oil, garlic, sugar, salt and red pepper flakes in food processor until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 30 seconds. Transfer sauce to a bowl and set aside. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.)
    1. For the filling: Bring 3 quarts water to boil in a large saucepan. Add cauliflower florets, cashews, and 2 teaspoons salt and cook until cauliflower is very soft and falls apart easily when poked with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain cauliflower mixture in a colander and let cool slightly about 5 minutes.
    1. Process cauliflower mixture, 3 Tablespoons oil, and ¼ cup water in clean, dry food processor until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, about 2 minutes (mixture will be slightly grainy). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer ¼ cup mixture to bowl and stir in remaining 1 Tablespoon oil and basil; set aside for topping. (Mixtures can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
    1. For the vegetables: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss eggplant and mushrooms with 2 Tablespoons oil, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl, then spread on rimmed baking sheet. Toss zucchini with remaining 1 Tablespoon oil, and ¼ teaspoon salt in the empty bowl. Roast eggplant-mushroom mixture until beginning to wilt, about 15 minutes. Remove sheet from oven, stir zucchini into vegetables, and continue to roast, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are lightly browned, eggplant and zucchini are tender, and most of the juices have evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside. (Cooked vegetables can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.)
    1. For the lasagne: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Spread 11/3 cups tomato sauce over the bottom of the of the dish. Arrange 4 noodles on top. Spread half the cauliflower filling over noodles, followed by half of the vegetables. Spread 11/3 cups tomato sauce over vegetables. Repeat layering with 4 noodles, remaining cauliflower filling, and remaining vegetables. Arrange remaining 4 noodles on top, and cover completely with remaining tomato sauce.
  1. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake until edges are bubbling, 45 to 50 minutes, rotating dish halfway through baking. Dollop lasagne evenly with 8 to 10 spoonfuls of reserves cauliflower topping, and let cool for 25 minutes. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with remaining 1 Tablespoon basil and serve.
NOTES
Feel free to substitute a jar of your favorite pasta sauce. Keep in mind, if you do, you will use a full jar plus 1/3 of another.

Photograph via: Pamela Salzman

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry w/ Papaya Salsa

 

I have modified this amazing recipe because I am doing a Candida/Bacterial overgrowth protocol, and there are a lot of things I can’t have.  However, this recipe came really close to checking off all the boxes and it is soooo good. But I have to give all the credit to Food Faith Fitness for her mega talents in the kitchen!  I’ve made a few modifications (chives for onions, cream of coconut for the full fat coconut milk, and cut back on the oil).  We had it for dinner last night, and OH MY!  Enjoy!

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Photo via Food Faith Fitness

Serving Size: 2

Coconut Curry:

  • ½ tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 large Carrot, peeled and sliced, about a heaping 1/2 cup
  • 1 small Red Bell Pepper, sliced, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup Broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Ginger, minced
  • ½ tablespoon Yellow Curry Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Cream of Coconut (I found it in the liquor section of the store)
  • 12 oz water
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 large Sweet Potato spiraled

Papaya Salsa:

  • 1 Papaya, large, diced, about 3/4 cup
  • 2 tablespoons Chives
  • ½ teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, adjust to the preferred level of spiciness
  • ¼ cup Fresh Cilantro, plus additional for garnish
  • Pinch of Salt

Directions

  1. Heat 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil on medium/high heat and cook the carrots for about 3 minutes, until they begin to soften.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium and add pepper, broccoli, onion and ginger. Cook until they begin to soften and brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the 1/2 Tbsp of yellow curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the cream of coconut and 12 oz water.
  5. Add spiralled sweet potatoes.
  6. Raise the heat to medium/high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium/low heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken.
  7. Meanwhile, toss diced papaya, chives, red pepper flakes, apple cider vinegar and cilantro in a medium bowl. Season with a pinch of salt.
  8. Divide the noodles between two plates and top with the curry. Garnish with papaya salsa and cilantro.

Mushroom Wellington

This recipe is an adaptation of two recipes that each had something that I needed!  “The New York Times version” had butternut squash, wine, and cheese, but it wasn’t vegan.   The “Delicious Everyday” recipe had the ONIONS!  But it didn’t have the butternut squash, white wine, or the cheese!  Trust me on this.  Also, it was her beautiful photograph that inspired me to make this amazing dish!  I have included the link to the cheese that I am making.  If you have a Whole Foods nearby, or are lucky enough to have access to Kite Hill or Miyoko’s Creamery cheeses at your local grocery, then by all means, go for it!

Mushroom Wellington

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Photograph Via “Delicious Everyday”

SQUASH:

  • 1 small butternut squash (1 1/4 pounds or 18 oz), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (You can buy fresh pre-cut in many groceries!)
  • 4 Tbsp Vegan Butter
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • ⅛ tsp smoked sweet paprika or regular paprika
  • ½ tsp kosher salt, or more to taste

ONIONS:

  • 3 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

MUSHROOMS & SPINACH:

  • ¾ pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 300 g baby spinach (10 1/2 Oz)
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 (14-to-16-ounce) package puff pastry
  • 1 cup crumbled vegan goat cheese (go here to make your own)
  • Vegan egg wash (see below)
  1. Preheat a very large skillet over Medium-high heat; add 2 tablespoons butter (the other 2 Tbsp will be for the mushrooms). Add the squash in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. (If squash won’t fit in a single layer, cook it in batches). Stir and continue to cook until squash is golden, 7 to 10 minutes more. Stir in the syrup, thyme, paprika and 1/4 tsp salt; cook one minute. Scrape mixture into a bowl.
  2. Place a large frying pan over a low to medium-low heat. Add the ½ Tbsp of olive oil followed by onion and reduce heat to low. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are golden brown. Keep an eye on the onions to make sure they don’t burn.
  3. Remove the onions from the pan and return the pan to the heat. Add the baby spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from the baby spinach from the pan and leave to cool.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium and melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Stir in garlic, cook 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and ½ tsp salt. Cook until mushrooms are soft and their juices evaporate, about 10 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until the mixture is dry, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pepper and parsley. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, unwrap the puff pastry. Cut into 2 “5-by-15-inch” rectangles. Spread onions, mushrooms and spinach on each pastry rectangle, leaving 1/4-inch border. Spoon the cheese crumbles over the mushrooms. Spread the Dijon mustard over the mushrooms and season well with salt and pepper. Then spoon the squash over the cheese, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border (it will look like a stripe of squash lying on a bed of cheese and mushrooms).
  6. Brush the exposed borders of dough on each rectangle with wash. Fold the long sides up to meet in the middle and pinch together to seal; pinch the ends, too. Transfer the pastries to the baking sheet and turn them over so that the seam is face down. Brush the tops with more wash. Bake until they are puffed, golden, and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, slice and serve.

VEGAN EGG WASH

  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup

Vegan Lobster Bisque

There are some things that a girl can’t live without.  I have decided that one of them is this recipe.  I love all things bisque, chowder and seafood.  However, since seafood isn’t on the table anymore, (all puns intended)…I had some work to do.  This is the result of that work. And I have to say, this recipe has truly been a labor of love.

There are some options for the Kelp Powder since it’s not likely in your pantry.  You can use pulse Nori Seaweed Sheets in food processor or blender (you can find them everywhere, even Wal-Mart), Dulse flakes (at most high end groceries, or amazon)  or you can also just buy kelp powder.  Kelp can add a powerful nutrient boost to smoothies, and it also goes well mixed in salad dressings, or sprinkled on top of vegetables.

Cosmopolitan magazine even loves Sea Kelp!  “Sea kelp is a natural source of vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D and E, as well as minerals including zinc, iodine, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper and calcium. In fact, it contains the highest natural concentration of calcium of any food – 10 times more than milk.”

If you try it, leave me a comment below!

VEGAN LOBSTER BISQUE

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  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight, or boiled for 10 minutes)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon kelp powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups of onion, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 4 large celery ribs, diced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups dried Lobster mushrooms (soaked and diced)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, plus minced leaves and tender stems for garnish
  1. Soak cashews overnight, or boil for 10 minutes. Add to blender with 1 cup of vegetable broth, kelp powder, and cornstarch. Blend until smooth, this will take a few minutes. Set aside. Soak the Lobster mushrooms, according to package directions.  (Reserve ¼ cup of the rehydrated mushrooms for garnish).
  2. Add olive oil to a large stockpot, and heat on medium. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots to the pot and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, until softened.
  3. Stir tomato paste into vegetables and cook for 2 minutes. Add white wine and deglaze the pan. Simmer for 2 minutes. Add broth, cashew cream mixture, and seasonings. Bring to a simmer, reduce to low heat and cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove bay leaf. Purée the soup with an immersion blender, or purée in batches in a blender until smooth, returning soup to the pot. Add diced mushrooms and simmer for 3-5 minutes until mushrooms are thoroughly heated through.
  5. Add salt & pepper to taste. Garnish and serve immediately.
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