Quick, Easy & Healthy Vegan Mac & Cheeze

This was so super fast and I whipped it up with ingredients I had in the house. Love that! I bet this would be great for kids and those peeps who are not into their veggies. The squash is just folded right into the cheeze sauce, perfecto!

Quick, Easy & Healthy Vegan Mac & Cheeze

1 lb. whole wheat/quinoa or rice rotini
1 cup soymilk
12 oz package frozen or canned butternut squash
2 cups Cheddar Daiya
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
pepper to taste

  1. Prepare pasta according to package and Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In a medium saucepan, simmer soymilk with butternut squash until combined
  3. Remove from heat and mix with Cheddar Daiya, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp dry mustard and pepper to taste
  4. Pour drained pasta into a baking dish and stir in cheeze mixture
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 min
  6. ENJOY

Polenta with Black Beans, Pan-Fried Tofu & Roasted Coconut Tomato Sauce

This was surprisingly easy to make and deelish! Michael and I both loved it so much!! I would say double this recipe as it will go FAST 🙂 This dish is hearty with great flavor. This is definitely a great dish for people transitioning to a vegan diet, meat-eaters you want to impress with how deelish vegan food can be, and of course Vegans will love this too!! So yum!!!

I added my go-to pan-fried tofu to this dish. As far as I know, it is the best way to make tofu that is super tasty! The crust is perfect!! You can always change up the spices to suit any meal 🙂

Before the Sauce

Polenta with Black Beans, Pan-Fried Tofu & Roasted Coconut Tomato Sauce
Adapted from a recipe on http://www.thekitchn.com/

Polenta with Black Beans and Roasted Coconut Tomato Sauce
1 can black beans (15 ounces)
1 can diced tomatoes in juice (28 ounces)
6 large stalks swiss chard or kale
3 large or 6 small garlic cloves, diced
1 package pre-cooked polenta (18 ounces)
1/2 cup light coconut milk
2 tbs. jamaican jerk seasoning
3 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 tbs. chopped fresh thyme
1 lb extra firm tofu
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
dash of salt
dash of cayenne
sprinkling of Daiya/Italian – Mozzarella Blend

  1. Preheat oven to 500F. Empty entire can of tomatoes in a ceramic or glass baking dish, add coconut milk, and place in the oven. Bake 35 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a saucepan. Add 1-2 cloves diced garlic, 1 tbs. jerk seasoning and cook 2 minutes. Add entire can of black beans and set heat to low, stirring occasionally.
  3. Separate swiss chard stems from leaves. Dice stems very fine and add to a saute pan with 1 tbs. of oil and 2-3 cloves diced garlic. Heat through on medium 2-3 minutes, then add chopped leaves, apple cider vinegar, and 1/3 cup water. Cover with a lid and set heat to low.
  4. Check on the tomato sauce. Stir in fresh thyme and continue to roast.
  5. Drain, blot and press Tofu to release liquid. Slice into 1/2″ cubes.
  6. Heat vegetable oil on medium-high heat in a non-stick pan and add tofu, sprinkling with salt and cayenne. Let tofu sizzle for 6 minutes without stirring until a crust forms. Turn tofu over and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and train.
  7. In the same pan heat 1 tbs. olive oil on medium heat. Slice polenta in 1/2″ thick slices. Sprinkle one side with remaining 1 tbs. jerk seasoning. Fry polenta, about 3 minutes per side until light brown and crispy.
  8. To serve: spoon about 1/3 cup of beans on a place, 1/3 cup of tofu. Top with a heaping spoonful of greens and a slice of polenta. Top with about 1/4 cup tomato-coconut sauce and a sprinkling of daiya cheese and enjoy!

VEGAN CHIK’N CASSEROLE

The word casserole is so funny to me, it brings me right to the 1950’s in my mind with horrible thoughts of tuna casserole dishes. But I can assure you this is a deelish, compassionate one dish wonder! YUM!! I always LOVE Bryanna’s recipes! Her Bechamel sauce is divine!! Super versatile and super deeeeelish! Great to have a vegan recipe for this 🙂

VEGAN CHIK’N CASSEROLE
Adapted from Bryanna’s Vegan “Chicken” Divan Casserole
Serves 6-9

  • 2 lbs. broccoli, cut into small pieces and steamed crisp-tender
  • 2 cups grated vegan “cheddar” (preferably Daiya cheese)
  • 3-4 cups strips of any vegan “chicken” substitute (I used Morningstar Farms Meal Starters Chik’n Strips)
  • 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups vegan white sauce or Bechamel sauce(Bryanna’s Recipe is below)
  • 1 cup Tofu Sour Creme
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Saute the “chicken” sub in a large pan with the Earth balance and chopped garlic.
  3. Spread the steamed broccoli in the bottom of 9 x 13″ baking pan. Cover that with the “chicken” sub. Sprinkle with salt and grind pepper over that to taste. Spread 1 cup of the vegan “cheese” over the top (save the other half for the top of the finished casserole).
  4. Mix the bechamel sauce with the sour creme and lemon juice, stirring well. Drizzle this evenly over the casserole and smooth it out. Sprinkle evenly with the breadcrumbs and then spread, sprinkle or dot with the remaining “cheese”.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes and serve hot.

BRYANNA’S DAIRY-FREE BESCIAMELLA (BECHAMEL OR WHITE SAUCE)
makes 2 cups

  • 2 Tablespoons dairy-free margarine or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 to 3 Tablespoons unbleached flour (depending on thickness desired)

Blended Mixture:

  • 1 cup soy, almond, or rice milk
  • 1/2 cup extra-firm SILKEN tofu or regular medium-firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 “chicken-style” vegetarian broth cube (or enough for 1 cup of liquid), crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • a large pinch EACH of freshly-grated nutmeg and white pepper
  1. Place all of the Blended Mixture ingredients, EXCEPT the nutmeg and pepper, in the blender and blend until VERY smooth.  Set aside.
  2. Melt the margarine in a medium, heavy saucepan and whisk in the flour.  Whisk it over medium-high heat for a few minutes, but remove from heat before it starts to change color (you want a white “roux”).  Scrape this into the Blended Mixture and blend for a few seconds, then pour the mixture back into the pot.  Stir over medium-high heat until it thickens and boils; turn down and simmer on low for a few minutes.  Whisk in the nutmeg and pepper.

Raise-the-Roof Sweet Potato Vegetable Lasagna

This recipe was amazing and unbelievably low in fat! So many veggies and such a great idea for the sweet potato layer! And literally the only fat in the dish was from the tofu and daiya cheese, amazing! Also no need to buy no-boil noodles as these came out great and were completely cooked through.
The author loves it so much that he served it at his own wedding!

vegan cheesy goodness!

assembled before adding the cheese layer

Raise-the-Roof Sweet Potato Vegetable Lasagna
Recipe altered from Engine 2 Diet
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small head of garlic, all cloves chopped or pressed
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 can corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 package Silken Lite tofu
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 2 jars pasta sauce
  • 2 boxes whole grain lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 1/2 cup daiya cheese – I used both cheddar and mozzarella
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic on high heat for 3 minutes in a wok or nonstick pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until the onions are limp and the mushrooms give up their liquid. Remove them to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Reserve the mushroom liquid in the pan. Sauté the broccoli and carrots for 5 minutes and add to the mushroom bowl. Sauté the peppers and corn until just beginning to soften. Add them to the vegetable bowl.
  3. Drain the silken tofu by wrapping in paper towels. Break it up directly in the towel and mix into the vegetable bowl. Add spices to the vegetable bowl and combine.
  4. Cover the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole with a layer of sauce. Add a layer of noodles. Cover the noodles with sauce. This way the noodles cook in the oven, saving time and energy. Spread the vegetable mixture over the sauced noodles. Cover with a layer of noodles and another dressing of sauce. Add the spinach to the second layer of sauced noodles. Cover the spinach with the mashed sweet potatoes. Add another layer of sauce, the final layer of noodles, and a last topping of sauce. Cover the lasagna with daiya cheese.
  5. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 10 – 12 servings of sweet potato lasagna.

uncooked

Double Broccoli Quinoa

OMG! We loved this! Broccoli Pesto – Genius!! I always love quinoa but this was a really exciting and super deelish way to have it. Such a creamy and well seasoned dish! I know we will have this again soon.

Let me know if you get to try this and what you think! ENJOY!!

Double Broccoli Quinoa
Recipe adapted from 101cookbooks

3 cups cooked quinoa
5 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
3 medium garlic cloves
2/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup cheddar vegan cheese (preferably daiya)
2 big pinches salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil

  1. Heat the quinoa and set aside.
  2. Now barely cook the broccoli by pouring 3/4 cup water into a large pot and bringing it to a simmer. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli. Cover and cook for a minute, just long enough to take the raw edge off. Transfer the broccoli to a strainer and run under cold water until it stops cooking. Set aside.
  3. To make the broccoli pesto puree two cups of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, 1/2 cup of the almonds, vegan cheese, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil and pulse until smooth.
  4. Just before serving, toss the quinoa and remaining broccoli florets with the broccoli pesto. Taste and adjust if needed, you might want a bit more salt or an added squeeze of lemon juice. Turn out onto a serving platter and top with the remaining almonds.

Serves 4 – 6.

Pesto in the Vita-Mix

OH MY Vegan Lasagna!!

This is insane!! I love Daiya Vegan Cheese, amazing! The “ricotta” is beyond creamy and delicious. This is the Ultimate of all Comfort Foods! Both Michael and I were loving this. I have a feeling the next time we have company this is what I will make 😉 I am sure my guests will agree just how yummy this is! This is a crowd pleaser for vegans and carnivores alike!!

This is a perfect example of not only how easy living a vegan life is, but also how truly delicious and satisfying it can be!!

P.S. We are having a 2lb Chia Seed Giveaway that ends at Midnight on 4/2 – so don’t forget to enter HERE!!!

Amazing Vegan Lasagna

  • 1 box no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 12 oz. bag of soy crumbles
  • 18 oz jar of marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 cup shredded vegan cheddar (preferably Daiya!!)
  • 1 cup shredded vegan mozzarella (preferably Daiya!!)
  • 1/2 – 1 tub lite firm tofu
  • tub of vegan cream cheese
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • few squeezes of lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In skillet, saute soy crumbles with olive oil, onion, and garlic. Once browned, add marinara sauce, basil and oregano.
  3. In food processor, make “ricotta.” Put tofu, cream cheese, olive oil, and lemon juice. Pulse until mixed. Try to maintain coarser texture.
  4. In a 9x13x3 glass dish, layer bottom with noodles, then soy crumbles, then “ricotta”, then “cheeze”on top. Repeat layering process 2-3 more times. Top with oregano. Cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and put back in the oven for 10-15 more minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes or so before serving.

Uncooked

Cheesy Baked Penne with Cauliflower and Crème Fraîche & VEGAN Version! SO GOOD!

Who does not love Mac&Cheese? My friend Shalon gave me this recipe which she super enjoyed and I had to agree! Of course I made this Vegan so I could partake in all the fun and I am SOOO happy I did. Michael and I are obsessed with this dish! This made a huge batch and we were happy to have it to eat all week long 🙂 Thanks Shalon!! YUM!!!!

Note: Daiya Cheese – Ummm have you tried this yet? It is ABSURDLY AMAZING! There has never been a Vegan Cheese this good! I have had it before at restaurants but this was my first time cooking with it. SO amazing!! It was easy to find at whole foods, so awesome!

SO Yummy!

Without Breadcrumbs - Look how cheesy!

Cheesy Baked Penne with Cauliflower and Crème Fraîche – VEGAN VERSION IN ITALICS AND BOLD

* 1 – 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound head of cauliflower, cored, cut into 1-inch florets
* 1 12oz can of diced stewed tomatoes (drained)
* 5 tablespoons butter (EARTH BALANCE)
* Coarse kosher salt
* 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
* 1 cup 1% lowfat milk (8th continent light soymilk)
* 21/2 cups coarsely shredded sharp cheddar cheese (DAYIA – Used 3 cups)
* 3/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated Parmesan cheese (Didn’t use)
* 1 cup crème fraîche (Tofutti vegan Sour Cream)
* 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
* 10-12 ounces penne (3 1/2ish cups) (Used 14.5 ounces high protein penne)
* 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

  1. Cook cauliflower in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Using large sieve, transfer cauliflower to bowl. Reserve pot of water.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter (earth balance) in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower; sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes. Cook 1 minute to blend flavors. Remove from heat. Season with coarse salt and pepper.
  3. Return reserved pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain; return pasta to same pot. Stir in cauliflower mixture.
  4. Melt 2 tablespoons butter (earth balance) in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and stir 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk (soymilk). Cook until sauce thickens, whisking occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add 2 cups cheddar cheese (daiya cheese); whisk until melted and sauce is smooth. Whisk in 1/2 cup Parmesan (didn’t use), then crème fraîche (tofutti vegan sour cream) and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir into pasta and cauliflower in the pot.
  5. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon in pasta mixture and with 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (daiya cheese). Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in small skillet. Add breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Remove from heat; mix in 1/4 cup Parmesan (didn’t use). Sprinkle crumbs over pasta.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake pasta uncovered until heated through and bubbling, about 35 minutes.

Slow Cooked Corn Polenta and Chiles

WE LOVE POLENTA! We love grits! Whatever you want to call it, it is deelish and one of my fave comfort foods ever! It is so simple to prepare but even simpler to eat 🙂

Sometimes when I know I have a lot of cooking to do, I love to use the slow cooker so that I can prepare one part of the meal beforehand and it is ready when I am done cooking the rest. Ahh so simple!

Pre-cooked Polenta

Soft Polenta Yummyness

Set Polenta

Polenta Square

Slow cooked Corn Polenta and Chiles

3 cups water (or milk/ or non-dairy milk)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup shredded montery jack cheese (or non-dairy cheese)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (or non-dairy cheese)
1 can diced mild green chiles

  1. In a large saucepan or flame-proof slow cooker liner over medium heat bring water, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper to a boil.  Add polenta, whisking to prevent lumps. Continue whisking until mixture begins to thicken and bubbles, about 5 minutes. Add corn, Jack and Parmesan cheeses and chiles and mix well. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware if you are using a saucepan.
  2. Cover and cook on Low for 2-3 hours. It will then be a soft (deelish) polenta. If you want it to set transfer to a 8×8 glass pan and place in the fridge for a half hour or so.
  3. Serve and enjoy either way!
LOVE POLENTA!3 cups skim milk (water or soy milk)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup coarsley yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1 cup corn kernals
1 cup shredded montery jack cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 can diced mild green chiles

1. in a large saucepa over medium heat, bring milk, garli, rosemary, salt and pepper to taste to a boil. Gradually add polenta, in a steady stream, whisking to remove all lumps. Continue whisking until mixture begins to thicken and bubbles like lava, about 5 minutes. Add corn, Jack and Parmesan cheeses and chiles and mix well. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
2. Cover and cook on Low for 2 hours, until mixture is firm and just beginning to brown around the edges.

Polenta Vegetable Casserole

I love Polenta! (of course I do, it is made from corn and I love corn!!) It is such a comfort food for me. Adding veggies and cheese made this such a comforting and complete meal that we both really enjoyed! This is also super fast and something everyone will love. Plus there might even be leftovers to enjoy 🙂

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Polenta Vegetable Casserole
Makes 6-8 servings

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium eggplant, chopped into small cubes
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup water
10 ounces baby spinach
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
14 ounces prepared polenta, sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella (I would use Vegan Mozz Daiya now 🙂)

1.Preheat oven to 450F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Heat oil in a large 12″ + nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, zucchini, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes. Add water and spinach; cover and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir marinara sauce into the vegetables and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add in basil.
3. Place polenta slices in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, trimming to fit if necessary. Sprinkle with half the cheese and top with the vegetable mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake until bubbling and the cheese has just melted, 12 to 15 minutes. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving. ENJOY 🙂

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Pizza Night!!!

Who doesn’t appreciate a good pizza night? So good, quick, but healthy? Healthy is not a word that normally goes with pizza but we managed to come up with a scrumptious version that is good for you too! mmmmmm! Whole-wheat Eggplant and Pesto Pizza, just hearing the name and I am thinking how good it sounds! This was a real winner! It also helps out that I chose not to make the dough this time around. Whole foods sells whole-wheat pizza dough ready to go. That helps make this super simple, quick and very enjoyable 🙂 Let me know what you think.

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Whole-wheat Eggplant and Pesto Pizza
Serves 4

1 unbaked whole-wheat pizza dough
1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/4″ slices
2 cloves of Garlic
1 tomato, sliced
12-16 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced into thin slices (or vegan mozzarella, like daiya)
1/3 cup pine nuts
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch basil
Celtic sea salt
1/3 cup Grated Parmigiano (or use vegan parm.)
Unbleached, all-purpose flour (for rolling out the dough, you only need a little bit)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Coat a baking pan with olive oil or non-stick foil. Brush the sheet pan with olive oil. Place slices on baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Salt and pepper them. Place in the heated oven for 10 minutes or until golden.
  2. Flour a clean surface and roll out the dough until the same size as your baking sheet. Place it on the baking sheet and let it rise for 15 minutes.
  3. Toast the pine nuts. This can easily be done in a pan in the oven for 4 minutes. Make sure to watch this so they do not burn.
  4. Sprinkle the pizza with garlic powder or fresh garlic slices and cover with mozzarella slices and eggplant. Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Check to make sure the dough is cooked through. The cheese should be bubbling 🙂
  5. After you place the pizza in the oven make a pesto by processing the basil, garlic cloves, toasted pine nuts and 1/3 cup olive oil in a food processor. Add in the grated Parmigiano until well combined.
  6. When the pizza is done, drizzle with pesto and let cool.
  7. Serve and enjoy! I know you will!!

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