Eggplant Caponata over Pasta

I always love a bright and vibrant caponata as part of a anti-pasto platter. I figured why not cook one up and use it as a sweet sauce for pasta instead of just a dip. It came out super lovely! I also added garbanzo beans to make it a more substantial and complete meal.

You could also just serve this as a dip with pita wedges or chips.

Eggplant Caponata over Pasta

1 lb angel hair pasta, cooked
1/4 cup golden raisins
1-2 large eggplant, stem removed, and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of canola oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2-3 tomatoes, diced and seeded
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons capers
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

  1. Place the raisins in a bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside.
  2. Pour the canola oil into a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the eggplant cubes and cook for 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Turn heat down to medium and pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into the skillet. Add shallots and cook until soft, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 45 seconds. Then add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the eggplant back to the skillet and the garbanzo beans. Add the vinegar, raisins, and capers, stir cooking for 2 minutes to cook down the vinegar. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the parsley. Let it cool slightly before serving over pasta.

Before adding the garbanzo beans

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is one of my ultimate comfort foods and I am always up for trying out different vegan versions 🙂 I love that this recipe uses 20 ounces of squash for the sauce so you “sneak” in the veggies and help make it a creamier sauce without needing extra vegan cheese. (although we didn’t really skimp on that:))  Check out Cheesy Baked Penne with Cauliflower (one of my fave versions ever!) and Quick, Easy & Healthy Vegan Mac & Cheeze (I also used winter squash in this one).

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch
Serves 8

• 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
• About 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
• 1 pound whole-wheat or brown rice elbow macaroni
• 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen pureed winter squash
• 2 cups soy, rice milk or almond milk
• 8 ounces vegan Cheddar cheese, shredded
• 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) vegan cream cheese
• 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered mustard
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Oil a 2-quart casserole dish; set aside.
  2. In a 4- to 6-quart stockpot over high heat, combine 3 quarts of water with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the salt. Bring the water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook according to the package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the squash and milk, stirring and breaking up the squash with a spoon until the squash is defrosted. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Cheddar, cream cheese, mustard, cayenne, and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of salt.
  4. When the pasta is done, drain it, then return the pasta to the pot. Stir the cheese sauce into the macaroni. Transfer the entire mixture to the prepared baking pan.
  5. Sprinkle with more cheese and salt and pepper and then bake for 20 minutes.

Bring on the troops!

Carmelized Onions and Pesto Quinoa Pasta

We had such a super lovely week of vacation! We spent most of the week out in Sag Harbor relaxing, cooking, practicing yoga with the amazing Colleen Saidman at Yoga Shanti, hanging out with my wonderful sister & brother in law and their adorable twin girls and just generally taking it super easy. (I’ll post some of our other super quick vacation recipes soon!)

We then headed out to Northport to stay with our friend Lisa Dawn. She has a beautiful studio there, Project Yoga, that I was honored to be teaching at this weekend. Such a sweet and blessed space. We spent the rest of the time there at the beach and of course cooking a little more 🙂

As many of you know, I love onions! We bought the most beautiful onions at the Farmers Market in Northport and I wanted to use them right away. Lisa had this amazing Vegan Pesto from Delpozzo at the farmers market so it was just a perfect quick and easy beach meal to throw both these together with quinoa pasta. Easy Peasy!

The pesto was Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Basil, Garlic, Pinenuts, Tofu, Salt and Pepper. Super easy! I have never tried tofu in the my pesto and this was out of control amazing! I usually make my pestos with olive oil, pinenuts (or sometimes other nuts), salt and pepper -occasionally I will add some nutritional yeast. I always like to try new things of course, so I am excited to experiment with this one soon myself.

Caramelized onions are one of my favorite things ever. They come out so sweet and deelish!! All you have to do is cook them down and the sugar in the onions make them super sweet. Yum!

Carmelized Onions and Pesto Quinoa Pasta

 

 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-6 onions (depending on how much you love onions and if you want some for leftovers)
  • 4 ounces of quinoa pasta
  • 2-3 ounces vegan pesto
serves 2

To caramelize the onions, just peel and chop the onions. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add the onions, stirring. Continue to let the onions cook for a while, stirring occasionally to make sure the onions don’t burn. You can either cover the onions with a lid and let their liquid cook themselves down or for a browner more caramelized version, keep the lid off and the liquid begins to evaporate as the onions begin to brown, just make sure you are stirring frequently to prevent them from burning. You can cook both versions for about 10-20 minutes till you reach your desired color and texture.

After you get the onions in the pan, boil the pasta water. Add the pasta and cook according to instructions.

Then simply combine the onions, pesto and pasta with a bit of salt and pepper and Enjoy 🙂

I kept the cover on for the onions, so they are not as brown, but they are soft and super sweet!

I LOVE it when it says Vegan on it!! So Special!!!

Italian Potluck Night!!

As you know I LOVE Potlucks! And now we have a pretty regular Vegan Themed Potluck Party happening 🙂 Last nights theme was Italian Night! (last month was Asian) SUPER YUM! Not kidding this meal was out of control. We didn’t end up having dessert, but we all happily had seconds of the deelish food!

Lisa Dawn made this OUT of this world lasagna! We have seen her amazing Ricotta Cheese in her Stuffed Shells, but to taste this you would think that this was gourmet ricotta cheese made in Italy. But happily it was Vegan (but still super gourmet :)) And the homemade tomato sauce was also deelish!

Joey made this amazing pesto pasta sans cheese of course. It was so gorgeous with the fresh grape tomatoes and basil! Beautiful and super tasty!

I made my favorite Raw Crisp Caesar Salad with Pinenut parmesan and Artichoke Guacamole with mulit-grain pita chips. Yum!!!

On a side note, I can’t help but brag about Lisa & Paul’s overly impressive and adorable son Luke! Lisa had this great deck of cards with all the US Presidents pictures on them. Luke was able to go through all of them and name them!!! SO CUTE!! And he is under 2 years old!

Such a super great night with friends and deelish vegan food!

Amazing photo courtesy of Lisa's fabulous husband Paul!

Mushroom and Crumble Stroganoff

Here is another Stroganoff recipe. The first one was such a hit but I still always love to experiment. I whipped this one up super fast and it was great! It was very different from the first one since I included the crumbles and vegan sour cream. Try both and see which one you like best 🙂

Mushroom and Crumble Stroganoff
Makes 4 servings

1-lb. pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil
1-lb. pkg. Morningstar burger crumbles (or your favorite soy crumbles)
1 cup vegan (I used Hain Pure Foods Vegetarian Brown Gravy Mix)
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces vegan sour cream (I used Tofutti)
3/4 cup white cooking wine

  1. Cook the pasta in boiling water.
  2. While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, heat the oil and cook the onions and mushrooms until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain the pasta, and serve the sauce over the noodles.

Lisa Dawn’s Vegan Stuffed Shells with Cashew Ricotta Cheese!!

I am super excited about having my amazing friend Lisa Dawn Guest Blog!! She has just started her own fabulous blog, Lisa’s Project:Vegan with deelish vegan recipes which almost all take less than a half hour to make! She was the inspiration behind the Coconut Lentil Soup, which if you tried I know you loved! The Vegan Stuffed Shells with Cashew Ricotta Cheese below looks out of this world. I know I will be making this soon myself!! Thanks Lisa!

About Lisa Dawn: I am a vegan mom and wife and I love to cook. I became vegan over four years ago for several reasons – the health and welfare of the animals, myself, and that of the world. My husband has been vegan since he was a teenager and together we are raising our son vegan. It is a challenge to do so in this world but it makes it that much more fun to be creative and to cook delicious meals that people really enjoy. Everyone who joins us for a meal leaves fully satisfied and with a handful of recipes!

My cashew ricotta cheese is outstanding and I use it in a lot of dishes. But nothing beats stuffed shells! You can vary the filling (e.g., you can use butternut squash or just plain cashew ricotta). My family loves it! It is not as hard as you think to make this and it is very satisfying!

Stuffed Shells

Cashew Ricotta
1 lb cashews (soaked overnight)
water
salt
nutmeg
fresh lemon juice
Stuffed Shells
1 box shells (to make it gluten free, use rice pasta shells)
1 small bag frozen spinach
garlic powder
1 jar of tomato sauce (or make your own)
Cashew Ricotta
Soak cashews overnight.  In the morning, drain them and then place 1 cup at a time into the in the food processor.  Process the nuts until fine and then add 3/4 cup of water, a pinch of salt, a pinch of nutmeg, and a dash of lemon juice.  Process and then place in strainer (with very small mesh) over a bowl to drain excess water.   Repeat until you finish all of the cashews.  Let this strain for a few hours.  The top might get slightly hard but don’t worry, just mix it back in.  When it seems like all the excess water has drained out, place in a container and use it when ready.
Stuffed Shells
Preheat oven to 350.  Boil up shells according to package directions.  Use lots of salt in the water to season the pasta.   While they are boiling, place frozen spinach in small pot with a little water and set on a high flame to defrost quickly or do this ahead of time.  Either way, make sure you drain all of the water out.  Mix the spinach with the cashew ricotta.  Add some garlic powder and mix.  Taste it and decide if you want any more seasoning, e.g., salt and pepper.
Coat the bottom of a baking dish with tomato sauce.  When the shells are done, carefully strain them.  Assemble your shells by stuffing them with the mixture and placing them into the baking dish.  Pour tomato sauce in between and around the shells.  Place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes so they are thoroughly heated through.

Enjoy!

Creamy and Vegan low-fat Pasta

This sauce is beyond versatile and deeeeelish! Love when the words Creamy and Vegan come together 🙂 Check out these two pasta dishes I made with just 1 batch of the sauce. It makes a little more than 4 cups so its great to keep in your fridge to quickly whip something up.

Enjoy!!!

Creamy Pasta with sliced sundried tomatoes, roasted peppers and marinated artichokes

  • 1 handful of sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 jar roasted peppers
  • 1 jar marinated artichokes, rinsed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Bryanna’s Quick Creamy Sauce for Pasta
  1. Boil water, cook pasta
  2. Saute onion in olive oil about 5 minutes
  3. Add tomatoes, peppers and artichokes and less than half of sauce and stir until warm
  4. Combine pasta and sauce and serve hot

Creamy Pasta with sauteed Onions, edamame and peas

  • 2 onions
  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Bryanna’s Quick Creamy Sauce for Pasta
  1. Boil water, cook pasta
  2. Saute onion in olive oil about 5 minutes
  3. Add edamame, peas and less than half of sauce and stir until warm and veggies are cooked through
  4. Combine pasta and sauce and serve hot

Bryanna’s Quick Creamy Sauce for Pasta
Yield: 4 and 1/4 cups
From Bryanna‘s “The Almost No-Fat Cookbook”

1 1/2 cups cold water
3/4 lb (1/2 a box) of extra-firm Silken tofu
1/4 cup dry white wine
OR 3 tablespoons water plus 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons “chicken-style” veggie broth powder
2 teaspoons salt OR 2 tablespoons light miso plus 1 tsp. salt
2 teaspoons garlic granules or powder
OPTIONAL: 2 T. tahini
1 1/2 cups hot water

  1. Combine in a blender the first 1 1/2 cups water and all of the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the 1 1/2 cup HOT water.
  2. When the mixture is smooth, pour it into a heavy saucepan or a medium microwave-proof bowl. Whisk in the 1 1/2 cups hot water.
  3. Stir constantly over high heat until it comes to a boil. Turn down and simmer for a few minutes, until it thickens.

TO MAKE SOY-FREE: Omit water (all 3 cups in total) and the tofu. Instead, use 3 cups almond milk (the commercial type, such as Almond Breeze, is low in fat). Use 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch instead of 2 tablespoons. Use the salt, or use chickpea miso and salt.

Nutrition (per 1/4 cup): 24.8 calories; 16% calories from fat; 0.5g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 251.2mg sodium; 96.0mg potassium; 2.8g carbohydrates; 0.8g fiber; 0.3g sugar; 1.9g net carbs; 2.8g protein; 0.4 points.

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: