Monday, December 7, 2015

Stuffed Shells variation: Pumpkin-Kale Ricotta Stuffed

Pumpkin-Kale Ricotta Stuffed Shells

I tweaked this recipe a bit and it was fabulous. Really healthy, too. Original recipe from

-1/2 box of stuffed shells  

For the vegan ricotta:
-1 package firm tofu, drained and pressed 
-1/2 cup nutritional yeast 
-2 tbsp olive oil 
-2 tbsp lemon juice 
-4 cloves garlic 
-1 large bunch basil, rinsed 
-2 tsp sea salt 
-2 tsp black pepper 

For the stuffing: 
-1 can pumpkin 
-1 bunch kale, chopped 
-1 small onion, diced 
-3 cloves garlic 
-1 cup mushrooms, sliced 
-1 tsp sea salt
-1 tsp black pepper
-1 tsp basil
-1 tsp oregano
-1 tsp red pepper flakes 
-1 cup vegan cheddar


Heat oven to 350ºF. Cook pasta according to package directions. 

In a food processor, combine the ingredients for the vegan ricotta and blend until smooth. 

In a pan over medium heat, simmer onions and kale in olive oil and a tbsp of water for about 30 minutes, covered, checking periodically so it doesn't burn. Add garlic, mushrooms and spices and sauté for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in pumpkin. 

Layer a small amount of vegan ricotta on the bottom of an oven safe dish. Stuff shells with pumpkin mixture and place in a single layer over the vegan ricotta. Top with more vegan ricotta, making sure to get in between the shells, and add vegan mozzarella on top of that. Bake for 30 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Super Quick and Easy Stuffed Shells

I tried (with small adjustments) this quick recipe from Vegetarian Times and it was awesome; packed with protein and hardly any fat.

Garlicky Vegan Stuffed Shells
Serves 4
-1 package firm tofu, drained and dried with paper towels (14 oz.)
-1/4 cup GOOD olive oil
-12 cloves of garlic, whole and peeled
-6-8 oz. pasta shells (large, for stuffing)
-2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
-2 tsp. lemon juice
-2 tsp. white miso
-5 oz. (6 cups) fresh baby spinach leaves
-24 oz. jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I used arrabiata because I like it a bit spicy, but puttanesca would also be GREAT)
-1 additional tbsp. olive oil
-3/4 cup of shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a small skillet over medium heat, heat up the olive oil and all the garlic. Once it's hot, turn down to low and simmer, stirring often to turn cloves, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool a bit.

Meanwhile, cook pasta shells according to package directions (usually a couple minutes less than usual since you're going to be baking the shells after boiling). When they are done, drain and rinse, then run under cool water for a minute before arranging them in a baking pan to cool. (I used a metal pan so they don't stick.)

Then use the same pot to wilt the spinach: combine spinach with 2 tbsp. water over medium heat and stir for 3-5 minutes until totally wilted. Drain in a colander and press out all the excess water you can.

In a food processor, combine the oil/garlic, tofu, vinegar, miso and lemon juice and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in the spinach leaves until combined.

Fill each pasta shell with about 2 tbsp. of tofu/spinach filling and arrange in a baking pan (I used a 9x14" metal one). Then top with the whole 24 oz. of pasta sauce until the shells are surrounded and mostly covered. Top with the final tbsp. of olive oil and sprinkle mozzarella (if using).

Bake for 45 minutes, until sauce is bubbling. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Yet MORE Eggplant... Amazing Baba Ganoush

Because the eggplants looked so beautiful at my produce supplier last week, I bought a ton of them and did several different things. One of the top choices was definitely this baba ganoush. Perfect for a summer patio party or BBQ!

Summertime Roasted Baba Ganoush
-2 medium/large eggplants (about 2 pounds total)
-1/4 cup tahini
-1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh is best!)
-1 tsp. lemon zest
-2 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
-1/4 tsp. cumin
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1-2 tbsp. fresh parsley
-1 1/2 tbsp. GOOD quality olive oil

Turn your broiler on high and place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven (so that the eggplants you're about to roast there don't TOUCH the broiler but are within a couple inches). Line a baking sheet with foil and place the eggplants on it. Prick them with a fork a few times to let the steam out. Let them broil for about 3 minutes on the full heat, then (using tongs) flip them to the other side so they can broil 3 minutes on that side too.

Turn off the broiler and turn on the heat to 375F. Keep the eggplants in there and roast for an additional 30-40 minutes, until they're very soft. Take them out and let them cool completely. While they're cooling, mix together the tahini, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, cumin, salt, and parsley in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Once the eggplants are cool, split them with a knife and scoop out all the flesh into a strainer. Let the flesh drain but it's ok if there's still a little bit of liquid in the eggplant. (Then discard the skins and liquid.) Mash the eggplant into the tahini mixture with a fork until it's somewhat smooth. Cool to room temperature and serve with pita bread or crackers! (Troubleshooting tip!! If you thought you cooked your eggplants enough but when you are mashing the flesh into the tahini it appears as though it's not really combining, it's ok to scoop the whole mess into a food processor and just pulse a couple of times to break it up and combine. Next time just roast the eggplants longer.)     

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hot and Sour Eggplant

This dish took WAY less time than I imagined... so quick and easy! This amount will serve 3-4 as an appetizer and 2 as an entree, especially with rice or a salad.

-2 medium eggplants, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into eighths and then once halfwise
-1 tbsp sesame oil
-1 tsp cornstarch
-1 tbsp sambal olek chili sauce (you can also use Sriracha, but then lessen the sugar a bit because it has more sugar than sambal olek)
-1 small clove garlic, diced finely
-3/4 tbsp sugar
-1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
-1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
-1/4 tsp ground ginger
-1 scallion, finely sliced


After slicing the eggplant, put all the slices into a large bowl of warm water, heavily salted. If you need, place a salad plate or something over the slices so they are immersed in the water as much as possible. Meanwhile, put your wok on the stove on high and dice your scallions.

In a bowl, mix the following together with a fork: cornstarch, sambal olek, garlic, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and ginger. Make sure the cornstarch is dissolved and not clumpy. Then drain the eggplant and put the slices onto a paper towel to dry, with more paper towels on top. Thoroughly pat dry all the pieces.

When your wok is very hot, add 1/2 tbsp of the sesame oil and then throw in the eggpant slices (carefully!). Using a wooden spoon, toss the eggplant around a bit so they brown nicely and don't burn. After about 5 minutes they should be soft and smell really nice. If they are getting too dry, add in the other 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil. Then pour in the sauce you just made and the scallions and stir/toss for about 2 minutes until thoroughly coatedand the sauce is thick.

Pour the whole thing onto a serving plate and serve hot! You can sprinkle some sesame seeds on top for garnish.
Eggplant slices before fully cooked - just as I added them to the wok

Monday, February 10, 2014

Chocolate Mousse Pie - EASY and QUICK!

This mousse pie is no-bake, quick and easy. All you need is a food processor! Super rich and perfect for entertaining.

Chocolate Mousse Pie

-400 g silken tofu (about 1 2/3 cups)
-1 tsp. cocoa powder
-1 tsp. vanilla
-2 tbsp. soy or oat milk
-1/4 tsp. salt
-2 tbsp. coconut cream
-300 g dark chocolate chips (about 1 1/4 cups)
-2 tbsp. agave or maple syrup
-premade graham cracker pie crust

Preheat oven to 350F. Once hot, insert the crust for about 5-7 minutes just to give it a little golden color. Remove it, and turn off the oven.

In a glass bowl in a microwave set to a medium setting, melt the chocolate chips and the soy/oat milk together. Stir it often, and keep it up til completely melted.

Meanwhile, blend the tofu, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, agave/maple syrup and coconut cream in a food processor until very smooth. Add in the melted chocolate and blend completely. No such thing as over-blending here!

Pour the mixture into the pie crust and place in the refrigerator for at least 90 minutes. Serve either cold or at room temperature (after chilling). Would be delicious with a berry compote or drizzle!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Onion Jam

This onion compote is delicious and super easy to make. Also makes your house smell great! It's great on toast, or on top of a bean spread, or piled into endive leaves. Enjoy!

Onion Jam

-1 tbsp. olive oil
-1 lb. onions (I mixed red, yellow, and shallots), all sliced thinly
 -2 tbsp. brown sugar

-2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
-1/3 cup dry red wine
-1/8 cup water
-salt and pepper

In a large skillet over medium, heat the oil. Once hot, add onions and saute for 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes (stirring often) until the onions are slightly brown.

Add the sugar and stir until it's dissolved. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil, stirring. Add wine and continue to boil and stir. Add the water and cook, uncovered, until most of the liquid has evaporated and it's become thick (about 5 minutes), continuing to stir. Taste and see if you like more salt and pepper, then put in a jar and let it cool. Store in refrigerator.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Scottish Toffee - veganized!

This toffee, once finished, looks beautiful and makes a great gift. But it's incredibly easy, and only takes a few minutes of active cooking. 
VERY IMPORTANT: You will need a candy thermometer!

Vegan Scottish Toffee
-1 cup margarine
-1 cup brown sugar
-250 g (or 9 oz) dark chocolate chips 
-1 cup crushed almonds 
-1 tsp. vanilla
-1 tsp. fine salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spread almonds in a baking/cookie pan (a 9"x13" would be perfect, or 8"x16", make sure it has at least a 2" high rim) and toast in oven for 6-10 minutes, watching carefully. They should be slightly toasted/browned looking and smell nice. Remove from oven and turn the oven off. Pour 1/2 of the almonds into a separate bowl and set aside. Spread the rest of the almonds around the pan evenly.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and mix together the margarine and sugar, stirring constantly. Keep stirring as it bubbles and take the temperature with a candy thermometer at 1-2 minute intervals until the temp is 280-300F (this is the right temp for hard candy which cracks).

Once the toffee is the right temperature, remove from heat and immediately mix in the vanilla and salt. It will boil - keep stirring to combine. Then, immediately pour the toffee into the cookie sheet (evenly). At that point, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the toffee and wait a minute for them to melt, then use a spatula to spread the chocolate out evenly over the toffee (so the toffee is completely covered). Sprinkle the remainder of the almonds over the chocolate, and place the whole pan in the freezer for at LEAST 90 minutes.

Remove from the freezer, twist the pan gently to try and get the candy to separate from the sides, bottom, and up-end the pan onto a cutting board or similar surface. It should come out in on large slab. Then use a knife or your hands to crack it into the sized pieces you desire. I put mine into a little cardboard gift box.