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Product Review: Amy’s Light and Lean Spaghetti Italiano

11 Sep

 

Tonight, I decided to try a vegan microwaveable dinner by Amy’s. For 240 calories, the Spaghetti Italiano has a nice blend of veggies, pasta, and vegan meatballs. I wish they sold the meatballs separately because these are the best I have tried so far, and I feel like I could consider myself a vegan meatball connoisseur. Meatballs are one of the few meat-based items I miss, but these seem to be a pretty good alternative!

~Kate

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Beer Bread, Pasta Sauce, and Granola Bars

3 Sep

I recently purchased “Every Day Happy Herbivore” and LOVE everything I have made so far! Here are a few of the things I made today:

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Beer bread using Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead to give it a little bit of a pumpkin-y flavor

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Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pasta Sauce with quinoa pasta. DELICIOUS!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Great Meat Alternatives

12 Aug

I have already introduced you to Gardein’s Crispy Mandarin Chick’n, but Gardein’s meat-less burgers are also great. Unfortunately, I have only been able to find one place in a 25 mile radius that sells them. Market Basket offers a great alternative by Meredith Farms. The vegan veggie burgers are quite yummy and reasonably priced!

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If you like sausage, I recommend Field Roast. I love sauteing this with onions and peppers and putting it over quinoa with some homemade spicy marinara. YUM!

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And finally, my friend, Meghan, a former vegan, recommended Boca Chick’n Burgers. Unbelievably good! I like the Spicy ones the best, but keep in mind, they are REALLYspicy 🙂 The originals are also excellent.

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~Kate

Crazy Cool Tofu Ricotta in Eggplant and Pepper Lasagna

11 Aug

 

Tofu Ricotta Eggplant and Bell Pepper Lasagna

I have been getting a lot of eggplant in my CSA  for the past couple of weeks, so I have been experimenting with different ways to cook it. I wanted to make these little eggplant bites I saw on Pinterest but my eggplant was too short to roll up, so I decided to take the same flavors and present them in lasagna instead.

I layered slices of eggplant with garlicky tomato sauce and the most amazing homemade vegan ricotta. This tofu ricotta is so good that I almost ate all of it right out of the blender. Mike hates tofu and loves dairy and even he was impressed with the flavor! When Mike likes it, you know it’s a success.

Michael doesn’t like eggplant very much, so I decided to make half the pan eggplant layers and the other half layers of fresh bell peppers. Truth be told; we both ended up eating off of each other’s plates that night. I love this dish and I think it will become a new staple in my home. I think you could use several different veggies for this recipe. I can’t wait to try it with zucchini or portabella mushrooms.

 

Ingredients:

2/3 block of extra-firm tofu

juice from half a lemon (or lime, because I never seem to have lemons when I need them)

1 tablespoon basil

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
(2 for ricotta and 1 to sprinkle on top)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 cups tomato sauce

1 small eggplant

1 bell paper

3 plumb tomatoes (optional)

2 slices of toasted crusty bread, cubed. (will make bread crumbs. 3tbs for the ricotta, and 3tbls to sprinkle on the top)

You will need a food processor. I use my Ninja;  everything always comes out perfectly when I use the Ninja.

Directions:

Thinly slice the eggplant (length-wise) and over with salt on both sides to draw out excess water.

Slice up bell pepper.

Make breadcrumbs. I had two slices of Panera’s country loaf that were a bit stale, you can use any crusty bread, or just use whatever breadcrumb you have.

Cut bread into cubes so it will fit in the food processer and toast in toaster oven. Set 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs aside to sprinkle on top later.

Combine the tofu, citrus, salt, basil, nutritional yeast, and olive oil with the 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs in the blender.

Rinse the salt off of the eggplant and pat dry with paper towel.

Spread some tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking pan.

Place the veggies in a single layer on pan.

Spread ricotta on top of the veggies the best you can. It helps to use your fingers here.

Repeat to make at least two veggie layers. Top off with remaining tomato sauce.

Sprinkle the top with remaining breadcrumbs and a small amount of nutritional yeast.

Slice plumb tomatoes and place on top

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes, until bubbly and golden brown on the top.

Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Serves 4.

-Kerri

Meatless Meatballs with Marinara and Veggies

6 Aug

Once again, the Happy Herbivore has provided a vegan version of one of my favorite foods. I have been craving meatballs lately and decided to try the HH recipe. My experience with meatless meatballs in the past has not been very good, so I had pretty low expectations. I was pleasantly surprised with the result of these ones, though!

 

While the vegan meatballs were cooking, I roasted some tomatoes I got from my CSA and some eggplant. I also added some homemade marinara, pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, vegan Parmesan, and fresh basil to complete the meal.

 

Since I cannot share the meatball recipe (you will need to buy the Happy Herbivore cookbook for that!), here is my super easy, homemade marinara sauce recipe.

Marinara Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Fra Diavlo oil (Omit if you don’t like spicy sauce or if you want it to be fat free)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 -2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning (I like mine to have a lot of flavor, but adjust it to your tastes)
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste

Heat the oil and then add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 90 minutes. Enjoy!

~Kate