Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Stuffed Shells

For some reason I had time to make a double batch of this old-time classic fave.  Maybe it was because Will was out of town and Little R went to bed early, so I felt like I had eons of time that night.

As I've mentioned before, I've been making stuffed shells since I was in college.  It's kind of like my signature dish.  And to toot my own horn, my stuffed shells are pretty darn good.

I mostly don't follow a recipe, but if I do, I follow the Skinny B recipe, because as we all know, I love that book.

I made a double batch, because I wanted some for the next night for us and also some to take to my brother and sister-in-law who are new parents and could probably use a meal that they don't have to cook.

When Will and I enjoyed our batch the next night, I have to admit we ate more than half the entire casserole dish!  There was barely enough left-over for lunch the next day!  I think I need to make this again soon because it is so good.

From the Skinny B cookbook:

Tofu "Ricotta"

14-16 oz extra firm tofu, crumbled
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

In a food processor, combine the tofu, garlic, olive oil, oregano, and salt and pulse to puree.  Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Stuffed Shells with Red Sauce

3 quarts water
8 ounces whole wheat or brown rice jumbo pasta shells
1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Tofu "Ricotta"
1 (10-oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (I used fresh kale)
2 tablespoons vegan Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons whole wheat bread crumbs (I left these out)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups red sauce (I used organic marinara sauce from Trader Joes.)

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook shells according to package

Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute.  Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl and mix in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, along with the Tofu Ricotta, spinach (or kale), cheese bread crumbs and pepper.

Spread about 1 cup of red sauce on the bottom of the 13 x 9-inch pan.  Stuff each shell with about 2 tablespoons of the Tofu Ricotta mixture, arranging the stuffed shells on top of the sauce.  Top each shell with a dollop of the remaining sauce. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Toddler Food

In another edition of Toddler Food, we have the following veggie goodness for Little R.

--White sweet potatoes
--Great Northern beans
--Yams (sweet potatoes?)
-- Sweet potato/spinach balls rolled in quinoa

Corn Soup

Bored during some meetings last week, I started looking for some more soup recipes for national soup month.  I found this one on It was super easy to make and tasted like tortilla soup (so observed by Will.)  I couldn't find any cans or creamed corn at Sprouts, so I just used frozen corn, and it was delicious.  Here is the recipe from The Gluten Free Vegan.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (seeds removed if you require a milder heat level)
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 10oz cans creamed corn
  • 1½ cups plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup frozen corn kernels
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 stalks green onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced (optional)
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Saute diced onion, garlic and jalapeno until they begin to soften - about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in diced tomatoes, creamed corn, black beans, almond milk and seasonings. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  5. Add in chopped green onion and cilantro and garnish with avocado, if using.
  6. Serve immediately.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Toddler Food -- Supper

Here is a typical supper meal for little R.

--Sweet potato quinoa balls, also consisting of peas, spinach, silken tofu, nutritional yeast and ground chia.
--Vegetable shell pasta (ingredients include beets, spinach, and carrot!)

I love that she went for the avocado first.

Caesar Salad

Every time I go to Whole Foods to get a salad from their gigantic salad bar, they have all the vegan versions of popular dressings -- Ranch, Caesar, Thousand Island, etc.  I always get a little of each and try different ones with my salad, and they are so good!  Hey, this is a treat to me; I usually just put olive oil and balsamic vinegar on my salads at home.

So for some reason, I had a craving for a vegan Caesar salad.  Yes, a typical Caesar salad is not even close to being vegan OR vegetarian!  All it consists of is romaine letter, croutons and dressing, but the dressing has milk AND anchovies in it, and the croutons are baked with cheese in them.  Literally all I could eat in a Caesar salad is plain romaine lettuce.  BOOOORR-ing.  But I was thinking of that vegan Caesar dressing at Whole Foods, and I really wanted it with some cold crisp romaine and crunchy croutons.

I knew the Skinny B** cookbook had a recipe for it, and maybe I've even made it before?  I can't remember.  I first checked the aisles at Sprouts and they did NOT have vegan Caesar dressing or any non-dairy croutons.  So of course I just got all the ingredients to make my own.

(Angels singing)

I mean, this is seriously so good, I've already made Caesar salad two days in a row.  Even Will, who usually just eats his obligatory small bowl of salad, chowed down second helpings of this on both days too! I must get more romaine today so that we can have another heavenly salad.  And I'm going to be eating Caesar salads all week.  Yum.  Oh and in the picture, I made pesto potatoes too.  

Here is the recipe from the Skinny B** cookbook.  (I keep it clean on this blog, but I seriously love these girls and their cookbook.  Sorry for the bad photos, but it's easier than typing it all out.  Just go buy their book!)

Potato Soup

Here we are in January again!  Happy New Year everyone!  Of course one of my resolutions is to write more, so hopefully we will all be seeing a lot more veggie goodness happening.  First up is National Soup Month -- January.  Remember my pumpkin month project back in October.  Let's try something like that with soups.  Now, I'm not going to make a different soup every day -- my entire extra freezer in the garage would be jam packed with the leftovers!  No, I'm just going to make a conscious effort to make as many fun, delicious soups as I can this month and fill in the extra days with healthy... veggie goodness!

A few days ago I threw together a delicious potato soup with ingredients I already had at home because I hadn't had time to go grocery shopping yet.  I'm usually not a huge fan of potato soups, but this one was pretty good.

So here it is:

2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
3 cups water
1 tsp vegan chicken seasoning powder
3 red potatoes, peeled and cubed (about two cups)
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 cup frozen spinach

Heat coconut oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and carrots and cook until softened, about 6-7 minutes.  Add garlic, herbs, salt and cumin, stir and cook for about 2 more minutes.

Add water and vegan chicken seasoning, stir.
Add potatoes and tomato sauce, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Add spinach and cook for 2 more minutes.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Toddler Food -- Breakfast

I would like to introduce a new section of this blog dedicated to the food I prepare for my plant-based little R.  She is sixteen months old now and quite a healthy eater!  I have all the bases covered so that she is a well-balanced, thriving vegan toddler.

Here is a typical breakfast:

Raspberries, strawberries, oranges, bananas and Cascadian Farms "Purely O's."  She usually has half a slice of 21 grain bread and 1/2 cup of fortified Almond Milk too.