Friday, February 27, 2009

jumbo stuffed shells

i crafted this recipe after my lasagna ricotta creation, baking jumbo pasta shells stuffed with the mixture. this makes quite a few shells - enough to feed at least 4 or 5, or makes lots of yummy leftovers for those of us not cooking for as many. :)

  • 1 box jumbo pasta shells (12oz.)
  • 3 small can tomato sauce (8oz. ea)
  • 1 small can tomato paste (6oz.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • several shredded fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • heavy dash of black ground pepper
  • 1/2 head of steamed broccoli (approx. 7 oz.)
  • 1 batch vegan ricotta recipe: here
  • vegan mozzarella to your heart's content

start boiling the pasta shells according to the instructions. in a medium saucepan on medium heat, sauté the garlic in the olive oil for a little over a minute. if you are using fresh onion (instead of onion powder), add them into this step. after sautéing, mix in the tomato sauce and paste, along with all spices listed. let simmer on medium-low heat.

chop the steamed broccoli. in blender or food processor, make one batch of the vegan ricotta, adding in the broccoli. in an 8x11 casserole dish, spread 1 or 2 tablespoons of the red sauce to prevent the noodles from sticking. open each shell, and stuff with vegan ricotta allowing enough room to close the shell again. the ricotta measurement is sort of a personal judgment, but i use about one large spoonful.

place shells in dish, facing upwards. pour sauce over all shells, and top with shredded mozzarella if you like. i used tofutti mozzarella slices, torn up and placed on each shell.

bake at 375°f for approximately 35-40 minutes. let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

falafel salad w/ vegan tzatziki dressing

falafel has been one my favourite foods since i went vegetarian at 16. there is a great restaurant in town that makes the best yogurt tzatziki for their falafel pita wraps, and is what inspired me to make a vegan version. so the other day when i was craving falafel, but was out of pita, i just threw everything on top of a salad and made this vegan tzatziki dressing. i'll post my personal falafel recipe later, but this post is actually about the tzatziki dressing which i thought was the highlight of my meal.

  • 1 bed of salad (lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers)
  • 4 falafel balls
for the tzatziki dressing:
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free nayonaise
  • pinch of dill
make a bed of salad, and place 3 or 4 falafel balls on top. you can find a pre-made falafel mix at most grocery stores (i think fantastic foods brand is pretty good), or you can find many recipes online. personally, i bake mine (i'll post my recipe later).

in a magic bullet or food processor, blend up dressing ingredients. you can add more olive oil or lemon juice if it's too thick. top salad with vegan tzatziki dressing and enjoy your falafel bowl!

Monday, February 23, 2009

contest winner!

**update - it's been over 10 days and i haven't heard from maven. the random number generator picked 23, which is jen of that pain in the ass vegan (i combined double posts for email comments)!

Yay JeN!

the juice machine goes to Maven! congrats!

email me your shipping address so i can have your juice machine sent!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

win a free juicer

i normally only post recipes, but i'm excited to announce that 877MyJuicer offered me a chance to giveaway a free manual juicer on my blog. since spring is just around the corner, it seems like the perfect time for this giveaway to get everyone excited for all the fresh produce! best of all, this juicer does wheatgrass!!!

for more info on the Healthy Juicer, click here

to enter, simply leave a comment below and tell me:

1. what is your favourite juice or juice recipe?
2. if you haven't made a juice before, what are you most excited about trying?

all comments must be posted by sunday, february 22 at 10pm central time. i'll use a random number generator to pick the winner.

you must have a US shipping address. if your profile doesn't link me to your email address, make sure to leave one so i can contact you if you are the winner!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

apple butter muffin cakes

is it is a muffin or is it a cupcake? this hybrid treat has the whole wheat texture of a morning muffin with sweet cupcake icing to top it off. this came about when i was making treats for work and realized some folks may not share my love of under-sweetened treats. so i piped vanilla-cinnamon florets on my apple butter muffins and - voilà - miss v muffin cakes!

  • 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar + 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup apple butter (recipe here)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup soy margarine (smart balance light)
  • 1/4 cup flax seed oil
  • 1/4 cup water
in two bowls, separately mix up all wet and all dry ingredients. make a well in dry ingredients, and fold in the mixed wet ingredients. mix thoroughly by hand for about 1 minute, until all the dry clumps have been broken down. lightly coat muffin pan with non-stick spray, and fill each cup about 2/3 full. bake at 350°f for approximately 20 minutes. stick a toothpick or knife in the middle and make sure it comes out clean.

you can use any frosting you would like... i used the standard butter cream frosting recipe in vegan cupcakes take over the world, and added about 1/8 cup cinnamon and 1-2 teaspoons vanilla powder.

chef's note: these will not rise a lot, so if you want larger muffin cakes, you'll have to fill the tin fuller. :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

vegan barbecue pork chops

it's funny, i never liked pork chops even when i did eat meat. lately, however, i've been really interested to see how close i can get to 'replicating' certain tastes. after i made the miso mustard slaw last week, i thought it would pair nicely with a barbecue flavour of some sort.

for the chop:
for the marinade:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup bbq sauce
  • 3/4 tablespoon stoneground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (optional)
combine wet chop ingredients into the dry, and knead for approximately two minutes. add additional water if it is too dry. at this point, you will have 1 large ball - you can either cut or pull apart the individual chops and then flatten each one. i made about 4 pork chop-sized cutlets from the amount listed.

mix up marinade and coat each chop well. put the rest of the marinade in an 8x11 glass baking dish and let the cutlets marinade for several hours (or overnight).

after marinating, pour off and reserve the liquid. bake chops at 375°f for 40 minutes, flipping half way through. to encrust, pull chops out of oven for several minutes. using tongs, dip each into the reserved marinade, and then into breadcrumbs. put back into dish, and continue cooking at 375°f for about 10 minutes. serve on a bed of miso mustard cabbage slaw.