sdfThis past weekend I went with my friend Kelly to the DC State Fair where she won first prize for the heaviest watermelon. Later that night, I somehow ended up with the fourth place heaviest vegetable. The details of that story are for another blog altogether, but for now, check out this very large zucchini-like squash vegetable. I’m not really sure what it is. Does anyone know?
I used less than half of it to make a baked zucchini (er, squash) macaroni dish. The original recipe is from Vegetarian Times, but I’ve modified it somewhat, so here is my version.
- 8 oz pasta like macaroni, penne or ziti
- 1/2 lb zucchini, chopped (about 2-3 zucchini… doesn’t have to be perfect!)
- 2 cups black beans cooked (or just use one can, although that’s only 1.5 cups)
- 1 15 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes (fire roasted are my favorite)
- 1 cup tomato sauce or marinara sauce
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, or more
- 1/4 cup chopped black olives
- 3 handfuls greens such as arugula or spinach
- a few leaves fresh basil, if you have it on hand
- nutritional yeast, to taste
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- Cook the pasta according to directions. Coat an 11 x 7 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350.
- Heat about 1/4 cup water in a medium to large saucepan on medium-high heat and add the zucchini. Cook for a few minutes.
- Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, olives, greens and basil. Turn down heat to medium low, stir together and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- When the pasta has finished cooking, add it to the pot with the zucchini mixture and mix together.
- Add the nutritional yeast — I used several shakes, maybe 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup. Mix together.
- Pour the entire mixture into the baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs
- Bake at 350. Then serve!
Here’s another quick, easy recipe I through together while we were at the beach last weekend. As my dad was eating it, I overhead him telling my mom: “We need to eat more food like this.”
Yield: 4 heaping servings
Time: Less than 30 minutes
- 1 package of whole wheat penne pasta
- 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, sliced then cut in half
- 1 large jar of marinara pasta sauce
- 1 can or jar of artichoke hearts
- 2 cans great white northern beans or cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 handfulls spinach
- Dried Italian herbs such as oregano and basil, salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to directions
- Saute the onion on medium heat in water or oil for about 7 minutes until soft. Add sprinkles of Italian herbs, to taste
- Add the pasta sauce, artichoke hearts and beans and heat through
- Add the spinach and heat until slightly wilted. Add salt and pepper, to taste
- Serve the pasta with the sauce on top
Here it is served next to heirloom tomato and nectarine summer salad:
This is another recipe I got from one of Happy Herbivore’s meal plans. The sauce is an easy, basic sauce and once you have that, you can add whatever vegetables, tofu or other ingredients you want. This is a good recipe to use with your frozen vegetables.
The sauce is a peanut butter sauce, with soy sauce, sweet red chili sauce, and a just a couple other ground spices. You use rice noodles, which you have to soak for 20 minutes before cooking, so it does require some minor planning. But otherwise, it is very easy.
In this picture, I added shredded carrots and peanuts. We were eating it as a side dish this time, so I didn’t add a major protein source like beans or tofu or any additional vegetables.
“I love my mac n’ cheese!”
I said this over and over again the night I made it for my friend Laura’s 30th birthday party.
And would you be surprised to learn that I was not the only one talking about how good it was? And those folks were surprised when they found out it was vegan. Man did that make me feel proud.
The full recipe for the cashew-based, non-dairy cheese sauce is at this link, from the the Real Food Daily Cookbook. (You can use 3 tbs corn starch instead of agar agar flakes, and I don’t think 1/4 cup miso paste is necessary. I use about half of that.) Once you make the sauce, you mix it with about 20 ounces cooked elbow macaroni, bake for 15 minutes, then top with 3/4 cup bread crumbs, and bake for 10 more minutes.
It is not low-fat, low-calorie, or low-sodium, but it is delicious and less animals were harmed in the process. Even vegans get to indulge, and this is probably my favorite home-made indulgence.
I love Tempeh. People in Asia – particularly Indonesia – have been eating tempeh for hundreds of years. It comes from soybeans mixed with another grain like barley or rice and is super high in protein. You can make it at home, but I probably never will, so we buy it packaged:
There are many different ways to cook and prepare tempeh. One night this week, Matt grated two packages of tempeh using a hand grater and put it in a spaghetti sauce. Here it is grated (aka “ground”) and sautéing with garlic and onion:
This was a dish that Matt put together on his known, so I can’t link to a recipe because it is in his head. But some of the other ingredients in the sauce were:
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- black olives, chopped
- roasted red pepper, chopped
- Italian seasoning
- nutritional yeast to sprinkle on top
It was enough for two dinners and two lunches. Perfect!