Creamy Carmelized Onion Pasta

The more I try dairy free recipes, the more amazed I am at how you can get super creamy food from veggies and nuts! In this case, eggplant is the base of a super creamy pasta sauce. I got the idea for this recipe <a>href=”http://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-caramelized-onion-mac-n-cheese/”>here</a&gt;, but naturally, I made my own changes!  I am not a fan of eggplant, at all, so if you’re like me, please try this! It tastes nothing like eggplant and just makes for a super creamy, HEALTHY sauce!

1 onion, thinly sliced
2T olive oil
1 box of pasta (I used a 12oz box of veggie elbow macaroni)
1 eggplant, peeled and cubed
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
2T Olive oil
4T nutritional yeast
1T garlic powder
1T cornstarch
1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup panko
Cooking spray

Sautée onions in olive oil until carmelized, stirring frequently (I like to really cool them, at least 30 minutes)

Toss cubed eggplant, garlic cloves, and cherry tomatoes in olive oil and place on a sheet pan, roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until golden, stirring half way through. While the veggies are roasting, boil water to cook the pasta.

In a blender, place garlic powder, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, almond milk, and chicken broth. Once the veggies are cooked and have cooled slightly, add them to the blender and purée until smooth. Season to taste.

Combine the cooked pasta, carmelized onions, and eggplant purée. Stir well and pour into a baking dish. Top with panko and spray with cooking spray. Place in the oven until bubbly, about 10 minutes, then broil until the panko is golden.

Serve and enjoy!! (I apologize for the lack of pictures, I was too eager to eat, and I’m having trouble uploading the one picture I did take!)

Meal Plan: August 9-14

My first week back to work went well, the schedule is pretty ideal for being able to see my baby lots! And how could I not want to see this face as much as possible?? I mean, look at her!
IMG_1623.JPGOk, now to the food!

Saturday: Homemade Ahi Sushi
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IMG_1942.JPGA family from church (thanks Tammy!!) gave us fresh caught Ahi, so what better way to enjoy such a treat than in it’s original state!
We used soy paper, spread sushi rice on the paper, then laid cucumber, artificial crab meat mixed with a little mayo and sriracha, avocado, and green onion. Then we carefully and tightly rolled up the sushi and topped with the fresh ahi.
For dipping sauce we made unagi sauce (equal parts soy sauce, mirin, and sugar that is reduced down). It was SO GOOD!!

Sunday: Ahi Sushi…again
It was so good the first time around, so we had it again!! 🙂
This time we had it with yummy egg drop soup
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Monday: Sweet Potato Zucchini Fritters
So I didn’t exactly follow the recipe…at all…I more used this recipe as an idea, so here is my version!

Grate the following into a bowl:
1 zucchini
1 sweet potato
1 onion
Add to the bowl and mix well:
2 eggs
4 tablespoons of flour
a little salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika
Heat vegetable oil in a pan. Place a spoonful of the mixture into the oil, saute until brown, flip and repeat. Place the cooked fritter on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
In the mean time, place a cooling rack on a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the cooked fritters on the cooling rack and place in the oven, bake about 10 minutes.
I topped the fritters with an aoli made from mayo, garlic powder, ground coriander, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice.

Tuesday: Tex Mex Orzo
IMG_1982.PNGThis one pot meal was super easy and delicious! I added some chopped avocado when I served it!

Wednesday: 5 Ingredient White Chicken Chili
IMG_2022.PNGI made a half batch of this and it was enough for dinner for both of us plus leftovers for lunch. In true VanGent fashion, I put my own twist on it by adding a can of diced tomatoes and a bunch of kale…delicious!
I served it with this homemade focaccia bread. IMG_1999.JPGSince I can’t eat dairy, I topped the bread with sea salt (I only put half the salt in the bread), rosemary, and thinly sliced onions.

Thursday: Grilled Veggie Sandwichthi

IMG_2023.PNGThis is always a hit in our house. So easy and delicious! This time we made it on the focaccia I made last night (see recipe above).

Stay tuned for next week’s meal plan!

Grilled Veggie Bruschetta

The longer we cook vegetarian, the more we try and find unique recipes! This grilled veggie bruschetta is our take on Jamie Oliver’s smoky veg bruschetta, but with a few of our own changes (like we always do…not good recipe followers)!

This bruschetta is so unique and was great on homemade tortilla chips from our favorite Artisan Blue Corn Flax Seed tortillas (just cut into wedges and bake until lightly browned, flipping once)

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It was also great leftover on BBQ pizza on whole wheat na’an!!

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What you need:
1 ear of corn
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 eggplant, sliced
1/2 onion, thickly sliced
1/2 bell pepper, cut in half
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice and zest if 1/2 lemon
1-2 Tbsp basalmic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil

Shuck the corn and place on a piece of foil, add the lemon zest and a little salt and pepper, wrap in the foil to grill. Arrange the sliced veggies on the grill or in a grill basket. Grill for about 10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly charred and veggies have grill marks (the corn will take about 15 minutes)

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Cut the corn off the cob, chop the veggies, and add to a medium bowl along with the minced garlic, vinegar, oil, and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to taste and ENJOY!

Grilled Veggie Sandwich

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This amazing sandwich is definitely one of our favorites right now, and is a go-to meal when we don’t feel like cooking much. We normally grill it outside, but this time I made it on my indoor grill pan and it was actually just as good! (Plus Matt had just gotten home from summer camp and was too tired to grill)
This recipe is from allrecipes.com but is slightly altered (I can never follow recipes directly…)

Ingredients for sauce:
1/4 cup mayo (I use olive oil mayo)
1 T lemon juice (also great with orange or lime!)
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. (We have also used other sauces for our sandwich, like leftover baja sauce from fish tacos)

Ingredients for sandwich
1/2 zucchini, cut into strips
1/2 bell pepper, cut flat
1/2 tomato, slices
2 slices of onion
Bread of choice (see below description for our favorite, but any kind will do)
Feta to sprinkle on the bread (optional)

Arrange cut veggies on a grill pan or on the grill and sprinkle with no-salt garlic herb seasoning.

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Once the veggies start to get grill marks, flip and grill the other side (should only take about 5 minutes on each side).
While the veggies are cooking, spread some mayo on one side of the bread (we have tried thick cut loaves, ciabatta, focaccia, but our favorite by far has been naan). Sprinkle feta on top of the sauce.

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Once the veggies have been removed from the grill or grill pan, place the bread, sauce side up, and grill until the bread starts to brown.

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Once the bread is done, assemble the sandwich and ENJOY!!

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

Hands down, our favorite vegetarian meal so far has been these black bean veggie burgers. (Recipe modified from allrecipes.com) They are super easy to make and can be modified or topped with a variety of ingredients!

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Start by lightly mashing one can of drained, rinsed black beans (I don’t mash too much so there is still a good texture). Using a cheese grater or the grater attachment in a food processor, grate 1/2 onion, 1/2 zucchini, and 1/2 bell pepper. Add the veggies to the beans and add 2 cloves of minced garlic. Mix together and add 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon chili sauce (I used garlic pepper plant sauce). Mix and then add 1 egg and 1/2 cup of bread crumbs or panko. Then add about 1/2 cup of feta cheese (optional).

Mix well, form into 4 patties, and sauté in a little oil until golden brown! We love to eat them with avocado, fresh spinach, and a little lemon garlic aoli with fresh chopped basil!

ENJOY!

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