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!)

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Meal Plan: August 1-7

Matt got back from his mission trip in Mexico on August 1, so I wanted to make sure he has great meals this week! Plus I went back to work on Monday so I did my meal planning a little early!

Friday: Chicken Parmesan (Matt’s favorite)
20140802-185756-68276573.jpgPound the chicken thin, dredge in flour, then egg, then season bread crumbs. Place the breaded chicken on waxed paper and place in the fridge for 10 minutes (if you skip this step, your breading will be more likely to fall off when you cook the chicken. Then saute/lightly pan fry the chicken in olive oil until golden brown on both sides. Top with mozzarella and then hot tomato sauce. I used my tomato sauce.
I served it with zucchini that I cut into spears, topped with olive oil, basalmic vinegar, and garlic powder and baked at 350 degrees until soft.

Saturday: Pineapple Grilled Mahi Mahi
20140803-193717-70637978.jpgThis was so fun to make! I chose to use Mahi Mahi, but next time I think I’ll try salmon or chicken.
Soaked some twine in water while you prepare the pineapple. Cut the the pineapple so the ends are the same size as your piece of whatever you are grilling. I brushed the fish with a little teriyaki sauce, then sandwich the fish in the pineapple and tie up with twine. This has to grill for a long time, but don’t worry about the fish drying out, the juice from the pineapple keeps is nice and moist! I served this with some rice and fresh pineapple.

For dessert I surprised Matt by making one of his favorite treats…CHURROS! If I had know how easy it was to make churros I would have made them a long time ago! I don’t have a piping bag, so I just used a ziploc bag and cut a hole in the corner!
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Sunday: Corn-off-the-Cobb Chicken Tacos
20140803-195417-71657391.jpgThese tacos were so much better than I expected!!
I cooked the chicken ahead of time (while the baby was napping, since I didn’t know how much time I would have later!). I put olive oil in a pan, browned one side of the chicken, then flip the chicken and pour about a cup of chicken broth in the pan, cover and simmered about 10 minutes or until the chicken was cooked. Once it had cooled a little I shredded for later.
For the corn (a fresh gift from my aunt), I wrapped them in a damp paper towel, husks and all, and microwaved for 4 minutes, flipping half way through.
We had these on warn corn tortillas topped with fresh pico de gallo and guacamole. SO GOOD!

Monday: Crock Pot Honey Garlic Chicken with Protein Garlic Mashed Potatoes with sauteed onions, kale, and green beans
20140805-074248-27768353.jpgToday was my first day back at work so we decided to have a crock pot meal (when I was pregnant I prepared a few crock pot meals and froze them). Unfortunately, with my pregnancy brain I didn’t save the recipe, but I believe it was some combination of honey, minced garlic, soy sauce, ketchup, and oregano. I do apologize!
The mashed potatoes were left over from another meal, so I decided to spruce them up by sauteing diced onions, cut green beans (I used frozen), and kale, then adding the mashed potatoes and sautéing until the potatoes were hot and starting to brown.

Tuesday: The plan was to make sweet potato zucchini fritters but my poor hubby got sick so we had matzo ball soup from a local diner instead

Wednesday: Broccoli Apple Salad
20140806-193651-70611240.jpgI pretty much followed this recipe except I used sliced almonds instead of walnuts and added avocado. I also blanched the broccoli for about 30 seconds in hot water just to take a little of the bite off.
The dressing called for sour cream, so I used the vegan sour cream that I’ve written about a couple times.

Thursday: Dragon Bowl
IMG_1920.PNGI saw this recipe on The Chew. It sounds a little strange…but it’s so good! Matt even said it was in the top 10 dishes I’ve ever made! Sautéed kale and rice, roasted sweet potatoes, fried chickpeas, avocado, fried egg…each component is delicious on it’s own, and even better together!

Meal Plan: July 27-29

My mom is here this week to visit and help out before I go back to work next week (sad day, it’s been so nice being off for 15 weeks!). I asked my mom to pick some of the recipes I’ve been making that she wanted to try, so here they are!

Sunday: Grilled Ginger Sesame Chicken Salad
I know, not vegetarian, but the dressing makes it all ok! This salad could easily be made sans chicken and would be just as good, or use the marinade for tofu if you’d like! It’s the perfect amount of salt and vinegar that you want in a Chinese chicken salad!
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Monday: CauliPower Alfredo
One of the things I craved most while pregnant (and still do) is fettuccini Alfredo. While this is definitely not as soon as the real deal, creamy, fattening Alfredo sauce I know and love, it is a great alternative until I can eat dairy again! It has a similar mouth feel to dairy Alfredo and is thick and creamy, but is made from cauliflower so it’s much healthier! I like to add broccoli to it, but you could add anything you’d like!
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Tuesday:Taco Chicken with Zucchini Pasta
This dish is so easy and delicious, and comes together super fast! I bought a mandolin with a julienne part that works great for making the zucchini noodles! This recipe is with chicken but you could just as easily use tofu or shrimp!
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Unfortunately I won’t be cooking the rest of the week, but here is a bonus recipe! I made this delicious dessert while my mom was visiting so she could try a vegan raw dessert! I added an extra tablespoon of maple syrup to the filling, and also added about 1/4 cup of cocoa powder 🙂
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
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Stay tuned for next week’s meal plan!

Vegan deliciousness

As I said earlier, I have had to stop eating dairy while breast feeding thanks to baby girl’s super sensitive tummy! It has been really fun trying new recipes and discovering the magic of turning nuts into cheese, sauce, and dessert!

Here are some of the amazing recipes we have tried:

Entree
Vegan Zucchini Gratin
Taco Chili with Nacho Cheeze Sauce
CauliPower Alfredo
Roasted Garlic White Pizza with Macadamia Ricotta

Cheese
Baked Cashew Cheese
Herb Cashew Cream Cheese

Dessert
Flourless Chocolate Cake (not actually vegan because it has eggs, but it is dairy free)
•and the most AMAZING THING EVERDouble Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake

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Have you tried soaking cashews?? Who knew they become so creamy and versatile! Most of the time I don’t even miss cheese! (Although I could really go for some good cheddar on crackers, or a good cheese pizza!)

Also, I came across this recipe for a basic white sauce (can be used for sour cream, dip, sauce, cream cheese, etc, depending on how much water you add):
1 cup cashews – soaked in water for about an hour, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup olive oil
3oz of lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup water (depending on what you want to use it for, I used 1/2 cup for sour cream/dip)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender. Blend until very smooth. Place it in the fridge, it will thicken slightly when cooled. You can also add anything else, spices, etc!

Tofu Lettuce Wraps

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Well, we had another great tofu meal tonight! This time we decided to put it in a yummy lettuce wrap! I adapted the sauce recipe from here

In a bowl, combine the following and set aside:
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C water
2 T soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
2 T ketchup
1 T sake
1 T lemon juice
2 tsp garlic chili sauce (see previous posts)
1 tsp chili sesame oil
1 tsp sesame oil

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Chop the following (or pick your own ingredients! We just used what we had on hand…side note, most of our meals come from ingredients we just happen to have in our kitchen)
Tofu (we used about 5 oz, about 1/3 of the package)
1 zucchini
1/2 medium yellow onion
1/2 C peanuts
1/2 C edamame (not chopped)

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Add vegetable oil to a wok, heat and add veggies and peanuts. Cook until onions begin to be translucent. Add tofu and 1/2 the sauce. Simmer about 8 minutes.

In a small saucepan, simmer the remaining sauce to make it more concentrated.

Prepare lettuce, place filling in it, and drizzle concentrated sauce over the top.

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