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!)

Been a while! Life with a baby…

Well, it certainly has been a while since we posted anything here! Life has been a little hectic adjusting to a new baby! We haven’t had as much time for cooking, but are starting to get back into it! I have had to stop eating dairy while breast feeding, so that has added a whole new layer of fun in the kitchen, experimenting with dairy free and vegan recipes! We also have been eating a lot of raw foods thanks to a huge zucchini and cucumber harvest from our garden!

Here are some of the things we’ve been eating:
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zucchini pasta with lemon garlic vinaigrette
zucchini salad with avocado and edamame
quinoa and black bean tacos

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brussel sprouts with cranberries and barley

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broccoli pesto orzo with lemon and avocado

These meals have been perfect for summer and all of them have been easy to make between crying, feedings, and lots of cuddles! I hope you have the chance to try some of these recipes, many of then can be made in advance!

Stay tuned for some of the vegan recipes we’ve been trying!

Breakfast Scramble

We love to make scrambles for breakfast. They are a great way to use leftover veggies and have a great, healthy breakfast! After Matt and I went for a hike yesterday, he made us a scramble, and let me tell you, it was the best we’ve EVER had. It definitely helped that all our produce was organic (we get produce delivered from Farm Fresh To You and supplement anything else we want from a local produce shop). We also had a couple Morningstar Sausage Patties (a really delicious meatless breakfast sausage!) in the freezer that we decided to throw in. The great thing with this dish is that you really can use any veggies you have on hand, this is just what we happened to have yesterday!

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1/2 large zucchini
1/2 onion
1 small bell pepper
1 small tomato
4 eggs (we used 3 egg whites and 1 whole egg)
6 leaves fresh basil, chopped
2-3 Morningstar breakfast sausages

In a large saute pan, heat a small amount of vegetable or olive oil. Dice the zucchini, onion, pepper, and tomato, and place in the pan. Season with no salt garlic herb seasoning (or whatever your favorite seasoning is, we just don’t add salt when cooking). Saute until the veggies are soft.

While the veggies are cooking, microwave the sausage patties about 45 seconds, flip, then microwave another 45 seconds. Cut up, and add to the veggies

Whisk the eggs with a little milk, and add to the veggies and sausage. When the eggs are mostly cooked, add the chopped basil and stir. Continue to cook until the eggs are cooked through. At this point you can add a little cheddar cheese if you’d like, and enjoy!

Lemon Risotto with Summer Vegetables

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This was a very delicious recipe I found.  Unlike the others, this one wasn’t modified much.  You can find the original recipe here.  Here’s the recipe, along with our adjustments (this one takes about an hour, and it’s pretty much all active cooking time).  Enjoy!

Here are the ingredients:

  • 8 ounces asparagus (about 10 stalks), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas (about a healthy handful), trimmed and cut in half
  • 5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (to be used at different times)
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced or sliced, any color (we used green)
  • 4 3/4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup uncooked Basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (if you live in SoCal, check out Wiens for some great wines- we used their White Crowded for this)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt-free seasoning

Directions:

  1. Fill a large sauce pan about 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Put asparagus and peas in water and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cool water.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.  Add zucchini, squash and bell pepper and saute for about 7 minutes, or until browned and tender.  Season vegetables with no-salt seasoning while cooking.
  3. Add vegetable broth to a medium sauce pan and warm over medium heat (but don’t bring it to a boil).  Keep it warm.
  4. Heat remaining olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add shallots, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they get tender. Stir in rice, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup broth; cook 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Reserve 1/4 cup broth for the end. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (20-25 minutes total).  About halfway through cooking rice, add the 2 cloves of minced garlic.  Stir in asparagus, peas, zucchini, squash and bell pepper ; cook 1 minute more or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 cup of broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, chives and grated cheese.
  5. Eat.  Enjoy.

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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Tofu Taco “Meat”

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We love taco salad… Tonight we decided to try it without meat! We haven’t been huge tofu fans but are starting to branch out (thanks to a few great miso soups at sushi restaurants lately). The tofu recipe we came up with would be great in taco salad (like we did), tacos, quesadillas, or just by itself! Here’s what you need:

5-8 oz firm tofu (we used about 1/3 the package of a 14 oz pack from Trader Joe’s) very finely diced
1/2 small yellow onion finely chopped
1/4 bell pepper diced (pick your favorite color)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon garlic pepper hot sauce (optional- see Wild Rice Burger recipe for a link to the sauce we love)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (very optional- only use if you want your mouth to be on fire)

Combine all ingredients in a medium frying pan on medium heat. Sauté until onions are translucent and everything has been simmering for a couple minutes. Then you’re done!

If you want to make taco salad, toss this mixture with lettuce (or the spinach/kale mixture we like from Vons), add cheddar cheese, corn, black beans (or edame like we used since we didn’t have black beans), a little ranch and a little salsa, crumble some tortilla chips on top and you’re good to go!

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Bon appetite!
Matt

After we made this taco salad we had some leftover “meat” mix, so we decided to make quesadillas a couple nights later! Our FAVORITE tortillas are these blue cork flax seed artisan tortillas by Mission!

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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!!