Sunday, December 9, 2012

Vegan Alfredo with Mushrooms

I have been dying to make this for WEEKS. Last time we went shopping I decided to break down and buy cashews so I could. They are very expensive and it drives me nuts. Anyway I decided today was the day and was very excited about it. I looked at a few different recipes before I figured out what I was going to do. I didn't really like the one in my cook book so I made  my own. Well just like Jimmy has said about everything I have cooked after he licked his plate he said "I hated it". I was very impressed with myself and really enjoyed it. Of course I made my garlic knots to go with it. It was a delicious dinner! I really do love Sundays :)

Vegan Alfredo with Mushrooms
1 pound linguine noodles
1 cup of cashews (soaked in water for 8 hours)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup water
1 large onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt & pepper
garlic salt
vegan Parmesan cheese 
6 mushrooms sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Cook noodles in large pot according to directions.
2. Heat olive oil in medium pan and add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are soft and remove from heat.
3. In food processor combine soft cashews, cooked onion, garlic, almond milk, water, lemon juice, vegan cream cheese, salt, pepper & garlic salt. Blend until very smooth. Place in medium sauce pan and heat. Once it reaches a boil place on low heat. 
4. In medium pan add olive oil and mushrooms cook until they are soft and remove from heat.
5. When pasta is cooked drain and place back in pot. Add the Alfredo sauce and mix until spread evenly over pasta.
6. Place on plate and add mushrooms.
7. Serve with Parmesan :)  


So I have made this a few times but haven't posted it yet. The first time I made it was in New York when my parents were away. Leanne had given me the recipe and I decided to try it. I have never eaten Gnocchi before. I love pasta and potatoes so I figured it would probably love it. Well I was right :) When I moved to Colorado it was the first "meal" I cooked for Jimmy. I made it again this week and I think I enjoy it more every time. Its pretty much the exact recipe from EatingWell but I figured I would share anyway.

1 package gnocchi (they usually sell it right in the pasta isle)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow/white onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup water
4 cups fresh spinach
1 can diced tomatoes with italian seasonings 
1 can white beans- rinsed
1/2 cup daiya mozzarella cheese
vegan Parmesan cheese for topping

1. Heat olive oil in large pan. Add gnocchi and heat until gnocchi begins to get a crispy look on the outside. Remove from heat. 
2. In large saucepan add and heat olive oil with chopped onions and minced garlic. Once the onions are soft add the water. Cover and cook for about 4 minutes.
3. Add the spinach and stir until spinach begins to wilt.
4. Add the tomatoes, beans and pepper and bring to a boil.
5. Add the cooked gnocchi and mix well. Let cook for about 5 minutes.
6. Add mozzarella cheese and mix. 
7. Serve hot with the Parmesan cheese :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pesto Spinach Lasagna

Last week when we went to the store Jimmy said he wanted me to buy lasagna noodles this time instead of the stuffed shells since I had made those already. Well of course I didn't buy any sauce to go long with it and the jar we currently have is nearly empty. I was trying to think of ways I could still use the noodles without having to go back to the store. Every time I got there I buy more then I should so I have been trying to avoid going as often as possible. Anyway I think I was making lunch on Saturday and on the back of Jimmy's regular mozzarella cheese was this amazing recipe for a Pesto Spinach & chicken lasagna. As I read it I fell in love and decided I was going to put my own twist on it. I decided it would go perfect with the chowder for Sunday's dinner. I did exactly that and here is my Vegan version of it. Again I just had a leftover piece for dinner and it was amazing. There is still 2 pieces left so I will be bringing it in for lunch this week too! 

12 lasagna noodles (cooked according to directions)
2- 10 ounce packs of frozen chopped spinach defrosted
1 large onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
6 mushrooms chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil 
1 package premade pesto 
daiya mozzarella 
Garden Ricotta
same recipe as stuffed shells

1. In a large pot combine garlic, onions and mushrooms with olive oil. Cook until onions are soft.
2. Add in defrosted spinach and cook until everything is hot. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. Make the garden ricotta.
4. In large bowl combine garden ricotta with spinach mixture and pesto. Mix well until ingredients are combined. 
5. In a 8x10 greased cooking pan place 3 lasagna noodles on bottom. Spread mixture evenly on top. Add some daiya mozzarella. Repeat 3 times making 4 even layers. Add extra mozzarella on top to cover entirely. 
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
7. Bake for about 45 minutes or until it is hot and cheese is melted. 

Let cool and serve!!!                     (Jimmy's half is on the left it has regular cheese)

            Before cooked                                                           After cooked

Layers of greatness


Vegan Seafood Chowder???

So yesterday was Sunday again and like I said last week I am going to try and make a soup every Sunday because it reminds me of home. I was thinking this one up all week. I am not sure where the idea came from but what a great idea it was. I just finished a bowl since there was leftovers. I was dreaming about it all day. It was just as good as last night if not better. Well here is my recipe for a vegan seafood chowder. I hope you enjoy it as much as Jimmy and I did :)

Vegan Seafood Chowder
2 small onions chopped                                                12 shrimp chopped
1 shallot chopped                                                            imitation crap 
3 stalks celery chopped                                                 4 cups vegetable broth
about 10 small carrots chopped                                  6 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic                                                                   2 tablespoons non dairy butter
2 can corn                                                                          4 cups unsweetened almond milk
5 table spoons corn starch                                           2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons flour                                                          salt/pepper

1. In a large pot combine celery, onions. shallot, carrots and garlic with olive oil and butter. After the onions reach a clear consistency add in the corn as well. Mix for about 10 minutes or so. 
2. Add in shrimp and crab with vegetable broth. Let boil for about 30 minutes.
3. Add almond milk and nutritional yeast. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes.
4. Add cornstarch according to directions. (you usually have to mix with water) Bring to a boil again and then reduce heat.
5. If needed add the flour. You may not need it if the soup has reached the consistency  you want already. 
6. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

                   Once the soup has reached the thickness you desire serve hot! 
Deliciousness :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Vegan Banana Bread

So this one I have made quiet a few times. I first attempted it this summer when I was still on Long Island. I was trying to prove to my dad that it could be good and plus we had bad bananas. I made a huge loaf originally but I do not have a pan to make one here so I made muffins instead. I actually enjoyed them more because it is less messy and easy to bring in the car on my early mornings. The flavor is basically the same as regular banana bread. I think it is almost better and lets just say pops was actually very impressed. I made everyone at work try it too. I haven't gotten any bad feedback yet and Jimmy keeps buying bananas and letting them go bad on purpose so I guess everyone likes it. 

Vegan Banana Bread
4 VERY ripe bananas
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
walnuts (optional)
spray oil

Preheat oven to 350

1.Combine all ingredients except walnuts into large mixing bowl. You have to mix for about 5 minutes until everything is well combined. 
2. Add in walnuts and continue to mix. 
3. Using a cupcake tray spray each hole with spray oil so nothing will stick.
4. Pour mixture evenly into each spot. DON'T pour to the top because they will get bigger in the oven. 
5. You may sprinkle with more walnuts if you would like.
6. Place in oven for about 15-20 minutes or until top is brown and middle is fully cooked. Keep an eye on them because they tend to cook fast because they are so small.

Let cool and serve warm. You may want to add a little non dairy butter on them too!

Baked Eggplant

I bought an eggplant last week and knew I had to use it soon or it would go bad. I know my sister LOVES eggplant so I texted her early in the week to get her recipe. She actually had two and sent me both of them. I decided to try the one that was baked since I have never tried it before. It came out really good. There was tons leftover so when I got back from basketball Saturday and was starving I threw together a quick sandwich/panini as well. So I will give you both recipes since chances are you will have leftovers to. 

Baked Eggplant
1 eggplant
1-2 tomatoes
olive oil/spray oil
garlic salt
steak seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Cut eggplant into medium size slices. Place on greased cookie sheet. 
2. Cut tomato into small slices and place on top of each piece of eggplant.
3. Spray with spray oil or olive oil and add spices to your own liking. Add different ones of there are others your prefer. I really like the garlic and herb one. 
4. Place in oven for about 15 minutes.
5. Turn oven on broil and cook for about another 10 minutes.

 Serve hot but make sure you let cool for a few minutes. Especially after being on broil!

Baked Eggplant Sandwich/Panini 
leftover eggplant with tomato
green/red pepper
daiya mozzarella cheese
olive oil
garlic salt
spray oil

Depending on how much you have leftover and how many sandwiches you are making will determine how much of the ingredients you will need. I basically just eye it and if there is some left I just eat it. You need to plug in your Georgeforeman/panini maker. (You can use a pan if you don't have one). In a small pan cook the mushrooms, onions and peppers in some olive oil until everything is soft. You can add the garlic salt and any other spices you would like while they are cooking. In the meantime throw the eggplant in the microwave for about a minute or so. You will need 2 pieces per sandwich. Once heated place on bottom piece of bread. Sprinkle some daiya mozzarella on top. Once vegetables are done place vegetables on top of cheese. Put other piece of bread on top making a sandwich. Spray your georgeforeman/panini make with spray oil so bread will not stick. Do the same with a pan. Place sandwich on cooking surface and close. Let cook until cheese is melted. Be careful not to burn the bread because it does cook quickly. Serve hot.