Spaghetti Squash with Lentil Patties and Cashew Parmesan

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What a fun twist on the classic spaghetti and meatballs! I really enjoy working with traditional recipes and finding ways to get creative with them. This meal is completely plant based and is very easy to make.

First, I roasted a spaghetti squash at 400F until it was tender. Then, I set this aside to cool.

Then, I made the sauce – I used a jar of my favorite sauce and added some mushrooms that were sautéed in red wine and garlic, mmm!

For the lentil patties and parmesan, see the recipe below…

Lentil Patties

  • Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbls flax plus 3 Tbls water)
  • 1 1/2 c lentils, cooked
  • 1 Tbls Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbls tomato paste
  • 5 Tbls cashew parmesan (see below)
  • bread crumbs
  1. In a food processor, pulse all ingredients together until ingredients reach a dough-like consistency. I had to use about 1/4 c of breadcrumbs because my mixture was too wet
  2. Scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture and form into a patty. Add oil to a skillet and fry each side of the patty
  3. Once the patties have slightly browned, put them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 15 minutes

Cashew Parmesan

  •  3/4 c raw cashews
  • 3 Tbls nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  1. Pulse everything in a food processor until you reach a desired texture.

Veggie Enchiladas topped with Cinnamon Pistachio Verde Sauce

No photo for this one – I had a hard time getting one that was pretty. The green from the verde along with the monochromatic tortilla and cheese.. just believe me, I am sparing you from an unappealing image.

The recipe, on the other hand is outstanding. I love the trio of flavors: slight sweetness of the cinnamon, the crunch of the pistachio, and the spice and acidity from the salsa verde. I feel like cinnamon is underutilized in savory recipes and am trying to encourage its use!

Veggie Enchiladas topped with a Cinnamon Pistachio Verde Sauce

  • 1 jar of Salpica salsa verde
  • 1/3 c pistachios
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Olive oil
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 zucchini , chopped
  • ½ c black beans
  • 1/3 c corn
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4-6 corn tortillas
  • 4 oz of cheddar jack cheese
  1. First, make the enchilada sauce. This is not your traditional enchilada sauce as you will be using premade salsa. Pulse the pistachios in a food processor. Add the jar of salsa verde and cinnamon. Pulse a few more times. Set aside
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add the onion and zucchini. After 5 minutes, add the cumin and chili powder. Sauté the veggies until they are tender. Add the corn and beans. Salt and pepper your filling mixture as needed
  3. Add a thin layer of verde sauce at the bottom of a 8×8 pan
  4. Important step in making enchiladas: heat the tortillas first, and then dip each tortilla in the verde sauce. Stuff the tortilla with the veggie mixture, roll, and place in the 9×9 pan
  5. Continue this process until you run out of tortillas or room in the pan
  6. Top the tortillas with the remaining verde sauce, then add the cheese
  7. Cook at 350 F for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling

Cumin Citrus Jackfruit Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce

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If you aren’t familiar with jackfruit – you are not alone! You can work with fresh jackfruit or canned – since I too am new to the jackfruit game, I opted for canned jackfruit. I made sure the jackfruit was in a simple brine and not in a sugary syrup.

Jackfruit reminds me of pineapple, but is so very different from pineapple. The texture is soft with a little bit of chewiness. The flavor is neutral which allows you to adapt it to many types of recipes. I prefer to use jackfruit as a replacement for shredded meat, which makes it great for a taco!

Cumin Citrus Jackfruit Tacos

  • Olive oil
  • 1 14 oz can jackfruit in brine (not syrup)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/3 orange juice
  • 1 Tbls lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp chili
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Corn tortillas and toppings of your choice (tomatillo sauce, cilantro, red onion, avocado, fresh lime, pico de gallo)
  1. Drain jackfruit and place into a bowl. Tear jackfruit with a fork into shredded pieces
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together juices, minced garlic, tamari, liquid smoke and spices
  3. Pour marinade mixture over the jackfruit. Let sit for several hours in the fridge, if possibleimg_5026
  4. In a pan, heat some olive oil and sauté the onion. After 5 minutes, add the marinated jackfruit. Cook for 5 minutes uncovered, then cover and set heat to low. Simmer for 20-30 minutes
  5. Heat the tortillas and add the jackfruit along with any desired toppings

Spaghetti Squash Tacos

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Tacos are an incredibly versatile dish. You can keep it traditional with your protein asada or you can get creative and add new veggies, like spaghetti squash.

What I loved about this meal is that it was ready in less than 30 minutes. If you bake your spaghetti squash the night before, all you need to do the next night is marinate and heat the squash. I added corn to my squash, but you can add peppers, onion, beans, etc. I hope this recipe inspires you to get creative the next time you are craving tacos!

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash, roasted, set 2 cups aside
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp chipotle sauce, if you like more heat, add 1 chipotle pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ c to 1 c vegetable broth or water
  • 1 c corn
  • ½ c black beans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Corn tortillas and toppings of your choice (cilantro, red onion, avocado, fresh lime, pico de gallo)

 

  1. Make the spaghetti squash ahead of time. Slice squash in half, scoop out the seeds* and coat inside of squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast flesh side down at 400 F until fork tender. Set aside to cool. Pull squash out using a fork.
  2. In a skillet, sauté olive oil, spices and garlic. After 3-5 minutes, add ½ c of broth or water
  3. Next, add the spaghetti squash, corn and beans into the marinade. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes or until warm.
  4. Season as necessary. Heat the tortillas, add the butternut squash filling to each taco and garnish with desired toppings

Grilling Meatless Burgers

I’ve tried a lot of great meatless meats in my day, and I must say, the Herbivorous Butcher in Minneapolis has a burger that will make anyone say, “wow!”

I was able to grill these burgers, which was a huge plus. When I make bean/legume based burgers, they aren’t always grill friendly. You can tell there are some hearty ingredients keeping it all together.

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I topped my burgers with their dill havarti cheese.

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I am so lucky to live in a state with a vegan butcher shop! They do offer shipping of some of their products, so if you aren’t within driving range, there is still hope!

Vegan Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta

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As someone that still consumes dairy cheese, I forget how delicious non-dairy cheese is, especially when melted!

I made a very simple lasagna with pre-cooked noodles, a delicious pasta sauce, vegan mozzarella, and a must make layer of cashew ricotta. This meal was tasted by omnivores and given excellent feedback.

To make this lasagna, I first made the cashew ricotta. Once this was complete, I put a layer of pasta sauce down, then noodles, then ricotta, then sauce, then noodles, then ricotta, then sauce, etc.. by the time you reach a top layer (I layered about 4 times) top with the mozzarella cheese. I baked the lasagna covered at 350F for about 25 minutes, then uncovered until cheese was fully melted and pasta was cooked.

Thanksgiving Dinner!

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year – specifically for sharing food and being thankful.

This meal is made of a Field Roast Celebration Roast which I put in a casserole dish and surrounded it with a veggie mix (potatoes, green beans, carrots, mushrooms, and onion which were coated in oil and seasoned with salt and pepper). I covered this, cooked it at 350F and occasionally added veg broth to help with the cooking of the veggies.

The mushroom gravy is from Simply Organic. I added some sautéed mushrooms which were browned in olive oil and garlic; and deglazed with red wine.

The stuffing is from Arrowhead Mills – I added sautéed celery and onion to this.

I kept it very simple this year folks! What are you serving up for your Thanksgiving meal(s)?

A Simple Tofu Scramble


Scrambles are one of my favorite ways to use tofu. I enjoy the simplicity and endless creative possibilities. You can do a Mediterranean version with sun-dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives; or a Mexican version with black beans and avocado; or whatever you have on hand that sounds good!

An important part about tofu is pressing it and seasoning it well. With scrambles, I’ve found that you don’t have to spend too much time pressing, as I cook it down in my skillet until most liquid has evaporated. 

Seasoning is a must. Make sure to use turmeric (this will provide a beautiful color), nutritional yeast, salt (I sometimes use Black Sea salt, it has a nice egg-like flavor), onion powder, and pepper.

For the basic breakfast scramble today, here is what I used…

Ingredients

  • 1 block tofu, extra firm, drained and/or lightly pressed
  • Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced 
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • A couple of handfuls of spinach
  • 1 Tbls nutritional yeast 
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Sauté the onion and red pepper in olive oil for several minutes. Add the garlic and spinach, cook for a few more minutes. Make sure you cook any excess water out from the spinach. Transfer to a bowl, set aside.
  2. Pour olive oil in the same pan, break the tofu into crumbles. Cook for a few minutes until most of the water has evaporated. Next, add the spices. Make sure everything is well incorporated. If you need to add a little more oil or water, feel free to do so. When the spices merry with the tofu, give it a taste and adjust with seasonings as necessary.  Add the veggies with the tofu. 

“Chick Seitan” with Asian Peanut BBQ Sauce

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Upton’s Naturals makes some seriously delicious plant based protein. I had yet to try their “chick seitan” style and I thought it would go great with an Asian inspired stir-fry. I referred to Isa’s BBQ sauce, but was short on a few ingredients so I jazzed it up in my own way. I was also reluctant to put peanut butter in a BBQ sauce – but by thinking Asian-fusion, I was able to balance some of the flavors out. This is a meal you could easily make in 30 minutes – the most time consuming part was simmering the sauce down.

Asian Peanut BBQ Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbls pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbls agave
  • 2 Tbls tomato paste
  • 1 Tbls peanut butter
  • 1 Tbls tamari or Bragg’s Aminos
  • 1 Tbls apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbls dijon
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp-1 tsp fresh or powdered ginger
  1. Simmer the above ingredients in a sauce pan over low heat. Reduce down until the sauce has reached a thick, saucy consistency.

 

Garlic Balsamic Glazed Tempeh

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I’ve been working on a cooking class that features plant based protein. This Garlic Balsamic Glazed Tempeh was awesome! I served it with a side of couscous which is topped with oven-roasted green beans and mushrooms. I then dressed the dish with truffle infused balsamic. I may have gone a bit overboard with balsamic. You can definitely substitute other flavors and sauces, such as barbecue or ketchup.

Now, I ask you friendly viewers, what are your favorite plant based proteins? Some of mine include marinated tempeh, tofu (scrambles and eggless salads), chickpea sloppy joes, and desserts using soft tofu as the filling.. I would love to hear some ideas from you that I could incorporate into my upcoming class!

 

Garlic Balsamic Glazed Tempeh

  • 8 oz tempeh
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4-1/3 c balsamic vinegar (start with less, unless you are really looking for that balsamic flavor)
  • 3 tsp tamari or Bragg’s Aminos
  • 1 Tbls maple syrup
  • 1 Tbls olive oil
  • pepper to taste
  1. Steam the 8 oz block of tempeh in a skillet until water is evaporated (I fill enough water in the pan to cover 1/3 to 1/2 of the block of tempeh)- this takes about 10 minutes. I like to steam my tempeh before cooking with it because it opens up the protein which helps the marinade process. Tempeh can also have a strong, fermented taste, and steaming can help soften that flavor
  2. Let the tempeh cool until you are able to handle it, then cut it into desired shapes. To make the small triangles, I cut the 8 oz square into 4 triangles. I then cut those triangles in half (width wise) and then in half lengthwise.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together garlic, vinegar, tamari, maple syrup, olive oil and pepper
  4. Add the tempeh in a pan/dish where you can lay them all flat – I fit them easily into an 8×6 Pyrex. Cover the tempeh with your marinade. Let this sit overnight, then flip them in the morning
  5. In the evening – or whenever you’re ready to bake these, preheat your oven to 350F. Cover your pan/dish with foil, bake for 15 minutes; uncover and bake for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed