Baked Pasta with Tofu-Cashew Ricotta

This non-dairy ricotta is very versatile and so good in many Italian-style dishes! Other than a baked ziti type of dish like this, you can also use it for lasagna, stuffed shells, manicotti or eggplant rollatini. Make sure you press out as much moisture as you can from the tofu (you can use a weight or apply even pressure holding over sink). The texture of the ricotta is perfect with the combination of cashews and tofu! Plus the lemon juice and vinegar make it slightly tangy. (You can also make a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate it. 🙂 )

This dish is similar to a baked ziti… There are four components that you need:
– One package of any type of dry pasta (penne, ziti, spiral, etc)
– 2-3 cups tomato/spaghetti/marinara sauce (homemade or store-bought)
– 1 cup cooked spinach (or any other veggies you like)
– 1 batch tofu-cashew ricotta

Start to cook pasta while you make tofu-cashew ricotta.

HCV_BakedPasta - 1 (1)Tofu-Cashew Ricotta: (makes approx 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 block tofu, moisture pressed out
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for a few hours (or boiled for about 10 min)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other unsweetened non-dairy milk)
1 Tblsp lemon juice
1 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Garlic powder

 

HCV_BakedPasta - 1Make tofu-cashew ricotta:
Add all tofu-cashew ricotta ingredients to food processor bowl except for tofu.
Blend on high until smooth.
Add tofu and blend a few seconds more.
The consistency should resemble ricotta cheese. If needed, add a bit more almond milk.

In large mixing bowl, mix cooked (drained) pasta, cooked spinach, tofu-cashew ricotta and approx 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce, depending on how saucy you like it.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce in bottom of 9×13 pan.Add pasta mixture and spread evenly.
Spoon 1/2 cup tomato sauce on top.
(Sprinkle nutritional yeast or shredded vegan cheeseon top if desired)
Cover with aluminum foil and bake 40 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.

Enjoy!

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Greek-inspired Bean and Veggie Stew

There are so many elements of Greek food that I love… Kalamata olives, tomatoes, artichokes, spinach and olive oil to name a few! I decided to come up with a stew that incorporates many of these ingredients with a light, flavorful sauce! You can play with the spices and add any combination that you like. In addition to what I used, basil, thyme and marjoram would also be good. I’m looking forward to making this dish again in the summer with fresh herbs from my garden!

 

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1 large potato (or two med size), peeled and diced
Grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Fresh spinach
1 can navy (or white) beans, drained
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
Kalamata olives, pitted
Oil for sauteing
Steamed rice

Sauce:
3/4 cup vegetable brothHCV_GreekStew - 1 (1)
1-2 Tblsp lemon juice
1-2 Tblsp white wine
Spices – Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, dill, parsley
Saute potatoes (if you like, can also add peppers, onions, garlic) in skillet in a little olive oil or canola oil. Cook 5-10 min.
Add olives, tomatoes and artichokes. Saute a few more minutes.
Add beans.
Mix sauce ingredients and add sauce to skillet. Add fresh spinach and cover.
Simmer for 5-10 min covered until spinach is wilted.
(You can add a little more broth if needed)

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Serve over rice and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Tofu Scramble

Soybeans are a great source of protein, and I think they’re best in their truest, least processed forms… to me, this means edamame, tofu or tempeh. You might think that you don’t like tofu… that it’s spongy and flavorless. Even though it might seem boring and bland on its own, this is one of my fool-proof ways to prepare it, and it’s quite easy and delicious! It’s very similar in look and texture to scrambled eggs, but without all the cholesterol! I love to eat this with fried potatoes and/or toast!

1 block firm tofu
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
Spices (salt, garlic powder, onion powder)
Veggies such as leaf spinach, chopped mushrooms, onions, potatoes, tomatoes or fresh herbs – whatever you like!

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The key is to press out as much moisture from the tofu as you can. You can put weights on top of a plate to press it, but I usually don’t have the time or patience. Instead, I slice up the block of tofu and then take about half the slices at a time and press them together with my hands over the sink or a bowl. Repeat a few times and you can press out much of the moisture.

 

 

HCV_TofuScramble - 1 (5)Once most of the moisture is pressed out, add the tofu slices to a large bowl and crumble with a fork. Add soy sauce, olive oil, turmeric, dry mustard and any other spices. I like to add salt, garlic powder and onion powder.

Now you’re ready to cook it. First, stir-fry your chopped veggies in a skillet in a little oil. I added spinach and mushrooms to this batch. Then add the tofu mixture. Cook for a few minutes, tossing in the pan until everything is heated through. It will turn an even brighter yellow as you cook it!

 

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Enjoy for
breakfast or any meal of the day!