Lemon Pesto Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches

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September 6, 2015 By

Sometimes, I find myself in a pasta rut. During this time, I’ll rely too much on pasta to get by. How can I not? Just add vegetables to sauce and you have yourself a solid dinner and a filling lunch for the next day.

Well, the truth about pasta is that it can get repetitive. Sometimes, it’s fun to switch it up. That’s why I’ve created this recipe in the style of a sandwich. It’s a fun way to eat eggplant Parmesan, vegan style. You can eat it as a sandwich, burger, or even a sub!

This recipe can be a hybrid of other recipes and my own combined. For the “Parmesan” cheese, you have two options. If you have Chao cheese at your grocery store, using a slice on your sandwich is easy and delicious! If Chao cheese isn’t sold at your local grocery store of if you’d prefer to create something homemade, I have attached a moxarella cheese recipe, as seen by My Wife Makes and inspired by Vedged Out.

 

Lemon Pesto Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches

Click here for a picture-free print out version of this recipe!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Yield: 4 patties for 4 sandwiches

 

Ingredients

For the eggplant patty:

  • one large eggplant, sliced
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, gluten-free and vegan (I use the brand Gillian’s Breadcrumbs)
  • 4 pieces of rice paper
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the lemon pesto:

  • 1 juice of a small lemon, squeezed (3 tablespoons of lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pinches of salt

Other ingredients:

  • grape seed oil, as needed
  • bread of your choice (sandwich bread, sub rolls, buns)
  • Chao cheese slices (or homemade Moxarella cheese recipe, seen here)
  • your favorite marinara sauce
  • any other sandwich add-ons (onion, tomato, spinach, etc.)

 

Step 1: Slice the eggplant and decide what you are doing with it.

Cut your eggplant into thick slices. When cooked, eggplant loses its volume a bit, so cutting it a bit thicker will work out nicely in the final product. I suggest cutting up to 6 inch/15 centimeter slices.

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After that, you have a big choice to make. Are you going to fry your eggplant or bake it? DECIDE NOW.

If you are going to fry your eggplant, see STEP 2.

If you are going to bake your eggplant, go down to STEP 3.

 

Step 2: Precook the eggplant in the oven.

Ah, so you’ve chosen to fry your eggplant. A fine choice for the taste buds. While taking photos of this entry, I chose to fry my eggplant as well.

You’ll want to precook your eggplant in the oven to make it softer before frying it. Preheat the oven to 350º F / 176º C. Coat your baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil and bake for 15 minutes. Allow the eggplant slices to cool before Step 3.

 

Step 3: Wrap and bread your eggplant.

Without egg, it can be difficult to keep breadcrumbs on whatever you’re trying to cook. My favorite solution is to first wrap it in sticky rice paper, which will hold breadcrumbs beautifully. Plus, rice paper has a fantastic texture that can hold any flavor.

Speaking of flavor, on the list of ingredients, I put “salt and pepper, to taste”. The breadcrumbs are where you really get that flavor in. Your breadcrumbs might already have an amazing flavor; in this case, you don’t need to add anything to it. In my case, the breadcrumbs I buy don’t have any flavor, so I need to add salt and pepper on my own. Feel free to get creative here. You can amp up your breadcrumbs by also adding garlic powder and/or Italian herbs.

Set up an assembly line for your work station: a large, flat dish filled with warm water, a plate to wrap the eggplant, a dish with the breadcrumbs, and a dish to place your finished patties on. To assemble, first submerge one piece of rice paper into the warm water for around 10 seconds. Next, transfer the softened rice paper onto the wrapping plate. Strategically fold the wrapping paper so all sides of the eggplant are equally covered. Lastly, take the patty onto the breadcrumb plate and cover the rice paper with breadcrumbs. Continue this process until all patties are complete.

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Step 4: Cook your patties.

If you are baking your eggplant: Cook your patties at 450º F / 232º C for 20 minutes, flipping the patties about halfway through.

If you are pan-frying your eggplant: In a deep skillet, coat the bottom with 4 tablespoons of grape seed oil at medium heat. Once the oil is heated, use a spatula to gently place the patties in the skillet. You may have to turn the heat down to medium low, depending on your stove. Flip patties over when they have cooked to golden brown (5-10 minutes). Cook the other side of the patty for 5 minutes. When both sides are golden brown, place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil.

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If you created the homemade moxarella cheese, the patties taste delicious if the moxarella cheese is browned. After the patties are done cooking, add the moxarella cheese into the oven on broil. Cook for 3-5 minutes, keeping your eye on it to prevent burning.

 

Step 5: Prepare other toppings, including the lemon pesto.

If you haven’t done so by now, begin to heat up your marinara sauce in a saucepan on the stove. Cover and stir occasionally.

If your bread is gluten-free and vegan, you probably need to thaw and toast. This bread by Food for Life is expensive, but so delicious!

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If you are adding any vegetables to your sandwich (such as onion, tomato, or spinach), prepare.

To make the lemon pesto, put all lemon pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender. Spread it on your bread when ready.

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Step 6: Assemble and enjoy!

Put it all together, and you have delicious sandwiches!

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If you tried it and liked it, tag me on social media. Also, add me!


 

Happy cooking,

thisvegangirllogo

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Tomato Moxarella Melts

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February 26, 2015 By

I used to make a non-vegan version of this back in college. My old roommate, Petito, introduced it to me. He was one of those people who didn’t cook often, but when he did, it was surprisingly magical. By the way, we call him by his last name, for those of you who are curious. Doesn’t this sound like a recipe that a guy named Petito would show you?

After veganism, I thought I had said goodbye to the delicious Petito tomato recipe. But then, out of the woodworks of Pinterest, I saw something I had never seen before: Vegan Pizza Margherita from the incredibly talented duo over at My Wife Makes. I saw clumps of ooey gooey mozzarella, and I needed to find out what in all the heck it was about. It turns out that they modified the cheese recipe from Vedged Out’s Vegan Margherita Pizzas with Homemade Moxarella Cheese. Thank you to all the gifted chefs who taught me how to make mozzarella cheese happen in my life again.  (Click the pictures below to see the original recipe.)

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I modified the moxarella cheese, too. I’m a nutritional yeast freak. Picture Tony Montana surrounded by cocaine, except replace it with nutritional yeast. That’s me. Therefore, I added a few more tablespoons of it than My Wife Makes did.

Enjoy this beautiful side item, vegheads!

 

Tomato Moxarella Melts

Click here for a print-out version of this recipe!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: side item for 2-4 people

 

Ingredients

For the Moxarella Cheese:

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews (soaked in water for several hours and then drained IF you don’t have a high powered blender)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4  teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast

All Other Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 “globe” tomatoes, each sliced into 4 pieces (firm, yet slight give when squeezed)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • garlic salt
  • coconut sugar
  • grape seed oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced (garnish)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (garnish)

 

Step 1: Prepare tomato slices for the oven.

Cut each tomato into 4 vertical slices. If you want to pile on the moxarella cheese, use 3 tomatoes (shown in pictures). However, if you’re making this dish for 4 people, I suggest using 4 tomatoes, using less moxarella cheese per slice.

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Spread the tomatoes on a greased baking sheet and begin to decorate with vinegar, garlic salt, coconut sugar, and grape seed oil.

You’ll notice that I didn’t measure out amounts for the balsamic vinegar, garlic salt, coconut sugar, and grape seed oil. Drizzle the grape seed oil on all slices. If you must know an exact amount of balsamic vinegar, I suggest 1/4 teaspoon per slice. As far as the garlic salt and coconut sugar go, just grab a pinch and conservatively sprinkle a bit of it on each individual slice. Set aside.

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Step 2: Create moxarella cheese.

The moxarella cheese is high maintenance and needy, so it requires your full attention. That’s why the tomatoes must sit and be patient during this process.

Start by placing cashews in a blender. I have a 600-watt blender (NutriBullet), and it can grind the cashews to a pulp. If you have this kind of power or more, skip the soaking process and just grind the cashews alone first. After that, throw all the other ingredients in the blender and mix.

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Place the liquid in a small saucepan on the stove at medium high heat. Stir constantly for about 4 minutes. Once you see clumps start to form, reduce your heat to medium and continue stirring for another 2-3 minutes. Once your liquid transforms into a solid, stringy clump, remove from heat.

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Now, take a tablespoon and spoon out clumps of cheese onto your tomatoes. If there are any mistakes (maybe cheese dripping off the side of a tomato), no need to worry! You can fix mistakes by simply picking up the cheese and placing it back onto the tomato. It’s fool proof!

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Step 3: Bake and prep.

With your oven set to 350ºF / 176ºC, place your tomatoes in the oven for 20 minutes. You’ll notice that this is mostly for your tomatoes to roast, as the cheese doesn’t go through many changes during this period.

When the 20 minutes are up, crank up the oven to 500ºF / 260ºC and put a timer on for 3 minutes. This will help your cheese brown juuuust a little. Keep in mind that I live in Florida, where 3 minutes is perfect for my subtropical sea-level climate. If you live in a different climate, I suggest you keep an eye on it. Three minutes might be too long for someone, say, in the mountains.

 

Step 4: Garnish and serve.

When the tomatoes are fresh out of the oven, place them on a serving dish and sprinkle the oregano on top. As far as the basil leaves go, I like to put several smaller leaves on top of each tomato. For larger leaves, you may have to cut them into quarters with your fingers.

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If you have balsamic glaze, feel free to drizzle that shit all over these babies. I’m regretting that I didn’t do that for my pictures. Damn. Maybe later.

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thisvegangirllogo

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The Best Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese!

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September 14, 2014 By

When I first became vegan, I tried to substitute a lot of food I was previously addicted to (namely cheese). I bought all the fake cheeses at the store, and almost every single one disappointed me. I tried to substitute the taste I missed so much.

Here I am, a year and a half later, and I don’t have those cravings anymore. I guess you can say I’ve weaned myself off of my former addiction to cheese. Although I make cashew cheese now (my latest obsession), I’ve accepted that they are two different tastes. In fact, I love the way my cashew cheese tastes, and I feel good about the benefits.

This recipe is an upgrade from my last macaroni and cheese entry, which I deemed to be “The Best Vegan Macaroni and Cheese.” No, lol. Just no. It was not the best macaroni and cheese. I know this now because THIS is the best macaroni and cheese. 

Here is a picture of my former macaroni and cheese, including a list of why it wasn’t the best:

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  • It was sticky. Macaroni and cheese shouldn’t have the consistency of white rice. It should be oozy.
  • It was processed. Adding the Tofutti cream cheese gave the mac n’ cheese a processed flair that I didn’t care for.
  • The flavor still had room for improvement. It could still afford to be cheesier.

Rest assured that this entry right here is the cure to all of your vegan mac ‘n cheese woes, including the ones listed above. To make the dish more oozy, I added more oil and milk and took away the water completely. I formerly used Tofutti cream cheese to improve texture, but it turns out that if I added more cashew cream, Tofutti wasn’t at all necessary. Finally, to improve flavor, I used some different spices, which includes a perfected medley of nutritional yeast, sea salt, and smoked paprika.

So come on down and try the best vegan mac ‘n cheese you will ever try in your life. Yeah, performed that song and dance before, but that was then and this is now. I guarantee you that this is the last time I will ever change this recipe, because now, it’s perfect the way it is.

 

The Best Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese!

Click here for a print-out version of this recipe!

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 full servings or 8 side-dish servings

 

Ingredients

In the skillet:

  • 1 cup russet potatoes, chopped (any white variety will do)
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 tsp grape seed oil

For the cashew cream:

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked** for 8 hours prior to use OR milled)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbs of grape seed oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Other ingredients:

  • 1 pound of your favorite noodles (I use gluten-free quinoa pasta from Ancient Harvest)
  • 1 head of broccoli, de-stemmed and chopped

** If you soak your cashews, use 3/4 cup of raw cashews instead of 1 cup, as the cashews will expand.

Step 1: Cook the skillet ingredients.

Cut up the potatoes, carrots, and onion. Don’t peel your potatoes; keep those nutrients in! Place these items in skillet with the 2 tablespoons of oil. Initially, place the items on medium heat. Once the contents start crackling, turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

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Step 2: Boil the macaroni noodles.

Don’t worry about cooking them al dente. I have found that the al dente noodles tend to get a little crunchy in the oven, so I always cook my noodles until they are squishy, but not mushy. Nobody likes mushy.

Once you strain the noodles, rinse them off with cold water. This prevents the noodles from cooking themselves longer from the heat they retain during boiling.

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Step 3: Prepare the cashew cream.

I have a NutriBullet, which has a milling blade that grinds cashews to a flour without the need for soaking. If you place the raw cashews in a strong food processor, blender, or coffee grinder, it will probably work. The result you’re looking for is the cashew pulp, seen below. For the non-soakers, blend your cashews first before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Pre milling

Post milling

For most of you, you will need to soak your cashews for 8 hours prior to making this meal. Once the soaking is over, drain your cashews. Make sure you have a strong blender or food processor to avoid chunks of wet cashews (ew). For the soakers, you’ll probably need blend the cashews and coconut milk first before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Once you have blended the cashews, add the rest of the cashew cream ingredients. It will look something like this:

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Step 4: Blend the skillet and cashew cream ingredients in a food processor.

Your skillet time should be up. Dump both the skillet ingredients and cashew cream ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.

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Step 5: Mix the noodles, cheese, and broccoli together. Cook.

I cook for only two, so this recipe is excessive for us. We are huge leftover fans, so I put half of the noodles in one baking dish and half in another. I do the same with the cheese and broccoli. One dish will be cooked now; the other will be placed in the fridge and will be cooked tomorrow.

Splitting it in half

Splitting it in half

Yay for delicious leftovers!

Yay for delicious leftovers!

If you live in a house of 4 or more, you’re probably intent on cooking all of it at once, and that is a splendid idea! Oil your favorite baking dish(es) first. Place your noodles in the baking dish. Dump the cheese on top, sprinkle your broccoli pieces, and stir it all up.

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Place your dish(es) in the oven at 350º for 30 minutes.

See? No more sticky noodles. Only the yums.

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If you’re looking for more cashew cheese recipes, you can check out Quesadillas with Monterey Jack Cheese, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, and Balsamic Basil Chickun Wraps with Cashew Cheese.

Also, as always, make sure you let me know how your dish turned out! You can comment below, tell me on Facebook, or use the hashtag #thisvegangirl on Instagram. I update the blog once a week, but I post on Instagram several times a day. Also, you can follow my board on Pinterest. I post my own recipes there, but I also post other recipes that tickle my fancy.

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Happy reinventing,

thisvegangirllogo

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The Best GF & Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

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April 20, 2014 By

I have improved this recipe! If you want to see it (trust me, you do), click here!

 

Vegan cheese is famous for sucking horribly. I wholeheartedly agree with the stereotype vegan cheese has unfortunately made for itself. Known for its texture of rubber and taste of plastic, vegan cheese doesn’t deserve to be called cheese at all. “BUT IT MELTS NOW!” Awesome. You know what else melts? Wax. Which is what vegan cheese tastes like.

In my opinion, the only acceptable vegan cheese is vegan cream cheese. Spot-on texture and accurate taste.

What’s worse is that vegan cheese is being used to make awful renditions of vegan macaroni and cheese. 99% of what you see on Pinterest labeled at Vegan Macaroni and Cheese is pure crap. Trust me, I’ve tried. I’m sorry, but nutritional yeast cannot perform vegan miracles.

I was in a dark vegan macaroni and cheese place. That is, until I finally found what I was looking for. No Daiya. No nutritional yeast. It was a vegan miracle. It was made by Alisa in Alaska. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

I’ve been making the recipe above for about six months, but the more I ate it, the more I realized that something was missing. It just wasn’t cheesy enough. Maybe it was a little too lemony. Whatever it was, I just needed to tweak it a bit.

It was then that I realized that I bet I could achieve the cheesiness I craved through vegan cream cheese. At that moment, the clouds separated and the sun shone through. I finally achieved the greatness I had chased for over a year.

Here is my rendition of vegan mac and cheese. It’s the best homemade vegan macaroni and cheese out there, guaranteed.

 

The Best Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

Prep Time: 15-20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 8oz box of elbow noodles (I use gluten-free quinoa noodles)
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes, chopped (russet potatoes are yummy, too!)
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 tub vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup broccoli, chopped (optional)
  • gluten free bread crumbs (optional)

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STEP 1: Cut up the sweet potatoes, carrots, and onion. Don’t peel your sweet potatoes; keep those nutrients in! Place these items in a pot with the 1 cup of water. Bring items to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

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STEP 2: Boil the macaroni noodles. When finished, strain and rinse with cold water.

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STEP 3: Mill/process the cashews, garlic cloves, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

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STEP 4: When your pot of veggies is done, pour the contents into a food processor (including the water). Grind until pureed. Add the cashew mixture and vegan cheese and continue to puree until fully incorporated.

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STEP 5: Get out your favorite macaroni dish, line with cooking oil, and add the noodles, “cheese”, and broccoli. Mix contents with a spoon.

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I’ve heard that breadcrumbs on macaroni and cheese is a southern thing. If so, it’s the best southern tradition I know. Sprinkle on your bread crumbs before sending your dish into the oven at 350° for 30 minutes.

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Thirty minutes later…

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Mmmm, finally. Edible vegan macaroni and cheese.

Happy cooking,

thisvegangirllogo

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Hawaiian Stuffed Shells

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July 26, 2013 By

Well, I’m back in Florida. Ah, finally, I have been reunited with Pubilx, my Nutribullet, my crockpot, and my food processor!

Matt will come home in a few weeks, so I have a few weeks to have a little bit of glutenous freedom with my dishes! Desserts to come, but for now,  let’s talk about the stuffed shells.

First off, let me say that it’s insane that I haven’t found any gluten-free versions of jumbo shells! If any of you have found this gem, please let me know.

After creating my Ricotta Cheese recipe, there were several items I had in mind to use with the invention, and stuffed shells was one of them.

I don’t know if it was the Florida vibe or the fact that summer will be wrapping up soon, but I’ve been craving something tropical. You know, like a Hawaiian pizza, wrapped up in a fancy presentation. Thus, the Hawaiian Stuffed Shell was born!

Your customary stuffed shell might be traditionally Italian, but I liked how unique this tasted! If you like coconut and pineapple, then you’ll love these shells. They were sweet, tangy, and fun. If you’re feeling up for a bit of an tropical adventure, give ’em a shot!

 

Hawaiian Stuffed Shells

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 3-4 servings

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of jumbo shell pasta
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 ball of ricotta cheese (see recipe here)
  • 4oz tempeh, diced (half the package, but if you want a “meatier” stuffed shell, add more)
  • 1 package of mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup spinach, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup pineapples, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 tbs chia seed
  • 3 tbs warm water
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 2 tbs tamari sauce
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • salt/pepper to taste

 

STEP 1: Prepare, prepare, prepare! If you haven’t made your ricotta cheese yet, I suggest making that first. See the recipe here on how it’s done.

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Start a pot of boiling water for your jumbo shells. You won’t need all of them, but it’s up to you whether you boil the whole box or not. Make sure you take a few minutes off of the cook time on the shells, since they will continue to cook in the oven. The box on my shells said to boil for 14-15 minutes, so I cooked mine for 12 minutes.

 

When the shells are done and strained, you might want to run them under cold water for a few seconds to cool them down. You’re going to stuff them a few minutes later, and I’m sure you don’t feel like burning your hands off today.

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STEP 2: Start a small skillet on medium for your tempeh. Use the 2 tablespoons of oil to start. Once you have placed the tempeh on the hot skillet, drizzle the tamari sauce and lemon juice onto the tempeh. Keep the tempeh on until about golden brown on both sides, which should take 5-7 minutes total.

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STEP 3: Prepare your oven pan by spraying cooking spray onto a 13 x 9 pan. Place the sliced mushrooms on the bottom of the pan.

I don’t like placing the mushrooms into the shells, as they tend to get a bit juicy when they cook, which might make the ricotta cheese do some funny, undesirable things. However, when it’s placed on the bottom of the pan, it gets the perfect amount of cook time to where it’s plump, juicy, and perfect!

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STEP 4: Place the cooked tempeh, pineapple, ricotta cheese, shredded coconut, and salt/pepper into a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the 1 tablespoon of chia seed with the 3 tablespoons of water, let it sit and magically form into its sticky goo, and combine it into the mixture. Stir it up!

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STEP 4: Let’s stuff some shells, baby. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of mixture and stuff it in a shell. Stuff at your own discretion, but remember, it might change your serving size. This is the amount I stuffed mine with:

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STEP 5: Pour the whole jar of your favorite pasta sauce on top of your shells. Then, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.

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STEP 6: After baking, uncover and enjoy! Unless you would like to burn the ish out of your tongue, I suggest that you patiently wait just 5 minutes longer to let them cool down. Or, do what I do and impatiently dive right in, blowing the crap out of every bite prior to putting it in my mouth.

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Happy cooking!

thisvegangirllogo

 

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Easy Ricotta Pizza

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June 20, 2013 By

Tonight, I was entertaining some new guests. I am in the process of switching gears from a 1st grade teacher to a 3rd grade teacher. *gasp from an entire audience* …it’s almost that dramatic. You non-educators out there may be thinking, “… uh, so?” It doesn’t sound like a big change, but trust me, it’s a big deal for us teachers.

So, in order for my new 3rd grade team to plan a bit and bond, we decided to meet up a few times this summer. I offered to host our first get-together.

My night of entertaining was a bit of a challenge: All of my guests are non-vegan and I don’t know them well-enough to know their likes and dislikes. After some thought, I decided to go with something that everyone on planet Earth loves: pizza. Pizza is like, well, you know; when it’s bad, it’s still good. (Trying to keep this blog somewhat clean. Ugh, it’s not easy.)

Anyway, we had a great time. The pizza takes less than an hour from start to finish, and it’s delicious! Plus, people will be curious about the vegan ricotta cheese, and you know it’s fun to talk vegan to people. 😉

 

Giant Easy Ricotta Pizza

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 dough balls (from your local bakery)
  • 1 jar of Classico bruschetta
  • 1 ball of ricotta cheese (see recipe for Homemade Ricotta Cheese)
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 or 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup of green onions
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400° F. Start working with your dough.You’ll get the best results from your dough if you let it defrost in the fridge for a day, but honestly, I was in a time crunch and started rolling it out within the hour I bought it, and it was just fine. I bought my dough balls from Publix.

The products in this meal that gives this recipe it's "easy" name.

The products in this meal that gives this recipe its “easy” name.

 

 

Step 2: Begin by kneading the dough to flatten it out, followed by alternating between rolling out the dough with a rolling pin and stretching it out with your hands. I like to place the dough on top of my fists and stretch it out that way, rotating the dough in a circle.

Place the dough on a greased pizza pan or tray. Spread it out on your pan to desired shape and crust formation.

 

Step 3: Open your jar of bruschetta and spread it around your dough with the back of a spoon.

 

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The bruschetta makes a great base. It’s garlicky, chunky, full of flavor, and eliminates me having to cut up some tomatoes!

 

 

Step 4: Begin to wilt the spinach by heating up a skillet with olive oil to medium heat. Throw the spinach and garlic on the skillet and let it heat up between 1-2 minutes.

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From start…

 

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… to finish.

 

 

 

Step 5: Add spinach, ricotta, salt, and pepper to your pizza. To give my crust a crunchy outside and a fluffy inside, I spray/rub the crust with olive oil and sprinkle garlic salt on top of it… mmmmm.

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Step 6: Put it in the oven and whatta ya got?

 

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Twenty minutes (or so) later, you have delicious, easy ricotta pizza! Garnish with green onions.

 

Now you’ve got a vegan pizza that all mouths can enjoy.

 

Happy cooking!

thisvegangirllogo

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Homemade Ricotta Cheese

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June 15, 2013 By

As a vegan in the kitchen, my mentality is that if there’s something awesome to eat, there’s a way to veganize it.

I was watching Extra Virgin on the Cooking Channel the other day, and on it, they made homemade ricotta cheese. I was fascinated by the little amount of ingredients required, the chemistry of the ingredients, and how simple it was to execute.

Now, I’ve seen those posts on Pinterest on making vegan cheeses, and some of them are lengthy, failure-laden processes. I once tried to make cashew cream cheese that ended up a goopy mess instead of a spreadable, edible delight. (I’ll get it down eventually.) Until then, let me assure you that this ricotta cheese is almost dummy-proof.

Oh, and by the way, you’re about to find out that Little Miss Muffet was a sick freak for indulging in curds and whey at the same time, especially when it comes to this recipe.

Anyway, here’s my vegan adaptation of Extra Virgin‘s ricotta cheese!

 

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Cook Time: 5-10 minutes

Yield: about 1 cup

 

Ingredients:

4 cups of soy milk with a 4.5 grams of fat (sadly, almond, coconut, and hemp milk do not work)

3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

 

Directions:

Step 1: Place a pot on the stove and place the ingredients in. You want your mixture to reach a temperature of 175° F. If you have a gauge to help you monitor this, GREAT! If you don’t (like me), turn the burner temperature on medium high and wait for the mixture to bubble and steam.

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At this time, you’ll see the curd start to separate itself from the whey. The curd is your future cheese! Resist the urge to stir it up, as this might make your cheese stiff.

Once it reaches 175° F (or bubbling/steaming status), let it sit for 5 minutes.

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It might look like puke now, but it’s actually creamy goodness on its way.

 

 

 

Step 2: While your curds are… curdling… prepare your cheese cloth by placing 2-3 layers over a colander. After your curds have sat for 5 minutes, transfer the pot over to your cheese cloth. Carefully spoon out the curds and place them on top of your cheese cloth.

 

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Step 3: Once you have gathered all of your curds, wrap your curds into a ball, tie it with a rubber band (or butcher’s twine if you’re really fancy), and tie it above your kitchen sink to let it strain for 5 minutes.

 

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A strainer is ideal, but This Vegan Girl did not have a strainer to use at this time. Clearly not a gourmet chef here.

 

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Step 4: Once your cheese ball as hung for 5 minutes (take your minds out of the gutter, people), untie the cheese cloth from around the sink head, place the ball in a bowl, and open it up your present to reveal a ball of ricotta cheese!

 

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Cool, huh? I had some fresh oregano on-hand, so I chopped it up finely and mixed that in my ricotta for some added flavor. It opens up a world of possibilities for your cheese and your intended flavor, but you may also leave it as is.
You may refrigerate your cheese for up to 5 days.

 

I have used this recipe as a staple in my Easy Ricotta Pizza, where you DON’T have to settle for vegetables on dough anymore!

 

 

Happy cooking!

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