Tag Archives: vegan italian

Maggiano’s, Boca Raton – Custom Vegan Dish

9 Jun

So yesterday was my niece’s 16th birthday, and we had dinner at Maggiano’s in Boca. Upon hearing the location I immediately typed it into vegan eating out to find out how my prospects looked. Not fantastic, but not too bad. They recommended any of the “string” pastas (spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, etc.) and garlic and olive oil sauce. They also made a point of mentioning that they had no problem creating a custom dish with existing ingredients to meet dietary restrictions. I perused the regular menu to see what sorts of items they included in some of their signature dishes, and made a list.

This was actually really delicious. Fettuccine with garlic and olive oil, spinach, pine nuts, and sun dried tomatoes! Yum! Eating vegan when dining out can yield great results, it just takes a little bit of thought.

Pasta with TVP (“Meat”) Sauce

11 May

Last night I wanted a satisfying dinner that wasn’t too complicated or time consuming to make, so I streamlined my spaghetti & “meat”balls recipe, and came out with the recipe below! This does not require the use of a cutting board or knife at all. I did, however, throw in a handful of fresh basil from my patio garden to give it a little something extra…

Pasta with TVP/”Meat” Sauce

1 lb of pasta, cooked according to package directions

TVP

1 1/4 c. TVP
1 1/4 c. water
2 tsp. liquid smoke
2 tsp. vegan worcestershire

Sauce

1 tsp. dried garlic
1 tsp. dried onion
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 c. veggie stock (I used water + 1 crumbled bullion cube)
1  28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (or chopped or diced + 8 oz can tomato sauce)
squirt of raw agave, optional
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley
Salt & Pepper

Optional Toppings/Mix-ins

1/4 c. nutritional yeast, optional
1/4 c. vegan parm, optional
handful of Daiya mozzarella, optional

Directions:

1. Prepare TVP. Bring water, liquid smoke and worcestershire up to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in TVP, and set aside.

2. Add all sauce ingredients to a medium pot over medium to med-high heat. Stir until it starts to bubble. Add TVP, lower heat and simmer, partially covered, for at least 15 minutes. (i forgot the partially part, and it came out just a little watery, but it was fine, cold on day 2!)

3. Add optional mix-ins to sauce, if using, and combine drained pasta and sauce. Enjoy!

Italian Feast: Roasted Garlic & Tomato Basil Pasta with Moussaka Pizza and Cheesesticks

10 Apr

So I went all out for this Italian themed Sunday feast. I had picked up a medium and large dough ball from my local pizzeria on the way home from work Friday, and I really wanted a roasted garlic sauce to go with some fresh tomatoes and basil. I totally winged this sauce and I thought it came out pretty awesome. I ended up making pizza sauce by using up some leftover tomato paste and adding some Italian spices, salt & pepper, and veggie stock to thin it out. This doubled as the dipping sauce for the cheesesticks. I got to use up some of the leftover [Veganomicon] moussaka I made earlier in the week by dismantling it and using it as an amazing pizza topping. I couldn’t believe how great that combination came out on the pizza. Somehow I managed to get everything done and still hot, so that was nice too!

Roasted Garlic & Tomato Basil Pasta

8 oz desired pasta shape, cooked according to box instructions (I used farfalle)

1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small to medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
10 cloves of garlic
1 large shallot, sliced thinly
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
pinch of Italian seasoning (I use and Italian blend grinder that has salt & pepper too)
Salt & Pepper (but I still used a little extra sea salt & fresh ground pepper)
Olive oil for misting

1/2 c. vegan parm
1 tbsp. vegan mozzarella/Daiya Italian shreds (it was what i had left after the pizza making ; )
about 8 big basil leaves, sliced into chiffonade (see note below!)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400*F. Lightly mist an 8×8 baking dish with olive oil.

2. Combine tomatoes, garlic, shallots, balsamic, and seasonings in prepared pan and spray lightly with olive oil. Bake for 30-35 minutes. (I baked in the toaster oven because I had the big oven going with the pizzas, so I covered it with foil (to keep from burning) for the first 20 minutes, and then uncovered for 15 minutes.)

3. Toss with freshly drained pasta, add vegan parm, mozzarella, and basil. (NOTE: to chiffonade basil take the leaves and pile them on top of each other. Roll them up and slice thinly. Presto. You look fancy. This was my first time doing it!)

Serve with a little extra basil on top for garnish, and enjoy!

(sorry for the blurry pic!)

Lots of yumminess ready for roasting.

Getting those lovely bites of melt-in-your-mouth garlic was amazing. Really nice with the fresh basil that I clipped from my new patio herb garden!

And now for the cheesesticks & pizza…

I scored the dough with a dinner knife so that they’d be easy to pull apart once cooked, but wouldn’t fall apart during the process.

I then lightly misted with olive oil, sprinkled with garlic powder and added Daiya cheddar and italian shreds.

Mist once more with olive oil and sprinkle with a little more garlic powder and vegan parm if you like.

After kneading and stretching the dough, make sure you stab it a billion times with a fork to keep the air bubbles at bay.

Here is the dismantled moussaka turned pizza toppings: thinly sliced, roasted eggplant, zucchini, and potatoes and a few dots of the almond cream sauce over the tomato paste based sauce I made.

And here it is all melty with Daiya goodness and ready to hit the table.

It was a true feast!

Spaghetti and Vegan Meatballs

2 Feb

Okay, so I had a craving for spaghetti and meatballs last week, and finally got around to it last night. If you don’t care about homemade sauce, you could make this really fast by substituting jar sauce, but really, it cooks while you do everything else, and it’s pretty easy, so try it? ; ) I was really pleased that my flax seed/wheat gluten combination worked out. Feel free to play around with the vegan parm/nutritional yeast/bread crumb combination to suit your palate or cupboard contents.

Ty’s Spaghetti & Vegan Meatball Experiment

1 lb of spaghetti, cooked according to box directions

Meatballs

1 1/4 c. TVP
1 1/4 c. water
2 tsp. liquid smoke
2 tsp. vegan worcestershire

1 tbsp. ground flax seed
3 tbsp. hot water

2 tbsp. vital wheat gluten
1/4 c. of bread crumbs, (I used panko)
1/4 c. of vegan parm
1/4 c. of nutritional yeast (you can just use another 1/4 c. of bread crumbs instead, if you like)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper, and a pinch of Italian seasoning (I have an Italian seasoning grinder that has all of these in one.)

Sauce

Olive Oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 an onion, chopped (I used red.)
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 c. veggie stock (I used 1 c. water + 1 bullion cube)
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (or chopped or diced + 8 oz can tomato sauce)
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley
Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400*F and prepare a cookie sheet.

1. Prepare TVP. Bring water, liquid smoke and worcestershire up to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in TVP, and let it cool.

2. In a ramekin or other small vessel, whisk ground flax seed with hot water until mixture thickens slighty. In a large bowl mix TVP, flax mixture and all other meatball ingredients until well combined. Turn out onto a surface and knead for a minute or two. Shape into 1 1/4″ balls and place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.

3. Spray a medium pot with olive oil and heat to low-medium. Add onions, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until onions soften, about 7 minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, and spices. Raise heat to medium and drop to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for at least 15 minutes.

4. When meatballs are ready, add them to the sauce. Serve over cooked spaghetti and top with additional vegan parm! Yum!

Unstuffed Shells

14 Nov

Last night I was looking over an italian menu while trying to figure out what to eat, and saw stuffed shells. This launched me into a huge missing cheese/wanting to eat raviolis and pink sauce and calzones. I was just looking in the cabinet to see what I could whip up for lunch and saw a bag of whole wheat shells, and some silken tofu. I put this creamy shell pasta together as a healthier homage to stuffed shells and to get my “ricotta cheese” fix.  : )

Unstuffed Shells

16 oz. whole wheat shells, or other pasta, cooked according to package directions

Vodka Sauce (or leave out the vodka for a pink sauce)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 c. vodka, if using
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. italian seasoning
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried parsley
salt & pepper & crushed red peppers to taste
pinch of sugar
1/2 c. of stock (or 1 boulion cube + 1/2 c. water)
1/2 – 1 c. soy milk or soy creamer

Spinach Ricotta mixture

1 package extra-firm silken tofu (or extra-firm tofu, drained & pressed), crumbled
3 tbsp. mozzarella style shreds
3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
3 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
fresh ground pepper
1/3 c. frozen chopped spinach, thawed (honestly, i don’t even thaw mine, i just break it up and mix it in!)

Directions:

1. Prepare spinach ricotta mixture by combining all ingredients, and set aside.

2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add onion, and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. If making vodka sauce, add it now, and let it reduce by half.

3. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, seasonings, stock and spinach ricotta mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for at least 20 minutes, to let flavors combine. Add soy milk, stirring until heated through.

4. Combine cooked pasta, and sauce. For baked shells, sprinkle with additional cheese shreds and put it under the broiler for 5 minutes.

I topped mine off with about 1/2 c. nutritional yeast and 1/3 c. vegan parm. Enjoy!   : )

Vegan Lasagna with Spinach & Meat Sauce

18 Oct

Had a lovely evening with mary & bobby over last night, and I served this for dinner. I will admit, this recipe is quite complicated and time consuming, but worth it if you want some decent vegan lasagna. (apparently bobby doesn’t even like lasagna, and liked this one! that’s what he said!) The last time I made this was when I was transitioning from vegetarian to vegan last fall, so I made some adjustments to keep it vegan. I had used rice cheese the last time (not vegan, contains milk protein) and this time I used Daiya. Thank goodness for Daiya’s ability to actually taste like cheese & melt. It’s flavor is a little on the sweetish side, so nutritional yeast seems to balance it out.

Vegan lasagna with spinach & meat sauce

½ box lasagna noodles, about 9
1 cup of reserved pasta sauce
1 recipe for “meat” sauce
1 recipe for “ricotta”
2 cup package of mozzarella shreds, 1 cup for ricotta mixture & 1 cup reserved for topping
vegan parm & nutritional yeast for topping, optional

vegan meat sauce

1 recipe rehydrated TVP, recipe below or vegan equivalent for 1lb ground beef
extra-virgin olive oil for misting pot
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 cup of wine (i used cooking sherry & white)
2 25oz jars of pasta sauce, store bought or homemade, RESERVE 1.5 c!
1 or 2 vegan Italian sausages, chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp vegan worcestershire
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried basil
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste

Rehydrated TVP:
1 c. “beef” stock
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. vegan worcestershire
1 c. TVP

Directions to rehydrate TVP:
Bring stock, liquid smoke and worcestershire up to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in TVP. Cover until ready to add to sauce.

Directions:

1. In a large pasta pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil to medium heat and add onion and sausage. Cook until onions are translucent. Add garlic, cook for an additional minute.

2. Add the wine and TVP. Scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pot and stir until wine evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add [all but the reserved] pasta sauce, and remaining ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes.

ricotta & spinach mixture

1 package extra-firm silken tofu, crumbled
1 cup of mozzarella shreds
3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 tbsp. vegan parm, optional
3 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried Italian herb mix
fresh ground pepper
5 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed (honestly, mine wasn’t even thawed. i just broke it up and mixed it in!)

Directions: Combine all ingredients and set aside.

Lasagna Directions:

Preheat oven to 375*F.

1. Cook noodles according to package instructions for al dente. Drain noodles, rinse with cool water, separate and set aside.

2. Spread a thin layer of reserved pasta sauce into a 9 x 13 baking dish to coat bottom, followed by 3 lasagna noodles. Spread half of the cheese & spinach mixture on top. Follow with half of the meat sauce. Repeat layers. Cover with last layer of noodles and the remaining reserved pasta sauce. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella evenly over top layer. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Baked Fusilli in Pink/Vodka Sauce

2 Sep

Okay, this was intended to be vodka sauce, but I ended up forgetting it, so I include it here, as an optional ingredient, because it totally works without it as a pink sauce! Enjoy : )

Baked Fusilli in Pink/Vodka Sauce

1 lb. small shape pasta, cooked according to box directions

2 c. vegan “beef” or vegetable stock, or 1 bouillon cube + 2 c. water
(1 c. for TVP & 1 c. for sauce)

Rehydrated TVP:
1 c. “beef” stock
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. vegan worcestershire
1 c. TVP

Sauce:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
salt & pepper & crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 c. vodka, if using
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. italian seasoning
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried parsley
salt & pepper & crushed red peppers to taste
pinch of sugar
1 c. “beef” stock

1 c. soy creamer
3/4 c. mozzarella style shreds

Topping:
1 c. mozzerella style shreds
1 c. panko bread crumbs
1/2 c. nutritional yeast

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350*F

1. To rehydrate TVP: bring stock, liquid smoke and worcestershire up to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in TVP. Cover until ready to add to sauce.

2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add onion, and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper, and cook for another minute. If making vodka sauce, add it now, and let it reduce by half.

3. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, seasonings, stock and rehydrated TVP. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for at least 20 minutes, to let flavors combine.

4. Combine cooked pasta, sauce, soy creamer, and mozzarella shreds, and pour into an ovenproof dish. Layer half of the panko, mozzarella and nutritional yeast, and repeat layers. Bake for 20 minutes covered, and 10 minutes uncovered. Broil for 5 minutes for a nice golden crust.

Baked Penne with TVP

6 Jun

so i really wanted some italian food for dinner tonight.  i also didn’t want to make a grocery trip & wanted to use some TVP. i went through a bunch of books for inspiration, and found the baked ziti in quick and easy vegan comfort food, pg. 123. mine is a little stepped up version since i had extra time to spend today, but her version would be great for a weekday.

the other nice thing is i have it in the fridge all ready to go until i’m ready to bake it.

ps- a frugal thing i’ve been doing is using vegan bouillion cubes for broth. a box of 8 cubes is about $2 and change, and makes 16 cups!

Baked Penne with TVP

Olive oil or butter for 9×13 pan

1 lb. of cooked short pasta, penne, ziti, etc.

1 c. veg broth
1.5 tsp. liquid smoke
1 c. TVP

1 jar of marinara sauce
1 14.5 oz can of diced/chopped/stewed tomatoes, drained
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1/2 c. veg broth
1/2 c. onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. crushed red peppers, optional
1/2 c. nutritional yeast, optional
salt & pepper

2 c. shredded vegan mozzarella, i use daiya italian shreds
vegan parmesean, optional

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350* and cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Boil 1 cup of vegetable broth and liquid smoke in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add TVP. Stir until liquid is absorbed.

3. Return drained pasta to pot and add all ingredients except vegan mozzarella and vegan parm. the nutritional yeast gives it a nice creaminess.

4. Place half of pasta mixture into 9×13 prepared dish. Top with half of mozzarella and sprinkle with vegan parm, if using. Repeat layers.

5. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Broil on high for a few minutes to get a nice crust.

chicken parm!

6 May

i included his loose sauce recipe below, but you can always use a jar of sauce if you’re in a hurry.

Chick’n Parm

1 package gardein chick’n scallopini (4 cutlets), thawed
soy milk, about 1/2 cup
1/4 c. vegan parm
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast, optional
1/2 c. plain bread crumbs (i made toast and threw it in the food processor.)
1 tbsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. or more crushed red pepper flakes
salt & pepper

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. daiya italian cheese shreds
pasta of choice
1 jar of pasta sauce or recipe below

Sauce:
olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 jar of marinara sauce

garlic powder
onion powder
italian seasoning
salt & pepper
crushed red pepper

Directions:

1. Set large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to box directions.

2. Heat olive oil to medium in a medium dutch oven, or pot. Add onions and shallots and cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Add tomatoes, sauce, and seasonings to pot, and stir until combined. Reduce heat to low to simmer.

3. While sauce is simmering prepare chick’n cutlets.  Combine vegan parm, nutritional yeast, if using, bread crumbs, italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, and salt & pepper in a pie plate. Dip chick’n cutlets in soy milk and press each into bread crumb mixture until well coated. (Pre-heat the broiler.) Heat olive oil in large, oven proof skillet and cook cutlets about 3 minutes on each side.

4. Add some of the sauce by large spoonfuls until cutlets are covered and top with daiya or vegan mozzarella. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes, or until cheese melts & is slightly browned.



Place pasta, sauce and cutlets on each plate to serve. Top with additional cheese and/or nutritional yeast as desired.

quick chick parm

13 Apr

ok, so let’s be realistic. you don’t feel like slaving away in the kitchen everyday, right? sometimes you need to come up with something quick. double or triple for your needs, this is a single serve…

quick chick parm:

1 gardein chick’n cutlet
1/4 c. canned pizza sauce

3 tbsp. daiya italian blend cheese, or other mozz. sub
1 tsp. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. vegan parm

1. pre-heat broiler. i used the toaster oven.

2. place cutlet[s] covered in pizza sauce in microwave/oven safe dish and microwave 1 minute each side (more if you are increasing amounts). remove dish from microwave.

3. sprinkle nutritional yeast, half vegan parm, italian blend cheese, and other half of vegan parm over top of cutlet. broil uncovered for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is browned.

serve over pasta and sauce or on its own with a steamed veggie and/or salad. enjoy!