Tag Archives: spaghetti sauce

Getting Over The Hump, Italian-Vegan Style

In my pantry today:

  • 1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 5 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1.5 c macaroni, dry
  • 1/2 c Nutrela
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin 
  • 2 dashes of salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 3 drops doTerra oregano essential oil
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

meatlessmarinara

I started my morning by tossing some stuff in a crock pot and walking away. First, it was slice-chunks of onion and garlic in 1/3 c olive oil resting covered on the highest setting for about 20m. Stir in Balsamic vinegar, cumin and turmeric. Add a quick dash of salt. Cover and let continue to cook for another 20m. Now this all seems very time-dependent and I know most of us are not common to such luxury; in my defense all of the time between food handlings was wisely spent cleaning up after myself and getting ready for a day outside of the home. Food needed to be ready this evening so as to keep us away from unintentional glucose emergencies that end up requiring an errant drive through. In the cupboards were cans of tomatoes and macaroni. I am nowhere near a regimented dietary state, but I can foresee history’s repeats and perhaps solve a steep caloric intake of not-really-food items with a nice marinara. The power of a nice marinara should not be underestimated.

nutrelacrumbled

Before leaving the house, turn the crock pot to its lowest setting. Return home several hours later and rejoice at the odor which awaits you. Decide that the Nutrela deserves another chance because you have no other desirable proteins and a little extra time. Boil it for 17 instead of the 7 instructed on the box. Shrug at the point of defeat against texture; drain and fastidiously squeeze out the additional water inside each nugget (that’s not as bad as it sounds — just lay them all out and press a clean cloth into them with a firm hand). Dice them until they become almost a ground sausage consistency. In a small saucepan add the now-ground(ish) Nutrela with 1/2 tsp garlic paste and 1 drop oregano essential oil. Take a second to tenderly smash while stirring to ensure the not-meat’s submissive essence then set aside for a nutrela2few minutes while the macaroni finishes boiling. Add two drops of oregano oil to the marinara; stir. When those little elbows are drained, mix some marinara into the saucepan and serve over macaroni that was pelted before and after said sauce with Parmesan (or substitute a vegan option, since this recipe is vegan until this part). So the Nutrela downgrades a 5 spoon marinara dinner to a 4 spoon dining experience. Nutrela you are not a terrible foe, but my battles with you have only just begun.

toFurst Time, Be Gentle

In my pantry today:

  • 1 package/block of extra firm tofu
  • 2/3 package whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 2 half-jars of spaghetti sauce from the fridge
  • 1/4 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 c Parmasean cheese
  • 1/2 c mixed shredded cheese
  • 1 tsp jar pesto mix
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper

First, pray. You have never before cooked with tofu and things might get crazy.

Carefully extract your block o’fu and place between two clean/paper towels for squeezing out the extra water. My plan going into this whole shebang was to simply make fried tofu. That is what the internet primarily suggests for extra firm. Maybe this block didn’t read its own label. This alleged “Extra Firm” crumbled into little bits and I was so not in the mood to make a simple scramble. This was my first time and I wanted it to be special.

And what’s more special than an Italian girl making lasagna, too, for the first time? Yes, I am ashamed to admit that. It’s very “40 Year Old Virgin” of me to have never, not once in my life made lasagna. That’s bad and I should feel bad.

So crumble that tofu with a fork and reserve a cup (for recipe below) before seasoning. Take your two ass-jars of sauce from the fridge and combine them, adding cayenne and black pepper. Then go to town on your tofu: add in the rest of your seasonings and feta/Prmasean. Fork it all, gently, to hell. Pour a little sauce into the bottom of a 6×6″ pan. Put in a layer of uncooked noodles and top it with a hearty portion of your tofu mixture. Do another sauce/tofu/noodles series and top with more sauce, a few extra crumbles of tofu and some shredded cheese. Cover and put in a 375° oven for an hour. Let it sit for a few minutes upon taking it out, then take that first bite and have a moment to remember that will stay with you the rest of your life. Go ahead, you deserve it. In fact, if you could shake your own hand while still holding that fork, you would.

Also in my pantry:

  • 1 c crumbled extra firm tofu
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 squares Ghirardelli 100% cacao baking chocolate
  • 1 c white chocolate chips

Put the tofu and sweetened condensed milk together in the food processor and allow them to make sweet, smooth love until silky. Pour into small pot, add broken chocolate pieces and stir over MH. When all is brown, pour into greased 1″ glass pan, sprinkle chips and press into the stuff then let set in fridge for a few hours. Then regret not putting it either into a pie shell or little serving cups as you take an otherwise-delightful spoon. This ended up tasting like dark-chocolate brownie batter and should have gotten put out to set in a proper pasture.

Ultimately, that lasagna was good enough to make it not goddamn matter about this dessert attempt anyway.