Italian Archives | Stephanie Dreyer

Italian Archives | Stephanie Dreyer

March 17, 2021
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(This post is sponsored. I received compensation to write this post but all opinions and ideas are mine alone.)

 

What’s for dinner? How about this Vegan Italian Mac and Cheese that you can prep on the weekend and place in the oven just 10 minutes before serving? If your family loves a hearty pasta dish but is looking for something new to add to the mix, this recipe is for you.
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There are a few steps to this Italian Mac and Cheese, but I promise it’s worth it! It starts by roasting a head of garlic, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms in a balsamic vinaigrette. While that’s doing its thing in the oven, boil and cook your pasta. While the pasta cooks, crumble some vegan Italian sausage into a skillet.

Italian Mac and Cheese 2

The creamy garlic “cheese” sauce is a quick blend of the roasted garlic, cashews and just a few other ingredients. Once the vegetables, pasta and sausage are done, transfer it all into a baking pan and pour the sauce over it. Give it a nice stir and pop it in the oven for just 10 minutes to heat through. With only 10 minutes in the oven, you can see why this is an easy weeknight meal pleaser if you assemble it all on the weekend. Bon appetit!


Vegan Italian Mac & Cheese

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 55 minutes 

Serves 4

 

Ingredients:

6 ounces cremini mushrooms

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 head (12 cloves) + 6 cloves garlic, divided

2 Tbsp olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp dried thyme

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

½ pound cavatappi 

14 ounces vegan Italian sausage

1 cup vegetable broth 

½ cup raw, unsalted cashews (Soak overnight if not using a high-speed blender.)

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

sea salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn

 

Directions:

  1. Set the Digital Toshiba Convection oven to “Roast” at 400ºF. 
  2. Clean and cut the mushrooms in quarters.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, thyme and pepper. Stir in the mushrooms and tomatoes, mixing well so that everything is coated. Transfer to a baking dish with the marinade. 
  4. Place the peeled cloves of 1 garlic head in a piece of foil and wrap it into a ball. Place it in a baking dish along with the vegetables. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring the vegetables every 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  6. While the pasta and vegetables cook, in a medium skillet cook the sausage, breaking it up with a spoon. (You may need to chop the sausage depending on the firmness of the product.)
  7. When the garlic is done roasting, prepare the sauce: In a high-speed blender, combine the roasted garlic, vegetable broth, cashews, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  8. When the pasta is done cooking, add the pasta and sausage to the pan with the mushrooms and tomatoes. Stir well to combine and pour the sauce on top. Mix well. 
  9. Set the Digital Toshiba Convection oven to “Bake” and cook for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and top with the fresh basil.

Italian Mac and Cheese 3

 

 

 


March 17, 2021
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(This post is sponsored. I received compensation to write this post but all opinions and ideas are mine alone.)

 

I can’t get enough of one-pan meals with my 10″ Skillet from Karibe. Just one pan to cook AND clean! This week, I experimented with a Pesto & Potato Vegan Frittata. With Spring upon us, I’m all about the pesto and it’s the perfect drizzle on this vegan frittata. I also coated the potatoes and roasted them with a bit of the pesto to seal in even more lemony herb flavor.

From the oven to table, this vegan frittata makes a beautiful centerpiece for a Sunday brunch, and could even be shared as part of a Spring celebration. Of course, you can also serve it easily during the week for a refreshing twist on breakfast for dinner. Batch cook the pesto on the weekend to speed up your weeknight dinner prep. Enjoy!


Pesto & Potato Vegan Frittata

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes 

Serves 4 to 6

 

Ingredients:

4 cups tightly packed fresh arugula

¼ cup walnuts 

6 large cloves garlic, divided

juice of 1 1/2 lemons divided

½ cup nutritional yeast, divided

½ tsp sea salt, divided (plus more to taste)

¼ cup + 1 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1 cup baby Dutch yellow potatoes (about 4-6), sliced in half

1 head lacinato kale, ribs removed and thinly sliced

1 14-oz package firm tofu

½ cup vegetable broth

¼ tsp turmeric

½ tsp garlic powder

zest of 1 lemon

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Add the arugula, walnuts, 4 garlic cloves, juice of 1 lemon, ¼ cup nutritional yeast and ¼ teaspoon of salt to a food processor. Mix on high until a loose paste forms.
  3. Stream ¼ cup of olive oil into the processor a little at a time while the machine is running. Taste and adjust the flavor as needed, adding more salt, nutritional yeast or lemon juice.
  4. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat, toss the potatoes with 2 Tbsp of the pesto. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a cast iron skillet, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the remaining 2 cloves of garlic. Saute for 3 minutes and add the kale and a pinch of salt. Cook for 2 minutes until slightly wilted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. In a food processor, combine the tofu, vegetable broth, the remaining ¼ cup of nutritional yeast, turmeric, garlic powder, juice of half a lemon, zest and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Puree until smooth. 
  7. Reduce the oven to 350°F. Layer the potatoes in a single layer on top of the kale. Pour the frittata batter over the vegetables. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the pesto on top and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until cooked through and golden at the edges.
  8. Remove the skillet from the oven and cut into wedges. Serve with the remaining pesto. 

Vegan Frittata 3

 

 

 


January 19, 2021
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(This post is sponsored. I received compensation to write this post but all opinions and ideas are mine alone.)

 

I don’t believe you need a lot of fancy gadgets to be a good cook, but I do believe you need two key tools: a good knife and a good pan. When it comes to the former, I rely on five pieces of cookware for my daily cooking and weekly meal prep: a Dutch oven, large skillet, small skillet, saucepan and last, but certainly not least a cast iron skillet.

If you haven’t invested in a cast iron skillet yet, let me introduce you to Karibe and their 10″ Skillet. This is your new BFF. From stovetop to oven and straight to the table to serve, this skillet does it all – and it does so effortlessly and beautifully. There is nothing that I love more than a one-pan meal so this Lentil Bolognese Skillet Lasagna is my new go-to for effortless weeknight cooking. All three of my kids and my husband LOVED this meal so you know it’s a winner!

Skillet Lasagna

Plant-powered with layers of flavor, this Skillet Lasagna starts with a hearty bolognese sauce that gets its protein from lentils. The broth comes together in just about 10 minutes before nestling in the lasagna noodles. I used no boil, gluten-free noodles from Jovial Foods and no one could tell they were gluten-free. (Another win for me!)

I folded in three vegan cheeses, because…it’s lasagna! I’m a bit biased about brands when it comes to vegan cheese so take note of my choices (and no, they’re not paying me, they’re just the best in my opinion!). This Lentil Bolognese Skillet Lasagna is easy enough to whip up during the weeknight but sophisticated enough to serve for a special family dinner. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did.


Lentil Bolognese Skillet Lasagna

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes 

Serves 4 to 6

 

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil or vegetable broth

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ onion, minced

1 14-ounce can lentils, drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp Italian herb seasoning

2 cups marinara

1 ½ cups vegetable stock

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

½ cup red wine

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

8 oz regular or gluten-free lasagna noodles, broken into large pieces

½ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

⅓ cup vegan ricotta (such as Kite Hill)

4 oz vegan mozzarella grated or sliced (such as Miyoko’s Creamery)

2 Tbsp grated vegan Parmesan (such as Violife Foods)

 

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil or vegetable broth in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until translucent.
  2. Stir in the lentils, Italian herb seasoning, marinara, vegetable stock, tomatoes and red wine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and nestle the lasagna noodles into the bolognese sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes. 
  4. Fold in the basil and vegan ricotta. Top with the vegan mozzarella and Parmesan.
  5. Broil for 3 minutes until golden brown.

Skillet Lasagna

 

 

 


September 3, 2019
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In my pre-vegan days, stuffed chicken breasts were one of my “go to’s” for a special dinner. I had mastered the art of creating a pocket in the breast, just large enough to stuff with sun-dried tomatoes, cheese or whatever else I was experimenting with for that meal. I may not eat chicken anymore but I still love the idea of a “pocket of surprise” inside my dinner entree! 

Gardein makes a Chik’n Scallopini that has become my chicken replacement when I want a traditional breast. The Scallopini isn’t thick enough to make a pocket inside but it’s thin enough to stack with something yummy and roll into a croquette (basically just a food roll that’s fried)! And that’s how I came upon this recipe that I prepared recently for Friday night Shabbat. Although I cook dinner every night, I like to do something a little extra on Friday nights and these Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Gardein Croquettes are just that. 

They look and sound fancy but they are surprisingly simple. I layered each Scallopini with a half slice of Violife Provolone (Kite Hill Ricotta would be equally delicious), a few baby spinach leaves and a couple of sun-dried tomatoes. Other options could include: olive tapenade, Kite Hill chive cream cheese, any of Miyoko’s cheeses, artichoke hearts…you get the idea. Have fun stacking and rolling!

You need to let the Scallopini defrost for about 20 minutes so it’s soft enough to flatten out and roll. But be careful to not let it thaw so much that the Gardein falls apart. I hope you enjoy these. Let me know what you think below.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Gardein Croquettes 

Makes 4 croquettes

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Gardein Chik’n Scallopini (4 pieces)
  • 2 slices Violife Provolone, sliced in half
  • 8 cups baby spinach 
  • 8-12 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 toothpicks
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

Directions:

  1. Thaw the Garden Scallopini for about 20 minutes until softened but still firm enough to handle without breaking.
  2. Layer each Scallopini with a cheese slice, then a few spinach leaves, followed by 2-3 sun-dried tomatoes. 
  3. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Roll each Scallopini and secure the middle with a toothpick.
  5. Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the croquettes and cook about 10 minutes, rotating to brown on all sides.
  6. Remove the Scallopini and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic. Cook 2 minutes until the garlic is browned. Add the remaining spinach and saute just until wilted.
  7. Spread the cooked spinach on a serving platter and place the croquettes on top. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

 


August 27, 2019
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If you want something quick and easy to serve up, this is your salad! With just 5 ingredients, you’ve got an easy and delicious meal that’s ready in 10 minutes!

Easy Pesto Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces farfalle
  • 1 container Trader Joe’s Basil, Cashew and Kale Pesto
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 3 hearts of palm, sliced

Directions:

  1. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients with the pasta. Stir to combine.

 

 

 

 


June 19, 2019
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We didn’t have a pool when I was a kid but my aunt had a friend who did. We spent many summer days splashing inside and lounging poolside. My aunt always brought a huge round Tupperware of pasta salad – raw chopped veggies, sliced olives and rotini tossed with Newman’s Own Italian dressing. Simple but delicious. I still think of that salad today whenever I’m at a pool party. It’s synonymous with summer living and pool fun for me.

A poolside pasta salad is easy breezy for summer fun. I fancied things up in this Italian Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad that takes things back to my Italian roots. I roasted the vegetables to pack a powerhouse of flavor into the pasta without adding in a heavy or greasy dressing. Except for roasting the vegetables, the rest of this recipe comes together quickly. And it’s portable and can sit out for a bit without worry so you can have your poolside fun in between bites!

 

Italian Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 10 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup baby bell peppers chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives
  • 1 can artichoke hearts in water drained and sliced in half
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Italian herb seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package orecchiette pasta
  • 1 can white beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free mozzarella cheese (such as Follow Your Heart) cubed
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup basil sliced in chiffonnade

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a pot of salted water to boil.

  2. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet and spread peppers, olives, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves on top.

  3. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil and sprinkle with the Italian herbs, garlic powder and salt. Roast for 30 minutes.

  4. While the vegetables roast, add the pasta to the boiling water. Cook according to package directions. Drain and add to a large serving bowl.

  5. When vegetables are cooked, add them to the bowl with the pasta. Stir in the white beans and cheese.

  6. Toss with the vinegar and fresh basil.

  7. Serve at room temperature or store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

What’s your favorite food to eat poolside? Tell me in the comments below!

 


January 17, 2019
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I served this vegan beef lasagna at a family event recently. Everyone LOVED it. Even the kids! Just goes to show that you don’t need meat or dairy to create a delicious lasagna. 🙂 

I used gluten-free noodles because I’m lazy and hate boiling noodles (and with DeBole’s, you don’t have to boil them!). I also used Kite Hill Ricotta for the filling – a must for this recipe, in my opinion. For the vegan “beef”, I used the Trader Joe’s meatless “ground beef.” I have also used Beyond Meat’s Beefy Crumbles with equally delicious results!

Vegan Beef Lasagna

Serves 12-16

Ingredients:

  • 1 package no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 2 28-ounce cans marinara sauce

For the filling:

  • 1 package meatless ground “beef”
  • 1 package Kite Hill Ricotta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Italian herbs seasoning blend
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the sauce:

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 nutritional yeast
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the garlic and onion. Cook until translucent. Stir in the vegan beef and seasonings.
  2. Add in the ricotta, crumbling it into the pan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, Remove from the heat.
  3. Place all the ingredients for the sauce into a high-speed blender and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour 1/4 cup of sauce across the bottom of a lasagna pan or casserole dish. Spread it to cover the bottom surface of the pan thoroughly.
  5. Place 3-4 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce to cover as much surface of the pan as possible.
  6. Spread 1/3 of the filling on top of the noodles and top with 1/3 of the remaining marinara sauce and 1 cup of the cream sauce.
  7. Repeat two more times so that there are three layers of noodles, finishing with the cream sauce on top.
  8. Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Vegan-Beef-Lasagna

January 6, 2019
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You don’t have to cook everything from scratch or spend hours in the kitchen to make a delicious, homemade meal. I’d never been able to get a home cooked meal on the table every weeknight if I followed those “rules”!

This Zoodles with Roasted Chickpeas & Pesto recipe is an example of just that. I used a store bought pesto and roasted the chickpeas on Sunday during one of my batch cooking sessions so the total meal was on my table in less than 20 minutes!

The zoodles store well for 1-2 days so I always spiralize a big batch and eat the leftovers for a quick and healthy weekday lunch.

Try this recipe for Zoodles with Roasted Chickpeas & Pesto for an uber healthy and homemade meal that you can make in 20 minutes or less with a little help from the store.

Zoodles with Roasted Chickpeas & Pesto

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of store-bought pesto (such as Trader Joe’s Vegan, Kale & Cashew Pesto)
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Herbs blend
  • 4 zucchini squash, spiralized
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, such as Violife

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper. Toss with the oil, salt, and herbs. Roast for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Divide the zoodles between 4 serving plates and top each pile with 1/4 cup of pesto, 1/4 cup of chickpeas and 1/4 cup of sliced tomatoes.
  4. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Zoodles

October 2, 2018
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This recipe is the only way I can get my kids to eat tempeh. They tell me it’s a texture thing. So, what’s a mom to do? I pulse it up into a rich and hearty tomato sauce and serve it over their favorite pasta. They’re not super excited about it, but they eat it!

I made this recently on a busy weeknight in 30 minutes. It’s also a great recipe to batch cook on the weekend and pull out when you’re short on time. Just boil some pasta and make a salad while the spaghetti cooks. It freezes really well so I usually reserve half to serve up another time.

This Tempeh Bolognese is the only way I can get my kids to eat tempeh. It's crumbled in a rich tomato sauce with onion, garlic and veggies and simmered until tasty! Serve over your favorite pasta for an easy meatless weeknight meal.

 

Tempeh Bolognese

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 8 ounce package tempeh
  • 1 28 ounce can of marinara sauce
  • 1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes undrained
  • ½ cup of red wine optional

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, oregano, basil and garlic, and cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until vegetables are browned, stirring often.
  2. Break the tempeh into small crumbles with your hands, and stir into the vegetables.
  3. Add in the tomato sauce, tomatoes, and wine (if using).
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe Notes

Makes about 4 cups

This Tempeh Bolognese is the only way I can get my kids to eat tempeh. It's crumbled in a rich tomato sauce with onion, garlic and veggies and simmered until tasty! Serve over your favorite pasta for an easy meatless weeknight meal.

 

 


September 11, 2018
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This Roasted Vegetable Orzo is a sophisticated take on the traditional Italian pasta salads I grew up with. Fresh, organic vegetables (in this case, zucchini, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes) are the key to this simple yet savory dish.

The vegetables in this Roasted Vegetable Orzo are tossed with olive oil, Italian herbs, and whole cloves of garlic (oh yeah!). To finish the dish off, I squeezed fresh lemon juice and grated Violife dairy-free Parmesan cheese (my new favorite vegan Parm!) on top.

This Roasted Vegetable Orzo is a sophisticated take on the traditional Italian pasta salads I grew up with. Fresh, organic vegetables (in this case, zucchini, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes) are the key to this simple yet savory dish.

This Roasted Vegetable Orzo is so so so good and I can’t stress how simple this dish is to make. Serve with sliced baked tempeh or tofu and dinner is served!

 

Roasted Vegetable Orzo

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orzo uncooked
  • 1 orange bell pepper core and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper core and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper core and ribs removed, chopped
  • 2 zucchinis chopped
  • 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes
  • 8 garlic cloves whole
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegan parmesan such as Violife, freshly grated to serve
  • Fresh basil sliced in a chiffonade

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toss the vegetables, garlic cloves, olive oil, and herbs on a sheet pan until coated. Roast for about 30 minutes.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain and set aside in a serving bowl.
  4. Stir the vegetables into the orzo.
  5. Squeeze the lemon juice over the mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Grate Parmesan cheese on top and garnish with the fresh basil.

This Roasted Vegetable Orzo is a sophisticated take on the traditional Italian pasta salads I grew up with. Fresh, organic vegetables (in this case, zucchini, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes) are the key to this simple yet savory dish.

 


February 15, 2018
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I hope your family enjoys these Lentil Walnut Meatballs as much as mine! As a vegan Italian, plant-based meatballs are a staple in my house. There are some great ready-made options at the store by Gardein and Trader Joe’s, but my family prefers homemade. My Beyond Meat vegan Italian meatballs are always a win, but I recently played with my lentil burger recipe to create an Italian meatball that is free of faux meat.

These Lentil Walnut "Meatballs" are a delicious plant-based alternative for topping spaghetti and/or vegetable noodles. Top them with my easy marinara.

These lentil walnut meatballs start with a saute bath of mushrooms in garlic, onion, and olive oil. The smell is insanely delicious. There is nothing like the aroma of onion and garlic in my opinion! That’s the most “strenuous” part of the recipe. After that, you just combine the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Make them gluten-free by swapping out the breadcrumbs for a gluten-free option.

These Lentil Walnut Meatballs are a delicious plant-based alternative for topping spaghetti and/or vegetable noodles. Top them with my easy marinara.

I used a cookie scoop to form these lentil walnut meatballs. Make sure the oil is hot enough and covers the bottom of the pan well before placing your meatballs inside. You don’t want to walk away from these or be multi-tasking (I have tried and burnt them!). Monitor your meatballs and keep rolling them so that they get crispy all around.

I have also included a recipe for a quick and easy marinara sauce. I throw all of the ingredients for the sauce in a pot before I start the meatballs so that it can simmer, allowing the flavors to be enhanced.

I like to serve these meatballs over a combo of zoodles (zucchini noodles) and spaghetti. I toss the raw zoodles with the spaghetti and it blends in nicely. It’s the only way I can get my kids to eat zucchini!

These Lentil Walnut Meatballs are a delicious plant-based alternative for topping spaghetti and/or vegetable noodles. Top them with my easy marinara.

Please try these Lentil Walnut Meatballs, and let me know what you think. My non vegan kids aren’t always fans of the faux meats so having whole foods plant-based option like these is a great go-to recipe for our family. For more Italian recipes that my family loves, try my Dairy-Free 3-Cheese Rigatoni, my Vegan Beef Lasagna Rolls, or Italian Stuffed Ricotta Burger.

Lentil Walnut "Meatballs" with Marinara Sauce

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8 people

Ingredients

For the "meatballs"

  • 1 14.5 ounce cans lentils or 1 3/4 cups cooked lentils
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms about 8 ounces
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

  • 2 28 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • ½ onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the mushrooms and cook about 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the mushrooms, walnuts, lentils, breadcrumbs, garlic powder and onion powder in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Form into small golf-ball sized meatballs.
  5. Heat olive oil in a pan. Place the meatballs inside and cook, turning often until golden brown and crispy all around.
  6. For the sauce, the onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt, and balsamic vinegar. Simmer for 15 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  7. To serve, cook 8-16 ounces of spaghetti, spiralize 2-4 zucchinis, or use a combination of both. Top with the sauce and "meatballs".

These Lentil Walnut Meatballs are a delicious plant-based alternative for topping spaghetti and/or vegetable noodles. Top them with my easy marinara.

 

 

 

 


February 8, 2018
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I love a good creamy sauce to pour over my family’s favorite pasta. This Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce is smooth and luscious with just a few ingredients — and your blender. Make it in minutes. Instead of milk, this dairy-free sauce uses cashews to achieve its silky velvet texture. It all comes together in just minutes, and is easy clean up with only the blender to wash!

My kids love this over farfalle, jumbo shells, or regular spaghetti. Sometimes, I will cook penne, toss it with broccoli and the sauce and bake for 20 minutes for a baked dish that has some extra plant power.

You won't miss the dairy in this creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce - perfect for pouring over your family's favorite pasta! #vegan #dairyfree

This Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce is my go-to cream sauce for my recipes. Leave out the sun-dried tomatoes and add roasted red peppers for a twist or leave out the tomatoes all together for a creamy white sauce that is delicious in its own right. Enjoy!

Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce

Servings 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cashews soaked for 2 hours or overnight and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained
  • ¼ cup lemon juice about 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and mix until smooth.

You won't miss the dairy in this creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce - perfect for pouring over your family's favorite pasta! #vegan #dairyfree

 

 

 

 


September 13, 2017
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If you’ve never had this Italian stuffed bread, you must try this recipe! It’s a family favorite in my house. Olives and pepperoncinis are a wonderful complement to the vegan ham, (which I purchased from The Herbivorous Butcher.) The mildness of the Chao regular slices worked really well for this recipe. My kids are not a fan of dairy-free cheese but this one melts really well without a strong flavor, which they enjoyed in this dish. A dairy-free mozzarella would be delicious too.

This vegan stromboli is a delicious plant-based variation on the traditional meat stuffed Italian bread and simple to make with store-bought pizza dough.

This makes a great appetizer for Italian night. It also makes a great main, serving a couple of slices with a tossed green salad and an antipasto platter. Change up the ingredients for countless stromboli options!

This vegan stromboli is a delicious plant-based variation on the traditional meat stuffed Italian bread and simple to make with store-bought pizza dough.

Vegan Ham and Olive Stromboli

Ingredients

  • 1 package of whole wheat pizza dough
  • 3 Chao Creamy Slices (Field Roast), sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup olive tapenade
  • 1/4 cup sliced pepperoncinis
  • 3 slices vegan ham (or other plant-based “meat”)
  • Sprinkling of Penzey’s Spices Pizza Seasoning (or any Italian Herb seasoning and garlic powder)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Go Veggie! grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil , divided
  • Marinara sauce , for serving

Instructions

  1. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let sit 30 minutes to an hour to allow to rise.
  2. Roll out dough on a floured service into a large oval.
  3. Brush the dough with 1 1/2 tablespoons olives oil and sprinkle with the seasoning.
  4. Layer the cheese slices down the length of the pizza dough, leaving a 1 inch border around the entire oval.
  5. Add the vegan ham on top.
  6. Spread the olive tapenade over the cheese and ham. Sprinkle the pepperoncinis on top.
  7. Bring both sides of the dough together and fold over each other to make a seam. Tuck and seal each end.
  8. Turn the roll over and place on a greased baking pan. Brush with remaining olive oil and dust with the Parmesan cheese.
  9. Bake at 475 degrees for 10 minutes.
  10. 10. Allow to sit 5 minutes and slice. Serve with marina sauce for dipping.

This vegan stromboli is a delicious plant-based variation on the traditional meat stuffed Italian bread and simple to make with store-bought pizza dough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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I have been a little obsessed with Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger lately. They are delicious on their own, but I’ve been having fun playing with them in all kinds of recipes. My Italian Meatballs were my last creation, and today, I am excited to share this Italian Stuffed Ricotta Burger. Stuffed burgers are all kinds of fun! It’s a surprise inside an already tasty treat.

For this burger, I wanted something creamy and savory to sandwich between the Beyond Burger patties. Kite Hill’s Ricotta is the perfect salty filling for this recipe. I added a few ingredients to the cheese and formed it into a small ball and flattened it between the patties, so it would melt while it cooked. I added traditional Italian seasonings to the burgers with a special shout out to rosemary. I think it makes this Stuffed Italian Ricotta Burger!

To put the burger together, I used a ciabatta roll for a thematic twist on the hamburger bun (focaccia would be tasty too), some doctored up marinara sauce (although regular store-bought works just fine too), and fresh basil leaves. Read on for the recipe below and let me know what you think!

Italian Stuffed Ricotta Burger

Ingredients

For the burgers

  • 1 package Beyond Meat Beyond Burger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the marinara sauce

  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 dashed Italian seasoning
  • 2 ciabatta rolls
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6-8 basil leaves

For the ricotta

  • 1/4 cup Kite Hill dairy-free ricotta
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 leaf basil, finely chopped

Instructions

For the ricotta

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well to mix all the ingredients. Form into two small balls and flatten.

For the burgers

  1. Combine the burgers and seasonings in a bowl. Mix well.

  2.  Flatten the mixture into 4 evenly distributed patties.

  3. Take one of the ricotta balls and place on top of one of the patties, flattening to spread it out on top of the burger.

  4. Place another burger on top and form together into one thick patty.

  5. Heat a grill or pan on medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

  6. Cook the burgers about 5 minutes on each side.

For the marinara sauce

  1. Heat the marinara sauce and remaining ingredients in a sauce pan.

  2. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

To assemble the burger

  1. Slice the ciabatta rolls in half. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

  2. Toast the bread.

  3. Spread marinara sauce on each slice of bread.

  4. Top with a burger and 3-4 basil leaves.

  5. Top with the other slice of bread.


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I created this recipe while wanting to reinvent a recipe that was passed down to my mother from my great aunt, Peggy. It has been in the family forever it seems. When I got married, my sister and mother put together a recipe book filled with family recipes on old school style recipe cards. The rigatoni recipe was one of my favorites. She made it at every holiday meal. It is the most requested staple at our holiday dinners. Since going vegan, I have veganized her traditional recipe and it was okay, not great. Swapping out the mozzarella with Daiya shreds was fine and got the job done, but it didn’t bring the comfort and pasta joy that the old dish did. So…I reinvented it and created this three cheese rigatoni. I have several favorite dairy-free cheeses, but three top my list when it comes to Italian cooking:


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I love tofu scrambles. When I first went vegan and discovered I could use tofu instead of scrambled eggs, a whole new breakfast world was opened up for me. I make a tofu scramble at least once a week. This bruschetta scramble is a family favorite. I originally created this recipe as a test for my kids when I was trying to add some variety to their breakfast meals. I wanted to add more protein to their morning meal and thought a tofu scramble would be perfect, but couldn’t get them to eat one. That was until I thought to combine the bruschetta and kalamata olives together – two of their favorite things. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it sooner! It was a success and it has become a constant on our weekly breakfast menu ever since.


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