Spicy Thai Lasagna

Spicy Thai Lasagna

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Spicy Thai Lasagna
Spicy Thai Lasagna infuses a savory Italian dish with a burst of Indian flavor. The chili garlic and sriracha sauce marinate eggplant, mushroom and kale. A cooling cashew cream softens the heat—a perfect blend of yin and yang. This unique recipe is an absolute delight to the senses.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian, Italian
Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 45 min
Servings
Ingredients
Spicy Thai Sauce
Veggie Layer
Ricotta-Like Cashew Cheese Layer
Other
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian, Italian
Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 45 min
Servings
Ingredients
Spicy Thai Sauce
Veggie Layer
Ricotta-Like Cashew Cheese Layer
Other
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Whisk together the ingredients for spicy Thai sauce.
  3. Chop eggplant, mushrooms and yellow onion. Use about 3/4 of the spicy Thai sauce to coat the vegetables. Bake on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes, stirring periodically. You don't want veggies overcooked, as they will return to the oven for another bake.
  4. Coat the kale with the remaining spicy Thai sauce and set aside.
  5. Add all of the ingredients for the Ricotta-like cashew cheese layer to a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy and thick. Taste test: add more salt and/or pepper if you prefer. Add a bit of water if it's too thick, but it shouldn't be pourable. This is the base of the lasagna. Thick is good.
  6. Pour a little marinara into the bottom of a 9x 13 baking dish. Place first layer of lasagna sheets down, and cover with the cashew cheese.
  7. Place second layer of lasagna sheets over the cashew cheese. Lay out the marinated kale. Top with baked eggplant, mushrooms and onion. Press down by adding a third layer of lasagna sheets.
  8. Spread a thin coat of marinara over the top layer of lasagna sheets. Add shredded vegan cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and gooey (about 20 minutes). Run a victory lap around the house. Remove from oven and serve!
  9. Collect your trophy for Top Chef. Have someone else do the dishes.
Recipe Notes

Read more about the importance of soaking cashews.

If you have a small family and don't want such a large lasagna, use two smaller baking pans. Prepare both, but don't bake at the end. Cover and place in your freezer for later use.

 

Simple Spicy Red Beans: Comfort Food

Simple Spicy Red Beans: Comfort Food

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Simple Spicy Red Beans: Comfort Food
Simple Spicy Red Beans are the ultimate comfort food. Use canned beans for a meal done in minutes, or start from scratch with dried beans. Eat these as a stand-alone meal, serve over greens and/or rice, add veggies and roll into a wrap, or top with guacamole and salsa and turn it into a dip. Make a big batch and eat all week.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Quick and Easy Version
Old School & Bulk Version
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Quick and Easy Version
Old School & Bulk Version
Instructions
Quick and Easy Version
  1. Add all ingredients to a sauce pan and heat to a simmer. Remove from heat and serve. Yep. It's that easy. Eat as a stand-alone meal, or serve with rice, in a burrito, or add to salads.
Old School & Bulk Version
  1. Place dried beans in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 12-24 hours. Drain and rinse.
  2. In a stock pot, cover beans with with water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cooking time will vary based on the age of the bean. My soaked kidney beans from the grocery normally take about 1.5 hours, but fresher beans will cook faster. Add salt when they are about 3/4 done (chewable, but not yet tender)—this will infuse them with flavor without toughening the skin. You can retain the liquid as it's delicious unless you prefer to drain some or all of it off.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients once the beans are about done. Remove from heat and serve. Store excess in freezer (or enjoy leftovers all week).
Recipe Notes

Read why soaking beans is important. Also, when you cook beans, you can add a bay leaf and/or piece of kombu to add flavor, minerals and digestibility. If you are looking for more anti-inflammatory ingredients, add some turmeric too!

Vegan Bolognese

Vegan Bolognese

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Vegan Bolognese
In Italy, bolognese is a hearty meat sauce. Can you make a meatless meat sauce? Yep. For vegan bolognese, use lentils, which are hearty and full of fiber and nutrients. This recipe is about as easy to prepare as it gets, as I use my favorite arrabbiata sauce from the local Italian market instead of making it from scratch. Of course, you can serve it with real pasta for a truly authentic meal, but spaghetti squash is a delicious option if you're cutting back on the pasta.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bake spaghetti squash at 400 for 35-45 minutes, depending on size. It's important to not overcook to avoid mushiness. Easy method: remove sticker and place whole on a baking sheet. Remove from oven when top starts to brown. Cut open immediately to allow heat to escape. Cool and use a fork to remove seeds and fluff.
  2. Prepare lentils according to package directions. Drain. Place in a food processor or blender. Pulse to make a coarse puree.
  3. In a sauce pan, mix marinara with lentils. Sauce will be hearty; Authentic bolognese is not meant to be "saucy." Serve over spaghetti squash.
Recipe Notes

When you prepare lentils, you can add a bay leaf and/or piece of kombu to add flavor, minerals and digestibility.

For this meal to work, you must have a high quality, flavorful marinara. I picked up this arrabbiata sauce from our local Italian market, Antonuccio's. It's so good!

Chili Garlic Bok Choy & Noodles

Chili Garlic Bok Choy & Noodles

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Chili Garlic Bok Choy & Noodles
The chili garlic sauce for this recipe is perfection. It's rich and layered with a kick that isn't obnoxiously spicy. I also use a lentil based pasta, instead of soba noodles, as it's high in fiber and protein, and gluten free.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Asian
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Asian
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Start water for the pasta. Cook according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water.
  2. While pasta is cooking, whisk together tamari, tahini, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce and sriracha in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil, a few squirts of tamari and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Add bok choy and stir to coat each piece. Flip often, and cook until greens are soft (3-5 minutes). Remove from the skillet.
  4. Add garlic and onion whites to the skillet and saute about 30 seconds. Add the bean sprouts and edamame and cover with the sauce. Heat briefly and then remove from heat. Stir in the noodles. Top with onion greens and cilantro. Serve with bok choy.
Recipe Notes

You can also add fresh ginger to the sauce and garnish with crushed peanuts. The chili garlic sauce for this recipe is divine. If you like tofu, double the sauce recipe and use half as a marinade. Chop tofu into small squares, coat with marinade and bake on parchment paper at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Creamy Lemon Spaghetti

Creamy Lemon Spaghetti

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Creamy Lemon Spaghetti

Cooking the pasta in the sauce creates a depth of flavor that is unexpected with only a few basic ingredients, and makes this an easy and quick meal with little mess. While any pasta will work, high fiber/protein pastas made with legumes offer superior nutrients with similar texture and taste.

Lemon Spaghetti

Course Main Dish

Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes

Servings
people


Ingredients

Course Main Dish

Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes

Servings
people


Ingredients

Lemon Spaghetti


Instructions
  1. Sauté chopped onion in pasta pot with a splash of water until translucent. Add minced garlic in the last minute. Pour in veggie broth, coconut milk and lemon juice. Bring to a boil.

  2. Add uncooked pasta and reduce heat to medium low. Carefully push pasta below the liquid. It might take a few minutes for all of the pasta to submerge, but that's fine. Stir frequently to prevent pasta from sticking to the bottom and to break up clumps.

  3. Cook until there is just enough liquid to cover the pasta (it will be about half done). Remove from heat. Place the spinach on top of the pasta--do not stir. This traps the heat and allows the pasta to finish cooking, and lightly steams the spinach. Win!

  4. Wait about 10 minutes, and then check the pasta for doneness. When it is sufficiently al dente and sauce is creamy and thick, stir in the spinach.

  5. Top with lemon zest. Salt and pepper as desired. Kick it up a notch with some red chili pepper flakes.


Recipe Notes

This recipe is unique and delicious. FYI: it is best served immediately. The creamy texture fades into stickiness as it cools. If you have leftovers to warm up, stir in a little plant-milk as you heat.

Vegan French Onion Soup

Vegan French Onion Soup


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Vegan French Onion Soup
The vegan mozzarella cheese sauce and homemade croutons that top this French onion soup create a trifecta of flavor. It's as good as you want it to be. It's a bit labor intensive. And worth it. You can skip the homemade croutons if you have good bread.
Vegan French Onion Soup
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
French onion soup
Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Sauce
Homemade croutons
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
French onion soup
Vegan Mozzarella Cheese Sauce
Homemade croutons
Vegan French Onion Soup
Instructions
  1. Cut onions in half, then into thin slices. Place in a soup pot and caramelize on high for about 30 minutes, adding splashes of water as needed to avoid sticking. Onions are done when they are deep brown and stringy.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Set aside. Don't forget to stir the onions regularly!
  3. Place all of the ingredients for the vegan mozzarella cheese sauce into a high speed blender. Yes, there are a lot of them. And the end result is worth it. But don't worry if you are missing something. Use what you have, taste at the end, and adjust as needed.
  4. Don't forget to keep stirring the onions. Blend the vegan mozzarella cheese sauce ingredients for at least 10 minutes. At some point, you will see steam--that's the blender cooking for you! Keep blending until you hear the motor starting to work harder. The sauce is thickening. Give it a few more minutes.
  5. Once the onions are caramelized, pour the seasoned vegetable broth mixture into the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaves.
  6. Unless you have awesome sourdough bread and prefer to serve thin slices topped with the cheese sauce in the soup, make the homemade croutons (What's another few minutes of effort?) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rip your favorite bread into small pieces and place in a bowl. Whisk together the rest of the ingredients and pour over the bread, stirring to thoroughly coat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake croutons for 15 minutes, stirring periodically.
  7. Bon appetite! Serve soup in bowls and top with croutons and cheese sauce. If you want to get fancy, place under a broiler for a few minutes to get the cheese sauce bubbly and bread or croutons extra crispy.
Recipe Notes

As this recipe has a lot of ingredients and takes a lot of time, consider doubling it. Delicious leftovers are so convenient, and you can freeze it. The cheese sauce can be used in another meal (or eaten solo) . . .

Almond Taco Meat

Almond Taco Meat

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Almond Taco Meat
Taco Tuesday is back. Where's the beef?
Almond Taco Meat
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Almond Taco Meat
Instructions
  1. Pulse almonds in food processor/blender until they are well chopped, but not fine like flour (20-30 seconds). Add remaining ingredients and blend for another 20-30 seconds. The consistency should be chunky, but not like paste. Add additional salt to taste. Heat in the skillet or serve cold.