Recipe Catchup! Daiya Mac n Cheese, Gardein Chick'n, Butternut Squash Soup and Two Stuffed Shell

Happy New Year my friends! I hope you survived 2016 with minimal scratches and your 2017 is off to a great start! I wish you happiness and relaxation this year and that you accomplish all of your goals! It is challenging to stay the course but if you want to get there, you'll get there! I owe you a few recipes from last year and if you tuned in to "Beats, Treats & Eats" last week you know that I have changed my diet from vegan to vegetarian. I had some cheese over the holidays (it was the fresh mozzarella from the avenue that did it!). I enjoyed it a lot and missed parmesan cheese so I decided not to restrict myself. I have been finding myself still eating 80% vegan and a little cheese and crackers or maybe some lasagna (stay tuned for my lasagna recipe on the radio show and a fun fact about it). From now on I'll be posting both vegan and vegetarian recipes. I'm not a nutritionist or a doctor, but I have learned a lot along the way about having a diet that does not include meat. I call myself a "freestyle cook"-I have an idea of what I want to make and go from there. If you'd like to reach out and chat about food, feel free! I definitely know some incredible meat substitutes and how to prepare them deliciously!

Here's the first pic and recipe:

Daiya Mac n Cheese, Gardein Chick'n Dinner:

This is macaroni and cheese (vegan from the company Daiya), sautéed green beans and chicken (vegan from the company Gardein) smothered in sautéed bok choy, cremini mushrooms and red bell peppers. This dish tastes as delicious as it looks!

For this recipe you will need a knife and cutting board, tongs, a sauté pan with lid, a medium skillet with lid and a medium saucepan with lid.

Ingredients (organic if possible):

One package of Daiya Cheezy Mac (Deluxe Cheddar Style)

Two pieces of Gardein Chick'n Scallopini

One package of Trader Joe's Haricots Verts (or fresh green beans from any grocery store), washed

One small baby bok choy, washed, coarsely chopped-stalks and leaves separated

6 cremini mushrooms, washed and sliced to your preference

1/2 red bell pepper, seeds removed and washed and sliced

1/4 red onion, coarsely chopped

6 garlic cloves chopped

Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Braggs liquid aminos to taste

Multi-spice seasoning (I use Trader Joe's 21 seasoning salute)

Extra virgin olive oil (about 1/8 cup and 4 tablespoons)

Directions:

Prepare Cheezy Mac according to package directions timing it to be finished as you cook the haricots verts. Prepare the Chick'n Scallopini according to package directions and set to the side. In a sauté pan, add 1/8 cup olive oil and turn the stove on medium high heat (gas stove-adjust accordingly with electric stove). Heat for 3 mins. Add garlic and onion and cook for 2 mins. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 mins. Add bok choy stems and cook for 2 mins. Add bell pepper and cook for 2 mins. Add baby bok choy leaves. Season to taste with cracked pepper, Braggs aminos, multi-spice seasoning. Place chicken underneath mixture and cover and turn off heat-it's ready. In a medium skillet add 4 tablespoons olive oil on medium high heat for 3 mins. Add haricots verts (or green beans) and cover for 3 mins, toss around with tongs. Season with cracked pepper and Braggs to taste. Makes 2 servings. Enjoy!

Next we have non-traditional stuffed shells:

Shells stuffed with Garbanzo Beans and Cremini Mushrooms:

For this recipe you will need a knife and cutting board, a medium saucepan with lid, and a sauté pan.

Ingredients (organic if possible):

One can Eden Organic garbanzo beans

One head of broccoli-big stem removed and crown chopped

6 cremini mushrooms coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic minced

1/4 red onion coarsely chopped

Braggs aminos to taste

Cracked pepper to taste

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

8 pasta shells made according to package directions

Directions:

Prepare pasta shells and set to side. In a sauté pan heat the olive oil for 3 mins on medium high. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 3 mins. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 mins. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and add to sauté pan. Cover and cook for 5 mins. Add cracked pepper, cumin, coriander and mix well. Taste and adjust if you need to. Stuff this mixture into the pasta shells and keep warm. In a medium saucepan add water to fill pan 3/4 full and bring to boil. Add broccoli and cook for 3 mins or until al dente. Should be no more than 5 mins. Add lemon juice. Add Braggs aminos and cracked pepper to taste. Makes 2 servings. Enjoy!

Next up...Soup:

Butternut Squash Soup with Polenta Cakes:

For this recipe you will need a knife and cutting board, a hand blender or a regular blender, a stock pot and cover that will hold at least 6 cups of water-8 qt will do well) and a nonstick cookie sheet.

Ingredients (organic if possible):

One package Trader Joe's peeled and cut butternut squash or 20oz peeled and cut fresh butternut squash

6 cups of vegetable broth (I prefer to use Organic Gourmet low sodium bouillon cubes with water)

2 tablespoons raw agave nectar or to taste

Braggs aminos to taste

Cracked pepper to taste

One polenta tube-plain

Directions:

Bring vegetable broth to a boil and add butternut squash. Boil for 20 minutes. In the meantime preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut polenta cakes in 1 inch pieces and place evenly on nonstick cookie sheet. Bake for 20 mins, turning once after about 12 minutes. Once 20 minutes has passed cooking the butternut squash remove pot from heat, add seasonings and use hand blender to purée into soup. If you don't have a hand blender place the ingredients in a blender and blend well. Once the polenta cakes are done, place two in a bowl and cover with soup. Makes 4 servings. So easy and so quick! Enjoy!

I have saved the best for last...

Stuffed Shells with Tofu Flling:

If made properly, you will not miss the cheese filling at all!

For this recipe you will need two 3qt ( 9 X13) glass baking dishes, a large bowl, a sauté pan with lid, a large stock pot with lid, a knife and cutting board and aluminum foil.

Ingredients (organic if possible):

One package pasta shells

3 -15oz packages of extra firm tofu, drained and wrapped in paper towels to get as much water out as possible

2 cans Pastene "Kitchen Ready" tomatoes

2 handfuls of garlic cloves, minced

1/2 red onion, chopped coarsely

3 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)

Braggs aminos to taste (about 1/8 cup each for the sauce and tofu mixture)

Bunch of fresh basil, washed, dried and chopped coarsely (about 10 leaves)

3 tablespoons dried basil

3 tablespoons dried oregano for sauce and 1 tablespoon for tofu mixture

Cracked pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

Prepare pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and set to the side. In the sauté pan, heat the olive oil for 3 mins. Add the red onion and garlic and cook on medium-high heat until they begin to caramelize. Add tomatoes. Add Braggs aminos, basil, oregano, pepper to taste and sugar to taste (start with 3 tablespoons). Let the sauce simmer on low for 10 minutes and adjust seasonings to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the large bowl, crumble the tofu and add cracked pepper to taste, the fresh basil, and 1/8 cup Braggs aminos. Add 1 tablespoon dried oregano. Mix very well. In the glass baking dishes, put a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom. Begin stuffing the shells with the tofu mix and spacing them out evenly in the dishes. When you have finished stuffing the shells, add a layer of tomato sauce-enough to cover each shell. Cover the dishes with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. This should warm up the tofu. Serve with extra tomato sauce to cover if preferred. Makes 6 servings. Enjoy!

Remember-there are no rules, just make something that tastes delicious! Next week I will be sharing my recipe for lasagna with "sausage", spinach and mushrooms so stay tuned!

Peace & Love,

LT


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