Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Vegan Wheatless Dinner with J and A

I've got friends coming over for dinner tonight. The plan is to make vegan baked zitti with brown rice pasta, tofu ricotta and melty vegan cheese (made with nutritional yeast).
For dessert we're having a cobbler with coconut milk ice cream.

Update - dinner was great! Here are the recipes:

Wheatless Vegan Baked Zitti

1 recipe tofu ricotta*
1 recipe melty "cheese"*
1 bag brown rice penne
1.5 jars marinara sauce
1 onion
basil (fresh)
zuchinni or any other fresh veggies you desire
2 T olive oil
I suggest preparing the tofu ricotta and melty cheese before even beginning to boil the pasta. Preheat the oven to 375 once you start the water for the pasta. You don't want the pasta to sit around unsauced for too long, so if it's ready early mix it with the sauce, so it absorbs some of the flavor while it's still warm.
Saute onions and veggies until tender. Add pasta sauce. Throw in herbs, salt and pepper if necessary.
Boil pasta until not quite al dente (it will cook more in the oven).
In alternating layers add to a casserole or lasagna pan equal parts pasta, ricotta, cheese and sauce, slowly mixing it all together. My step mom used to make this in a deep Pyrex bowl, if you have one big enough. It probably only needs 15-20 minutes to get hot all the way through.

*Tofu ricotta:
1 package (1lb) firm tofu
2 T chopped basil
2 T diced onion
2 cloves fresh garlic
salt and pepper
Press tofu under a heavy pan or some plates for an hour or so to get out the excess water.
Using your hands squish the tofu until smooth, usually about 10 minutes.
Add basil, onion, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

*Melty "Cheese"
1/2 C. Nutritional yeast
1/2 C. barley flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 C. Water
1/4 C. margerine
1 T. wet mustard (yellow, dijon, whatevs)
Combine the flour, yeast, salt and garlic powder in a heavy sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until toasted (about 5-10 minutes). Slowly add water, whisking it into the dry ingredients. While that comes to a simmer, mix the margerine and mustard together. Whisk into the bubbling mixture and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Peach Raspberry Crumble
1 pint raspberries
1-2 C. chopped peaches
Crumble topping (these are approximate - I didn't actually measure):
1/4 C. oats
1/2 C. barley flour
1/4 C. Brown sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. margarine
Preheat oven to 375. Chop peaches, rinse raspberries. Use a square baking dish or pie plate. Grease the bottom and toss in the fruit. It's better if they are mixed a little. To prepare the crumble topping mix , throw the ingredients into a bowl and work with your hands until crumbly. If too sticky, add more flour. Taste it before you bake it - since you aren't adding sweetener to the fruit, you may want the top to be sweeter than you'd expect. Bake until bubbling ~20 minutes.
Variations: depending on what type of fruit you use (peaches, blackberries, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, etc) you can add texture to the topping by throwing in sliced almonds or coconut.

I served it with coconut milk ice cream - the store only had the cherry amarretto flavor, which turned out to go quite nicely.

We had some yummy Spanish wine and a Zin with dinner and then Earl Grey and herbal tea with dessert.

No comments: