Banza Ziti Bolognese with Italian Sausage

Banda Ziti Bolognese with Italian Sausage
Banza Ziti Bolognese with Italian Sausage | veganblonde.com

Get on the Banza wagon with this fabulous au gratin pasta dish. You can get close to 40 grams of protein in one large serving of this dish! It’s easy, decadent, and plantifully nutritious!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 2 28-oz cans Italian tomatoes (crushed with your hands)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Field Roast Italian sausages, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 package Banza Ziti, undercooked by 2-3 minutes
  • 1/2 wheel mozzarella (I love Miyoko’s)
  • Fresh basil
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)

In a large straight-edge skillet, heat up the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, and let it take some color, about 2-3 minutes. Once it’s darker and fragrant, add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, garlic and onion powder, cinnamon, maple syrup, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Let simmer and reduce, over medium-low heat, until the sauce is fragrant and tasty, about 40 minutes, stirring often and adjusting the heat, if necessary. Once the sauce is reduced, add the broth and the TVP, and combine until rehydrated. Add the Italian sausage and the cooked pasta, and heat through.

Preheat broiler. To assemble, place the pasta in an oven-proof baking dish (at least 2.2 quarts). Spread your mozzarella on top and transfer to the oven. Broil until the cheese is bubbly and brown. Take out of the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving, garnished with fresh basil and nutritional yeast.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram. Bon appétit!

All that goodness in one dish! | veganblonde.com
All that goodness in one dish! | veganblonde.com

 

 

Vegetable Biryani (or Pulao)

Vegetable Biryani (or Pulao) | veganblonde.com
Vegetable Biryani (or Pulao) | veganblonde.com

This is it! The meal of all meals, the ultimate rice dish: the BIRYANI! You will often hear people using the word pulao to describe this dish. Some people say there is a difference between the two, some people say they’re fundamentally the same, but now present regional differences. Either way, the dish is fragrant and fabulous, like most Indian dishes, and is made using only one pot, which is pretty cool, if you want my opinion!

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 6 green cardamom pods, cracked open
  • 5 cloves
  • 4 star anise pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 1 whole nutmeg seed, smashed
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, cut in half
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 5 cups mixed vegetables (here I had potatoes, carrots, greens beans, and sweet peas)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic-ginger paste
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, minced
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 4 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large oven-roof soup pot with a lid, or large Dutch oven, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the cardamom pods, cloves, star anise pods, cinnamon, nutmeg, and jalapeño peppers, and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the onion and the bay leaf, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the turmeric and sea salt, and continue cooking for two more minutes.

Add the vegetables, garlic-ginger paste, 6 cups water, coconut milk, cilantro, and garam masala, and bring to a boil. Taste the broth and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Add the rice and return to a boil while stirring. Cover, transfer to the oven, and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let steam 10 minutes. Serve with fresh cilantro, raita, and other curries.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram. Bon appétit!

There's really nothing like a warming Indian dish! #THEVeganBlonde
There’s really nothing like a warming Indian dish! #THEVeganBlonde

 

Mushrooms, Spinach, and Ginger Savory Oatmeal

Mushroom, Spinach, and Ginger Savory Oatmeal
Mushroom, Spinach, and Ginger Savory Oatmeal | veganblonde.com

I started experimenting with savory versions of oatmeal, and to my astonishment, it’s SO GOOD! Oats lend themselves so nicely to pretty much any flavor, and their nutritional value can’t be beat. Try it with any type of toppings you’d like and let me know how you like your #savoryoatmeal!

  • 1 cup old fashion oats
  • 2 cups water, plus 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I used vegetable broth and omitted the salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 large shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup spinach leaves, sliced thin
  • 3-4 dried plums, diced (I used Fruit Bliss® plums because they’re simply the best)
  • Toasted sesame oil, for serving

Cook the oats in the water (or vegetable broth) until they get soft and chewy. While the oats are cooking, warm the olive oil in a skillet. Add the mushrooms and ginger and sauté for one minute. Add the tamari and red pepper flakes, and cook until the mushrooms are nice and brown, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the spinach, and mix well.

Transfer the oats to a bowl, top with the mushroom and spinach mixture and some plums, and top with a small drizzle of toasted sesame oil.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram. Bon appétit!

Hooray for Savory Oatmeal!

Hooray for Savory Oatmeal!

Black and Green Beans Zoodles

Black and Green Beans Zoodles
Black and Green Beans Zoodles | veganblonde.com

It’s almost 5pm and you have no idea what dinner will be. Panic? No way. Make this. Easy, super quick, and modifiable, for your ultimate cooking pleasure. I couldn’t be more serious.

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup green beans, cut in 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1″ piece fresh ginger, smashed (optional)
  • 1″ piece fresh turmeric, smashed (optional)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 full cup of kale, in a chiffonade
  • 4 zucchini, spiralized
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Fresh herbs, olive oil, lemon juice (for my go-to vinaigrette, click here)

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, green beans, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and generous pinches of sea salt and pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are starting to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add the beans and kale, and heat through. Take off the heat. Place zoodles at the bottom of a shallow bowl and top with the beans mixture. Top with fresh herbs, olive oil, and lemon juice, or your favorite vinaigrette.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram. Bon appétit!

Banza Rotini with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms

Banza Rotini with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms
Banza Rotini with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms | veganblonde.com

As a vegan, there’s a comfort in knowing that just the pasta part of my meal already contains 25 grams of clean, plant-based protein. Banza is awesome that way, because their pastas are made from chickpeas, plain and simple. You eat pasta, you eat chickpeas! Whatever I add to this will simply boost my nutrient intake, so it’s a hefty good start!

Here, I used one of my favorite combination: mushrooms and leeks. The slowly cooked leeks become silky savory, and the coconut milk brings you a nice dose of healthy fats along with the creaminess that is so pleasant with mushrooms. I add some warming jerk spices, to complete the flavor profile, in a simple addition, but you could skip that step and still get something fabulous, all in one pot, with less than 10 ingredients!

  • 1 package Banza Rotini, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 leeks, cleaned well, sliced once lengthwise, and then thinly crosswise
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 7 oz shiitake mushrooms, trimmed, sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons jerk spice mix (optional)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecan halves (optional)
  • Sea salt and pepper

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, the thyme, generous pinches of sea salt and pepper, and cook slowly, stirring often, until the leeks are soft and tender, about 8-10 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and cook until they are tender, about 5 minutes more. Add the jerk spices and mix well. Add the coconut milk and heat through. Add the cooked pasta, mix well, and take off the heat. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Garnish with fresh parsley and toasted pecans.

Let me know if you try this recipe! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag a photo using #THEVeganBlonde on Instagram. Bon appétit!

This is all that's needed to get this creamy deliciousness! | veganblonde.com
This is all that’s needed to get this creamy deliciousness! | veganblonde.com

Lasagna alla Karina

Lasagna
Lasagna | veganblonde.com

This lasagna recipe is easy and… sneaky! Sneaky, because you could easily fool meat eaters into thinking it’s a plain old meat lasagna. I’ve started playing with TVP (textured vegetable protein) recently, and oh the possibilities! My mind is bubbling! But first, lasagna! The trick to cut your time is to make your ricotta the day before or the morning of. Each step is easy and quick, though. I wrote the recipe according to each one, with the assembly as the last step.

For the tofu ricotta (inspired from the Whole Foods recipe)

  • 1/2 package extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 2 teaspoons tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white miso
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • Pinch black pepper

Put all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.

For the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cup TVP (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 24-oz jars of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons basil, chopped

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium  heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Deglaze your skillet with the white wine. Let it evaporate and then add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium again and add the TVP. Mix well until the broth is absorbed. Add the marinara sauce, heat through. Add the fresh basil, and done.

For the assembly

  • 1 lb. lasagna sheets, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 round Miyokos Mozzarella (or your favorite mozz)
  • Fresh basil
  • Nutritional yeast

Preheat your oven to 375°. Pour the olive oil at the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Spread it evenly with your hands on the bottom and side surfaces of the dish. Pour 1 cup of the sauce at the bottom and cover with 5 cooked lasagna sheets. Top with 1 cup of sauce. Spread about 1/3 of the ricotta and top with 5 cooked lasagna sheets. Repeat until you are done with the lasagna sheets, and finish with some sauce. Add the mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and broil for an extra 5 minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Garnish with some nutritional yeast and fresh basil. Bon appétit!

 

Easy Homemade Pizza

Easy Homemade Pizza
Easy Homemade Pizza | veganblonde.com

Using the Whole Foods All-Natural Pizza Dough, you’ll get to pizza heaven in no time

This should maybe read Easy Home-Assembled Pizza. I can’t take much credit here. This is only the steps I go through when I want to make pizza quickly and effectively. No need to make dough, sauce, or cheese. Everything is store-bought, but the results are so spectacular, one would be crazy not to use these shortcuts! Sometimes, I make my own sauce, or I use some leftover marinara. Be creative, but rest assured that in the end, you have this fabulous pizza you can come back to, when it’s just more convenient.

Bring the dough to room temperature. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Apply a very thin layer of olive oil between the baking sheet and the parchment paper, to avoid the paper from slipping. Rub a little bit of olive oil between your hands and shape the pizza dough as to cover the baking sheet. Wrap the baking sheet in a large non-scented trash bag and close tightly. Transfer to a warm area of your house and let rise for about an hour.**

Preheat the oven to 350°. Take the pizza out of the bag and brush a thin layer of olive oil on top. Top with some pizza sauce. You can now top with the rest of your ingredients. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. Because heat varies depending on the oven, start checking after 30 minutes. Take out of the oven, top with more olive oil or some leftover sauce, if desired, and some fresh basil. Bon appétit!

*Alternatively, rinse and drain a can of chickpeas. Toss them with some olive oil, some red pepper flakes, and some sea salt, and distribute them on the crust.

**Whole Foods doesn’t even instruct to bring to room temp or to let rise, so maybe I will try next time to just leave as is. I will report back!

Pizza Heaven
Pizza Heaven