Vegan Baked Ziti

Vegan Baked Ziti

Vegan Baked Ziti

Anyone else always get Sbarro ziti in the food court growing up on a long day of shopping with your mom? Even though you were lactose intolerant? Only me…? Not the best decision I might add.

This is also something my mom used to make, and then it became my go-to in high school  meal when all of my friends would come over. So instead of filling this baked ziti with ground beef, Ragu, and a variety of cheeses, I came up with a plant based version that still has the creamy tomato sauce and the crunchy noodles on the top (my favorite part!) The tofu becomes a ricotta, and then it’s mixed with mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and marinara make a pink sauce. I used whole wheat ziti and combined that with my sauce and sprinkled about a tbsp of Follow Your Heart Parmesan for the top. It still blows my mind that by just eating these veggies and pasta, my protein percentage was over where I wanted it to be for this meal. It’s 23% protein, 15% fat, and 62% carbs.

                                                            Vegan Baked Ziti

serves 8

1 lb whole wheat ziti noodles

1 large can low fat Tuscan Marinara, TJ’s

10 oz baby bella mushrooms

1 bag baby spinach

5 oz grape tomatoes, halved

1 tbsp Follow Your Heart Parmesan

salt and pepper to taste


                                                          Tofu Ricotta

1 lb extra firm organic tofu

2 tsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp italian seasoning

2 tsp minced garlic

3 tbsp water

salt and pepper to taste

  • You can use as much ricotta in the recipe as you’d like, I used it all and it was a tad too pink so next time I’ll start with half and add in more if I want more.
Tofu Ricotta

Tofu Ricotta

  1. Preheat oven to 400* and prepare the tofu ricotta. Drain the tofu and cube it, then add to the food processor or mixer and blend with other ingredients.
  2. In a large saute pan, saute the mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  3. Add the can of marinara to the vegetables when they’re tender and combine.
  4. Add the ricotta to the sauce, I’d start with half and then work your way up to the amount you’d like. I dumped it all and it was a little too pink for what I was going for, so I had to add a little more marinara. IMG_0478.jpg
  5. Combine the cooked pasta with the sauce and then add the mixture to a 9×13 baking dish.IMG_0480.jpg
  6. Sprinkle with a little vegan parmesan and nutritional yeast.
  7. Bake covered for 40 minutes and then uncover and cook an additional 10 minutes until pasta is golden brown.
Vegan Baked Ziti

Vegan Baked Ziti

Red Lentil and Roasted Veggie Pasta

Red Lentil and Roasted Veggie Pasta

Red Lentil and Roasted Veggie Pasta

If spaghetti is part of a “diet”, then I’m in! This has a mix of roasted eggplant, zucchini, and baby bella mushrooms mixed with split red lentils in an oil free marinara sauce topping brown rice spaghetti. It was filling and a spin on one of those staple meals that you miss if you don’t have for a while. The roasted vegetables gave this texture and heartiness, and the lentils created a “bolognese” quality to the sauce. I also roasted double the amount of diced veggies I needed because tonight we’re having pizzas, so the veggies are already done! Twofer!

Red Lentil and Roasted Veggie Pasta

1/2 cup split red lentils, dry

1 lb Organic Brown Rice Spaghetti, TJ’s

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1/2 eggplant, diced

2 zucchini, quartered and sliced

1/2 carton baby bella mushrooms, de-stemmed and sliced

1 jar Organic Spaghetti Sauce with Mushrooms, no oil from TJ’s

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp Italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

vegan parm to sprinkle

  1. Preheat oven on 400* and cube eggplant. Lay it out on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and let it excrete it’s bitterness, about 20 minutes.
  2. Use a paper towel to press out the water that came from the eggplant and then add the eggplant, mushrooms, and zucchini to a parchment lined baking sheet. I did use a really light spray of olive oil and sprinkle with spices. Roast for 30ish minutes until tender.
  3. In a large saucepan, add diced onion and lentils and cover with water. Boil until they’re soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add sauce to lentil mixture and combine.
  5. Cook pasta, my pasta water got so starchy that I had to dump the water out and add clean water so it would absorb and cook.
  6. Combine roasted veggies to the marina mix and then top your pasta with the amount you’d like and a sprinkle of vegan parm.

    Roasted Veggies

    Roasted Veggies

Mushroom and Spinach Pasta with Rosemary White Bean Sauce

Mushroom and Spinach Pasta with Rosemary White Bean Sauce

Mushroom and Spinach Pasta with Rosemary White Bean Sauce

Perfect rainy night meal alert! I came up with this idea after I saw Clinton Kelly making a white bean and spinach pasta on The Chew last week. I was really excited to see a vegan option on their show because I usually have to ignore most of the things that they make now. Minus the parmesan, it was vegan! Thanks Clinty! I decided to take their idea and run with it and come up with my own recipe. Adding baby bella mushrooms is always a good idea, and I blended the white beans to make a creamy sauce to coat the brown rice pasta and vegetables. I make a rosemary white bean dip for appetizer sometimes and love the flavor combination so I thought I would make a rosemary, lemon, white wine, cannellini sauce. It’s a nice feeling knowing everything you are putting in your body is healthy and you’re doing the best for yourself, and making a creamy sauce out of white beans instead of dairy is a great option. It’s lighter and doesn’t weigh you down, yet it’s still a comforting pasta dish.

Mushroom and Spinach Pasta with Rosemary White Bean Sauce

12 oz baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

6 oz bag of baby spinach

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 red onion, diced

1/2 c vegetable broth, low sodium

1/4 c white wine, use the cheap stuff

1 tsp dried rosemary, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb brown rice pasta, TJ’s bag has only brown rice and water, no fillers!

1 lemon, zest and 1/2 juice

few splashes of Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper to taste

vegan parmesan to top

  1. Spray olive oil in a large skillet and saute red onion, mushrooms, spinach, worcestershire, and garlic until tender.
  2. In a high speed blender (I used my Nutribullet) put the beans, veggie broth, rosemary, salt and pepper and blend literally less than a minute until just smooth and thick.
  3. Cook rice pasta very al dente because it will continue to cook when combining.
  4. Add wine to the veggie mixture and cook for a few minutes then add the white bean mixture to make a creamy sauce.
  5. Pour the pasta in to combine, and then add the zest of one lemon, and half of the lemon’s juice.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of veggie parm on top.

    Mushroom and Spinach Pasta with Rosemary White Bean Sauce

    Mushroom and Spinach Pasta with Rosemary White Bean Sauce

Butternut Squash Mac and Garlic Asparagus

Butternut Squash Mac and Asparagus

Mac ‘n cheese was my favorite food growing up so it holds a special place in my heart, however I’m lactose intolerant so it also makes me sick, literally. When I was little I would order it every time we went out to dinner and without a doubt we would have to stop on the side of the road on the way home because I would be sick. My mom claims she didn’t catch on because she didn’t know lactose intolerant was a thing. Apparently so!

I was really looking forward to this meal because I was imagining the creamy, cheesy pasta that I used to love. Of course It can’t actually be cheesy (it’s vegan) and it’s made from veggies and nuts so it wasn’t too creamy either. I think if I renamed this “butternut squash pasta” it would sit a lot better in my mind because it was pretty yummy if you think of it that way! I used whole wheat ziti instead of elbows and I added a splash of almond milk and Worstershire to the sauce in an attempt to make it a little creamier.

Recipe here

On the side I roasted some asparagus with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper for 15-20 minutes on 400*.