Vegan Spasagna

In my family its a tradition that on your birthday you get to go to the restaurant of choice. I think this ‘tradition’ has been around since we were old enough to pick somewhere other than McDonad’s or Pizza Hut. When I was younger I always wanted to go to Cheddars. Its your standard American chain restaurant with huge portions and a dessert called the ‘cookie monster’ which was a chocolate chip cookie baked in an iron skillet, topped with ice cream and eaten until you burst. But thats another post. Today is about the Spasagna. This was always my favorite. Maybe just because of the name.

My theme so far this month has been comfort like food. Hot, easy, really filling stuff. We have a white board in our house with ideas for meals and I added spasagna yesterday and its already been made. It called to me. So did the pound of opened angel hair pasta in the cupboard. This was really easy and very well received by the rest of the occupants of the blue house (I even got the highest compliment, a “better than mom’s”). This uses the cashew ricotta from Veganomicon, so if for some reason you don’t have this vegan cooking bible ride out into any unsavory weather and get it.

Vegan SpasagnaI sauteed some greens and red bell pepper to mix with the white sauce but any veggies would work (or none at all). Next time I want to try mushrooms.

Spasagna

1 lb. long pasta – spaghetti or angel hair

1/2 lb. greens, deribbed and chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 recipe cashew ricotta from Veganomicon

(When making the ricotta add 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast, 1/3 c. soy milk and 3/4 tsp. arrowroot)

1 lg. can or jar of tomato sauce or 4 c. homemade sauce

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray or oil a 9×13 pan. Cook pasta according to directions, when done rinse briefly with cold water. Begin sauteing vegetables in a little oil. Make cashew ricotta. Once veggies are soft take off heat and cool slightly before adding the ricotta. Mix together pasta and cream sauce, make sure to use a big bowl or pot. Spread half the tomato sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with all the pasta mixture. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce on top and bake for 30-40 minutes, until hot. Allow to rest for 10 minutes so everything can set.

Modifying is kind of like Inventing

I am in love with tempeh once again. I tried it once when I first went vegan and did not love it. I don’t remember exactly what I made with it (probably soup since I was broke and you can get a lot of food out of soup) but I was not in love. I have since amended that opinion. Nick made pasta one night with tempeh crumbled in and hey, not bad.

Then a few nights ago we made sushi with tempeh. Once again, pretty good. But I am in love with tempeh after the gingered tempeh pasta salad at our coop. When we bought some I made sure to save the lid to try to figure out my own recipe. Well there are easier ways – like the internet. So I looked up the recipe changed it to make a hot pasta sauce and voilá.

Ginger Tempeh Sauce

2 tbsp. tamari
1/3 c. peanut butter
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. sumac
1/4 c. fresh ginger – finely chopped
1/2 c. water
1/2 block of tempeh – lightly simmered and mashed (ours had venenaise in it from sushi)

Heat in saucepan until homogenized
Serve on top of linguine, rotini, rice noodles, eat with a spoon. Doesn’t matter. I also threw in some steamed broccoli and zucchini so I could feel better. I like green things.

Obama for the Win!!!

Victory tastes sweet. This is the first election where my vote got my candidate the win. Its nice to actually celebrate on election night. Which we did with rummy root beer floats. And a new drink called a lumberjack, which I will not be having again. It consisted of gin, SoCo, apple brandy, and maple syrup. Its like a shot of pancakes. There were also VWaV raspberry chocolate chip blondies made with homemade raspberry jam. 

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Blondies

Raspberry Jam

Plus my sweetheart and I made lasagna with the soyrizo and teese I got on my care package. There were also olives, baby bella mushrooms, and red peppers in there.

Lasagna