Linguini Marinara with Cauliflower

To prep ahead of time, you can chop cauliflower into small pieces and cook noodles (I used whole wheat linguine). On the day you’ll be serving it, heat a small amount of oil in a pan on high heat. Put in the cauliflower, stir, and saute until cauliflower is starting to brown, adding a generous amount of Mrs. Dash Chicken (according the the container, it includes no sugar or chicken) about halfway through. Add enough marinara sauce for both the cauliflower and noodles, stir, and turn down the heat. Add the noodles and stir until everything is heated.

The little ones all kept telling me how good it was! This dish required no prompting to eat. I probably should have removed their white shirts, though. Catboy put sriracha in his, with yummy results. The leftovers went in the fridge for a different day and was good the second time!

Let me know if you make this–I’d love to see how others like it!

Mediterranean Vegan Lasagna for the freezer

I love the idea of spending one day cooking–perhaps following Once A Month Meals’ plans–and then just turning on the oven for the rest of the week/month with no worries about babysitting the stovetop, chopping veggies, or otherwise spending time in the kitchen. I haven’t been able to spend a whole day cooking, nor do I have a large freezer, so I just cook when I can and try to make enough for leftovers.

I tried the Mediterranean Vegan Lasagna because Catboy has been interested in Greek culture ever since he discovered the Percy Jackson book series. He usually doesn’t like bell peppers or onions, and to be honest, neither do I. But ever since I went vegan (rather than vegetarian) a few months ago, I’ve made a point to try new foods and really give them a fair chance. To get the flavor and texture I like best, I cooked the onions and peppers a little longer than it said and barely cooked the zucchini cubes. I ended up having to cook the pasta and veggies on one day, assemble it another and stick it in the fridge, then bake one after a couple hours of freezing.

I couldn’t find whole wheat lasagna noodles so I let Catboy choose his whole wheat pasta of choice: linguini. I used half a box for the recipe (rest for another dish). Instead of using an oily pesto and spending money on fresh basil, I went with dried basil and nutritional yeast. I think the nutritional yeast and the Daiya Mozzarella style shreds (I used 1.5 cups) went well together. For the marinara sauce, I with with my standby, Hunt’s Garlic and Herb pasta sauce.

The little ones haven’t tried it yet, but Catboy enjoyed his. I thought it was quite tasty, and would like to try it with a different pasta shape–if not lasagna noodles, perhaps bowties or shells. Maybe I could even do a stuffed shells-type casserole based on this recipe…

Do you have a dedicated day of the month for food prep?

Spaghetti with Avocado Cream Sauce

For dinner, I went with Vegan Yak Attack‘s Avocado Mac‘s sauce (no elbows or bacon). I realized I only had 88 grams of avocado in the freezer to use (I had 3/4 avocado, not 3/4 cup). According to my web search, 3/4 cup avocado would be 112.5 grams. So I looked around and decided on peas to make up the rest of the weight. Peas are a good source of protein, so they’d cut back on the calories from fat while still being a substantial sauce. I also used apple cider vinegar, red miso, soy sauce instead of aminos, and 1 teaspoon mustard powder instead of 2 teaspoons Dijon.

The sauce was super easy to put together. All I had to do was throw everything in my blender. I used the single serve cup from my Ninja and it was perfect. I didn’t defrost the avocado or peas all the way, but it did fine. I thought it tasted great; Catboy did not and Hunny Bunny reported disliking it before she even tried it. Catboy described it as too tangy, sour, and bland. I liked the tangy, slightly spicy, creamy flavor. I think it would be good with some diced or sun-dried tomatoes.

I had it over spaghetti squash; whole wheat noodles for the kids (they had both noodles together). I pierced and oven roasted the spaghetti squash hours ahead of time, then carefully sliced it open and let it cool for about an hour before removing seeds and serving. I think this works really well, if I’m able to plan ahead and be home for it. It would probably work to do it days ahead of time and keep it in the fridge before de-seeding (seeding?) and scraping out the noodles.