This is macaroni and “cheese” is the very best, and it is sooooo crazy easy. There are very few ingredients, but it is all about the stirring. You need to stir this concoction to turn the ingredients into a yummy sauce. We top it with Weetabix cereal because my husband’s mother always put Wheaties on top of macaroni and cheese. It seemed strange to me at first, but now I love it. You can leave off the cereal or substitute bread crumbs.

Boil noodles according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350º. Put noodles in a 8×8 glass baking dish. Add cheese. Stir to distribute cheese. Pour milk over noodles and add butter. Place on the bottom rack. Bake for 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir well. Return to the bottom rack and bake for another 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir well again. All the cheese should have melted into a creamy sauce by now; if not, bake a bit longer. Crush and sprinkle Weetabix over the noodles and bake on the middle rack for an additional 5 minutes.

This makes 6 meal size servings. Each serving contains 319 calories, 14 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, and 8 grams of protein. It reheats nicely in the microwave. Enjoy!

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  • 8 ounces of whole-wheat noodles (uncooked)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups cauliflower, diced into tiny florets
  • 2 cups cucumber, diced
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 6 scallions, diced (I use the bottom 4 inches)
  1. Boil noodles according to package directions, minus a minute or two to keep them al dente.
  2. In a large bowl, place oil, mustard, vinegar, basil, salt, sugar, oregano, and garlic powder. Mix dressing well.
  3. Add chopped veggies and toss.
  4. When noodles are finished, drain and rinse with cold water. Add noodles to veggies and dressing. Mix well.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Makes about 8 cups. Each cup has about 157 calories, 6 grams of fat, .75 grams of saturated fat, and 4.25 grams of protein.

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Everyone needs a good go-to lasagna recipe, right? The vegan version is healthy, low fat, and will appeal to your nonvegan friends. In this recipe, the cashew cheese really adds to the flavor and feel of the lasagna – it is reminiscent of Parmesan cheese. It takes about a half hour to prep and an hour to bake. If you are not a fan of zucchini, you could substitute other veggies or omit.

  • 1 cup of cashew cheese (see recipe here)
  • 2 x 14 ounce packages of extra firm tofu (the refrigerated kind)
  • 6 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dry minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 12 ounce box of whole wheat lasagna noodles (like bionaturae)
  • 2-3 zucchini, sliced and halved
  • 2 x 26 ounce jars of tomato sauce
  1. Prepare cashew cheese. (see recipe here)
  2. Remove tofu from the package and allow the liquid to drain off (no need to press).
  3. To prepare the “ricotta cheese” mixture, place the following ingredients in a large bowl: tofu, nutritional yeast, salt, oregano, dry onion, basil, and lemon juice. Use an immersion blender to mix until the tofu is smoothish, like the consistency of ricotta cheese. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use an electric mixer or food processor.)
  4. Put a large pot of water on to boil.
  5. Microwave sliced zucchini for 2-4 minutes to precook it a bit.
  6. Spread about 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13″ glass baking dish.
  7. Once the water is boiling, as you build the lasagna, boil 4 noodles at a time for 4 minutes. Remove the noodles from the water with tongs and place in a strainer for a few seconds before adding to the lasagna.
  8. Place four boiled noodles on top of the sauce in the 9×13″ dish.
  9. Place a single a layer of zucchini on top of the noodles. Spread about a cup of sauce on top of the zucchini. Using about 1/3 of the “ricotta cheese” mixture, drop small spoonfuls on top of the zucchini/sauce.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  11. Place another layer of 4 boiled noodles, single layer of zucchini, 1 cup sauce, and 1/3 of the “ricotta cheese” mixture.
  12. Place a third layer of 4 boiled noodles, 1 cup sauce, remaining 1/3 of the “ricotta cheese” mixture, and 1/2 of the cashew cheese.
  13. Place last layer of 4 boiled noodles on top. Cover with the remaining sauce.
  14. Cover with foil and bake at 350º for 45 minutes.
  15. After 45 minutes, remove foil, sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cashew cheese on top. Bake an additional 15 minutes uncovered.
  16. Let cool for about 15 minutes before cutting.
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grainball

I found this recipe for vegan meatballs on My Vegan Cookbook. I have no idea if they taste like meatballs, but they are DELICIOUS!  I doubled the recipe and used high heat canola oil instead of olive oil because most olive oils are not meant to be heated (see my post on oils).

  • 1 cup cooked lentils (measured as 1/2 cup uncooked)
  • 2 cup cooked brown rice (measured as 2/3 cup uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dry onion flakes
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons high heat canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon  lemon juice

Put all ingredients in a bowl and use your hands to mix very well. Spray a cookie sheet with high heat canola oil. Take about 2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll it into a ball with your hands. Place on the cookie sheet. (I rinsed my hands a few times between ball rolling because the mixture starts to stick to your hands. Slightly wet hands make rolling easy.) When you are getting close to finishing,  preheat the oven to 300 degrees.   Place into the oven and cook 15 minutes on one side. Turn the balls and cook 15 more minutes. After cooking, let the balls sit for 2-3 minutes and then remove them from the cookie sheet. Cool on a rack. Once cooled, you can refrigerate them for a few days. Microwave for a short time or drop into spaghetti sauce to heat. The balls stay together really well. Makes 24 balls.

I found these “meatballs” to be extremely filling. I can only eat 3 of them, but my rock-climbing/mountain-biking/calorie-buring husband ate 11! One ball has 64 calories, 2.3 g fat, 0 saturated fat, and 2.5 grams of protein. They are very easy to make, but a bit time consuming because you have to boil brown rice and lentils. They are definitely worth the effort.

The “cheesy” topping is our cashew cheese (recipe here).

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cheesesauce

This smoky vegan “cheese” sauce is yummy on noodles and veggies. It tastes like it should be really bad for you, but it is low in fat, high in protein, and full of vitamin B-12 from the nutritional yeast. One quarter of this recipe (a heaping 1/2 cup) has 149 calories, 2.75 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, and 12 grams of protein.

In a sauce pan, mix dry ingredients (yeast, flour, paprika, salt). Add the rest of the ingredients (soy milk, tomato paste, and liquid smoke). Whisk well. Place on low-medium heat (4 out of 10 on my stove). Stir CONSTANTLY with a utensil that allows you to scrape the bottom of the pan. Heat until the mixture thickens and is hot (about 10 minutes). Pour over pasta and sprinkle with a bit more paprika.

To build the delicious meal in the photo, I placed noodles on the plate, added sauteed mushrooms, bits of vegan sausage, and then poured on the cheese sauce – YUM!

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Flavorful Vegan Macaroni Casserole

I love blogs/websites that have photos of food with recipes included. The other night we tried Mariachi Macaroni from myvegancookbook.com, and it had a fabulous flavor!! I am definitely making it again soon.

I followed the recipe almost exactly except I used 3 tablespoons of pine nuts, 1 cup of soy milk, 1 tablespoon of minced dry onion instead of onion powder and grated onion, and NO OIL (avoid cooking with oil).

YUM!

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I have always loved making fresh pesto and veganizing pesto is quite simple.

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)
  • 2 tablespoons of cold pressed unrefined organic extra virgin olive oil

Pull the leaves off the fresh basil and wash very well (basil can be gritty). Put aside in a strainer. Put pine nuts and salt in a food processor and process until smooth. Peel garlic, rinse, and use a garlic press or mince garlic. Add garlic to food processor and mix. Add basil leaves and olive oil and purée. (The basil leaves do not need to be dry, the water on the leaves cuts down on the amount of oil needed.) Process again right before serving to remix, and serve as soon as possible because it may brown as it sits. Do not apply direct heat if you use unrefined oil; to heat add the pesto to hot food.

This recipe will make plenty of pesto for 4 servings of pesto pasta. The pictured very green meal included pesto pasta, fresh steamed asparagus, and avocado.

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Ingredients:

10 ounces of organic 100% whole wheat pasta (bionaturae pasta is excellent)
1 cup raw organic cashews
2 tablespoons of fresh organic lemon juice
3/4 cup water (divided)
1 can of Eden Organic Cannellini (White Kidney) Beans
1 teaspoon of dry mustard
3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of dried minced onion
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of Silk Soy Milk (unsweetened)

Procedure:

  1. Boil noodles and while boiling make the cheese sauce.
  2. Food process cashews until a fine powder.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of water and lemon juice and process.
  4. Pour cashew/water mixture into a bowl.
  5. Rinse and drain beans.
  6. Food process beans and 1/4 cup of water. Process until smooth.
  7. Add mustard, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, minced onion, and salt. Process until well mixed.
  8. Add bean mixture to bowl of cashew mixture.
  9. Add cup of soy milk and cooked/drained noodles to bowl. Stir. (it will seem very soupy, but a lot of the liquid absorbs when you bake it)
  10. Pour into an oven safe dish and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes (no need to preheat – save some electricity).
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