Vegan Mac and Cheese 101

Happy Valentine’s Day! Even if you are alone today, make the most of it. Do something kind for yourself! Make time for you! Paint your toenails, take a nap, or make some vegan mac and cheese 😉

Vegan Mac and Cheese with Squash and Spinach

makes two servings

Ingredients:

2 servings of your pasta of choice

1/4 C Earth Balance

1/4 C Unsweetened Plain Soymilk

1 C Vegetable Broth

2Tbsp + 1 Tsp Flour

3/4 C Nutritional Yeast

1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 Tsp Onion Powder

1/2 of a Yellow Squash, cut into cubes

1 C of Raw Spinach

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Boil water for your pasta, and cook according to package instructions. The choice of pasta shape is crucial here! You want to buy a shape that holds onto sauce really well. I usually use elbows, fusilli, or gobletti. While your water is boiling and your pasta is cooking, melt the Earth Balance in a sauce pan. In a small bowl, mix together flour and soymilk until all clumps are gone. Add to melted Earth Balance. Add the vegetable broth and stir well. Mix in nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and onion powder. Continue to stir occasionally as the sauce thickens. In a frying pan, saute cubed squash in olive oil until just cooked (the white middle will become translucent). Add spinach and continue to saute until spinach is lightly cooked. Once your sauce has reached desired thickness, pour in drained, cooked pasta and cooked veggies. Combine everything and enjoy!

[NOTE: If you have a lot of time or have anything against garlic powder or onion powder, put 2 cloves of garlic and a chopped half of an onion into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add this before you add the flour soymilk mixture and saute on low heat for a few minutes. However, you will get better texture with the powder that the whole vegetables. ]

I am obsessed with this meal. I make it at least once a week, normally. I would advise not eating this if you have a date coming up, as it does have a lot of garlic and onion. However, sometimes you just have to make sacrifices 😉 This cheese sauce is creamy, gooey, and absolutely delicious over pasta and vegetables. It’s really good poured over broccoli, and makes a great addition to a creamy potato-based soup. I usually add in a little cayenne and salt and pepper to give this sauce some more pizzazz.

Memorize this recipe and use it often. And treat yourself to some as-good-as-the-real-thing vegan mac and cheese this V-day 🙂

Lasagna Roll-Ups with Tofu Ricotta

I feel like since I’ve been focusing so much on fitness and getting my butt to the gym as much as possible, I’ve kind of fallen off the wagon in terms of putting good fuel in my body (all the chocolate I’ve been eating doesn’t exactly help…) So for the rest of the week I need to make a conscious effort to start my days with green monsters and to keep the fruit and veggies plentiful. To initiate this shift of focus, I made Lasagna Roll-ups for dinner. What’s a lasagna roll-up, you ask? It’s exactly what it sounds like. A single lasagna noodle slathered in sauce, tofu ricotta, and veggies, and rolled up into a beautiful manicotti-type concoction.

Lasagna Roll-ups with Tofu Ricotta

makes two servings

Ingredients:

4 Lasagna Noodles

8 Tbsp Pasta Sauce

1/2 Block of Extra Firm Tofu

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tsp Garlic Powder

Salt and Pepper, to taste

4 Quarter-Inch Thick Slices of Eggplant, Chopped

6 White Mushrooms, chopped

1 Cup Raw Spinach

 

Boil water and cook lasagna noodles until soft. Most boxes will give directions for lasagna that will be baked once cooked in boiling water. I about doubled the time that it said to boil the noodles, but keep a close eye on them. Meanwhile, press tofu and then, over a bowl, squeeze the tofu and mush it all up with your fingers until no large chunks remain. Once your tofu is “ricotta consistency”, add olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and combine well. In a frying pan, saute chopped mushrooms, eggplant, and spinach. Once pasta is cooked, lay out each individual noodle and top with 2 Tbsp of Pasta Sauce. Spread it over most of the pasta, leaving 1-2 inches of each noodle bare at one end.

Top with tofu ricotta, about 2 Tbsp of the mixture for each noodle, and saute’d veggies.

Starting at the end that does not have the 1-2 inches of bare pasta, roll up the lasagna. If your pasta is still a little underdone, microwave for about 40 seconds, and dig in!

I love this recipe, because you get all the joy of lasagna (yes, joy) without having to make ten servings in a casserole dish.

Almost any vegetables would work well with these. They’d also be really delicious with a layer of vegan pesto spread on before the tomato sauce.

Two of these rolls make a satisfying meal, and I made two extra to take for lunch tomorrow (with some extra sauce and ricotta) 🙂

I went to spinning three days in a row this week, so I am so looking forward to a rest day tomorrow!