Vegan Iron Chef Ty: a self imposed challenge

Published April 27, 2012 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

This challenge came about because the basil that I had intended to use for Thursday’s meal was dead in the fridge by Wednesday. Of course, if I had read the instructions on the hydroponic packaging first, I wouldn’t have put it in the fridge, but rather in a glass of water on the counter as suggested, but hindsight is 20/20. RECIPE AT THE END! : )

So… enter Thursday, the weekend approaching and produce that still needed using up. I decided a pasta dish was in order and this is what I had to work with…

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I decided to bake the tofu in the 1/2 jar of marinara sauce I had left over. Since I found sprouted, pre-pressed tofu, I’ve been using it almost exclusively as a time saver. I simply cut it into squares, tossed them in the sauce and baked for 20 minutes.

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I was out of garlic, so I used some shallots and red onions as my base for a from scratch sauce. I used a little red wine to deglaze the pot.

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Here the fresh tomatoes go in with a bunch of spices…

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I added some frozen, chopped spinach at the very end of the sauce. Just a few minutes to heat through, but so that it stays nice and bright.

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And here is everyone in, and tossed around to thoroughly combine.

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Angel Hair w/ Tofu, Spinach & Greenbeans

8 oz package of thin pasta of choice, cooked al dente according to instructions
1/2 lb of green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces, added to cooking pasta for last 6-7 minutes!

1/2 jar of marinara sauce
1 block of pressed tofu, firm or extra firm

Olive oil for misting pot
1 shallot, chopped finely
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
2 large tomatoes, chopped
Splash of red wine, optional (I used some cabernet)

1/2 tsp. of garlic powder (I was out of fresh!)
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. of thyme
pinch of rosemary
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper
crushed red pepper for heat

~1 c. of crushed tomatoes
1-2 c. of chopped frozen spinach

Directions:

1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 400*F. Pour half of jar sauce into a baking dish. (An 8×8 or glass pie dish works great!) Add tofu squares and cover with remaining sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20-30 minutes. (I baked for 20 minutes and turned off the toaster oven, and just let it sit until I was ready.)

2. (Set your pasta water to boil!) Mist a medium pot with olive oil and raise to medium heat. Add shallots and onions, and cook for about 5 minutes, until golden and softened. (If you have some garlic, add a clove or two, minced here! I was out!) Pour in a splash of red wine if using, and let it cook off for a minute or two.

3. Add tomatoes and spices of your liking, and cover to simmer for 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer until pasta is almost ready. Mix in the frozen chopped spinach a few minutes before the pasta is done.

4. Add green beans to cooking pasta for last 6-7 minutes. Drain, return to pot, add sauce, and tofu and sauce and combine well. Top with nutritional yeast and/or vegan parm. Enjoy!

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Result:

This was pretty good! Still got a nice, fresh tasting dish, even with some of the jar sauce mixed in. The baked tofu gave it a nice mozzarella type feel, and the green beans cooked up perfectly. Yum!

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