Pesto Soba Noodles with Tofu


Here is a dinner I whipped up last night and wanted to share with y’all because it was just so quick, easy and most importantly, packed with crazy awesome flavor. A while back I scored some buckwheat soba noodles in bulk from Amazon.com and have been using them with stir-frys and curries instead of rice buuuuuut I wanted to try something a little different…and the experiment worked out very well for all tummies involved. 

If you eat oil-free this is definitely NOT the recipe for you as it uses a lot of olive oil but I adore olive oil so yeah, that’s what’s up.

I used my Vitamix for the Pesto because I use my Vitamix for EVERYTHING (I’m obsessed) but a food processor or nutribullet type blendy thing will also work.

Ingredients 

1 package buckwheat Soba noodles

1 cup white mushrooms sliced

1 package organic extra firm tofu, cubed 

2 cups fresh spinach leaves

1 bunch fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup pine nuts, split

4 cloves garlic

1/2 fresh lemon, squeezed 

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt/Pepper to taste
Directions

In a Vitamix or food processor blend the basil, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of the pine nuts, olive oil and garlic on a high setting until well processed and smooth. Set aside.

Boil the Soba noodles according to package, drain and run under a cold water. Set aside.

In a large skillet sautée the mushrooms and tofu in olive oil until the mushrooms are soft and the tofu is lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Switch to low heat and add the spinach and the Pesto sauce, stirring continuously just enough to wilt the spinach and heat the Pesto. Turn off heat, add the Soba noodles and lightly toss until noodles are coated. 

Heat a separate small pan on the stove and add the remaining 1/4 of the pine nuts and dry toast, tossing until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. 

Top the noodles with the toasted pine nuts and grub down in front of some Gilmore Girls.

❤ KA

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Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Mini Pumpkins (V)

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This recipe all started when a girlfriend of mine suggested an evening of Zootopia on Netflix (cute movie) and cooking dinner together. I drew a blank about what I should cook as I had been telling her forever I wanted to cook for her and now I had to put my money where HER mouth was! The heat was on. I asked her what she felt like and she said “something fall.” The wheels got turning. I love fall and fall foods and all things fall. I eye-raided Pinterest for a while but we ended up settling on a recipe she found in a book that featured stuffed mini pumpkins with a baked Caprese-like filling. Needless to say it was bomb.

I starting thinking about all the other things I could stuff pumpkins with. Soup filled pumpkins. Pie stuffed pumpkins. PUMPKIN PIE STUFFED PUMPKINS. Then I remembered that I had been really wanting to make a vegan Shepherd’s Pie. I made a mushroom based one years and years ago that came out awesome, then recently had seen a recipe where they used lentils and have totally been dreaming of how good it would be to have a mushroom AND lentil base. Then I was like…OMG…I could fill a pumpkin with that!

When I make Shepherd’s Pie of any kind, I do a traditional potato crust/topping but going with the fall theme I decided to try it with a sweet potato topping. The result was pretty freakin’ wonderful and I was very excited to share it on here as quickly as possible.

The pumpkins I used were called Wee B Littles. My friend looked them up during our trial run and made sure they were ok for eating. Any mini pumpkin should work as long as it’s good for eating. Obviously. Yeah. Anyway, I found this pumpkin type to be a perfect size and delicious to boot.

It was also filled with lots of seeds which I then roasted and used for a side salad. I made a very simple salad of spinach and sliced apple topped with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and the pumpkin seeds I roasted while I prepped the pumpkins. I seasoned them with salt, pepper and Flavor Gods lemon garlic powder. I highly recommend doing this! It rounded out the meal perfectly. And surprisingly easy to make, except separating the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin guts was a little bit of a pain. WORTH IT.

I anticipate more pumpkin-stuffing before the season is over. I would really like to try a dessert version next so stay tuned. 🙂

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Ingredients

4 small pumpkins

2 large sweet potatoes, baked

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

2 cups white mushrooms, finely chopped

8oz frozen peas and carrots

1 can organic lentils

3 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup Chardonnay

4 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter, split

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary

1/2 cup almond milk

3 tablespoons organic flour

3 tablespoons water

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp paprika

salt/pepper to taste

Extra virgin olive oil

 

Directions

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the tops off the pumpkins, in a circle, with a pumpkin carving knife to make a lid. I scored it four times, on each side, to made it easier before using the pumpkin knife.

Poke holes on the top of the whole sweet potatoes with a fork and set in the oven, directly on the rack to bake while you prep the rest, about 45 minutes.

Clean out pumpkins removing all the “guts” and put aside seeds in a colander for roasting as a side salad topping (optional). After rinsing and cleaning I roasted the seeds for 20 minutes on a pan sprayed with coconut oil. After 20 minutes I took them out, topped with seasoning and a little more spray of oil and then stuck it back in for 10 more minutes.

Use a generous amount of olive oil to rub on the inside AND outside of the cleaned pumpkins, including the lid. Place the four pumpkins in a baking dish, including lids. I used a pyrex casserole baking dish. Set pumpkins aside.

In a large saucepan sauté the onions in olive oil until they start to become translucent. Add mushrooms and sauté until they soften. Add the frozen peas/carrots and sauté until no longer frozen.

Add the Chardonnay and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring.

Lower heat and add lentils, vegetable broth, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cover with lid and let simmer about 25 minutes.

Combine the 3 tablespoons water with the 3 tablespoons of flour until it makes a thin paste.

Remove lid and stir in two tablespoons Earth Balance and the water/flour mixture. Let simmer another 5-10 minutes until it thickens a little to a thin gravy consistency. If still too thin you can add more water/flour mixture.

Fill the pumpkins with the sauce and veggie mixture about 2/3rd’s full. Bake for 30 minutes.

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Remove the skin from the baked sweet potatoes and put the rest into a bowl. Add the remaining Earth Balance and the almond milk. Mash with a fork until fluffy. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Remove pumpkins from oven and top with the mashed sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the tops with paprika. Bake for an additional 5-7 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve with a healthy side salad topped with your roasted pumpkins seeds. Receive much love from the people you serve this dish. Thank me lots. 🙂

❤ KA

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Test Run: Vegan Tex Mex Pizza (V)

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A neat tradition kind of just happened in my household. Monday has become homemade pizza night. Every Monday night I have made a totally different homemade pizza. I literally NEVER EVER over delivery pizza anymore since I started making my own. It all started with the Sardine pizza https://kitchenaudacity.wordpress.com/2016/08/02/sardine-pizza-aka-the-best-pizza-ever/, and since then there have been several different pizzas…from goat cheese/arugula to clam. I have been wanting to do a totally vegan one for a while now, to see if I can make a pizza that is both delicious and totally meat/dairy free. This was my first attempt. I give it a 7 out of 10. It was pretty darn good but here is what I would have done differently next time, which is totally my own personal taste…

1.) I wouldn’t have used the southwest Daiya flavor dairy-free cheese. I actually like the mozzarella and cheddar Daiya flavors but I did not like the southwest. It was something to do with the spices. It had a weird flavor to me that distracted me from the rest of the flavors. FLAVOR OVERDOSE.

2.) I would have used a regular red enchilada sauce over the sauce I used so that’s what I will recommend in the directions!

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Otherwise, it was pretty dope. Here is what I used:

  • Vegan pizza dough of choice. (here is a SUPER easy one. http://www.food.com/recipe/vegan-pizza-dough-10579)
  • 1/2 cup red enchilada sauce ( I actually used Frontera Ancho Pepper Adobo sauce but will be using regular enchilada sauce next time as the flavor was a little bitter for my taste also TOO MANY FLAVORS)
  • 1 bag Daiya vegan cheese
  • 1/2 cup organic sweet corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • small can diced green chiles
  • Cilantro to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll pizza dough out on a non-stick pizza pan, or any non-stick round or square pan.

Spread on enchilada sauce and half the bag of vegan cheese. Next top with corn, black beans, olives, green chiles and tomatoes. Top with the rest of the cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until crust gets golden brown.

Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then top with sliced avocado, cilantro and hot sauce. Make it look real pretty. Stuff your face.

I will be making a vegan pizza again soon, totally different flavor and will post it until I freaking PERFECT it! 🙂

xoxoxo

KA

Quickie Bolognese (w veggie option)

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This sauce happened when I went to grab my usual jar of Whole Foods brand pasta sauce and then was like “No no…you’re better than this. Not like, a lot better, but better enough.” Instead I grabbed a can of crushed tomatoes and figured i’d start there. I ended of throwing together a pretty damn good “pressed for time” sauce that took about 30 minutes to make yet had big homemade flavor. I felt much better about ditching that pre-bottled stuff.

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I made mine with organic ground turkey but I added enough chunky veggies that I believe this sauce would be equally bomb and hearty without the meat, so simply omit it if you swing that way. Either way, this simple sauce is PACKED with vitamin rich veggies.

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Ingredients:

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes (with or without basil)

1.2 6 oz can tomato paste

1 yellow onion chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups white mushrooms, lightly chopped

2 cups raw spinach

1 pound organic turkey meat (if desired)

1 cup sliced black olives

Spices: salt, pepper, oregano

Olive Oil

Directions:

Add some olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic until lightly browned. Add mushrooms and turkey if using meat. Cook until turkey is browned or mushrooms start to soften (about 10 minutes). Add spinach to mixture.

Pour in the can of crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and mix until blended. Add black olives and spices to taste.

Lower heat and simmer about 15 minutes.

Serve over your fav pasta. I almost ALWAYS use this TINKYADA brand brown rice pasta when I need my pasta and I always undercook a couple minutes cause i’m about that al dente life. You can get it at Whole Foods or Thrive Market.

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xoxoxo

KA