Tag Archives: Veganomicon

Pumpkin Lasagna with a Creamy Basil Sauce

This dish was inspired by a few butternut squash recipes that we’ve made in the past (butternut squash lasagna and cheesy butternut squash stuffed shells). But I succumbed to internet peer pressure and used pumpkin in place of the butternut squash. The result was a comforting pumpkin lasagna with creamy basil sauce.

Pumpkin Lasagna with a Creamy Basil Sauce -Luminous Vegans

I used canned pumpkin in this because (insert myriad of reasons here: I was lazy, I’m scared of hacking into pumpkins, I didn’t have a pumpkin on hand but I had cans of it, me and canned pumpkin go way back…). But by using canned pumpkin along with pre-made tofu ricotta and cashew cheese and no-boil lasagna sheets, we had an amazingly rich and comforting meal with very little effort. And those are the kind of meals I love.

Pumpkin Lasagna with a Creamy Basil Sauce -Luminous Vegans

Creamy Pumpkin Basil Lasagna

Ingredients

Pumpkin Filling

  • 1-2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 15oz cans of pureed organic pumpkin
  • 2 tbs vegan broth concentrate (I used this stuff)
  • 1/4 cup cashew cheese (recipe here)

Pumpkin-Basil Sauce

  • 2 tbs vegan margarine
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 tbs pumpkin leftover in can
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of basil leaves

Other stuffs

  • 2-2 1/2 cups of tofu ricotta (I used Isa’s recipe in Veganomicon. Don’t have Veganomicon? Just google “tofu ricotta” and pick a recipe that looks good!)
  • 5 square sheets of no-boil lasagna (I can’t remember which I used but it came with its own little baking tin)
  • oil, salt and pepper

Directions

For the pumpkin filling, saute the garlic in a little oil until the garlic just softens over medium heat. Add in the pumpkin, broth concentrate and cashew cheese and stir to incorporate everything. Taste it and add salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat.

For the pumpkin-basil sauce, melt the margarine in a pot over medium heat. Then mix in the flour to make a roux to help thicken the sauce. Once the margarine and flour are incorporated (it’s okay if it’s a little clumpy), slowly whisk or stir in the non-dairy milk. The sauce should thicken (see this post for pics). Next, incorporate the pumpkin and salt and pepper to taste. Take about 1/2 of the sauce and blend it with the basil leaves. Pour this back into the pot with the portion without basil. Sauce is done.

Now just assemble everything. Make the layers however you wish. I think I did sauce, noodles, pumpkin, tofu ricotta, sauce. Just make sure to save enough sauce to pour on top, otherwise some of the no-boil lasagna edges might come out a little chewy.  I also crumbled more tofu ricotta on top. Then follow the cooking directions on the no-boil lasagna. I think we baked ours at 400F for about 40 minutes mostly covered with foil until the end.

Pumpkin Lasagna with a Creamy Basil Sauce -Luminous Vegans

Layers upon layers of creamified pumpkin with sweet basil!

What’s been your favorite way to use pumpkin this fall so far? Are you sick of pumpkin or do you want it all day err’day?

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Eggplant Lasagna with Ricotta and Cashew Cheese

This dish was totes inspired by my desire to start liking eggplant. I don’t hate eggplant. But if someone said–here, you can have this eggplant for dinner or you can have this *insert almost any other plant here*.  I would no doubt choose the other plant.eggplantlasagna-7588-1 Part of my indifference to eggplant is that I just don’t know what to do with the big purple bulby plant. So my first, yes first, foray into cooking with it was to make the most clichéd eggplant-y dish ever. Cheesy eggplant lasagna. This dish is stacks on stacks of earthy, tender eggplant with basil ricotta, cashew cheese and tomato marinara sauce stuffed in between. A crusty layer of panko crumbs offers a nice textural contrast to the tender eggplant. eggplantlasagna-7521-2 Since I already had my cashew cheese made and used store bought marinara sauce, it wasn’t too difficult or time consuming to put this together.  And layering lasagna is always fun!

eggplantlasagna-7544-3

Eggplant Lasagna with Ricotta and Cashew Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • about 5 1/4 cups of tofu ricotta (I did 1.5X the basil-ricotta recipe in Isa’s Veganomicon. Don’t have Veganomicon? Just google “tofu ricotta” and pick a recipe that looks good!)
  • 1/2 cup of cashew cheese
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • oil (for sauteeing eggplant)
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce
  • panko bread crumbs for sprinkling on top
  • 3 tomato slices (optional)

eggplantlasagna-7477-1

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare the tofu ricotta. Stir the cashew cheese and spinach leaves into the ricotta. Next slice the eggplant lengthwise into thin layers. In a pan lightly coated with oil, cook the eggplant slices until lightly browned and mostly soft on each side (~5 minutes each side). Now it’s time to layer everything in a 2.2 qt glass baking dish (7×11). This is how I did the layers: marinara on the bottom, eggplant, ricotta-cashew cheese, eggplant, ricotta-cashew cheese, marinara, eggplant, ricotta-cashew cheese, eggplant, lots of marinara and panko bread crumbs. eggplantlasagna-7573-5 Then I placed three slices of tomatoes brushed with a little oil on top. I baked this for 30 minutes covered with foil and then about another 30 minutes without foil. Cooking times may vary depending on your oven and how thick your eggplants are sliced. I checked the tenderness by sticking a bamboo skewer in the eggplant slices. I considered it done when the skewer easily went through all the layers. eggplantlasagna-7593-6 Was this dish enough to change my mind about eggplant? Well I bought another purple beauty this week and I’ve got my mind set on some eggplant fries.

What’s your favorite way to cook eggplant?

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Single stale bread ISO ripe bananas

We are both busy people. So busy that the food in our kitchen sometimes goes rogue. Take last weekend for example. A partially eaten loaf of bread and a pair of bananas in my kitchen were scheming to rot their way to mold and un-eatability. Luckily, we swooped in and had us an intervention.

This is the almost rogue, stale bread. I sliced sawed it into 1 inch thick slices and then quartered them.

I used my Vitamix to blend:  1 cup of almond milk, 1/2 cup cashew cream, 2 ripe bananas, 1 flaxseed egg (1 tbs of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tbs of water), a 1/4 cup of maple syrup, a 1/4 cup of agave, 1 tsp of vanilla and a dash of cinnamon.

I poured this sweet concoction over the bread.

I let the bread soak in the liquid for about 30 minutes. That bread needed to be taught a lesson.

I stirred in about 1 cup of chocolate chips and then used an ice scream scooper to scoop the bread soup into muffin tins. There was extra liquid leftover.

I baked it for about 30-40 minutes at 350 until they looked like this.

So, I was hoping for nice little portable bread pudding muffins, but they were way too gooey for that especially with the homemade icing (powdered sugar, vanilla and milk) on top. They tasted good…but dare I say they were *gasp* too sweet!

This is the inside. Nope, no more rogue. Looks like the intervention worked.

This “recipe” needs work for sure. I would most definitely reduce the sweetener in the liquid next time, and if I’m saying that, trust me, it’s a little too sweet.

Later that night, I decided to have my bread puffins with almond-coconut milk to help offset the sweetness.

I poured about a cup of  it over the deconstructed bread puffins and THIS was the winning combo!!

Can’t go wrong with bananas, chocolate and almond/coconut milk. That’ll teach that bread to go rogue all up in my kitchen!

This experiment was inspired by Veganshiela’s banana bread muffins and Isa’s bread pudding in Veganomicon.

Pineapple Quinoa

Akin to my mom’s Thai pineapple stir fried rice dish, Isa’s (from Veganomicon) pineapple quinoa dish is a palate pleaser with its toasty cashews, juicy pineapple bits, peas and blend of spices (buy the book to find out what they are!). The quinoa adds the perfect texture to each and every bite. Served with a grilled slab of tofu drizzled with homemade peanut satay sauce…..my mom’s Thai dish may have a serious contender.

Cholent Stew

On this cold and blustery winter’s day, the Cholent recipe from Veganomicon was the perfect comfort food full of TVP chunks, chunky cuts of vegetables, and legumes galore! The total time for this meal, from the moment my knife hit the cutting board to the minute we sat down to enjoy it was only 45 minutes (much of which was just the stew merrily simmering away on its own while I took a warm shower and relaxed)….just as Isa promised. We had it with toasty pieces of pita. Oh yum!

The Chickpea Cutlet Post

Oh yeah! I was inspired by a recent post by The Ruby Red Vegan (and countless other bloggers who have already made this) to make the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon. We had it with the mushroom gravy (also from Veganomicon), some sweet mashed ‘taters and some sweet peas. It was like the holidays all over again, which by the way I am really sad to let go of. I am definitely keeping a marker on the chickpea cutlet page because it was really easy to make and so different from any kind of fake meat product I’ve ever had and it was sooooo good! Happy New Year!

Vietnamese Subs

When I attended NCSU, there was a place right off campus that served veg*n Vietnamese subs that were out of this world and I would eat them at least once a week. So I was sooo stoked to find a recipe for this in my new copy of Veganomicon (which by the way, is quickly getting used and marked up with comments and post-its to hold the place of future recipes I want to try).

Homemade seitan strips (Seitan cutlet recipe from Veganomicon), pan fried with a sprinkle of sugar for some caramelization (pic is pre-fry)….

+ other sandwich fillings of your choice….

+ homemade french bread (+Vegenaise if you so desire) = a really good and filling sandwich!!

There is also a dipping sauce for the sammich so you dunk and eat, but I didn’t take a pic of it. It was good though, you’ll just have to trust me 🙂 Also, the seitan from Veganomicon is easily hands down the best seitan I’ve ever had and it was pretty easy to make.

Happy Holidays

Ah finally…..this past Saturday I decided to temporarily put away the work that has been keeping me busy for so long and not think about it or look at it until after the holidays. Because of my craziness with work it was hard to plan a trip home in advance, so we decided to have a quiet Christmas at home. This meant I finally got a chance to get back in here….

… and have a little holiday fun! For Christmas Eve dinner, I made an un-chicken pot pie that I found here. I followed the recipe pretty closely and the results were fantastic.

Here it is in the gorgeous casserole dish that Hsauce’s mom MADE for us. Yes, I said made! She is a potter and she made us a complete dinnerware set, so now our foods have beautiful plates to sit on!

The pot pie wasn’t super pretty once scooped out, but it was damn tasty! That night we also made gingerbread cookies from the ppk.

Our icing didn’t come out as we wanted, so the decorations are a little funky but we still had fun with it. It was the first time we had ever used piping bags (i.e. cut up ziploc bags) to pipe on icing.


Can you spot the gingerbread man that belongs in a horror movie?

…it’s the one with 2 heads!

On Christmas morning (this morning), after opening gifts (more on that later), Hsauce cooked me brunch: French toast, vegan sausage links from Publix (which Lori from The Pleasantly Plump Vegan gave me the heads up on, thanks!), and some figs.

Tonight we had lasagna with tofu ricotta cheese, un-beef crumbles, and Follow Your Heart mozzarella with garlic bread sticks. A yummy comfort food dish.

For dessert, a yummy pumpkin cheesecake which I made using this recipe. It didn’t really have a cheesecakey taste to it though. It was more like straight up pumpkin pie, but it was really good and I would make it again for sure!

Overall, we had a very nice and quiet little holiday, just us and the dogs (if you’re curious to see all our other holiday related pics, go here). Oh, and back to those gifts I mentioned. I got two very special vegan related gifts. I got a copy of Veganomicon from Hsauce’s parents!!! Yay! I am so thrilled to finally be able to make some of the yummy things I keep seeing on people’s blogs. And Hsauce got me a copy of Making a Killing: The Political Economy of Animal Rights by Bob Torres, another vegan/animal rights book I have been eyeing.

We had a wonderful holiday and we hope everybody else did too!

Nikko says Happy Holidays! She also says, don’t mess with her new toy from Santy Claus!