You might look at the name of this recipe, or the photo and think you haven't got time to make this, but you'd be wrong! With a food processor and using wholewheat square wraps instead of pasta this can be on the table inside an hour! This is in regular weeknight rotation in our house and everyone always wants seconds! 🙂
Recipe type: Main
4 square wholewheat wraps, cut into ¼ to make 16 squares
1 500g jar pasta tomato & basil style sauce
1 slice wholemeal bread, torn into pieces
¼ cup walnut pieces
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
½ tsp salt
350g baby spinach
350g firm plain tofu, broken into pieces
1 shallot / very small onion, chopped
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Italian herbs mix
½ tsp salt
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Place the topping ingredients into your food processor and pulse until you have a regular crumb with no large pieces. Tip into a bowl and set aside.
Place the baby spinach into a large bowl and cover with boiling water, pushing it down so all the leaves are submerged.
Take your lasagne dish and pour about ⅓ of the jar of sauce over the bottom and tilt the dish so there is an even cover across the whole surface.
Tip the spinach leaves and water into a colander over the sink, and run cold water over the spinach. Taking handfuls at a time, squeeze as much as the water out as you can, then roughly chop each handful into a few pieces, break up the clumps, and pop into the food processor (no need to clean out after breadcrumbs).
Place all the other filling ingredients into the food processor with the spinach and pulse until it is well mixed and in tiny pieces, but not a puree.
Take one square of wholewheat wrap, spoon 1 heaped tablespoon (about the size of a golf ball – around 35-40g in weight) of filling along one side. Roll up to create a sausage shape and place it in a corner of the dish. Keep going until you have used up all the filling and your dish is packed full.
Pour the rest of the sauce over the top of the rolls and make sure all the bread is covered.
Sprinkle the topping over the rolls and bake for 30 minutes. Cover with foil during the last 10
minutes if your breadcrumb topping is starting to catch.
I’ve always loved cannelloni, but filing those little dried pasta tubes is very fiddly and time consuming! This one uses wholewheat lasagne sheets, and a light and tasty tofu kale filling, baked in a rich tomato sauce and topped with crispy breadcrumbs. Simple enough for a family dinner but good enough for company too! Also another great way to get kale into your children!
1 small onion (slightly larger than a golf ball size) finely diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
4-6 wholemeal lasagne sheets (I used instant variety)
375g of your favourite oil free Bolognese / tomato & basil style pasta sauce, a jar or homemade - (or a can of chopped tomatoes, blended with 1 tsp garlic granules, 1 tsp onion granules, 1 T tomato paste & 1 tsp sugar until smooth, then stir in 1 tsp dried Italian herbs).
1 slices wholemeal bread
¼ cup walnuts
1 T nutritional yeast
½ tsp salt
1 tsp grated lemon zest
De-stem the kale, roughly chop and simmer in large pot of boiling water for 8 mins until softened.
Rinse under cold water, take handfuls, firmly squeeze out the water and then slice each handful into 4-5 pieces.
Meanwhile, fry the onion and garlic in a small pan over a gentle heat with a splash of water until softened.
Mix the soy milk, miso, mustard and salt together in a small bowl
Put the tofu in a food processor and pulse a couple of times, before adding the kale, dill, walnuts, nutritional yeast, soy milk mixture and the onion and garlic mixture. Pulse until it is breadcrumb like, not so much that it becomes a green paste! Remove the blade and this is now ready for your lasagne sheets.
NB: If you don’t have a food processor, mash the tofu with a fork until like breadcrumbs, finely chop the kale and thoroughly mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
Bring a large wide pan of water to the boil.
Prepare a lasagne style baking dish by lining it with half of your tomato sauce.
Boil each sheet of lasagne separately for 4 minutes, pop into a bowl of cold water or run under the cold tap; remove to a chopping board. As each one is done you can start layering your cannelloni dish, or cook them all ahead of time and layer between baking paper to prevent them sticking together. If storing in the fridge, wrap in cling film so they don’t dry out.
Heat the oven to 180 o Centigrade.
Take a lasagne sheet and cut it in half across the long side (i.e making two rectangles, not long skinny strips). Take one piece and scoop up approximately 2-3 tablespoons of the filling and arrange it in a tube shape across the lasagne, then roll up. The two edges should overlap by about 1-2 cms, so use this as your guide to how much to put in!
Place your cannelloni tube in the sauce at one side of your dish.
Keep this going as your boil your sheets, cut, fill, roll and place.
Pack them snugly against each other. You should need 4-6 full lasagne sheets, making 8-12 cannelloni before you use all your filling and they ideally will just fill up your dish. You may need to cut the last one in half to fill up the gap in the corner. Mine looked like this:
I used 5 sheets, so 10 cannelloni.
Pour the rest of the sauce over the cannelloni.
For the breadcrumb topping, put all the ingredients in a food processor or small chopper, process until breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the cannelloni.
Place in the oven for 25 minutes or until breadcrumbs crisp and sauce is bubbling. If breadcrumbs are browning too quickly, cover the dish with a sheet of foil.
This is a game changer. I’ve tried making many many pestos without oil over the years and been mainly disappointed. The essential oil in basil it seems has to blend with some other kind of oil to be drawn effectively from the leaves and the pine nuts / cashews didn’t seem to be enough. The liquid which comes from red peppers (capsicums for the Aussies reading) is a funny oily kind of substance which I thought might work. So happy I was right. You have to try this. 🙂
4 small / 3 medium / 2 large red peppers / capsicums
1 large bunch basil (or use 2 if they're smaller like supermarket bunches)
2-3 tablespoons raw pine nuts or cashew pieces
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 garlic clove
½ - 1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
Wash your peppers well, then place stalk-up on a baking tray lined with baking paper (bring the paper up over the sides as you want to catch any escaping juices).
Wash your basil, then pluck off all the good leaves (not blackened / bruised) and tender stalk tips and put them in your food processor
Add the nooch, garlic - sliced, and salt
After about 20 minutes check your peppers and rotate them carefully, turning blackened spots underneath and be careful not to pierce them so the juices escape.
Check again after 15 minutes and rotate once more. After 45-60 minutes they should be ready depending on your oven. They should be and collapsing but not flat yet!
Place them in a bowl, and cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes or until just cool enough to handle, but still warm / hot. Wearing disposable gloves can help here!
Holding them over the bowl, split them open, remove the stalk as many seeds as you can and peel off as much as the skin as you can. Let the juices drip into the bowl. Place pieces of flesh into another bowl as you go along. Once you're finished, place a fine sieve over the bowl of prepared peppers, and tip your bowl containing the seeds, stalks and skin over it, adding all that lovely syrup / juice to your peppers. Discard the other bowl contents.
Add your peppers and juice to the food processor with your basil etc., and process on high until it is the texture you like. It helps if the peppers are still a little warm.
Adjust the seasoning and serve.
This makes an excellent dip also if you add a can of chickpeas /cannellini beans.
Sometimes you need dinner on the table in 20 mins, tops. This is so easy to throw together as the only fresh things you need on hand are mushrooms and fresh parsley – and if you have that growing in your garden – or on your windowsill, even easier! I always have pasta in the pantry, chilli, garlic, lemons and wine in my fridge, so just keep some cashew cream on hand and you’re all set to make this dish.
I was going to make a new type of lasagne but a gluten-free friend was joining us for dinner and I couldn’t find gluten free lasagne sheets (and the ingredients in some of those products is rather off-putting!) so decided to substitute potato for the pasta layers.
This was SO GOOD! Luckily I wrote everything down as I did it so can make it again!
The cheesy sauce is also on this site here, you’ll need half of the portion this makes.
Leaves from 1 large bunch of basil, blitzed in food processor with 3 tablespoons of pine nuts
zest of a lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
700g mushrooms, diced. (I used flat mushrooms and white cup, but whatever you have is fine)
50g cashews, soaked if necessary, and blended with enough water to cover
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon lemon juice
700g potatoes, sliced thinly.
½ a portion of cheese sauce recipe (see intro)
1 cup of passata / blended canned tomatoes
Thaw and squeeze as much of the water out of the spinach and mix in a large bowl with the tofu, the onion - finely chopped; the nutritional yeast, salt, basil & pine nuts, lemon zest and juice and set aside.
Make the cheese sauce as linked to in the introduction.
Saute the mushrooms in a large pan in their own juices, mix in the cashew cream, tamari and lemon juice. Cook until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are tender.
Meanwhile steam the potatoes until just tender - about 7 mins.
Take a large lasagne dish. Layer as follows:
cup of passata / blended tomatoes.
A third of the Potatoes
Half of the Spinach tofu mixture
Half of remaining potatoes
All the mushrooms
Remaining spinach tofu mixture
Cheese sauce (about half of the quantity the recipe makes)
Place in a moderate oven - 180 for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling and top is browning.
This is slightly different to the other pasta bake on this site in that it’s a different sauce – this one is based on a Susan Voisin’s recipe from fatfreevegan.com but with a lot less nooch, but more lemon and miso, plus some sweetness from maple syrup. I managed to photo it this time before we demolished it. 🙂 I added steamed broccoli, cauliflower, peas and sweetcorn to it this time, but you can add any vegetables you like, it’s a great way of using up already cooked veggies from the fridge too and then you save even more prep time. Either way this is a pretty simple and quick weeknight meal. I added a lovely crunchy breadcrumb and walnut crust on this one too which adds a good texture contrast.
Another simple family friendly meal. There’s something about the combination of peas and pasta, I’m not sure what it is but I find it hard not to add frozen peas to almost any pasta meal. This is made extra special by the addition of breadcrumbs and baking it, rather than it being just pasta and sauce but if you’re pushed for time that would be just fine too. We were so hungry and keen to dig in that we forgot to take any pictures of it dished up, so you’ll have to wait til next time for that! Believe me it was delicious and we all had 2nds. This actually serves 6 reasonable sized portions. 🙂
1 large head of broccoli, divided into small florets
1 cup frozen peas
2 slices wholemeal bread, made into breadcrumbs in a food processor.
Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Put the cashews into some boiling water and set aside.
Put Pasta on to cook and find the baking dish you want to use – a lasagne style one works well.
Put on a kitchen timer so you can add the frozen peas to the pasta 2 minutes before it’s ready.
Fry the onions in a dry frying pan, in a splash of stock /water and stir occasionally until browning and softened.
Add the soy milk to the pan, then and add all the flavourings - the bay leaf, mustard, lemon juice, marmite, stock powder, salt, agave, yeast, spices, tahini, and capsicum and stir well. Add the soaked cashews, the onions, and simmer for 10 minutes over a gentle heat.
Remove the bay leaf, blend with a stick blender, add the cornflour and blend again. Allow it to thicken, stirring constantly until flour is cooked out. – around 5 minutes. Taste and adjust lemon / salt / sweet balance.
Whilst the sauce simmers, check the pasta and peas are cooked, drain and set aside in a large bowl. Steam the broccoli for 6 minutes over the same water to save using another pot.
Once broccoli is just tender, mix in with the pasta in the bowl, pour over all the sauce and mix thoroughly. Pour into your baking dish, top with the breadcrumbs and spray quickly with an oil spray.
Put in the oven for 25 minutes, until bubbling and breadcrumbs are golden.
This is just amazing, the sauce is a revelation! If you haven’t tried any of Isa Chandra Moskowitz‘s recipes, this is a great one to start with! I think it’s the sage and the wine that makes it so amazing. I’ve made this a few times now and every time it blows me away! I reduced the sage to half a tsp as it’s quite a strong flavour so wasn’t sure how it would go down with my 2 children. We just bought a high speed blender and it really made the sauce super smooth, I only soaked the cashews for an hour.
Isa’s blog Post Punk Kitchen was one of the 1st ones I found when searching for recipes when I dropped the eggs and dairy a few years ago and she is still one of the most inventive vegan chefs around. She does use some oil which I try very hard to avoid completely, so some recipes do need to be amended, but that’s easily done. This one we had with wholegrain penne, a little added roast butternut squash, and topped with some toasted pine nuts. SO GOOD!
Here‘s link to the original recipe. All I changed was the miso – I only had a rich red barley one (which might explain the richer colour I got in my sauce) so only used 1 heaped tablespoon, I omitted the olive oil, and just the 1/2 tsp of rubbed sage leaves and I added a cup of frozen peas to the pasta cooking water a couple of minutes before the end.