I must admit that, while I do most of my meal planning on the weekend before I get groceries, there is almost always a day I forgot or I don’t want to make what was scheduled or I didn’t get enough of something.
On those days, the plan is as follows: Open the cabinet and stare inside. Open the fridge and stare inside. Start that process again but this time randomly pull things out and throw them on the counter. Stare at the pile of things for a while and then start prepping some of them, hoping that an idea will emerge.
And that is how this pasta bake was born. It doesn’t look very pretty, because baked pasta, but it tasted wonderful.
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 medium zucchini, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can crushed tomato
1 lb wheat pasta
2 cups nutritional yeast flakes
1.5 cups TVP bits
2 cups water
2 T oregano flakes
1 T dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta, al dente. While pasta is cooking, preheat oven to 350*. Mix spices into crushed tomatoes and water. Fold in the yeast flakes and TVP. Gently combine all ingredients, including well-drained pasta.
Place in large baking pan and cook at 350* for about 45 minutes, or until all vegetables are done to taste.
My family loves meatloaf and mashed potato meals, but the vegans tend to gaze sadly at the loaf. I’ve made loafs in the past using prepared vegan meats, but this was my first try for meatloaf from non-prepared ingredients and it came out quite delicious!
1 container extra firm tofu
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup TVP crumbles
1/2 cup almonds
1 sleeve wheat saltines (or 1.5 cups wheat bread crumbs)
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 T olive oil
Food process or blend crackers to a fine powder. Add almonds, TVP, and sundried tomatoes and continue to blend/process until a consistently fine mix. Mix in the spices.
Remove tofu from package and let drain.
Crumble tofu into a bowl and add 2 T olive oil. Mix in the dry ingredients. Combine well.
Press into a loaf pan (this should about 1/2 fill the pan to the top). Spread remaining olive oil over the top.
Cover with foil and bake at 375* for 40-45 minutes. If desired, remove foil and add some ketchup to the top and then return to oven for an additional 5-10 minutes.
Serve with mashed potatoes (use soy or rice milk, vegan butter, and/or vegan cream cheese to blend) or on sandwiches.
So, there I was, looking at a big container of TVP chunks that I had purchased at my local health food store. Having never cooked with TVP, I wasn’t sure what to do with them, but I knew that I was in the mood for a comforting filling baked pasta dish. So, I started dragging ingredients out of the pantry, and this is what I came up with in the end. I made a double batch, and we had leftovers for days (after feeding six people) so I’ve only given you a single batch recipe here.
Baked Cheatken Rotini
1 lb rotini
1 cup TVP chunks
1 ½ cups veg broth
1 large can tomato puree
1 ½ cups diced tomato
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chopped mushrooms (optional)
1 T olive oil
1 T dried Italian seasoning (or use fresh basil, oregano, thyme)
¼ cup Daiya mozz (optional)
Place TVP in large bowl with onion, garlic, and mushroom. Heat veg broth to a boil and pour over TVP mix. Stir and allow to sit and absorb the liquid while cooking pasta. Cook pasta in water with 1 T olive oil to al dente. Drain and rinse. Mix tomato puree, diced tomato, Italian seasoning, and nutritional yeast into TVP mixture and then fold into pasta. Put parchment paper on the bottom of a baking pan and fill with mix. Sprinkle Daiya over the top. Tear off a sheet of foil large enough to cover pan and coat bottom of sheet with sprayed olive oil or nonstick spray. Cover pan tightly. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes (check to be sure it is warmed through) and serve.