Sunday, November 27, 2011

Baked Ziti

I have just been so neglectful of my little blog. I could make excuses about how busy life has been but really, I eat every day so how can I make excuses? I made some awesome foods for Thanksgiving so expect some new posts coming soon. Now onto the ziti!

I grew up in a town with a very large Italian population, so suffice it to say that going out for Italian food was a common occurrence in my childhood. I really missed stuffed shells until I found Rising Moon and ravioli until I found SoyBoy. I never found a store bought baked ziti so I had to find a way to make my own. Ok well I don't eat any of those very often but it is a special treat when I get some good old Italian pasta dishes.

This dish isn't necessarily fast but it's pretty easy. I make a big batch of vegan ricotta and use it for different dishes over the next 1 1/2-2 weeks.  That is probably the most time consuming item to make, aside from bake time.

For 2-4 Servings of Baked Ziti:

1 1/2-2 cups (dry) of cooked ziti pasta
8 oz Tomato Sauce (store bought or homemade)
6-8 oz Vegan Ricotta (see recipe below)
4 oz Daiya Mozzarella Cheese (or any brand that you like)
2 Tbsp Vegan Parmesan Cheese (1 part ground sesame seeds, 1 part nutritional yeast)

*Preheat your oven to 375F.
*Cook the pasta as directed on the package. Drain well and place in a medium mixing bowl. add in the tomato sauce, vegan ricotta, and vegan mozzarella. Mix well using a rubber spatula.
*Lightly grease/spray a baking dish and place the mixture into the dish.
*Sprinkle the vegan parmesan on top and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Vegan Ricotta 
1/2 cup Raw Cashews (soaked for a minimum of 2 hours to overnight)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (slightly less if bottled)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 lb of Firm Tofu (I like the texture of Nasoya Light Firm Tofu for this recipe)
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp salt

*In a food processor add the cashews, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Blend until creamy.
*Add remaining ingredients to food processor and blend until creamy again.
How easy is that?!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011

The 1st Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap is being hosted by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen. Join me vegans!

(I will have to find my camera battery charger soon)

Any votes on what kinds of cookies I should bake for my lucky recipients?


Update: Oh boy, I got my matches and these people are real food bloggers. They have amazing websites, really. Fingers crossed that I can hang with the big boys so to speak.