Tahini meatball freezer casserole

September 21, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Posted in recipe, VeganMoFo | Leave a comment
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Previously published on No Sweat, York

If your life is like mine right now, you barely remember to eat dinner after getting home from work.

We go from unearthing fall and winter clothes during an Indian summer day to everything orange, yellow and red and Halloween costumes and decorations.

Then, in a blink of an eye, we are finagling road trips for Thanksgiving feasts and/or stocking the pantry for the big day.

Then, we will be bundling under large jackets, furiously shopping for holiday gifts, and grumbling about how cold it is and we can’t wait for summer.

Wait, what about dinner?

I’ve learned a new trick to help out my limited budget and schedule: freezer meals. I recently found two, new-to-me blogs: Budget Bytes and Vegan in the Freezer. These gave me a ton of inspiration for what I can do when I get a few hours, in order to free up the time between getting home and my head hitting the pillow. I can even get my significant other to cook it in the oven, so dinner is hot and ready as soon as I step in the door.

This recipe was actually inspired by a Food.com blogger Christine who make a creamy chickpea and tahini casserole. I substituted a few ingredients for what I had on hand: pasta, fresh tomatoes and Gardein meatballs (on sale at Target!), and eliminated a few spices I did not have.

This is such a versatile dish that you can create a variety of sauces and mix and match grains, protein and veggies. Let me know what inspiration you get from this recipe.
Tahini meatball freezer casserole
Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 Gardein meatless meatballs
  • 1 box of trio noodles or other small noodles
  • 5 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water

Directions

  1. Boil a large pot of water, and follow directions to cook pasta until al dente. Drain and cool.
  2. Heat up meatballs in a microwave-proof bowl until able to mush the balls. Break up until consistency of ground beef.
  3. Chop veggies.
  4. Mix tahini, water and spices until well mixed. Set aside.
  5. Spray 9×13 pan with olive oil.
  6. Dump all ingredients into pan, first placing some noodles in the pan, adding tomatoes and meatballs and then half of the tahini mixture. Add remaining noodles and sauce.
  7. Stir until all the noodles are coated.
  8. Let the pan completely cool, then place lid on and put it in the freezer.
  9. When ready to cook, place pan in the refrigerator for about 7 to 8 hours. An hour before cooking, take it out and place on the counter.
  10. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Take off lid and place foil over pan. Cook for about 45 to 50 minutes or until center is warm.
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Munchie Monday: Zucchini roll-ups

September 9, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Posted in Munchie Monday, VeganMoFo | Leave a comment
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

I was wishing for zucchini again and lo and behold, I come back from a Labor Day vacation and I have three zucchini!

I know summer is kind of over, but I still want fresh produce and refreshing dishes to eat.

The Fitchen made zucchini pesto roll-ups, inspiring me to make similar ones with hummus. I got a 10-ounce Sabra classic hummus container for cheap last week and used that. I also have a bounty of orange cherry tomatoes aching to be used.

I didn’t roll it as neatly as The Kitchen recipe, but it was still delicious. I ate a few for lunch today.

All you really need for this recipe is a filler, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and toothpicks. I used my mandolin slicer to  make the slices, placing it on the medium setting. That worked out the best.

Enjoy the rest of the garden bounty with this recipe by The Fitchen!

Vegan MoFo 2013: Guacamole empanadas

September 3, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Posted in recipe, VeganMoFo | Leave a comment
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

I have been on a Hispanic/Mexican kick in my kitchen lately. I whip up nachos, queso, burritos and other spicy dishes regularly now.

Jamieson (aka Batman) bought me guacamole from Aldi’s recently. (I now LOVE guacamole. Where have you been all my life?!?) On the back of the carton was a recipe for guacamole empanadas. The recipe, as usual, was not vegan-friendly in the least, with 1 pound of ground beef or chicken included in the list of ingredients.

Well, guys and gals, it is Vegan MoFo, so I made vegan guacamole empanadas! Mine aren’t that pretty to look at, but delicious to eat. You can sub the tofu for your favorite mock meat or even beans. Just make sure they are drained properly and are kind of mushy, as it is easier to spread on the dough.

Guacamole empanadas
Serves 4 (1 each)

Ingredients

  • 1 package of crescent roll dough
  • 1/2 cup of prepared guacamole
  • 1/2 cup of tomatillo salsa (recipe to follow)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 12-ounce container of lite silken tofu, pressed
  • 1/2 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup of vegan cheddar cheese shreds

Recipe

  1. Saute pressed tofu in a skillet, adding taco seasoning halfway through. Let it cool for about 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat over according to dough’s instructions (probably 425 degrees F.)
  3. Take out the dough from the container. To form one empanada, place two triangles together, to form one larger triangle. Do this for all the dough, until you form four.
  4. Add 1/2 tablespoon of lime juice into guacamole and stir.
  5. First, place a long layer of tomatillo salsa to the fatter end of the dough. Then add a long layer of tofu, of guacamole and lastly cheese.
  6. Take the thin area of the dough and fold over to the fat layer, forming a pocket. Press down on the sides to seal.
  7. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

Tomatillo salsa
Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 medium red tomato
  • 3-4 small green tomatillos
  • 1 small sweet red pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped, canned jalapenos and green chiles
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions

Recipe

  1. Chop everything into small pieces, then add to a bowl.
  2. Stir and chill before serving.
Tomatillo salsa; photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Tomatillo salsa; photo by Bethany Fehlinger

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