Cheesy Fiesta Spaghetti Squash

This summer has been another very busy one! Our garden is getting huge again and it’s starting to produce yummy things. I haven’t blogged in a while, but I got pretty excited by my creation using our first spaghetti squash of the year, so I’m here to share!

It all started with the spaghetti squash and knowing I had some cheesy sauce frozen. I also had garden tomatoes and green onion. Here is the sauce I had stockpiled because it’s awesome, and freezes well. Try this one on nachos guys, om nom nom!!

Cheesy Fiesta Spaghetti Squash

Serves two hungry people, with leftovers

* these measurements are an approximate guideline – I did not measure, it was just thrown together.

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • ~2 cups vegan cheese sauce divided among the two squash halves (the amount you use is up to you!) This sauce has a nacho-y edge so it goes really well with this recipe; however – feel free to sub in any vegan cheese sauce you like. You can also thin this sauce with water while making it, if it seems too thick.
  • 1, 15 oz. can black beans
  • frozen or fresh corn, around 1/2 cup or so
  • chopped green onion, about 4 large stalks
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • salt & pepper
  • drizzle of olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY cut the squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife.

Scoop out and discard the seeds.

Place squash halves cut side up on a heavy-bottomed roasting pan. Brush with olive oil if you’d like.

Roast the squash for around 30 minutes, then remove from the oven. You’re going to fill the squash up with yummy ingredients and then cook it the rest of the way.

Fill the hollowed out center of the squash halves with divided amounts of black beans, corn and green onion.

spaghetti sqash filled with black beans and corn

Next, top with generous amounts of sauce, tomato, and more green onion. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top.

spaghetti sqash filled with sauce and tomato

Return the squash to the oven and continue to cook until a fork punctures the flesh of the squash easily, and you can scrape the flesh with a fork and see stringy “noodles”. This should take approximately 20 – 30 minutes.

cooked cheesy fiesta spaghetti squash

Remove squash from the oven and allow it to cool a bit so you can handle it. Scrape the flesh and contents from the squash, using a fork, into stringy noodles into a serving bowl and dig in!

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Smoky Cashew Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Eeep! I haven’t been making posts lately. I think I can blame it on buying our first house about a year ago; it made for a busy summer including our first garden (and I hope to do a gardening post later to share my experience). I created something today that’s pretty delicious, and since I’m kinda proud of my creation, I decided I’d better get posting this in a timely fashion.

Oh, by the way, you can now Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I’m sure many of you have gatherings coming up with friends and family. Maybe you’re hosting or bringing something to a gathering. I think these would be a crowd pleaser, unless you are trying to feed these to a mushroom-hater. I used to be one of these mushroom haters but now I stuff my face with them! I guess my taste buds grew up.

Instead of the traditional processed cream cheese as the base, I used a home made cashew cheese. This cashew cheese is super easy; it’s just a matter of trying to remember to soak the cashews and then popping everything into a food processor or high speed blender. It’s worth the small amount of effort required to whip up a batch.

I wasn’t precise when making this recipe so my measurements could be off a bit. I think it should be quite forgiving though as long as you have the cashew cheese right. Please do let me know if you try my recipe out!

Smoky Cashew Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Makes 12 mushrooms

  • 12 whole fresh mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil of choice
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh garlic, minced
  • ~8 oz. cashew cheese, probably around 1 cup (picture a regular tub of cream cheese from the store and filling it with cashew cheese) – recipe here 

    I didn’t blend my cashew cheese until ultra creamy, it still had a slight chunky texture.You can use any extra cashew cheese to dip crackers or veggies

  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • ~1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • liquid smoke, to taste (should be around the bbq sauces in the grocery store)
    This gives a bacon-y flavor.
  • Tamari, to taste
stuffing for vegan stuffed mushrooms

Don’t judge my 50’s kitchen.

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray of choice (I use a sprayer similar to this one and fill it with olive oil).

Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off the stems and chop them extremely fine, discarding the tough ends.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and mushroom stems and sauté until soft and caramelized, about 2 minutes.

Add to a bowl with the cashew cheese, and add pepper, cayenne pepper, and about 4 drops of liquid smoke, and the same number of drops of Tamari soy sauce; and stir until blended.

Fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on the prepared cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

cashew cheese vegan stuffed mushrooms

Enjoy!

baked cashew cheese vegan stuffed mushrooms

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas!

I Can’t Stop Eating These Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips

I think these might be the cure to my potato chip addiction!! I can’t get over how good these are, and can’t stop eating them! They also taste so deliciously like sour cream and onion, but of course don’t contain any dairy.

The recipe came from Thrive Foods cookbook. I made these in my food dehydrator but you can do them easily in the oven. I’ve included the instructions for both methods.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cashews, PRE-SOAKED in water for 35 minutes
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or 1 Tbsp cider vinegar and 1/2 Tbsp apple juice – I didn’t have apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch kale (I used some green and some purple kale)

Instructions

Combine the soaked cashews, water, onion powder, garlic powder, vinegar, salt, and parsley in a blender and process until smooth, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides if needed (this may take several minutes). Set aside.

soaked cashews in mini blender

sour cream and onion mixture blended
Wash the kale to remove any grit, then carefully dry the leaves. Strip the leaves into a bowl, roughly tearing any large pieces. Discard the stems. Pour the creamed mixture on top of the kale, using a small spatula or spoon to remove the mixture from the blender. Using clean hands, massage the mixture into the kale for 1 minute to evenly coat the leaves.

green and purple kale
Oven method:

Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then spread the kale chips over the sheets, as evenly and flatly as possible, to ensure even cooking time. (Don’t overlap them) Bake between 1 1/2 and 2 hours (time varies according to the dryness of the kale), tossing halfway through the baking, until the kale has dried out and is crispy but not burnt. Keep a close eye on the kale at the end of its cooking process, and remove any premature crispy chips from the batch if needed. Enjoy immediately or keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Dehydrator method (which also means this method is a raw recipe):

Warm the dehydrator to 115 degrees F. Spread the kale onto 4 mesh dehydrator sheets, and dehydrate for 10 – 12 hours, or until crispy (time will vary depending on relative humidity). We put this together before bed and let them dehydrate overnight!

sour cream and onion kale ready to be dehydrated

kale chips ready to eat

Ready to eat...nom nom nom

I think I just increased my daily kale consumption by 300%.

Tofu-Spinach Lasagna

Don’t let the title scare you, you can not tell this is made with tofu – this lasagna is great!! The two types of tofu blended become just like the texture of ricotta cheese – brilliant! Because of all the great texture, you don’t even notice the cheese missing. It is so satisfying!

They key to make the flavor great starts with a good, flavorful, rich pasta/tomato sauce. Start with this and you will have a great result. I got this recipe from the recipe section of the ADAPTT website.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. lasagna noodles (I used brown rice lasagna noodles)
  • 2 10-oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 lb. soft tofu
  • 1 lb. firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy milk (I used unsweetened almond)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tsp. minced basil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups (2 jars) tomato sauce

Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside on a towel. Be careful not to let them stick together. If this happens, run warm water over them to separate. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

cooking brown rice lasagna noodles

Squeeze the spinach as dry as possible and set aside. Place the tofu, sugar, soy milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

getting ready to make vegan ricotta

vegan ricotta

Check out that texture!

Cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles (use about one-third). Follow with a layer of half of the tofu filling and half of the spinach.

assembling vegan lasagna layers

Continue in the same order using half of the remaining tomato sauce and noodles and all of the remaining tofu filling and spinach. End with the remaining noodles, covered by the remaining tomato sauce.

tomato sauce layer

oven ready vegan lasagna

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Makes six to eight servings.

Mexican Quinoa Bake

This dish is easy, low in calories, and packed with nutrition. It’s also tasty and versatile – just add whatever other Mexican flavors you like to it! I had leftover green onion and jalapeno to use up that was already chopped up from other recipes, so I added this to the recipe as well.

I got this recipe off the Daiya website.

 

Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (I cooked the quinoa in veggie broth I needed to use up)
1 cup fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles OR salsa (I used fresh tomatoes and mixed with some salsa)
1 Tbsp cumin
15 oz can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
10 oz frozen corn kernels
4 oz can mild green chili peppers, chopped (if you use salsa and not diced tomatoes with chiles)
2 Tbsp chili powder
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed & drained
1 cup Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds (I used about 1/2 a cup – Daiya is strong sometimes and didn’t want it to overpower the dish)
Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat your favorite casserole dish with olive oil or non-stick spray. In a mixing bowl, combine cooked quinoa and tomatoes, set aside.

In a separate bowl mash the black beans with a fork. Combine beans, corn, chili powder & cumin in the same bowl and set aside.

mashing black beans

combining veggies and spices

Spoon 1 cup of the quinoa mixture on the bottom of the baking pan. Layer spinach on top of the quinoa. Scoop bean mixture on top. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of Daiya cheddar shreds. Add the remaining quinoa and top with the remaining cheese.

layer of quinoa, tomatoes and spinach

layer of bean mixture added and Daiya

Bake for about 30 minutes until the Daiya has melted. Serve and enjoy!

finished Mexican quinoa bake

The Best Creamy Mac and Cheese – Ultimate Comfort Food

Everyone loves a big bowl of creamy noodles, don’t they? I can’t think of a better comfort food. Since becoming vegan I never thought I’d have something like this again. But then I encountered this recipe, thanks to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and her book called The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. This recipe makes me do a happy dance!

Creamy Mac and Cheese

1 ¼ cups raw cashews
½ cup nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons onion powder
1-2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 ½ cups nondairy milk (I used unsweetened Almond milk)
3 tablespoons of a thickener such as cornstarch (this is what I used) or kudzu root
½ cup canola oil (I used 1/4 coconut oil, 1/4 canola)
¼ cup light (yellow or white) miso paste – get this in the Asian section of your grocery store, it’s a soybean paste
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (around 1 lemon)
12-16 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked (I used brown rice macaroni)

Instructions:

Add the cashews to the large bowl of the food processor, and using the pulse button, finely grind the cashews. Don’t allow the cashews to turn into a paste. Add the nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and white pepper. Pulse three more times to blend in the spices.

mac and cheese dry ingredients in food processor
Combine the milk, corn starch, and oil in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease the heat to low-medium, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until the cornstarch is dissolved.

With the food processor running, gradually add the milk-oil mixture to the cashew/nutritional yeast mixture. Blend for 2 minutes or until very smooth and creamy. Next, blend in the miso and lemon juice.

mac and cheese sauce in food processor

Combine the cheese with cooked macaroni and serve. If you have leftover sauce you can pour it over broccoli or cauliflower (or whatever else you want to sauce up!).

prepared vegan mac and cheese

delicious vegan mac and cheese

*Drool*

Any vegan or otherwise must try this! It delicious, and of course, way healthier than any chemical filled processed box of KD crap you buy at the store.