Vegan Life Changing Masala with Beef & Chickpeas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

So – flipping around the internet, I came across a recipe from a blog I love.  The blog is Pinch of Yum.  I love the blog because the photographs are mercilessly lush & gorgeous.  About a year ago, she posted her “life-changing 30 minute masala sauceand the photos are so great – I just could not get the recipe out of my mind – so – I made it!  She offers the recipe for a masala paste & then how to make a sauce from the paste.  She served the sauce over her “30-minute vegetarian meatballs.”  I did not have the ingredients for the meatballs so I decided to serve my sauce over Gardein beefless tips & chickpeas.

The paste is SUPER easy.  You just whip it up in a food processor.  The sauce is super easy, too, and she is right!  It is delicious!  You could serve the sauce over any meat or meatless meat or veggie or even rice or pasta you desire.  The paste makes a lot so maybe freeze some.

I did not have onions so I used shallots & scallions.  I used two tomatoes & some tomato paste in place of her suggested 1½ cups tomato puree + ½ cup water or broth – just because that was all I had.  Worked out great!  I recommend you make this sauce & follow her blog.  It is really wonderful!

Vegan Life Changing Masala with Beef & Chickpeas

Serves 4 with rice

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan beef (or other vegan meat)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas – drained
for the masala paste
2 onions
5 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, crushed
3 tablespoon garam masala
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon cumin
1½ teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
a small pile of of cilantro stems
a fistful of almonds
juice of one lemon
for the masala sauc
1½ cups tomato puree + ½ cup water or broth
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
½ teaspoon salt (taste and adjust)
GARNISH – cooked rice & cilantro
DIRECTIONS
Pulse all the ingredients for the Masala Paste in a food processor until smooth.  Put it into a container for storage in the fridge or freezer – reserving only 1/4 cup of the paste for this recipe.  The rest is extra!
Heat a drizzle of oil in a skillet. Add 1/4 cup masala paste to the skillet and with a little bit of oil and stir around in the pan until fragrant (3-5 minutes).  Add the tomato puree and water and simmer until t’s a rusty-deep-red color – about 5-10 minutes.  Add the beef & chickpeas.  Add the coconut milk; simmer for 10 minutes or so until thick and creamy.  Longer simmer = thicker and better flavor.
Serve over warm rice & garnish with chopped cilantro.

Spicy Vegan Roasted Cauliflower & Carrot & Turmeric Stew

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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bathingandthesinglegirlcover \

vromans-back

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So – my last post was a month ago.  It was my Clean Cooking & a 21-day Arbonne Healthy Eating Detox – Vegan or Vegetarian Style post describing a 21-day detox/cleanse I was launching on.  I never posted about it again for a few reasons: the fact that the recipes from the Arbonne site made GINORMOUS quantities & I ate the same thing for days & because I just had no passion for cooking while on it.  I ended it two days earlier than my 21 day goal because – Superbowl party.  After nearly 3 weeks of deprivation – I lost 4 pounds.  4 miserable pounds.  I should not complain because one friend of mine lost nothing & another gained 4 pounds.  So – that cleanse is what you make of it but it was a great jump start to shock me out of deeply-entrenched habits.  Now – I am obsessed with TEA and pay way more attention to what I eat & where calories are coming from.  Which brings me to my day yesterday.

I was at the mall exchanging a birthday gift & realized it was lunch time & that I was hungry.  My choices were mainly a sushi spot & the Cheesecake Factory.  Since I no longer eat fish, I Googled the Cheesecake Factory’s menu to see if they had any HEALTHY (reading – low in calories) options.  The Cheesecake Factory is notorious for shockingly caloric options (see HERE) and I did not want to eat a 2000 calorie lunch – as I am still trying to keep my daily calorie intake to about 1200.  I was pleased to see a skinny cocktail menu and a super food menu.   So – I went in and I ordered a skinny margarita & the vegan Cobb salad.  I got the Cobb because I did not want to eat any of their 490 calorie “skinny” menu items.  I thought I would be really good & get a salad with proteins (garbanzos &  quinoa) and the healthy fat avocado.

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The drink was small but tasty & only clocked in at 150 calories.   Very happy with that.  The salad was not gargantuan, not over-dressed & was quite good.  Looks good, right?  Looks healthy.  Proud of myself, I considered ordering a second cocktail as I entered the stuff I had just consumed in My Fitness Pal.  It was then that my world came shattering down around me.  That fucker of a salad had 1210 calories!!!!!  1210!!!!  I could go to McDonald’s and get a Big Mac, medium fries & a medium NON-DIET Coke for under 1100.  Don’t believe me?  Look HERE on McDonald’s own site.  How the FUCK is THAT possible???  A salad?  Without a creamy dressing or any cheese or meat or bacon or croutons or fried wontons or ANYTHING naughty?   Avocado is fatty but it is not cheese & bacon fatty!  It is not BIG MAC fatty!  And that photo shows the salad with dressing on it.  It really was NOT soaked in dressing.  I was SO freaked out!  I felt SO cheated!  For 1200 calories I could have gotten pizza & wine.  Or almost anything on the menu.  Seriously.  What the fuck?  So – almonds & sunflower seeds in addition to avocado & boom!  An ass like Kim Kardashian.  I felt like I had undone 3 weeks of deprivation with one Goddamn SALAD!  Ugh.  I complained about it all fucking day.  And I am complaining now.  I will never EVER enter the CottageCheesecake AssFactory again.  I swear it.

So – driven to compensate for that outrageous lunch – I made this VERY healthy stew today.  I used a bunch of sketchy veggies cresting their use-by dates & it came out delicious.  You can add or remove produce to suit your tastes.   I only used bit of olive oil to roast the veggies & that was it.  You could eliminate even that by NOT roasting them & just throwing them in the pot to boil.  Your call.

I served myself a hearty portion of this stew today over a very carefully measured 1/4 cup of mixed ancient grains.  Truth be told – this stew does not need a grain to make it satisfying so – serve it naked or over the grain of your choice.

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Turmeric is a very healthy spice.  Here are some of the benefits of turmeric.  Look at that list or THIS one.  It will make you want to use vibrant turmeric as often as possible.

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Spicy Vegan Roasted Cauliflower & Carrot & Turmeric Stew

Makes a LOT – enough to feed 6-8 (even without a grain)

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower – cut into bite-sized florets

10-15 carrots – chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 large onion – chopped

1 red bell pepper – cut into matchsticks

2 jalapenos – chopped (optional)

2 (15 oz) cans of garbanzo beans (drained)

2 (28 oz) cans of diced tomatoes

10 garlic cloves – chopped

10 oz broccoli (VERY optional – I only used the broccoli rabe I had because it was wilting)

1-2 TBS turmeric (start with one & add more if you like)

1 BS ground cumin

1 TBS ground coriander

2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ground cardamom (LOVELY but can be omitted if you cannot find it)

4 cups vegetable stock (or water)

Olive oil

S&P

Chopped parsley or cilantro as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

If roasting the vegetables:

Heat the oven to 475.

Toss the cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper, onion & jalapenos in a light coating of olive oil & some S&P.  Roast for 20-30 minutes or until just beginning to brown.  Add them to a large stock pot with the remaining ingredients & cook until the veggies are all tender & the stew thickens a bit.

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If not roasting them – just throw them in with the remaining ingredients & cook until the veggies are all tender & the stew thickens a bit.  Add water to thin it if it gets too thick.  Cook it down if it is too watery.  Season with S&P & garnish with parsley or cilantro.

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Vegan Tomato Basil Bisque and a Grilled Cheese & Chiles Sandwich

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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bathingandthesinglegirlcover

vromans-back

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This soup was just a way for me to use up some vegetables & create a creamy, warming bisque – with tomatoes out of season.  Fresh tomatoes would be better but I did not have any & I am attempting to eat only what I have on hand – without spending any money on groceries.  I call it “the pantry challenge.”  I have done it a few times in the past with very strict rules.  This time – I have allowed a few cheats but I am still saving a ton of money.  I have so many leftovers frozen away & so many canned & dry goods – I could literally last months.  The only problem is that produce gets scarce – so – I have allowed a twice-monthly delivery from Farm Fresh to You.  Anyway – I a rambling.

This soup is easy & customizable.   You could sub out or lose a few of the veggie ingredients to suit your fancy.

For the sandwich – I used my homemade Vegan Basil Mozzarella Cheese for Grating & Melting – seen below.

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You can use any cheese you prefer.  I also topped it with some hot green chiles of the ilk seen above.  You can use whatever level of heat suits you.

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Grilled Cheese & Chiles Sandwich

INGREDIENTS

Bread of choice

cheese of choice

vegan butter or cooking spray

Chiles of choice

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DIRECTIONS

Treat a pan with cooking spray or melted butter.  Butter one side of each slice of bread & spray with cooking spray.  Over medium heat, place the UNBUTTERED side of each slice down for a few seconds to warm them.  Then flip one slice, top with cheese & chiles & the other slice of bread – buttered side up.  Grill, flipping a few times & pressing with a spatula until the cheese gets soft and/or the bread id grilled to your taste.

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 Vegan Tomato Basil Bisque

Makes a lot – enough for 4 to eat as a meal or for more people as a side

INGREDIENTS

2 TBS olive oil

1 leek – sliced (or a small onion)

1 red bell pepper – seeded & chopped

3 garlic cloves

5 carrots – chopped

1 jalapeno – seeded & diced (optional)

52 ounces of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes (6-7 cups)

1/4 cup or more fresh basil

1/4 cup vegan cream cheese

1/4 cup vegan milk or cream

S&P

Garnish – fresh basil & maybe vegan cream or sour cream

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil in a large stock pot.  Add the veggies (carrots, leek, bell pepper, jalapeno) & saute a few minutes – until the leek (or onion) is soft.  Add tomato sauce & garlic.    Bring to a boil.  When the carrots & other vegetables are soft, add the cream cheese, milk & basil.  Combine.  Now – in batches – blend with an immersion blender or a regular blender.  Season with salt & pepper.

Serve with fresh cracked pepper & basil leaves.  Swirl in some cream or sour cream, if you desire.

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Vegan Fried Green Tomato Street Tacos with Spicy Remoulade

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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bathingandthesinglegirlcover

vromans-back

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So – I bought those two gorgeous green tomatoes at the farmers’ market.  Legit, unripe green tomatoes.  Harder to find than you may think.  So – I made that first effort with them above – my Easy Vegan Fried Green Tomatoes.  They were simply & delicious but I did not use anything in place of the egg typically used when folks make this & the breading was fragile & did not stick to the slick sides of the tomato slices.  So – today – I used the other tomato for these tacos & used aquafaba in place of eggs.

What is aquafaba?

The word aquafaba is the common name for the cooking liquid of beans and other legumes like chickpeas. You may know it as the typically discarded liquid found in retail cans and boxes of beans, or as the liquid left over from cooking your own.”

I used the liquid from a can of chickpeas and it worked pretty well.   I found that my breadcrumb mixture was still a bit fragile but it seemed to adhere a bit better.

The remoulade is a nice & tangy touch but any sauce you like would do – even vegan salad dressing.

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Vegan Fried Green Tomato Street Tacos with Spicy Remoulade

Feeds two

INGREDIENTS

8 small street taco=sized corn tortillas

1 large green tomato – sliced into 1/4 to 1/3 inch rounds (try to get 4 slices)

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup panko crumbs (I used only panko in these tacos)

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup breadcrumbs (or any mixture you prefer or have handy)

Cajun seasoning (to taste) or S&P

1/4 cup or so non-dairy milk

The liquid from a can of chickpeas or other beans OR 1/4 cup or so of almond milk

Enough vegetable oil to submerge the breaded tomato in your frying pan

Taco toppings: (your choice) sliced avocado, shredded cabbage, grated carrots, sliced jalapenos, diced tomato, cilantro, sliced radishes, grated lettuce, grated vegan cheese, lime wedges

for the remoulade

1/4 cup vegan mayo

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1-2 TBS prepared horseradish

1 TBS chopped parsley

1 tsp sriracha

1 tsp juice from a jar of jalapenos (optional) or 1 tsp diced pickled jalapeno

Dash of hot sauce

Pinch of each: onion powder, garlic powder,  chili powder, paprika

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DIRECTIONS

Prep all the ingredients.

Make the remoulade by whisking the ingredients together.

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I only used panko this time.  You can use whatever mixture of crumbs you desire & season as you like – either with a Cajun seasoning or S&P or something else you like.

Wet the tomato slices & dredge them through the flour then the aquafaba (or almond milk) & then the bread crumb mixture.  I dunked mine a second time into the aquafaba & panko.

Heat the oil (deep enough to submerge the tomato slices so they will not require flipping).  Let the oil get very hot & then carefully slide the tomato slices into the oil & fry until they are browned to your liking.  Drain on paper towels.

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While the tomatoes drain – warm your tortillas directly on your stove burners.

Cut the tomatoes in half & assemble 8 tacos.  Serve with the accoutrements of your choice & drizzle with remoulade.  Devour!

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Easy Vegan Fried Green Tomatoes

2 Comments

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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bathingandthesinglegirlcover

vromans-back

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I had fried green tomatoes in Vicksburg, Mississippi once and I have been obsessed ever since.  The ones there were decadent & I think they had cheese on them or a remoulade and they were amazing.  Since then, I order them whenever they are on the menu.   The other day, I found genuine GREEN tomatoes – meaning – tomatoes that were not yet ripe.  In the past, I have cheated & used ripe, green heirloom tomatoes but they do not have the texture and tang of an authentic green tomato.  Despite being on a pantry strike (eating ONLY what I already have in the house & attempting to spend zero on groceries) – I put out $2.50 for these two beauties.

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Hard & shiny & bright green.

Traditionally, the slices of tomato are dipped in a milk & egg mixture & then dredged through a breadcrumb-cornmeal mixture.   Almond milk works just fine & rather than try to sub out the egg with a vegan alternative – I decided to just omit it.  The result was that the crumb mixture had less to grip – especially on the slick edges of the tomato.  But – I am cool with that.  The fried breading is lovely but also the only naughty/guilty part of these guys so – a little less fried stuff is better for my own personal girth.  I only cooked one tomato today.  Tomorrow, I will try a different method & post that but I was very happy with these.  They would go great in a sandwich – like – an avocado, lettuce & fried green tomato sandwich or a grilled cheese with fried green tomatoes.  Again – I am trying to drop a few pounds (over the holidays – right?) so I just ate these naked – but for a few splashes of Crystal – my all-time favorite hot sauce.

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Easy Vegan Fried Green Tomatoes

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

1 unripened green tomato – sliced into 1/4 to 1/3 inch rounds.

1/4 cup panko crumbs

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup breadcrumbs (or any mixture you prefer or have handy)

Cajun seasoning (to taste) or S&P

1/4 cup or so non-dairy milk

Enough vegetable oil to submerge the breaded tomato in your frying pan

Hot sauce of choice

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DIRECTIONS

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl.  In another bowl – pour some almond milk.  Use enough oil so that your tomatoes will be submerged in it.  This way – you do not have to flip them – increasing the opportunities for the breading to fall off.  Heat your oil until it is very hot – hot enough for a few breadcrumbs to immediately sizzle when dropped into the pan.  Dip the tomato slices in the milk & then the breadcrumb mixture.  I then put each breaded slice back into the milk & crumbs a second time.  When your oil is hot – carefully put the tomato slices in the oil & fry until browned to your desire.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve with hot sauce or a remoulade.

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Vegan Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchilada Casserole with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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bathingandthesinglegirlcover

vromans-back

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So – I am several days into eating only food I already have in the house.  I have WAY too many frozen leftovers & dry pastas & beans etc taking up space & yet I keep going to the store to buy more food. It is ridiculous & wasteful.  Today’s recipe was inspired by a huge butternut squash I had & some other veggies rapidly reaching the end of their shelf life.  I used jarred salsa because I had one open but made the enchilada sauce because I did not already have some in a jar or can.  You can choose to go all jarred or all homemade – your call.

I also roasted a whole butternut squash.  You might want to buy some already cubed & roast those – or just boil them.  This can be as labor-intensive or as simple as you care to make it.

The real star of this dish is this newer vegan cheese I found.  It tastes great & does a fair job at melting – so – I recommend trying it if you see it or can find it online.  It is from Parmela Creamery and you can definitely buy it – and loads of other vegan cheeses – from them.

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Oh – as an aside – TJ Maxx is a great source for kitchen items.  They always have loads of olive oil marked way down.  I stock up every time I go there.

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Vegan Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchilada Casserole with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Serves 6 well

INGREDIENTS

2 cups red enchilada sauce (my recipe HERE) or your favorite brand or recipe

16 oz salsa – homemade or your favorite brand

olive oil

1 small butternut squash

1/2 medium red (or any other kind) onion – diced

1-3 jalapenos (optional) – seeded & diced

3 tomatoes – diced

2 carrots – diced

1 cup corn

1 12 oz can black beans – drained

1-4 garlic cloves – minced

1/4 cup cilantro – chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

15-20 taco-sized corn tortillas

Up to 1 lb grated vegan cheeses of your choice ( I used both cheddar & mozzarella)

S&P to taste

GARNISH: cilantro, sliced scallions, avocado slices, additional salsa or hot sauce

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375.

I roasted my butternut squash unpeeled & halved.  It was a sorta messy business doing it this way.  In the future, I will peel & cube it first.  Whatever you decide – roast it naked for 20-40 minutes, turning at least once, until it is soft.  If you cooked it like I did – let it cool in the sink & peel & cube it once it is cool enough to handle.  OR – you could peel, cube & boil it until the cubes are soft.  I had a large squash – so I put some extra mashed up into my dogs’ dinner.  They loved it!

Meanwhile, heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan & add the chopped carrots & onions.  When they start to soften, add the tomatoes, jalapenos, corn & black beans.  Add the spices & cilantro.  Heat through.  Add the garlic & saute 1 minute.  Stir in the cubed squash.  Season with S&P & set aside.

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Now – assemble the casserole.  Grease a casserole pan (I used cooking spray).  Put the salsa on the bottom.  The rest can be pretty random – as long as you end with 1/3 of the enchilada sauce & 1/3 of the cheese.

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Layer some corn tortillas & top with 1/3 of the veggie mixture, 1/3 of the cheese & 1/3 of the enchilada sauce.

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Add another 1/3 of the veggie mixture.  Layer with  1/3 of the cheese, more tortillas, the final 1/3 of the veggie & 1/3 of the enchilada sauce.

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Add another layer of tortillas & the rest of the enchilada sauce & cheese.

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I used the casserole glass lid to cover it.  You can do this or use foil.

Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, remove cover & bake another 10 minutes or so.  Let rest for ten minutes before serving.

Garnish with cilantro or scallions & maybe salsa, hot sauce or a few slices of fresh avocado.  Enjoy!

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Baked Vegetarian Penne Pasta alla Siciliana with Smoked Mozzarella & Grilled Eggplant

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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bathingandthesinglegirlcover

vromans-back

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This is rich & comforting & easy to make.  I made the sauce but you could use a jar of your favorite kind.  I used real cheese – you can use a vegan alternative – or even omit it.    If you go with no cheese – there is no reason to bake it & you can serve it right from the stove top.  The real key to this is grilling the eggplant – to get rid of that texture & add a smokiness that adds to the autumnal flavors of this dish.

Baked Vegetarian Penna Pasta alla Siciliana with Smoked Mozzarella & Grilled Eggplant

Serve 4 well

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry pasta

Olive oil

1 eggplant – sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

28 oz chopped tomatoes

6-10 cherry tomatoes – quartered (optional)

1-6 garlic cloves (to taste) – chopped

8 oz smoked mozzarella – grated

1 cup regular (or more smoked) mozzarella – grated

1 tsp – 1 TBS crushed red pepper (to taste)

1 tsp oregano

1/4 cup fresh parsley – chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil – chopped

S&P

Garnish: more grated cheese (Parmesan or Asiago), chopped fresh basil or parsley

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven (if you are using cheese) to 350 degrees.

Cook & drain the pasta.

Either brush the eggplant with olive oil r spray with cooking spray & grill (or a grill or grill pan) – for a few minutes on each side until they are nicely grilled.  Cool & chop.

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Heat a TBS or so of olive oil in a stock pan.  When hot – add the garlic & cook one minute.  Add the chopped tomatoes, crushed red pepper, oregano, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, basil & parsley.  Cook on low for a while until it thickens & the flavors meld.  Maybe 20 minutes or so.  Add the cooked pasta & toss.  If not using cheese – serve & garnish once it is heated through.

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If using cheese – add the 8 oz grated smoked mozzarella & toss.  Put it into a greased casserole & top with the remaining cup of grated cheese.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted & bubbling.

Garnish with cheese or herbs & serve!

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