Some good friends of ours are getting married pretty soon (in May!), and so last night the groom to be was going to drop off our invitations and chat for a just a bit. Well that bit turned into many hours of fine conversation on topics ranging from climate change to peak oil to weight training. So we didn’t end up eating dinner until after 9 last night. I was smart (without knowing it really) as since I knew he was coming over, I went ahead and prepped all my ingredients, so I’d essentially just have to throw the meal together when we were ready to eat. I am so happy I did as it would have been really late when we ate otherwise. We held out though thanks to the loveliness that is Chocolate Hemp Milk. I was ecstatic at watching Brett go to town on Hemp Milk!
So I made an Italian Veggie Casserole. The recipe didn’t call for enough veggies in my opinion, and I wanted to use different noodles and spices, so as usual I went my own way with this. You can find the original recipe I adapted this from over at VegWeb.
J’s Italian Veggie Casserole
1 medium zucchini, sliced into rounds
1/4 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into rounds
1/4 butternut squash, cubed
3-4 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 rounded teaspoon basil
2 rounded teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 package kamut spiral pasta
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
Panko bread crumbs (I used about 1/2 cup you could use more)
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Bring a small pot of water to boil. Add butternut squash and carrot and boil until soft, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and zucchini to boiling water and cook for 10 minutes or until pasta and zucchini are done.
Saute herbs, zucchini, onion, and garlic in coconut oil in a skillet. Cook until zucchini is slightly browned and onions are translucent.
Preheat oven to broil.
Drain pasta in a colander, and place in a 9" x 13" baking dish. Mix in canned tomatoes. Add salt and pepper if desired. Layer veggies on top of pasta.
Top veggie/pasta mixture with vegan cheese and Panko.
Broil 10 to 15 minutes or until bread crumbs are browned and "cheese" is melted.
This makes a lot of food. I will cut this recipe in half next time. But it was very good, Brett and I both liked it. This was the first time we had used Vegan Rella, and the stuff is pretty good. Brett even really enjoyed it, and he doesn't like faux 'cheese', he suggested next time we go to the store in town that carries it (not our regular store sadly) that we should get multiple blocks. :-) Vegan cheese over cow cheese? I'll go with that one!
Brett also picked up one of my favorite chocolate bars today for Cookiemouse's Chocolate Temptation Challenge. (I don't think it's fair trade Cookiemouse :-(, Brett didn't know it was supposed to be, he just got one of the vegan ones I like.) The chocolate bar is safely tucked into my bookbag I carry to work everyday. We'll see if I can resist it! I believe I must hold out until Easter!
I must end this entry with a big thanks to all the incredibly creative vegan food bloggers out there (of course, I have my favorites, and you guys know who you are, but I'm thankful for all of you). I have saved so many wonderful sounding recipes from you all that I have pretty much planned out my meals for the next month just to make sure that I try them all! I keep finding more, and then have to shuffle things around to include those, but I never got this excited, or had the level of creativity in my cooking before I was veg*n. So thanks all you out there for keeping Brett and I happily fed!
'Til next time!