Simple pasta shells

Though I love experimenting with crazy new vegan ideas, sometimes this causes problems for me.

For example, my attempt to make vegan mayo a few days ago turned out very scary. But then I fed it to my dog, and he liked it!

Sometimes my friends aren’t quite willing to try the crazy concoctions I come up with. My boyfriend has been teasing me for awhile now that I put cauliflower in everything… which is only slightly true. ūüėČ But seriously, I think cauliflower is amazing. (Stay tuned for a new cauliflower recipe soon!)

Anyway, I thought it was about time I made something that was naturally vegan. Making crazy items taste like alfredo or creamy soup is certainly fun, but I think it’s time I get back to the basics. Time to make some dishes that don’t need cream or creamy substitutes to be delicious. Dishes that don’t even need cheese!

I created this recipe because strangely enough, I couldn’t find any stuffed pasta shell recipe that didn’t involve cheese or a cheese wanna-be! Why can’t you stuff pasta shells with other things?? Well, I decided you can!

I present to you, simple veggie stuffed pasta shells. Enjoy!

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Simple pasta shells
1 box large pasta shells
8 oz mushrooms
3 cups spinach
2 small cans of tomato paste
1 medium can of diced tomatoes
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp onion powder

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Bring water to boil in a pot on stove and cook noodles for 8 minutes (al dente). Drain in sink when done.
  3. Meanwhile, pour 2 cans of tomato paste in a large bowl. Slowly add water and whisk until desired consistency.
  4. Add diced tomatoes and all seasonings to tomato paste/water mixture. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  5. Dice spinach and mushrooms. Add mushrooms to a large pan on the stove. Sprinkle some italian seasoning on them. Cook over low until most of the water has gone. Then add chopped spinach to pan and saute just until wilted.
  6. Pour a small amount of the tomato sauce in a 13×9 in pan, just enough to cover the bottom. Take the cooked noodles & stuff them with the spinach/mushroom mixture. Set these in the pan (you will probably need more than one pan).
  7. Once you have stuffed all the noodles, pour a generous heaping of the remaining tomato sauce over the top.
  8. Cook uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes, or just until desired temperature has been reached.

Spaghetti & mushroom “meatballs”

Mmmmm I love spaghetti. So comforting & delicious!

Since I made way too much delicious tomato sauce for my pizza, I decided to add a bit more water to thin it out & make spaghetti!

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I made these meatballs before with mac & cheese, which was amazing. So I figured I’d make them again!

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(I know ¬†the term “meatballs” doesn’t really work here, but I don’t know what else to call them. Mushroom-balls? Eh. I’ve heard “neatballs” before but that sounds kinda ridiculous.)

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I also discovered the best drink ever! I hardly ever drink water, but I do love flavored water. Problem is, it’s often expensive & has weird things added to it.

Juice is too full of sugar. Soda is just all around a bad idea. Tea is wonderful, but what about when I want a cool drink?

Enter, homemade flavored water! Simply take a bunch of any fruit you like (not apples or bananas though, berries work great or even certain herbs like mint), put it in a pitcher, fill it up with water, and let it sit for awhile. I just bought frozen mixed berries and dumped them all in, and my water tastes amazing! Mmmm. You can add sweeteners if you want, but I just like it plain & simple.

Anyway, spaghetti recipe time. =)

STEP 1:

Make easy delicious tomato sauce

STEP 2:

Mushroom meatballs (adapted from Oh My Veggies)
1/2 c. dried brown lentils
1 c. water
8 oz. mushrooms
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. vegetable broth
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt + pepper to taste

  1. Combine lentils and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat for only 10 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms and lentils to food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Stir in mushroom-lentil mixture. Cook until browned.
  4. Stir in broth, soy sauce, oats, and Italian seasoning. Continue to cook until liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and allow to cool.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Once mixture is cool enough to work with, shape it into meatballs. Place in muffin tins or just on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with oil.
  8. Bake for 20-30 minutes or just until browned.

Pineapple & banana pizza

So, I haven’t posted in awhile.¬†This is primarily because I’ve been having a few boring recipes or massive failures. But hey, it’s all a learning experience right?

(I also got McDonalds one day. Whoops.)

Anyway, so today is a really simple recipe that I made because I wanted something that couldn’t fail and was quick. I was very hungry after class today. =)

I did cheat and buy a pizza crust because I didn’t want to wait for dough to rise. Which is expensive, so not my favorite thing to do. But that’s what happens when you go shopping hungry!

Anyway, if you want a recipe for delicious pizza dough, check out this other pizza I made. Homemade is always healthier and often more delicious. (I was a little bummed by how much sodium was in the dough I bought, actually.)

The main thing I wanted to share with you is my recipe for delicious tomato sauce!

Did you know that fancy restaurants don’t have pasta sauce AND pizza sauce? They just have a basic tomato base that they add ingredients to. They only main difference between these two sauces is the thickness and the seasonings. Typically pasta sauce has more seasonings because it stands alone, and pizza sauce is thicker to stay on the pizza. But, you can do whatever you want.

If you’ve ever looked at the sodium content of pizza sauce or pasta sauce, it’s kinda scary! So much salt isn’t necessary for deliciousness. If you don’t want to take fresh tomatoes and simmer for hours however, there’s a super easy way to make tomato sauce.

Just buy tomato paste! Depending on what kind of pizza sauce or pasta sauce you buy, it may have 10-20 times the amount of sodium of tomato paste!!! That’s crazy town banana pants.

All you have to do to make delicious sauce is mix tomato paste with a splash of olive oil, lots of delicious seasonings, and a bit of water until it thins out to your desired thickness. I’ve included a recipe below but I really just add things, taste, repeat. =)

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Okay, so this recipe for pizza may sound weird, but you have to trust me that fruit on pizza tastes so good. I had this pizza multiple times at this little city in France I lived in last semester, and it was soooo good. I just had to duplicate it at home, and eat the whole thing. =)

Simple pizza sauce (adapted from allrecipes.com)
1 6oz can tomato paste
2/3 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning

  1. Mix all ingredients except water.
  2. Add water slowly, a little at a time. Stop once you reach desired consistency. Add more water or extra oil if you like a thinner sauce.

Pineapple & banana pizza
Fresh mozzarella
1 banana, sliced
1 can pineapple
Homemade tomato sauce
Homemade pizza crust

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Saute pineapple for a minute or two, just to get some of the moisture out.
  3. Top pizza crust with sauce, fruit, and cheese.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes.