Vegan Rustic Pasta

A couple a years ago when I was still working as a server, one of my favorite customers had told me about a new vegan cookbook called The Kind Diet – written by Alicia Silverstone. At this time, I had been a vegetarian for a couple of years and was very interested in experimenting with vegan cuisine.  Needless to say, once my shift was over, I pedaled my way to the nearest bookstore to pick up a copy.

I knew I wasn’t ready to be fully vegan (I love cheese more than anything) but quite a few of the recipes looked lip-smacking delicious – and they were. Now, I will admit that the longest I’ve ever gone being a vegan is a little over a month – but I do like to take “vegan” weeks every now and then if I feel like I’ve over-indulged on the dairy.

So, even though I know that I could never be 100% vegan, I still refer to this book all the time for some yummy recipes. One of my favorite dishes from this book is the Rustic Pasta. It’s so tasty and hearty that even a meat-eater would approve and probably wouldn’t complain about the lack of animal product. I like serving this dish with a big fresh salad or with some veggie sausage on top.

You should also check out Alicia’s vegan website: The Kind Life.

Rustic Pasta

The ingredients:

  • 1/4 pound pasta (you can choose long or short shape)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 large onions, very thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I used more)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced or thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 1/4 cup shoyu
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 5-6 tablespoon marinara sauce

The method:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and add the pasta. Cook just until al dente. Drain the pasta well.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the onions and cook for 7 minutes until softened. Then add the garlic and saute for 3 minutes longer. The onions should transparent and turning golden.
  3. Add the celery to the skillet and saute for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the shoyu, salt, garlic powder, then add the cabbage; saute for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes longer.

Marmalade Tofu with Roasted Garlicky Green Beans and Mustard Roasted Potatoes

If you were keeping up with my posts this week, two out of three items on the plate above are probably familiar to you. Despite the opinion of the majority of the public, I absolutely love Tofu. Tofu can be transformed into anything – seriously.

A few years ago, I was experimenting with being strictly vegan and ended up making things, such as Ricotta, Sour Cream, Cream elements for soup – you name it, I made it all out of tofu. As someone who hasn’t always been a vegetarian (4 years and counting woohoo!), I know what the real stuff tastes like. Mock me all you want, but I can honestly say that I couldn’t taste the difference OR notice a difference in texture. I think you can see why I’m not one of the many people who is grossed out by Tofu.

I stumbled upon a Marmalade Marinade on VeganYumYum that I thought looked delicious. I had some tofu to use up, Nick had salmon that needed to be eaten. Hmmmm… can you say perfect marinade?  You can? Great. We paired our proteins with Roasted Garlicky Green Beans and Mustard Roasted Potatoes.

Below is the recipe for the Tofu Marmalade. If you want to make the salmon, the process is exactly the same. Obvi.
Marmalade Marinated Tofu
1 14oz block of Super Firm Tofu, pressed well
5 Tbs Marmalade
2 Tbs Shoyu
1 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Hot Chili Flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp Ginger (optional)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

Mix all ingredients together except the tofu, cut tofu into 8 strips, marinade for 30 minutes. Cook to your liking (may I recommend grilling?).