Tag Archives: italian

Plant-Based Instant Pot Lasagna Soup

It’s pretty common in my house to have leftover pasta sauce laying around. Sometimes I freeze it, but most times I try to incorporate it into a different dish to use it up without making our weekly “dinner list” too repetitive. Here’s a great way to do just that.

You can do a lot with lasagna soup to customize it, but here’s my favorite version. It’s simple yet delicious and has that “comfort food” feel to it.

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Oil-Free Vegan Portobello Mushroom Parmesan

To. Die. For.

Ok, so you used to love chicken parmesan. Or maybe even veal parm. And then you went plant-based. Yeah, me too. So what’s the logical move? Eggplant parm, right? Sure, except for a couple things. First, it’s usually fried in oil. Sure, we can fix that. Second, if you want to do it right, you need to slice the eggplant super thin and layer it. It can be a long process. If you make thick slices, you risk undercooking or overcooking and you either end up with tough cutlets or a mushy mess.

Enter the mushroom. I honestly never heard of or even thought of this (not sure why) until I saw it on the menu at a local sandwich shop. So I tried it and WOW. I had to make my own whole-food plant-based version. So here it is!

Hint: DO NOT SKIP pre-cooking the mushrooms. You have to cook the water out or this isn’t going to work well.

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Non-Dairy Spinach Lasagna

Who doesn’t love lasagna? It’s one of those delicious stick-to-the-ribs comfort foods everyone enjoys. So who says you have to give it up just because you don’t eat cheese anymore?

A lot of plant-based or vegan lasagna recipes end up watery because of too many vegetables, or they use that shitty vegan ricotta and mozzarella cheese that’s mostly made of oil. Disgusting. This one is my doctored version of a recipe from The China Study Cookbook. We love it!

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Purely Plant-Based Baked Ziti

I love me some cheesy baked ziti. That’s why I needed to come up with a plant-based version of one of my favorites, and I think I did pretty well. The time listed here doesn’t include the sauce, ricotta, and parmesan batches, so add those times in if they’re not already made. This one isn’t a quick after-work recipe, so reserve this for a lazy Sunday or a special holiday dinner.

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Vegan Ricotta Cheese

Disclaimer: this vegan ricotta cheese recipe is made from nuts and is very rich. This is not – I repeat – this is not on the low-fat or diet menu. But holy hell it’s good.

I grabbed this recipe from Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You and have used it in lasagna as well as baked ziti. Although it’s not low-fat, it’s a much healthier substitute than the congealed oil disgustingness you’ll find in store-bought vegan ricotta cheese.

Warning: Don’t eat too much of this or you’ll end up laying on the couch holding your belly, feeling like you gorged yourself like I do — every time. It’s so worth it though.

Makes about 3 cups.

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Super Easy Oil-Free Vegan Tomato Sauce

I was raised on this tomato sauce. This recipe was given to me by my Italian mother, and then I “veganized” it to create an oil-free vegan tomato sauce that’s compliant with the WFPB diet. And I’ll be honest with you, I can’t tell the difference. Not only is my version as delicious as hers, it’s way healthier. She starts hers with olive oil and Italian sausage, and the sausage really gives her sauce a great flavor. In order to replicate that flavor but keep the sauce meatless, I added fennel seed, a key component of Italian sausage. To complete the transition to an oil-free vegan tomato sauce, I swapped out her olive oil for white wine.

So no, it’s not a “start with a bushel of tomatoes and cook them down all day” kind of traditional Italian sauce, but it’s damn good. Let’s be honest. Who the hell wants to go through all of that every time you want sauce when you can buy canned tomatoes and sauce, saving both time and money? Not me. And probably not you.

Feel free to customize this recipe to suit your tastes. Add mushrooms, veggies, soy protein crumbles, whatever you like. Enjoy!

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