Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Neverending Baked Ziti

I got it in my head last week that I wanted to make bazed ziti. I don't know why, since I'd never had baked ziti before (and neither had my boyfriend) and I didn't have a particular recipe in mind. The results turned out really well, but dear gosh what was I thinking when I made a whole box (16 ounces!) of pasta. I thought we were never going to finish this.

Baked Ziti
Serves 8-10 (so you might want to cut this in half if you're not cooking for a small army)

16 ounces ziti pasta, cooked according to package instructions
1 jar of pasta sauce (might want a bit more if you like your Baked Ziti on the saucy side)
15 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained (or however much one thing of tofu weighs)
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3/4 ts dried basil
3/4 ts dried oregano
1/2 ts garlic powder
1/4 ts onion powder
1/4 cup plain, unsweetened soymilk
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
Mozzarella soy cheese, shredded or grated

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place tofu in large bowl and mash with fork. Mix in the vegan mayonnaise. Stir in nutrional yeast, basil, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder. Add soymilk and stir again.
Place a few tablespoons of pasta sauce on the bottom of a glass 9x13" baking dish.
Add mushrooms and remaining pasta sauce into the bowl and stir everything together. Stir in cooked pasta, then pour the mixture into the baking dish. Top with soy cheese and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and broil for 3-5 minutes.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Thin Mint-Esque Cookies

This is such a simple recipe, but they taste so good. You'll want to hide the rest of the cookies from yourself because they're so addictive (much like the Girl Scout version, even though it's been years since I had them). I stumbled across the recipe on RecipeZaar awhile back.

Thin Mint-Esque Cookies
1 1/2 lbs. chocolate (dark, semi-sweet...whatever you'd like....I usually just use a bag of vegan chocolate chips and cover as many of the crackers as I can)
1/4 teaspoon peppermint oil (or 1-2 teaspoons peppermint extract)
72 Ritz-type crackers (I usually use Late July crackers...in the picture are the Whole Foods brand)

1. Melt chocolate, either in the microwave or in a double-boiler.
2. Stir in the peppermint oil/extract.
3. Drop crackers one at a time into the chocolate mixture, being sure that the crackers get completely coated.
4. Place on wax paper to harden. (I put them into the freezer for a few minutes, then store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container.)

Tamale Pie

This tamale pie was a difficult dish to photograph, especially since it wasn't exactly a pretty dish in real life, either. It was good, though! I based it off of this recipe. I didn't have all of the ingredients that the recipe called for, so I just used that as a jumping off point. I'll write up what I actually did, instead. Even though this is called tamale pie, it doesn't come out in neat slices (or at least mine didn't). You'll need to spoon it onto plates.

Tamale Pie
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB oil
1 ts chili powder
1/2 ts cumin
1 15 oz. can refried black beans (I used a spicy version)
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I would have used pinto beans if I had them)
1 ts salt
2 TB tomato paste
1/2 c frozen corn
1/2 lb. button mushrooms, sliced
2 c boiling water
1 c cold water
1 1/2 c cornmeal
1 ts salt
1/2 ts chili powder

Sauté vegetables for filling. When onion becomes translucent, add spices and crushed garlic.

Add refried black beans, kidney (or pinto) beans, and tomato paste into vegetables. Add remaining ingredients. Adjust seasonings and set aside.

Stir cornmeal into 1 cup cold water. Then stir cornmeal mixture into 2 cups boiling water. Add crust spices. Cook and stir until thick.

Press 2/3 of the cornmeal mixture into the bottom and sides of an 8 or 9" pie plate. Pour the bean mixture into the crust. Top with remaining cornmeal mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.