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vegan_month_of_food_2014_vegan_baked_beef_ziti

It’s Week 3 of Vegan Month of Food 2014 and I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for blogging the most consistently I’ve ever blogged since I started this blog. That having been said, I’m traveling the next couple of days for business and it’s going to be difficult to cook, photograph, and blog as per my usual process. So…I am thinking for the next day or two I might share my vegan adventures in place of recipes for my contribution to Vegan MoFo 2014 this week. I guess you’ll just have to check back to see what happens 😉

In the meantime, the latest recipe I veganized from the original recipe is a Baked Beef Ziti. I swapped out beef for Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles and part-skim mozzarella cheese for Daiya Mozzarella Shreds. I also used a gluten-free brown rice pasta made by a brand called Jovial. I really like their gluten free pastas as they have the heartiness of a whole wheat pasta but not the sometimes mushy, gumminess I have experienced in other brands of gluten-free pastas. I used all the remaining ingredients as they are called for. (With my changes, the Points Plus values for this recipe did not change.)

I mentioned before that I’m a sucker for Italian food, and seeing as I’ll be away from home and unable to make dinner for the hubby for the next couple of nights, making an Italian dish that you could get several dinners out of was a no-brainer.

I can’t stress enough the value of casserole-like dishes on a vegan diet. Not only is it extremely affordable to buy a few ingredients that result in multiple meals, but they’re pretty hard to mess up. You basically gather the components and then throw everything in a dish and bake it! It’s practically fool-proof.

Ingredients:

12 oz uncooked ziti

2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced

5.25 oz (or 150 gm) of Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried rosemary

1/2 tsp table salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

28 oz canned crushed tomatoes

1 cup Daiya mozzarella cheese shreds

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add garlic and sauté 2 minutes.
  4. Add Beyond Meat and cook until thawed; usually takes only about 5 minutes.
  5. Add oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper; stir to distribute the spices over the Beyond Meat. Cook until herbs become fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes and bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Spoon a small amount of beef-tomato mixture into bottom of a 4-quart casserole dish (just enough to cover surface); top with half of cooked ziti. Next, layer with half of remaining beef-tomato sauce and half of mozzarella cheese. Layer with remaining ziti and then top with remaining beef-tomato sauce; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
  8. Bake until cheese is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. (I turned the broiler on for the last few minutes to add a little bit of browning on top.)
  9. Slice into 8 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.

I paired my ziti with some broccoli to round out my meal. I also like a bit of spice to my pasta dishes, so I added some red pepper flakes to my portion. Feel free to adjust the level of seasoning as you prefer. Me, personallly, I can never get enough garlic! 😉

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If you missed any of the past recipes from the previous two weeks, catch ’em again here:

 

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