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Vegan Manicotti with Italian Sausage Field Roast

Mmm…Manicotti!
Meat-free. Dairy-free. Egg-free. It’s definitely not taste-free! 🙂

This is my second veganized version of the manicotti that I grew up eating. Eric said this is the best manicotti I’ve ever made! This goes together pretty quickly. The cashews don’t need to soak for very long and the tofu can drain while you’re mincing veggies.

(My first veganized manicotti recipe can be found here.)

INGREDIENTS TO PREP

1 box manicotti noodles, uncooked

1/2 of a 15.5 ounce twin pack (or 1/2 of a standard block) extra firm or firm tofu, drained, then mashed with a fork or potato masher

1 T avocado oil (or oil of your choice)
1/4 C onion, minced
1/3 C carrot, minced
large clove garlic, minced

1 T dried parsley
1/2 T Italian seasoning blend
1 t dried basil
1/4 t garlic powder

1/2 C raw cashews, soaked in 1/2 C water for at least an hour
2 T nutritional yeast
generous dashes of salt and pepper

2 links Field Roast Italian Sausages, chopped
1 t balsamic vinegar

1 C Daiya mozzarella style shreds (or comparable brand)

1 jar (24 oz) vegan spaghetti sauce of your choice
1 C diced tomatoes, pureed with 1/2 C water (**See note)

**NOTE: If you prefer, use part of a second jar of spaghetti sauce OR use tomato sauce instead of the diced tomatoes/water. I used the diced tomatoes because that’s what I had in the house, and I realized that I should have bought 2 jars of spaghetti sauce. The idea is to have enough sauce to fully cover the noodles during baking. You won’t need 2 full jars of sauce, but 1 jar won’t be enough. HISTORY: Back in the 1980’s, when my mom used to make manicotti, the spaghetti sauce jars were a lot bigger. I think they used to be 32 ounces. Over time, the price stayed the same, while the jars got smaller and smaller. The food companies think people don’t notice, but some of us do!!

Vegan manicotti ingredients

ASSEMBLY:

1. Open box of noodles and set aside.

2. Set aside your glass 9″ x 13″ baking pan and a piece of aluminum foil.

3. Place your drained, mashed tofu in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

4. In a saute pan on medium heat, sizzle the oil, onions, carrots, and garlic. Remove it from the heat and stir in the parsley, Italian seasoning blend, basil, and garlic powder. Add all of it to the mixing bowl. Stir.

5. In a Vitamix blender, whiz up the cashews, soaking water, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Pour into the mixing bowl. Stir.

Mashed tofu with veggies/herbs and cashew sauce

6. In a small bowl, drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the chopped Field Roast Italian sausages, and stir. Add them to the mixing bowl.

Chopped Field Roast with balsamic vinegar mixed in

7. Add the Daiya shreds to the mixing bowl. Stir.

All ingredients for stuffing into the noodles

8. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

9. Pour enough spaghetti sauce into the bottom of the glass baking pan to coat the bottom. Stuff the noodles with the yummy mixture and line the noodles up in the pan. (I didn’t end up using the last 2 noodles.)

10. Pour the rest of the spaghetti sauce and the pureed tomatoes/water into the bowl that had the stuffing mixture. Stir.

Spaghetti sauce and pureed tomatoes/water

11. Pour the sauce blend over the noodles and then make sure each stuffed noodle is fully surrounded by sauce.

Vegan manicotti, before baking

12. Bake at 400 degrees, covered with foil, for 45 minutes.

13. Remove foil, turn off the oven, and leave in the oven for another 10 minutes. If desired, during this time, sprinkle extra vegan cheese shreds on top.

14. Remove from oven and let sit for another 10 minutes before serving.

Vegan manicotti, after baking

ENJOY!

Lemon cheesecake (vegan)

LEMON CHEESECAKE (VEGAN)

This cheesecake is super easy to make using your Vitamix blender (or food processor). It’s tangy, sweet, and creamy, and sure to impress! We eat it for breakfast and dessert! Try topping it with some organic blueberries or sliced strawberries. Mmm…

CRUST INGREDIENTS

Dry:
1/2 C organic rolled oats
1/2 C organic raw (unsalted) cashews
1/2 C organic raw walnuts
1/2 C salted pretzels (or tortilla chips)
1/3 C unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1/4 C all-purpose flour

Wet:
2 T vegan butter (we use Earth Balance)
2 T coconut oil
1 T maple syrup

CRUST ASSEMBLY:
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In small batches, grind ingredients using the dry container of your Vitamix mixer, or process in a food processor. In a small bowl, melt the Earth Balance and coconut oil, then add the maple syrup. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix/mash until uniform consistency. Press the mixture into a glass pie pan using a spoon. (If you don’t have a glass pie pan, you could try using a glass square pan.)

FILLING INGREDIENTS

12 ounces organic silken tofu (drain out the excess water from the package but there’s no need to press the tofu)
1 container of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
2/3 C organic sugar
2 T organic cornstarch
1 t vanilla extract
1/3 C lemon juice (or use the juice of 1 lemon if the lemon produces slightly more than 1/3 C)
zest of one lemon

PIE ASSEMBLY:
Blend all filling ingredients in your Vitamix mixer (or food processor). Pour the creamy blend into the pressed crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack until it’s warm but not hot, then refrigerate until completely cold. Then serve!

Lemon cheesecake, right out of the oven

Lemon cheesecake, after chilling

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

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