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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! ūüôā

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

6 slices Chao original cheese (diced) OR
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 or chopped Chao cheese slices 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!

Cabbage Roll Casserole with Vegan Sour Cream on Toast

Cabbage Roll Casserole with Vegan Sour Cream on Toast

CABBAGE ROLL CASSEROLE

I call this recipe Cabbage Roll Casserole because I don’t make actual cabbage rolls. ¬†I think it’s simpler this way, and I’m all about making things as simple as possible!

Please note that this recipe is designed to give you a freezer supply of Cabbage Roll Casserole fixings for several meals (i.e. 5+). ¬†The idea is that you make the Cabbage Roll Sauce and the Cabbage Roll Filling ahead of time, then freeze portions until you’re ready to buy some cabbage and put it all together.

Don’t let the initial work scare you off because this is super yummy and it makes a lot!

Once you have your first batch of sauce and filling made, you’ll find that you won’t run out of both at the same time. ¬†That’s because the sauce recipe makes enough for 8 portions and the filling recipe makes enough for 5 portions. ¬†So, in the future, you’ll only have to make one or the other to keep your freezer stocked. ¬†(Each portion serves 2 adults in my house.)

I do recommend that you have a basic coffee grinder for grinding the fennel.  My Mr. Coffee grinder is dedicated to grinding spices.  To clean the grinder, I use a dry brush to clean the base/around the blade and I wash the lid with soap and dish detergent.

I combine all the spices in the grinder, not just the fennel (for the filling).  I think it helps the uniformity of the grind when you have more volume.  The aroma of the fennel-sage-oregano-thyme combination is incredible!

Ok, let’s make this recipe happen!

Cabbage Roll Sauce portions in the freezer

Cabbage Roll Sauce portions in the freezer

STEP 1 – CABBAGE ROLL SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

1 T oil (olive or coconut)
28 oz can crushed tomato with basil
15 oz can tomato sauce (no salt added)
2 tomatoes, chopped
6 T lemon juice
1/2 C brown sugar (or 1 T agave + 1 T molasses)
1/2 C non-dairy milk
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 t dill weed
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
2 t chili powder

ASSEMBLY:

  1. Simmer all ingredients in a large saucepan for about 30 minutes.
  2. Portion into 1/2 pint freezer jars.
  3. Freeze until needed.

Makes about 8 portions.  (This sauce is good over pasta as a basic sauce recipe).

Cabbage Roll Filling (this batch made with tempeh)

Cabbage Roll Filling (this batch made with tempeh)

STEP 2 – CABBAGE ROLL FILLING

INGREDIENTS:

1 batch cooked long or medium grain brown rice (about 2 3/4 cups)
(1 batch = 1 cup dry rice & 1 1/4 C water in a rice cooker for 55 minutes)

2 T fennel seeds (measure, then grind as noted above)
1 T dried sage
1 t oregano
1 t thyme
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper

1 pkg (12 oz) Yves Meatless Ground Round OR 1 block crumbled tempeh OR 2 cups cooked lentils

2 T oil (I use coconut oil)
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
18-20 small or 10 large white or crimini mushrooms, chopped

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 T organic soy sauce or tamari
2 T vegan Worcestershire sauce
3 T water

ASSEMBLY:

  1. Cook the batch of rice while you work on the rest of the filling.
  2. Grind the spices and set aside.
  3. Use a soup pot.  Heat the oil on medium.  Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic to the pot.  Saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms and spices and saute for a few more minutes.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes, soy sauce/tamari, Worcestershire sauce, water, and the meatless ground/tempeh/lentils and continue to cook on medium for ~10-15 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and stir in the rice.
  7. Portion into 1-pint freezer jars.
  8. Freeze until needed.

Makes about 5 portions.

Yves Meatless Ground

Yves Meatless Ground

STEP 3 – CABBAGE ROLL CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 to 1/3 of a green cabbage (depends on size)
1/2 pint portion of Cabbage Roll Sauce (above)
1 pint portion of Cabbage Roll Filling (above)

Vegan sour cream (optional, as a topping)

ASSEMBLY:

  1. Cut up the cabbage into ~1 inch size pieces.  (I remove the thick stems first.)
  2. Thaw and warm the sauce and the filling (I use the microwave).
  3. Coat the bottom of a square (8-9″) glass pan with a little bit of sauce.
  4. Layer cabbage and filling in the pan.
  5. Evenly distribute the rest of the sauce on top.
  6. Bake covered at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes (until bubbly and the cabbage is soft).
  7. Top with vegan sour cream or have a side of sour cream on toast (optional but good!).

ENJOY!!

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

“Every time you purchase animal products you pay assassins to murder sentient beings for you.”

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