Over the last few weeks I’ve been transitioning towards a vegan lifestyle, and, its been hard! I never realized just how many of my favorite foods were made from animal based ingredients. My body has been thanking me in the form of: an extremely regular digestive system, less bloating, more energy, and surprisingly enough, more money in my pocket from consuming less take-out.
I’ve always loved cooking at home, but, have you had Popeye’s !? Girl.
Cutting out my faves, like chicken and cheese, has limited my fast food options and increased my time standing over the stove. A co-worker of mine recommended I order a cookbook from Minimalist Baker, and, I am so glad he did.
One of my easy favorites: Stuffed Pasta. She recommended stuffed shells but I went with Manicotti. I also went a little spicy, because, spice.
All you need:
1 Box Pasta of choice | 3/4 Cup Dairy Free Shredded Cheese | 1/2 Eggplant (Roasted) | 1 Block of Tofu | 2 Tbsp Spicy Pesto | Sea Salt | 1/2 Jar Favorite Marinara (Organic/Non-Dairy) | Blender or Food Processor | Olive Oil to Brush Eggplant
Slice half an eggplant and brush each side with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Broil in the oven 15 Minutes, flipping once to cook evenly.
While the eggplant is broiling, bring a large pot of water to a boil and season the boiling water with a pinch of sea salt. Add pasta to boiling water a cook according to instructions.
Remove eggplant and set aside.
While pasta continues boiling, add tofu (after being patted dry) to blender and blend into small pieces. Add pesto and cheese to blender and blend until well combined. Watch pasta and remove when ready, set aside in strainer.
Slice eggplant as finely as possible, pour tofu mixture into large bowl, and fold eggplant in until well combined.
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and pour enough marinara sauce to fill the bottom the bottom of a large casserole dish. Begin stuffing the pasta and line the pan one by one. Cover the stuffed shells/manicotti with remaining marinara sauce; they should be covered but not drowning.
Bake for 20 minutes and serve immediately.