The catalyst for their expansion into vegetarian and vegan cooking wasn't actually any of the above reasons, though. Those were merely side bonuses. No, what really kick-started the movement in our household was my stepfather's birthday party, where his vegan daughter was in attendance. After that, my mom (the main cook for the rest of the house) asked me to help her come up with some dishes they could enjoy, both with and without her present, that weren't too "health-foody" or bizarre looking - AKA, meals my notoriously picky stepdad would at least try.
Given that my stepfamily is staunchly proud of their Italian roots, and that pasta seems to be the "great equalizer" in the kitchen, I immediately thought of a vegan lasagna. I've made tofu-based ricotta several times before, sneaking it into baked pastas as a dairy "stretcher", but never used it alone. However, I had a good idea of the Mediterranean flavours I wanted to infuse into the relatively bland bean curd, from standard garlic and basil to fennel (the Italian sausage herb). Vegan "Parmesan" cheese, nutritional yeast and Kalamata olives added the necessary salty/tangy element, and the whole mixture got a final punch from fresh parsley before marinating for an hour.
Somewhere down the line my mom and I modified our usual "lasagna" format to become more of a baked pasta, mostly for serving ease and partially because the only whole grain pasta my stepdad will eat willingly is Kamut or spelt (he hates whole wheat, for some reason) and lasagna sheets with either of those grains are few and far between. However, our local bulk store carries an array of short cut pasta made from them, so we picked up a bag of Kamut spirals that would hold the sauce and "cheese". Topped with marinara and a sprinkle of Daiya mozzarella, the dish looked exactly like it's non-vegan counterpart, and when we served it to mixed company nobody (except the visiting vegans) knew about the switch until well after dessert and coffee were served. It took some major insistence to convince them that yes, there was "scary" tofu in there!
This week our #SundaySupper group is sharing a medley of meatless meals. Whether you're "Spring cleaning" your system or celebrating Lent, you're sure to find a dish (or ten!) that will tempt your tastebuds in a way that will make you forget all about steak and potatoes!
Salads, Soups, Stews and Starters
- Spicy Vegan Potato Salad by Killer Bunnies, Inc
- Veggie Salad Trio with Zucchini Noodles and Pesto by Hip Foodie Mom
- Olive Tapenade by MealDiva
- Chickpea Chile Soup with Greens and Grains by Shockingly Delicious
- Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Potato Chickpea Stew by The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- “Beef” Stew with Potato Cake Tops by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Teriyaki Quinoa “Meatballs” by The Foodie Patootie
- Black Bean “Meatballs” with Marinara by Foxes Love Lemons
- Spicy Vegetarian Meatballs by Mess Makes Food
Pastas, Pizzas and Casseroles
- Zucchini and Mushroom Skillet Lasagna by Curious Cuisiniere
- Four Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells by Melanie Makes
- Spicy Penne with Tomatoes and Havarti by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Cheesy Tomato Casserole by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Deconstructed Vegan “Lasagna” by What Smells So Good?
- Ramen Stir Fry by Ninja Baking
- Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna by Cravings of a Lunatic
- Broccolini Macaroni and Cheese by Family Foodie
- Sundried Tomato and Zucchini Pizza with Goat Cheese by Healthy. Delicious.
- Creamy Parmesan Mushroom and Leek Pasta by Neighborfood
- Roasted Veggie Manicotti by Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos
- Pasta Patate by Webicurean
- Spaghetti and Chickpeas and Roasted Tomato Sauce by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Broccoli, Mushroom, and Rice Casserole by Momma’s Meals
- Radicchio and Gorgonzola Tortelloni with Butter and Walnuts by Manu’s Menu
- Quinoa Black Bean Burger with Ginger Cilantro & Turmeric by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Garbanzo and Brown Rice Burgers by girlichef
- Tofu Burgers by Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Tacos & Everything Wrapped
- Blackened Tofu Tacos with Asian Slaw by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Mushroom & Poblano Tacos by La Cocina de Leslie
- Green Chile Enchiladas by Cookin’ Mimi
- Beet and Goat Cheese Tacos with Avocado Cream by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Black Bean and Avocado Flautas by Supper for a Steal
- Black Bean Spinach Quinoa Burritos by Alida’s Kitchen
Other Main and Side Dishes
- Vegan, Gluten Free Breakfast Bars by Pies and Plots
- Mushroom and Lentil Cottage Pie by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Mediterranean Tomato Tart by Magnolia Days
- Lentil Stuffed Peppers by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Fontina Polenta with Sauteed Porcini Mushrooms by La Bella Vita Cucina
- Leek and Zucchini Tarte Tatin by Food Lust People Love
- Tofu and Peas Curry (Tofu Matar) by Soni’s Food
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
Deconstructed Vegan “Lasagna”
1 ½ lbs firm tofu, drained
1 tbsp vegan Parmesan (optional but recommended)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
¾ tsp onion powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
¼ tsp fennel seed
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ cup minced parsley
¼ cup minced Kalamata olives
3 cups low-sodium marinara sauce
1 lb Kamut® (or whole grain) spiral pasta, cooked and drained
2 cups shredded vegan mozzarella cheese (I used Daiya)
- Mash tofu with vegan Parmesan, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano, fennel, salt, pepper, parsley and olives. Cover and let stand 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325F and grease a 9x13” dish.
- Stir the pasta, 1 cup of the mozzarella and 2 cups of the marinara into the tofu mixture.
- Spread mixture in the baking dish, pour over the remaining marinara sauce and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.
- Bake, covered, 20 minutes, then uncover and bake 10 minutes longer.
Total Fat: 14.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 658.8 mg
Total Carbs: 57.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 10.1 g
Protein: 22.1 g