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Creamy Tomato Sauce

This is my favorite red sauce. Well, actually it is more of a pink sauce. I always seem to have marinara sauce on hand and I always have my Cashew Béchamel – Basic White Sauce either in the freezer or the refrigerator. When you combine the two – Wow and Yum. You do not have to settle for one or the other. You can have both.

You can always use a jar of marinara as a shortcut, but homemade is the best. Make a big batch of Marinara and freeze it in 2-3 cup increments. Then you will always have some ready for a quick meal.

Combine the Marinara and the Cashew Béchamel – Basic White Sauce into a large pot. Cook over medium heat until heated through.

Use as you wish. Pizza Sauce. Pasta Sauce. Dipping Sauce…

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Baked Spinach-Artichoke & Tomato Caserecce

This recipe came about because I wanted to use some leftovers in a different way. I had some Spinach Artichoke Dip and some Cashew Béchamel – Basic White Sauce. So I combined the two and added a few other ingredients to make this incredible, company worthy pasta dish.

Prepare caserecce according to package directions. Reserve 1-2 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta. Drain the pasta and return to the pot it was cooked in.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add the Spinach Artichoke Dip, Cashew Béchamel – Basic White Sauce, cherry tomatoes and the sun-dried tomatoes and the pasta water to the pot. Stir all the ingredients, until they are well incorporated.

Transfer pasta mixture to a baking dish. Bake about 35-40 minutes.

Note: You can use the pot you cooked the pasta in if it is ovenproof. By doing this there is less clean up.

While the pasta is baking mix up the topping.

Topping:

  • 1/2 c GF Bread Crumbs
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • 1/4 c parsley, fresh, chopped

In a medium bowl mix together all the topping ingredients and set aside.

Sprinkle topping on to the Baked Spinach-Artichoke & Tomato Caserecce.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Light & Creamy Mashed Potatoes

I made these potatoes on the Sunday Night after Thanksgiving and I wish I would have brought them for thanksgiving. They were incredible. Light, Creamy and packed with flavor.

Cook potatoes until they easily mash with a fork.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process just until they are creamy. It only takes 30- 60 seconds. You do not want to over process, or the potatoes can turn gummy.

Transfer potato mixture to an 8×8 baking dish. Bakes for 15-20 minutes.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Manicotti

I made this Manicotti with my Fresh Pasta Dough – Vegan/GF/WFPB. I also used my Tofu Ricotta, Marinara and Cashew Béchamel – Basic White Sauce. It helps when you have your refrigerator filled with basics like the Marinara and the Cashew Béchamel sauces to pull together a meal.

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Roll out sheets of pasta dough. Cut into 5×6 pieces.

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Spoon Ricotta onto pasta sheets. Roll.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Pour some of the Marinara into a 11×7 casserole pan. Layer the manicotti into the Marinara sauce.

Pour the remaining Marinara on top of the manicotti and spoon the Cashew Béchamel on top of the Marinara.

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Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Note: You could use pre-made manicotti noodles. I just have not found any GF/Vegan noodles out there. Let me know if you find any.

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Mushrooms & Peas Caserecce

Caserecce is my favorite pasta shape. They are made into a “S” shape and trap all the goodness of the sauce into the curves. This recipe is an updated version of my Mushrooms & Peas Pasta. both versions are delicious, but this new updated version has more mushroom flavor due to the porcini powder.

For easy cleanup this dish is made in one pot. Less time cleaning up means more time with the family.

  • 12 oz  GF Caserecce (I like Jovial)
  • 1/2 c onion, diced
  • vegetable broth as needed or sautéing
  • 16 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp All-Purpose Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 6 oz. white wine, or vegetable broth
  • 4 Porcini mushrooms, dried, grind into powder
  • 1 1/2 c Cashew Béchamel- Basic White Sauce
  • 1 1/2 c peas, frozen, thawed

In a large dutch oven cook the caserecce according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In the same pot sauté onions until softened. Add mushrooms, garlic and All-Purpose Seasoning.

Deglaze pot with wine or vegetable broth. Add porcini powder and stir.

Add caserecce back to the pot along with the Cashew Béchamel Basic White Sauce and the peas. Stir until well incorporated and the peas are heated through.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Zucchini-Pumpkin Casserole

This casserole was a conglomeration of different ingredients I had leftover from previous meals. I had zucchini, Pumpkin Filling (from pumpkin lasagna), Marinara sauce and Cashew Béchamel – Basic White Sauce. That is basically the recipe.

I like to come up with different kinds of meals from the remnants from previous meals. It is a great way to clean out the refrigerator and nothing goes to waste. Here is how I made it.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Zucchini Rolls:

Take two slices of zucchini and slightly over lamp them side by side. Spoon some Pumpkin Filling at one end and roll zucchini like a cigar, tucking the zucchini as you go. Continue making the zucchini cigars and set aside. This is what takes the longest, but it is kind of fun to do.

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Layering:

Pour half of the Marinara into an 8×8 baking dish.

Layer in the zucchini cigars on top of the Marinara.

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Pour half of the Cashew Béchamel- Basic White Sauce on top of the first layer of zucchini cigars. Spread with the back of a spoon.

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Layer another of zucchini cigars.

Sprinkle nutritional yeast over the second layer of zucchini cigars.

Pour the remaining Marinara over the the zucchini cigars. Spread with the back of a spoon.

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Spread the remaining Cashew Béchamel – Basic White Sauce over the Marinara in top of the Marinara.

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Bake for 30 minutes, the top will be golden. Remove from oven and set aside for 10-15 minutes.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Pumpkin Lasagna

In honor of pumpkin season I made a savory dish using pumpkin – Pumpkin Lasagna. I had all the ingredients in my pantry or refrigerator so there was no extra trip to the market. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

Mushroom Filling:

In a small skillet, sauté onion, mushrooms, sage and All-Purpose Seasoning. Sauté until onions are soft and translucent. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Set aside.

Pumpkin Filling:

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Stir until all the ingredients are well combined. You do not want this filling to be too stiff, if needed add more vegetable broth.

Note: I only used half of the pumpkin filling. I will use it for another dish, however, you can freeze it without any issues.

Cashew Bechamel Sauce:

Because the Cashew Béchamel tends to thicken as it cooks I thinned it out so I could pour it over the noodles.

Assemble:

  • GF No-cook lasagna noodles (12)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour about 1/4 c vegetable broth in a 11×7 baking dish. Layer in 3 noodles.

Note: I like to dip them in the broth on both sides.

Spread pumpkin filling on top of the first layer of noodles. Layer more noodles.

Spread Mushroom mixture on to the second layer of noodles. Pour some of the Béchamel Sauce on top of the mushroom mixture. Layer the third layer of noodles.

Spread more pumpkin filling on top of the noodles. Layer the final layer of noodles.

Pour the remaining Béchamel Sauce unto the noodles. Make sure they are completely covered. Cover baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes.

Uncover baking dish. Now this is where you would put some vegan cheese if you like. bake uncovered for 10-15 until golden.

Let the lasagna stand for at least 10 minutes before cutting.

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Note: You could assemble and freeze for another time. Just thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. You may need to increase the time of baking. A thermometer inserted in the center should read 165 degrees.

 

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Creamed Spinach and Tomato Penne

I made this penne dish using my new favorite sauce – Cashew Béchamel – Basic White Sauce. I had made some Creamed Spinach and decided to add it to penne and the medley of cherry tomatoes just looked so good I could not resist. I could eat the whole dish myself, but that would be selfish, so I will share.

Cook penne according to package directions in a large pot. Before draining save some of the pasta water  just in case to thin the sauce.

Drain penne and return it to the pot. Add the tomatoes and stir. Stir in creamed spinach and the Cashew Béchamel Sauce, until the penne is thoroughly coated. Garnish with the herbs.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Creamed Spinach

This is a wonderful, simple recipe, especially if you have the Cashew Béchamel – Basic White Sauce in your refrigerator. It is a wonderful way to use up some greens that you have on hand and do not want a salad. It works well with kale, spinach and many other kinds of greens. It is packed with flavor and nutrients.

In a large pan wilt the spinach over medium heat. Use vegetable stock as needed to wilt spinach. When the spinach is wilted add the Cashew Béchamel Sauce. Stir to coat the spinach leaves. Remove from heat.

Note: This can be served over brown rice or in a pasta dish. That is what I did it was amazing. I will share that with you in an upcoming post.

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Cashew Béchamel – Basic White Sauce

This sauce is my favorite sauce as of right now. It is very versatile and simple to make. The recipe is generous in portion, so you can use it in multiple recipes. I made this sauce and used it for creamed spinach, which I will share the recipe tomorrow. It was amazing. I also used a portion of this recipe for Creamed Spinach and Tomato Penne – Another outstanding dish. I still have some left, for at least one more meal. It also freezes well. You could portion it out into 1-2 cup portions and freeze it.

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I have developed a little short cut to soaking the cashews, which cuts the time down dramatically.

  • 2 c raw cashews
  • water, just enough to cover the cashews
  • 1 c onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 c Vegetable Stock
  • 3/4 c pinot grigio, divided 1/2 c & 1/4 c (for sautéing)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp onion granules

In a medium saucepan add cashews and water (just to cover) and bring to a boil. Once the water begins to boil turn off the heat and let the cashews soak in the water for about 10 minutes. Drain and transfer cashews to a high-speed blender. Set aside.

In the same saucepan add the onions and sauté over medium heat. Cook until onions are translucent and are soft. You do not want any color on them. Add garlic and sauté with onions until the garlic is fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Use the 1/4 c of wine as needed to sauté onions and garlic.

Add onion mixture to the cashews in the high-speed blender, along with the rest of the ingredients: vegetable stock, 1/2 c wine, nutritional yeast and the onion granules. Blend for about 60 seconds, until smooth and creamy.

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Note: You can use right away, refrigerate or freeze. The sauce will reduce and continue to thicken when using in recipes, so you may need to thin it out with some liquid.