Vegan Corn Zucchini Stuffed Shells

Stuffed shells are one of my favorite foods. But, they often tend to be on the unhealthy side with the different cheeses and sometimes meat. Because I am slowly changing my eating habits, I decided to try and make vegan stuffed shells instead. I have to admit I was a little skeptical. The stuffed shells to my surprise were delicious. I used organic vegetables, non-GMO tofu and whole grain pasta. At first, I thought that maybe the extra-firm tofu was not a good idea, but the tofu worked well in the recipe. Enjoy!

Vegan Corn Zucchini Stuffed Shells
Created 7/10/14

corn.zucchini.stuffedshells

1 cup of organic corn (cut off the cob, or frozen and thawed)
1 large zucchini, chopped into bite size pieces
½ of a medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons of vegetable stock or olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
1 package (15.5 ounce) organic non-gmo extra firm tofu
1 (8 ounce) bag of Dayia shredded Mozzarella cheese
¼ cup of fresh minced parsley
Zest of a lemon and the juice
3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1 jar of tomato basil marinara sauce
Salt/Pepper for flavor
28 large pasta shells cooked and drained

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a pot of boiling salted water, add the pasta shells and cook for approximately 6 to 8 minutes. The shells need to be firm and not soft as they will continue to cook in the oven.

It is important to drain the tofu well. Otherwise the filling will be very watery. I used an upside down colander and put the tofu on top, then a small plate weighed down with a heavy bowl to drain a lot of the liquid out. Drain for approximately 10 minutes.

In a large sauté pan, heat up the vegetable stock or olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, add more stock if needed. Add the corn and cook for another 3 minutes. Then, add the zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes, remove from the heat and add the minced garlic. The heat from the vegetables will cook the garlic. Set aside and cool.

In a large bowl, crumble the tofu up with your fingers and add the nutritional yeast. Add ½ of the cheese, sautéed vegetables, zest, lemon juice, and parsley. Mix well.

In a 9 x 13 casserole dish, spread 1/2 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish. Set aside. Stuff the shells with the tofu mixture and lay in the casserole dish. After all the shells are stuffed, cover the top of the shells with the balance of the marinara sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese on the shells.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has melted. Remove the foil and turn on the broiler for a few minutes to brown and bubble the cheese. Remove from the heat when done.

Serve with a lightly seasoned arugula or green salad.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

I Am Missing Summer Saute Vegetables

Today was such a depressing rainy day. The skies loaded with white snow clouds and wind. Yuck! I was missing summer today. I miss the warm sun on my face. For dinner, I threw together in a sauté pan heated up with olive oil some of my favorite vegetables; white corn, Edamame, zucchini that I grated from the weekend trips to the farmer’s market, and mushrooms. Added some fresh herbs that were on sale this week dill and curly parsley. I imagine Thyme would be wonderful too if wanted to change up on the herbs, even Rosemary. Hmmm! The flavors were so fresh and crisp just like coming home from the farmer’s market and having a barbeque with all these fresh vegetables. You would have never known the vegetables I made tonight were frozen. This dish was so simple and easy to make. Enjoy!

I Am Missing Summer Sautéed Vegetables
Created on January 12, 2013

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1 cup of frozen organic white corn
1 cup of frozen Edamame
2 cups of grated Zucchini (I had some frozen from the summer) thawed and drained well
8 button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
¼ cup of fresh dill and curly parsley chopped well
1 teaspoon of onion salt (optional – can use kosher salt instead)
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Sauté all the vegetables in a large 10” pan with olive oil for a good 5 to 10 minutes until the mushrooms are a little bit browned and the frozen vegetables are cooked all the way through. Sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs and season with onion salt or kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Serve hot!

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Stuffed Zucchini Boats

I think that zucchini is my all time favorite vegetable. I am always trying out new things with zucchini. The market had a huge sale going on for the vegetable so I purchased quite a bit not realizing that I had too much. I had different veggies in the refrigerator so I decided to make a vegetable stuffing and made stuffed zucchini boats. Loved the concept. Loaded with flavor, little bit of prep work but worth it. Enjoy!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Created on 8/1/12

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10 oz of baby Bella mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped fine
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 medium carrots, chopped fine
1 large bag of baby spinach
6 zucchini, halved and the centers scooped out and chopped fine
1 4 oz of Fontina cheese shredded (Optional)
1/4 cup of mushroom broth
Salt / Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the zucchini in half and scoop out the centers with a spoon. Lay the halves on a cookie tray. Clean and chop fine all the vegetables except for the spinach. Just roughly chop the spinach because the cooking the spinach will wilt it quite a bit.

In a large pan, heat up the mushroom broth over medium high heat and add the mushrooms, onions, carrots and cook for a good 5 minutes until the mushrooms and onions develop a deep brown color. Add the zucchini meat that was scooped out from the centers, coarsely chopped and then add the spinach and saute for a few minutes until the spinach wilts and the zucchini is incorporated in the stuffing.

Stuff the halved zucchini with the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle with shredded Fontina cheese and bake for about 30 minutes until the boats are semi soft and if you used cheese the cheese has melted and browned on top.

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Zucchini Corn Tomato Salad

I am always looking for different kinds of salads to make especially in the summer when Farmer Markets and vegetables are in abundance. The varieties of vegetables are endless. My all time favorite vegetables I think are corn, tomatoes and zucchini. The combinations are just so appealing to me. I made this salad when I went on a trip to Michigan a few weeks ago and the salad was easy to travel with – really did not require refrigeration. Great for picnics, hot days, cool days, any kind of day. Enjoy!

Zucchini, Tomato, White Corn Salad
Created 7/25/12 and on 8/9/12 and again and again

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2 white corn on the cob, kernels cut from the cob with a knife
3 medium zucchini, diced 
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon of honey or Agave
2 tablespoons of olive oil (optional)
2 tablespoons of fresh basil minced, about 10 basil leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

This salad can be assembled either hot or cold. I have done this both ways. I sautéed the corn and zucchini for a few minutes in 1 tablespoon of olive oil just to give the vegetables a nice bite of flavor. The sugars come out in the corn and the zucchini seems to have more flavor. 

In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, corn, tomatoes and mix well. In another small bowl, combine the liquid ingredients and the balance of the olive oil – 1 tablespoon whisk well. Mix the liquid with vegetables, season with salt and pepper and add the minced basil. Toss gently and serve. 

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Sunflower Seed Avocado Tomato Salad

I do not know about you, but when I hear the word salad, I think greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and all the other fresh vegetables that go in a bowl, tossed and drenched in dressing. Today is an overcast, icky day in Columbus Ohio so…… I thought what a better way to cheer up myself on this blah day and make a salad that has bright colors in it. If Mother Nature will not bring me sun today, at least I can create it in my kitchen. I did not have any green lettuce or spinach but I made this salad instead and I am just excited – a different kind of salad. I toasted sunflower seeds and sweet organic corn off the cob, topped with fresh cherry tomatoes, avocados, lightly sautéed zucchini salad with a tad of olive oil. I’m a happy person right now. I am looking forward to trying this again over the summer with fresh farmer market vegetables. Enjoy!

Sunflower Seed Avocado Tomato Salad
Created on 2/21/12

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13 organic cherry tomatoes sliced in half and then quartered
1 small organic zucchini, cubed
1 cup of organic yellow corn, sliced off the cob (frozen will work too)
¼ cup of raw organic sunflower seeds
1 avocado, seed removed and cubed
1 teaspoon of basil
2 tablespoons of olive oil, or other oil you prefer
Salt / Pepper for seasoning

In a small sauté pan, heat up over medium heat 1 tablespoon of oil of your choice and add the corn and sunflower seeds, season the corn and seeds with salt and pepper along with the basil. Sauté for about 5 to 10 minutes until the corn and sunflower seeds are brown like – somewhat like the color of toast. Remove from the heat and put in a glass bowl. Cool.

In the same sauté pan, which should already have a coating of oil from the corn and sunflower seeds, if not add about ½ tablespoon more of olive oil to the pan. Add the zucchini, salt and pepper, lightly sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes. The zucchini should have a good solid crunch but the raw taste should not be there. Add the zucchini to the bowl of corn and sunflower seeds. Cool.

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Cut up the tomatoes, put in a small glass bowl and season with salt and pepper with a drizzle of oil. Set aside. The salt will help the tomatoes create some juice.

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After the sautéed vegetables are semi-cool, add the tomatoes with the juice and cubed avocado to the bowl and toss lightly. Drizzle with ½ tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss well. Serve with whole grain crusty bread.

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Scrambled Zucchini Eggs

Some of my favorite foods and recipes are breakfast dishes. I mean don’t get me wrong I do love lunch and dinner but there is just something about breakfast. Thanksgiving week was always hectic for me because I am always cooking and shopping for 2 or 3 days straight. Today was not like that. I was invited to someone else’s house for dinner, so the prep and all that cooking I didn’t do this year. I actually missed the chaos and hectic schedule that comes with the holiday. So feeling out of sorts because of the different plans this year for breakfast, I had some zucchini and red potatoes on hand so I decided to make roasted red potatoes and scrambled eggs with zucchini. The dish was so simple I was amazed at the amount of flavor. Enjoy!
 

Scrambled Zucchini Eggs
Created on November 23, 2011

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 This recipe is for 2 people

 4 eggs

¾ cup of grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup of zucchini (shredded) this is about ½ of a very large zucchini

Fresh cracked pepper

 Crack eggs into a small bowl and beat well with a fork. Shred the zucchini and the Parmesan cheese. Melt the butter in a 10” sauté pan over medium heat and add the shredded zucchini to the melted butter. Sauté for a good 5 minutes until the extra water from the zucchini is evaporated from the heat. Add the beaten eggs and continuously stir over medium heat until the eggs are cooked. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the eggs and stir a couple of times until the cheese is melted. Serve with roasted potatoes (click here to see recipe) or toasted whole grain bread. You could also substitute the eggs with tofu. The results are the same.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

Mock Fried Zucchini Mushrooms Potatoes Concept

I am always trying out new flavors with some of my favorite foods that I grew up on. One thing I absolutely love is fried potatoes and the one thing I can remember about this dish was my aunt making fried potatoes on the farm with hamburgers for dinner. Talk about fried comfort food, this was mine. I know it is not healthy for me now because I have diabetes. I thought I could try and make my love of fried potatoes a little bit healthier for me such as sautéing the vegetables in olive oil instead of frying with vegetable oil and margarine and adding other vegetables like zucchini, onions, and mushrooms, so the serving is not all potatoes. I seasoned the sautéed vegetables with fresh herbs that I had left over from this week’s meals which left an enormous flavor to the dish. I think that dill, thyme and zucchini go so well together I actually enjoyed this vegetarian breakfast today. I will make this more often and will test other vegetables with the “mock fried potato concept”.

Mock Fried Zucchini, Mushroom Potatoes Concept
Created on 08/12/11

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2 lbs of baby Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1” bite size pieces leave skins on

Note: Try and cut the potatoes all the same size so they cook evenly

1 medium onion chopped

1medium zucchini cut in half lengthwise and then half-mooned sliced

6 large button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced “click here to see mushroom tip on how to clean mushrooms”

6 large baby Bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 large garlic clove chopped

2 tablespoons of fresh dill

2 tablespoons of fresh parsley

1 tablespoon of fresh thyme

3 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt/Pepper to taste

 In a large pan, heat up 2 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Try and keep the heat on the high side so the potatoes form a brown crust. Add the chopped onions and potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through. Season the potatoes and onions with salt and pepper to taste. Stir often so the onions and potatoes do not burn while cooking. Remove the pan from heat. In another sauté pan heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat and add the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes until mushrooms are semi-soft. Add the zucchini and garlic to the mushrooms and sauté for about another 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the mushrooms and zucchini mixture to the potatoes and onions. Stir well. Add the herbs and mix well. Serve hot with sliced tomatoes and/or poached eggs. This recipe is good by itself too! Enjoy!

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

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