vegan black bean rotini and ricotta

Creating delicious food in the kitchen is a special kind of love art project. It’s this feeling of taking time to treat and care for myself. And how often do we do that, really take a pause and do something wholesome for ourselves? This cooking adventure in my clothes free kitchen did just that for me.

The food art takes from a Vegan Lasagna recipe on POPSUGAR. Since moving into my new place, I haven’t yet acquired all the requisite cooking tools. Indeed, baking proves challenging with no baking dishes. So, I lifted the vegan tofu basil ricotta from the recipe and paired it with Trader Joe’s black bean rotini. Then, I sautéed some kale mix to create a delicious dinner.

Let me say this. Sometimes “vegan” versions of things do not work for me. In fact, I often toss the “vegan” version of things out the window and just settle. And when I saw the tofu basil ricotta in that recipe, I felt a ton of skepticism. However, when flavored well, this tofu basil ricotta actually tastes REALLY darn good. It does not taste like ricotta cheese, but it has wonderful texture and flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 package Trader Joe’s black bean rotini
  • 2 blocks of firm tofu
  • garlic powder
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s kale mix
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • sun-dried tomatoes (optional)

Instructions

Rotini

Tofu basil ricotta

Prepare the black bean rotini per instructions on the package. Once the cooking time passes (usually 8-10 minutes), remove from heat and place rotini in a strainer. Run warm water over it to rinse. Set aside.

Tofu basil ricotta

Gently squeeze the blocks of tofu to remove excess water. Place in a blender or food processor. (I suggest a food processor, because the blender doesn’t handle the tofu as well.) Add the basil, sea salt and garlic powder to taste. I also added just a touch of olive oil to help with blending. Blend / process until smooth.

Kale mix

Chop up the red onion and serrano pepper. Put a touch of cooking oil (e.g. avocado oil or olive oil) in a pan. Add the onion and pepper and sauté lightly. Then add the kale mix and sauté lightly for a few seconds. Add sea salt, garlic and any other seasoning of your choice, if you like.

Chow down

Place the rotini on a plate. Add the kale mix and then the tofu basil ricotta. I also sprinkled a few pieces of sun-dried tomatoes, but that’s optional. Chowing down, however, is not optional. Dig in!

 

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