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.
- 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)
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.
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.
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!