Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats with Tofu

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats (perfect vegetarian Thanksgiving dish!)As the country becomes collectively more health-conscious, holiday meals have gotten a little more difficult. Your aunt is vegan; your cousin doesn’t eat gluten; Grandma is lactose-intolerant; your sister doesn’t eat meat; Dad invited Michael Pollan to dinner—sh*t just got complicated and that Stop & Shop turkey ain’t gonna cut it.

While that scenario is a little dramatized (Me? Exaggerate?? Never…), we probably all have a person coming to dinner this Thanksgiving who doesn’t want to eat turkey. In my family, it’s my mom and I. Luckily, there are countless ways to incorporate holiday flavors into a main course without meat. As part of my collaboration with Nasoya, I experimented around with tons of vegetarian recipes in the kitchen, and these spaghetti squash boats were a home run. They’re filling, use seasonal flavors, and make for a perfect vegetarian Thanksgiving meal. If you’re vegan, just leave out the goat cheese!

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats (perfect vegetarian Thanksgiving dish!)

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats with Tofu

Yield: 2

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats with Tofu

Ingredients

  • ½ container Nasoya lite firm tofu (about 7oz), crumbled using a fork
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • ½-3/4 lb Brussels sprouts, halved
  • ½ cup cranberry sauce (I used whole fruit sauce because I love the chunks!)
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper for seasoning

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise; scrape out the seeds and stringy guts; brush with olive oil, salt and pepper; place face-side down in a pan; and bake for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your squash. If you’re unfamiliar with spaghetti squash, use THIS TUTORIAL as a reference—it’ll walk you through the baking process using pictures.
  2. When the squash is cooked, flip the halves over and partially scrape out the inside with a fork. You want to leave at least a ½-inch of the meat attached to the skin so that your boats hold their structure. Add the squash you’ve scraped out to a bowl with the Brussels sprouts, crumbled tofu, cranberry sauce, and pecans. Stir it all together.
  3. Fill the two spaghetti squash halves with the mixture and sprinkle the top with the goat cheese.
  4. Reduce your oven’s temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy! Make sure to scrape out the sides of your bowl as you eat so you don’t let any delicious spaghetti squash go to waste.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/11/19/stuffed-spaghetti-squash-boats-with-tofu/

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats (perfect vegetarian Thanksgiving dish!)Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats (perfect vegetarian Thanksgiving dish!)This post was sponsored by Nasoya. I was giving full creative control over the content and all opinions, as always, are my own.

Do you have any vegetarians coming to Thanksgiving dinner this year? What are you planning on serving?

signature

Crock Pot Tomato Soup with Popcorn “Croutons”

Crock Pot Tomato Soup (Vegan) with Popcorn "Croutons"When I was out in Colorado a couple months ago, a restaurant we ate at had soup on the menu that was served with popcorn instead of croutons or crackers. Maybe this is a common thing and I’m just behind the times, but it was a total why didn’t I think of that?? moment.

Crock Pot Tomato Soup (Vegan) with Popcorn "Croutons"

Popcorn (real popcorn—not movie popcorn slathered in butter or caramel chocolate popcorn or cheese-covered popcorn) is a low-calorie snack option, and its texture makes it pretty flippin’ perfect as a healthy soup topping (especially if you’re gluten-free!). In a recent post, I mentioned that Clean, Lean & Sexy had sent me some of their healthy snacks to try out, and I couldn’t wait to put their popcorn to use.

Crock Pot Tomato Soup (Vegan) with Popcorn "Croutons"

I got annihilated by allergies this past week (I’ve never had them this bad before—it was awful!), and my cold-like symptoms were craving some good ol’ tomato soup. This one is ridiculously easy to make (gotta love crock pots!) and vegan.

Crock Pot Tomato Soup (Vegan) with Popcorn "Croutons"

Crock Pot Tomato Soup with Popcorn “Croutons”

Yield: 11-12 cups

Crock Pot Tomato Soup with Popcorn “Croutons”

A vegan tomato soup made in the crock pot and topped with popcorn.

Ingredients

  • 2lbs fresh Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped (= about 6-7 large ones)
  • ¼ cup packed fresh basil
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 small-medium onion, diced
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Popcorn (or topping of choice)

Instructions

  1. Over medium heat, sauté onions, celery and carrots in a little extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper until onions are translucent (6-7 minutes).
  2. Dump everything except the almond milk and popcorn into a crock pot, give it a couple stirs, and cook on low for 5 hours.
  3. Put it in a blender for a couple minutes until smooth (do this in batches).
  4. Stir in the almond milk.
  5. Top with popcorn and enjoy!

Notes

This is a thin(ner) soup. If you prefer your soup thick, leave out 1 cup veggie broth and 1 cup almond milk.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/04/17/crock-pot-tomato-soup-with-popcorn-croutons/

Crock Pot Tomato Soup (Vegan) with Popcorn "Croutons"

Have you ever used popcorn as a soup topping?

signature

P.S. Sorry for the lack of blog posts this week! Life keeps getting in the way, and I figure it’s better to just prepare awesome blog posts for next week rather than throw up a bunch of quickie junk posts this week.

Lemon Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce (Dairy-Free)

Lemon Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce (Dairy-Free)Hey guys! Shit. I have had the BUSIEST week—and today is no exception. You know those weeks where you feel like you’re constantly working and running around but the to-do list just never gets shorter? That’s where I am. In part, I think I’m subconsciously creating unnecessary tasks for myself in order to avoid doing my taxes, but regardless, I apologize for not posting a workout this week. I have a bunch in the queue but haven’t had the time to shoot and write them up into a blog post. In the meantime, you could browse through the archives and try out an old one—I’d love to hear what some of your blast-from-the-past favorites are!

Lemon Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce (Dairy-Free)

Since I hate having total radio silence on the blog during the week, I wanted to throw up a quick (delicious!) recipe post before I get back to avoiding my taxes. I’ve been experimenting with a dairy-free cauliflower crust pesto pizza recipe, and while the flavors are all spot on, I still need to tweak the crust texture. Full recipe will be up when I nail that part, but in the meantime, this lemon hemp seed pesto is a light, refreshing and dairy-free take on traditional pesto sauce. Perfect for pastas, spaghetti squash, sandwich spreads and, of course, pizza!

Lemon Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce (Dairy-Free)

Lemon Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce (Dairy-Free)

Yield: 2/3 cup (roughly)

Lemon Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce (Dairy-Free)

A light, refreshing, dairy-free pesto sauce made with a hint of lemon and hemp seeds.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup packed basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ c extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp packed parsley

Instructions

  1. Put everything in a food processor. Pulse and process until smooth.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/04/03/lemon-hemp-seed-pesto-sauce-dairy-free/

Lemon Hemp Seed Pesto Sauce (Dairy-Free)I love the nutty flavor of hemp seeds (I eat them by the spoonful sometimes…kind of weird), and think they’re a great compliment to the pine nuts. I also think it’s crazy how omitting the cheese that’s usually in traditional pesto sauce makes little to no difference in the flavor—for me, there’s now no reason to ever not use dairy-free pesto.

Enjoy! I’m off to continue not doing my taxes…

signature