Food & Drink From sweet to savoury: four vegetarian comfort-food recipes

06:46  16 april  2018
06:46  16 april  2018 Source:   Toronto Star

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That’s why I put together some delicious vegetarian recipes that might not scream comfort right away, but are sure to make their way into your feel-good- food repertoire. Tossed with a creamy coconut milk dressing, it’s just the right balance of spicy, rich, salty and sweet .

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Comfort food doesn’t just mean recipes for mac and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs or chicken pot pie. It can be anything that makes you feel good. That’s why I put together some delicious vegetarian recipes that might not scream comfort right away, but are sure to make their way into your feel-good-food repertoire.

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni With Rosé Sauce

Who doesn’t like a creamy stuffed pasta? And this spinach and ricotta cannelloni that simmers in a velvety rosé sauce knocks it out of the park. Made by rolling up lasagna noodles filled with a mixture of baby spinach, ricotta and Parmesan cheese, a pinch of nutmeg and a sprinkling of cayenne for a little zip, the real draw is that no finicky noodle stuffing is needed. Pop it all in the oven and when it’s ready, sit back and watch how quickly this becomes a new family favourite.

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Spinach and ricotta canneloni with rosé sauce will be a new family favourite in no time. © Provided by Toronto Star Spinach and ricotta canneloni with rosé sauce will be a new family favourite in no time.

Rosé Sauce

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil

2 cups (500 mL) strained tomatoes

1 sprig fresh basil

1/2 cup (125 mL) 35% or 15% cream

Cannelloni

11 oz (310 g) baby spinach

1 3/4 cups (450 g) ricotta cheese

1 cup (70 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1 pinch cayenne pepper

6 fresh lasagna noodles, about 9 x 6 inches (23 x 15 cm) each

Salt and pepper

For the rosé sauce, in a saucepan over medium heat, soften garlic in the oil for 2 minutes. Add strained tomatoes and basil sprig. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in cream and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm. Remove basil.

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45 Comfort Food Mashups. 70 Sweet & Savory Pecan Recipes . Enjoy lighter versions of your favorite recipes with these comfort food vegetarian recipes , including pancakes, quiche, pasta, potatoes, casserole, salads, soups, bread rolls and more.

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For the cannelloni, with rack in middle position, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch spinach for 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, remove spinach and place in a strainer. Press to remove any excess liquid. On a work surface, chop the spinach.

In a bowl, combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan and spices. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well and set aside.

In the same pot used for the spinach, cook pasta for 2 minutes or until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold running water.

Dry pasta on a clean cloth. On a work surface, cut each noodle in half to make 6 x 4 1/2-inch (15 x 11.5 cm) rectangles. Spoon about cup of the ricotta mixture onto each noodle and roll.

Spoon one-third of the rosé sauce into a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) baking dish. Place the cannelloni side by side, seam side down, and cover with the remaining sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes or until heated through.

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45 Comfort Food Mashups. 70 Sweet & Savory Pecan Recipes . Enjoy lighter versions of your favorite recipes with these comfort food vegetarian recipes , including pancakes, quiche, pasta, potatoes, casserole, salads, soups, bread rolls and more.

45 Comfort Food Mashups. 70 Sweet & Savory Pecan Recipes . Enjoy lighter versions of your favorite recipes with these comfort food vegetarian recipes , including pancakes, quiche, pasta, potatoes, casserole, salads, soups, bread rolls and more.

Makes 4 servings.

Grilled Tempeh With Coconut Milk Carrot Salad

We all talk about eating less meat, yet it still takes the top spot on our weeknight menu. Surprise yourself (and your family and friends) with this satisfying vegan dish that packs some serious punch. The lightly browned diced tempeh — a protein-rich soy product made from whole fermented soybeans — is served alongside a carrot, sprout, cilantro and peanut salad for a dish that’s high on flavour and texture. Tossed with a creamy coconut milk dressing, it’s just the right balance of spicy, rich, salty and sweet.

Dressing

3/4 cup (180 mL) light coconut milk

2 tbsp (30 mL) peanut butter

1 tbsp (15 mL) soy sauce

2 tsp finely grated ginger

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp (15 mL) rice vinegar

1 tsp (5 mL) maple syrup

1 tsp (5 mL) sambal oelek

Salad

3/4 lb (340 g) tempeh, diced (see note)

3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

2 cups (220 g) grated carrots

2 cups (150 g) bean sprouts

1 cup (30 g) cilantro, chopped

Crushed roasted peanuts, as desired

Lime wedges (optional)

For the dressing, in a small saucepan, whisk together all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Let cool. Set aside 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the dressing and transfer rest to a large bowl.

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45 Comfort Food Mashups. 70 Sweet & Savory Pecan Recipes . Enjoy lighter versions of your favorite recipes with these comfort food vegetarian recipes , including pancakes, quiche, pasta, potatoes, casserole, salads, soups, bread rolls and more.

45 Comfort Food Mashups. 70 Sweet & Savory Pecan Recipes . Enjoy lighter versions of your favorite recipes with these comfort food vegetarian recipes , including pancakes, quiche, pasta, potatoes, casserole, salads, soups, bread rolls and more.

For salad, in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, brown the tempeh in the oil, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drain on paper towels.

Add the carrots, bean sprouts and cilantro to the dressing in the large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve tempeh with salad. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts and drizzle with the reserved dressing. Serve with rice and lime wedges.

*Note : Tempeh is a protein-rich soy product made from whole fermented soybeans. Find it in certain markets or health-food stores in the refrigerated or frozen foods section.

Makes 4 servings.

Chickpea Pita Sandwiches

This chickpea pita sandwich tastes amazing and is ready in 30 minutes flat! Fill each pita with warm, slightly toasted chickpeas coated in a peppy mix of chili, paprika and cumin before introducing them to the real scene-stealer: the yogurt sauce. Made with grated cucumber, lemon juice, garlic and mint, it’s so good I recommend you double the recipe for extra dipping.

Yogurt Sauce

1 cup (250 mL) plain Greek yogurt

1 Lebanese cucumber, grated

1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice

1 tsp chopped fresh mint

1/4 tsp sugar

1/2 small clove garlic, finely chopped

Chickpeas

1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp ground cumin

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45 Comfort Food Mashups. 70 Sweet & Savory Pecan Recipes . Enjoy lighter versions of your favorite recipes with these comfort food vegetarian recipes , including pancakes, quiche, pasta, potatoes, casserole, salads, soups, bread rolls and more.

45 Comfort Food Mashups. 70 Sweet & Savory Pecan Recipes . Enjoy lighter versions of your favorite recipes with these comfort food vegetarian recipes , including pancakes, quiche, pasta, potatoes, casserole, salads, soups, bread rolls and more.

1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil

Salt and pepper

Sandwiches

4 pita bread

1 tomato, cut into 12 half-slices

1 Boston lettuce, broken into leaves

To make yogurt sauce, in a bowl, combine all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For chickpeas, in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, warm up the chickpeas and spices in the oil for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To prepare sandwiches, on a work surface, split open pitas to obtain 8 discs. For each sandwich, slightly overlap 2 discs, and spread with yogurt sauce. Top with one-quarter of chickpeas and 3 half-slices of tomato. Garnish generously with lettuce leaves.

Firmly roll and individually wrap with parchment paper, twisting the ends to seal. Cut in half and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Egg-Free and Dairy-Free Chocolate Cookies

As more of us are choosing to cook with plant-based ingredients, animal-protein- and dairy-free dessert options are getting more and more decadent. I gave the chocolate chip cookie a run for its money with my egg- and dairy-free version. Chewy, chunky and chock full of dark chocolate chips, you won’t know what you’re missing.

¾ cup (105 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

½ cup (50 g) cocoa powder

½ tsp (2.5 ml) baking soda

¼ tsp (1 ml) salt

2 tbsp (30 ml) cornstarch

3 tbsp (45 ml) water

½ cup (120 g) brown sugar, lightly packed

1/3 cup (75 ml) canola oil

5 oz (150 g) dark dairy-free chocolate, chopped

With rack in middle position, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

In a bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch in water. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine brown sugar and oil with a whisk. Add dry ingredients and the cornstarch mixture. Reserve 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the dark chocolate to garnish the cookies. With a spatula, fold remaining chocolate in the dough.

With a 2-tbsp (30 ml) ice cream scoop, shape dough into balls. Place them on baking sheet. Garnish with reserved chocolate.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cookies are firm on the outside but still soft in the centre. Let cool on baking sheet.

Makes 15 cookies.

Mushroom omelette with a Mediterranean twist .
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