A (let's admit it - temporary) return. Spaghetti-ish vegan casserole, and strawberry-broccoli salad.

Ever since I started my full-time job in St. Johns County, my food posting has fallen by the wayside. I've resorted to Instagramming my culinary adventures. My inattention doesn't have to do with full-time so much as that I teach three different grade levels. One of those levels is standard 12th grade, a level I never want to teach again. I like them, but don't like teaching them. The things they tell me...why no I do not want to hear about your grooming habits. Or your kegger. I really don't. They also think I party hard. I keep telling them partying hard really, really loses its appeal.

On to the food -

Tonight, I wanted a low-effort meal. The result wasn't quite low-effort. A few nights ago, I made a really simple tomato-basil pasta (kind of from this recipe, a copycat of Olive Garden's capellini pomodoro). I was really unenthused by the idea of eating it leftover, so I put it into a sort of spaghetti casserole thingy this evening.

I also didn't want to use cheese - I've not been eating super-healthily lately (a trip to one of my favorite places, Universal Studios, didn't help either as I've only been able to find one edible and healthfully beneficial vegetarian meal there).

I made a vegan cashew ricotta, following this recipe, halved. It tastes nothing like ricotta, but has the right consistency and is pretty tasty. It also needs to be made a few hours ahead. I also bought Daiya vegan mozzarella. I'm not really a fan of store-bought vegan cheese, but the ingredients weren't terrifying (though it does rate only a C on the Fooducate scale).

I made a quick version of my tomato sauce (found in this post) - just the sugar, Italian seasoning, salt, and one can of tomato sauce, only brought to a simmer. It would have tasted better if I let it cook longer - but I was a bit apathetic. Can one be just a bit apathetic? I suppose so.

I layered the tomato-basil pasta on the bottom of a baking dish, and topped with about half of the tomato sauce. Then I covered with a layer of the cashew ricotta (about half of it). Then I topped with a conservative amount of the Daiya, as I wasn't sure if it would taste right. Then another layer of pasta, sauce, and ricotta. I topped with (again, a conservative amount of) Daiya. I baked at 350 for about 30 minutes, until bubbling, and broiled for about four minutes.

I also added some No-Chicken broth to the smoky collards I made for New Years' Day. I added more cayenne than called for (almost double) - they have quite a bite!



I also made a strawberry-broccoli salad today. I got the recipe from my produce co-op (see link in my links section).

(salad)
1-1/2 cups broccoli, stems removed
1-1/2 cups chopped strawberries
1/4 cup salted cashews
(sauce - whisk separately and then pour over salad ingredients)
2 tb plain Greek yogurt
2 tb honey
1 tb balsamic vinegar
dash of cinnamon

I toasted some sweetened coconut as a garnish.



It's so refreshing to be back at the blog - but I'm pretty sure I'll fall off the wagon again.



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