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Jazzy Vegetarian: Recipes

A Taste of Italy Episode #301

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 Spaghetti and Wheatballs

Makes 3 to 4 servings (12 to 14 Wheatballs)

1 1/3 cups lightly packed, fresh soft whole-grain bread crumbs (see note)

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 cups chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup diced onion

3/4 pound whole-grain spaghetti (see note)

3 cups prepared vegan marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a medium baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.

            Put the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt in a large bowl. Put the walnuts in a blender or food processor, and pulse to process into coarse crumbs. Add the walnuts to the bread crumbs and stir gently to incorporate.

            Put  the mushrooms and onion in a blender or food processor, and process to a chunky purée. Add the mushroom mixture to the walnut/bread crumb mixture and stir to incorporate. Spoon out about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mushroom mixture and roll it into a ball. Continue in this way with the remaining mushroom mixture. Arrange the wheatballs on the lined baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Gently rotate each wheatball and bake for 12 to 16 minutes more, or until they are crisp and golden.

            Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm. Drain the spaghetti well.

            Meanwhile, pour the marinara sauce in a medium saucepan. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Gently add the wheatballs to the sauce, one at a time, cover, and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes.

            To serve, put one-quarter of the spaghetti into each of four pasta bowls, and top with three or four wheatballs. Ladle marinara sauce over the top and serve immediately.

NOTE: To make fresh bread crumbs: Put 3 to 4 slices of whole-grain bread in a blender or food processor and process into coarse crumbs.

You may use your favorite gluten-free pasta in this recipe.

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Caesar Salad, Jazzy-Style

Makes 4 to 6 servings

12 cups lightly packed romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and cut into bite-size pieces

CROUTONS

5 to 6 slices very fresh whole-grain bread

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Caesar Salad Dressing, (see below)

1 tablespoon Cashew Parmesan (see below), plus more for serving (optional)

Cover and chill the prepared lettuce to allow it to crisp up.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper. Cut each slice of bread into nine equally sized pieces. Put the bread cubes, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning in a medium bowl and stir gently to evenly coat the bread cubes. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, until the bread is golden and crisp. Put the baking sheet on a wire rack. Let the croutons cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the dressing in a large bowl. Add lettuce and croutons. Toss well to thoroughly coat the lettuce and croutons with the dressing. Sprinkle with Cashew Parmesan (if using). Serve immediately with more optional Cashew Parmesan served on the side.

Caesar Salad Dressing

Makes 4 to 6 servings

8 ounces firm regular tofu, drained

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons capers, drained and rinsed

1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 medium clove garlic

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

 

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. If the mixture seems too thick, add a bit of filtered or spring water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve the desired consistency.

 

Cashew Parmesan

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/4 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, plus more as needed

Put the cashews and salt in a blender and process in brief pulses until the consistency of crumbled Parmesan cheese is achieved. Don't overprocess, or the mixture will turn into cashew butter. Taste and add more salt, if desired. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to two days.

VARIATION: Cashew Lemon Parmesan: Along with the cashews and salt, add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest to the blender. Proceed as directed.

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Pear, Apple, and Walnut Crostata

Makes 6 to 8 servings

CRUST

2/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut

FILLING

2 firm pears, peeled, cored, and sliced

1 large apple, peeled, cored, and sliced

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

2 heaping tablespoons brown sugar or maple sugar

2 heaping tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a 9-inch pie plate.

Put the raisins, oats, 1/3 cup walnuts, and coconut in a high-performance blender or food processor and process until the mixture forms a dough. Press the oat mixture evenly into the bottom and part of the way up the sides of the pie plate.

Put the pear slices, apple slices, 1/3 cup walnuts, maple sugar, 1 heaping tablespoon of maple syrup, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl and stir gently until combined. Pour the filling into the crust and spread it in an even layer, smoothing the top as you go. Bake the pie for 25 minutes. Remove the pie, and brush the top with 1 heaping tablespoon maple syrup. Tent the pie with foil and bake 10 to 20 minutes, until the fruit is softened and edges of crust are slightly golden. Cool 20 minutes and serve warm. Alternatively, refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours and serve the pie chilled. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, leftover pie will keep about two days.