Before I get started… NO, I am not pregnant. Okay, now…
After waking up before or at 5 am every day this week, it felt amazing to get up and see that the clock read 8:45. We had plans to get up early, but my body just wasn’t having it. It’s thanking me or the extra snooze!
Our Saturday was anything but a relaxing day, but in a good way. Like I mentioned yesterday, it started with a 10 mile run, then the farmer’s market, then the coffee shop to get some work done, then it was time to make my way into the kitchen.
We had our friends Whitney and Mitch over last night for dinner. They had been nice enough to take care of Nike the last time we went out of town and we owed them a nice dinner.
Whitney happens to be about 30 weeks pregnant and is a picky eater. With these thoughts in mind, I decided to go for a simple, yet elegant looking dinner. I knew if it looked too complex that she most likely wouldn’t eat it. Simple sometimes is best.
While I set out to get dinner together, Dan was determined to
not help cook take pictures. That is until we had about 10 minutes until our friends were suppose to arrive and I finally looked up and told him to help out a bit. But he did get some great shots, so thanks Dan!
On the menu:
Appetizer: Thai Veggie Spring Rolls
These were so fresh! Basil, Thai noodles, lettuce, cucumber, sugar snaps, and carrots all wrapped in rice paper.
Dinner: Homemade stuffed pasta with an arugula salad
Dessert: Vegan fudge cake with buttercream icing
This recipe will be posted up at Fit Women’s Weekly… There is a secret ingredient you would never guess!
Everything (but a few slices of cake) was gone when our guests left, so I will take that as a compliment. Dan informed me while it wasn’t my most gorgeous meal I have ever made it tasted great.
It would take me FOREVER to go over all the recipes from last night, so I’ll pick my favorite: Vegan Stuffed Pasta. I definitely recommend making this meal for your family. I had it in the oven ready to go in less than 20 minutes (and that was with rolling out my own dough).
How To Make Homemade Vegan Stuffed Pasta
There are three parts to this: dough, stuffing, and vegan ricotta cheese. Clearly, if you don’t want to deal with making pasta from scratch, you ca get shells at your local grocery store.
For the dough:
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup rye flour (or you can use 3/4 whole wheat)
- 2 chia egg (2 tbsp chia seeds + 6 tbsp water)*
*if you’re not vegan just use 2 eggs at room temperature.
- Mix together with hands or food processor until dough is achieved.
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 cup baby portabella mushrooms, chopped
- 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/4 cup diced olives
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp dill
- 1/4 cup loose, chopped basil
- Heat a pan to medium, heat up oil and dump all ingredients in.
- Saute for 5 minutes, until veggies soften up.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Vegan “Ricotta” Cheese
- 1/2 cup raw, unsalted almonds
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 tsp salt
This takes the most prep work but it’s super easy and worth it.
- Soak 1/2 cup of almonds for 6-8 hours (this can be done overnight).
- Peel the skin off.
- In a food processor, pulse almonds, garlic and salt until it’s a “ricotta” texture. That’s it!
How To Put It Together
It was a relatively easy meal to put together, I mean who doesn’t love pasta? Anytime I make pasta dough I make more than I need so I can freeze some for later. This ball of of dough I took out of the freezer in the morning to allow to thaw out.
From there, I pinch about golfball size pieces off to be rolled. It’s much easier to do clumps. While I have the pasta attachment for my kitchenaide, to be honest I love using this hand-cranked pasta machine that just hooks to my counter. It’s easier to put together when I am in a hurry.
I rolled the balls to a size “4”, thick enough to not worry about tearing, thin enough to not overpower the stuffing.
From there, it’s like a burrito. Toss in about 2 tbsp of stuffing, roll up and place in a baking dish.
Once all the pasta was made, put the dish that is lightly coated with olive oil. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Take it out, pour over your favorite marinara sauce and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove, sprinkle with “ricotta cheese” and cook one last time for 5 minutes.
Take it out, serve with a salad.
What a great night, it’s always wonderful to spend time catching up with friends that you don’t get to see often. Thanks Whit and Mitch for a great evening!
- Have you ever made homemade pasta?
- What’s your favorite go to meal for cooking for others?