Sunday Spaghetti with Mushroom Pecan Meatballs

Spaghetti with Mushroom Pecan Meatballs

Do you need some classic comfort for your Sunday dinner?  Are you worried that going vegan means no more Italian?  (Insert scream face here.) This spaghetti with vegan mushroom pecan meatballs will be your new best friend.

I could write poetry about my love of Italian food.  Growing up in Buffalo, NY in a half-Italian household (my mother’s side), pasta was one of the first foods I learned to cook. My mother would put on old Ella Fitzgerald records, and we would make marinara for the week, or make a quick vegetable pasta using whatever ingredients we had on hand.  I think I could recognize pasta al dente by the time I was nine.

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Herbed Almond-Tofu Ricotta

Herbed Almond Tofu Ricotta

Given my Italian heritage, cheese was probably the hardest thing for me to “give up” when transitioning to a plant-based diet.  Creamy, dreamy ricotta has always had my heart. In lasagnas, on top of pizzas, spread with olive oil on crusty bread… you name it, I ate it.

This recipe combines two methods I have seen to recreate ricotta in fully-vegan glory: (1) a tofu base; or (2) an almond base.  I love the texture that combining the two creates because you get the richness of the almonds with the fluffiness of the whipped tofu.  I’ve also added some garlic and fresh herbs to kick up the flavor.

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Vegan Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Vegan Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pastsa
I am a recovering low-carb dieter.  The key to my freedom? The beauty of plant-based eating.

In another life, one of the most sure-fire ways to get me off the low-carb wagon was a huge bowl of steaming pasta placed within 50 yards of my deprived existence. Being Italian, foregoing the foods I grew up with was always a challenge.  Pasta was a staple in my household, and my mother would frequently use the dish as a vehicle to clean out the fridge of vegetables at the end of the week. It was my favorite meal as a child.  But, like so many of us, I was convinced I had to forgo “evil” pasta and other forms of carbohydrates to get to my goal weight and be “healthy” as an adult.

Fast forward to now, when I regularly indulge in plant-based pasta meals and enjoy living again. One of the reasons why it is so easy for me to adhere to a plant-based diet is because I  love carbohydrates.  And who doesn’t?? (I’m not sure I’d trust anyone who answered “Me” to that rhetorical question.)

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