Thursday, April 4, 2013

Vegan Beefaroni

Vegan Beefaroni 
Growing up we were sure to have had or at least seen the shiny canned food pastas. The aisles stocked with different kinds, flavored, and I'm even sure some favorites. These canned items now a thing of our childhood...or even college years were a meal but not that impressive in the gourmet sense. We grow up and our tastes change and if you have a family you want to try and give them a nutritious meal that you don't feel guilty having them asking for seconds for. Your kiddos won't know this is full of veggies and the certainly will love how yummy and hearty it is. Can be made cheesy left lighter for a figure friendly dinner. Serves great right out of the pot with your favorite bread and a garden salad. You will have a quick, healthy, kid friendly, and delish meal for you and yours to crave again and again. Enjoy!

Vegan Beefaroni

Ingredients

-1 Tablespoon olive oil
-1 cup vegan ground beef
-3 cups tomato sauce (your favorite brand/kind)
-1/4 cup vegan grated Parmesan cheese
-1 cup water
-1 small onion, food processed very fine
-1 large clove garlic or 2 medium, food processed very fine 
-1/2 red bell pepper, food processed very fine
-1 medium carrot, peeled and chunked, food processed very fine 
-1 teaspoon salt, or to taste 
-4 teaspoons nutritional yeast
-1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning & basil, dried
-1/4 teaspoon black pepper
-2 cups uncooked pasta (I used the elbow shape but piccolini ziti is the closest in shape to the traditional Beefaroni noodles, but any shape would be fine), you can use plain or whole wheat pastas
-1/2 cup while canned coconut milk
-1/2 to 1 cup vegan cheese, I use Daiya (white jack or mozzarella)

Directions

In medium sauce pan, heat your oil over medium-high heat.

In a food processor add the onion, garlic, bell pepper and process until finely minced into a fine sauce consistency. Remove the veggies mixture from the food processor and add to the heated oil.

Veggie mixture 
Once again use the processor again and add your carrot and repeat until finely minced.

Minced carrots
Once minced, add that to the sauteing veggie mixture and stir to combine and season with salt and pepper. Cook the veggies for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring to evenly cook.

Sauteed Veggie Mixture
Once the mixture has cooked down you are going to add the rest of your ingredients. Add in your sauce, vegan ground beef, water, herbs, and nutritional yeast, stir to combine. Cook the sauce for 15 to 20 minutes until it has thickened slightly and the veggies are cooked. The longer it cooks, the tastier it becomes.

Vegan Ground Beef
Simmering Sauce
(Pre-Reduced)
Reduced Sauce
In a separate pot, prepare your 2 cups of uncooked pasta. I prepare it the way the box specifies but I over cook the pasta slightly so it has the original texture of he noodles. Once pasta has cooked to desired texture, drain and set aside to add immediately to the cooked sauce.

Once your sauce has cooked and your pasta has been drained, add the pasta to the sauce. Stir in the pasta until coated. Add if your cheeses and coconut milk to melt and blend with the sauce and pasta and taste to season, if needed. Serve the Vegan Beefaroni out of the pan with your favorite bread and a garden salad. Enjoy!

Finished Vegan Beefaroni

-Amy