Recipe of the week....Caramelized Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti (get it, I'm stuffed??? Oh, I crack myself up!!!) with Balsamic Glazed Vegetables.
First things first, don't tell anyone that what they are about to eat has tofu in it because what they don't know won't hurt them or influence their taste buds. That being said, here is the recipe for the most amazing dish EVER. If you aren't vegan just use real ricotta cheese instead of the tofu ricotta, and regular cheese in place of the daiya.
Caramelized Broccoli Stuffed Manicotti
2 TBSP olive oil
4 cups broccoli florets, chopped fine
2 small red onions, thinly sliced
4 tsp red pepper flakes, dried
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 cup tofu ricotta (recipe follows)
1 cup Daiya vegan cheese
1/2 cup tomato paste
28 ounces stewed Italian tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 box manicotti, prepared and rinsed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the broccoli, onions, red pepper flakes, and 2 cloves of the garlic. Slowly saute the broccoli, stirring occasionally until it starts to brown all over, about 10 minutes. Add the olives and continue to cook about 1 more minute. Remove from heat and add the tofu ricotta and Daiya, stirring to evenly distribute.
While the broccoli and onions are caramelizing, prepare the tomato sauce. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 cloves garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and stewed tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in basil and remove from heat. Spread 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Stuff the manicotti with the broccoli/cheese mixture. Arrange the shells in the baking dish and top with the remaining sauce. Bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes or until heated through. Serve immediately.
(6 servings, 307 calories, 11g fat, 16g protein, 36g carbohydrate, 3g fiber per serving)
1 1/2 pounds tofu, firm, well mashed
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp basil, dried
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup Daiya
Mash all the ingredients together until the mixture has a fine, grainy texture like ricotta cheese. Store in the refrigerator. (You only need 1 cup to make the stuffed manicotti. Save any leftovers and use in another dish. Recipe can be halved)
I made this dish for a dinner/movie date I had with my friend Nicole. We usually go out and find a fun new, trendy restaurant to eat at. This time we switched it up a bit and had a dinner party at my house. It was fun and the food was delicious.
For dessert...because you can't have a dinner party without dessert, we had Banana Chocolate Chip Crepes (my first time making crepes, I will be making them again!!). I've included the recipe for the crepe batter. The filling consists of chopped up banana, top them off with SoyWhip or Whipped Cream, more chopped up banana and a sprinkle of chocolate chips and cocoa powder. Amazing!!
3 TBSP Ener-G Egg Replacer
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup almond milk
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 TBSP vanilla extract
3/4 cup + 1 TBSP flour
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
In a blender or food processor, whip the egg replacer and water together until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the milk, oil, and vanilla and blend until combined. Add the flour, sugar, nutmeg, and salt and mix for about 1 minute. Pour the batter in a bowl. Spray a saute pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan. As you pour the batter, lift the pan from the heat and twirl it around so that the batter spreads evenly and coats the entire bottom of the pan. Return the pan to the heat and let it cook. Once the edges start to look crispy, loosen with a spatula and turn over. Cook the other side until golden, and slide it onto a plate. Fold it over and cover with wax paper, continue the above steps until you run out of batter. Fill with fruit or nut butter and serve!
Four weeks into the new year and so far I've kept up with this new recipe a week new year resolution. This week for Thursday night bible study I'll be making Roasted Red Pepper Mini Pizzas, look for the post on Friday...hopefully!