Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gluten Free Wednesday: Smoky Beefy Pasta

Happy Gluten Free Wednesday!

I was browsing recipes online, searching for a seasoned tvp recipe, found one and decided to make it for my moussaka, which I was supposed to make for my Gluten Free Wednesday meal at work.  Alas, I fully believe that because I spoke so much about it, that it  really was not to be.  I did, however, already make the tvp and had so much of it (about 6 cups!), that I had to figure out a way to use it up.  There was another recipe I came across that used interesting ingredients to make a cheesy sauce and I decided to try to make it, add the tvp and use up a couple of tofu dogs from a package the hubby opened, but no longer wanted to eat.  Basically, this was a use up a bunch of already made ingredients recipe, though it turned out so deliciously!  L and I ate a bunch of it at work, the hubby actually ate two full plates of it, and I enjoyed a hefty portion myself later.  There was about 4 cups of this left over, and the next day, hubby had already eaten all of it - he, the self-proclaimed leftovers hater!

Anyway, this pasta dish involves several steps, but you can definitely make the tvp beef and the sauce a day before, and the day of just saute the veggies, cook the pasta and throw everything together.  This was seriously so good and I think that the sauce can really be so versatile.  I've made the sauce into something of a mac and cheese as well, although with the exclusion of all the smoky spices in this recipe, it needed something to bring the flavor up a notch.  I'm thinking perhaps a little miso or umeboshi vinegar - I think it will give the right tang necessary to make it into more of a "cheese" sauce.

Smoky Beefy Pasta:

Smoky Pasta, Served with Red Leaf Lettuce Salad with a
Lime Vinaigrette, Roasted Corn

Serves 4-6

8 oz pasta, cooked until just al dente.
1 cup tvp, marinated to taste "beefy"
2 tofu dogs, sliced in half and diced
1 large onion, small diced, about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 green bell pepper, small diced, about 1/2 cup
1/2 orange bell pepper, small diced, about 1/2 cup
1 large jalapeno, minced
1/2 cup small diced tomato, reserved for end

1 cup peeled, diced potatoes
1/4 cup peeled, diced carrots
1/3 cup small diced onions
1 cup water, (plus more as needed for after cooking)
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon Earth Balance
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon prepared dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cumin

1.  Begin by preparing the sauce.  In a small pot, add the potato, carrot and onion and cover with the 1 cup of water.  Place on the stove over medium heat, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until very tender.  If a lot of the water has evaporated, add a few tablespoons more as needed.
2.  Prepare the rest of the sauce: in the bowl of a blender, add the cashews, salt, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, pepper, paprika, chipotle pepper, chili powder and cumin.  By now the vegetables should be cooked.  Add the contents of the pot directly to the blender, adding a few additional tablespoons of water if needed.  Blend the mixture until completely smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the blender periodically.  By all means taste.  I know you are very curious.  It will be thick and kind of stretchy (this is what happens when you puree cooked potato), but the sauce will be amazing!   You will be very pleasantly surprised, especially when you realize/remember that it is nutritional yeast free.  And soy free!  So good!  If you don't want it to have a smoky flavor for future pasta making endeavors, simply remove the paprika, chipotle pepper, chili powder and cumin and continue as usual with the recipe.  Set the sauce aside while preparing the rest of the recipe.
3.  In a large pot, add the tablespoon of oil over medium heat.  Once the pot is hot. add the chopped onion, green and orange pepper and jalapeno pepper.  Saute, stirring periodically.  Add the chopped tofu dogs and  saute as well.  Once the ingredients have cooked and the dogs have gotten some color, turn the heat down and add the tvp beef.  Stir well to coat ingredients.  To the same pot, add all of the sauce.  It may seem like a lot, but once you add the pasta, some of it will be absorbed.  Stir the ingredients to coat.
4.  Place the cooked pasta on top of the mixture and carefully toss ingredients to coat.  Mix in the chopped tomato.  Season to taste.  It should be creamy, a little spicy, smoky and crazilly deliciously addicting.  Yum!



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