First of all, I want to say YIPPEE and announce that our “Thai Summer Salad” has been featured on ella and annie magazines! Shauna has a wonderful blog and it really is an honor to be featured there as a guest blogger! So definitely check that out!
Ok, back to business. Today has just been one those lazy days. I spent the morning in my PJs studying for a business marketing final. I guess the beauty of college life is actually being able to spend half my time of existence in my pajamas.
I don’t focus as well when I’m at home with all the distractions of notifications, phone calls and food. Half my mind was thinking about what to cook next or just wishing I was anywhere but here memorizing tables and grids about product expansion, branding, advertising, business strategies…
I hate to admit it but I am so much more productive when I’m inside the basement of the school library with no wifi and freezing air conditioning that stops me from falling asleep. I opted for the latter option in the afternoon when I realized that I was not going to get anything done at home. But for the morning, I just couldn’t bring myself to change out of my comfortable pajamas! I love being able to just wear my comfiest clothes, and not care about how I look. It was so comforting to just sitting on the couch of the living room, next to the large window where I could see the beautiful sunlight and gorgeous blue skies.
And…it was an absolute torture to be stuck inside today out of all days.
Luckily for some of my friends, they’re living up their summer and heading off to Sicily tomorrow. That, my dear readers, is how you live life. I would love to go to Italy. The warm weather just makes me want to go to a gorgeous beach near the Mediterranean or to walk through the streets of downtown Italy with a cup of cold gelato. And just to make myself feel a little better about being stuck at school during the summer, before I headed out this afternoon I decided to put a little extra effort and put on my summer dress to school today to match the warm weather outside.
Sometimes what you wear can make you feel so much better. Zoe and I were practically prancing and skipping down the few blocks to school in our light summery dresses. Yup, not even the exams could dull our mood when the weather was as gorgeous as today. We may not be strolling down the streets of Europe but we sure know how to “pretend” we are.
And to finish off our “day in europe”, Zoe and I decided it was about time we created an Italian-inspired dish for dinner tonight. It definitely made me feel a tad bit less jealous as I sat here and enjoyed a late supper of Creamy Vegan Ricotta Gnudi with Fresh Roma tomatoes and Basil. It was a wholesome, light meal – rustic and romantic. Top that with some toasted pine nuts and even warm crusty french bread – oh gosh and you really have something quite decadent and delicious.
And even though this sounds all fancy and expensive, it really is one of the healthiest, simplest and quickest Italian meals. Yes no more feeling guilty about eating all that cheesy heavy dishes – we have here one of the most amazing yet guilt-free Italian dishes for dinner!
Just a note for those who are curious:
Gnudi is a kind of Italian gnocchi made from ricotta rather than potatoes. It basically takes everyone’s favorite ricotta-spinach ravioli filling, add a little flour into them and form them into dumplings. The dumplings are then cooked in an Italian pasta sauce. We decided to try our hand in giving it a Vegan makeover: and made our very own version of Creamy Vegan Gnudi out of Tofu. (And you would never be able to guess it was made out of Tofu at all. Trust me this cheese sauce is fool-proof, we have made it multiple times for Eggplant Involtini, pizza bases and spreads for just bread! We love our cheesy tofu, not to mention, everyone who has tried this even non-vegans love it! They couldn’t even tell!)
And as for the nutritional values:
What’s great about this recipe is its nutritional value: it has protein from the tofu, Vitamins A, C, potassium, Magnesium and Antioxidants from the tomatoes – perfect for those preferring something light and even for those who want to splurge a little. I would call it a waist-line friendly meal.
And there you have it a seasonal, gourmet meal all the way from Italy on your table under 30 minutes! Enjoy!
Ingredients- serves 2
- 5-6 Roma Tomatoes, cut into 8 (OR about 1 pint (10 oz) of cherry tomatoes, halved)
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
Tofu Ricotta Gnudi:
- 8oz Firm Tofu
- 1/3 cup Basil leaves, chopped finely
- 2 tbsp Miso paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp Chickpea flour
- 1 tbsp water
- Garnish: Basil Leaves
How to Make:
- Drain your tofu. Set aside on a plate and place something heavy on top to get rid of excess moisture.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Crumble your tofu into a bowl. Add in all the remaining ingredients for the tofu ricotta and mix with a fork. Lightly mash all the ingredients together. You should have a somewhat lumpy mixture – which is perfect. If you prefer your gnudi to have more of bite and to a firmer shape- you can add 1-2 tbsp more of chickpea and a little water!
- Taste and season according to taste. Add more miso paste for a cheesier flavour/lemon juice for acidity/water to make it runnier.
- Heat up a small non stick skillet over high heat. Add in your garlic and saute till brown.
- Add in your chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. If can add a dash of honey if your tomatoes aren’t as fresh, but if you’re using good quality tomatoes they should be naturally sweet already.
- Stir fry for 3-4 minutes till slightly softened. Remove from heat.
- Using two spoons, shape large pieces gnudi so you get oval/oblong pieces. Gently nestle them on top of the cooked tomatoes. The gnudi is very soft and will just barely hold its shape, so be careful!
- Repeat until you’re ricotta is gone or when you have your desired quantity of gnudi. Place your skillet in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Turn the oven to high broil and broil for 2 minutes till the gnudi is slightly golden brown.
- Garnish with fresh basil leaves/toasted pine nuts/pesto/breadcrumbs and serve with garlic bread OR fresh crusty bread OR pasta.
Zoe & Mia
(This Post is Featured on Create It Thursdays, Moonlight & Mason Jars, This Is How We Roll, The Shine Blog Hop, Weekend Potluck, Lets Get Real Fridays, Thinking Out Loud, Fiesta Friday, Friday’s Five Features, Pretty Pietistic Party, Healthy Vegan Fridays, That Friday Blog Hop, Gluten Free Fridays, Sunday Fitness and Food Link Up, Dare to Share, Our Mini Linky Party, Saturday Sharpest, Traffic Jam Weekend Linky Party, Hearth and Soul Blog Hop)