We all need more plant-based foods in our diets, no matter what "plan" we are following - this is a lovely vegetarian dinner dish that everyone will love!
- 3 small zucchini
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup unseasoned tomato sauce
- 1 leek, chopped (white and light green part only)
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 2 tbsp vegan cream cheese (You can use Tofutti brand...or regular cream cheese)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1//4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese (Mozzarella Shreds)
- 13 oz marinara sauce (I used a jar sauce)
- 1/4 cup fine breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cooking oil spray
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the ends off of the zucchini and slice lengthwise into 12 1/4" thick slices. This is most easily done using a mandoline but you may use a knife. Place the zucchini strips into a colander lined with paper towels, lightly salt them and set aside. This will allow some of the moisture to be removed from the zucchini.
In a sauce pan place the vegetable stock, tomato sauce, quinoa, leek and oregano. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to low and allow to simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed by the quinoa. Remove from the heat, add the vegan cream cheese, tomato paste, parsley and basil. Season with salt and pepper and stir to incorporate all ingredients.
Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking oil spray.
Put enough marinara sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Blot the zucchini dry with a fresh paper towel and place 4 zucchini strips on top of the marinara.
Spread some of the quinoa mixture on top of the zucchini layer (I found it easiest to do this with my hands).
Add some of the shredded vegan cheese and repeat the layering process until you end up with a top layer of zucchini. Finish with the rest of the marinara sauce and shredded vegan cheese. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly and the zucchini is soft.
Serve to your happy family right out of the oven or let it sit for a few to thicken up and make for easier serving.