November 01

Baked Ziti That Will Change Your Life

By Katie Reines RD

You have found the cheap, easy, vegan comfort deliciousness that everyone, I mean it, EVERYONE will love. My crowd-pleasing baked ziti has been shown to significantly increase the chances of making a healthy-eater out of anyone. Yes, the dietitian (who cooks for people with picky eaters in the family) has spoken. See for yourself. This recipe will change your LIFE.

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Why I love this recipe:

There are lots of reasons why I love this recipe. Obviously, because it is down right delicious. And not so obviously, because it provides a healthy balanced plant based meal full of healthy fats, complete protein, cancer fighting lycopene, and it is cheap and easy to make.

Dietitian tip for dining out? Always choose the red sauce.

Red sauces like marinara:

  1. Provide a serving of vegetables
  2. Are heart healthier, plant based fats
  3. Contain less calories and fat than white, dairy based sauces
  4. Have no cholesterol
  5. Add color to your plate

The red pigment in tomatoes, called lycopene, has been shown to protect against prostate cancer and skin damage from the sun. Eating tomato products that are low in sodium and fat are a fabulous way to eat your medicine! Enjoy.

Baked Ziti That Will Change Your Life

Ingredients (total cost at Whole Foods: $21)

  • 1 lb ziti pasta
  • 1 24oz jar marinara sauce (we used an organic fat-free option plus some that was already open in the fridge)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan mozzarella shreds (we used 1 bag of daiya shredded mozzarella)
  • 1 lb firm tofu, drained
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast or vegan grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese (we used 1/2 of a container of tofutti)

Steps

  1. Boil water and cook ziti to manufacturer’s instructions and preheat oven to 425*F
  2. For ‘ricotta’: crumble tofu in a large bowl and add in nutritional yeast (or parmesan), salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and cream cheese. Mix fully with a fork or large spoon.
  3. Mix the cooked pasta, most of the marinara sauce, and ricotta in a large bowl
  4. In a large baking pan, add some marinara to line the bottom, transfer the mixture in, and spread it out evenly.
  5. Top with the rest of the marinara and finally the layer of mozzarella shreds
  6. Cover the dish with foil and bake ~20 minutes, uncover, and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  7. Eat with a side of greens and those people who actually get you and still like you!😉 xo

katie-rd

Katie Reines is on a mission to save the world. Plant based dietitian, personal trainer, group fitness and yoga instructor, helping you achieve optimal health to live life to the fullest. It’s wake up time.

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