9/11/09

Vegetarian Macaroni Pie

This has to be one of my favorite "creations" that I have put together. It came out super yummy and Karel didn't even mind that it was vegetarian. Lucky for me, he eats whatever I prepare for him, which is something creative every night.
When you are in the mood for pizza, pasta or both, use this recipe to satisfy all your carbohydrate cravings. The healthy serving of pasta in this pie is matched with lots of veggies and you will find plenty of protein in this recipe. Most of all, I think this meal is total comfort food and without tons of calories and fat, you can feel absolutely healthy with every bite.
Enjoy!

Vegetarian Macaroni Pie
*To make this non-vegetarian, keep the tofu but add 1 cup ground turkey or your choice of lean meat. To keep with the vegetarian recipe, you can also add 1 cup vegetarian Boca crumbles with the tofu mixture.

1 cup macaroni noodles
1 egg
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup each sliced veggies: green peppers, mushrooms, onions, roma tomatoes
1/2 can chili beans (rinsed and drained)
1/2 container firm tofu (crumble)
1 1/2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 tbsp hot sauce
Pepper
Marinara sauce
Shredded cheese

1. Cook Macaroni to package directions until al dente (slightly firm). Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. As noodles are cooking, cook sliced veggies in 1/2 tbsp olive oil, seasoned with pepper. Cook on medium heat until veggies are soft. Turn off heat and cover until macaroni noodles are cooked.
3. As veggies and noodles are cooking, combine crumbled tofu, garlic, hot sauce, Parmesan and beans in a bowl. Mix with fork.
4. When noodles are cooked, empty water and pour noodles back in pot.
5. After noodles cool for 2-3 minutes, add 1 egg and stir until egg is mixed thoroughly in noodles.
6. In a round deep baking dish, sprayed with non stick spray (especially on sides), place noodles in pan and press with spoon or spatula. Push noodles to the sides of the pan so that the sides of the pan are half-way covered in macaroni.
7. Place bean and tofu mixture on noodles and carefully spread with spoon.
8. On top of beans and tofu, place veggie mixture.
9. Top with 2-3 spoonfuls marinara sauce.
10. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until noodles on side of pan are slightly golden brown. When pie is finished cooking, turn off heat, top with a small handful of shredded cheese and let the pie sit in oven for 3-5 additional minutes.

*Serve with green side salad w/ carrots, mandarin oranges, grapes and peanuts.