Vegan Cannelloni

In an effort to embrace a less busy lifestyle, I’m becoming interested in more labor intensive cooking. For a long time I thought that cutting corners and making quick and simple things would make me less busy, based on the assumption that it’d free up time (er…so I could do other things). But in the end it just contributed to feeling more rushed, limited and well busy.
Why do we simultaneously romanticize traditional artisanal methods, but refuse to engage in them? I think when we get lost in an activity that allows us to lose track of time, then time slows down, and we feel less busy. So it’s not really the time it takes, it’s the intention. You can’t rush through life without it making you feel stressed, rushed and insanely busy. Take your time in something and go slow.

So here’s one recipe that’ll take you a bit more time than others.



Package of “oven-ready” cannelloni. These are the kind that you don’t have to precook. They are a heck of a lot easier to stuff, require less dishes, time and steps (heh, heh, you can see I’m not going too crazy on labor intensiveness).

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 8 oz package mushrooms
1 zucchini, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 cups fresh or 1/2 cup frozen, spinach

1/4 cup ground cashew
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup water

To do:

Heat olive oil in pan and sauté onions for 5 minutes or until golden. Add mushrooms, zucchini and garlic and cook 5 more minutes on medium high heat. Add spinach and herbs and transfer to an immersion blender or food processor. Process until finely chopped. Stir in cashews, nutritional yeast, and salt.

Mix the water and tomato sauce together and pour half of the mix into the bottom of the whatever baking dish you are using. (I usually use pyrex).

Preheat oven to 350 F

Stuff the mixture into the cannelloni shells. You’ll have enough filling for 12 shells. If you have some leftover it makes a great spread on sandwiches, or mixed into a pasta sauce. I even mixed it with leeks and potatoes which was delicious.

Arrange pasta in single layer in your pan.

Pour the rest of the water and tomato sauce mixture over pasta. Cover and bake.

350 F for 45 minutes.


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