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Easy Weeknight Meal: Baked Ziti

Time for another quick weeknight meal in under 30 minutes!  This one really can’t get much easier.  Use whole wheat pasta for added fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.  If you haven’t made the switch to whole grain pasta yet, just take a quick peak at the sides of a box of standard pasta vs. a box of whole grain pasta and see for yourself.  The difference is night and day!  To ease your family into the transition, try half white and half whole wheat pasta to start, gradually increasing the healthy pasta over the course of a month.  I like that it fills you up, leaving you satisfied.

 

prep time=5 minutes
cook time=25 minutes
makes 6 servings
1/2 lb. whole wheat ziti pasta (or use rigatoni)
1/2 pkg. vegan cream cheese (Tofutti brand)
2 C. pasta sauce
1 1/2 C. meatless crumbles, frozen
3/4 C. vegan shredded cheese, mozzarella (Follow Your Heart, Daiya or Teese)
4 tsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
optional: 1 tsp. dried oregano
Directions:

1.  Boil pasta according to package directions.
2.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, sauce and nutritional yeast. (It’s okay if it’s not completely smooth)
3.  Drain pasta and place back into the pot you used to cook it in.  Add frozen meatless crumbles and stir with hot pasta for 1 minute.
4.  Stir in cream cheese/sauce mixture, shredded cheese, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and optional oregano.

5.  Bake at 350F for 15 minutes uncovered, or until cheese is melted through.
(You may need to bake it a bit longer, depending on your preference!)

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