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Slow Cooker Vegan Baked Ziti Soup

This slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup is comfort food times two in one healthy bowl: it’s a combination of 2 old favorites: baked ziti and hearty soup!
vegan baked ziti soup

I love to take old fashioned comfort foods and turn them into something that tastes just as good as I remember them tasting when I was a kid, but that actually can heal my body. In my house, these comfort food recipes are usually everyone’s favorites. This slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup is a new creation, but I’m betting it quickly makes it to “favorite status”…

Right now, I think the top rated comfort food recipe is my Cheeseburger Soup. I make this all of the time… I mean, waaaayyyyyyyy too often. But OMG it is sooooo good!  So, I figured I should create a new soup with the same healing yet comforting vibe. Enter: Slow Cooker Vegan Baked Ziti Soup.

We are all creatures of habit.

I guide people out of their comfort zones every day. Because it’s so important. Soooooooo important…

I just love when someone steps outside of their box with me. Let’s face it — it’s so much easier to stay in our comfort zone than step out of it. But, we all know that nothing good comes from stagnation. You’ve got to leap in order to fly… you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince… if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you… blah, blah, blah…

Sometimes, you just need to throw those cliches in the trash and find someone to guide you out of your comfy box.

I remember, in one of my old careers (and yes, I’ve had several…), I got to meet Walter Cronkite. And what this genius said has always stuck with me. He said he loved his job as a newsperson, but that every single night before he went on the air, he had to put his head between his knees because he felt like he was going to vomit. This was because every single night he stepped out of his comfort zone and into the unknown by interviewing people who were unpredictable and never gave expected answers… every single night was different.

What a way to live. And I mean that in a great way. What a way to live!

I’ve made a habit of stepping outside of my comfort zone as much as possible. Maybe not every single day, but yes, every single week.

If you want to step outside of your box, sign up for a free phone consultation with me and we will step together. Let’s chat and figure out how to create awesome changes in your body, your mind and your spirit… I just love this stuff! So, CLICK HERE and you’ll be taken directly to my calendar so you can sign up for a time that’s convenient for you… do it now!

Oh my, that’s quite a tangent I went off on. All because of the phrase “comfort food”.

So, back to this comfort food recipe for slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup. It really is comforting. It really does taste like baked ziti. I made it with lentil pasta, and a really creamy vegan mozzarella cheese and I drizzled some great basil pesto on top. And, of course, I hid some superfoods inside — hemp seeks and Chinese herbs… so healing!

I want to thank Alissa at Connoisseurus Veg because it was her genius recipe for Slow Cooker Vegan Lasagna Soup that was my inspiration for this recipe.

So, make this slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup. Or, try my recipe for Paleo Beefaroni — that’s a great comfort food too.

slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now… let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. So CLICK HERE to be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup

Here are some of the great healing ingredients in this slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup:

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

In Chinese medicine, we use tomatoes to aid in digestion and to help detoxify the body. They are also good to combat excess cholesterol, lessen inflammation and curb asthma. Tomatoes can also quench thirst, and they can help fight some kidney infections.

Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.

Lentils help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, are high in vitamin B and protein, and have hardly any fat. They are a good source of long-term energy and are very high in fiber. These tiny legumes also help with digestion and they are the perfect protein to eat in the summer because they actually clear the body of excess heat; long ago, cold lentil soup was prescribed for patients with heatstroke or fever.

It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

Huang Qi is like magic; this Chinese herb builds qi/gives you energy… you can really feel it working while you are eating. My family makes fun of my excitement for herbs, but they also are happy to reap the rewards when they eat my herb-infused foods, so think about trying out some herbs the next time you boil a pot of something…

I added a few sticks of raw Shan Yao. This Chinese herb is actually Chinese Yam, and it’s great for energy.

slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup

If you make this slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Slow Cooker Vegan Baked Ziti Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: soup, vegan, comfort food, vegetarian, slow cooker
Cuisine: recipe inspired by: Connoisseurus Veg
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
This comforting vegan soup is so healing, so delicious, and the slow cooker does all the work!
Ingredients
  • 1 qt vegetable broth
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ¾ cup dry green lentils
  • 2 Tbs hemp seeds
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • Optional raw Chinese herbs: Huang Qi, Shan Yao
  • 3 oz baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 6 oz green lentil penne (or pasta of your choice)
  • ½ cup basil pesto
  • 1 cup vegan ricotta cheese
Instructions
  1. Put the vegetable broth, onion, garlic, oregano, basil, dry lentils, hemp seeds, Chinese herbs, and crushed tomatoes into the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 3-1/2 hours.
  3. Open the cooker and add the spinach and pasta.
  4. Cook on high for 8 minutes (or until the pasta is cooked al dente).
  5. Ladle into bowls.
  6. Top each bowl with a dollop of pesto and a dollop of vegan ricotta cheese.
  7. Enjoy!

slow cooker vegan baked ziti soup

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bowl

Pasta rules! And this roasted red pepper pasta bowl is awesome!

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Yay! Another great, fantastic, awesome, deliciously healing, yet paleo AND vegan pasta dish that tastes like real, classic, homemade Italian pasta. Wow, that was a mouthful! But I honestly don’t know how to accurately describe the awesomeness of this dish without using so many adjectives…

If you know me at all, you know that I will try any and every pasta that I see if it’s paleo. Some are truly awesome. Some… not so much. This lentil pasta is one of my favorites. (See the recipe below for where you can buy it.) It really has the texture and taste of traditional whole wheat pasta. For real — no one will know.

I made this dish a few days ago and I got to do one of my favorite things — feed an unsuspecting guest… My daughter’s boyfriend was here and I was in the kitchen experimenting and I made these pasta bowls. You know young men — they are always hungry… So, he gladly accepted a pasta bowl and ate it. Now, he knows my bent toward all things healthy, so after he ate half of it, he looked up and asked: “Is it real pasta?” I just smiled. He knew the answer, but continued to eat with gusto. Success! After that my daughter ate it and also loved it. The list continued from there. So, to Sam, my willing taste-tester, you are welcome in my kitchen any time!

This pasta is made so amazing by the delicious (and oh-so-easy) creamy roasted red pepper sauce. And then, a few drizzles of pesto and a dollop of cheese (I used a great vegan creamy cheese) and some crisp fresh arugula and fragrant basil. Really, this roasted red pepper pasta bowl is the complete package! I have to send an shoutout now to one of my favorite blogs: Half Baked Harvest, because she came up with the original recipe that inspired me to create this version — ingenious!

If you are looking to try another paleo pasta recipe, try my Vegan Fettuccine Bolognese.

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Here are some of the amazing ingredients in this roasted red pepper pasta bowl:

Bell peppers help with indigestion. If you are feeling bloated and full from over-eating a lot lately, consuming bell peppers will help reduce this feeling. They are also good for blood circulation and research has shown that they are good for people with a low appetite or anorexia. It used to be common in China to use bell pepper tea to soothe indigestion.

Lentils help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, are high in vitamin B and protein, and have hardly any fat. They are a good source of long-term energy and are very high in fiber. These tiny legumes also help with digestion and they are the perfect protein to eat in the summer because they actually clear the body of excess heat; long ago, cold lentil soup was prescribed for patients with heatstroke or fever.

Cashews are really a multi-tasking nut. I use them all the time so I say it all the time: Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts. Most of the fat in cashews is unsaturated and is made up of oleic acid; this is the same acid that is found in olive oil, making these nuts a heart-healty choice. The cashews give this sauce a velvety, creamy texture.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (I love to do this), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Arugula has a good amount of calcium and it also contains vitamins A, C and K. It is rich in potassium and it’s extra beneficial in the summer because it actually cools the body down. This delicious peppery green is also believed to be a libido booster. One of the first things I learned when I started really taking care of my health through proper nutrition, was to substitute dark greens for lighter greens whenever possible. One of the easiest, tastiest, and healthiest switches you can make is to swap out some of your lighter salad greens for peppery, dark arugula.

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta, paleo, vegan, Italialn
Cuisine: recipe adapted from: Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This pasta is paleo, vegan, creamy, and healing! Oh, and did I mention it is awesomely delicious and so easy to make...
Ingredients
  • 16-oz jarred roasted red peppers
  • 10 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup raw cashews (you can buy them here)
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves (plus more for serving)
  • 12 oz pasta -- I used a paleo, lentil pasta (you can buy the lentil pasta here)
  • a few handfuls of fresh arugula
  • small jar of vegan pesto (whatever kind of pesto you like will be great)
  • 4 dollops of a creamy cheese (I used Kite Hill's vegan cream cheese with chives and it was perfect)
Instructions
  1. Boil the pasta al dente.
  2. Put the red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, cashews, and ½ cup basil into a blender (I used my Vitamix, so it was really quick). Whiz it up until smooth and creamy.
  3. Drain the pasta.
  4. Toss the pasta with as much sauce as you like.
  5. Divide the pasta between 4 bowls.
  6. Top with pesto, arugula, cheese, and extra basil leaves.
  7. Enjoy!

roasted red pepper pasta bowl

Vegan Macaroni And Cheese

Yes, you can have creamy mac and cheese and stay healthy… try this vegan macaroni and cheese… it’s so good!

vegan macaroni and cheese

I have been pretty much dairy-free for too many years to count. And, for the last several years I eat mostly grain-free too.
And, honestly, there’s not too much that I feel I’m missing. That is, except creamy pasta dishes.

When I serve something that looks like this vegan macaroni and cheese, anyone who knows me backs up and asks what it’s made of. I can’t say I blame them because I’ve tried to replicate dishes like this with some pretty strange ingredients.

I experiment with lots of creamy pasta recipes. I mean, I do this a lot. Because pasta is awesome. It’s always been my favorite food. It’s the food that I find to be the most comforting food around.

I don’t post most of my experiments because truthfully, a lot of grain-free, dairy-free pasta dishes that are supposed to taste creamy and pasta-like really aren’t that good. But when I find a good one, I get really excited. And this vegan macaroni and cheese recipe is really, really good.

The sauce is made with potatoes, carrots, nutritional yeast, and coconut milk. I know it sounds a little odd, but the texture and look are just perfect. It’s so creamy and the nutritional yeast gives it a cheesy taste. My non-vegan husband ate big bowls of this.

The pasta is made from lentils. Just lentils. This is a great find (see the recipe below for details on this awesome grain-free pasta). The texture really is like traditional pasta… it’s my new favorite pasta.

If you like the feel of this dish, take a look at this recipe for another type of vegan cheesy pasta!

vegan macaroni and cheese

Here are some of the great ingredients in this dish:

Lentils help lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, are high in vitamin B and protein, and have hardly any fat. They are a good source of long-term energy and are very high in fiber. These tiny legumes also help with digestion and they are the perfect protein to eat in the summer because they actually clear the body of excess heat; long ago, cold lentil soup was prescribed for patients with heatstroke or fever.

Potatoes are good at soothing ulcers and neutralizing acid in the stomach and they help relieve constipation. These tubers also can help relieve arthritic inflammation. So, even though sweet potatoes are thought of as the white potato’s more nutrition sister, regular old potatoes can be just what the doctor ordered.

Turmeric is a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

Nutritional yeast gives things a cheese-y taste without using any dairy and it adds amino acids and Vitamin B, so it’s perfect here.

Carrots help strengthen the organs in your body. They also are good for the eyes (this is their claim to fame) and they promote healthy digestion. Many moons ago, people used to make carrot tea to ward off measles and to prevent cancer. Carrots help detoxify the body and in today’s world of Chinese medicine, they are prescribed to ease constipation and tonsillitis.

In Asian medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes.

vegan macaroni and cheese

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Macaroni And Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: pasta, casserole, comfort food
Cuisine: recipe adapted from:Vegan Yumminess
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This mac and cheese really is reminiscent of the creamy cheesy pasta I remember from my childhood. But this one is grain-free and dairy-free.
Ingredients
  • 12 oz cooked pasta (I used this brand of grain-free lentil pasta)
  • 1 med baking potato, peeled, diced
  • 1 large carrot, thickly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 3 Tbs nutritional yeast (I like this kind)
  • ¼ cup coconut cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk (I buy these in bulk)
Instructions
  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add the potatoes, carrots, and onion.
  3. Boil until the veggies are soft; mine took 13 minutes.
  4. Dip a measuring cup into the veggie cooking water, and save ½ of a cup of it, then drain the veggies.
  5. Place the cooked veggies in a blender with all of the remaining ingredients, except the pasta. Add the reserved cooking water.
  6. Blend until smooth and creamy (I used my Vitamix for this).
  7. Pour the sauce of the pasta and stir until well-combined.
  8. Enjoy!

vegan macaroni and cheese