Low-Carb Vegan Cannelloni (Manicotti)

Vegan MoFo #27 – There are only a few days left in November, and 2010 for that matter – can you believe it?! Here is my contribution for the last Saturday of the Vegan Month of Food. I veganized and added a few ingredients to this recipe from a 1995 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine. Using thinly-sliced eggplant is such a creative way to make cannelloni and it results in a low-carb, wheat-free version which is nice and light.

If you don’t like the somewhat tough skin of roasted eggplants, feel free to peel it before broiling. If you don’t like eggplant altogether, you can still use the filling with regular manicotti pasta shells. I’ve used this filling for my regular vegan cannelloni recipe many times and it tastes great!

As per the original recipe, “if you have extra filling leftover, you can use it as a sandwich spread, or thin it with some water and toss it with hot pasta to make a creamy-pesto alfredo type sauce“.

Vegan Eggplant Manicotti

Low-Carb Vegan Cannelloni (Manicotti)
 
This vegan cannelloni is low-carb, yet delicious. You won't miss the cheese, or the traditional pasta! Vegan / Gluten-Free
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 eggplant, cut lengthwise into ¾-inch thick slices
  • 2 cups tomato (pasta) sauce
Filling Ingredients
  • 1½ cups firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp Tofutti cream cheese (optional)
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed parsley
  • ½ cup loosely packed spinach
  • 1 tbsp lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tsp lemon rind
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Puree all filling ingredients in a food processor fitted with a standard blade. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Salt eggplant slices and let sit 30 minutes. Rinse, drain and blot dry.
  3. Lightly spray a nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray; arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on sheet. Broil eggplant 2 to 3 inches from heat until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread about ½ cup marinara sauce on a 9- by-12-inch baking dish. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons filling in center of each eggplant slice; roll. Arrange rolls in baking dish, seam-side down. Top rolls with remaining sauce. Bake 45 minutes, or until eggplant is tender and heated through.
Notes
Adapted from Vegetarian Times magazine

Vegan Month of Food

25 Comments

  1. Looks absolutely amazing !!

    Reply
  2. Looks awesome, we never seem to make eggplant work in our household though.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks for your comment – I would still give it a good even if you don’t normally like it. Peel the skin and it won’t be as obvious. Good luck!

      Reply
  3. Emmy says:

    They look and sound fantastic. I love how green the filling is!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks Emmy :)

      Reply
  4. Low Carb AND Tasty! Just what the doctor ordered. Love your blog and photos Angela.

    Have a Healthy Day!!!

    James Reno
    http://www.Raw-Food-Repair.com

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks James, I really appreciate your comment! :)

      Reply
  5. Andrea says:

    NY resolution to cut down the carbs.. Tried this last night and it was absolutely divine! We made a few edits for what was on hand – walnuts in the filling, and some capers, added a little vege stock instead of the yeast. Our tomato sauce was Moroccan canned tomatoes, splash of red wine, garlic, a little tomato paste and some green olives. Yum! Great inspiration Angela, thanks again :)
    Andrea
    (Twitter, colours_collide)

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Andrea,
      Thanks so much for your comment and detailed feedback. You’ve created a whole new recipe here, it sounds amazing! I will definitely have to try that, especially the red wine… haha! Thanks again for taking the time to write-out your modifications. I’m always changing recipes myself, and love seeing what others come up with. All the best for 2011! x

      Reply
  6. SJ says:

    My husband is allergic to eggplant. Can any suggest substitutions for eggplant? Any ideas will be greatly appreciated. This recipe seems so amazing. I would love to try it.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi there! You might be able to use roasted zucchini slices? You may need to use a couple of them per cannelloni, but I think it would work quite well.

      Reply
  7. Emily says:

    This recipe looks amazing! I’m just writing a grocery list for it now. For the tofu, though, did you use the aseptic firm tofu, or just the basic one that you can get in the refridgerated section??

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Emily! I usually use firm silken (tetra pack) tofu, but really, any will work. Good luck and let me know what you think of it!

      Reply
      • Emily says:

        I just made it! Even my non veg boyfriend was obsessed! Thank you!

        Reply
  8. CuBuwu says:

    You know, for anyone who does’t like the eggplant, you can use leek instead, and when you eat it, it even turns into the texture of melting cheese XD All you have to do is find a fat leek, and cut it into a large round. Then you slice it down one side, seperate the layers and boil it in salted water just as you would regular pasta. You will probably need a couple of layers to make sure that it doesnt open up when cooking and be careful not to overstuff it XD BTW, the leek idea isn’t mine, its one from “The hairy dieters” :)

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      That’s a great substitution… I will try it in a future recipe. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

      Reply
  9. Emily-Rose says:

    Chuffed to bits with this one! I used the firm chilli tofu they sell in my local supermarket so it had an extra kick, but really it’s full of flavour anyway.

    It amused my mother on the phone: “What are you making?”, “Spinach and ricotta canelloni but without any cheese or pasta.”. Pause. “Is there spinach in it?”

    Absolute winner – perfect for my current weightloss regime.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Yay! Glad to hear it! It’s such a nice clean recipe – perfect for detoxing :)

      Reply
  10. Leslie says:

    I don’t get it with the low carb thing. Humans thrive on carbs! How are we going to function without glucose in our brain? Low carb is a SAD diet fad. Totally not cool with vegans. Every vegan-friendly doctor like T. Colin Campbell, John McDougal, and Neal Barnard support a wholefoods plant-based diet that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat. If all we do is shun carbs, we’re going to end up eating much more fats and processed junk in the end. The average gourmet raw foodist eats more than 30% of his or her daily calories from fat! Yikes, no wonder vegans get fat, too. And no, it’s not the carbs. I wouldn’t be doing a vegan Atkins or Zone diet if I wanted to stay healthy in the long term. Look at endurance athletes – vegan or non-vegan, they all eat a high-carbohydrate diet. They wouldn’t perform as well on lipids. Our physiology suggest that we are frugivores by design. I’d hate most to hear that we need to “cut carbs” to be healthy.
    Most food people think that are “high-carb” are laden with fat anyway! Seriously, people, soy ice cream and vegan donuts are not high-carb! Do you honestly think that plain rice and potatoes are going to make you fat? My grandfather was a farmer’s kid and he ate mostly rice because he was too poor to afford anything else. And oh my…he was sooo fat, as with all other Chinese farmers, obese as heck, man!
    This isn’t to be critical of you as a person or anything, but I just feel that a lot of vegans are misinformed I certainly don’t want a newbie to come in and crash because they were having too much nuts and oil. Quite intuitively it’s going to lead to other health issues such as weight gain and chronic fatigue as well. (People will inevitably need to increase their intake of caffeine due to a lack of nourishment for the brain to function properly).

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Leslie – I just find that as a vegan, and a carb-lover, I tend to over-eat carbs. So I like having recipes on hand that contain fewer processed carbs, and incorporate more veggies. I don’t think that carbs are evil, I just know that I could easily eat pasta 3 times a day, 7 days a week… and that wouldn’t be very good for me… :)

      Reply
  11. Yarrow says:

    Hi, My printer is exhausted, I’ve just spent an hour drooling over and printing a lot of your recipes. I love that you were in Australia at one time, it makes it heaps easier for us to find similar products, nothing worse than following a recipe that calls for such and such name brand of something and we don’t have it here.
    I was thinking that maybe you could use red capsicum too, you know grilled black and peeled, sliced and flattened, they would roll up real well. We get huge red capsicum here in sunny Queensland over summer… and you could use your basil/cashew sauce as well as the tomato for different colours. Anyway just a thought. I’m going to make this on Friday ( need some fresh basil and spinach first). I’m doing the Eat to Live diet, which is a low carb all vegan diet and I’m going really well. I see the above poster commenting on the need for carbs, unfortunately vegans tend to over carb, especially lazy or busy ones. I have 5 meat eaters here, so I tend to just eat something simple rather than putting effort into it, its so easy to fall back on rice pasta and vegan breads when you don’t feel like cooking. I love these recipes, thank you so much, I just eliminate the oil content of them and ‘Bobs ya uncle” ;-P
    Yaz

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Glad to hear my Aussie adventures and recipes are being of service. I certainly found it a bit frustrating at times to locate Aussie-equivalents. If you have any questions concerning future recipes (now that I’m in Canada), just give me a shout!

      I like the idea of using grilled capsicum for the cannelloni! What a great (and I imagine beautiful) idea!

      Thanks again for the kind words and keep in touch :)

      Reply
  12. Sheila says:

    I made this tonight and it was fantastic! It was hard to cut the eggplant ith right size to roll, but not too thin to fall apart. Sharp knife reccomended. I chopped up the extra eggplant and added it the the dish with the tomatoes sauce. I also topped every roll with tomatoes slice and Italian herb mix in the top. I’m definitely making this again.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Yum, I like your modifications! So glad to hear that you liked this dish – it’s such a healthy alternative. Thanks for taking the time to comment :)

      Reply
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