Veggie Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta + Parmesan

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Cashew Ricotta

What you will need:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained

  • 3 tablespoons garlic

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 4 tablespoons warm water

How to create:

  • 1.Combine cashews, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, parsley, basil, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until well-blended.

  • 2.Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the processor runs smoothly and the mixture looks creamy. Taste and add salt as needed.


Cashew Parmesan

What you will need:

  • 1 cup of raw cashews

  • 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley

 How to create:

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until mixture resembles grated parmesan cheese.

*Can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a month.


Veggie Lasagna

What you will need:

  • 6-8 lasagna noodles

  • 3 cups of marinara sauce

  • Cashew ricotta cheese (see recipe above)

  • Cashew Parmesan cheese (see recipe above)

  • 3 cups of fresh spinach

  • 1 medium green bell pepper

  • 1 small white onion

  • 1 ½ cups of mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons of garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon of dried parsley

  • ½ teaspoon of paprika

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon of avocado oil

How to create:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Cook noodles according to package directions.

  3. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil on medium heat.  Once pan is heated, add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent.

  4. Then add bell pepper and mushrooms to pan and cook 5-6 minutes. Once veggies are tender add marinara sauce, basil, parsley, paprika, salt, and pepper.  Simmer for 7-8 minutes.

  5. Finally, add spinach and cook until wilted.

  6. Remove sauce from heat.

  7. Lightly oil a baking dish. Spoon a thin layer of the sauce into the bottom of the baking dish. Add a layer noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese.  Repeat this layering order 2-3 more times. Cover the top layer of noodles with any remaining sauce and parmesan cheese.

  8. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30-35 minutes. Then, remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 7-11 minutes. Let the lasagna rest for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!

 

Roasted Red Potatoes

 

I love these roasted red potatoes because they are delicious yet so simple to make! They also pair well with so many breakfast, lunch, or dinner dishes.

Red potatoes have a nutrient dense skin.  Their thin skin is loaded with iron, fiber, vitamin C, and B vitamins. They are also rich in complex carbohydrates, so they are an excellent source of energy. Red potatoes can also help maintain healthy blood pressure, because they are high in potassium and naturally sodium free.

Parsley acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body and boosts the immune system.   Studies have also shown that it can be used to help control blood sugar affected by diabetes when eaten regularly.  It also has great anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.  My favorite thing about parsley is its power as a digestive aid. It helps food along the digestive tract and prevents bloating.

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What you will need:

3 pounds of small red potatoes, halved

¼ cup of avocado oil

3 tablespoons of fresh minced parsley

1.5 teaspoons salt, pepper, and paprika

How to create:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

  2. In the meantime, mince parsley and slice potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Be sure to leave skin on potatoes. In a large mixing bowl, toss potatoes with avocado oil, parsley, salt, pepper, and paprika.

  3. Arrange potatoes on a large cookie sheet. Roast for 35-40  minutes or until golden brown. Check them after 30 minutes. Serve hot!

 

 

 

Kale, Tofu, and Black-eyed Pea Soup

There is nothing better than a bowl of hot soup on a cold day- and this one is full of powerful superfoods and warming herbs!

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Kale is a powerful anti-inflammatory food because it contains high levels of Omega 3s.  It also contains glucosinolates which help to detoxify the body on a cellular level. The glucosinolates within kale also reduce the risk of colon, breast, bladder, and prostate cancer.  Our bodies need all the help they can get with so many toxins from processed foods, pesticides, and pollutants in our environment. Vitamin K is the most abundant nutrient found in kale (one cup of cooked kale contains over 1,300% of your daily value).  Vitamin K is essential for repairing injuries and building strong bones. Kale is a smart addition to your diet as we head into cooler weather and our bodies need more grounding, warming foods.

Black-eyed peas are a great source of fiber, which helps to balance blood sugar and promotes regular elimination. These beans are also useful in preventing anemia as they are full of iron and folate.  Black-eyed peas are surprisingly high in Vitamin A, which helps our bodies form and maintain healthy skin and vision.

Tofu is cooling and lubricating to the body. Also, another great source of protein and meat alternative.  Tofu, rather than meat, is a better option if you are experiencing thirst, constipation, headaches, or heartburn.

What you'll need:

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

1 Medium white onion

6 Teaspoons of minced garlic

3 Stalks celery, diced

1 Green bell pepper, diced

1 Cup of diced extra firm tofu

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves

1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 Tbsp. smoked paprika

4 Cups vegetable broth

1.5 Cups water

3 Cups cooked black-eyed peas

1 Head of kale, stems discarded and leaves chopped

1 Tbsp. of Sriracha

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

How to create:

  • OPTIONAL: Chop tofu into small ½ inch cubes and place in mixing bowl.  Mix Sriracha, salt, and pepper with tofu. Heat avocado oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Cook tofu in on medium heat for 7-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.

  • Heat avocado oil in large pot.

  • Add onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Add the celery and bell pepper and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

  • Stir in the oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and paprika and cook for about 30 seconds.

  • Add the vegetable broth, water, tofu, and black-eyed peas to the pot. Bring mixture to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add more water, if needed.

  • After the soup is cooked through, stir in the kale and heat just long enough to wilt the kale. Adding the kale at the end of cooking prevents the destruction of the nutrients from high heat. Add more salt and pepper, if needed.

  • Add the lemon juice and remove from heat. Serve hot!

*5-7 servings

 


 

Cashew Thyme Pesto

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Check my tasty recipe for a vegan alternative to a traditional pesto.  This pesto is full of healthy fats from the cashews and avocado oil, and the thyme has so many powerful antibacterial properties.

Cashews contain a fatty acid, oleic acid, that promotes a healthy heart. They are rich in Vitamin E, Magnesium, Iron, and Zinc. Cashews are also cholesterol free and full of antioxidants. 

Thyme is especially great as we head into cold and flu season because it is one of the strongest, natural antimicrobials.  It can help relieve minor bronchial irritations and boost your immune system. Studies have also shown Thyme can lower blood pressure and lessen cholesterol.

What you will need:

½ cup of roasted cashews

1 bunch of fresh thyme, roughly chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

¼ cup of lemon juice

⅓ cup avocado oil

1 clove of garlic

2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

How to create:

  1. Puree all ingredients in a food processor from cashews through garlic until well combined. A slightly chunky texture is fine.
  2. Add red wine vinegar,  salt, and pepper. Continue to blend until a coarse paste is formed.
  3. Add 1-3 tablespoons of water to the thin mixture to desired consistency, and add salt or pepper, if needed.
  4. Enjoy on bread or pasta. Can also be used as a marinade.  Pesto will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

*Recipe makes about one cup of pesto.