Lisa Dawn’s Vegan Stuffed Shells with Cashew Ricotta Cheese!!

I am super excited about having my amazing friend Lisa Dawn Guest Blog!! She has just started her own fabulous blog, Lisa’s Project:Vegan with deelish vegan recipes which almost all take less than a half hour to make! She was the inspiration behind the Coconut Lentil Soup, which if you tried I know you loved! The Vegan Stuffed Shells with Cashew Ricotta Cheese below looks out of this world. I know I will be making this soon myself!! Thanks Lisa!

About Lisa Dawn: I am a vegan mom and wife and I love to cook. I became vegan over four years ago for several reasons – the health and welfare of the animals, myself, and that of the world. My husband has been vegan since he was a teenager and together we are raising our son vegan. It is a challenge to do so in this world but it makes it that much more fun to be creative and to cook delicious meals that people really enjoy. Everyone who joins us for a meal leaves fully satisfied and with a handful of recipes!

My cashew ricotta cheese is outstanding and I use it in a lot of dishes. But nothing beats stuffed shells! You can vary the filling (e.g., you can use butternut squash or just plain cashew ricotta). My family loves it! It is not as hard as you think to make this and it is very satisfying!

Stuffed Shells

Cashew Ricotta
1 lb cashews (soaked overnight)
water
salt
nutmeg
fresh lemon juice
Stuffed Shells
1 box shells (to make it gluten free, use rice pasta shells)
1 small bag frozen spinach
garlic powder
1 jar of tomato sauce (or make your own)
Cashew Ricotta
Soak cashews overnight.  In the morning, drain them and then place 1 cup at a time into the in the food processor.  Process the nuts until fine and then add 3/4 cup of water, a pinch of salt, a pinch of nutmeg, and a dash of lemon juice.  Process and then place in strainer (with very small mesh) over a bowl to drain excess water.   Repeat until you finish all of the cashews.  Let this strain for a few hours.  The top might get slightly hard but don’t worry, just mix it back in.  When it seems like all the excess water has drained out, place in a container and use it when ready.
Stuffed Shells
Preheat oven to 350.  Boil up shells according to package directions.  Use lots of salt in the water to season the pasta.   While they are boiling, place frozen spinach in small pot with a little water and set on a high flame to defrost quickly or do this ahead of time.  Either way, make sure you drain all of the water out.  Mix the spinach with the cashew ricotta.  Add some garlic powder and mix.  Taste it and decide if you want any more seasoning, e.g., salt and pepper.
Coat the bottom of a baking dish with tomato sauce.  When the shells are done, carefully strain them.  Assemble your shells by stuffing them with the mixture and placing them into the baking dish.  Pour tomato sauce in between and around the shells.  Place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes so they are thoroughly heated through.

Enjoy!

Baltimore City Schools Have Meatless Mondays

Love this!! I just read about this on the Livin’ Veg Blog! So fabulous! Go Baltimore!! Check it out 🙂

Baltimore City Schools Have Meatless Mondays

Here is a bit about what Baltimore is doing:

The 80,000 young people BCPS serves will begin each week with a Meatless Monday menu. And that’s not all. The school system has introduced a wide variety of projects to ensure its students eat and learn about healthy, environmentally friendly choices. BCPS has teemed up with local farmers and distributors to provide students fresh, locally raised fruits, vegetables and milk. They’ve also introduced Great Kids Farm, a 33-acre teaching farm, home to chickens, goats and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Educators on the farm teach kids and adults how to produce home-grown fresh food, even in an urban setting. BCPS is also in the process of developing gardens for each of the system’s 200 schools.

The Organic Adventures of Tucker the Tomato

tucker

The Organic Adventures of Tucker the Tomato by Rey Ortega & Amanda Moeckel – Kids can follow Tucker through his adventures from organic farm to natural food store!

How fun is this book! I love these kiddie books that help teach the little ones how to eat properly! SO fabulous!

Why We Don’t Eat Animals

DONT eat animals

How amazing!! This is such a helpful tool to use with your kids or future children 🙂

Ruby Roth has written Why We Don’t Eat Animals: A Book About Vegans, Vegetarians, and All Living Things  — a children’s book discussing why millions of people choose to avoid animal products.

Check out the new video of author Ruby Roth discussing the book and the ideas that inspired her to write it.

“This is a powerful and important book. Farm animals have emotions similar to our pets and this is conveyed in Roth’s enchanting illustrations. It will make children – and their parents – think. But it will not lead to nightmares, rather respect and compassion for the creatures whose wellbeing is in our hands.”
Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace

Healthy Baby Food at home

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Beaba Multiportion Freezer Tray, Green

 

I do not have children yet, but I am still interested in all things baby! Primarily healthy babies and the food they should be eating. I know making your own baby food is not a new concept, but here is a way to really make it easier. I have already bought the Beaba Baby Cook for some of my new mommy friends and family. It is a wonderful simple little (baby-sized :)) gadget which simplifies the whole making baby food at home process. There are even cute accessories that make it even simpler to help portion and freeze the food once you have made it. My sister-in-law who has gorgeous almost 6 month old twin girls just sent me this fabulous site. There are recipes in here that go beyond the simple steaming and pureeing of a single vegetable or fruit. Fun recipes with great tips! It is so exciting since her girls are just entering the eating ages now!

There are so many great reasons to make your baby’s food whenever possible. The one that I find most compelling is that you can see and know everything you are giving your child. This is why I make most of the meals for my husband and I. Plus you are also putting that extra bit of love in too which will go directly to your children and/or husband!

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