Plant Based Lasagna

Let’s just jump right into this recipe today. I whipped up some plant-based lasagna this past weekend made out of zucchini. This recipe took a few steps to construct and prepare, along with moments of messy, but it was all worth it in the end. Whatever you do, let your inner child out to play with this one!

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The original recipe called for Toffuti Ricotta cheese for the “cheesy” lasagna filling. However, I could not find this ingredient at the store, they were all out that day. No problem, I got to jazz things up and make my own “cheesy” filling thanks to ohsheglows.com and her lasagna recipe.

Ingredients:

5 medium zucchinis

2 avocados

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup basil leaves, ripped into small pieces

salt & pepper, to taste

For the “Cheese”/ Lemon Basil Cashew Cheese:

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 30 mins or overnight

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 cup vegetable broth or water (possibly more as needed)

1 1/2 cups fresh basil

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

salt & pepper, to taste

To Prepare:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim the ends off your zucchinis and throw away. Slice the zucchini lengthwise about 1/16″ think (a mandolin may help with this, but a knife works fine, jut not as straight). Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Lightly brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until soft; about 10 mins. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Smash up your avocados and put them in a food processor with half of your basil, a pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup water. Blend this mixture until smooth. Set this basil-avocado cream aside in a bowl. Rinse out food processor.

For the lemon basil cashew cheese, drain the cashews and rinse. Then add the cashews to the food processor along with all the other ingredients (garlic cloves, veggie broth, lemon juice, mustard, basil, nutritional yeast, and salt & pepper) and process until smooth. Then set aside in another bowl.

To Construct Lasagna:

Line the bottom of a 9″ pan with a layer zucchini. Spoon in two heaping spoonfuls of tomato sauce. Then add half of  the basil-avocado cream by teaspoonfuls. Cover with another layer of zucchini and add in the lemon basil cashew cheese. Repeat until you are out of zucchini or pan is full. Then bake for 25 minutes. Let sit for 10 mins before serving. Serve with a little side salad and possibly some garlic bread. Sprinkle some shelled hemp seeds on top for some extra fun. YUM!

*For the constructing of the lasagna, I used 5 zucchinis, but they were kind of small, so I had less zucchini to work with. When I constructed my lasagna, I had to shrink my lasagna square down smaller than the size of the pan, but it still worked out fine.

*Also, you will probably have left over lemon basil cashew cheese, YAY! This is a raw and yummy all by itself. I put my extra cheese aside and had it the next day over some gluten free quinoa pasta and broccoli and it was divine! It would also make a great dip for anything.

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Enjoy, my friends!

Light & Love,
Amanda

Breathe & Eat

“I’m breathing in. I’m breathing out.”

Some days, this is my mantra all day long. I learned this mantra from my yoga practice, go figure,and I apply it to my life. Why, you ask? Well, because it works! Where thoughts go, energy goes, right? The first time I used this mantra, it was in one of my Vinyasa flow yoga classes. Because it is summer, it seems as if the heated studios we practice in have been extra sweaty. I am all about the extra sweat and releasing extra toxins, but what comes with that is extra opportunities for me to calm my thoughts that tell me, “Wahh! This is crazy! Give up!” One hot, sweaty, deliciously juicy class not too long ago, my mind was doing just this. It was doing nothing but bringing energy to it and causing my body to freak out, feel weak and want to give up. Giving up would have been fine, too, because it is what it is. However, right at that moment of choosing whether to come out of the pose or stay, my yoga teacher gave me my mantra, “I’m breathing in. I’m breathing out.” I grabbed it up and started saying it to myself while incorporating my breath and moving through the poses while sweat dripped. It was like magic. My body totally and completely hopped on board and I rode the wave till the end of the practice.

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I am so grateful for that class and I will forever be. For not only did my yoga teacher provide me with a mantra-mediation for class, but she gave me a mantra for life. Life shows up and I try to live it as it is delivered, but sometimes it is uncomfortable and my mind wants to take me everywhere but in that moment, which is where I need to be the most; feeling, accepting, learning, and embracing.

Breathing seems so basic and like “duh!” but when life gets crazy, we tend to hold our breath and tense up, when we should be doing the exact opposite. This is funny to me. I think that human beings may be the only creatures that do this in response to stress. I watch my dogs, and when they get stressed or run around, they don’t stop breathing. If anything, I see them breathe more, suckin’ down air, with their tongues all out. Amazing!

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Now, for some mexican feasting!

I recently posted the yummy raw beet ravioli recipe and I mentioned how I am all about the raw dishes, when they aren’t too complicated. I now share with you a raw taco salad recipe that was inspired by ohsheglows.com. I cannot get enough of her recipes!

This recipe is one of my favorites! I know, I know, I say this about every recipe that I post. It’s true though, and I think it’s a good thing! It was so nice to find a vegan taco salad recipe, let alone raw, because just about every time I go out to eat it is at a restaurant with mostly non-vegan dishes with my non-vegan friends and I can more times than not find a taco salad on their menu that I make the appropriate substitutions to.

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Raw Taco Salad:

Walnut Taco Meat

1/2 cup walnuts, soaked 2-8 hours

1 + 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or more if your taste buds desire)

1/2 teaspoon chili

Sea salt, to taste

Cayenne pepper, to taste

Cashew Cream (aka, your sour cream)

1 cup macadamia or cashew nuts, soaked 2-8 hours

11-12 tablespoons water, for desired consistency (I think I ended up using about 1/2 cup)

2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice

Sea salt, to taste (just over 1/4 teaspoon)

Guacamole

1 large avocado

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/2 small tomato, chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoons lime juice

Scant 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Other possible toppings you may like:

green onions, greens of choice, salsa, and some chips or crackers

Taco Meat Prep:

Drain walnuts. Food process walnut meat ingredients on pulse or chop setting until ingredients are combined. Leave walnuts somewhat chunky. Remove and set aside.

Sour Cream Prep:

Drain and rinse cashews/macadamia nuts. Add to processor and process. Stream in water (close to 1/2 cup maybe) and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice. Add water as needed. Sauce should be smooth and not grainy. Add seasonings to taste.

Guac Prep:

Medium size bowl, mash avocado flesh with fork, leaving some chunks. Stir in chopped tomato, onion, lime juice, and seasonings to taste.

To assemble all the layers, first, add a nice amount of greens to bast of the bowl, followed by a nice scoop (1/4 cup)  of the guac mixture. In the middle, spoon 2 tablespoons of salsa (if using) and then add some of your walnut taco meat over that. Put your cashew sour cream into a plastic baggie, twist baggie so cream moves to one corner, and snip off corner so you can squirt your sour cream on the taco salad over the taco meat. Lastly, add some chips or crackers on the side to dip or crunch over your salad. Let your taste buds have a fiesta!

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Breathe. Eat. Namaste.

Light & Love,
Amanda

Breathe & Eat

“I’m breathing in. I’m breathing out.”

Some days, this is my mantra all day long. I learned this mantra from my yoga practice, go figure,and I apply it to my life. Why, you ask? Well, because it works! Where thoughts go, energy goes, right? The first time I used this mantra, it was in one of my Vinyasa flow yoga classes. Because it is summer, it seems as if the heated studios we practice in have been extra sweaty. I am all about the extra sweat and releasing extra toxins, but what comes with that is extra opportunities for me to calm my thoughts that tell me, “Wahh! This is crazy! Give up!” One hot, sweaty, deliciously juicy class not too long ago, my mind was doing just this. It was doing nothing but bringing energy to it and causing my body to freak out, feel weak and want to give up. Giving up would have been fine, too, because it is what it is. However, right at that moment of choosing whether to come out of the pose or stay, my yoga teacher gave me my mantra, “I’m breathing in. I’m breathing out.” I grabbed it up and started saying it to myself while incorporating my breath and moving through the poses while sweat dripped. It was like magic. My body totally and completely hopped on board and I rode the wave till the end of the practice.

IMG_0172

I am so grateful for that class and I will forever be. For not only did my yoga teacher provide me with a mantra-mediation for class, but she gave me a mantra for life. Life shows up and I try to live it as it is delivered, but sometimes it is uncomfortable and my mind wants to take me everywhere but in that moment, which is where I need to be the most; feeling, accepting, learning, and embracing.

Breathing seems so basic and like “duh!” but when life gets crazy, we tend to hold our breath and tense up, when we should be doing the exact opposite. This is funny to me. I think that human beings may be the only creatures that do this in response to stress. I watch my dogs, and when they get stressed or run around, they don’t stop breathing. If anything, I see them breathe more, suckin’ down air, with their tongues all out. Amazing!

IMG_0201

Now, for some mexican feasting!

I recently posted the yummy raw beet ravioli recipe and I mentioned how I am all about the raw dishes, when they aren’t too complicated. I now share with you a raw taco salad recipe that was inspired by ohsheglows.com. I cannot get enough of her recipes!

This recipe is one of my favorites! I know, I know, I say this about every recipe that I post. It’s true though, and I think it’s a good thing! It was so nice to find a vegan taco salad recipe, let alone raw, because just about every time I go out to eat it is at a restaurant with mostly non-vegan dishes with my non-vegan friends and I can more times than not find a taco salad on their menu that I make the appropriate substitutions to.

IMG_7355

Raw Taco Salad:

Walnut Taco Meat

1/2 cup walnuts, soaked 2-8 hours

1 + 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or more if your taste buds desire)

1/2 teaspoon chili

Sea salt, to taste

Cayenne pepper, to taste

Cashew Cream (aka, your sour cream)

1 cup macadamia or cashew nuts, soaked 2-8 hours

11-12 tablespoons water, for desired consistency (I think I ended up using about 1/2 cup)

2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice

Sea salt, to taste (just over 1/4 teaspoon)

Guacamole

1 large avocado

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/2 small tomato, chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoons lime juice

Scant 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Other possible toppings you may like:

green onions, greens of choice, salsa, and some chips or crackers

Taco Meat Prep:

Drain walnuts. Food process walnut meat ingredients on pulse or chop setting until ingredients are combined. Leave walnuts somewhat chunky. Remove and set aside.

Sour Cream Prep:

Drain and rinse cashews/macadamia nuts. Add to processor and process. Stream in water (close to 1/2 cup maybe) and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice. Add water as needed. Sauce should be smooth and not grainy. Add seasonings to taste.

Guac Prep:

Medium size bowl, mash avocado flesh with fork, leaving some chunks. Stir in chopped tomato, onion, lime juice, and seasonings to taste.

To assemble all the layers, first, add a nice amount of greens to bast of the bowl, followed by a nice scoop (1/4 cup)  of the guac mixture. In the middle, spoon 2 tablespoons of salsa (if using) and then add some of your walnut taco meat over that. Put your cashew sour cream into a plastic baggie, twist baggie so cream moves to one corner, and snip off corner so you can squirt your sour cream on the taco salad over the taco meat. Lastly, add some chips or crackers on the side to dip or crunch over your salad. Let your taste buds have a fiesta!

IMG_7356

Breathe. Eat. Namaste.

Light & Love,
Amanda