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Garden Ricotta Lasagna

My church’s cooking class was just this past Monday! Heidi showed us how to make…17 different recipes in under 2 hours (complete with samples of everything). She is a magical being.

The class was sponsored by the Greenbrier Better Living Center & Thrift Shop that my church runs, since they want to promote healthier eating habits/show the community that healthy food can indeed be delicious and doesn’t necessarily have to be super complicated/expensive. There were also raffles throughout for the cookbook that a lot of the recipes were from, loaves of freshly baked homemade bread, and various healthier and/or vegan substitutes (e.g. tofutti cream cheese, tofutti sour cream, Earth Balance, organic tempeh). :] Although I didn’t win anything, I was filled up with delicious food and Vicki made sure that I packed as many plates as I wanted home with me. I love them. <3

The first recipe I’m going to share is a super delicious lasagna! This apparently tastes even more amazing when topped with cashew cream sauce (will share that one of these days), but…kinda forgot about it. :O I’ll have to try it again sometime. The Garden Ricotta part is from page 136 of Chloe’s Kitchen. Heidi subbed in her own marinara recipe for it though!

Garden Ricotta Lasagna

Ingredients:
~16 lasagna noodles
(Garden Ricotta)
-2 tbsp EVOO
-1 onion, chopped
-3 cloves garlic
-1 14-oz. package extra-firm tofu, drained
-2 tbsp lemon juice (~juice of 1 lemon)
-1 1/2 tsp sea salt
-1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
-1 tbsp white miso paste
-3 cups fresh basil
-5 oz. baby spinach

(Marinara Sauce)
-28 oz. crushed tomatoes
-1/2 cup tomato paste
-1/2 cup water
-1 1/2 tsp onion powder
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp oregano
-1/2 tsp basil
-1/2 tsp paprika
-1/8 tsp black pepper
-2 tsp sugar
-1 dash cayenne pepper
-2 tbsp EVOO
-1 onion
-2-3 celery stalks, chopped
-1 large carrot, grated or finely chopped

Instructions:
1) (Garden Ricotta) In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat + saute onions until soft. Remove from heat.
2) In the food processor, combine onions, garlic, tofu, lemon juice, salt, pepper + miso paste. Pulse until mixture is almost smooth, but still has some texture. Add basil + spinach and pulse a few more times to incorporate. Adjust seasoning to taste.
3) Preheat oven to 375 and lightly grease a 9×13-in. pan.
4) (Marinara) Mix + warm the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste + water while assembling spices. Mix all the spices together and add it to the warming tomato sauce.
5) Saute onion, celery + carrot in EVOO and add it to the simmering sauce. If you want a smoother sauce, blend the veggies before adding them to the sauce.
6) (Assembly) Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange 4 lasagna noodles across the pan. Spread 1/2 the Garden Ricotta over the noodles. Layer 1/2 the spinach over the Garden ricotta and arrange 4 more noodles on top.
7) Spread another layer of sauce over the noodles and arrange 4 more noodles on top.
8) Top with another layer of sauce, the remaining Garden Ricotta + spinach and 4 more noodles. Top with remaining sauce. (You might have some noodles left over.)
9) Cover baking pan with foil and bake for ~45 minutes, or until noodles are cooked + sauce is hot and bubbling.
10) Remove from oven + let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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Raw Vegan “Doughnut”

Almost 2 years ago, when I was being a demo girl for Twirly Girls at the San Jose Fitness Expo, I had a chance to meet Bryan Au, the author of Raw Star Recipes. He was super, super nice, and very enthusiastic about food. I got to sample two desserts that he’d made and was instantly sold. (Yes they were that delicious. :O ) Somehow, this is actually the very first recipe of his that I’ve tried out, but once I get my hands on chickpea miso, the rest will likely follow! I adapted this from his “Doughnuts” recipe! :] Since I didn’t put anywhere near as much flax seed (1/4 cup instead of 3/4 cup) as he did, I suspect this is why my doughnut didn’t “firm up” as much. To me, it didn’t really matter since it was still delicious (I just ate it with a spoon, haha).

Raw Vegan Doughnut

249 calories, 38g CHO’s, 12g fat, 7g protein, 12g fiber, 13mg sodium!

Ingredients:
-1 banana, mashed
~1/4 cup milled flax seed
-handful coconut flakes, sweetened

Instructions:
1) Mash up the banana and mix thoroughly with the flax seed.
2) Roll it up into a ball and poke a hole in the middle.
3) Top with desired toppings! (I just used dried coconut flakes, but your options are pretty endless here.)

Cake Batter Blondies

MSFC hosted The Vagina Monologues yesterday as a fundraiser for the Family Refuge Center, which raises awareness on domestic violence/abuse and also serves as a refuge for individuals in such situations.

As a joint fundraiser, they also decided to try to get donations of canned goods so we could restock the food pantry (which I also happen to volunteer at). Since we weren’t explicitly allowed to sell baked goods, we found a loophole by offering to exchange baked treats for canned goods. Three of us were put in charge of baking up a storm. One covered chocolate chip cookies and brownies, while a friend of mine decided to make cinnamon oatmeal cookies. Just to switch stuff up (and because I was randomly craving cake batter), I decided to be super ambitious and make a ton of things to add to the variety.

However, this took way longer than I expected, quite possibly due to the fact that I worked out my legs the day before and felt broken/didn’t want to move. The recipe was severely adapted from here, and made enough for me to fill 2 loaf pans! I used green/gold for sprinkles since that’s what I had the most of (and they’re technically also our school colors). I cut em’ into 18 little pieces, so a regular serving size would probably be 2 pieces. The macro breakdown is for 1 piece.

Cake Batter Blondies

117 calories, 23g CHO’s, 2g fat, 1g protein, 162mg sodium!

Ingredients:
-1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
-1 tbsp flax seed
-2-3 tbsp water
-1/4 cup vanilla soy milk
-1/4 cup applesauce
-1 tbsp green sugar sprinkles
-1 tbsp gold sprinkles

Instructions:
1) Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two loaf pans with aluminum foil.
2) Mix the cake mix, oil, flax seed meal, water and soy milk. (The batter will be pretty thick.) Mix in the sprinkles.
3) Put the batter into the prepared loaf pans. use your hands to press down/even it out if necessary.
4) Bake for 25-30 minutes and enjoy!

Kale Lentil Soup

I haven’t been wanting to eat salad lately because it’s cold and everywhere around me is cold, so the thought of throwing it all into a soup sounded like a rather worthy idea. Couple that with the fact that I had a whole lot of lentils that I bought on sale a couple months ago and we had ourselves a winner! Recipe adapted from here!

I just realized that the picture makes it look more like stew than anything else, but it came out like a super super hearty soup. (It’d probably work really well over rice.) Makes about 12 small-ish servings and very adaptable! You can throw in potatoes to make it more filling, take out the chicken essence and use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian/vegan, cut up sausage for more protein…

Kale Lentil Soup

159 calories, 26g CHO’s, 2g fat, 10g protein, 8g fiber, 29mg sodium!

Ingredients:
-12 oz. frozen vegetables
-6 cups water
-1 1/2 tbsp chicken essence (optional! sub with veggie broth or just omit altogether)
-1 tsp dried thyme
-sea salt
-freshly ground black pepper
-1 cup green lentils
-1 cup red lentils
(For Later)
-1 pack Harvest Sensations Kale Salad (please don’t throw in the dressing)
-1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions:
1) Put all ingredients into crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours (or low for 6-8).
2) Add kale + balsamic vinegar ~10-15 minutes before serving.

Fried Apples

The Wilderness Medicine club had an Appalachian Dinner about a week ago that involved all kinds of fighting with the administration in order for it to exist. After the event was finally approved, there were very, very few people volunteering to help out at the event. :[ I thought it’d be unbelievably sad for them to have to cancel the event after fighting so hard for it, so I volunteered to help sell tickets and make some food.

The lady that runs Student Affairs emailed me along with the president + vice president of the club to ask how we wanted the place to be set up in the evening. I’m not even actually a member of the club, let alone an officer. :O My friends surmised that it was because I’m so involved with pretty much everything on and off campus that she probably figured it was safe to assume that I was part of this too. (Well, she wasn’t wrong, I guess.) I found it pretty hilarious though.

Recipe adapted from here!

Fried Apples

Ingredients:
-4 large apples, sliced
-4 tbsp coconut oil
-3 tbsp light brown sugar
-2 tbsp lemon juice
-2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:
1) Core and thinly slice apples. Place into a medium-sized skillet with coconut oil.
2) Cook over medium heat, stirring to prevent sticking. Continue cooking until barely tender.
3) Sprinkle apples w/ brown sugar + cinnamon and add lemon juice. Toss + cover skillet.
4) Let stand for 10 minutes.