Vegan Lasagna with Cashew Ricotta

img_4098

As someone that still consumes dairy cheese, I forget how delicious non-dairy cheese is, especially when melted!

I made a very simple lasagna with pre-cooked noodles, a delicious pasta sauce, vegan mozzarella, and a must make layer of cashew ricotta. This meal was tasted by omnivores and given excellent feedback.

To make this lasagna, I first made the cashew ricotta. Once this was complete, I put a layer of pasta sauce down, then noodles, then ricotta, then sauce, then noodles, then ricotta, then sauce, etc.. by the time you reach a top layer (I layered about 4 times) top with the mozzarella cheese. I baked the lasagna covered at 350F for about 25 minutes, then uncovered until cheese was fully melted and pasta was cooked.

Resolutions are Overrated. More Pie Please!

Seriously, Isa Chandra Moskowitz knows what she’s doing. I came across Isa’s Chocolate Pudding Pie recipe when the New York Times wrote about the release of her book Vegan Pie in the Sky. I am not a big pie baker, I find them intimidating and time-consuming. However, the Chocolate Pudding Pie recipe couldn’t have been any easier than driving to the store and buying a ready-made pie. Plus, this tastes a bajillion times better and is dairy/egg free 🙂

Make this ASAP!

  • 1 prepared 9 inch cookie crust, store-bought or homemade
  • 3 cups almond milk, divided (*my note: I used plain soy)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, remove from oven and let cool. (*my note: my store bought crust said to brush the crust with an egg wash. I was worried how it would turn out per Isa’s instructions, but it worked just fine without the egg wash!)

In a small (2 quart) sauce pan, combine 1 cup of almond milk and the cornstarch. Use a fork to whisk until the cornstarch is good and dissolved. Whisk in the remaining milk, the sugar, cocoa powder and salt. It’s okay if the cocoa is a bit clumpy at first, it will dissolve eventually.

Bring mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally. Keep a close eye because once boiling, you want to lower the heat and bring to a slow rolling boil. Whisk consistently until mixture is thickened, which should be about 7 minutes. (*my note: it took me a bit longer, at least 10 minutes before it started to thicken).

Add chocolate chips and mix to melt. Stir in vanilla. Pour the pudding into the prepared pie shell and let cool for about 15 minutes on the counter, just until it stops steaming like mad. To keep a skin from forming, place a circle of parchment paper over the filling. Refrigerate and let set for at least 3 hours. (*my note: my crust barely had enough time to cool. While it worked out okay in the end, I would still try to let the crust cool next time).

Smashing Pumpkin Pie

The Smashing Pumpkins is a great band, regardless of what some may say about Billy Corgan’s unique vocal abilities. And making this pumpkin pie made me think of the band. While I didn’t listen to my Siamese Dream CD, I did listen to my new Christmas album, which I encourage you all to purchase (proceeds go to musical education for youth non-profits). Alright enough of my random banter. Here is the recipe:

Smashing Pumpkin Pie

1 ready-made pie crust (dude I am lazy and wince at the notion of making my own crust)

Mix together: 2 c pureed pumpkin, 1 c non-dairy milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tbls apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 c maple syrup.

In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients: 1/4 c flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, and 1/2 tsp ground cloves.

Add dry into wet. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes. Let cool completely (at least 25 minutes).

*note: after trying this pie, there will indefinitely be another trial run. The consistency was pretty mushy and the spice was way too much. If you prefer a mushier and spice-rich pie, then this would delight your taste buds 🙂

Frozen Banillagurt

This sweltering, tropical weather has eroded my appetite for all but ice-cream. After a few unexpected bills this month, I am pinching pennies to get by til payday. A quick browse through my freezer leaves my stomach sobbing. No ice-cream! In times of desperation, creativity is bound to make an appearance…

I put my culinary skills to the test and came up with a faux ice-cream. I mashed one large banana, added in some vanilla soy yogurt, a dollop of peanut butter and a large handful of chocolate chips. I then chilled the banillagurt mixture for two hours and dove my spoon into ice-cream like heaven.

I had every intention of taking a picture, but I lost all self-control. Before I knew it, the dish was licked clean… I encourage you to give it a whirl tonight, you won’t be let down!!