Monday, April 4, 2011

Guest Blogger Mondays....Vegan Recipes by Lisa Dawn


 Lisa Dawn
check out Lisa's Project. Vegan

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!

Vegan Stuffed Shells
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!


Cashew Ricotta
1 lb cashews (soaked overnight)
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.

(Winter Pasta)
Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach
over Quinoa Spaghetti
Technically, it is already spring but today was coooold! So tonight I made my Winter Pasta one more time. If you can find a good butternut squash, make it this week!


1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
olive oil
s and p
3 small shallots
white wine
earth balance
fresh spinach
quinoa spaghetti


Preheat oven to 450. Peel and dice up a butternut squash. Drizzle with olive oil, s and p, toss it around and coat the squash evenly. Place on a cookie sheet and roast for about 20 to 25 minutes until you see it browning. Check on it at the 15 minute are toss it around a little.

Chop up the walnuts and put them on another baking sheet and roast them for about 10 minutes or so (you can do this toward the end of the time the squash is in the oven.)

Slice up the shallots and put in a sauce pan (with sides) and cover with white wine. Let it come to a boil and simmer it until it reduces a little but still have liquid. Put in a chunk of earth balance and let it melt in. Then add the spinach and let it cook down.

In the meantime, boil up the pasta. When it is all ready, toss the pasta into the sauce and top with butternut squash and walnuts.

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