Scary Dairy and a Plant Based Ricotta Recipe
Updated: Feb 23, 2019
Hi! It's Carrie. Welcome to the page! I wanted to tell you a little bit about my journey. I have always struggled with weight from the time I was young. I was always tall and, as my family would say, "big boned." I tried every diet on the map and would have success but ultimately would gain the weight back plus a few extra lbs. I always ate "clean" and limited sweets and unhealthy food, yet still I struggled. Finally, in January of 2017, I finally bit the bullet and tried a 30 day Vegan challenge. I was really afraid as I ABSOLUTELY DID NOT WANT TO GIVE UP DAIRY. Although, I really didn't eat that much, I still used cream in my coffee, butter and some cheese. I made the commitment and cut it out, cold turkey. During that month, all of my arthritic pain disappeared, all of my inflammation disappeared and I lost 20 lbs. I had suffered from brain fog, which completely went away and my energy increased tremendously. That was enough to keep me on the plant based train and here I am today. I have had such success and I have such passion for this lifestyle, I decided I would try to help anyone who was ready for a change. I have always loved to cook but after switching to this lifestyle, I really had to up my game. I retaught myself from the ground up how to make food taste delicious and be cruelty free. The pictures below are right before I began my jouney on the left and about 15 months in on the right (2018).
I began doing research on dairy and it's effects on the human body and came to the conclusion that the only beings really benefiting from dairy are baby cows. Studies have shown dairy causes inflammation (which was evident to me when I quit). The countries that have the lowest rates of osteoporosis are those who use little to no dairy which leads me to believe that "milk does not do a body good." People always ask me about calcium intake without dairy, but the truth is, calcium can be derived from many other sources which are ultimately better for human consumption, such as green leafy veggies, broccoli, beans and tofu.
Once I figured out how to make food taste cheesy, creamy and delicious without dairy, a whole new world opened up to me. Below are vegan lasagna roll-ups with tofu ricotta that I created on a whim. This recipe can be altered all kinds of ways to suit your liking but this version I am sharing goes great in lasagna, stuffed shells or any other savory dish. I tend to add extra veggies wherever I can but this recipe is so versatile, you can add or delete as you wish.
Italian Tofu Ricotta
14 oz firm Organic Tofu (always choose organic with Tofu)
1/3 C cashews soaked in hot water for at least 10 minutes
3-4 T. lime juice
2 T Nutritional yeast
1-2 Cloves of garlic
1 tsp sea salt
1 C spinach
1 C fresh basil
1/4 C fresh parsley
Press the tofu by placing it on a plate and topping with a cutting board and a heavy pan or some heavy books. You want as much moisture out as you can. I usually press once then drain water and press again.
Add all the ingredients in your food processor and blend until smooth. If you don't want to add the greens, don't! It is great with just the first 6 ingredients. I love a lot of flavor and am always trying to sneak in veggies wherever I can. That is it! Easy peasy and now your have awesome ricotta loaded with protein.