The Plant Power Way is Here! I'm Digging In!

One factoid you may not know about me:  I am a total cookbook junkie.  It's bad.  Real bad.  I have so many and I love them all.

I've added three to my shelf in the past week.  All I want to do is cook and bake.  Ain't nobody got time for that.  For real.  BUT, I am making the time to get in a few recipes because I can't stop salivating all over the books.  And well, you know, cooking healthy meals is important to me so I'm going to do it!

My latest cookbook comes from my absolute new favorite dude, Rich Roll.  I discovered him through his podcast and the episodes are awesome.  He is doing a fantastic job of getting the plant-based message out to the main stream too.

I've been eagerly awaiting the release of his cookbook and received my copy last week.

The book is beautiful and includes a plethora of tips and gives a glimpse into how to get started on a journey towards wellness and better health.  One of my favorite things about this book is that it is for everyone, no matter where you are on your wellness path (or even if you feel like you haven't started yet!).

I made the Mocha Lattes last weekend and it was the perfect start to a beautiful Sunday.  *Tip: totally make sure you strain those bad boys.  I got the last end of the pour and I got a few grits in mine.

We've been so busy with other family gatherings and events, work travel, etc. that I haven't had much time to really delve into the recipes.  Well, that changed today!  The hubs is out of town for work, so I was careful to find a recipe that the kids may like and didn't take a century to make (which ended up being a very easy find).

I chose to start with the Kid Mac and Cashew Cheese.  I am already pretty familiar with the use of cashews in cream sauce, so this isn't a shocker for me.  There were very few ingredients I had to grab from the store and I discovered there were several ways to make this easy recipe even easier.

I grabbed all the ingredients I needed for the recipe.  Very simple.  I did add broccoli at the end, but it's not required for the recipe.  I only had to buy a butternut squash (and if you are super crunched for time you can pick up a can of butternut squash instead).  I always keep pasta, cashews, lemons, and nutritional yeast on hand.  If cashews and nutritional yeast are new to you, take only what you need from the bulk bins so you don't have waste.

The next step was roasting the squash.  It took me about 1 minute to slice it and stick it in the oven.  After it cooled, it took probably another 2 minutes to scoop it out.  You will definitely have leftovers (which is never a bad thing).  I plan on using mine tomorrow for dinner paired with either some rice and greens or spread on a sandwich.  We shall see...  If you can't get to it in the next few days, just freeze it!

Now, get your pasta ready because everything is pretty much done.  Seriously.  I just popped everything in the Vitamix per the recipe and let it do it's thang.  If you don't have a Vitamix, I highly recommend you soak your cashews in water for a few hours to overnight.  Another wonderful quality of the Vitamix is that I didn't need to bother with another pan to heat it up, blending it for a minute or two gets it just right!

After the sauce is done, dinner is served!  I paired mine with steamed broccoli, which I already had on hand in the freezer.  Momma got a few additional flakes of red pepper because I like it spicy!


Now, the ultimate test comes in....

Well...half is better than none, right?  The funny thing is that he finished the whole bowl and little miss did not.

My final thoughts:  I loved how fast this recipe came together and knowing that I can make it even faster by cooking the squash ahead of time or even picking up a can of it instead.  The addition options are definitely endless!  The recipe says that it serves 6, which would probably ring true if you like your pasta just coated, but this girl likes it saucy so I would say it serves more like 4.  I will also probably use a full cup of squash next time to get more saucy squash goodness.

This recipe was a definite winner.  Easy, satisfying, cheap, healthy, and quick!

The book is filled with a ridiculous amount of delicious looking recipes.  Our menu will be full of excitement for a while.  I've got Aztec Enchiladas up next for Friday and luckily I'll have one more opinion at the table!  

If you are interested in learning more about Rich, check out his podcast below.  His conversations are really thought provoking and his guests are incredibly interesting.

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