Graduation, Chef AJ's Disappearing Lasagna, and ANK's first ever GIVEAWAY!

What a whirlwind week it has been for me!  I made it through my final finals relatively unscathed, spent some time celebrating with friends and family, and finally, I graduated!  I officially graduated from Washington State University with a BS in Environmental Science and Regional Planning on May 5th, 2012.  And does it feel great to be done!  My parents came into town on Saturday to pack me up, to take me out to an awesome lunch at my favorite restaurant called Sangria, and to go to the Spring Commencement.  Here are a few pictures of our day:
Packing up and getting ready for graduation!
Out to lunch at Sangria.  Dad and I toast to finally being done! 
Me and my Envi Sci friend Danielle.  We will forever say "we DID  Environmental Science together." 
My parents and I after the commencement ceremony.
Now that I'm done I will finally have time for more blogging, and most importantly, more time for my health!  Since being back home I've gotten exercise everyday, have been drinking a bunch more water, drinking less alcohol, and eating and feeling much better.  During these last few weeks of school, I admittedly enjoyed myself a bit too much in the food and drinking category, and it feels so much better getting back into a healthy routine again!

To kick-start the summer I am going to do Amy's Nutritarian Kitchen's first ever GIVEAWAY!  I am going to be giving away a copy of Chef AJ's awesome book, Unprocessed: How to achieve vibrant health and your ideal weight.  I finished reading my copy a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed hearing her story and her philosophy on food and health.  Chef AJ tells about her many years of nutritional abuse to her body and how a critical health condition and retreat to a health clinic that served only raw vegan food was her awakening to a wonderful healthful life of enjoying the best foods on earth!  Her story truly hits home and makes most of us feel ridiculous for thinking of excuses for not eating a plant-based diet.  Half of her book is this story and why we should not eat processed junk, and the other half is full of recipes.
I finally have found some time (and more people than myself to cook for) to try out a few of her recipes.  I made her famous Disappearing Lasagna and her wonderful Hale to the Kale Salad yesterday and thought, "This is wonderful!  One of my readers NEEDS to have this book to try too!"  (Aren't you guys lucky ;))  Here is my experience at trying the lasagna:

Chef AJ's Disappearing Lasagna
Faux Parmesan pp.142:

  • 1 cup raw almonds (or cashews)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 TBSP salt-free seasoning

Kale or Spinach Dip Filling pp.83:

  • 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (OR 1 box extra firm water packed tofu)
  • 2 oz fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup raw cashews (or pine nuts, or hemp seeds)
  • 2 cloves garlic (more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium miso
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (~1 lemon)
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (I omitted)
  • 2 lbs of frozen, chopped spinach or kale (defrosted, drained with all of the liquid squeezed out)

Saucy Glazed Mushrooms pp.152: (sorry I forgot to take a picture of this part)

  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 lbs sliced mushrooms (I used 1 lb and found it to be plenty!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed (more to taste)
  • low-sodium tamari or soy sauce (I used less than 1/4 cup)

Finishing the Lasagna pp.100:
  • 2 boxes of no boil rice lasagna noodles (I used 1 box of whole wheat noodles and boiled before following box instructions, Bionaturae Organic 100% Whole Wheat Lasagna)
  • 6 cups of your favorite no-oil marinara sauce

Directions:  For the sake of spending less time typing out directions, and because I thought the videos were super helpful, I'm going to direct you to The Chef and The Dietitian videos for each part of the recipe.

Note, in the video she says to bake at 350 F for one hour but the book, the directions that I followed, were for 375 for one hour.

Amy's Notes:  This recipe is a long process and makes a lot!  I spent most of the afternoon yesterday getting everything ready, but each thing can be done on your own time the day before you put together the lasagna.  I'm guessing it would serve up to eight people with one serving a piece.  It served the three of us without going through even half of the dish.  I made it for my dad to have for lunch the rest of the week and the weekend because my mom and I are leaving tomorrow morning for a mother daughter trip to DISNEYLAND!!!  What a proper way to end my college career right?  I'm so excited to go for the weather and all of the nostalgic moments.  

Anyways, I'm sure you're all wondering "How can I get in on the Unprocessed book giveaway!?"
To enter the free giveaway of Chef AJ's book Unprocessed, comment below this post answering one of the the questions at the bottom.  You will get entered twice if you follow my nutritarian boards on Pinterest, and just tell me you did so in your comment.  Find me on Pinterest at this link.  My boards relating to nutritarian eating are: Nutritarian Food I Love, Nutritarian Foods I Want to Try, and Juice for Health.  Feel free to follow one or all of these boards.  I will be revealing the randomly selected winner on Wednesday, May 16th.  Until then, I will try to keep up with answering your comments while I'm on vacation.  Good luck to everyone!

What are some common questions you get asked about your nutritarian/plant-strong lifestyle?  OR
What are some questions you have about a nutritarian/plant-strong lifestyle?