Vegan Baked Ziti inspired by In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (yes that’s two 5⭐️ reviews this week!)
OKAY. Real talk- I was bursting at the seams to read this book and it did not disappoint. I am still reeling from the joy and gifting this to everyone I know.
Maelyn Jones is 26, living with her parents and working a job she hates. Her happiness comes from the week of Christmas that she spends with her family friends at a snowy cabin in Utah- including the absolute man of her dreams that doesn’t seem to notice her. After an unsuccessful Christmas, Maelyn makes a wish on the way to the airport and all of a sudden- she finds herself in a Groundhog Day situation. What is the universe trying to tell her that she keeps repeating Christmas?! What must she learn?
I read this book in a day. I believed in Mae, rooted for her, and related. It’s a story that has a simple message: be fearless. If you’re unhappy, take the risk and make a change. Life is too short and too precious to sit on the sidelines. In a Holidaze filled me with hope and excitement. This is definitely a holiday book for the ages and I can’t wait to reread it next Christmas.
Baked Vegan Ziti Recipe
I chose this recipe because it’s a great plant-based alternative to feed your household at the holidays. Dina and David (my resident hungry people) were big fans. Who doesn’t like ziti?!
- Serves: 4-6
- Prep time: 15 mins
- Cook time: 45 mins
- 16 oz (1 box) of ziti or another tube pasta (penne, rigatoni)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1- 28oz can of whole tomatoes with juices
- 1- 28oz can of diced tomatoes with juices
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons basil
- 2 teaspoons red pepper chili flakes
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Nutrional Yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Set the oven to 375 degrees
- Cook the pasta according to the package and set aside.
- Soak the cashews in boiling hot water for as little as 5-10 mins or 1-3 hours. (I do at least an hour).
- Place the cashews and the rest of the cashew cheese ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy and smooth. Set aside.
- For the tomato sauce: In a pot of medium heat, add the oil and onions. Sauté until translucent (3-5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for just one minute more.
- Add the tomatoes and all the spices. Cook for 10-15 minutes, breaking up the whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon as they cook.
- In a large casserole dish or Dutch Oven, add the pasta and sauce. Mix well.
- Add the cashew cheese on top and spread it all over.
- Sprinkle some extra basil, chili flakes, and salt on top.
- Cover with aluminum foil (or Dutch Oven top) and place in the oven for 30 minutes. At 25 minutes, remove the foil.
- Eat with your favorite roasted greens! There will probably be leftovers for DAYS.