Pesto Stuffed Manicotti

thumb_img_9674_1024School’s started back up and as always it takes me a little bit to get in the swing of things before I can focus on anything else.  Upon returning to school after having the whole Summer off, I dove right into a Detoxification Weekend and my 15 week class of Digestion and Detox.  Needless to say, I’ve spend a lot of time eating extremely clean, without caffeine or alcohol, sugar and many other foods that I would normally be eating.  If you follow my Instagram page, you may have seen my posts about that weekend and the candida diet I followed for a month guided by The Body Ecology book.  This particular candida diet is much more intensive than most protocols because of the different principles you’re following and the the elimination of foods that are usually safe.  Most people when I told them what I was enduring couldn’t imagine doing it and scoffed at the idea of even a week, but I honestly love the whole concept behind a detox and how beneficial it is for you.  I’m really enjoying seeing all the different options you have for a personal detox and how each one is unique for a specific condition.  I’m definitely nerding out hard this semester and I’m into it!

With that said, I was definitely craving some GF pasta, bread, rice, legumes and fruit throughout this whole process.  I thought what better way to treat myself than with all the things I wasn’t able to eat; pasta, cashews, and tomatoes.  My husband and I found gluten free manicotti by Jovial at Whole Foods and thought we had died and gone to heaven.  These types of unique pasta from when you were a child are really hard to find in its GF form, so when we did, we did a little happy dance, bought 3 boxes and made this dish that night.

Pesto Stuff Manicotti
Ingredients:

  • 1 package GF manicotti
  • 2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 cups organic tomato sauce

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Instructions:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cook the manicotti according to the package directions-let cool with a drizzle of olive oil
  • Sauté onion, olive oil, garlic, salt an pepper until translucent
  • Add spinach and wilt leaves
  • Transfer mixture to food processor, add basil, nutritional yeast and soaked cashews
  • Once pureed, put the cashew cheese into a ziplock bag with the tip cut off
  • Apply a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish
  • Start squeezing the cashew cheese into the manicotti and line the baking dish
  • Once complete, top with more tomato sauce and cover with tin foil
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pasta is cooked all the way through
  • Top with more fresh basil and/or nut cheese (optional)

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