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Cashew Ricotta, Cream, Mozzarella, and Garlic Cheese Recipe

The problem with vegan cheese (and a lot of allergy free food) is that the manufacturers ignore that their ingredients start with a slightly different taste profile than the originals. Instead of working with those different tastes to create a unique foodstuff you can use as a “cheese”, they just bodge right through and declare that the finished product is tastes just like cheddar cheese when at its best it tastes like plastic and at its worst it tastes like cardboard. I had given up on dairy free cheese until I learned about cashew “cheese.” The thing that makes this dairy free vegan cheese recipe work is that it plays into the flavor of the cashews, adds a hint of nutty cheese flavor with nutritional yeast and the slight cheese tang with lemon juice. Cashew cheese doesn’t taste like a traditional dairy cheese (or plastic sawdust vegan cheese) but a unique flavor that allows you to do cheesy things with it. This cashew cheese recipe is very versatile. You can use it to make

How to Make Lemon Garlic Chicken with a Wonderbag

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Wonderbag, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #WonderBag http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO

Recently I was trading quick dinner recipe ideas for the busy holidays on one of my Facebook groups. Most of our ideas were slow cooker recipes especially when it comes to this Lazy Budget Chef. I swear sometimes we would not eat if it weren’t for our slow cooker!

Then I got a little jolt of how wonderfully different my friends are when one of members of the group said she doesn’t have a slow cooker because she doesn’t feel comfortable leaving it plugged in when she is not home. Huh. I never thought of that.

I had her in mind when I got an offer to try cooking a meal in a  Wonderbag, a non electric heat retention and insulated slow cooker.


Well that and the idea that I can have food cooking in the Wonderbag during the two hour car ride to family pot lucks so it is piping hot when I arrive. I usually hold up dinner and take up oven space during these events because I need to reheat my dish.

The Wonderbag works by retaining heat from the initial simmer on the stove and is based on hotbox cooking which has been around almost longer than recorded history. Europeans have been using the Wonderbag for quite some time and now  Americans can buy a Wonderbag on Amazon through an exclusive partnership.  Yay!

While buying a Wonderbag is certainly convenient for us, the purchase helps save lives through Wonderbag’s Buy One, Give One program. For every Wonderbag purchased in the United States, a Wonderbag is donated to a needy African family where most families cook on dangerous open fires or unregulated cooktops.

Since these homes do have running water  or electricity either, poor women spend up to four hours a day gathering fuel and ingredients 3 to 6 miles from their homes  just to cook their daily meal.  Traveling so far from home on foot every day to do the simple tasks we take for granted like turning on a kitchen faucet for water leaves African women open to violence.

Because of the way Wonderbag is constructed, less water evaporation occurs, which means that less water is needed for preparing meals and the Wonderbag keeps them closer to home and much safer.

Lemon Garlic Chicken Recipe

I made rice pudding from a recipe on the Wonderbag site as a test. It came out well. I was ready for my next test -  my lemon garlic chicken recipe.


You will need:

4 Chicken breasts (Tip: cube the chicken to stretch the amount of meat in the recipe to feed more people)
1 Teaspoons oregano
1/2 Teaspoon of season salt (either your favorite recipe or purchased is fine)
1/4 Teaspoon black pepper
Butter or Olive oil
3 Tablespoons of lemon juice
2-4 cloves of crushed garlic (depending upon the size of the clove and how garlicky you like your food)
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth

Make it:

1. Mix the oregano, season salt, and black pepper together.

The oregano is so large because it came from my garden.

2. Thoroughly cover the chicken with the spice mixture.


3. Brown the chicken in a pot in either butter or olive oil. I’m using butter because I was already at the refrigerator to get lemon juice and garlic. I like to conserve energy in my cooking and my making of the cooking.

4. Mix the lemon juice and crushed garlic into the chicken broth.

5. Pour the chicken broth mixture into the pot with the chicken.

6. Bring the chicken mixture to a rolling boil.

7. Once the chicken is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer the chicken for  30 minutes.

8. Put the lid on the pot and put the box into the Wonderbag. Place the pillow on top of the pot and close the Wonderbag tightly around the pot with the drawstring.

Wonderbag suggests using a metal pot and lid for best results because both retain heat better. I agree. The first time I tried the Wonderbag, I used a metal pot with a glass lid. The glass lid did not retain heat as well as it did when I used a metal pot and lid to cook this chicken dish.

9. Allow the chicken to slow cook for at least 3 hours in the Wonderbag until the chicken is tender. The Wonderbag and metal pot will retain heat so it is fine to leave the chicken in the Wonderbag for more than three hours.

10. Open the Wonderbag, serve the lemon garlic chicken on a bed of couscous,  eat, and repeat!

Dinner was delicious and the Wonderbag is simple to use. It will come in handy when we take Lacey tent camping this summer. The Wonderbag will be a lifesaver during our next multiday storm related blackout too.

For more information and Wonderbag recipes:

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