Cashew Cheez

May 15, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Other, Snacks/Appetizers, Uncategorized

Cashew Cheez (3)I think I ended up eating 99.9% of this cashew cheez all on my own because I was certainly not sharing it. Sure, the In-house Taste Tester maybe got a piece of bread and a cracker or two with the cashew cheez spread on it. This stuff didn’t stand a chance in this house once I discovered how fantastically good it is. (However, lest you think I’m a total glutton, I ate it all over the course of a few days and not just one one sitting…)

What makes it good is the flavor explosion from the cashews with the bite of the green onions. Make sure you puree the cashews so it’s nice and smooth. This is nothing like you’d get in the store and it makes a decent amount so it’s worth investing in the cashews. (I bought mine in bulk at the organic store.)

If you don’t have nama shoyu use tamari, soy sauce or some liquid aminos. The cheez keeps well in the fridge and can serve both as a spread or a dip. It’s good enough to serve for company, but, like me, you’ll find it’s so good that I don’t think you’ll want to share it with anyone else but your self.

“Conquering Lion Cashew Cheez”
from Vegan World Fusion Cuisine

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1/3 cup red pepper diced (I omitted this)
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons green onion, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, minced (I used parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon nama shoyu, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • Pince crushed red pepper flakes

Cashew Cheez (1)

Blend cashews with filtered water until very smooth. Place in a 1/2 gallon open-mother glass jar.Cover tightly with plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band.

Cashew Cheez (3)Cover with a towel and allow to sit in a warm place overnight.

Cashew Cheez (1)Our cashew mixture into a large mixing bowl, combine with remaining ingredients and mix well.

Cashew Cheez (2)

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Paella

July 09, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Culinary Tour de France, Main Dishes

It may be the Tour de France but some stages do dip into other countries…as shall I. I’ve been focusing on French dishes but today’s stage ended in beautiful Barcelona, Spain. That means, it’s time to whip up a Paella!

There are literally thousands of ways to make paella. I used a lot of the vegetables that I received in my weekly vegetable delivery (including a lot of the green onions!) Feel free to throw in whatever vegetables you may have on hand beyond what I have listed below – carrots, asparagus, peppers, capers, whatever. The key is throwing it in at the right times so you don’t end up with a squishy vegetable mess. The more delicate the vegetable, the later you throw it in. Be sure to let the cover sit on the pan to let everything steam and cook, but check to make sure the liquid isn’t burning off too quickly or the rice won’t be able to cook very well.

Paella is actually very easy to make and it becomes a really hearty dish with not a lot of added extra fat.  It’s a great dish to serve to a crowd and doesn’t require a lot of babysitting while it cooks. (And, if you ask nicely, perhaps someone will get up and check on the paella when it’s cooking so you don’t have to…)

Megabeth’s Paella

  • 4 green onions, white parts minced
  • ½ red onion, minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 – 3 cups vegetable stock (Go here to learn how to make your own…)
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice (if you use brown, increase the cooking time
  • 3 corn cobs, cut into thirds
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon saffron, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper

In a small bowl, put crushed saffron in 1 Tablespoon of water and set aside.

In a large cast iron skillet, heat olive oil on medium. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent and softened.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Pallela

Add white rice, stir to coat with the oil, and cook until beginning to brown.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Pallela

Add one cup of vegetable stock and tomatoes.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Pallela

Add saffron and the water it was soaked in, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Pallela

Turn heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to low. Add zuchinni, yellow squash and corn. Cover with a tight fitting lid and let simmer for 20 minutes on low.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Pallela

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Pallela

Life cover, stir, and add artichoke hearts, and more of the vegetable broth. Replace cover and continue simmering until rice is cooked through – another 20 – 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and add additional broth or water if rice begins to dry out in the cooking process.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Vegetarian Pallela

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Gratin of Melting Potatoes

July 06, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Culinary Tour de France, Side Dishes

Coming in next in this Vegetarian Culinary Tour de France is a Gratin of Melting Potatoes.  Someone once said, “Slow and steady wins the race.” That’s true in this dish but not so much in the Tour de France. You must have patience when making this because it took almost three hours of cooking time in the oven to bake all the way through. In the end, though, we were treated with a creamy potato dish that was plate licking good.

If you can stand it, let the gratin sit a little bit to let the sauce thicken up a bit or, even better, stick it in the fridge and reheat it for the next day. Perhaps you could hop on your bike while it’s baking, get a good ride in, and return in time to eat this dish.

Gratin of Melting Potatoes
from The Best Vegetarian Recipes

  • 4 1/2 lbs potatoes (For me, this was about 7 or 8 small russet potatoes, or as many as can fill your baking dish when sliced and placed into layers)
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 2 medium scallions
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 cups/32 oz half and half  (I used about 2 cups heavy cream plus 1 cup skim milk)
  • 2 teaspoons butter or vegetable margarine

Peel and cut potatoes into paper-thin slices. Rinse with cold water and drain. Peel and mince garlic. Trim and mince scallions. In a bowl, stir together garlic, scallions, thyme, nutmeg, 1 3/4 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Gratin of Melting Potatoes

Heat oven to 300F. Butter a 3 quart to 4 quart heatproof baking-serving dish. Put a layer of potatoes on the bottom of the dish and sprinkle with the scallion-garlic mixture.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Gratin of Melting Potatoes

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Gratin of Melting Potatoes

Repeat 4 times (or, as many layers as it takes to get near the top of your dish) finishing with a layer of potatoes.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Gratin of Melting Potatoes

Pour in just enough half-and-half to cover the potatoes.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Gratin of Melting Potatoes

Cover the dish and set over very low heat for 20 minutes. Remove cover, dot with butter.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Gratin of Melting Potatoes

Bake until potatoes are tender, about 2 ½ hours.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Gratin of Melting Potatoes

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Gratin of Melting Potatoes

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Gratin of Melting Potatoes

Asian Style Tofu Puffs with Green Beans and Snap Peas

July 01, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

Tofu puffs! Where have you been all my life?

About a week ago, I stumbled upon a huge case of tofu products at my local international store. Nestled in with all the different kinds of tofu, I found an intriguing package labeled “soy puffs”.

soy puffs

I quickly snatched up a package but realized as soon as I got home I had no idea what to do with them.  Apparently they work well in stews and soups because the puffs tend to suck up the flavor of liquid. With that knowledge in hand,  I came up with the recipe for Asian Style Tofu Puffs with Green Beans and Snap Peas.  The crispy green beans, snap peas and green onions from our CSA delivery worked perfectly with the puffs.

The really great taste paired with the no-fuss preparation make tofu puffs something I could easily get addicted to. However, based on the nutritional value of these puffs, I’m going to have to classify them as a “sometimes food”. But, what a great discovery!

Asian Style Tofu Puffs with Green Beans and Snap Peas
by Megabeth

  • 1 5oz package refrigerated tofu/soy puffs
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 2 green onions, white parts diced – slice some of the green for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon, sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoons tamari or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add soy puffs and blanch for 3-4 minutes. (Use a spoon to dunk the puffs as they have a tendency to float to the surface.) Once heated through, drain thoroughly and set aside.

Asian Style Tofu Puffs with Green Beans and Snap Peas

In a wok or a pan with high sides, add sesame oil and heat on medium high. Once oil is hot, add garlic and the chopped white parts of the green onion. Cook until they soften and begin to brown.

Asian Style Tofu Puffs with Green Beans and Snap Peas

In a small bowl, combine tamari and rice wine vinegar. Add green beans and snap peas to the wok then add the tamari mixture. Stir fry until the vegetables are mostly cooked through – about 4 – 5 minutes. Add the tofu to the pan, then add the vegetable broth. Stir to coat everything with the sauce in the pan. Reduce heat to low and allow to cook until tofu puffs soften.

Asian Style Tofu Puffs with Green Beans and Snap Peas

In a small bowl, add the corn starch plus one tablespoon water. Stir to make a thick paste. Push the vegetables to the side and add cornstarch to the vegetable broth at the bottom of the pan to thicken the sauce. Mix to coat the vegetables and tofu. Let cook another 1 or 2 minutes.

img_Asian Style Tofu Puffs with Green Beans and Snap Peas

Once plated, drizzle with some of the sauce and sprinkle with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.



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