Sunday, May 22, 2011

Nacho Cheezy Sauce

I wanted to sit down and blog the vegan version of one of hubby's childhood favorites but realized that in order to do that I really needed to share the spicy nacho sauce first. I love this nacho sauce SO much!  My go-to lazy lunch is nachos (I know, *so* healthy) and this sauce is always on hand.  ;)

  • 1 double batch Cashew cream
  • 1 Cup nutritional yeast (sometimes more; I go by the look and taste)
  • 1 tsp Tumeric
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Mustard powder
  • about a table spoon Yellow mustard
  • splash of unsweetened plant milk to thin
  • Sriracha
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cumin
  • grilled peppers and white onion (optional)
This is a super creamy and easy nacho sauce and, with an adjustment in the spices you add, is a good foundational cheese sauce for mac & cheese or cheezy broccoli or other cheezy saucy uses.  All lactose and cruelty free (and of course it fits the lazy and cheep categories too)!

Pour your cashew cream into a pot, stir in the nutritional yeast and add the measured spices (I add the splash of plant milk at the very end to thin the sauce out).  This is the basic sauce and from here you can vary it for all sorts of uses.    

Add in the spicy flavor now!  :)  I like quite a hot sauce so I'm heavy on the Sriracha and chili powder.  Cumin adds that something special to the taste for me but experiment with your own taste buds.  If I have them on hand I sweat and grill until just aromatic a selection of peppers with white onion, stir these in before the plant milk at the end.  Heat until the sauce is bubbly, it will get very thick, if you need to, add a splash of plant milk as you cook.  Depending on mood, how high the heat is etc, I will add more or less nooge. 

I hope you like this as much as I do! :)

Cashew Creme

For the uninitiated Cashew Creme is a blessing of nature!  I love this stuff and use it in soups, sauces and sometimes smoothies.  I realized that I've been referring to it without actually putting up a recipe so I decided I better put it up.  I was vegetarian for two full years before discovering the magic brought to us by the raw food movement.  Thank you raw foodies for this wonder.

  • 1 cup dry raw unsalted nuts soaked overnight
  • water to cover
Yup that's it.  

Rinse the nuts in cool, clear water and add to blender.  Cover with just enough clean water to cover the nuts in the blender.  Blenderized until smooth.  This takes just a moment or two in my vitamix but may take a few minutes in a lower power blender.  Refrigerates for somewhere in the neighborhood of a week (I've not tested this fully).  This makes more than it seems like it would, which is a blessing considering the cost of raw cashews.   

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cauliflower Soup

I've been trying to come up with a vegan version of the Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup at our local Zupa's and after many months of tasting and trying, I think I have it.

Feel free to half this recipe as it makes a ton!
  • Four heads cauliflower
  • Eight stalks celery
  • Twelve green onions
  • One medium white onion
  • Three carrots
  • One full Leek
  • Enough veggie broth to just cover veggies
  • One small batch Cashew creme (1 cup dry nuts soaked overnight, blenderized until smooth with just enough clean water to cover the nuts in the blender)
  • Toffutti sour creme 
  • celery salt, pepper, cumin, salt, garlic powder, and other favorite soup spices.
Clean and rough chop the cauliflower and set aside.  Clean and fine chop all other veggies.  With a few table spoons of olive oil, sweat the veggies until fully aromatic, and add seasonings to taste now. Add a few cups of broth to the pot and then pile in all the chopped cauliflower, cover with the rest of the broth.  Boil until cauliflower is soft enough to easily insert a fork but isn't mushy.  [This doesn't take as long as it would with potatoes, maybe half the time.]

Turn off the heat and allow to cool.  In a second larger pot have the cashew creme waiting.  Carefully ladle soup into a blender and blend it to smooth in batches.  Pour the blended soup into the waiting cashew creme pot.  Once all batches are added, stir and put it back on the heat.  Add about a cup of sour creme to the pot and stir.  Cashew creme dulls spices so re-taste and spice as needed.  Serve hot.  

This re-heats really well and goes great with sprouted wheat, sunflower bread.   Sorry we didn't get a good picture it went pretty fast.  :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mom Parker's Banana Bread - Veganized!

  • 2 C sifted flour 
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tbsp Salt
  • 1/3 C Earth Balance (I prefer the way the stick style works in the recipe)
  • 1 C Sucanat   
  • 2 Tbsp Egg replacer
  • 4 Tbsp Water
  • 1 C Mashed Banana (approx.  2 large Bananas, 'over ripe' or brown works best)
    • [By the way - sub in 1 C of pumpkin or zucchini and it is just as yummy happy in your tummy.] 
  • 1/2 C Almond Milk - plain unsweetened 
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

In medium bowl sift flour with soda and salt.  Set aside.  

Add lemon juice to your plant milk and set aside.  

In a large bowl cream Earth Balance and Sucanat together.  Mix Egg replacer with water and whip to a good thick consistency.  Add 'eggs' to creamed mixture with mashed banana.  Stir together thoroughly.  Set aside.

Add one third of the dry flour mixture to the wet sugars and mix well.  Add half of the sour milk to the main bowl and mix well.  Add the second one third dry to the main bowl and mix well.  Add the final half of the sour milk to the main bowl; mix well.  Add the final third of the dry to the bowl; mix well.  [In old quick bread recipes this process is called a three part/two part mix in, this is what they mean.]

Pour the wet batter into a well coated bread pan (I just rub a stick of cold Earth Balance all over it.)  Put the pan in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 60-70 minutes.  Test the center for doneness with a toothpick.  

Enjoy your vegan quick bread!